5 Tips For Your Online Store in August~Repost

#1 Increase the number of items listed in your eBay store

August is a GREAT time to ramp up your listings and get your store stocked up before the Christmas selling season hits.

I stock up my store all year long.  If you haven’t started getting your store stocked, or even if you’re already busy stocking it up, try to do a little extra this month.  Maybe set a goal to increase your inventory numbers by 100 items more than it is now by the end of August.

#2 Get your pile of “to be listed items” listed :)

We all have GREAT stuff sitting around waiting to be listed.  Here’s a fabulous way to increase your sales without spending any more money……list what you have on hand.  Every time I stop shopping and simply list what I have on hand, my sales go through the roof!  Why?  Because I have fabulous items just sitting in my “to be listed bin” and they can never sell if they’re sitting there waiting to be listed.

#3 Increase your DSR’s

Take a look at your Detailed Seller Ratings on your dashboard and start concentrating on the one or two that need the most attention.  It may take some brain storming, but think about what you can do to increase your scores.  How can you lower shipping and handling charges?  How can you decrease your handling time?  Is there a faster way to get items to your customer?  What other details can you include in your listing so that the items are what the customer is expecting?  How can you communicate better with your customers?

It can be a lot of work to improve your Detailed Seller Ratings, but in the end, it pays off.  Not only do you get a discount on your final value fees for being a Top Rated Seller, but once I became a Top Rated Seller, I noticed right away a big increase in my sales because your items automatically have a higher search ranking when you’re a TRS.

#4 List your Halloween Costumes

Now is the time to list your Halloween costumes and any dress up clothes you have in your “to be listed bin”  make sure you get them listed so your potential customers can shop your store for Halloween costumes at their convenience.  If you wait until September or October to get your costumes listed, you may miss out on potential customers.

#5 Promptly answer customer questions

Here’s an area that I lack in and am really trying to improve on……..Promptly answering customer questions.  By the time I list, ship, and communicate with current customers, I’ve forgotten about the potential customer who asked a question.  Not only will this help increase your communication DSR’s (in the event the customer makes a purchase from you) but, it can also increase your sales.

If the customer is asking, they’re interested, and if you don’t get back to them right away, they may just go and purchase the same item from a different seller.


Selling Strategy~List Items Everyday~ Post From The Past

I don’t know about you, but it seems like my pile of items to be listed on eBay never ends.  Sometimes it gets smaller, but most of the time, it seems to get bigger.  When you list online, it seems that the work is never done.  Job security is what I call it ;)

When I don’t have a lot of time to list everything at once, I like to do the following:

*Take pictures of everything I plan to list that week.

*Get the pictures ready

*Sort them by similar items (Jeans, shoes, DVD’s, etc)

*List 2-3 items per day.

Sometimes, it’s 5-6 items a day, just depending on what I’m listing, and how much time I have to list.

If I have time, I do like to list 15-20 items in an afternoon, but that doesn’t always work.

Life happens, and the point of being self-employed is to enjoy what you’re doing and not have to stress out about it.  If you don’t have time to list large quantities of items in a day, just list a few items every day.  By the end of the week, you’ll have listed a minimum of 21 new items if you list at least 3 items per day.

As you list new items,  different people look at your store.  Someone may be looking for that pair of shoes you just listed and find your store that way.  They may leave your store with something entirely different than what they came to your store for in the first place. That doesn’t matter.  The more you list and the more types of items you have listed, the more you’ll attract people (and most importantly, different people) to your store.

The point is to get people looking at your store.  They can’t find you if you don’t list……and it can’t sell if it’s not listed.

Happy Listing!!!

Get Prepared To File Your Taxes

Even though Tax Day is the same every year, it seems like it sneaks up on me even though I try to be as organized as I can during the year with my receipts.  Running two business can make tax prep a little bit hectic.

There are a lot of ways to keep track of your business expenses through out the year and stay on top of your tax preparations.

The important thing isn’t what software or system you use, the important thing is that you do it.

I’ve created two Excel spreadsheets with multiple tabs on them.  One for piano expenses, one for eBay expenses.  I try to enter my receipts in at least twice a month.

