eBay Booklet 101 Tips
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eBay Booklet 101 Tips eBay Booklet 101 Tips Document Transcript

  • Dear small-business owners, entrepreneurs C O N T E N T S and future entrepreneurs, 2 GETTING STARTED 8 KEEPING CUSTOMERS HAPPY Many people admire American entrepreneurs. But it wasn’t always so. About 20 years ago, entre- Lay a strong foundation for your Turn on the charm. Practice exem- preneurs operated in near anonymity. We knew people were out there starting and running eBay future. Pick a great User ID,set plary customer service to avoid businesses, but we didn’t give them much thought. Most of us aspired to corporate success— up a Seller’s Account, and get all any disputes and keep buyers climbing the corporate ladder was a lauded goal. Then things changed. your basics in order. coming back for more. Corporate ladder-climbers gave way to a sea of entrepreneurs. In the 1990s, millions of Americans 3 EQUIPPING YOUR OFFICE 9 LEGAL & TAX TIPS turned to business ownership, first as a way to pay the mortgage between jobs. But these “acci- Get the materials you need. Bring Cover your bases. Insure your dental entrepreneurs” (as I call them) discovered they loved being in charge of their own des- your office up to speed with the items, stay on top of business [9] tinies and never looked back. And an entrepreneurial revolution was right hardware and software, and requirements, and know when to born! learn to optimize your space. bring in a professional. Fueling this revolution was technology, which had become smaller, [2] 4 DOING YOUR HOMEWORK 1 0 PACKING & SHIPPING more affordable and much easier to use. Entrepreneurs (who needed Double-check your plans. Get to Send your products out there. Pack every advantage they could find) embraced technology, which helped know your audience and the eBay and post your products like the them start, grow and innovate for less money than they ever thought Marketplace to make sure your pros with a plethora of helpful possible. E-commerce became an accepted (and welcomed) way of business is structurally sound. tools from eBay and the U.S. doing business. Postal Service. 5 PRICING YOUR PRODUCTS Soon, the business owners who had started these small, often home- Be right on point. Use expert pric- 1 1 GETTING HELP FROM EBAY based companies found they needed help. So they started hiring. The ing strategies to get the most from Stay connected. eBay is a commu- people they hired started spending money in their communities, your products. nity—take advantage of its tools, [11] leaving local entrepreneurs in need of more help. So they started publications and resources to keep hiring. And so the cycle went. By the time we got to the end of the 5 PERFECTING YOUR LISTINGS your business growing strong. 1990s, it turned out that entrepreneurs had created most of the jobs [4] Put your best foot forward. Focus on (75 percent) and innovations (55 percent) in the entire decade. the details to ensure your listings 1 2 USING EBAY TO EXPAND exude professionalism. YOUR EXISTING BUSINESS And that trend continues today—only it’s even easier to start a business in this Cross-market in style. eBay can help century. Often, all it takes is something to sell and a way to sell it. And for hundreds of 6 MANAGING YOUR TIME you build your brand, increase thousands, eBay® has become that way. This booklet is filled with tips and ideas you can use Stick to your schedule. Balance your awareness and test your market— right now to start (or grow) a business on eBay. You’ll also find out how eBay and the U.S. Postal home and work life, and know what more are you waiting for? Service® have teamed up to make running a business on eBay even easier. And you’ll hear from how to get help when you need it. some eBay entrepreneurs, people just like you, who went from thinking about starting a busi- 12 SETTING UP AN EBAY STORE ness to becoming successful business owners. 7 SOURCING PRODUCTS Move on up. Listings are great, but Keep the good times rolling. Learn a Store really takes sales to the So c’mon. It’s not too late to join the entrepreneurial revolution! where to find a steady stream of next level, so go ahead, and make [7] products to keep business flowing. the most of eBay’s options. [12] P h o to s © P h o to s .c o m Must have! Want to know more about starting and growing a business on eBay? Make sure to get a copy of Entrepreneur's new eBay Startup Guide, on newsstands everywhere August 30, 2005. RIEVA LESONSKY EBAY and the eBay logo are registered trademarks of eBay Inc. editorial director ©2005 United States Postal Service. All rights reserved. Eagle symbol and logotype are registered trademarks of the United States Postal Service. entrepreneur magazine 1 0 1 T I P S F O R STA RT I N G A N D G R O W I N G YO U R B U S I N E S S O N E B AY ■ 1
