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I just received an interesting email from eBay and it got me thinking... Do you sell tires by mail? Maybe you should 'eBay' (yes it's now a verb as well as a noun)
I know, if you're in the retail business - you have a shop, staff, overhead and all that a physical location requires. But what would you say if I mentioned that [at the time of writing this] eBay had concluded over 8,275 auctions for tires and tire related products in the last 90 days. That's about 91 transactions per day. And that number doesn't include other completed auto part auctions which totaled 1,581,529 - that's 17,573 auto-part auctions per day.
A Retail Sales Dream
Now I'm not suggesting that eBay is the sales answer to your retail dreams, and some of those auctions never resulted in a sale - but a lot did. Those are online adverts that cost pennies to post and resulted in a great deal of traffic and visibility for your product.
Here's a little known fact - I'm a registered eBay Trading Assistant. What this means is that amongst all the other things I do, I am 'qualified' to show people how to best sell things on eBay.
An Online Garage Sale
Now this all started a few years back, I had some junk to get rid of, and just for fun I decided to see what this eBay thing was. Well, let's say that a garage sale is never likely to happen again in my household, and I cleared out all the things I never figured I could. I was hooked.
And here's the neat part. Being The Practical Marketer?, I wondered how I could use this to my advantage - and here's what I learned.
If you have a website then you should sell on eBay - and not for the reasons you'd normally think. The main reason is search engine rankings.
While I was active on eBay, my adverts and auctions were consistently being indexed by the Google? Search Engine - I was always showing up in the top 10 searches for the items I was selling. If I was selling purple widgets, and someone went onto the Internet and typed 'purple widgets' thanks to eBay I'd show up - usually in position 3 for some reason.
Web Traffic For As Little As $0.30
Now pause for a moment, think about this. For as little as $0.30 (the base price of an eBay advert) you can post an advert on eBay and within a few seconds, hundreds, maybe thousands of people will see your advert.
eBay lets you link back to a page on your own website for more information - trying to cut eBay out of the deal by offering your products on the referred page is not allowed. They frown on that practice and the eBay police - yes, there are people who police eBay - will shut down your account.
But if you play by the rules and post adverts for products and services you'd normally sell in your store - and you offer them online for either the same price or less, you'll get exposure. And lot's of it if you do it right.
A Virtual Retail Store For Pennies!
You might think what's the point of someone 700 miles away seeing my advert - they'll never become a client. You're probably right about them not driving over to pick up their purchase - however 'eBayers' are used to paying for shipping and handling, so you would mail out your products.
So for pennies you get a virtual retail store, you'll get good search engine rankings, you'll get web traffic, and you can even expand your business operations by adding a mail order department (that'll impress the bank manager!)
So, as the title of this article so aptly asked... Do You Sell Tires By Mail? Maybe You Should eBay...
AUTHOR BIO: James Burchill is a freelance marketing consultant and author. He's also the editor and associate publisher for two of the automotive aftermarket industry's leading print publications and he's the publisher of http://www.CorrectLink.com - a new Internet publication for the automotive aftermarket in Canada.
In between all that, James helps people 'Sell more stuff, and make more money!' and publishes a series of informational and Internet products about advertising and marketing. His main website is http://www.JamesBurchill.com
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