Building and Marketing Your eBay Business - Part 1

By Steve Myers, Online Marketing Consultant

You've got an eBay business. If you sell products on eBay, it's your business. And the primary ways to increase ANY business' success are:

  1. Sell Your Product at a Higher Price
  2. Sell More Often

Let's see how each of these fundamentals of business success impact your eBay business success.

Sell Your Product at a Higher Price

Think about the last thing you sold on eBay. How much did you sell it for? More importantly, how much of that money did you get to keep? It's profit, not sales price that ultimately matters.

It's easy to get in the trap of thinking about increasing the closing price of your eBay listings. But even if you're selling snow in Alaska, you've got costs and expenses. Unless you're just cleaning out your house of things you don't need anymore, you'll have to buy the product you want to sell. No matter which product you sell, you have to value the time you (or someone else) spends listing, packaging, and shipping it.

You have costs you probably can't reduce below a certain level (shipping, packaging, inventory). Profit = Selling Price - Cost to Sell the Item (including Inventory Cost). If you can't reduce the cost to sell your product, the only way to increase your profit is to increase the selling price.

So how do you do it? How do you increase the closing price of your eBay listings by 10%, 20%, and sometimes even 50%? Auction research is the answer.

First of all, you've got to make sure you've got a product that's in high demand. So how do you find that out? Again, the key lies in researching how well a product performs on eBay.

Let's use the HammerTap auction research tool to compare two items we might want to sell on eBay. Let's say we have found a great source for golf clubs at deep discount. A golf store is closing everything out. A drop-shipper you know of bought an entire semi truck load of golf club sets. They just want to clear them out, so they offer any set of golf clubs for $200.

The illustrations below show for how much you can expect to sell Nike and Ping golf club sets.

Nike Golf Club Set - Average Sales Price

Ping Golf Club Set - Average Sales Price

From the data shown above, we see that Nike golf club sets sell for more than Ping golf club sets. To be exact, on average, you'll get $25.52 more. Whether or not you know anything about golf, you now know you can expect to sell Nike clubs for more.

With an auction research tool like HammerTap, this kind of data comparison takes two minutes or less. Unless you're Donald Trump or Bill Gates, I'll bet you'd happily spend two minutes to make $25.52.

Now let's figure out how much money you'd get to keep in both cases. Let's say your drop-shipper source for the clubs charges $25 for shipping and handling. Now let's compare profit.

Nike Golf Clubs Ping Golf Clubs
(selling price) $287.88

$262.36
(drop-ship price) - $200 - $200
(shipping and handling) - $25 - $25
 

Net Profit $62.88 $37.36

We got just $25.52 more by selling Nike instead of Ping golf clubs. On a large purchase like this, it doesn't sound like that much. That is, until you calculate your net profit. Selling Nike golf clubs instead of Ping increased your net profit from $37.36 to $62.88, a whopping 68% increase!

Sell More Often

You can increase your profits by increasing your net profit, as shown above. The other way to make more is to sell more often. Let's look at the same example we did before from the perspective of whether listings of Nike or Ping golf clubs sell more often.

Nike Golf Club Set - Listing Success Rate

Ping Golf Club Set - Listing Success Rate

Wow! Selling Ping golf clubs, we're more than twice as likely to sell than with Nike clubs.

Balancing Net Profit and Listing Success Rate

Earlier we saw we make $25.52 more money selling Nike golf clubs over Ping clubs. But we will only sell them about half as often (67.29% success rate for Ping, $32.71% success rate with Nike).

So what's this mean to you? Which is more important? That really depends on you. If you're interested in quick money, maybe you should sell the Ping clubs, since they are more likely to sell the first time you list them. If you want to squeeze every penny out of a sale, even if you make a sale less often, sell Nike golf clubs.

Auction Intelligence vs. Product Knowledge

Here's where many eBay sellers fall down. They believe they must have in-depth product knowledge to pick a winner. You don't. I don't have to know a thing about golf to know whether I can make money on Nike or Ping golf club sets.

In fact, product knowledge can actually be a huge disadvantage! If I don't know anything about golf, I'm more likely to do my homework and base my eBay listings on facts because I have no knowledge of my own.

But let's say I am a huge fan of Ping golf clubs. Or maybe I have read how they are superior and very well made. In the absence of eBay market data, I might be tempted to pick Ping golf clubs to sell over Nike. After all, one could reason that the better clubs should sell for more. And in this case, I'd be dead wrong.

What I'm saying is I don't care why Nike golf clubs sell for more on eBay. I just care that they do. If you're like most of us, you're busy. You don't have time to become an expert in golf clubs to make an extra $25.52 more on an eBay listing. Your time is certainly worth something.

With eBay auction research software like HammerTap, you make the most of your time. When you spend less time researching what to sell on eBay, you can spend more time doing what matters most to you. You'll be confident in the knowledge that you've done everything you can to reduce your risk and squeeze the most profit out of every eBay listing you make.

Make the most of your auctions with research!

Try HammerTap FREE for 10 Days and remove the guesswork!

Determining what works and what doesn't when it comes to your listings requires research. Anything less puts you at risk of not making the sale or not making as much as you could be on each sale. A research tool like HammerTap helps you bypass the costly trial and error process by quickly giving you the key information you need for profitable online auctions.

Why not take HammerTap for a FREE test drive? We'll give you 10 days to put HammerTap to work for you. Use its power to determine:

  • Successful Keywords
  • Best Auction Type For Your Products
  • Best Listing Duration
  • Which Listing Features Improve Your Chance to Sell and Which Increase the Closing Price
  • Optimal Start Price to Use
  • Best Day of the Week to Start and End Your Auctions
  • Seasonal Trends
  • And much more!

As a bonus, you'll receive 10-lesson Power to Profit course to help you immediately see the effects research can have on your auctions. We'll also throw in selling tips from Industry Experts in our members-only Auctionography newsletter.

You owe it to yourself to take the guesswork and risk out of your auctions. Try HammerTap free for 10 days. If you are not absolutely sure you'll increase your eBay profits by the $19.95 subscription price, you're free to cancel. It costs you nothing to prove to yourself there's a more profitable way to eBay.

Click HERE to See How HammerTap Gives You the Power to Profit



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