Sunday, May 30, 2010

How to Get Traffic to Your eBay Store

Don't be scared. This isn't as complicated as it looks. The matrix above just shows how you can promote your eBay store, listings, affiliate programs, and blog if you have one. Notice the directional arrows that show how to most effectively use different sites to drive traffic to eBay and your affiliate programs. Here is a summary.

1. Use social networking sites to send traffic to your listings, eBay store, eBay listings, affiliate program, and your blog.

2. Use your blog to send traffic to your affiliate links, eBay store, and eBay listings.

3. Use your eBay Me page for promoting affiliate programs.

4. Use article sites to send traffic where it is allowed. For example, eZine only allows a link to a website or blog, not to eBay, affiliate programs, or social networking sites. The Examiner will let you link to anything. You can post comments on other blogs in your niche and use your eBay store URL or eBay About Me page URL as your link. (Read more about eZine.)

5. The only thing you can link to from your eBay listings is your eBay About me page. But that is ok, because eBay is one of the final destinations of traffic.

6. Your ultimate goal is to get traffic to your eBay listings and affiliate programs because that is where you will make money!

7. If you click on the image of the matrix above, you will see a larger version that you can print and keep by your computer as you learn how to get traffic to your eBay store and listings.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Natural Search Optimization on eBay - Keywords!

Every eBay seller wants to know how to beat the competition. Should I lower my price? Do I offer free shipping? Why are my competitors offering the same product getting sales and I am not? The answer: natural search optimization.

Also known as organic SEO, natural search optimization means using keywords that will help your audience find you. As the following video demonstrates, using the right keywords results in your listings being found by buyers. This is more than copying the title of the product off the box or naming it the way YOU think it should be named. You have to think like a buyer. Take a look:


1. Find a competitor successfully selling the same product you want to sell. Note the keywords they are using that you aren't. (Don't copy their title word for word, this is text theft and you can be reported.) Find somebody doing it right and put your own spin on it.

2. Always include the brand name, but also think "category." Many buyers don't even know the brand names, they are just searching for a certain type of product. As in the example, the unsuccessful seller did not use terms like "tanning bed, indoor tanning, sunless tanning." The successful seller included the generic terms to catch shoppers who may not even know the brand she is selling.

3. Fill in all the item specifics. This will help you place higher in Best Match.

4. Use Terapeak to help you choose keywords to help with natural search optimization. Remember that your items will show up on Google, not just eBay. Better keyword choices means more buyers finding your listings which means more sales. If you aren't using Terapeak, get it now. Try it for a month and see what you have been missing.

Happy Selling!

Know when to sell on eBay

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Fisher Price My Talking Friend Little Bill

Rebecca sent in her success story:

"Hi Suzanne,

I love following your blog and seeing all the success stories - always gives me great ideas and motivation. Thought I'd share one of my own. While at a thrift store my daughter found a Talking Little Bill doll while digging through the bottom of the toys/dolls section (he still talked!). I would never have found it! The price was a little steep, $5.00, but having a preschooler who just got OUT of a huge Little Bill phase I KNEW this would sell. So I took him home, cleaned him up and listed him."

Here is Rebecca's listing:

Rebecca's cost: $5
eBay selling price: $45.99
Profit before fees: $40.99

Great! I hope that you shared your profit with your daughter. :)

Keep those success stories coming! You guys are amazing. The things you find to sell! If you are not already a member of my Facebook group, come join us as we discuss our finds every day and you can read back through over 1,500 threads to find out what other sellers have sold.

Happy Selling!

Research your competition

Monday, May 24, 2010

Niche Item - Vintage Measuring Cups

Keep your eye out for these at estate sales, garage sales, and thrift stores. Vintage kitchen gadgets are a great niche. Here are some recent listings for vintage measuring cups.

