Thursday, January 31, 2008

More Thoughts about eBays New Feedback System

In the long run, it seems like the new change in feedback is making eBay work a lot more like It is similar in that the feedback does not count toward your score after 1 year, and that you can not give bidders negative feedback.

What everyone is afraid of is that this is going to make it so that you can not retaliate against bad bidders. But at Amazon it is normal for great sellers to have about 97% - 99% positive feedback rating. Everyone comes across a bad bidder, it is a universal experience.

The feedback changes won't just affect some sellers, they will affect all sellers. The only way these random negative feedbacks will negatively affect you is if your only way of keeping 100% positive feedback is to hold feedback hostage (giving negative tit for tat).

However, if you have good selling practices, and work hard with your customer service, you should not experience any problems. A great seller might get some bad feedback, but a bad seller will get a lot of bad feedback, and will be forced out of the competition!

This is actually a good thing, as sellers that try to please their customers will shine (even with a lower than 100% feedback rating).

Remember, now all of the honest sellers will be getting unwarranted and impossible to avoid negative feedback, so even though you might get a negative feedback you will not be able to respond to, you will still be on a level playing field!

Good luck, focus on customer service, and you will be fine.

How to save money shipping eBay and Amazon orders: Thermal Printers

As your eBay business grows you are going to want to save time and money any way you can. One great way to do this is to change your shipping practices. No more writing out labels by hand, or cutting out "labels" from your ink jet printer. Now it is time to get serious!

In order to save money shipping your products from eBay, Amazon, or any home business you have, you need to use a thermal printer!

You need to realize that the ink, paper, tape, and time spent affixing "labels" to your package really adds up. If you are tired of spending money on these items, it is time to consider purchasing a thermal printer. They burn the shipping information onto your label so you don't have to buy ink. You can get the labels for free from UPS and FedEx, and all you have to do is peel it of and slap it on your package.

It could not look more professional.

So, that is quite the sales pitch I just gave you. I just want you to know that I don't actually even sell these. But here is another niche for you, if you know where to find them for cheap! Selling products to eBay sellers is always a good way to go!

Anyway, a good label printer that I recommend is the Zebra Eltron LP 2543. They are as cheap as buying two ink jet cartridges (less than $50), and will last forever. Also, they work with Paypal or Encidia no problem.

Go buy one of these right now, you will be glad that you did!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Changes to eBays Feedback: Buyers Will Only be Able to Receive Feedback

eBay's change to feedback will undoubtedly lead to a decrease in the number of sellers with 100% positive feedback. Now that buyers are only able to receive positive feedback, there is no way for a seller to hold their feedback hostage.

This means that now, if a buyer gives a seller negative feedback the seller can not give the buyer negative feedback in retaliation. I know of many power sellers who rely on this system to keep their feedback at 100%. Giving feedback to get a mutual feedback withdrawal is no longer an option.

Now if you want to guard your feedback, you might want to sign up for Square Trade. However, this is a service you will have to pay for, increasing your cost to operate even more.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Changes to eBay's Feedback System

Things are really changing over at eBay! Today they announced a new way to reward sellers with positive feedback.

eBay Writes:

Search visibility will be tied to customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is reflected in a combination of DSRs, Feedback, and fewer complaints filed of an item being "significantly not as described" (SNAD) or "item not received" (INR). In March 2008, Best Match will become the default sort in search to give more buyers the results they want and will:
  • Increase exposure for sellers with DSRs 4.6 and above and at least 95% customer satisfaction in the last 30 days.
  • Decrease exposure for sellers with low customer satisfaction or Shipping & Handling DSRs.
Now that feedback is playing a role in getting your items to show up in searches, it will be even more important to please your customers. If you don't want to get left in the dust with this feedback change, you might have to alter your selling practices. If you are getting complaints about high shipping, you may have to lower it. If you ship only a couple times a week, and people notice, you may have to step it up a notch.

Customer service is key in this game, and in order to become a PowerSeller on eBay, you are going to have to bend over backwards to make sure you stay at the top of the searches.

How will I be Affected by the New eBay Fees?

