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    How To Make Money On eBay
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There is a lot of money to be made as a seller on eBay. Thousands and thousands of sales are
made each day, resulting in a lot of income for a lot of sellers. And there is still room for you if
you want to get involved – whether you want to earn some part time cash or set up a whole new
full time business on the side.

But where do you get your stock from? How do you get started? And how can you build a
business that gives you PowerSeller status? Relax – you’re about to find out.

It’s easy work to get started earning money on eBay. Once you’ve signed up for your free
account the best way to get a feel for what selling is like is to auction off some of your personal
items that you no longer want. If you are going to start buying stock to resell, you’ll do better by
getting some basic selling experience first.

While we are on the subject of stock, you’ll need to decide what kind of business you are going
to set up. Of course you can sell anything you like, but if you want to make a name for yourself it
helps to become known for selling a specific type of product.

Now that doesn’t necessarily mean your product area needs to be a small one; on the contrary it
could be quite large. You could sell toys for example – there’s plenty there to keep any seller
going for months on end without selling the same thing twice. You do need to pick a popular
product though, and it’s worth doing some research using eBay’s advanced search feature to
find out what is selling and how much it’s selling for.

So let’s say you want to sell computer games, for example. There are hundreds of games you
could buy to sell here, but if you don’t know which ones will sell you could lose a lot of money
buying the wrong stock. By searching the ended listings you can see which titles consistently
sell well, and which ones will produce the best profit for you.

Okay – so you know how to figure out what to buy. Now you need to know where to get it from.
It stands to reason that no seller is going to tell you where they get their stock; that would be like
giving away the keys to their business. In order to find the best sources for stock you need to do
a bit of legwork.

We should mention here that there are two main sources for stock – wholesalers and
dropshippers. Both have their pros and cons; it just depends on which method you personally
prefer.

Dropshippers hold all the stock for you, so you only actually pay for an item once you’ve
received payment from the customer. You may have to pay a fee to join the scheme in the first
place though.




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If you choose to go with one or more wholesalers you will need to have the room to buy the
stock, and the money to buy it in advance. This comes with more risk since you could buy stock
that doesn’t sell, but with the tactic we’ve already covered for checking completed listings before
you order anything, the risk here should be kept to a minimum.

So – back to where to find these sources. If you have a particular product in mind that you want
to sell, the simple act of looking at the packaging can often reveal the name of the supplier. You
can then check out their website to see what else they do.

Another method is to search for what you want on Google. This sounds deceptively simple and
in fact many people don’t think of doing this. It can be a bit hit or miss, but it’s possible to find
some excellent wholesalers through this method. Over time you will go from having one
wholesaler to a handful of sources to get your stock from, and you can build up your product
range as you start to grow.

Building your feedback is an important part of being a good seller and the higher you can get
your score the better. It sets you apart as being a dedicated seller. And the faster your score
climbs, the closer you get to attaining PowerSeller status.

The PowerSeller symbol is highly prized among serious eBay sellers, and there are five levels
to strive for. The first is Bronze, and it’s a lot easier to reach than you might think. While you
might set a goal for yourself to reach PowerSeller, you will find that if you build up your product
range and gradually increase your sales, you will reach it in no time. And if you get off to a great
start you might just do it in three months – the minimum time you can actually do it in.

Many sellers have their own shop on eBay, but it’s not necessary when you first get started. In
fact you are often better off waiting until you have a good range of stock before opening a shop,
since it can look rather empty if you only have a handful of items.

The final thing to think about is the price of the items you are selling. It stands to reason that if
you sell a hundred different products in the $5 to $10 price range, you won’t make as much
cash as you would selling a hundred in the $50 to $100 price range.

But you need to work out what you enjoy selling and what you can sell lots of to experience real
success on eBay. Don’t go for expensive products just because they might bring a bigger profit.
Go for your calling – that’s where you will experience the biggest success.

Above all, remember that it can take time to build a successful business – but if you’re
determined to achieve real success on eBay you should be enjoying the journey. 

 




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Contents

    Introduction.............................................................................................................................................. 7 
    What to Sell ............................................................................................................................................. 9 
    Where to Source your Product........................................................................................................... 12 
    How to Take Great eBay Photos ....................................................................................................... 18 
    How to Get Maximum Eyes on Your Offer ....................................................................................... 19 
    How to Write a Top-Notch Description.............................................................................................. 21 
    The Best Time to List........................................................................................................................... 23 
    The Biggest Mistake Sellers Make .................................................................................................... 24 
    Preventing Problem Customers ......................................................................................................... 26 
    How to Price your Item ........................................................................................................................ 27 
    How to Package your Item.................................................................................................................. 29 
    Getting Efficient with Fulfillment......................................................................................................... 31 
    How to Get Repeat Sales ................................................................................................................... 32 
    Software to Automate your Business ................................................................................................ 33 
    Conclusion............................................................................................................................................. 35 
Recommended Reading ......................................................................................................................... 36 




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Introduction

Millions of people all over the world have tried their luck at selling on eBay, but only a
small number have truly succeeded at making money. Their failure usually occurs
because they underestimated the work and commitment involved, or thought that selling
on eBay is a just another-get-rich-quick scheme.