Vintage Tufglas Measuring Cup - sold for $43.01

Vintage Enamelware Measuring Cup - sold for $37.73

Vintage Vaseline Measuring Cup - sold for $33.00

Saturday, May 22, 2010

International Shipping Services for eBay Sellers

If you are shipping a number of packages First Class International (less than 4 lbs) each month, you may want to consider giving a try. Paypal shipping linked through your eBay Selling Manager is great for domestic postage and international Priority. But unfortunately, Paypal does not have an option for First Class International shipping services - the least expensive international option.

I am a big fan of offering international shipping and I even have a store on eBay UK. I have been using for all of my shipping needs since 2005. is one of the few online international shipping services that allows you to print First Class International postage from home. The customs form is included when the postage prints out and you just tape the label on the package the same way you would with Paypal postage. Fast and easy.

I ship about 5-10 packages a day FCI, schedule pickups though the USPS, and my mail carrier picks them up at my door. No more going to the post office and waiting in line. also allows you to print postage stamps, photo stamps, print postage on envelopes, and you get a discount on the regular USPS rates when you print at home. (Could the post office want us to stay away? LOL)The monthly fee is $15.99. That comes out to $4 a week - you would save that much on gas NOT going to the post office. The time savings is also substantial.

Right now is offering a special deal for new customers. You get:

$25 in postage
$5 in supplies
A free digital scale
A 4 week free trial

Click here to check out this special deal on Stop wasting time driving to and standing in line at the post office.

Happy Selling!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Vintage Typewriter - eBay Success Story

Tina set in her success story:

I found this Olivetti Typewriter at a yardsale Saturday for only $5. I woke up this morning with an offer, no problem in accepting this one! It has been an awesome Monday morning already with 5 sales.

Here is Tina's listing:

Tina's cost: $5
eBay selling price: $42.85
Profit before fees: $37.85

Great sale! Click here to visit Tina's store where she has all kinds of cool vintage items. If you have a success story to share, please send it in to me at

You can also check out my list of more vintage items to sell on eBay by clicking here.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Designer Maternity Jeans a Profitable Niche on eBay

This is going to make me sound old, but back when I was having babies, there weren't very many choices for designer maternity jeans. And there wasn't eBay to buy them preowned if you couldn't afford the three-digit price tag. Pre-owned designer maternity jeans are a great niche on eBay. Look for these brands in thrift stores, consignment stores, and maybe you have some in your own closet.

Citizens of Humanity Maternity Jeans Pre-Owned - Sold for $130

Seven for All Mankind Maternity Jeans Pre-Owned - Sold for $131.50

Paige Maternity Jeans Pre-owned - Sold for $61

Add designer maternity jeans to your list of things to look for to sell on eBay. Click here to download a free list of over 200 brand names and niche items to sell on eBay.

Happy Selling!

Ten Little-Known Highly Profitable Niche Markets on eBay

Monday, May 17, 2010

Create Your Own Blog to Attract New eBay Customers

eBay sellers are constantly on the hunt for new customers. That is the nature of selling. You can communicate with your target audience by starting your own blog that parallels what you sell on eBay. For example, I have a client who sells trade show exhibits - the materials for the displays used at trade shows. This client wants to communicate with existing buyers and attract new ones by starting a blog that focuses on trade show exhibits. His blog will discuss all sorts of trade show related topics like:

Display hardware and graphics
Portable displays
Custom designed displays
Trade show flooring
Hiring set up and dismantle labor
Trade show schedules

His blog will attract readers that he can send to his eBay store and website. He will make some residual money using Google Adsense and affiliate programs. He is very knowledgeable trade show exhibits and knows this niche inside and out. By creating a blog in conjunction with his eBay store, he can stay in touch with his customers from eBay, and his blog can be found by new customers when they Google phrases like trade show exhibits, trade show displays, and trade show booths.

When selling online, your goal should be to create and maintain several streams of income. In other words, don't put all of your eggs in one basket. The magic (and the money) comes when all your streams of income are weaved together into a virtual tapestry - and they take on a life of their own. Multiple streams of income will feed off each other.

