The ABC’s of eBay

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Recently I read an article that talked about how Google’s word prediction shaves seconds off of your search.  Some people love this and others could do without.  I happen to like Google’s search prediction, but it still amazes me how you can type one letter in their search box, and it will pop up a word based on what others are searching.  This got me thinking.  One thing that eBay made very clear last time I visited their campus is that they also like to collect data.  They have so much data that they can predict what is going to be popular at any given time, and they also have an intelligent search database that allows you to enter in one letter, and it will predict what you are searching for based off of what others are searching for.  This is very helpful when you are trying to find an item, but even more useful for us eBay sellers!

Screen Shot 2017-10-25 at 9.35.25 PMThe ABC’s of eBay is simple and can make us some money.  When I say ABC’s of eBay, what I really mean is to type one letter in the search bar and see the item that eBay predicts.  This gives us a clear understanding of what eBay buyers are looking for and can help you tweak your inventory.  Let’s go ahead and take a look at the ABC’s of eBay:

Apple Watch NES Classic Edition
Beads Omega
Chevrolet corvette Ps4
Dress Queen Comforter Set
Eclipse Glasses Ralph Lauren
Fidget Spinner Solar Eclipse Glasses
Gucci Tory Burch
Headphones Under Amour
iPhone 8 Vans
Jordan Watch
Knife Xbox One
Lularoe Yeezy
Morgan Silver Dollar Zippo

Using this information really gives us an upper hand when it comes to getting into the buyer’s mind.  If we know what they are searching, then we can sell accordingly.  Some of the name brands like Michael Kors, Anthropologie, Free People, and Tory Burch I have never heard of before.  That means I probably had passed them up previously and lost money.  Now that I know what buyers are looking for, I can keep my eye out and buy accordingly.  This list does change from time to time depending on the marketplace, so make sure you are checking the eBay ABC’s every once and awhile.  It doesn’t take long, and it really pays off.

I get most of my inventory from thrift stores.  To learn more check out The Keys to a Successful eBay Business HERE

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Flipping Niche Products

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I tend to think of my self as the creative type when it comes to ideas, but when it comes to creating a product, I’m amateur at best.  We all know that finding a niche product is an easy way to make money on eBay, but where do you find niche products.  I can name different niche communities all day long, but until I see a product to sell to them, it’s pointless.  Since I’m not good at creating – I decided that I would let someone else do the creative work and I could resell it for more money.  That’s where Etsy comes in.

If you’ve never heard of Etsy.com before, it’s a marketplace filled with genius products that are (mostly) handmade.  They really do have something for every niche and finding products to resell on eBay is easy.  Let’s take a look at some of my favorites:

E7492CA3-710D-4AB5-99DF-FFBBEA9B2059Back to the Future  –  You can get everything from original retro posters, handmade dolls, and much more.  Most of these have never even seen an eBay page before, which is good because there would be no competition for you.  The product on the left is a listing on Etsy for three movie posters that are unique and are not on eBay.  These are printed out on a professional printer so the quality will be okay.  They could easily be flipped for a profit!


C3588FEC-B222-4E0F-AB81-CC805662D5DBStar Wars – Obviously this niche has a large following, so it’s easier to sell a unique item.  The problem with a large niche is finding the unique piece.  Even on Etsy, there are a lot of repeat listings.  I have found one (picture on the left) of a Star Wars themed crayon holder that a child can strap around them as they are coloring a picture.  There are many different versions of these types of holders that could be resold.  They also make holders for toy cars, legos, and much more!  Sometimes I wonder who thinks of these things!

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CA24FE47-26AB-4AF0-BF81-276C954CAC2CSteampunk – If you’ve never heard of Steampunk before, well you’re not alone.  It’s defined as, “A subgenre of science fiction and fantasy that includes social or technological aspects of the 19th century (the steam) usually with some deconstruction of, the reimagining of, or rebellion against parts of it (the punk).”  This is a huge niche right now, and with a little research, you will start uncovering how much money is really laying around when it comes to steampunk.  To the left is a hand painted steampunk box that is unique and could be resold on eBay.

One thing to consider here is this – Since Etsy is mostly handmade items, it may take a little longer to get your item.  They have to sew, print, paint, and/or assemble your product.  With that said, don’t list your item as soon as you buy it.  Wait until you actually get the product, then you can list it.  The last thing you’d want it to have an angry customer waiting for their product.  Lastly, most Etsy sellers are willing to work with you.  If you need something custom or want a large order, then you can communicate to get your product just right!

For more eBay tips and tricks, check out The Keys to a Successful eBay Business HERE

Turning $20 into $480

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I’m sure that we all sell on eBay to make a profit, right?  We may shop thrift stores every day, order our inventory from a wholesaler, or even make our own products, but did you know that you may have eBay inventory handed to you every single day without you knowing.  Turning $20 into $480 may sound too good to be true, but it really isn’t, and eBayers are doing this every single day because they know one simple tip that you may have been missing.

