Thursday, March 20, 2008

One Way to Get Around Best Match!

It appears to me, that one of the best ways to get around this new Best Match default and always be on the 1st page, is by participating in the Yahoo sponsored ads program.

On the US site, Yahoo Sponsored ads are on almost every eBay search. You no longer have to pay for a 7 day listing in the hopes you will show up on the first page for at least one of those 7 days. Instead you can use Yahoo's PPC program to get access to everyone who searches on your keywords. You also only pay when they actually click through to your website and in many cases your website doesn't have any FVF. Of course you would still sell on eBay those items that were most successful for that platform but you could move a great deal of your “long tail” inventory to your website and spend a lot less on sponsored ads then you do on eBay.

Heck, even sellers who have moved to eCrater and don't pay anything for their store can advertise using Yahoo's PPC program and get access to eBay's customers. You only pay if they click through to your store. You can choose keywords that you know buyers use in search and bid up your ads so that you show up in the top four ads for that keyword. Here is some info on how one former eBay seller is doing with the program:

“I pay $.15-$.35 per click & my conversion rate is 12-35% on all my ads. Bidding cheap on keywords will get you nowhere, you[r] ad has to be in the top 4 ads to get any solid traffic or sales. My average order is $48 & the average cost per sale is $1.12.”

I have a challenge for sellers who already have a website:

Sign-up for the Yahoo PPC (PayPer Click) program; Calculate your average eBay bill and make 10% of that amount your maximum monthly budget on Yahoo. Place bids on the keywords you know eBay buyers search on and then track the activity. My guess is you will start to see user activity immediately and sales should soon follow. Compare the COS (cost of sales) between eBay and the Yahoo ad program and see which platform gives you the most bang for your buck.

Also, if you are not able to sell directly on Amazon at this time becasue of category restrictions, you might consider applying for their Product Ad program and send Amazon traffic to your website as well. The Amazon Product Ad program is relatively new so I haven't heard any statistics on how well it is working, but online sellers need to start taking more control of their business and this is one way to do it.

I'm not suggesting a wholesale change from eBay, but this method is working very well for a number of eBay sellers. You will still get better sales velocity on eBay but when you compare the costs, I think you will be in for a big surprise.

10 comments:

Steve L. said...

I wonder if the Store Referral credit could be used with these ads if the seller advertised their own eBay Store? The ?ref=ID code could be added to the advertiser's link on Yahoo which would turn them back to the eBay Store.

Since the visitor is actually going through the sponsored link, I'll bet the Store Referral cookie is dropped on the visitor's computer after leaving eBay. This would result in a 75% reduction in the seller's final value fee.

Definitely worth a try for sellers without an ecommerce site of their own.

Anonymous said...

Amazon Product Ad program has min CPC's of $1.00 for lots of categories. This is just too high compared to Google and Yahoo. Maybe I'll try it when they drop the min CPC.

Anonymous said...

I did a seach on eBay and did not see any sponsored ads. Randy, could you post a link to an example search maybe? Thanks!

Randy Smythe said...

I wasn't aware the CPC was a minimum of $1 for some categories on Amazon. I will have to did into that for more info.

As for seeing the sponsored ads on eBay. Log out of ebay and log into another one of your eBay accounts that doesn't do much on eBay like a posting account or something. You might have to delete your cookies and restart your browser but if you do all of that you will see what the majority of eBay buyers are seeing.

Hope that helps

John said...

I had been wondering the same thing as what Steve mentioned above. As I don't have a stand-alone ecommerce website, but I do use Ecrater.com. Don't have a lot of items listed on that site at the moment.

I already been researching not only Yahoo PPC but also Google adwords. I may take the plunge and try both, linking directly to the individual store categories. Hmm...Sounds like a winner. I think I will take the plunge and work on this over the weekend!

And I will take Randy's suggestion of taking 10% of what I spend monthly in Ebay fees.

Thanks!

Randy Smythe said...

Steve, I'm not sure if the Store referal credit will work. It would certainly be nice if it did. The problem is there isn't much transparency with the store credit so it would be difficult to track.

John,

Let me know how the test goes. I don't recommend sending the traffic to your eBay store unless the Store refersl credit will work. Otherwise you will paying eBay twice.

It would make sense for you to send the traffic to your ecrater store as a test.

John said...

Randy,

I think I am going to hold off on the advertising on Ebay for now until clarification on the Store Referal credit.

As previously mentioned, I don't have a lot of items up on eCrater, but I am going to spend time this coming week to ad as many items into the store as my helper and I can do. Then I will go ahead and launch an advertising campaign.

Thanks again,

John

Randy Smythe said...

John, check back this weekend. I'm working on another idea that I will post sometime this weekend.

Anonymous said...

liked this ad idea but on my regular search pages i always get a national ad from from a bank or some other advertiser unrelated to my search. so i took your suggestions and used a different browser to do searches.

i never saw an ad period! but then i noticed this at the bottom of a page: You are currently testing eBay's new search experience. If you prefer, you can opt out of the test.

when i opted out i got national ads again.

randy, will the yahoo ads be in the ad box on the top of the page? and lets hope that the new search keeps the ads on the page.

keep up the great blog!

Randy Smythe said...

Annonymous, the Yahoo ads are actually at the bottom of the page after the Core listings.