First things first, and as you may already know, the doors to my eSeller Mastery Programme have been well and truly flung wide open and I’m welcoming new students right now! Places are limited so if you haven’t seen the details yet
Don’t break the rules, just bend them
So, I’ve talked before about the advantages of having more than one eBay account. I recommend that you should always have a buying account and a selling account so that you keep things separate, particularly if you follow my Find and Flip strategy, but also you may consider having more than one account if you sell within several niches that are very different – so different in fact that you have to keep them apart.
I’m talking about for example if you sell kids clothing alongside embarrassing products! These two niches are at such opposite ends of the spectrum that it’s probably best to have two separate ID’s rather than categorise all of your products within one eBay shop on one ID, for obvious reasons!
Anyway, just recently, the question was raised to me with regard to having two eBay accounts, two shops (one within each account) but selling exactly the same products from within both accounts.
I know, I know – what would be the point of that you might wonder. Surely you would simply be in competition with, well, yourself and you could end up destroying your own search rankings by becoming your own competition?
Well, I can see the theory behind this and so I want to explain this first before I go further into telling you how you should go about putting this strategy into practice, but in a much more simple way!
Let’s consider having two accounts first. Instead of one listing on one ID, by having two different ID’s you now have two listings in the search results, both of which potential buyers may click on and ultimately buy from.
These listings both belong to you, therefore you have two chances to make the sale. As an example of this strategy being used more widely, I’ve noticed that there are some pretty major retailers on the High Street who have multiple branches of the same store, in the same town or city.
In fact, in my nearest town there are two branches of a major supermarket less than two miles from each other and two branches of a well known bank on opposite sides of the very same street, so close they are almost facing each other!
The same can apply to online retailing – you are then increasing your coverage rather than diluting your coverage.
To bring this idea back to the utmost basics, let’s say for simplicities sake that there are four listings for a particular product – you have one listing and there are three other sellers. Each of you in this situation currently has a 25% coverage. If you then add another listing via your second account there would then be 5 listings, 2 of which are yours, so you now have 40% coverage whilst the other 3 listings only have 20% coverage each on average.
You instantly get more coverage via two listings on two ID’s!
Yes, ok that seems to make sense doesn’t it, but why not simply add another listing for exactly the same product on just one ID then?
Well, actually that won’t work due to eBay’s rules regarding duplicate listings! And that’s what I want to explain next.
If you were to add a listing for the same product, using the same gallery image, the same title keywords, the same price, the same item specifics, the same variations and on a Buy It Now listing on your one ID then eBay will remove it – really, they will!
In a bid to keep their listings nice and tidy and avoid clutter, duplicates like this are not allowed and you will be told to list using a ‘Multi-Variation’ listing instead – simply because it’s the same product as one you already have listed.
So, now, here’s the simple way to get around the duplicates problem, without having to open a second account.
You’ll still achieve more coverage in the results! Yes, it can be done and with very little effort or hassle.
You can sell the exact same item from one account as long as the listings are not exact duplicates – so there is actually no need to open a second account for this purpose. Essentially, if you create a new listing that can only be connected to you by your username then you can get around the ‘no duplicates’ policy.
Simply create a listing for the same product but using a different image, slightly different keywords, an edited description, different item specifics, even change the price by a few pence – and your listing is no longer identical but rather a different listing.
You must just make enough changes so that eBay’s algorithms (and that’s another story!) see it as a different listing. This way you’ll also get the extra coverage with more than one listing.
And there is one more advantage to this strategy. If you create your listings and ensure they are different – alternative photos, keywords etc – then you are very likely to appeal to different types of people.
All buyers are unique and so, for example if you have three different listings containing three different gallery images for the same product, you are potentially appealing to three different types of buyer, and you avoid playing your own products off against one another.
Now there’s something for you to mull over, and perhaps test, during the weekend!
As always I wish you the best of success,