Friday, March 03, 2006

2.Take a Good Photograph

  • Take a Good Photograph (or a few).
    This is important, as it the only wayt that a prospective customer can imagine exactly what he or she is going to get if they buy the item from you.You MUST include photo's on your ebay listing.
  • Take your photo's with a decent digital camera, there is no substitute, normal photography and a scanner will not cut it.You can pick up a perfectly reasonable one for £40 these days ,but obviously you can spend anything you want on a camera.
    Just make sure that it has the resolution needed to take a large clear photograph of your product.
  • Many people set up a home studio and have a tripod with a camera on it permanently,but I think this is going over the top.
  • Either way make sure the background of the photo's will not be distracting or messy, it really puts buyers off.Neat is good,but plain colour backgrounds with no distractions at all is really good.
  • Make sure your product is well lit.
    If possible don't use your flash,as it leaves a harsh light that can give a wrongly coloured pallour to your item.
    Light the item from more than one direction as a fill in lighting will make shadows go away and you will see more of the item.
  • Personally I prefer to set up on my dining table after I have returned from my suppliers. I can put two lights on in that room and can use a table lamp for extra lighting if required.
    I take one of each of the lines that I have bought and proceed to take lots of photo's of each item
    from different directions (above ,side ,straight on,the back of the item,out of the box, photo's on the box,If there are any special points a close up is in order),so that when I get back to the computer to edit the photo's I can choose from virtually everything I could imagine.

  • Editing is an artform, but the photo's don't have to be artistic, just very, very clear , in focus, and easy to look at.I would also suggest to make fairly large photo's .Ebay will upload one photo for each listing for free upto 60k and you will see that the free one's are pretty small.
  • I prefer 2 or 3 of about 450-500 pixels wide so that a buyer can get a good look at the item.
  • There are plenty of good Photo hosting sites,just stick "free photo hosting" in the google search box for several hundred ,so there is no excuse for not having enough webspace for large photo's.

  • I also like to add a logo and copyright to my photo's as t is also a way to get the message across about other websites you may have that also sell items away from ebay.Ebay has a strict "no outlinks" policy for listings but pictures are not included in this, as it will not be a live link ,just one someone will havew to type into the address bar of their browser.
  • You can also serve larger photos with a link out to an image page or gallery page of your own website.this can have what ebay call a "discrete link" to the hosting site of the image,that's great for free hosting websites, but if you serve these pages of your own website you can link to the homepage of your sales site(as it is the hosting for your images).

Cheers Pete

Friday, February 24, 2006

1. Write A Good Title.

1.Write A Good Title:

This is the first thing anyone looking on ebay sees about your product,your title and thumbnail of your product(if you have a gallery picture,see No2).
Your title will be searched for by item and by category,lots of people browse the categories just seeing what takes their fancy going down example:
Home ,Buy,Clothes, Shoes & Accessories,Men's Shoes,Athletic Shoes,
seeing every trainer available on ebay,another person will search for:
"mens trainers",
and get a list of all trainers(training shoes),AND ALSO,training equipment for men such as weightlifting gear,(unintentional,but for those selling weightlifting training gear very welcome extra publicity).
Yet other people will use ebays serach engine to find exactly what they want first time by putting in:
and get straight to the product they want if it is there.

We can use this search engine to our advantge if you write your title correctly, to help some one looking for your product to find it.
Include EXACTLY what your product is and the make or model number plus put "NEW" if people are also selling second hand items in the same catergory.(A pet hate of mine is looking up something I think is very reasonably priced to find it is 15 years old and only available for collection in channel islands,(U.S. equivalent Hawaii)). If you have any space left over(unlikely as ebay are a bit stingy on title size 55 characters),don't just waste it ,think about what people may be searching for that these are and include it as a keyword,such as "trainers ,boxed,low shipping" etc..

A few don'ts...
  • don't repeat yourself ,it doesn't help
  • don't copy someone else's title,even if they are selling the same item. Ebay have strict rules against it and you will find yourself reprimanded and on a 3 strikes and your out rule,by the time you find out,if your listing a lot you could be thrown off ebay for 3-6 months.
  • don't put L@@K or "SUPER VALUE" or"WOW!" in the title,it marks you as an amateur and people will not take you seriously.
  • don't use lots of ****and>>>>and(((()))),these are gimmicky and as above.
  • don't use abbreviation except in specialist know "BINB"(brand New in Box",but DVD buyers won't (put un-opened).
  • don't use loads of underlines "_____"to space out your title this wastes space you could be using to bring in sales!

a few do's
  • do include the make and model No. of your product
  • do put in "new" if people are selling second hand in the same category
  • do include special selling points, such as "free shipping" or "plus extras" or "no reserve"
  • do include general terms such as "trainers, mens ,footwear" which will bring a wider audience for your listing (only do this if you have space left(ebay are a bit miserly over this you only get 55 characters)).
One other thing. Some people tend to think you should list everything in capitals too make it easy to read or make your advert (That it is what the title is...a one line advert for the advert.)stand out.This is unnecessary as ebay's search engine does not distinguish between cases, and it is often easier to read the normal lettering among all the standing out capitals from other Sellers.
The same goes for Highlighting and Bold characters ,yes they will make your ad seen, but they are no substitute for a well written title, which is probably worth a lot more than the extra money ebay will charge you!
More in this series later. Cheers Peter

Listing Items On Ebay - Tips you may not know!

