Thursday, February 5, 2009

Crunching The Numbers

Since I have talked mostly about business this week, I am going round it out and make yet another post about online selling venues.

I saw a discussion earlier about number of views people get in one place over another. One person was congratulating another on over 1800 views on one item. I don't know why people get caught up in that. In fact I think if I had 1800 views on one item and it hadn't sold that would be a clear cut signal that venue isn't the right vehicle for what I make. They seem to think number of views equals a good site to use.

I have one item listed in four different places, it was listed 4 weeks ago, at the same time in each one. Here are the number of views it's gotten each place:

Biggest selling venue: 172 views

Second biggest selling venue: 24 views

Newer selling venue: 25 views

Specific type of selling venue: 82 views

Many people would say I should go with the first venue because I am getting the most views. Really? Do you know what those numbers mean? It means that many people looked at it and didn't buy it for any number of reasons. The only number that means anything is the number 1. The one person who does buy it. The number of views a thing has are really irrelevant. If you have 2 or 2000, what it takes is for the right person to see it and buy it. Sometimes that's simply luck of the draw.

We are provided with all sorts of ways to check our stats on these sites. Google Analytics is really popular on several sites right now. I didn't bother with it because I don't really see that it means anything other than a lot of babble that makes the site seem impressive because they want you to think if you're getting views then you're doing well. If you're not getting views then you feel bad because you think you are doing something wrong in some way, when you probably aren't. The only way it would mean anything is if you knew why each person looked at it and didn't buy it. I look at all sorts of stuff for reasons other than intent to purchase. So that doesn't mean it's a reflection on the quality, price point or anything else to do with it. Sometimes I just like to look at things because they are there.

Now lets look at my stats for sales, I haven't been featured in a mainstream way in the first three of these venues and to be honest I haven't overly promoted any of them because my main loyalty is always my own site:

Largest selling venue: 12 mostly lower end sales in 12 months, I was forced to add some 5 dollar graphics in order to cover my expenses. I finally got sick of doing them because people expect the world for their 5 bucks and I quit bothering with them.

Second largest selling venue: 0 sales in 5 months, this is ok though because it's free to list and based in another country.

New venue: 1 high end sale in 3 months, not bad...not good, but it's a new venue and hasn't hit it's stride yet.

Specific type of selling venue: 5 mid to higher end sales in 2 months, this one paid off because I made a profit for my small effort and money, and I will probably stick with it the longest. In all fairness I have spent a few extra dollars to be featured in a more prominent way on this one.

Thankfully the majority of my sales come through the real world and my website. It provides significantly higher figures. I also did really well on Ebay before they got ridiculous with their policies and fees and I left.

So you need to weigh what the numbers really mean before you get caught up in the hype. There just isn't enough imformation and too many variables to really make them workable.

1 comment:

customteddys said...

Great post and thanks for sharing your insights. Vicki

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