How to decide what to name your blog – part one

By Kate Hornsby | July 23, 2016

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If you sell online, you know the importance of having an online presence. You Tweet, post on Facebook, use SnapChat, and Instagram. You may think that if you’re doing all that, you don’t need a blog…but…not so fast.

Although using these faster types of social media have kind of pushed having a blog to the back burner, it should still be an important part of your marketing strategy. While Tweeting with the 140 characters is good for directing buyers to your items, blogging (if it is done right) helps you build your brand.

The problem for many people is that they don’t know what to name their blog. Even worse, they do know what to name their blog and have the absolute perfect name, but then they discover that someone came up with the exact same name a long, long time ago (and usually the blog is inactive, which just makes it worse) and now they are drawing a total blank.

Before you dive into the world of blogging and the first step of naming your blog, take a moment and decide what you actually want your blog to represent. Is it going to be primarily for posting the items you are selling? If so, you are probably fine making an extension of your online store name. If you are building your brand or want to go outside the box a bit, however, you may need to think it through a little more and come up with something else to call it.

So…how do you find a good name?

Well, here’s your homework for this week:

Ask yourself these questions:

What do plan for your blog to be about? Decide if you will blog about your items, selling in general, or maybe talking more about your niche. Maybe you don’t primarily want it to be about your online store, but want to build your personal brand instead.

Who do you want your target audience to be? You could decide that you want it to attract buyers or perhaps you want to indirectly draw people in by blogging about your niche, such as vintage clothing, toys, or records.

What type of voice is your blog going to have? Serious, funny, business-like? You will want the name of your blog to reflect the type of blog you want to have.

Once you’ve answered these questions, you will have a better idea of what direction your blog name should go in. We’ll cover the process of actually how to choose a blog name next week!

Topics: How-to | No Comments »

Taking advantage of seasonal lows

By Kate Hornsby | July 22, 2016

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Every market has a pattern of a seasonal high and low. The holiday season typically begins around Thanksgiving and runs to Christmas (and even a bit beyond). The wedding season also has a fairly clear pattern, which generally starts around January and is heaviest from July to August. Even back to school has a pattern, with early sales starting mid-July and becoming heaviest about the first and second week of August.

When you open your store, it is important for you to understand what kind of business you can expect throughout different times of the year. This is not only important for getting your inventory right, but if your sales rely heavily on a seasonal pattern, you have to figure out what to do during the rest of the year.

Getting creative

Just because your inventory has a seasonal high and low season, however, doesn’t mean that you can’t find creative ways to boost those off-season sales. As an example, if the main item that you sell is ugly Christmas sweaters, you might think that the holiday season is the only time people will want to buy them. What many ugly Christmas sweater sellers have learned though is that there is also another opportunity to sell them during mid-June and/or July.

You see, some people have yearly “Christmas in July” parties, so even though the thermometer outside may say 95 or 100 degrees, inside it’s nice and cool in the air conditioning and people are enjoying Leon Day (Noel spelled backwards), which is on June 25th .This date marks exactly six months until Christmas rolls around again! Even Christmas decorations will briefly sell around this date, so if you primarily sell Christmas items, there is a small seasonal peak there in which with the right promotion, you might actually do quite well.

Thinking outside the (country) box

Although most brick and mortar stores usually won’t have sweaters and jackets for sale in June or shorts and flip flops for sale in November, some online sellers have discovered that they still do some booming business since international buyers, such as those in Australia are in the middle of their winter season while those in the United States are in the sweltering heat. When the seasons reverse again, they are even able to sell bathing suits to buyers who are “down under” while snow is falling outside the window. Jasmine, an eBay seller who typically buys clearance summer items around the time that school starts back states that one surprising item for her was suntan lotion for children, which she says she sells year round.

Do you take advantage of some of these off-season peaks in your store? Leave a comment below.

Topics: Online Business | No Comments »

Summertime sales blues and what to do about it

By Kate Hornsby | July 15, 2016

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Summertime and the living is easy. Unless you sell online that is. In that case, summer is hard and the only thing that is hot right now is probably the weather. Sales have slowed down or even almost stopped.

