Thursday, February 28, 2008

Learn How To Sell on eBay

There are lots of new eBay customers out there who want to learn how to sell on eBay. If this describes you, and you want to learn how to sell on eBay in a quick and easy way, I have a book to recommend for you!

I just read Skip McGrath's book the, New Basic Seller's Guide to eBay. Skip Has been in the eBay trenches for a very long time, and does a very good job of simplifying the eBay selling system in a way that your grandma could understand.

If you would like to learn how to sell on eBay but do not want to buy a book, I recommend that you dig around in the archives of this website, the
eBay Selling Guide, or take a look at Lizard Wisdom, or TameBay.

There is a lot of great information out there if you want to learn how to sell on eBay, you just have to make sure to be skeptical of your sources.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

eBay News: eBay Boycott Causes Auction listings to drop 13%

From USA Today:

Auction listings on dropped some 13% since the strike started Feb. 18
to about 13 million items, according to third-party tracking sites such as and

This quote misrepresents the actual effectivness of the eBay boycott. Ebay, did in fact drop 13% since Feb. 18. But if you look at the beggining of February there were about 13 million auction listings to start with. Thus, this small time frame only captures a small spike and valley in the graph. It does not actually represent how eBay is doing as a whole throught the month of February.

This is another case of the Media skewing the numbers for a story.

eBay reports that it has seen no difference in the ammount of auctions listed since the boycott began.

eBay News: Forbes says dump eBay stock


One name the gurus no longer want in their portfolios: eBay (nasdaq: EBAY). Analysts who favor the stock point out that eBay is the No. 1 global e-commerce brand, with a presence in nearly 40 markets. And the company likes to give back to its shareholders: eBay has repurchased $3.2 billion worth of stock since July 2006 and may repurchase another $2.8 billion under current authorizations.

But analysts also point out concerns, noting, for instance, that growth has slowed down in the company's two largest markets: the U.S. and Germany. EBay also has to deal with competition from rivals like Google (nasdaq: GOOG), Yahoo! (nasdaq: YHOO) and Amazon (nasdaq: AMZN), and the recently announced decision of well-respected CEO Meg Whitman to step down.

EBay's shares have slipped about 18% in the past 12 months, well off the October high of $39. The M100 decided it was time to bail.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

eBay Changes: Meet the Seller

Are you ready for the new changes at eBay? Here is an example of one of them: Meet the Seller.

It appears that if you have a low star rating for shipping time, shipping price, item as described, or communication eBay will warn your potential bidders.

With this new auction format in the works, bidders will no longer have to click the feedback button to read your feedback. EBay will point out all of your faults for you.

If you sell on eBay, and you have less than a 4.5 on any star rating, I really suggest that you try to find out what the problem is and fix it. Otherwise, this type of change will obviously make your bidders think twice about buying an item from you.

The Importance of reporting Non-Paying Bidders

It is very important that all sellers with non-paying bidders file non-paying bidder alerts and final value fee credits 10 days later if payment is still not received.

Filing the FVFC has better results than leaving negative feedback - a buyer with three FVFC filed from three different sellers is suspended (usually) from using E Bay. Leaving negative feedback only gets a buyer suspended when their feedback number gets into the negatives (usually -3, but sometimes even that doesn't occur).

It is also important to file for the correct reason - that the buyer didn't pay. If they don't pay, don't file "mutually agreed to cancel the transaction" - that does NOT place a black mark against the buyer and allows the buyer to continue doing the same thing to other sellers.

If you review a buyers feedback and see they have more than three negatives for non-payment, you can assume that not all of the sellers file or know to file the FVFC.

Sellers must help each other by filing these forms to get these habitual non-payers off of E Bay.

Please read and use this link to file NPB's and FVFC on all non-paying bidders:

Additionally, you will have your re-listing fees refunded as well if you file the NPB and FVFC, relist and the item sells.

Until E Bay starts restricting bidders with NPB's from bidding on other items, the only way we can help each other as sellers is to file the FVFC's to get these buyers suspended.

eBay News and Information: Links for Feb 24

LA Times: Ex-CEO of eBay, Meg Whitman, is looking into what it takes to run for Governor of California. She reportedly has enough capital to finance her own campaign.

