Follow Me On Twitter

Friday, October 07, 2005

20 Dollar Bill Brings $840 During Ebay Auction

This is a TRUE story from an expert marketer far outside the perimeter of the celebrity guru circle.

It is a fascinating lesson in understanding human behaviour and how $20 really can bring in $840 from an Ebay auction. After reading this in it's entirety, I am certain you will see the potential of using Ebay in a much different light.

Thus begins the story of Master Marketer, Terry Gibbs:

"20 Dollar Bill Brings $840 During Ebay Auction.
Last week I showed you an eBay auction as an example of the pricing power of eBay.
During the auction, I got emails from subscribers and eBay searchers asking me questions. In this email I'll answer a few of the questions, and you can read along in order to learn some important lessons.

If you were watching the auction you already know the bill sold for $32.05. The headline says I made $840. I'll show you where this extra m0ney came from.

It might surprise you.

To recap, I listed a 1950 20 dollar bill on eBay with a starting price of 1 cent and no reserve.
My intention was to prove in a dramatic way that as long as an item is listed in the best category with an adequate description and picture it will sell for at least wholesale value.

The reason for getting at least wholesale value is dealers will bid any antique or collectible up to it's wholesale value. Ifyou get a few end users to bid on the auction, you'll get the retail price.
The only time this won't be true is when demand is less than supply. For items where demand meets or exceeds supply, you will always get at least the wholesale value.

I thought the twenty dollar was a great example because it had a face value. Remember, I got the bill at the bank when I was cashing a check. Basically, I paid 20 dollars for it.

The first question I got was from a subscriber who wanted to know if I had people bidding on the auction for me.

Shame on you for even thinking that. I didn't have anyone bid on the auction - this is called shill bidding and violateseBay's rules.

Another question I got was more of a statement:

"You've got to be kidding, someone will really pay 23 or 24dollars for a 20 dollar bill? Whoa!"
I actually got quite a few of these type of questions.

Remember this is a 55 year old bill. While it's worth 20 dollars as currency, it also has collector value. I got an email from a dealer who saw the bill on eBay and here's what he had to say:
"We have a bill like this one in our shop... The bill is worth approx. $30.00 on today's market. The reason? You notice the back does not have In God We Trust. That was not put on our paper money until 1957. If you spend the bill in a store today, it will end up back at the reserve bank and then it will go to the incinerator to be burned. Keeping it in good condition will only cause the value to increase. I just thought I would share the info with you. Have a great day and good luck with your auction."

This dealer say's the bill is worth about $30. The auction ended at $32.05 which is within ten percent of his guess.

Here are two questions that bear some scrutiny:

"I notice this auction has had over 2900 page views, how did you get so many people to look at your auction?"

And -

"I have to ask...and you can answer if you like. How did you get enough watchers on this auction to make eBay Pulse? The auction is fascinatingly simple."

I got over a dozen similar questions. Some referred to the pulse,most referred to the number of visit0rs.

Before I address these questions, let me explain what the pulse is for those of you who are unfamiliar with it.

The eBay Pulse is a page that lists the most watched eBay items. It also contains information about the most popular searches and the largest stores. I haven't mentioned the Pulse in the past because it has verylittle value. It's good for entertainment, but doesn't provide much information for the average eBay seller. The Pulse does have a use, and I'll explain that in a minute.

Now, I looked at the auctions of everyone who asked about traff1c and/or the pulse. They were all small sellers with low feedback selling new items. Actually, they were listing new items with few items getting bids.

These sellers were looking for traff1c because they think it will solve their problem. By itself it won't.

Protect Yourself and Maximize Your Effort on Ebay with Terry's Two FREE Guides at the Bottom of This Page.

Someone who needs some new socks will go to Wal-Mart, not oneBay.
Remember, the point of the example was to demonstrate that items will sell for at least wholesale value AS LONG AS THE DEMAND MATCHES OR EXCEEDS THE SUPPLY. The demand for socks and batteries is much less than the supply.

