Some new developments on the web and eBay may enable eBay sellers to combine these two aspirations. eBay has recently launched its reviews and guides section allowing its members to write articles about subjects of their choice. Another service, Squidoo, encourages people to create pages which show off their knowledge about a subject.
Who are these services useful to?
These services have the potential to be useful to all professional eBay sellers but I would suggest that they are most relevant to people selling collectible items, with an identifiable community for example collectable toy cars or records. Here are some suggestions as to how these services could be used:
- Collector. Squidoo Lenses on your specific subject and guides to purchasing items
- Electronics retailer. Buying guides and (profiles) reviews of specific items
- CD retailer. Reviews of titles
How these services can help you increase sales
Drive traffic to your salesQuite simply, any content you create which is external to your listings can act to drive traffic and has the potential to increase sales. This is true for both internal and external searches:
- Internal search within the subject area (the user searches within eBay reviews or Squidoo, reads your content and then clicks through to your sales)
- Search engine optimisation. Extra content on the web, especially on high pagerank sites will be picked up by the search engines, driving traffic to your sales
Increase trust, build your reputation (brand)eBay was built upon its community and these services act to strengthen that community. If people read something that has been written by you on a particular subject and find that article informative, they are more likely to view you as a reputable seller and purchase your items. You can use your guides to build your reputation (brand), complementing your feedback score. In the increasingly Long Tail of products, your reviews and guides act as filters, enabling customers to find the products right for them.
eBay reviews and guideseBay guides allow sellers to contribute their wisdom to the eBay community. The articles can be linked to pages within eBay, allowing you to promote you products or shop.
Writing a good guideI would recommend writing a guide which is relevant to your products, put not a blatant sales pitch. For example, if you sell digital cameras you could write a review on what to look for when buying in a digital camera.
Consider a guide to be like a corporate white paper, it should contain useful information, with a reference to the individual who wrote it. Keep it short and sweet, no more than 5 pages of printed A4’s worth and two is often enough. Remember that you can link guides together to improve the reading experience. Here is a suggested structure for a guide:
- Summary. A brief summary of the article
- Establish the problem which the article addresses
- Establish the generic solution to the problem
- Establish your specific approach to the problem
- Give suggestions for next steps
- Brief profile of the writer with links to your eBay shop and about me page
SquidooSquidoo is a service which allows people to set up pages (called “lenses”) which act as a starting point for learning about a subject. Users can choose the content which they wish to appear on this page, for example link lists and amazon books. The idea is to provide a useful resource to browsers and persuade them to click through to your products.
Writing a good Squidoo LenseI suggest including the following information in your squidoo lense
- Links useful to your customers - perhaps to eBay guides which you have written!
- Latest news regarding your products
- Amazon books relevant to your products
- Links to your eBay products
- Items from you blog if you have one