Newsday: eBay Strike is extended until March 9th. Some sellers and fewer buyers will prolong their boycott an extra week. Although eBay says, "There hasn't been any marked change in our daily listing volume, and we monitor that pretty closely."

Forbes: Experts at Wharton consider what Donahoe, the new CEO, should try to accomplish with eBay. One recommendation is that "eBay needs to better integrate its auctions with the fixed-price shopping convenience offered at sites like"

Online Auction Blog: Provides some examples of what PayPal scams look like, and how you can avoid them. an Indian Internet search engine and social media site is now available on eBay. Starting bid is US $500,000.00. If you want a website ranked in the top 100 on Alexia in India, today is your lucky day!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

How to get more people to find your eBay Auction

When doing a search on Google for an item, it is quite common to get eBay auctions to pop up in your search results. If you want to get your eBay Auction found on Google or other search engines, I recommend that you follow some of eBay's search term guidelines.

Use Keywords - Pick three to five keywords that relate closely to your item. Ask yourself what words people are likely to use in a search engine when looking for what you're selling. Once you have these keywords, use them appropriately in your listing title and item description.

Take Care with Titles - Your listing title is a key factor in natural search. Include the most important keywords or keyword phrases in your listing title.

Get the Most Out of Your Item Description - Your item's description is the most valuable tool for creating search engine-friendly listings. While your primary goal is to describe the item you are selling to your eBay audience, here are several ways to use your description to its fullest:

  • Create Good Content: Describe your item the best you can and in as much detail as possible You should include approximately 200 words of visible text in your description, with the most important keyword phrases comprising 5 to 7% of the total. (In 200 words of text, you'll want to use your keywords 10 to 14 times.) Note that search engines only read a certain amount of information per page, so overdoing your description with non-relevant information isn't a good strategy.
  • Avoid Keyword Spamming: Do not overuse keywords in an item description as it can reduce the effectiveness of content. Moreover, keyword spamming is a violation of eBay policy as well as an irritation to prospective buyers.
  • Avoid Hidden Text: Do not add invisible copy; search engines will not read it.
  • Vary Font Strength: Use bold headers and use a font size of 12 or 14 maximum.
  • Include Links: Add links to other products, to your eBay Store, and so on. The words that are linked should be relevant to the destination. For example, "Visit my Store" or "See other items" are more effective than "Click here."
  • Use Image Alt Tags: These are keywords associated with the images you use in your listing. If you do your own HTML, be sure to include alt tags. This provides yet another opportunity to optimize keywords or keyword phrases that both describe the image and are consistent with your content.
Source: Search Optimization

Monday, February 18, 2008

Get Repeat Business on eBay with Free Business Cards

If you want to get repeat business on eBay, have buyers bid on multiple items, and raise the average selling price and sell through rate of your eBay auctions, then you are going to need to implement some changes into your business.

One of the easiest things you can do to increase repeat business is to put a business card in with every package you send out.

I recommend making a business card with your eBay user ID on it, as well as your store's web page. This is a great way to get customers to easily remember you.

In order to get extra repeat business you might want to offer a coupon code that gives them a shipping discount on their next purchase.

Take control of your business card and get more repeat eBay customers. I use VistaPrint’s pre-designed templates to make easy and professional business cards. You can make them online in minutes, and if you go to their site right now you can get 250 full-color business cards for FREE!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Free eBay Consultation: heroptionsforyou

Dear Readers,
I am sorry that I have been neglecting my Free eBay Consultations. I promise I will work harder to make sure that I get to review at least two eBay Sellers auctions and stores per week. This may mean that it will take your store several weeks to get featured on the eBay Selling Guide, and Auction Help. However, if you would like to speed up this process and get your free eBay consultation in 72 hours, you can donate any amount to the eBay Selling Guide.
eMail me for more info.

Today's consultation will feature a store that sells men's and women's clothing, non-fiction books, and children's toys. It is run by Michelle, who seems to be...

