Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Be Careful, eBay International Sales can take you for a ride!

Having completed many International Sales to eBay buyers' overseas, I will give you some tips and insights as an eBay seller. It is good for International eBay buyers to read this as well, they sometimes wonder why some eBay Sellers refuse International bidders. From my experience if you are a US based Seller, the easiest shipping option is to use www.usps.com,  The United States Postal Service.
www.usps.com To Ship you prepare your package to ship as if you were shipping to the U.S, except you fill out one of 2 simple custom forms. A customs form is simply an additional form declaring what is inside the package and it's approximate value. There are 2 different custom forms which you will use, one if package is under 4 pounds the other if it is over 4lbs.
(Now you will still have options at to the speed of shipment and the price will vary accordingly.)

If you use the United States Postal Service for International sales once you ship the item you are done. Using FED EX, or UPS you may get charged with a customs fee as the shipper (That is You!) is held responsible for any Value or USE taxes applied upon entry to the country you are shipping the products to. This was an eye opening experience the first time I received a FedEx bill after the fact for $140 customs charge ouch!. Using USPS that will never happen, the buyer upon pickup, will have to pay any taxes or levies to receive the goods.

I recently sold a Macintosh G4 Powermac via eBay, in my auction ad I state I accept international bidders, but payments from www.auctionpayments.com (they are a division of Western Union) or Bank wire transfer. The reason for this is if you accept a credit card or PayPal for any international sale, and the person later claimed the card was stolen, you will be charged back, meaning the money taken back and you will never get the item back, so don't do it. for International Sales I only accept wire transfer direct to my bank account or Western Union. Overseas sales can be profitable, but the do require more paperwork and payment precautions.



Tuesday, June 29, 2004

New to eBay? Want Good Feedback Fast? Here is How!

The "Newbie" or new person joining, be it in a video game or the military, sports or even the chess team, are treated with equal parts curiosity and disdain. Even though everyone was a Newbie at one point that fact is quickly erased from our memory banks.

eBay even sets up a list of tasks a Newbie cannot perform until their feedback reaches 10. If you are new to eBay every buyer or seller has a report card of their activities on eBay, it is called the feedback rating.

You can simply find out if the buyer or seller is a flake by clicking the number to the right of the Ebay User ID. There you will see what looks like a report card that be be positive, neutral or even negative. The buyer and the seller of any transaction have the choice to leave any feedback with comments or not at all, it is up to you.


Below is a screen shot of feedback from one of my accounts I sell product through on eBay.

  

 
Click
Here to View Actual Screen



The point you want to reach is 10 positive feedback, then you will be allowed access to more eBay seller features such as buy it now, 1 day auctions and many more plus it makes people more comfortable dealing with you.

The simple way to build you feedback is this. Go to eBay and in the search box type in "ebook" then click on search from buy it now and then lowest price. Many of these ebooks are 50 cents or less simply click buy it now, pay and request feedback . These sellers know that the people buying these eBooks are primarily doing it to build fast feedback so they oblige.

Quick Note Do not worry if you get a negative feedback in my 3 years experience selling Full time on eBay is the same as in life you will never be able to please everyone. Have Fun

Monday, June 28, 2004

Changing of the Guard, eBay and item specifics

Browsing the eBay Power Seller discussion groups, I noticed a large number of unhappy eBay powerseller's ( an eBay Powerseller is an established high volume seller) grumbling about eBay's new feature rollout called item specifics. I decided to check it out.

Existing and long time established sellers on eBay are affected by any eBay format change, not necessarily in a good way. Basically whenever eBay implements a change to their system any seller with existing auctions needs to adjust them all, which as you can imagine would be a royal pain.

I researched on the net and found some interesting articles of new eBay sellers loving the new feature.

I decided to try an item specific auction out. When you go to put your item up for sale you are prompted to choose between prefilled item information or the standard way. At this point simply enter the UPC code located on the product you are selling, example I had "The Matrix" DVD I did not have the box with the UPC code, so I did a simple search on Google with the search terms "The Matrix and UPC" and google pulled it up.



Google Search Click Here

After entering the UPC code a complete description and good looking stock photo of the matrix DVD pulled up. At this point you can select new or used and put the shipping amount etc.

Here is an example of a UPC CODE



It produced a great looking ad in less than 1 minute.

