Did you know Amazon can change your life for ever? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a global retail business with products selling 24 hours a day, and you never having to send a single package out, rarely deal with customers, and even manage your business from the beach? And having a payment sent to your bank account every 14 days? Well this is the world on Amazon FBA. Or Fulfillment By Amazon.
But before you all start packing your cases and heading to the beach, I do need to tell you something you still need to do some work – sorry. But the work is fun. It means you can go shopping and buy lots of cool items, toys, gadgets, home and kitchenware, clothing, food, cosmetics and the list goes on and on. And yes you do need to add them to Amazon and print a label and stick onto the products, then pop them all into some boxes and wave them good bye as the UPS driver drives off into the sunset to one of the Amazon warehouses in your country.
To many this all may seem a dream or even a con, but honestly it is not, this is a business model that has been around for many years and is earning people part and full time incomes. But as I said there is some work involved and a few best practices that you need to follow to make sure your items that you buy sell better and faster. And over the coming weeks and months we will look at these in depth. And also do videos so you can watch what I am doing.
But for now I would like to recommend a course that has helped many people achieve their goals of having their own business and being able of giving up their full time work.
And for those of you who sell on eBay, how would you like the same process to happen? Well for a lot of the items you sell you can also list on Amazon, send the items into Amazon and then when you make a sale on eBay, you just pop over to Amazon, click a few buttons and enter in the name and address of buyer and Amazon do your packing and shipping……. so now you need never shut your eBay shop down even when on holiday. (Please note there are some products you cannot do this with, and again this will be explained in depth, but if you have any questions please ask)
Well there we are Amazon really can change your life, the life of your family, give it a go and see the difference it can make.
One of the popular questions I get as a Coach and Consultant in the world on e commerce is “What are the best items to start with on Amazon?” Now I know there are millions of products out there and still millions more being introduced to the market place on a regular pattern. But I am going to be open and honest with you some will hate this other will love it …………………… Books, yes that simple hubble pile of paper is what is best to start with.
Now before you think I have gone mad and what about this product or that product or have I not heard that so and so is selling like hot cakes, I have, but to most sellers new or semi new a lot of these cool products are out of their range, either on price, quantity they need to buy, or getting approval.
But when you boil it all down and crunch everything together Books really are the best items to start with on Amazon, they are easy to source and low cost to buy.
Books to stay away from……..
Most Paper Back books
Readers Digest Type books
The best books to source are ……..
Where to source these books ……
Car Boot Sales
Adverts in Craigslist
Cards on Notice Boards
Word of Mouth
And the list goes on and on
Over the coming weeks and months we will in depth of how and where to source, but for now spread your net far and wide and look for books everywhere
When you source remember buy as low as possible when making offers make low offers you can always come up on price if need be but you can never come down.
Never commit over phone or email to a price you are prepared to make as you do not know the condition of the book until you sell it.
Lastly always meet in a public place and tell someone where you are going and try to go with someone. Stay safe
Hope this short article has helped you think when you are wondering what are the best items to start with on Amazon.
Well today after spending sometime with one of my eBay Consulting clients I visited a few of the local charity shops and bought some items which I will be adding to my inventory. I shall be adding a new section to this blog of items I have either bought or sourced and what how well they have done on eBay.
As I have mentioned before I business relies on product sourcing and then sourcing the products at the right price. Yes it all comes down to the products and the right price (and selling them on the right platform, the place where the buyers are)
Today I spent around £50.00 on items, and once they have been listed and they have sold I will do a post and tell you all how they have done. But from time to time I will also do some live postings and show you how and why I chose an item to sell.
If you have sourced any items good or bad please share them with us over the coming days and weeks.
Life as an eBay Consultanthas it’s ups and downs over the holiday periods. As well as offering Consultancy and Training on subjects as eBay, Amazon and Etsy I am still very active in sourcing products for not only myself but for clients as well. Yes it can get very busy when you have to balance your own business along side the “demands of clients” and it is all fun and yes means working into the wee small hours but I do not mind as I love what I do, and love helping my clients take their businesses to the next level.
But as I mentioned before the holidays are now gone, and it is time to get back to normal and rank up our selling and of course this means if we want to sell we need to source products and this is such a great time to find products as people are selling off presents they no longer need or want and also sell off their older items as they were given a newer one.
