The Bait & Hook Strategy

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Bait and Hook (NOT bait and switch!)

We've all heard of the bait and switch strategy. Marketers "bait" a consumer by offering some unbelievably good deal. When the consumer enters the store to take advantage of this great deal, the salesman will redirect the buyer to a different product (the switch) to try and get the consumer to spend more money.

Since the advertised deal (the bait) would often result in a store losing money, some retailers have been known to go so far as to not carry any of the advertised item in stock to prevent losing money from the sales of it. The store made money by enticing the consumer into the store with a non-existent product and selling them some other, generally highly profitable, item instead.

This is NOT what I mean by "bait and hook." I consider bait and switch to be unethical, and I don't subscribe to such practices. However, the "bait" in bait and hook retains the same idea in essence.

Your bait is still going to be a great deal on some (preferably very popular) product. Create a lot of focus on this product to build attention to it. This entails using several listing upgrades, in particular the Featured Plus! and possibly even Home Page Featured listing options.

Draw as much attention to this one listing as you can. Then use every cross-promotion technique you can to entice buyers to take a look at all your other listings.

This is a bit of an old-school technique that early eBay sellers used with great effectiveness. Despite its age, it still has great potential to draw buyers in to listings of yours that they might not otherwise ever see.

Normally I recommend using your hottest item as your bait. Price it reasonably low, or if you're running a regular auction perhaps start the bidding out at $0.01 if you feel it's popular enough to generate a lot of bids, to attract even more buyers.

Keep in mind that this is an advanced marketing technique that can result in the loss of your investment. It's best saved for when you have a lot of experience selling on eBay as well as some experience testing past campaigns and interpreting test results.

However, when you feel ready to try something like this, don't let fear hold you back. Running a successful business requires that you lose money every once in awhile. A good businessperson understands that business is a risk, but that properly managed, is well worth the risk.

For more information about testing various marketing techniques, be sure to take a look at chapter 3.

Next: Buying Traffic Through Pay-Per-Click Search Engines


Optimizing Your Auction Title
Make Your Auction Listing Stand Out
Cross Promotion
Bait and Hook (NOT bait and switch!)
Buying Traffic Through Pay-Per-Click Search Engines
Getting Listed in Search Engines
Chapter 1 Summary & Takeaways

Jump to another chapter:

Chapter 1: Driving Traffic to Your Auction Listing
Chapter 2: Listing for Higher Profits
Chapter 3: Does Any of this Stuff Work?
Chapter 4: eBay Stores
Chapter 5: Auction Management
Chapter 6: What to Sell on eBay
Chapter 7: Finding Products to Sell on eBay
Chapter 8: Mining eBay's Traffic
Chapter 9: HTML Tutorial
Chapter 10: Acting Like a PowerSeller
Chapter 11: Final Words