Why every eBay Seller Needs a Website
Why do I need a website?
A professional-looking website gives you credibility. It separates you from the thousands of auction sellers who don't. Potential buyers can link to your website from your eBay About Me Page to learn more about you, your company and your products. This information can dramatically increase your bids. You can also sell directly from your website. You might sell the first item to your customer at auction, but get additional sales when they receive the item along with a link to your website. Another technique is to use eBay as an advertising vehicle for your web site.
How does my website fit into the auctions?
eBay used to allow a link from your auctions to your web site where you can sell items directly. They recently changed this rule. Now you can only link from your "About Me" page. The key to getting people to look at your About Me page is to invite them to do so with an active hyperlink to the page. In the body of your auction description, use words to this effect: Please visit my About Me page where you can read about my eBay business, see my other auctions and read feedback comments from other buyers.
Many bidders will link from the About Me page on eBay to your web site and place an order directly without going through your auction. (Note: You must sell items on eBay at a slightly lower price than at your web site, or eBay will cancel your auction). Other bidders will see one item at auction, yet purchase a different one from your website. Good feedback from auctions gives credibility to your company, your site, and all your products- not just those you sell at auction. Remember: Every bidder is a potential future customer.
Remember, once someone buys from you on eBay, you now own that customer. Whenever someone visits buys from you or visits your website you can obtain their email address. As your mailing list grows, you can email your buyers and website visitors with special offers, new product announcements and notices of your items at auction. The possibilities are endless and the profits are greater than just selling at auction.
One way to get people to visit your web site is to create a downloadable information product that you give away free to visitors. All of my eBay auctions have a image people can click on that offers my 77 Tips and Tools for Selling on The New eBay. When they click on that image it takes them to my About Me page, where they can link to my web site and download the item.
But doesn't it cost a lot of money to have a website?
In the early days you needed a web designer and a web master and hosting fees used to cost a fortune. Today you can get a full-featured web site for as low as $10 a month (see below)
Although it does cost to set up and run your website, when you sell at auction you pay listing fees, feature fees, seller's fees, and PayPal fees.
On your website you only pay the credit card or PayPal fees, so it is more profitable to sell direct from your website once your customer base builds up. Your website itself can generate additional revenue. You can sell or exchange advertising banners; You can become part of an affiliate network, start a newsletter and generate revenue from Google AdWords. (One of my web sites makes over $800 a month in AdWords revenue)
How do I get people to visit my website?
As well as links from auctions and affiliate networks, you can also build traffic to your website by running free classified ads, banner exchanges, posting on message boards, adding free content that search engines will find, starting a blog and purchasing pay-per-click advertising.
I'm not good at design, can I still get a good website?
You do not need any programming or design skills to set up your own web site. There are several companies today who provide the whole package with pre-made templates. (This web site is a simple text-based web site and did not require any advanced programming or design skills to create. You simply follow instructions to pick your site layout, colors, insert headlines, text, page links, etc.). See below for some places to do this.
How complicated is it to set up?
There is no need to be worried about getting started. The process of setting up a web page is simple. You just use pre-designed templates. If you can type text and point and click with your mouse, you have all the skills you need.
Most Template-based web-hosting companies will take you through the process step by step, and offer email and/or telephone support. You can create virtually an unlimited number of pages and sub-pages to showcase hundreds of products. Even your shopping cart can be categorized into sections. You can "hide" pages when a product is at auction or if it is temporarily unavailable.
Where do I go?
There are literally dozens of web hosting companies where you can host a web page for free or very low cost, but I recommend three options as my favorites:
Once you get your web site up and running, you will want to make improvements. Here are some web sites with free stuff for web masters and designers. Most of it is easy to use and self explanatory. These include free images, photographs, sounds, tutorials cgi scripts and so on. There are several services that will link you to these free resources. Here are two of the best.
You can also get free content for your web site from one of the many Free Articles sites. These sites give you free content on a wide range of subjects in return for providing a link back to the author of the article. Just type "free articles" into a Google search and it will come up with several listings.
© 1999- Harry McGrath, Inc., DBA Skip McGrath, Auction Seller's Resource and Vision-One Marketing. All Rights Reserved.
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