Friday, August 28, 2015

Pros and Cons of Selling Electronics on eBay

Electronics can be a lucrative product to sell on eBay, or they can be a nightmare. Before you jump into selling electronics, which many new sellers often do because the profit margins can be high, do your due diligence about the product. Here are some precautions you should take before selling electronics on eBay.

1. Make sure the item works. Whether it is a laptop computer, smart phone, children's educational toy, or a small appliance, do your it homework and make sure the item works properly. You may have to educate yourself or ask someone who is more familiar with the product than you are. For example, if you are selling a vintage camera, you may need to do some research to learn about the product, parts, and how it works.

2. If the item does not work, either list it as is with flaws, or sell it for parts. There is nothing wrong with selling a non-working electronic item on eBay, just give full disclosure in the listing.

3. If the item has a serial number, take a photo of the item to include in the listing. If the item is returned, you can verify that the item returned is the same item you sold.

4. Beware of selling mobile phones. Buyers will often strip the phones and sell the parts at pawn shops or on the street. Then, they will return the phone claiming it does not work. You will end up with a non-working phone and forced to give a refund because the buyer can show the item was mailed back to you with tracking. (See Frankenstein phones.)

There is nothing wrong with selling electronics that don't work. There are collectors who want these items (like old record players, radios, and telephones) and either will use them for home decor or will repair them. Just make sure you know exactly what you are selling, and disclose this information in your listing.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Anthropologie Brand to Sell on eBay: Leifsdottir

Anthropologie is one of those mall brands of clothing that is trendy, comfortable, stylish, and can be expensive. The trick to making money with this brand is learning the sub-brands. Most Anthropologie items don't say "Anthropologie" on the label. You have to learn the sub-brands as well as the look and style of the labels.

I'll be doing a series on my blog (so be sure to subscribe) showing you some of the sub-brands I've actually found and sold so you can recognize them easily when you are out thrifting or shopping at consignment stores, church sales, or garage sales. If you are really industrious, you can start by studying the list of sub-brands here. But once you see the list, you will probably want to stick with my tutorials with images of labels and actual items - that list is pretty overwhelming!

This post is about the sub-brand Leifsdottir. I have only found sweaters in this brand and they all have the same look. Leifsdottir sweaters are usually a thick chunky knit, with big round buttons or some other interesting embellishment on the front. The Leifsdottir label looks like this:

Not very fancy, and you probably wouldn't think this is a very expensive brand by the look of the tag. Here are some completed listings so you can see how this brand holds its value:

The more unusual, the better. Especially on eBay. An average price for this brand of sweater is around $35, depending on size, style, etc. Watch for this brand when shopping for pre-owned clothing to sell on eBay.

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Friday, August 21, 2015

How Sellers Can Recover from Below Standard Status on eBay

Many sellers are still not educated on the eBay Defect System. This system is based on percentages. If a seller receives too many defects as a percentage of total ratings, the account will be moved into "below standard" status. Keep in mind that defects are not the same as feedback comments from buyers. Defects occur in the following situations:

Seller canceled transactions due to loss, damage, or any other reason (does not include buyer canceled transactions)

Opened cases for items not as described

Return requests for items not as described

Low detailed seller ratings for shipping time

Requests for items not received

If a seller drops into below standard status, this is serious business. The account can be closed and the seller is prohibited from selling on eBay. There are ways to recover from below standard rating, and it takes commitment and aggressive action on the seller's part.

First, study your defects and determine if any can be removed. Call eBay and discuss. Many defects can be removed based on looking at buyer communications and other circumstances.

1. List the maximum number of items allowed. Let eBay see you are serious about getting back into good standing and you are actually doing the work.

2. Take low offers if necessary to get sales. It's a numbers game. You have to get sales to pull yourself out of the hole. eBay search rewards active stores - Cassini likes stores with sales and gives them a boost in search.

3. Think about the overall health of your account rather than how much money you are making right now. Without an ebay account you will make zero dollars in the future. Understand the concept of delayed gratification - rewards will come later.

4. Offer free shipping on as many items as makes sense. The buyer cannot rate a seller on shipping if free shipping is offered. This takes one of the ratings off the table completely.

5.Refrain from communications with buyers unless they ask a question, because if you don't have communications with buyers, they cannot rate the seller in that area, and that is also an automatic 5 stars.

6. Be patient, it will take time. Have patience and keep working on it. Have faith in the process and keep going. Lots of people have recovered from this.

