Saturday, January 30, 2016

eBay Coaching Program - Grow Your Business and Achieve Success

Are you ready to take your eBay business to the next level? You know you can do better but you just aren't sure how to get there. There are three ways successful business owners have built their business - dedication, support from colleagues, and business coaching.

I actually have a business coach and she helps me in a variety of ways. I can help you with these aspects of your business, too!

1.  Enhanced focus. Overwhelm is a common feeling when you are juggling so many different tasks. We will focus on the the big picture and I will point out the specific areas that need attention immediately.

2. Accountability.  This is huge for business owners. I will hold you accountable for the things you must to to move forward. Maybe it is listing that huge pile of stuff you bought six months ago. Or maybe you want to be pushed out of your comfort zone to learn new things like international shipping, how to source online, or how to hire help. I'll give you homework that must be completed by a deadline we agree on so that you can achieve your goals.

3. Goal setting.  As a business owner, you must have a clear understanding of what you want to accomplish. For most eBay sellers, the goal is netting a certain amount of money each month. We will develop a plan with your goals in mind, and develop strategies overcome the obstacles that are getting in your way. There is a solution for everything, we just have to figure out what it is and what works for you and your family.

 4. Productive brainstorming. It can be difficult to see all of the different ways to tackle a problem by yourself. By putting our heads together, we can come up with creative ideas to overcome what's holding you back.

5. Experience. I have seen the good, bad, and the ugly since I started coaching in 2009. By working with so many different types of sellers and and business owners from all walks of life, I have gained wisdom that can be applied to help your business, too.

6. Improved profitability: My clients' businesses have grown. (See testimonials here.)  Clients report their sales have increased, and more importantly their profits have increased. They have learned to work smarter, leverage their knowledge, and have created sustainable businesses that they love working on every day.

I've developed a coaching program to help you achieve the success you desire based on your business model, lifestyle, schedule, and working with products you love. 

My coaching program includes:

  • Store critique in writing so you can work through necessary changes 
  • A plan to scale your business to reach a specific profit number 
  • Instruction on how to research and make better buying decisions 
  • 4 / 30 minute phone calls (1 per week) 
  • 2 / 5 minute "check in" calls per week to keep you on track 
  • Homework to hold you accountable 
  • 50% off all information products on my website   
The cost is $350 per month for this hands on, one-on-one program that has proven results. Space is limited, as I can only take on a limited number of clients to ensure that each client receives dedicated time and attention. Sign up here and let's take your eBay business to the next level!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

What's the Difference Between a Silent Butler and a Bed Warmer?

This issue comes up about once a month on my eBay Seller's Facebook Group. Someone will post a a photo of a silent butler asking what it is, and an argument will ensue about the difference between a silent butler and a bed warmer. So, let's set the record straight.

Silent Butler

A silent butler is a container with a handle and a hinged cover, used for collecting table crumbs or emptying ashtrays. It may or may not have feet on the bottom. The butler would make his way around the table with this container and a small brush and remove crumbs from the table. (If you watch Downton Abbey, pay close attention at the meal scenes.) The differentiating factor between a silent butler and a bed warmer is the length of the handle. These are not widely used anymore and are a collector's item.

Bed Warmer
From Wikipedia, "was a common household item in countries with cold winters, especially in Europe. It consisted of a metal container, usually fitted with a handle and shaped somewhat like a modern frying pan, with a solid or finely perforated lid. The pan would be filled with hot coals and placed under the covers of a bed, to warm it up and/or dry it out before use. (Wikipedia.) The bottom is usually flat without feet so that the pan can easily be run between sheets when warming the bed. After the invention of rubber, bed warmers were replaced with hot water bottles. In the 20th century, the electric blanket came along.
So there you have it. Feel free to post this article in your groups when the silent butler vs bed warmer argument appears!

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Monday, January 18, 2016

January 2016 USPS Price Increase - But Good News for eBay Sellers!

Yes, USPS rates go up again today. But it isn't all bad news.

First Class weight will now go up to 15.99 ounces which is a new thing. Sellers are reporting savings as much as $2 on packages weighing 14-15.99 ounces. (Remember First Class was only up to 13 ounces.) If you have Priority mail chosen for your items that weigh 14-15.99 ounces, you may want change those listings to first class.

Postage increases are nothing new. They happen regularly. This is a good case for calculated shipping because the total cost of shipping is passed on to the customer. If you are using free shipping or flat rate, you will need to adjust your prices to absorb the cost.  If you aren't using calculated shipping, here is a video that explains how.