I have one more question to share with you and then I'll tie this all together and show you the m0ney.

This question is from a reader, not an auction viewer:

"I couldn't help but notice the graphic for the buyers guide right on the auction page.. That's kind of pushing it with eBay isn't it? I know the link only went to your Me page and you linked out to the AR page from there."

This reader has been paying attention.

He has an idea of where the extra 830 dollars came from.

To answer his question, this does not violate eBay's rules. I have been doing this in my auctions for years. Additionally, I have taught thousands of people to do this in their auctions.Neither I nor my students have ever had a problem with eBay for giving away free reports on the me page and telling people about them in the auctions. Yet, I constantly get questions about eBay's rules.

Actually, I think people who misinterpret the rules are looking for reasons not to do something.
Rather than go into a rant, I am going to skip the whole rules question and go back to explaining where the m0ney came from.

As the question above mentioned the image of the eBay buyer'sguide linked to my me page. The me page has two links. One directly to the Auction Revolution and one to my IWantCollectibles site. This is where the extra money came from. I sell my ebooks andoffer other items as an affiliate on my websites.

While this auction was designed to prove a point about pricing, I did spend the extra few minutes to set up a me page and put links to my websites on the page. None of the people who asked about traff1c have me pages that link to websites. They suffer from the idea that the only way to make money on eBay is by listing and selling items.

They are caught in the volume trap.

Think about it. I made $11.00 directly in the $20 bill auction. I over $800 additional dollars as a result of my me page.

Even better the extra pr0fits were robotic. Once I set the system up I don't have to do anything except cash the checks from the affi1iate programs.

I said earlier there is a use for the Pulse. A lot of the people who look at the pulse auctions are eBay sellers looking for ways to improve their pr0fititablity. I teach eBay skills, so being listed on the pulse drives qualified people into my me page. This is why the number is so high. Usually the results are much less.

Now for some information you can use in your auctions.

If you don't already have a me page set up, you set one up.You can give away the eBay Buyer's Guide in your auctions until you can come up with your own report. You can personalize the guide on the website, and will get commissions from all sales resulting from yougiving away the personalized guide.

Secondly you need to start thinking about additional items you can promote related to the items you already sell.

The Auction Revolution contains complete instructions for leveraging your auction results.
PS You might be thinking "I sell ______ and this won't work for me." Or, "I only sell a few items a month." It doesn'tmatter what you sell, or how many items you list a month. A small amount of time learning to leverage your auctions will provide results for any eBay seller.

Protect yourself and maximize your effort on Ebay with Terry's two FREE guides.

eMail address:

First Name:

Last Name:

Whether you're a buyer, or a seller, these FREE guides can help you both save AND make $$$$$! The Download Links will be mailed to you within moments, so please enter the info carefully.


Sam Freedom"s Internet Marketing Controversy Blog

AddThis Social Bookmark ButtonAddThis Social Bookmark ButtonHome


Magi said...

As usual great free educational material from the coolest guy on the planet in the online marketing community!

You always inspire and entertain while overdelivering on great opportunities.

If anyone is looking for masterful copyriting that gets real results, just set up a special label in your gmail account and get on sam freedoms mailing list.

I am no slave to your recommendations Sam,

but every email goes into my must have searchable resourse file for hot copywriting examples,

and I always take a good look at anything you recommend.

I consider being on your mailing list a great marketing education, and can honestly say that my confidence in beginning to see the money start to come in (automatically!) instead of out is due to a large part in what I have learnt from you.

Thanks a million!


Anonymous said...

Hi Sam, I would like to take a look at that auction so I can learn how to do it. Do you have the url offhand.

Anonymous said...

Cheap Nike free 2 Cheap Nike free run 2 shoes
Nike Free Plus Nike free run Plus
Nike Free Run Black nike free run black shoes
Nike Free Run Grey Nike free run gray shoes