I spent most of this weekend driving around with my neighbour collecting his purchases from eBay. He’s what I’d describe as an avid eBayer and not only buys but also sells and has attained a feedback score of 30. He’s both bought and sold cars on eBay as well as a variety of other items. His daughter did all her family Christmas present shopping on eBay last year!
The thing I find interesting is what got him hooked on eBay. Sure he knows I make my living selling and he can always shout for help, (which he quite frequently does), but he loves the bidding. He’ll sit at his computer when he’s placed a bid refreshing the screen to see if he’s won. It’s even more exciting when he’s selling an item – when he sold a car a couple of weeks ago his whole family were watching the PC for the last half hour hanging on the edge of their seats as the bids came in.
I’ve always known in theory why eBay do their utmost to prompt buyers to sell at least one item. Refreshing the screen to see if your bid was successful and you’ve won an item is nothing compared to watching other people bid on your auctions. Selling an item builds much greater loyalty and turns a casual buyer into a committed eBayer. In general buyers who have sold an item will go on to purchase more on average, than buyers who have yet to make a sale!
So what were his purchases this weekend then? Well they were both from eBay Motors. On Saturday we drove south to collect a new rear axle and dashboard for his Triumph Stag. Today we went west up the M4 to pick up a scooter he’s just purchased for his son who’s just turned sixteen. Both are ongoing projects, he’s on the look out for many more parts for his Stag, and the scooter is missing the mirrors so he’ll be looking for them next probably along with a crash helmet.
The weekend was an important reminder to me, buyers are the most important people on eBay. Without buyers sellers would have no one to buy their goods. It’s not surprising eBay spend so much of their time advertising for new buyers and doing everything in their power to hook them into the site. The controversial Feedback 2.0 is intended to appeal to buyers and allow them to differentiate between sellers. Recent advertisements have aimed to attract new buyers and get them to sell a few items.
If eBay carry on attracting buyers like my neighbour I’m all in favour, if he wants something the chances are he’ll be looking to buy it on eBay. He may not buy what I sell, but somewhere out there is a buyer searching for just what I have listed!