Tuesday, December 29, 2015

5 New Things I Learned to Sell on eBay in 2015

2015 has been a tough year with moving twice and starting a new full-time job. For the last 13 years, eBay has been a part of my life and this year was no different. I think is it important to keep challenging yourself to grow your knowledge base.

Here are some of my sales this year. I am posting these to illustrate what is possible as well as emphasize that to keep your business growing, it is important to keep learning year after year. Building an eBay business isn't about the rare big scores, it is about consistency, commitment, and flexibility. 

1. Anthropologie Brands. I really tried to dig in this year and learn the sub-brands. (Thanks to my friend Beth T. who introduced me to this brand.) Anthropologie is a "lifestyle brand that celebrates art, culture, design, and discovery." There are hundreds of sub-brands, each with its own logo and garment tag design. (See the list here.) Anthropologie brands hold their value and sell at high prices in used condition. You may think it is a disadvantage to have to learn the sub-brands, but one thing that works in an eBay seller's favor is that thrift store employees can't keep up. Unlike recognizable brands like Ralph Lauren and Nike, Anthropologie brands are sleepers hiding in plain sight in thrift stores and usually are not pulled aside and marked up to a higher price. There is just no way thrift store employees can learn about everything we can pick for profit. Here are a few of my sales this year:

 $4 at thrift store, took BO of $40

 $3 at thrift store, sold for $39.97

 $2 at thrift store, sold for $35 on BO.

 $6 at Goodwill, sold on BO for $50.

 $6 at thrift store, sold for $60 on BO.

2. Pens with no ink.  People collect fountain pens for various reasons - the advertising, the tips, the brands that no longer exist. Look for these at estate sales in the home office section. You can often negotiate a whole bunch of office stuff for a low price. 

$5 sold for $39.97

$5 for lot of pens, sold for $45 on BO
 $7 sold for $79.97

3. Michael Simon Brand. This is a designer brand and the sweaters are crazy like Storybook Knits and Design Options. I also found some crazy Santa Claus shoes.

 $2 at thrift store, sold for $39.97 (in June!)

 $2 at thrift, took BO of $35


$2 at thrift store, sold for $36

4. Lucky Brand. Most people know Lucky for its denim, but they also make sportswear, outerwear, and t shirts.

 $7 at Goodwill, sold for $40 on BO.

 $2 at thrift store, sold for $32.97.

 $2 at thrift store sold for $29.97

$2 at church sale, sold for $25 on BO.

5. Random stuff that just looked interesting. After you do this business for a while, you get a feel for what sells. Here are some random things I tried that worked out:

 $2 at estate sale, took BO of $33 + shipping to the US Virgin Islands.

 $1 at thrift store, sold for $34.97.

 $3 at thrift store, sold the week of Christmas for $44.97.

$1 at thrift store, sold for $19.97 on BO.

 $3 at thrift store, sold for $42.97

$2 at estate sale, sold for $24.97.

Make sure you follow the Money Making Mondays threads on my Facebook group. You can see thousands of other sellers posting their sales and learn what sells on eBay. 

Wishing you a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year!

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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Advice for New eBay Sellers - eBay is a Marathon, Not a Sprint

I don't like to see people fail. eBay leaves a long line of disappointed sellers who don't succeed because their expectations are not realistic. I can see why. The internet is full of hype about get rick quick schemes promising fast cash for listing random items on eBay. Those of us in the trenches know eBay doesn't work that way.

I will be going into my 13th year of eBay selling in 2016. Since 2003, I have sold over 30,000 items, in a wide range of categories, to over 50 countries around the world. (My eBay store is here.) I can speak with authority when I say that if you are looking for a quick, dependable, easy way to make money, eBay is NOT it.

For new people coming to eBay, there is unlimited opportunity. eBay offers:

1. Connection with millions of buyers around the globe. You can't do that on Facebook groups or with a garage sale.

2.  High ranking on Google for your products. Do a search for any item you can think of, and odds are eBay is in the top 3 results. eBay handles the SEO (search engine optimization) to connect your products with potential buyers.

3. The eBay platform is open to just about anyone. There are no barriers to entry. Open eBay and Paypal accounts, and start selling.

4. The eBay platform is user friendly and robust. Photos are easily uploaded and edited right on eBay. You can print shipping labels directly from eBay. You can create watch lists, alerts for products you want to buy, and the mobile app is a fantastic research tool. You can keep tabs on your business via the mobile app 24/7 where ever you are.

