Category Archives: Education

Are People Becoming Disconnected With Each Other?

Let me ask you a question “Are people becoming disconnected with each other? Now you brainstorming.jpgmay think this is a strange title for an Amazon, eBay centered blog, and in some ways it is, but in another way I believe it hits the nail firmly on the head. We all, and yes I do include me in this to get out and away from our computers and smartphones and meet real people and talk with them face to face. (Yes I do include Skype etc in this).

I have been thinking about this for sometime and today I saw something that made me stop and think, Is this really where we are as a human race.

Picture the scene………. I am sitting in a coffee shop in Stafford, the weather outside is damp and dark, winter is on the way, but inside the pace is buzzing. There are all ages in there teenagers, young families, right through to the older generation. The staff are young and love to chat and banter with the people they are serving. And while you wait for you hand made coffee and drink and breakfast to arrive you can play board games, people watch and talk.

Into the cafe walked I guess a Mum and little girl. I say guess Mum because well you will see. The Mum went to the counter ordered the food while the little girl sat at the table. Mum walked back and as she did she picked up a trendy art magazine that are dotted around the place, and without saying a word handed the little girl a smartphone, and for the next 35 minutes even when their drinks arrived, did not speak, make eye contact with each other and the only words were at the end when Mum (or whoever) just said hurry up finish that drink……… and they left.

While on the table beside us was two young families, they were chatting to each other and all the time including the children. They spoke to them, helped one colour in a picture they were totally connected with the children and each other.

So are we as resellers connected to our customers, or are we silently pipping at our phones sending out messages hoping people are watching, listening and buying? And the only person who can answer that question is you. So are you disconnected from your customers or are you fully connected.

Please live, share and comment below.

Is Sourcing Products From Retail Stores Profitable?

A question I get asked all the time as an eBay and Amazon Consultant “Is sourcing products from retail stores profitable?” The answer I always give is It depends on what you are sourcing, and where you are sourcing and what price you buying the item for. Remember in retail selling either online or offline you make your profit when you buy the item not when you sell the item.

What do I mean, when I say this…….. You make your profit when you buy and not when you sell. Well if you buy your item too high, there will not be the opportunity to flip the product on either Amazon or eBay and make a healthy profit. So you need to buy as cheaply as possible, which will then give you the opportunity to flip on Amazon and eBay for a higher price.

When you source remember, you need to take into account the Amazon or eBay / PayPal fees. Amazon fees as a general rule are 30% and eBay / PayPal are 15% together. Now while the eBay fees may look cheaper and yes they are, you got to ask is that the right place to sell your items. Also remember that you are paying Amazon to store the items for you and then to pick, pack and ship them out to your customers.

So once we have identified products we like the look of and scanned them with an app on our phone if doing offline arbitrage or used extensions on our computer for online arbitrage and we have find a good item we need to work out how many do we buy. To start only buy a few of each item take your money and go wide not deep. You are far better buying many different products than just a large quantity of one or two items. (Once you find good sellers then you can buy larger amounts and then move into wholesale) But for now we will just do the Retail Arbitrage side of the business.

So is sourcing products from retail stores profitable the answer is using the right tools on your phone. buying small quantities of each item the answer is a big yes.

Easy Steps To Help You Get Started.

  • Use an app such as the Amazon Sellers App which is free for iPhone and Android
  • Source from retail stores both online and offline
  • Go for all types of stores not just the large brand name stores. Very often some of the small retail shops have great offers and closeout items
  • Go wide and not deep
  • Look out for offers such as Buy one get one free, three for two, Buy one get one half price, and look out for sales and clearance items.

Just keep those eyes and ears open and you will start to see products all over the place that you can buy to resell.

Andrew Milburn has been selling on eBay and Amazon for many years
and is now helping many others from around the world learn the
freedom of selling on Amazon and eBay can bring. Andrew is currently
working with Jim Cockrum and Skip Mcgrath as an Amazon Consultant  and eBay Consultant and offers coaching through their coaching programs. For further information please fill out the box to the left.

Quick Product Sourcing Tips

Quick Product Sourcing Tips

 

Product Sourcing, eBay Consultant

As an eBay and Amazon Consultant I am always being asked about Product Sourcing tips and ideas and how to find those items you can buy low and sell high. And before we get into the main part of this article that last part is the important bit, buying low and selling high.

