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Use Online Auctions To Promote Your Business!
By Ron Sathoff, Sat Dec 10th

When they first appeared on the scene, online auctions were usedmainly by people looking to get rid of old heirlooms orcollectors in niche markets (stuffed collectibles, etc.). Now,it seems like everyone is participating in online auctions.People are also beginning to realize that auctions can be agreat way to promote a business and test products.

I have to admit it -- I'm an eBay junkie. I'm probably on theirsite at least 4 or 5 times a week, looking for items to add tomy various collections, and the more I visit, the more I'mseeing businesses using online auctions in creative ways.

For instance, there are many people who have started to maketheir living solely through online auctions. However, if youdon't want to become one of these "full-timers," you can stilluse online auctions to help you with your business. Here are acouple of thoughts on ways to do that:

* Use auctions to gauge new products. If you are consideringadding a new product to your business, auctions are a great wayto see what kind of demand there might be for it. Do anexperiment -- put one of the products up for auction and see howmany people bid on it (you might even be able to track how manypeople look at the auction without making a bid.) If you havegood response from the auction, it can be a good indication thatyou should add the product to your inventory.

* Use auctions to determine


prices. One question that I get alot from clients is, "How much should I charge for so-and-so?"If you have this kind of question, auctions can be a great wayto gauge prices. Put your item on auction and see how muchpeople are willing to bid on it. Don't just look at the high bid-- remember that there are some "insane bidders" out there --rather, look at the maximum bids from all bidders to get an ideaof what customers are willing to pay for your product.

* Link your auction to your business. Now, before I go anyfurther, I have to warn you to read your auction service'spolicies CAREFULLY -- many services will not allow you to put adirect link to your web site in your auction description.

Even if you can't put a link directly in your auction, you mightstill be able to promote your business. For instance, manyservices will have an "about me" page where you can put a linkto your business. Also, there is nothing keeping you fromlinking the sites in the other direction -- putting a link toyour auctions on your web site, for instance.

One of the things that has always impressed me about the so-called "net gurus" is their ability to be creative in theiradvertising and promotion efforts. Online auctions seem to be agreat candidate for that type of creativity.

About the author:Ron Sathoff is a noted speaker and manager of DrNunley's He provides copy-writing, marketing,Internet promotion, and help for business speakers. Reach him or 801-328-9006.




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