First things first ... thank you very much for purchasing this eBook. :-)
My name is Louis Allport and I had the good fortune to interview Jim Cockrum in great depth
recently about his exact, step-by-step, eBay marketing techniques that earn him thousands
upon thousands of dollars in profits every single month ... mostly on auto-pilot, and from just a
handful of auctions!
Perhaps that sounds impossible -- but Jim will show you exactly how you can start using his
tactics yourself. And the amazing thing is several of these techniques I haven’t seen talked
about anywhere else! You’ll have an immediate advantage over 99% of your eBay
Enjoy the interview!
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.: Secret eBay Marketing :.
- Part 1 -
Hi Jim -- could you tell me about your background please?
Sure. I’ve only been in internet marketing for a little over a year now. About a year and a half.
Previously to that I’m a sales rep -- actually sell Microsoft software for a living so I’ve been in sales
for 7 or 8 years now ... but I was very interested in earning a full time income from the internet and
I’ve been experimenting with that and playing around with that for probably three years and I got
really serious about a year and a half ago ... decided I was going to make some things happen.
My first business on eBay was selling tickets. Event tickets. Concert tickets to popular bands like U2
or Creed or Madonna ... whoever the hot artist was at the time. I started learning how to get my
hands on the best concert tickets and then selling them on eBay -- which is completely legal if you
follow the rules.
eBay has rules and there’s laws in each state in the United States, and there’s different laws in
different countries, but once you know the rules you can make some money doing it ... and I was
doing quite well just selling tickets on eBay. That’s where I started.
And then out of that came my first book and that’s where things really picked up. My first book taught
others how to get the good tickets too. And that was my first eBook.
What’s the domain name for that book?
The web site for that first book, and it’s a very amateur web site but it still makes me good money ...
if anything it’s great proof that you don’t have to get real fancy to make good money on the internet.
The web address is 321tix.com. Tix being an abbreviation for the word tickets.
So on that site I provide people a little proof that I know what I’m talking about, and that ticket guide
still sells today. And that was one of my primary items that I sold and still do so on occasion.
Can I just ask out of interest -- obviously not giving away all your sources but I’m curious
how you found out about that? Where did you go for special deals on tickets? It sounds quite
Well, there are about 40 tips in that book and they range everywhere from how to use your computer
to it’s maximum capability on TicketMaster.com -- for example the speed of your connection and
how to manipulate the different windows that you have open at any given time.
Very technical things like that all the way down to some phone tips and some tips when you’re
calling Ticket Master how to make sure that you get to a live operator at the right time and what
things to say to delay them if you get through a little early. It’s really a game. It’s a game ... and it’s
all about increasing your odds.
Interesting. Did you find that out just through trial and error?
Yes - trial and error. It took me about 6 to 8 months to kind of teach myself and learn the ropes.
It must have been something you were really interested in to play around with it that much?
Yes -- I did talk to a few experts I found -- people that knew what they were doing. And after a while I
had a good foundation of knowledge in my head ... I put it on paper, turned it into an ebook, and it
started selling very well and that became the premise of my now much more popular book The
Silent Sales Machine Hiding On eBay. It’s quite a system that I put together and I’ve got a lot of
people that are really enjoying success using it.
Out of curiosity concerning 321Tix.com -- you say you’d been playing around with selling
over the internet for a while ... how did you actually start promoting that site?
I started out without much information -- without much useful information. I’ve just kind of
experimented, and a lot of things I tried didn’t work very well. I had some success with pay-per-click
search engines and initially that was my only success. Like GoTo.com now called Overture.com. I
still use that today with a good deal of success.
But by far the most successful way that generated traffic to my sites is via eBay ... and I don’t want
to mislead anyone: eBay has a lot of rules, they don’t just want to be a sign post for other web sites,
they don’t like being treated that way, but they do leave the door open, and they do allow you to
grow your business off eBay.
I’ve noticed that actually -- I’ve done some selling on eBay and I’ve noticed the rules getting
more and more stringent and it’s often quite difficult to keep up with them all. They used to
be a lot more relaxed about it. For example -- you could link directly to your site from your
auction, but not anymore.
It was getting very abused, and so eBay did get stricter with the rules about what you could and
couldn’t do from within an auction, but then they started -- recently they’ve been doing some things
to make it friendlier.
They’re getting a lot of push back, and there’s a lot of businesses, big name businesses that people
around the world will recognize, that are trying to sell on eBay and they want to put some name
recognition on there as well.
So those big businesses are really pushing eBay to allow them to do both -- to promote eBay and to
promote their own business at the same time and that’s where eBay has left the door open for us
little guys to get in there and do some things ... and I stay on top of those rules, as the rules change I
let everyone in my audience know ... I’ve got a newsletter list of about 8,500 people right now and
it’s growing by 100 or so a day, and that’s one of the primary purposes of that newsletter: helping
people stay on top of eBay and the developments there.