You do not need fancy bits of kit to help with product sourcing nor do you need a degree while these may help at the end of the day you just need to remember buy low and sell high and if you follow that simple rule you are a good way there to make money week after week on eBay and Amazon.

Quick Product Sourcing Tips

Buy low and sell high – When you are out and about keep an eye open for shops and stores that are selling items off at a steep discount or buy 1 get one free. Here in the Uk I have seen some supermarkets even do buy 1 get 2 free. When you see the buy one get one free sale, remember you need to halve the retail price. For example let’s say it sells for £10.00, but because it is buy one get one free the cost is now only £5.00 each. Take a look and see what they are selling for on sites such as eBay and Amazon and see if there is profit to be made.

Recently I let a big opportunity pass through my fingers in our local shopping centre we had one of those discount stores that was closing down. I popped in whenever I was in town and spend some time doing some product sourcing, and from time to time I found bits and pieces I bought. Now this shop was in it’s last few days of being open and was the last in the chain of shops and they had all the stock in this one shop………………Lots of people and lots of rubbish stock this was stuff people had not bought from the past few weeks. But……………..there were 2 pallets of a well know make of maths sets.  I had a look on my phone and they retailed at £4.99 each on a regular basis plus shipping. 

The shop had them on sale for 25p each. Now I was thinking were these the real deal, it was something the shop would not normally sell. So I thought well I have got a £10.00 note in my pocket so bought 40 items and thought if they are not the same as ones I have seen on Amazon and eBay all I have lost is £10.00.

Anyway got home and listed them and yes they were the real deal and yes each one sold for £4.99 plus postage and packing. On Buy it Now and sold in hours. Next day went back with some more cash to buy a load and the shop had gone, the day I was there was the last day. 

So when you are out product sourcing there are times when you need to take that risk. If you see something when you are out and about I would suggest you spend what you can afford to loose when you are just starting out. Yes when you are product sourcing there will be times you get it wrong and when that happens keep the items as gifts or sell them at cost price.

Product sourcing is fun and over the coming weeks we will look at many different ways you can source products for your eBay and Amazon shops. Happy Product Sourcing

Andrew Milburn Is An eBay And Amazon Consultant Based In Lichfield Staffordshire.

Christmas What’s Next ?

Yes you read that right Christmas…………..What’s Next. I have not gone mad, honest. But in the retail market place and yes if you sell online you are in the retail trade then you always need to be thinking what’s the next trend, what’s the next season. What’s next should always be on your mind and in your business plan.

Although we are at the start of December, all your planning should have been done and dusted for the Christmas / Holiday selling season. So what should you be planning right now – Well this does depend on the niche you are selling in and also the lead times on the products you source and buy. But let’s look at this as a normal niche with no major lead times etc.

So what seasons should you be thinking about and marketing as soon as the Christmas Day Supper has been eaten. ?

Sorry it is too late for anything to do with New Years Eve – this should have been thought about along with Christmas. The top ones that I can think of straight away are –

  • Valentines Day
  • Mother’s Day (UK)
  • Easter
The above three are all good money earners, but you will need to be on the ball, get the stock in or use drop-shipping and begin to market as soon as possible. Valentines Day can be a good earner if you target the right buyer. Men hate going to shops to buy anything, so if you can target the man and help him with the buying process you will have a customer for life and not only that you will find him telling all his mates again and again.
So how could that work ? You could set up a separate page on your site with hints and tips to help the man with the buying process. You could also give them hints and tips on what to buy and of course all the hints and tips would be for products that you sell in your eBay store. Easy…….Simple……..But the profits could be huge.
Some other important dates that you need to have in flashing lights is the Queens Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics. Two reasons why you need to note the dates  : 1) They could effect your sales – Make sure you do not have listings ending at major times or events 2) Is there a product you can source and make a profit from.
Those two events if you play your cards right could mean massive, massive profits, but you do need to know what you are doing. Yes you can buy a pallet of Jubilee Stuff and yes if marketed and priced right sell it all. But get it wrong and you will be left with all the stock. So please be careful.
In closing Christmas What’s next……………..A lot.
A New Year
Another 12 Months
2 Major events
And the list goes on and on
Get up and take action…and when someone say’s to you you watching TV after Christmas Dinner, smile and say no, I am lauching my families future.
Take care, sell loads and have fun.

eBay or Amazon

Take The Experts With You

A very popular question that I get asked is “eBay or Amazon” and yes once again I have to answer it depends. Regular readers will by know be used to me saying it depends, but as you learn more about the science of selling on platforms such as eBay and Amazon you will get to learn that it will depend which one you sell on, by the items you are product sourcing.