7. Most importantly, learn the system. Check your Seller Dashboard daily (all sellers should be doing this already) and immediately address any defects that occur. Call eBay and appeal the situation. Sometimes it takes multiple calls to reach a customer service rep who is aggressive enough to resolve the situation.

Bottom line - sellers are responsible for the health of their accounts. Monitor your dashboard closely and often. Don't wait until it is too late and your account has been suspended.

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Friday, August 14, 2015

21 Year Old eBay Seller Pays Cash for New Car - Hard Work Pays Off at Any Age!

Now here is a great story about how eBay can help you bring in extra money. A resourceful young woman graduated from high school in May of 2012 and wasn't a good fit for the traditional college track. Her mom encouraged her to start her own eBay business. Mom showed daughter the ropes and after about 3 months, the teenager was making $800 - $1,000 a month. She was on her own with the business - she lives at home but pays for everything except rent. Her mom was there to help her with difficult situations within the business as they arose.

The young woman learned eBay quickly - well, she had been around it most of her life. She even started a listing service for other sellers in her area - she recognized that the backlog for everyone was listing, NOT finding inventory. She had a nice side business making up to $500 a month just listing items for other sellers in her area. (Note - this was not consignment - simply the task of picking up the items from the other sellers, photographing and listing the items on their accounts, and returning them a few days later.) Moms in the area loved the service because it allowed them to use their picking skills and shop and make money without having to do the boring chore of listing.

This process went on for almost 3 years. The young woman had a clunker of a car that eventually ended up on the lot at CarMax. She and her mom shared a car for several months to allow the young lady to save up money to pay cash for a new car.

Fast forward to April 2015. The young woman is now 21 and ready to buy her car. She does the research and test drives a few cars. She decides on a 2011 Honda Civic with low mileage and a price of $9,500. She walks into the bank, makes a withdrawal of a bank check for just over $10,000 from her own account, and heads to the car lot to purchase her car.

Now keep in mind this 21 year old doesn't have a college degree, but she doesn't have any student debt (or any debt at all), she has 3 years of experience running her own business and a list of clients, and a car that is paid for in full. How many 21 year olds can say that?

Who is this amazing young woman? My daughter, Melanie. I am so proud of her. You can visit her eBay store here to see that she is the real deal. She works full time now at an oral and facial surgery office, but eBay is always running in the background. Maybe it is in her DNA?

Encourage those young people to get involved in eBay early. Millenials (GenY) have the computer skills to do this business. Many are savvy enough to understand the resale market early because they already buy on eBay. eBay is a great way for young people to learn customer service skills and make some money on the side 24 hours a day.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Amazon Success Story - 5 Years Later

I received this email a couple of weeks ago from a client I worked with in 2010 (5 years ago). His story is inspiring and shows that with hard work and a commitment to success, anything can be achieved. Am so proud of you Jorge and for what you have accomplished.

"Hello, Suzanne.  I can't recall ever taking this long to reply, but I am going to look at things on the bright side and say that it's  'better late than never.'  With many apologies included, of course :)

How could I summarize almost 5 years in a single email?  It makes sense to start from where I am today and go back.

I have over 10,000 transactions under my belt selling on Amazon, mostly from DVD orders fulfilled by Amazon.  Amazingly enough, I have been able to maintain 100% positive feedback, though it's been no easy task.  I have had plenty of customer service issues to deal with, but fortunately I've been able to resolve all but one (and that one doesn't bring me under 99.5% positive so it rounds out to 100%).

I have been making a living selling on Amazon since October of 2012, when I was able to quit the 9 to 5.  It hasn't always been smooth sailing, but I have maintained gross profits above the minimum desired level for going on 3 years now.

I am now at a crossroads, again.  I have recently resumed working on getting approval to sell DVDs with MSRPs over $25.  I worked on getting approval full time between September and November of last year (selling on Amazon became part time, but with full time pay luckily).

After the new policy took effect in mid November, I then started working on getting back up to where I was when I could sell the newly restricted DVDs.  My profits dropped 50% in December of 2014 compared to the prior year, and January of this year was also a bit rough.  But then I was back up to speed in February, and since March I have actually doing better than I had been in prior years.  So far my sales are up around 25% compared to the year to date numbers in 2013 and 2014, and YTD gross profits are even higher compared to 2013 and 2014.

