Thursday, January 10, 2013
eBay, From Hobby to Business.
I keep getting requests to teach others to do what I am doing on eBay. I think the best way to do that is write a book about it. Want to hear it? Here is it goes. Enjoy.
I started selling on eBay in April of 1999. You can look me up and see what I am doing on there right now. My user name is mm9281004 and my store link is http://stores.ebay.com/The-Cherry-Picker-Boutique . I registered so I could sell some of my daughter's clothes that she had outgrown. She was about 18 mos and was growing like a weed so her clothes were gently used. I soon figured out that things were really selling on eBay and it was fun.
Over the next several years I always had something listed. My husband learned to tell me if something was off limits to sell on eBay. I was selling anything and everything that was not nailed down. I think it was in about 2008 that I discovered a little jewel in my home town of Klamath Falls, Oregon. It was...the Goodwill As Is store. There were wooden bins full of clothes, household items, electronics, furniture, all kinds of cool stuff. The catch was that you had to buy the items as they were, no trying them on or plugging them in. But... everything was sold by the pound. I was hooked and soon had an eBay Store with over 200 items. I did this mostly for mad money, not really taking it seriously.
In 2010 we moved to Vancouver, Washington. My husband had changed jobs and was working outside of Portland. Upon moving my first line of business was finding the closest Goodwill As Is store. Low and behold it was about a mile away and so started turning my hobby into a business. To avoid getting a 9 to 5 job in our new town I was determined. I knew what I could do and started making goals. Within a month I was back to 200 to 300 items and have been selling like crazy ever since. As I sit here writing we have been here for a year and half and my current 31 day sales for my Store is right around $1500. My goal is $2000 and I am fast approaching it.
I chose eBay because it is where the people go. Ebay is a household name. I have looked into other auction and selling sites and they just don't get the exposure and customer base that eBay does. If you are selling books I suggest also looking into http://half.com and http://amazon.com If you are selling handcrafted items I suggest http://etsy.com and for Antiques I suggest http://rubylane.com
What to Sell on eBay?
First I will tell you what I sell and why. I sell mostly used clothing. This is because I have a great source to buy them cheap and mark them up. Clothing is easy to ship. Most items I throw in a poly shipping envelope and slap on a shipping label, that I print out, and drop it off at the Post Office. I have been selling clothing long enough that I know what to look for and what sells. If I am not sure what a certain brand is I can buy it anyway because the cost is so low that it's ok if it ends up not selling. But usually it is a winner and I make money.
So what should you sell? You should sell what you like. If you like motorcycles sell motorcycle stuff. If you like pet supplies sell them. The key is to get on the site and see what your competition is doing. Research is key when finding a product or line to sell. I will explain more about researching prices next. You want to know about what you are selling. If you see that cellphones are selling like hot cakes but you don't know what phone goes with which company and are unable to list the items with the correct information you will get bad feedback and probably will not sell very many. So stick with what you know.
There are many ways to do this but here is what I do. It is simple and free. I just get on the eBay site and put in a search for what I am selling. I then click on advanced search and check the box for completed listings to see what has sold and for how much. Example: Lucky Brand Jeans, the search will bring up what is for auction and buy it now on eBay. For this search there will be many to see so I might narrow it down to skinny jeans or new if they are new. I can see the price range and condition of the other jeans to make a determination of about what I should list mine for.
I have reached a point where I know what most items and brands will sell for and usually just research brands that I am not sure about. You will get to that point too.
Where to Find Items to Sell
As you can see above I find most of my items at an outlet thrift store and pay by the pound. That is what I do and that is what I discovered. You will need to find your source for wholesale items. If you are selling cellphones you could put an add on craigslist to buy used cellphones. If you know how to repair cellphones you can purchase broken phones and fix them. You can find a wholesaler of new items and buy low and sell high. You could repair of alter items to sell. If you have a collection of your own you are ready to unload you could start with that.
If you are unsure of what to sell and where to find it I suggest that you start with items that you already own. With this you are starting with $0 investment and you can see if anything sells really well or if you really enjoy selling a certain item. Like I said before that is how I started and look at me now.
Newbies and the Challenges
There are quite a few people out there trying to make a buck on whomever they can. When you first start selling on eBay your feedback is going to be low. Some of these scammers will prey on you and see if they can get something for nothing.
Example: A friend called and said that she was selling her family's 3 used cell phones on eBay because they had all upgraded and bought new phones. Two of them sold without a hitch but the 3rd was “won” by someone in Africa and they sent her an email that looked like it came from PayPal that stated that the funds were being held until she gave them the shipping information.
Paypal does not hold funds for shipping info. The buyer was trying to get her to ship the phone without receiving the money and then she would be out the phone and the money. The buyer saw the low feedback score and pounced, produced a spoof email and waited. She called me because it didn't sound right and she had not agreed to ship out of the country.
So just be careful in the beginning and contact PayPal or eBay if there is doubt. Live and learn that is what it's all about.
This is a process that you will become very good at. The eBay site is super user friendly and the listing process is a step by step that is easy to understand. I will bring you through the basics but you will need to figure this out on your own too and the process changes all the time with new applications and options so here are the basics.
Auction or Buy it Now?
I sell BIN because I have a store with over 400 items. You can start a store or choose to sell in auctions format. The choice is yours and you will see what works best for you. Just try them both and see what you like. Look into the store prices and auction fees to determine what will be more profitable for you and your items for sale. Also if you are just starting out with your eBay account they will limit you to 10 items to sell. You will need to get your feedback up and prove that you are a reputable seller before you can list more than 10 items at a time and/or start an eBay store. I am not sure what the current requirements are for either so you will have to look into that.
Your first options for listing are the categories. Each item you sell will fit into a category. Example a tee shirt will go under Clothing, Women's Clothing, Tee Shirts. A doll will go under Dolls and Bears, Dolls, Cloth Dolls. You get the point. Most of the time when a buyer is searching they will just put in a specific search but sometimes they will want to see all the items in a certain category and then refine the search.
This is where you are going to describe your item for the buyer to find. You want to get as much information about the item as possible in this line. When a buyer puts in a specific search the title is what will bring them to your listing and others like it. If you just put the basics you might miss a search. For example if you are selling a Wet Seal shirt size medium and that is all that you put in the title you will miss out on the buyer who puts in the search for Wet Seal green ruffled shirt. I would put WET SEAL GREEN RUFFLED SHIRT TOP BLOUSE SIZE M MEDUIM.... That will cover the Brand, Color, Details, Item and Size in two forms... abbreviated and spelled out.
I also use all caps in my title to make it stand out. You can do what works best for you. Look at other seller's titles and see what fun tricks they are doing to catch attention. Have fun with it.
Note: There is a subtitle option. I use it very rarely because it does cost a fee. I use it if there is more information that I just can't fit into the title that is so important it warrants the extra fee.
Easy... What condition is the item in? The options are pretty basic... New, New with tags, Pre-owned. You can describe the specifics in the description.
There will be a list of options depending on the category you chose to put your item under. If there is a green astric next to the option it is required that you choose something or write in your own option on that line. The others are optional and can help buyers find your item.