  • Getting Started offer PayPal—in fact, the study showed that these “eBay has allowed me to never tell a customer no. listings are 6 percent more likely to sell, and ex- ( 1 ) REGISTER ON EBAY perience a 5 percent average increase in final price. If there is a market out there somewhere, eBay Go to www.ebay.com and click “Register.”You’ll Sign up at www.paypal.com, and make it your choose a User ID and password and then enter preferred payment option in your item listings. can usually help me out.” –Tux MacAuley, auction-partner your contact information. stance, businesses spent more than $3.3 billion ( 2 ) CHOOSE A USER ID CAREFULLY Equipping Your Office purchasing business equipment on eBay. Be sure to choose a User ID that represents your business or the items you sell. This will become ( 7 ) ASSESS YOUR COMPUTER ( 1 1 ) CREATE A PLACE TO TAKE PHOTOS your eBay brand identity to prospective buyers. Most likely, you won’t need to buy a new com- This can take place anywhere in your workspace, puter to start selling on eBay, so stick with the as long as it’s clear of clutter and gets good light. ( 3 ) CONFIRM YOUR REGISTRATION one you’ve got. However, it’s time for an Natural light is best, but diffused artificial light You’ll receive an e-mail immediately upon reg- upgrade if your computer runs slower than a can be added. Use a tripod to take sharp photos istering. Follow the instructions in the e-mail turtle crossing the road—or if it doesn’t work and a plain backdrop to create quality pictures. to confirm your registration. You’re now ready with a digital camera, since you’ll need to take to set up a Seller’s Account. photos of your items. ( 1 2 ) ORGANIZE A FILING SYSTEM Keep all business records, customer information, ( 4 ) SET UP A SELLER’S ACCOUNT ( 8 ) UPGRADE TO A HIGH-SPEED INTERNET invoices, receipts, marketing ideas and other kinds Click the “Sell” link at the top of any eBay page. CONNECTION of documentation in an easily accessible place. You’ll provide your debit or credit card and check- Your time is too valuable to work on a dial-up con- ing account information in this step.This verifies nection. Call your phone company about DSL or ( 1 3 ) GET COMPUTER BACKUP DISKS your identity. At this time, you will also choose your cable company about cable internet access. Power surges or computer crashes can wipe out how you would like to pay your eBay fees. (Don’t your valuable data in seconds. Routinely save H U N D R E D S O F T H O U S A N D S O F S E L L E R S M A K E A PA R T-T I M E worry—you won’t be charged until you post an ( 9 ) HAVE A BUSINESS PHONE LINE AND the business documents on your hard drive to item for sale, and you can also edit this infor- VOICE MAIL AT HOME disks. Label them, and file them in a safe place. O R F U L L -T I M E L I V I N G O N E BAY ® . T H E R E A R E M A N Y PA R T S mation at any time.) Rest assured that your Some of your potential customers will have ques- information is kept safe on eBay’s secure servers. tions, and many would rather talk to you than ( 1 4 ) USE ACCOUNTING SOFTWARE T O R U N N I N G A B U S I N E S S O N E BAY, I N C L U D I N G F I N D I N G send an e-mail. Shoppers who can’t reach you, Accounting software helps you know how your ( 5 ) GET ID VERIFIED don’t get their calls returned or have their calls business is doing so you can make it more profit- PRODUCT TO SELL, SETTING PRICES, MANAGING LISTINGS You can use the ID Verify option instead of, or answered by your toddler likely won’t do busi- able. It’s also going to make your life much easier in addition to, giving your credit card informa- ness with you. A homebased business runs bet- come tax time.You can hire a bookkeeper to rec- A N D C U S T O M E R S , U N D E R S TA N D I N G L E G A L R E Q U I R E M E N T S , tion. You’ll need this if you don’t have a credit ter with a separate phone line and voice mail. ommend the right software for your business, card. And you might want to do it so you’ll be set it up for you and teach you how to use it. MARKETING THE BUSINESS, HANDLING FULFILLMENT AND, given an ID Verify icon in your feedback profile, ( 1 0 ) GET A GOOD DIGITAL CAMERA giving the eBay community more confidence Great photos are a must. Invest in a brand-name ( 1 5 ) MAKE SPACE FOR INVENTORY AND OF COURSE, MAKING SMART SHIPPING DECISIONS WITH THE to buy from you and allowing you to bypass digital camera so you can download photos to SHIPPING MATERIALS some feedback requirements when selling in your computer and then upload them to your new These items don’t have to be in your office, but U. S . P O STA L S E RV I C E ® . W H E T H E R YO U ’ R E G E T T I N G R E A DY certain formats. listings. Look for a digital camera with 2.0 mega- they do need to be in a safe, dry place nearby. pixels or better, a manual flash-off feature and a This helps you keep an eye on what you’ve