Click here to Read The Complete eBay Consultation at Auction Help

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Get Higher Auction Prices With Good Ad Copy

Do you want to get higher prices on your eBay listings? Do you feel that your items are selling for less than they should? Well it is time for you to work on your Ad Copy (Advertisement Copywriting).

Writing good ad copy is a process that takes time. You may have to restructure your auctions, and re-think how you write your descriptions. But, if you want higher auction prices and a larger sell through rate, it will be worth it to learn some basics of copywriting.

The first thing you need to do when copywriting is know who your audience is. Identify your target audience and then address their needs. When you are writing to your bidders you need to make your ad as personal as possible. Use pronouns like I and you, drop the we. Even if your ad reaches hundreds of people, you need the bidder to imagine that you are giving them one on one attention.

Secondly, you need to analyze your product/service, it helps to make a list. What features does your product have? Make a list and try to describe it thoroughly. For every feature that you come up with, try to think of a benefit that it will give your buyer.

Next, you need to take your list of features and benefits and use them in a ad copy formula. You need to structure your ad copy in your eBay auction, and there are two popular ways to do so. The first method is called AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action). The second is PAS (Problem, Agitate, Solution). These are they basic formulas for writing ad copy, and are pretty self explanatory.

When writing ad copy for your eBay auctions make sure to really sell the product. Grab the readers interest and make them want the product because of all of its great features. Use the bidders desire as a tool to get them to buy the item, tell them how it will make their life better, and how it will solve their problems. And lastly, use a call of action. Tell the bidder to buy it now in order to get this great product.

The last part is so important I will write it again. When writing good ad copy for your eBay auctions you need to tell the bidder to bid or buy your item now. Make it seem urgent, tell them they will not find a better deal anywhere else, tell them not to miss out on this unique product. You need to tell the bidder to buy the item, or else they will go elsewhere, and you will lose a lot of bids.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Three Free Products You Can Sell on eBay

Want something for free that you can sell on eBay? Well, you came to the right spot! I have been doing some research on items that you can get for free and sell on eBay. Today I have three free things that you can find on the internet and sell on eBay.

These are not going to make you a lot of extra money. But, if placed in your store, they will easily add some extra money to your PayPal account.

For all of these items I recommend running a week long 1 cent auction with text and links that refer the customer to your store to buy the item now. This way you will get a lot of traffic to your store items because bidders will be interested in your cheap auctions.

Here is the list of three things you can get for free and sell on eBay.

Coupons: Selling Coupons on eBay is very easy. Although, since it is easy a lot of people do it, and this results in a relatively low selling price. I am not going to do all of the work for you, but I suggest you look at for the coupons (there are sooo many!), and then research eBay to see what kinds of coupons sell best.

Tips for selling coupons on eBay:

  • Make sure that the coupons do not expire before your auction does (obvious?)
  • Save the coupon as an image or PDF, and then email it, or have the bidder download it when they win. Do not just point to the actual site where you found it.
For the next two items, you can get a little higher selling price, but you are going to have to be able to download the items on demand, burn them onto a CD and ship them to your customer. The deal with these next products is that since they are free in the first place, you can only sell them on CD. Here you are providing a service for people who have slow internet connection and do not want to try to download huge files. Also, some people just do not know any better.

MP3 Audio Books: Selling MP3 Audio Books on eBay is a simple enough task. The majority of your time will be spent on downloading books that look like they sell well on eBay and then creating nice store listings for them. I say store because you are going to have to list a lot in order to sell a few every day.

Where to find Free Audio Books to Sell on eBay:
There are several sites where you can download free MP3 audio books to sell on eBay. A couple of them are: Free Classic Audio Books, and LibriVox.

Tips to Sell MP3 Audio Books on eBay
  • If you have a DVD burner, that is great. I recommend that you get creative with your audio book package. I would try to sell individual titles as well as compilations by author or genre. For example, you could list something like "Alcott, Little Men, Little Women Audio Book Package."
  • As with selling anything on eBay, you need to do some homework, find out what sells, and how to go about marketing it.
  • To see what kind of audio books sell best I suggest that you use hammertap, it is a great program which lets you know what the top keywords are, and what sells best on eBay in every category.

