Whether you’re selling cutting-edge technology or lengths of old rope, you can almost certainly find a buyer on eBay. The trick is knowing how to promote your listings so that potential customers discover your wares. This task is known as eBay marketing.
There are many different ways to approach marketing on eBay. Some are almost all about the content on your store, while others involve work on other platforms.
To help you build a successful strategy, we decided to take a deep dive into the world of eBay marketing. Keep scrolling to find out how to grab the attention of shoppers and send your sales through the roof!
Any action that helps to raise the profile of your listings or your store can be described as eBay marketing.
Of course, this includes a wide range of channels and techniques. However, most can be slotted into one of two categories: on-site and off-site.
On-site eBay marketing covers all the tactics you can employ on eBay.com, such as store optimization and buying eBay ads.
Meanwhile, off-site eBay marketing covers your promotional activities that happen outside the platform. Examples include social media and email newsletters.
There are many more examples in both categories, but we will dive into these more a bit later.
While it’s definitely possible to sell stuff on eBay without a marketing strategy, you’re unlikely to make consistent sales over a period of time or maximize your profit.
Why? Although eBay has 154 million active buyers, there are 19 million sellers competing for their business. And at any one time, there can be up to 1.6 billion individual listings on the site.
In other words: standing out from the crowd is pretty important.
By putting some time, effort, and possibly money into eBay marketing, you can create a brand that will catch the attention of visitors and have previous customers coming back for more.
As a direct consequence, you’re likely to see a more consistent stream of revenue — good news if you’re trying to build a business or even to sell off your junk.
Now we have a high-level overview of eBay marketing, it’s time to take a closer look at some proven strategies.
Here are ten tactics you can use to boost your eBay store — as used by some of the most successful sellers on the platform:
Before you start looking elsewhere for new customers, be sure to apply these ideas to your eBay storefront first:
The best place to start your eBay marketing efforts is right on your product listings. After all, this is where you turn interested visitors into bidders and buyers.
For a start, think about whether you can improve your product photos. People who are browsing the marketplace tend to shop with their eyes, so showing off your products is really important.
Make sure that all your product photos are well lit, and free from distractions. If you don’t have a studio set-up at home, use an app like Pixelcut to cut away the background and replace it with a professional backdrop. You can even use the app to erase any unwanted inclusions.
It’s also worth spending time on writing a good description, filling out product specifications, and optimizing your pricing. All three will help you reach more customers, make a better impression, and get closer to the top of search results.
Speaking of search, it’s a good idea to think about the eBay search engine (aka Cassini) as you create your product listings.
Much like SEO for Google, you can make your listings easier to discover by including relevant eBay keywords within your listing titles and product descriptions.
The best way to implement this strategy is to use tools like Google’s Keyword Planner and the free Title Builder. These platforms can reveal popular search terms for any given product, including keywords with relatively little competition.
Include these in your listings, and you should start to see a significant uptick in the number of people visiting your store.
Another way to reach more potential customers is by paying for promoted listings.
Unlike display ads, promoted listings don’t come with a cost for every click. Instead, eBay takes a slice of the pie whenever you make a sale.
Obviously, this does mean your profit margins are going to take a hit. But if you have some room over your cost price, promoted listings are definitely worth experimenting with.
Quite apart from increased traffic, you’re likely to see a more consistent flow of customers — and that is going to help with our next two strategies.
Social proof is a powerful lever in all ecommerce, but it takes on even greater importance within online marketplaces like eBay.
Unless you have already established significant brand awareness, the likelihood is that most new customers will encounter your business for the first time when they visit one of your listings. Before they place an order, they may want some reassurance in terms of your credibility.
By acquiring positive testimonials from previous customers, you can say: “Don’t just take our word for it.” And new customers have a good reason to trust your store.
For this strategy to move the needle, you need to encourage customers to leave a little write-up. While a few will do this under their own steam, most are unlikely to think about it unless prompted.
Tools like 3Dsellers and AutoDS allow you to set up automated messages to be sent to buyers, a set amount of time after a purchase.
Within these messages, you can ask whether the recipient is happy. If they are, you can follow up with a suggestion of leaving a review. At the same time, you can work on your ratings.
Ratings act as another form of social proof on eBay. Many buyers won’t make a purchase if they see the seller only has three stars or fewer.
