Monday, April 27, 2015

Shipping Cost Issues Alert!

I use eBay shipping labels for all of my eBay packages. Several times this month I have noticed that the postage seemed really high for Priority Mail. As a Top Rated Seller, I get a discount on shipping; when you ship a heavier package via Priority Mail within your zone, the discount can be up to 45% which is a big savings. 

This morning I was shipping a package in my zone and the shipping for Priority Mail seemed really high. I hopped over to Paypal and found that my hunch was right.  eBay wanted to charge $11.15 for my 3 pound package only 1 state away.  Paypal shipping was $5.20. This was not a flat-rate price either.  I don't know how the system came up with a price of $11.15 which is a lot higher then the price that I would have paid if I would have purchased shipping inside a post office. 

I have been told that the issue has been reported and not ETA for the fix. Just wanted to let my readers know about this glitch that could cost you a lot of money if you're not careful.

Happy Selling,

Friday, March 20, 2015

Organize NOW for the 2015 Tax Year! Free Download!

Whenever I work on my taxes, a task that I hate more than spiders, I realize how lucky I am to have a great system in place.  I remember many years ago it was so hard, I tried to make my own spreadsheet but since I'm not an expert in Excel, I failed miserably.

Thankfully, I found Easy Auction Tracker, which was developed by an eBay seller and it was exactly what I needed.  It imports all the information, so I no longer had to input anything except the price that I paid for my items. 

Every year the developers add even more great features like expense tracking, consignment tracking, Profit and Loss statements, sales tax calculations and more.

Right now they are offering a FREE trial so download it today!  It will pull in all of your sales from January, February and March of 2015.  This offer ends on March 31, so do it NOW!  Why not try it for free? - Ultimate eBay Spreadsheet

In addition to taxes, this spreadsheet will show you what you are actually profiting on each item that you sell.  Think that buying an item for $1 and selling it for $10 is giving you about $9? Think again, especially with the new Spring Seller Update that was just release.  You must pay attention to the fees that you are paying!  That item you sold for $10, you netted just over $6 assuming that you didn't offer free shipping. If you shipped it First Class for free (assuming $3.50), now you only made about $3.  How long did it take you to research, clean, photograph, list and ship? If it took you 15 minutes, then you're making about $12 an hour before taxes, packaging materials, utilities and the time you spent shopping.

This is offer is only good until the end of the month. eBay only stores your previous sales for the last 3 months, so don't wait! Would it be nice to be organized and ready for Uncle Sam this time next year?

Happy Selling,

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Feedback and a 5 Star Rating

I came across an auction the other day that really made me laugh; it was a  5 Star Feedback Rating auction.  Now this is not eBay legal and if you are a good seller you should not need to buy something like this!

Rather than try to buy a good rating, work on providing your customers with top notch service that will turn them into repeat customers.

First step is to have clear photos, and be sure to include photos of any flaws in your item.  If you are selling something that doesn't work or is for parts only, be sure to add that to your title.  Don't sell junk and don't say that something is in better condition than it really is.

Second step is to accurately describe your item. You don't need to tell a story, just offer the facts including measurements.  This will save you from having to answer question for those buyers even willing to ask. Most people will just move on to the next listing if your description is incomplete.

Third, offer reasonable shipping costs on your items. You don't have to offer free shipping, and if you do make sure that you are building the cost into your price.  What you do not want to do is to charge someone a lot more than the actual shipping. A small handling fee is fine, but you may get your stars dinged if you are really jacking up the shipping price.

Forth is shipping the item.  Make sure it is well packaged and don't put breakables in an envelope. This may seem elementary, but you'd be surprised by the stories I hear from other sellers that have purchased on eBay.

Finally, consider including something in your package informing the customer how to reach you. I use a glossy postcard that I had printed in bulk. The card lets the customer know that I accept returns, that their satisfaction is important to me and how to reach me.  This card has saved me from having customers open an Item Not As Described case which would give me an automatic defect.  If the customer has your email address or phone number right with the item, they will most likely use it to contact you instead of opening a case.

For me, having satisfied customers is a great feeling. The 20% Top Rated Seller discount and the postage discount doesn't hurt either.

Happy Selling!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

To BOLO or Not to BOLO

If you have followed my blog from the beginning, you've probably noticed that I've been MIA for a long time.  I started this blog right around the same time that Facebook groups started popping up; groups that tell you how to and what to sell online.  This has snowballed into a huge increase of online sellers but it has also generated a "race to the bottom" in pricing.  

It's fun to read about BOLO (be on the lookout) items and even more fun to find them.  Just keep this in mind; you don't have to be the lowest price!  Here is an example: I used to sell the Wilton Abby Cadabby Cake pan for $60 plus shipping. 

I just checked Terapeak and the average selling price of this pan is now $15.50.  Abby's popularity as a character hasn't diminished, she so well loved by Sesame Street fans.  So what happened? This pan was "outed" as a BOLO on several Facebook groups.  You may also find it discussed on YouTube videos.  At any rate, once outed, Abby was listed by lots of sellers, each pricing it just a little bit lower then the last one.  Maybe some found it for .25 and thought that pricing it at $10 was good enough.  Not only did these sellers leave money on the table, but they made the price of this once HOT items now pretty much a dud. Same with almost all Wilton cake pans.  It used to be one of my top 5 selling categories; now I rarely buy them when I see them. 

The moral of my story? I'm going to get back to posting helpful online selling tips but you're probably not going to find many BOLOs on this blog.  

I know that many people like to brag or be helpful, but keep in mind that whenever you post a product that is a good seller, it probably won't be once you find it again.  End the BOLO brag and keep selling those hot products yourself. Let people go back to doing their own research:). 

Happy Selling!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

If you have this Hallmark Ornament, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Eddie's RV -- you might consider listing it. Prices are really high!  This series seems to quickly increase in value.

Merry Christmas!