Those who succeed understand that an eBay business is just like any other business; it
requires a lot of planning, time and effort; and they also know that all that would be
worth it when the money started rolling in.

But don’t panic, after reading through this eBook, you’ll be well-equipped to make some
serious cash. Before I get into it, I want to clarify common 3 misunderstandings about
selling on eBay and sourcing new items to sell:



#1. Designer goods are among the most popular items on eBay, and therefore, I
should be selling them.

Sorry, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Well, the first part is true; designer goods
are popular among eBay buyers, but that doesn’t mean that you should be selling them!

The whole truth is, there are so many other sellers out there who are selling those
designer items, that it makes it pretty much impossible to make any money doing the
same. Instead of entering these highly competitive markets, you should try and find your
own niche which appeals to a smaller, but much hungrier market.



#2 eBay is the best place to sell goods online

eBay is a great place to launch your career as a seller, but because it is so highly
competitive, many sellers move on to other auction sites or platforms and find that their
money making potential skyrockets straight away!



Other sellers try out new selling platforms which start out with only low levels of buyers.
Soon enough however, buyers start flooding the site, and as a pioneer of that platform,
they enjoy a level of sales that they couldn’t imagine on eBay.
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Others start their own eCommerce websites and enjoy the freedom of being able to sell
whatever they want, whenever they want. They also love the fact that they don’t have to
pay fees; all their profits are their own!



#3: When I buy from a wholesaler, I’ll be able to buy items for 50% less than the
retail price.

This is a popular one. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Most of the time, wholesale
prices are around 10-20% less than the retail price. It’s a shocking truth, but those are
the same margins that retail stores and eBay’s top sellers get when they buy wholesale.

Of course, when you buy in huge bulk, you might be able to get even better deals, but
until you can fork out $10,000+ on a single order, those are the prices you should
expect to pay.

Ok, with that under your belt, it’s time to get started. Over the following chapters, you
will be covering some essential selling tips such as how to take great photos for your
eBay listings, where to source your items for reselling, how to price your items for
maximum bids, and how to get repeat sales. Plus much more!

At the end, you will be well equipped to make some serious money on eBay. So let’s get
started!




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What to Sell
 

If you are looking at a blank canvas of options that you want to start your business with,
it is necessary to take a few steps to find out the best items that you want to sell. Here
is a quick checklist for you to answer on a piece of paper of where to begin;

     What is my background in?

     What am I passionate about?

     What is profitable?

     What industry is in alignment with my professional goals?

     How much money do I want to make?

     Which items sell enough to become make me a good profit?

     Who would be my competition?

     Who do I want to sell to?

     How do I reach a target market?

     How much money can I invest in this venture?

     Who are the websites that I can partner with?

These are all questions that you would essentially answer in a business plan. There are
obviously a trillion items that you could sell on eBay. It really boils down to the type of
person that you are and if you would be able to stay motivated to keep up the store
during the tough times. The people that become successful on eBay are usually
extremely passionate about the items that they choose to sell on a consistent basis.

They are not choosing products that will only make them money. You are going to
sacrifice your customer service if you do that because you will not know a single thing
about your products. When they have the item or products that they sell, all they do is
take persistent steps to ensure the quality of their production is constantly enhanced.




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Take a look at your life and ask yourself some serious and challenging questions. You
are obviously not just trying to sell a few items just to make a few hundred dollars if your
intention is to be a turn eBay into a full-time money-making venture. You are in it to win
it. This is going to be a huge investment of your time and effort to get the ball rolling.

So what items do you sell to make money on eBay? Items that consistently sell would
be a good start. You need to have a volume of sales in order to reach the super seller
status and that is a big business move that takes massive action with a large distribution
process.

But I do not want to just lead you into the darkness of choosing items to sell because
you are passionate about them. You could be passionate about underwater mouse
traps for all I know. And I would be willing to bet that there are no serious sellers in the
world selling underwater mouse traps.

You are going to have to see what is selling, and then see if you can implement your
own understanding and passion about those items. And I’d be willing to bet that there
are items out there that are selling that you would learn to be passionate about once
you learned about them and bought one.

How you are going to find an item to sell is to find trends of what is selling already. A
free way to do this is to go to eBay Pulse. This is an excellent resource for you to go to
see what is selling and who is searching for which items.

You are going to have to pretend that you are already a big-time seller by using the
techniques and strategies that they are using. This is going to take some
reconnaissance on your part to see what other big sellers and PowerSellers are doing
on eBay to make sure that their businesses are thriving.

After you look up trends of items that are selling on eBay and stalk other sellers of the
items that interest you, I would choose 5 major players in those niches and sign up for
every newsletter or marketing plan that they provide. What this is going to do for you is
to allow you to see if you can even do what they are doing.

You may not even want to sell the items that they are selling because of the
competition. But by involving yourself in other seller’s businesses, you can think about
any additional items that might give you a unique store. Many times successful eBay
sellers do the same thing over and over again because it seems to be working for them.
You are going to need to be unique and offer items that people know they need or want.



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I’m not saying this is easy to find any product and start to see if it makes any money.
You may want to open several stores to see if certain items do well with different
strategies. There are changes in e-commerce all of the time that happen by accident.
There are eBay stores that have exploded their business overnight, not because they
sold the perfect product, but because they sold the right product at the right time.

