Big-time retailers know that to maximize your income and reach the greatest number of customers, you need to sell in more than one way, using more than one type of sales technique. Auto dealers have known this for years. Look at all the ways you can purchase a new car: you can buy it outright; you can put down a down payment and finance the rest; you can lease it for a fixed period of time. You can go to an auto dealership, shop online, or visit a place where a number of auto dealers are gathered under one roof, called an auto mall. By marketing your products in a variety of ways, you attract the widest range of customers.
In much the same way, you can supplement your eBay auctions with items you put up for sale for a fixed price in an eBay Store. Setting up an eBay Store is much the same as renting space in a shopping mall, but with two big advantages: eBay is likely to be cheaper, and likely to attract more shoppers than most other malls due to its sheer popularity.
Shopping malls have never proved very successful on the Web. Early attempts at gathering shops under a single Web site umbrella so people can find them more easily just didn't work. The Web makes it easy to find Web-based retailers through user-friendly search engines and easy-to-remember URLs like http://www.walmart.com. Only a few Web-based malls remain, such as MSN Marketplace (http://marketplace .msn.com, and Yahoo!Store (http://store.yahoo.com).
Why, then, would you consider setting up an eBay Store in addition to your eBay auctions? I'll give you three reasons:
■ eBay attracts more than 13 million visitors per month, according to Neilsen/ Netratings' weekly Top 25 Parent Companies list (http://pm.netratings.com/ nnpm/owa/NRpublicreports.toppropertiesweekly).
■ You can drive regular buyers to your store with the Stores logo that appears next to your User ID.
■ The cost is only $9.95 per month for a basic subscription plus nominal listing fees.
■ If you really want to sell some items at a fixed price, and you find that Buy It Now doesn't attract buyers, you might have better luck with an eBay Store.
You need a minimum feedback of 20 and an ID Verify listing to open an eBay Store. See Chapter 16 for more on eBay's ID Verify program.
The following sections discuss each of these points in more detail.
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