Why Do Retailers Do Marketing?

29 replies
It's a rhetorical question really.

As this is a marketing forum the advice is usually geared to marketing, and I wouldn't knock it. It's just that I have seen potential sellers of physical goods on here trying to figure out websites and advertising and social networking and so on when I would just list the product.

I wish I could do websites or run an ad campaign but I get by on the built in advertising on eBay, Etsy, Bonanza, eCrater etc. I don't know how many sellers seriously consider this option.

So many advantages, the main one being the ability to choose to pay around 13% (recommended) for Google ads/Google shopping which would see you competing with Amazon and all others. Mainly on Google search results in side bar or shopping bar above results but elsewhere too. Top Rated Seller status on eBay will do this for you without extra ad spend.

If the product is sought after and the price is competitive you can't go wrong and may sell more than you would with a website. The only issue might be getting your product promoted over similar products on the site you are selling from. But if you can't do that you'll still get clicks.
#marketing #retailers
  • Profile picture of the author savidge4
    Originally Posted by Oscar K View Post

    It's a rhetorical question really.

    As this is a marketing forum the advice is usually geared to marketing, and I wouldn't knock it. It's just that I have seen potential sellers of physical goods on here trying to figure out websites and advertising and social networking and so on when I would just list the product.

    I wish I could do websites or run an ad campaign but I get by on the built in advertising on eBay, Etsy, Bonanza, eCrater etc. I don't know how many sellers seriously consider this option.

    So many advantages, the main one being the ability to choose to pay around 13% (recommended) for Google ads/Google shopping which would see you competing with Amazon and all others. Mainly on Google search results in side bar or shopping bar above results but elsewhere too. Top Rated Seller status on eBay will do this for you without extra ad spend.

    If the product is sought after and the price is competitive you can't go wrong and may sell more than you would with a website. The only issue might be getting your product promoted over similar products on the site you are selling from. But if you can't do that you'll still get clicks.
    I cant agree with this more. The cost of selling on one of these sites is far less than the cost of developing traffic to your own site. eBay at 10% is an absolute bargain, and then add the discount on shipping and it really is a no brainer.

    The hang up here on WF is there are few and far between people like you and I that actually sell physical product. The majority of people here on the WF are trying to sell info products. They believe it is an easy method to making money online and I would suggest it is actually harder.

    I have a thread ( https://www.warriorforum.com/warrior...days-ebay.html ) where I walk through 30 days, starting from nothing to making a good chunk of change. Granted I have been doing this for a while but still.. its super easy to go from nothing to something quickly... and then the ability to maintain a level of sales that literally could replace a day job in a matter of months.

    I just think there is a misperception of how "Hard" it really is. creating listings on the likes of eBay is far easier than trying to learn and develop a wordpress site, and then have to create a ton of content and do social media and this and that and the other to try and get traffic... THAT is a lot of work. Listing a product on an existing platform that already has traffic and actually selling stuff with little to no work really seems to me to be a no brainer. But I must be biased or something <laughing>
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  • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
    If retailers are selling online, then E-bay and Amazon are the natural places to market.

    But there are retailers that almost exclusively sell locally, like me.

    And for us , marketing with video (on Youtube), and having several websites, is a way to go.

    For example, I have about 100 videos that are targeted for local traffic, that talk about specific products, and pull buyers to my retail store location. I have several websites that do the same thing.

    When buyers do a local Google search for anything I sell, any brand I carry, and question that a customer might ask.....i normally dominate the Google page one search results.

    And that is what brings in the majority of my new customers.

    When I was selling online from my store, PPC ads on Google were profitable. And I sold on E-bay.

    I spend no time on social media. At least not for my store.

    This is just for local businesses attracting local customers.
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    • Profile picture of the author Oscar K
      Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

      ...for us , marketing with video (on Youtube), and having several websites, is a way to go.

      For example, I have about 100 videos that are targeted for local traffic, that talk about specific products, and pull buyers to my retail store location. I have several websites that do the same thing.
      Retailers with YouTube videos are proliferating, especially in the musical instrument trade. I think this is brilliant! Not only do you get to see what's on offer - you meet the staff, see the shop, hear the instrument being played, feel safer in going to the shop therefore.

      This is one genre - if I were selling power tools from a shop I'd do this.
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  • Profile picture of the author Oscar K
    I'll check out your thread savidge4 - you can never know enough about eBay because nobody knows it all. Are there any worthwhile retail seller forums out there BTW?

    I think that info product selling is oversold. Ability and talent is probably going to be needed at some point, the competition is tough, the sell is hard. But anyone can copy and paste product info, fill in a few boxes and wrap a package up. It may entail some physical work but it's better than mixing cement for a living.