If you’re like most sellers, this probably means that your unlisted items are piling up and your current inventory is just sitting there gathering dust. This may mean that it’s time to take a step back and take another approach to your listing strategy. Instead of bringing in new items to list, it might be time to start moving all that old and unlisted inventory out instead.

First, let’s take a look at all that old inventory that you just keep holding in your store and listing as “Good til cancelled” (GTC). Now is the time to get that stuff out of here, so you can start getting in fresh merchandise that will sell. Don’t forget holidays are just around the corner, so you should be currently gearing your inventory toward that.

In some cases, this may mean that you need to take a look at your old inventory, take a deep breath and let it all go — some of it for maybe even less than what you originally gave for it. Before doing that, however, let’s take a look at some creative ways that might allow you to save some of your sales and even put a little extra money in your pocket.

First, re-evaluate everything. Take a good hard look at each item that you already have listed. Is there a way to improve the title? Have you left out any relevant keywords that might help sell the item? What about the photos, is it time to redo them?

If you find that there really isn’t anything else to do that you haven’t already done, then it may be time to start thinking outside the box. Is there a way to take some of the items and group them together to sell as a bundled lot? As an example, if you have some knitting supplies, perhaps you could sell them as one unit or a bundled lot instead of individually. Not only will this get more items out the door, but in many cases bundled items go for more money than they do when you sell the items individually. Buyers are often willing to pay more because they are getting more.

Second, take a look at your unlisted inventory. Are there items that might sell better during the summer than they will later on in the year? If so, go ahead and get them listed. As the old saying goes “It can’t sell, if it’s not listed.” It’s also not a bad time to get holiday inventory gathered together. You will soon want to start listing it, so why not go ahead and get a head start?

How are your sales this summer? Leave a comment below.

Topics: Online Business | 1 Comment »

5 Steps to Conquer July Sales Tax

By Joanna Avellana | July 14, 2016

taxjarlogoAuthor Mark Faggiano is Founder and CEO of TaxJar

July is what we here at TaxJar call a “sales tax perfect storm.” Nearly every online seller will have a sales tax filing due date this month.

If you’re new to sales tax, or if it has been awhile, check out these 5 simple tips for conquering July sales tax filing:

Know Your Due Dates

Since sales tax is governed at the state level, the actual day of the month you pay can vary. In the majority of states, sales tax is due on the 20th day of the month after the taxable period. But some states want to hear from you on the 15th, or the last day of the month. This date can also change due to holidays. Check your July 2016 sales tax due dates here.

Make Sure You Collected the Right Amount

When filing, the state expects you to remit how much sales tax you “should have” collected, even if, for some reason, you were unable to collect the correct amount. (For example, eBay’s sales tax system only allows you to collect sales tax at one rate per state, which means that you often have to charge either too much or too little sales tax to buyers.) If you find yourself in a situation like this when filing your sales tax return, double check that you are filing what you should have collected. If you’d rather not pore over your individual sales by hand, TaxJar has a simple “estimated sales tax due” report that will help you with this!

 File “Zero” Returns

If you are registered for a sales tax permit in a state, be sure to file a sales tax return even if you didn’t collect any sales tax over the taxable period. States want to hear from you on every due date. They consider this a “check in.” If you don’t file a sales tax return, you could end up with consequences from a $50 fine to the cancellation of your sales tax permit. Nobody wants to pay a $50 fine when you didn’t have any sales tax to remit in the first place!

Don’t Discount Sales Tax Discounts

About half the states also realize that asking you to collect, report and file sales tax places an administrative burden on sellers. For this reason, they allow you to keep a very small percentage of sales tax you collected. This amount is usually 1-3% of the total, but can add up over time. Don’t leave money on the table!

