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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 Decline and Fall of eBay

It is obviously too soon to write off eBay but the signs are there.  While I have been saying that I feel that they have lost focus and that they need to concentrate on their core business Scot WingoBhas been much more pessimistic about their future.  He has written a few detailed articles about the relative strength of ebay and Amazon.  You can read them here and they make sobering reading.

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eBay Users, How Many?

If you look at the number of users that eBay claims it shows something like 86 million.  However, look at it a bit closer and you realize that they include all seller and buyer Ids.  Many of us have more than one seller ID (I do) and a different buyer ID (I do).  The REAL number of unique users is, therefore, somewhat lower.

Amazon claims 83 million users.  That is a figure for registered buyers and sellers, like eBay.  Unlike eBay it is rare for an Amazon user to have more than one account.  Again it makes you wonder who is ahead in the world of ecommerce

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Getting Great eBay Feedback

Great eBay feedback is vital to your eBay business. It reassures your potential customers, it shows up bad sellers for what they are.

But, how do you get, and keep great ebay feedback?  Here are my 5 top ‘secret’ tips.

The first 4 secrets are:

1. Post on the same day. I always endeavour to post on the same day, always within 24 hours. A lot of my feedback comments reference the speed of delivery.

2. Write to the buyer. If you have time email the buyer to say that the item is in the post. Often I get the response that the buyer opened the email after the item arrived. So, is this a waste of time? I do not think so. As a buyer I would welcome the personal notification. I would know that the seller was on the ball and it would make me think better of the seller, and more liable to give good feedback.

3. Include a note with the item. I always include a small letter with the item. It makes the buyer feel special. All you need is a short note that says
A. Thank you for buying from me.
B. I hope you like the item.
C. Please feedback for me and
D. I will gladly do the same for you.

I use a simple template for this letter so it takes seconds, but it will put you apart from most other sellers.

4. Free Replacements. About once a month a parcel will go astray. I confirm the address with the buyer, and if it was correct I always offer a full refund or a replacement. Sure there is a cost but if you are selling 100 items a month (a PowerSeller requirement you should be aiming at) you can bear the cost. Some of the customers that I have given replacements to have become repeat buyers and have recommended me to others.

The 5th Secret is;

The purpose of a business is to provide a service, the objective is to make a profit.

Read that again.

That statement is the REAL secret of getting the great feedback on eBay. Live by it and see your feedback ratings go up.

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Blogging to the Bank 3.0 – Honest Review

Blogging has been around for a few years now. Most people use blogs to record their thoughts and lives, while the select few use them as a free way to make a fortune.

One guy who uses this to his advantage is Rob Benwell. In 2006 he dished the dirt on the tips and tricks to making a fortune using blogging. But as time passes the old systems become obsolete and new techniques are required. This is where his brand new, fresh off the press Blogging to the Bank 3.0 system comes into play.

For those who know who Rob Benwell is like me, you’ve probably made a killing using blogs.

For those who don’t, he’s the story:

Back in 2005 he was struggling to make any profit online, had dropped out of college and was getting deep into debt. He was trying all the techniques the gurus tell you and wasn’t getting anywhere fast. All of that went in the bin and he started using his own techniques and started making more and more money using simple blogs. In early 2006 he shared this with the world and had a great ebook called blogging to the bank. Tons of people got rich from using these techniques (including me). He then spoke at Online Marketing Legend Yanik Silver’s underground Seminar where he revealed even more of his underground strategies. Then July 2007 he released Blogging to the Bank 2.0 which showed users his new methods to creating online wealth using blogs. In total both versions have been read by over 50,000 people across the world.

But as I said earlier, the techniques used in these ebooks are now showing there age. Some of them are not even working in the slightest! This is where blogging to the bank 3.0 comes into play.

It’s full of great new techniques that work online right now! Everything’s explained in plain English with all the fluff cut out. I got hold of an advanced copy of the book for a much higher price than what it actually sells for and it has been worth every single cent! I got it in the afternoon and by the evening I was creating new profitable blogs. Within a couple of hours of them being active I had made a nice little profit.

Blogging To The Bank 3.0 teaches you Robs new step by step blueprint to creating highly profitable long term niche blogs using the newest optimization techniques. There’s even a section on advanced Search Engine Optimization. Most people think SEO is difficult but Rob explains this nice and simply so even the blogging newbie will understand it.

Blogging To The Bank 3.0 is a breath of fresh air and I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to make easy money online.

Click here for more information about this system

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Mystery Shopping

One way of making money online is to act as a mystery shopper.

Many firms use people to visit their shops and premises to see how well their business treat customers.  They may be looking for how well the shoipper is greeted, the knowledge of the staff, how they react to unusual requests, it could be any aspect of their customer facing operation.  For instance if you run a chain of restaurants how would your staff reat if a customer said that they were lactose intolerent?  Would they even know what that means?

The mystery shopper is then paid for doing the research and reporting back.  There are numerous stories of how much can be made by being a mystery shopper.  One often quoted story is that a woman in Ney York was making $7,000 a week as a mystery shopper.  If you search the back issues of the New York Times you find that story from the June 2003 archives.

It sounds wonderful, being paid to shop would seem like the ideal job to my patrner Jane, but is it all that it seems?

First. I would steer away from any company that requires you to pay a sign up fee.  There is no guarantee of work or earnings.  Do they make their money from putting you in touch with real opportunities or from the sign up fees?  Instead look at the Mystery Shopping Providers Association.  Follow the link for shoppers and look for assignments in all parts of the world.

Second. You have to understand that if you give a bad report of a shop it may affect the staff.  Ethical businesses use negative feedback as a trigger for improvements and training, some may not.  Be aware of possible consequences when choosing who to work for.

Third. The best opportunities will be in cities.  If you live in the highlands of Scotland (you lucky thing) then your mystery shopping opportunities are likely to be restricted……

Fourth. Do not underestimate the amount of time you will need to devote to this.  After visiting the shop you will have to fill in a detailed questionaire and there is likely to be a fair amount of work beforehand making sure you understand everything that you need to do and observe.

Having said that, if you want to go for it I would love to hear about your experiences.

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eBay Feedback

I know that I am getting on a bit but I thought that I had written about this the other day……………..

Pete emailed me a couple of days ago and we began talking about eBay’s feedback policies (as you do).  In particular we emailed each other about DSRs (Detailed Seller’s Ratings).  I do not think that Pete agreed with me that stringent eBay feedback was good for sellers.

“It’s all in favour of the buyers” he said, and he is right.  Things are weighted in favour of the buyers, which is great for good sellers.  To be a powerseller the seller’s DSR has to be 4.6 out of 5 on average over 4 categories (accuracy of description, post and packing, speed of delivery, and communication) as well as making the sales targets.  The sales targets are not too stretching to be honest so the DSR is best measure of whether a seller is doing a good job.  This means that all sellers must strive to give good customer service.

It also means that it is easier for buyers to differentiate between good sellers and average ones.  All the better for us, good sellers.  I have said it before the definition of good customer service is to exceed the buyers’ expectations, not match them, exceed them.  As a buyer what do you want?  never give your customers less than what you want.

Bring it on, I say, go on eBay raise the DSR requirements to an average of 4.9 not a piddling 4.6!  4.9 just “happens” to be where I am at the moment 😉

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