So what was once an oversight is now my core business.  If I could get approval for the over $25 MSRP DVDs and could apply the newly acquired sourcing techniques, I could comfortably triple what I was averaging in 2013 and 2014.

That, in a nutshell, is what has been going on with my business.  There are plenty more details naturally, but it is certainly not my intention to give you an overwhelming account of what's happened in the past few years.  If you would like to know some more specifics out of curiosity or if you feel you might find some of these details useful, then please let me know and I would be happy to share anything you would like to know.

Can't say so long for now without thanking you again for having made all of this possible.  Your coaching gave me the foundation for everything I am currently doing in my business.  I remember that you even covered flipping eBay items, though at the time I had no idea that would become my primary sourcing method.

It would be nice to know how you are doing, time permitting of course.  I imagine you might be as busy as you were before or possibly more so.  I remember back in 2010 you were involved in a number of different things.  I just do one thing and that definitely keeps me quite occupied.

I look forward to hearing from you,


I am honored to be a part of helping someone build their business and love getting emails like this.
Visit Jorge's Amazon store here and see for yourself what can be done with hard work and commitment.

If you are ready to make a commitment and need a mentor to help you get there, let's talk about how I can help you reach your goals. Set up an phone consultation here and start growing your ecommerce business today.

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Friday, August 7, 2015

eBay Sellers - This is Why You Want to Sell on Consignment

If you aren't offering consignment sales, you are leaving money on the table. I received this email from a friend last week:

"Hi Suzanne,

I have a Chanel bag just like this. It has the authenticity card and flannel slip case. I don't have the box. What do you think about selling this on eBay? $975 is right price."

Ummmm, ok!!! My dear friend Nancy lives on Long Island, NY, and has repeatedly tried to find an eBay seller in her area to sell her designer items. (I even helped her look.) She worked in the fashion industry in New York City for many years and has a stockpile of gorgeous valuable items she doesn't use and is ready to sell. Some items are David Yurman jewelry, collectible fashion Barbie dolls new in the boxes, vintage handbags, and high end clothing and shoes. Unfortunately, she was not able to find an eBay seller to help her.

I actually connected her with a seller in her county but the person never followed up - what a shame! This would be a goldmine for someone in that area and I am really perplexed at why more people don't do eBay consignment when there are lots of people like Nancy out there looking for someone to sell their items online.

We have decided that Nancy can ship the items to me and I will sell them for her, since she cannot find anyone willing in her area. The point I want to make here is that the more people who know that you sell on eBay, the more opportunities you will have to have for blessings like this fall out of the sky and land in your lap. I've also had people contact me to sell their Lladro collection, storage units full of estate sale items, and wedding rings (pending divorce) because they know I have the knowledge and skills to sell on eBay. And this isn't because I have a blog and YouTube channel, this is because I get the word out that I am an eBay seller.

When you sell on eBay, you are your own boss. You make up the rules. You can say no to things that don't work for you, and yes to things that will. If you are nervous about selling on consignment, here are 2 FREE documents that will help you feel more comfortable with the process:

Consignment Selling Tips

Standard Consignment Selling Agreement
(Please note, this was not written by an attorney.)

And finally, if you aren't listed in my eBay Seller's Consignment Directory, for heaven's sake get on it! The world is full of people like Nancy with nice stuff to sell and they are looking for your experience and expertise.

Sign up for my eBay Seller's Consignment Directory now!

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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Discontinued Shampoo to Sell on eBay - Redken Densify Shampoo for Men

Redken for Men Thick Boost Densify has been discontinued. It normally sells for about $19 a bottle at stores like Ulta and salons. This shampoo is selling for $50 and up per bottle on both eBay and Amazon. Here are a few examples of recent sales:

Lot of 3 bottles of Redken for Men Densify sold for $149 on May 15

1 Bottle sold for $54.99 on May 14

As of this writing, there are no full size bottles for sale on eBay (which means you can set your price if you find it).

There are 4 offers on Amazon starting at $44.00 + $4.89 shipping.

As you can see, discontinued health and beauty items can mean big profits on eBay. Look for these items at close out stores like Big Lots, WalMart, Target, salons, and other stores that sell hair care products. If you want to know how to identify discontinued items that sell for big profit, I am happy to share my process during a phone consultation. Book your appointment today and stop leaving money on the table!

Make sure you are subscribed to my blog to receive email updates on other profitable discontinued items. 

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