Automate Future Filings

If you find yourself spending valuable hours on sales tax filing that you could be using to work on more profitable business activities, then you can automate your sales tax filing.  TaxJar AutoFile will file your sales tax returns for you in almost every state for just $19.95 per state per filing. Not sure automating sales tax filing is right for you? Check out 6 Reasons to AutoFile Your Sales Tax Returns.

Have questions or comments about sales tax? Join the conversation at the Sales Tax for eCommerce Sellers Facebook Group!

 TaxJar is a service that makes sales tax reporting and filing simple for over 5,000 online sellers.  Try a 30-day-free trial of TaxJar today and eliminate sales tax compliance headaches from your life!

Topics: Sales Tax | 1 Comment »

Pokemon Go Plus Pre-Orders Fetching High Prices on EBay

By Kate Hornsby | July 12, 2016

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Unless you’ve been off hiding in a cave somewhere over the last week or so, you’ve probably heard that Pokemon Go fever has gripped the nation. The mobile game, which is played through an App, allows people to hunt for an assortment of creature-like monsters in their neighborhood while using the cameras on their phones to give the game a more virtual-like experience.

Now, some savvy eBay sellers are cashing in on the craze by listing a product known as the “Pokemon Go Plus” on eBay. Interestingly, pre-orders for the Pokemon Go Plus were actually available back in June, but at the time, many people were unsure whether or not the mobile game was going to be a success. Since literally million of players have decided to participate, however, these pre-orders are now being offered for sale on eBay.

For the uninitiated, the Pokemon Go Plus is a Bluetooth accessory worn on the wrist like a watch that allows players to participate in the game without actually having to use their smartphones. Since playing the game can quickly drain down the battery life of a smartphone, it really is a pretty nifty gadget to have.

Before you list your pre-order (if you were lucky enough to have got in on the initial deal, since most retailers have already sold out), keep in mind, however, that the Pokemon Go Plus is not scheduled to be released until the end of Jul. This means that you may have to contend with some overly anxious buyers wanting updates on their purchase once your Buy It Now or auction is over. If you are interested in making a little money though, there could be a great reward for your troubles. The device, which has the initial price of $35 has been fetching pre-order sale prices of over $100 with reports that some sellers were actually even asking as much as $475.

Are you selling your pre-order or are you forsaking profits and anxiously awaiting for your Pokemon Go Plus to arrive? Leave a comment below.

Topics: eBay | 1 Comment »

That Kat Radio Show Episode 52 Inventory Lab with Kim McCaffery

By Joanna Avellana | July 10, 2016

This week on That Kat Radio, Kim McCaffery joined us to talk about Inventory Lab.

Segment One:
First Kim introduced herself to the audience. She said that around the same time, she was thinking about wrapping her career in the nonprofit sector, she became aware of an opportunity to join the Inventory Lab team. Without a second thought she sent her resume and didn’t really know what to expect. She just knew that she loves everything about Inventory Lab and wanted to join their team. Thankfully they thought she would be a good fit and hired her last fall.
Kat and Kim discussed about Kim’s career in the nonprofit public sector. She was focused on violence preventions. Her role was a sexual assault prevention court meter, so she gets all the public speaking and outreach work.

Kat and Kim talked about Kim’s own Amazon business and how she got started. She has a passion for prevention of violence and also empowerment. She was really fascinated with the concept of building an at home business and the empowerment of that would bring. Kim said that she and her husband started selling on eBay way back in 2004. Her husband was a restaurant manager, so they move around very often but they love auctions and yard sales, so it made total sense to use the eBay platform to generate additional income. When she got her eBay business to where she wanted it to be, she focused on getting more information about selling on Amazon.

Kim explained that she and her husband love the thrill of the hunt. They love being in the community, love going to yard sales and meeting new people, looking for that super fun find. They get such a thrill out of those and that’s their idea of a good time.

