Thursday, July 8, 2010

Promoting Your Ebay Store with Squidoo

If only online promotion were free for your Ebay store… oh wait, it is! Squidoo is a completely free website that allows you to make your very own articles, called lenses. These one page “lenses” are the perfect way to talk about your website and direct search traffic to your store. Squidoo also has a relationship with the Ebay Partner Network, so you’ll be getting commissions for every sale that you drive to your own items (or other people’s items).

The first step in using Squidoo is to sign up. Second, you should evaluate your niche, and write about what you know. Write first about what you know best. Be sure to link to your Ebay store throughout the lens (only one backlink counts per page, but you can sprinkle links throughout the content to direct buyers to your store).

To get started, pick a topic that you know the most about. Let’s say that you sell fuzzy animal slippers. The first lens you create should probably be on fuzzy animal slippers. Talk about the different types of slippers, give buyers tips on sizes, and give them recommendations on what type of kids like certain types of slippers. Also talk about your store somewhere throughout the page (buyers usually click at the top and bottom of pages, so those are wise choices on where to link to your store). Think like a buyer, and know what your buyers want.

Throughout your lens, you can also use the Ebay module to pull a feed of your current auctions. You can also sort by category and keywords to pull only certain relevant items into the feed. This is very handy when you’re trying to break your page down by certain types of items, brands, or styles.

Five Things to Make Sure You Include in Your Squidoo Lens
1. Link to your Ebay store and your About ME page. You can also link to your specific store categories and custom pages that you’ve created. This will help those pages get indexed by Google, and help drive search traffic.
2. Use keywords throughout your lens and in the titles, but don’t overdo it. Some SEO analysts state that 2% is a good ratio to shoot for when using certain keywords, while others say it’s higher. When writing your lens, it’s a good idea to aim to use keywords, with the intention of ranking for that specific phrase (the title of the lens).
3. Include many different types of modules, and include plenty of photos. The more photos the better. Ebay has the Text Module, Flickr Module, Polaroid Module, Table of Contents, Featured Lenses Module, Link List, and of course the Ebay module. Try them all out and see what works for you.
4. Make your lens at least 1500 words. Not all successful lenses are over this amount, but most of them are. Google loves content, so talk it up.
5. A guestbook. Guestbooks provide valuable feedback from readers, and allow you to network within the Squidoo community. To take it a step further, reply to visitor’s comments with your own two cents.

You can also try to combine your Squidoo marketing efforts with blog marketing for your Ebay store. Link your lenses to your blog, and vice versa, and you're sure to eventually pull in some heavy traffic to your store.

One more thing. Squidoo has a poll module which you can add to your lens and get potential buyers to answer questions like "what else should you include in your store?" and "was the store easy to navigate?" It's an easy way to get some free feedback.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wall Street Doesn't Get It: Ebay Isn't Amazon

wall street bull
Would you trust the opinion of Wall Street for one second with your business? You can turn the caps lock off with that resounding "NOOO!!!" Running a business and inflating stock prices are two entirely different things, and that's why Ebay shouldn't listen to Wall Street.

RBC Capital Markets has stated they would like Ebay to be more like Amazon, and offer order fulfillment services. This means you, the seller, wouldn't have your inventory. You would be shipping it off to Ebay, and they'd have to handle the fulfillment. Imagine Ebay employees with your feedback in their hands? It's really laughable. No one cares about your business more than you, and that's what sets Ebay apart from Amazon in the first place. Otherwise, sellers would already be selling on Amazon using their order fulfillment service. Any Ebay seller can tell you this would be the worst thing to ever happen to the online auction site ever.

AuctionBytes points out that when your goods are in your hands, you won't have to worry about shrinkage or improperly shipped items. Whether this statement will hold any water with how Ebay runs itself, only time will tell.

Related posts:
* How to Save Money on Ebay Fees
* How to Handle Problems with Ebay Customers
* Shipping Ebay Items

Friday, July 2, 2010

DSR (Detailed Seller Ratings)

DSR’s are the Detailed Seller Ratings, or the star ratings system appointed to each seller. In addition to leaving positive, negative, or neutral feedback for a transaction, they’ll also have the opportunity to rate you on shipping costs, item as described, fairness of shipping costs, and communication with the buyer. Ebay now uses the DSR ratings to promote certain sellers on the Ebay site. If you have stellar DSR ratings, you could wind up having more clout in the Ebay search than sellers who do not have a good DSR ratings. Like feedback, honesty is key to getting good DSR ratings. The other major factor is the cost of shipping and the speed of delivery. Shipping the item out as quickly as possible and offering free shipping are good ways to boost your DSR ratings.