How to take advantage of one free…and easy..tool that might attract more buyers.
Some time ago, eBay implemented a new policy to keep sellers from linking from the auction description to a web site or shopping portal where they could sell an item directly without waiting for the auction to end.
Shortly after, eBay introduced eBay Stores, which would seem to accomplish the same thing. Still, sellers wanted to get visitors to their web site in the hopes of selling them something else or making an immediate sale. The advantages are obvious. First you can sell to many people who just won’t bother placing a bid and waiting for an auction to end. Secondly, you avoid paying the eBay listing and selling (final value) fees.
As to the second item, fee avoidance, I can see eBay’s point. They are in business to make money. But so are we. After all, we are paying eBay a listing fee (and feature fees). This is no more than an advertising fee. Ebay isn’t really losing any money. If the web site links work (and they do) eBay will miss some small final value fees, but they will make up for this in listing fees because sellers will place more listings.
Here is eBay’s current links policy:
"The eBay item page can only be used to describe, promote and facilitate the sale of the listed eBay item – it cannot refer to or promote the seller’s individual web site, off eBay sales or other businesses. The eBay About Me page is a place where the seller can promote their individual web site or business.
The eBay Sell Your Item page can not contain URLs or links to, or promotional information about, any off eBay web page, including web sites of the seller or any third party.
There are 2 basic exceptions to this general rule – the Sell Your Item page may contain a link to information related specifically to that item that:
a)Gives acknowledgement to a company that provided services related to that listing (such as counters, auction management tools, or payment and mediation services). This acknowledgement may contain both a logo (88×33 pixels) and up to 10 words of text (HTML font size 3) but only one of those may be clickable.
b) Points interested buyers to another Internet page that contains only more information (such as pictures, product specifications or detailed terms and conditions) about eBay items listed by that seller.
Links from the eBay Item page that interfere in any way with the eBay bidding process, or solicit any eBay user information, are not allowed. Links from the eBay Item page to pages that promote off eBay sales in any way are forbidden, though such pages may generally themselves contain discrete links to other commercial web pages."
So how do we work with these rules? Here are some ideas.
Notice the underlined sections. The first one states: "The eBay About Me page is a place where the seller can promote their individual web site or business."
The second reference says:" Links from the eBay Item page to pages that promote off eBay sales in any way are forbidden, though such pages may generally themselves contain discrete links to other commercial web pages. "The key words in this section are "discrete links."
If you have an About Me Page there will be a "ME" symbol next to you user name. Some people do click on this to read about you. A better way is to invite them to view your About Me Page right in the text of your item description. Make sure to create a hyperlink to make it easy.
Once readers arrive at your about me page you can then direct them to your web site with a live hyperlink.
EBay also allows you to provide links to purely informational pages with information (including more photos) about the item you are selling. We used to sell Amber jewelry. Each of our auctions contained a link to a free article entitled "All About Amber." That page contained an interesting article about amber, how it was formed, where it came from, and so on. However, that page also contained a link to our storefront web site where people could purchase amber jewelry items directly.
The trick to driving bidders from eBay to your web site is to 1. Follow the rules and 2. Use the rules to your advantage by finding clever loopholes.
The About Me Page is still your best bet for promoting your web site. The best strategy is to point sellers to your About Me page in your auction description and give them a reason for visiting it.