Saturday, March 22, 2008

An Idea to Maximize Your Exposure on eBay

I've been trying to find a way for eBay sellers to test Yahoo Sponsored ads on eBay and drive click-thrus to a low FVF webstore. I think I may have found it.

I know many of you don't like eBay's ProStore platform, mostly because it is run by eBay, but they are running a promo right now, that if done right, will let you test Yahoo's sponsored ads and possibly give you options outside of an eBay Store.

ProStores announced version #9, which will allow eBay Store sellers to import all of their listings automatically into a ProStore and then sync up inventory between the two platforms on an on-going basis. If you sell an item in your eBay Store, it will reduce the inventory in your ProStore and vice versa.

Normally I wouldn't suggest a ProStore, but they are running a great promo that will literally be no risk for eBay Store Sellers to test Yahoo sponsored ads.

EBay Store sellers can open a ProStore for free (the first month is free and there is no long-term contract), import their store listings into the ProStore and sign-up for Yahoo Sponsored ads to drive traffic from eBay.com to their ProStore. The beauty of this, is that Yahoo will give you a $100 credit if you sign-up your Pro-Store for their sponsored ads program.

So, open a ProStore free for one month, transfer your existing Store listings into your ProStore (they still remain in your eBay store) sign-up for Yahoo Sponsored search and limit your CPC budget to $100, which Yahoo will give you for free.

After you run through your free $100 in clicks, just analyze the results. How many click-thrus did you get from Yahoo to your ProStore and how many sales did they generate? Compare these numbers to your eBay Store sales and see if this will be beneficial to your business. Make sure to factor in the FVF difference on your ProStore sales (0.05% vs. 12% in eBay Stores)

If this test is successful, then you can begin to whittle down your eBay store listings to only the best sellers and put all of your inventory in the ProStore (eBay Store owners only pay $20.99 a month for a Business ProStore) Then in the future take the savings you get from fewer Store listings and spend that on Yahoo sponsored ads.

I only ask one thing; please let me know if you do this test, so I can write about the results. In fact, I will even help the first seller who decides to try this test for free. Just email me at rksmythe at yahoo dotcom.

Update: I have the first guinea pig (I mean seller) but I will post about my experiences with ProStores and also how this idea works.

If this is successful, I may have found a new revenue stream for myself.

Just my 12%

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Randy,

Please keep this down. The servers on ProStore are already at capacity. I have a ProStore and I have been there 1.5 years since they were on version 7. The redirect I am hoping is fixed with this new version. I am waiting for the feedback to come in on the inventory control. Many people have been experiencing 503 errors (server timeouts) for a while. It is best to read the discussion boards at: http://discussionboard.prostores.com/
before any attempt be made. There is a learning curve that a person needs to go through before they can get their store working and it usually takes more than a month so there goes the free deal out the window. The new description editor and basic editor for the store design templates does not work with IE7 so a newbie can get pretty lost in the whole thing. I write my own HTML so it does not bother me but if you are setting something up and don't know HTML you are lost. The integration with PayPal or merchant account has a lot to be desired and feeds can get messed up unless you know how to use HTML with SSML.
Other than that the concept is a great idea and the cost is very reasonable but it is going to be a while until things get all ironed out and it works seemlessly.

Bill

Randy Smythe said...

Bill, thanks for the info. I'm going to get in there and play around with it to see if this idea is really just a pipe dream.

I don't know why eBay has to make this so difficult.

Anonymous said...

Randy,

eBay is unknowingly making it so difficult because they are using 3 different groups of IT people and the co-ordination between them is horrific. Instead of working together they sit and blame the other group for the problems. The only way this all can be solved is if they have one group of IT people working together on the 3 different platforms, eBay, PayPal and ProStores. If they can combine the 3 they can get rid of a lot of worthless dead wood and save money on top of it.

Bill

Randy Smythe said...

Bill,

They are restructuring everything else, this seems like a problem they could resolve easily.

Eric Shoup said...

Hey guys-

I am also interested to hear your comments on how the ProStores + PayPal promotion works for you.

About Bill's comments -- yes we have had some 503s over the last few weeks but believe we have licked them as of last week. And we are working on fixing the IE 7 bug. Most importantly, in the 9.0 release, we have made setting up a ProStore for the first time MUCH easier for eBay sellers but importing all their existing eBay settings through what we call QuickStart.

If you are an eBay seller, you can learn about the pricing for eBay sellers here:
http://www.prostores.com/ecommerce_eBay.html

Thanks for your comments!

Eric Shoup
General Manager, eBay Stores & ProStores