Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Snowbird eBay Seller Takes Business on the Road


Grace Johnson posted this interesting story on my eBay Seller's Facebook group last week:

"We are driving from Minnesota to Nevada to spend the winter. Van is stuffed with my vintage photos, postcards, jewelry and Barbie doll items. We have pulled everything else from our store. This morning we stopped at the post office to mail a package in Nebraska before continuing the drive. eBay can be done any where any way. Have a blessed day gals and guys."

Grace lives in Duluth, Minnesota and last winter was brutal. She saved all year to finance her winter getaway and decided to be a snow bird. When asked more about what she sells and how this "traveling eBay business" is possible, Grace shared that she has thousands of vintage photos not listed and just bought 3,000 more at auction. She plans to expand her vintage paper business and concentrate on ephemera. But she loves vintage Barbies and will never turn down the opportunity to buy one.

Because Grace chose her product line carefully and deliberately, she is able to take it on the road and continue to make money doing what she loves in the warmer climate of Nevada. The point here is that if you plan ahead and choose a portable product line, you really can take the business on the road and do it anywhere. It just takes some planning and organization. 

Now that's using your head, Grace! Thanks for sharing.

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Great Egg Carton Debate

A few days ago, I was shipping a breakable ceramic urn and used some Styrofoam egg cartons as packaging instead of packing peanuts. I took a photo and posted it in my Facebook group sharing the  creative packing technique with the statement, "Save egg cartons - great for packing breakables and less messy than Styrofoam peanuts." The intent here was to show others that egg cartons are a free, effective, and handy alternative to packing peanuts. Most everybody uses eggs, so this is a great way to recycle something in a useful way as well as save money on shipping supplies.

Now, this technique is a far cry from using soiled pizza boxes or flimsy cereal boxes for packaging. In the past I have cringed at some photos of recycled packaging that could have been bacteria-laden or just too flimsy to use as a shipping box. (Like in this article.)

I should have been more specific and stated that the egg cartons were clean and I assumed people understood the cartons were empty. But, as on many Facebook discussions, things took an interesting turn.

The photo received 511 likes and 90% of the comments were in favor of this packing technique.

There were 2 camps on this discussion:

Recyclers / green enthusiasts who thought the technique was a clever use of available in-home packaging.

The allergy advocates who claimed that putting egg cartons in a package could cause a person with egg allergies to have a severe reaction - that "egg allergies can be so severe that even residue of the shell can cause anaphalactic shock." (I have not verified this statement.)

The issue is, " If sensitivities are that extreme, and such great caution must be taken to exist in the world in general, I can't imagine someone buying items off the Internet from at-home sellers not knowing what the item has come in contact with. Any number of things could have been near the product and could result in a negative reaction."

So the burning question is, should eBay sellers use egg cartons as packaging?

Read the discussion here.

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Monday, October 20, 2014

13 Holiday Foods to Sell Online 

With the holiday season fast approaching, many sellers jump on the toy and seasonal train. I have seen over the last 11 years that that ride is oversold. Three years ago I decided to take a different approach to 4th quarter sales and instead of focusing on the hottest toys, I focused on what makes the holidays great- FOOD. 

Groceries are consumables and customers often buy multiples of an item. Add on top of that the 4th quarter is one of the busiest seasons for entertaining, family gatherings, and falling off the diet wagon- foods are the hottest items. Best of all foods aren't usually returned - if somebody gets duplicates as a gift, they just eat it! (Unlike toys and other gifts that may be returned.)

From grocery items given as gifts to military care packages- food is the language of love. So why not be part of creating amazing memories while creating a great bank account this 4th quarter?

What I learned about what sells in the grocery category this time of year may shock you. I know it shocked me. And that’s why I created my latest eBook Hidden Holiday Food Items That Sell, Sell, Sell.

Previously only available by as part of a package deal and to former students of my Amazon Grocery Course, this ebook is now available for a limited time for instant download. Products listed in this eBook can be sold on either eBay or Amazon.

What are people saying about Hidden Holiday Items That Sell, Sell, Sell?

"The eBook was wonderful! A lot of the products that were featured I never even thought of.  It has given me some great ideas to work with, thank you!" ~ Caroline
"I never knew people eating gluten-free were using the 2nd product on the list to make desserts. Even though I might not sell it, I can use that idea to make some great recipes for my family!" ~Steph

"Thanks for the eBook and for the tips on what not to sell. I saw some of those items posted on a Facebook group and will now avoid selling them for the reasons you mentioned." ~ Eddie
Remember this book is available for a limited time only so get your copy now!

Friday, October 17, 2014

eBay Seller Finds Diamond Ring in Dumpster

"Seek and ye shall find" is the mantra of many eBay sellers. We look for things to sell everywhere. Even in the trash.

On the weekly Monday Making Mondays post in my Facebook Group, Joc Mosely posted her sale - a .5 carat diamond engagement ring sold for $261. She found it in a dumpster. Joc says she regularly dumpster dives looking for treasures to sell on eBay. Here is her story:

"I dumpster dive (and proudly) and I went into a thrift store dumpster and found a box of high end beauty products. My boyfriend wanted me to leave it behind but I took it anyways. So later on that night he is on an eBay sellers group and I am going through the box. He tells me to look at a post where it shows a lady found a diamond in a high end coat. At that moment I said 'If I ever find a diamond I'll puke.' Literally a few seconds later I was at the end of the box and found the ring. I said ummmmm Babe, is this REAL? I got it tested and that was that."

