Using eBay To Drive Traffic To Your Web Site

eBay wants buyers to stay on their site and buy. I don’t blame them. But there are some “legal” ways to use eBay to get traffic on your web site.

It is very important that you follow the rules and be subtle.  If you are discrete and don’t break any eBay rules, this can be a great way to get more traffic to your web site.

In the early days of eBay I made a lot of money running auctions for products that I also had for sale on my website. My auctions would get dozens of hits a day but very few bids because I had a link to my website inviting bidders to visit me and buy the item directly. It didn’t take long for eBay to realize that thousands of sellers were doing this, thereby subverting the sale on eBay and the collection of eBay fees.

In 2002 eBay stopped the practice of allowing sellers to link from their auction to any website that sold product. Over time, however, eBay modified and expanded the regulations. It is still possible to drive business from eBay to your website, but now you have to use some tricks to do so. By calling them tricks I don’t mean they break the rules –they don’t.  You might look at them as loopholes.  So these work now –but who knows, eBay could change the rules again any day.

1. About Me Page Trick

One of the easiest ways to promote your web site on eBay is to entice members to visit your About Me page. Here is eBay’s rule about linking from your About Me page.

The eBay About Me page may be used to describe the seller’s business, and may contain web addresses or links to the seller’s individual website. It may not specifically promote off-eBay sales or sales of items prohibited on eBay, nor may it contain links to commercial websites where goods from multiple sellers are aggregated by a common search engine.

Notice the words "It may not specifically promote off-eBay sales." You can have a link on your About Me page that describes your business, but you cannot put words to the effect that a person should "click here to buy your item now."

A couple of years ago I wrote a document called 99 Tips for Buying & Selling on eBay. I have a note in my auction that says:

As a free gift for looking at my auction, please visit my About Me Page where you can download a copy of 99 Tips for Buying & Selling on eBay.

When someone clicks on the link to my About Me page they see a description of my business and what I sell on my website. There is also a link to download the 99 Tips document. That link is on my website. After they arrive at my website, they can see the navigation links to my other products.

I know this works because I track visitors with my stats program. eBay is always one of my top ten source sites. When I went on vacation last year and took all of my auctions down, I noticed that sales from my website dropped almost 20 percent.

The key to getting buyers to click your About Me page is to use the HTML <a href=> command to make the words About Me page a clickable link.

2. The Image Trick

eBay’s policy also allows you to link to a page with more images of the product you are selling. You can compose a sentence with a clickable link to your website that says something like Click Here to view more images of this wonderful antique desk (or whatever product you are selling). Again, make the words Click Here an active hyperlink to the page. When the buyer gets to the page, you should have more images of the product, but you could have links on that page to other pages on your web site that sell products. You have to be subtle. You can place a link under the photos that says something such as Click Here to see our complete product selection. But you would not want to say something like Click Here to Purchase.

3. The More Information Trick

You can do the same thing with information that you can with photos. I often sell Native American Eskimo Art (when I can get it). Once I was selling some very expensive (over $2,000 each) Baleen Baskets. I had about a dozen of the baskets and did not want to put them all up on eBay at the same time. I liste
d an auction for one, and had a link in my auction that said Click Here to read the full story about Baleen Basket making. After the reader clicked the link, he or she was taken to my website where I had a page that talked about the history of Baleen Baskets. At the bottom of that page, I had a link to my product catalog that showed photos and prices of all the baskets. I managed to sell two baskets on eBay and five from my website over a six-week period.


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