eBay Experiments

 
 

They say you can sell almost anything on eBay so every now and then I like to test this theory by putting strange items for sale.

Fake Pagerank

In 2007 fake PageRank was a little known thing – basically all you would have to do is 301 your domain to a say PR8 domain (PR10 sounds too good to be true) and wait a week or so. After Google recognises the redirection cut the 301 and the redirected site displays the PR of the former target site. People would place these items on eBay and naive webmasters would buy them in hope to get better rankings. I tested to see if this would really work and if people would buy the fake PageRank link – and they did! Amazing. Don’t worry, we did the right thing after the sale took place and nobody got ripped off for real, though I am sure they’ve all learnt a valuable lesson.

Cyber Fluff

After successfully selling my first virtual commodity I decided it’s time to up the game and sell nothing. And nothing is what was listed, more precisely under the name of “CyberFluff”. The name came to me after a conversation with a marketing person who described “added value” of any product as “fluff”. I asked myself, what if I removed the product and sold only fluff? To my great surprise the first CyberFluff got sold within a day so I listed another one. Five were sold in total and then I realised that the buyers were going after positive feedback and that I could get in trouble with eBay. Soon after that it became clear that this sort of practice was already common on eBay – particularly in the category of 99c e-Books.

My favorite feedback: “Exactly what I was looking for. Well packaged and lightning fast delivery! A++++”

Buy a Tweet

Our latest virtual commodity is something a bit more tangible. Our Twitter account is at 999 tweets and we’re selling our 1000th tweet to one lucky bidder. All the money will be given to Be a Hero Australia: http://www.beaheroaustralia.org/

Do you have any suggestions for our next eBay experiment? Let us know!

Dan Petrovic is a well-known Australian SEO and a managing director of Dejan SEO. He has published numerous research articles in the field of search engine optimisation and online marketing. Dan's work is highly regarded by the world-wide SEO community and featured on some of the most reputable websites in the industry. Questions? Here's Dan's contact email.

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