Marketing matters


One bidorbuy seller recently discovered the power of advertising. Chance played a big part in the event. This is how it happened.

The image of a product of his appeared in one of the bidorbuy Valentine’s Day promotional emailers. These emailers do not link to the randomly selected individual products. There is only the link to the front page of the Valentine’s Day catalogue.

Still, this particular seller noticed a surge in the number of visitors to his listing soon after the emailer was sent to the bidorbuy subscribers. He put two and two and two together, recognised the pattern of cause and effect, and promptly decided to make more use of the advertising opportunities bidorbuy offers. “I will be placing a lot of bids for the space in your (Crazy Wednesday) newsletter as I can see now how effective your newsletter can be”, he says.

There are a number of on-the-site ways to ensure a steady flow of traffic to your merchandise. You can get extra exposure by enhancing your listings.The fees range from R5 to R100, and the cheapest options are by no means the least effective. For example, especially useful are highlighting a listing and featuring it in the category page. The fees involved are R5 and R10 respectively.

Talking about the in-house marketing opportunities, there is the already mentioned Crazy Wednesday newsletter. The fees for advertising in the newsletter depend on how much you and your fellow sellers are prepared to pay for the top banner and the eight smaller slots. The promotional space in the newsletter is auctioned off every Friday from nine to two, and the auction is listed in the Advertising subcategory.

More ambitious bidorbuy sellers have at their disposal numerous venues for advertising on the Internet. Some of those venues are free of charge. A good way to start is to use social sites, the so-called Web 2.0, as a promotional vehicle. You may, for example:

  • Start a blog and scatter links to your bidorbuy seller’s profile and your bidorbuy listings throughout your entries.
  • Comment on other people’s blogs and insert appropriate links in your comments (if the blog author allows this).
  • Join forums, post comments on them and include appropriate links (providing the relevant forum rules allow it).
  • Set up a Facebook profile, join a group (a South African one would probably work best) and invite people to visit your bidorbuy seller’s profile and your listings.

Do bear in mind that the raison d’etre of social networking sites is to enable people to interact with each and to share their likes and dislikes. Web 2.0 does not take kindly to promotional postings devoid of any other content.Therefore, join a site that is relevant to your business and have something truly interesting or helpful to contribute when slipping in your bit of self-promotion. Remember that sincerity can not be faked – not for long, anyway.

On the other hand, if you are passionate about what you do and willing to share your experience with others, you may find Web 2.0 a very rewarding word-of mouth advertising channel. A tip: ask for help with any issue that puzzles you every chance you get. People love helping others. They may not be motivated by a Samaritan syndrome; more often than not, they do it because it makes them feel superior (to you). Give them that satisfaction!

The sellers from Gauteng would do well to attend the bidorbuy Selling seminar on 19 February in order to get more tips and insights on how to maximise their profits.