So do you find it quite a job staying up to date with all the rule changes?
Not really -- there’s only been a couple of changes in the last year ... only two changes that will even
I think when you’re new to it though, it looks a bit overwhelming the sheer amount of rule
pages eBay has ...
Yes -- it can be overwhelming but it only takes a short time to get comfortable buying and selling on
eBay. The concept is pretty simple and the rules ... they do fluctuate and change but eBay has
competitors out there that are keeping them friendly. Let’s put it that way.
There’s new auction sites popping up all the time and keeping the pressure on eBay. eBay sellers
keep the pressure on them. I think eBay is trending friendlier. As a tool to promote any business
they’re getting friendlier ... they have to. They can’t keep burning bridges with their top sellers.
They’re trying to attract more sellers, and to do that you have to keep your rules friendly.
eBay are far and away the biggest auction site, but just as you said I’ve noticed huge
companies like Sun ... I think Sun were selling servers on eBay ... so there’s some huge
companies using it as well.
Right, and I guarantee that Sun has their logo in their auctions, and they have a link to their web site
somewhere in those auctions.
It doesn’t matter if you’re one guy selling out of your garage or if you’re a multi-national company
trying to sell things on eBay ... the rules are the same for everyone and you need to learn to take
advantage of the rules and use them to your advantage.
Actually -- I think people would be interested ... where can they sign up for your newsletter?
By simply sending a blank email to email@example.com. They’ll be signed up
automatically ... they’ll get an autoresponder reply immediately letting them know that they’ve been
signed up ... and it’s free. And it’s very eBay and internet-success focused.
And that comes out once a month or so?
It comes out as often as I have something worth saying. Or a good article to share. And it’s not more
than 3 or 4 times a month at the most ... so once a week at the most but in August there were two
issues for example.
So when did you start selling on eBay exactly?
I was playing around on eBay ... I’ve been on eBay for three years, but it was just a hobby ... I would
sell an occasional item ... I sold an old pair of Nike tennis shoes for $650 just one time ... you know
people buy the most insane things on eBay. You never know what sort of money you have just
sitting in your closet ’til you throw it out on eBay and people will just go nuts for it.
So I was doing that kind of thing -- just playing around with it ... but as far as turning eBay into a
money-making 24/7 profitable system, I’ve only been doing that about a year.
Something you mentioned to me the other day -- you said that eBay is one of the best
starting blocks on the web ... why do you say that?
For the brand new person ... let’s say they’ve bought a computer two weeks ago and they’re now on
the internet for the first time and they’re thinking "I want to make some money from all of this --
what’s the best place you can start on the internet to start to get a feel for financial success -- what
works on the web?".
A great place to go, to start to really learn the ropes, to have some fun, to keep it interesting, is
eBay.com. And that’s just not my opinion, that’s a fact. Every day 9,000 sign up for eBay and
become either buyers or sellers.
eBay is just massive and it’s growing every day. It’s a vibrant community and if you want to just start
out somewhere and get a feel for e-commerce with no risk -- you don’t have to pay a ton of money to
check it out, it’s not real complicated, it’s fairly simple and straight-forward, you can learn all you
need to know in a day or so if you’re willing to just check it out and play around ... it’s a great starting
And the reason I say that it’s a good starting block is because you can get out there and sell a few
things within 5 or 6 hours of checking out eBay.com for the very first time ... and you can have an
item up for sale on the web, have a worldwide audience seeing your product, and have people from
all countries around the world bidding on your item wanting to buy it.
It’s just an exciting prospect. It’s a way to jump in fast. And that’s why I say it’s a great starting point
because of the simplicity, the low upfront commitment that you have to make as far as money goes.
It’s 30 cents an auction isn’t it?
30, 35 cents for a basic auction and you’re on the internet. You now have a web site. Your auction is
a web site.
And traffic as well.
And you have traffic, right. And you have people contacting you with questions that are potential
future customers. You’re set. You’re rolling. And you’ve spent very little money. And very little time.
A very interesting story I heard along those lines is about someone who had never sold on
eBay, and they’d just moved house, and in the basement of the new house they found very
old badges for firemen’s helmets.
And he didn’t really know anything about them so he literally just described them for his
auction, took photos, and put them up on eBay ... and each one was selling for hundreds of
Yes, it’s insane. I have customers of mine that full-time all they do for a living is go to estate sales,
yard sales, junk sales of any kind ... pick up unique, unusual, interesting items that they think will sell
well on eBay without actually knowing a whole lot about it in some cases ... and sell it on eBay. And
see what happens. They do that for a living.
Now what I’ve encouraged them to do is to turn that into more of a business and attach information
products to it. Teach others how to do the business ... get a mailing list where you teach other
people what to look for ... and start to grow -- turn that passion and that interest into a business. And
eBay is the best tool in your toolkit to make that happen.
You mention linking info-products and your own mailing list to your eBay auctions ... how
would you do that?
