Free eBay Listings Makes Them a Lot Of Money

eBay, one of the anchor stores of the Internet Mall is making a huge change.  Free.  Yes, free listings from here on out.  You only pay when the item sells!  Granted it might be a few cents more but for the loads of junk on there now, it’ll get even junkier we’re all sure. 

The move I believe is that dedicated eBay’ers rebelled against getting charged to list an item. Charged when the item sold. Then charged with credit card/paypal fees during the transaction.  (Pretty convenient eBay bought PayPal as the credit card processor, no?)

What does eBay have to do with your business?  A lot it seems in the scheme of things.

They (eBay) changed the way they made money by making it easier for their customer. Some may say they opened the door and you have to pay to exit, but like the pay per click industry, you only pay now when someone clicks to your site.  Same scenario.  You can have 10,000’s of ads running free, or products listed (some penalties apply) and only pay when a transaction is made.

By opening the doors this wide (free admission) means the flea market tables will be bowed under the pressure making it more difficult for customers to find, view and buy products.  Site search just took the front seat in the buying process on eBay.

Lastly, because competition for that non-footed Pez dispenser just got tougher, your images, description and customer service just became more important.

Boiling it down, whether it was Google Caffeine (remember the last major update?) or Google Panda (the current knee jerk talking head update) or eBay’s major move it means the same thing to your business, Quality, Findability and Customer Service. 

Your web site’s CTA (Call to Action) or how you make your money should be evaluated.  Is it performing the way you want it too?  Are you seeing 5%+ or even a double-digit response rates?  (Industry average is 1-3%) How can you maximize your 24/7 salesperson to NOT make the sale as soon as they walk in the door but when they leave happily with your product in their hands?

When your potential customer does enter, can they find what they came for quickly?  Very few web sites today offer one product or service*.  Site search? (See previous post on Site Search importance) Is there clear navigation between products?  Which products/services do folks end up looking at the most?

And finally, I came, I saw, I want (more information). Have you prepared the way in making it the easiest way to make the sale?  Or are you trying to get the site to do ALL the heavy lifting?  Will a simple phone call seal the deal?  Will just a name and email suffice in facilitating the way to a sale? Do you need a 27 point contact form with secure login and require me to make up a new password to get the information? 

(A recent experience required me to register for a webinar, OK, then once logged in, required a second registration for a new webinar meeting package, complete with address, phone, login screen name, password, double email verification (no additional option to close account created) just to view the presentation that ended with a plea to purchase a product that required more logins, passwords, login names and email verifications. They lost the sale!)

* Side Note: A few CrystalVision clients have opted to take a single product/service and build a web presence around it and are doing outstanding in the search results and new leads.  Ask about a micro-site, you might be surprised at the ROI

Wrapping it up, do you need what you think you need immediately or can you shift the “pitch” for later to a truly interested party?  Can you deliver quality, with a smile within a budget?  Did you tell me the Who, What, Where, When and Why of the deal?

The search engines want to deliver the best results and most every web site depends on search engine traffic but that was only half of the conversation.  Now that they are here, what to do?  Garnering search engine traffic is no longer the hurdle it used to be, making the most of the traffic you have is the new task of the day.  Market to a field of one and not a million and you might amaze yourself at the results.  eBay just added a whole lot more customers and will make huge cash profits from Free just from their current traffic, can you do the same?

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