got P h o to © P h o to s .c o m TO SELL YOU R FIRST ITEM OR YOU’RE A SEASONED POWER- ( 6 ) SIGN UP WITH PAYPAL macro feature so you can focus one inch from and what you need as your business grows. PayPal allows you to accept online payments for an object. A scanner is also good to have for flat The U.S. Postal Service offers free U.S. Postal S E L L E R , H E R E A R E 1 0 1 T I P S TO H E L P YO U TA K E YO U R your eBay items. According to an internal study items. If you’re thinking about updating or pur- Service-eBay co-branded Priority Mail® shipping of listings in some of eBay’s most popular cat- chasing equipment, keep in mind you can buy boxes. Go to http://ebaysupplies.usps.com to B U S I N E S S O N E BAY A S FA R A S YO U WA N T I T T O G O . egories, buyers prefer to purchase items that the products you need on eBay. In 2004, for in- order yours. 2 ■ 1 0 1 T I P S F O R STA RT I N G A N D G R O W I N G YO U R B U S I N E S S O N E B AY 1 0 1 T I P S F O R STA RT I N G A N D G R O W I N G YO U R B U S I N E S S O N E B AY ■ 3
  • ( 1 6 ) MAKE SPACE TO PACKAGE ITEMS sell in. Study the Category Tips at Seller Central Pricing Your Products “eBay is the fastest way to maximize returns for A kitchen table might work for new eBay sellers (www.ebay.com/sellercentral) to learn about who have launched just a few listings. You’ll the basics of selling in each category, top buyer ( 2 3 ) CONSIDER YOUR ITEM’S RETAIL in-demand products and liquidate slow-moving or soon outgrow this space,however,so look around searches, success stories and specific selling VALUE your home or office, and start thinking about strategies. Determine how much your item would cost in unusual products.” –Neal Sherman, tagex how you’ll expand as you ramp up your business. an offline store, and research prices on the web, (19) CHECK OUT “HOT ITEMS BY CATEGORY” too. A price below the item’s retail value will be ( 2 9 ) USE A RESERVE PRICE ONLY WHEN REPORT seen as a great deal. NECESSARY Doing Your Homework This monthly report (http://pages.ebay.com/ The allure of eBay for buyers is that they have con- sellercentral/whatshot.html) reveals the cat- ( 2 4 ) CONSIDER YOUR ITEM’S PERCEIVED trol over what they’ll pay for items. Setting a Re- ( 1 7 ) REVIEW PROHIBITED AND egories in which demand is growing faster VALUE serve Price can make buyers think you want too RESTRICTED ITEMS than supply and bid-to-item ratios are high. Be Some items are worth a lot more than their much for the item because this number is hidden. Don’t risk listing cancellation, limits on your sure to print out this report and file it so you retail values. Before you set your price, think While listings without a Reserve Price typically account privileges or account suspension— can track monthly changes and do some of about how the uniqueness of your item, or the get more bids,it may be necessary to protect your verify that the items you want to sell aren’t pro- your own trend forecasting. shortage of supply compared to the demand, investment—so use the feature with caution. hibited or restricted from being sold on eBay by makes your item more valuable. going to http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/ ( 2 0 ) PREVIEW EBAY’S MERCHANDISING ( 3 0 ) TRY THE BUY IT NOW OPTION items-ov.html. CALENDAR ( 2 5 ) RESEARCH HOW MUCH SIMILAR Using this pricing option allows shoppers to Want more shoppers to see your listings? The ITEMS ARE SELLING FOR NOW ON EBAY buy your item immediately, at the price you ( 1 8 ) START DETERMINING WHAT TO SELL Merchandising Calendar (http://pages.ebay.com/ Run a keyword search for your item or similar items set. A starting bid that is much lower than Think about what categories you have an in- sellercentral/calendar) shows the categories to check out your competitors.Take notes on the your Buy It Now price can also start the bid- terest in, what you enjoy and what you already eBay will feature on its home page, and on which starting bids, current bids and Buy It Now prices. ding battle. (The Buy It Now price will disap- know. Use your existing knowledge to deter- dates. These categories will get an extra dose pear once the first bid is made.) You should use mine the eBay categories you might want to of free promotion, so make sure your relevant ( 2 6 ) RESEARCH HOW MUCH SIMILAR the Buy It Now option only when you are sure listings go live during these times. ITEMS HAVE SOLD FOR ON EBAY of the market value of the item. Letting the Search completed listings to chart the historic market decide the price can oftentimes yield a ( 2 1 ) TRACK THE EBAY PULSE selling performance of items similar to yours. higher price on a unique or in-demand item. Get a snapshot of what’s popular Also, compare the final price to the listing de- Do your research first. on eBay every day at the “What’s scription to see what influenced the