For example, a few years ago face plates for cell phones were a top seller on eBay.
Now however, we don’t see so many phones that actually allow for interchangeable
faceplates, so this wouldn’t be a good niche. Many times there will be something that
happens in the world which launches a surge in product searches. This happens in
every niche. You’re not going to find the perfect product right away, but a good start
would be to equip your store with items that you can provide an excellent service
around.




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Where to Source your Product
 

The best possible way to find a company that you want to source to, is going to be at
trade shows. Any serious seller on eBay will tell you that this is what you have to do if
you are going to be serious about your eBay business. It really depends on a few
things of where you want the company to be depending on their location, prices and
business processing. You don’t want to find to a wholesale company by chance.
Unless you find the supplier on a reliable wholesale directory, there is too much at stake
for you to lose if you simply look up a wholesaler on the internet and tell them that you
want to sell their product.

If you live in a country where there are trade shows within your industry or niche, than
there is no excuse that you can’t attend. It is one weekend out of the year to go talk to
these companies that have booths set up where you can get a personal relationship
based on trust from all parties involved.

You want to do business with companies based on trust and nothing is better than
meeting them in person. The companies that you want to source from want to meet
responsible and profitable retailers as well. They are not just going to offer just anyone
to sell their products. Go on the internet and start looking for trade shows that are
relatively close by to you so you can attend. Sign up for the organization’s newsletter to
keep informed on any featured exhibitions or changes in scheduling.

If you have a specific product in mind, then you are going to need to do a more defined
search by adding keywords that are product-specific. If you sell brand name
sunglasses you are going to need to type in the brand and other keywords (Fossil +
wholesale + 2010 tradeshow). This will return some results that will show the brand
name that you want and which trade show they are going to be attending. When you
get the information for the trade show, go ahead and go to the trade show’s website and
register to attend. Sometimes if you sign up way in advance you will get a free pass.

If for some reason you cannot attend any of the trade shows because you live in very
remote areas, do not get frustrated. You do the same thing by finding them at the trade
show that they are going to be at and you find the contact information that they have on
the website. You can then prepare a quick presentation on a Powerpoint slide that
gives the highlights of your eBay store.



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If you are brand new and do not have your store up as of yet, you can still give them
information on your intentions and how you are going to market their brand effectively.
You will soon discover that the wholesale companies that you are going to source to will
be open-minded.




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                                   What Is Dropshipping?

Dropshipping is a method of selling and distributing goods wherein the distributor or
supplier of the product (the dropshipper) sends the product directly to the end user (your
customer) on the retailer’s behalf (that’s you).

The process of dropshipping is relatively simple. It involves three parties who take a
product from manufacturing to market.

Let’s use a blue widget as a sample product to demonstrate the process:

    • The blue widget manufacturer: This is the company that manufactures the blue
       widgets. This widget manufacturer does not sell directly to the public or supply
       the retailers who ultimately sell the blue widgets to the end user. They prefer to
       use distributors to handle the task of taking their blue widgets to market. The
       manufacturer sells blue widgets by the truckload to distributors and charges $5
       per blue widget.

    • The blue widget distributor (dropshipper): This is the company that purchases
       blue widgets in bulk from the manufacturer and supplies them to resellers and
       retailers at a cost of $7 each. The distributor does not ship blue widgets to the
       retailer, but fills orders on the retailer’s behalf as the retailer sells the widgets to
       its customers.

    • The blue widget retailer: This is the company that sells blue widgets to the public.
       In this example YOU are the blue widget retailer. The retailer orders the blue
       widgets from the distributor as they are sold (usually one at a time) and has the
       distributor ship the blue widget directly to its customer. The retailer sells blue
       widgets to the public for $10 each, which means that for every blue widget sold
       the retailer nets $3.



Note: It is not unusual for the manufacturer and distributor to be one and the same.




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                The Step-By-Step Process For Using A Dropshipper

There are seven steps involved and they are as follows:

STEP 1: Choose A Product To Sell The very first step in any sales process is deciding
what product to sell. This is not a decision to be taken lightly.

There are many factors that should be considered before deciding on a product.

We’ll talk more about the product selection process later, but for now let’s say that you
decide to sell CD players on eBay.

STEP 2: Locate A Supplier Who Will Dropship For You Using a research tool like
Google, Thomas Register, or an industry-specific resource like The Ultimate eBay
Dropship Power Pak, you search for and find a company who will dropship CD players
for you.

The company offers you a 35% mark up over cost, which means that they will supply
the CD players to you for $100 each and you should be able to retail them for $135.

STEP 3: Set Up An Account With The Dropshipper You contact the company that
can supply the CD players and set up a reseller account with them. This can often be
done online or by phone, but some companies will require that you complete and return
a reseller application to open an account.

Some companies may also require a tax ID and business license. If you are serious
about your business, you should get these items. We’ll discuss this more shortly.

STEP 4: Advertise The Product For Sale Now that you have your supplier lined up,
it’s time to make a sale. You advertise the product using an eBay auction. Since you
know what you must pay the dropshipper for the product, you know what the minimum
amount you will take for the product. In this case you start your auction at $100 since
that is your cost. If you are confident that you can get more than $100 for the product
you can start with a lower price, but remember that if the product goes for less than
what it costs you to fill the order, you will lose money. Also remember that the
dropshipper will charge shipping, so you should figure that into your sale.

