Archive for June, 2009

I Have Negative Feedback!

As I have said before good feedback is vital to any online seller using eBay.  I have gone out of my way to achieve a 100% rating.  At the moment I am sitting on 2512 positives since my last negative.

But Amazon is different.  I received negative feedback yesterday.  The reason was that I sold a CD to someone “as new” and when it arrived there was a crack in the CD case.  My initial reaction was to post a reply saying something like ” What! Am I now responsiblke for the failings of the Royal Mail?  Give the heavy handed thugs in RM the negative feedback, not me.  Anyway, miss buyer, why did you post the feedback without contacting me? Your actions could cost me business, hit my income.  You should be banned from buying on Amazon, or anywhere else.”

What I did was to post a reply that went something like this “Item damaged in the post, refund initiated.  Sorry that this has happened, luckily, damage in the post is rare.”  Or something similar.  The former would have made me feel better the second is more productive.

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How to sell ebooks on eBay

A few years ago some people made a killing selling ebooks on eBay.

Then eBay changed the rules, they no longer allow sales of digital products.  Their businesses were dead over night!

Now, some people are making a killing selling ebooks on eBay!


It’s easy.  They create DVDs of their ebooks and sell them.

Can you imagine the time it takes to burn all those DVDs?

But, if you did not have to burn them and the whole thing was automated…….

Here’s how.

My Digital Dispatch provides software that will automate the whole process.

In conjunction with (who will burn and dispatch the DVDs) the whole thing could not be simpler.

Digital Dispatch will instantly take  BODY,.aolmailheader {font-size:10pt; color:black; font-family:Arial;} a.aolmailheader:link {color:blue; text-decoration:underline; font-weight:normal;} a.aolmailheader:visited {color:magenta; text-decoration:underline; font-weight:normal;} a.aolmailheader:active {color:blue; text-decoration:underline; font-weight:normal;} a.aolmailheader:hover {color:blue; text-decoration:underline; font-weight:normal;} take the customer information and communicate with kunaki to send the appropriate disk to YOUR customer.

You do not have to do anything, other than place the listing.  Honestly!

Digital Dispatch will also;

* It will instantly send a secure download link to your
customer too

* you can use it to automate the sales of your digital products
or CDs/DVDs  on all your ebay accounts and all your websites

* You can use it to instantly upsell other products to your
customers (this is where the real profit is)

* It automatically builds a list of every person who gets
your products so that you can email them back with other
offers in the future

* It will protect your downloads from thieves

I use it, I think that you should as well if you want to sell information products.

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What’s Going on at Auctiva?

Auctiva, as you probably know is a service that provides professional looking templates for eBay listings, as well as other services such as image hosting, inventory control, store etc. as well as the wonderful scrolling gallery in listings.

Until now this has been a free service but as from 1st June they will be charging.   Jeff Schlichtsays that the reason for the change is that Auctiva’s revenue streams have been hit by the changes that eBay have made to their affiliate scheme.  These changes have effectively reduced Auctiva’s income from eBay to almost zilch, and that funding gap had to be filled.  We, the users, are to be the ones filling that gap.  The full text of the announcement is here.

I think that the move was inevitable, more organisations than just Auctiva have found their eBay affiliate income reduced because of eBay’s recent changes.  Also, I do not object to paying a reasonable amount for a service (but free is better).  However, Auctiva have gone for 5 different payment plans (6 if you include the free but you can’t really do anything option).  They will suggest a plan for you based on your recent activity if you are already using Auctiva.

Are there alternatives to Auctiva?  Of course, and one of the most popular is The Seller SourceBook.

The Seller Sourcebook has a flat fee structure and would cost me about the same as continueing with Auctiva.  Their service is similar to Auctiva’s however, at present, there is no scrolling gallery.

It is entirely possible to design and use your own templates for your listings, of course and some people amend and use sales page templates etc.  personally, I will probably stay with Auctiva, for the gallery alone plus I have used them for more than 3 years without any problem.

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My To Do List, Does it Work?

As I have said previously the recent weeks have been difficult, long hours too much to do etc.

