Friday, April 29, 2005

New Ebay Bid Negotiation Tool

EBay Best Offer

EBay Best Offer is a new tool that gives buyers and sellers the ability to negotiate prices on Fixed Price and Store Inventory format listings. The seller has to designate the Best Offer option in the listing, and the buyer has to find them within Buy-It-Now items. (Buyers need to be in the View Item listing page to see whether Best Offer is available.) A special text message box is available (up to 500 characters allowed), where viewers can propose a lower or higher bid and offer an explanation. Sellers have the option to accept or decline (or ignore) any offers made. The service is free to both parties.

The offers and their acceptances are considered binding by EBay, just as a bid is. The final accepted Best Offer price is subject to EBay Final Value Fees. All the details are described at

Note: Since Best Offer is a new tool, we’ve yet to see how it’s going to perform. If buyers are willing to consider the fair market value of the goods, it could prove to be a great tool that offers choice and empowerment to buyers, resulting in bigger bottom lines for sellers. On the other hand, it could end up being a nightmare for sellers who spending too much time fielding “low-ball” bids from stingy buyers. Time will tell.

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Thursday, April 28, 2005

Which Ebay Tools Help You Sell More Goods?

Third-Party Listing Management Tools

Turbo Lister and Selling Manager Pro are fantastic EBay tools. However, your options for listing management tools aren’t limited to EBay offerings. Literally dozens of companies offer powerful tools and services that interface with eBay and provide functions similar to Turbo Lister and Selling Manager Pro. The following are a few of the most commonly used by PowerSellers:

Kyozou -
ChannelAdvisor -
Marketworks -
Auction Hawk -
Vendio -
Auction Sage -
Mpire - (This isn't live yet, but will be by June 2005. It promises to revolutionize and consolidate the management process.)

Some of these tools operate in a more limited capacity but come at a less expensive price than EBay’s tools. Others offer a higher level of functionality and can be customized to accommodate your particular business. Of course, these types of services are more costly, but if you’re selling at a high rate and volume, it can be worth the investment.

Do your homework and investigate which selling creation and management tool is right for your business. You’ll find a great overview of these services, along with their pricing structure and links to each service’s Web site, at

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Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Book Challenge - Morphing EBay

One of the drawbacks to writing about Ebay is that it changes so much. This book, "The 7 Essential Steps to Sucessful EBay Marketing," however, contains evergreen content that describes selling concepts and strategies. For example, you learn how to make sales pitches that are much more likely close deals and push auction pricing higher. Ebay can change it's menus and interfaces as much as it wants, but the book's strategies remain effective.

  • How and when to cross-sell and cross-promote specific items
  • When to make offers and how to improve the liklihood that they'll be pounced on
  • Why it makes sense to ship a freebie in your package (Hint: reciprocation-obligation factor)
  • What kinds of customer retention and customer satisfaction strategies are a must
  • The best techniques for consistent, clear and compelling visual design
  • How to write killer descriptions and form keyword lists that draw in the right audience
  • How to build a brand that sticks with customers
  • How to drive scarcity
  • Why your authority is oftentimes your best selling asset
  • How to use FAQs to close
  • When and how to develop testimonials
  • Storytelling and problem solving strategies
  • How to write case studies/success stories that sell
  • Up-selling and cross-selling strategies
  • How to boost traffic to your Store and auction listings
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques
  • Much more
Stay tuned, and we'll post hot tips for each of these examples.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2005

EBay Marketing

This blog is about advanced marketing techniques for EBay sellers. It’s based on the book “The 7 Essential Steps to Successful EBay Marketing” (McGraw-Hill, release July 2005). You can find it on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. I’m one of the authors, and I’ll be offering up some tips, tid-bits and updates to the text here on this blog.

The EBay world changes so much, so it’s nice to have a place where we can post changes, and add new rules and tips. Just this last week EBay redesigned the “Store Builder” interface, and we had to make some last second edits to the text that will be released in July.

For some background on the book, here’s a bit from the intro:

“EBay has changed dramatically in the past decade. What began as a small online marketplace for collectibles has grown to cover a wide array of mid to upscale markets and person-to-person sales that span the globe. In the old days, an EBay seller could write up a quick description of an item, take a few digital photos, upload the info to EBay, and wait for bids to come in. Those of us who were selling on EBay in the early days found that it was easy money.

But in recent years, the competition has become fierce. Tens of thousands of new sellers have entered the EBay marketplace, including large scale retailers with professional marketing expertise and power-house corporate experience. The EBay market has also been flooded with small-time sellers, who sell at low margins for little profit, and make it difficult other sellers to compete with their prices.

EBay has also made system changes, offering new selling formats, a dizzying array of upgrade options and EBay Stores. The shifting sands create an environment where sellers must be on their toes at all times…”

“…The key to profiting in the new world of EBay lies in some tried and true marketing techniques and some digital age selling savvy. This book delivers the optimal mix of proven marketing and business management strategies, and EBay-specific insights, secrets, coaching and advice. We break down the profit-making process into the following seven essential steps:

1. Basic steps to building a solid marketing plan

2. The latest and greatest tools to build your EBay business

3. Critical visual and presentation techniques

4. Secrets of professional advertising copywriters that help you create outstanding and persuasive item descriptions

5. Advanced marketing and promotional strategies that help you grow your EBay business exponentially

6. Keys to Gold Star Customer Service and ways to turn one-time shoppers into lifetime loyal customers

7. Proven, comprehensive planning and business-building strategies that take your business to the next level

We also discuss modern branding approaches that help you stake out more territory on EBay and drive customer recognition, confidence and loyalty.

If you’re doing a modest business on EBay, this book is going to blow some previously closed doors wide open. If you’ve had some success but seem to have hit a profit ceiling, we’ll show how to rip it out and keep climbing higher. If you’re a traditional brick-and-mortar business that doesn’t quite grasp the ins-and-outs of EBay, we’ll show you how to thrive in a few short lessons.

This book is full of ideas that can be implemented now, so let’s get down to business and start boosting profits right away.”

Check back frequently. I’ll start posting some advance content from the book. A lot of these ideas can be implemented now. You can buy the book later (when it’s released) and read examples, more in-depth strategies and tips on where new opportunities are cropping up on EBay. More books and updates to this title will be coming out in the future. For now – bookmark this page and come back often. I’ll be uploading more content twice a week. I’m also planning on inserting RSS feed links so you can grab this content in your aggregator or blog reader.

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