They are not required. BUT... if you want to sell your item you want a picture of it. After all would you buy an item from a stranger sight unseen? Me neither. So the goal here is to get the best possible picture. I use a point and shoot digital camera. I have toyed with it long enough hat I know what settings work best. I also utilize eBay's photo editing when loading and placing photos on my listing. You will need to get good at this with your own camera. I suggest looking at other listings of like items and see what looks most appealing to you. For example if you are looking at a pair of pants would you be more apt to buy the one that is folded up sitting one someones bed or the one laid out on a hardwood floor with close ups of the front and back pockets. This is the same for all items... you have to think about if you were the buyer... what would you want to see of that particular item before buying it.
Here is an article I wrote about taking good pictures. http://www.squidoo.com/how-to-photograph-clothes-for-ebay-and-craigslist
PayPal is the way to go when selling or buying on eBay. I use PayPal exclusively for receiving payments for the items that I list on eBay. I have a PayPal debit card that I can use against my current balance at stores and at the ATM for cash. When a buyer pays me for an item he/she also pays the shipping amount which I in turn use to pay for the shipping label that I print out. I also use my PayPal card when buying inventory. So my business stays centralized to my PayPal account. I can also transfer funds to my personal bank account and visa versa.
eBay has its own shipping calculator. You put in the approx weight of the item including the box or envelope and eBay will calculate the shipping for different areas of the US that your buyers are. For example if you have a pair of jeans that weight 1 lb. 7 oz. the eBay shipping calculator will give a shipping price differently for someone who lives a state or two away than someone that lives across the country. This makes your job much easier. As you will see when entering your shipping information in the listing you will have the options of weights, shipping methods and size of package. I suggest giving two options, the most inexpensive one (usually parcel post, first class or media rate) and a priority option. This gives the buyer the option to get it fast if needed.
Printing Shipping Labels
When you sell an item and the buyer has paid you via PayPal you can print out a shipping label directly from your computer's printer. Here is how you do it. Go to “my eBay” on the left side scroll down to “sold” and you will get a list of the items that you have sold. The items with the $ highlighted are the items that have been sold and paid for. All the way to the left of the item is a Highlighted option to “print a shipping label” . When you click on that it will take you to a page specifically to print and pay for that item. It will list the weight, method and price that the buyer opted for. You simply click on the “Pay and Print” button and follow the prompts. Ebay then automatically takes the money for the shipping label out of your Paypal account and directs you to a page to print out the label. I just print the label out on plain copy paper, cut it out and tape it to the package using clear packing tape. No need for a special label printer or adhesive paper.
I use a household kitchen scale for weighing my items. My scale goes up to 25 lbs but with clothing and household I rarely go over 5 lbs. Find one that suits your needs best.
I currently accept returns up to 14 days. I do this to keep my Top Rated Seller Status. My returns are accepted if the buyer returns the item to my per their cost. I do however make huge exceptions for items that were damaged that I missed. Some items I just return money and don't ask for the item back especially if it was a low cost item. The reason I do this is because I get my inventory for so little that it is no big deal and if the buyer is a good buyer I would rather just make them happy. You can tell if you have a good buyer by their feedback scores. I have on occasion felt that something was not right when a return/refund was requested and have contacted eBay support on unique situations. They are most helpful and I recommend talking to them if you feel something is not right.
As a Seller you are providing items for sale but you are also providing customer service. Think about if you were buying items from a picture... similar to catalog shopping. If when you received the item and were not happy with it or it had a rip or stain on it how you would want to be treated. There are some scammers out there that might be trying to get something for nothing. I usually ask for a photo of the item's flaw or on high priced items ask for the item to be returned. I know if I received a shirt with a rip or stain I would have no problem sending a photo as proof to the seller.
The better you are in difficult situations the better feedback you will get and the higher your score will get. Follow your gut and if if feels right do it, if it doesn't call seller support and see what your options are.
I try to put as much information into the description of each item, color, measurements, condition, flaws, etc... but I still get questions about all sorts of things. Do your best to answer the questions and post the question in the listing if it is universal like how big is the hole or what is the inseam measurement.
I hope this has helped you and given you some ideas to make your eBay selling experience a better one. Bringing eBay from a hobby to a business is fun and profitable. I love the hunt/picking process and don't like the sitting down and listing. I do love the freedom I have as an eBay seller. It allows me to be a stay at home Mom to our daughters that are in school all day. I don't have to abide by anyone else's schedule and can make more by doing more. I make money while I sleep, vacation or just take a day off. I hope this inspires you to do your own thing and make money doing it.
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
It is very challenging to trying to balance out the things at professional and personal level. Make sure to work according to the capacity otherwise, it can lay adverse affects on your health. Million distractions rise when you work from home and make you uncomfortable. According to experts, time management is the key to get success in home business. Working from home can be more stressful at times and need proper attention. Working from home doesn’t mean you have to forego a professional or productive work environment! While it may seem like a challenge to set your home office apart from the rest of your living space, all it requires is giving the matter a little time, thought, and creativity. Follow these easy steps to transform your home office into a pleasant, efficient, and organized workspace.
- Find the perfect spot. Part of keeping organized in a home office is ensuring that you have a suitable place set aside to serve solely as your home office. It's not going to be effective if you're borrowing space anywhere, such as the kitchen table, or your child's desk while they're at school. Instead of "nomading" about the house in search of the perfect space, select one spot that is out of the way of pedestrian traffic, unaffected by noise or other sources of interference, and can be a permanent home office base for you. Purchase a table or desk (depending on your needs) that can be used just for your work tasks.
- Check that everything is ergonomically suitable for you. It's easy to become despondent and start making a mess when your working arrangements make you feel uncomfortable. A chair that makes your legs feel deadened or a table that just doesn't have the space needed will soon have you wandering off and trying out other parts of the house for working in to try and improve your comfort levels. If you're doing this, have your workspace assessed for ergonomics and make appropriate changes to ensure your comfort. You can either ask a professional person to come to your house to do this for you, or you can assess it yourself using online guidance, for example, read How to set up an ergonomically correct work station.
- If you're selling items online or from home, be sure to make adequate space for packaging, sorting, and storing your items as well as the usual computer and related work required. A table at standing height can be very helpful if you need to do a lot of wrapping, packaging, sorting type work.
- Remove the superfluous. Clutter will make it impossible for you to remain organized in a home office. Being at home, you're at greater risk of things "migrating" into your work zone that have nothing to do with your work – for example, stuffed toys, pieces of clothing, books unrelated to your work, things tossed in your workspace area by others, and things mounting up through your own lack of self-discipline. Deal with this by getting rid of every object that is not useful for work. Take a close look at what you're dealing with and define carefully what you need and what you don't. And don't hang onto pens that no longer work; useless writing implements can waste several minutes of time for you a work when you need to search for new ones. At the end of this de-clutter, you'll get tons of spare space!
- After removing the superfluous, permit yourself three beautiful objects to grace your workspace and inspire you. Keep it at three or less always, no more. If you want to rotate the inspirational things, then feel free to do so.
- Manage the cables. You’ve probably found out through experience that the tangled cords under your desk are great at achieving three things: they trap dust balls, they make you look disorganized, and they snag your feet, occasionally pulling over something else in the process! Don’t live with that rat’s nest of cables lurking behind your workstation; even if you’ve never thought it was possible to straighten out your office cables, give it a try. This project is super easy to tackle (even for beginners), and the results are very gratifying:
- Allow for a little time, elbow grease, and creativity!
- Go about your cable management in a countless number of ways – everyone’s different. If you like things as simple and pared-down as possible, neatly bundle your cords with cable ties, or completely raise wires off the floor by sticking them to the underside of your desk with adhesive cord clips. For the more complex personalities, there are all sorts of cable management systems that mount directly onto your desk or a nearby wall. The bottom line is to go with whatever works for you, just so long as you get those cords organized!