buyers’ Hot” section of Seller Central. The actions. This technique can also help you figure ( 3 1 ) USE BUY IT NOW FOR MULTIPLES OF lists may include hot Stores, prod- out good times to launch your listings. THE SAME ITEM ucts, and searches, as well as high- When you have more than one of the same priced items and most-watched ( 2 7 ) TAKE EBAY’S FEES INTO ACCOUNT item, an auction listing won’t help you sell this items. It’s also a great place to get Even though eBay charges a small listing Inser- inventory as quickly as a fixed price will. Instead, marketing ideas. tion Fee and a Final Value Fee, you may want to use the Buy It Now option so buyers can order take these into account when you’re pricing more than one at the same time. (To do this, you ( 2 2 ) RESEARCH THE your items. Both of these fees are listed here: must have 30 or more feedback points and be MARKETPLACE http://pages.ebay.com/help/sell/fees.html. registered for 14 days or be ID Verified.) Search for items similar to those you want to sell, and evaluate your ( 2 8 ) SET A LOW STARTING BID Perfecting Your Listings P h o to © P h o to s .c o m opportunities. Study the number Although you don’t have to set your starting of bidders and buyers, final prices, bid to the minimum (1 cent), a low starting bid the number of competitors and the invites shoppers to make immediate bids and ( 3 2 ) CHOOSE THE BEST CATEGORY selling features your competitors keep track of your listing by clicking on the From eBay’s home page, click the “Buy” button, promote. “Watch This Item” link. and browse the categories to find ones that work 4 ■ 1 0 1 T I P S F O R STA RT I N G A N D G R O W I N G YO U R B U S I N E S S O N E B AY 1 0 1 T I P S F O R STA RT I N G A N D G R O W I N G YO U R B U S I N E S S O N E B AY ■ 5
  • “There’s a high level of integrity among eBay ( 3 7 ) WRITE DETAILS IN THE DESCRIPTION this time frame to respond to unplanned tasks ( 4 8 ) TRY THRIFT STORES The type, brand, condition and value of the item that pop up that day. Browse thrift shops with a careful eye for good buyers and sellers. eBay puts people in business are all important selling features you should deals. Look for items that will ultimately sell for describe in detail in your description. ( 4 3 ) TAKE ADVANTAGE OF EBAY’S more than a few dollars, though—you invest when they couldn’t have gotten there any other LISTING TOOLS time and money into each item you list, sell and ( 3 8 ) ENHANCE YOUR DESCRIPTION DESIGN eBay provides seller tools to help run a business ship, so make each item count. way.” –Don Cohen, toolking Use the simple HTML editing tools to format more efficiently, such as Turbo Lister and Selling your description, making it eye-catching yet easy Manager. The eBay Tools Wizard (http://pages. ( 4 9 ) VISIT ESTATE SALES for your items. Also see where competing items to read. Add paragraph breaks and play with the ebay.com/sell/toolrecommendations.html) rec- You can find unique and valuable items and super have been placed. It’s a good idea to choose two bold, underline, font colors, font size, alignment, ommends solutions based on your needs. deals at estate sales. Go to a few to learn what’s categories for your listings to reach more buyers. bullet list and cross-listing links tools to create a typically sold, then do your research on eBay to page design that draws in buyers. ( 4 4 ) CONSIDER HIRING A TRADING see which types of items sell for a high profit. ( 3 3 ) WRITE A DESCRIPTIVE TITLE ASSISTANT You’ll be trained to spot the gems. Use words in your item title that people can ( 3 9 ) PROVIDE SHIPPING INFORMATION When your business on eBay starts booming, look for when doing a search on eBay; examples State your flat handling fee, include the U.S. you might want help managing your listings ( 5 0 ) CHECK OUT YOUR REGION’S include brand name, style, size and color.You get Postal Shipping Calculator on eBay, or otherwise so you can focus on other areas of growing SPECIALTY STORES up to 55 characters, so make each word count. clearly indicate shipping costs in your listings. your business and also enjoy a balanced Most cities or regions have specialty foods, sports Shipping and handling can really tack on signifi- work/home life. Hiring a Trading Assistant can team collectibles and unique items that aren’t ( 3 4 ) SPOTLIGHT YOUR TITLE cant costs to buyers, so whichever option you free up the time you need and want. Find a For an additional fee, you can grab buyers’ choose, be clear about the cost and the ship- Trading Assistant at http://pages.ebay.com/ attention when they search for listings by bold- ping provider. The U.S. Postal Service offers tahub/index.html. ing your text (which has increased final item Priority Mail Flat Rate packaging, which lets you prices by an average of 25 percent) and using a ship your item (up to 70 pounds) anywhere in ( 