Christmas CountDown Has Begun, Are You Prepared

Can you really believe it we are almost into November and Christmas is just around the corner? While it is still possible to make money starting from scratch, you should really now have bought all your Christmas stock and had it prepped a few months back.

But for today’s blog post I want to cover some very important areas you need to have down in stone to make sure you are well prepared for the Christmas Countdown.

  1. You need to have near your shipping station for eBay and Amazon Merchant fulfilled products the last dates for shipping around the world and also within the UK or your home country.
  2. Make sure you have all the shipping and postal supplies you need, as the nearer we get to Christmas you suppliers might run out of stock.
  3. Also, have a backup shipping company just in case your original one lets you down.
  4. Keep your customers up to date if there are any challenges with the shipping
  5. Update the tracking number as soon as you can, this keeps eBay and Amazon happy
  6. And chill have fun……………and yes keep on listing
  7. And start thinking about Valentines Day, Mothers Day (here in UK) and Easter, they soon come around.

Hope the above tips help you.

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
as an Amazon Consultant and eBay Consultant and offers coaching 
through their coaching programs.
For further information please fill out the box to the right.

Tool Tuesday – Evernote

 evernote-logo

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.

eBay and Pictures Part Two

 

pictures images

 

 

In part two of this mini series I want to cover the topic of images and pictures that you use in your eBay business. This is another common question I get asked as an eBay Consultant. But as I mention in the previous article about Keywords, yes on their own these items can make small differences to your listings and each one is very important but when you group them all together they will make one massive difference to your eBay business.

The first picture or image that you choose for your eBay listing will be the one that will show up in the gallery – this is the picture you see when you do a search and eBay gives you several items to look at. So of course you want this to be your best image or picture. It needs to show off your item in the best way.

How many pictures should you use in your listing………and sorry I am going to say it all depends. It depends on what you are selling the the very often it will depend on the price point. Also take a look at what the other sellers are using. If the top rated sellers are using just one image, then follow them, but if they are using a lot of pictures also follow their lead.

(This takes us to another point, each eBay country has their own amount of free images you can use, and then each country allows different numbers of pictures in different categories – complex yes, but this is eBay. Learn the number of free images you have and if you need to “buy” an image pack work out if it is in your profit model. Also you can host your images and pictures on place such as Picasa etc for free – we will talk about that later in another article)

Where possible you need to use natural light as this gives the best effect for your pictures. Your pictures are the selling point of your listing. Yes you can tell people about your item but a picture will make them feel safe as they can see what they are buying.

In closing remember if your item has any marks or chips or special marks or detail take close up pictures of this.

4 Tips For Buying Wholesale Jewellery

4 Tips For Buying Wholesale Jewellery

 

 

If you want to start an online jewellery business, then a site such as eBay is the best place that you can start. On eBay you can learn the ropes and also learn what sells and what does not sell. Plus you have the ready made traffic that eBay can bring to the site and this in turn can bring people to the items you are selling.

  • Tip One – You need to find a source to buy your items from, this is the same step that anyone needs to take when looking to sell items online, but when you are dealing in Jewellery there is another factor that you need to think about and that is do you sell new jewellery or do we sell second-hand / antique items. If you are going to buy new then you need to look for jewellery wholesalers – these can be found in places such as the Yellow Pages, doing a search on Google or by going to a site such as WorldWide Brands. WorldWide Brands was set up many years ago to help people source products to sell on and off line. These people check out all the suppliers and they have to meet guidelines before they are listed in the directory. Worldwide Brands is a paid for service, but it is well worth the money for what you get.. Jewellery - My Auction Empires
    If you are going to be selling second-hand and antique jewellery then you will need to visit car boot sales, garage sales, antique fairs and shows, and also run adverts in newspapers.
  • Tip Two – When you are buying jewellery you also need to be on the look out that you are not buying fake items. If you are dealing in the low end costume jewellery side of the business then this is not really a problem. The problems arise when you go into the middle to high end part of the business. You need to know the difference between real and “Fake” items. And even some of the top jewellery buyers are caught out from time to time, so as a new person you need to be careful. You need to make sure you are buying from a real business – go and visit them take a look around, ask questions and do your research.
    And if you get a phone call offering you some pieces of jewellery at silly prices and they ask you to meet them in some bar – decline the offer as chances are they could be stolen.
  • Tip Three – Get to know the terms that jewellery wholesalers and the customers you sell to use. Know the differences between gold plated and gold, if you do not know these simples terms it could cost you your business.
  • Tip Four – Start small and then build your business up, step by step, get to know what your customers (clients if you are selling high end items) want and like. And if you are wondering do people buy £10,000 diamond items online, the answer is yes, and people have spent far more than that.

Have fun, spend time visiting wholesalers and trade shows. Also you will need to keep an eye on the fashion trends and be sensible do not rush in and buy the first items you see do the research.