- Go wireless. Now that you’ve got that mess under your desk cleared up, think about getting rid of the cord clutter on your work surface. Wireless keyboards and computer mice are terrific gadgets that will free up both your space and your movements. Just imagine not have to tug the cord of your computer mouse free ever again! If you haven't already gone wireless, invest in it now; all the extra space is worth it. Consider, however, that a wireless mouse and keyboard will need recharging and new batteries from time to time, and some have a lag in "waking up" after a long period of non-use.
- Keep your printer off your workspace desk or table. Purchase or find a suitable printer table for it instead. If this small table or cabinet has shelves for storing printer paper and cartridges, this is even better.
- Ensure adequate lighting. A home office needs good lighting to help you see properly at all hours of the day. If you're stuck in a basement or somewhere that's darker than normal, consider using a daylight bulb to brighten up your working space and to help you feel that the light is more natural. Get sufficient lamps to ensure your work is properly lighted, whether it's typing, surfing, reading, sewing, crafting, or whatever.
- Label everything! Stop squinting at the handwritten chicken-scratch on your file tabs and invest in a label maker instead! Having a label printer around will not only keep the contents of your filing cabinet looking neat and professional, it’s also very handy for organizing discs, office supplies and storage cabinets. Laminated tape labels such as those produced by a Brother P-Touch label maker are particularly good at staying clean and intact. Especially if you are printing several labels at once, a set of mailing labels in a printer is a cheap alternative, but be aware that printing labels one at a time and, thus, running a partially-consumed sheet of adhesive labels through the printer can create a sticky jam -- don't do it on an expensive printer. Label-makers that connect to computers save a lot of time by allowing data entry on the computer's superior keyboard, or even from a database or other computer file.
- Use shelves to store books. If you use books a lot for your work, having shelves in or near your workspace will provide the space needed to arrange them for easy access rather than piling them up on your desk or the floor. Try to keep the shelves tidy and well ordered at all times.
- Sort. Sort through papers and shred the ones you don’t need. We’ve all dealt with it: the mountain of paper that comes from repeatedly putting off sorting through junk mail and paperwork. You have it in your power to keep that paper from piling up in the first place!
- Make a standing date with yourself on a weekly basis to sort through accumulated mail and documents.
- File the things you need to hang onto, and throw the rest out.
- It’s always a good idea to a keep a paper shredder nearby, for disposing of documents that contain personal information (you’ll be preventing clutter and identity theft at the same time).
- If the printed material is available on the internet, throw it way and store the information online instead. If you're concerned that the site might not retain the information, make a copy of it and put it on your computer or into a cloud computing space for keeping.
- From now on, use the OHIO principle: Only Handle It Once. Deal with papers as you get them, and either file or throw them away. And develop a filing system that works for you; it doesn't matter what filing system it is, as long as it does what you need it to, and quickly!
- Hanging folders with clearly-labeled tabs in alphabetical (or other logical) order allow fastest access to files. They should be loosely spaced in the cabinet so as not to require pushing other files away from the one being used. The individual files can be periodically removed and internally organized or purged from time to time; make this process easier by adding new material in a consistent manner, such as always at the back. Older material such as a year of records at a time can be stapled.
- Straighten up at each day's end. Before you call it a day, do a small tidy up. One of the best ways to keep your home workspace neat and productive is to take five minutes at the end of each day to straighten up your desktop: file papers, re-shelve books, put pens and highlighters back in their proper place; even dust your keyboard once in awhile! By taking just a few minutes to put everything back in order, you’re making a useful transition out of your workday, and ensuring that your office will be much more pleasant place to return to the next day.
VideoClear the clutter and make your home office work for you and your family.
- Consider keeping a second chair in your working area, one that is comfortable and snug for reading. Put a direct lamp over it, and use it to take reading breaks in the chair. Even if your work from home is one based on using tools for craft, sewing, or other manufacturing work, there will still be times when resting on a comfortable chair, and reading about ideas for your work will be a welcome break.
- Listen to what works for you best; your reaction to your current desk or workspace arrangement should be a guide to how you'd prefer the workspace to work for you, rather than against you.
- Keep your computer files and emails organized too. This will make a big difference to your working ease.
- Optional but pleasant additions to a home office environment include scent (use incense, scent burners, or scent sticks), and background music if it doesn't distract you.
- Add plants to your home office. These can purify the indoor air, beautify the space, and give you a sense of well-being just having them around.
- You can reduce the problems by designing a comfortable office as you are working from home. The quality of the furniture that you add to your home office is very useful in long run and will help to increase the productivity of you and your staff.
- It can be easy to dismiss the importance of a well-organized home office but working from home requires the same standards of self-care and attention to workspace needs as working in an office, retail, or manufacturing environment. Don't belittle the importance of quality space, furniture, and supplies.
- File cabinets can be very heavy and, due to their extending drawers, easy to tip over accidentally. Ensure they are anchored to strong points in the wall if children are around. Short cabinets can reduce but not eliminate this danger.
Things You'll Need
- Paper shredder
- Label maker
- Adhesive cord clips, cable ties or a simple elastic band
- Storage space
- How to Clean out Your Closet
- How to Clean Out Your Home
- How to Find the Perfect Work at Home Opportunity
- How to Organize Your Room
- How to Secure Your Wireless Home Network
- How to Enjoy Cleaning Your Homes Office
- How to Make a Huge Hanging Shelf for a Cabin or Shed
- How to Solve the Desktop PC Wire Tangle
Sources and Citations
- ↑ Elizabeth Mayhew, How to Organize a Home Office, http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/15700193
- ↑ Elizabeth Mayhew, How to Organize a Home Office, http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/15700193
Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Organize Your Home Office. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.CLICK HERE FOR WHOLESALE INFO FOR YOUR EBAY BIZ
Monday, December 24, 2012
I have always been a free spirit and was raised that way, moving a lot and constantly adapting to new situations. I was also raised by parents that owned and ran a Secondhand/Antique Store in Anacortes, Washington. My dad had a job at the dump and got full salvage rights, both parents garage saled and my dad was always wheeling and dealing for the store and us, the family, cars, furniture, ponies. So I was already learning about buying low and selling higher to make money.
With bargain hunting in my blood and my need to call the shots on my career I chose eBay. I sell mostly used brand name clothes and over the years I get better and better at spotting some great stuff. I enjoy the "hunt" and the selling of the item most. The listing and shipping are just the part that I have to do to make the money. I go to the local outlet thrift store and pay by the pound, digging through bins of items to fine the diamonds in the rough.
The best part of all of this is I don't answer to anyone except myself. The more I work, if I can call it that, the more I make. I can take breaks whenever I want and even when I am busy I only work a few hours a day. I figured it you and I make more than if I went out and got a full time job at minimum wage or better. PLUS.... I am here for our girls. I am here for Summer, Winter and Spring breaks, half days, days off, sick days, snow days, practices, before and after school. I am here when they need me and I know where they are because I am either with them or have approved where they are and who they are with. Being a mom is my most important job and this amazing job that I have found for myself allows me to be the best mom I can be.
So to sum it up my why is my love of finding great stuff to resell, a simple way to turn it over and most of all my ability to have freedom to be me and a mom. What is your why for what you do?