You see eBay as long as it is legal and allowed will allow you to sell most items on the platform no matter what the condition is as long as you are open and honest in the listing and the description. But Amazon on the other hand will only allow you to sell media items in any condition – again you need to be open and honest with people and tell the condition the item is in. But other items have to be either new or in same cases if it is a collectable item (signed item) then you way be allowed to sell older items on Amazon. But for items other than media it is best to source new items only.

Also prices will vary from the different platforms and as you get used to sourcing and selling you will soon get to know what sells best on the different eCommerce platforms such as eBay and Amazon (and please remember there are many others out there, for example Etsy is suitable if you sell craft or antique items). This is due to the fact that the different platforms each have a different type of buyer. With their own likes and dislikes.

When you are looking at where you will be planning to sell remember that if the product is suitable why not list on both the eBay and the Amazon sites, by doing this you will be giving yourself better exposure for the items you will be selling as you will be appearing on both of the selling platforms. But if you do sell an item on both of the sites, please remember that if it sells on one to remove it from the other one straight away, without fail, if not you will be selling something you do not have.

Happy Selling

Tips For Marketing Your Business Outside Of eBay

One of the questions I am asked time and time again is do I just need to put my listing up on eBay and will they do all the marketing. Well I am sorry to say “it depends”. Sorry if that was not the answer you were expecting but it does depend on what you are selling and in what section of eBay you are selling in.

Yes eBay will help you all they can with the promotion and marketing but at the end of the day you will need to drive traffic to your listings. Most of this can be done within eBay……………….using proper keywords, some basic SEO will go along way. And when you couple this with free delivery and a good picture you will go along way to getting traffic to your listings.

Now you can help this along by doing some reviews and guides and posting those on eBay. Both eBay and Google will pick these up and it can help with some extra traffic to the site. Moving along from that you can write some press releases, articles and send them out to sites online and offline.

And again how much you do will depend on the value of the items you are selling. If you are selling a one of £4.99 item then all the extra work might not be worth it. But if the item is worth thousands then some extra work will pay off. And if you have been asked to sell a large collection of items for someone famous then as much offline and online marketing as you can do will bring the viewers and from the viewers will come the buyers.

So weigh up what the item or items are worth and then spend some time if needed doing promotions off eBay. Also if you have an eBay shop you will need to spend sometime just promoting your eBay shop both online and offline, as you cannot and should not rely on eBay doing all the work.

Have fun and get out there and promote yourself and your business everyday both online and offline.

 

What Is Failure In Business

The other day while talking with someone about selling on eBay and Amazon they asked me a question or was it more a statement. “I have got this idea for a business, but can we be sure it will not fail”. Well this got me thinking…….. What is failure in business ? This all depends on what you see as failure in business or life. But to be fair years ago I saw it as not achieving the goals you had set your self or losing money or worse your business and house. But as time went on I started to see it as something different.

So let’s look at this from some different angles. Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, but did it work the first time ? No of course not, it took him many tries and failures before he got what he wanted? Some would have seen him as a failure in business and life, but he saw each failure as a step nearer to the finished product. Abraham Lincoln failed in life and business not once but many times…………but each time he got up dusted himself down and learnt from the failures and moved on.

And if we look at business people all over the world, the ones who come up with new ideas and new products will have had more failures than successes. Some we hear about and others we don’t, but we do see is a finished product that would not have been there if they had not had the failures in life and business. Did Apple think one day iPhone……………………no it was a process and within that process many failures, but the finished product was fantastic. Take a look at Google each day the teams launch new ideas in the world of search some get thumbs up overs last a few months, while others come through. Do companies such as Google see these failures as failures, no they see them as a learning curve. Where did we go wrong and what can we learn to improve the product or idea.

The same goes for your online business if a product or idea does not take off or does not sell, please do not see this as a failure in business and give. Spend some time and ask questions such as what went wrong, why it went wrong. And then learn from these failures and apply what you have learnt and move on.

It is proven time and time again the more failures you have the stronger you will become, and yes you may have to go through a few dozen products to find the winner, but each time a product does nor sell you learn lessons and being in business is a journey. So please never look at failure in business as failure. Look at it as a learning curve, learn from these mistakes and failures and will become a stronger person and also have a strong and profitable business. So what is failure in business ? It is a stepping stone to finding that product or service that will sell.

