eBay Long Tail and Buying Smarter

Posted by admin on Dec 16th 2013

picture from http://ebaysellingcoach.blogspot.com/2011/03/ebay-fee-changes-coming-in-july-but.html

eBay Long Tail and Buying Smarter

I came across this idea of eBay long tail
at the X.Commerce conference and it occurs to me once again how prevalent this
80 / 20 rule is. After a quick search, I found one figure from the internet,
which is shown above. It seems that this long tail is brought up to draw the
attention of sellers, however, I bet changing the “sellers” into “buyers” in
the figure will yield similar results. You may start to wondering, what does it
have to do with buying smart? Well, here is the answer. It is telling us that the
majority of the buyers don’t buy as much as the professional buyers do. This
plus the fact that we as a seller keep noticing how random the sale prices
could be and how much money the buyers could have saved, prompt me to write
this article so the readers may “save money, live better” (not necessarily

It is actually not that hard. All it takes
is some research. However, keep in mind you will need to research not only on
the products, but also on the rules. For example, if you would like to bid
something on ebay, don’t bid until the last 10 seconds. Otherwise, you are
increasing your own spending for absolutely nothing. Why? Because early bids
have nothing to do with winning bid at all. You are not only increasing your
own cost, but also wasting your precious time! However, such simple rule is
actually not followed at all! Take a look at the bidding history below, buyers
started to compete 7 days before listing ends!

picture from https://www.ebay.com

Someone may argue that he / she is only
bidding to be able to get back to that listing later, which means he / she
doesn’t know there is an option called “add to watch list”.

Another common mistake keeps repeating is
that people tend to overlook their tools.

We sometimes list items in both buy it now
and auction formats. There are always buyers willing to bid more than the buy
it now price. Of course, we are happy as seller for things like that to happen.
However, as a buyer, you don’t want that to happen and you can avoid it to
happen simply by ranking the prices in the search results. There are also lots
of other useful functions provided to the left part of the page where you can
filter the search results to make them serve you better.

The examples above are all about eBay, but
needless to say, the rules apply to almost everywhere. If you are not a seller,
you may not noticed how Amazon ranks the results even you think it is ranking
by prices. Amazon has this fulfillment by Amazon where the shipping cost can be
zero if you buy more than a certain amount. And they may rank it as the lowest
price even if you are actually paying 10 dollars more than other listings if
you only buy that single item.

While pricing is very important, safety is
at least of similar importance, if not more. If you are to buy something from a
unknown website, like our Joyfay Delicate (www.joyfay.com),
the first thing you may ask is, is it safe to buy from here? Then you may start
to search, “Joyfay reviews”, “Joyfay scams”, etc. to see as much as you can
about the website. However, if you think about it, how much can you really
trust those reviews? Did you notice how easy it is for you to write a review
without a purchase? There are businesses out there providing the service to “polish”
website reviews. So stop being so gullible about the reviews, no matter how
many they have. The positive review might be written by those polishing review
services, and the negative review might be written by the website’s
competitors. Try to see if you can find the website’s eBay or Amazon account (it
may not be easy because they may not have one), the feedbacks there are more
trustworthy because they are for real transactions. Chances are even you find
it, the feedbacks will be above 98% on eBay and above 90% on Amazon and there
will be negative ones because there are always unhappy customers and there are
competitors who just buy and leave negative feedbacks. So what is your next move?
I would suggest call the website if they have a phone number or send them an
email to see how fast and professional they reply. Interestingly, I once
purchased something from a very famous brand and they didn’t ship in 2 weeks
and they only replied to my first email and ignored the rest. I would say that
is even worse than AT&T! Now that you have their feedbacks, but you are
still worried about the safety. You are afraid that they don’t send you the
item, or they are not responsible for their product, or service. Truth is that
you may not be aware of how powerful your credit card’s protection can be. They
are actually much more useful than paypal’s buyer protection. Card holders usually
have up to 180 days to file a claim and as long as it is obvious scam, you
credit card will fight for you to get your money back. So I am not afraid to
buy from any websites using my credit card. The only thing I am afraid is if
they are going to send me tons of ads to my email or mail box.

Last but not least, please keep in mind
that the time you spent is also your cost. If you are really busy, don’t bother
saving of a couple of dollars. And make sure you record the good sellers whose
product and service you liked. Next time you want to buy similar stuff, go
there directly to save you the effort of research again. I actually learned
this from our buyers. There is one customer sent us an email saying it is his
fourth purchase and he really appreciates us making the process smooth and
pleasant. We really appreciate him coming back again and again (although we
didn’t notice until he sent us the email and we would try to improve the system
in the future so that we can send him a gift). Yes I am advertising our website
by writing this because it is really a good website and it would be beneficial
to you, tooJ

Thank you very much for your attention and
feel free to leave us your thoughts, suggestions and / or comments at forum.joyfay.com
or by email to social@joyfay.com.