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Friday, December 21, 2012
Selling on eBay is exactly like selling in any other marketplace except that the usual barriers to entry (such as cost, employment, etc.) are virtually non-existent and, instead of just a few thousand potential buyers, you have access worldwide to over 181 million potential buyers! In fact, people who have already experienced selling through garage or yard sales or swap meets are already well and truly familiar with what it’s like to sell on eBay. Whether you're a home-based business, a big business, or just trying to sell some stuff you may have sitting around, here is a comprehensive guide to becoming an eBay seller.
- 1 Steps
- 2 Video
- 3 Tips
- 4 Warnings
- 5 Related wikiHows
- 6 Sources and Citations
- Create an eBay account if you don't have one already. Go to eBay's main page in your country and register following the instructions on the page. To find eBay, simply use your favorite search engine and type in eBay and check that it has returned an eBay relevant to where you live.
- Have a valid email account so that you can confirm your account and who you are.
- Decide on a good account name ahead of time. Since so many people are already on eBay, spend some time checking that the name you want is actually available and come up with alternatives when your preferred name is already in use.
- Think about what you want to add to your profile page. People do read these to try and find out more about you, so it's a good place to explain your credentials, such as being a collector, a retailer, a person with knowledge of particular items, etc.
- Build your account. Since feedback matters to people buying from you, it's a good idea to buy a few small things and pay immediately so that you will get some positive feedback ratings. At this stage, don't buy things you intend to resell because you won't know what works until later; just buy things you'd buy anyway, such as something to add to a collection, an item of clothing, some food, etc. This will give you the experience on using the site and your "site cred" will start to build.
- Potential buyers who see a new seller without feedback can be very wary that you're a "fly-by-night" or an unknown (and therefore risky) factor.
- Work out how you'll accept payment. This varies depending on where you're selling; some people prefer Paypal or similar services, some prefer direct deposit into accounts, some prefer checks or cash. The rationale will depend on ease of using any particular payment system and what your buyers are used to. You may need to be flexible for overseas buyers too if you allow them to bid, as they'll have different payment expectations from those purchasing within your own country. Do research on which payment options are best for you.
- Consider what you want to sell. You might already have an excellent idea of what you want to sell and you've been hoarding the product for a time. Or, you might know but have no product and need to know where to source it from. Alternatively, you might want to sell but you don't have a clue what just yet. It's important to think through a number of things when deciding what products you're likely to sell on eBay regularly.
- Consider a trial sale of items you don't want that are simply around the house. This will get you used to what it feels like to sell and all the paperwork and logistics involved but it might also give you more ideas about the types of things you enjoy selling.
- Work out whether you'd prefer to sell new or used items, or a combination of both. New items can be sourced in bulk from warehouses and wholesalers and resold for profit individually, while used items need more work to find such as through real life auctions, thrift stores and direct buys from estates, etc. It really depends on the type of person you are and whether or not you enjoy hunting far and wide for things to sell. When selling new things, you need to know the existing market and make sure you're not entering something that is already saturated unless you are able to massively undercut the existing sellers. Be aware that trends can pass quickly too, leaving you with stale stock. With older things, you might have to wait longer for the collector or other interested buyer to turn up but the sale can be a sweet deal if it goes well. If you're selling antiques, you'll also need to be very knowledgeable and able to pack fragile, precious and valuable items really well to avoid problems with buyers.
- Think about space as an important issue. Working from home selling things can reduce overheads but if your stock starts taking over the space, your life won't be the same. Do you have room for your products and room to wrap, pack and store purchased items? Do you have a dedicated space for eBay selling or do you have to keep moving everything around? Space and storage are very important factors to sort out.
- Know what's hot. The most popular items to sell are probably something everyone wants to be a part of and to an extent that makes sense. However, also be aware that if it's popular, there will be many more sellers on your patch selling the very same things as you, so you'll need to set yourself apart with things that customers like, such as lower prices, more features, added bonuses and good descriptions that reassures the customer that you know what you're talking about. To find out what's hot, check out eBay's page: pages.ebay.com/sellercentral/hotitems.pdf. Items commonly listed here include CDs, women's and men's clothing, toy cars, cell phones, laptop computers, gold jewelry, cars and football shirts.
- Know what you can't sell. There are forbidden products on eBay, some are more obvious than others. Check out Help -> Is My Item Allowed? to find out what eBay doesn't allow to be sold. Ignoring this can have your account suspended or even permanently banned.
- Research your market. Search eBay for items like those you want to sell. Read the listings. Take note of what sort of information or photos you find most helpful to you as a potential buyer – the same type of information will be helpful to your potential buyers. Consider what makes you think a seller is trustworthy and how you will manage to convey that same sense of trustworthiness through your sales and profile.
- You can use products built specifically for seller research such as Terapeak or Vendio research but you'll need to pay for these. These web-based software solutions search all of eBay's closed listings for you and will quickly show you what the average price of your item is, what keywords are associated with the most closed listings, and who the top sellers are. (Popsike.com is a free version just for music if you're into selling music.)
- Assemble the information you will need to place the listing. Usually, this includes measuring the item, weighing the item so you can estimate shipping costs, and having your photos ready.
- Take photographs of your item. Good photographs which clearly illustrate the item to be sold can make a listing; bad photographs are little better than no photographs at all. Get a cheap digital camera or a camera-phone if you don't have one already; no photograph at all will (especially for a new seller) lead some people to think that you don't own the item at all, or have something to hide.
- Make your photographs useful. In preparation for taking the photo, place the item in area where there won't be a distracting background and get rid of any nearby clutter. A simple sheet of white paper may be used to provide a nice, neutral background for smaller items. Where possible, turn off your flash and use natural light; go outside, or take a photo by a window.
- Get as many photographs as your buyers will need, and then some. Take photographs of your item from every angle that you think someone will find useful. Get photographs of any unusual feature, any defects, and so on. The extra confidence that this will give buyers is almost always (except on the lowest-valued items) worthwhile. Of course, some items only need one photo; use your judgment here.
- Don't copy photographs from other listings or anywhere else on the Internet, ever. Apart from being dishonest and fraudulent, this will almost always be copyright infringement; nearly everything on the Internet, and elsewhere, is copyrighted, whether it has a copyright notice or not. Don't become a criminal through being too lazy to take a couple of photographs.
- See How to take better product photos for free for more ideas on producing good photos for eBay sales.
- Log in and go to "Sell" either in "My eBay" or through the Main Page at the top.
- Enter a title for your listing. The title is the front line in getting your auction noticed. A good title will not only give potential buyers enough information to know whether the listing is worth their time to look at, it will also attract people searching for your items.
- Include all relevant words. Experienced buyers know to look for bargains from inexperienced sellers by browsing listings and looking for those with insufficient information in the title; for example, the title "Land Rover" instead of "Land Rover Series 2 SWB 88" 2.25 Petrol". Insufficient information in a title will attract a far smaller number of potential buyers and/or bidders; consequently such an item will either not sell, or go for a much lower price than it would otherwise.
- As a corollary to the above, keep the words relevant. Exclude fluff such as "cool" "excellent", and the like. You have very little space, so use it for what people are searching for (you can be rather sure that nobody is going to be searching eBay for items titled "L@@K" or "AWESOME!!!!"). Use a subtitle for any information that you think people will neither be searching for nor want to see immediately (this costs more; depending on the value of your item it may not be worth it).
