Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Personal Reasons Prompt Selling on eBay

Many online sellers have ventured into eBay to make money while staying at home, to sell surplus items they have found around the house, or as a replacement for a full-time job. There are a couple of guys out there who are using eBay for a more personal reason.

First is Bill Shephard. Bill is an out of work Iraqi vet who lives in Woodbury, NJ. He recently left the Army and was finding it difficult find work as a civilian. He was at a major fork in the road. Upon leaving the Army, he returned to school. He applied for numerous jobs. He asked for help from various veteran organizations but still was not able to find work. Bill made a difficult decision. In order to support his family and to start a new business, Bill decided to sell his Army Achievement medal on eBay. With a starting bid of $1.00, the auction closed three days (and 62 bids) later with a winning bid of $5,200.

While many are not happy with his decision to sell the medal, the proceeds have allowed Bill to take care of the immediate needs of his family and to purchase equipment to start a landscaping business.

Then there is Andy Martin of Stockton, Teesides, UK. Andy was recently notified that his position as traffic planner for a waste management company would no longer exist after June 30. After sending is many copies of his resume to various companies with no leads, Andy finally decided to list himself on eBay. His buy it now price was £20,000 (which currently is about $31,000 US dollars.) eBay has contacted Andy to let him know there is a policy against selling one’s self on its site but has let him move the listings to a “goods wanted” section. Meanwhile, Andy continues his job search and is hopeful his will find something before the end of his current position.

There are many others who have found themselves in similar positions that have led to becoming successful online sellers. It can be done. Find out how by visiting the related links below.

Related posts:

Join my Online Seller’s Facebook Group

Paying It Forward – Free Book


Monday, June 25, 2012 Rolls Out its Locker Service to the Nation’s Capitol

Image courtesy of 

To help its customers receive its packages, Amazon has its Locker Delivery Service. With this service, customers can choose to have his or her order delivered to a locker location instead of their home or office. The service, which was originally offered in Seattle, New York, and London, is now available in Washington, DC, as well. The DC area lockers are being placed in 7-11 convenience store locations throughout the Northern Virginia area.

With this offering, a customer in the serviced areas can choose to have the package sent to a locker location during the checkout process. Once the package has been delivered to a locker location, an email confirmation is sent to the customer. That email will include a pick-up code that is unique to that particular order. When at the locker location, the customer will enter the pick-up code on the locker’s touch screen and the particular locker that holds the package will open. The customer has three days to pick up the package or the order will be returned to Amazon and the customer will receive a full refund.

Below is a video of this service in action. (This video was taken during the pilot phase of the program in October 2011.)

As a seller, you may want to know what items are eligible for locker delivery. Here are the requirements:

       1. The item must be sold or fulfilled by
       2. It must have product dimensions smaller than 11.8 x 11.8 x 11.8 inches
       3. The item must have a shipping weight that is less than 10 lbs, and
       4. The order cannot require special handling.

The shipping speed for the package will vary based on the locker’s capacity and the number of orders scheduled for delivery time frame. For details on the service, click here.

Related posts:

Amazon Testing New Service – Amazon Tote

Amazon Fulfillment Course – Automate and Grow Your Business with FBA

Amazon Now Offers Labeling Service for FBA


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

How to Market Your eBay Store/Listings

Jenn Cangelosi of Boutique Bargains brings us today's posting:

It takes time to become established on eBay as a reputable seller, but begin with a plan and that time can be shortened. Here are a few marketing ideas to help you get started.

Get the word out - Start with word of mouth or viral marketing. Tell everyone you know about your new eBay business venture. Send out emails with links included to your auctions so they know what it is your are selling.

Use your email - Now there is another use for your email. Set up a signature that goes out with every email you send. Include a link to your auction listings or eBay store, with a short tagline like "Come and see what is new on eBay!"

Get some business cards - Vista print is a great place to order some inexpensive business cards. Include your business card with every package you ship. If you sell electronic informational products like eBooks, just include a business card box on the last page of the product.

Ask for customer feedback - After an item is shipped send an email thanking the customer for their purchase and ask them to leave you positive feedback. Most people will leave feedback, but the email is a good customer service and reminds them to leave the feedback.

Reward repeat buyers - Offer a coupon or other promotion to repeat buyers. Offering them an incentive helps ensure that they will buy from you again. The most popular incentive is a shipping discount on multiple items purchased.

