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This post was originally intended to be about taking pictures for auction listings. How to do it properly, what free or inexpensive software is available for image manipulation, digital cameras and camera phones. However just as I was about to start writing…
The following happened, or rather hit me full in the face, I have been researching for nearly two weeks the types of product currently available in my chosen development niche as part of the masterclass. My niche area being the selling of physical products on eBay and beyond. I decided to check out what was currently selling on eBay in information products “Making Money on eBay”. A simple search threw up 135 listings. As part of my research I bought 4 products that promised to “reveal secrets”, make me a better eBayer etc, etc. I paid from 99p to £4.95 and acquired the whole lot for under a tenner.
So what can I say? Well, all 4 listings promised that I was buying the information on a CD. Three of these arrived as an e-mail attachment, this is against eBay rules (I have no problem with obtaining products by download link) eBay changed this policy sometime ago to shipping products on physical media. The fourth product arrived on the promised CD. Just to give a comment on the listings the 3 that arrived by e-mail, their listings were very amateurish. The one that arrived on CD had a much more professional listing with a proper sales page, this came with resale rights. A few minutes of investigation further showed that it was a resale rights product and was being sold by a number of different sellers.
Now here’s the rub, the first 3 items the products were exceptionally poor, these were the cheapest, and I got what I paid for and probably what I deserved, cheap tat at a cheap price. The sellers all missed the perfect opportunity to sell me something else. So what has this to do with image? Let’s start with the listings. Auction titles for all were quite good or very good. Price, this is where it starts to unravel. What sort of quality information would you expect to buy for 99p? Exactly, 99p worth if you are lucky. Products cross promoted in listings, but no up sell other than that. Poor descriptions, descriptions communicate about the product, they also communicate about you as a seller, about your business, and this is often not understood. Do your listings look professional? If they do not, what will your service be like?
The product that arrived on CD, what would I expect? I would expect that the CD would have a properly printed label (10p) with the company name or eBay ID on it, it should arrive in a jewel case or DVD box (10p), that it should be sent in a padded envelop for safety and security (10p), some people may even want a sleeve for the CD or DVD case (10p).
What arrived? A little blue plastic mailing sack with a CD in a plastic sleeve with the name of the product written on the disk in marker pen! Call me Mr. Picky but, that does not communicate to me a professional image. For less than 40p the seller could have impressed the hell out of me just by doing the simple stuff. They could have included a business card or compliments slip with the address of their eBay shop and an invitation to browse the other items for sale with the possibility of me making another purchase. I have yet to use the disk as it arrived only yesterday, it could easily be the best £4.95 I have ever spent, but at the moment it shouts only one thing, cheap and unprofessional, sorry that’s two things.
So what’s your image like?