- Include alternative spellings and phrasings if you have space. For example, if you're selling an iPod, put "MP3 player" in your title. However, eBay's search will automatically account for variant phrasings; it will also sometimes check category names in addition to the auction title. Do a search on specific terms and look at the titles of the auctions that come up.
- Spell it correctly! This sounds basic, but many people find bargains (and many online tools make money on commissions) by routinely checking for mis-spelled auction titles. If your spelling sucks, use a dictionary or use your web browser's auto spell check feature. If your web browser does not have an auto spell check feature, download a better one that does.
- Enter a description, after choosing a category.
- Include any and all relevant information. This includes things like the manufacturer, compatibility (for items intended to be used with something else), size, weight, color, condition, and so on. Err on the side of adding too much information rather than too little. A buyer can skim through information they do not need to know, but will likely hit the "back" button if they don't see the information they want; for this reason, it's best to put the most important information at or very near the beginning of the listing. Try not to make your listings into big bags of random figures; use the "feature-benefit" method beloved of marketing drones. "The camera comes with a big long lens which I don't know anything about" is bad. "The high-quality 80-200 zoom lens (feature) lets you take sports and wildlife shots like the pros (benefit)" is much better.
- Keep the design simple, if you see the need to design a listing at all. Some sellers clutter their listings with unrelated elements that that it makes the listing itself more difficult to read; others (particularly eBay's standard listing designs, which cost money) look ugly and lead to two very different, clashing designs on the same page.
- Be honest. Be clear about any defects in the item. Buyers will find this out anyway, so let them decide for themselves what is a significant problem and what is not. Remember, buyers cannot physically touch and examine your item. They are relying on the detail and accuracy of your listing to make the purchase. Not describing any significant faults (and your assessment of what is "significant" may not match with the buyers, or with what courts will decide) is fraud, and will likely lead to the buyer leaving bad feedback. You are just as liable for dishonesty as you would be with any other kind of sale. In short, "underpromise and oversell".
- Keep a friendly tone. Many sellers seem to go to extra efforts to intimidate potential customers; they seem to think it's essential to leave several pages of threats (invariably in huge, colored fonts) to report non-paying bidders, and so on. Don't do this! You wouldn't want to buy from a bricks-and-mortar store wherein the owner watched your every move and reminded you that you would have to pay for every item you looked at if you left the store with it. Nor would you want to shop at a store wherein the sales clerk complained about other customers. The Internet is no different; it's insulting to your potential buyers to treat them as potential thieves or wrongdoers; drop the bad faith approach. If you must include additional information on your policies, ensure the length is shorter than your item description.
- Check your spelling. This won't make up for a bad listing in other respects, but it still goes some way. Proper capitalization and punctuation makes listings much easier to read.
- Pick a selling format. You have two options; which you will pick depends on your personal preferences
- The online auction. Despite this being somewhat de-emphasised by eBay recently, this is still enormously popular with buyers and isn't going away any time soon. Auctions are probably best for less common items, and when you're uncertain as to what price you should sell at.
- Buy It Now items are fixed-price items. You might want to consider this for more common items; for example, new items which people need immediately are unlikely to attract many bids in an auction.
- Set your price. If you are selling at auction, set this to the lowest price that you could ever imagine selling your item for. If you're brave, set it lower than this; lower starting bids attract more bidders and interest in your item, and may well result in your item selling for more. Avoid setting a reserve price. This is somewhat akin to a form of shill bidding, with bidders bidding against the seller himself. A reserve auction irritates some potential buyers because they have no idea what the seller wants, and may not bother bidding at all. If you're selling a fixed-price item, then use your judgment. You have little option but to undercut other sellers on eBay.
- Whatever you do, remember that there is no such thing as an item's "real value". Bear this in mind if you are thinking about setting a reserve price in an auction. If items really do have some Platonic dollar-value, it's irrelevant to the real world if nobody is willing to pay that for it. (And for many kinds of items, eBay is "the market", not just an entertaining side-show thereof.)
- See How to determine what to price your eBay items for more details.
- Continue to go through the options, and be sure to look everything over very carefully. There's a lot to look through and you'll want to make sure everything is correct. Make sure the item is sold at a reasonable price.
- Fix any mistakes. You can continue to fix mistakes in an auction until the first bid has been placed, after which, it is what it says!
- Rotate or crop any photos that might need it for a better appearance.
- Double check everything before saving. Be sure that when you're done with everything at the end (you're at the overview page) to double check and press submit. If you don't press submit it won't be entered. You'll then get an e-mail confirming that your product was placed on eBay.
- Decide when to end the auction. There are some times that are best for ending an auction, dependent on the item you're selling. Auctions ending on Sundays, Mondays and weekends tend to catch high traffic, therefore increasing the chances of better end prices for your items. Many items are also seasonal, and so there are better times of the year to be selling these than other times of the year. For example, beach gear does better in summer while skis will do better in winter.
- You can check out eBay's planned promotions for certain categories at: pages.ebay.com/sell/resources.html. Check this out and plan your sales for when these categories will be highlighted.
- Choose the end time either by listing at the same time you want the item to end or choose it manually when listing. If you want a different end time from the one that is automatically chosen, set it to the time you'd prefer.
- Answer questions from your buyers as the auction runs its course. Be prompt about it, and always be patient, clear, professional and friendly. Buyers don't like to see unanswered questions and it impacts your professionalism, so don't hesitate to respond.
- Refuse offers to buy your item outside of eBay. This is against eBay policy, and gives you little or no comeback if the buyer refuses to pay.
- Watch the auction. You'll get an idea of interest by watching the counter change and if few people are looking, you might need to make adjustments to the auction to make it more appealing to those browsing about the site. Learn by observing what works and does not work and apply changes as needed.
- End an auction if needed. You have the ability to end an auction up to 12 hours before it's due to end. This should be used very sparingly though, as watchers may well have been excited about making bids and will be disappointed to see this as a "habit". Keep it for exceptional circumstances such as broken, lost or stolen items. (And by way of a hint, once you have listed products for sale, keep them somewhere safe!)
- Keep an eye on buyers. It is possible to block some buyers for certain reasons such as buyers who can't pay with Paypal, buyers who are in countries you can't ship to and buyers with low or bad feedback. And you can also set up Approved Buyers lists that automatically allow some buyers to bid.
- Lower the reserve price. Prior to the last 12 hours of an auction, it's possible to lower the reserve price if you find you're not getting bids.
- Breathe a sigh of relief once the product sells but get ready for the packing, tracking and answering your buyer's emails. You're not finished yet and here is where timely responding and good communications really come into their own.
- Leave feedback. It's polite and good business practice to leave feedback once the buyer has met their end of the bargain. Adding feedback on the day of shipping is a good record for both of you and if you're doing all the right things, there should be no risk in leaving feedback at this stage. However, some sellers prefer to wait until they're reassured that the buyer is happy with their purchase once the buyer has left feedback; you'll need to gauge the need for that dependent on what you're selling. It comes down to how much faith you have in the feedback system and how your buyers usually respond.
- It's fine to politely ask buyers to leave you feedback if you have the time and willingness to do this. Only do this once though; don't badger them.
- Keep an eye on the invoices that eBay sends you and be a timely payer. You will owe commission fees and other fees over time from listing and you need to make regular, full payments in order to be able to continue listing your items for sale. While the fees might initially surprise you, treat them as very much a part of your business expenses and soon you'll remember that these need to come off the costs of your products and efforts.