Firstly, my apologies to anyone waiting to hear about my listing techniques.
tomorrow became today, came and went, then became yesterday!
Sorry , I've been flat out with wrapping and delivering goods for posting and buying new stuff from my suppliers.
Got to keep the stock churning, and the cash rolling in.
However I am now going to tell you about a few thing that are really important when it comes to Listing Items On Ebay.
Heres a list a pointers and then I'll go into each one separately.

  1. Write A Good Title
  2. Take a Good Photograph (or a few)
  3. Be Complete and Honest in Your Copy
  4. Include your Terms and Conditions
  5. Make all Costs such as Postage+Packing (Shipping and Handling) Clear In Advance.
  6. Include Contact Details For Enquiries.

Take a couple of minutes to think about each of those while I go and make a coffee,(why don't you do the same?Go on treat yourself!)

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Preparing to Sell High Volume

Low Volume High Price or High Volume Low Price ?
You're the only person who can decide on this one.

With high price items you must spend more time preparing each sale,making a new advert up for each new listing,this can be time consuming,taking new photos,writing copy,finding the right price to sell at (pricing a product tutorial in about a week -bookmark this page and check back then) but you will not need so much admin after the sale and can give each buyer your personal attention,making them feel special.
This has got to be for high ticket price items like cars, boats, furniture,antiques etc, where the buyer cannot get the same item elsewhere.If they can you will be undercut and your margin (profit , livelihood ) will go down the tubes.

With low price items the margin is still important but what you're really bothered about is volume,sales are generally easy to get and they come thick and fast if you're selling in-demand items.You will need to sell lots of the same item over and over again,luckily your only need to make up your ads once then review them every so often, or if a problem comes up,such as someone else undercutting you on price, or providing a better product at the same price.
Make a time every so often ,weekly is about right to review what's selling in the categories your selling in and search up other people selling the same lines,eBay has generously given you a tool for this.(again another article next week,"Spying on the opposition"this ones a long winded one so It gets its own ).

Either way here are some steps to take in advance.

  1. Buy all the wrapping materials you will need in advance.Tape,boxes,bubble wrap,bags,envelopes,document enclosed slips, you're not running out when you need it.
  2. Get a payment scheme in place, you of course will accept cheques and postal orders (money orders if you're American),but I mean paypal,nochex,pppay.payhound,(there are lots) if you don't have a card accepting plan you might as well forget selling on ebay.Only about 5% of my customers pay with anything other then Paypal.
  3. Phone up the local courier firms and post office for prices of deliveries.U.K. sellers, go and see the local postmaster and ask when is best time of day to post large volumes of parcels, I don't know what I would do without the cooperation of my local posties.Once you have built a volume of sales you can get them picked up but at first its a trip down the post office once your sales items are wrapped.
  4. It may be in order to prewrap some of your goods so that a fast service can be given.My customers rave about the fact that they can buy at lunchtime from me and recieve the product next day - No one beats that! Rave feedbacks saying things like "Bought at 1pm arrived at 7Am -Great Product and Lightning Fast 10/10 " or "Excellent ebayer. Fast delivery of well packaged well priced goods. A++++" or"as described- superfast delivery - well packaged- highly recommended"(all real and from last week) are like printing your own money and taking it to the bank in wheelbarrows.

Tips on listing tomorrow.

Toodlepip, Pete

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Connected sales

Cross promoting your sales and reselling
(selling more to the same person) are the key to successful eBay™ selling.

Your customer buys one item from you and then sees another in your list that he fancies,and then another,with a discount on shipping for bulk etc...

  • 1 st item £4.99
  • 2nd item (a bit bolder,he liked the first item,and it came quickly) £14.99
  • 3rd (now hes hooked,and buys all his eBay™ stuff from you.) £199.99

This is how selling to the same customer works over time.

The best way to arrange this is to have a themed, related range of products so that existing customers come back again and again.

If you sell modelling paints,also sell,paint brushes,glue.model kits,airbrushes,batteries.etc...

Find a range where there are lots of links to other hobbies and pastimes,or similar pursuits.