Andrew Milburn is an eBay Consultant based in the UK

Listing Goals

Listing Goals

 

A common question that I get, is around the subject of Listing Goals. And this is not only from new sellers but from people who have been selling on sites such as eBay and Amazon since time began. Now I am going to be honest and straight with you here, Yes it is very important that you have written down a listing goal, but as we go through this article, I cannot really say what this goal should be…………….but I can really help you get there.

So go grab yourself a cup of coffee, a legal pad and some pens and pencils and let’s have a go at setting some goals for listing on eBay.

How many items are you listing a day/week.month at the moment ? There is no point in saying you will be listing 12 items a day if you are struggling to list 12 items in a month. Sorry if that sounds a bit hard but you need to set some realistic goals and once you have reached them, then set your self higher ones.

Let us say you want to list 100 items a month, this is equal to 25 items a week and this equals to around  3.5 items a day. When you say 3 items a day it sounds so much easier to achieve and to reach.

Another way to look at this is if you are selling items with a fixed profit, you can work out how much you need to earn a month and then work out how many you need to sell a month and then work back how many you need to sell a day. (And you can then work out how many you need to list)

For example if you need to sell 3 items a day, you will need to be listing at least 3 items a day does this make sense?

Right now we know how many items you need to list, you need to set your self targets for pictures and then for writing the listings. I have covered this in other posts but will do a re-cap for you.

Spend one day a month taking all the pictures or take an hour a day and take a batch of pictures and do any editing that is needed.

Then in spare time (Lunch Breaks etc), write descriptions in notepad.

Then you are all ready to go, and you can list like mad.

So to re-cap, set yourself realistic goals and then go and do them, and once you meet the goals for a few weeks, you can up them, and keep on doing this until you have reached your limits.

Andrew Milburn Is An eBay Consultant

 

 

Does Halloween Make Money

Does Halloween Make Money

You may be thinking what a funny title “Does Halloween Make Money”, and before you get into a debate about the rights and wrongs on the ethics on Halloween, you need to understand one thing, Halloween does make money and a lot of money at that. Halloween is mega spend for people all over the world, and if we look at figures around $5.8 Billion dollars was spent by Americans alone. Yes you did read that right $5.8 Billion, so does Halloween make money?

Other stats that came out 2 out 5 Americans will buy a new costume, and then there are the sweets, lights decorations, food, costumes for pets. People go mad at this time of year and as long as you have the marketing correct and the stock online at the right time you can make money from Halloween.

(We also need to remember this multi-billion dollar turn over is small compared with the Thanksgiving and the up and coming Holiday season after that.) And all the figures are on track to be bigger and better this year.

So How Do You Make Money From Halloween

@ To start with you need to be prepared, you need a plan or Road Map To Success. Start today if you want to be part of this crazy money making day and remember it really is just one day or a few days if it is at the weekend.

@ Talk with suppliers and either buy in stock or arrange a drop-shipping plan. But a word of warning with drop-shipping around that time period, suppliers will run out of items and this could leave you with buyers and no stock, so you will need to have back up plans if you can.

@ Also try and not and buy too much stock as again most fancy dress items sell all year only some sell at that time of year. And as long as it is not food it will last till the next year.

@ Make sure you have all the postage and packing items that you will need. At this time of year speed is what’s needed, people want an outfit or gift delivered within days for the party they are having or attending.

@ Do your research, make sure you price the items right, offer free shipping and by doing this you will find Halloween does make money.

Andrew Milburn Is An eBay Consultant Based In Lichfield

 

I Don’t Have The Time

One of the popular “moans” I hear when coaching with clients is “I don’t have the time“, and then in the next breath they tell you how they go to pub every night and meet friends or how they must make sure they are home to watch the latest soap opera or reality TV. So when they say “I don’t have time” I will often smile and say but you do.


Time Management from the Inside Out, Second Edition:
The Foolproof System for Taking Control of Your Schedule — and Your Life

Then I will just run a few questions by them and try and find out how long they spend watch the TV or down the pub, and at times it even shocks the people I work with. So let’s look at some rough and average figures. Recently I asked a new client about something and she gave me the classic answer it is OK for you, but I don’t have the time. Now I knew Miss X loved her soaps and reality TV so I asked her how many hours a week do you watch your programs, without batting an eyelid, she said guess 24 hours a week, so I said that’s around 100 hours a month.

And to be honest she did looked shocked so i went on a bit…………..Miss X how many hours do you put into your job at the office and she said 30 hours a week. And then it hit her…………………….She said I do have time don’t I. I said well when you think you put almost as much time into watching TV as you do work then yes.

We then sat down and I showed her how to plan her day and how she could still watch some of her TV, but if she halved her TV time she could find an extra 48 hours a month to put into her business. So you see when people say “I don’t have the time” we need to look into where they do put their time.

But this also goes for us who work from home, we will often say those famous words “I don’t have the time. We need to make time. Over the next few months can I challenge us all to keep a close note of where our time goes to. If we find we are spending to many hours on Facebook or Google+ we need to turn it off. (A side note to that is if it is making you money, keep at it, but if all you are doing is looking for long lost friends and chatting to mates, then switch it off). Set aside some Social Media time each day of around 30 minutes and stick to it. But do not use it doing your hours of business.