    The appeal of IM comes from belief in 'autopilot profits', ease of implementation by following a method, low or no-cost entry, tons of advice and help in every aspect of it available, scalable, international, no pressure from customers (compared to selling stuff) amongst other things. Online retailing lacks available assistance, more investment may be needed (but not necessarily), there is no 'method' and customers need satisfying. But semi-autopilot is achievable with a good product - which (obviously) is key to the whole thing.

    We're all different and have varying skills but at its simplest level you only need three or four clever words - and then put them on a T-shirt which someone else will sell for you. I wouldn't do that right now but it would be a start for a newbie. I would create a new product or revamp an existing product that I could at first make myself (with or without paid help) with the intention of getting it 3rd party made and dispatched at a later date, with the ability for wholesale sales at some point. Information and instructional DVDs is but one genre that fits the bill.
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  • Profile picture of the author Willie Crawford
    It seem to make sense to me using as many different methods of generating business as you can as long as you have a positive ROI... considering your opportunity cost when computing that ROI.

    The low hanging fruit is often to just step into a proven profitable marketplace like Amazon or Ebay or pay-per-clicks and just let it run... or even hand it off to someone else...

    But we do always look for ways to squeeze a little more out of things :-)
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    • Profile picture of the author Oscar K
      Originally Posted by Willie Crawford View Post

      It seem to make sense to me using as many different methods of generating business as you can as long as you have a positive ROI... considering your opportunity cost when computing that ROI.
      That makes sense to me too. But careful you don't compete against yourself! Been there, done that.

      Originally Posted by Willie Crawford View Post

      The low hanging fruit is often to just step into a proven profitable marketplace like Amazon or Ebay or pay-per-clicks and just let it run... or even hand it off to someone else...

      But we do always look for ways to squeeze a little more out of things :-)
      How about Bonanza or eCrater? They seldom get a mention but I think I have now sold more product on the latter than on 4 or 5 Amazon platforms put together. Bonanza has a storefront option too.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brian Cairns
    I've read a number of the posts, and I didn't see this come up. If it has, my apologies.



    Aside from building awareness that you exist. The main reason you market is to avoid commoditization. It's convincing your target that you add value.



    If it hasn't, the most important thing to consider is your target, your positioning (why you are different from competition and what value you provide), and your offer. Without it, you're stuck competing with a sea of me too products competing on price. That's a hard place to win.
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    • Profile picture of the author Oscar K
      Originally Posted by Brian Cairns View Post

      I've read a number of the posts, and I didn't see this come up. If it has, my apologies.



      Aside from building awareness that you exist. The main reason you market is to avoid commoditization. It's convincing your target that you add value.

      If it hasn't, the most important thing to consider is your target, your positioning (why you are different from competition and what value you provide), and your offer. Without it, you're stuck competing with a sea of me too products competing on price. That's a hard place to win.
      Not sure I have any aversion to commoditization. Adding value is, to me, a knee-jerk response whenever I list a product.

      If the target is easily defined, and your positioning can be made better, and the value is good - so an all-round good offer essentially - then it sounds like all the elements are in place for success. But if the market is saturated or becomes so it's time to list a new product or pursue a totally different scheme. For me, anyway.

      I have this problem right now and it cannot be solved without much hard work. So why solve it? I think I'd rather have some fresh but surmountable barriers to deal with as opposed to flogging the proverbial. Hey, a pun!
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    • Profile picture of the author savidge4
      Originally Posted by Brian Cairns View Post

      Aside from building awareness that you exist. The main reason you market is to avoid commoditization. It's convincing your target that you add value.

      If it hasn't, the most important thing to consider is your target, your positioning (why you are different from competition and what value you provide), and your offer. Without it, you're stuck competing with a sea of me too products competing on price. That's a hard place to win.
      Talking specifically about products, I think the exact opposite needs to be understood.. and as much as smart selling is a good thing... I think smart BUYING is even smarter.

      When you go out and research reselling online there is this push specifically in the Amazon marketspace to find something that sells and to make it different or better... Really dig deep in this and you start to see this wave of failure when you do this. Granted there are some success', but there are simply far more failures.

      Understanding the most basic principles in economics; being buy low and sell high takes you a long way. Buying say a pair of Nike shoes that sells on the market places for say $50 and thinking because you bought them for $40 that you will be able to upsell the shoe because think you can add value is silly. Buying them for $15 and then turning around and selling them for $50 is smart buying, and I have yet to find an instance where it doesn't work. ( Phone cases being an exception for me personally - it wasn't so much a failure as a long drawn out process )

      Originally Posted by quadagon View Post

      Ebay and Amazon can also be funnels into your own website.

      If I am selling jewellery on amazon I should include marketing material and discounts for the next purchase which can be done at my own website.
      As much as this sounds like a good idea... it really isnt - for the better than average marketer. I will add a caveat here if you are selling a niched something, this may work in your favor... but even then it is a hard road.

