eBay Tips 2008: Classifieds and Comparison Shopping

As I’ve written before in this series, there was a time when there was just eBay when it came to individuals selling online. But now the scene is more fragmented. Buyers are changing their habits and willing to buy using different formats and services. If you haven’t thought about Classified sites or Comparison Engines before (or have and found them lacking) then as we survey the online selling environment it’s a good opportunity to take a look and consider whether they might offer you something as you face 2008.

Classified Sites
eBay has made some forays into the classified ads space and enjoyed some good success. In the UK, you’ll see gumtree.com, worldwide take a look at kijiji.com and (for an example of an eBay owned classified site that is beating the traditional eBay site) in Holland take a look at marktplaats.nl. Take a look too at craigslist.com, of which eBay owns, 25%.

I think one of the principles of successful online marketing is to ‘follow the traffic’. And these online communities and sites provide new environments with which to interact with buyers. Search the sites and see if you might be able to advertise your sales, website, or individual items there. I think most sellers on eBay can find something to do there. Don’t forget that these sites index really well in search engines.

Comparison Shopping
Sites such as Kelkoo, Shopping.com and other major Comparison shopping sites have often proved a difficult environment for eBay sellers to penetrate. Not only are small businesses competing with big businesses who are typically getting better rates, but the it can be technologically challenging to plug-in and publish your inventory. The pricing model, pay per click rather than pay per sale, is also risky for smaller businesses with tight margins and a need for certainty.

But do take a look. They’re definitely not suited to all sellers, or indeed many, but there could be something that intrigues.

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