- In time you might consider opening a store or shop on eBay. This may be attractive if you want people to be able to search via your own distinct URL on search engines, you want to group sales items together under unique categories of your own making and if you want to build a really interesting profile for your regular and other buyers. There are benefits such as longer term, lower fee "fixed price" listings but these sales are only ever shown in your shop, not on the usual auction lists. Also, there is a monthly fee for owning a store or shop, which needs to be taken into account when selling your items. For a beginner seller, it's a good idea to check out other stores or shops first and to decide after some experience with selling whether or not a store or shop is for you.
- Consider if you're keen to work toward becoming a Powerseller on eBay. You can't ask to be one but you have a greater likelihood of eBay making you one if:
- You make a minimum amount of sales per month, consistently (check eBay's requirements as these change both over time and according to which region you're in)
- You maintain the minimum amount of sales for at least three months in a row
- You have good feedback.
- Check out the eBay Sellers Unite blog until this status is conferred on you. It's at: powersellersblog.com. It'll help you pick up some excellent selling tips.
- Payment will be vital. PayPal is an extremely popular payment service on eBay, and as a seller, you will want to understand how it works and quite possibly sign up. Offering this service also may help attract buyers, because payment is instant and simple. Checks and money orders are also popular, but by nature take time. Also, be aware that payments from buyers by check does not necessarily mean they have sufficient funds! So consider what your comfort level is with these different payment types when you list your item.
- Blog your listings, especially if you're an artist or crafter. Share them on Facebook and Twitter.
- If you're dissatisfied with a buyer or another seller, contact them and discuss the problem in a timely, polite way. Use negative feedback as a last resort if the issue can't be resolved. Always try to negotiate instead because negative feedback is difficult to reverse or remove if you were mistaken about something. Remember that you don't know if your buyer was in a car accident and wound up in the hospital rather than sending your payment, things like that do happen in life.
- People will look at things that have cheap or free shipping, so include the shipping price in the total price (or min bid) and people will be more inclined to buy. If you offer it, make sure they know that you're offering it.
- Sell inexpensive items to build up your feedback first.
- Choose moderately large, easy to read text fonts for your listing and don't overdo animation, clashing colors and other distractions. Let the pictures and your text speak for themselves but remember some buyers have poor eyesight and prefer large print. Think of "large print books" as an example of text size.
- Packaging is also important. If items are fragile, improper packaging can result in broken items and unhappy customers! Also keep in mind the price you pay for shipping: the box, padding, etc., to decide on a reasonable price or add it to shipping and handling fees.
- Try and have it so your auction ends on a Sunday. Avoid ending auctions on Friday or Saturday when people are not home to bid.
- You will have to ship the product out on your own, so you're going to have to add shipping into the price; there's a section where you set the shipping.
- If you're selling original art or handmade goods of any kind, participate in eBay groups for your product. Collectors join these groups as often as artists/crafters and many artists/crafters are also buyers. Some hobbyists sell in order to fund their purchases. Read threads, be pleasant and friendly, don't engage in flame wars and compliment anything you like. It's a good way to make friends and get involved in a thriving niche community.
- Look for the most popular auctions so you can be sure that the item you want to sell is in demand.
- Help keep the feedback system honest by only placing honest feedback and avoiding the "trading" of positive feedback. A seller should leave positive feedback if the buyer pays promptly. A buyer should leave positive feedback if the item arrives in a reasonable time and is as advertised. A seller who waits for a buyer to leave positive feedback is really trading feedback. Such a practice skews feedback ratings.
- Whether you're a novice seller or someone who has been selling for a while, is to realize that there isn't any single secret to sales success. There are some generalizations that apply but even they have their exceptions and the reality is that you need to try out the selling your own way until you find the way that produces the most success for you, your items and your approach. Rely on your common sense, good observation and research skills as well as being an excellent communicator and you'll be able to make a success of selling on eBay. Don't make it any harder than it is, which really, isn't that hard at all!
- You can always go back and edit it if you don't like something. Just go into "My eBay" and go from there.
- Take advantage of free sales training. There are dozens of books on how to sell on eBay. You'll find at least one at your local public library and it should be sufficient (as they all tend to say the same thing after a while and purchasing one isn't really worth it).
- Do not sell illegal items. Doing so can bring heavy consequences upon you.
- A sale on eBay is as final as a contract anywhere else. If you commit to selling something at auction on eBay, then you can't change your mind because it didn't reach a price high enough.
- Negative feedback makes buyers mistrust you and makes sellers think twice about selling to you. Follow up any negative feedback with accurate facts. Do not call names.
- Be careful when sending feedback. You can be sued for making dishonest statements on the feedback page, so keep in mind that you are responsible for your remarks. Keep it honest and professional, and above all, don't make childish and angry remarks.
- Don't overcharge for shipping and handling. A reasonable amount for your materials and effort is okay, but buyers don't want to pay $15.00 for shipping and handling and then see on the postage label that it only cost you $3.85 for shipping.
- Never put the starting price lower than what you can afford to lose by selling it! You need to consider the fees for eBay, Paypal (if you offer a PayPal payment), and shipping. It is entirely possible to lose money on an item if you put a starting price that is too low for you to at least break even if only one person bids on it.
- Be careful of selling overseas. Most items are perfectly fine, and can increase your bidding pool. However, what may be perfectly legal in the US may be illegal in other countries (or vice versa).
- How to Set up a Drop Ship Business on Ebay
- How to Find the Best Home Party Companies
- How to Save Money Shopping on the Internet
- How to Package Books for Shipping
- How to Automate eBay Shipping
- How to Buy Stuff for Cheap on eBay
- How to Start an Ebay Home Business
- How to Sell an Item
- How to Buy Things on Ebay
- How to Sell Used or Old Things in Your Home
- How to Start a Home Based Business
- How to Find Bargains on Ebay
Sources and Citations
- Ian Peel, Saving & Selling Online, (2010), ISBN 978-1-84836-519-3 – research source
- http://www.stanweb.com – research source
- http://www.newlifeauctions.com www.newlifeauctions.com – research source
- http://whats-hot-weekly.com – for finding the most popular things on eBay
- ↑ Ian Peel, Saving & Selling Online, p. 38, (2010), ISBN 978-1-84836-519-3
- ↑ Quoted from http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/ebay/selling.htm.
- ↑ http://www.downloadsquad.com/2008/08/20/ebay-to-de-emphasize-auctions-lose-all-distinctiveness/
- ↑ Ian Peel, Saving & Selling Online, p. 55, (2010), ISBN 978-1-84836-519-3
Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Sell on eBay. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
As I saw what sold I started hitting garage sales and the local thrift stores to find more to sell. The local Goodwill had an Outlet store int he back that I decided to check out and the rest is history. They had big bins of clothing and household items that I had to dig through to find the good stuff the kicker was all the items were sold as is and by the pound. I found my new resource for inventory. I opened an eBay store and have been selling steadily since. This is my job and allows me to stay home and have personal freedom.
1. Have an eBay and PayPal account open and ready to roll. Both are free to start. I recommend opening your PayPal account first and getting it verified so you can use that account on your eBay account as your source for your eBay fee payments.
2. Find a few items of clothing from around your home and make sure they are clean and free of holes, stains, broken zippers or missing buttons. Check over each garment and think about how you would feel if you bought that item and received it.. how satisfied would you be with the condition?
3. Photograph each item with your digital camera. Here is one of my articles on how to take photos for eBay. http://www.squidoo.com/how-to-photograph-clothes-for-ebay-and-craigslist ... It is important that you take a few pictures if needed to get angels or close ups on features of the garment like embellishments.
