MAKE MONEY SELLING ON eBay

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Make Money Selling on eBay | eBay Business Strategies

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Really Powerful Ways To
Start Making A Six-Figure Income On eBay

Focus: The ability to know what’s vitally important to the survival and growth of your business – and to do that ‘important thing’ every single hour of every single day.

Can you guess what your “Focus” as an eBay professional should be?

Before sharing what my Focus as an eBay Professional is I’ll give you a few clues:

Any professional salesman will tell you that sales are in ‘the numbers’: The more presentations, the more opportunity for sales.

A real sales pro plays the numbers. If he gets to make 10 sales presentations he expects to close 25% more or less depending on what he’s selling. If he’s doing less than he thinks he should be doing he looks to his approach, arguments and close to determine how to raise his closing ratio.

A professional baseball player is at the top of the standings if he can get just 4 hits out of every 10 at bat.

The real estate industry has a saying, “The more you list, the more you sell”.

The executive recruiting industry says pretty much the same thing: “The more openings you list, the more likely you are to fill them”.

Can you guess what your “Focus” as an eBay professional should be now?

If you said, “The more you list, the more you sell” you’re almost right!!

Yes, almost.

You see there are more ways to make money with and through eBay than meets the eye. Of course you can make money just selling stuff in your house on eBay and make a few extra dollars. But we want to build a business, one that will reward us with generous profits year in and year out. So we will have to take a more professional approach.




  • 4 Ways to Make Money Selling On eBay


As you read each strategy ask yourself these three questions and write your answers down so you’ll remember them:

  1. “What does this strategy mean to me? Can I relate it to some past experience I’ve had?”

  1. “How can I use this strategy to make money? Is there a way I can improve on it or add value to it or personalize it?”

  1. “How will I use this strategy to make money starting today?”



4 Ways To Make Money Selling On eBay

EZ Money-Maker #1: “The Collectibles, Antiques and Memorabilia Super-Strategy For Selling on eBay”

STRATEGY: Selling collectibles, antiques and memorabilia in specific categories on eBay for the highest market prices

TIMING: This strategy is best used when the percentage of successful closings or closing ratio (CR) in the category you specialize in reaches 70% or better.

Note: (‘CR’ is the percentage of successfully closed auctions- not including reserve auctions)

This is the most obvious way, and the most often employed way, of making money on eBay by individuals.


 What background do you have? Do you have a hobby or special interest or are you a collector?

That’s where you should start and that’s where you will make the most money using this strategy. Add depth to your knowledge by reading in your field and get as many good reference books and price guides as you can.

So you have an area you have some experience in. What do you do to maximize your income selling antiques, collectibles or memorabilia on eBay?



- Be Super-Organized! -


TIP: If you list items for sale using eBay’s provided selling form you’re loosing money! Get eBay listing software and save each listing you make. That way, when you’re ready to sell the same item or similar item again all you have to do is press a couple of keys to list. Time is money! The real estate salesman’s adage, “The more you list, the more you sell” is definitely true and applicable here.


I use Auctiva free auction website software now to list auctions and track post-auction management available free at http://www.auctiva.com/. BTW, that’s not an affiliate link. I don’t make a cent promoting it. I just think it’s the best available for the price.



Another service that just I have used and performs well is eBay’s Action Owns Software Seller’s Assistant. I found it’s very nice to work with. But, it’s a little pricey with a monthly fee. Although the basic version is reasonable.  Ebay gives you a trial period to try it out.


But there is a lot of good software out there today because auction selling has become so popular. Most companies will allow you to use their software for 30 days before buying or registering. Some programs are free. Try them all out and see which one works best for you.


Here’s a couple others that you should look at before making a final decision:



http://www.vendio.com/

A news, auction posting, auction listing and post-auction management site, software and more. Promoted as a site for individuals, small businesses and corporate solutions they do have an impressive array of seller solutions.

Their services include:

  • Multiple Site Registration: Get Your Auction Business Up and Running- Save time and register at all major auction sites in a few simple steps with AuctionWatch's Universal Registration.

  • Create Listings Fast: Quickly Create Auction Ads that Sell : Choose from three different tools for launching your auctions based on your needs - create unique listings and post to auction sites in seconds!

  • Monitor Listings: Easily Keep Track of Active Auctions : Monitor auctions to keep informed and up-to-date on their activity. Conduct valuable customer research by tracking the number of bids, bid values and the number of people viewing your auction.

