Hello and welcome to this weeks newsletter post which has been guest written by our resident eBay expert – Deb Henry! www.donebydeb.com
“When can I link to my non-eBay store through an eBay auction?”
A very good question indeed….
And according to general consensus — never….
And eBay would be very, very happy if that is what you continue to believe and go along on your merry way.
But what if I told you that you CAN. And it is perfectly within the approved eBay policies. And you can do it on each and every auction and listing that you put up. And that when using this technique, you will also have bunches of pictures that you are adding to your listing – without paying eBay any extra fees!
Sounds like malarkey? Too good to be true?
Well, I’m here to tell you it IS true and how you can take advantage of a tiny loophole that I discovered when researching off-eBay linking policies.
Go to the eBay.com (US site) help pages where you can read through eBay’s policies and procedures documentation. Once there, you can do a search for “Linking Policies” or you can just click on the following link: Linking Policies.
It is common knowledge that you can put your email address as a mailto: or contact form link in BOTH your listing and “About Me” pages. And after you have established email contact outside of eBay, you can then (without eBay’s permission of course) solicit that contact to sign up for an “off-eBay store newsletter”, but if that contact complains to eBay you could get a whack on the hand or worse…
However, if you do add an email address (which I highly recommend you DO), I would definitely make it the same domain name as your off-eBay store. Most buyers are savvy enough to “get what you are hinting at.”
BUT it is a tiny sentence fragment under the” links to photos” that I’m personally all charged up about!
From the screen shot below, notice the blue highlighted text:
“While the photo page can contain discrete links to other pages that sell items outside of eBay, that can’t be the primary purpose of the page.”
Wha, wha, what??? Yeah, that’s right, you CAN link to YOUR online, off-eBay store and it is PERFECTLY ACCEPTABLE.
WHY is this okay?
Most likely it is because places like Auctiva and Vendio and Ink Frog DO have links at the bottom of their photo gallery pages selling THEIR services. That said, eBay had to add that clause in order to allow eBay sellers to use these third party solutions. AND eBay can’t only allow certain providers the ability to link off the photo gallery pages and not others. So as long as YOUR page on YOUR site has a format similar to a picture gallery, you’re good.
I have set up this auction as a little demo for you – first let me explain my initial preparations….
I just created a new site to sell vintage baseball memorabilia. I have also created a companion store on Zazzle.com. I then created a brand new selling account on eBay, with an ID that is the same as my Zazzle Store ID.
I designed around 100 things to sell on Zazzle, which cost me nothing to create or put up, and I get commission every time something sells, but I never touch a piece of merchandise, don’t handle any of the money transactions nor do I have to worry about fulfillment as all of these details are handled by Zazzle.
The only thing I am lacking is traffic… and, well… eBay has traffic!!!
So my dilemma was how to get eBay traffic from there to my Zazzle store?
This little loophole solved my traffic problem.
I first created a page on my off-eBay sales site that is just for the one and only eBay listing that I am going to start with. I am going to list on eBay one of the custom calendars I created on Zazzle. Since this calendar is an 18-month calendar, I have 20 pictures I want to display.
Of course, this is FAR too many to put in a listing 🙂 — so naturally, I needed a page that had all these pictures grouped in a “picture gallery” format.
But since this page is part of my off-eBay sales site, it will share the common header and footer links that I have on all my other pages… which includes links to my Zazzle store and pages within my site detailing some of the different gift and merchandise lines that I created.
These links are “discrete” as they are just text links found well above and well below the actual pictures.
Of course, buyers aren’t dumb, I’m sure that if they actually DO click the link within my eBay listing and land on this page they will quickly figure out that there are LOTS of other items to look at and purchase….
My first test auction is live… we’ll see what happens over the next 7 days… Happy eBaying!!!
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Kathy Dobson says
Ebay is something I want to learn to use as a tool this year and this article was target on to help me with that!
Traffic is my problem and if eBay can help with traffic then it is a must to tap into.
I had read some of what Deb explained other places but I don’t ever remember reading about the link possibility with the photo page.
I guess that’s one for reading the fine print huh? 😉
Thanks for the heads up Deb…and thank you Stuart 😉
You are so awesome. Even your responses to questions are goldmine.
Talking about kunaki, seem they charge up to 5 dollar for delivery outside US. That seems on the higher side if I reside in UK and the customers are also UK residents.
Or, am I missing some info?
THANK YOU! For this info!
I was extremely disappointed to learn that ebay doesn’t even want you store linking on your about me page anymore, and was trying to devise a clever way to advertise my site/mailing list without getting banned.
