Ebay -Friend or Foe for the Optical Professional?

E-Bay

Recently I was speaking with an optometrist, who for the first time mentioned the Internet was becoming competition. Lucky for him, it just started to hit him, wherein 10 years ago, I remember losing our first customer (optical retailer) because our products were on Ebay.

Eye Bogglers

  • 14,079 Eyeglass items were listed on Ebay-
  • 68,247 Sunglass items were listed on Ebay
  • Included- Armani, Cartier,Kawalsaki, Gucci , Cazal , Porsche, Oakley
  • 506 Entries for Contact Lenses

Then you have the Fakes-

“Luxury Retailers Want eBay To Police For Knockoffs Morning Edition, July 4, 2008 · A French court ruled this week that eBay must pay Louis Vuitton more than $60 million in damages for allowing fake goods to be sold through its site. Co-host Ari Shapiro talks with Chris Sprigman, a professor of intellectual property law at the University of Virginia, about the implications of the ruling.

What do you do about it? You have 3 choices- Beat um, Join um or Ignore Um!

The Good and Bad News

The Good News

  • The Internet is an Impersonal Shopping Experience
  • You can’t trust exactly what you are going to get if you get it. Scammers Abound!
  • You have to use PayPal- (paying is almost mandatory) one more account to set up!
  • Good deals are getting harder- Auctions are now 60% of eBay transactions, down from 80% just a couple of years ago.
  • The site is too large, too much stuff- can be confusing
  • Resolving Problems may take time and effort
  • Only about 10% of the worlds population is online. Secondly, out of those 10%, probably only half know about, care about and use eBay. And out of THOSE people, many are buyers only and don’t have a clue about selling on eBay.

The Bad News

  • You can shop 24/7 on Ebay
  • More Retailers are using E-bay as a storefront, thus providing more products
  • You can still get some good deals
  • Sales of jewelry and watches — online, fell 24 percent compared to a 34 percent decline in brick and mortar stores.

Choice #1 Ignore ‘Um!

  • That might be a viable alternative but this is not just about Ebay- it’s about all Internet marketing/auction programs.

Choice #2 Beating ‘Um:

  • Get your customer service levels above and beyond.
  • Refocus marketing efforts in areas where buyers are less likely to have Internet access (retirement homes)
  • Look for a niche or  products that are not seen or rarely seen on Ebay
  • Spiff up the office to become more welcoming- water, coffee, cookies to patients coming in.
  • Have Scheduled Events to keep your patients coming back
  • Offer a convenient service to patients and potential patients

Choice #3 Join ‘Um

  • Sell your products on Ebay as well
  • Sell your products on your website
  • Sell Your products on other auction sites

Other Online Auctions

Or sell any eco friendly merchandise on

Green Roost-

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