Also very soon people will be getting their credit card and store card bills, and will be looking to make some extra cash – so keep your eyes and ears open for people looking to unload some products. Also remember if you are a Trading Assistant get your name out and about as people will be looking to make that extra money.very soon,
And one of the harder areas an eBay Consultant has is when they need to sit down with a client either old or new and say to the client is it time for the product they are selling is put to bed and a new product needs to be found. Yes at times we all need to look at what we are selling and ask ourselves is the product still selling like it did a year ago. It can be hard and stressful for all concerned, but the end results can be outstanding as the old product was holding them back.
So let’s get back to work and start making that money and grow our businesses to new heights.
As an eBay Consultant we are asked many different question, but if you asked all the eBay consultants around the world they could most likely group the questions in around 5 different groups. And one of the groups would be “Tools”. What tools do you use in your business to help you streamline your business and enable you to do as much as you do in a day or week.
Well I will let you into a little secret eBay consultants have 30 hours in their days……….I wish !!! No we all have tools and programs that we use on a daily basis to help us manage our time and activities. But before we get into this weeks chosen tool, I want to say if you are serious about your eBay (or Amazon / Etsy) business then you need a Smartphone one that is either on the iphone or Android platform due to the many apps that there are to help you. I myself am using a Samsung Galaxy S on the Android platform and it is like an extra person in my business.
This weeks tool is called Evernote. This App works on both your phone (iPhone / Android) but it also sinks with your computer and as it is a web based program it can be asked from any computer in the world where there is an internet connection.
So what is Evernote ?
Evernote is like a notebook on super power. In simple terms you have almost unlimited notebooks and within those notebooks you can make notes. So for example you can have an eBay Notebook and then within that eBay notebook you can have notes such as product ideas, product sources, a new carriers name and address. You can also take photo’s and make audio notes and then tag them with keywords so that they are easy to find.
Then once you have made the note you just press sync on your phone and within seconds it is available in the cloud. Let’s look at an example you are out sourcing products and make notes of a great product. You jot down names, costs where you saw it and take a quick picture. You press sync, and within seconds your contact back at home or the office has it on their laptop then again within seconds it can be shared with a friend in China and within a day you could have access to that product.
Yes you could just email the person but Evernote is far more powerful and is accessible far easier and can be shared far faster around the world. And the best bit it is free for the basic package and unless you are doing massive amounts of note taking the free version is all you need, but if you do need to upgrade to the premium version it is very affordable.
Another use of Evernote is the app that sits in the Google Chrome Browser. Again let’s say you come across some product ideas while you are surfing the net. In days gone by you would either have to print of sheets of paper or make notes which take time. Now you can just send the ideas to your phone or tablet. The video below shows you more what can be done.
Well once again we are at the start of a New Year. The old has gone, good or bad it has happened and there is nothing we can do to alter that fact. Yes Ok we can always improve on areas, but a question I am asked time after time by my eBay Consultant clients is well about that or this that happened in our business, or do you think I should have handled that sale different. Well yes of course you might have done it different, but that was all in the past. Yes learn from past mistakes but do not keep going back to them, it only harms you and your business.
We are at the start of a New Year, and whole year set before each one of us to reach our dreams and goals. Do not let past hurts and regrets harm you and your business. Draw a line in the sand and step over it and start a fresh. In fact you can do this every single day. The past is history.
So as we move into 2012 what goals, dreams do you have for your business. It is good to write it down, first your big goals and then you will need to break them down into smaller bite sized chunks right down to daily goals that you can achieve to take your business to the next level and beyond.
For me I have many goals, most will be shared on this blog, and I hope over the months that lie ahead you will see these go from an idea through to a money making business – But remember goals are not always about making money, they need to be for all areas of your life both personal and for your business.
eBay is still going to be the main focus of my business for this year, both in selling and consulting with clients, but I shall be adding Multi-Channel selling as well – Amazon and Etsy, as I believe I am also my clients are leaving money on the table. So I will be blogging about my journey into this area.
Also I want to cover product sourcing, yes I have covered this before but I find this a major question in my role as an eBay Consultant. Time after time clients both new and old ask me “How do I find products to sell” So watch this space.