STEP 5: The Product Sells Great news: your CD player sells $135 and your customer
pays you with a PayPal instant payment. I highly recommend that if you are selling on
eBay you use PayPal or some other online processor to accept instant payments. This




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allows the customer to pay you immediately, which gets the money in your account
immediately, which lets you place the order with the dropshipper immediately. Get the
idea?

STEP 6: Place The Order With The Dropshipper After your customer pays you, you
should contact the dropshipper immediately to order the product on your customer’s
behalf. The dropshipper then ships the order to your customer under your company
name and address.

STEP 7: Follow Up After The Sale This is where many new business people drop the
ball. Just because your customer has paid you and you’ve placed the order with the
dropshipper does not mean that you are out of the loop. Quite the contrary, if there are
problems with the order you are the one that will be held responsible in the eyes of your
customer.

Be proactive in your customer relations. Follow up with your customer to let them know
that the item has been shipped. Offer yourself as the personal contact for any issues
that may arise.

This is also a great way to sell that customer more products. Invite them to check out
your eBay store or website if you have one.




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                    What Kind Of Profit Margins Can You Expect?

That depends on the product you sell and the company which you get it from. Most
dropship margins vary from 25% to 75%.

My advice is this: if you can’t make at least 40% on the product, find something else to
sell.

Can I Make Money Off The Shipping Charges? There is no faster way to turn off
potential customers than by padding shipping fees. People are not stupid. They know
that it does not cost $30 to ship a six ounce figurine, so do yourself a favor and don’t try
this. It will end up costing you more money in lost sales than you would ever make on
shipping.

Many sellers take the approach of inflating shipping costs and selling the product for
less. This is fine within reason, but grossly over-inflated shipping costs will brand you as
a crook in the eyes of the average eBay buyer and they will not buy from you. They
think you are trying to rip them off, which in reality, you are.

I recently considered buying an $800 watch on eBay, then saw that the seller was
charging $35 shipping. I would have expected a $10 shipping fee, but $35 was way out
of line. I really wanted that watch, but not badly enough to pay such exorbitant fees for
shipping.

Find out what the dropshipper charges you for shipping and pass that on to your
customer. If you feel you should make a dollar for your troubles that’s fine, but don’t
double the shipping fees or you will lose sales.

On the flip side, always make sure you’re charging enough for shipping to cover your
costs.

If you are not using a dropshipper, but shipping the item yourself, always charge
enough for shipping and handling to cover your entire cost, not just the cost of postage.

My rule of thumb for shipping has always been to take the actual cost of shipping and
add a fair amount to compensate me for my materials, time and trouble. This is the
honest way to do it.

Remember, it’s called shipping and handling, which means you need to cover your
costs of packing materials, shipping costs, insurance, your time and effort, etc.




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How to Take Great eBay Photos
 

This is where you are going to have to place yourself in the shoes of your customers
and pretend that you want to buy your own items. Too many times eBay sellers place
excellent products and do not get the sale because their photos were too distracting or
were not quality enough. This is a simple fix that may take a little bit of practice but will
definitely enhance the quality and features of your products. You do not want to come
as if you are an amateur.

The first thing that you are going to need to do is to consider that the product is a
person that would be taking headshots. You do not need to be a great photographer to
take great photos. You just need to know the basics of how to take pictures. Colors
and clarity are everything when it comes to pictures. If you have a product that is white,
you do not want to place them on a blank white background if the edges are not clear.
This is called contrasting. If you have a black or dark product, than use a white
background.

Use diffuse natural or artificial lighting to light the entire product that you have. Place
the camera on a tripod and do not have the flash on if you are indoors. Ensure that
there are not shadows or reflections that make the product look weird. Take the
pictures at an angle and not right on to give it some depth as well.

I would suggest that you use a decent digital camera. The days of using film and
scanner are phasing out because they make the photos look degenerated. With a
digital camera you can take many photos in one sitting and see which ones will look the
best on your listing. Set the camera to a medium or higher resolution (for example
1024x768 pixels or larger) to produce good quality photos. This allows you to show
bigger pictures in your listing

To protect you from refunds and customer surprises, take clear pictures of any faults or
flaws that the item may have. The worst thing that can happen for any customer is to
be surprised by a wear or tear that wasn’t clearly depicted within the photograph. You
need to ensure that the item looks accurately showcased.

You are a business and not a garage sale. If you absolutely hate the pictures that you
have taken, hire a person that is good at taking pictures to do it for you. Pictures are
worth a thousand words. If you fail to master this simple marketing technique, than you
are shooting yourself in the foot.


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How to Get Maximum Eyes on Your Offer
 

You are going to do this by the marketing tactics that you use effectively. eBay has so
many effective marketing tools at your disposal that it’s very easy to get more eyes on
the offers you place. But that doesn’t mean that everything has to go through what
eBay offers. This is where you are going to need to think outside of the box a bit and
get creative. That’s what marketing is all about in the first place – is being creative.

