3 Basic Tips to Help You Start Selling on eBay

First, let me start out by giving you a quote from an old saying attributed to Mark Twain.

“Let me say that reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”

Okay, I don’t really think that anyone actually believed I was dead, but you may have noticed that my blog has been a bit silent for the last several weeks. I could give you several excuses for this, but mainly it is because I decided that I needed to practice what I preach and avoid Information Overload by concentrating on just one thing, which for me has been working at getting my online business back up and running.

It’s still a work in progress, but at least I am starting to feel like I can take a breath and work at some of my other projects.

Anyway, I’ve recently had a few Internet Marketers ask me about selling on eBay, so I thought I would make today’s post about that. Here’s three tips that you can use to help get you started:

Learn how the eBay process works before you start selling there. The first thing you’re going to learn about selling on eBay is that Feedback is king. You have to have it or no one will want to buy from you. Feedback is eBay’s rating system that lets buyers know whether you are a good seller or a bad one. Sellers can also comment on buyers, but eBay makes the process a little one-sided, meaning that sellers can pretty much only say nice things about buyers, so if you can’t say something nice, you should just not say anything (give Feedback) at all. You need feedback though, so buy some things on eBay to learn how the process works before you attempt to start selling anything. Tip: You will need shipping supplies, so buying them from an eBay seller not only gets you some feedback, but it will save you from having to go out and buy it somewhere else.

Sell stuff you already own. Let’s face it, we all have too much stuff. Instead of going out and buying things to sell, most sellers begin the process by simply selling items they already own, but no longer want or need. This not only helps you clear some of your clutter out, but it also gives you an idea of what types of things sell and more importantly what types of things you like to sell since you will want to think about having a niche for your eBay items in the future.

Take advantage of eBay’s free store trials and auctions. EBay is not for everyone. Unfortunately, you have no way of knowing whether it is something you will want to do long term unless you give it a try. The good news is that eBay allows sellers to list a 100 items a month that can be sold through auctions without a fee up front. Auctions are where people bid on the items that you have listed for sale and the highest bidder wins. EBay is also currently letting new members have a free 30 day trial if you open a store. You will still have to pay if you sell an item, but there is no monthly fee for that first month. I suggest doing a month of auctions to see how it all works and then try the store for a month and you can list the items that didn’t sell from the auctions into the store and then add some new items to go with it. I suggest this because it will take you a while to learn the process of how to list an item and those 30 days will go by incredibly fast.

Finally, join an eBay group and start asking questions. EBay sellers love to talk about selling on eBay. They are a wealth of information for new sellers who are just getting started. In the near future, I will be sharing some more insights into eBay (Amazon too!). If you’re still a die-hard Internet Marketer — don’t worry I’ll continue to talk about that here too. I’ll also continue to discuss my challenges and triumphs with Information Overload, so stay tuned and leave your comments for me below!

~ Until next time…

Ebay, Amazon and the Loyalty Factor

If you had asked me a few years ago whether I was team eBay or team Amazon, I would have told you that I was strictly team eBay, and that meant — all the way Baby! In fact, until Internet Marketing entered my life, I thought eBay was the only real online game in town. I was loyal to eBay then, and I’m still loyal to them now, but I have to confess, last year I kept hearing the whispers about Amazon and the great sales people were having through their FBA program, and I became intrigued.

As you can imagine, when one is the king of Information Overload, moving off into a new venture can be tricky. My first instinct was to jump back into eBay, and jump right into Amazon FBA simultaneously. After all, as I mentioned in one of my blog posts a couple of weeks ago, the goal here is to provide security for my family, and that means building up multiple streams of income through my online business.

This is something that I want to do very quickly. The end goal is to generate enough online income, so that my wife can quit her job and spend more time at home with our son. Because of this, at times it’s been hard not to just jump into the deep end with both feet first. The one thing I am doing very differently this time around, however, is that I am forcing myself to take things more slowly. I’m continuing to work on my eBay business model, but I’m also preparing to start selling on Amazon very soon.

I’m telling you all of this because I’ve had a few online eBay friends recently comment that they were interested in Amazon, but felt that they needed to stay with eBay because that’s where they got started, and that’s still basically where their loyalty is. I can understand that, but if you’re still on the fence about coming over to the “dark side,” (what some eBay sellers like to say about Amazon) here’s what you need to know. EBay and Amazon FBA are somewhat similar, but they are also two entirely different business models. Don’t let one keep you from trying the other.

~ Until next time…

Let’s Compare Amazon & eBay, Shall We!

If you’re like most online marketplace sellers, you probably initially dipped your big toe into the eBay pond and started your online adventure in selling from there. I know, because that is the same way I started. I felt it was fairly easy to learn the ropes at eBay, even with all the (sometimes) headaches, it still seemed like the best game in town. I have to confess, however, that every so often someone would mention Amazon FBA, and it would seem like something I should look into, but things were going so good with the one venue….I would think, “why bother with another,” and never would do anything else about it.
Well, that’s the way I used to look at it in the past, but as I mentioned in my “egg basket” articles, if you want to succeed, you really need multiple streams of income. I believe Amazon and its FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) program is a great way to do it. I haven’t really gotten everything underway there yet, but I thought today I would tell you some of the differences I have found between the two online marketplaces, so those of you who might be interested in expanding your streams of income would have an idea of how Amazon compares to eBay.
First, there are no online auctions in Amazon. You set the price and buyers pay a flat fee for the item, just as they would if they ordered something from an online clothing or electronic store. As a buyer, if you have a Prime membership through Amazon, you don’t have to pay shipping charges, and everything is sent out quickly, so it’s an added incentive for buyers to make their purchases through Amazon.
Second, your inventory is basically out of sight, and more importantly out of your house. I should mention that there are two ways you can sell on Amazon. The regular way, you have no membership fee, but you pay higher fees when you sell something, and you must fulfill the item yourself. The other way is Amazon FBA, which does involve a membership fee, plus some storage fees and other fees, but….and this is the part I like…you ship the items to Amazon, they store them in their warehouses, and ship them to your customers when they sell. No muss — no fuss. So it’s kind of an out-of-sight and out-of-mind thing, until you get the email that says you’ve sold something, and it’s on it’s way to the buyer.
The third big difference, however, is one that I have to give to eBay as the better venue. Amazon is very quirky about how you list items and how you interact with your customers. You can’t create a new listing if one already exists. Most of the common products are already in what Amazon calls their “catalog,” so you’re basically just filling in the blanks with your product, and there is very little way to make the seller/buyer experience personal. In fact, Amazon would rather have its customers think that they are buying directly from Amazon, than from a third-party. I really prefer eBay in this case, since you can market to your buyers and work towards getting them as a repeat customer, and Amazon doesn’t really want you to do this.
Finally, the last big difference between the two is how Amazon and eBay handle their return policies. eBay lets you set some limits on your own, while Amazon just has what you might call a blanket 30-day return policy. You may think the customer is always right at eBay, but at Amazon they believe the customer is king. On the positive side, there is also only one way for a customer to check out, so while there are no complaints about shipping from the buyer and less work for you (which is good), there are also limits to what you can charge for your shipping rates, and you have to strictly adhere to Amazon’s shipping time if you’re selling items outside of the FBA program.
I can’t really say which of these two venues I like best yet, but I’ll provide more information as my experience grows. For now, let me know which corner you’re in — are you Team Amazon or Team eBay? Leave me a comment below.
~ Until next time