Archive for Work from Home

Customers, Who’d Have Them?

So this guy bought a Zippo from me. He emailed to say that he couldn’t pay me for a week because he was waiting to be paid. I said OK. Then he paid and I sent the Zippo. Then he emailed to say that the Zippo was faulty. I said return it for a full refund. Then he said that he would keep it but wanted a discount on an another. I agreed, giving him a good discount. Then he emailed demanding that I give him a full refund on the original.

Losing the will to live I agree and he agrees the ‘faulty’ original. It is not faulty and has been used, a lot, the box is damaged. In other words it is worthless……….

Customers who’ have them?


I am sorry that this post has been so negative, but the whole thing got to me slightly. The more so given that I was lead to believe that the lighter was unused. My guess is that he just did not like the one he bought originally. Never mind.

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Time to Take Stock

I have been working some very long hours over the last 4 weeks or so. That is why I have not been able to update the blog for a while.

Working a string of 10 and 12 hour days has lead me to a couple of conclusions;

First, my desire to get out of the sheer mind numbing drudgery of working in a warehouse has increased, dramatically.

Second, this blog has been running for 6 months, so where is it now and what has it achieved?

In April it had over 2,000 unique visits! My newsletter now has a smidgen under 500 readers, and a number of people contact me to discuss the posts and are often complimentary, sometimes not but hey, stuff happens.

I think that this is quite a good start.

What have been the most important things that I have done to get here so far?

1. I bought and used a couple of great ebooks, foremost amongst those is Blogging to the Bank, which I think is a must have for everyone starting a blog.

2. I invested in The Internet Kickstart Course from Sara Brown & Tony Shepherd. This is a course that takes anyone from having no IM knowledge and leads them by the hand through the jungle.

3. I found a great service that helps to increase a site’s ranking by identifying sites that can be used to build back links.

4. Lastly, I have discovered that building a business takes time and a steady approach doing a little evreyday.

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Somedays (2)

One of the most difficult things about trying to make a living and sell successfully online is motivation.  I have had some difficult days recently.  However, sometimes something happens to make life online a whole lot better.

My Amazon sales have followed the general trend of the world economy, down and then a bit further down.  In the last week 2 items sold through eBay to Italy have gone missing in the post and required free replacements (and yes, John, free replacements can be expensive to the seller).  I may have to rethink whether I sell to people in Italy, the post is notoriously unreliable.  All in all, not a good couple of weeks.

Then, out of the blue I find that the subscription opt-in rate for the newsletter associated with this blog has increased amazingly over the last 2 days!  It is not much, and I do not make money from the blog or newsletter but the increased number and the support I receive from readers has really cheered me up.  My thanks to you all.

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Somedays are better than others (2)

Today I opened up my email to find a string of “Sold Now Despatch” emails from Amazon.  Very nice.  Checking eBay and the same thing!

I have to say that over the last few weeks I have found that going to car boot sales at 7a.m. on freezing Sunday mornings a bit dour.  Sometimes turning over and going to sleep again was very tempting.

Selling successfully online is not easy.  Anyone who says that it is probably does not do it.  Online selling is great, as we all know, but demands that we keep a focus on what we are doing and why.

There are 4 things that we need when we embark on a successful selling career online.

1.                  Honesty, only if we are honest, to ourselves and our customers, will we succeed.

2.                  Good products.  Sell tat and you will fail.  Always strive to sell better and better goods.  Not necessarily more expensive goods but better quality.

3.                  Tenacity.  Turn over on Sunday mornings and you can kiss your successful online business goodbye.

And, last but by no means least;

4.                  Vision.  More specifically, a vision of why you are selling online.  What do you want and why?  Take time to write down why you are selling online.  Be as specific as you can be.  Do you want to quit the day job?  Do you want to make £1,000 in 10 days?  Do you want an extra £500 a month?  All are possible but you need to know, understand and believe your real motivation.  If you do not know why you are doing something you will stop at the first obstacle.  If you do not have a target how do you know if you are getting there?

What the mind of man can conceive and believe it can achieve.

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Amazon Vs eBay (7) – Selling Stability

sell successfully online
This is a short series of posts comparing selling successfully on eBay and on Amazon from the seller’s perspective. This time I am looking at selling stability.


OK, hands up anyone who fears for the future viability of either eBay or Amazon?  No one?  Absolutely right, they are both here to stay.

However, stability is more than the question about the corporate survival of either of these global brands.  It is about the stability that we as sellers enjoy.  How often have you logged onto eBay to find yet another announcement about changes?  Has that happened when logging into your Amazon seller account?

Result; Amazon wins.


Amazon            5.5

eBay                0.5

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Amazon Vs eBay (6)

sell sussessfully online
This is a short series of posts comparing selling successfully on eBay and on Amazon from the seller’s perspective. This time I am looking at selling formats.


Auctions – There is no contest here, literally no contest.  eBay wins!

Fixed Price – Certainly until recently there was no real contest here, Amazon was king.  However, 2008 has seen eBay move more towards fixed price listings while downplaying auctions.  The “best match” searches being just the last in a series of moves towards encouraging corporate sellers rather than hobbyist sellers.  So far, however, the advantage still lies with Amazon.

Result; Draw


Amazon            4.5

eBay                0.5

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Amazon Vs eBay (5) – Buyers

Sell Successfully online

This is a short series of posts comparing selling successfully on eBay and on Amazon from the seller’s perspective. This time I am looking at buyers and their expectations.

The buyers on Amazon and eBay are different.  Amazon buyers are loyal to Amazon many would not dream of buying on eBay.  eBay buyers often feel that Amazon sellers charge too much.  On eBay they expect less, post an item within a week and the buyer is happy.  Post an item sold on Amazon more than 2 days after the sale and the buyer will complain.  Amazon buyers are more expectant and demanding.  Depending on your point of view, this is either a good or a bad thing.

Personally, I think that customers with high expectations are a good thing.  It drives bad sellers out of the market.  Conversely it can make them a pain to deal with.  They do not expect to have to email to ask if their purchase has been posted, and neither should they.  It is just that they will do it after 24 hours, eBay buyers will do it after 96.

I enjoy working with eBay buyers there is more interaction than with Amazon buyers.  Consequently, the average time spent on eBay sales is less than on Amazon sales,  From the point of view of your business the advantage has to go to Amazon.

Result; Amazon wins.


Amazon            4

eBay                 0

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