Question: Is it against policy to advertise an outside mailing list in the footer of the ‘auction win e-mail template’? I have one that is an RSS feed of new ebay items (and that list would include links to my webstore) I list so it’s relevant to users, but not sure if ebay would let that one fly.
deb henry says
Unfortuantely, you cannot include any links ANYWHERE that solicit eBay members to sign up for an outside mailing list. eBay has always viewed eBay buyers as “their customers”, and they are slowly but surely taking away any individuality or means to make personal connections for the eBay sellers.
It is no coincidence that as Amazon is picking up market share and increasing profits, eBay is doing everything they can to convert their current marketplace into an “Amazon wannabe”.
The problem of course is that eBay was founded as a “melting pot” marketplace… where individual buyers AND sellers traded. Amazon on the other hand is an online mega-store where they ALLOW individuls to sell through their sales channels. There are no real “stores”, feedback is not that important and people shop on price, stated quality and shipping options/speed. One is expected to honor Amazon’s policies, and to provide professional fulfillment experiences.
eBay also tends to make business issues personal… they limit certain accounts or certain items, they favor buyers over sellers and treat sellers as if they don’t need them (and frankly, they don’t). Hence the policies that change constantly and impose more and more limitations to the individual sellers.
1. COUNT on change… and EXPECT eBay to put more limitations on sellers.
2. Create a business card/insert. Put it in EVERY package you ship out. Offer a percentage off or free shipping as an incentive to visit your OUTSIDE eBay store and sign up for your newsletter there.
3. Use my picture gallery idea on any HIGH traffic auction or multiple item fixed price listings.
4. Plan on migrating as much as you can off eBay and use eBay as a traffic generator for YOUR store through my picture gallery and inserts.
5. Create reviews and guides ON eBay and then link to them from YOUR on-line store. This will get you some organic traffic through google searches and bots.
6. Link to your eBay auctions through your online store. Although you are not able to link OUT, you are linking IN, and this will help connect your two selling venues as well!
Hope this helps — and makes sense!
Any other questions feel free to ask!
zahid@Personal Power Freedom Wealth Privacy News & Reviews says
This is a great piece on getting that little bit extra out of eBay.
I am still pretty new to eBay and have not really used it yet but will make a note of this for future use.
Great tip on the buying and selling, to keep separate accounts for eBay. Also great words of wisdom on starting out on eBay to get build up to IM.
Which type of market category do you think is better when starting out on eBay?
deb henry says
Thanks for the compliment! As for which market category to start out with, it is more important to get some feedback under your belt first.
Since the main principle behind eBay is TRUST, it is very important to build a trustworthy image BEFORE launching a business.
This can be accomplished in several ways… first a well written “About Me” page is a necessity. Then you should try to start selling stuff from around your house. Start with things that you just don’t use, don’t want and DON’T have an overly emotional attachment to.
These early auctions will probably average out as follows:
For every 10 auctions you put up, 4 to 6 will sell. Of those that do sell, you will be disappointed by about half of them, 40% will be decent, expected sales and 10% will be home runs.
FOCUS your thoughts and energies on the top 10%. Do not let these early auctions demotivate you. Auctions are a numbers game. They are also all about timing.
As long as you do your research BEFORE taking the time to list something, you can learn to increase your sell through rate and your overall ending auction prices.
Also, remember that you make your money in the BUYING. This is why having a good research strategy is a KEY component to a successful eBay business.
Once you have finished selling your stuff, then you can move on to selling things that YOU are personally passionate about but also have an established eBay buyer market (this is where research is an integral part of choosing your niche markets).
If you have any other questions, feel free to ask!
Jeff@Lemonade Business says
Thanks for that awesome tip. I thought I was limited to using eBay Classified Ads to promote my business and website.
I will create a photo gallery on my site, sell some items on eBay that are also on our site, and DRIVE TRAFFIC!
Thanks so much,
Reg B. says
Thanks Deb that does clear it up to me totally… After I posted I went to Zazzle and sign up and understood it more… Also why on eBay you have such a high price… So now is see another Income Stream for me and of course the other people you are helping…
Have a great day…
deb henry says
Yeah… the price thing is a big ol’ bummer! And Stuart mentioned the same to me… that the calendar was pricey. I really had no choice in the matter!!! And even with the high price, I’m NOT going to make any money off the sale, BUT I’m *hoping* to get contacts and potential customers!