Money making sellers on eBay understand that they need their offers to stand out from
other listings. Offers motivate the buyers to buy and enjoy saving money. The obvious
way to make people look at the special offers that you have is to place them on the top
of your eBay store. Use all of the resources that have on eBay to effectively make your
offers stand out.

Remember that having an e-commerce site on any website is all about having a list that
you can keep in contact with your customers. When you have had customers buy items
in the past and have customers sign up for more information, you have access to them.
You can then blast out all the offers that you present in your eBay store for them to
come back to.

For you to attract brand new eyes onto your items and offers that you have, you are
going to need to be clever. You are going to have to attract people that are either
looking for the product that you are offering, or join forces with other websites that are in
alignment with the offer that you have.

So we are talking about doing SEO techniques for keywords, and we are talking about
doing deals with other websites. By applying the right keyword strategies for organic
searches and sponsored searching, you are going to indeed get more people to view
what you have to offer. This is common sense, but you would be amazed at how
people have become successful on eBay simply because they have learned, utilized
and mastered the game of SEO on the search engines.

But here’s the real secret. The real secret is to go after websites that have established
traffic that you can do business with. You are going to need to do a bit of research on
this. You cannot place an offer in your store and expect everyone to flock to it. You are
going to need to actively search out your target market.




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There are websites that may listen to you if you ask them to split profits with you if they
send out the offer that leads back to your store. What you do is take the keywords that
your offer is about.

Let’s do an example for clarification purposes. Let’s pretend that I have an offer on my
eBay store for 50% off of my name brand blue jeans. I understand that summer is
coming and I want to offer a discount because people will surge in discount shopping
when seasons change. So I need to look for other websites that are not e-commerce
sites to offer them an incentive to blast out an email with a link to my store. This is not
as hard as you may think. It’s really just affiliate marketing.

So I take keywords that I know people would be interested in my name brand blue jeans
and I do a search for websites that are ranked well in the search results. You should
write down the contact information for the top 15 websites that would best fit your offer
back to your store.

I would make sure that they get enough traffic first before spending too much time and
energy. Prepare a simple proposal about the offer and what you expect out of the
partnership with your eBay store and their website. You need to sound as if you have
their website in your best interests. You can offer however much percentage (probably
around 50%) you think they will like and place pictures and conversion rates inside it
and send it out with a nice message.

After about 3-4 days, do a follow up email to see if they like the offer. Not all 15
websites are going to do it, but you never know. You might land a website with an email
list of 20,000 subscribers and they send out a newsletter with your offer. Out of all the
internet marketing tactics for getting exposure to any product, service or anything,
getting other websites to partner is how you get more eyes on offers that you place.




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                                             20 
 
How to Write a Top-Notch Description
 

There are many sellers out there that will tell you to “motivate” or “entice” your
customers by writing a compelling description. I am kind of on board with that but I
need to clarify a few things with you first. People need to know the facts about your
items more than they need to be motivated or inspired to buy it. The truth is that they
are already interested in the product or they wouldn’t have been skimming through the
descriptions in the first place.

The description needs to be read like a sales copy letter would be. There are four parts
that I would claim to entice the buyer to buy;

    •   The Introduction

    •   The Body of Facts

    •   The Benefits

    •   The Close

People like to buy from other people. If you are portraying yourself too much like a big
business, you might not come off as personal enough to get through to them. You need
to sound as if you were right there with them introducing your item. The introduction is
going to explain a little bit about how you think the item has helped you out and why you
are happy to have used it. Tell them any specific situation that you may have used it
that could come off as a story.

For instance, if you are selling an iPod, you could explain how your daughter thought
that this particular iPod was perfect while she listened to the recordings of her
professor’s lectures. And how she went on and on about the ease of transferring files
on several different platforms. This is obviously an example, but it gives character
within the description. It shouldn’t read as a user manual.

When you are detailing the benefits, be sure to list these as bullet points. People will
read the bullet points of the benefits that you list because of the way people read
descriptions. List 10 bullet points that give the benefits of how the buyer’s life will be
enhanced if they choose to buy your product. When it comes to the end of the




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                                              21 
 
description, you need to close them and this is where the motivation factor comes into
play. End the description with a post script as if you were writing a letter to the buyer.
After you have introduced the product, given the facts and features and given a list of
benefits, you need to end with a closing statement that gives the buyer a relative
example. An example would be;

P.S. These shoes were worn in the movie The Proposal by Sandra Bullock!




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                                             22 
 
The Best Time to List
 

The best time to list an item really depends on what it is that you are selling and where
you are trying to sell to. If your target market is professional males in their mid-thirties,
you know that they are going to be (most-likely) working throughout Monday through
Friday 8am to 5pm. This is a general statement, but a safe one to make. The same is
true if you were selling video games to teenagers. You should expect that the increase
of sales would be on the weekends when they are out school. Understand everything
about your target market, including their schedules.

The bulk of the bidding is on the last day of bidding. The surge of bidding is really
between two or more people within the last 5 minutes of the auction. I am willing to bet
that a person is not going to be up at 2am to bid against someone else unless they want
a very unique item. If you are selling to an American audience, than you should set the
bidding time between the hours of 6pm and 10pm EST - on a weekday. The reason for
this is because you never really know when people are going to be open, but having a
bid around 8pm EST is a safe bet that more bidders are going to be around.