  • Post Auction Management: An Organized Process that Saves Time and Increases Sales : Efficiently manage the shipping, payment, invoicing, and communication elements of the post-sale process, while making the auction closing process simple for your buyers.

  • Customer Management: Sell More and Market Better : Easily build and maintain a strong customer base and develop targeted email lists of pre-qualified customers - a simple solution for customer loyalty.

  • Buy Now! Storefronts: Create a showroom, list fixed priced items on ebay, Yahoo and Amazon.

There are three levels of service on Vendio  The  service is fee based with both listing and final value fees added. With their Power Plan, however, you pay an annual subscription rate.









EZ Money-Maker #2: “Selling Pans To Prospectors”

Strategy: To sell to the sellers the supplies, tools and equipment they need to sell more

Timing: The best time to use this strategy is when the ‘gold rush’ is on- CR’s are at 80% or better and there has been a lot of media coverage of people making money on the Internet, especially eBay.


This strategy is commonly called, “Selling pans to prospectors”- and for good reason. Most gold prospectors never made any real money, but the merchants selling them the pans, wheel barrels and other tools they needed sure did!

There are people selling things like bubble wrap, packing tape, peanuts for packing and boxes to sellers and mail order houses on eBay. They do very well.

Can you think of other things that could be auctioned on eBay to small businesses or others who need special “tools” for their jobs and businesses?

How about software to help automate their selling or a service that follows-up with their buyers after the sale?

Let’s look a little closer at the way this works and how to really make money doing it:



Who's Selling What On eBay? Would you believe...?”

Reverse engineering is a process that very few manufacturers will admit to doing--but they all do it. This is how it works:

You buy a competitors product and take it apart to see how it works, and what secrets it contains and how you can apply what you've learned to your own business. It's done in almost every industry, so why not Internet auctions?

Here we go:


 Let us look closely at a seller's case story, friend, at his success...

What is he selling? Hummm... stone coasters, bubble mailers and…and…packing tape?


In a past January when I ‘spied’ on his auctions this is what I found: Most of his auctions still had 4 days to go...but...if he were to close his auctions out that day he would have gross sales of $1822.61 . But, for the sake of argument ...he is only half way through his auctions for this period...he will probably get 50% more orders on his dutch auctions. That puts his gross sales at about $2233.91 per day!.

Now, if you look carefully at what he's doing he is selling the same items over, and over again. In other words HE DOES NOT HAVE TO RE-CREATE WHAT HE IS DOING ON EACH AUCTION (what I call an “eBay Platinum Success Principle”).


I'm sure he is using a template or boilerplate html listing. All he has to do to start and auction is submit the template, maybe make one or two changes...and he's done!

Also, if you look closely there is a 5 day period between the ending of his auctions. My guess is that he needs that 5 days to fill all his orders. I'm assuming that he has a spouse or friend who helps him...but maybe he's on his own or has several employees…I don’t know.

At this point we have some understanding of what he's doing, what he's selling and what his BASIC strategy is.

There's a lot more to this guy's operation than meets the eye. (I have never ordered anything from him...but I WILL...because I want to see what ELSE he is doing! You should too. Learn from others- don’t steal their ideas, but learn from them.)

First, my guess is, most (maybe not all) but most of the orders he is getting from his eBay auctions are BRAND NEW customers of his. Most of his customers are probably eBay sellers themselves, or have a mail-order business that uses his mailers, bubble wrap, etc. Here's where his little enterprise gets really interesting...

If he was smart...really smart... he is capturing the name and address of every eBay customer he gets and follows-up with them on a regular basis to SELL THEM MORE OF WHAT THEY JUST BOUGHT. Did you get that? He also advertises his web site at:

http://www.bargainsgalorestore.com/ where he is taking orders for the SAME stuff he's selling on eBay.


And my guess is that, once he makes a sale, that customer gets frequent mailings from him for a variety of other products. His customer acquisition costs are almost zero. Ebay generates NEW customers for him, at the same time he is selling stuff like crazy, and he gets additional sales (AND more profitable sales) from his repeat customers who bought from him originally on eBay!

So, why is he successful? He's not selling anything very expensive...or valuable...or collectible...or something that you couldn't find walking down the street to the corner store...BUT...he is selling something *sellers need* on eBay.

The lessons to be learned here?

