Tuesday, August 10, 2010

How To Drive Traffic to your store

In today’s world of eCommerce, it is tougher than ever to sell online. Many have the idea that it is easy : take picture, write description, post it somewhere and BAM! You are done. WRONG. Sorry folks, your work has just begun.

Gone are the early days of online selling of set it and forget it. Back in the early eBay days that was the case, for eBay was one of the only places you could go to. But today you have new marketplaces popping up it seems like daily. You have Addoway, eCrater, Bonanzle for general merchandise and a host of specialty spots like Esty, Ruby Lane, and Gemms just to scratch the surface. So just how do you drive traffic to your items?

There are countless ways to do that, but fair warning, this does take time, and work. Countless books, DVDs, pod casts, webinars and seminars are available and some are really good sources of information. There is also a gazillion places on the web to find some information as well. But before you run yourself ragged looking for this, let cover some of the basics here.
Make Google Work For You

1.) Be sure your title is keyword rich - Don’t go crazy here, but a simple Title that accurately describes your item. Back away from words like Beautiful, Stunning, Chic, Old, etc. Why? Well when was the last time you typed into Google search ‘Beautiful teacup’ for example, when searching for a replacement cup for your set of Lennox China?

2.) Is the price right? - Don’t expect to sell that used CD of Lady Gaga for $20 when others are selling for $4. Research your prices.

3.) Feed The Beast - The items found onGoogle are not always found BY Google. They are fed to Google via Google Product Search. Luckily many, many marketplaces such as Bonanzle  and eCrater do this for you, that is why they are a get place to set up shop.
Help yourself

1.) Be Social - Social Media is a goldmine of opportunities to promote your  products. You have Face Book, Twitter, My Space, and a ton of Ning Sites, all offering you a way to let a huge audience know about what you sell and where they can find it. CAUTION The KEY word is SOCIAL - BE social. Chat with the people, show genuine interest in what THEY say, and they will return the favor. Above all have fun.

2.) Join In - There are countless site to brainstorm with fellow sellers. Every marketplace has their on Forum, and there are groups on Face Book, My Space, as well as other places such as Multiply , and a wide array of Ning sites. Remember - not only is it good way to find out information, but sellers buy too!

3.) Blog it - A blog is and excellent way to promote without actually doing so. Simply by writing about what you like, or offering up information, poems or recipes, people get to know you a little better, and often will look at the ’Ad’ you have on the side.

4.) Add your two cents worth - You are NOT a Blogger? Then try just leaving comments on ones you read. Agree, Disagree, give Kudos, add your two cents! When you add a comment you can also add a url. Why not use your url to where you sell!
Be your biggest fan

1.)Become a Walking Billboard - Have a T- Shirt made with your Logo. Or a tote bag, bumper sticker, window decal, you name it.

2.) Address the issue - Make some address labels that not only have your Name and Address BUT your URL on it! I use them on everything, even my bills I pay.

3.) The 3 foot rule - Use the 3 foot rule. Simply put, anyone that comes within 3 feet of you will know you sell online. Find a way when ever possible to talk about your items. And if you follow this up with a business card, you just may get a sale out of the deal.

These are some of the basic steps you can take to try to drive more people to your site, and hence, make more sales. Be creative, be social, and become your biggest fan. Above have fun. It is not rocket science it is common sense. Remember common sense equals dollars and cents.

Feel free to ad your two cents…. What works for you?

This was originally a guest blog post by Renagade at http://shakeandbaketrading.blogspot.com/  Great Blog - go check it out!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

ajc.com - Educating online shoppers or aiding eBay scammers?

Get savvy about the cyber market ajc.com

I have seen articles like this before, and for the most part the tell you things that are common sense, - buyers -always pay with Credit Card, sellers - do not accept checks, etc, so when I saw the headline I thought 'yeah, yeah, OK ...need to just take a peek' , then I noted it was in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. That when I got really curious as to how much detail will this one provide, since I have seen article like this in major papers before and they sometimes have been so generic, you swear they just copied and pasted them.
I must say, this one was good. Although geared towards the buyer of online goods, they did provide insight for the sellers. One thing that really caught my attention was :

Check the seller’s feedback and ratings from multiple sources.

OK. Now yes, it is important to know who you are dealing with, and yes their are scammers out there. I also encourage you to check the feedback, and not just the numbers, actually READ a few. On eBay I have found countless sellers with high numbers only to discover after reading, the buyer really wasnt thrilled.
On the flip side, I have seen sellers with only a few sales under their belt, but with glowing reviews. Remember folks, everyone has to start somewhere and often the new seller tries harder.

Then the next line is what really got my attention:
With eBay, place a low bid on an item and then get contact information at bit.ly/ahbU7M. Call the phone number to verify and check the address through an online directory such as free411.com

Say what? This in my opinion is a scammers feeding ground. Place a bid on something you dont really want, get the info, and then disappear.
Where is eBay's mind? Did they auction it off? I fully agree with buyer protection, but until the item is won, what business is it of the buyer what my phone number is? And if it is that safe for eBay to give out your personal information, why can't the seller have access to the bidders info? Why must they wait till item is purchased and only go through eBay for contacting them?

Good article and Kudos to Lucy Soto. But bad eBay for abetting scammers with this computerized information feeding bowl, and Ms Soto, I understand your intentions was to educate the consumer, but this practice by eBay was not well known , It caught me by surprise, and I wonder how many con-artists went "yummy!" when they read it.

One thing for sure, it is causing me to rethink just how 'secure' eBay is.

Previous post on this subject:  eBay Gives Out Personal Information