Add something extra - Everyone loves getting something extra for free. For example: you sell a girls dress, add a cute matching bow or inexpensive jewelry. If possible include an item with your web address or logo.

Combine these ideas to start your marketing plan. There are numerous other marketing strategies that you can implement, especially if you have a separate website. Try several different marketing strategies until you find the ones that work best for you.

Jenn, thank you for the tips! They are great ideas to include in marketing your eBay or Amazon business!

Related posts:

How to Use Pinterest to Market Your Business

eBay and Amazon Sales Tracking Spreadsheet

Free Marketing: 101 Low and No Cost Ways to Grow Your Business Online

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Who Bought the Oldest Known Pair of Levi’s?


Recently in the Stay at Home Moms Selling on eBay group there was a discussion about Levi jeans. In this case, a pair was listed on eBay with 16 bids and a top bid of $362 at the time of the post. It reminded me of a story about a special pair of jeans that showed up on eBay back in 2001.

This special pair of jeans were Levi’s as well. The jeans were reported to be the oldest pair of Levi’s still around. The Levi Strauss company started producing jeans in 1873 and this pair auctioned on eBay in 2001 were dated back in the 1880’s. After being featured on the History Channel’s “History’s Lost and Found Auction Block” and in a seven-day auction on eBay, the jeans found a new home. The winning bid for the jeans was $46,532. Yes, that is forty-six thousand, five hundred and thirty-two dollars.

If you are curious as to whom would pay that much for the jeans, it was the Levi Strauss company itself. Levi’s used the pair to replicate the style (including a “tool pocket” on the left thigh) and offered the duplicates as a part of its Fall 2001 collection.

If you would like to join the discussion on topics for eBay or Amazon, join my Facebook group (guys are welcomed, too.)

Related posts:

Designer Maternity Jeans a Profitable Niche on eBay

Miss Me Jeans a Good Seller on eBay

Who In the World is Thierry Mugler?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Niche Products – School Supplies

It’s June! That means graduation, end of the school year, and the start of summer vacation. It also means the start of the school supplies buying season. Many parents and teachers are beginning to prepare for the next school year…yes, already. This is the perfect time for sellers to start doing the same.

Is it too early? Not at all. There are many school systems throughout the country that will begin the new school year as early as July 9th. What will the students need? Take a look at the websites of your local schools. That will give you an idea of where to start. Many teachers will post the supply list of the class online. Some items that will be needed are:
  • Notebooks (consider selling in bundles) 
  • Lunch boxes or bags 
  • Backpack or book bags (Looks for unusual prints and patterns) 
  • Matching Backpack and Lunch box Set 
  • Calculators (Used ones in great condition will do well) 
  • Kleenex 
  • Tupperware-like containers 
  • Hand sanitizers 
  • Tennis balls (Many schools use them on the legs of chairs to protect the floors) 
  • Lysol wipes 
  • Pet supplies and toys (We can’t forget about the class pet!) 
  • Pencils and pens 
  • Clothes 
  • Shoes 
  • Computers
  • Box tops 

For smaller items like pencils and pencil cases, consider selling them in bundles. And let’s not forget that August is the beginning of college life for many students. Look for items that a student will need as he or she moves into a dorm for the first time. Items like bedding, extra long twin sheets, pouches that allow you to carry an ID card and other cards on a key chain or lanyard, laptop cases, items with college or mascot images, MP3 players, and textbooks will be needed.

August is also the beginning of tailgating season for college football fans everywhere. Look for items that can help the college football fan show which team they love. Car flags, grill covers, apparel, and tailgating supplies are items to consider. Watch stores like as Staples, Office Depot, and Best Buy for deals as they get ready for the back to school season.

Related posts:

Back to School Means Selling Box Tops for Education on eBay

Summer Clearance Items to Sell on eBay

Don’t Panic! It is Just the July Slump

Friday, June 8, 2012

Marketing During the Summer

Summertime can be a slow time of the year. Even if sales are fewer than usual, there are things you can do to help build your business. To take advantage of the slow time, review some of the postings below. The list is a compilation of a few postings that can help you focus on marketing your business for future growth:

How To Get More Traffic to your eBay Store and Listings

Are You Using Your eBay Packaging as Advertising?