      So why do i say this. Look I know what I am doing... and the real nuts and bolts fact of the matter is it is cheaper for me to sell from the platforms than it is for me to sell from my own site. The postage advantage on eBay vs my own site alone makes it not worth it.

      Another almost over the top variable in this is buyer confidence. People TRUST when they are buying on eBay and Amazon etc that they will get the product, and at the very least get a refund if they do not. Sending a customer to your site and YOU then have to develop that amount of TRUST in buying from you, and its not such an easy thing to do.

      I personally have stopped the effort of developing a "Site" when I sell things. It simply makes more sense to place all of your efforts into driving traffic to your products located on these platforms. eBay in particular has a sweet little known setup that allows you to direct traffic to an item, and not pay the percent of sale fee when you do this. When you do this that means there is NO expense in terms of the sale out of your pocket CC fees etc AND then you get the discount on the shipping - it really becomes a no brainer.

      There is literally very few reasons to have a site of your own to sell things... counter intuitive, yes. But I suggest that having a "Site" is counter productive in the grand scheme of things. You simply spend more money and time promoting the site than you do selling the items on the platforms they are actually selling from.

      And don't take just my word for it look at Nike, or Beats, or any other major brand that has a presents on all of the major selling platforms. They are there because it costs them less to sell from there than it does from their own sites. And when you do say buy from Nike on eBay there is no little card with incentive to visit nike.com - if they are not doing it why should you?
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      • Profile picture of the author Oscar K
        Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

        Talking specifically about products, I think the exact opposite needs to be understood.. and as much as smart selling is a good thing... I think smart BUYING is even smarter.

        When you go out and research reselling online there is this push specifically in the Amazon marketspace to find something that sells and to make it different or better... Really dig deep in this and you start to see this wave of failure when you do this. Granted there are some success', but there are simply far more failures.

        Understanding the most basic principles in economics; being buy low and sell high takes you a long way. Buying say a pair of Nike shoes that sells on the market places for say $50 and thinking because you bought them for $40 that you will be able to upsell the shoe because think you can add value is silly. Buying them for $15 and then turning around and selling them for $50 is smart buying, and I have yet to find an instance where it doesn't work. ( Phone cases being an exception for me personally - it wasn't so much a failure as a long drawn out process )



        As much as this sounds like a good idea... it really isnt - for the better than average marketer. I will add a caveat here if you are selling a niched something, this may work in your favor... but even then it is a hard road.

        So why do i say this. Look I know what I am doing... and the real nuts and bolts fact of the matter is it is cheaper for me to sell from the platforms than it is for me to sell from my own site. The postage advantage on eBay vs my own site alone makes it not worth it.

        Another almost over the top variable in this is buyer confidence. People TRUST when they are buying on eBay and Amazon etc that they will get the product, and at the very least get a refund if they do not. Sending a customer to your site and YOU then have to develop that amount of TRUST in buying from you, and its not such an easy thing to do.

        I personally have stopped the effort of developing a "Site" when I sell things. It simply makes more sense to place all of your efforts into driving traffic to your products located on these platforms. eBay in particular has a sweet little known setup that allows you to direct traffic to an item, and not pay the percent of sale fee when you do this. When you do this that means there is NO expense in terms of the sale out of your pocket CC fees etc AND then you get the discount on the shipping - it really becomes a no brainer.

        There is literally very few reasons to have a site of your own to sell things... counter intuitive, yes. But I suggest that having a "Site" is counter productive in the grand scheme of things. You simply spend more money and time promoting the site than you do selling the items on the platforms they are actually selling from.

        And don't take just my word for it look at Nike, or Beats, or any other major brand that has a presents on all of the major selling platforms. They are there because it costs them less to sell from there than it does from their own sites. And when you do say buy from Nike on eBay there is no little card with incentive to visit nike.com - if they are not doing it why should you?
        I'm only quoting so the info is repeated - it's good info.

        The only thing I could add would be that creating your own physical product puts you in a nicer position still - but with Nikes at $15 a pair I'd be selling trainers.
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  • Profile picture of the author quadagon
    Ebay and Amazon can also be funnels into your own website.

    If I am selling jewellery on amazon I should include marketing material and discounts for the next purchase which can be done at my own website.

    And if I was being really smart I would accept Amazon pay as well.
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    • Profile picture of the author Oscar K
      Originally Posted by quadagon View Post

      If I am selling jewellery on amazon I should include marketing material and discounts for the next purchase which can be done at my own website.
      .
      Jewellery (or jewelry) is a great seller. On eBay it's a piece of cake. It's known for being a good thing to get into as an online retailer.

      Drop shipping from the EA countries used to be good but since China throttled the free/cheap postage rates things have changed.