Segment Two:
Kat and Kim explained about how Inventory Lab got started and what it does to Amazon sellers. Ryan Stephens Founder and CEO of Inventory Lab was a full time Amazon and eBay seller, but he was able to identify that the existing system was inefficient. He also was able to identify that there could be a better way, so that’s how Inventory Lab was born. Today Inventory Lab is ever evolving company. It offers comprehensive tools, focused on increasing the efficiency of the workflow of the average Amazon seller. The entire product life cycle is supported by Inventory Lab. So resourcing and researching, inventory, listing, printing labels, inventory management, accounting and most importantly is the ability to assess and analyze the profitability, all these are going to be there and available in Inventory Lab.

Kat and Kim talked about the growth of Inventory Lab. 2016 has been a huge year for Inventory Lab so far. They’re excited and anxious to see what the rest of the year is going to bring. Ryan and Elizabeth Harding their Operations Manager, surefooted decision makers of the company, chose to ensure quality for existing customers over investing in strategies to increase their number of subscribers. They really wanted customers to have a quality experience all around. They started implementing a plan. Abigail Piner the Customer Happiness Manager, she and Kim joined the team around the same time, they jumped in as Customer Champions that provide support to customers.

Kat and Kim explained about all the updates and changes for handling support request with Inventory Lab. The Customer Champions, they’re focused exactly on providing support to customers. They just implemented their new Self Help Portal, in addition to their User Guide and Troubleshooting Guide. Their User Guide has been greatly enhanced, it’s a step by step guide, detailed breakdowns on topics that are usually very confusing. They’ve added a lot of tools that support Inventory Lab folks to reduce learning curve for new Inventory Lab subscribers.

Kat and Kim discussed more about the portal and how someone can access it. Subscribers can go tosupport.inventorylab.com and they can find self help guide. They can open a ticket if they can’t find the information that they need and they’ll be able to stay connected and monitor the progress. Inventory Lab implemented a lot of new tools to give information to customers, because they want everybody to be able to utilize their entire Inventory Lab account and get everything out of the subscription that they can.

Segment Three:
Kat and Kim talked about the webinars that Kim do. Kim said that they’re doing webinars once or twice a week. They are taking people for a guided tour of Inventory Lab. Kim’s favorite part is the question and answer portion, where they would be able to answer questions from a live demonstration using Inventory Lab account. People can sign up for the webinar to find out the information that they need and Inventory Lab is constantly posting them on their facebook group when they’re available. They’ve also added a video tutorial library that’s available in the support portal.

Kat and Kim spoke about the features of Inventory Lab has that they find customers don’t realize how to use in their business. Kim said that people usually under utilize the reports, the ability to analyze whether or not their profitable. She added that she talks a lot about the power of knowing factually where people stand in their business. By knowing how profitable you are, supplies or categories working for you or which one isn’t, this information changes everything. Being tentative due to lack of information won’t grow businesses but confidence backed by data will. People have to know where they stand in their businesses, is it healthy, is it robust? What direction they need to go or where do they really need to put their revenue? These are the informations that people need and people don’t give respect to that knowledge and understand the power that it gives them. In the webinar Kim always talk about this and want people to know that this information is available to them and should start using this tool more.

Kat asked Kim about Inventory Lab integration of accounting functions, bookkeeping and filing income tax. Kim explained that Inventory Lab is a great tool, it’s not really intended to reconcile 1099 form, it exist to provide quick report and give you that data that you need. Inventory Lab folks like to use their profit margin report and their inventory evaluation report around tax time because they are great tools for that time of the year but they encourage people to rely on their CPA. Inventory Lab can help provide the data that people need to file their taxes.

Segment Four:
Kat and Kim talked about the help Inventory Lab can provide with collecting Sales Tax. If Amazon is collecting Sales Tax on your behalf, Inventory Lab has the ability to import that data and even has a Sales Tax report available. Amazon is collecting Sales Tax based on the settings that you set in, Inventory Lab is capturing that data about the Sales Tax that Amazon has collected and then the report will show you how much tax was collected and in what state. Inventory Lab does not have a limit.