I have mentioned time management before but I just wanted to share my thoughts about my mainstay for time management, my to do list.

Writing a to do list has saved me, for a number of reasons.  Firstly, and most obvious, the items at the top of the list get done.  Secondly, by writing a to do list each evening I review my priorities constantly.  What is important today may be both important and urgent tomorrow.  The to do list has to reflect this.  Thirdly, if something is on my to do list forever, but never reaches the top should it be there anyway?

The most important thing that should be on the to do list, but is not ever included is, rewrite the to do list! That is because after a couple of years selling on eBay, Amazon etc. it is second nature.  I think that beginning a to do list would probably be in the top 5 of my pieces of advice to anyone beginning the fantastic journey that is eBay.

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Where do You Find Stock to sell?

A couple of days ago I wrote about finding another line to sell.  A couple of people have contacted me saying that it is all very well talking about seeing a nice product finding the importer direct etc, but if that is not possible where do you find stock?

I have to admit that although I look out for new lines whenever I am out and about finding something to sell is rarely that easy.  My preferred source is Salehoo, link below.  They are a great resource for anyone looking for products.  Either if you know what you want to sell or just browse.  You are guaranteed to find something to suit.

Wholesale Products and Sources

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Why eBay anyway?

It is very easy to assume that everyone knows that eBay is a great source of enjoyment, and profit.  For me there is an added bonus.

I have the attention span of a gnat.

If I can not complete whatever I want to do within a week or two then the chances are that I will not complete it.  Witness the 3 ebooks that I am still writing, all of which I want to do but other things get in the way.

eBay is great for me.  I can find a product, order it, list and sell it all within days.  I was in London last week end.  I went to a market and found a wonderful product, green, in demand, easy to post, good price.  Yesterday I found the importer, have confirmed his T&Cs and have placed an order.  This time next week they will be listed.  Perfect.

From a standing start you can make money on eBay within a week.  On the other hand, building a business does take time and work.  The good thing is that the steps to build a business are all manageable within my attention span, and available time.  Small steps will get you where you want to be, believe me.

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Avoid TIM WOOD – At all costs!

Tim Wood is a dreadful chap.  We should all avoid him at all costs, for the sake of your sanity and bank balance.

Tim, of course, is not a real person, it is an acronym for the 7 wastes as identified in the Lean Manufacturing philosophy.  Although LM is directed at manufacturing, obviously, we can all learn from it, even selling.  These are the wastes.

T is for Transport.

When selling it is obvious that you need to reduce your transportation costs.  Use the cheapest reliable delivery method you can.

I is for Inventory.

If you sell 10 widgets a week and your wholesaler supplies with a 2 week lead time then why ever hold more than 30 widgets?  Holding lots of inventory is bad for your cash flow.  Businesses fail through not understanding cash flow, understand yours and hold the correct inventory levels.

M is for Motion.

Hold everything you need to complete the sale close together.  If you are working from home then you need your stock, postage labels, wrapping paper, envelopes close together to avoid wasting time and motion.  Make completing sales a chore and it will not be long before you stop selling.

W is for Waiting.

In selling terms this is close to Inventory waste.  Understand your suppliers’ lead timescales so that you are not waiting for inventory to complete sales (a sure way to get bad feedback – and bad feedback kills on eBay).

O is for Over Production.

There is an option when using Paypal to create postage labels to print 2 sheets (the label and certificate) or just the label.  Unless you need a certificate of posting don’t bother.  Do not add anything to your product that does not add value, in the eyes of the customer.  You may like the special packaging, but does it add anything for the customer?

O is also for Over Processing.

What records do you need?  I rely on PayPal and eBay records for order details.  I do not need another ledger full of old orders.  I do need a stock list that is updated asI make sales.  That is because I need an easy way of seeing what my stock levels are, and when I have to reorder stock.

D is for Defects.

Obvious but bears saying again.  Defects are deadly, especially if you offer free replacements as I do (and I would recommend you to).  The offer of a free replacement should a product be faulty is good for business, unless you do not keep an eye on the quality of your stock.

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