Did you know that some coins that were minted in 1964 or before, are 90% silver?  That means that they are worth their weight, and much more than their face value.  Take a look at a current chart that represents the actual worth of each coin found on Currency DeBasement (found HERE):

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As you can see, some common currency that we are using every day is actually worth a lot more.  I’m not suggesting that you melt your own coins, I’m not sure if that is even legal; however, I am suggesting that you sell them on eBay!  There are a lot of sellers who do this for a living, and the return on investment is HUGE!  Let’s take a look at a couple of completed listings:

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These sellers turned $20 into $485.95, $1.50 into $37, and $3 into $70!  Now you may be thinking, “Where do I get these coins?”  Well, they are still circulating in your everyday life so you will want to check your coins.  My mother has been a waitress for over 25 years, and she collects her coins throughout the whole year to pay for her Christmas presents.  I don’t take the coins from my mom, but I do help her identify which ones are valuable and which ones are not.  Then I can sell them for her.

So with this knowledge, you now can become successful at flipping $20 into $480!  Finding these coins can be quite fun, and with a little bit of creativity, they can be easy to locate!

For more eBay tips and tricks, check out The Keys to a Successful eBay Business HERE

When A Good Auction Goes Bad

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I’m sure at some point you’ve heard of an eBay horror story (if not you experienced it for yourself).  Unfortunately, it happens.  Every once and a while there is a buyer who might make a perfectly good auction a nightmare.  There are several degrees of an auction gone wrong, and for some reason, I had them all!  This is why, we as eBay Entrepreneurs, need to protect ourselves from bad buyers.  Even if you listed your item perfectly and made your description as clear as possible, you may get a buyer who argues that they were deceived in some way.  I recently sold a Flowbee on eBay and had a buyer from out of this world.  No really, he told me he was not from this planet Earth.  Here is my story.

img_0383About a month ago I was more than happy to be selling a Flowbee.  I thought this was great!  I decided to do an auction for three days, and it seemed as if people were bidding left and right.  As the auction ended for almost $60, an automatic invoice was sent to the buyer.  After a few days the buyer still didn’t pay (nightmare #1), so I sent another bill.  Finally, the customer decided to pay, and he sent a note telling me that he was just visiting Earth, so if I could please expedite the package.  As I always do, I packaged up his item the same day he paid and shipped it to Brazil.  I sent it priority mail, and I even lost just a few dollars on the shipping costs.  I thought everything was going great until I received an “Open Case” notification from eBay.  The buyer had opened this case because he stated he never received the package (nightmare #2).  This was only five days after I sent the package.  Luckily I was able to provide a tracking number and had the case closed.  The next day I look at my feedback, and he had given me a negative remark (nightmare #3).  He had stated that item was used and not brand new, and demanded his shipping cost back.  It was clear that the object was used in the description.   Now, this is the perfect example of when a Good Auction Goes Bad.  Like I said before, we Ebay Entrepreneurs need to protect ourselves from buyers like this, so here is what you need to do.

  1. Buyer never pays for your item:  In my case, I had to send a few invoices before the buyer paid, but if for some reason he decided not to pay at all, you can open an unpaid item case.  This way you are protected from paying the Final Value Fee for the item.
  2. Customer states that they never received the item:  eBay knows that there are some scandalous buyers out there, so they put in place a program called (Seller Protection).  This way you can plead your case and prove that you sent the item to the buyer.  I ALWAYS recommend that you get Delivery Confirmation when you ship an item.  If you are shipping outside the US, then you have to fill out a customs declaration form.  There are two different forms you can fill out.  One is if it is under 2 lbs.  This one does not do a good job tracking a package after it leaves the US, but there is another one that is for items over 2 lbs.  This is a bigger form that you have to fill out, but it tracks your item as it goes to the destination.  I always fill this form out even if it is under 2 lbs.  Only once have they had me fill out the smaller form.  In my case, I was able to track my package and prove that I sent it to him.
  3. A buyer leaves you a negative remark: When a buyer leaves you an unjustified negative remark you can have it removed.  eBay has a tool that will allow you to ask the buyer to retract their feedback that they left.  Usually, you have to justify why they should remove the feedback, but 99% of the time they do.  Here are eBay’s guidelines.

As you can see, eBay has your back when a Good Action Goes Bad, but just make sure you have all of your ducks in a row with every auction!  Feel free to leave your eBay nightmare story in the comments below!

For more tips and tricks, check out “The Keys to a Successful eBay Business” HERE

 

How I Tripled My Sales By Speaking The Correct Language

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We are all WORLDWIDE Entrepreneurs!  We can sell to any country and to any person who wants our item – but how do you market to the ideal customer?  Over the years, I’ve developed the skill of spotting trends on the items I sell.  For example, there is seasonal, size, and more importantly, location trends.