Kat and Kim discussed about another feature of Inventory Lab that people do not use to it’s full capacity. Kim said that the Lists feature in Inventory Lab is basically listing of inventory. Some people come to Inventory Lab thinking that it’s only for accounting and they don’t bother listing their inventory with the Inventory Lab app. It’s available and it’s really a great and efficient tool to use. People are able to list any item that is already existing in the Amazon Product Catalog, they can just simply plug in all the information that they need and add it to their inventory. They can also plug in their suppliers, date purchased, set their list price and they’ll be able to print their labels as they list.

Kat and Kim explained about Scoutify and what it does for Inventory Lab users. Scoutify is a powerful mobile tool, it can be installed on multiple mobile devices. If someone has more than one mobile device, they can download Scoutify on their other mobile devices without additional cost. Kat added that Inventory Lab subscription covers Scoutify Apps.

InventoryLab

InventoryLab website: https://www.inventorylab.com/
IL Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/InventoryLab/?fref=ts
IL Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/inventorylab/
IL User Guide: http://www.manula.com/manuals/inventorylab/inventorylab-user-guide/1/en/topic/introduction
IL Video Tutorial Library: http://support.inventorylab.com/support/solutions/folders/14000105885

Topics: Podcast Notes | 1 Comment »

Finding your Customers’ Motivation By Cliff Ennico

By Joanna Avellana | July 9, 2016

cliffSometimes great business advice comes from the most unlikely source.

Now that summer’s here it’s time to think about beach reading.  I’m not a big fiction reader, but one novelist I always keep track of is Dave Eggers.  If you haven’t read any Dave Eggers, you need to – his books are extremely poignant observations of current world events and, while I disagree sometimes with his political positions, his stories will give you deeper insight into “what’s happening now” than most newspapers or TV news programs.  Past novels have dealt with the war in Iraq and Hurricane Katrina (“Zeitoun”), and the way digital technology, especially social media, is changing the way we look at other people and the world (“The Circle”).

When I heard that Hollywood was making a movie based on one of Eggers’ earlier novels, “A Hologram for the King,” I realized I hadn’t read that one so I went out and bought a copy.  The story, an offbeat and very funny commentary on the decline of American manufacturing and America’s resulting decline in influence on the world stage, centers on Alan Clay, an over-the-hill fifty-something salesperson (to be played in the movie by Tom Hanks – perfect choice) working as an independent contractor for a technology company that is looking to sell a state-of-the-art holographic telecommunications system to the Saudi Arabian government.

Clay’s interactions with Saudi government officials and other locals, foreign (mostly Chinese) competitors, other expatriates, his uncaring boss and unmotivated Millennial employees combine to form a perfect portrayal of an aging Baby Boomer’s mounting frustrations and sense of helplessness in a world growing more strange and alien by the day (a number of reviewers have compared Alan Clay to Willie Loman in Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman”).

At some future time I may write about what “A Hologram for the King” can teach entrepreneurs and business owners.  But one passage in the novel deserves a column of its own.

Reminiscing about his start in sales as a door-to-door Fuller Brush salesperson in the 1970s, he recalled some advice he received from a mentor about what motivates people to buy things.  Specifically, about the four reasons people buy consumer goods.

The first is Money.  “Appeal to their thrift,” Clay is told.  “Fuller products will save them money by preserving their investments – their wood furniture, their fine china, their linoleum floors.”

The second is Romance.  “Here you sell the dream,” Clay’s mentor says.  “you put the Fuller products in among their aspirations.  Right there next to the vacations and yachts.”

The third is Self-Preservation:  “If they’re afraid to let you in, if they talk to you through the window or something, you go with this way.  These products will keep you healthy, safe from germs, diseases . . . “

Finally, there is Recognition.  “She wants to buy what everyone else is buying.  You pick the four or five names of the most respected neighbors, you tell her those folks already bought the products.”

It’s an interesting way to look at sales strategies, and I’m dying to know where Eggers picked this up.  It actually dovetails quite nicely with what I’ve been teaching for many years about customer motivation.