 See Joc's listing here.

So don't be too proud to look in the trash for valuables. (Just make sure you have permission and aren't trespassing.) 

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

How to Make Money Selling Pre-Owned Women's Shoes on eBay 

Pre-owned shoes are another high-profit, easy to find item that sell well on eBay. As a matter of fact, eBay shows over 826,000 completed sold listings for pre-owned women's shoes. Isn't it time for you to cash in on this market?

I've been selling used shoes and clothing since I started selling on eBay in 2003. (Visit my eBay store here to check for yourself.) I can say with some authority that used shoes are a consistent seller, easy to ship, easy to store, and sell well both domestically and internationally year round.

Now I l know that some sellers avoid selling shoes because they feel have to wait for the person needing an exact size to buy their item - but I see this as an opportunity. You may be the only seller on eBay with a specific shoe in a particular size which allows you to ask more for your item.

Learn more about my new course, "The Art of Selling Used Women's Shoes," which is packed with 90 minutes of video, a 72 page eBook, and my Learn It, Know It, Master It guarantee. Put more money in your Paypal account while helping customers find the perfect shoes on eBay.

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Monday, October 13, 2014

One Little Word Can Make a Huge Difference in Profit

Making money on eBay with women's clothing is about knowing your brands. The high-end, conservative and sophisticated brand St. John is often confused with the JCPenney moderately priced brand St. John's Bay. Watch this video to learn the difference, because it is huge!

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Thursday, October 9, 2014

eBay Sellers Weigh in on 90 Day Holiday Return Policy

The Extended Holiday Return Policy timeframe is almost up on us. As announced in the eBay Spring Seller Update, the policy reads:

Extended holiday returns required for Top Rated Plus discount

"To qualify for the Top Rated Plus seal and 20% final value fee discount between November 1 and December 31, your listings must include the new extended holiday return option, with returns accepted through January 31. Bullion, Gift Cards, Tickets, and all Business & Industrial categories are exempted from this requirement.

Same fast shipping and 14-day returns: As before, same-day or one-day handling will be required for Top Rated Plus listings, and a 14-day or longer money-back return policy will continue to be required when holiday returns are not in effect."

This is a hot topic for discussion in eBay networking groups. In my Facebook Group, which now has over 17,000 members, this question and comments were posted today:

How many of you are planning to offer the extended holiday returns and why?

I am because I really have no returns and don't think this will be a problem. Also I want to keep my 20% discount.

I am. Already signed up and have it checked on all my listings. I already offer a 60 day no questions asked returns policy so it's not really a big issue for me. My 20% saves me a lot each month, which I like. Also, I rarely get any returns so it's not worrisome to me.

Yes, because I can keep TRS discount. I already have a solid return policy and hardly ever get any returns. No brainer for me. Keep in mind that if a customer is going to return something, they usually do it fairly quickly. I just don't see buyers scrounging through their house in February and March finding things to return to eBay sellers.

Just do the math and take the emotion out of it. I took my Christmas category of items that I sold last year and figured the TRS discount. It was 600 dollars, I know I won't get close to 600 in returns.

Boost my listings, increase my sales, full up my bank account? Absolutely! Wouldn't let a couple of returns spoil all the extra sales. I have a 60 day no question asked policy & don't get returns. Can anyone tell me where I can shop for the holidays that doesn't take returns?

I am. There needs to be a way to even the playing field a little- for buyers, comparing to amazon. Plus- there will not be an overwhelming amount of returns. 

 I am not. I don't get trs discount because post office doesn't scan regularly. 

Heck no! That's ridiculous! I'll eat the 20% than to deal with items bought now and returned the end of January! I hate accepting buyers remorse returns the way it is. There's going to be a whole lot more of that come January when people are broke.

Most sellers participating in the discussion are choosing to opt in. What is your opinion on the 90 day holiday return policy to keep TRS?

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Monday, October 6, 2014

How to Avoid Long Hold Times When Calling eBay

It is often necessary to call eBay for various reasons including customer problems, raising selling limits, or having negative feedback removed. eBay sellers often experience long hold times over an hour, and this can be very frustrating. Here are some strategies for working around those long hold times and getting your problem handled faster.

1. Try finding the answer yourself using Google or the eBay help index. Many questions can easily be answered using these 2 resources.

2. Use the eBay mobile app to request a call from eBay. Go to settings > customer support > selling > click on any option > call me

3. Don't call on the 21st of the month. eBay updates defect percentages on the 20th of the month, so the phones are usually flooded. The 21st, the day after this update, is usually very busy with sellers calling to get information about seller their performance if percentages have dropped. In other words, the phones may be clogged up with upset sellers who want information about their account status.

4. Avoid calling on a Monday. For most businesses, Mondays are the worst day to try and get through to customer service.

5. Try calling late at night or very early in the morning. Remember eBay is on west coast time. Evenings and first thing in the morning are usually less busy. The phones are open from 5 AM - 10 PM Pacific time.

The phone number for eBay customer service is 1-866-540-3229.

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