Change is hard, but I see item specifics as a excellent change for all, use it and enjoy

Sunday, June 27, 2004

An easy way to obtain hot selling products on eBay

After you initially sell some items on eBay, most people start off by selling excess items around the house,or garage. People catch the eBay Fever. It is fairly simple to sell and you can receive payments in minutes, there is no other market quite like it.

The problem is you run out of things to sell very quickly. Here is one of the many techniques I have used with success over the years to get in demand products to resell on eBay.

eBay produces a free hot selling items list. This is a 29 page PDF document which shows the Super HOT and HOT selling products and categories. This information is FREE and it is taken from eBay's internal market research.
Click here to view the HOT item list.

There are hundreds of in demand items, I would just target one or 2 of them and place a free or low cost ad in my local newspaper. Simply state cash paid for ABC item, I would receive several calls a week and get products for next to nothing I would immediate sell on eBay

Some eBay Power sellers use the high volume, low profit business model, and they sell hundreds of items a day.
My business philosophy has always been sell less items that are in high demand. This translates to less work and more profit.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

How 1 word in your eBay auction title can make or break the sale

I have been selling full time on eBay for several years and I want to stress to you the importance of the eBay title. When you list an auction for sale on eBay, you will be prompted to enter your description, pictures, price, auction duration etc.

By leaving one key word out of the eBay selling title in one of my recent auctions, I almost had a disaster.

I made a very good buy on some new but discontinued satellite receivers. The first thing you should always do is check completed auctions on eBay prior to listing a new product. At that point you should choose view completed auctions by the highest price. By doing this you will see what similar items went for and how they were titled, what category they were listed in, etc. You can save time and effort by viewing what the other eBay sellers did right!

Too make a short story shorter I was selling dish network 6000 receivers.
I titled the auction “NEW Network 6000 U HDTV Receiver”. I wasn’t getting many bids so I checked eBay for my auction and it didn’t show up.

I scratched my head, I left out “Dish” which then would not have my listing show up when people were looking for this item, the buyers keywords would be "dish network" luckily eBay allows you to cancel your auction if you have an error in the listing, which I did I relisted with the additional word and the receiver ended up selling for over $500

Wheeew! another key point is for you to do a search on eBay and see if your auction sales come up, you may miss a keyword which will cause less buyers to see your auction, which will result in less bids etc.

Friday, June 25, 2004

How to become an eBay Silent Sales Assassin

There is an underground of eBay buyers right now prowling the darkest corners of eBay and seeking to strike unwary eBay Newbies. These savvy auction predators will stalk and then strike at eBay auctions winning items for 10 percent of wholesale or less, in the waning seconds of the eBay auction.

The tool of these eBay carnivores is called Auction Sniping. Auction Sniping is the automated process of unseen bidders having an automatic bid placed via computer program on a predetermined auction with less than 3 seconds to go. Competing auctions bidders cry out in pain as they sit by there computer watching and waiting for an auction to end manually getting ready to strike. These people throw their hands up in the air time and time again. How come I keep losing these auctions in the last second?. and I would have paid $50 or more dollars for the item. They are unaware of the auction tool eBay sniping. Here is a link for one of the better sniping programs on the market and it is very easy to use!
Click here try this eBay sniping service for Free, Bidnapper

The other effect is on the eBay seller, they scratch their heads in amazement as their auction items go for much less than anticipated. In my future article I will show you a new technique to stop Snipers in their tracks.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

eBay Live Hype Fact or Fiction

I was tempted to buy a plane ticket to the Big Easy and join the Hoopla regarding eBay's once a year convention. I am letting the Power of the Blog take me there.

eBay Live Blog Link

From what I see so far nothing earth shattering, take a look. The bottom line for you to
Make Money on eBay is your product sources. I could take a beginner with little to no experience and have them up and running profitably in a few days with just 1 or 2 good product contacts. Of course fine tuning your auctions with better photos, and descriptions and all the tricks and timing techniques will allow you to optimize your profit per auction. Selling successfully full time comes down to one simple thing. Obtaining the products to sell inexpensively. There are many techniques to do this I will explain in later articles

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

A Free eBay alternative also know as Freebay

You can use this free site to buy and sell your items for free. The website is Craiglist.org It started out in San Fransisco and has grown nationwide. If you click this link you will see the Alexa website traffic rating. They are the 168Th most visited website Alexa Ranking for Craiglist.org which is very good. Craiglist is geared toward local markets, with a Craglist site appearing in most major cities across The United States.

