We understand that one of the biggest reasons why items don't sell is to do with the wrong pricing strategy that has been used. Therefore we did careful researches before setting our starting price. After searching on the big auction site such as Yahoo and Ebay, we found out 4 more identical items—— the whole set of Doraemon comic books, and their prices range from 1080 to 1280. Since our comic books are rare and all well-preserved, we finally decided to start on 1200 HKD as our starting price. Being slightly higher than the average shows our confidence of our product and also leaves room for negotiation.
Considering the nature of the whole set of Hong Kong oldest version Doraemon comic books, we believe that collective memory is our selling point and could also put on additional value. Therefore, we decide to focus on the local market. The product include 45 books, which could be a real troublemaker when comes to shipping. Thanks to the convenience of the local transport system, we are able to deliver our books directly to our customer. It saves us from the after-sale service problems for the reason the buyer could exam the goods right away.
As mentioned in the last report, we made many posts on different discussion boards to promote our product. There were several difficulties we encountered during the process. Firstly, some of the comic forums are focused purely on interest and information sharing. The advertising-related content posts are either openly banned in the rules of the forum or frowned upon. We failed to notice this kind of issue and therefore paid the price for the reckless moves: Both the posts and the IDs were blocked by the forum administrators. The other thing is that we put the posts on so many discussion boards, which later found out was more than we can handle. Although we left our e-mail addresses MSN and the link to our Yahoo auction home page, a large portion of our interested potential buyer accustemed to PM us (sending private messages) within the forum. It's more demanding and time consuming to reply each of the messages from each forum.
However, despite these two major problems, we benefit a lot from this way of Internet promotion. After learning our lessons, we become more cautious about our promotion. There are two kinds of forums we later concentrated on. One is the big general forum such as UWANTS, Discuss.com.hk who have a large number of people flow every day and their own message boards about selling/buying. The other one is the web site or forum which devoted to DORAEMON only, such as DORACITY, DORAFANS etc. Locateing the potential buyers would be easier since almost all of them were considered as our target customers. Besides the efforts we mentioned above, we also used the word of the mouth strategy by telling our classmates, friends, friends' friends etc about this auction.
The questions raised were more about the quality of the whole set of the comic books, rather than the price. There are several people tried to bargain at first, but after saw more of the clear resolution pictures we sent through by e-mails, which showed more details part of comic books, they finally agreed on the price.
At last, we well our product at the price of $1500 through yahoo auction.
What we learn about this auction activity is that marketing is very important, especially the promotion part. The age of "If you build it , he will come" has long past. Nowadays, with more and more competitors and alternative products, we must stand out to get the attentions and attract more potential buyers. Furthermore, we should be specific and consistent about the things we are selling, as well as our target customers.