4 5 ) SHARE YOUR PLAN WITH YOUR TEAM color highlight or border on your listing. Also, the U.S. for one flat rate. Whether you work from home or an office loca- say more about your item by adding a subtitle. tion, your friends and family may think it’s OK to ( 4 0 ) INCLUDE A RETURN POLICY interrupt you whenever it’s convenient for ( 3 5 ) OFFER GIFT SERVICES If you offer returns or exchanges, state this in them. Unless selling on eBay is a hobby for you, Stand out from your competitors by offering gift your item description to give buyers confidence discuss what you need from them so you can services. Offer gift-wrapping, a gift card, express in placing their orders with you. The Merchan- run a successful business. shipping and shipping directly to the recipient. dise Return Service from the U.S. Postal Service Your listing will shine on search pages with a makes it easy and convenient to return items by ( 4 6 ) USE MY EBAY gift icon,attracting buyers shopping for gifts.This providing your customers with a pre-printed, Make sure to use My eBay to monitor your can increase bids by 3 percent.You can also offer prepaid return label. listings and activity on the site. My Messages Saturday delivery through the U.S. Postal Service can also help you keep track of your eBay cor- with no surcharges to the regular shipping costs. respondence. Managing Your Time ( 3 6 ) MAKE YOUR PHOTOS SELL Photograph each item separately, because com- ( 4 1 ) SET A SCHEDULE Sourcing Products bining products in one picture confuses buyers. Assign tasks to certain times, and try not to get Use a professional-looking backdrop, good light- distracted by non-business-related tasks. For ex- ( 4 7 ) CHECK OUT GARAGE SALES P h o to © P h o to s .c o m ing and a variety of angles in your product pic- ample, respond to buyers between 9 and 10 a.m. There are probably garage sales in your neigh- tures to show off the condition of your items. borhood every weekend. But shop wisely. It’s (Items with two or more photos are 9 percent ( 4 2 ) WRITE A DAILY TO-DO LIST important to know which categories you really more likely to sell.) The better your items look, Schedule a time to follow up on opportunities want to focus on and the kinds of products to the more valuable they appear. that aren’t part of your normal tasks, and use look for. 6 ■ 1 0 1 T I P S F O R STA RT I N G A N D G R O W I N G YO U R B U S I N E S S O N E B AY 1 0 1 T I P S F O R STA RT I N G A N D G R O W I N G YO U R B U S I N E S S O N E B AY ■ 7
  • “eBay lets me pick up whatever I need on a ( 5 5 ) FIND DEALS ON EBAY ( 6 0 ) LEAVE POSITIVE BUYER Sometimes, eBay sellers don’t know the value of FEEDBACK moment’s notice and have it delivered directly to what they’re selling,or they’ve misspelled key item A buyer needs to build buying cred- names and aren’t reaching a large audience. ibility, so praise prompt payment my door. eBay is a terrific educational tool for When this happens, you can swoop in to buy by posting positive feedback. and then resell other sellers’ items at a profit. people just starting out.” –Roman Kaniuga, rexrogo ( 6 1 ) DONATE TO A NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION sold in other cities, states or countries. Take this promotional merchandise to eBay, and sell Keeping Customers Donate part of or the entire final sale price to your favorite nonprofit these great gifts to buyers who can’t travel to Happy organizations. Support your com- your hometown. munity, and your charity listings ( 5 6 ) CONTACT THE BUYER IMMEDIATELY will get additional visibility along ( 5 1 ) LOCATE WHOLESALERS AFTER THE PURCHASE with a blue-and-yellow ribbon icon. Buy items in bulk at a significant savings. Type Once an item has sold, send the buyer an Search more than 5,000 charities “wholesaler” into a search engine such as invoice. Go to the “All Selling” section of My at http://givingworks.ebay.com. Google or Yahoo!, or check out eBay’s wholesale eBay, and choose “Send Invoice” for the item category at http://pages.ebay.com/catindex/ you’ve just sold. Enter payment instructions catwholesale.html. and a personal message, which will appear on Legal & Tax Tips the invoice. ( 5 2 ) CONSIDER MANUFACTURERS ( 6 2 ) PICK A BUSINESS NAME THAT ISN’T now that could help you plan a better budget When manufacturers’items are on sale, you can ( 5 7 ) RESPOND TO QUESTIONS QUICKLY TRADEMARKED for the rest of the year. buy and then resell them on eBay. You can also Answer questions about your items with light- Your business name is a critical part of your contact them about being their eBay reseller. It ning speed to encourage greater response to brand. Before you use one you’ve selected, check ( 6 5 ) INSURE YOUR ITEMS might be difficult to connect with big brands your listings. Post the answers right in your list- with your country’s trademark office to verify