By Kate Hornsby | July 18, 2014
Although I primarily consider myself a writer, I also have worked (and still do) as a social media coordinator. You might not think there is a whole lot to posting on social media sites, after all, it’s basically type out a few sentences and click “Post.” It might surprise you to learn, however, that there’s actually a good bit more to it. If you aren’t getting the engagement from your posts that you think you should, here are three tips that could help.
Know your posts average lifetime.
According to TechCrunch, the average lifetime for a post on Facebook is about three hours. This doesn’t mean you should post every three hours, but rather that is the span of time when your post is going to get the most comments and likes. Think about it like some of the celebrity news-stories you have seen. You know how for days and days it seems like all you hear about is Lindsay Lohan and her troubles with the law? Then one day she isn’t mentioned anymore and the media has moved on to something like Kim Kardashian’s wedding.
That is what is considered the lifespan for a news-story. In our case, it is how long your post will remain relevant, which is…the three hours.
So…how often should you post?
Most successful page owners typically post on their Facebook page only two to three times a day. If you post more than that, TechCrunch says you’re “cannibalizing” your own posts. Not only are you shortening the lifespan of your posts, but your newer posts are actually eating into the time of your other posts (pun intended). I’ve seen this happened when one of the non-profits I volunteer with wants to do a “Facebook blast,” which is when they want a lot of information to go out over a short period of time.
As an example, they have a yearly event and as it gets closer to it, they want it mentioned more often. They also want their sponsors to get mentioned, so you often have posts going out every one to two hours. When this happens, I typically see a drop in engagement and site viewing. BUT…all of it is relevant information, so it’s worth the trade off of losing some of the lifespan for each post. It’s not something I generally recommend for day-to-day reader engagement though.
When is the best time to post?
If you are posting only two to three times a day, when is the best time to do it? Well, typically during the week, the best hours for posting are considered between 1 to 4 p.m.. People are getting off work or they are waiting to get off work,so that is usually when they check their Facebook page. Between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. are usually good times to post too.
If you want to do a third post, that’s a bit of a toss-up. The general rule of thumb is that you don’t want to post before 8 a.m. and you don’t want to post after 8 p.m. You may just want to play around with it a bit and see what works. Maybe right before or after lunch or maybe around 6 to 8 p.m.. Watch your numbers after you post and then count the amount of comments and likes. If it gets little or no attention, then keep adjusting each hour until you find the time that will engage the most readers
How often do you post? Do you have a certain time that works best for you? Leave a comment below.
By Kate Hornsby | July 16, 2014
Doesn’t it seem like it was just the other day that Amazon sent out its FBA Aged Inventory reminder to sellers? Well, believe it or not that was actually at the beginning of the year (February 15) and now here we are again with the second reminder for the year (August 15).
In case you haven’t been selling on Amazon’s FBA program for at least 11 months, the letter is in reference to their inventory cleanup, which is basically a way for Amazon to get sellers to either get rid of their FBA merchandise that has been sitting in their warehouses for 365 days or longer, or….pay Amazon a Long-Term Storage Fee of $22.50 per cubic foot. (Ouch!)
While this fee varies, if you have a lot of old merchandise sitting in an Amazon warehouse, now is the time to decide what you want to do with it because you could end up paying $250+ for items that may or may not ever sell.
Here’s some ways to get creative that might help you get those items sold or gone before the big day of reckoning:
Reprice your item. While the general rule of thumb is that you never want to be the lowest seller of an item (the advice is usually to price items between the highest and the lowest), the rules go out the window when you need to get the item out of there. Price your item either with the lowest seller or go a little bit underneath them. Don’t worry about a price war at this point, the idea is to just get the item off of Amazon’s shelves and out the door.
Keep an eye on your repricing. Don’t reset and forget. Remember, you are not the only seller being affected by this, so keep an eye on your prices after you lower them. You may have to adjust the price several times as there will be other sellers following the same methods you are.
Try Amazon’s Multi-Channel Fulfillment. Amazon gets that most people sell on multiple venues. They would also like to make a little money from you when you do, so they have set it up that you can use their multi-channel fulfillment service to list your items elsewhere (or on your own website) and then if the item sells, you pay Amazon to ship it for you. This means that if you are sitting there with a bunch of free eBay listings, you could list your Amazon items on eBay and then pay Amazon to ship them to your eBay buyers when they sell.
