5 Ways to Increase Your Online Sales In February

February 16, 2011 by The Selling Sisters  
Filed under How To..., Motivation, Working At Home

This time of year, online sales can be slow, but they don’t have to be.

I always say “There’s more than one way to skin a cat.” (Actually, I think Rachel borrowed this saying from our Dad….)

Basically, I believe that if you have the mindset that sales are slow and that’s just how it is……your sales are going to be slow.

If you have the mindset that sales are slow, but you can still find a way to have a good sales month, you will.

Here are my top 5 tips for increasing your eBay sales in the month of February. They apply any month of the year, but winter months seem to be slower.

#1 Keep listing your items.

I cannot say enough about this.  The more you list, the more you will sell.  Right now, it’s time to  list capris, swimming suits, sandals, shorts, tank tops, water shoes, &anything summer.  Of course, if you have other things, list them now too, but make listing your summer items a priority.

#2 Keep your items listed.

Just because a season or a holiday is over doesn’t mean you should cancel holiday items in your store.  I can’t tell you how much Christmas stuff I sold in January, and just today, 2/9/11, I sold a Wonder Pets Ming-Ming Costume for $29.99.

Don’t worry about what season or what holiday an item is for…….keep it listed in your store.  You never know what people are looking for.  If you decide to go ahead and cancel your seasonal items anyway, that’s OK……when you cancel your seasonal items, it increases the chances that my seasonal items will sell ;)

#3 Use markdown manager to create a sale.

Run a sale for  7-10 days. Even 10%-15% off can attract buyers.  You can run a sale on your entire store, or  select categories.

#4 Offer FREE shipping on select items.

Go through your store and decide what items you can afford to offer FREE shipping on.  When I went through my store, I decided to offer free shipping on items that cost $2.99 or less to ship.

#5 Import your items to another selling venue for more exposure.

I imported my eBay and Etsy items  toor more exposure.  Addoway is FREE.  There’s no cost for a store, no cost to list and no fees when an item sells.  I sold several things on addoway over Christmas and it’s very easy.  You simply import your current listings to it.  Since it’s free, there’s no reason not to list them.


5 Easy Steps to Show Newly Listed Items First In Your eBay Store

When you open an eBay store, everything is set to the basic default settings.

There are so many options in “manage my store” to customize your eBay store and maximize your selling efforts.

One thing that I like to do is set my store to show the items newly listed rather than the items ending soonest on the front page.  I find that my items sell faster that way.

If you want to do this with your storefront–

1.Click on “manage my store

2. Click on  “store design

3. Find “display settings” click on “change

4. Find “item display settings” click on “change.”

5. Find “sort order” you click to display the newly listed items.


Auction Strategy~Multiple Items

May 20, 2010 by The Selling Sisters  
Filed under Ebay

I don’t often have two exact items for sale, but it happens once in awhile.

One great tip I learned for auctioning exact items is to list them one at a time.

When you’re so busy, it’s difficult to keep relisting an item, but you should make more money by listing the auctions separately.

Here’s why:

1. If you list identical items on auction at the same time, you split the bidders.

Let’s say you list your identical items and get 10 different bidders to bid on the two items. Your items will sell lower than they would if you had listed one and the 10 bidders fought for your one item.

In essence you gave them a great deal by splitting the bidders. You created competition for yourself.

2. If you list identical items on auction at the same time, you remove the sense of urgency.

If a customer wants a certain item and discovers you have  5 auctions listed for the same item, there’s no reason for him to bid anytime soon. He will wait and see which item is the lowest when the auctions are ending.

3. If you list identical items on auction at the same time, you may save time, but you will mostly likely lose out on bidding wars and $$ profit.

**This tip is for auctions not stores**


Ebay Best Offers #2

April 27, 2010 by The Selling Sisters  
Filed under Ebay, Pricing Strategies

My thoughts on Ebay Best Offers

 I love best offers on items in my Ebay store. Here’s my thought process on best offers.