It’s a good idea to buy postal insurance for your until you’re a successful PowerSeller, so start ing to avoid duplicate questions from other it’s available. (Visit the U.S. Patent and Trademark high-priced items in the event your shipment with local or small manufacturers. PowerSellers prospective buyers. Continue the great re- Office’s website at www.uspto.gov.) Remember, gets lost or damaged in the mail. Take advan- can also find products available in bulk directly sponse time after the sale to demonstrate your your business name cannot contain the name tage of PayPal’s Buyer Protection, and insure from manufacturers at the Reseller Marketplace concern for your customers. “eBay”or any approximation.You may need to hire your items. Insurance is available for all U.S. (www.ebay.com/reseller). a trademark lawyer to conduct further research. Postal Service classes of mail available through ( 5 8 ) SHIP ITEMS AS SOON AS PAYMENT IS eBay. Save yourself a trip to the post office, and ( 5 3 ) ATTEND INDUSTRY TRADE SHOWS RECEIVED ( 6 3 ) CONSULT WITH A BUSINESS order insurance for your items online. Not only will you get a preview of product Once your buyers’ payments are in your bank LAWYER trends, you can also connect with manufac- account, don’t keep them waiting. Shipping Your location (or where you live) may determine ( 6 6 ) BEWARE OF UNUSUAL BUYER turers and discuss the opportunity of selling items immediately helps you get good feed- that your business on eBay is subject to certain REQUESTS their products on eBay. Bring your business back and repeat customers. licensing and tax requirements. Avoid future To help protect yourself from potential fraud, cards, and be ready to discuss your success as legal or financial surprises by meeting with a be wary of buyers who have unusual requests. an eBay seller. ( 5 9 ) SEND A SURPRISE WITH YOUR ITEM lawyer, preferably one that specializes in the If buyers ask to send partial payments, consider A thank-you card or a free gift for first-time small-business arena and is familiar with eBay. that a warning sign. ( 5 4 ) DESIGN YOUR OWN PRODUCTS buyers or loyal customers leaves a lasting P h o to © P h o to s .c o m With some selling experience under your belt, impression on your customers. You can use the ( 6 4 ) MEET WITH AN ACCOUNTANT ( 6 7 ) AVOID BUYER DISPUTES track demand for products your company could U.S. Postal Service’s NetPost® Premium Post- Even if you handle your own bookkeeping, hire Respond to a buyer complaint quickly, and try manufacture. Do effective market testing be- cards or Card Store to create unique, hard-copy an accountant to help you with your taxes. But to resolve it. If the buyer threatens a chargeback, fore you invest money in making your own mail. It’s like having your own direct-mail don’t wait until the end of the year to meet— ask him or her to file a claim at the Security & products. department. you could get great business-expense tips right Resolution Center (www.ebay.com/securitycenter) 8 ■ 1 0 1 T I P S F O R STA RT I N G A N D G R O W I N G YO U R B U S I N E S S O N E B AY 1 0 1 T I P S F O R STA RT I N G A N D G R O W I N G YO U R B U S I N E S S O N E B AY ■ 9
  • “Without eBay, we couldn’t have grown as fast as count.Go to eBay Preferences in My eBay and turn and stickers with your eBay Store name or URL (http://pages.ebay.com/startselling) for free on the shipping preference for “Offer Combined can catch the eye of many potential customers. advice on creating a profitable business on eBay. we have. eBay just makes everything easier. It has Payments Shipping” within Seller Preferences. ( 7 7 ) TRACK YOUR SHIPMENTS ( 8 2 ) SUBSCRIBE TO THE CHATTER given me the financial security I need as my ( 7 2 ) PRINT SHIPPING LABELS Boost buyer confidence and reduce customer Every month, get feature articles, tips, helpful Save time and make your packages look profes- inquiries by tracking your shipments. When links and member interviews. Share your eBay business grows.” –John Homechanh, 4greatlaptops sional with printed U.S. Postal Service shipping you use eBay’s Online Postage to print your story, and you may be next in the member spot- labels with postal insurance through eBay (from U.S. Postal Service label, an automated e-mail light (http://pages.ebay.com/community/chatter). instead, so that you can both try to work the My eBay or the “View Item” page once an item will notify your buyer that his or her package is situation out to achieve mutual satisfaction. has sold) or PayPal.You’ll be able to print the labels on the way. About half of eBay users surveyed ( 8 3 ) SIGN UP FOR THE POWERUP from your own computer right to your standard no longer send confirmation e-mails (58 per- NEWSLETTER printer or one of many label printers. Plus, the cent), hand-write labels (54 percent) or stand Get advance notice of upcoming events