Keep in mind, you’re going to have fees everywhere if you sell them on eBay, including eBay itself, PayPal and Amazon, so free shipping on eBay is not going to be the way to go for this. Use a price calculator and make sure that you’ll come out with something and you’re not actually going in the hole.
Finally, don’t go into panic mode. You do still have some options. You can:
- Lower the price
- Ask Amazon to return the items to you
- Tell Amazon to dispose of your items
- Pay the fee and see if you can sell the items before February 15
Do you have aged inventory at an Amazon warehouse? What do you plan to do about it? Leave a comment below.
By Kat Simpson | July 15, 2014
It’s hard to believe, but we are almost halfway through the summer season. Most of my clients are away on vacation and leaving me alone for a little while to focus on chores I seldom have time for during the year (updating my lawbooks, digitizing my client files, you know the sort of thing).
So what does a small business expert put in his bookbag when he goes on vacation?
Be forewarned: I’m a pretty avid reader. When I was six years old, my Dad instructed me to read 50 pages of something – anything – a day. I took his advice seriously, and I’m still doing it years and years later (I’m not saying how many . . .).
Because I read so much about business and law during the year, I try to get as far away mentally from that as possible when I go on vacation.
But not entirely. There is a type of “fun” reading I enjoy that have helped me get a perspective on the business and political world in ways that reading the New York Times simply doesn’t. When I’m not reading about business, legal and technological developments, I read history, especially ancient and medieval European history, and novels set in those periods. The farther back you go in history, the easier it is to grasp the issues and personalities that defined that particular epoch, and because you are less emotionally attached to them (compared to, say, a history of Hitler’s Germany) it is often easier to glimpse the parallels between those times and our own.
Even more fun (and enlightening) is to read at the same time a nonfiction account of an historical period and a novel set in that period.
Here are the history books and “companion” historical novels I am taking with me on vacation:
Cicero: The Life and Times of Rome’s Greatest Politician, by Anthony Everitt; The Judgment of Caesar/The Triumph of Caesar by Steven Saylor. For hundreds of years, Rome was a republic ruled by a Senate whose members were elected from Rome’s most powerful and wealthy families. Along comes a populist politician (and military leader) named Julius Caesar, who battles income inequality among Rome’s elite, broadens the political base by empowering the poor, and sidesteps the Senate every chance he gets in order to do things his way with the army at his back. He is assassinated by a cabal of conservative Senators, and in the civil war that follows the Roman republic is destroyed and replaced by one of the most ruthless autocratic empires in history.
Cicero lived through all that. Watching him skillfully surfing the political waters and repeatedly surviving crisis after crisis where many other clever politicians fail, is truly awe-inspiring, as is the tragedy of seeing Cicero finally losing his head by taking a rigid principled stand rather than trimming his sails to the latest political wind-shifts. An object lesson for any wannabe politician.
Steven Saylor’s “Roma Sub Rosa” series of historical novels (12 so far) are set in this turbulent period. While these are primarily murder mysteries (Saylor’s stories are told from the perspective of “Gordianus the Finder,” a sort of Sherlock Holmes in a toga), Saylor is by trade a classical historian (at the University of Texas) and the books entwine Gordianus and his family with the wealthy and powerful, including Cicero, Caesar and their respective households.
Julian by Gore Vidal; The Closing of the Western Mind: The Rise of Faith and the Fall of Reason by Charles Freeman. Both books deal with the same moment in history – the reign of the Roman emperor Theodosius I (379 – 395 A.D.), who not only dictated that Christianity would theretofore be the official religion of Rome but who also dictated the form that religion would take, suppressing dissent and intellectual debate and calcifying Christian doctrine into an orthodoxy that would rule Europe for the next 1,000-plus years.
Freeman’s magisterial history gives you the facts; Vidal’s brilliant historical novel views these developments from the perspective of the Roman emperor Julian II, known as “the Apostate” (360-363 A.D.), who after first embracing Christianity rejected it in favor of the “pagan” Greek philosophical tradition. As in Cicero’s case, a moving account of what happens when a human being stands up for reason and principled debate in the face of overwhelming ideological forces.