Glad I was able to “un-confuse you!” 🙂
Reg B. says
Wow Deb that blows my mind… I am just a little confused on that calendar you don’t own or have the product? Is it from a drop-shipper? I learned a trick in uploading more pictures with photo-bucket so it goes in the body of listings.Will it work on there?
Hope you could explain it ,sorry guess am a little slow learner… Can you e-mail me or will you be doing another post on Stuart newsletter
But thanks for the awesome tips…
deb henry says
I actually DO have the rights to the calendar….. I used images from the Public Domain and a bit of creativity to design the calendar and then posted it for sale on Zazzle. I DID order two copies of it to have HERE so that I can have a couple on hand all ready to ship. However, I could just order one from Zazzle and have it shipped directly to the winner once I got paid at auction end.
However, I am NOT really interested in actually selling the calendar, I am MORE interested in getting traffic to my site OFF of eBay. THAT is where the money is — getting the Zazzle customers and mailing list WITHOUT having to make a ton of sales through eBay and pay all the fees accociated with it.
As for your second question, yes you can easily add html tags to your listings to point at images hosted elsewhere (like photo-bucket)… but that is not the point to this technique.
The point is to physically get people to go to your website from eBay… “legally” and then (hopefully) become shoppers/customers in your off-eBay sales sites (like my Zazzle online store or my actual website.) Because of the clause that allows “discrete links to websites that offer items for sale off of eBay”, creating a picture gallery page is the only allowable way to accomplish this.
Hope that clarifies things!
Stuart & Deb-
Thank you for this valuable information. I can’t wait to give it a try myself! This is why I stay on this blogs subscriber list!
Terry Conti says
Hi Stuart and Deb,
Thanks for this Deb, it’s a great idea most don’t know about. Zazzle is a very interesting site, somewhat like Cafepress dot com, I think.
Making a page specifically for ebay is a great idea! Just make sure you do it right and follow the rules it can work to your advantage. Good luck with you auction Deb.
deb henry says
You are very welcome 🙂
As for CafePress and Zazzle, you are correct, with the main difference being that Zazzle has WAY cooler stuff AND it is totally free and MUCH more customizable.
The other difference is the seller support… Zazzle has been awesome, where CafePress fell quite short the few times I contacted them.
Ryan Ziems says
Really great information!! It something a person wouldn’t normally think of when selling on eBay, but it does make sense!
It really is high time I start getting more familiar with the rules of selling on eBay.
And like Terri I wish you the best of luck with your auction!!
Ricky Figueroa says
This is a great tip! eBay sometimes change their policies… and is good to confirm with you guys that we can still use this strategy. I was actually planning to use the picture of a video of mine… as a link to direct traffic to my “About Me” page where they will see an opt-in form. Now, my question is: eBay accept video in the about me page?
deb henry says
Thanks so much for the comment. I wanted to clarify a few things that you wrote:
Here’s the exact low-down on videos, linking and “opt-in” forms…
1. Yes, you can use a picture of your video as a link to your “About Me” page. AND you can embed a You-Tube video into your “About Me” page as long as you do not have any language or links to an off-eBay sales site.
2. As for an “opt-in” form, that is NOT allowed on eBay ANYWHERE. You CAN have a COMMENT BOX that is sent directly to you via email or a “mailto:” link that brings up an email submit window.
3. After much research, I believe that the only way to “legally” have an opt-in form is to have it EVERYWHERE on your off-eBay site that can be reached from your eBay picture gallery page. I would NOT put an opt-in on the actual picture gallery page, as that might bring up some red flags if eBay ever checked out your auction or listing for policy compliance.
As an aside, I just checked out your blog, and it is quite impressive. I LOVE the direction you are heading in! If you have not read “The Secret”, “Think and Grow Rich”, “The Magic of Thinking Big” and “Psycho-Cybernetics”, I would highly recommend reading these books (in the order I listed them).
Keep on doing what you are doing… you’re doing AWESOME!
Ricky Figueroa says
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my question. This is GREAT info! I truly appreciate it. Also, thank you for your books’ recommendations. I actually read all of them except for the last one “Psycho-Cybernetics.” It sounds like a crazy book 🙂 I will make sure to get a copy.
Thank you for taking the time to going to my blog. I appreciate your feedback. I actually have 2 more questions…one about opt-in form and the other one about downloadable info products. I don’t know why.. but I feel bad asking so many questions…
1. How can I make an opt-in box to pop up with a free offer on my blog…every time somebody comes in?
(Example: At JimCockrumDot Com he has a pop-up sign up offer in a exchange for a few chapters of “20 Ways To Make Money Now on The Internet.” ebook)
2. I know years ago we could sell digital download products on eBay… Can we sell digital downloadable info products still?
