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:
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,
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I have been mulling over in my mind putting together a kit to clean and style vintage dolls. Whenever I find a doll at goodwill that is worth reselling there is no doubt it will need to be cleaned and will need a new hair style and most likely eyelashes. I have finally put together a kit that I had to order supplies from 7 different manufacturers. Most shipping was free and the items are inexpensive on their own. I have contained my kit in a darling box that can be used to refill many times. How to I properly list something like this to get the views I am after? If you have any thoughts I would appreciate it.
Hi I enjoyed your blog very much . My issue is, or question. I have a lot of pre-owned clothes and shoes ,I am thinking at this time when a lot of shops are closed and resellers cannot get stock, if I bundled items, what is best way to do that? All same size ,gender , type of clothing/shoes ?or mix the dead stock I have ? I have a lot of top quality items, well known names. Amy advice greatly appreciated 🙏 stay safe thank you
Thanks for your comment.
If they’re expensive brands, you probably should list them individually, on eBay. This way you will get more profits.
Stuff that is not so valuable, bundle together.
Hi Andrew, i know this post was a few years ago but worth a shot. I have a Playmobil bin truck, fire engine, police boat and viking ship. Would it be worth selling as a bundle, and is bidding or buy it now best option for this? Thanks, and really helpful post.
Yes, I would probably just list them as a bundle as you will save in shipping fees and it will be much easier to sell these items together.
Wow! Great post! I actually looked for a video on this topic on Youtube and could not find anything as well explained as this article. This could shift my entire ebay selling experience. Right now I’m currently selling used items that I source from thrift stores, garage sales etc. However, with this method I can transition into selling new items that are bundled together. Awesome! If you were just starting to bundle items what niche or bundle would you try first? Thanks in advance
Just wanted to say Thank you for all the tips 😊
You’re welcome! 🙂
I am looking to sell lego, it was made in 80’s and early 90’s, therfore unavailable unless buying from private owners. Would you sell as bundles or individually?
If these are collectables and there’s demand for them, definitely sell each item individually.
You will get higher prices this way.
What about buying clothes from thrift stores? As well as buying clothing bundles on ebay to then resell? Any thoughts ant ideas? Does it work?
Yes, of course t can work AS LONG as you’re able to find good value deals and sell them off on eBay, why not!
Hi Andrew. I have baseball cards I am looking to sell and instead of selling individual cards would it be beneficial to bundle them together and sell them as a “lot of cards”?
Depends on what kind of cards you have?
If they’re good/valuable, you’ll probably get more money by selling each individually.
Or maybe there are some collections within your collection that can be sold IF you sell them together.
Hard to say as I’m not really an expert in baseball cards but usually you can get more profits by selling such items individually.
I sell auto parts how can it help me?
In same way as in any industry really.
You need to know your market/products really well so you know what kind of products you can bundle together. I’m not an expert in auto parts sector so can’t give you any exact examples but I’m sure you’ll know better.
A good place to start is by looking at your past customer purchases – what kind of items they often buy together? Can also check your items on Amazon to see what kind of bundles Amazon offers as they already know what people like to buy together.
Sometimes you can start by just creating bundles of multiple quantity of same item e.g. 4 pieces of same product, or a bundle of 10 if it’s something people need to replace very often.
Be creative and think from your customer point of view – what kind of deals they would find valuable.
Hope this helps Terry!
I have a quick question regarding the level of discount you should offer your customer. Do you have a ballpark % discount or max % discount you normally use?
The reason I ask is because I have quite a few customers asking what the lowest price is I can give them (on individual products and bundles they have created themselves) and then I don’t hear back from them, which I now assume after reading your article is because a competitor has given them a better price!
I don’t of course want to win that customer by giving too much of a low price but I also question whether I’m not giving enough of a discount. I know this all depends on the level of profit you have already factored in, in the first place but any guidance on this would be much appreciated.
It’s really very hard to give you any specific numbers as it will depend on so many factors, mostly on your margins of course.
You should ask yourself – what’s the lowest price and profit you’re happy to make on that sale? And probably just use that when you create discounts.
I will have a more detailed post on profit margins on my blog in up-coming weeks, so stay tuned for that.
Fab, thanks Andrew. I look forward to your upcoming blog post!
Firstly, your website is great and I’m learning loads. I’m just starting out on eBay and I’ve decided to shift a load of DVDs that I don’t need anymore.
What’s the best way to sell them? Each one separately? Combine bundles? List them separately but offer discounts if bought together?
I would list them each separately, yes, so that you get closer to 100 sales needed for TRS status.
List them as 7 day auctions, with a starting price of £0.99 and free shipping.
That is if you’re willing to take small loss working on TRS status.
If you want to make profit, probably bundles of 5-10 would be better.
Thanks for all your bundling tips. I have a few questions.
I would like to start bundling but wanted to know the best packaging to use. I am considering strong self adhesive polybags. What are your thoughts on this. its small bag like items that can fold up.
It really depends on the product – some won’t require any special packaging, some may work best in a box, some can packed in a blister pack etc.
So you really need to look @ each product/bundle individually and decide on best packaging.
So would you revise (bundle price and items being purchased) a current listing to reflect the bundle or would you make an entirely new listing? Also, would you then delete the other listings you had (unless of course it was of multiple items of the same kind)? And how does EBay feel about this? Thanks! I am seriously considering bundling but am concerned with the technical aspect of it and whether there is an easier way to go about it.
Depends on the product and bundle you create really.
In most cases I would list such bundles on same listing, via variation as this way you can target people who search for the “base” product easily by offering bundle RIGHT into listing they’re looking at.
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