Ebay just announced some very large changes in their fees. I will break down the main points for you below:

  • Reduced eBay fees: the fees have been changed so it costs less to list, but this is really just a fee increase, as there is a higher final value fee. eBay does not lose at all in this situation, they just shifted their source of income.
    • If you used to list a 7 day auction item for $20, with a gallery picture, it would have cost $.95 for the insertion fee, and if it sold for $20, an additional $1.05 would be taken out in final value fees (FVF). A total of $2.00 paid in fees.
    • Now with the new fee structure, if you do the same listing, gallery pictures are free, and insertion prices dropped, so it would only cost $.55 to list the item. But once it sells, the FVF has raised from 5.25% to 8.75%. So it will cost you $1.75 in FVF, and $2.30 total.
    • If you used to list a 7 day auction item for $100, with a gallery picture, it would have cost $2.75 for the insertion fee, and if it sold for $100, an additional $3.75 would be taken out in final value fees (FVF). A total of $6.50 paid in fees.
    • Now for a $100 item, it will cost $2.00 to list, and the FVF will be $4.81. The total for new fees will be $6.81
  • Store fees have increased as well, from 10% to 12%.
Take a look at eBay's new 2008 Fees for yourself.

Steve Weber, just wrote a new book about selling on eBay. I will let him explain the rest of the changes at eBay :
  1. Rewards for seller performance
    There will be discounts and incentives for sellers with the best customer satisfaction rates according to the anonymous five-star Detailed Seller Ratings (DSRs).
  2. Feedback Changes
    The strategy is to "increase buyer confidence" and "showcase good sellers."
From: Selling Books: eBay bans negative feedback for buyers, cuts listing fees

Monday, January 28, 2008

How to be a Powerseller Part 2: Researching your eBay Competition

In my last post, How to become a Power Seller on eBay: Copy the best and Profit I told you that it was important to see what kind of things your competition is buying. Well, I just found a great tool that will let you see what items your competition has won, the percentage of auctions they have the winning bid in, and how much they have spent in the last 120 days.

All you have to do is type in their name, and you can get a better idea of how much they are willing to spend on the items they are reselling. You can also see the kinds of products they use to ship, and anything else they have bid on.

The website is

Do your homework!

Where to Buy Electronics, Books and Movies, to Sell on eBay

I just found a great new place to buy electronics, books and movies to sell on eBay! I have been working on finding new product sources, and have located one that is sure to have a few bargains. eBay sellers already go to Goodwill to buy their products to resell for a profit, but have you looked at ? It is a great site, and since they do not have that large of a following (compared to eBay) you can easily get some good deals! I recommend looking at the books, movies, music and electronics to find a good stream of products to sell on eBay!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

How to become a Power Seller on eBay: Copy the best and Profit

Want to become a power seller on eBay? Well then, you have to do what the power sellers do! The best way way to master your eBay niche is to learn from your competition and then beat them at their own game.

So, first you need to find out who your competition is! Like all aspects of eBay, this is going to take some hard work. You are going to have to sift through lots of auctions, looking for Power Sellers who stand out in your Category.

So, here is how you learn everything about your competition:

  • Do a search for the items that you are or will be selling.
  • Find about 3 or 4 Power Sellers who specialize in selling these items.
  • Examine their listings:
    • How do they describe their product?
    • What kind of pictures do they take?
    • What are their pricing and shipping strategies?
    • How are their stores set up?
  • Find out what kind of things they are buying on eBay. Some may buy their inventory off of eBay. This is good stuff to know!
    • To see what your competition is buying click on their feedback.
    • Then click "Feedback as Buyer"
    • Then copy the item number from the feedback and paste it into the search.
    • This will give you a good idea of what their buying habits are.
  • If you are really serious about selling in this niche, it is a good idea to buy a cheap product from the Power Seller with the highest feedback and see how they go about sending emails and packaging the item.
  • Through Hammertap you can search and see how much the seller has made in the last month. You can also see what product sells the best, and how many of them they sell each month. It is a powerful tool that really helps you analyze your competition!
Study hard, and then take the best aspects of the top three or four Power sellers and combine them to make your eBay store the best. Copy their practices and reap the benefits!