Open Source Software : My last tip is to sell open source software on eBay. Selling free software is a great way to make some extra cash in your eBay store. There are a lot of different free programs that you can download, burn to a disc, and then sell. The best place to find a comprehensive list of these items is at Free Software Directory. I recommend selling a variety of different things from this site, such as image, video, and audio editing software. I also recommend trying to sell an alternative operating system like Linux, as well as the MS Works alternative, OpenOffice.

Tips for selling Open Source Software on eBay:
  • Make sure you read the copyright information on each item before you attempt to sell it. I know that it is ok to sell OpenOffice on CD, but I am unsure about many of the others.
  • It is a good idea to bundle software if you can fit it all on one CD, or DVD. Sell a photo editing program with OpenOffice, and maybe a website editor.
Now, if you are really serious about selling any of these free items on eBay it is going to take some effort to stand out. Since they are free, you are going to have to do some work to your auctions and images to make them really stand out. I recommend that you read the following posts to help make your auctions stand out:

How to Write an Ebay Auction Description that sells
importance of Pictures in eBay Auctions

Monday, February 11, 2008

USPS To Raise Prices in May

The USPS has created a yearly "Price Adjusting" Ritual. The USPS just announced that it is going to raise its prices on May 12. The price of a First Class Stamp is going to be raised to 42 cents.

But it does not stop there. The USPS will be "adjusting" all of their prices. Though they have not announced the rate increase for Priority or Express mail yet.

Here is a taste of some of the changes they are making now:

• Large envelope, 2 ounces, $1, up 3 cents.
• Certified mail, $2.70, up 5 cents.
• First-class international letter to Canada or Mexico, 72 cents, up 3 cents.
• First-class international letter to other countries, 94 cents, up 4 cents.

Let's hope that these increases are not as high as they were last year.

Good luck eBay Sellers, the Feedback and Fee Changes combined with raised shipping fees are not going to help anyone. Hopefully your transition into June will not be too bumpy.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Building an eBay Brand - Consistency is Key

While doing my free eBay consultations I have noticed a pattern: many eBay sellers are not building a brand through consistency. I have seen a lot of sellers not using logos in their stores, or at the top of their auctions. Even more importantly, I have noticed a lack in auction template consistency. If you want a free logo, please just sign up here, and write "free logo" in the notes section.

The best thing you can do to brand your eBay store is to have ONE auction template. There are lots of places to find a free generic template on Google, or you can have someone build one for you.

The most important thing is that you use the same eBay template in all of your auctions. This is will save you time in listing, as you will not always have to add or edit all of your terms of sale.

The other benefit of using a template is that whenever someone goes to your auction it will look like all of your other auctions! This will make you look more professional, and will result in more repeat business, and more bidders buying multiple items.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

eBay Coupon Codes - Get Cash Back!

eBay Promotions and coupon codes are few and far between. But there are some ways to get cash back on your eBay purchase without having a coupon. In fact, there is one very easy way to get cash back on all of your purchases without having to use a coupon code at all!

If you want to get cash back on all eBay purchases I recommend that you sign up for It is a free service that pays you the highest overall cash back available at eBay , and you can also get cash back at 233 other online marketplaces. It also has a referral program where you can make money whenever your referrals buy something.

This is a service that I actually use, otherwise I would not be promoting it. I just want to let you in on the eBay savings when there are no eBay coupon codes to be found. So next time you are shopping on eBay be sure to consider . It is easy, and you get your cash deposited to your Paypal account every month.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Free eBay Consultation: rgilbert15

Ron Gilbert signed up several days ago to have his free eBay consultation, but I have been putting it off because he appears to be on top of his game. Ron is a PowerSeller, has 4100+ Positive Feedback, and has 700+ items listed in his store. He is someone you should really be looking to as a great example of niche eBay selling.

I urge you to check out Ron's store and several of his auctions. His user name is...

Click here to Read The Complete eBay Consultation at Auction Help

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Free eBay Consultation: mom2nick4ever

Nicolette left a note for me saying that she has only had a store for about a month. But let me tell you, this store is pretty far ahead of the curve. I recommend that you check it out! She mostly sells children's clothing, but also has some women's clothing scattered throughout.