  1. You can do the same reverse-engineering analysis on anyone selling anything on eBay or other auction sites;

  2. Capture every customer name you get from eBay (even if you don't or can't sell them anything else right away- the NAMES are valuable);

  3. Think about future sales and maximizing value for your customers...don’t concentrate just on the immediate sale;

  4. You are more creative and brilliant than you think (OK, not relevant to this strategy but...it is a lesson to be learned, isn't it?)






EZ Money-Maker #3: “Open For Business: The eBay Shoppe”

Strategy: To open a retail shop on eBay selling gifts, tools and other consumer items

Timing: The best time to use this strategy is when you have a catalog to follow up with prospects, or you have an ‘exclusive’ item you’re selling


Why take on the huge investment in bricks and mortar when you can sell on eBay for almost no investment at all?

You can realistically and with high probability set up a ‘retail’ shop on eBay today and make a better living than most owners of a ‘bricks and mortar” storefront.

If you already own a bricks and mortar storefront- adding eBay to you marketing strategy should be a piece of cake. Get a part-time college Internet junky to do your listings for you and designate one of your part-time clerks to fill orders.

Just be sure to segregate your eBay inventory from your retail store display inventory. Why? Because, if you auction something on eBay it goes to the highest bidder. Right? So, if you put it in your store’s display case and someone walks in off the street and buys it how will you fulfill your eBay customer? Oh, your supplier…what if they are out-of-stock? Trust me, you want to keep your reputation on eBay spotless as spotless can be. If you can’t ship ASAP, don’t put it up for auction.

You may not think this works. Let me tell you about a small family-owned gift store right here in my area.

They’ve been around for many years (I think about 50). Their eBay User ID is mcharrisgifts and you can view their listings by going to ‘Seller Search” on the eBay site. They do a very nice business. They also link every eBay listing to their web site.

They sell gift items. How common is that, but…they are doing it and they are making money at it, I guarantee.

All of the above strategies for listing, being organized, etc. apply here. So what are the secrets specific to making really BIG money with a virtual storefront on eBay?

SECRETS FOR RETAIL SUCCESS ON eBay”

  • Create high quality listings. Don’t go overboard, but definitely add some attractive graphics and bells and whistles – tastefully done, of course. Show you’re professional- and please use a SPELL CHECKER.

  • Always, always, always link every listing you have on eBay to your About page…where of course, you reference your website where you sell exactly the same things you’re selling on eBay- but in greater variety, or at better prices, etc...

  • Capture the name, address telephone number and email address of every single winning bidder on your auctions. Put them in a database or set up an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of them. Once in a while send them a coupon for $5 off the next auction they win. It works for me. People would come back to my auctions and bid on other things I have listed rather than throw out 5 bucks. Or send them a flyer with your ‘specials’- you get the idea. (Remember your goal is to build long-term relationships through COMMITMENT to your customers. If you have something you think they would really like, tell them about it!

  • Create listings once, save them and at the completion of the auction put up another listing with a click of a key-stroke. Computers were built to help organize and automate mundane tasks. Let your computer make money for you.

  • List, list, list and when you think you’ve listed all you can…LIST SOME MORE!!

The spreadsheet below shows you how many listings you have to put on eBay each month and each day in order to meet your goal of a six-figure income:





50% of Listings Sold

25% Gross Profit Margin Per Sale









Number of Units Listed Per Month

Number of Units Sold Per Month At Low Min Bid (assumes 50%)

Total Gross Profit Needed Per Sale To Meet Goal

At 25% Gross Profit Margin- Low Minimum Bid Needs To Be

Number of Units You Need To List Per Day To Meet Goal








50

25

333.33

1,333.33

2


100

50

166.67

666.67

5


200

100

83.33

333.33

9


300

150

55.56

222.22

14


400

200

41.67

166.67

18


500

250

33.33

133.33

23


600

300

27.78

111.11

27


700

350

23.81

95.24

32


800

400

20.83

83.33

36


900

450

18.52

74.07

41


1000

500

16.67

66.67

45


1100

550

15.15

60.61

50


1200

600

13.89

55.56

55


1300

650

12.82

51.28

59


1400

700

11.90

47.62

64


1500

750

11.11

44.44

68


1600

800

10.42

41.67

73


1700

850

9.80

39.22

77


You can see from the spreadsheet that for me to make my six-figure income goal, with this as my only working eBay strategy, I would have to list 32 to 64 items per day at an average low-minimum bid of around $67.