  1. An item that’s been languishing in the store for months can be sold at a fair price. This makes more room in my inventory bins and clears out old stuff from the store.
  2. I typically accept best offers of 20% off or less but will consider any reasonable offers.
  3. Best offers allow customers to get a deal when buying multiple items from my store. I almost always accept best offers from customers buying multiple items.
  4. Consider the price you paid for the item when deciding on a best offer. Often I’ve purchased an item  cheaply and don’t mind it selling it for less than the asking price since I have so little invested.
  5. Double check the offer before accepting. They are able to include free shipping in their offer and you have to decide if you want to accept that or not. I’d be bummed to take a lowball offer only to find out that I gave them free shipping because I didn’t pay attention to the offer.
  6.  If you accept best offers, you may want to consider asking a slightly higher price on your store items to leave room to dicker. If you list your items at the rock bottom prices, the best offer option will probably leave you frustrated. 

 If I know an item goes for $15 on auction, I may list it in my store for $18 and see what happens. The cushion gives me room to accept best offers and it also makes me happy if someone purchases the item at $18.

 What about crazy best offers?

1.  Don’t take it personally. Sometimes customers want to get your item for the cheapest price.

Calmly submit a counter offer that is fair for your item.

Don’t send a lengthy message just send the counteroffer and see what they do.

2.  If the offer is super crazy, I’ve sent the following response:

“Did you mean to offer $3 off for this item? I am unable to sell this item for $3, but will consider $3 off the asking price.”

3. Remember to be professional in your emails and responses. Sending an email like this isn’t a good idea.

“Are you a crazy lunatic? What kind of deranged mind thinks I’m selling this $1,000 item for $2.99?”

Just ignore the best offer if you feel it’s so ridiculous you can’t respond professionally.

 Never tell the person the cheapest price you’re willing to sell it for. Here’s an example.

Let’ s say you have an item in your store with a $100 asking price.

You receive an email from a potential customer with wording similar to this.

“What’s the lowest price you’ll take for this?”

I respond with, “You are welcome to submit your best offer. If I think it’s a reasonable price for the item, I will accept it.”

If I respond that this thing has been in my store forever and I’d love to get rid of it for $35.00 to get my money back, I will sell it for $35.00.

However, if I wait to let them submit their best offer, it may be higher than the $35.00

They may reply to my email with an offer of $50.00 as their highest offer.

I’d rather take $50.00 for it than $35.00. 

Best offers are a great way to move items out of your store. Sometimes the offers can be annoying but most often they’re fair for both parties and leave your customer satisfied with the transaction.

**See Rachel’s outlook on best offers here.

How to use the Best Offer Option to Maximize Sales When Selling on eBay

April 27, 2010 by The Selling Sisters  
Filed under Ebay, Pricing Strategies

There are several different formats that you can use when selling on eBay. 

Some sellers prefer to sell the majority of their items on auction.  Some use “fixed price”   some use an eBay “store”, others use a mixture of all of the above.

When you list an item in your eBay store, or on the “fixed price” format, you can also give customers the option to send you a “best Offer” for the item. 

I LOVE the “best offer” option and I make it available on all of the items in my eBay store. 

The way I look at it is this: when a buyer sends me an offer, I’m in control of what happens at that point.  I can:

1. accept the offer

2. send the buyer a “counteroffer”

3. decline the offer.

Here’s how I decide how to proceed when I get an offer from a buyer:

If the offer is reasonable, or if its’ an item that I want to get rid of, I accept the offer (cha -ching!)

If the offer is too low for me to accept, but the buyer is still being reasonable, I’ll send them a counteroffer for a price I feel is fair.

If the offer is way too low, I automatically decline it.

Here’s what usually happens next:

The buyer can accept, decline, or send another counteroffer on the counteroffer I sent them. 

 Most of the time, they will accept the offer I send them.  Once in awhile, they’ll send a counteroffer back to me.  If it’s reasonable, I’ll take it, if not, I’ll decline it. 