Taking your eBay business to the next level involves starting a niche blog. This is how people interested in your product line can find you - they may not go to eBay first. I highly recommend this course and am taking it myself - I am in month 5 and the information just keeps coming. I like this blogging course because the format allows users to move at their own individual pace. The concepts of online marketing, keyword optimization, identifying niches, finding your target audience, etc. can be applied to more than just blogging.

There is a free 3-day trial, so if nothing else, take the trial and see what the course has to offer.

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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Lip Products - Great Niche Item to Sell on eBay UK

Understanding the climate and weather conditions in a geographical location can help you brainstorm for products to sell to that market. You wouldn't set up a snowboarding shop in Key West, Florida, right? We can apply this logic to selling on eBay UK.

Selling on eBay UK has been the latest trend with eBay sellers who are seeking new ways to make money on eBay. We have so many products here in the USA that are not available or affordable in Europe. You can set up a store on eBay UK and sell everyday items from Walmart, grocery stores, and Target. I've been doing it for 2 1/2 years and it is quite a lucrative business model.

So let's talk about lip balm and London. The weather in many parts of the United Kingdom is damp because the UK is an island. Some parts are wetter than others. Because of this damp climate, many people suffer from chapped lips or lip infections, so it is an ongoing problem. Many of our specialty lip products are not available in the UK, and stores like Walmart, Target, and even Amazon sellers do not ship internationally. This is where you can find a niche as an eBay seller.

Some of my best selling lip products have been Aveeno lip balm, Abreva, Blistex, Neosporin lip care, Neutrogena lip balm, Lip Smackers, Burt's Bees, Zilactin, Chapstick, Carmex, Releev, and Nivea. Medicated lip balms, cold sore treatments, and fever blister products do the best.

The great thing about selling on eBay UK is that there is room for everyone. It would be impossible for any one seller to offer everything in WalMart or Target because different products are found in different regions of the country, and you can present your item in different ways. Sell a lot of 3, 4, or 6. Offer free shipping. Add a free gift. Offer a mixed lot of lip products with different SPFs. Be creative and invent your own offering.

Update: In 2011 I switched over to selling consumables on Amazon. The same principles apply about understanding your customers.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Determining the Value of Antiques and Collectibles

Here is another application the eBay offers under the Applications tab. Terapeak Antiques and Collectibles research. This app provides access to the largest price guide in the world for sales information on antiques and collectibles. Users have access to pricing and pictures, which is ideal for identifying and placing a value on your items. How many times have you found what you know is a collectible, but can't find the name of the pattern, model, or year it was made? Terapeak Collectibles is the answer to that problem.

You can check out this application and sign up for a free 7-day trial. The cost of the program is $15.95 per month. Click here to find out more.

For more information on exactly what to buy to resell, check out my eBook about garage sale finds to sell on eBay.

Happy Selling!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Yellow Brick Road Video Game - eBay Seller Success Story

Thanks to Amy for sharing this sale with us on the SAHMs eBay Facebook Group. Amy bought this PC / MAC game at a local thrift store for $2.99 and sold it for $240.49. Talk about a profit margin! Here is Amy's listing:

Visit Amy's blog at Collectibles Online Sales to see more of her great finds, and join us on Facebook where every day is a new learning experience.

Happy Selling!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

eBay Business Strategies - 9 Tips for eBay Success

Bruce, one of the few male members of the SAHM eBay Seller's Facebook group, shared this lovely post about his own personal tips for succeeding with his eBay business. Bruce owns US Camo, Etc on eBay, is a Top Rated seller, has over 5,000 feedbacks, and sells approximately 700 items a month. Here is Bruce's post.

The topic on how much do you make on eBay got me thinking of what I've done in the past in order to increase my sales and become somewhat a decent seller. I'll pass on a few of my tips, please add others as each seller has their own little "secrets". Also, success is what you make it. I was successful when I hit 100 FB's, then $1,000 in monthly sales, jumping with joy on a regular 5k month, and now celebrating 5000 feedbacks.