I have a friend who’s husband is a CPA and he’s been a HUGE help to me with knowing what to keep track of and he even told me a few things to deduct that I didn’t know I should be deducting.  So, when in doubt, talk to your CPA.

Here are some ideas for you on what you can keep track of through out the year for your taxes:

  • Inventory
  • Tape
  • Bubble wrap
  • Boxes
  • Tissue paper
  • Poly Mailers
  • Bubble Mailers
  • Brown Paper
  • Mailing labels
  • Printer paper
  • Digital camera
  • Printer Ink
  • SD Memory Card
  • Office equipment purchased this year. (Postal scale, printer, computer, desk, etc)
  • Postage (I run a report at the end of the year on paypal)
  • Postage stamps
  • Mileage to the Post Office, Mileage to yardsales, thrift stores, etc (Make sure you have a mileage log)
  • Selling fees (eBay, Etsy, Addoway, Bonanza, Amazon, etc)
  • Paypal fees
  • Internet service
  • Portion of rent and utilities based on the percentage of your home that is used for business.

This list is not exhaustive, there are other business expenses that can be deducted based how you run your business.  Hopefully, this gives you a starting point of ideas to start your spread sheets and get a head start on next year’s tax prep.  The best source for an exhaustive list is your CPA.


Online Selling Tip of the Week

In the 10+ years that I’ve been selling online, I’ve found the one thing that always helps me stay organized is to stay on top of my shipping.

I try to package and print labels for everything that needs to ship out each night before I go to bed.

You never know when you’ll wake up late one morning, wake up with a headache, sick child, flat tire, or any other crisis that throws a curve in your day.  Many, many times I have been very thankful that I had my shipping done the night before and just had to put the bin out for my Mail Carrier in the morning.


Make Your Evenings Easier

During the day, I tend to work on my online store and take some breaks to fold laundry, bake muffins,or  go for a walk so that I don’t get bored and don’t sit in one position too long.

I try to have everything that I need done right away accomplished before my daughter comes home from school.  Some days, I reach my goal and other days I fall short and those tasks get pushed to the next day.  I usually work until about 4 PM and then stop so I can start getting dinner ready, and help her with her piano practice and homework.

One thing that I like to do that has made my life a whole lot easier is once my little one is settled in bed for the night I get any items that were paid for in the afternoon or evening packaged and labels printed so that they’re in my bin and waiting by the front door to be put on the porch in the morning.
I used to leave it and ship in the morning, but a lot times, there would be sales over night or payments made over night and pretty soon what was 4 or 5 packages last night is now 8 or 10 in the morning.  This way, I have the ones that are paid for that evening ready to go and in the morning I just have a few to ship out and I can get right to work on my agenda for the day.   I find that it makes the next morning a whole lot smoother, and I go to bed knowing that all of my shipping is done for now.

Here’s something else that has made my life a whole lot easier.

A few weekends ago, I was at Lizzie’s house and we were working on eBay listings together while the kiddos were out playing.  We decided to make nachos for dinner.  I was busy listing and Lizzie told me that she was going to make the meat and use her own seasoning, not a taco seasoning packet.

We built our nachos and I started eating mine.  ”I thought you weren’t going to use a seasoning packet.”  I commented.  ”I didn’t.” said Lizzie……I looked at her (It sure tasted like she had)…….you could have fooled me.

First of all, I had no idea that you could make nachos or tacos and have them taste like you had used a seasoning packet without using one.  Second of all……….what have I been doing wasting money on seasoning packets all these years.  Third and best of all, Lizzie’s seasoning has NO MSG in it.  We love tacos and have used this several times since my enlightenment.  It’s good with either chicken or beef.  What would I do without my sister?

Lizzie’s Taco Seasoning:

Brown your meat and then add

2 Tb chili pd

1 Tb onion pd

1 fresh garlic clove–or 2 (I used minced garlic and it tasted just fine.)

1 Tb cumin

Lizzie says that she usually doesn’t need to add any water but you can if it looks too dry.

Stir is all up and…………..YUM!  Super easy, super cheap, and super fast.



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