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WEB HOSTING HOW-TOS

SELLING ON EBAY: Secrets To Success.
By: Developer Shed
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    2004-09-10

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    Everyone has something that they can sell on E-bat. The question is, howdo you go about doing so? Is the item you have E-bayable? Where do youlist it, and for how long? Thats what this how-to aims to explain.

    1. FIND SOMETHING TO SELL
    It must be an item that you enjoy selling. Of course it is always better if you seek items out that are not available widely to many people in the world. For starters you can purchase ANTIQUES, CD's, and CLOTHING at great prices, and then list them on eBay and watch the money start rolling in! If you have a tax ID number, you may even be able to purchase items wholesale and list them on eBay (we will show you a work around if you donít have one later in this Guide.

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    2. TIMES TO LIST
    You never want to list your items to end during the day, unless you end them on the weekend during the day. I have found that 7-day auctions work the best. If you are selling a very pricey item, you should list this item as a 10-day auction. You will pay a bit more $$$ but it is definitely worth it to allow as many people as possible to see your listing(s). I usually do a bit of listing everyday from 7pm until 9pm. You don't want to list your items too late.

    The most exposure you will get will be during the last 4 hours of your auction. That is the busiest time for bidding on items. If you list too late in the evening, no one will be willing to stay up until the wee hours just to bid on your item! This is very important! If you start out listing on the weekends, Sunday is a good day. IF your listings end around 4pm many people will be home to watch your auctions end! This increases your chances on making much more money on your item(s).†
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    3. TOOLS
    I highly recommend investing in a digital camera. Film and processing are very expensive. If you plan on selling on eBay full time, the camera will pay for itself incredibly fast. We recommend shipping items via Priority Mail. I suggest you let the buyers pay for shipping. You want to make sure you quote their shipping price correctly. The post office has a list of prices according to weight. It is a good idea to get a list.

    Another suggestion: Call the number on the priority boxes, they will send you what ever you need for free! TAPE, PREPRINTED ADRESSES LABELS, BOXES etc.! This is great because you should never have to pay for these items! The profit margin will decrease as you find yourself paying for these things here and there. I suggest shipping all of your items out at once, on one particular day. If you don't want to pay priority to pick up your items, I recommend shipping a few packages everyday. Otherwise it will be a lot of work and there is a chance you can get tired of this very easily! I try to make things as easy as possible! I figure my time is more valuable, and I can be listing more items in the time it would take to go to the post office.
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    4. LISTING
    I don't recommend listing items as reserve auctions. I think it scares potential buyers away. Especially if someone is bidding and bidding, and after a while of seeing reserve not met yet, they are going to get bored and leave your auction. My theory is: If an item is valuable, people will find it!!!

    I also suggest starting your auction price LOW!! Even if your item is worth $600.00, for a set of golf clubs. You can start the auction at $9.99. Then in your description you can state that the clubs are worth $600.00. This will get many people interested in your item; they will think they can get a great deal. This is where bidding wars can start!

    Remember the more $$$ you start your auctions for the more fees you will have to pay to eBay! Trust me, if your item is valuable people will find it!! Make sure to put as many keywords in the title as you can! For example: you are selling a CD (wrong way) ALICIA KEYS CD (right way) Alicia Keys CD SEALED songs in A minor. This is what is going to help people find your auction!! It is crucial to helping people find you! I also suggest writing out the track listing in your description. People can do searches with words in descriptions as well! I highly suggest using words like RARE (of course it should really be RARE) WOW! L@@K, BEAUTIFUL. This really and truly makes a difference!

    I always recommend selling your item with photos! This is very important. No photo usually = no sale! Make sure you list your item in the proper category, so people looking for this type of item will find it automatically. If you generalize your item too much, people may not find it easily.†
    †††
    5. A SERIOUS TRICK TO MAKING LOTS OF $$$$$
    I have recently discovered the trick of listing one item in a featured auction. It is a bit pricey, and only should be done when you have many auctions listed. Also make sure you refer other people to your other auctions. If you have a popular item listed on a featured area, chances are all of your auctions will do better in the end. I have paid as much as one hundred dollars to list an item, and I even though I would normally sell that item for one hundred dollars, it made all of my other auctions shoot up to a higher selling point!

    Another great trick! I recommend starting a mailing list. Keep all of your bidders and winners e-mail addresses on file and when you list other similar items; send out a mass e-mail telling them you have listed more items they might be interested in. NEVER EVER SEND SPAM e-mail. Make sure all of your potential customers want to be contacted when you have new items up for bid!