and Packing & Shipping buyer’s address is pre-entered for your conven- ience, and you can elect not to show the postage in line at the post office (45 percent), demon- strating the time-saving component of using promotions by e-mail at http://pages.ebay. com/sellercentral/newsflash.html. You’ll get a amount on the label. According to a recent sur- shipping products and services on eBay. heads-up on free listing days, feature discounts, (68) CALCULATE AND POST SHIPPING COSTS vey, eBay users said that printing shipping labels seller sweepstakes and more. You can charge a flat fee or use the U.S.Postal Ship- on eBay was easy to do (80 percent) and con- ( 7 8 ) GO INTERNATIONAL ping Calculator on eBay in your listings so buyers venient (78 percent). In addition, two-thirds of Visit eBay’s Global Trade Center (http://pages. ( 8 4 ) TUNE IN TO EBAY RADIO can figure out their own shipping costs based eBay users surveyed stated they’ve saved time ebay.com/globaltrade) to learn selling and ship- Listen to host Jim “Griff” Griffith, dean of eBay on ZIP codes.Try out the Shipping Calculator even by printing shipping labels on eBay. ping tips for expanding your business to a world- Education, every Tuesday for hot eBay topics. Go before listing an item at http://pages.ebay.com/ wide audience. The U.S. Postal Service offers a to www.wsradio.com/ebayradio to click on ar- services/buyandsell/shippingcenter7.htm. ( 7 3 ) USE GOOD SHIPPING MATERIALS variety of global shipping options to meet your chived shows, and listen to catch the live ones. Protecting your items and creating a professional buyers’ delivery and budget needs. ( 6 9 ) OFFER BUYERS SHIPPING CHOICES image increases the perceived value of your items. Let your buyers choose how they want their items shipped to them. The U.S. Postal Shipping ( 7 4 ) TAKE ADVANTAGE OF FREE SHIPPING Getting Help From eBay Calculator on eBay allows you to choose up to BOXES three shipping services to offer U.S. buyers, plus eBay and the U.S. Postal Service now offer home ( 7 9 ) START WITH THE “HOW TO SELL” TOUR up to three for international buyers. Select from delivery of free, co-branded shipping boxes for New sellers should watch the selling demon- First Class Mail®, Express Mail®, Priority Mail® Priority Mail service. For more information, check stration at http://pages.ebay.com/education/how (including Flat Rate products), Media Mail® and out http://ebaysupplies.usps.com. tosell/index.html. Learn more at the eBay Learn- Parcel Post® for your domestic customers, and ing Center (http://pages.ebay.com/education). Global Express Guaranteed® and Global Express ( 7 5 ) GET FREE U.S. POSTAL SERVICE Mail® for your international customers. PACKAGE PICKUP ( 8 0 ) JOIN THE EBAY COMMUNITY Now you don’t even have to leave your home Get connected with other members, and stay ( 7 0 ) DON’T OVERINFLATE SHIPPING AND or office to ship items you’ve sold on eBay. updated on the latest happenings on eBay. You’ll HANDLING COSTS Schedule a pickup for specific days—up to 30 continually learn new ways to grow your busi- An unreasonable shipping and handling fee is a days in advance—at no charge. For more infor- ness while networking with both new sellers turnoff to buyers. Keep your price fair—or even mation, visit the U.S. Postal Service Shipping and experienced PowerSellers. try using a significantly lower handling fee as Zone on eBay at www.ebay.com/usps. P h o to © P h o to s .c o m an incentive to buy from you. ( 8 1 ) ASK EBAY CONSULTANTS FOR ADVICE ( 7 6 ) SEE SHIPPING AS A MARKETING Once you know how to sell on eBay and you’ve ( 7 1 ) GIVE SHIPPING DISCOUNTS OPPORTUNITY checked out the eBay Community, your head will Reward a buyer who orders multiple items and Your boxes are seen by a lot of people as they be buzzing with new business ideas. Run your combines his payment by giving a shipping dis- travel around the world. Creative shipping labels questions by the Seller OnRamp consultants 10 ■ 1 0 1 T I P S F O R STA RT I N G A N D G R O W I N G YO U R B U S I N E S S O N E B AY 1 0 1 T I P S F O R STA RT I N G A N D G R O W I N G YO U R B U S I N E S S O N E B AY ■ 11