Let see how the numbers change if we can teak our listings so that a higher percentage of listings are sold and if we can squeeze some additional profits as well:




70% of Listings Sold

50% Gross Margin Per Sale









Number of Units Listed Per Month

Number of Units Sold Per Month At Low Min Bid (assumes 70%)

Total Gross Profit Needed Per Sale To Meet Goal

At 50% Gross Profit Margin- Low Minimum Bid Needs To Be

Number of Units You Need To List Per Day To Meet Goal


 

 

 

 

 


50

35

238.10

476.19

2


100

70

119.05

238.10

5


200

140

59.52

119.05

9


300

210

39.68

79.37

14


400

280

29.76

59.52

18


500

350

23.81

47.62

23


600

420

19.84

39.68

27


700

490

17.01

34.01

32


800

560

14.88

29.76

36


900

630

13.23

26.46

41


1000

700

11.90

23.81

45


1100

770

10.82

21.65

50


1200

840

9.92

19.84

55



My assumptions for both of these spreadsheets are:

(1) 50%-70% of items are sold at or above low-minimum bid; (2) there is a 25% -50% profit margin, after eBay expenses, built into each listing; (3) there are approximately 22 working days in a month in which you can list items; (4) if your Low-Minimum bid is between $35 and $99 you’ll get your highest number sold on new items (I’m not talking about antiques or collectibles); (5) the maximum number of listings you can put up on eBay during a working day is between 32 to 64 (if you’re completely automated!).

You’ll notice something very interesting when we can increase the percentage of listings sold and increase our profit margin on each item sold…we don’t have to list nearly as much per day. With 50% of listings selling and a 25% margin and an average low-minimum bid in the high 60’s, we had to list 32 to 64 items per day to meet our goal.

When we tweaked our system so we shoot for 70% successfully closed and raised our profit margins to 50% we are able to lower our minimum bid to an average of $47 (making it potentially more attractive to bidders) and we only had to list 14 to 32 auctions per day to meet our six-figure income goal!

Don’t think a 100% markup is difficult to do or that closing 70% of your auctions successfully is difficult either.

There are many items that can be sold at 200 to 300% mark-ups or more and still be able to close 70% successfully.

I sell used books. I can find books for .50 to $5 in used bookstores and out-of-the-way places that I can sell for $10 to $100 each on eBay. That’s a markup of up to 2000%. I do it every day, it’s very easy.






EZ Money-Maker #4:

Sell Something That Doesn’t Belong To You!”


Strategy: Help others in your area sell their antiques, collectibles and one-of-a-kind items on eBay. May also be used to sell large ticket items on commission.

Timing: The best time to use this strategy is September to May of each year when antiques and collectible items receive the greatest interest and highest bids.

When I say, “Sell something that doesn’t belong to you”, I’m not talking about ‘selling short’ or scamming anyone. NO! Not in a million years!

I’m talking about selling other peoples antiques, collectibles or even a businesses’ used machinery or manufacturers’ overstock on eBay for a percentage of the hammer price.

You handle the photos, descriptions listing the item, collecting the money and making sure the item is shipped.

My recommendation is to charge 10% to 20% or more of the hammer price after deducting eBay fees (see what the market will bare). It might make sense to try for a ‘net listing’.

A net listing is where the owner says to you, “All I want to get out of this sale is $50. You can keep whatever you get over that”.

The low-minimum bid technique may not work in this case, you will probably need to make it a reserve auction or start the auction at $60 ($50 + 20%) with no reserve. If it fails to sell, make sure you get reimbursed for eBay’s listings fees or get them up-front from the owner.

A short contract between you and the owner should be used. An attorney will be more than happy to help you put one together that you can use. Use it over and over again by photocopying it and filling in the blanks with every new client.

Check with your attorney before doing this to avoid any legal problems later. I don’t see many problems with doing this and I personally know someone in my area of New York State that is doing it and making a lot of money for himself and his clients.

It’s a win-win situation. You have the technical expertise, they have the merchandise.

Search eBay Seller ID= topcat to see his listings (99% of the items he’s selling are on consignment from other antique dealers).



***************


Those are the four selling strategies that I’ve used on eBay. Each one has the potential to make a lot of money for you, put two or more together and you have a truly dynamic opportunity to make a large sum of money.

Now on the next web page,  let’s take a look at 2 ways to make money on eBay by buying:















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