Value Adding and Customer Retention, get more for less

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Its the age old story.  You have a great product but there are already 150 people selling the same product as you. So how do you compete?  The standard response is $.  Drop your price and tighten your postage.  But not EVERYONE shops on price alone.  Although there is an element of the population that shop on price alone, the majority of buyers are after the full experience. 

  • How well priced was the item?
  • Did I get what I paid for?
  • Was the transaction smooth?
  • Was there good, pleasant communication from the seller?

Here are some ideas that can increase your listing success and also drive people to come back time and time again.

Value Adding, is the simple process of giving more services for the item than just the item themselves.  You may have an item that you paid $50 for, but retails for around $129, and is selling on ebay for $80.  You could easily afford to include $5 or $10 worth of extras that would set your item apart from anyone else, thus making your item better value for the money.

Example 1.  Everyone is selling the latest blockbuster book.  Now most are going to just argue that they have the best price or the cheapest delivery.  But how many have the word BONUS at the end of their Title?  It could be a simple hand made bookmark or a list of books also made by that author with a biography.  But you have now increased the perceived value of your item over everyone else.

Example 2.  iPods, There are literally hundreds of iPods on ebay.  Everyone is clamouring to say they have the cheapest price.  But if you include in your listing, BONUS Case or Screen protector, then you have increased the value of your listing over everyone else.

Make sure something you add as a bonus is related to the item though... It would be of no use to include a Bonus packet of staples if you sold a Bicycle helmet.

Word of warning on Bonus'.  The value added item would be best to be offered regardless of the price the item goes for.  Or your attempt to retain a customer will turn into an eBay horror story.  eg, You offer the bonus item if the sale reaches $150, yet it sells for $140-149.  You may have an upset customer.

Another great idea is to follow up your feedback for someone.  If they have left you positive feedback, send them an email personally thanking them for the great feedback, and how nice it is to have someone who really enjoyed their product.  Then go to the feedback you left for them, and reply to it saying, this customer was wonderful to deal with.  It only takes a few moments, but you have now made their day.  Chances are they will also now revisit your listings and feel that you are a seller they feel confident in dealing with again.

Recently I purchased an item for my mother on eBay.  After the item was received, I sent the seller a personal thank you for the item.  She emailed back saying how wonderful it was that I would do this and offered a discount on my next purchase.  I've since added the seller to my favourites.  Remember a little kindness is always remembered

People shop on eBay because they want a bargain, not just because its convenient to shop from home.  If you offer better service and/or more value for their money, then people will remember you and visit over and over again.  You may even find you get these people referring you to their friends.  After all everyone has their story about the fantastic item they got from eBay.  Why not make that story about you!

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