The Face of Battle: A Study of Agincourt, Waterloo and the Somme by John Keegan; Agincourt/Sharpe’s Waterloo, by Bernard Cornwell. Military historian John Keegan’s classic describes the battles of Agincourt (1415) and Waterloo (1815) from the perspective of a “grunt” foot soldier in the English army. Historical novelist Cornwell has tackled the same battles from the same perspective, and the comparison with Keegan’s accounts is fascinating. I am not generally a fan of Cornwell’s novels set in medieval times (his characters are often too “modern” in their worldview and therefore unbelievable) but no one can take you inside a battle like Cornwell can.
Cliff Ennico (email@example.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 2014 CLIFFORD R. ENNICO. DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
By Kate Hornsby | July 10, 2014
We all know that eBay is a numbers game.The more you list each month, the more you make each month. Well, that’s the way it is suppose to work. As you may know, many sellers are complaining because their sales went down for the month of June and no amount of listing seemed to help. Even Lynn Dralle lamented that her sales were down 4-percent for June, so you know that means something is up with eBay and it’s not just that people aren’t buying as much because it’s summer.
Still, I don’t think eBay is dead (well, not yet anyway…). I think sellers are just going to have to really concentrate on their business and become a whole lot more efficient at what they do. This is especially true if you’re opting for multiple streams of income and listing on both eBay and Amazon.
As someone who both writes and sells eBay from home, I know just how easy it is to become distracted and waste valuable time. One minute you’re listing items or working on an article and the next minute….
You end up on Facebook, or loading the dishwasher, or sorting sock drawer. This is why getting organized and finding ways to become more efficient are so important. Here’s a few tricks I’ve recently learned that can help you to stay on track.
Take your photos with your eBay App
One of the biggest issues I’ve had with listing is that there are some days when I know I will only be listing a few things. Its always bothered me that I would take a few pictures and then have to take the card out of my camera and load the photos onto my computer. THEN if I wasn’t happy with one or two of the photos after I saw them up close, I would have to put the card back into the camera, take more photos and load them onto the computer again. Very time consuming, especially since there have been times when the husband borrows my camera for his real estate work and then I not only have my photos on there, but photos of houses too.
Fortunately, the eBay App lets you take photos right from your phone and put them into the listings in just a couple of steps. You can then finish your listings on your phone or save them for later and work on them from your computer. Huge time saver for me!
Work your listings like an assembly line
I sometimes joke that I have AADD. It may even be true. Regardless, I do know that if I’m not careful I will get three or four listings started and they will all be in various stages of completion. I may then forget that I was working on them if I don’t work on them right away. To get around this, I now work my listings in what some refer to as the “assembly line” process. I first find my items and get whatever I will be listing for the day all in one place. I then photograph the items and take the measurements of each item (I use a notebook to write my measurements down).
Next, everything gets weighed and set near the computer. Since I prefer working on my listings on my laptop, I don’t normally try to list off my phone. I just start the listing, take the photos and save it. Then I start another listing, save the photos and save it. I usually identify the item just enough so I will remember what the item is when I see the photo. I then fill in all the descriptions later.
Make time in your schedule for listing
There are two camps on this. Some people prefer to product source on certain days and list on certain days. Other people like to list a certain amount each day. Neither method is wrong. You just need to schedule the time for listing and make yourself do it. I usually try to take photos in the morning when the light is better (the downside of my phone is that even with a flash it doesn’t take good quality photos if it’s dark inside the house) and then finish the listings in the afternoon.
On the days I am listing, I write it on my schedule and put it on my to-do list. I’m not always perfect with this, but my amount of listings has increased and until the big June slump – my sales were increasing too. The main thing I can tell you is to find a way to handle your listings that works for you and then make a point to stick with it.
By Kate Hornsby | July 9, 2014
Although there are sellers out there who knowingly sell counterfeit items on online marketplace sites such as Amazon and eBay, there are also cases where companies like Amazon are issuing “takedown notices” (which is the email one receives when a merchant is accused of violating a brand’s intellectual property) to good sellers as well.
One of these good sellers is Hard to Find Accessories Inc., who decided to fight back by filing a lawsuit against both Amazon.com and Apple after the company’s account was suspended after Apple reported them for allegedly selling counterfeit Apple products. This caused Hard to Find to reportedly lose over $180,000 in monthly sales.
According to CNET, the products were initially called into question because Hard to Find was reportedly selling the items for a lot less than Apple was. Even though the seller eventually cleared the problem up with Apple, by then Amazon had already suspended Hard to Find from selling on Amazon.
Despite attempts to appeal the suspension, and even after Apple contacted Amazon on their behalf, the online marketplace giant still refused to reinstate the account, forcing the hand of Hard to Find who decided to file the lawsuit.