If time is really an issue with you ask a friend to work on a time plan with you, and help you to stick to it. There are many other ways on where you can find time, and in up coming posts we will look at some of these. So please ban those words “I don’t have the time” from your life and start and make some time.

Andrew Milburn Is An eBay Consultant Based In Lichfield Staffordshire

Sales Down, Do Not Worry

Sales Down, Do Not Worry

Are your sales down? If they are do not worry, it is not you, nor is it eBay or Amazon it is the time of year. Summer is always a slow time to be selling, and small sellers and large sellers always notice this downturn in sales. But please listen carefully, even though your sales are down and other peoples sales are down, it does not mean you should stop selling.

I always tell my clients and other people I help to list as normal – OK maybe not as many items, but you need to remember that although it is Summer where we are and schools are out, in, in other parts of the world it is winter and school are back. Each country is different and people have different buying habits and buying cycles. For example let us say you sell winter coats, and where you live is a heat wave………Your coats sell well all over the world, but because of the heat wave you decide to take it down for a few months. But what about your buyers in other countries where it is freezing cold?  And it also works the over way round when it is winter in one place it will be summer in another place. Please remember this.

The same idea works in Sport. In different countries sports are played at different times of the year and if you sell into this niche, you need to remember this. When Soccer/football finishes in one country it starts in another country. This is life and it is all part of running your own business.

If you are experiencing this down time, spend time in your business planning for the up and coming  holiday planning. Take time out to go product sourcing. You can also tidy up your currant stock and get yourself ready for the big buying season that will be coming up very soon. (Sorry for that).

So remember that during the summer your sales may be down, but do not worry yourself it is across the board and very soon you will see your sales begin to increase again ready for that crazy time of the year.

Andrew Milburn Is An eBay Consultant Based In Lichfield Staffordshire

PayPal Fee Changes Coming In September

PayPal Fee Changes Coming In September

Well here is some advance warning about “PayPal Fee Changes Coming In September“, now before you all start to panic and scream, shout and rant, and want to say one thing…………………..Get Over It, Or Get Out Of Business. Sorry to be so blunt with people, but ladies and gentlemen we are in business, and PayPal is one of our expenses. Yes you could swap to someone like WorldPay and put on your eBay listings that you take other credit cards.

But before you all run off and do that it will cost around £600 to sign up for an account, then a monthly fee of around £25.00, then a % fee that is higher than PayPal then a per transaction fee that is higher too. Yes you could swap to another Merchant Provider, but they all cost way more than PayPal and most do not online retailers.

The fees PayPal have been charging and will be charging are really nothing, and we all know PayPal and can trust them and they have been around many years.

To find out more about the changes in PayPal and the new fees check out the Updates Here. Over the next few weeks I will take time and make some notes that I hope will help you understand the fee changes (if there are any at all for your country, and in some cases the fees are lower).

Andrew Milburn Is An eBay Consultant Based In Lichfield Staffordshire

eBay Or Own Website Which Is Best?

eBay Or Own Website Which Is Best?

When consulting with clients people often ask “eBay Or Own Website Which Is Best?” and time after time I always say eBay. No this is not because I sell on eBay nor is it because I am an eBay Consultant. I am an independent consultant and always put my client first, and if I believe having your own site best for you I would tell you. But if you are selling a product then I will always take you down the eBay route first.

So why do I feel eBay is far better than setting up your own e-commerce site?  Well there are many and it would take many pages and articles to cover the points, but in the short time I have with you today, I hope to explain to you why I believe eBay is best. So let’s get to the meat of today’s subject.

eBay Or Own Website Which Is Best?

@ eBay is a well established service and site and has been in businesses since the mid 1990’s  – Your own site is brand new. Google like sites that have been around a long time.

@ eBay spends millions a year on adverts, and have been doing this since they began – Your site, unless you have money to burn, will not be able to afford this.

@ eBay is a brand name and is recognized and respected all over the world – You will have a new site, unknown brand name and will have to work long and hard to build up the respect of people around the world.

@ eBay has massive traffic coming to their sites day in and day out – Your business is brand new, and it will take time to get traffic to your site in the volume that eBay can manage.

@ eBay has a merchant service already built in and there is no coding needed from you – Having your own e-commerce site will require you to have a merchant providing added to it.

@ People love eBay and when they need something, quite often this is the first place they come to, before they buy – With your own site you will have to gain this respect and this will take time.

So is eBay Or Own Website Which Is Best?

I hope from the above examples you can see when you are starting out it is far better to have a presence on eBay. You will get the traffic, the people coming to look and then buy from you. You can start out small then expand into different levels of shops and then and only then when you have been having success and making money, take a look at opening your own e-commerce site. But who knows you too may fall in love with eBay and never look back or change. So eBay Or Own Website Which Is Best? For me eBay

Andrew Milburn Is An eBay Consultant Based In Lichfield Staffordshire