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Sell On Ebay and Survive the Financial Crisis

You have probably not missed hearing the news about the current financial crisis taking place in the world – what with ever news media blaring facts and horror stories about the crisis. Business owners, small and big ones alike, have reason to be anxious and are currently trying to take the steps necessary in order to still be around when the market recuperates.

However, just as there are some who will eventually come out as real winners on the stockmarket – those in a position to do so are buying all they can right now – the smart business owner might actually find a way to come out on top of this dire situation. One way of doing so is to pay attention with what happens with customer behavior during a recession. We’ll soon get to how having products to sell on ebay fits into all of this, but first let’s discuss the matter in broader terms.

Keep on making sales

Exactly what steps you need to take in your business in order to make it more recession proof, will naturally vary somewhat depending on your chosen niche and market. In the last edition of The Net Effect (Stompernet’s new magazine) David Bullock wrote that you might be better off selling business to business, as business owners can’t just stop buying things if they want to remain active. I am not sure I totally agree with that theory, since common economic/marketing theory actually hints that it may be the other way around – a small change in consumer demand can lead to a much bigger change in the demand on the B2B market.

It is true however, and this is of course what Dave was getting at, that there is a lot more money money circulating in business to business simply because there are so many more transactions taking place. Prices and competition is generally speaking also of a somewhat other nature. And Internet marketing in particular may have its advantages compared to many other business models. Have a look at this blog post by Jon Leger for some arguments why this is.

Although some would almost have you believe that depression mean consumers simply stop buying things and everything grinds to a halt, that is not exactly the whole truth. It is a fact however that consumer behavior will change during a recession – only perhaps not always in a way that would seem entirely logical.

As Marc E. Babej and Tim Pollak points out in an article on Forbes website, self image is so important in today’s society that many people will actually buy things so they can keep up appearances. In fact, they will make various trade-offs in order to do this, and they will also seek out “affordable pleasures that aspire to premium perceptions”. As aforementioned authors aptly put it.

Not wishing to feel deprived, people actually go for luxury products like liquor and movies, which means such commodities actually sell very well in the middle of a recession.

Lifetime customer value

Still, it is of course no exaggeration to say that, in times like these, most purchase decisions will receive some extra careful consideration – even if it is something simple like eating out or going to the nearest Starbucks.

Online there has already been coined such a term as “the over educated” shopper, meaning that people do their research before making a purchase – particularly if they are looking at a more expensive item. People have always compared brands, shops and prices before arriving at a final purchase decision, and what with the Internet they now have better possibilities of doing so than ever before.

If you have compared prices on almost anything online these days, you will probably have noticed that quite frequently you will find the lowest price on the world’s biggest online auction place – eBay. It may thus not be overly presumptuous to suggest that Ebay power sellersĀ  may actually handle the economic crises quite well. Success will naturally still depend on what commodities you are selling, but as Ebay is well known as the place to find real bargains, its merchants should find themselves in quite a favorable position as consumers are tightening their belts.

This bargain mentality is normally considered somewhat of a problem by many entrepreneurs considering to add Ebay to their list of marketing channels. After all, if you sell something very cheaply you will most likely also make a slimmer profit on each and every sale. Another common objection is that “we don’t have anything suitable to sell on Ebay”. Which may in fact be the case.

Interestingly enough however, as outlined in a video course called Profitable Ebay Strategies, there are actually many ways of sourcing something that would be a perfect fit both for your business and for the Ebay market place.

You have to learn the tricks of the (Ebay) trade in order to do so successfully of course but, as is discussed in great detail in the above mentioned video, the real goal of having an online auction side to your existing business may not be that of instantly creating a lot of profit from it. In fact, it can be used purely as a means of getting leads and new customers to your main business – where you will make the more profitable sales later on.

If you are in your current business for the long term, you will know that success doesn’t lie only in attracting new customers – the real value lies in selling to the same customer/clients many times over. This is usually achieved by always providing good service and building a real relationship with all of your customers. During the course of let’s say ten years, a single customer may be worth thousands of dollars to you.

As the first sale usually requires the most effort, you should constantly be on the lookout for effective ways of getting new customers into your business, and then spend at least an equal amount of effort on keeping that customer.

During the hard times we are now experiencing, selling the right thing on Ebay may very well be a great way of attracting new customers. The current financial crisis must eventually come to an end and, if you play your cards right, all those new customers will be ready to spend even more money on buying your products and services.

2 Responses to “Sell On Ebay and Survive the Financial Crisis”

  1. […] How to sell on ebay can be the best thing you ever learned for your business. […]

  2. […] the whole though, I do think that (ahem!) my own ideas about the recession I presented in an earlier post are more stringent (you shameless self promoter, […]

  3. […] why Ebay selling could be a part of a smart marketing plan, especially during the financial crisis. Michael Hawkins […]

  4. […] why Ebay selling could be a part of a smart marketing plan, especially during the financial crisis. Michael Hawkins […]

  5. I am winding down and will no longer be selling on ebay. eCrater is MUCH MORE PROFITABLE! It is free to list, and free to sell on eCRater. Ebay is killing the little guy. I have sold for years and eBay is taking all my profit.. eCrater is BOOMING!

  6. DeepSouthGlass1 has a good point about venues that charge high commission. A good way to increase sales during the financial crisis is to focus on additional sales channels. Sellers should look into venues that are free or that charge lower commission.

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