Archive for April, 2009
Dear eBay Queen;
I’ve been really stepping up my online presence lately. I sell on eBay, Amazon, my own website and Bonanzle. I’ve been reading about social networking, but I just don’t get it. Surely if I can figure out how to sell on four different sites, I can figure out social networking, right?
What can you tell me about using social networking to enhance my sales? I have set up a Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter account. I don’t know what to do with them. Can you give me some insight?
Congratulations on your successful online presence! Many people would tell you social networking is EVERYTHING to business success. I believe a successful online business has many components that make it prosperous.
1. You need a good product that people want.
2. You must build trust and confidence by the way you handle your business and by how your website/ads look.
3. Answer all questions promptly.
Social Networking is a way to look into the life of another person, or business. It is a way to connect with others in a unique way. Social Networking includes many different sites, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and LinkedIn I look at each of these sites in this way:
Facebook: Social site where you can connect with everyone, from the guy you went to church camp with in 1982, or your best friend from high school, to people that do the same kind of work you do. With this site, you can post photos, and tell the world as little, or as much as you want to tell them about yourself.
MySpace: Is about the same as Facebook, but can be personalized down to a song and flashy graphic when people enter your page.
Twitter: Is all the rage right now. You connect or “Tweet” what you’re doing in 140 character spaces. You can tell people anything as long as it’s in those 140 spaces. I tweet about my blog, what I’m making for dinner, interesting eBay finds, or what I’m watching on TV. Do people care? Who knows! I know that secretly I love reading what other people are doing.
LinkedIn: Is more of a professional site where you can find industry contacts, etc. There is less personal interaction on this site. I don’t see many people hocking their wares here. They are more looking for business contacts.
I really enjoy social networking. I don’t promote my eBay business on the social sites as much as I promote my blog and my articles. I really believe that you can overwhelm your friends with too much self promotion. I have several friends on Twitter that Tweet non stop about their eBay listings, and hardly ever tweet anything personal. I believe that you need to have about 80% personal and 20% business promotion.
Dear eBay Queen;
I was reading the new AuctionBytes blog where they discussed eBay’s new dispute resolution process. Have you read this? http://blog.auctionbytes.com/cgi-bin/blog/blog.pl?/pl/2009/4/1240838488.html eBay is allowing buyers to call in and say there is a problem, then the are giving the money back and allowing the buyer to keep the item. In some cases they are suspending the seller! What is up with that?
I am interested in what you think about this new dispute system.
Bill H; Omaha
I read the blog, and to say that it freaked me out a bit is an understatement. I do believe the resolution process needs a makeover. In it’s current state, it’s slow moving, and doesn’t make either party really communicate.
I wrote Jim Griffith (eBay’s Senior Manager of Seller Advocacy), he assured me this program was in the test phases, and not to believe everything I read. He assured me that “eBay would not suspend good sellers, and this program will actually help a good seller.”
If you read AuctionByte’s blog from April 28, you’ll see that there is a struggle between AuctionByte’s reporting and eBay. http://blog.auctionbytes.com/cgi-bin/blog/blog.pl I completely believe this is true, eBay has basically shut communication off with AuctionBytes. The story that they reported on the resolution process is probably only taking few sellers experience with it into account, and not the norm. We don’t have any idea how long those buyers waited for the item, if the seller communicated with the buyer etc.
Right now I am going to remain cautiously optimistic about this new policy. The new dispute policy will take effect at the end of the year.
Strange eBay item of the week: eBay item 280336710001 (enter this number in the eBay search box in the top right corner of the eBay homepage) You know Susan Boyle? The woman who has the voice of an angel? Check out what her first CD sold for on eBay: SOLD $909.11 http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAP.dll?ViewItems&item=280336710001
Dear eBay Queen,
I have some camera equipment that I would like to sell. There is a certain price that I would like to get for each of my items. I am trying to figure out if I should just put each item on a Buy it Now, Buy it Now with Best Offer, or auction.
I would like to try selling them at auction, but I am afraid I will get far less for them than I would like. I put some other things up on a Buy it Now a few days ago, and they sold the next day. It made me wonder if I could have got more for them than what I listed them for. I guess that is the risk you take.
If I decided to sell it at auction, should I start it low to gain some interest? I would like to get $500.00 out of one of the items. What would you suggest?
John P, Olathe, KS
I know the feeling of thinking you sold something for too little! The first thing to do is to look your camera equipment up on eBay. You want to make sure you are looking at completed listings. This will tell you what the items are currently selling for. Because of the current state of our economy, this doesn’t mean they are worth that, but it is what the selling price is.
Currently eBay is running a special for sellers who have Buy it Now’s with Free shipping. Your listing fees will be cheaper if you go that route. You can even extend your sale out for 30 days, with one listing price. http://www2.ebay.com/aw/core/200903041438042.html If this were my transaction I would ask a bit more than what you want say $550 or $600 and put a best offer on the listing. That way, when someone offers 10% off the price, you will still be at the price you had hoped to get for the item.
If you decided to go with an auction, you could always put a reserve on it. That will cost you a bit more money and sometimes can scare a buyer away. Reserves can make buyers a little hesitant to bid because they don’t think their bid will meet the reserve.
I hope your cameras and equipment sell for what you want them too!
Dear eBay Queen;
Do you sell clothing? I sell mostly children’s and women’s clothing. I have been offer free shipping on all my clothing. I think I am spending more money that I need to on shipping by using Priority Mail boxes. I am wondering if there is another option for me besides the Priority boxes? Also, could you give me a ballpark figure on what I will be spending on these items? Thanks for sharing your knowledge.
Yes, I do sometimes sell clothing. I have found shipping bags are great for a variety of items. I like to use a couple of different “bag” types for shipping.
When using Priority Mail, I like the USPS Tyvek bags. If I am sending something via First Class or UPS, I will use the poly-bags that I can purchase on eBay. There are several sizes and styles to choose from in the poly-bags. Both the Tyvek and poly-bags are lightweight and a secure way to ship items.
The poly-bags range in price from $29.00 for 100 bags to $18.00 for 50 bags. Of course the USPS bags are the best price, FREE. Most sellers of these types of bags offer free shipping on some and not on others. Make sure you look at everything the sellers have up for sale before you make a commitment to buy.
Strange eBay item of the week:
Who would have thought a sweater would sell this time of year? Check out this Ralph Lauren Country Indian Sweater Hand Knit SOLD $810.00