Friday, August 26, 2011
There are immeasurable benefits when working from home including having a flexible schedule, making your own decisions, reduced stress, and increased productivity. If you ask home-based entrepreneurs, they will usually tell you that the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. But, one downside to working at home is isolation. You may start to miss the hustle and bustle of a busy office, having lunch with co-workers, social interactions during the day, and a structured workday. Here are a few suggestions to help you avoid the “home alone” syndrome as a home-based business owner.
Make Local Connections
We often get so caught up in what we are doing that we simply forget to reach out to our community for support. Even if your business doesn’t rely on local customers, you can still benefit from networking locally. Join small business networking groups, civic groups, the Chamber of Commerce, or if you are female, a women’s business group. Your objective is not necessarily to find clients but to make contacts. You may meet a banker who can help you with a small business loan, an accountant who can answer simple questions for you, or an insurance agent who can help you find more affordable health insurance. Once people in your community learn what you do for a living, they may ask you to sell things on consignment for them or to teach them how to sell on line. Many times, you can trade services with another local business and everybody wins.
Create a Daily Schedule
Having a daily schedule will help you be more productive as well as keep you focused. Granted, one advantage to working for yourself is the ability to have a flexible schedule. But if your day is too unstructured, you may find yourself drifting from one task to another and nothing is accomplished. Set aside certain times of the day for specific projects, or certain days for specific tasks. For example, some sellers do their shipping in the morning, listings in the afternoon, and set aside 2 days a week strictly for acquiring inventory. Do what works for you, but try to create a pattern and some continuity in your workdays.
Do Something Recreational
Just because you work at home doesn’t mean you have to work 18 hours a day and are not allowed to have a life! Join a gym or yoga studio, take Zumba classes, join a book club, or volunteer at the animal shelter. Get out and get away from your computer a few times a week. Not only will you relieve stress but you can do something personally fulfilling and meet new people at the same time. Who knows, you may even make some valuable business connections, too.
Be an Organizer
If you can’t find local functions or groups that you like, why not create them? Visit the website MeetUp.com and check out the types of groups others have created. You’ll find common interest groups including eCommerce, entrepreneurs, tennis lovers, networking mixers, single moms, home schoolers, green living, book discussion groups, and much more. You can create your own group and invite your friends (both local and online), post it on your Facebook page, or advertise your group in community publications.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
I was recently contacted by Alex Tresniowski, a senior writer for People Magazine. Alex is working with eBay on a web reality series to profile certain eBay users who have sold common items they had in their homes and used the extra money to make a small but meaningful change or upgrade in their lives.
Specifically, he is looking for mothers and fathers between the ages of 20 and 40, and also single mothers and fathers roughly in that age range. Alex is seeking stories from people who have unearthed some hidden treasure in their home—a gift they never used, their kids' old clothes, other common stuff they initially thought had no value—and sold it on eBay, then used the extra money to pay for something they couldn't otherwise afford: ballet lessons for their daughter, a new Sony Gameboy for their son, painting the living room, etc.
To share your eBay story and find out more about the web series, please email Alex at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will get right back to you. This is a great opportunity to show the world how great eBay can be!
Alex will keep us posted on the series as it develops and when it launches online.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Many Amazon sellers are addicted to watching their pending sales. I have the pending screen bookmarked on my desktop computer, iPad, and iPhone. Checking pending orders is more than just being excited about what’s selling, it is a way to gauge the demand and popularity of an item and make more money because you are “in the know.”
When an item is in “pending,” it means that a buyer has committed to the purchase. If he purchased multiple items from different sellers, he may have checked the option to have his order sent in as few shipments as possible. If this is the case, your item is marked “pending” until the complete order ships. The buyer may also be waiting for other items to be included in his order and chooses to wait for it to ship. Items can be held in pending status for several weeks sometimes.
If you are not checking your pending sales, you are missing valuable information about Amazon buyer demand. Let’s say your FBA order hits the warehouse and you have some products in the box that you have never sold before. You want to pay close attention to how quickly those products are snapped up by buyers and how many each buyer wants. For example, a few weeks ago I sent in a seasonal food product. As soon as the order hit the warehouse, all 6 of them went into pending, 3 units going to 2 different buyers. By keeping an eye on my pending orders, I was able to determine that this product was hot, buyers wanted it, and I should go get more as quickly as possible. If I had waited until I received the “Amazon has shipped the item you sold” email, I could have missed the opportunity to purchase and resell some of this product, because the items didn’t actually ship out of FBA until a week later.
To check pending orders:
Click here for more information on using Amazon’s FBA program.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Even though temperatures are still in the 90’s here in Atlanta, we are already seeing signs for Summer Clearance. You may be thinking summer clearance is only bathing suits and pool floats, but it can be much more. Don’t let the climate where you live limit your ability to think outside the box and consider selling summer clearance items all year. Remember that we live in a global economy and your target customer could live anywhere. Here are some ideas for items to look for, even though it may not make sense at first:
Swim diapers. Don’t assume that babies and toddlers won’t need swim diapers at other times of the year. You may live up north and might be thinking that no one will be using swim diapers during cold weather, but plenty of children take indoor swimming lessons year round. Or maybe Grandma lives in Florida and has a heated pool and she keeps swim diapers on hand for the grandchildren when they visit. Or perhaps a family is planning a Disney cruise in January and needs to pack swim diapers and can’t find them locally. They will be looking online for them.
