Outside The Search Box

Millions of people with something to sell, sell it on online regularly, and  more than half a million people do it as their full-time job.

The conventional philosophy of most sellers is this:

  • Sell an item produced to satisfy wants or needs
  • Sell it cheaper than everybody else
  • Provide good enough customer service that they rate you high
  • Sit back and wait for a portion of traffic from being searched

The process starts with a prospect going to an online auction site, types in the search box “Espresso Machine” and views all the listings. Common sense tells the prospect to seek the cheapest one from an OK rated bidder. Which leads to average products sold to average people for slightly below average prices.

Can you already guess what I’m about to say: trying to sell to masses, average products to average people, is very time-consuming and not the way to make a living. That when we think about it, the long stories, the ones that people talk about, are the Blueberry Hill Boutique, the TikiPugMusic, the Buy BIG From Brandi and the NouveauQueen . These sellers have built an asset and so their products are sold despite the search box, not because of it.

This is a fundamentally different way of thinking, one that gets you more attention off the auction site and builds an asset you can reap the fruits from.

You see, my argument is that if you’re going to be a seller, you should build permission as your asset. That the way to make a living as a seller on any auction site is to have a list of people who want to get a personal, anticipated  and relevant message either daily, weekly or monthly from you showcasing your latest and greatest products. And to do that, you need a specialty, you need to be authentic and you need to be trusted.

Instead of setting up a weekend garage sale, I recommend you become an expert. People like to buy from experts, people trust experts, buyers have confidence in the work of experts. Everyone reading this post, right now is an expert in something. I am a small business marketing expert and proclaim myself so. That is part of my positioning. Your positioning  can be a similar proclamation as a seller. Experts usually have the advantage of reaching out to possible buyers instead of waiting for them to find you.

The goal is to create a place where people will pay extra because it’s you who’s doing the selling. And that happens when you give your audience, information and access and insight. Point to auctions that aren’t even yours… if it’s good products.

Now, this strategy is hard and it takes time. But it’s more profitable and efficient than sitting back and hoping that someone stumbles onto you. If selling on auction sites is actually your business, you need to start creating your platform that makes you worth more than the next guy.

It always comes down to human nature. We’d rather buy from an expert.