How to Buy and Sell LEGOs on eBay

Are you wondering what else you can sell on eBay? Do you have some extra room in your eBay Store? You should try to sell LEGOs! They are a very collectible item that sell very well on eBay. One of the best things about selling LEGOs is that they are easy to find!

When buying and selling LEGOs on eBay, it is important that you completely avoid dealing with all LEGO knockoffs, do not buy or sell mega blocks, or building blocks of the same caliber.

Methods of selling LEGOs.

  • Sell lots of 1 lb lots of LEGOs (going price is about $5-$10 per lb.)
  • Sell minifigs (the little LEGO men).
  • Sell specialty pieces separately (large base pieces, flowers, guns, etc...).
These are the main three avenues of selling Legos on eBay, and if you get into selling them, you will probably be doing all three.

I recommend having a store where about 90% of your LEGOs can be bought, and then having about 10% of your LEGOs in auctions. The auctions should be for things like higher end minifigs and 1 lb lots of LEGOs.

Make sure you tell your customers to visit your store for more great LEGO products in all of your auctions!

Where to find LEGOs:
  • Your Closet
  • Garage Sales, and Thrift Stores
  • often has LEGO lots to buy locally without having to deal with the competition of other online bidders.
  • eBay is the only other way to get a reliable source of LEGOs.
Buying LEGOs on eBay to Resell:
  • When buying LEGOs it is a good idea to buy them in bulk.
  • You can get the best prices for lots ranging from 2-6 lbs. Make sure you include shipping into the cost of acquiring your Lego stock.
  • Stay away from buying larger lots at first. Buying small lots will give you practice in separating the good LEGO auctions from the bad ones.
  • Make sure the auction says 100% LEGOs, you do not want to buy other toys or garbage, and it is also good to buy ones that have been cleaned. Look closely at the picture to make sure it is a quality lot!
Coveted LEGO Items:
  • When buying LEGOs it is good to keep on the lookout for some of the more popular items.
  • For example, Generic LEGO Minifigs sell for about $1 each, and they fetch a higher price if they include accessories.
  • If you find minifigs from the themes: Western, Space & Pirate they are worth about $2-$3 each, Castle are worth more: $2-$10, and Star Wars are worth the most $4-$25. One Darth Maul minifig sells for up to $30!

How to Buy on Craigslist to Sell on eBay

There is another great money making idea I have for you. It is all about using eBay and Amazon as a source of product to resell on craigslist.

Every day on craigslist people post "wanted" adds. This gives you direct insight into what is in demand in your local market. Here is how this money making idea works:

  • Search through the wanted adds.
  • Find a high priced product that is relatively cheap to ship (electronics work well for this)
  • Locate the product on Amazon or eBay to see if you can make a profit.
  • If you find a product that you can resell email the person with the wanted add and tell them that you can get them the product within a certain amount of time if they can wait.
  • If they are flexible, buy the item on eBay or Amazon and resell it for a profit!
I have done this a couple of times, and it has worked great. It just takes some time to search for the right product to resell to a buyer.

If you want more money making ideas, and eBay selling tips please sign up to get an email every time this blog is updated.

What Should I sell on eBay? Nintendo Products!

Everyone is always looking for something new to sell on eBay. Well, have you considered used electronics or video games. There is a good market out there for used video games for systems like the Nintendo SNES, Nintendo 64 and others. Today I am going to focus on buying and selling Nintendo 64 related products.

The best way to know what to buy and to sell is to do some research. I recommend looking at the finished auctions. Here is the search that I use to find the highest selling used Nintendo 64 games.

You will see that these are some games you should pick up right away if you see them:

  • Banjo Tooie
  • Conker's Bad Fur Day
  • Harvest Moon
  • Killer Instinct Gold
  • Mario Kart
  • Mario Party
  • Mario Party II
  • Mario Party III
  • Mario Tennis
  • Mystical Ninja
  • Paper Mario
  • Super Mario 64
  • Super Smash Brothers
These games all resell for at least $15.00 a piece. Some up to $30.00, and they can commonly be purchased at garage sales for as little as $2-$5. This is a good way to pad your income.

If you want to go more in depth with the Nintendo 64 venture, I recommend you compile a list of all of the Nintendo 64 games selling on eBay, and look them up on Hammertap. They have a free trial, and you can see the average selling price, and sell through ratio for any item on eBay. It is a great tool to research what sells on eBay.