Gardening supplies. Just yesterday in Big Lots I saw all sorts of gardening and lawn supplies marked down to 80% off the regular price. Examples include pesticides, weed killer, and yellow jacket traps. These items could be purchased by consumers living in warm climates year round.
Canning supplies. I am starting to see these items in grocery stores. Here in Georgia, we still have another month or so of “canning season” as the vegetables are still coming in strong. The stores are making room for back to school and Halloween displays. Canning enthusiasts can use these items for another 6 weeks, maybe longer. Don’t assume that because an item is on clearance locally that it won’t sell nationally or even internationally.
Look for opportunities, not obstacles!
Source for eBay Inventory – Hallmark Stores
Source for eBay Inventory – Famous Footwear
Local Sourcing for eBay Inventory – Salvage Stores
Sunday, August 7, 2011
It is finally finished! Kim and I have been working on our Amazon FBA program all summer, and here it is!
Amazon FBA Recipe for Success
Comprehensive 105 page eBook explaining how to sell products on Amazon using their fulfillment (FBA) program. Written by Suzanne Wells and Kim Tarrant, two experienced Amazon FBA sellers who earn their living selling online.
Understanding the Amazon Customer – When you know why they pay more, you can charge more for your products.
Sourcing – Not just where to go, but how to maximize your time and use technology to source products.
Scouting Tools – You can do this without a smart phone!
Pricing Strategies – How to deal with competitors (Amazon isn’t eBay and you don’t have to be the lowest priced seller to get sales).
Amazon Minefields – Tips for staying out of trouble.
Damage Control – Who to contact or what to do when there is a problem with your FBA shipment, damaged products, or returns.
FAQs – Answers to questions we have seen repeated on seller boards and groups.
Complete Table of Contents can be viewed here
Assignments are included after each chapter so you can practice what you’ve learned before you spend money on inventory. These are some of the same assignments Suzanne Wells uses with her private coaching clients. (She has coached over 300 clients worldwide helping them grow their eCommerce businesses.) So roll up your sleeves and let’s get started making money on Amazon!
100% satisfaction guarantee, money back if not completely satisfied.
This product is sold through Clickbank with immediate electronic delivery.
Click here to purchase and receive the instant download now.
If you have a blog about ecommerce, home business, work at home moms, or being an entrepreneur, our Clickbank product may be a good fit to promote on your site or blog. (Link to affiliate program info is at the very bottom of the purchase page).
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Many eBay sellers and Outright users are about to be positively affected by a big change. Beginning later this week, Outright sellers will be able to automatically integrate transactions from PayPal AND eBay, meaning that Outright will import your eBay transaction details AND shipping costs automatically for the first time ever.
A survey we conducted in April showed that Outright users were saving an average of 5 hours per month on bookkeeping. This change will help users save even more time as now they don't have to manually enter shipping costs!
Historically, customers had to choose between importing from eBay or PayPal, because using both would have created duplicate transactions. Some users chose to only use PayPal, and for them, everything should remain fine. For those importing only from eBay, you will be presented with a choice to add PayPal as a source of data.
Here's what it means when you add PayPal:
1. You will now get shipping costs to go along with your sales and shipping collected information, giving you a more complete picture of your business without the extra data entry. This will only apply to sales that occur going forward - we won't be importing historical shipping costs, for fear of creating duplicates. Click here to learn more.
2. You will also see the outstanding fee balance in your eBay account (it will be listed under "Money I Owe" on the Overview screen,) and be able to drill in to view the fees there. More information can be found here.
3. Going forward, in addition to the individual eBay fees, you will also see the total monthly amount paid to eBay. Those transactions will show up with the category "Transfer", which means it's just movement of money between accounts, and does not impact your profit and loss. Your individual eBay fees will continue to show up as business expenses.
4. From the day you choose to add PayPal going forward, your shipping costs will show up under a new category called, surprise, "shipping costs." If you have been tracking shipping costs manually, and have another category name, you can choose to merge the two using a simple process outlined here.
5. If you use your PayPal account for non-business related expenses, those transactions will also be imported. To quickly and easily remove them, use our "multi-edit" feature described here: and change the category to "personal expense."
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Party City wants to clean out their clearance shelves completely! All clearance items (excluding seasonal) are now just 50¢. With more than 1,000 items available, you’re sure to find something for a birthday or office party…or any party, for that matter. Of course, the selection varies widely by store. They’re also cleaning out their costume closet with some of their clearance costumes are as low as $5. With Halloween just three months away, now is a good time to stock up on costumes to sell on eBay. The shelves should clear out quickly, so you want to get there as soon as possible.
If you order online, you can get free shipping on August 2nd and 3rd only. Use promo code PC92NB for free shipping when you order online.
Baby Frog Costume - $5
Lederhosen Costume - $5
Tin Man Wizard of Oz Costume - $5
Visit my Facebook group for more tips on where to get eBay and Amazon inventory.