EBay is a saturated marketplace with so many sellers selling similar or identical items. EBay shoppers therefore tend to use the watch button to manage their interests.
Note that by watching an item, anyone can bookmark it for later to stay up-to-date on the auction and compare to other options. Watchers can be buyers or sellers. Sellers may watch items to gain competitive information. For instance, they may follow items they plan to sell in the future to analyze how well your auction goes.
Buyers may just want to bookmark an item they’re interested in while they decide whether to bid, or they may be tracking the same item across multiple auctions. Also some buyers use watchlists to help them snipe, or win auctions by the smallest possible amount at the last minute.
Note that you can have a lot of watchers on an auction only to see it close with no bids at all. Buyers may even forget to bid in time, may lose interest in the item or may buy it somewhere else. Watchers also have no influence whatsoever on other potential bidders, as only sellers can see the number of watchers on a listing.
However, if you have a lot of watchers and no bids, you can try to stimulate interest by leveraging many strategies and attractions.
However, if it works and the item does sell, you can’t tell if the winning bidder was one of your watchers or not. But if your item expires unsold and you want to relist, it is advisable to check out similar items on eBay first – both active and sold listings – to see if there is anything you can do to make it more attractive to bidders.
5 Tips on How to Turn Watchers into Buyers
Even though not all watchers can be converted into buyers, there are few tips you can leverage to encourage those watchers who have an actual interest in buying to take the plunge. These tips include:
Check Out Your Competition
Just like it was stated above, your watchers may be trying to decide between your product and one from a direct competitor. Or maybe they are watching both listings. It is advisable you invest some time doing opposition research so you can optimize your listing to be more competitive.
Note that to find your closest competitors on eBay, search for similar items using the same keywords you’ve used in your own listing. You can also check out the “People who viewed this also viewed” list that appears at the bottom of every post. After you must have noted some similar listings, compare the following:
- Price: This is more or less the most critical factor for most people deciding between two listings. If your competitor is charging the same or less than you, you might consider undercutting them by sending your watchers an offer, creating a sale, or simply lowering your price.
- Product quality: Note that you and your competitor might be selling the exact same thing, but are you presenting it the same? For instance, do your photos and text explicitly state the quality and value of your item?
- Shipping Policy: Owing to Amazon Prime, people really hate paying for shipping. If your competitor is able to offer free shipping, you may want to build that into your pricing structure as well.
- General listing appearance: Are your pictures just as attractive and informative as your competitors’? Is your description useful and easy to read? Do you convey overall credibility and trustworthiness?
Make a Direct Offer
Have it in mind that eBay allows you to make an offer to watchers. Leveraging this feature, you can directly send the watchers a lower – price offer, and it is a great way to convert watchers. In order to make a direct offer, note that you must have a fixed price listing at least 10 days old. Go to “Manage Active Listings” and click “Send offers – eligible”.
You can send up to 10 watchers at a time a new price offer of a price of at least 5% lower than the posted price. However, instead of just sending watchers a new price with no context, take advantage of the option to leave them a message.
This is your chance to make a personal connection with your potential customer, even if your message is as simple as: “Thank you for your consideration! Please enjoy this 20% discount.” Have it in mind that the offer you send is binding, and it cannot be withdrawn, so make sure you are prepared to stick to whatever price you suggest.
Watchers have 48 hours to consider your offer. If nobody accepts, and you have more than 10 watchers on your list, you can send out a new offer to any remaining watchers who haven’t yet been contacted. Howbeit, you can’t send another offer to the same watchers (this is to prevent sellers from spamming or hassling watchers.
Offer A Deal
Humans love a deal because it makes them feel clever and resourceful. This is true whether or not the deal actually saves us money. Howbeit, to set up an official sale or promotion, you need to be an eBay store subscriber. If an item goes on sale after it is added to a member’s watchlist, that markdown is displayed on the watch list with the percentage – off listed.