How to Use Twitter for eBay Marketing – Part 1

Drive Traffic to Your eBay Store Using Amazon Reviews

eBay Marketing Strategy – Multiple Listings for the Same Item

Tips for Selling on eBay – Huge List of Resources

Free Publicity for Your eBay Business

Free Promotion for Your eBay Products

Free Marketing: 101 Low and No Cost Ways to Grow Your Business Online

How to Use Pinterest to Market Your Business

Marketing is something that does not have instant results, usually. Taking time now may make a big different in your business as time passes.

Tuesday Morning Clearance Event June 8-10

It is time again for the Tuesday Morning Clearance Event! Shop Tuesday Morning for 3 days, June 8-10 and save up to 88% on selected items. Take an extra 40% off clearance items with the yellow stickers. Items from Tuesday Morning are great sellers on both eBay and Amazon. If you have not heard of this closeout store, "Tuesday Morning is a retailer specializing in upscale closeout merchandise, with more than 800 stores across the United States. Our successful concept was founded on a unique philosophy: sell first-quality, famous designer and name-brand merchandise at extraordinarily discounted prices on an event basis. Our 10 major events usually kick off on the first Tuesday of the month. We receive new merchandise shipments daily, and customers can return often to find the shelves replenished with new items." (Tuesday Morning website.)

When shopping for resale, look for brand names you recognize. I've found Black and Decker, Kitchen Aid, Lenox, Fisher Price, Hasbro, Remington, and Wii accessories. If you are scouting for Amazon, be prepared for the market to be flooded with these items in a couple of weeks. Market saturation is always an issue when a national chain has a large clearance sale. In these cases, I save the screen shot of the scan of the item, price my item accordingly at the time of the scan, and wait for the market to return to that situation. It may take 2-3 months to get the price you want. But if you are willing to wait, you will get higher prices. Some of the items I purchased during last summer's clearance sale didn't move until holiday time. So be prepared to wait for the greatest return on your investment.

Here are a few articles about products I have found at Tuesday Morning over the last couple of years:

Tuesday Morning Item - Claire Burke Candles

Tuesday Morning Item - Remington Razor

Tuesday Morning Item - Lollia Luminary Candles

Tuesday Morning Item - Black and Decker Spotlight

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Cricket Wireless to Begin Offering the iPhone

Image courtesy of Macworld

If you have been looking for a way to get the iPhone without the confines of a lengthy contract, June 22, 2012 may be your lucky day!

Cricket Wireless has announced it will begin offering the iPhone with unlimited talk, text, and data for $55 a month. This is a very cost-effective opportunity for those who wish to use the iPhone as a scouting tool. Cricket Wireless will be the first pre-paid carrier to offer the iPhone.

While monthly this may be a cheaper alternative to having a contract plan with one of the major carriers who already offer the iPhone, there is one point to consider. The major carriers usually offer a deal on getting the iPhone with a monthly contract. Cricket will be offering the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S and the customer will have to purchase the phone upfront. The 8GB iPhone 4 will cost $399.99 and the 16GB iPhone 4S will cost $499.99.

This may be a viable option for those who are weighing the total annual costs along with the time-savings the iPhone may bring to their business. To find out more about the iPhone and Cricket Wireless, you may register to receive information about the release by clicking here.

Related posts:

iPhone Terapeak App for eBay Research on the Go

eBay Apps for the iPhone

eBay and Home Business Tax Deductions


Monday, June 4, 2012

Let Your TV Help Support Your Scouting Trips

Some people may consider watching TV a waste of time. There is a new app that can help you earn gift cards and prizes to help your eBay or Amazon business.

There is a new iPhone and iPad app that will give points when you watch tv shows at home. It is called Viggle. The app “listens” (at your request) to see what television show you are watching. Once it determines what show it is, it “checks you in”. Once the show is over, you will get points added to your account. You can also earn additional points by watching commercials on the app or by watching featured shows. Some shows, Saturday Night Live or recently aired MTV Movie Awards, even allow you to earn extra points by answering questions or polls during certain shows while you are checked-in as watching them. Your local newscast will also earn you points.

Once you have gathered points, you can redeem them for gift cards or prizes. Some items that are currently available are Amazon Kindles and iPods. Burger King, CVS, and Fandango are some of the e-gift cards that are available now. The e-gift cards can be used to buy inventory or to pick up lunch during scouting trips. (Remember: e-gift cards cannot be resold on eBay.)

To download this free app, please click here.

Related posts:

How to Make Money With Your eBay About Me Page
How eBay Helped me Pull $62 Out of Thin Air
Did You Get Your Cash Back from Paypal?