When Kevin Zheng started his vintage gaming store vintage imported in 2020 (now called The Gaming Archive) he was a college student during a global pandemic. He never expected it to turn into a full-time business. Now, with the help of eBay’s advertising portfolio, his eBay business is full time and thriving — and he even counts his parents as two of his employees. Read Kevin’s perspective on how advertising helped to take his business to the next level. 

The Gaming Archive grew sales by 15% with Promoted Listings Advanced on eBay
Why did your business start selling on eBay? What attracted you to the marketplace?

We chose eBay as our launch platform, as we were already familiar with the website and selling process from selling our personal items before. While we initially chose eBay out of convenience, we quickly realized that eBay is the premier destination for many of our customers who are shopping for refurbished retro gaming consoles. We were even more attracted to eBay after trying different marketplaces, as none had garnered more sales than eBay. 

What does growth mean to you selling on eBay?

I still consider our business to be at an early stage, so everything can mean growth to us. While the easiest answer to this question would be more sales, more customers, and more profit, I think there’s a more important factor here. Since launching my  business, I have learned  so much about my customers and the retro gaming community in general. Every week, I get feedback and messages from customers, expressing how much they enjoy their consoles because they bring back childhood memories. More surprisingly, I get just as many messages about how their kids love our products as well. I’m very glad there’s a new generation of gamers who have found a passion for retro gaming, and that the passion is being passed on to younger audiences. I’m most excited to see growth for the retro gaming community as a whole, and for more people to appreciate this culture.

When did you start leveraging eBay’s advertising solutions to promote your listings?

I started leveraging Promoted Listings with a general campaign strategy almost immediately. I know that in order for customers to understand the value that we are delivering, the customer must first have the opportunity to read our listings. Having a top search slot gives us that opportunity to present our products and listings. Promoted Listings has changed the game for us; having a search result that is ranked lower would take longer to reach customers.

How has your experience been using Promoted Listings with a general strategy? Can you share a bit about your strategy and the results you’ve seen? 

Most of our listings are being promoted with a general strategy, primarily to help our products sell faster. We are confident that our products will sell by themselves, but Promoted Listing helps expedite that process.

You started using Promoted Listings with a priority strategy this summer. What type of results have you seen?

I’ll admit that I was initially hesitant to use the priority strategy, as I have never been one to pay for advertisements without seeing results first. I began promoting my listings with a general strategy during the pandemic in 2020 and decided to try the priority strategy for the first time in June 2023. I started by changing one of our listings from the general strategy to the priority strategy as a trial with a $25 daily budget. The set budget per day was the average of how much I would have spent with a general strategy, and the end result was incredible, as I ended up having 15% more sales while maintaining the same budget. I’m planning to switch more popular listings to a priority strategy.

What was the most valuable tip shared with you when you first tested the priority strategy? 

I think the most valuable tip I received about priority strategy is to adopt the mindset that in the long run, it will be cheaper than a general campaign strategy. As someone who is very careful with ad spend, that was what motivated me to try it out.

Overall, how are eBay’s advertising solutions helping you grow your brand’s business on eBay? 

eBay’s advertising solutions have been the key to helping us grow our brand. We exclusively rely on eBay for any advertising. It has been extremely helpful for small businesses like ours that do not have the resources and capital to spend on our own marketing campaigns.

What changed would you like to see us make to eBay’s advertising tools so that they can help you grow your brand’s business further?

I would love to see more data and reports available for general campaigns. It would be helpful to see what keywords customers are searching for and where our customers are coming from. For example, was the sale made through eBay’s Promoted slots within search results, or was it driven from off-site ad leads? Another feature that I would love to see in the future would be suggestions and feedback for sellers on how to improve their listings for SEO, based on Promoted Listing results. I would also like to see  a centralized page for Promoted Listings settings, such as a tab under the Seller Hub that shows all the information for Promoted Listings. These changes would make eBay’s advertising tools  even easier to use and  could lead to more sellers using the feature.

Let’s have some fun. What is a fun fact you can share about your brand’s eBay business no one knows about, or very few people are aware of?

 A fun fact is that both of my parents came out of retirement to join in on the business! They have been learning a lot about eCommerce and running a small business, as they both came from the corporate world. My father even picked up skills on doing minor repairs and it quickly became a hobby for him to sit down and ticker away. While it was never my intention to start a family business, it has been a surprisingly exciting journey to run a business with my parents.

A big thank you to Kevin for sharing his story with us and the eBay seller community. Wondering what advertising solution is right for your business? Click the buttons below to learn more.

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