Note that the information will also be included in the “Items I’m Watching Ending Soon” email that is sent to watchers daily, weekly or monthly (depending on their preferences). Establishing a discount is an ideal way to catch watchers’ attention and entice them to have another look at your listing and potentially make a purchase.
Nonetheless, if you don’t want to pay for an eBay store subscription, you can run your own informal sale on your item. Although it won’t provide the same visibility as an official promotion, but it can as well attract some attention or sway a potential buyer who is on the fence.
To do this, edit the title or the text of your listing to reflect what you’re offering, “Free gift with purchase” or “Free shipping for the next three buyers”. Make sure the offer is listed prominently at the top of your description, in red or bolded.
Lower the Price
One problem with direct offers is that if you have a hefty watchlist, you are only allowed to message 10 people in a 48-hour period. But if you lower the price on a listing by at least 5%, eBay automatically sends an update to everyone watching it to let them know the price has gone down.
Note that this is a great opportunity to leverage eBay itself to ping all your potential buyers at once, and lowering your price is possibly the best way to get their attention.
The amount your markdown will have to depend on how much you can afford and how much you are already charging. On a high – value item, a 5% price drop might be significant enough to incentivize buyers, but a small – ticket item may require a deeper discount.
Also note that lowering prices means eating into your own profits. It’s a good idea to consider the possible need to discount before even setting your base price. Most experienced sellers create a potential future discount into their pricing structure by setting their base price a little higher. That way, they won’t lose as much money when they offer buyers a 5% (or 50%) discount.
Add an “Or Best Offer” Option
You can also offer customers a chance to tell you how much they want to pay by adding an OBO option to your listing. Potential buyers can then make you an offer, which you have 48 hours to leverage a counteroffer, accept, or decline. Although eBay won’t automatically notify watchers that you’ve added this option, it will be clear from looking at your listing.
Also have it in mind that scarcity is a psychological trigger that can institute potential buyers to snatch up a product before it disappears forever. People hate missing out on an opportunity, so simulating the idea that your product may sell out can be a powerful motivator. Reduce the number of items you have available to simulate scarcity.
If you have more items in stock, sit on them for now, then list them again later. If you have multiple similar listings, consolidate them into one. You want to give potential customers the idea that this is your last handmade purse (or china bowl, or refurbished laptop), and that it’s urgent to act now.
Optimize Your Images
Use better pictures to make your product look more enticing to prospective buyers. Reports have it that visuals are the most persuasive part of any eBay listing, so it’s crucial that your images convey the quality and unique advantages of your product.
- Use your own photos: Note that shoppers will know if you are using the same generic stock photo as every other seller on the site. Using stock photos takes away trust because buyers know they aren’t seeing the actual product they are buying.
- Use 8 – 12 photos per listing: Have it in mind that every listing can have up to 12 photos free of charge. This may seem like a lot, but eBay Seller Outreach specialists recommend taking advantage of this number and uploading as many different angles and feature photos as possible.
- Take better photos: Also, you don’t need expert photography skills to take decent product photos. EBay’s own Photo Centre Guide offers a ton of tips that anyone can follow.
- Focus on what makes your product unique: Remember to upload a variety of photos that show the most interesting details about your product.
- Use images to tell a story. Most people are visual learners. Use your images to support the text of your description by placing them throughout the listing.
Note that it is also possible that your watchers are interested in the product but are holding off because they don’t have adequate information. Updating your descriptions can help answer any remaining questions bidders have. Just ensure you initially write your descriptions with search intent in mind. But once you’ve attracted potential buyers, focus on updating your text to be more persuasive and informational.
- Highlight your product’s benefits.
- Focus on both tangible and intangible value
- Include all important details
- Make formatting clear
- Stay streamlined
With the ability to bid, watch items, or add to wish list, eBay is a wonderful place to buy and sell. Buyers tend to carefully navigate the available options, adding many to their watch list in hopes of snagging a last – minute deal on a bid or comparing prices.
Watchers can be very encouraging, but they do not always translate into buyers. People watch items for a number of reasons, and may not always intend to purchase. However, watchers offer an opportunity for you to convert.