In my view, based on more than 35 years of working with entrepreneurs and small businesses, it all boils down to “fears” and “passions”.  People buy things either because they are excited or turned on by them (passions) – they “spark joy”, in the words of decluttering expert Marie Kondo — or because the things help them sleep better at nights (by reducing their fears).  To view my free 90-minute video on this approach (which I call “How to Sell Anything to Anybody”), go to Youtube.com and search either for “Cliff Ennico” or “how to sell”.

Eggers’ four sales motivators can, I think, easily be broken down into “fear” and “passion” responses.  Self-Preservation is clearly a “fear” sell, while Money ties in to a consumer’s fear of running out of money or the shame and embarrassment (known as “buyer’s remorse”) you eventually feel when spending needlessly or foolishly.

“Romance” is clearly a passion sell, based on the consumer’s love of beautiful things and a luxurious lifestyle (or perhaps the desire to outshine the neighbors, in this case quite literally).

“Recognition” is a bit of a hybrid.  Some people want to “keep up with the Joneses” because they want to be perceived as their equals or superiors – that’s a passion.  Others are afraid to stand out from the crowd by being perceived as “different”.

A good salesperson is able to tell – usually at a glance, or with a few well chosen words – whether a person is motivated by fear or passion in that particular moment of time.  That is the lesson Alan Clay learned as a young man.  To find out if that lesson still applies in our digitized, globalizing economy, read “A Hologram for the King.”

Cliff Ennico (cennico@legalcareer.com) is a syndicated columnist, author and host of the PBS television series ‘Money Hunt’.  This column is no substitute for legal, tax or financial advice, which can be furnished only by a qualified professional licensed in your state.  To find out more about Cliff Ennico and other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit our Web page at www.creators.com.  COPYRIGHT 2016 CLIFFORD R. ENNICO.  DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.

Topics: Cliff Ennico | 1 Comment »

What you need to know before you sell your old laptop

By Kate Hornsby | July 8, 2016

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As an eBay seller, you know that one man’s (or woman’s!) junk is another person’s treasure. When it comes to used electronics, such as laptops, printers and computers, even if these types of items are old and considered obsolete, they can still fetch some pretty decent money on eBay if you want to sell them.

What you may not know, however, is that simply deleting files from your old computer and sending them to the “recycling bin” before you put the item up for sale doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve taken all your personal data off your computer. In fact, PCWorld reports that a study done by Blancoo Technology Group showed that of the 200 secondhand PC storage drives that were purchased by the group from sellers on eBay and Craigslist, 78 percent of the hard drives still had residual data that could be recovered. This data included everything from personal files to resumes and even financial data. All of which, if in the wrong hands, could end up as information that could be used by identity thieves to commit fraud.

The study, which was released last week, was provided to show the highlights of security problems with secondhand electronics. As an example, even innocuous items such as digital photocopiers were found to still have all of the information stored from every single document that the machines had ever scanned. This means that if you made a copy of something with your personal information like your social security number or your banking information, it could still be retrieved from its memory.

What all this means for sellers is that just running a “quick format” on the storage drive of your old computer won’t remove all of your files. In most cases, it simply leaves the data hidden, but still intact and available on your computer where anyone can find it if they know what they are looking for.

So, what should you do before listing that old laptop or computer for sale? Blancco suggests using proper data erasure software to ensure that all of your files are properly removed and erased. This type of software overwrites the data in the hard drive and replaces it with meaningless data instead. As for your printer, while most (but not all!) of the ones that you use in your home apparently don’t have a hard drive, they will still contain the information for your fax setup and WiFi. You can remove these from your printer by doing a semi-full reset.

Topics: eBay | No Comments »

What to do when you get an Amazon Return notification – part two

By Kate Hornsby | July 5, 2016

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Last week, we covered three of the essential steps you should take when you get one of those dreaded “Amazon Return” notification emails from Amazon. This week, let’s look at some additional things you should do when (and if!) the item has been returned to the warehouse.

