March 11, 2011

Don’t Completely Rely on eBay for your Business

Looking across the eBay seller network these days there are hundreds of businesses completely relying on eBay to generate the bulk of their business revenue. Whilst this is ideal in the beginning, don’t make eBay your only online platform in which to do business.

Why eBay?

People choose to use eBay to establish themselves an online business because of two reasons. 1 – eBay comes complete SEO ready and the traffic is already there, all you have to do is create a shop, list some items, add a little more marketing to the mix and you’re done. Creating a website on the other hand is time consuming and don’t produce instant results like eBay do. 2 – I feel mainly because that people in general like to follow trends, I know I did it myself. Someone on eBay is making a killing at selling something cool and so you want in on the action so you follow the trend and before you know it everyone else is at it.

What should I do then?

Well by all means use eBay as a lunching platform for your business but I do advise that when starting out in your online business venture, start it by creating a website first. You can do this very easily by using an online site builder such as Moonfruit. Spend your time and energy designing it, marketing it, promoting it and over time the results will start to happen.

What about eBay?

One of the things I did when I started out on my art business is to use eBay to actually promote my own website. I know what you’re thinking it’s against eBay’s TOS to add your website to listings and what not, but there are ways that you can market your business website using eBay. Here are some suggestions on using eBay to promote your website.

Courtesy Email – When someone buys something from you through eBay you can send them an email from your website’s emailing account if you have one or use hotmail or yahoo. Correspond with emails such as ‘Order Received’ or ‘Thank you for your Order’ in which you can place a link to your website in.

About Me – Use the ‘About Me’ feature within your eBay account describe what it is your business is about and include a link back to your website’s homepage, this is allowed however you are not allowed to link back to a page on your website featuring products for sale.

Despatch Notes & Invoices – When sending items off to your customers include a despatch note or invoice receipt with your business and website details printed on it. Add a business card too.

Website Promotions – One of the tricks that worked well for me back in the day was to include a special offer in an email or at the bottom of a receipt about any special offers and deals only available from my website. This was ideal for repeat buyers as instead of them purchasing from my eBay store they would come directly to my website.

It would be nice to say that with gradual and carful marketing and promoting methods you can eventually leave eBay altogether or even just use it for any sale items that you want to clear our. eBay for me is a great start to marketing and promoting a business but should not be seen as a long term commitment. The fees alone should be enough to motivate you to find your own feet in the ecommerce market.

About Fabrizio Van Marciano

Fabrizio Van Marciano is a successful artist and blogger working from his home in North Cornwall, UK. His insight into online business marketing, web design and self-promotion has lead him to become one of the UK's biggest selling modern contemporary artists with over 3,000 original canvas paintings sold worldwide. Fabrizio now shares his tips, advice and tutorials on all aspects of internet business marketing, blogging tips, WordPress, internet tech reviews and much more. You can follow Fabrizio on Twitter & Facebook.

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