Ebay Superseller's Newsletter #2: USP

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The 5 Clangers You Must Avoid

Hi guys,

Time for this week's edition of the Ebay Superseller's Newsletter.

This week's problem:

How To Develop a USP

What the hell is a USP? A USP or UBA is what sets you apart from your competition. It's a short, meaningful, specific sentence which answers the first question I'd ask if I came into your business to help you out:

Why should I buy from you?

Now many people will immediately say "We have the best service" or "Our burgers are better". But anyone could say those things. They might be true, but they are not compelling reasons to choose your business over any other one.

What does it stand for? USP - Unique selling proposition. A benefit unique to your business that is a reason for somebody to come and buy from you. Or you can say UBA - Unique buying advantage. It's the same thing, but some people prefer it because it is from the buyer's point of view, it states an advantage the buyer gets, not a feature the seller has.

And this is the way you should be thinking when trying to sell anything. Don't go on about  how many awards you've won, what your qualifications are, there are times and places for that. You need to start thinking from the customer's point of view, why should they buy from you, not why you should sell to them. They will buy when they are ready to buy, not when you are ready to make the sale.

Some classic USPs include: Dominos - Fresh hot pizza delivered in 30 minutes or it's free. Nothing about having the best pizza, nothing about mama's recipe from the old country, just delivered hot in half an hour. This USP took a dying pizza bar to a worldwide chain.

KFC's old one - 11 secret herbs and spices. People want to discover the secrets, they want to have a bit of mystery in their lives, a magical way of making food they like. "What are the secret herbs and spices?" "I don't know but the chicken tastes great!" People want to leave the 'work' of getting together all these different flavourings, and just get served something they like. And a few years ago KFC dropped this USP, and went with vague, non-specific stuff like 'can't beat that taste'.

So, what's all this got to do with eBay?

Take a look around at any eBay sellers and their listings. Let me know if you find a seller with a USP because I've never seen one!

There's your chance to develop a tool that will carry you to higher sales. A USP is free, easy to duplicate and above all it tells your prospects what's in it for them if they buy from you. And when you tell the marketplace something, chances are that nobody else is telling them anything!

When people identify your business as one that states up front what's in it for them, then that's a worry they don't have anymore, a barrier that has been knocked down.

It's not enough by itself, but you can't assume that people know you guarantee same day delivery, or you offer a lifetime guarantee, or you offer free email support for a year, or whatever.

USPs work real well with 'skimmers', people who take a quick look at your listing and decide to buy or not. We all talk about our guarantees and stuff in the test, but skimmers don't read nearly enough for long enough to find that out.

It's called 'dual readership path'. You write your listing for the 'analytical' person, who reads every word, and sums it all up, and you also write it for the skimmer. The skimmer will read your big bold headline up the top with your USP, and he will only relucantly plod through body text if he has a specific worry.

So develop your USP, put it in everything you ever do, and you will have an advantage that nearly all eBay sellers have no idea about.

Brian Cassingena

Million Dollar Value

P.S. Coming up next week: Why your auctions don't sell, and how to make millions on eBay in a way you are definitely not using right now!

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