It Takes Money to Make Money

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Sometimes, when I’m out shopping for eBay inventory items, I think to myself, do I really want to pay $6.99 for that?

The answer depends on how much I think I’m going to be able to sell it for.

I’ll pay more for an item like Dansko boots because I know that I can sell them for at least $100.  I recently paid $24.99 for a pair of Dansko shoes, and it was totally worth it because I’m keeping them for myself and then when I’m done wearing them, I’ll still be able to sell them. :)

It’s great to be able to find items for .99c or $1.99 or even .50c, but how often do you find a .50c item at a yardsale or thrift store that you can resell for $100?

I’m finding out more often that it really pays in the long run to spend a little bit more money on items up front to get a larger profit.

When you think about it, would you rather buy 5 items that are .99c, clean them up, take pictures, write descriptions, and ship out 5 items to make $75 in sales, or would you rather spend $4.99 on ONE item, clean up one item, take a picture of one item and ship out one item to make $75 in sales?

Which one is more cost effective?

In my experience, in order to make enough money on eBay to meet my living expenses, I need to be able to make more money per item and increase my profits so I can reach my sales goals.


5 Ways to Increase Your Online Sales in May

Can you believe it’s already May?

This time of year, sales tend to really pick up for me and I’m busy trying to stock my store up for the Christmas season already :)

Here’s my top 5 tips for increasing your sales this month:

#1 Add store categories

If you already have an eBay store, I’m sure you have some store categories.

Take a look at them.  Are they general categories?  Men’s Clothing, Women’s Clothing, Toys, etc?  General categories are a good start, but I recommend adding more specific categories.  Last time I checked, a seller can have up to 300 categories in their eBay store, so you might as well use them to your advantage, right?

Look at your inventory….what do you have a lot of?  Hanna Andersson? Gymboree? Keens? Capris? Coffee Mugs? Starbucks? Games? Build a Bear Workshop? Hello Kitty?  Make categories specific to those items.  You can put each item in 2 store categories.

Look at your “other” category and see what items you could move to a different category.

#2 Maximize your listing frame

This is something that I see pretty frequently when I look at people’s eBay stores.  They aren’t taking advantage of the listing frame.  There are so many setting in “manage my store” that you can change to maximize your efforts.  These are all things you’re paying for as part of having an eBay store, so why not use them to increase your sales?

The listing frame is the colored frame around the top and side of your description that matches your store design.  Many people don’t know that you can add your store categories, search box and sale items to your listing frame.  That way, when people come to your store looking for an item and they get an idea, they can easily search your store from any of your listings.  They can also see that you’re running a store sale and click that link to access all of the items you have on sale.

To maximize your listing frame:

Click on “manage my store”

Click on “listing frame”

Check the “Store header and left-navigation category list (first 30 categories that contain items)”

Scroll down to: Customize your store listing header and check the boxes for adding a search box, link to items on sale, store logo, and any other boxes you want to check (I have all of them checked)

#3 Analyze your shipping costs

I see a lot of high shipping costs when I click on listings.  Some sellers choose to use calculated shipping, some use flat rate shipping. I use flat rate shipping.  I live on the West Coast, and  don’t find that shipping costs vary that much, so I go with flat rate.

A lot of times when a seller uses calculated shipping , it tells me that shipping for an item like a shirt is $10.85.  I know for a fact that it could be shipped out for $4.99 or less.  So, if you use calculated shipping, make sure your costs are accurate, you don’t want to lose sales to certain parts of the country because your calculated shipping costs are set too high.

#4 Clean out your DVD’s & VHS

I can already hear you asking “Do people still buy VHS?”

The answer is “Yes!”  I wouldn’t go out and buy all the VHS you can find, but if you have some around the house that you don’t watch or want anymore, sell them on eBay.  Some VHS sell for higher prices than others.  I’ve sold some of them at unbelievable prices because if a certain movie or cartoon didn’t come out on DVD, then the VHS are getting harder and harder to find.  Some may only sell for $2.99 or $3.99, but that’s more than you’d get if you donated them, gave them away or sold them at a yard sale.

As far as your DVD’s take a look through them, anything you don’t want or need, list on eBay.  Most of the time, you can find your DVD by typing in the bar-code or the name of the title when you’re listing it so you don’t have to take a picture of it.

#5 Start stocking your store for Christmas

I know it’s only May, but in the scope of things you don’t have very much time until the Christmas selling season starts.  You want this to be your best yet…..right?  Between now and September/October, you have a very busy summer ahead of you.  By starting to prepare your store for Christmas now, you’ll take the stress and the burden off of trying to get it ready in September. Think of all of the sales you can make in the mean time if those items are listed.

