Long before eBay, and even the internet were ever dreamed of, many people quietly amassed personal fortunes using direct response marketing. They would place a small, cheap, classified ad in a newspaper or magazine with a ‘phone number for people to ring to order further information on a product in a certain niche market. Anyone who rang the number would be added to the marketer’s list of people interested in that niche.
The front-end product that was advertised would be low-priced and represent exceptional value for money. Often the marketer would not make any profit, and perhaps even make a loss, on this front-end product. They didn’t mind, though, because they were building a list of satisfied customers in their niche who were happy to buy further products from them because they had received such good value originally.
The marketer would then sell these happy customers a series of connected back-end products (that were relevant to the same niche as the front-end product) of higher and higher value. The real profit was in these back-end products.
So what’s all this got to do with eBay?
Well, your listings on eBay are the most modern version of direct response classified adverts. Your listing title that appears in the eBay search results is just like the tiny classified ads that you can find in newspapers and magazines. Its only purpose is to encourage the reader to seek further information.
With the old newspaper classified ads, they had to ring a telephone number (or, more recently, visit a website) to get further information. But on eBay they just need to click your listing title to be taken to your listing to get the information they need to decide to buy your product.
Not only is eBay the most modern version of direct response marketing, it is also much BETTER than the old newspaper/magazine classified ad version:
eBay’s listing fees are considerably cheaper than the cost of most classified ads in newspapers and magazines;
your eBay listing will remain visible for however long you choose to list it for, whereas a newspaper ad is only likely to be seen on the day that the paper is published;
you can post your listing on all eBay sites so you can be selling to people all over the world, not just in your country;
eBay makes it very easy by providing a ready made listing form that you just need to fill in and submit;
you can post your listing at any time, day or night, rather than having to conform to the newspaper/magazine’s publishing deadlines.
So use eBay as an efficient and cost-effective direct response marketing medium. Sell something as cheap as possible to get as many people’s contact details as possible on to your list. People who buy your cheap front-end product on eBay are now YOUR customers. You can now sell them more expensive items directly, not through eBay, avoiding eBay’s fees.
If you have 1000 existing happy customers, you could email them about your latest back-end product. You are not spamming because these are your existing happy customers. Let’s say only 10% of your list decide to buy this particular back-end product. That’s 100 sales for NO marketing costs as sending one email to 1000 email addresses costs you nothing. As this is a high-value back-end product, let’s say your profit per sale is $ 100. You’ve just made $ 10,000 by sending ONE email!
You don’t have to use email. You can send a letter to your list of customers if you prefer, but then you have the cost of the paper, envelopes and stamps. Plus you have the effort of printing the letters and stuffing the envelopes.
If you sold those 100 products on eBay, instead of direct to your list of happy customers, you’d have to pay eBay’s listing fees and final valuation fees. But, as you would be trying to sell a high-priced product to people who haven’t yet bought from you, who don’t have an existing relationship with you and who don’t know that you only ever provide exceptional value and excellent service, you may struggle to sell any.
If you set up your eBay business as described above, your eBay business is far more likely to succeed, flourish and achieve the results you desire, whilst the vast majority of eBay business owners continue to work LONG hours trying to sell MORE and MORE products on eBay to MORE and MORE new customers.