Thursday, December 29, 2011

Last Minute End Of Year Tips

I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season! Sales were great this year for me on both eBay and Amazon.  As the new year approaches, there are a few things that I would recommend doing now:

  • As many people ordered gifts online, email family and friends and ask them for their boxes and packing materials. Post on Facebook asking friends to save them for you. It works and it's wonderful to get  free packing pillows and bubble wrap!

  • Get your receipts and expenses in order now so you don't have to panic in April.  Remember, you will be required to report eBay income of $20,000 or more or if you've had 200 or more transactions. Even if you didn't hit that mark, you should still track your income and expenses. You DO need to know how much you make and how much it costs you to sell on eBay!

  • I would highly recommend purchasing Easy Auction Tracker for 2012. This year the spreadsheet is able to import all of your sales information including the actual shipping charged. The only thing that you have to input is your cost for each item sold (that is how much you paid for the item).  They have other new features too and believe me, this spreadsheet is well worth the money!  As I mentioned before, I've used a lot of other spreadsheets (I've been selling for over 11 years and I've always tried to keep track of the income that I've made) and there is nothing that compares to Easy Auction Tracker in my opinion.  Plus, the owners are super helpful and give 5 star service!

One last thing, it's time to set some goals for 2012.  One of my goals is to write an informative blog post twice a month. If you have anything you'd like me to feature, please leave a comment below. 

I hope everyone has a happy and prosperous new year! Thank you for reading my blog and I look forward to selling and blogging more in 2012!

Happy Selling,


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Getting the Most from eBay's Free Auctions

Hello fellow sellers, it's been a while! I've been very busy trying to keep up with sales, shopping, family and holiday prep that I've neglected my blog. Sorry about that!

Back to business, lately eBay has been running a special offer for free auction listings, sometimes with free Buy It Now.  I have found this to be very profitable and hope that they keep up this trend.

I am not a big fan of auctions, they were great in the early days of eBay, but in the past 5 years or so, more people just want to buy it rather then wait to see if they've won it at auction. I prefer to list my inventory at fixed price and just wait for the right buyer to come along. However, since eBay has been running the free auctions special, I've been dabbling with some success.

Here are a couple of tips to utilize these freebies to the full extent:

Dig out all the unlisted stuff that you're not sure of the value.  Try it at auction, just don't start it at $.99; your opening bid should reflect the minimum amount that you are willing to accept for this item. Don't be upset if you only get the opening bid.  I sold these boxing gloves hoping that they would sell for about $30, but they only got one bid. It's OK I got them for free:

Tuesday night I listed 19 items at auction. Some of them I've tried to auction off before, but now I've lowered the price with the hopes to just unload them. Other items were things that I've acquired but am uncertain how to price.

My sister gave me a stack of games last week to either sell or donate -- my family donates unwanted stuff to me, then I sort, research and either sell or donate to a Thrift Store will 100% of the profits staying with me.  Anyway, one of the games was called Peanut Panic from 1994. I couldn't find it in eBay's completed or in Terapeak.  So last night I figured that I would take advantage of the free auction and started it at $14.99.  Well this morning it is up to $41!!  Honestly, I considered donating it because it really doesn't look like anything special. Here for is a link so you can watch it with me, and below is a photo:

My auction ends on Sunday, so if you have this game, wait to list it so you can see what people are willing to spend!

If you have an eBay store there are some do's and don't's when utilizing the free auctions. Don't expect that items that have been sitting in your store for a long time will suddenly sell at auction without changes. Auctions no longer give storeowners better exposure, so if it's not selling for $20 at fixed price, it's highly doubtful that it will suddenly sell at auction.

If you decide you want to do a clean out of your eBay store, take the time to edit your titles now that you have an additional 25 characters to work with. Also, since you may only get the opening bid, price the item so you'll still make a profit or at least make your money back if it's a dud.

For items that's you've only had listed at fixed price for 2 weeks or less, let them ride for another 2 weeks. You've already paid the listing fee for 30 days; changing it to auction style means that you didn't get your money's worth from the fee you paid, making the auction not really free. Hope that make sense!

Finally, this is a great time to branch out into a different product line.  Have you thought about selling clothing but aren't really sure? List a few items at auction, if they don't sell or if you decide that you don't like photographing clothes then you didn't lose the fees that you would normally pay to list.

Happy Selling,