Thank you in advance, Deb!
deb henry says
First of all, the only questions you should feel bad about are the ones you DON’T ask! As for your questions…
1. This is handled through your AWeber account. When you create a web form you would select the form “Type” as “Lightbox”. And then when you add your code from AWeber to your page, it will automagically work that way.
2. Yes, you can still sell digital downloadable products. You have two choices:
A. Sell it as ONLY a digital product — You are then limited to WHERE you can list it and what selling format you can use. If you are only selling it as a digital download, you MUST use Classified Ad format AND it can only be listed in the “Everything Else” category.
B. You can sell it as a physical CD/DVD. You can then list your item in ANY category using ANY eBay sales channel. This is not necessarily a problem even if your ultimate goal is product delivery automation.
By setting up your auction/fixed price listing to be automatically relisted, using Auction Acrobat software to handle the hand offs, PayPal to receive payments, Kunaki to fulfill the order (the cost is a mere $1.00 per CD/DVD plus $4.20 shipping) and AWeber to capture the email on a list and handle all your automatic post sale communications, you have basically set up the same scenerio as a digital download WITHOUT the limitations that eBay puts on you AND you are providing a product with a MUCH higher perceived value.
As an added plus, your insertion fees are MUCH lower with using this scenerio, so you have less up front monetary risk.
Any other questions feel free to ask away 🙂
Ricky Figueroa says
WOW!! That’s it! I will work with the 2nd option. Creating my own products, and selling them on ebay. Kunaki is awesome… I just went to their site… i can see the value and leverage it can provide. Using a Video marketing campaign to drive targeted traffic to the auctions will be great.
MORE QUESTIONS 🙂
I already have an old ebay account. I don’t know if you noticed my blog url …
1. Do you think it could be good to rename my account as “RickyFigueroaDotCom” ? to drive traffic to my blog. Or should I name it something more specific to the niche I will be working on?
2. For each different niche… should I create different ebay accounts?
3. What if I use both options? I mean selling CD/DVD on ebay and also selling the digital download version off-ebay and be able to JV with other marketers in the same or other related niche.
My mind is running with ideas… and I want to start implementing them right away to test which ones work. I don’t know if you noticed it… but I feel excited about the opportunity that ebay provides… and knowing that it had been the only way I have made decent money online.. makes me feel confident. I just need to get the funnel together along with the first product.
I certainly don’t want to wait 36 weeks (masterclass) to quit my job.
I feel blessed Ded. You and Stuart are amazing individuals. I need to learn more from you guys! I want to help people the same way you guys do.
deb henry says
Thank you for the very nice compliment… Stuart and I both enjoy helping people and sharing what we have learned with others. If you keep the hunger and the drive that I see in you, you will be there soon enough!
Here are my answers by number:
1. You cannot use the words “dotcom” in your eBay ID, as that is against the external links policy. Also you are NOT allowed to use identifying information (ie your name) in your eBay ID either.
2. You can’t combine feedback from multiple accounts, and it makes it WAY harder to build up your feedback numbers if you do decide to use multiple accounts.
I WOULD however suggest you have a SELLING account AND a BUYING account. That way if you are buying things for resale it can’t be traced back to you through feedback and item/bidding history.
3. I would leverage EACH & EVERY option you can. Build a sales page, use kunaki and eBay, link to it from your blog, put it on ClickBank, sell it on craigslist, make it a kindle book, make it an ebook AND a print book and sell it on Amazon…. if you can figure out a sales channel… put it there!
I have always suggested eBay for anyone trying to start out online. It is much easier to get your feet wet and actually see moderate to great success in a short period of time. HOWEVER, Internet Marketing is a WHOLE other kettle of fish. It is an opportunity that takes time and patience to grow and nurture…. Although I get that you are antsy … don’t quit your day job… yet.
Make a goal, say you want to earn $50 a week. And then maybe $100…. then try to ramp up to $50 a day… then $100 a day…. consistenly (or at least on average). Figure out where you need to be to be comfortable AND have enough money left over to re-invest in YOU and your business. Once you are at THAT point, THEN you can go fire your boss!!! 🙂
Mandy Allen says
That’s really interesting and helpful, Stuart. Some of the rules on ebay are hard to get to grips with and it is great to have someone explain and lead on them.
Enjoy the journey.