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Published on December 21st, 2010 | by Matthew Ogborne

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How To: Selling on eBay with more than one eBay ID

This is another article where its contents I would have kept to myself, but inline with Project Matthew Ogborne, I am going to use one word a lot in this article, its called ‘leverage’. Lets dive in and find out why you need more than one eBay ID for your business.

Underlying Principles

Before we continue, you need to understand the following basic fact of eBay and selling on-line or anywhere for that matter, which forms the base of this concept:

For the vast majority of manufactured goods, you are not the only company selling them, thus every single day, customers choose your competitors over you. There are an infinite number of reasons for this, timing, colour scheme, layout, description, title are a few factors.

Which leads on to this pivotal statement:

So if you’re selling widgets, there are lots of other widget sellers for customers to choose from, so why not be one of the other widget sellers?

Soak that up for a moment, instead of bitching about your competitors, why not be your own competitor and drive more sales to you and drive your so-called competitors nuts instead?

In a Perfect World

Say there are three sellers of a widget, working on averages alone and assuming the playing field is fair, you have a 1 in 3 chance of selling to a customer.

Now lets add a new seller identity, so there are now four sellers, but this new seller is you. That means that you have a 2 in 4 chance or a 50% chance of selling to a customer.

I like 50% odds much more than 33% odds. I am sure you do too.

Who is leveraging this?

Here is something for you to chew on. I have been doing this since I was a seller over 9 years ago, but don’t think this idea is unique one by any means, there are a lot of reasons for doing this, I’ll cover some of these shortly, but for now, here are some did-you knows:

brand-littlewoods

Did you know that LittleWoods is known also by these names?

  1. Very
  2. Marshal Ward
  3. Woolworths
  4. Additions
  5. Kays
  6. Great Universal
  7. Empire Stores
  8. Choice

brands-barratts

Did you know that Barrats Shoes are also known as these names?

  1. Love Your Shoes
  2. Discount Shoe Store
  3. Big Shoe Boutique
  4. Petit Feet
  5. Priceless Shoes

I am sure there are more identities for both companies mentioned, but these two I can rattle off the top of my head, there are more companies that leverage this idea too, there is not enough virtual ink to cover them all!

I’m not going to mention any specific eBay’s sellers in this article, I do not feel its appropriate that I do so, but let me word it this way:

While working for eSellerPro, it was not uncommon for companies to have more than one eBay ID and more than 10 eBay ID’s is not unknown off and I know of at least two companies that leverage this to amazing effect.

Stop thinking small and start thinking big.
Secrets of the Millionaire Mind. T. Harv Eker

Other Reasons for Multiple eBay IDs

Not sold on the idea? Here are some more reasons why you need more than one eBay ID

Risk

This for me is the #1 reason besides market share. By having more than one eBay ID you are diluting your risks, the maths for me are simple:

(Risk / Number of eBay ID’s)
* Static Risk Modifer
= Overall Risk

Any number greater than one for eBay ID’s is a way to lower the risk in the business. Imagine if you sole eBay ID was trashed by a scurry of hundreds of negatives. You’d cry, I know I would.

Note: I added the ‘Static Risk Modifier’ to indicate that there is always risk of a certain level, its a factor of being in business.

Multiple Price Points

Instead of starting your second eBay ID on a cheaper price point, make it more expensive. Why? You’ve got yourself into the mindset that you are the best seller of widgets, BS, sorry to break it to you, you are not (neither am I!!!).

You need to break your mould and realise that there are niches within niches and if you are starting with your first additional eBay ID, the rule of thumb is that you go up in price. As you grow, then you can leverage the now multiple selling ID’s to try differing price points for the same products.

Matt’ s Tip:
In Excel you can use this formula to make random prices:

RANDBETWEEN(1,100)/100)

It makes a number between 1 and 100, you could do (1,49) and it would make…

Unique Selling Points

With multiple eBay ID’s you can try out different selling angles of the same products. Using Barratts above, you’ll notice two very interesting names, ‘Petit Feet’ and ‘Big Shoe Boutique’. Oversized or undersized footwear is a problem for buyers with flippers or stumps, this way Barratts, can leverage two different customer groups, rather than trying to marketing them broadly within their normal confines.

See what they’re doing? Instead of trying to be one-for-all they are helping the buyer find the product group they are looking for, as I said, niches in niches, they exist everywhere and virtually limitless.

Designs & Layouts

Ever wondered what effect a full blown creative deisgn would have on a business? Ever wondered if you wound things back to and made what I consider a ‘crap id’?

Matt what is a ‘crap id’?
That’s a great question madam, let me define this as:

An eBay ID that purposefully looks shockingly bad, you know the ones, just like your very first listing you made with colourful H1 and H2 fonts (if its bigger they’ll read it right? *cries with laughter*), but employs killer conversion tools.

With multiple eBay ID’s you can and you can very easily, leading me on to the next key point.

Time to Create Inventory is a Fraction of the Original

Think about it, you exerted a lot of effort to make the first inventory item, to prepare it for another eBay ID is only altering the elements that need to be changed to make it different. If you’re using software tools such as eSellerPro, Channel Advisor** or similar, then this is childs play.

This process as an equation would look something like this:

Original Time To Create the Record
+  (Original Time To Create the Record / Number of eBay ID’s + Time to make edits)
= Overall time to create inventory

The biggest exertion was to document the first record, all the rest are simple edits and in the right circumstances can be done in an external tool such as Excel to manipulate the data in a organised fashion.

**Channel Advisor: They solved this in a update about a year ago. Before you had to have two or more sets of inventory for the same inventory item to sell using two or more eBay ID’s. It was a joke and rendered this tool virtually un-usable for use with Multiple seller IDs. But that’s resolved now I hasten to add (Thanks for the clarification James)

Summary

There is more to be covered on this topic and I will add further articles to expand on what are concepts covered in this first section.

I hope I have opened your eyes to the fact that this is commonplace, especially in well known brands. It makes perfect sense to do this, when you consider that adding a new second, third, forth etc… business to your first business as it only requires a fraction of the original effort and as a bonus, the more you add, the smaller this fraction.

Maybe I didn’t the term ‘Leverage’ that much in this article as I expected, lets close this article with final statement.

When adding a second, third etc… eBay ID to your existing business you are leveraging existing processes and the same platform in your favour.

Now, go get busy!





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5 Responses to How To: Selling on eBay with more than one eBay ID

  1. Pingback: Are Multiple eBay ID's Still a Viable Strategery on eBay? - The Last Drop of Ink

  2. How To: Selling on #eBay with more than one #eBay ID – http://t.co/683IJwkf

  3. Dave says:

    Hi Matt,

    With the recent clampdown on duplicate listings, I believe that this would be against eBay rules.

    Are there any ways to stay safe doing this? Any how sophisticated eBays method of checking duplicate IDs is?

    I could set up a new bank account and register on eBay in a new name at a new address. Re-photograph and tweak descriptions, and make sure that I never access the new account from the same IP address, but its a lot of hassle if it can be avoided.

    Cheers,
    Dave

  4. Pingback: Part 2: Leveraging more than one eBay ID | The Last Drop of Ink

  5. HI
    Good point.
    Another job is to make up a second EBay store
    Why don’t we co-operate. See http://www.oa.vg
    Become an affiliate for paper.
    Picked you up as you followed me on Twitter
    Best wishes for Christmas
    Kind regards
    Daniel Roberts

    PS – Ill add you to our emailing list if I find your email address

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