How One Weird eBay Listing Proved the Power of Influencer Marketing

Imagine an eBay listing for an ugly necklace of wooden acorns and leaves that have seen better days.

The wood is dried out and cracked, the finish is faded, and the chain is nothing to get excited about. If you found this necklace at a flea market or jumble sale, you’d pay about 50 cents for it.

And yet this listing had 26 people watching it and fetched a price of nearly $50, thanks to three bidders slugging it out in the last moments of the auction.

How did this happen?

By using the power of a name.

In this case, the seller wrote that while there was no maker’s mark on the necklace, she thought it looked like a certain designer that people search for on eBay.

And while I am no expert, I don’t think anyone would mistake this necklace for one created by the designer she named.

Yet, it didn’t matter.

Because she used the designer’s name, this auction came up in the search results for that designer. This got a LOT of eyes on the auction (power of keywords!)

And because some people thought the necklace did look like it came from this designer, or at least looked like it might, they were interested.

This is the power of name-dropping or, in a roundabout way, influencer marketing.

And when you get someone who is already in touch with your market to endorse your product, you and your product are suddenly elevated to the expert’s level in the eyes of your prospects.

It’s that easy.

There is a flip side, though. You might want to be careful to who you attach your name. I once knew a promising up-and-coming marketer who attached his name to a well-known ‘expert’ who turned out to be a major con artist. When things blew up for the ‘expert,’ they also blew up for my friend. He now has a 10 to 6 job selling carpeting, if that gives you an idea of how things turned out for him.

Fortunately, most influencers aren’t going to get busted for anything anytime soon.

The next time you write a post, see if you can drop in a few names of influencers. It’s as easy as using a quote from them.

This simple tactic can sometimes make your post go viral, or at the very least garner a lot more attention than it would have otherwise.


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