eBay is one of the world’s most recognized and visited Web sites. Everyone, from large corporations to the smallest home operation, uses it as a platform to have their goods sold. The competition sometimes can be fierce, especially for the small-business owner. The rising fees have driven some entrepreneurs to find other avenues to sell their widgets online. Where else can you sell your wares?
Avoid Listing Fees – no picture hosting fees, no listing fees.
Craigslist is has over 9 billion visitors per month. Each craiglist marketplace is broken down by geographic location, and encourages it’s users to shop locally to prevent fraud. This is perfect for Ebay items that may have not sold, have a low profit margin, or are in demand, but hard to ship. Craigslist has many good points. You can disguise your email address, post up to 4 pictures, and there is plenty of room for any details you wish to include in your ads
Google base is part of Google, and is a type of listing service for selling your items. It is absolutely free to sign up for a Google account. You can upload your ad, pictures, and description. A website it not needed to link your ad to. If you have more than ten items, there is a free bulk uploader available. There is currently no number of items on the number of items that you can submit to Google base. Content is currently being accepted on any subject.
Ecrater is similar to Ebay Express, in that all items are buy it now. It is free to create your own store, upload pictures, create ads, and maintain your store.
www.Auctiva.com free picture hosting
Auctiva is a great way to manage your auction photos. Feel free to upload your photos, and put the URL of the image on the auction page instead of uploading and paying Ebay to host each picture. There are several free auction templates to try; the format can also be used on other websites.
Shameless self promotion.
Be sure to use googlebase and craigslist to announce all of your local business events and special sales. Content is accepted about any subject. This is a great way to promote your business.
Search for websites that accept articles for other webmasters to distribute freely. Write up articles about the products that you sell and submit them; be sure to have the link back to your website in the resource box.
Create a local club or group
www.meetup.com craigslist, and googlebase
For example if you sell hearing aides, create a local group with support resources for the hearing impaired. Have a goody bag with a copy of your newsletter inside. Your newsletter will list the local resource agencies, and programs, that provide solutions to people with hearing impairment. You can find a low cost location to host the meeting. Provide snacks, and drinks. For example coffee and donuts. Or Meet with local businesses and find one who wants to be a sponsor, and provide you with low cost food in exchange for advertising their business information at all meetings, and on your newsletters. You can promote this event yourself or hire someone. Be creative with who you hire. You can hire someone to hold the monthly or quarterly event. Your employee can be paid hourly, and receive commission on any product sold. Everyone who is a part of this group will receive a discount or special promotions on your great products. The members will be more than happy to leave their email or mailing address, to keep up to date on your sales. Be sure to send everyone home with pens, magnets, any promotional item will keep your name in front of your customers. Keep in touch with your customers with an email or paper newsletter. Be sure to list your next event, current specials, and showcase your sponsors, that help keep your event priced affordably.
Local online classifieds.
Many cities accept ads on the online version of their publication for free or at a low cost.
Be sure to do an online search with your area to find free sources to promote your business, and group meeting.
I am not suggesting that anyone give up on their eBay business, but these websites are great avenues to get your business name, and products in front of more potential customers. Be sure to always search message boards, any where on the internet where other online sellers gather for free versions of any software, or online tool before you purchase anything. Expanding offline locally is a great way to keep profits coming and take advantage of word of mouth advertising, from your current satisfied customers.