How to use neighborhoods to sell

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eBay Neighborhoods have launched on It’s a great new eBay experiment in social networking but more importantly it’s a new way for sellers to market their products to buyers.

Neighborhoods allow you to join an eBay community and interact with people of similar interests. The most popular so far is the Coffee Lovers Neighborhood with the current top subject “My mug is empty“.

The URL tells a different story though, it’s not “Coffee Lovers”, it’s This neighborhood is designed specifically to encourage buyers to spend more money on espresso machines and if that’s your market you should be right in the thick of things, starting new threads, posting new pictures, updating your eBay Blog regularly, writing reviews and guides and pretty much doing everything you can to get your eBay User Id all over the Coffee Lovers Neighborhood.

Other neighborhoods throw up some interesting but unintended quirks. For instance I was browsing the Cats Neighborhood and up popped auctions for a “Honda Hi Flow Racing Cat Converter” and “1ft Cat 5e Network Computer Cable”. Neighborhoods could get some buyers browsing auctions and categories they may never have ventured into before, although probably not with these two examples. What it does illustrate however is how the products are selected – if you want to get your pottery products in front of the Pottery Neighborhood you need to make certain the keyword “Pottery” is in your auction title. Use the descriptors ceramic, china, porcelain or clay and neighborhooders won’t see your item.

As a seller joining and browsing neighborhoods is probably the last thing you have time to do. The good news is that you don’t have to spend hours every day to get the benefit from sales. As neighborhoods grow I’m hoping it’s buyers that get hooked on them. Savvy sellers will search for neighborhoods relating to their products and list items to ensure they appear and write blog post, reviews and guides with the sole intent of getting your content in front of interested buyers.

As a seller I don’t intend to spend much time in Neighborhoods, but I really hope my buyers do. Sellers should spend their time generating content aimed directly at Neighborhoods where their target buyers are lurking. Anything that increases the time that buyers spend on eBay as a destination is good news for sellers.

3 Responses

  1. My mug really was empty! lol. Thanks for posting another great article. I’ll blog about this post myself tomorrow. Take care, I enjoy your commentary. -Jeff (melrose_stamp)

  2. Interesting overview of the neighborhood, thanks for the post. If it can be used to sell more I am all for it… I guess time will tell how this one goes.

  3. Thanks for clarifying things a bit there Chris, I was wondering if neighbourhoods was intended to be replacing the old eBay Groups, from which I seem to be getting an awful lot of “Group closing” emails lately.

    I am also wondering if eBay will be offering amnesties to the reportedly very large number of members who are banned from posting in forums, and thus in groups as well – especially with Christmas coming up, it would be nice to see them lighten up a bit – hmmm?

    Tis the season to be jolly, tra lala la la la la …..



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