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Condition is everything!

Sell successfully online

Sell successfully online

The other week Jane and I went away for the weekend (it was lovely, thanks for asking).  While we were enjoying a very brisk (i.e. cold) weekend on the North East coast of England I found a copy of a book called The Letters and Diary of Kathleen Ferrier that was in excellent condition, except for one thing.  The frontispiece had been torn out of it.  If it was intact it would have been worth £40, with this damage it was worth £6.  As I paid £1 I still made a nice profit on it (at least in percentage terms).

However, it got me to thinking.  My two general rules of thumb are never to pay more than 1/3 of what I think I can sell any item for and only buy items in the best possible condition.  This ensures that I make a reasonable profit and that I do not have too much of my working capital tied up in slow moving stock.  It also ensures that a collector interested in what I am selling will always consider my stock and come to trust me as a seller.

Selling goods in good condition helps to build both my profit and reputation.

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Traffic Exchanges – Are They Worth The Effort?

The idea behind traffic exchanges is very appealing to many site owners. Your site is viewed by 1000s of people, what more could you want?

This is the basic deal, although details will vary from exchange to exchange. You submit your site to the exchange. Going through the exchange you visit other sites. For every 2 sites you visit you receive 1 ‘credit’. A credit gives you one visit from another exchange member. The result if you vivist 100 sites a day is that your site gets 50 hits a day. Wonderful!

The trouble is, why were you visiting the other sites? To get people to visit your site. Did you really care about those sites? Did you revisit any of those sites? Did you bookmark any of them? Did you buy from any of them? Did you read the whole site or just tick it off your ‘to do’ list?

Why do you think anyone from the exchange should pay any more attention to your site than you did to theirs?

Just how valuable do you think traffic from traffic exchanges is, really?

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Review of ResourceCashmap.com

Last night a friend of mine referred me to a site
called ResourceCashmap.com.  She recommended that I
check it out as it offers a FREE summary of key online
resources.

I have to tell you – this package is unbelievable.  The
package consists of a set of process maps – called
Cashmaps – that show you the steps necessary to setting
up and growing an online business.

At each step, there are one or more online resources that
are referenced so that you can see exactly when and where
to use the resource.

Overall – this is a great product.  The only thing that it
seems to be missing is a write-up to help distinguish between
the resources.  There’s so many resources on here that it’s
sometimes a bit hard to decide which one to use!

I’d highly recommend that you check out cashmap.com

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Selling on eBay – Why Bother With Guides?

Many buyers read guides or reviews of a product before buying on eBay.  They are useful sources of information for buyers, especially when buying unusual or niche products. For sellers they are also useful.

You probably sell in one or more niches.  While you may not realize it but by specializing in one area you become an expert.  You deal with the same product a lot, unlike a buyer who may only by one now and then.  The buyer may have questions that you have come across many times.  By writing a guide covering common questions you can answer those questions for many people.  But selling on eBay is not an altruistic activity.  What is the benefit to you the seller?

Firstly, you are showing your buyers that you are an expert, you have answered their question. Would you be more willing to buy from an expert or someone else?  Especially as the seller will have a link to his shop in the guide (won’t you?).

Secondly, you are part of the eBay community and engage in it.  You read the forum, some people are more involved than others, they have lots of posts.  How do you feel about them?  They seem ‘part’ of eBay, more solid, more reliable because they spend time on the forum.  They are credible, as is the writer of a well written guide.

Thirdly, to the right of the guide some of your listings will be displayed.

The same applies to honest reviews of products.  If I am thinking of buying something and I read an honest review am I going to be more or less likely to buy from the person giving me good information?

Be creative when thinking about the guides and reviews that you write.  If there is a new product then that is an obvious subject for a review.  Also, with a new product in an existing line there will be changes from the previous model.  Is there scope for a guide helping with the changes?  If you sell wild bird seed, someone has to, can you write a guide about attracting more birds into the garden?  If you sell compost bins can you write a guide about the best uses of the compost they make?  If you sell baby items or clothes how about a guide about how quickly babies grow, how parents can survive the first six months of broken sleep etc. what to expect when they (the babies not the parents) start teething. You get the idea.

Writing guides and reviews is a good way to build your credibility and bring more sales.  It is a one time effort for a long term gain.

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Buy This READY Made Site From Me and Make A FORTUNE

How many times have you seen adverts like this?  I get them in my inbox all the time.  Who buys them I wonder?

I can not understand their success.  Look at the maths.  Assume that I have a winning formula for making money online with my web site.  If I sell you my format, templates, everything that is necessary to repeat my success then 2 of us could make a good profit, after all the web is huge.

What if I sell my business secrets to 10 people, or 1,000?

As the seller I will make a lot of money.  Be realistic, if you could buy a format that could provide you with $50,000 a year how much would it be worth? If I sell the idea 1,000 times I can retire!

As a buyer, one of 1,000 is the market still going to be there?  One site makes $50,000 a year. Unless there is a huge untapped market (in which case the original site was not very good at converting the market into sales) how will that 1,000 make a similar income?

My tip is always to ask yourself why the seller is selling and do the maths.

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Building an Online Business

When I first started this blog one of my motivations was to make money, that goes without saying.  Another was to share money making ideas with others.  Do you remember my post about the purpose of a business? (If not you can read it here).

So, how long before you make a living from working online?  When starting out with a site promoting a product unless you are lucky, or very good, traffic is likely to be light.  If you have an established site with a lot of traffic then a fluctuation in sales is not a problem.  40 sales one day, 30 the next and 50 the day after would be fine.  If you are starting out making the odd sale one day and then none for a couple of days is not going to give you the lifestyle you would like.

With a traditional business there accepted wisdom is that you have to support it for a couple of years before it supports you.  With an online business the timescales are reduced.  You must understand that it is unusual to start an online business and make a profit straight away.

The only exceptions to this are selling on eBay and Amazon for those with no real experience of running a blog or regular site.  That is why I really think that a sound base on eBay followed by looking at the options on Amazon are essential when starting out, besides its fun!

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