Although a spokesperson for Amazon has said that they won’t comment on ongoing lawsuits against the company, a copy of the complaint alleges that Apple makes a point of watching Amazon for items sold at what is considered an aggressive price point and that their actions in requesting that Amazon take down the items was both anti-competitive and conspiratory.
The complaint also brings up allegations against Amazon about their withholding payments during the “investigation.” This is similar to a claim made by some small online merchants last year, who filed a lawsuit claiming that by withholding payments for more than 90 days, Amazon broke it’s own terms of agreement.
Where this case ends up is anyone’s guess, but with all the complaints coming out about eBay and the defect rates and Amazon’s recent category restrictions, some online sellers are probably reconsidering their selling options since it seems to confirm thoughts that these online marketplaces aren’t fighting a fair fight against or for the little guy.
By Kate Hornsby | July 3, 2014
It’s been a rough time for some online sellers lately. Although eBay has denied it, sales at the online marketplace giant seem to be down dramatically for many. Meanwhile, Amazon has kicked some sellers in the gut by first placing restrictions on who could sell in what types of categories and then turning around and restricting a lot of Health and Beauty items, calling them “unsalable because they are prescription.”
While some people have carried on with a “business as normal” attitude, others have had a harder time shaking these changes off and over the last couple of weeks I’ve heard of at least two sellers throwing in the towel. And…I have to confess, the thought actually crossed my mind to give it all up this past Monday after I had my second week of no sales. This, coming off of a month where I did have sales, but then had three coins returned to me for refunds.
The funny thing I realized though is that I, and the two other sellers, both experienced the exact same thing. We were all three under what you might call “victim mentality.” In other words, although at least part of the situation was of our own making, we blamed everyone but ourselves. As an example, one of the sellers complained that she wasn’t selling anything at all. When she was pressed for more information, however, she mentioned that her lack of sells had her depressed so she really hadn’t listed anything new in over a month.
Then there’s me and my three coins. The first time it happened, I called the coin Proof and it was merely Uncirculated (my fault). The second time it happened, the buyer changed his mind (his fault). I was really feeling the victim at that point, so when I listed and shipped the wrong coin and had my third return…well, I was all over that victim mentality without addressing my part in it at all.
Where I am going with this is that if things aren’t going right in your online business, you first need to take a step back and take a good look at what’s going on. Are you to blame? Are you taking steps to correct a slowdown in sales in your business (doing more listings, finding other venues to sell on) or are you stuck with the attitude that there are outside forces at work and there is nothing you can do?
If the latter is the case, it might just be time for you to take responsibility for your online business and quit playing the victim. Sales down? List more or look for new venues. Getting lots of returns? Check your descriptions and make sure you’re not the one making errors when you list them. Trust me, once you take responsibility and acknowledge where your victim mentality is coming from, that’s when the real success in your online business can start.
By Kate Hornsby | July 2, 2014
That’s C, as in Christmas — in case you were wondering, or for those who may not have noticed that the year is now officially half over. It may seem a little early to start decking the halls, breaking out the eggnog and singing Christmas Carols, but trust me, the holiday season will be here before you know it.
Here’s some things to think about to ensure that you’re ready:
Want to sell toys on Amazon?
Amazon has made a lot of changes over the last couple of years, but one thing that seems to be rather consistent is who can sell toys during the holiday season and who can’t. If you look at last year’s Holiday Selling Guidelines in Toys & Games for Amazon, then you will see that you had to have been selling toys prior to September 17, 2013, if you wanted to be allowed to sell toys and games between mid-November and through December 2013. Although they may restrict this even more, it’s a pretty fair bet that if you want to be included, you should start selling some toys now or at least before it rolls around to September.
What’s going to be hot?
Every year, there is one or two items that everyone wants. It may be a toy (Furbie!) or a certain item of clothing (Ugg boots!) or even a gadget (As Seen on TV!) that are the must haves for the season. Although your crystal ball may not see quite that far into the month of December yet, it’s not too early to start watching for trends that seem to be getting stronger. Terapeak and Amazon’s Best Sellers are two places that you can start using to track these types of items as it gets closer to the date.
Have you got the right stuff?
