Archive for October, 2008

So, Have You Given up on BINs?

Since ‘best match’ was introduced by eBay some of my friends have noticed a dramatic drop in their BIN (Buy It Now) sales.  They have switrched back to auctions.  Why should this have happened?

My experience has been that my BINs are going well, better than before!

What is going on?

My theory is that best match is rewarding two types of BINs.

1. Successful BINS based on brand names.

2. Keyword rich titles.

BINs based on popular brand names will score well as best matches.  For example, more people will search for ‘Zippo’ (my niche) rather than ‘petrol lighters’ because Zippo is THE brand to own.  So my listings appear towards the top of the brand rich category ‘pocket lighters’.  Think about perfumes do most people search for ‘smells like this’ or for a brand name?

As for keywords.  When most smokers think of Zippos they think ‘windproof lighter’ This is Zippo’s USP and has been for decades.  This is a keyword that I always use.

The first implication of this change is that if you are selling a non branded, or not well known brand, in a brand dominated category you will suffer.  The second is that we will all have to do more keyword research.

Good listing!

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What is Article Marketing?

The simplest way to describe the phenomenon known as article marketing is that it is a type of advertising, generally now online. With the introduction of the internet, it has never been easier to promote and advertise your product and service and Article Marketing is one way, possibly the easiest way, of doing it.

The basic way that one can explain Article Marketing, is to say that a small article is written and then submitted to the business industry that it relates to. Or, the article to be submitted over the internet, to article directories, or other web sites that, again, the short piece of writing relates to.

Once the article is written, it is distributed and publicized in the market place with one goal in mind: gaining readers. The more people that read it, the more people that are likely to want to know more and may go on to hire or purchase the product or service that you have advertised in the article, making it a great investment of your time and if you have paid for the article to be written for you, your money as well!

This style of marketing has the potential to gain the author of the article business credibility as well as obtaining possible new customers or clients. It is commonly known as free press space, especially seeing as article marketing has moved on from its traditional forms of paper print to the wonderful world on the internet, and is great for any business with a low budget for their advertising sector. With the increase of e-commerce and online marketing, it would be silly not to take up the offer of advertising with your articles online!

One thing that you need to bear in mind when considering using Article Marketing as a way of promoting your business or service, is that you will need to spend the time to write the article, or pay the small fee that it will cost to have it written for you. You also need to ensure that the article itself is up to scratch before submitting it otherwise, you will have wasted time and maybe money, to get little, or even no, possible new customers at all! However, if the article is well written, and the readers visit your link, you will get increased traffic to your website. And that can only mean one thing – more business and more money!


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Home Office Organisation (4)

Planning the Space

You have chosen the room or space that you are going to use.  You are thinking about buying a new or secondhand desk.  The next step is to buy the furniture and fit it into the space, right? 

I do not agree.  Go back and check what you need for your business.  Write it down and think about it.  Then I would look at the furniture options.  Secondhand or new furniture, is up to you but will it fit into your space?  I would go to SmartDraw (there is a free trial download that you can use).  Use that to plan your work space.  There is nothing more frustrating for me than moving furniture to find that it all fits, apart from the last and key piece.  Once you have a plan look at it while you are in your new office.  Does it feel right?  Can you visualise it? Yes?  Then start moving the furniture.

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eBay Mistakes AND Opportunities

Spelling Mistakes

There was a time, not so long ago, when I made quite a lot of money selling pottery on eBay.  Not just any pottery but blue and white Jasper ware produced by Wedgwood.  Wedgwood has been making fine china since 1759, (249 years and going strong!) and is still in great demand.  Best known for the blue and white jasper ware which has the iconic pale blue base with white relief figures Wedgwood is a popular subject for auctions on eBay.  However, I was able to buy it on eBay and then resell it on eBay at a profit!  Was I able to to do this because I was an expert?

No.  The reason was that many sellers spelt wedgwood incorrectly.  They spelt it with an extra ‘e’, Wedgewood.

By misspelling in your listing, particularly the key word (often the brand name) you could be missing out on many bidders.  On top of that what impression are you creating?  If you can not spell the brand name do you actually know what you are describing?  Can you be trusted to wrap a piece of pottery properly if you can not be bothered to check your spelling?