4. List the item. Go through the listing process one step at a time. If there is a fault make sure you list it on the description so the buyer knows what they are paying for. Take your time through this as the first few times it will seem very involved but gets easier the more you do it.
Use the photo editor to make the photos look as nice as possible.
Choose the shipping calculator and weigh the item with the shipping material so you know how much it will weigh when shipped. The calculator will automatically calculate the shipping for where ever the buyer is in the USA.
Choose the starting bid wisely. You can research what other similar items have sold for by going to the "advanced" search option and then check the "completed listings" option to see what the others have sold for and what the bids started at. I think more people are willing to start bidding on a lower price then a higher one. You can play with this and see how it works for you and the items you are selling.
5. Watch the bids fly. If your item doesn't sell you can relist it and change the starting bid or the title to attract more buyers. I also think if you have you auction end on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday that can help since a lot more people are home shopping on the weekends.
6. Recieve payment, Ship and Leave feedback. Your payment for the item plus shipping will be through PayPal. You will be notified via email that you have received your payment. You can then print your shipping label from eBay or PayPal sites and tape it to the package with clear shipping tape right from your printer. Feed back can be left for each buyer. I usually put "A+++ Buyer, Fast Payment, Thank YOu!!"
7. Repeat for each item and start making extra money. You can eventually open an eBay store offering each item at a fixed price and list until sold option. that is what I do. You can see what my store looks like at http://stores.ebay.com/The-Cherry-Picker-Boutique .... I hope this gets you started in selling and making money on eBay.
For Wholesale Resources to Resell on eBay Click here.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
With over 180 million members eBay is one of the most visible and far-reaching Internet companies and the leading auction site in the world. Among eBay sellers a designation of PowerSeller is given to approximately 4%. Becoming a PowerSeller is a question of following eBay's guidelines for PowerSellers, and the same is true for keeping your PowerSeller status. PowerSellers get many advantages and discounts from eBay, access to special areas and more, so becoming and staying a PowerSeller is considered important by many people. There is far more to being a good PowerSeller than the eBay rules. In this article we will show you some of the tricks we have found to become an accomplished PowerSeller.
StepsWin and Understand PowerSeller Status
- Learn eBay's policies for PowerSeller status. Policies are always subject to change, but PowerSeller rules have been fairly stable for a few years. To become a PowerSeller you must:
- Be an active member for 90 days.
- Average a minimum of $1000 in sales per month, for three consecutive months.
- Maintain a minimum of 4 average monthly listings for three consecutive months.
- Have an overall feedback rating of 100, of which 98% or more is positive.
- Have an account in good financial standing.
- Uphold the eBay community values, including honesty, timeliness and mutual respect
- Comply with all eBay listing and marketplace policies.
- Understand PowerSeller Tiers. There are several tiers of PowerSeller, and your benefits vary depending on your tier. The tier you fall in is determined by consistent sales volume over a period of months. There are 6 PowerSeller Tiers:
- Bronze PowerSellers have a minimum of $1000 in sales per a month. Bronze tier benefits include prioritized online support from eBay.
- Silver PowerSellers must have a minimum of $3000 of business a month. Silver PowerSellers get both prioritized online support and toll free phone support.
- Gold PowerSellers are required to do $10,000 of volume a month. These PowerSellers get all the benefits of the first two tiers plus free access to eBay's Account Manager Software.
- Platinum PowerSellers get all the benefits of the gold tier but must do $25,000 of business monthly.
- Titanium PowerSellers must do $150,000 or more of business a month.
- Diamond PowerSellers have to do a minimum of $500,000 in sales or sell at least 50,000 items per month. This is the highest PowerSeller level!
- Put the customer first. PowerSellers always have the customer at the forefront of their operation. Understand that your seller reputation on eBay's is primarily determined by your feedback score, therefore treating your customers right is not only common sense but good business too.
- In a conflict with a customer always use the eBay email system to communicate with them in order to establish a written record.
- Always keep your cool and be professional.
- If the customer is wrong consider the money involved in keeping a customer against the money involved in proving you are right. Consider offers for dissatisfied customers, even if they are wrong:
- Give them free shipping, or refund their shipping.
- Include a free gift in the package.
- Develop a listing that answers all questions about your sale, including your return, shipping and other customer service policies. Stick with it!
- Be consistent with all customers when it comes to your own policies.
- Maintain active communication with your customers. Customers are less likely to be unhappy, file complaints or make your life miserable if you communicate with them.
- Always send the customer a tracking number for their package.
- Always include a packing slip with the auction number in the package.
- Respond to any questions promptly.
- Choose a focus. A PowerSeller is usually focused on a single article or type of product. Doing so makes all other aspects of running the business easier, including listing, packing and shipping.
- Plan to be organized. PowerSellers deal with such a large volume of business they need to develop a "back-end" organization (also known as a workflow) that minimizes the time they spend keeping up with their own policies regarding on-time shipping, packing, returns and similar activities. You may think of this preparation as creating an "assembly line". For example, you may set up a large 4' by 8' table with bubble wrap and packing materials at one end, products in the middle, and boxes, labels and packing tape at the far end.
- Buy and keep a selection of shipping boxes and shipping materials in your home.
- Consider setting aside an area of your home just to run your business.
- Create online shipping accounts with USPS, UPS or your favorite shipper so you can print shipping labels at home.
- If you do a lot of shipping consider signing up for a pickup service, rather than lugging it all to the mailer yourself.
- Establish an accurate accounting procedure.
- Keep a paper copy of every auction, the winner, and the shipping receipts.
- Keep a record of all your customers, their names and addresses.
- Establish a regular schedule for balancing your books, perhaps monthly.
- Stay up-to-date on auction trends and changes.
- Buy good, recent books on online auctions and e-commerce in general.
- Participate or read the eBay Message Boards and Forums.
- Stay tuned to the eBay Announcements Board.
- Subscribe to newsletters and groups concerning PowerSellers.
- Scan the news for PowerSeller and eBay announcements and changes.
- Create professional photographs. Learn to take good product photographs, or use a scanner well if your item is flat. Be sure to include enough detail in your photographs to show all flaws in an item.
- Learn how to take a basic quality photograph. Make sure it is in focus!
- Consider creating a mini studio including photographic lighting.
- Learn how to color correct photographs taken in interior or other lights.
- Use a mixture of close ups and wide shots to give your customers a good feel for the item.
- Remember that your photographs are part of your listing and will be considered in any disputed transaction. Photographs must be as 'true' as your listing text.
- You pay no more for larger photographs than smaller ones, so make your photographs as large as possible for the eBay system.
- Consider paying extra for oversize photographs and other eBay photographic features.
- Only use a scanner for flat items.
- Consider adding voice and video to your listings
- Pictures are a must, but adding more engaging visuals is even better.
- You can develop trust and rapport with a simple webcam -- just keep it personal and real.
- Highlight what YOU want the prospective buyer to see. Share details about the product that would otherwise go unnoticed in a flat photograph.
- Schedule listing for peaks periods. For ten cents you can schedule any start time for your auctions. Peak buying periods are generally considered to be, Saturday, Friday and Sunday evenings between 6 and 8 pm eastern standard time. That said, the peak periods for your particular customers may vary.