Regardless of the “hot” items, there are still items that are popular around Christmas of every year. One of my favorite items to watch for is the dreaded “ugly sweaters.” These are sweaters that usually have some horrid Christmas design on them and for some people it’s an annual tradition to gift someone with one. There’s even ugly sweater Christmas parties where guests all where the ugliest Christmas sweater they can find. Since most people are thinking swimsuits and shorts right now, you can usually pick up Christmas sweaters for a song and list them now or wait a couple of months to time those insertion fees just right.
Finally, blow the dust off your return policy and see if you need to make any changes before the holiday season hits. Ebay strongly “encouraged” longer return policies last year as a vote of shopper confidence and although I hate the idea of having a Christmas item returned to me in early January, I think it is good to offer a little longer return time around then at least through the holiday season.
Image courtesy of [ AKARAKINGDOMS] / FreeDigitalPhot
By Kat Simpson | June 30, 2014
“I just received an e-mail from a major manufacturer telling me to stop selling their merchandise on Amazon. The e-mail says I have to apply to become an ‘authorized reseller’ or else I can’t sell their stuff. I have only sold one or two of their items, which I acquired from thrift shops. Is that really illegal?”
It is absolutely legal. Under the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent Kirtsaeng ruling (http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/12pdf/11-697_4g15.pdf), a manufacturer cannot prohibit someone from reselling their merchandise after acquiring it legally from a retailer, liquidator or other source as you did.
Many Amazon sellers engage in “retail arbitrage” – buying goods at retail and reselling them on Amazon for even more money to people who can’t find similar items in their local stores. The Kirtsaeng case gave a big “green light” to retail arbitrage activities.
If you ever receive an e-mail like this one, here’s how you respond: “Please be advised that I make only isolated sales of your merchandise on Amazon.com. I acquire these items from a local thrift shop and pay the full listed price for them. It is my understanding that reselling such merchandise online is entirely legal and does not require any sort of authorization from your company.”
If you receive an e-mail accusing you of selling counterfeit or “knockoff” merchandise, that’s a different kettle of fish. When selling trademarked goods online, you always have the burden of making sure each item is 100% genuine.
“I run a group Amazon sellers with about 50 members. One of our biggest challenges is to find good information that we can talk about at our monthly meetings. There are a number of authors who have written e-books for Amazon sellers. Recently I downloaded a couple and sent the download code to all of our members so that they can download the e-book as well. Well, I just got a phone call from one of these authors screaming at me because I did this and threatening me with legal action. I thought these authors would be thrilled that I was helping them promote their books to the Amazon community.”
While the Kirtsaeng case allows you to dispose of merchandise online that you acquired legally (even in a bulk purchase of hundreds of items), it doesn’t allow you to make unauthorized copies of books and other literary works that are protected under federal trademark and copyright laws.
What you did, although with the best of intentions, clearly infringed the author’s copyright on his e-book, and he was right to threaten legal action. To calm the author down, I would offer him a small royalty for each of your members who actually downloaded the e-book, and promise never to do this again.
Going forward, if you wish to use copyrighted material for your sellers’ group:
- contact the author/publisher and ask for a “book club discount”;
- ask your members to download the book directly from the author’s/publisher’s website, and give them the “coupon code” for the discount; and
- inform your members that while they can dispose of their copies after use (that’s what Kirtsaeng is all about), they cannot make multiple copies and resell them online (or anywhere else)
“I just visited my local department store, as I do each week, to buy inventory for sale on Amazon. When I approached the counter the sales rep, who knows me, told me I had to meet with the store manager in his office. The store manager was very nice, but basically told me that because of my ‘personal buying profile’ it was clear I was reselling their merchandise online, which violated their rules. The manager warned me that if I didn’t stop doing this they would prohibit me from shopping there. This sounds really un-American to me. Can they do that?”
Some manufacturers of high-end luxury goods are dusting off their contracts with their key retailers. Under these contracts, the retailers are given the exclusive right to sell the manufacturer’s merchandise at retail with some limitations, one of which is that the retailer not sell the merchandise “at wholesale or otherwise for resale.”
Because of the Kirtsaeng case and the rise of “retail arbitrage,” manufacturers are pressuring their retailers to enforce this restriction. Retailers are now telling their salespeople to keep an eye out for customers who are buying things in abnormally high quantities. If you are buying thousands of dollars of sneakers each week and are not a professional basketball player, you probably will be called on the carpet at some point.