Find out why the item was returned

Although looking at the report to find out why the item has been returned may or may not provide a good explanation (sometimes it is unknown or the buyer simply changed their mind), it does at least give you a starting point as to whether the item is resalable or not. To see this report, you will need to go to Seller Central and then look under Reports, select Fulfillment, and then click on Customer Concessions and finally on Returns. In some cases, you may find that the item just simply isn’t showing up on the report. When this is the case, you will have to open a ticket (fun, fun) and ask Amazon why the buyer returned the item.

Decide if you want to have the item returned to you

Once the item has made its way back to the warehouse, an Amazon warehouse work inspects the item to determine whether it can be put back out on the shelf to sell again. If they see that the item has been opened, they will automatically mark it as “Customer Damaged” and it can not be put back out for resell. It also can’t be put out for resell if it was returned due to it being defective. If the warehouse worker determines it hasn’t been opened and it is not defective, they will then typically add it back in with your inventory.

It is at this point that you need to decide whether to trust the warehouse worker or ask that the item be returned to you so that you can inspect it for yourself. Although it will cost you a small amount of money to have the item returned and then turn around and ship it back, this can keep you from getting negative feedback from another future buyer if they buy the item and there actually was something wrong with it. In some cases, the worker may have not noticed that there was a tear in the box or the shrink wrap was cut. If you decide that you won’t have the item sent back, double-check why it was returned and then make a note that it was returned in case there is a problem further down the line.

Determine if the item is defective

If the item is open and described as defective on the report, you will, of course, want to have it shipped back to you just to see what the problem is. As you may know, however, some buyers will say an item is defective because they want to get out of the shipping costs to return the item. When this happens, you can open a ticket with Seller Central and tell Amazon that the item was not defective. Make sure to include photos of the item in good condition as you will want to show proof that the buyer has simply said it was defective to get out of the return shipping costs.

When this is the case, Amazon will reimburse you for the cost, but only if the item has been opened. If the item has not been opened and is in good condition, they won’t give you a reimbursement since they know that you can ship it back to them and just sell it again.

What has your experience with Amazon Returns been? Leave a comment below.

Topics: Amazon, Amazon FBA | 1 Comment »

How to increase your chances of being seen by Etsy shoppers

By Kate Hornsby | July 1, 2016

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If you’re an Etsy seller, you want more page views and more sales. If things are slowing down, you may wonder what you can do to ramp things back up. Interestingly, the answer is surprisingly simple. Add more items. Yep, that’s the main thing to do and here’s why:

More items help your store get found. Shoppers typically find their way to a shop by finding an item when they make a search, or when they see it as a featured item on Esty, or even on a blog. Once they click on the link to get to the item, you now have an opening to get them to look at more items in your shop. In other words, the more items you have listed, the more ways a shopper can find your shop.

You can make more sales to one shopper. If you have a large selection of items in your shop, there’s a fairly good chance that a shopper is going to buy more than one thing, since they have more to choose from. This is especially true when you sell one-of-a-kind items, since shoppers often fear that the item will get gone if they don’t purchase it while they are there. Many shoppers also want to save on shipping, so if they see multiple items they want, they are more likely to buy them all at once. To ensure that they do, make sure to offer free secondary shipping if it won’t cost you any extra to do so.

Stay in your niche. When a shopper visits your shop and purchases an item, they will typically also become interested in other items if they see a variety of similar types of items while they are looking. Think of it as looking into the window of a dress shop and seeing a dress you like. Once you are in the dress shop, there is a good chance you will see other similar items that you like as well.

Keep in mind, however, that there is a difference in staying in your niche and limiting what you will sell. There is nothing wrong in adding items that aren’t quite within the niche that you sell in, but make a point to add them slowly until you see what will work and what won’t. As an example, if you normally sell scarves and hair accessories, you may find that you can also sell purses in your shop, but you don’t want your main items to get overshadowed by a lot of new items that you are introducing. Try one or two purses (items) and see how they do, you can then add others as you transition into this new direction.

Do you have tips for getting more shoppers to visit your Etsy store? Leave a comment below.

Topics: Etsy | No Comments »

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