Thursday, September 22, 2011

The eBayification of Amazon.com?

People talk about the amazonification of eBay. But what I've been noticing more lately is the eBayification of amazon.

How so?

As a seller on both sites, I've noticed there are more and more types of things being sold on amazon that used to be mainly sold on eBay.

Just to use one example, several months ago I picked up this Nadia Comenici gymnast doll at a yard sale.

Back in the day, I would have had to take a photograph of the doll, upload it, and fill out the whole listing form to sell it on eBay.

Now I simply type the doll's name in amazon, and there she pops up. There are actually two different amazon listings for her, each with a few different sellers listed. But someone has already uploaded an image, so I don't need to do that. I simply click "Sell yours here," and add in my condition notes and price. (She starts at $9.98 New on one listing, and $4.59 on another listing which appears to be the exact same action figure, just described with different words).

And that's another way amazon is becoming more like eBay. With so many sellers listing stuff on amazon now, you'll get the occasional misspelling, identical items with more than one listing, the occasional typo, etc. etc. But I don't mind those things so much. There are still a lot of things you can list on eBay which are not right for amazon, but when you can go the route of "The River," as eBay sellers sometimes call it, with amazon you can get more listed in less time.




Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Notes from eBay Live Orlando 2011: Store Tips

Yard Salers reader and eBay seller Susan Calderon recently attended the eBay Live Orlando conference. Here are her notes from a session led by Danna Crawford about getting the most out of your eBay Store:

"I took this really great class by Danna Crawford on eBay Stores. The class was a hour and a half, and there is so much stuff to a store, so it is hard to cover everything. Danna did an outstanding presentation! She is the founder of Virtual Online Learning and manages several Facebook groups for eBay sellers. "The power of eBay' is one' If you need more help than my notes can provide, please contact Danna; her eBay id is 'AskDanna.'

"The main highlights I got were: Make a Logo for your store
Store Logo = your brand

"Make sure you have set up in your store the following:
Store Search box
Store Categories that are search engine friendly
Left Navigation Bar
Promotional Boxes at the top on the landing page of your store (Great for Sales/Promotions)
Listing Header on all listings

"Check your store settings and make sure they are yes on Header, Cross Promotions, RSS Feeds.

"Inside your listings, make clickable links to 'Click here to add to your favorite sellers,' 'Click here to sign up for newsletter,' along with 'Click here to visit my
store.'

"With the store subscriptions comes the ability to print eBay marketing material - be sure and use this feature. It's found under the "marketing tools" section of manage my store. Click on 'promotional flyer'; you can customize and include these in your buyers packages if you like.

"Promote your store on your twitter feed; there is a free service you can sign up for on eBay called Froo, Smart Social.

*** The most important thing that Danna really drove home about stores was the area called your store description - this needs to be filled with google, bing, yahoo keywords that people use to search with to find your listings. These words will change often for most of us that sell a wide variety of changing items**. This is not the place for "welcome to my store," etc. etc.

"Manage my store keywords, optimize meta tags.

"Also suggested to get domain name for your store -- godaddy.com was the one mentioned.

"Use your customized pages: keep in mind they are searchable by the search engines too.

"Customize your emails that you send to your customers.

"For reference: pages.ebay.com/storestogo."

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Notes from eBay Live Orlando 2011 - Lynn Dralle's Class

Didn't make it to eBay Live on Location in Orlando 2011? One of our most industrious Yard Salers readers, Susan Calderon, did, and she's sharing her notes with us! (You can check out Susan's eBay Store at http://stores.ebay.com/Susans-Emporium).

Here are her impressions and notes from the Orlando event, and from "Queen of Auctions" Lynn Dralle's class on product sourcing (more class notes to follow):

I'm back from eBay Live on Location here in Orlando last week. I learned a lot! I am so glad I spent the $59.00 to go -- it was awesome! EBay sold out; there were over 1000 people there.

I took four really great courses on Thursday -- it was a long, very informative day. The one thing I really liked about this event is there were no bad seats; everybody could see and hear the speakers and the speakers were well-prepared and well-versed in their topic. Below are some highlights from Lynn Dralle's class as notes taken by me:

Lynn Dralle on "sourcing products for sale locally" presented one of the classes I took. Lynn is an excellent speaker; very engaging and funny with lots to share.

There were three types of places she talked about for sourcing products locally as a general reseller like a lot of us are. Lynn recommends trying to get 10 times what you pay for something as a ball park. Again, check completed listings on eBay or Terapeak.

Garage/Estate Sales

Check on Craiglist for days and times and addresses. Use keywords in the Craigslist search engine to find sales selling what you are looking to buy.

Mark times and days down.

Get a GPS and use it. Google maps are awesome!

Once you're at the sale: scan quickly. Always buy one item, if merchandise is priced too high or junk, leave.

Quality items - stay and spend some time.

Go early or late in the day.

Also make a pile of items and negotiate prices.

Tell the people having the sale that you will buy a lot.

Arrange a staging area to hold your treasures. If the seller won't do that, bring someone with you.

You can always edit items later.

Grab without being pushy.

Estate Sales: return on last day of sale for 50% off, but be prepared go early or the sale may be really picked over.

Thrift Stores:

Pick your favorite. Check out all the thrifts in your town go at least once monthly.

Visit best ones often.

When out of town, drop in to new thrift stores; never know what you'll find.

Check signs at front to see what's on "Sale."

Be patient and wait for the right price on items.

Use phone to scan and check out completed prices on eBay.

Retailers:

TJ Maxx and Macy's

Sign up for credit cards to get coupons and flyers about sales.

Sign up for emails and coupons.

Make relationships with sales people so that they will contact you when new merchandise you're interested in comes into the store.

That is what I learned about the where to look for the merchandise: Most people starting out struggle with figuring out what to sell. Here is a small list of some ideas that were mentioned:

Replacement items of dinnerware and flatware, along with home d├ęcor.

Clothing is always popular, especially the largest sizes. Free ship with lightweight clothing.

Mid century modern retro items.

New Gift Items.

Sporting goods/"Manly Things."

Tools, fishing rods.

Books, especially cookbooks - a recent first edition Julia Child sold for 224.00.

People should also think about: What do you love that is quirky? Quirky sells on eBay.

Look to your background; What's your past work history? Look to your schooling.

What do you love to do in your spare time? Reading=Bookseller.

Product Lines:

Broad > Narrow > Narrower.

All-encompassing > more targeted > more specific.

Who do you know? That might could help you in your search for items to sell.

Contacts are king: Friends, think Christmas card list.

Acquaintances: think Facebook and Twitter.

Business associates: other eBay vendors.

Former classmates.

People you see every day.

Lynn recommends having a mix of both new and used merchandise and not keeping anything in your store past two years.

Also having more than one id on eBay. One for buying and one for selling.

Business cards made up without eBay being mentioned when buying locally.

Monday, September 12, 2011

ParcelChecker.co.uk Launches: Compare UK Courier and Delivery Co.'s

I just got a note that there's a new tool for UK sellers out there to compare shipping service prices.

ParcelChecker.co.uk recently launched. It compares the prices of the main UK courier and delivery companies.

There is also a ParcelChecker calculator, which shows the "possible annual savings small businesses/eBay sellers could make on delivery costs based on the average amount and weight of packages sent per week."