As an eBay Consultant one of the things we need to do is always keep ourselves up to date with the latest happenings on the eBay sites around the world. When the eBay Multi-Variation listing format came out I went on several courses and did a few dummy listings, but at the time I was not selling anything that needed this type of listing nor were my clients.
Recently I took on a new client and this week they were selling items that called for them to be listed on a Multi-Variation format. And yes even eBay Consultants have a few panic moments when you are sitting their with a client and your mind goes completely blank, but as soon as I started it all came back in a flash.
eBay Multi-Variation listings save the seller time and money as you just do the one listing and pay the one listing fee for it could be hundreds of items, this is fantastic news.
One of the things I did find is if you are selling items with colour have that as your first choice and then do things like size etc second, this is so that you can match the colour with the picture, all will be explained as you do it.
Another tip you need to have one picture with all the colours on, I found the simple way was to go into a program like photo shop and cut and paste each coloured item onto one page and then save as a jpg and then when asked upload to eBay. You then need to upload each picture.for each of the colours, then add the costing for each colour and size (these can be all different prices if you wish).
Once this is done just add the description as normal and you are done. To help you understand this better I have included a video from eBay seller Support.
Yes it does sound a bit complicated but once you have done one or two you will be doing them with your eyes closed. Any questions please leave them in the comments below or drop me an email at info@MyAuctionEmpires.com
In our final part of this mini series a common question eBay Consultants tend to get is “How long should the description be ?” As with most things in life and business, it all depends.
Your eBay description needs to be long enough to sell the item in a non threatening way, just write the description in a manner that you were telling your best friend about the item you were selling.
It often amazes me as an eBay consultant the problems people have when they need to write about the item they are about to sell online. When a client says they are having challenges with writing a description I often give them these tips.
Place the item on a table in front of them
Take a pad and pen and then write a letter to their best friend telling them about this item they have just bought. But they cannot send any pictures to the friend so the description needs to explain what the item is.
Also if there is any damage they need to put this in the description too.
Be honest and open and never over sell the item in the listing.
And as for length write enough sales copy to get your point across. Where possible try and use some bullet points to make your points stand out.
Andrew Milburn is an eBay Consultant based in the UK
Being an eBay Consultant for me is one of the best jobs in the world, here am doing something that I love doing and being paid for it at the same time, but at times you have to deal with subjects that there does not always seem a clear and cut answer and today we will look at one of those areas when we talk about postage costs.
I guess we could call it something else “Free Or Not Free”. When I first started selling on eBay in around 1998, I always charged postage and no one seemed to mind that they were buying a 99p CD and paying £2.99 postage, but over the years mind sets changed, and for a lot of the items I started to sell I did with free shipping or the UK Market Place and just added the cost price of shipping when I sent items abroad.
Very soon I was hooked on the concept of free shipping and leant to add the price into my sales price, customers loved it, and so did my sales. But at times I still added shipping and postage costs even for the UK Market when the item was bulky and heavy…….again as long as my buyers knew what to expect they were happy.
Roll on the years to 2011………….eBay and people liked the free shipping method and by now 99.9% of my items were done free shipping. That was until I took on some new Trading Assistant Clients, they all said they wanted the postage costs to be kept separate I explained how eBay worked but to no avail. I then went away to do some research to show them in black and white that buyers wanted free shipping and my findings really shocked me……….buyers wanted postage as an extra and were willing and also expected it. But this is eBay and over the years nothing shocks or surprises me really now.
So the motto of this post is to do your research and if the market place want free shipping give them free shipping, but if they want to pay for postage and shipping as a separate item put it as an extra. To find out what your customers want, just go and take a look at the category you want to sell in and see what the Top Rated Sellers are doing and follow suit.
But if they do want to pay for postage and shipping please do not be greedy, cover the postage costs and cost of a box etc, but do not go mad….buyers will not come back and buy again from you. Also I have started to put on all my listings a small sentence “ If when we post your item we have over charged you on the postage costs we will give you a refund of the difference, otherwise we will make up the difference”
Hope this article has helped you with the postage and shipping part of your listings. If you need any help with your eBay business we can offer our eBay consultancy to you for as short as an hour through to a monthly on going job. The choice is yours.