Frustrated about cheap pricing? Here are 7 things you can do to deal with ‘under cutters’
Here’s the scenario: You’ve researched a hot product really thoroughly, you’ve sourced and purchased that product at a wholesale price from a supplier and you’re all set ready to list and make some profit. Sounds perfect so far doesn’t it!
You then discover that the very same wholesaler that sold you the product in bulk has also decided to list the product online and as single units, selling to the very customers who should have been yours!
So…basically you end up competing with your own supplier. How frustrating, annoying and it appears, somewhat underhand is that?
However, it is perfectly legal and of course it is the suppliers prerogative to do exactly this. In my opinion, a supplier should really have clear boundaries when it comes to business – either they are a wholesaler and as such, supply in bulk quantities only, OR they are a retailer and sell their products as single units.
Why must they confuse matters by doing both? Well, because quite obviously they are able to immediately undercut other sellers that have purchased products at wholesale from them and make more sales!
Now, I must point out that not all wholesalers do this and I also understand that suppliers do need to shift stock and so by wholesaling and retailing they’ve got themselves a nice double whammy going on!
So, the question is this. If a wholesaler (or in fact any other seller) is undercutting you on price what should you do – what can you do?
First of all, and this goes for any product you are selling online, you need to stick to your guns on pricing. Don’t get caught up in a price war because it doesn’t benefit anyone in the end.
Providing you have a quality listing, and don’t simply copy and paste information from the suppliers website so that your description looks like everyone else’s, you can in fact keep up with your rivals, even if you are pricing higher than them.
I’m not saying that you’ll necessarily be able to outsell your competition because there will always be buyers who are ‘price orientated’ (particularly on eBay) rather than ‘quality orientated’ but I know of some eBay sellers who sell at between 10% and 30% above the RRP. They consistently make sales and importantly they make a profit.
It’s perfectly viable that you will be able to sell your product – and make a profit, even when you are not the cheapest seller, provided you follow these simple pointers:
1. Your competition may not be very business savvy. They could potentially be just ‘turning money’ or even making a loss. So, if they are out-selling you it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are making more money than you! You may sell fewer items, but you’ll make more profit and that’s good business-sense.
2. Having an in depth knowledge of the product you are selling can be a big advantage, particularly if a potential buyer telephones or emails you with a technical question. A professional response always helps your cause!
3. Add information about yourself and your business to your listings. Be proud of your knowledge and your experience of the product and make it known. If you have set opening hours, guarantee that questions will be answered within 24 hours or offer a money back guarantee – make sure you tell people!
Also, if you are VAT registered, state in the footer of your listings that you will send a VAT invoice if required – this tiny piece of information can make all the difference because it shows you are a professional.
4. Your title keywords will make all the difference to your product getting seen. Your competitor may not use or understand the importance of using ultra relevant keywords and if your keywords are more relevant than your competitors, your listing has a good chance of appearing above them in the search results. Make sure you research the most searched for keywords that are being input by actual customers when they are looking for your product and incorporate them into your title.
Once you have got your product under the noses of viewers your description should be enough to make someone buy from you, whatever your price. There’s much more on this very in-depth topic over at The Source Report
5. Always complete the ‘Item Specifics’ section on the Sell Your Item form. The information you add there is searchable and will help your listings appear in the search results.
6. As an eBay seller, having a shop can give you an advantage over sellers who don’t. Promote your products via social media to give them that extra push and visibility.
7. Use auction listings as a strategy to get more buyers to your shop. Add a link to your shop within every auction to create extra traffic to your other products – this really works!
And you can do all this whilst retaining a higher price than your competitors. Undercutting is not the answer. Being profitable is!
As always I wish you the best of success,