When I say “stock your store for Christmas” I don’ necessarily mean that it has to be items that are specific to Christmas.  I’m talking about items that will sell at Christmas.  New items, items with tags, winter clothes, shoes, boots, DVD’s, toys, you name it.  Start listing it now……you may even be surprised at what sells even before the Christmas buying season starts.


Selling Strategy: List Items Every Day

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!!!


How Much Inventory Makes A Good eBay Store?

That’s a question I hear pretty often.  Sometimes people ask me to look at their store to see why they’re not getting very many sales. Often the first thing I notice is that their inventory is fewer than 300 items.

Let me ask you a question.

If you went to a store, let’s say Macy’s, and they had 113 items in the store, what are the odds that you’d find something there you needed, wanted, or just had to have?

For me, the odds would be pretty slim.  I bet they would be for you too.

Stores that sell a lot of inventory, have a lot of inventory in stock.  You can’t sell it if you don’t have it in stock.

The same principles that apply to retail apply to selling online.

I try to keep my store at 900-1000 items.  That way, if I’m out of town for a few days, sick, or just not able to list, I still have plenty of inventory listed.

This summer, I plan to increase my inventory numbers.

Everywhere you go, you need to be thinking “eBay”  not just at yard sales and thrift stores.  Think “eBay” when you’re at Wal-mart, Target, Macy’s, discount stores, sidewalk sales.  Pretty soon, you’ll find that it’s not difficult to find inventory if you open your eyes and look around you.

If you don’t have a lot of money to invest in your eBay business, then literally, look around you.  Look in your closets, your garage, attic, storage sheds, anywhere you have belongings.  Look on Craigslist and Freecycle too… never know what you’re going to find.

I highly doubt that a person can make a full time income by selling on eBay and having 100 items listed in their store.  Not unless they are $1,000.00 items.

My advice to you: If you have fewer than 100 items in your store, set a goal to get to 100 items listed.

If you have at least 100 but not up to 300 items yet, then set a goal and work toward 300.

If you have at least 300 but not 500, set a goal and work toward having 500 items listed in your store.

If you have at least 500, but aren’t close to 1,000 items in your store, then set goals in 100 item increments to get your store up to 1,000 items listed.

I guarantee you that each time you get to the next 100 items listed in your store, you will see your sales increase.  In my opinion, you can never have too many items listed.


5 Ways to Increase Your Online Sales in April

“April showers bring May flowers”……..or maybe it could be “April Showers give you more time to work on your eBay store.”

April is a great month to kick things into high gear and have your highest sales to date.

#1 Clean out your closet

Spring cleaning is a great way find inventory to sell on eBay.

As you’re changing your closet over to summer clothes, take a minute to sort through your winter clothes that you’re pulling out.  Anything you’re not keeping that’s in good condition, put it in your eBay pile.  As you’re putting your summer clothes in the closet, anything that’s in good condition and doesn’t fit or you don’t want to keep, put it in your eBay pile.

Do the same with your kids closets too.  Then start getting it listed, even the winter items can be listed in your store now. You never know what customers are looking for.  I am always amazed at what sells out of my closet.

#2 Go on a road trip

If you’re tired of going to the same thrift stores, or you live in an area with limited thrift stores……it’s time to hit the road!  Road trips are so much fun!!!  Head to a neighboring area and scout out the thrift stores.  Be sure to take plenty of money with you so you don’t have to leave behind any treasures.  It’s fun to get out of town for the day and have a whole new store  (or 2, or 3) to explore.

#3 Add some color to your listings

Look at your descriptions…..are they in a regular size black font?  Make your font larger, use a color and change the font style. Do something to attract and keep the buyers attention.  A boring listing conveys a boring item.  Just a few simple things to jazz up your listing can make a big difference.

#4 Maximize your item titles

Take a look at your item titles.  Are they short? (If yes, make them longer)  Do they have punctuation in them? (If yes, take the punctuation out)  Are they effective?  Use every word you can think of that describes your item.  Color, size, brand, who it’s for (men, women. boy, girl, baby) season, etc.  Learn to prioritize your keywords if there’s not enough room to fit all of the words in that you want to use, make sure the most important words are used.

#5 Spring clean your store

Do you have items in your store that have been sitting there for awhile (and by awhile, I mean more than a year) that you’re tired of looking at?  Clean your store out a little.  Maybe you bought some inventory as an experiment to see if it would sell and it’s been sitting there.  Clean out your store to make room for more :)

It’s important to make sure that you end the listings before you donate items to the thrift store or put them in your yard sale.  There’s nothing more of a pain than selling an item and realizing that you donated it to the thrift store last week.


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