So, you thought that eBay was mainly about selling your old junk? Think again, 81% of the two billion daily transactions are for brand new items.
That doesn’t mean that there is no weird stuff there – back in 2000, a leftover piece of French toast sold for a whopping $1,025. Why? Because it was something that Justin Timberlake had been noshing on.
And eBay will no doubt be the site of choice for quirky collectors for a long time to come. It’s easy enough to put a listing up, and you don’t have to pay for anything unless it sells. So, entry costs for this site are pretty low.
List your item, and you have the chance of showing your goods to around 250 million buyers. You would generally have to shell out a lot of money for that kind of exposure, so what is the catch?
Is There a Catch?
The only real catch is that getting your item into the top page of listings is not as easy as it sounds. You have to compete with around 25 million other sellers who also want that top spot.
So, while eBay provides a great platform to access a vast number of sellers, you still have to put in a fair amount of effort. You need to find and clearly define your target market, and then tailor your marketing efforts around them specifically.
Promoting Your Business
Some sellers do this by offering eBay vouchers or running a special promo from time to time. You would have to analyze the feasibility of this kind of approach in your own business. After all, you can engage in the cost-cutting game continuously, but that eats away your profits.
It is better to look into creating hype about your product in the right circles. What is your unique selling proposition? What are you offering that the 25 million other sellers cannot? If you cannot answer that question, you might as well not even open your eBay store.
If you can define this selling point, and it is of real value to your target market, you can afford to charge more for it. If you can appeal to a niche market, you might not have the same volume of sales, but you will have higher value sales.
In other words, less work and more money. Isn’t that worth making an effort in the first place?
Find a Profitable Niche
That’s not all there is to it, though. Say, for example, you decide that you are going to sell vintage clothing online. It’s a more novel approach than selling the mass-produced stuff we see all over the place, and there is a market for it, so it sounds good.
You now have to do the research. How many listings are there already for vintage clothing? Is there enough of a demand to make selling it profitable? Just type in the words “vintage clothing” on eBay, and you will see over a million results.
Clearly, vintage clothing is considered a hot item, and your store could easily get lost in that crowd. It is time to narrow the field some more. How about trying “vintage hats” instead?
That drops the search results to just over two hundred and thirty thousand. It is better, but still far from ideal, so we need to narrow the search further. Try looking for “vintage hat pins” instead.
Now we are getting somewhere. There are only around two thousand two hundred results in this search. That’s a manageable number – it’s large enough to be profitable but small enough that you stand a chance in the search results.
You could drill down further by typing in “vintage art deco hat pins.” That’s getting extremely specific and produces around one hundred and forty results. You could distinguish yourself quite easily in that market, but is there enough profit to be made?
Would you be able to source the right kind of hat pin? The key to getting niche marketing right is to choose an appealing selling proposition and to also make sure that the niche is profitable enough.
If you can get both right at the same time, you can obliterate your competition on eBay.
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