Monday, April 27, 2009

F.E.A.R. on eBay

If you're afraid to try something new on eBay, remember the acronym: F.E.A.R.

You may have heard this before...but F.E.A.R. stands for.... "False Evidence Appearing Real."

I didn't make that up - but it's a great acronym for anybody who is facing a little bit of paralysis when it comes to trying something new on eBay, or anyplace really.

So, if you're wanting to try something new with selling stuff on eBay - but are a little afraid it won't work - just realize that the assumptions you're making about why it might not work are very likely wrong.

You don't have to put all your eggs in one basket - don't be afraid, give that new idea a try.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

It's easy being green on eBay

Don't believe the hype!

You can be a good eBay seller AND be kind to the environment at the same time. Being green on eBay doesn't necessarily mean you have to reuse boxes you found in a dumpster and old crumpled up newspaper for packing materials. Frankly, most customers aren't going to like receiving their purchases like that.

Instead, consider using "new" materials that are recycled. In truth, the right materials are going to weigh less, and whichever shipper you use is going to spend less energy to ship your package.

It may be worth a few cents per order to be truly green. If you do go that extra mile, make sure you let your customers know how you are being environmentally friendly. Some folks will buy from you for that very reason.

Anytime you sell something used, or something that is an antique - that's green too.

Just some things to think about in terms of being friendly to the Earth...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Red chicken printer tea cup new on eBay

Over the years, many things have changed on eBay. However, the strategy behind listing titles is one thing that hasn't changed very much.

Its a little counter-intuitive - but often times a good listing title doesn't make any sense on its own. Of course, it's ok if it does make sense - but its not the most important factor.

The MOST important factor in your listing title are keywords. Let's say it all together now, "KEYWORDS"

You get 55 characters in your listing title - and each one of them is gold. Why? Because that is the real estate that is searchable.

So, the idea is, pack that 55 character space that of course relate to your product being sold (the words must be related, otherwise its keyword spamming, which eBay will nail you for) but are also likely to attract buyers attention. Use them all - all 55 characters if you can.

Red chicken printer tea cup new! If you had a new tea cup that had a red chicken on one side and a printer on the other - that would be at least part of good listing title! Got it?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Tell a Story on eBay

When you list something on eBay, you can talk about the features and benefits of whatever you are selling - that's fine.

But if you REALLY want to knock the socks of your customers, tell a story.

People remember stories. Stories are entertaining. Stories can give huge meaning to the most mundane items.

I recently purchased a Moleskine notebook. I'd never heard of Moleskine - frankly, I wondered if the cover was made from mole skin - and it kind of freaked me out.

But check this out...this is the story of the Moleskine notebook - they put a little pamphlet in each one so you can find out about what makes this notebook special:

"Moleskine is the legendary notebook used by European artists and thinkers for the past two centuries. from Van Gogh to Picasso, from Ernest Hemingway to Bruce Chatwin. This trusty, pocket-size travel companion held sketches, notes, stories and ideas before they were turned into famous images or pages of beloved books...In 1986, the last manufacturer of Moleskine closed it shutters 1998, a small Milanese publisher brought Moleskine back again...the the adventure of Moleskine continues and its still-blank pages will tell the rest."

WOW! I can write in the same kind of notebook that Hemingway used? WOW! WOW! WOW!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

An eBayer for All Seasons

When you're trying to figure out what to sell on eBay, remember the seasons.

If Easter is coming up, sell bunnies.

If it's getting cold, sell coats. If it's getting warm, sell coats to customers in the other hemisphere.

If a Batman movie is coming out, sell Batman stuff.

This is over simplified of course - but sometimes holidays, the weather, human events, etc are as good a guide as any about what you should try to sell if you can find it.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Try something else on eBay

So, if you've been trying to sell stuff on eBay, and it's going ok - but you think you could do better, then do this...

Try something else.

If you've got an idea about what to do next, great. But if not - it doesn't matter. Just try something else.

If that one thing makes things better - GREAT! Keep it. Now try something else.

If it doesn't make things better, drop it - and try something else.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Get your refund when you issue a refund on eBay

When you issue a refund on eBay, definitely get your fees back from eBay. eBay actually makes this pretty easy to do...

If your customer pays you via PayPal, when you issue them a refund - the paid mark on the corresponding transaction page within eBay turns into a symbol like this:

...once that happens - assuming you're sure that your buyer will agree to a mutually agreed auction cancel request - all you need to do is go to the corresponding listing page and click the report unpaid item link.

This is the confusing part because, "report unpaid item" sound scary - but that's the link you want.

Then you simply file the unpaid item report as a mutual request. Once your buyer indicates that they want to cancel the listing - you get your fees back.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The pen is mightier than the sword on eBay

You know what is really rare these days, and only getting rarer?


That's right: actual genuine bona fide honest to God handwriting - it's rare. Once upon a time, back in olden days, people actually wrote letters, took notes in class by hand, hell they used to even keep their checkbook in order - with a pen. But no longer.

So, if you really want to get your customers' attention - why not write "Thanks!" in pen, on an actual piece of paper, someplace in the package you send them.

I guarantee you - it will shock the hell out of them - they'll remember you, and they'll think you're awesome because you took the time to care.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Cash is king

Here is a multiple choice question for you...

When selling items on eBay, you should accept this form of payment from your buyers:

a) cash

b) money orders

c) checks

d) PayPal

e) all of the above

What is the answer? Look at the logo on my uniform... e) of course .... all of the above!


Because different people pay for things in different ways. You want more customers? Accept every form of payment you can.

Now a lot of folks will tell you (some even at eBay) that PayPal is only safe way to accept payment.

They're wrong.

Might a check bounce? Sure.

Can PayPal come up with some reason why you don't receive a payment from a buyer? Yep.

Which happens more often? Well...I'll just leave that one out there...but neither happen very often in my experience.

No fear. Accept all forms of payment.

Don't want to? That's fine. Your competition will.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Good Vibrations

Some people need total quiet to work, others need a little noise. I'm one of the later.

If it's completely quiet, I'm useless. A lot of times while I'm doing eBay stuff I'll listen to a podcast or an audiobook. But one of the easiest and quickest ways to get noise out of a computer that you may not know about is

If you don't know about it - check it out. It's totally free - you just tell it a song you like and it goes from there in kind of a netflix-esque sort of way. Hope you dig it as much as I do.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Can I have the receipt please?

This is such a basic thing. Maybe so basic that a lot of eBayers just forget to do it.

When you go to a store and buy something - what does the cashier almost always give you at the end (and if they don't, and you're like me, you ask them for it)? A receipt!

So when you mail stuff to your eBay you include some kind of receipt in the package? If you don't, you should.

Not only will it help the buyer remember that they received the package from you - but it makes it a heck of a lot easier for the buyer to leave feedback for you...not to mention find your store again if they want to make a repeat purchase.

I think a good eBay seller should put all kinds of free stuff and marketing propaganda in everything they send out - but a receipt is the bare minimum. eBay makes it easy to print one out for every there's no excuse not to.

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