Today I want to talk about an incredibly simple, yet still hugely effective tactic for selling on eBay called bundling!
Bundling is basically taking a product you sell and offering it along with another product (this could be an accessory or simply a related item) thereby creating a product bundle.
But you may be wondering what the point of doing that is? After all, if a customer wants to buy two items, then they’ll just buy two items, right, so really there’s not much benefit to bundling anyway?
There are a few very important benefits to bundling, such as:
- Increased order value
Broadly speaking, there are two ways to make more money online – get more customers or sell more to your current customers. Most people focus their time, energy and resources on the first option, but really option no.2 is much easier and offers much higher rewards! By encouraging your customers to order product bundles rather than single items, you make more in sales and ultimately – more profit!
- Reduced shipping cost
When selling online, the shipping charges can often make up the bulk of your cost when selling an item. By pushing your buyers to order multiple items in one go, you can drastically reduce your shipping cost per item!
- Increased convenience = higher conversion rate
When you present well thought out and worthwhile bundles to your customers, you make their online shopping experience easier and this results in higher conversion rates.
Let’s say I am a parent searching for party hats for my son’s birthday; I head to eBay and search for “20x star wars party hats” and the first few results are exactly that, packs of children’s party hats… but then the third listing is for a complete Star Wars themed birthday set, including hats, cups, plates, balloons and wall decorations.
Terrific right!? Now I don’t have to search for each of these items individually and can order them all from one seller! The pricing seems decent – maybe not quite as cheap as ordering from the cheapest seller for each one but it’s hard to compare and I’m happy to pay a little extra in any case – so I go ahead and place the order.
And this actually brings me perfectly to the next big benefit:
- Create a unique offer – it’s MUCH harder to price compare bundles
“eBay is all about the lowest price!”
You don’t know how many times I get an email or message from my blog readers along these lines, complaining that it’s impossible to be successful on eBay unless you’re the lowest price, BUT, that’s complete rubbish!
If you have to compete SOLELY on price, it simply means you’re not selling smart.
And product bundling is a perfect example of this. If you offer bundles to your customers, you pretty much remove the pricing element as it’s very difficult for people to compare pricing on bundles.
Let’s go back to the Star Wars party set example. To find out how much that set would cost, a customer would have to search for each item individually, find the right quantity etc., and then add it all up.
Nine times out of ten, they won’t bother to do that and as long as your pricing is reasonable, they’ll order from you. Of course it goes without saying, but this doesn’t mean you have carte blanche and can charge whatever you want, of course not! Customers aren’t stupid and while they may be fine with paying a little extra for the added convenience, you can’t charge double or triple what the items are worth.
But even if they do go through the bundle and add up the total cost for the items, most likely you’ll come out on top anyway due to the reduced shipping cost!
After all, when searching individually, the shipping will be added in to the cost of each item, whereas for you and your bundle, it’s spread out between them.
I hope that you’re now starting to get excited and imagining the possibilities for your own business! If so, great, you’re on the right track!
But rather than just leave you to it, I want to go over some different variations of product bundling and give you some real life examples. That way you can see that this method can be applied to pretty much any niche or product, you just have to think smart and a little bit outside of the box!
Alright, let’s start with the simplest possible example of product bundling:
Offer multiples of the same product
Most eBay sellers are already aware of this, but it still surprises me how many still aren’t.
This method works especially well for simple, household items – particularly if they’re bulky or heavy (as that’ll allow you to offer more of a discount based on postage).
In fact I have a perfect example for this myself, from when I was buying on eBay the other week. I was ordering some A4 writing pads and found the brand I wanted, with all sellers around £2 each. As I needed 10-20 pads (we go through a lot for business use!) I sent a quick message to a couple of sellers asking if there’s a discount for ordering in that quantity as neither of them offered price breaks for multiples within the actual listing (if either of them had, I would’ve bought it from them straight away).
After a day I had an answer from both sellers, one offering a discounted price for 20 pads and the other one saying “our best price is already shown”. So I ordered from the first seller and it was a true win-win situation; he made more money compared to me buying each pad one at a time, and I got a better price!
I know that this was just an anecdotal story, but please don’t underestimate the effectiveness of offering discounts when ordering a larger quantity of one item.
Okay, on to our next examples and this is probably the most effective method of bundling:
Adding accessories/low value items to a big order.
This is something that big companies have been utilising for years! If you head out right now to try and buy a PS4 console, I can bet that the majority of places you look will be pushing bundles rather than just the standalone console.
After all, it stands to reason that if you’re buying a PS4, you also need some games to go with it, maybe an additional controller, a PlayStation camera, a subscription to PS Plus etc., so why let other businesses make those extra sales when you can have them all!
Another great point about this specific bundling tactic is that when people are making a high value order, it is much easier to get extra sales from them then and there. If you are spending £350 on a console, then £50 (for an extra couple of games) doesn’t seem like so much – as they’re comparing it to the original £350.
Here are some more examples of this in action to get your mind rolling:
- Sell an exercise bike – offer an attachable water bottle or wireless headphones.
- Sell a blender – offer a juicing book or special glass container.
- Sell a tablet – offer a keyboard, case or dock to go with it.
- Sell a suitcase – offer a matching carry on bag.
And that brings us on to the next bundling tactic, which is a slight variation of the above:
Bundle related and complimentary items together.
With this tactic, the items you offer have to work very well together and be something that customers would generally be interested in. As the items are of a similar value, you have to get this right as it’s harder than pushing them on to a slightly larger order as with the previous examples, but at the same time, it offers more reward!
Here are some examples:
- Sell a yoga mat – bundle it with resistance bands or a gym bag.
- Sell related vintage games together – a Pokémon bundle for example, with Pokémon blue, red and yellow.
- Sell Warhammer starter sets – bundle it with paints and paintbrushes.
I hope you get the idea here!
Coming up with bundles should be incredibly easy if you’ve been selling in the same niche for some time.
After all, nobody knows your market better than you. Go over past orders and see which items are frequently bought together and offer them as a bundle. Chances are if this combination of items interested some of your past customers, it’ll interest others as well!
So many big companies realise the effectiveness of product bundling, Amazon and their “people who bought this also bought” are a perfect example, so don’t get left behind and make sure you implement this into your own business. It will be much easier for niche businesses as you have more of an archetypal customer, but it can be used in pretty much every business!
If you have some bundling ideas that you want to run by me before you use them in your listings, or if you have any other questions about the topic, then please feel free to post below in the comments section and I’ll answer you personally.
Otherwise, until next time!
All the best,