For me, of course, I was able to buy inexpensive pieces of Wedgwood by looking for the misspelling and then sell the same piece immediately at higher pieces.

Does this still work?  Yes, but not so well for Wedgwood.  It seems as if more buyers are now aware of the issue and positively look for pieces of ‘wedgewood’.  Looking for spelling errors still works well for other items.  There is a band called The Roling Stones and they brought out an album called ‘Exile on Main Street’.  I was able to buy a mint copy for £2 while the same album listed under The Rolling Stones Sells for about £35.

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Home Office Organisation (3)

Guidelines for using the space for your home office.

There are a number of important factors to consider when setting up your office.

  1. The space should not be small or feel claustrophobic, you could be spending 12 hours day there, you do not want it to feel like a cell.
  2. It needs to be well lit,  it has to be warm in winter and cool in summer.
  3. There has to be room for expansion or (as in my case) room for a movement into another market.
  4. There has to be power and and access to the internet.
  5. It needs to be comfortable.  In my case that means that there has to be a stereo (I could not live without music) and a radio.  You might want to have a coffee table where you can get away from the PC, a clear desk where you can write or read.

The single most important thing about the space you are going to work in is…


This will be the space where you will work, it not somewhere where your partner or kids can drop by to chat.  You need to be able to shut the door to everyday distractions.  You also need to be ale to shut the door when you stop working so that you can spend the time outside of the office on the other important thing in your life, your family and friends.

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Ray’s Story

Just a few short years ago, Ray Johnson found himself in such dismal circumstances that he was actually homeless for a period of time. From that experience, his determination to be successful became his passion. That passion to be successful drove him to create an eBay ebook business formula that has allowed him to turn his life around. Now Ray wants to enable others to accomplish the same.

Ray said, “I want to get anyone who has a desire to be successful set up with their own information marketing eBook business. I was a complete novice myself 4 years ago… I am sharing all my experience, so others can start from where I am right now.”

In the four years since he began developing his ebook business formula Ray has gone on to become’s No.1 Ranked eSeller from over 52 MILLION competitors. He has created The Ray Johnson Group, a full service internet marketing company whose primary focus is to help aspiring internet marketers reach their goals.

Ray outlines his eBay ebook business formula in his manual and guide “Build Your Ebay Empire Classified”. In it Ray Johnson shows how anyone can set up their own ebook business on eBay even if there is no previous experience or knowledge of eBay or online marketing.

In “Build Your Ebay Empire Classified” he explains how anyone can become an eBay eBook selling expert. He lays out the blueprint that directs how to set up a hands free ebook business that works around the clock. He even shows how to recruit a viral sales force that markets the business all through the internet.

The main feature of the manual is its ease and simplicity of use, allowing anyone, no matter what level of experience one has, to set up a full eBay ebook business. Reinforcing that Ray said, “this is a complete step by step guide including POINT AND CLICK screen shots to follow. There is no reason what-so-ever for anyone not to be able to follow this very simple guide. If I can become a success – then ANYONE can do the same.”

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Stop buying STUFF!

This is a message I should write up and stick to the top of my monitor….

I am a sucker for the newest and best, the instant ways to make money online etc. etc.  However there are sometimes when you just have to.   Take submitting articles for instance.  Article marketing is a very good way to drive traffic to your site, and it is free, apart from the time it takes.  You know that I have a lot of pressure on my time as we all do.  It makes sense to look for a good submission tool.  Following my own advice I looked for cheap or free alternatives, but guess what?  They did not actually help, they were clunky, took forever and fell over.  Not good.

I looked round, read reviews (a number 1 top tip) and finally settled on Article Submitter Pro.  Expensive, well for me, but the thing works!  I am very happy with it.

My advice still holds.

1. Look for cheap or free software that does the job.

ONLY if that does not work for you.

2. Read reviews, talk to people and take lots of advice.

3. Sleep on it.

4. Re-read the reviews talk to your friends again.

5. Take the plunge and buy the product.


ASP works for me, but you must make your own decision.  Do NOT rely solely on one person’s opinion – although going through to ASP from this site will earn me a commission,

which would be nice.

All the best,


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