Online Selling Tip Of The Week

Make sure you take time to update your store once in awhile. Now is a great time if it’s been awhile since you’ve checked your listings.

I’ve been updating categories and listings as well as making sure that everything in my bins is actually listed. I’m not sure what happened but I had some items that were in my “listed” bins that weren’t currently listed.

Listings expire on Etsy and on eBay if you forgot to click “good til cancelled” they end in 30 days.

Do you have items that haven’t sold in a looooooong time? Maybe it’s time to update keywords, check the description and photos, and consider changing the price or even sending it to the thrift store.

Perhaps you suddenly have several items that are the same brand or type–if so make a store category for them and make sure customers can find them!

What about you? Time to update or are you already super organized?


Online Selling Tip of the Week

Certain times of the year it seems like there are a lot more items to ship out.  It’s important to be as efficient and accurate as possible when packing and shipping your packages, especially during those busy times of the year.  You don’t want to end up mixing up packages and sending them to the wrong buyer.

Recently, I went through a time period of a few weeks where I was shipping, shipping, shipping.

One thing that I found that helped me was to have the item ready to go, weigh and make the label.  While it was printing, I’d take a highlighter and write the abbreviation of the State that it was headed to on the package so I could easily work on packaging up the next item and not worry about getting items confused.  A couple of times, there were two packages in a row headed to the same state.  In those cases, I put the State abbreviation and the zip code on the package.

It made my shipping so much speedier, and my life a whole lot smoother by doing it this way.


5 Easy Steps to Simplify Your Online Business

#1 Look for ways to save time:

Keep in mind that the more time you spend on a task is less time you can spend on another task.

For instance, if it takes you 20 minutes to list an item, that’s 20 minutes you don’t have to spend on shipping, photos, etc.

How can you cut your listing time down from 20 minutes to 10 minutes?

What can you do to be more efficient and save time on shipping items out?

Can you keep your boxes in your office?

Can you pull inventory as soon as it sells and have it ready to ship  right away when it’s paid for?

Can you print labels at home?

Can you buy a faster computer or printer?

#2 Look for ways to be more efficient:

What are you doing now that’s unnecessary? How could you do it differently so that you’re spending less time on each step of your process?  Saving a few seconds on each item that you list or ship adds up at the end of the day.

I knew a seller once who cut out their shipping labels, glued them on with stick glue, and then taped the corners down.  I’m sorry, but that’s way too many steps for me and too much time spent on each item in the shipping process.  Self- sticking shipping labels do the trick for me.

#3 Look for ways to multi-task:

Are you able to take your lap top to work and list a few items on lunch break?  Do you have a few minutes to stop at a yard sale or thrift store while you’re out running errands?  Look for ways to integrate your online business into your every day activities.

#4 Try to get into a routine:

This one was an important one for me.  I don’t feel as productive during my  days if I don’t have a routine.

After I buy inventory, my next step is to take pictures of it– list it– and put it all away before I buy any more inventory.

I used to have a HUGE bin of items waiting to be listed that kept growing. I was so excited about listing  new purchases that I didn’t get the old items listed.  I had to make myself pick a few items out of that bin every time I listed my new inventory so I would get it all done.

Now, I try to think twice before I buy something.  If I’m not going to be excited about listing it right away, I leave it at the store now.  Why spend money on inventory that’s just going to sit in a bin waiting for me?

#5 Look for ways to increase your profits:

Can you find your shipping supplies cheaper?

Are you using the most cost effective shipping methods?

Can you sell your item for more money?

Are you keeping your selling fees as low as possible?

Are you listing your current items before you buy more inventory?

Do you have items around the house that you can list?

Are you promoting your current listings via social networking? (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.)

I find that the more that I work on simplifying my business, the more I simplify my life.  That is more time that I can spend with my family and friends. That’s what’s important in life.


5 Ways To Increase Your Sales In July~Repost

#1 Get your back to school items listed.

Now’s the time to list back to school items in your store so you don’t miss the peak season.

School uniforms, backpacks, textbooks, lunch boxes, or anything that can be used for school, start listing it so that it’s ready to go when your buyers are ready to buy.

#2 Move items to auction.

I’m not a huge fan of auctions, but I do like to use auctions as a “clearance rack” from time to time to get rid of items that have been in my store for awhile.  Take a look at your inventory and start moving a few things a day to auction.  Now’s a great time to clean out your store to make room for all of those fabulous items you’ll be selling during the Christmas season.

#3 Keep listing Winter and Christmas items.

Even though it may be close to 100 degrees outside, now’s the time to list boots, snow pants, sweaters, coats, anything to do with winter.  Christmas items that haven’t been listed can be listed now too.  Get a jump start on the season and start listing it now.  People start shopping early for winter apparel and you’ll be surprised how much of it will sell in the next couple of months.

#4 Clean out the Toy box.

Now’s the perfect time to start cleaning out the toy box and getting the toys your kids don’t play with or have out grown listed on eBay.

Cleaning out the toy box is one of my favorite ways to find eBay inventory.  It’s always great to treasure hunt and flip items for profit, but to me, it’s even more fun to sell items from around the house that aren’t being used anymore.  The majority of the time when I sell items from around the house, I am able to sell the item for almost as much as I paid for it when it was new.

#5 Shop the Clearance Section.

I know that a lot of us eBayers love to treasure hunt to find our inventory, but keep your eyes open for clearance items at great prices that you can resell.

I love clearance shopping to find inventory because most of the time, it means that I don’t have to clean the item up before I list it, and usually I can list them quickly because they will either be the same item, but different sizes or very similar items, so all I have to do is make a few quick adjustments to each listing and they’re ready to go.  I like to look for clearance at Wal-mart, Target, GYMBOREE, Hanna Andersson, Bath and Body Works, and  GAP.

There’s so many retailers that offer huge sales and clearance, so keep your eyes open.


Seller Challenge: Storing Inventory

This is a challenge that nearly every online seller I know of faces at some point:  How to organize and store inventory.

Storing needs differ for every seller depending on what storage area you have available and what items you have in your inventory. Not every system works for every seller.

I store my inventory in Rubbermaid containers in my garage.  I put similar items in the same bin and most of them have a sign on the front so I know what type of item is inside.

The bins above are plush toys.  I organize them by type.  For instance, Starbucks, Disney, Puppets, Bears, Sports, Ponies/Unicorns

In the middle section, there’s a shelf that I put all of my Starbucks mugs on.

The lower section of bins are heavier items like jeans, clothing, shoes, things that I don’t want to have to be lifting all the time.

Usually what I do after I list an item is put it in my “to be put away” bin. I leave it there until the next week because a lot of items that I list sell within the first week that I have them listed. That way, I can just grab it up and take it to the office.

Whatever is in the “to be put away” bin the next week, I put in the appropriate storage bin.

My system isn’t the fanciest, but it works for me.

Keep in mind that whatever storage system you use, the storage bins and square footage that you use for storage is tax deductible.


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