Conversely, earning the title of “Top-rated seller” can make a significant difference to your eBay sales. The site even has a special filter, where shoppers can view only listings from sellers with this badge of honor.
In addition, joining the ranks of Top-Rated Sellers gives you access to reduced shipping costs, and $30 in credit per month to spend on promoted listings.
Just as with testimonials, you might need to prompt your customers before they will leave you a positive review. In fact, satisfied people are less likely to leave a comment than anyone who is unhappy.
Make sure to ask happy customers to give you a rating using automated messages. If you come across negative feedback, get in touch with those customers and see if you can make it up to them. Convincing just a few people to change their negative rating can make all the difference to the success of your eBay business.
While great photos and search optimization can make a difference, most eBay shoppers are ultimately looking for a good deal. So, you should probably give them one.
In the seller hub, you will find a mighty tool called Promotions Manager. This feature allows you to create price-drops that are only visible to certain shoppers — such as those browsing search results.
By setting up such deals, you can reduce your price to attract the attention of potential buyers who are weighing up various options. It might just give you the competitive advantage you need.
Another benefit of this approach is that your listings will appear in searches when a user chooses the filter for “Deals & Savings.” And once they discover your store, you might attract more full-price sales.
So far, we have looked at eBay marketing strategies that entirely revolve around the platform.
But if you’re ready to spread your wings and go searching for customers beyond the walls of eBay.com, you need to try some of these off-site marketing strategies:
Online sellers often focus their marketing efforts on finding new leads. But in terms of conversion rates, you have a far better chance of turning previous buyers into returning customers.
One way to achieve this is by creating a great customer experience. Instead of packing your product with a generic printed receipt, try putting in a quick hand-written thank you note. You could even include a little freebie, if the purchase is big enough.
It might seem like a small thing, but such personal touches go a long way to securing repeat business and those all-important positive reviews.
If you’re going to spend money on promoting your small business, investing in promoted listings is undoubtedly the way to go. However, there are other avenues you can explore as your business grows.
For a start, eBay now includes promoted listings in external ads. There is no extra charge for this, and eBay automatically shares your listings unless you opt out.
To widen your net further, you could sponsor a podcast or newsletter which has an audience that aligns with your usual customer profile.
Another option is to hook up your eBay account to Google AdWords via Zapier or a similar platform. This will allow you to run a variety of ads across relevant sites and searches.
Recently, eBay actually tested a feature that allows sellers to run and manage external ads from within the seller hub. For now, the tool has been removed — but keep an eye out for a future return!
Aside from eBay, do you know where else people look for things to buy? That’s right, social media.
In particular, many shoppers browse Instagram and Pinterest looking for visual inspiration. If you can intercept them at this early stage of the buying cycle, it might be possible to divert new people towards your eBay store.
We highly recommend setting up a couple of social accounts, and posting the product images whenever you upload a new listing. (Be sure to optimize your photos before sharing them!). Then, put a link to your store in your profile.
Followers are likely to look out for something that takes their fancy, while hashtags and collections can help you reach new audiences.
One of the many advantages of setting up shop on eBay is that the platform has a built-in newsletter tool. This allows you to send emails to previous customers who have opted in, without the need for a separate management platform.
To start building your first newsletter, you just navigate to the Store tab with your seller hub. Then, select Store newsletter followed by Create newsletter.
The platform allows you to select from a range of templates, and customize them for your own branding. Content gets dropped in from your store; you simply need to choose which listings are added.
Sending out regular newsletters is a great way to get old buyers coming back, and tempt recent customers into making another purchase.
So there we have it — a complete roundup of top eBay marketing strategies. Each of the ideas can boost your store, and you should see spectacular results if you implement multiple techniques from this list.
As we have discovered, many of the most effective eBay marketing tactics are based around the site itself. However, it’s definitely possible to supplement eBay’s own tools with some third-party platforms.
We recently shared a post with some of our favorite eBay marketing tools, but here’s a quick list of apps to consider:
Make sure to visit the article to see a full review for each of these tools and many more!
If you’re only going to add one app to your eBay marketing toolbox, make it Pixelcut.
Available on iOS and Android, our smartphone app helps you capture, edit, and share great product photos in under two minutes.
The best feature is the background remover, which allows you to create the professional studio look no matter where you are shooting!
Download the app free today to give it a try and find out why 10 million small businesses are already using Pixelcut.
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