Saturday, June 9, 2012

Day 26 - Ebay and Craigslist: getting buyers to find you

Online Auctions and Classifieds show a higher return in earning extra income online
The biggest scam I fell for was in researching eBay...

(And funny enough, when I was getting my refund - and they found out how good I was at blogging and how much I knew about earning income online - he asked, well why did you sign up, then? Answer was: I just wanted to find out how eBay worked. Which left him quiet. He knew I had overpaid for that simple knowledge.)

Ebay and Craigslist by themselves only get a short mention in the book (page 264-265). But the best way to learn what I know about Ebay is to do a search on the digital version of The Online Sunshine Plan and simply read before and after every time I mention eBay. My examples tell you volumes about how this system works.

Not your grandfather's eBay...

Originally, it was an auction site. Now, it's either a clearance rack for the Big Box stores, or it's for limted, higher-priced collectibles. Those are the only two types of sellers really earning income online via eBay sales. Mostly the community which supported eBay has moved on, as has the management which created it. There are little niche communities there - and that's about it.

The 3rd way to earn online income via eBay is discussed in my book on page  265. You simply offer a small unique product, such as self-burned CD's for a cheap price and then use that to collect names of buyers who might be interested in similar products (your sales funnel). They are qualified leads already, since you only get their email when they bought something from you.

CD's can cost you less than 2 bucks to make and ship to any client in the U.S. If you use a service like Kunaki.com, you can then have professionally made CD's which you can dropship, or simply ship yourself.  There are also companies which will do short runs for you and print a nice color image on top in stacks of 100 or so, which would bring the price per unit below making them yourself (and having to print out and then paste on the label).

While I don't suggest it, eBay has a "store" where you can offer your products. Of course, this means you have routine sales high enough that you can absorb that overhead.

What eBay is great for is market research. You can take any type or kind of product and search for what people are buying, as well as what their price points are.

I was looking though my material to see what I could give you, but only found books what were 10 years old now. So these are to dated to be any good (an eternity has passed in Internet time). I'd suggest instead that you visit http://pages.ebay.com/sellerinformation/index.html to get the current data.

And Terapeak still exists as a way to do market research. Their resource page (as linked) will tell you if it's a service you need to invest in. Of course, you have a 7-day trial period, but that might not be enough to really get your market researched.

Another tool is WorldWideBrands - which was built to help people dropship, especially on eBay. But they can help you with Yahoo and Amazon stores as well. If you click on Seller Resources, you'll get their whole library of data on the various ways to sell your products. I like (and have bought) this service, because it's a one-time investment which gives you access to continuing product and marketing research.

Linked on their resource page as well are newsletters from people like Skip McGrath, who has been selling on eBay nearly since it started. That link takes you to his tools page where you can find all the latest and proven tools.

Craigslist - free classified ads

King of classifieds. And right up front, this is where my next research is taking me. Like ebay, this is where buyers find you instead of the other way around.

The trick with this is in writing the ads. You're going to need 4 things:
  1. A product or service people actually want
  2. A landing or sales page for conversions
  3. Decently written ad
  4. Places to post that ad
We've already covered finding a product that is valuable.

As to creating your landing page and ad copy, again, I'd suggest you study the ads which others are writing for you to see what they are using. Those at Magnetic Sponsoring and Peak Potentials (T. Harv Eker's group) are quite good, as this is all they do. Sign up as an ambassador (affiliate) for free at https://www.peakambassador.com/

As for places to post your ad, consider this short list from quickregister.net:
1. http://www.craigslist.org- The grandaddy of classified ads sites.

2. http://www.backpage.com The second busiest classified site after Craigslist. This is where all the escort ads went after Craigslist took down their erotic ads section due to pressure from 17 Attorney Generals. Not so with Village Voice owned Backpage.com. They told the attorney generals they were just fine with their erotic ads section thank you. Those guys at the Village Voice have major cohones!

3. http://www.gumtree.com Weird name but this site is one of the busiest classifieds sites out there. This high traffic classifieds site is focused on UK ads.

4. http://www.oodle.com This serious classified site has partnerships with ForRent.com in the US and Autotrader UK.

5. http://www.ebayclassifieds.com The official classifieds site for Ebay.

6. http://www.olx.com This board has a presence in most countries and can be read in English or Spanish.

7. http://www.usfreeads.com A popular US focused site with a large business opportunity and pet section.

8. http://www.classifiedads.com Classifieds focused on the English speaking world. US, UK, AU, and India.

9. http://www.inetgiant.com A green board not only in color but in their ads. They have a well represented area for green products. The board is pretty much translated in most languages. I checked their Lithuanian board. No ads there yet. Do you want to be the first?

10. http://adpost.com Solid board with presences in the United States, Singapore,Canada,Malaysia, United Kingdom, Philippines, Ireland, Australia, India, Indonesia, New Zealand and Hong Kong.
And that should get you started in this area.

The key point is that classifieds have the person finding you, as this type of Internet user is already a buyer. The studies I done to this date point to using classifieds for network marketing, among others. And the conversion rate for such ads is more than twice what regular Internet viewers do. Makes sense - you are pitching to people who have already decided to buy. It's just a matter of which product at this point.

- - - -

Again, plenty of freebies and homework in the above, so nothing additional from my Gringold vaults.

Tomorrow: Reviewing the Natural Laws of Marketing