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Product Marketing and Auction Tips

08/13/2013 16:42

Hello Everyone!! So Today, in between storms in lovely Colorado, USA, I am setting up auctions on various sites. I both host auctions and participate in auctions hosted by others. Some product displays amaze me to the point I wonder how they have sales. Here are a few tips from someone who has been doing auctions for, let me think here, 12 years. Now I am certain some of the more seasoned auctioneers will see this post and shake their heads, or have an opinion on me giving advice. But here goes nothing:


You do not SALE things, you SELL them.

This particular line: Let me sale you something today!!!

I see this quite often and cringe. Now, from places or shops that are not English speaking I could understand this, BUT.... I see this from shops and auctioneers who are born and raised in The United States of America. No excuses. Proper sentence: I make sales. You make sales. Let me sell you something. I sell you something. You sell me something. Keep it in mind. I have seen and heard of vendors losing sales simply over poor grammar and poor word choice. (YES, I have been one of them)


Proper Photos and Imagery

Some basic examples that I have seen lately are:


Products with their photos taken on bare carpeting or hardwood flooring or even tiled flooring.

I know it's your floor, you know it's your floor, and the customer knows it's your floor. SOME, I am not saying all, but SOME, customers will be turned off by that aspect.

Products with photos taken next to large injuries, acne, incomplete manicures, incomplete pedicures.

People are vain whether they choose to admit it or not. When you take pictures next to things that are distracting, the customer notices that first. Then by the time they look at the product, they are not as interested as they may have been originally. So UNLESS the product is an aid to the injury or predicament, it should either be cropped, edited, or taken on a different model.

Products with busy or messy backgrounds. (I am guilty of this one) 

This is when there are piles of dishes, dirty appliances, piles of clothing, toys strewn about the room in your products wide shot.  Again, this is distracting to the customer and sometimes makes them not buy your product.

Product Pictures taken with Pets, Tobacco or  Alcohol Presence

For those with asthma or pet allergies, the product pictures taken with pets (again unless it is for a pet) are a deterrent. The same issue is derived from pics where the vendor or a model is smoking around the product. Alcohol should not be present in product pictures taken for young children. If your product is a tutu, or baby hat, or  child's bow.. There should not be a bottle of alcohol in the background. But that's getting into Ethics and that's another day and another post.

TOO MANY PRODUCTS in One Picture/Focal Point on the Wrong Product

There are some product pictures that contain multiple colors, choices, sizes. This is acceptable for a shop wall when people are browsing. However, in a multi-vendor auction or even a basic auction; this can become confusing and bothersome to buyers. For instance if they are looking at the picture showing colors red, green, blue.. but only the green is in stock, the customer will not only face disappointment when it's not available, but also a bit of hostility as what was represented is not what is being sold. A secondary issue on this same topic is when two products are being shown in the case of photographers props. Their may be a headband, tutu, wrist wrap.. all in the same picture. If the product is a tutu, but the focal point is on the headband, the photo may cause confusion and drive people to the shop that sells the headband instead of being focused on the tutu.


Do you remember the old adage KISS? (Keep It Simple, Stupid!) Well, for auctions it is very similar. KISS- KEEP IT SHORT STUPID!! People are more likely to buy a product described in less than 2 sentences. 5-6 words is actually preferable to 3 paragraphs on a hair-bow or 4 paragraphs on a lotion. Leave room for customers to interact with you. In this day and age, Customer Service has gone the way of pocket protectors and playing in the rain.


DO: Sell Product /DON'T Sale Product DO: Take clear concise photos of product with clear/clean backgrounds / DONT: Take photos in messy backgrounds with pets, alcohol, or tobacco near the product DO: Make sure models are well groomed or edit photos before posting/ DONT use photos where the model looks unkempt unless that is part of the sale pitch DO: Use short, concise descriptions /                                                                     DON'T: Use long-winded 3 paragraph descriptions

These are all great tips for any marketer, auctioneer, or seller. 

See you at the auctions!! ~~Kitty Kay~~~  


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