If you are engaging in “retail arbitrage” on Amazon, you must stay under the radar screen by:
- limiting your purchases at any individual store; and
- varying your inventory so you don’t become too dependent on one line of merchandise that is available at only one or two local stores.
Cliff Ennico (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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 2014 CLIFFORD R. ENNICO. DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC
By Kate Hornsby | June 28, 2014
If you’ve been eagerly awaiting the start of Amazon’s Prime Air drone delivery service, you may have a long wait…as in never. Or then again…maybe not.
Fans of Amazon’s drone program were a bit disappointed earlier this week when the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released its guidelines for unmanned drones on Monday and literally shot the idea of drone deliveries right out of the sky (pun intended). But…Mary Osako, a spokeswoman for Amazon, was quick to note that the new guidelines only apply to hobbyists and not commercial entities, so the proposed guidelines don’t quite apply.
This seemed to match statements made by FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown, who stated in a CNET article that the FAA still had plans underway to perform extensive testing to help develop the drone delivery guidelines. According to CNET, this testing is scheduled for six sites in U.S. cities, although there has been no recent update as to the progress of this testing.
Meanwhile, the FAA has said that they published the guidelines on Monday because there have been a series of incidents in recent months that have involved unmanned aircraft, which the FAA have said are coming into close proximity with commercial airliners. The Washington Post reports that there have been at least 15 reported cases over the past two years, including a near-collision with a U.S. Airways plane over the Tallahassee Regional Airport. The NASA database, which is compiled of confidential complaints that pilots make, has actually stated that this number is higher and there have been at least 50 reports made by pilots and air traffic control about incidents and encounters with the unmanned drones.
While it remains “up in the air” as to how the FAA will ultimately structures the regulations for unmanned drones of both the commercial and hobbyist variety still remains to be seen, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos still fills confident in his Prime Air program and has stated that he doesn’t actually expect to see the regulations put into place until some time in 2015.
By Kate Hornsby | June 25, 2014
Are you a sales person? If you own an eBay store or list auctions on eBay, the answer to this question should be an affirmative “yes” and yet many sellers don’t want to classify themselves that way. After all, there is still that stigma for some people that sales people are pushy and just want to talk you into buying something. That’s why some sellers may say they have a store on eBay, or tell you that they sell on eBay, but a sales person?
If you’re one of those people who doesn’t consider themselves to be a sales person, then it may be time for an attitude adjustment. Okay, you don’t have to call yourself a sale person if you really don’t want to, but you should still sell on eBay as if you are. Here’s some sales person techniques that can help.
It’s the small things that can make or break a sale and if you’ve got a bad attitude as an eBay seller, trust me, it shows. People can’t physically walk into your store, but when they visit you online, your persona should come across as friendly and trusting. After all, who wants to buy from someone who practically shouts at you that if you don’t pay, they are going to report you right away? Or maybe they start the listing out by telling you all the reasons you shouldn’t buy from them. Is that how a sales person would act if you walked into the showroom to buy a new car? Would they be in your face telling you why you shouldn’t buy or would they show you the vehicles and point out all the nice features they have? Even if you’ve been burnt in the past by a unsavory buyer, keep a positive attitude in your listings and see how differently buyers will respond.
Explain the Features
One thing a good sales person always does is know their product. You can always tell when someone is new as a sales person because they have to run and find a manager every time someone asks them a question. Think about the item you are selling and what kind of questions you might ask if you were going to buy it for yourself. Explain the features of your item in your description as well as why someone might want to purchase it. As an example, if you are listing a shirt, you would want to list out all the measurements, the material and the color. You might then also offer some ideas of where the buyer could wear the shirt. “It would look good for an evening out or pare it down and wear it to the office…” Give the buyer a reason to purchase your item and you have a pretty good chance of winning them over.
Time is Not Relevant
We’ve all had it happen, one day things are humming along and sales are booming. Then suddenly one day, nothing happens. Then the next day it’s more of the same. Tumbleweeds start blowing across the living room and you wonder if eBay has been playing with their search algorithms again. When this is the case, it can be easy to want to give up. Instead, do like a sales person would do and take a step back. Maybe it’s just a slow week or maybe you need to figure out what the issue is and make some adjustments. Has another seller started selling the same products or lowered their prices? Are you selling an item that was hot, but the crowd has moved on? Analyzing the situation from a business perspective instead of an emotional one where you want to just throw in the towel can help you see the changes you need to make and gives you a clear objective for getting there.