How not to go about it if you want repeat business is selling:

  1. a computer part
  2. an old book
  3. some mechanical parts
  4. a new dress
  5. an ebook
  6. your old television
  7. anything lying around the house thats unrelated to your other stuff.

This way lies one off sales with no repeats, the lady who bought your old book does not want your wifes Donna Karen dress, or your computer memory.

The guy who bought the motorbike parts likes motorbikes(obvious huh!) and when he bookmarks your list page or eBay™ shop ,he wants to see more of them next time he takes a look.

Monday, February 20, 2006

How to Find Wholesalers of your Ebay Products

Finding Wholesalers is Easy.
Don't bother with the link lists you will see advertised if you do a search for wholsale suppliers.Very few suppliers will put their website high up any search engine because they don't need to.You have no choice but to buy from somewhere and they will get the customers as they always have done through reps,advertisements in trade journals etc.
The Trader magazine is an excellent source of addresses and phone numbers of many trade suppliers,and its free to search they're database. is a source beyond compare, you will literally get every name in the yellow pages and details, maps aerial photos,and phone numbers.
Touch Local Business Finder is great and just like yell it has a very user friendly search system,but it really has loads of listings in every catergory.

Any type of item you could want can be found on these business finding websites,and don't forget they want to sell to you,their livelyhood depends on it.

Be ready to spend quite some time on the phone to find the right suppliers,I would get one of those unlimited landline deals from someome like talk-talk, or ntl.
Phone every single one you can find and ask about the products they sell, what times they are open, postcode for your satnav, minimum spend (only mention this in passing - you don't want to seem like a cheap shot!), whether they are open to cash sales or is it stricly accounts?
After speaking to a few you may decide to take a look in person, if so, put the phone down.Take a break and then arrange your travel plans.
Phone up in advance explain who you are; "Hello,I'm Mrs XXXXX, I am the buyer for a newly launched internet sales company, looking to spend 50K a year in this area of goods for the company and would be interested in what you have in stock,would I be able to come down and take a look at your operation?".These are the words they have been having wet dreams about for years, they will say yes ,and then you are in.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

A BIG reason to get into Ebay Selling in the U.K.

A BIG reason to get into Ebay Selling in the U.K. is that people are now waking up to the ease and convenience of shopping online.
Check out this article from monday 13th's Manchester Evening News
Last year I was teling all my friends They HAD TO find a niche market and sell to it on .No-one takes me seriously anymore when I tell them this although.....they all, All
have bought things over the couse of the year.Every buyer needs a seller and people are getting wealthy meeting those needs.

Later I 'll outline how to find suppliers in the U.K. It is as easy as using the phone a bit .
Bye for now going to list some new lines..

Friday, February 17, 2006

Powerseller Start up

Powerseller Start up.
Most people start selling on ebay to get rid of the items around the home they no longer want but still have value,if not to them, then to someone else.
This is not how you are best being a powerseller.You will need to be a lot more organized than that to make an actual living from selling.
First decide whether or not you will be specializing in one particular area or just being a general trader buying and selling what you come across.Being a general trader means a lot more looking for items to sell.
I my opinion that is more work than you need to be doing at first.Pick a specialty and stick to it fairly closely at first.electronics,jewelry,fabrics,model making,books,music, it does not matter what ebay has lots of categories and they all have they're devotees, so choose something you know about or are interested in getting to know about.
Don't just pick a category at random, because you may end up bored to tears and you won't put the effort needed in.
You may already have a category in mind.If so all well and good, now comes decision time , your not going to decide ebay does that for you if you follow these rules.
  1. Run a search for various items in your category
  2. Make sure there are plenty of sales in ther category
  3. Note down what particular items are costing people to buy on ebay
  4. Now run a search on google or a local search engine for suppliers ( I'll cover finding suppliers another time, as this is a bit long winded for now)
  5. If your not able to buy the items that are selling for half (at most, preferably a lot less) what people are selling them for the decision has been made for you, you will not succeed as a seller in that category.
  6. Move on to the next category you were thinking of.(This is not a joke - if you can't compete and make a decent mark up there is no point selling in this category)
  7. Be ruthless in this assesment

Number 5 is the key to this(you thought I'd say Number 4 ,let me tell you that's the easy one!)

What matters is what you buy the items you sell for....I currently sell a certain tool line for £3.50 -£4.50 on ebay ,not much I think you'll agree I only sell maybe 3 or 4 a day.But they cost me 50p each ,(£9-£16 profit a day on this line alone x28 days is £250-450 a month), and no, I'm not going to tell you what.There are bargains out there to be had in all the wholesaler's and warehouses and suppliers.The secret is only buying items that have a good mark up already built in to the price by other ebay users, or if you're seeing a gizmo that is new to ebay, knowing that it will sell well at a given price, this takes time to get a feel for.I would advise anyone new to selling to choose items that are already selling well.

more later,

Off for me tea t.t.f.n Pete.