      Still, there's loads of ways to sell Jewellery. You can make a surprising amount of money just from selling ball chains and box chains and suchlike. You can add a charm or bauble if you want. Few returns and pleasant customers is a plus.

      If I had a website I would definitely change my ways, but most of my buyers are unique. I could certainly collect email addresses. My list would, I guess, sell for good money due to the particular niche of the product/buyers but I can't be bothered. I can't say more as there is a risk of some marketers being horrified to death.
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      • Profile picture of the author savidge4
        Originally Posted by Oscar K View Post

        but most of my buyers are unique. I could certainly collect email addresses. My list would, I guess, sell for good money due to the particular niche of the product/buyers but I can't be bothered. I can't say more as there is a risk of some marketers being horrified to death.
        I get what you are saying, there are those that don't get it. Sell to those right now that are wanting to buy what you are offering... I am right there with you.

        AND I don't have to write emails once a week once a month or whatever to stay in touch... "Traditional" online marketing is a fricken time suck and a lot of work. And there are those of us that realize listing items to sell is more important than selling the listed items we have.
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        • Profile picture of the author Oscar K
          Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

          I get what you are saying, there are those that don't get it. Sell to those right now that are wanting to buy what you are offering... I am right there with you.

          AND I don't have to write emails once a week once a month or whatever to stay in touch... "Traditional" online marketing is a fricken time suck and a lot of work. And there are those of us that realize listing items to sell is more important than selling the listed items we have.
          A completely sensible approach to online profits without too many tears. I might spend 3 months perfecting/testing a new product but I enjoy it anyway - a bit of graphic design, some basic copywriting, learning a useful skill or two, the enjoyment of getting the product finished to an acceptable standard etc.

          But to be fair I have done retail for 40 years so it is my kind of thing.
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          • Profile picture of the author savidge4
            Originally Posted by Oscar K View Post

            A completely sensible approach to online profits without too many tears. I might spend 3 months perfecting/testing a new product but I enjoy it anyway - a bit of graphic design, some basic copywriting, learning a useful skill or two, the enjoyment of getting the product finished to an acceptable standard etc.

            But to be fair I have done retail for 40 years so it is my kind of thing.
            I am an "Artistic" person by nature. I have a passion for "Making" things. I just so happen to be a geek as well LOL. Working with my hands is a goto get away from the tech life I have built / created around me. I do my best thinking in front of a table saw or holding a sander for what feels like hours on end.

            So I do understand the commerce mind outside of buy low sell high. Things have what I call a perceived value, and they can also have a projected value. perceived value obviously being the commoditized value of a thing right.. and then there is projected value, being look this is worth more because of XYZ - but in many respects it is exactly the same as the commoditized item.

            I have lately been on a kick in building farmhouse tables - mine are a bit more modernized looking at could I say the fit and finish is at a high level... but in function my tables that sell for $2000+ are in many ways no different than the ones you can buy ( on facebook market place ) for $350.

            Yes, some nice copywriting and most importantly some high caliber photos of an item go a long way. but its the details - more importantly having the ability / foresight to photograph the details that make the world of difference.

            If you go look at this thread ( https://www.warriorforum.com/main-in...s-failing.html ) this guy is making nice looking wood rings and has fallen into the trap of commoditizing his product. Saving a tree does not project an increased value... but later in the thread where I pull out that there is no "Finish" on the product because it is sanded to such a high level there is a natural luster... That is a sign of craftmanship, of increased value, allowing to ask for a higher projected value. Its the details.

            I suspect the same is true with jewelry, as well as many other things. Having the ability to communicate QUALITY, is the path to increasing perceived value at a projected increased rate. And this is the missing component for many.

            I could then argue the same could be made true for info products. Im not going to say I buy how to make money products very often... because i don't. But I do look at pdf products from HubSpot or VWO and they are visually stunning pieces - forget the content... the layout and color and overall presentation exudes a value greater than a commodity based level price - and when you price the services of these companies the price clearly indicates they are indeed expensive... more so than most - and I would argue it is because they have mastered the art of communicating quality.
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            • Profile picture of the author Oscar K
              Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

              I do my best thinking in front of a table saw or holding a sander for what feels like hours on end.

              I have lately been on a kick in building farmhouse tables - mine are a bit more modernized looking at could I say the fit and finish is at a high level... but in function my tables that sell for $2000+ are in many ways no different than the ones you can buy ( on facebook market place ) for $350.
              Thanks for making this thread useful. There is info here I need to check out - the pdf sites particularly.

              I glanced at the link you posted. The seller is a craftsman, not a retailer. I would sell those same rings. How? Free offer maybe or cheap Jewellery offer on eBay with follow-up? Amazing pix, fantastic listing. Ooze of quality, good brand name. Great copy for the listing. Etsy sounds absolutely perfect but it's not. Why? Because Etsy, like Amazon, is not conducive to...browsing! Nobody searches for 'wood rings' but they might buy off eBay once they see one whilst looking for a gift or because it is newly listed or auction is ending soon or because they were happy with the cheap but nice ball chain you paid 50p for and will buy more off you.

