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Tell me about eBay (this is not a joke)

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by AudubonB, Jun 20, 2014.

  1. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    The last I looked at a calendar, this is 2014, but....this Bush Rat knows virtually nothing about eBay, but would like to, as follows:

    We are very strongly considering selling our business, which is our home, which is our very special lifestyle. After nigh on two decades, it's very strange but somehow I'm twenty years older ;) and we're looking at a large number of issues. Paramount among these may be my desire to get out at the top of my game. We have an exceedingly high ranking in the tourist industry - from no-nonsense sources like Lonely Planet, to that ridiculously manipulable internet site TripAdvisor.com. But there are lots of other reasons, too.

    At any rate, it is extremely difficult to market accommodations businesses, and most especially in this region. The track record of other lodges, etc., in the surrounding 100,000 or so square miles of selling themselves is horrific - the place that I did not buy twenty years ago is still for sale, to take an extreme example. Perhaps Alaskan real estate brokers are pitifully incompetent, or there may be other reasons, but the reality is thus.

    So...we're considering putting the operation up on eBay, and any advice...although for some reason we would prefer good advice...on how we might go about doing this, and what to watch out for or avoid, will earn providers lots of TeslaPoints.

    Thanks in advance -
     
  2. Seven7

    Seven7 Member

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    Not sure if they have a real estate section on E-bay, but I would watch out for scams, they go after big ticket items like mad. The most expensive thing I've ever sold on that site were a pair of outboard engines, they went to a guy in Sweden who arranged his own shipping so you will certainly get worldwide exposure. Good luck!
     
  3. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Have you considered Craigslist? I know a lot of people who search the real estate sections (myself included) - worldwide - you can post pictures, etc. You'll have to weed out all the scammers and porn bots, but it's one way to market to a larger audience.
     
  4. ZBB

    ZBB Emperor

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    Why focus on real estate?

    You're selling a business -- a business broker might be a better bet, especially one that might specialize in tourism, B&Bs, etc.

    My in-laws ended up shutting down their tourism-related business (basically a t-shirt / sweatshirt shop) a couple years ago -- but before they did that, they attempted to sell it. Unfortunately, theirs was a bit too specialized and small to attract any serious interest, so they decided to shut down (they had a couple offers, but all would have resulted in a loss for them -- so even shutting down and being left with at small amount of inventory was a better financial decision)...
     
  5. DaveT

    DaveT Searcher of green pastures

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    Consider putting it up on Loopnet.
     
  6. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    I can picture scamming in the sense of a purported seller not sending out goods after receiving payment, but I'm having trouble envisioning one the other way around. Pretty hard to run off with property...or a business...without payment. Unless, I suppose, one could be naive about turning over title, to a buyer who says, "just am having a bit of trouble with my Nigerian bank at the moment".

    Business broker vs real estate - a little gray here, but worth looking into.

    Craigslist: haven't I seen a lot of CL ads direct one to eBay? I thought so, but maybe I've not been paying attention.

    Keep 'em coming. How does one 'activate' an eBay sale?

    on edit: I'll have to read about Loopnet; that's a new one to me.
     
  7. araxara

    araxara S-P85#3,218 X-90D#3,299

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    I saw a TV show a few years ago where they were taking people around Alaska showing them property. One couple wanted to buy a sled dog farm. I think the link to the show is Buying land in Alaska | Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself. They have some interesting things at that web site. Maybe it may give you some ideas.
     
  8. Auzie

    Auzie Tree Hugger Member

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    #8 Auzie, Jun 21, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2014
    If I understand correctly the sale includes a home which is also a basis for accommodation business. The location is Heart of Alaska Range.

    Not sure that ebay will be the right approach. It might give you wide audience but likely the wrong one. Give it a go anyway.

    I would approach the problem from a different angle. If I wanted to buy in Alaska, where would I go?

    I think I would start with google. I would google "House and accommodation business for sale" in Alaska if that is what I was looking for.

    It might be an idea to create a website with lots of beautiful pictures of your property, and all that goes with that (some poetic descriptions).:cool:

    The property website will come handy regardless of the sale method. Then I would learn a bit more about Google targeted ads and perhaps buy some targeted advertising from Google.

    Google is great at guessing (spying?) about us. After I chat (text) with my son online through google+, I get advertisements on the topics of our discussion.

    Where did you go to find the house before you bought in? I really do not ask the question because I expect an answer, but you answering yourself might clarify issue a bit in your head.

    Who is likely to buy in what you are offering, what sort of people and what would be the best way to reach these people?

    Since you bought in there, that tells me that someone like you might be your target audience. Where could you find people like yourself?

    Other questions worth asking yourself is what made you buy in there. I do not know the reasons and prefer not to guess. Potential buyer has to be motivated to buy your home, what could motivate them? Answers to these questions might lead to your target audience and the best way to reach them.

    Who are your guests? People like your guests are likely to be a target audience. It might be an idea to e(mail) all guests to the area with the sales flyer and a link to your property website.

    I would also consider offering to rent the place and business out, for a trial period, say 1 year. Some people might prefer to try it out before committing. By offering a trial period, you might attract more people.

    Good luck with your sale:smile:
     
  9. Seven7

    Seven7 Member

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    I think the above post has some excellent ideas. Consider me impressed.
     
  10. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    Thank you for all the suggestions!
     
  11. Seven7

    Seven7 Member

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    I went over to E-bay and searched for land in Alaska, Hotels in Alaska and a few other searches and I'm just not getting anything close to what your selling, so, you might want to strike E-bay of the list.

    Maybe someone on here could answer this, if a citizen of a country other than the US were to buy this for over one million $ would that make the buyer eligible for an expedited visa?
     
  12. Auzie

    Auzie Tree Hugger Member

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    I googled homes for sale in Alaska. There are plenty, not expensive. Lots of competition to beat.

    It seems to me that it might be a better idea to target business buyers rather than home buyers, as the competition seems to be too tough for homes. Plain home buyers are more likely to look elsewhere for a home, not in Alaska.

    Many people are eager to become self sufficient by running their own business, and that seems to be the main attraction of your offer. I would structure the offer as the opportunity to be a business owner and run a business, in an exotic setting. That exotic setting might appeal to particular segment of the population, hunters, researchers, people that wish to get away from the crowd and get into the wilderness.

    I would target business buyers and give them a sweetener. The sweetener is the option to 'rent to buy' your business.

    'Rent to buy' is often offered to prospective buyers as a step towards the full purchase. It is likely to attract buyers who otherwise might not get into transaction. You would need to find a lawyer familiar with this concept, to write up a contract.

    There are many people eager to migrate to US, that could also be your potential target audience.

    Google could be your best friend in finding your target audience. It might pay off to learn a little bit how best to present your website so it comes on top of google searches. I never investigated this in detail as I had no need, but the little that I know about google searches:

    1. It is possible to get professional web developers to write up a content on your website in such a way to help push your website closer to top of page on relevant searches. Some key words need to be included in the content. Google algo picks these words and displays web sites based on the match with key words.

    2. It might be easier just to pay Google so it displays your website on all related searches. Payment is based on cost per click.

    The problem that I see with ebay:

    I would not go to ebay to buy what you are selling

    Ebay does not facilitate good direct contact between the seller and the buyer, the communication is channeled through ebay. That is okay for small transactions, may not be okay in your case.

    Good luck:smile:
     

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