Did you know that the number of registered users on eBay now exceeds the population of all but the four largest countries in the world? Combine eBay users those who use other Internet sites and the possibilities for selling your products seem limitless.
With all the hype, it sounds like online selling is the road to riches. The Urban Legend is that you can be an overnight success staying at home, working a couple of hours a day while still in your pajamas.
However, the truth is that having an online business takes a little planning and some old-fashioned hard work. The good news is that there are many, many, many more buyers looking for products than any shopping mall can provide. For an entrepreneur, understanding how to get those buyers into your virtual store and sell them what they want to buy is the key to success.
Here are five guaranteed techniques to build your business.
1) Write compelling descriptions. A good description must look professional. Black text on a white background is the easiest to read. Save color for highlighting text that you want to draw your viewers’ eyes to.
Keep your paragraphs short. Leave white space between paragraphs to break up the text and make it easier for viewers’ eyes to rest.
When writing the description, emphasize the product’s benefits over the features. When concluding your description, give your viewers a reason to act. You want them to click on the ‘buy now’ button before they leave the listing.
2) Learn the basics of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Learning how to rank high on Google, Yahoo or any of the other Search Engines is important. You can’t buy your way to the top! Don’t buy subscriptions from companies who offer to list your site on thousands of search engines. There aren’t that many. Those companies list your site on Link Farms – and the Search Engine Spiders consider these as another form of spam. Instead of raising your rankings, being associated with link farms will actually lower your ratings.
3) Get the best photograph possible of your merchandise. To take good product photographs, isolate your item from the background. Avoid using your on-camera flash. Use natural, diffused light when photographing products. I highly recommend using a light tent – such as the eTent – which is specifically designed to meet the requirements of online sellers. Using an eTent makes the process easier saves set up time. Which brings me to my next tip.
4) Save time! Whenever possible learn to save time by using all the tools available. An entrepreneur’s time is valuable. Explore the tools that eBay provides. Turbo Lister is an excellent, free listing tool. eBay also offers time saving tools for inventory management. Selling Manger Pro will automatically relist items, count down your available inventory, and automate leaving feedback. Let the software take care of the drudgery.
Other time saving tools you should consider are Endicia or PayPal for printing pre-paid postage labels. Don’t waste your time driving to the post office and standing in line Use the carrier pick-up services that the USPS and UPS provide. . You truly will never have to leave home, or get out of your jammies!
5) Last, but certainly not least, take full advantage of Keywords. Learn which keywords drive traffic to your listing. Keywords are the way people search for items. When someone searches for your products by name or description, they are actually searching by keywords. Make sure your auction listings appear on search results pages by using keyword rich titles and item descriptions. Search completed listings on eBay or use keyword tools to find out what your buyers use to find the items they are looking for.
The World Wide Web has opened up many new doors for entrepreneurs. The barriers of entry are so much lower than traditional Bricks and Mortar business that there are exciting possibilities for everyone who wants to be their own boss. If you have a grasp of the basic business tenets and the right product to sell, these five tips will help guide you to success as you set up your online shop.
Good luck! If you would like more information about how to run an online business I recommend 5 Steps To Success, The Online Entrepreneur
Cindy Shebley is the author of the best selling eBay Photography Book; Easy Auction Photography and recently released; 5 Steps To Success, A Guide For Everyone Who Sells On The Internet.
Cindy is one of 16 people worldwide to be certified by eBay as a Business Consultant & Education Specialist. She has been selling on eBay since 1999 and is a PowerSeller. Before the Internet she owned & operated a bricks and mortar store for over ten years.
More information about her can be found at: http://www.clovercitysells.com