After you have a list of what sells and how much, you can stop depending on chance to find the random mario game at a garage sale, and start looking to other sources. If you know what sells, and for how much, you can make informed buying decisions. Look at to see if anyone is selling a Nintendo 64 bundle in your area. The 64 and controllers themselves sell for about $30.00 Add a couple of good games, and it could be a profitable venture.

Also, if you are feeling really on top of your game, you can buy bundles of Systems and games on eBay. Every day someone is cleaning out their kids closet and selling bundles of games and systems on eBay, when they could make a much larger profit selling the items individually. This is where you come in. Buy the complete package, and split it up, and resell each item to make some good money. There are quite a few sellers who do this, sharkkisser, ryleys, datsunfamily, to name three.

To see how these sellers get their products to resell, look at the feedback they receive as buyers. They all buy Used Nintendo 64 lots and resell them at a profit. Some of them have become Power Sellers just buying packages and splitting them up to resell on eBay.

You can do this! It is not that difficult, it just takes some homework, and a little bit of start up capital. I can't emphasize enough how helpful Hammertap is for the important research you need to do about these market trends!

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. I will be here to tell you how to sell more niche products soon!

Free eBooks to Resell on eBay

I have been thinking of some no hassle ways to increase income and feedback at the same time. One of the easy ways I have found is to sell eBooks. These are great because once you have them, you can resell them over and over. You do not have to go and get more inventory and you don't have to ship anything!

So, as a gift from me to you, I am giving you a list of eBooks with resell rights that you can download for free to sell on eBay. These are pretty decent books, and there is no catch. You can just download the ebooks to read if you want.

So, here is how I would market these (you need a store):

Start a .01 cent auction every day for one eBook. This will draw some attention to you and your other auctions. Make sure to include links in your auction to your other auctions, and your store. Tell them to check out your about me page for a free gift. Give another free eBook there. I think Skip McGrath has some free eBooks to give out for this purpose as well.

Also, in all of your other auctions, no matter what for, it would be very helpful to have a link to an eBook about selling on eBay to drive more sales. Say something like, "if you want to make money by selling on eBay too, check out this eBook." Do whatever it takes to cross-link all of your auctions to your eBooks.

After you have penny eBooks, and links pointing to the eBook section of your store, you can start adding eBooks that sell for more than just one penny. It costs next to nothing to have items like these in your store, and if people only buy ten eBooks from you a month for $3.00, it will more than pay for your store fees.

OK, now that I have told you how to do it, here is a list of free eBooks with resell rights to put into your eBay store.

Just download these, and upload them to your own website. Then, after someone wins your auction, or buys it now, eBay will provide them with your website and they can download it easily.

Good Luck!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Things are changing at eBay

I was over at Steve Weber's blog today,, and saw that it looks like there are going to be some big changes at eBay!
Weber writes:

A new chief executive is on the way in, and Meg Whitman is on the way out.

At the top of the agenda:

Shifting eBay's emphasis from auctions to fixed-priced listing, which could make the experience of buying on eBay more like the one customers have come to expect from sites like Amazon.

Fixed-price sales now account for 40 percent of eBay's revenue. Who knew?

An announcement on a new fee structure is expected next week. I am guessing -- I'm way out on a limb here -- that fees for sellers will be higher.

If eBay can improve its search function and repeat-business action, higher fees might be worth it.

One area where eBay is expected to CUT fees: image hosting. That's long overdue, if you ask me. The more product images on eBay, the more sales. Encouraging multiple photos for listings without a fee penalty makes a lot of sense.

There's a lot of speculation about what this means for eBay Store sellers. For those of you who sell on eBay, how do your costs compare to Amazon when you add up insertion, final-value, and PayPal fees, compared to Amazon's 15-percent Marketplace commissions?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Auction Formatting and Font Size

What is with the big font their guy? When you make your auction templates you should use a small font in a legible color. No giant light green letters. This not only makes your eBay ad hard to read, but it also makes you look unprofessional.

When formatting your add, keep it simple. Use crisp pictures when possible, and keep the majority of your font sizes under 16.