just a small-time seller." "This is how I've always
done it - why change?" "Buyers don't care - they just
want a deal."
we've all heard (if not used) those excuses. Well, as John Donahoe
reportedly stated, "This isn't your grandfather's eBay!"
eBay's been around since 1995, ancient history in Internet time!
And it has changed! No longer can we just "list it and it
My observation in speaking with dozens of eBay sellers over my
days as a seller is that the newer sellers weren't spoiled by
the simplicity of selling we longer-time sellers were. I see better
results and hear fewer complaints from those who became eBay sellers
after its tenth anniversary than those of us who were around in
its early glory days. Certainly, there are many established sellers
who grew with internet sales, but that's not my point.
So, what's the point? The point is the excuses of smallness, always
done-ness, don't care-ness are lame excuses - unless you're really
one of a very, very few exceptions.
Branding your eBay business, really marketing yourself on its
pages is necessary to growing on the site! Savvy internet shoppers,
including those on eBay, expect professionalism. And professionalism
isn't just responding quickly to questions and shipping right
away, it's an image.
does your image say? Does it say "I am doing this for the
fun of it - so if you don't like it, don't spend your money with
me"? Or, "I'll try to do what I can, but I won't make
any promises"? Or, "I'm a professional, dedicated to
providing the best merchandise and support to you, even if I am
a 'little guy'"?
not that unique in that your eBay business is a REAL business!
Customers and clients have expectations and it's your job to meet
those expectations! And the number one expectation? That you'll
deliver what you say you'll deliver, when you say you'll deliver!
Your branding can get that expectation across to shoppers.
a logo? Your logo is not your brand, but rather the visual symbolic
part of your brand. A logo is the symbol which identifies you,
makes you recognizable and unique. It helps you stand out in a
crowded marketplace, which eBay surely is. It represents your
are not just something big corporate entities have because they
can afford to pay big bucks for them. (And logos surely don't
have to cost you a ton of money!) Logos are what identify a business,
what demonstrate your uniqueness to all.
you can hire your neighbor's kid (good artist, of course) to design
a logo for you - right? Sure, if your neighbor's kid understands
the image your business should portray - and if he can execute
it in a professional manner.
What about those free online logo-generating sites? Yep (she says
sarcastically), they're gonna give you a logo that's unique, that
demonstrates what your business is all about.
don't have to pay thousands or even hundreds for a logo design
- there are a number of sites such as oDesk, elance and DesignContest,
not to mention eBay itself, from which you can hire a professional
to develop your logo - BUT...
How do you make sure the designer you hire understands the image
that logo should portray? A professional logo designer will have
a series of questions to understand you and your business. These
questions may be something like:
is it that sets you apart from your competitors?
are your typical buyers & bidders?
do you sell? Will you be adding more products in the future
and if so, what?
there any URLs of logos you especially like? (Not to copy,
but to get an idea of stuff you like.)
image do you like to portray to your buyers? (Girly, idy,
conservative, fun, etc. - combo thereof?)
ideas have you had about your logo in the past - things like
"someday I want to do this..."?
there any particular colors which to you are "must"
or "must not" have?
you want your company name as part of the logo?
you have a tag line/slogan?
your business was an animal or object, what would it be and
brand is your business - what it entails and what it expresses.
It's the theme of your business. It's what your company name states
it is. It's how you treat your customers. It's the quality of
your merchandise or services. It's all the marketing you do. Your
brand is the EXPERIENCE your customers have when they deal with
Your brand includes the look of your eBay store, listings and
About Me page. What do yours say about your business? Do they
scream "small timer who may or may not provide good merchandise
and service" or do they state "we're a company you can
expect will treat you fairly and professionally before, during
and after we transact business"?
there is much involved in listing items for sale on eBay and other
information is available on eBay's site and elsewhere to guide
you in best practices. (This
tutorial I put together on eBay's Best Match and SEO
might be a decent starting point. Certainly eBay.com's Seller
Information Center has some excellent info.)
Your title, your description, your photos and even your item specifics
and terms of service are all part of your brand. On your listings,
do those portray a professional brand - or do you take the easy
way out and just write one big paragraph for your description
and have stock photos or photos you took on what's obviously your
kid's bed? Do you not have any terms or policies stated on your
listing because that info's a click away where eBay has your shipping
and return policy info noted? (Or because "buyers don't read"!!??!*^!)
you have some sort of template that presents your information
in an attractive, well-organized manner? Is that template supportive
of your product description and photos or does it overpower the
message because it's too fancy? (Okay - a confession - a few templates
I've designed are pretty darned fancy; some speak to the typical
buyer of that particular business and some should be toned down,
but I think most of the work I've done does offer up the merchandise
to be the star of the page.)
your About Me page all about how you came up with your eBay ID
name because it was the name of your pet when you were 12? Or
does it introduce you and your business in a professional manner
so your potential customers get a good feel of what to expect
if they buy from you?
your eBay store - is it one of hundreds of others which look just
like it using eBay's standard store header graphics? Or do you
at least have your logo? Better yet, do you have a custom store
header which uniquely identifies your business and aids visitors
into navigating to where they want to go?