Friday, September 09, 2005

How to Use “How To” to Boost eBay Sales

I’m at the Border’s bookstore in Palm Desert -- working remotely while the family swims and splashes at the condo pool.

Over my left shoulder are two books on the end-cap, “How to Cook Everything” and “How to Grill.” For book titles “how to” has consistently been a winner over the years:

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk
How to Lie With Statistics
Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with a Film or Digital Camera (Updated Edition)
How to Prepare for the New SAT (Barron's How to Prepare for the Sat I (Book Only))

There are hundreds of them.

How to Win Friends and Influence People” rivals the bible in sales. Here’s an interesting one: How to Make Love Like a Porn Star: A Cautionary Tale by Jenna Jameson, et al. Makes you wonder who the “et al” are (and how many).

These books are best sellers, and the idea of “how to” has been a favorite for years. It’s an obsession for children of certain ages. My 3-year-old always wants to know how to cook certain things. Huge portions of his days are dedicated to figuring out how to. How to make a phone call from my cell. How to get Mommy & Daddy to cough up one more sweet treat or some more time in front of Finding Nemo. How to torment his younger brother. It’s a big deal.

With eBay, you can show customers how to do lots of things before and after they buy your goods. When you show them how to use your products more effectively, they build up more reasons to purchase. When you offer follow up suggestions after they’ve purchased, you build a customer relationship that could lead to repeat business.

Use “how to” in your email newsletters, your descriptions, and even in flyers sent with your packages. If you blog about your products, include how to’s. You can even post how to articles in various eBay groups to generate interest in your products.

Any other ideas?

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