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Dear eBay Queen: Do I need a Business Plan to sell on eBay

Dear eBay Queen:

I have been selling on eBay for 4 years.  I really like it, and think I’m pretty successful doing what I’m doing. I would really like to know how to expand my business and take it to the next level.  My wife and I would like to do eBay full time. Do you have any tips for me?

Henry

 

Dear Henry:

Just like owning any business, it takes a lot of hard work and a little bit of luck to become a full time eBay seller.  Here are some of the tools I have found that have helped me grow my business.

  • Find a place in your home to work.  eBay can take over your house if you are not careful.
  • When you find your source for product, don’t take it for granted. Always be on the lookout for other sources to buy from.
  • Make a schedule for each day. Make time for listing, writing things up, fixing pictures, answering email, packaging and shipping.   One of the hardest things for me is to make time to eBay, when there are so many other things wanting my attention.
  • Make sure your equipment; computer, printer and scales are up to the task of working for you.

eBay for Business has started a 7 week business plan challenge.  http://for-business.ebay.com/why-you-need-business-plan-and-how-actually-get-it-done   This is a fantastic, (and free,) opportunity to move any level of seller to the next rung up on the ladder.  eBay sends you a few gifts too.  This 7 week plan is as follows:

Week One: Executive Summary

Week Two: Company Description

 Week Three: Market Analysis

Week Four: Organization and Management

Week Five: Service or Product Line

Week Six: Marketing and Sales

Week Seven: Financial Projection

 

Dear eBay Queen:

Have you ever been "below standard"?  I don’t know what to do.  I’ve been this way for a few months, and have been trying to get back to “above standard” for a while.  The thing is, my listings are not getting the views that I need because I am below standard!  When and if they do sell, it’s not for very much money because well… no one is buying my stuff! I’ve offered free shipping, and really don’t know what else to do.

I don’t mind not making a ton of money if it gets me back above standard.  The defects I have were mainly in June or July of last year.  I made a few mistakes in trusting a drop shipper, and not shipping the items I did have out as fast as I could have.

I didn’t know or understand eBay really back then.  I even cancelled a few transactions.  I did not realize I would be penalized for that!   Short of waiting until summer to be able to sell again, what should I do?

Chelsea

 

Dear Chelsea:

I have been below standard before, when they first implemented this defect program.  It takes a bit of work to get out of the pit you are in, but it can be done.  Here are a few of the things I would do.

  • Call eBay immediately, and see if you can appeal the old defects.
  • Make sure all the stuff you are listing you ship within 24 hours of them selling.
  • Print your labels directly from eBay so that your tracking is uploaded automatically.
  • If you are selling mostly thrift store items, try to mix in some new items.  Download the eBay app to your phone and when you are out at the mall scan the items you see marked 50 to 75% off, and check that against “completed listings.”  You might find a few items that will sell that way.
  • Don’t mark your item so cheap that you are not going to make some kind of profit. 
  • If you are on Pinterest try pinning some of your more interesting items. 
  • I know that there are some groups on Facebook that you can promote your listings.  You might even try tweeting your items.

I hope that eBay removes a few of your old defects, and that with your new listings you are able to become an above standard seller.

jaditecanisters

Strange eBay Item of the Week: Item Number: 291351023981. While not as popular as it was several years ago, Fire King Jadeite is still very collectible. I would love to have these on my counter:  Fire King Jadeite Canister Set. SOLD: $1000.00.

 

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