eBay has opened up a new venue for small businesses across the world to expand their sales, markets and exposure. Depending on ones prior experiences the tasks needed to expand successfully into this venue are either seen as dauntingly complex or misleadingly simple.
I recently purchased a rather expensive book that was marketed as exposing PowerSeller secrets, unfortunately I did not discover any new information from this source so I have decided to share my apparently uncommon knowledge with cyberspace.
In truth, PowerSellers jealously guard their secrets in hopes of keeping competition out.
My eBay businesses are focused on passions of mine and involve high ticket items as a result I am less worried about loss of volume that the competition may create.
For this first installment I will share links to many seller resources that I have found helpful in my sales, research and consultations. Once this series is completely composed and organized I will be moving it to a members area of my website.
Links you will find useful in your growth:
1. Never sell an item without knowing its approximate worth
2. Know your target market, close your items when your customers are shopping.
3. Use research tools to take advantage of sellers who fail to follow appropriate scheduling and BIN pricing and use eBay as a sourcing tool for inventory.
4. In order to accept payments you must have a Payment Processing Service, ie Paypal. As of October 20, 2008 eBay will no longer allow checks or money orders as payment options, Fortunately, they will not enforce this rule until January 2009. Other payment solution companys are expected to be named in the next few months. As of this time the only other solution is ProPay
5. If your monthly sales are good and consistent you will save money in listing fees by opening an eBay Store.
6. Or you may want to weave your eBay inventory with an e-commerce solution that integrates your pre-existing merchant account with Paypal and has a recognizable interface
7. Your success continues to grow? You may want to consider purchasing your own domain and cross marketing your online presence.
GoDaddy is the service for web hosting and domain registration, all of their interfaces are easy to understand, There FAQ sections are thorough and customer service is easily accessed, easily understood and quick to answer.
Customer Service was able to easily walk me through a domain transfer and setting up the free hosting account that comes with all domains. This is the number one most important aspect in selecting a host when you are not an experienced guru yourself, you will have lots of questions, GoDaddy actually answers them !
8. You will become uncomfortable with the fact that PayPal is constantly connected to your accounts, and has the power to hold, take and refund payments if you lose any bidder arbitration.
Be sure to have a seperate seller and buyer account, use a prepaid debit card as your funding source, paypal will never be able to seize or hold assets against your will, that simply do not exist.
Keep your connected seller account starved of funds and only connect a pre-paid debit to your buyers account.
Keep in mind that I suggest only the most honest and professional conduct as a seller on eBay, but I do not trust Paypal and eBays arbitration system to make any decisions for me regarding returns, refunds and problem buyers. So a back up plan is proper.
9. Try to personalize yourself to the buyers, print up thank you cards or coupons to include with every shipment, promote your brand and encourage repeat customers.
It is also about time to have a presentable business card to present possible suppliers, customers and to prove legitimacy to those who think “Oh, he sells stuff on ebay, ”
What makes Vistaprint stand out is their Free business card offer, they of course sneak in a handling fee, but for about 8 dollars you can get your first set of business cards.
These business cards are watermarked with a small vistaprints logo on the back.
As your business grows, you can continue to use the free business card offer to print your thank you cards and coupons.
Take advantage of seasonal deals like free shipping to continue to purchase your business cards, if your not constantly reordering them, you are doing something wrong. Spread your cards around at every opportunity.
10. Continue to search for sourcing. Many eBay sellers buy larger lots here and then resell on ebay.
This is the first rough blog of PowerSeller Secrets and Tips.