    Third great trick! Example: Let's say you are selling a sports memorabilia item from the New England Patriots. I would go do a search on all of the fan websites for the New England Patriots. Then I would go to the guest book and write that you have great items from this team for sale on eBay and add your link to the guest book. Then people can paste that link into their browsers and visit your auctions! You won't believe what a big difference this makes!††
    †††
    6. PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE
    Everything takes time. Once you get the hang of eBay, you will find your own tricks that work for you. It is all trial and error. Make sure you list a bunch of items at once. This will make all of your items more popular. Eventually you will begin to have repeat customers and your business will begin to grow. This is NOT an easy job; it takes hard work and investing time into your future. It definitely will pay off in the end!†
    †††
    7.†BALANCE
    Please remember to shop on eBay as well. Support your fellow eBayers. Purchase gifts and items for yourself on the site. Rememeber balance is key! If too many people sell on eBay and no one is buying, than we are all out of luck.†
    †††
    8. NEVER SHIP OUT AN ITEM UNTIL IT IS PAID FOR
    I personally only accept online forms of payment because I find the longer I wait for payment, the more of a chance there maybe for someone to flake on paying for an auction. With online payments such as C2IT and PAYPAL, odds are you will be paid right away! It is very easy to sign up with these sites www.paypal.com or www.c2it.com. If you do choose to accept personal checks, make sure the check has cleared the bank before you ship the item. Accepting money orders is usually fine as well.†
    †††
    9. KEYWORDS
    Finally the last great tip I have is to submit your auction page to search engines using keywords (This should be items you regularly sell on eBay) this way you can drive even more traffic to your auctions. You can then install a counter program such as Andale www.andale.com on your page. I recommend using a hidden counter, so others don't know how many hits you are receiving. This way you can track the tips that work for you with your products.†
    †††
    10. BE CLEAR CONCISE AND HONEST ABOUT YOUR PRODUCT
    If the item has a tear, hole or dent, make sure to write that in your description. This will save you a lot of headaches later.

    First of all, please do not be overwhelmed with the information you will find. There are a lot of links to thousands of wholesale companies. Take your time when you look around. You will be amazed. If you have questions about a company or their products, don't be afraid to call them. They need your business more than you need theirs. They will be happy to help you.

    We highly recommend you write down your questions before you call a supplier so that you do not forget to ask them what is on your mind. Take your time when talking to them and do not let anyone talk you into buying something you do not want. When you see something you think you can sell, research it on eBay and see how the completed auctions went.

    Make sure to look at both the auction price AND the shipping price as many eBay sellers bury profits in the s/h portion of the auction. After the auctions have ended, see which ones had the most bids, when they started, ended, and what category they were in. If you are using this information for offline sales, look around at other vendors and see if anyone else is selling the product and see if you can sell it for less and still make a profit.

    Here is a big tip. If you go to a department store like Wal-Mart and see an item you would like to sell, pick it up, check out the packaging, and write down (or record if you have a voice memo recorder) who manufactures it (you can find out how to buy direct from the manufacturer by doing this). Go to the web and see if they are online. A great reference for finding a company online is: Network Solutions WHOIS database http://www.netsol.com/cgi-bin/whois/whois

    Get in contact with them and tell them you are considering them as a supplier and would like a price list. Don't be afraid to call or e-mail them. Be sure to represent yourself as a business and not just an individual. Be professional. It is really easy. Look around right now. Pick up some items in your home, just by looking at the labels, warranty information, or packaging, you can find out who manufactures & distributes it. If you can't get a phone number off a label or package, you can also try 1-800-555-1212, give the name of the company and get their phone number. When you talk to them, tell them you want a price list and would like to get set up as either a distributor, or retailer for them. If they are not in the 800 directory, you may be able to find them by looking at their warranty address information.

    Just call directory assistance for the state they are located in and call them. It works like a charm. If the company only deals with "large" retailers, ask them for a list of their distributors and just keep calling their distributors until you find the one with the lowest prices. Sometimes it takes a little research but when you find what you are looking for it makes it all worth while!

    HINT: If you do not have a tax id number, just enter your social security number in place of it (*big tip, you can do this with almost any wholesale company*).

    They are the granddaddy of wholesale suppliers & you have seen their products all over eBay. We are giving you special access to their pricing website! Follow the link below. The login button is in the upper right-hand corner of the home page.

    http://www.bnfusa.com
    Username is: web
    Password is: user

    Want to save big money & buy at or below wholesale? Go to http://www.storepower.com. This is where you can get many of the same items you find in major department stores. Not off the wall junk items, but name brand quality products.

    After you browse there a while & check them out, go to http://www.sumcomm.com . This site has a built in search engine you can use. They have direct links with over 45,000 products at wholesale pricing. Be sure to sign up for their free monthly catalog. It is full of suppliers, and if you do not find what you need there, it is probably not online. If your search pulls up more than 1 supplier of the same item, be sure to shop each company, they are flexible, and will normally go out of their way to keep from being undersold.

    Another one to use is http://www.merchantsnews.com . Again, be sure to sign up for their free catalog as well.

    One of my favorite sites for name brand electronics (but not the only one) is http://www.hotbuy4u.com. The name of the company is Premier Products.

    Once you get your feet wet, and want to make some international contacts, go to http://www.allproducts.com . This site will put you into contact with contacts from all over the world.

    Looking for government repos, bankruptcy liquidations, US Marshals items, etc, go to http://www.bid4assets.com . They have all kinds of different items you can get dirt cheap!

    These sources are fantastic!! They are going to be very helpful to you. We have never had any complaints on this guide and have had many customers thank us over and over for helping them get their online, or retail business started. We love to help whenever we are able.

    Best wishes, and have fun!!

     


    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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