Bid, Buy or Sell on eBay!
Recently, I have been exploring ebay as a lead generation tool. After listening to about a half-dozen podcasts, all of which strongly encouraged the use of ebay to promote information/digital products, I decided to give it a try. And at a cost of about $.25, I can setup a 10-day listing optimized around my niche market and designed to capture leads. (Or at least that’s what I thought.)

Over the weekend, I put the finishing touches on my ebook. As I logged into my ebay account to add my listing, I discovered an announcement that ebay was changing its policy regarding digital downloads. Effective March 31, “all goods that can be digitally downloaded or transferred electronically must be listed using the Classified Ads format.” Apparently, ebay feels this move will preserve the integrity of the feedback system.

So what does this mean? Essentially, $.25 for a 10-day listing has now turned into $9.95 for a 30-day listing of an information product. Although this price increase can be passed onto the customer (as with everything else these days), it defeats the purpose of using a low-cost strategy for building a list. (There goes my idea of building on a budget.) But, I am never without a Plan B.

As an alternative, I’ve decided to run some classified ads on Craigslist, Backpage and US Freeads using my initial strategy. All three of these are free, with premium options available. By way of example, you can post as many ads as you want with one of the USFreeads premium packages for $9.95 a month. The major drawback to my Plan B, however, is that the classified ad sites don’t have the same “juice” as ebay. Although it has suffered a traffic drop, ebay remains the No. 1 shopping destination with over 56 million unique visitors a month.

I must admit that the price increase is not a complete deterent to utilizing ebay. The upside of the policy change is that it will likely weed out a lot of the junk or poor quality content being pushed for a name and email address. As I’m testing through the classified ad sites, I’ll also try an ebay classified ad (even though the new price point makes me cringe).

I’d be curious to know if you are currently using ebay as a lead generation tool and if it has proven successful for you. Leave a comment below about your experience with ebay and/or other sites.

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