              ***

              Moving on. What I quoted above relates to woodwork. I had a recent encounter with that. You would not be impressed. But I did the job and the results were beyond expectations. I needed a guitar to play with a slide. £150 for a resonator. But I had bits - pick-up, old tuners, scrap metal - and a piece of an old pine bed which just happened to be the exact size I needed. It was more a case of why WOULDN'T I make a slide guitar? The tools were old and mainly knackered, my skill is low and I work haphazardly. You would slap me if you saw the way I cut the top out.

              But incredibly enough it worked so well, and is so easy to play (I'm a complete beginner BTW) that I am seriously thinking about making or adapting guitars for - and possibly teaching guitar to...the blind. My thinking leads me to consider that the first step would be to find a blind person who wants to learn and get me teaching them on video. I would do it because I have the urge to and think there may be a need. I don't intend to do it for money alone - or even at all really. But to know if it works I will need a volunteer. Everything else is a logical progression after that. YT vids, podcasts, physical DVDs, online courses, guitar sales etc. I have done some research but I'm taking things slow until the new year anyway.

              2021 is an open road for me. I should really revamp and update some existing products with lots of extra value and thus dominate every other similar product on eBay and get even better products done for Amazon. I could look to the longer term/higher profit potential of making the Kodi channel I had in mind. Or do the guitar thing. Or I could teach myself the violin or something else instead. The revamp would be easy - just time-consuming. But seems like a backwards step and growth with this depends on more work on new products and their production. I prefer less work. The Kodi thing would be great but it's technically and logistically repulsive. I think it's too hard for me. I would have to pay for help. So investment is needed too. I prefer money in my pocket. Guitars are new to me so that's where I am now and think I see a good direction to follow - not musically, I go where the guitar takes me - I mean I have a product idea or two and know that testing would be the next step.
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  • Profile picture of the author quadagon
    And don't take just my word for it look at Nike, or Beats, or any other major brand that has a presents on all of the major selling platforms. They are there because it costs them less to sell from there than it does from their own sites. And when you do say buy from Nike on eBay there is no little card with incentive to visit nike.com - if they are not doing it why should you?
    Before anyone thinks that "Nike don't do it why should you" is a smart argument let's have a look at a few things.

    There business model is vastly different to most on here. They manufacture, retail and wholesale on an international level.

    They are in a completely different hemisphere.

    They are a brand. And the most successful sports brand.

    They don't need to include anything in there packaging because everyone already knows who Nike are, what they are and where to buy Nike.

    And there are 3.6 billion reasons this year alone why people know Nike.

    $3,600,000,000 spent on marketing in one year.

    That's without the years and years of exposure to the brand we have through adverts, TV shows and sporting events.

    Use there tag line and people recognise it as Nike.

    The lesson here is that what you do to get to the top isn't necessarily the same as what you do to get there.

    Coke don't use features and benefits or testimonials - doesn't mean we discard them.
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    • Profile picture of the author Oscar K
      Some interesting observations here.

      No real conclusions worth mentioning but I'd like to add a point or two to your comments - just facts without opinion for clarity.


      Originally Posted by quadagon View Post

      Before anyone thinks that "Nike don't do it why should you" is a smart argument let's have a look at a few things.

      There business model is vastly different to most on here. They manufacture, retail and wholesale on an international level. True. I differ in that I do what Nike does in this respect.

      They are in a completely different hemisphere. I am in the UK and sell globally, mainly to the US.


      They are a brand. And the most successful sports brand. I I have no recognizable or successful brand but have a product which is associated with one - and it was until recently the best seller, highest quality and most widely and easily obtainable of its type.

      They don't need to include anything in there packaging because everyone already knows who Nike are, what they are and where to buy Nike. Everyone already knows the associated brand and need the product, they have no need to know who or what I am, they know where to buy the product because I pay for that to be done.

      And there are 3.6 billion reasons this year alone why people know Nike.

      $3,600,000,000 spent on marketing in one year.

      That's without the years and years of exposure to the brand we have through adverts, TV shows and sporting events. My product gets shown to a decent proportion of potential buyers. I spend 13% of gross sales on advertising. Possibly the same as Nike - I wouldn't know.

      Use there tag line and people recognise it as Nike. 'Insoles to fit Nike trainers' would take advantage of such recognition.


      The lesson here is that what you do to get to the top isn't necessarily the same as what you do to get there. Did you mean WHEN you get there? Sorry but I'm not sure what the lesson is exactly.
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    • Profile picture of the author savidge4
      Originally Posted by quadagon View Post

      Before anyone thinks that "Nike don't do it why should you" is a smart argument let's have a look at a few things.