#1 - GREAT personal customer service... speaks for itself. This is one way I can get an advantage over my competition (and I have lots of it). All questions are answer asap, with a "Hello, thanks for inquiring about our store merchandise". If they include their name in the message, I address them by name. My reply ends with "Best Regards, and my full name with my eBay store underneath. Takes a little time but I want them to get to know me as a person.

#2 - Ship within 48 hours and 95% of the time, within 24 hours. I like to get stuff I order online asap and so do my customers. It's very easy to drive down the road and buy from the brick and mortar stores.

#3 - Give them the opportunity to return to your store...make it easy for them to find you. I include a business card with ALL info that is necessary for them to find or contact me including phone number, email, and website. I include a packing slip with this info as well as a personally signed "Thanks!" along with instructions on leaving feedback.

#4 - Stand behind your product. You don't like what you bought, send it back and I'll most likely refund your full amount including ship cost. I don't advertise this in the store, but I've had repeat business by doing this. I do make it clear on the refund that this is not my normal return policy. I do this on a per item basis... nice to me and I'll be nice to you!

#5 - Fair ship cost.... I can't stress this enough. Not only does it affect your DSR's, but buyers today do not like to pay a separate ship cost... or very little if they have to. Also, many sellers including myself do partial refunds when ship cost paid is quite a bit more than necessary. Give a refund they'll remember you by... being I'm a coin collector, if the amount of the ship cost refund is $2.00. I'll include a two dollar bill, a buck refund gets you a new dollar coin. People love it.

#6 - Keep an eye on the competition, do what they do that generates sales and do what they don't do to generate sales. Like the Taco Bell commercial... think outside the box.

#7 - Be part of an online group. Give support to sellers when they have slow periods and share the love when you're on a roll and having good selling periods. I've got to say...all of you are aces in this one!

#8 - Tell everyone what you do. Don't be a secret. Most people love to hear what I do with online selling. Get excited!!!

#9 - Set goals... you can't get from here to there without knowing where you're going.

(Reprinted with permission from Bruce.)

Thank you Bruce, for sharing these tips about your eBay business, and for being such an inspiration.

Monday, May 10, 2010

iTunes Gift Card Giveaway - $45 in iTunes!

This post has two great things for you! The BOLO (be on look out) list is ready. This list contains over 200 brand names and types of items you can find at thrift stores, garage sales, estate sales, and flea markets. Keep this handy list with you when you are out shopping for things to resell on eBay and get familiar with the items so that you can spot them quickly.Thanks to all the members of the eBay SAHMs Group who contributed to this, and to Shannon of The Recycle-ista for putting it together for us. Click here to download your FREE copy!

It is giveaway time again! I have 3 $15 iTunes gift cards to give away to one winner. Not an iTunes fan? You can always sell these on eBay. They sell for 95-100% of the face value. To enter, just leave a comment below. For extra entries (and a better chance of winning), do any of the following:

Post a link to this giveaway on:

Your own blog
Your Facebook page
A Facebook group’s wall
A group or forum
Your MySpace page
Bulk email your friends in your email address book

You can use the share button below to quickly share this giveaway. Be sure to leave a comment for each “extra” that you do. Good luck!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

eBay Research Tip - How to Examine Sell Through Rates

When researching a product to sell on eBay, one factor you should always look at is the sell through rate, or STR. This is also called the listing success rate, or LSR. This information can only be found on a research tool such as Terapeak - it is not available in the completed listings search.

I recently found some Wii Fit Balance Board mats at Tuesday morning marked down to $9.99. Here is how I made my decision of whether or not to buy them to resell on eBay.

If you are not using a research tool, click here to try Terapeak. $24.95 a month might seem like a lot to pay for an eBay tool, but based on the time and money you will save using it, the investment is really very small over the long run.

Are you looking for someone to guide you along in your eBay business and help you reach the next level? If so, contact me at to discuss personal coaching.

Happy Selling!