Nicolette's eBay user name is mom2nick4ever, and her store is called Wish Upon a Child's Star.

The first suggestion that I would make is that Nicolette changes...

Click here to Read The Complete eBay Consultation at Auction Help

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Free eBay Consultation: indiansteps

This free eBay consultation is supposed to serve two purposes. First of all, it is supposed to act as a case study in eBay selling. I am hoping that you will learn what types of things to do in your auctions and stores, as well as what sort of things you should try to avoid. Secondly, this free consultation is supposed to help the sellers by giving them personalized instruction on how they might improve or alter their selling techniques.

If you are interested in a free eBay consultation, please submit your information here.

Now it is time to get down to business. The second eBay seller I am going to give some tips to is Denise. She operates under the user name indiansteps, and her store is called: Denise's Bargain Bin.

Denise sells a variety of clothing and accessories for men, women, and babies. The majority of her items are gently used. Please check...

Click here to Read The Complete eBay Consultation at Auction Help

Monday, February 4, 2008

Free eBay Consultation: Our First Victim - Paulaloft

The experiment begins. Paula was brave enough to submit her eBay store: Paula's Loft of Bridal Treasures. Paula specializes in selling Wedding Gowns, bridal accessories, and prom dresses.

Paula currently has 84 store items, with the dresses starting at $39 and ranging up to $499. This is a nice spread of...

Click Here to Read the Complete eBay Consultation at Auction Help

Free eBay Consultation, Tips and traffic for your store.

I plan on starting a new feature on the blog where I do some free eBay auction/store consultation.

This is a feature completely unique to this blog. Nobody else on the internet is doing something like this for free. So, tell your friends and neighbors.

I will be providing free personalized tips to optimize your store and auctions as well as some positive reinforcement. In conjunction with this free service, I will post a link to your store, and maybe even some of your auctions so you can get more traffic (and maybe bids).

All you have to do is sign up Here!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

eBay Alternative: Finding Auction Sites like eBay

There has been quite a shake up in the eBay selling community. Now that eBay is implementing changes, unhappy sellers are trying to find an eBay alternative.

Unfortunately for its competitors, eBay has a very large stake in the online marketplace. However, there are some auction sites like eBay where you can sell your goods.

The two main alternatives to eBay I use are, and Craigslist.

  • is a great place if you are selling books, music, DVDs, video games, or other electronics. It is very easy to use compared to eBay. All you have to do is find the item you want to sell, write a couple sentence description about its condition, and set your price. One of the best things about Amazon is that it is very straight forward, and you have to spend almost no time answering emails from buyers. This is my number 1 alternative to ebay!
  • If you want to sell a small number of items on a personal level without having to deal with eBay fees, or PayPal holding your money, then I recommend Craigslist. It is very easy to use, you get paid in cash, and you don't have to ship anything. I like to use craigslist for all of my larger items.
There are several auction sites like eBay that are increasing in popularity as eBay sellers flee:
  • Bidville is the second largest online auction site after eBay, and is a true eBay alternative. They do not charge you a listing fee, so you can list as many items as you like. They do charge a Final Value Fee, but it is low at 5% for items that sell for less than $25. If you love the auction format, but hate eBay, Bidville may be right for you.
  • eCrater is the third largest online store front. They are very easy to deal with, everything is completely free, and they help you set up an online storefront in minutes that will connect to
  • Blujay is the fourth largest, but fastest growing online marketplace. The items posted their also show up on froogle, and it is free. Sellers on Blujay can post unlimited ads, 4 photos per ad, with up to 180 day listing periods all for free. And like eCrater, every blujay member gets an online webstore to showcase their items.
Just remember, when looking for an eBay alternative, make sure to do your research and find somewhere you can really be happy with. The best thing about eBay is the free traffic. With most of these other sites you are going to have to work harder to get eyeballs on your listings.

If you have any experience with these eBay alternatives, or use other auction sites like eBay, please let us know about your experience.