      There business model is vastly different to most on here. They manufacture, retail and wholesale on an international level.

      They are in a completely different hemisphere.

      They are a brand. And the most successful sports brand.

      They don't need to include anything in there packaging because everyone already knows who Nike are, what they are and where to buy Nike.

      And there are 3.6 billion reasons this year alone why people know Nike.

      $3,600,000,000 spent on marketing in one year.

      That's without the years and years of exposure to the brand we have through adverts, TV shows and sporting events.

      Use there tag line and people recognise it as Nike.

      The lesson here is that what you do to get to the top isn't necessarily the same as what you do to get there.

      Coke don't use features and benefits or testimonials - doesn't mean we discard them.
      I get what you are saying... but then you have to start looking at things like SCALE... Most importantly its their ( Nike's ) advertising budget vs the small guys.

      Lets take a direct example of a shoe - this one for example: Nike Reax 8 Mens Training Shoes. I literally got my hands of some of these at $15.00 a pair and sold them for $65.00 on eBay. My store brand has absolutely nothing to do with the DEMAND for these shoes... it only has to do with the SUPPLY. Im not always going to have them, and im not always going to have Nike shoes.

      So I think we might agree that a consumers BRAND affiliation is pretty strong... Once they buy Nike, they might buy the same brand again. Same is true with Converse or Puma, or whatever brand. BUT, its not just the BRAND it then becomes the model, and having the supply of that.

      But lets take this even deeper down to the single purchase level. The consumer buys a pair of shoes from me, and I put in a simple thank you card VS a brand piece "Hey next time buy from us" The reality in this scenario is They just bought a pair of shoes and probably will not in the immediate future buy another pair.. the card along with the packing box the shoes came in will go in the trash... and this does what exactly?

      Oh and then you want to place these people on a mailing list they did not opt into and oh do I know... mailing lists - the electronic e-mail kind has a cost associated to it. So now you are burning cash and resources in the chance you will have the Supply to meet the Demand 6 months to a year from now. VS listing your supply and allowing the demand to find your product when they are ready - and not worrying about the gap in the middle.

      Dont get me wrong, I am a BIG proponent of BRAND... but NOT when it comes to online retail sales... go up and look at the @Claude Whitacre post made above... THAT is a solid BRAND strategy... a card that is going to be thrown away is not, the card is a waste of money... Claude's videos is a good use of time.

      Branding is something you do to get a sale... it is not really something you do afterwards.

      BUT again I will say this... In any instance I can I use USPS boxes to ship product - they are FREE. We do place a sticker on the box with our eBay store name ( which you cant search within ebay BTW - so the point of brand is mute ) and for those items that we do not use a USPS box, we do have branded boxes we use. And the reality here is it is CHEAPER for me to buy Branded boxes in bulk than it is for me to buy blanks.

      Granted I am not your average eBayer / online platform retailor.. we operate 7 eBay stores 2 Amazon accounts, and a number of other platforms. Our current inventory listed across all platforms is something like 8000 items. I can say with a large amount of confidence that when selling on platforms such as the ones mentioned here in the thread, there is no sense in developing brand - it only makes sense to build up your inventory and list items that will meet the end consumers demand.

      Here is a small add on to all of this... we started with Facebook / Instagram stores this year. we are doing pretty good with them - and they are a bit more brand oriented - but at any opportunity that I can leave a link to our eBay store for a particular account we may have we sell more through eBay, than we do directly from the Instagram / facebook stores.

      And again.. little guys do not dictate demand.. they can only dictate Supply.. and the whole idea is to be in the right place at the right time when the paths of demand and supply meet - and THIS has nothing to do with BRAND.
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  • Profile picture of the author Oscar K
    On branding:

    Operate as a brand if possible. I'm just me plus technical/admin hired help as and when I need it.

    But many of my products/sales pages have a catchy brand name attached. One generic part plus specialization part, as in BetterGames, BetterSeeds, BetterButter and so on. A standard format with informative and memorable info.

    Does this help much? Yes, because people trust brands. Does that sound too simple? Yes, but it is true.

    What if someone two years down the line needs the product you have but can't remember where they bought it? If you operated as a brand they'd at least have some chance of remembering they bought a shovel from BigBadBuilders as opposed to chancer123 or 'Dave'.

    I always respond to customer enquiries as a representative of the company. I say "we" when I mean me.

    One related way to add value/trustworthiness/professionality is to barcode (or possibly re-barcode) physical products. Amazon sellers need to do this anyway so having a supply of barcodes is handy. And serial numbers provide an indication of continuity. 'Super Shovel Mark 3' sounds better than 'Shovel'.

    You can shed the shell of company status when needed - you have to get personal with people sometimes and being disingenuous isn't necessary.