But let me digress to one factor that is mandatory before you even place the auction.
You need to go and evaluate your sales history to see when people have bought in the
past. This is raw data that will allow you to see when the right time really is the right
time and not just by chance.




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                                              23 
 
The Biggest Mistake Sellers Make
 

There are five general mistakes that eBay sellers make that alter their success of
making sales. Of course, there are plenty of mistakes that anyone can make in their
business in its entirety, but if you manage to stay away from these mistakes that I list
then you can enhance your chances to make that sale.

    1. Not including pictures

    2. Spending too much money on “extra features”

    3. Spelling mistakes

    4. Pricing too low on the “Buy it Now” feature

    5. Running the auction for too long

One of the biggest and most crippling sales mistakes is to not include pictures into your
listing. Since people are not in a store where they can touch and feel the product that
they wish to purchase, they need to rely on pictures. It’s the same as meeting people
on a social network site. If you come across a person that wants to be your friend on a
social networking site, and they don’t have a picture, then I am willing to bet that they
don’t have too many friends.

The same is true in your eBay store. You need to take quality pictures and show people
what your item looks like. You shouldn’t even put a product out there if it doesn’t have a
picture because your competition will come in and take them away because they will
have one. Statistics on most e-commerce sites will show you that pictures and videos
definitely motivate a sale.

Do not spend all your money on all the extra features that eBay provides. Yes, it’s nice
to have all the extra amenities and tools that you can use to enhance your product
listings, but many times it’s not necessary. Basic listings will do just fine while you are
starting out. Once you get to the point where you are making good money then you can
start testing with the extras that eBay offer. You might be saying that it’s only a few
cents here and there, but the truth is that it all adds up in the end.




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If you are not good at writing, I would suggest you outsource to a person that is good at
spelling and syntax. You don’t want people to come to your store and come under the
impression that they are smarter than you and would be dealing with an idiot. What
they will think is that if you can allow errors in the simple measures of your eBay
business, such as spelling and grammatical errors, than they will think that the rest of
your business is run with such carelessness. Take a bit of time to have someone else
edit your text for you, or hire a professional to do it.

You don’t need to have the “Buy it Now” price on your listing so low that you don’t get
much of a profit. Many times you can get it just under the price as if it were awarded
normally in the auction with a winning bidder. Up your price on the feature and see that
people will pay more for the item if they believe that the item is worth it.

You also need to allow ample time for bidders to bid, but make sure that the bid doesn’t
last too long. I like to keep bids under the 7 day period. This allows just enough time
for people to get in there and bid and just enough time for them to have fresh in their
minds still throughout the week.

You need to think about the work week as well. If you want to place an item on a
Monday and end on a Thursday, that is fine too as long as you keep your target market
in mind. The more you keep placing bids, the better at it that you will be.




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                                             25 
 
Preventing Problem Customers
 

The biggest way to prevent people from leaving you a bad feedback score is to really
focus on customer service. People expect businesses on the internet to be run
smoothly and with little mistakes. The confidence in the consumer to purchase online
has grown exponentially, but that still means that you need to keep up with your part of
the deal. You need to ensure that every part of your business is a well-oiled machine
and that you can get the product from A to B with no mistakes. This might take a few
times to get used to, but you need to be aware of every process in the chain from listing
to delivery.

Of course, you can’t always predict situations that might turn into problem customers.
People can be demanding when it comes to ordering online. It’s almost as bad as being
a waiter in a restaurant. Sometimes they will tell you one thing only to turn around and
want something else. Even if you think that you had done everything perfect on your
end, the person just might actually be a difficult person in every aspect.

This is not your fault, but you will need to make sure that you are courteous and present
yourself in a professional manner. Problem customers can keep business owners up at
night because of the claims that they make. The good thing is that you can have eBay’s
customer service be the judge of who is right. The buyer will claim a complaint case
against and then you have 7 days to reply with options for them.

eBay does want their buyers to come back and not to have a problem with their sellers.
They are in the business of making money. But, more times than not, eBay will try to
protect the buyer and ask the seller to accommodate the problem customer with a
refund or other options. The best way that you are going to avoid any mishaps with
these buyers is to present your items to the best of your ability and to ensure their
delivery is within the time allotted.




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                                             26 
 
How to Price your Item
 

If you are a new seller on eBay, you need to understand that there are going to be some
highs and lows when it comes to profits. This is where we need to evaluate the process
of placing the prices on the methods that eBay gives. The importance of learning how
to properly place a price on a listing is the difference between having a business and
having a dying business. Let’s keep in mind that eBay is an auction site after all and
people are trying to bargain shop.

The three different methods that eBay uses, in general, are;

     The “Buy it Now” price

     Reserve Price

     Starting bid price

The pricing option that is mandatory is the starting bid price. This is where you are
going to need to come up with a price that you think is a fair price to stay above.
Depending on the item, it should dictate the starting price. A good rule of thumb is to
place the starting bid at a 25% of what you want. Let’s say that you sell specific car
mufflers and you expect (or want) to get roughly $200 for each individual muffler that
you want to sell. The starting price on that muffler should be set no higher than $50.
This is because it’s not too low, and it’s not too high where bidders won’t start off to bid.