New Niche for eBay: It is time to go GREEN

In the last three years there has been a large increase in the amount of companies that are projecting a "greener" image to promote a friendlier, pro-environment outlook. Some of them are obviously just using the term "green" to seem like a less evil corporation, even though they still exploit workers, and the environment.

Anyway, I have not noticed a parallel shifted toward "greenness" on eBay. It seems that sellers are not taking advantage of one marketing ploy they can rightfully claim.

What I am saying is, you should go Green on your eBay advertisements. Most of the small sellers find their goods at the Goodwill, and they should capitalize on this. It should not be, "yuck I got it used." It should be, "Awesome, I saved this from a landfill, I'm making it available for someone who really wants it, and I'm going to sell it for a profit."

There are a lot of ways to take advantage of the Green Movement. You can use a statement in your eBay ad that says, "we use recycled materials to package your product." Recycled meaning that you use packaging supplies from craigslist that were just going to be dumped otherwise.

You should tell your potential bidders that they are doing the right thing by purchasing from you because there is nothing more environmentally friendly than buying used goods. Talk about how they are saving things from landfills by buying used, and creating less waste and demand for new items.

There are many ways to go "green" on eBay. In addition to advertising your recycling practices, you can find a niche in selling new items, like clothing, that have been made in an environmentally friendly way.

If you sell shoes, you can market them as vegan or eco-friendly if they do not contain any animal products (and hopefully are not made out of PVC).

Be creative, and let the green revolution become a profit booster. Support it, and it will support you!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Changes to eBay's Gallery Pictures

Now that eBay has made the Gallery pictures free, it is going to be a little harder to stand out from the crowd based on the sole fact that you have a gallery picture, while others do not. I am not saying that all people will use the gallery, but I am guessing the majority will.

However, if you want your gallery pictures to stand out, there is a step you can take to make sure your gallery picture draws the most attention.

I am sure that you have noticed that there are some gallery pictures that look larger than others. When sellers just upload regular pictures off of their camera, they are normally in a 400 x 600 pixel type format. Meaning, they are rectangular.

In order to get the largest picture available on the searches, you are going to have to crop your picture to be a square. When it is a square it will completely fill out the space that eBay provides for your gallery picture, and it will look larger than the majority of your competition!

When cropping your picture into a square, you can also put a small border around the edge to make it pop out even more than the competition.

For example, the green border stands out the most:


Also, now that everyone has a gallery picture added to their description, it might be worth it to spring for the extra subtitle to really set your auction apart from the others.

This may take extra work and money, but it will be worth it when you are getting more bids than your competition.

Good luck.

What Sells on eBay? Children's Series Books like Animorphs

Children's Series books like Animorphs are another thing to keep an eye out for while you are at Garage sales looking for items to sell on eBay. There are two reasons why these are great:

  1. You can find them at most Garage sales in the Suburbs
  2. You can buy them for cheap and resell them for a good profit.
When I say you can buy them for cheap, I am talking five to ten cents per book. When you find them at a garage sale, offer to buy them all for a nickel a piece. After that, you can always go a little higher depending on the series.

Here is a list of several good children's book series to look out for:
  • Animorphs by K.A. Applegate, Published by Scholastic. Series includes 54 books with 10 Companion books. Books resell for about $1 per book, if series is complete, up to $2.50 per book.
  • Box Car Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner, Series includes 113 books. Re-Published by Scholastic. Newer books resell for $1 per book, Original series for much more.
  • Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey, Published by Scholastic. Series includes 9 books and counting. Books sell for at least $2 a book, more if newer books are included.
  • Goosebumps by R.L. Stine, Original Series includes 62 books, Goosebumps series 2000 includes 24 books. Published by Scholastic. Resell for about $1 per book.
  • Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park. Series includes 27 books. These resell for about $2 per book.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of books to sell on eBay. This is only a primer. You should do some research yourself, and make sure these are actually viable options, make a list of how much you would be willing to sell per book, etc...

Unlike selling other things on eBay, it is best not to split these up into smaller lots. But to try to sell them all together. The more complete the set, the higher your price will be. If you have an almost complete set, it might be worth it to buy the missing book on Amazon.

Happy hunting.