Friday, May 05, 2006

Pain Motivates More than Gain - eBay Selling Secret #42

Excerpt from The 7 Essential Steps to Successful eBay Marketing

We’ve talked a lot about benefits, and they are very important. However, here’s a little secret that’s emerged from psychology research, and it directly relates to scarcity: Customers desire benefits, but they are even more moti­vated by the prospect of losing something. That “something” could be any number of things:

• The winning bid itself.
• Freedom of choice. (For example, a lot of people buy different kinds of athletic shoes for different sports and exercise routines. They want the flex­ibility and the freedom of wearing the best shoe for the right occasion.)
• An opportunity. (For example, a bargain, a chance to make more money, a shot at personal improvement, or a chance to acquire some rare, cov­eted object.)
• An experience. (For example, tickets to sporting events, plays, and other activities.)
• An insight or educational experience. (For example, instructional CD-ROMs, classes, seminars, or “Webinars.”)

You need to hammer on benefits, of course, but then supplement them with unique benefits that bidders or prospects stand to lose if they don’t make an offer on your merchandise or service.

Here’s an example. This is a bit of text taken from an eBay listing for a tree irrigation device: “Give your trees a hug and yourself the gift of knowing you’re doing your best for your precious trees and saving time and money at the same time.” There’s a lot of emotion here—with the gifting and looking out for your trees pitch—but the seller also indicates that you’ll spend more time and money if you water your trees without the device. The seller could have been even more forceful, saying something like, “Don’t throw away pre­cious money and waste your afternoons watering large trees. Use our device and you can get in that golf game and afford drinks at the 19th hole.” If you don’t have this thing, you’re going to miss out on all that fun.

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