There is no doubt that eBay’s search engine Cassini is buyer focused. The algorithm is designed to connect buyers to the most listings that Cassini believes they are most likely to purchase from. This initially sounds like a win-win for both buyers and sellers but the truth is that it is not quite this simple. Indeed, many eBay sellers are frustrated with how their listings are ranked in the search results despite trying their best to adhere to Cassini’s criteria.
A perfect solution would be for sellers to find another way to attract buyers without entirely relying on Cassini’s algorithm. Read on to discover five methods eBay store owners can try to do exactly that.
1. Try eBay’s Marketing Options
An essential first step to promoting eBay listings away from Cassini is to check whether there are any eBay marketing tools you may not be already using. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to which method of promotion works best so experimentation is the name of the game here. Many sellers will utilise all of the options available. Some of eBay’s most popular marketing tools for sellers include:
- Promoted Listings – A relatively new addition to eBay, Promoted Listings is a service that allows sellers to pay an extra commission to eBay in exchange for enhanced visibility. Sellers are only charged for using Promoted Listings when an item actually sells.
- Promotion Boxes – These are graphic displays that highlight featured listings and special offers displayed on various pages within a seller’s store. Promotion Boxes can be customized in a number of different ways to the preferences of the seller.
- Email marketing – This tool enables sellers to send newsletters to buyers who have signed up for their mailing list. The emails can be template based or customized with HTML. Sellers can advertise discounts and featured items but are only allowed to send one email per week.
2. Create a Website for Your eBay business
The number one reason for sellers to create a website for their eBay business is to increase credibility. Sellers who appear more trustworthy are likely to attract more sales. Another good reason to create a website is the ability to provide more information about products and advertise eBay listings.
Setting up a professional website is probably cheaper and easier than you may think. Pre-made templates make the design part simple, with no coding or programming needed. To start, it’s as simple as downloading the free WordPress software, buying a domain address (for as little as $5/year) and purchasing hosting ($5/month to start).
Keep in mind that as per eBay’s recently updated link policy, sellers are not allowed to link to external websites on eBay. There are only a few exceptions. However, this does not prevent sellers from advertising their website to buyers via other means. Be sure to include the website address on a ‘thank you’ card included with every item or even on printed address labels.
3. Use Auction Nudge to Display Your eBay Listings
As mentioned above, one advantage of having a website is the ability for sellers to display their item listings outside of eBay. The easiest way to do this is to use Auction Nudge. Easy to use and also quick to set up, Auction Nudge is a completely free to use eBay advertising tool. Not only can users choose to display a live feed of listings on their website but eBay profile and feedback information can also be featured.
Once Auction Nudge has been added to your site it will look something like this:
Setting up Auction Nudge is straightforward:
- Enter your eBay username and chosen eBay site (Auction Nudge is currently available for 13 different eBay sites)
- Choose preferred display options such as theme style and the number of items per page
- Copy and paste the generated snippet code (there is a helpful video to explain how to do this)
- For more experienced users, there are also additional advanced options for further styling
For sellers who use WordPress, there is also a plug-in available that requires no coding at all.
4. Utilise Social Media
It is not an exaggeration to state that social media websites currently dominate the internet. It is estimated that the average internet user spends around 135 minutes every day on social media. It would be a big mistake for eBay sellers not to use this to their advantage. Here are some quick tips for sellers to help promote their listings on some of the biggest social media platforms:
- Facebook – Create a Facebook page for your eBay business. Not only does this help to not overwhelm (or worse, irritate) family and friends, there are useful promotional tools and statistical insights available only to page owners. Invite customers and interested friends to ‘like’ the page and engage them with compelling content, special deals and product updates. Try to respond to messages and comments as soon as possible to maintain engagement.
- Twitter – An ideal medium for announcing news, promotions and new listings, Twitter is also great for connecting with potential customers. Use the search function to find people tweeting about products similar to those in your eBay store. Include relevant hashtags in your own posts and also pay attention to popular and trending hashtags – you never know when they may relate to your own business.
- Pinterest – More like a visual search engine than a social network, Pinterest has plenty of potential for eBay sellers. Create appealing pins using your listing photos with the free online graphic design tool Canva. Pin these sparingly alongside other content from other people. Engagement with other people is especially important on Pinterest – just pinning your own content is not enough. Regular, authentic engagement on the site is crucial to success.
5. Be Search Engine Friendly
Sellers who are serious about promoting their eBay listings would be smart to learn some SEO. This stands for Search Engine Optimization and is the process of shaping a website as per search engine algorithms to improve ranking. Sellers can use SEO to improve traffic both to their business website (if applicable) and eBay listings.
Learning SEO may sound intimidating at first but grasping the basics is easier than you may think. For one thing, there are many places to learn SEO online. A good place to start is Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO. For eBay specific information, check our own Beginner’s Guide to SEO on eBay.
How do you promote your eBay listings?