In "Wait, eBay Pays Me to Have an eBay Store?" we talked about how attaching a simple referral code to the end of your eBay Store URL when you advertise outside of eBay could earn you a credit of 75 percent of your final value fees. Based on the response, this was great news to many of you, who didn't know this opportunity existed or how to go about setting it up.
In this article, I want to take that process one step further and not only help you get that referral credit, but also provide you with branding for your eBay business.
Let's say you're creating a promotional e-mail to send out to potential buyers. Which of the examples below looks better, more professional and easier to remember?
We just found a treasure trove of antique dollhouses. Come see these beautiful delights at http://stores.ebay.com/maggies-magpies-and-antiques?refid=store.
We just found a treasure trove of antique dollhouses. Come see these beautiful delights at www.MaggiesMagpies.com.
Well of course, the second one wins. Oh, I can hear you now… "But Janelle, I don't have the time/money/knowledge to create a Web sitelet me get this eBay Store thing down first."
Here's the beauty of it: www.MaggiesMagpies.com is not a Web site. It's simply a domain that has been forwarded to an eBay Store. Try it. (This link happens to go to my eBay Store since Maggie's doesn't really exist, but you get the idea). You don't pay for hosting the domain or for creating a Web site. You simply pay about $7 a year to own the domain www.MaggiesMagpies.com, and then use the free benefit of forwarding.
Success Tip: Make sure you not only buy your business' name but also any common misspellings. Maggie should probably buy combinations of URLs without the "s," such as www.MaggiesMagpie.com. Seven dollars is cheap insurance to make sure a competitor doesn't purchase your domains and redirect your potential buyers to his business.
I use GoDaddy to buy my domains and use its forwarding service. But use any domain service you're comfortable with; the process is similar with all of them.
Forwarding your chosen domain is easy. With GoDaddy, simply:
- Go to Domains, then Management & Renewals and click My Domains.
- In the Domain Manager, locate the domain you just purchasedin this case www.MaggiesMagpies.com. Mark the box next to the domain.
- On the top of the page, click the Forward icon.
- Under Forward and Mask Domains, mark the box that says "Enable Forwarding."
- In the box that says "Forward To," fill in your Store's URL. You can locate the URL by going to your eBay Store and copying the URL in the browser box at the top. Then simply go back to GoDaddy and paste that URL into the Forward To box. This should look something like http://stores.ebay.com/maggies-magpies-and-antiques.
- Add the referral ID at the end of the URL. It will now look like this: http://stores.ebay.com/maggies-magpies-and-antiques?refid=store.
- Mark the box that says "301 Moved Permanently." Then click OK.
See how easy that was? Now when someone goes to www.MaggiesMagpies.com, he or she will automatically be redirected to your eBay Store. This does so many great things for your business: It shortens that long URL so your buyers can easily remember it. It enables branding for your company's name. It provides an opportunity for you to receive the 75 percent referral credit from eBay. And it looks much more professional than putting http://stores.ebay.com/maggies-magpies-and-antiques?refid=store into your marketing opportunities.
Just think of all the situations in which you can utilize this easy marketing step:
- Business cards: I remember trying to put my eBay Store's URL on a business card when I first started my company. It wouldn't fit-it was too long. Now www.JanelleElms.com is short, professional and easy to remember.
- Social networking sites: If you Twitter, you know you only have 140 characters to write your message. If you use http://stores.ebay.com/maggies-magpies-and-antiques?refid=store, you have to use TinyURL to make it smaller. But if you use MaggiesMagpies.com, it's even fewer characters than the TinyURL will beand you are branding your business. Think how much more effective your new URL will be on Facebook, Tatango, Jobvana.net, MySpace, EveryPlaceISell and other networking sites promoting your business.
- Discussion groups and forums: In most discussion groups and forums, you can't pitch your business, but you sure can use a signature line that contains a link to your eBay Store. Which one looks better?
Maggies Magpies and Antiques for all your Timely Treasure
Maggies Magpies and Antiques for all your Timely Treasure
- Promotional material: My sister Jonie has a beautiful eBay Store. (I don't just say that because she's my sister. She truly has a great example of an eBay Store). She will be contacting local OBGYNs in her area to let them know about some of the maternity products she carries. Can you imagine if she went into the doctors' offices and handed over a brochure that said: Learn more at http://stores.ebay.com/Kid-Baby-Toy-Art-Gift-Basket-Doll?refid=store?
Not only does it look unprofessional, but she risks losing clients before they've had the opportunity to check out her Store, especially if they already have the mindset that eBay is a garage sale. Instead she uses www.BusyBoutique.com to divert any preconceived notions until after they've seen her extensive, high-quality, new products.
- Speaking: Let's say eBay Radio calls you for an interview. During your chat with "Griff," you of course want to pitch your eBay Store. Are you really going to say "Check out my eBay Store at http://stores.ebay.com/maggies-magpies-and-antiques?refid=store?" Absolutely not. But you could say "Check out my eBay Store at MaggiesMagpies.com." This would also be true for speaking at a chamber of commerce meeting, putting your URL on your voicemail greeting or even talking to people at a party.
In the Profitable eBay Stores training at www.OnePercentCoach.com, we walk through setting up your outside URLs for the Stores Referral Credit so you can receive your 75 percent instant refund. We have also created a special series of five "1 Percent eBay Stores" tips that will be delivered free to your inbox. You can receive yours at the OSI Newsletter.
Read my next article to learn about the eBay Store benefit that is worth gold.
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Janelle Elms is a best-selling author, inspiring educator and Visionaire of the OSI Rock Stars. You can hear her on wsRadio every Wednesday on Ask Janelle Radio. Learn the success information you need to grow your business at www.osiRockStars.com. For step-by-step training on how to set up an eBay Store for maximum exposure and profit, visit One Percent Coach.
Opinions expressed here may not be shared by Auctiva Corp. and/or its principals.