  • ( 8 5 ) ATTEND AN EDUCATIONAL EVENT ( 8 8 ) CAPITALIZE ON YOUR BRAND free (http://pages.ebay.com/storefronts/collateral. Without the deals on eBay, Dr. Brad Roach (bradwins) Get the scoop on the newest selling tools and Companies with brand recognition can move html) or visit NetPost Business Connect at www. techniques from eBay’s online and live workshops. a lot of inventory by selling popular items at a usps.com/netpost to create and mail advertising wouldn’t have been able to remodel his clinic. Since You’ll learn tips for turbo-boosting your busi- discount on eBay while offering their same and promotional messages to your customers. ness on eBay. Check out the schedule of classes satisfaction guarantees. the remodel, business has been booming, with and online courses at www.ebay.com/university. ( 9 4 ) OPTIMIZE YOUR STORE FOR SEARCH ( 8 9 ) TEST-MARKET PRODUCT IDEAS ON ENGINES about a 35 percent increase in gross revenue. ( 8 6 ) GET UNSTUCK WITH LIVE HELP EBAY Include relevant keywords in your Store URL, If you find yourself confused in the initial listing Conduct market research before you promote title, description, category names and page copy setup process, or if you have a question about new items on your website and in other media. to achieve free rankings and traffic from top ( 9 9 ) ADVERTISE OFFLINE AND GET an advanced selling tactic, look for the “Live search engines. 25 PERCENT OF YOUR ADVERTISING Help” link in the upper right-hand corner of ( 9 0 ) SET UP AN EBAY STORE INSERTION FEES REIMBURSED many of the pages in the “Sell” section of eBay. Take your sales to the next level by launching ( 9 5 ) ROTATE YOUR PROMOTION BOXES Through eBay’s Co-op Advertising program an eBay Store. You’ll have access to tools that Use one or two promotion boxes near the top of (www.ebaycoopads.com), when you advertise streamline the eBay selling process, such as each Store page, and/or below the left naviga- your Store offline, eBay will reimburse 25 per- Using eBay to Expand store reports, search engine optimization capa- tion bar, to feature new items or announce spe- cent of your Advertising Insertion Fees—up to Your Existing Business bilities, lower listing fees and other features to generate higher revenue and profit margins. Go cials. Change these at least monthly to remind buyers to return for more hot offers. $8,000 worth. (This opportunity is exclusively for PowerSellers in good standing who oper- to http://stores.ebay.com. ate eBay Stores or are Trading Assistants.) ( 8 7 ) TAKE YOUR BRAND WITH YOU ( 9 6 ) SEND CUSTOMIZED E-MAILS TO YOUR Plus, you can earn up to 75 percent off your Your business on eBay is a reflection of your brand, ( 9 1 ) PROMOTE YOUR EBAY STORE FROM BUYERS final value fees by driving traffic to your Store so use your company logo, tag lines,colors,graph- YOUR WEBSITE You can create and manage up to five e-mail from web pages outside of eBay. Get more ics and copy in your eBay listings. A business on Use your website to drive visitors and customers newsletters. Within your store and in your in- details at http://pages.ebay.com/storefronts/ eBay with a professional yet personalized look to eBay to purchase special item offers that voices, remind buyers to opt in to your e-mail list referral-credit-steps.html. can often command higher final prices. don’t compete with the ones on your website. through the “Add to Favorite Sellers/Stores” link. Write newsletters offering helpful tips to sub- ( 1 0 0 ) STUDY YOUR SALES AND TRAFFIC scribers, and of course, mention your special REPORTS Setting Up an eBay store promotions. At least every month, you should analyze your Store ( 9 7 ) CROSS-PROMOTE YOUR ITEMS Sales Reports. Study this data to identify areas of improvement, potential business opportu- ( 9 2 ) CUSTOMIZE YOUR STORE Use your “Item,” “Bid Confirm” and “Purchase nities and marketing ideas. Use those branding elements mentioned in Confirmation” pages to cross-promote other tip No. 87 in your Store, and create custom items from your store. Match items that com- ( 1 0 1 ) TEST, TWEAK, TRACK pages and category names, too. If you’re plement each other to encourage buyers to do Use the free data eBay provides to continually launching a new business on eBay and don’t more browsing and buying from your business. refine your eBay Store’s performance. Infuse yet have a “branded look,” then select one of your own creativity into your selling strategy eBay’s predesigned theme templates to give ( 9 8 ) DRIVE EBAY TRAFFIC TO YOUR to find new ways of growing your business. personality to your Store. LISTINGS AND STORE Through the Keywords on eBay program, a ban- For even more information, go to www.ebay. ( 9 3 ) DESIGN MARKETING MATERIALS ner ad you create will appear at the top of the com/usps and www.entrepreneur.com/ebay. P h o to © P h o to s .c o m TO PROMOTE YOUR STORE search results pages for specific keywords you Get business cards, fliers, letterhead and bid on. You’ll only pay when buyers click on your CATHERINE SEDA (www.sedacommunication. envelopes to strengthen your Store’s brand ad and visit your listings or Store. Featured com), an Entrepreneur magazine columnist, and invite offline shoppers to check it out. Stores and Anchor Stores even receive some teaches marketing tips in her book Search Download eBay’s marketing templates for free keyword clicks. Engine Advertising and at eBay University. 12 ■ 1 0 1 T I P S F O R STA RT I N G A N D G R O W I N G YO U R B U S I N E S S O N E B AY 1 0 1 T I P S F O R STA RT I N G A N D G R O W I N G YO U R B U S I N E S S O N E B AY ■ 13