Wednesday, January 21, 2009

SECTION 1. SELLING ON EBAY: PART 4: THE BASICS OF WHAT TO SELL ON EBAY AND HOW TO SELL IT

1. IDEAS OF WHAT TO SELL

MUST BE SOMETHING OF VALUE AND CHEAP RELATIVE TO PERCEIVED VALUE.

A. Ideas include:

1. USE WHAT NATURE PROVIDES. Make or sell products based on what grows or is found cheaply where you live.

2. REPRODUCE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY NO LONGER COPYWRITED. F/e.g. come up u w/ an original idea f/e.g. replicas of old flags – no copyright on it. Or other stuff w/ no copyright.

3. SELL THINGS YOU ALREADY OWN i.e. find something of value at home you don’t need & sell it on eBay. Use http://www.terapeak.com/ or see similar items sold on eBay

4. THINGS YOU MAKE YOURSELF

5. FIND CHEAP ITEMS AND RESELL THEM F/EG GO TO THRIFT SHOPS – BUT MUST BE OF VALUE ELSEWHERE LIKE REGIONAL ITEMS

6. DIGITAL items f/ e.g. CD about how to sell tickets on eBay, to events

7. GO TO EBAY PULSE to find out what’s hot on eBay – so can apply “synthetic imagination,” that is, add value, a lower price, etc.

8. UNUSUAL ITEMS: For example, one man sold advertisements space on forehead

B. What to do if item doesn’t sell

As you learn to earn on eBay, you’ll try items that don’t sell. As long as you keep your investments small in the beginning, especially when selling new items, accept these small losses as part of the “tuition.”

1. RELIST IT AND PUT UNDER DIFFERENT CATEGORY. For example, leftover xmas tree lights can be sold as decorations for the Jewish holiday of Succot, which occurs in autumn. Small but heavy statuettes might sell as paper weights – seriously!

2. LOWER PRICE OR VARY SOME OTHER KEY FACTOR

3. PUT IN STORAGE AND TRY LATER IF IS SEASONAL ITEM LIKE XMAS ITEMS DURING XMAS

4. GROUP IT W/ OTHER UNSOLD ITEMS AND SELL AS PACKAGE DEAL

5. ADD EXTRA VALUE; IE OFFER W/ A FREE ITEM W/ PURCHASE

6. CAUTIOUSLY EXPERIMENT W/ EBAY LISTING ITEMS THAT COST EXTRA BUT BEWARE

7. REALIZE THAT NOT ALL ITEMS WILL SELL so either discard, lower price, donate, or otherwise cut your losses.

C. EBay stores

An eBay store is essentially your own ready-built e-commerce site that eBay offers. It may be worthwhile if

· you are already succeeding with eBay

· you want to list lots of items at a lower total cost

· you don’t want build own website

REQUIREMENTS FOR BUYING AN EBAY STORE:

· eBay member, feedback score of 20+

· id verified or PayPal account in good standing

1. Overview of how eBay store works.

EBay gives you tools to help you, like a choice of templates to allow for quick setup of the store. If you already have an eBay account and PayPal it is quick to set up. As with any set of e-commerce templates, you have a few options to customize if you need something a bit different. The big advantage is that you can list a lot of items f/ little money and whenever you auction an item, you have an icon next to it showing you have store, so people looking at your auction see the icon and can go look at store. Thus auctions now also serve as cheap advertisements for the store. The store costs $16 /mo. An eBay store is only recommended if selling a lot on eBay.

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2. SELLING TIPS

Here are specific tips on making your product description and presentation sell via the right headlines, description, and images.

A. Top 7 headlines i.e. item description

Use some variation on one of the following.

1. PROMISE A MAJOR BENEFIT [double your income/intelligence/sales, etc….]

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2. ASK A QUESTION [ is it really possible to lose 20 pounds in one week/ double your income, etc]

3. OFFER A SOLUTION TO A PROBLEM [Cures embarrassing acne]

4. GIVE A WARNING [You could lose everything in the coming energy crisis]

5. FLAG YOUR TARGET CUSTOMER [BUILD & REPAIR COMPUTERS LIKE A PRO]

6. USE A TESTIMONIAL [I never dreamed I could make $500K/year until I tried…]

7. NEWS ANNOUNCEMENT: [YOU’VE READ ABOUT X NOW ….]

B. Use power words – i.e. words that excite

VINTAGE

HARD TO FIND

ALMOST NEW

UNIQUE

PRISTINE

RARE

ORIGINAL, ETC.

C. Use pictures

· IMAGES SELL—CRITICAL TO USE IMAGES ON WEB: EG SHOW UP CLOSE IF NEEDED, SHOW ALL KEY VISUAL DETAILS OF DETAILS BUYER WANTS TO SEE

· DON’T BE LAZY W/ IMAGES; SELF HOST MANY ON YOUR WEBSITE.

· HAVE PIC CLOSE UP SHOWING DETAIL

· CLARIFY SCALE/ SENSE OF SIZE. If the item is small, try showing the item next to a ruler if small, or place it next to an object that makes the item’s size clear. For example, display a ring on someone’s hand close enough to see fingerprints.

3. SELLING STRATEGIES

Here are selling strategies, that is, basic ideas for what and how you will find and sell products on eBay

A. Either Focus on high volume or high profit:

· SPECIALIZE IN SMALLER PROFIT ITEMS AND TRY TO SELL A LOT OF THEM.

· SELL A FEW LARGE PROFIT ITEMS – RARE, HARD TO FIND, OR EXP BUT CHEAPER ON EBAY

B. Use drop shippers – avoid shipping and handling

Drop shippers are wholesalers that maintain large warehouses full of goods, allow you to sell their goods on eBay (or via other channels) and for a fee will do the shipping. They can be a major source of wholesale products, and it avoids hassle of shipping and handling. If find major success with an item from a wholesale drop shipper, you can then consider seeking out cheap manufacturer to buy from directly at super-wholesale prices via http://www.alibaba.com/.

One example of a business that buys items in quantity, wants you to sell it, and they’ll take care of all else: http://www.dsdi.com/

NB must ensure an item you auction w/b available from the drop shipper for at least the duration of the auction. Auctions can last 1-10 days, 7 is typical. Most wholesalers will allow you to place deposit on the item to hold it, or will even allow you to set an item aside without deposit. Make sure you understand in advance how they work.

2. Finding reputable, reliable drop shippers [many are scammers]
Directories of wholesalers/drop shippers

Pay for a directory of drop reputable drop shippers: SALEHOO or World Wide brands.

Find your own drop shipping sources

Go to a store/wholesaler/manufacturer and arrange to sell their items on eBay. But reach agreement on details so they won’t compete. For example, one entrepreneur arranged a deal with a large wholesale/retail lighting business. He built their website and does their online sales including eBay. They charged him at the wholesale price and did the drop shipping.

Could also seek out manufacturers or wholesalers via non-web sources (those on web are probably already selling on web, but perhaps not so worth seeking out manufacturers online to – or at least directories of them and then find ones that don’t have web presence and approach them.

Next time: Additional tips and tools for selling on eBay, and doing market research.

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