Over the past few months, I’ve been trying something – an experiment.  This experiment has proven to be quite eye-opening and has changed the way I connect with my customers.  Here was the problem.  Since the middle of summer, I started to see a slow down on the sales of my polo shirts.  I knew that summer was ending, but I refused to let my sales do the same.  As it grew increasingly chilly here in midwest America, I started to see a trend.  99% of my Tommy Hilfiger shirts were sold to only one place – Brazil.

untitled-pictureWith sales declining, I realized that I was selling one Tommy Hilfiger shirt sporadically throughout the month.  This was when I decided to make a change.  Knowing that almost all of my sales went to Brazil, I realized that I needed to market directly to them!  There are thousands of these Tommy Hilfiger shirts on eBay at any time, and mine looked exactly like the rest.  So here is my secret! I added a few strategic words to my description and secondary titles in the native language of Brazil, Portuguese!

My listing had all of the standard size and measurements descriptions in English, but I added one sentence towards the top of the description “Esta camisa de golfe é muito bom, e eu navio ao Brasil rápido e muitas vezes! Lance com confiança. Muito obrigado!”.  That translates into “This golf shirt is very nice, and I ship to Brazil fast and often!  Bid with confidence.  Thanks!”.  Of course, I have no idea how to speak or write in Portuguese, so I use the Google Translator Widget found HERE.

Since I have started doing this, my Tommy Hilfiger sales almost tripled!  Remember to Think Different and astonishing things will happen!

For more tips and tricks, check out “The Keys to a Successful eBay Business” HERE.

Hey – That Would Be Great For….

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When eBay buyers go online to shop, do they know what they are looking for?  In most cases, I would say – yes, but it’s easy to get lost in all the active listings.  Lucky for them, you can help!

Steve Jobs is famous for doing zero market research at Apple.  He thought that customers had no clue to what they wanted.  This goes for the eBay shopper as well!  I’m not saying that us “sellers” need to invent a new life changing product like Steve did, but there is an easy way to open an eBayer’s eyes to your product.

With that said, there’s a small trick I use when repurposing a product on eBay.  This step opens up my item to a whole new group of eBay buyers that probably wouldn’t have seen my item.  So what’s the trick?  Well, the trick is to use the phrase, “Great For…”, and then suggest a use for a product.  For example, I found a Cast Iron “Mickey Mouse” Muffin Pan.  I tried to sell it as is, but no one was interested.  That was until I changed the description to “Cast Iron Mickey Mouse Muffin Pan – Great For Disney Birthday Parties.”  That opened up a whole new niche for me.  Not only was I selling to the collectors, but I now am selling to buyers looking for birthday ideas!  I got great feedback from the customer, and she thanked me for the suggestion.  I doubled the amount I thought I was going to get for it, so from there on, I was sold!

It’s fun to go to eBay and type in “Great For” in the search bar and see what results you get.  Some people have great ideas, and it helps me stay creative with my listings.  Before we take a look at a listing, you can check out the “Great For” search results HERE.

Okay, let’s take a look at how adding “Great For” helped a seller make more money.

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These are similar listings, but one has “Great For Bridal Showers, ” and one does not.  If an eBay buyer was looking for Bridal Shower ideas, then guess what listing popped up?  This technique will greatly enhance your chances of your item being bought!  Give it a shot and let us know how it worked!

For more tips and tricks (plus a list of what to sell), check out, “The Keys to a Successful eBay Business” HERE

Easy to Find – Money Maker

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The Sony Walkman – this brings back good memories. Walking down the street, listening to the latest MC Hammer cassette tape. I thought I was cool! I remember when I bought my first Sony Walkman. It was the latest and greatest technology, and I could either listen to FM radio or whatever tape I could carry. When I was done listening to the first side I simply flipped it over to side B. Technology sure has advanced since then, but the Sony Walkman is still in high demand!

Sure there are “newer” digital versions of a Sony Walkman that allow you to play MP3’s, but those are not the ones that sell well on eBay. The vintage Sony Walkman (from the 80’s) is what’s HOT! There are a few reasons why people want these beautiful electronics again, and it may not be why you’d think. I have sold many of these on eBay before, and just out of curiosity, I asked the buyer why they wanted an old Sony Walkman. Here is what they said:

1. Battery Life: A couple of buyers stated that they only wanted it for the FM radio and that the Sony Walkman has the best battery life.

2. Collectors: I had some buyer tell me that they are just a fan of older technology, and they wanted to add it to their collection.

3. Party: One other buyer told me that they are going to an 80’s party and wanted it as an accessory.

I’m sure there are other reasons why people want these, but whatever the reason is, I am happy to sell it to them! Let us take a look at some completed listings:

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As you can see, the Vintage Sony Walkman is worth some real money! So where do you find these? The answer is, EVERYWHERE! A lot of people don’t understand the value of the Walkman, so they sell them for $1 at garage sales or $2 at thrift stores. Even some people on eBay will do a buy it now for under $5.

Make sure you are paying attention to the model of the Walkman, and utilize the Completed Listings feature. Not all Walkman’s are worth the same amount, and of course, the older, the better. Try to stay away from any cassette Walkman’s that have a digital display. Those are too new. Lastly, make sure it works. You may have to buy a cassette tape from Goodwill for $.50, but it will be worth it. The last thing you want is to have an angry buyer!

f you are wanting more tips and tricks, you can get my ebook, “The Keys to a Successful eBay Business” HERE