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Dear eBay Queen: Where Can I Find Inventory During a Pandemic?

Dear eBay Queen:

I’m freaking out.  I don’t know what to do.  I need more inventory to list on eBay.  I know I will never be able to list the 50K listing eBay has given us this April, but I’d like to make a dent.  I also really miss hunting for product.  Do you have any suggestions for me?

Geri G

 

Dear Geri:

The 5oK listing was a fantastic gift from eBay.  I won’t ever hit that either, but I’m trying.   I’m sure you’ve heard of the term arbitrage.  That is  the practice of taking advantage of a price difference between two or more markets.  eBay arbitrage would be buying items at lower than usual prices and then selling them for a profit.  A successful arbitrager is one that knows the worth of the product.  There are so many places to buy online and then turn around and re-sell them on eBay.    I’m not sure what you normally sell or what product you know best.  I know that you can find something online in these places.

 

Here are a few suggestions:

  1. eBay.  15 years ago I was really into quilts.  I would surf eBay for quilts that were at a low price or had bad/limited photos.  I made a pretty good living buying and selling quilts.  Maybe there is something you know about you can could look for to re-sell.
  2. Amazon.  There are so many videos and websites that talk about buying items on Amazon and re-selling them on eBay
  3. Department stores  There are  many department stores that are taking deep discounts on their product.  Shop for items you can re-sell
  4. Facebook Marketplace  Someone is always giving away or selling something on Facebook.
  5. Goodwill Did you know that Goodwill runs it’s own website/auction where you can buy product?
  6. Neighbors Message your neighbors.  Maybe they have something they can set out for you to come get.
  7. You What do you have in your house you could sell?  Do you have old clothes?  What about any death piles (the stuff you’ve put off listing?)

I hope this gives you a few ideas of how to find inventory to help meet your listing goals.

Crazy eBay Item of the Week: Vtg Amish Quilt Diamond In A Square Fabulous Jewel Tones Hand Sewn Lancaster PA  SOLD $510.00 Check it out HERE

In eBay News: Free Listings & Deferred Fees!

Did you see this this letter to the eBay community?

To our seller community,

eBay is always open, and now, more than ever, small and medium sized businesses are using our platform to connect with buyers and deliver what they need most. When people shop eBay, they are supporting you and sellers like you around the country.

Despite unprecedented circumstances that involve “social distancing,” it has been incredible to see the eBay community come together and spring into action. Sellers have been jumping in to support one another – from creating web videos with tips and tricks for successful selling despite the outbreak to sellers simply offering up words of much-needed support to one another.

We’re grateful to the countless sellers who have taken the time to give us candid feedback over the past weeks; and for being crystal clear about what’s necessary to strengthen and sustain your businesses amidst COVID-19.

Based on what you told us, the following moves are being implemented for our small and medium businesses:
Deferred Fee Payments: When we asked how we could help, many of you shared that help with cash flow and flexibility with payments was top of mind. For that reason, we are deferring most selling fees for eligible Store subscribers for a full 30 days. If you could use help with your payments, check here or your email on Wednesday, March 25, for complete details and how to request support.

Seller Protections: We want to reassure you that you will not be penalized for being unable to get an item out the door as fast as usual or if you have to unexpectedly cancel an order. To this end, Seller Performance Standards will not be negatively impacted for the next 90 days. For more on this topic, check this announcement board where we post frequently.

100,000 Incremental FREE Listings: As the way we spend our time has changed – with more time at home and with family – there has been a shift in the type of items that are most in demand. Now is the perfect time to test new inventory, and I’m excited to share a new promotion for eBay Store owners. Subscribers can now list 50,000 additional fixed price listings FREE in March and 50,000 additional listings FREE in April*. Your success is our success and we want to help keep you listing and selling on eBay.

Additional Updates:
Shipping: Carriers inside the U.S. are considered essential by the government at this time and there has not been disruption to date. The team is in direct communication with USPS, UPS and FedEx – and domestic deliveries are continuing as usual, with slight variations on their signature required processes. Don’t forget you can schedule a USPS pick up if you are unable to drop off your packages.

Trusted Marketplace: Finally, we continue to take steps to ensure our marketplace remains safe and trusted. That includes removing listings that include health claims and misuse of keywords, or any inflated prices on items like face masks and hand sanitizer. We’re working as fast as possible, but if you see something that doesn’t look right then please let us know here.
Along with these actions, our government relations team continues to find ways to support our marketplace and help those most affected by COVID-19. There is also a dedicated resource center, tailored for small businesses, in response to the pandemic. Stay up to date on this information and these efforts at Main Street.

More to Come
So much continues to change due to COVID-19 and we are committed to helping you navigate the uncertainty. While we’ve had to postpone many of our UpFront events, we will continue to stay connected and share updates on our COVID-19 Community Hub, podcast and Facebook. You can also contact Customer Service with your questions. We are providing sellers who host in-person Community Events with resources to run these forums online.

As I’ve shared in the past, eBay’s top priority continues to

be the health and happiness of our community – especially our employees and you, our sellers. Please stay safe and, as always, thank you for selling on eBay.

Jordan Sweetnam
SVP and General Manager, North America

What’s the Deal with Your eBay Promotions?

I received a message on Facebook from a reader asking what I mean by “new this week promo” on  my “today’s plans” blog posts.

I am a eBay consultant for a large catalog company.  I started consulting for them in 2016.  I was going to work a couple of weeks, and that turned into years.  🙂 I’ve learned SO much with this company.  They use promotional emails with their catalog and online store.  We wondered what we would happen if we did the same for our eBay customers.  In early 2019 we started  seriously using eBay’s promoted listings and markdown manager.  This was (in my opinion) a huge game changer for this company’s account.   In October of 2019 we started our “one and only” campaign.  The one and only promos work like this.

  1. We list 6 new items, that we only have one of.
  2. They start each Monday at 9:00am
  3. They go in a special store category made just for them.  If they sell great, if not we remove them from that category on Sunday evening.
  4. These items vary in price and item type.

We’ve had pretty good success with this.  I was a bit skeptical, but I am pleased with the Monday One and Only campaigns.  We sell about 30% of those items on the first day of their offering. The draw back to me is sometimes it’s challenging to find 6 unique/special items with a WOW factor to make people want to buy.

If you are not using promoted listings, markdown manager or sending out updates to your subscribers, YOU SHOULD TRY IT.

 

Me.. out in the warehouse.

 

Update: Can You Guess What I Did Wrong?

I posted a LLOONGGG blog about an error I made writing an eBay customer.  The buyer received their money back.. and left me this lovely email.

 

Ahh. One of the simple joys of eBay.

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