If you wish to set a “Buy it Now” price, you should be mindful of your bottom line and
expectations for profit. If we stick with the example of selling car mufflers than we would
want that price that people can buy it right away for $200. Usually the “Buy it Now”
price is just under what you would get it for if you bought it in a retail store. The “Buy it
Now” option is really best if you have multiple identical items in your store.

The Reserve price is based on what you think is the absolute minimum of what you
want to sell it for. It’s really a protection measure for the seller so they don’t lose out on
their money on an item. If you bought the muffler from a wholesale automobile
company for $120, I would set the Reserve price to be at least $40 higher than that to
cover shipping and handling.




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                                              27 
 
When pricing your items, it is necessary to do your homework. There should be other
eBay stores that are selling the same items or similar items that you can mirror off of.
There really isn’t a solid formula that people use. Pricing is on an individual basis. If an
item is common stock that you can get anywhere, the pricing needs to be a bit lower
than the average competitor. If you have a unique item, than you need to raise your
prices a bit. People will pay for it if the item seems to be a rare find or a great bargain.
It’s going to be in your ongoing education and experience to determine the balance
between the value of an item and its price.




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                                             28 
 
How to Package your Item

This is one of the most important aspects of your business. If you do not carefully
package and ship – properly – to your customers, you will lose a lot of business. That is
because there are several other companies that will handle their business affairs better
if you do not have control of this. Some companies tell themselves that packaging and
shipping isn’t a big deal and that they have been mailing things since as long as they
can remember. Having a professional business is a completely different ball game and
needs to be treated as such.

If you are a small operation and have never done shipping and handling on a business
level then you are going to need to get some things in order before you start to expand
and begin to lose control of this department. While dealing with others’ property (after
they purchase from you it becomes their property), while they are anxiously awaiting
their new eBay purchase, they are going to have high expectations. So make sure you
deliver! Your packaging needs to be perfect, especially if they are dealing with high-
ticket items.

Make sure that you get enough packaging materials so that you do not have to resort to
sending products through means that do not look professional (such as wrapping the
item with newspaper you grabbed from the recycling!). It all depends on the material
that has been printed on. A lot of this might be common sense, but there is a craft to
shipping and handling as well. The craft is having the item being shipped to them in
perfect condition and there are a few criteria that must be met;

    •   The product must not be damaged at all with protective layers.

    •   The product must have been wrapped in a pleasant manner. Avoid over-using
        tape so that the buyer has trouble opening it.

    •   The package should include marketing materials – such as business card, flier,
        newsletter, magazine, etc.

    •   The package must have a clear return address in the event that it is re-routed to
        another address.

    •   The package must have a tracking ID located on it in order for you to track a
        customer’s order in the event it is lost.


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                                              29 
 
If you are sending items that are ceramics or have the chance of breaking because of
their frailty, then it is recommended that you use bubble wrap above all the other forms
of wraps. This is because it has been reported that the packages that use bubble wrap
have had a far larger percentage of not being destroying or disturbed while in transport.

With the items that are smaller in size, you should use envelops with the bubble wrap
padding inside of them. This will ensure that the chances of the customer’s product
being damaged are minimal. It also looks good to have labels professionally printed
with your logo on it so you look professional.

It does not look professional to write in pen or marker to your customer which makes
them think that you are an amateur in your eBay business.

By handling all of your shipping and handling concerns with the upmost professionalism
and concentration will only allow you to get the same customers to order from you
again. Usually, if there is one mistake that a company makes with shipping, then the
loss of that customer is usually inevitable. Just be sure that you follow all the right
measures of handling with care and you will minimize any mistakes that you may make.




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                                             30 
 
Getting Efficient with Fulfillment
 

If you are an individual with a low sales volume, it’s not really necessary to look into
fulfillment services until you do become a top seller. This is because it will cost too
much and take too much business out of your business. I definitely agree that you need
to have this in place when you do start to have orders coming in on a consistent basis.
But if you are just starting, then it is recommended to wait.

However, recently eBay has gone through and tried to supplement a growing problem
that sellers were having with adding a fulfillment and sales managing service. They
understood that sellers were getting to a point in their business where they were getting
too much business for their simple operations.

So they made an alliance with other management services to have as additional tools
for you to use. They have gone through the trouble of making sure that these
companies are scaled to the size of your business and have done a great job helping
thousands of people before you become efficient with their fulfillment obligations. The
companies that eBay has screened and agreed to promote to eBay sellers are;

     Andale

     Vindio

     AuctionWorks

     ChannelAdvisor

     Microsoft bCentral

    These are the most highly-efficient companies that you are going to get with eBay.
    They know exactly what you need and can ensure that your products will get
    handled in a very professional manner.

    eBay has taken the hard part of going after random fulfillment services and delivered
    it right there for you to take advantage of. When you get to a certain point of moving
    products from your eBay stores, go ahead and go to the Preferred Solutions
    Provider page (http://pages.ebay.com/psp/index.html ) and contact any one of those
    reputable companies to assist in your fulfillment services.




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                                             31 
 
How to Get Repeat Sales
 

E-Commerce is all about getting a list of customers and visitors that come to your
website so that you have constant communication with them. You need to constantly let
them know about any products or offers that you have placed and keep them coming
back to review what you have for sale. By implementing the marketing tools that eBay
has for you, you can start to build relationships with people to where they start to trust
you. Once you have a successful interaction and transaction with them, you have a
great chance of them buying from you again.