Research your competition

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Friday, May 7, 2010

Discontinued Neutrogena Item to Sell on eBay

Neutrogena has discontinued its oil-free anti-acne moisturizer. I saw this at Big Lots for $4.50 per box. It is selling on eBay for about twice that price. The listing below is for 2 boxes that sold for $16.99 on May 1:

You could put several of these in a lot together and make a nice profit. It has been my experience that discontinued Neutrogena products sell very well on eBay. If you find any of these, you may want to hold on to them and list them in a few weeks when the supply is even lower. For more discontinued items like this that are good sellers on eBay, check out my latest Hot List with 25 items just like this.

Happy Selling!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Timing is Everything on eBay

Carla send in this success story back in March:

"I've been watching your blog since October and do love and check at least 3 times a week. The week that Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland came out was the same week Syfy Miniseries Alice was out on DVD. Tuesday Morning had a sale on Paul Cardew Tea Set Items. I bought 2 teapots. The 48oz for $19.99 and the 18oz for $14.99. I gave the option to do a buy it now." Here are Carla's listings:

The large 48 oz teapot:

The smaller 32 oz teapot:

"The 48oz went for $50 in less the 4 hours. The 18oz went a week later for 32.99 which was 2.99 over the buy now price. I had my blinders on when I got them. Knew what I wanted. To bad though because the lady that got the 48oz wanted to know if I had the mugs. I told her no, but there were other people that had them. She just wanted to get them from me. But after my little teapot sold I noticed that not many sales were happening. Learned something about Tuesday morning. You got to be there at least a half hour before it opens to get what you want. There was only one 48 oz teapot and 2 of the 18oz. I went there later that week for something else and did get there right when it opened. But what I wanted was already picked over because they only had 2 of them."

Carla's investment: $34.98
Carla's profit before fees: $48.01

Great job, Carla! You have a good eye and great timing.

For more information about using Tuesday Morning as a source of inventory, click here.And be sure to check out my Facebook group where we share stories like this all the time!

Happy Selling,

Research your competition

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Paypal 21 Day Hold

This is a confusing issue for many eBay sellers. So before you start freaking out, let's look at exactly what the Paypal 21 day hold is all about. It does not apply to every single seller, and may not apply to you. These are the conditions where the Paypal 21 day hold may apply.

1. Limited eBay and Paypal history.

2. eBay feedback of less than 100, with fewer than 20 DSRs in the last 12 calendar months.

3. Low DSRs.

4. High number or rate of customer disputes, Paypal claims, or chargebacks.

5. Selling in high dollar or "high risk" categories including electronics, gift certificates, cell phones, tickets, computers, and cell phones

6. Inconsistent payment activity or unusual spikes in sales. For example, sales in the thousands of dollars per week when the norm has been only a few hundred dollars.

7. Incomplete or inconsistent information on your account such as a disconnected phone number, an invalid mailing address, etc.

I have had clients encounter the 21 day hold when they started selling in high-dollar categories or started selling a new product line that is more expensive than their historical sales. If you are an established seller, the best way to avoid the 21 day hold is to gradually increase your sales over a period of time and ease into new product lines, rather than introducing a lot of new merchandise at once.

You can avoid the 21 day hold by doing the following:

1. Improve DSRs.

2. Do everything in your power to avoid buyer disputes - resolve them quickly so they don't escalate.

3. Ship quickly and always provide tracking information.

4. Communicate with your buyers.

5. Keep your personal information updated on both your eBay and Paypal accounts.

Happy Selling!

Download my FREE guide with all kinds of eBay how-tos

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Big Lots Item to Sell on eBay - Sunsilk Discontinued Shampoo

This shampoo has been discontinued - Sunsilk Anti-Poof shampoo. I saw it at Big Lots today for $1. This seller sold one of them for $3.54.

If you put a lot of 10 of them together, you could make a nice profit. Just a little something to look for as you are out on your travels! Check dollar stores and grocery stores, too. For more discontinued items like this that you can sell for profit on eBay, check out my latest Hot List that has 25 items like this.

