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When a potential bidder (customer) is looking at a specific auction you have listed, you can safely gamble that they are interested in that particular item. Now, if you have several things that are similar to that one item the person is looking at, it would be a good idea to let them know that you have other similar items listed.
Suppose Ms.Bidder is searching around eBay looking for, say, Elvis salt shakers (No, I don't collect Elvis things nor salt shakers.. it's just an example). Now suppose you have listed a load of salt shakers of all types and varieties including several Elvis inspired shakers. Wouldn't it be great to be able to send Ms. Bidder directly to your auctions of Elvis shakers?
Yes, she might click on the "View Seller's other items" link under your user ID on the auction page, but that would show Her ALL the auctions listings, not just the Elvis shakers. She doubtless has already used The Bay search to locate your auction in the first place, and is only one click of the back button away from gong back to that page with all those other sellers auctions. The ideal situation would allow Ms. Bidder to click on a link displayed prominently in the auctions that would send her to the rest of the Elvis inspired shakers. That's what the pre-search does. You do a search for Ms. Bidder that will return only your auctions of only the things she was interested in, in this case Elvis inspired shakers.
The pre-search technique consists of two parts. The target word, and the link to that target word. The target word is one that you make up. It must be so unique that no ones else will have that word in their auctions description. What works quite well is to incorporate your The Bay user ID and the words describing what it is you are targeting. Put it all together with no spaces to form one word. For example "youruseridelvisshaker" substituting "youruserid" with your own eBay user ID.
Next we have to generate a search for that word. Go to The Bay Advanced Search (the link is just below the search box in the upper right hand corner of nearly every The Bay page). To save time in the future, you might want to add this page to yuor favorites so you can go back to it quickly. Type your target word in the search box, and make certain to check the box for "Search title and description". Now click search. The search should have shown "0 things found for youruseridevlisshaker". If that search returned ANY listings, you need to scrap that target word and come up with another. (You might also want to find out why someone other than you is using your user ID in their auction listings).
At the top of your browser screen, you will see a box marked "Address". It should have a LONG strange looking World Wide Web URL. This is the URL of the page we want to send Ms. Bidder to. To do this, we need to make a link to this page. Now, we want to tell Ms. Bidder that we were kind enough to help her locate more of those Elvis inspired shakers She was interested in. Set up the link to say "To see more of our Elvis inspired shakers Click Here" with the click here sending Ms. Bidder to the search URL . The final part of the pre-search is to put our target word into the description. You may want to change the color of the font for your target word to a color very close to the background color of your ad so it's not very visible just to keep not-so-honest sellers from stealing the target word and putting it in thier own auctions.
To save time you can set up the link to the pre-search page and the target word all as one block of code / text that you can keep in a text file. It will simply be a matter of copying and pasting the entire block into your ad.
When someone is looking at your ad, that means they are interested in whatever it is you are selling. With the pre-search link inserted in your ad, they are just one quick click away from all your listing that target exactly what they are interested in right then, without letting them look at other sellers items.
More eye time for the listings = more sales.
KL Bohn is a long-time eBay seller, and co-founder of a successful eBay business.
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