 

Take The Experts With You

 

Meeting Those Goals

Take The Experts With You

Meeting Those Goals

We all know we should write down goals, but very often we write them down and then sit back and wait for something to happen. I am sorry to say by writing the goals down is not something magic, you will not wake up one morning and find all those goals completed by magic. But what you will find is that over time as long as you do something each day you will be meeting those goals time after time.

Time after time I am asked for a magic wand to help people meet those goals have taken time to write out, but when I ask them what steps they have taken today in meeting those goals, I very often get a blank stare and they often say well I have been too busy playing on Facebook. – Now before I get loads of emails Facebook is good for business but we need to use it in a proper way and if we do it will help you big time in meeting those goals you have set.

So let’s look at a quick example on meeting those goals. You have a goal of listing 300 items on eBay a month, now that is a lot of product, but if you know it is realistic for your lifestyle, lets break it down bit by bit. In fact 300 items is only 10 items a day, and if you say your eBay listing time is 5 hours a day, that is 2 items an hour. Yes simple, but by breaking them down bit by bit you will be meeting those goals day after day.

Also when you have met the bigger goal of 300 items in a month give yourself a treat. Maybe a walk or a meal out or Take Away. But as an incentive of meeting those goals put that reward in the goal sheet. For example “I have listed 300 items – reward a meal at your favourite place. And once you feel at home and meeting those goals each month, set yourself some higher ones, but please do over stretch yourself for this will not help you if you are unable to meet the goals each and every month. Yes your goals need to stretch you every time, but if you fail to reach them time after time, then you will soon give hope of ever meeting those goals.

Stay focused, write the goals down, break them into easy to reach chunks and very soon meeting those goals will happen and it will seem like it has happened by magic, but this is only because you have put the hard work in. Now go and start meeting those goals.

 

Last Days For Posting

As we fast approach the busy selling time of online selling please can I encourage you to check out the last days for posting items out to your customers. It is a good idea to print of the dates for the different services that you use. Postal services and Carriers and then to mark them down on the calendar.

Also due to the fact that Christmas Day is on a Sunday this year we also have an extra delivery day as all the major companies will be delivering on the Saturday as well – but they and not leave it that late, and as you get into the week before Christmas it may be worth it to send items next day delivery etc.

Also some carriers even offer a Christmas Day Delivery but this is expensive and is only worth it for high end items.

Lastly in many parts of the word Christmas often means bad weather…………….please can I encourage you to look out different carriers in case one is unable to deliver an item.  At times if the weather lasts some time carriers get a back log and this does have a knock on effect. For example her e in Uk last year we had some real bad weather that lasted weeks and a well known online supplier was unable to get their orders out, this was due to bad weather, and their carrier having massive back logs of deliveries, but I was able to send orders out each day and have them arrive within a few days.

So do you have a plan if the weather is bad ?

 

 

eBay Training UK

 

How would you like to turn those unwanted Cd’s into much needed cash, or that pile of baby items ?  Yes you can still today turn unwanted items into much needed cash, but it is a bit harder these days but with the right eBay Training, you can soon have your items listed and up for sale in no time at all.

eBay has grown over the years and this means there are many books, dvd’s out there showing and telling you how to sell on the platform. But while this eBay Training is good a lot of it is taught by people who have not sold on the platform, and while they can teach you the basics, they often miss some hints and tips as they are not in the site on a daily basis.

When you are looking for training or consulting you need to ask questions like.

  • How long they have sold on the platform
  • Do they sell and buy on a regular basis
  • Do they work full time in their eBay / ecommerce business

The above are some of the common questions you should ask. But more important you need to feel at ease with the person doing the training as often you will be sharing information with them about goals, passwords, and plans for the future.

Also with modern day computers you do not need to having training done face to face. I consult / train with people via :

  • Face to face
  • Will travel to your business
  • On computer
  • email
  • Skype
  • Phone
  • webinars

Also you should look for trainers and consulting who will tailor the package to you the student / client. For instance at all times I find out the clients needs and wants and then I will put forward some ideas and plans and then we take the steps needed.

If you are interested in having some eBay / Amazon / ecommerce training or consulting please get in touch with us and have a Free chat to see how we can help you take your business to the next level with the right eBay Training.

Take The Experts With You