EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 172 - August 06, 2006 - ISSN 1528-6703     3 of 8

eBay Sellers Turn to Teen Hangout 'MySpace,' Part 1

By Greg Holden

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Location, location, location: this old adage applies to eBay businesses in the virtual landscape as it does businesses in the brick-and-mortar world. Someone who runs an eBay Store or who simply wants to get more bidders for his or her auction sales needs to find the best location for attracting attention. When it comes to publicity and advertising on the Web, prime real estate means a site that attracts the largest possible number of viewers.

The hottest location on the Web these days is a community site called ( No special credentials are required to set up a space on MySpace complete with an online profile and a blog. According to a recent CNN report (, MySpace was ranked the single most popular Web site in the U.S. In other words, MySpace is currently attracting even more visitors than eBay. If you don't believe me, ask an adolescent. Chances are they either have a "space" set up on or they know someone who does. wasn't set up as a business site. But it's perfect for meeting new people and promoting oneself. For example, a musician can post a clip of a recent composition. So wouldn't MySpace also be great for publicizing an eBay Store or a group of eBay auction sales? That's what a group of enterprising eBay sellers have been discussing on the PowerSeller message boards and in other community forums. A growing number of sellers have created MySpace "spaces" devoted to their eBay businesses. They say they're benefiting in terms of increased traffic to their eBay Stores, better search placement on sites like Google, and better sales.

One such believer is an eBay seller who goes by the User ID BluKentucky and sells antiques and curios from the Bluegrass State. Not long ago, he spent an hour or so creating a profile that promotes his eBay business. (You'll find it at By way of introducing himself, he lists his eBay feedback rating (9,400 at this writing) and mentions that he has been an eBay member since 1999.

BluKentucky also maintains a blog - an ongoing commentary on what he sells in the form of an online diary. By keeping the blog informative rather than commercial, he presents himself as being a knowledgeable resource. This builds trust among potential customers that, in turn, encourages them to make purchases from his store.

"I've noticed a substantial increase in traffic coming to my eBay Store from MySpace," he says. "In fact, several buyers have emailed me to say that they found me on MySpace."

Charise Richards is not only a successful eBay businessperson but is also the proud Mom of 19- and 22-year-old children. She first became familiar with sites like Xanga ( and MySpace as a way to maintain family connections. "I've had personal spaces on MySpace and Xanga for a year or two. Most of our relatives live in another state, and the grandparents keep up with what's going on in our lives by reading our Xanga and MySpace spaces. My kids practically live on these sites."

What works for Charise personally is also helping her as the owner of an eBay Store called One Chic Boutique ( "A few months ago I began to hear rumblings about using MySpace to promote or even to sell your items. I began to check into it and was totally blown away by how many businesses use MySpace to advertise themselves. Everything from wedding photographers to tattoo parlors, baby items to sexy lingerie was being promoted on MySpace."

Since creating a home on MySpace for her business (, Charise says the amount of visitors now coming to her eBay Store is "incredible." Her eBay sales items show up prominently on Google in the search results for terms such as "Coach ski fur bag" or "Coach chenille bag." So does her MySpace page. "I don't have a featured eBay Store so I don't know exactly where each customer comes from, but with all that volume some of them have to be coming from MySpace."

In a subsequent column, I'll describe in more detail how to set up a home on MySpace that will effectively publicize your business. But the example of sellers like these shows that you should follow these general steps if you want to set up your own space on MySpace to promote your eBay business:

  1. Select an email address you want to use as your username, as well as a password.
  2. Create a short profile with some information about yourself and your business.
  3. Upload photos or logos you want to use.
  4. Maintain a blog where you informally discuss your business, what you sell, or anything that you think might be of interest to your customers.

Once you have a "space" established, you set about networking. MySpace contains lots of groups that are similar to the sales categories on eBay (Charise Richards belongs to the Clothing and Accessories group, for instance).

You also invite people to be your MySpace "friends." Participating in discussion groups and making personal connections helps draw prospective customers to your business, especially if you use tried-and-true marketing strategies followed by most eBay sellers. For starters, you'll notice that most include their eBay Store name and URL in the signature file that appears at the end of each of their messages.

Charise is aware that MySpace has received some bad press for problems involving young people. But she says the relatively few bad eggs that frequent MySpace shouldn't discourage enterprising auction sellers from putting out their welcome mat on the site. "The way I look at it, MySpace is a tool. If you use it properly, it will bring traffic to your business."

Part 2 of this article will appear in the August 20th issue of the AuctionBytes-Update newsletter.

About the author:

Greg Holden is EcommerceBytes Contributing Editor. He is a journalist and the author of many books, including "Starting an Online Business For Dummies," "Go Google: 20 Ways to Reach More Customers and Build Revenue with Google Business Tools," and several books about eBay, including "How to Do Everything with Your eBay Business," second edition, and "Secrets of the eBay Millionaires," both published by Osborne-McGraw Hill. Find out more on Greg's website, which includes his blog, a list of his books, and his fiction and biographical writing.

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