Craiglist has been called "Freebay" by some, as it has become a great place to list items for sale in your local market with no fees. There are also many resale opportunities to be had there as well. They also have an active discussion forum. Check them out

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

The Thrill of the Hunt, Buying Liquidation

Purchasing liquidation loads from suppliers to resell definitely has an element of gambling involved. Successful Professional gamblers know the odds and will try to make intelligent decisions, but any gambler will tell you luck is involved, which is a big part of the thrill to gambling you just don't know until the cards are flipped or the dice thrown. The first step is to contact the closeout or liquidation department at any large company. Once you are set up on their approved bidder list you will be either faxed or emailed a load or list of products they are looking to liquidate.In most cases the companies use a Blind Bid process (this simply means no one knows what anyone else is bidding). My technique for evening the odds is to try and never bid more than my worst case scenario if all the products were damaged or not sell-able. I will research the list via search engines and also Ebay, checking completed sales history etc. If you win a bid you arrange shipment to your address. When a shipment is delivered I know within 15 minutes if the dealer just threw me an Ace to make 21 or I rolled a 7 on the craps table. I have averaged about 75% of the loads purchased to be profitable. It sure is exciting to open that first load and have it be a winner. But you take some hits along the way.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Here is a simple way to host your images for eBay Auctions for free

You can also use this free service to host your photos on Live Journals, Blogs and Message Boards.

When you put an item up for auction on eBay only your first picture is free of charge. Every image you add after that is 15 cents.

Adding quality images or photos to your eBay auction listing is a critical step to insure you receive the maximum price for your products.

There are several image-hosting services on the web, but they also charge a service fee.

Here is the info you need to host your images for free, you can then simply link directly to your eBay ads at no charge. This free service is called www.tinypic.com The website title may be a little confusing, it does not make tiny pictures or versions of your images or photos but it produces a tiny URL or link (A url is the web address for a site example www.ap8.com is a URL)

The simplicity of this program is amazing, you simply click on the following link Click here to go to TinyPic

The tinypic website will now appear on your computer screen. You then click on the “Browse” button, which will allow you to navigate and load any picture on your computer. The next step is to click on the button named “Host” your photo or image is automatically loaded to the tinypic hosting site at no charge. A simple short URL or location for your image will appear on the computer screen. Cut and past that link or URL and insert into your ebay ad. Simple and Fast.

There is no catch to this service, you will see a link in which you may make a donation to the owner of the website, but it is completely optional. You can use this site for personal family albums or photos as well as your eBay auction.

Click here to go to host your images for free

Sunday, June 20, 2004

How to ship your ebay auctions quicker with less expense

If you are new to eBay, I will give you a short and quick explanation of PayPal. eBay purchased this company last year, basically PayPal is a payment service in which you can send or receive payment via email in seconds. PayPal has a multitude of security features, which allow you to have zero fraud risk when you follow them. You don't have to use PayPal for just eBay auctions, I have used this service for hundreds of transactions outside of eBay with no problems. If you haven't signed up yet it is free, check it out at www.paypal.com. On to the new features, when you receive a payment from a buyer on eBay it will show in your PayPal account with the amount of money you recieved, you will also see a button to the right which states ship.

Upon clicking the button you will be given 2 options for Shipping, United Stated Postal Service (USPS) or United Parcel Service (UPS). In the past I would have had to either cut and paste all the customer information to a label program or to their website, Then I would either go to the post office and wait in line or apply the postage myself, then I would email the customer with tracking info this is all eliminated now.

After I choose the carrier (USPS or UPS) the address information is entered for you. All you need to do is enter the package weight and choose how fast you want the item shipped.

The shipment amount is taken direct from your PayPal account and then you simply print the label to you printer. The program automatically emails your customer with the tracking. Using this method you can save a huge amount of time.

Two other notes, if you use USPS they include free delivery confirmation which is 45 cents a package this doesn't sound like much but I ship 10 to 20 packages a day, over a month that is about $200 to $300 in savings. Also you are covered by Paypal seller protection of up to $250 if there was any fraud involved.