Well, let’s start with how you don’t do it. You don’t turn eBay into a sign post ... and what I mean by
that is: Don’t list an auction with the sole purpose of trying to build your mailing list or get traffic to
your web site.
You can’t just put right in your auction listing "Please Join My Mailing List -- Click Here" or "Please
Visit My Web Site -- Click Here". eBay doesn’t like that. They frown on that. They won’t let you do
that ... so it’s not that simple.
But what you can do is offer some other features that eBay offers ... and anyone that contacts you
as a result of your auction, you can certainly give them more information ... whatever email response
you send to that person be sure to invite them to join your mailing list and tell them why they should
... and offer them a free report of some kind ... and hopefully it’s all related back to the product that
you’re selling so you know that you’ve got people who are potentially pretty interested in whatever
So once someone’s contacted you they’re inviting you to give them more information. Answer their
question first and then ask them to join your free mailing list, offer them a special report of some kind
that might be of interest to them, tell them where your web site is ... you can put anything you want
in an email.
Something I’ve done that eBay does allow is I have a link to my web site on my About Me
page. However, my auctions never get huge amounts of traffic, so I was curious ... you
mention you have a lot of back-end sales and make a good living from traffic redirected
through eBay. How do you get the numbers to such a good quantity?
Sure. Let’s go back to my tickets ... remember I started on eBay selling tickets for events? One of
the nice things about event tickets is they tend to get a lot of hits on eBay. So it is a numbers game.
You need to sell items that get a lot of hits or you need to sell a lot of items that get a few hits. It’s
much easier to find a handful of items that get a lot of hits. It’s a lot less work.
But what I was doing in my auctions was simply inviting people that wanted more information about
the ticket business or my ticket business on eBay, to click and check out my About Me page. And
when they did that they were offered the opportunity to visit my web site. And there’s things you can
and can’t say, and you’ve got to follow eBay’s policies. But I got a lot of traffic from that.
At it’s peak I was making between $80 - $100 a day selling ticket guides, just from the traffic being
generated from eBay auctions.
And that sells itself doesn’t it since everything’s set up ... the web site and the order taking
Yes -- it was all automated. I’d wake up in the morning and have two or three orders ... they’d
already been fulfilled and the customer was happy. It was on auto-pilot ... all I was doing was putting
tickets up for sale.
And that was purely from traffic from people who visit your About Me page in your ticket
Yes, that’s correct. I also did some pay-per-click search engine traffic but that was nowhere near as
effective as the eBay traffic. The people who were coming to me from eBay were highly qualified
leads that didn’t cost me near as much as pay-per-click leads that I was paying for. And they were
more likely to buy too.
I was using pay-per-click ... I think I was paying 25 cents to get a decent ranking on Overture.com
and the traffic just wasn’t that responsive. There were people searching for "Ticket Master" for a lot
of other reasons than wanting to buy a ticket guide ... but people who came from my About Me page,
they were very interested, they were highly qualified, they wanted to be on a mailing list, they
wanted to learn the tricks of the trade, so it was great traffic ... it was very qualified high-quality traffic
that wanted my products.
So is that all you did to redirect people from your auction to your About Me page -- just a
single link? Just offering them to visit?
Yes. That’s correct.
So very straightforward -- no tricks -- very upfront. Simply "Find Out More About Me, Click
Yes -- and I did do some other things as well. None of it’s any more profound than that. There are
other things that you can do and as I discover new tricks and techniques I publish them in my
newsletter, and I let people know about it.
And I’ve even held contests in the past where I get all 8,500 of my subscribers thinking creatively the
same way I think. Coming up with ideas. There are a lot of really good ideas that have come through
the newsletter as a result. And that’s exciting for me when I’ve got other people thinking that way
and bringing me ideas. It’s a lot of fun.
So for somebody starting out, you would say all it takes is simply a link saying "Visit My
About Me Page" and just trying to get as much traffic to the auctions as possible?
Yes. That’s a great start. That’s a great place to start to convince yourself that this really does work.
So then what would you have on your About Me page? I’ve visited quite a few out of interest,
and in comparison I would say mine’s quite impersonal because it really just prompts people
to visit my site ... whereas I’ve seen others where they have family photos and other such
things. I’m just curious what you actually do with yours?
Well, it really varies. What I have on mine ... I’ve left it alone for quite some time now so it ties in very
well with my book. I actually send them right to my eBay About Me page from within the book. So
I’ve left it alone so all the examples in the book make sense as I teach people about it.
But I think there’s a few key elements. There’s things that you want to do: you want to make people
an irresistible offer of some kind. Offer them something for free. Give them an incentive to click to
your web site.
You only have their attention for a very brief moment and you want the customer to feel compelled to
click over to your web site ... so a free special report, or a really good reason to join your newsletter,
a free ebook maybe that might be of interest to them ... and it’s the same techniques you use on the
web in general to draw people’s interest.
Secrets Of Ebay Marketing
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16 August 2006
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