5. eBay integrates seamlessly with Paypal so you can pay yourself every day if you want.

6. Unlimited opportunity.  Once you start selling, your limits will increase. The sky is the limit. Selling limits can go into the millions. You are only limited by your time and the amount of inventory you can afford to buy. If you build it, they will come.

These are the things that attract sellers to eBay. However, there are some drawbacks that new sellers should be aware of. Please keep in mind that eBay is NOT for everyone. And if it doesn't work for you, that is ok. New sellers need to understand:

1. eBay places limits on new accounts. You will need to accept these limits (sometimes as low as 10 items at a time for sale) and work within eBay's framework. (Here is why eBay imposes limits on new people.)

2. You may have holds placed on Paypal funds. This is a common industry practice until you have established your account. Don't take it personally. (Read more about the 21 Day Hold here.)

3. 7 Day auctions are an arbitrary number. Many new sellers are discouraged when their item doesn't sell within 7 days. The 7-day auction was established when eBay was created over 20 years ago. Your buyer probably won't show up within that time frame.

4. Watchers and views don't really mean anything. It only takes 1 person to purchase an item. Sellers become so obsessed with analyzing how many views and watchers it takes for an item to sell. You might as well try to figure out which came first - the chicken or the egg. This type of obsession with watchers and views is a pointless exercise that does nothing but waste time, create drama, and cause frustration. You can't force a sale. The buyer comes when the buyer comes. Keep listing.

5. You can't reduce eBay selling to a "formula." Again, sellers are constantly trying to figure out how many items they need to have for sale, using which listing type, at what time of day to produce $X. eBay doesn't work that way. There are too many variables to boil it down to any kind of "rule."

6. eBay is a marathon, not a sprint.  Sellers often give scenarios like this, "I've had 37 things listed for 20 days and nothing has sold yet, what am I doing wrong?" What you are doing wrong is being impatient. eBay is about delayed gratification. If you are in a hurry, eBay is not for you.

Building an eBay business is like getting a college degree. It takes a long time, dedication, and lots of learning along the way. I tell new sellers to give it at least a year of dedicated effort to build an eBay business that produces reliable income. It cannot be done in the short term.

If you are new to eBay, I strongly suggest you take my eBay Basics course to you can jump start your business by getting started on the right foot, avoiding common pitfalls, and succeed faster with fewer mistakes.  You wouldn't try to get a driver's license without taking a course to learn the material. You wouldn't try to get a real estate license without taking a course. So why would you try to start to build a home business without learning from someone who has already done it successfully?

If you are looking for a sure thing, for a way to make money and see predictable results and a reliable paycheck every week, you are better off flipping burgers or working at the mall. Sorry to be blunt, but I am being honest. eBay takes time, patience, and the willingness to experiment, fail, and experiment again. Every successful seller will tell you exactly the same thing.

Monday, December 7, 2015

My Christmas Gift to You!

Christmas is a season for not only rejoicing, but reflecting. As I reflect on this year, I can count many blessings that have come into my life. In the spirit of giving and appreciation, I am offering a special on all of the information products in my online store so that you can get the information you need to grow your business. You can choose from:

Women's Clothing Level 1

Women's Clothing Level 2

Selling Preowned Women's Shoes

Supplier eBooks

Selling Groceries on Amazon

eBay International Shipping

eBay Basics

Keep Your eBay Business Growing

The Golf Shirt Bible

What to Buy at Thrift Stores to Resell on eBay

72 Products that Sold Big in 2014

Etsy for Beginners

If you have been thinking about learning something new, take advantage of this special now. All items are instant downloads so you can start learning right away. Remember, thrift stores are packed full in January since people donate heavily at the end of December to get the tax write-off for donations. You can be ready to hit the ground running in January armed with new knowledge to explore new products you have been passing by, and grow your eBay business for 2016.

Use coupon code Christmas50SAW get the 50% discount. There is no limit on the number of items you can purchase and the discount applies to everything! Discount is for 3 days only - December 7,8, and 9.

Feel free to share this information and discount code in your groups and with anyone who wants to grow their eBay business. There is more than enough out there for all of us to prosper.

Remember, Einstein said, "If you always do what you have always done, you always get what you've always got." Today is a great day to learn something new!

Merry Christmas!