Happy Selling!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Ever Wonder Why People Sell Nice Items at a Loss on eBay?

I get this question all the time, "How can people be selling XYZ product so cheap on eBay? Where are they buying it for such a low price? How are they making a profit?" Astute observation. Large sellers afford to sell their products at a loss. This done by design. They are not even on eBay to make money - they are there for something else.

eBay is one of the largest and busiest websites in the world. Millions of people are assembled, cash in hand, eager to buy. Large sellers and big corporations ("The Big Boys") must have a presence on eBay. The strategy goes something like this:

A big corporation opens a store on eBay and sells products cheaper than the competition just to get the sale. They don't care if they are losing money. After the money changes hands, the seller has the buyer's address and email address and has a business relationship with that customer. When the seller ships the order, they can include marketing material in their order in the hopes that the customer will visit their website and buy the product directly from them. Big companies are using eBay for cultivating new customers. The seller is taking a $10 loss on each sale, but they are gaining customers who they will build long term relationships with. These sellers are looking at the big picture rather than the individual sale.

This strategy works extremely well if the product is consumable such as skin care products, gourmet coffee, printing supplies, batteries, or cosmetics. Consumables get used up and have to be replenished on a regular basis. Companies find customers on eBay, establish contact through one sale on eBay, recruit the customer to visit their own website instead of eBay, and sell $20 or $30 worth of goods a month to that customer for many years. The long-term relationship and steady revenue stream far outweighs the initial loss on eBay.

The next time you are checking out your eBay competition and find a competitor whose prices are ridiculously low, examine the seller's their feedback page. Are they selling hundreds of items a month? If so, those sellers are on eBay for one reason, and it isn't to make money. It is to harvest customers. But don't let this scare you - there is still a place for the small seller on eBay. There are some things we can do better than the big guys.

Need help with your eBay business? Contact me at for information on coaching and consulting.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Claire Burke Candles - Tuesday Morning Item to Sell on eBay

Claire Burke is a company that makes potpourri, candles, room sprays, and other home fragrance type items. Claire Burke items are usually sold at small gift shops, home interior design stores, and small pharmacies, and the merchandise is getting harder and harder to find. There isn't very much of it on eBay.

I was in Tuesday Morning today and saw quite a few Claire Burke candles. Most of them were marked at $4-$5. These items are selling on eBay for double or triple the Tuesday Morning price. Here is a listing for a Claire Burke candle that sold for $12:

Not a huge profit, but maybe something to make a few bucks on if you can find several at your local Tuesday Morning store. For more items like this that you can sell on eBay, check out my latest Hot List with 25 items.

Happy Selling!

Niche Products to Sell on eBay During Spring and Summer

Online sellers are always interested in learning what products to sell for the summer. This isn't really as complicated as it seems. Pay attention to what is going on around you and watch what the major retailers are doing, then follow suit.

One of the first things that comes to mind when you think of spring and summer is bugs! Insect control products are great sellers on eBay during the spring and summer months. Products like bug zappers, citronella candles, and insect repellent towelettes will be popular. Smaller items like citronella bracelets and candles can be sold in large lots for outdoor events like family reunions, vacation bible school, and summer day camps. I recently sold a case of 24 citronella bracelets on eBay.

Another popular niche is outdoor cooking, barbecues, and grilling. Research products like grill utensil sets, grill covers, personalized aprons for men (Father's Day), thermometers, and lighters. Think about your own "grill master" and what that person uses.

Summer also means water sports. Items like life jackets (even for pets), boating accessories, swimwear, baby floats, goggles, and sunscreen. Think about consumable products (like sunscreen and insect repellent towelettes) that get used up and must be replenished. Consumables are one of the most profitable and sustainable niches on eBay.

More ideas on products to look for at thrift stores during the warm months:

Birkenstock Sandals

Golf shirts

Cycling Jerseys

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