For example:

 The buyer sends me an offer of $39.99 on an item that I have priced at $59.99.  To me, the buyer’s not being unreasonable.  (Unreasonable would be sending an offer of $5.00 for an item marked at $59.99, and yes, that does happen.)

I’ll send a counteroffer of $49.99 back to the buyer.  If the buyer counteroffers me at $40.00, I will DECLINE their offer.  The message they sent  to me by sending an offer of $39.99 and then a counteroffer of $40.00, is this: OK, I’ll pay ONE PENNY more than I offered you in the first place.  To me, that’s a waste of my time and I don’t want to deal with a buyer like that, so I’ll just decline the offer.  I’ve done this before and  many times, the buyer comes back and buys it from my store at FULL PRICE.

Let’s say that after I send the buyer a counteroffer of $49.99, they send an offer back at $48.00.  Yes, I’ll take that.  That’s almost what my counteroffer was, I’m not going to waste time bickering over a few pennies, I’d rather have the sale.

I try not to take it personally when a buyer sends an offer that’s very low, or sends very low counteroffers.  Some people don’t understand exactly how best offers work and they think they’re placing a “bid” on the item, so they send an offer for $5.00 on a $39.99 item.  Again, I just decline these. 

I’ve had several people come back with a much higher offer or buy the item at full price after I decline their offer. 

The message it sends to a buyer when you decline a low offer is this:  I’m not messing around.

  When you send a counteroffer to a buyer who’s just sent you a very low offer, you’re telling them that you’ll play their game, and that’s when most sellers get frustrated.  They sit there and counter offer back and forth for a few days with a buyer and end up not making a sale and just getting frustrated and insulted.  It looks something like this:

Item price:                          $39.99
Offer (Buyer):                   $ 5.00

Counteroffer (Seller):    $37.99

Counteroffer (Buyer):     $ 6.00

Counteroffer (Seller) :  $35.00

Counteroffer (Buyer):  $10.50

Counteroffer (Seller):  $32.00

Decline (Buyer):

Do you see why I would say this is a waste of my time and why I would just decline such a low offer in the first place?  I had this process happen numerous times when I started using the best Offer option and each time, I got so frustrated and was insulted that someone would send me an offer like that.  So, now, I avoid the frustration by “nipping it in the bud.”  If the offer is too low, I just decline it.  If they’re serious, they’ll either come back with a higher offer or pay full price for it.  It’s that simple.

The other thing I avoid is writing a message to the buyer in the “terms” section of the counteroffer form.  At first, I would write a message like this to the buyer:  “Thanks for your offer; $36.00 is as low as I can go on this item.”  And almost every time, they would come back with a counteroffer: $29.00. 

 Again, this just opens the door to getting yourself frustrated and feeling insulted.  When you write a message to the buyer, it tells them that there’s room for negotiation and they’ll try it.  So many people out there are trying to get something for nothing.  They’ll test you to see how low they get the item for.  I choose not to play that game.

Another thing to keep in mind when using the “best Offer” option is that people will send you offers, so you want to price you item accordingly.  You need a little bit of room in your price to be able to work with the buyer who sends you an offer. 

 What I mean by that is simply this:  Overprice your item so you have room to take offers

When I’m listing, I think to my self, “I’d like to get $29.99 for this item.”  And I list it for $39.99 with the “Best Offer” option available to my customer. 

 Sometimes, the buyer will pay full price for it, other times they’ll send an offer.  If they send an offer of $34.99 on a $39.99 item and originally, I wanted to get $29.99 for the item, then I’m ahead of the game. 

If you price your item at the exact price you want to sell it for and give customers the option to send you a “Best Offer” here’s what will happen. 

 You’ll price your item at $29.99 and a customer will send you an offer for $24.99. 

It’s close to what you wanted but you had no wiggle room.

 By overpricing the item, I almost always end up with the sale price being higher than what I originally intended to sell the item for……..so, go give it a try!  Add the “Best Offer” option to your listings and see if you make a few more sales this month.


**See Lizzie’s outlook on best offers here.