- Write professional headlines. A PowerSeller resists the temptation to use "fluff" words like "L@@K", "WOW" and "MUST SEE" as these provide no information for your customer about your item, do not show up in searches, and are generally ignored by most buyers. Instead, the wise PowerSeller uses descriptive words in the headline, realizing that the headline is the "ad for the ad". A PowerSeller is also "search engine savvy", realizing that keywords in the headline are picked up by the eBay search engine, and by Google, more often than not.
- Write detailed item descriptions. A PowerSeller has achieved their level by maintaining a high ratio of positive feedback. This is primarily accomplished by having clear and accurate descriptions of the items so that the bidder can clearly "imagine" the item as if it were sitting in front of her along with describing the flaws in the item. A great description should entice the bidder to bid while at the same time providing full and complete disclosure of the item's condition. Always be scrupulously honest in your descriptions.
- Make it easy for winners to pay you!By offering a variety of payment options, PowerSellers make it easy for winning bidders to pay for their items. They offer to accept Checks, Money Orders, all types of credit and debit cards through PayPal, Billpoint, or their own Merchant Accounts. By offering a wide variety of payment options, they open up their market of available bidders and end up with higher ending bids as a result.
- Accept International Bids. By accepting bids from around the world you dramatically increase the number of customers you can attract and probably increase the end price of your item. On the down side shipping to many other countries is often difficult and awkward.
- Offer discounts on multiple items. Whether it is a discount on shipping multiple items or a discount on the actual price of multiple items, PowerSellers realize the value of a good customer and treat that customer special. Unexpected discounts tell the customer "You're special" and build a reciprocity that keeps customers coming back or searching the PowerSellers' auctions.
- Complete your "About me" page and any other tools eBay offers for advertising.
- Explore the use of "coop" money.
- Include a link to your current auctions in your email signature.
- Include a link to all your other auctions on all your listings.
- Use the PowerSeller tools on eBay All PowerSellers get benefit and tools from eBay to help maximize their profits. Learn to use these tools. The welcome kit varies for different tiers of PowerSeller but includes:
- A welcome kit featuring an official certificate of achievement from Meg Whitman [] and essential advanced selling tips available in electronic format (.pdf) on the PowerSeller portal.
- Personalized sales and Feedback information on program portal pages.
- PowerSeller icon next to user ID.
- Use of PowerSeller logo in your item listings and on your About Me pages.
- Unique PowerSeller logo merchandise to wear and use or give to customers.
- PowerSeller logo letterhead and business card templates for customer communications.
- Exclusive PowerSeller-only discussion board
- Monthly PowerUp! email newsletter featuring the latest program information, special promotions, and advanced selling education
- Quarterly printed PowerUp! newsletter in the mail
- Consider hiring an assistant. PowerSellers delegate because they have to! Your volume may require you hire an assistant to do some of the more repetitive tasks that don't require the your expertise attention.
- Consider a "dutch auction" In a Dutch auction a seller can place a large number of the same item up for sale individually. Bidders can bid on one or more of the item, but the highest bidders will be first in line for the products they bid on.
- A PowerSeller uses Dutch auctions often because it is a huge time-saver. This is a true "assembly line" auction from start to finish.
- Packing and shipping goes a lot faster when the same item is being packed and shipped over and over again.
- In the same period of time that it takes to list one item, you are listing dozens, or even hundreds of items!
- Bulk list your auctions Use bulk listing software or auction management services to list many auctions at the same time. There are various options in this area, from eBay's own "Mister Lister" to Blackthorne software to Andale, and Auction Watch auction management services.
- Develop your own Web site. On the Internet, business conditions can change literally from quarter to quarter! Because of the transient and high-speed nature of change in Internet business, a PowerSeller realizes the value of having their own storefront on the Web. Most have either built a website themselves or have had someone build a site for them. They have developed a following and a customer base through their eBay auctions that can help sustain them even if dramatic changes come about on their main selling venue. As eBay continues to evolve and change - applying restrictive and invasive policies - this will become more of a priority for all eBay sellers, not just PowerSellers. Having your own Web site is also an excellent marketing tactic for PowerSellers.
- Create an actual business. You may be legally required or may prefer to create an actual small business if you are running the typical PowerSeller operation. Having your own business has advantages and disadvantages. For example, you may qualify for special bank loans for capital investments or you may get certain tax privileges. The disadvantages include extra record keeping and all the work involved in creating and maintaining a small business. The eBay PowerSeller program includes some benefits designed especially for small business owners including:
- Health insurance solutions for PowerSellers and their employees
- Special invitations to participate in eBay events
- Additional special values from eBay service providers
- Invest in your business. Whether it means investing in a high-speed cable modem or DSL connection, high-quality computer components, digital cameras and lights, monitors, keyboards, or anything else investing in the tools that make running a PowerSeller program easier is always a good idea, so long as your business will scale to support such capital expenditures.
- Use a tool to automate shipping. ShipRush  is a good tool for this.
- eBay automatically sends invitations to eligible members each month. You do not have to, and cannot, apply for PowerSeller status.
- PowerSeller status is free, you do not pay extra for the title and often get deals and discounts not available to regular sellers.
- Be constantly on the lookout for good deals. The PowerSeller is the consummate "deal-maker". Whether it's at an antique store or at a swap meet, the PowerSeller is always thinking about things they can re-sell. In addition check out the bulk item listing on eBay itself for good deals for PowerSellers.
- Look for good deals on your business materials too, like boxes and packing materials.
- Invest in a heavy duty and quality shipping scale.
- Don't be caught off-guard with a new change or policy that might affect your business and profits.
- Winning and maintaining PowerSeller status is not for everybody. It involves a lot of work — much like running any retail business — so consider how valuable you think the title is before deciding on this route.
- If you fall out of PowerSeller status your title and privileges will be automatically removed, but once you qualify again they will be reinstated. For example, in one month you may have a lower sales volume than usual and loose your status. The next month it will come back, once your sales volume is up again.
- How to Get Started on eBay
- How to Avoid the 7 Deadly Sins of Selling
- How to Increase Your eBay Feedback Rating
- How to Set up a Drop Ship Business on Ebay
- How to Be Successful Selling on Ebay
- How to Write Ebay Listings That Sell
- How to Make More Money With Ebay's Affiliate Program
- How to Title an eBay Listing
- How to Advertise Effectively on eBay
- How to Automate eBay Shipping
Sources and Citations
- http://pages.ebay.com/help/basics/faq.html — eBay PowerSeller FAQ
Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Become an eBay Powerseller. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.WHOLESALE LIST AND TRAINING CLICK HERE
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
I tell them that the first thing they have to do is set up an account with eBay and one with PayPal. I don't hold their hand through this because I figure if they can't do that then they are not going to be able to follow the instructions to list an item.
Next I tell them to find a few things around the house to sell. Clothes, videos, tools, a collection they are done with. I think it is important to start with items you already have so you are not wasting money on inventory before you understand how to research items to find out what you can get for them.
Researching the items is key to figuring out what you are going to be able to get for them. Go to search, type in the name of the item and then click on advanced and check the completed listings. You will be able to see what did and did not sell and what the recent sold items went for.
You can then list your item. This process is detailed but user friendly, take your time through each step.
When you do start buying items to sell, start with what you know and then branch out from there. When you reach a certain point with feedback and experience you will be able to open a store on eBay that will help with the fees. Keep it up and soon you will be a top rated and power seller.
I hope this helps with your journey to make an income from eBay. Check out my store ...Click Here
For A Wholesale List and Training Click Here