Archive for March, 2009

Put Some Reality Back Into Your Offers, Please.

I just received an email from a well respected internet marketer.  There was the inevitable affiliate link to the next ‘best thing since sliced bread’ offer.  Now, I have  no doubt that my life would be revolutionised and improved beyond recognition by this product.  (Actually, I do but let that pass).  However, the true value of this offer was discounted by 90% to – wait, you guessed it $97!

Why is everything $97, or $27, or $47?  I do not know about you but these psychological selling points do not work on me, they just annoy me.  All I want is a product that works and that is cost effective.  Which is why I only recommend things that I have bought and use or if I have not used them I tell you up front.

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The eBay Numbers Game

Avril Harper is well know as a successful seller on eBay based in the UK.  She also wrote the successful eBay Confidential.  One of her ideas is that eBay is, essentially, a numbers game.  The more you list the more you sell.

It is more complicated than that of course but she estimates that a maximum of two out of three listings fetch bids first time arround.  The remaining items, when relisted, again sell two out of three, and so on.  As long as you know your exact costs and profit margins this is a very good way to test new products.  In fact knowing your full costs and profit margins is key to selling successfully online be that on eBay, Amazon, or any site.

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A Cautionary Tale

I am always looking for good sellers on eBay, as I am sure that we all are.  A couple of weeks ago I ran into someone who I knew sold football badges on eBay.  He said that although they sold well there was not enough profit per item and so he had stopped but he would give me his old stock and name of the wholesaler.

Now, my PowerSeller strategy is based on one or two fast moving cheap items with related higher priced items that can be sold either as stand alones or as an upsell.  The low price items satisfy the sale quantity threshold for PowerSeller status and the higher price items gives the real returns.  (Perhaps I will expand on my strategy in later posts).

Anyway.

This seemed a perfect fit for my philosophy and so I gratefully accepted his offer.  Then I did my research.  Unknown to my contact the provider of the ‘really cheap’ badges has a criminal record.  The company was prosecuted in 2006 for selling counterfeit badges.  Perhaps they are all genuine now but I am not willing to take the risk.  I do not want my seller reputation put at risk for the sake of short term profits.

Buyer beware is a good motto to live by.

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SEO – Powerful Backlinks

As you know I will not recommend anything that I have not bought or tried.  One service I can whole heartedly recommend (and do not get commission for recommending) is Backlink Finder.  The idea is that every month Angela sends you a list of 30 sites with which you can build back links.  They are all high page rank sites and as such are powerful in raising your site in the eyes of search engines.  A great service and for only $5 a month this is really a no brainer.  If you want to raise your page rank get your self over to Angela’s site here is the link again Backlinks.

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Italian Postal Service Finally Wins!

Sell successfully online

Sell successfully online

I have joined the growing band of eBay sellers who have given up on posting items to Italy.

For the fifth time in as many weeks items posted to Italy have gone missing in the post, including some free replacements! It is a shame to have to stop dealing with anyone in Italy but I can not see any way round this. Judging from the eBay community pages it is clear that I am not the only one who has reached this conclusion…..

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The Importance of More Than One product Line

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Sell successfully online

Sell successfully online

About a month ago someone asked me to see if I could get them a camping knife. I do not sell camping knives but I know a wholesaler that does. I found the knife he wanted and passed it on to him. If I had sold him the knife at cost the RRP was 65% above cost. It occurred to me that this was a nice margin and so I thought about selling them in eBay.

The trouble is that eBay.co.uk banned the sale of all knives except for cutlery on 10th March 2009 . It is a shame that I missed out on a reasonable market but spare a thought for anyone who had their business based on selling camping knives on eBay. Their business was gone overnight.

I can not emphasise that if you only have one core product or one supplier that you are at risk of having your business swept away from you at a stroke.

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Looking for Something to Sell Successfully on eBay?

Sell successfully online

Sell successfully online

One benefit of the new “Best Match” search method on eBay is that it makes finding successful products to sell easier. This is how you do it;

1. Chose a popular category, say ‘Health and Beauty’
2. Look at the listings for items that are at or near the top of the normal listings but have a long time to go before the sale ends.
3. As items that have sold well in the past get a leg up in the search results these items have been popular.
4. Look at the seller’s feedback. How many feedbacks in the last month, are they for the item that you are interested in? Here, you are looking for to see if your favoured item is really selling well.
5. When you have selected a product search your favourite wholesaler search engine (Esource or Salehoo) for the wholesaler who will give you the best deal.

Simple innit?

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