    I wish I knew this 10 years ago when I opened my first eBay account.

    Many YouTubers do 'Anti-Branding': they appear, and seem to make efforts to appear, as an individual just talking to the camera, whereas they often have a crew with several members behind the scenes. Probably worth considering why there is such a difference in approach to selling goods and selling video content.
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    • Profile picture of the author savidge4
      Originally Posted by Oscar K View Post

      On branding:

      Operate as a brand if possible. I'm just me plus technical/admin hired help as and when I need it.

      But many of my products/sales pages have a catchy brand name attached. One generic part plus specialization part, as in BetterGames, BetterSeeds, BetterButter and so on. A standard format with informative and memorable info.

      Does this help much? Yes, because people trust brands. Does that sound too simple? Yes, but it is true.

      What if someone two years down the line needs the product you have but can't remember where they bought it? If you operated as a brand they'd at least have some chance of remembering they bought a shovel from BigBadBuilders as opposed to chancer123 or 'Dave'.

      I always respond to customer enquiries as a representative of the company. I say "we" when I mean me.

      One related way to add value/trustworthiness/professionality is to barcode (or possibly re-barcode) physical products. Amazon sellers need to do this anyway so having a supply of barcodes is handy. And serial numbers provide an indication of continuity. 'Super Shovel Mark 3' sounds better than 'Shovel'.

      You can shed the shell of company status when needed - you have to get personal with people sometimes and being disingenuous isn't necessary.

      I wish I knew this 10 years ago when I opened my first eBay account.

      Many YouTubers do 'Anti-Branding': they appear, and seem to make efforts to appear, as an individual just talking to the camera, whereas they often have a crew with several members behind the scenes. Probably worth considering why there is such a difference in approach to selling goods and selling video content.
      Yes indeed the best thing you can do is to turn "Me" to "We" and take "YOU" right out of there.

      Communicating from within a company out to clients is a bit of a art. Like an example it is my company policy that when we communicate with customers on our many sales platforms that whoever is communicating from our end leave their first and last name at the bottom of the message. Personable, and Accountable. And it helps cement on the customer end, that a real person answered.

      The anti-branding thing... I dont look at it that way, its just they have developed BRAND around themselves.. and I dont think thats inherently wrong either. Look at the Pres of the United States... He is a self branded BRAND.. and when you hear him talk its "I" did this and "I" did that... annoying to many.. but I understand that he is so used to speaking like this from his personal BRAND perspective.
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      • Profile picture of the author Oscar K
        Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

        ...it is my company policy that when we communicate with customers on our many sales platforms that whoever is communicating from our end leave their first and last name at the bottom of the message. Personable, and Accountable. And it helps cement on the customer end, that a real person answered.
        As an actual company you are quite restricted to formalities. But absolutely - if there's no name attached it looks slack.

        I have the luxury of a more personal approach as I can decide exactly how to deal with each customer. They can see that I'm the nice man from that website or whatever or as someone not to be messed with. I can say Hi or use their name. I can be formal or conversational. Some customers like to discuss their purchase in greater detail. I indulge this. It is a bit of an art I suppose and I would trust nobody to provide better customer service than me. That would be like asking someone to take over my chair at the final table of a poker tournament.
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      • Profile picture of the author Oscar K
        Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

        The anti-branding thing... I dont look at it that way, its just they have developed BRAND around themselves.. and I dont think thats inherently wrong either. Look at the Pres of the United States... He is a self branded BRAND.. and when you hear him talk its "I" did this and "I" did that... annoying to many.. but I understand that he is so used to speaking like this from his personal BRAND perspective.
        No doubt that the YouTubers I have in mind (and some you have in mind) are, like you correctly imply, a brand in themselves. They do develop a brand around themselves - but it doesn't look like it! Leaving Trump aside, and concentrating on YouTube, take Tim Pool, for example. He is a big independent commentator on current events. One of the best and growing continually. If you happened to say search for a current scandal involving not-Trump he'd maybe pop up.

        And you'd watch and you'd be informed and entertained. But you just saw a scruffy geezer in a raggedy old top and a beanie he hasn't removed since 2008 . You would not suspect him to be staffed by minions.

        Tim Pool IS a major brand but does not want to appear mainstream - because he is an independent commentator and anti-mainstream and that would therefore...discredit the brand!
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        • Profile picture of the author savidge4
          Originally Posted by Oscar K View Post

          No doubt that the YouTubers I have in mind (and some you have in mind) are, like you correctly imply, a brand in themselves. They do develop a brand around themselves - but it doesn't look like it! Leaving Trump aside, and concentrating on YouTube, take Tim Pool, for example. He is a big independent commentator on current events. One of the best and growing continually. If you happened to say search for a current scandal involving not-Trump he'd maybe pop up.