Remember you will still receive your eBay shipping discounts if you print your labels through eBay.

And look on the bright side, gas prices are dropping so maybe that will compensate for the higher postage costs!

Related Articles:

8 Reasons USPS May Have Lost Your Package

eBay Shipping Tip - Frankenstein Boxes

eBay Sellers - Please Stop Doing This!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Duplicate Listings on eBay are Bad!

Duplicate listings on eBay are a bad thing. Not as bad as these creepy twins (and you are showing your age if you know who they are!), but something you can be penalized for. We all get in a hurry sometimes and may have sent something to auction and didn't end the original listing. Or some other glitch happened and a listing was duplicated without your knowledge.

Fortunately, there is a free tool we can use to check for duplicate listings on eBay. It is called the eBay Duplicate Listing Scanner. It is a free tool. Just enter your eBay seller name and country, and the utility will run a quick check on your listings. If any are duplicated, you can take action immediately to correct the situation.

Make sure you know the eBay rules about duplicate listings. 

Find the eBay Duplicate Listing Scanner here.

Related articles

 What to Sell on eBay - 2015 Updated List

eBay Shipping Tip - Frankenstein Boxes

Flipping Facebook Sale Group Items on eBay

Thursday, January 7, 2016

eBay Success Depends on Good Record Keeping

Record keeping is a critical part of any business, and a task most of us don't like. Without a clear picture of your income and expenses, it is impossible to monitor the financial health of your business and make sound decisions. Many small businesses fail because they choose to ignore or postpone the task of record keeping.

eBay is fun. We all love the shopping, and some of us even like listing and shipping. Keeping accurate and current financial records isn’t anyone’s favorite activity. But neglect this task and it will come back to haunt you. I am speaking from the heart and from experience when I say that if you want to create a home business that will take care of you in the future, you must put a record keeping system in place.

One of the most important reasons to keep thorough records is to enable you to monitor the financial health of your business. Records can help determine if your income is covering your expenses and leaving room for growth. It’s important to keep accurate financial information throughout the year so you’re not stuck with a nasty surprise at tax time. Money in your bank account does not equal success in all cases.

I can’t tell you how many times I have consulted with clients about growing or fine-tuning their business, and they do not know simple numbers like their monthly profit or the amount of money invested in inventory. If you are not keeping track of your numbers, this is a recipe for disaster later. And most importantly, sales does not equal profit. I am shocked at how many eBay sellers don't know what percent of their sales they are actually keeping. Those charts on eBay and Paypal are pretty, they don't account for expenses like office supplies or inventory costs.

You’ll also need financial records if you decide apply for a business loan. The bank will want to review your history to determine your ability to repay the loan. Poor records could result in being turned down for a loan or getting stuck with a higher interest rate.

Good records can also help make tax preparation smoother and less expensive. If you don’t keep track of expenses properly, you may miss out on deductions. CPAs charge by the hour. If your records are not organized, you will pay for more work because the CPA will need more time to sift through your documents to find information to complete your returns.

Staying organized saves time. If you don’t ever get behind, you won’t have to spend days getting caught up. Plus, you’ll be ready for any business opportunities that may pop up. To stay current, it’s important to have a good system in place.

If you are selling on eBay, you must report the income on your taxes. Use a system that keeps information accessible so you can quickly find what's needed to do your taxes, or what your CPA asks for.

I recommend the eBay and Amazon Esales Tracking Spreadsheet. It was developed by a bookkeeper has also been an eBay and Amazon seller for years. This will be my 5th year using Vickie's spreadsheet and it does everything I need. Vickie’s customer service is unmatched. If you aren’t Excel savvy, she will help you get started. The spreadsheet works on both PCs and MACs and Vickie is always responsive to questions if you need help.

The regular cost of the spreadsheet is $29.97, but Vickie is offering a special 25% discount from January 7 – 10 for my readers. She is also including some freebies if you purchase during this time:
  • Inventory to list form: jot down the highlights of your thrifting or garage sale-ing trips so you don’t forget the details
  • Master password log: For those zillion passwords you have scattered all over the place!
  • Master to do list: A great way to prioritize everything you need to do today or this week
Use code SWTAX25 for the 25% discount. The spreadsheet is an instant download. Vickie will email your bonuses shortly after your purchase.

Please don’t wait until April to start getting eBay financial information in order. Save time and frustration by starting now and tackle this project during the slow month of January. When April rolls around, you will be all set!