Ebay Powerseller Set-Up Equipment.No1

Ebay Powerseller set up equipment is very important to get right or you'll be hampered for a long time until you simply must get the right equipment, making additional expense and wasting all the time you could have used the right equipment .I am only going to go into a rough outline here and will deal with each section in more detail soon,but here goes the list for now.

You will need.
  1. A desk top computer...duh I hear you say, "Obviously" but some people use a laptop and what you need is something that can be left on and be available all the time, not just after the dishes are done and the kids/dog/husband/wife etc.. have been put to sleep.Don't foget this is a BUSINESS ,not just a pastime. Try to get a fast and quiet one but anything that will connect to the internet will do.
  2. A digital camera.All the ebooks people get for free say you can use a scanner.YOU CANNOT USE A SCANNER.Digital cameras use no film and cost nothing to run...this means you can take 600 shots of your sales goods and edit out the crud .600 shots on film will cost you the price of a good digital camera.I regularly take about 400 shots whenI list about 10 new lines. Ask any professional photographer and they will tell you about framing a shot and taking each sot in a variety of lighting and exposures, this can be done with editing software but it isn't as easy as just cropping the shot and adding a copyright mark into the photo.(more to come on this subject later)
  3. A decent my last post.It doesn't have to be flashy just faster than my old one and try to get one that won't give you a headache every day by midmorning.If you do sell a lot of items you will be printing invoices, reciepts, packing slips, labels, records, and picking lists.
  4. A Telephone. Obviously you have a phone or you wouldn't be on the net.Make sure it's an answerphone.You would not want to miss the phonecall from the guy who has seen the (for instance dvd player)you are selling and wants 400 of them for his store chain....yes it happens..this is why you MUST , ALWAYS ,list all your contact details in every listing on ebay.I mean, email,phone,fax if you have one,skype,msn messenger,aim,icq,anything that can say I want to buy some.

Right thats all the office equipment you will need.If I think of anything else I have forgotten,I'll let you know.I know what you're saying now...Yeah,Yeah , I've got all that now what do I do with'em....

Well it's 1 am where I am so I'll start chapter1 of that one tommorrow.

Cherrio, Pete

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Laser Printer Con.
Just been to collect a laser printer I bought online from P.C.World.Co.Uk.I got a Brother HL2030 for £69.98
which I though was ok as its meant to do 16 pages per minute and be crisp printing.I really need it as I'm doing 80 invoices a day and otherstuff too.The inkjet I've been using has a page rate something between 3 and 5! Mentioning no names it is so slow I'm surprised they still make them in epsonland.
So anyway I checked out the toner cartridges, and they are £49.99 for 2500 sheets cartridge (at 5% coverage= 2p a sheet).This is a right royal rip off, actually I have since found the printers for sale on without either the toner or drum,so I reckon it must be cheaper to buy a new printer when you need a drum (12000 sheets)and toner together,then sell the old shell off for peanuts.

I have determined to get some aftermarket refill kits and try them out as and when the toner runs out, and I'll let you know how I get on. They start from as little as £9.50 and you get enough for 2 refills(5000 sheets =5 sheets/penny!)

This gets to the thrust of the article for me, you need a certain amount of equipment for a
proper ebay selling system ,but it doesn't have to cost the earth to set up, and I'll get to that in the next post, later tonight .
Ta Ta See Ya Soon,Pete.

Five Minutes to Start a Lifetime to Complete

Five Minutes to Start a Lifetime to Complete,
As usual I have all my best ideas at about 1 am ,and so here I am starting a blog about my experiences as an Powerseller,and the growing pains I am having, trying to make a success of it,converting it into a "proper" business strategy that can work for me.

It occurred to me that there may be many Ebay Sellers and Powersellers in the same postion, working longer hours than before they gave up their nice safe "jobs" to go it alone in the technology jungle,where Darwinian principles "survival of the fittest", "sink or swim", "dog eat dog" "eat or be eaten"(there's a milliom of 'em) mean you work harder than you ever have done with a possible shining future "This time next year we'll be millionaires, Rodney..." still shining at you in the future ,but not yet here.

Sellers of all persuasions,from newbies selling off they're junk to ebay hardened veterans could gain from hearing about my experiences and maybe avoid some of the pitfalls I have encountered so here goes and I hope you'll enoy the articles.

The U.K. Ebay is slightly different to the U.S. version but princlples apply to both the same so I hope anyone reading will benefit from this.
If I find anything helpful or handy to the budding Ebay Entrepeneur then I will include it and see if it helps.

If nothing else It'll helps me arrange my thoughts ( chaotic though they may be!) into a workable system so I don't forget what I'm on about.