          And you'd watch and you'd be informed and entertained. But you just saw a scruffy geezer in a raggedy old top and a beanie he hasn't removed since 2008 . You would not suspect him to be staffed by minions.

          Tim Pool IS a major brand but does not want to appear mainstream - because he is an independent commentator and anti-mainstream and that would therefore...discredit the brand!
          I am going to suggest that Tim might be a bad example of this... I think he is pretty transparent to his organizations size... There is the long hair leftish weird guy and the "Producer" ( cant recall her name either ) I dont think there is much more there in terms of Minions.

          A good example of an amount of transparency vs no transparency would be to look at the Paul brothers. Logan Paul if you watch, is far more than transparent with who is around him, and how things operate. His brother on the other hand, not so much.. who is his manager? who does his editing etc etc etc.

          Look at Meet Kevin... This guy in recent months took opportunity by the throat and has dragged it miles, and is doing so as a very transparent one man show.. the work ethic is astounding.

          A really good example - in my opinion of "Minions" would be someone like say Charlie Kirk... he talks about them, he thanks them, and you NEVER see them. THAT is a personal brand and even an extended brand ( Turning Point USA ) that sits squarely on his shoulders.

          I think the variable given the above examples that separates "Mainstream" from Organic or grass roots if you will is the amount of transparency Logan Paul appears more organic vs his brother Jake Paul. If you watch enough of these 2 you will hear them talk about how Jake has more "Business Sense" of the 2. Even tho the statement could be argued in many ways... looking from the outside in one organization looks like a bunch of friends, and the other looks like a structure one step removed and "more organized"

          So lets take this up a notch and look at the likes of Nike. Nike is obviously a HUGE mainstream brand - or is it? Nike has positioned themselves into a Brand of multiple smaller organic brands. Air Jordon as an example is brand within brand. Nike Lebron, and Nike Kyrie are other examples.

          Putting a FACE to brand is a very powerful tool. BRAND vs Personal Brand, and the little guy should go the route of Personal Brand every time. You can transition Personal Brand to BRAND later, but Starting, you would want to be a ME, and convert to a WE. Look at all of the BIG BRANDS that are in existence today... Tesla is huge... and Elon Musk is bigger. Amazon is Huge, and Jeff Bezos is bigger. Microsoft is Huge, and Bill Gates is bigger. THIS is the pattern that needs to be followed.

          Of course all of this is my own personal opinion, but I obviously study this stuff. Starting as a WE and there is no story... but starting as a ME, and converting to a WE and there is a story of Strength and perseverance and struggle and success in the end. And when it comes right down to it without a story.. there is no BRAND.
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  • Profile picture of the author britishbanks
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  • Profile picture of the author Oscar K
    That's a lot to consider. I'll have another look once I recover from the shock of finding someone who appears to spend more time on YouTube than me.
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  • Profile picture of the author tomlite770
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    • Profile picture of the author Oscar K
      Originally Posted by tomlite770 View Post

      quite possibly they want to develop and collect their client base
      Good point.

      Tip: DO NOT start a project on YouTube WITHOUT also developing a presence on other video sites. Best to use YouTube mainly to publicize your other channel/s elsewhere.

      YT is going down the drain and will shortly resemble Hulu, according to one recent commentator.

      So build your presence on BitChute/X and ensure exclusive content there. Use YT to duplicate BitChute vids but leave out some juicy stuff and send YT viewers from YT to the better content you have on BitChute.

      This isn't my view - I listen to people who would know. YT throttles material it doesn't like.

      Right now a marketer or promoter probably wouldn't notice. But IF it came to it - isn't it better to at least ensure continuation of existence if YouTube does reset the algorithm to exclude content which might be vital for business purposes?
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  • Profile picture of the author mywebguys
    I work for a local hobby shop retailer but we compete HEAVILY in our pricing, with anyone online. .

    So we have to be aware of who's selling things at what price online and match or beat any price.

    Why do we bother?

    Simply because we sell more online than in our own store.

    We're doing about 1 million per year locally and 2 million online. We ship to USA/Canada mostly but can ship anywhere.

    We're using shopify and google shopping ads and it's working great.

    Data upkeep is a bitch, as we manage over 100K SKUs from over 100+ suppliers.

    We sell on ebay but mostly old stuff that wont sell in our store.

    We wont sell on amazon or other marketplaces as they take too much percentage and margins are already small.

    Biggest profits are on our own website.

    Hope this answers your questions?
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  • Profile picture of the author hadyn
    Yeah, that's really interesting, thanks, mywebguys! We have a small hobby shop, and we sell more offline, so we also do offline marketing. What do you think about using some promo items like Lapel Pins, for example? I think they are pretty good and work well for by business. Maybe you can tell me more about other techniques?
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  • Profile picture of the author marry1234
    In order to obtain more sales opportunities.
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