You might understand the power of this and you might not. The reason why companies
(or websites) can sell their businesses for large amounts of money is because people
understand the power of having subscribers. By having subscribers to your eBay store,
you are more profitable. Companies understand the repeat customers are the best
customers. If you take a website that has 2 million unique visitors a month with no
subscribers, and a website with 20K unique visitors with 2,000,000 subscribers, the
website with the subscribers will definitely be offered more money from advertisement
or to be bought out. It’s all in the list.

So how do you get repeat sales? The answer is in collecting information from them.
First you need to start off with their name and email address. As you continue to
maintain a communication link via emails, you can start to get more information on their
spending habits and the products that they favor.

You will need to send out customized emails to your customers that show that you care
about them and want to continue to do business with them. You are in this just as much
as they are. If either side drops the ball, than the both of you are out of either a great
product or financial gain.

When you send them emails, try not to sound as if it were a mass-generated email
blast. It’s annoying to keep receiving emails from the same person or company that
sounds like they are meant for just about anyone. There is software and tactics that you
can use to learn more about a person without having to talk to them in person. This is
called funneling the customers for indexing purposes. Just because two people came
to your store and bought something, doesn’t mean they are similar in their spending
habits.




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                                             32 
 
Software to Automate your Business
 

Just like there are applications on your iPhone to do just about anything, there are
applications that eBay has to automate your business. What you will do is to go through
eBay’s free service of Selling Manager and sift through the best automation apps that
they offer. Of course, these services are not going to be free. The tools that you invest
into your business need to be looked at as if they were an investment.

ShipSaver Insurance

ShipSavor allows you to have huge discounts. These discounts are better than the
other couriers such as USPS and UPS where they offer insurance on International
shipments. The claims are automatically done online and give the ability to add
insurance in bulk.



    AfterBuy Message Manage

What you can do with this program is to send out customized templates to your
customers. This is a great automation tool that doesn’t make it seem as if everyone
gets the same thing every time.

Froo! Bulk Revision

 This allows you to change your live auctions in bulk. No matter how many live listings
you have, revising prices, descriptions, and quantities can be a painstaking task, but
revising a listing can sometimes make the difference between a closed sale and a lost
opportunity.

    Outright

Outright will give you the chance to automatically import all of your sales, expenses,
final value, all listings and PayPal fees. It is a great way to track all of your business
transactions so that you are in more control of your operations by giving you reports of
the activity. It shows you how much money you are making on auto-pilot! Also a good
tool when it is time for taxes.




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                                                 33 
 
    Price Spectre

Price Spectre will adjust prices for you several times a day and manually modify up to
100 listing at a time. If you want to import features to your listings, you can implement
Price Spectre for adjustments and add codes. This is the right automation tool if you
have a large operation and selling high volumes.

 If you continue to go to the Selling Manager page, you are going to see a lot of third-
party programs that can set you up on a variety of automation tools. You need to be
cautious when you are starting out that you do not over-automate. When people try to
automate too many things it can become disastrous.




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                                               34 
 
Conclusion

As you can see, making money on eBay takes a lot of time and commitment. Something
that seems to really determine the difference between a real money-making machine
and a more casual seller is the mindset they have toward their eBay selling; serious
sellers treat it as if it were a real business with long-term goals whereas many casual
sellers simply view selling on eBay as a get-rich-quick scheme.

All the best with your money-making endeavors!




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                                            35 
 
Recommended Reading
 

Sky High Auctions: How to make money on eBay and other online auction sites

http://www.myofficialreviews.com/go/skyhigh

Well, I say recommended reading, but what I really mean is recommended viewing. Sky
High Auctions is a one-of-a-kind video based resource that covers everything you need
to know to make money on eBay.

And with over 30 hours of video content, it gives you a well-deserved break from all the
reading involved with becoming a top seller on eBay.

Written by industry experts, Sky High Auctions is a one-stop resource for everything you
need to know to take you from being an eBay newbie, to PowerSeller status!

What’s covered?

There's a pretty impressive range of information packed into Sky High Auctions.

It's not just the basics that are covered: The course starts off an introduction to different
marketplaces (they reveal some insider information on eBay alternatives with hungry
buyers that can earn you $$$), and how to select profit-grabbing items to sell.

The course then moves on to the more advanced stuff such as how to source
wholesaler items for resale, how to set up your own website and quite paying fees for
good, and how to get your buyers to purchase from you again.

You’ll also learn:

       How to write item descriptions that jump off the page and sell your inventory!
       How to deal with buyers that don’t pay you
       How to package items to ensure that your buyers place positive feedback
       How to cut down the time it takes to process buyer orders - spend more time
        selling, and less time emailing
       Plus much more!




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                                              36 
 
Sky High Auctions is literally going to save you thousands of dollars in time and money
from all the trial and error that it would take to learn this stuff on your own.

Get started now by going to:

http://www.myofficialreviews.com/go/skyhigh



If you enjoyed this ebook, then you'll love my FREE “Auction Secrets Exposed” CD...




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                                            37 
 

				
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