Tips for making it through that last-minute holiday push on eBay

By Kate Hornsby | December 17, 2014

Presents

The holiday rush is on and if you’re like many eBay sellers, you probably have a lot of items that you specifically listed to get those holiday sales, and yet they have gone unsold over the last few weeks. Since Christmas is now only 10 days away, you might be wondering if it’s too late to try to relist them now.

Well, yes and no.

Depending on what news station you listen to, last Friday or yesterday was pretty much considered the last day for normal shipping. This means, if people buy an item and choose a normal shipping option, there is a pretty good chance that the item won’t make it to their door by Christmas.

Still, there are a lot of last-minute sellers out there and your items may be just exactly what they are looking for.

So, in the spirit of that holiday rush – here’s a few things you can do that might help increase the odds of you getting those down-to-the-wire sales.

Offer overnight shipping. It will cost the buyer more to use that option, but if they really want the item, they usually will pay the extra cost. If they aren’t interested in paying overnight shipping, do at least avoid using some of the slower shipping methods such as Media Mail. It might cost you a little more to go the First Class Mail route, but if the buyer gets their item right after Christmas (or even worse some time in January!), your TSRs could suffer, you might not get that glowing feedback you want, and…even worse, the person may ask for a refund since Christmas is over and they no longer need the item.

Choose short auction times. You might not get as much for an item if you use a 1-day or a 3-day auction instead of a five or seven, but the sooner your auction ends, the sooner you can get paid and get that item in the mail.

Consider using Fixed Price or Buy-It-Now. Using Fixed Price might take a little bite out of your profit if you don’t have a store, but it might be worth it if it leads to a sale. Buyers won’t have the patience to wait out a five or seven day auction when the clock is running down to Christmas, so make sure to offer a Buy-It-Now option when you are listing an item for auction.

Finally, if there is just no way for Santa to get the package to the door in time make a point to remind the buyer that the item won’t make it to them until after Christmas. Although the shipping information will tell the buyer that it takes 3 to 6 (or whatever) for their item to ship, they may still think that it will. It’s always a good idea to send a message to thank them for their purchase and note that you will mail it immediately, but it may still not arrive in time for Christmas. This can soften the blow for them if they were expecting it by then and can go a long way toward keeping the buyer’s expectation on track and making them happy.

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The Evolution of Social Media (2004-14)

By That Kat | December 16, 2014

By Shea Bennett

history-social-media-2004-2014

Read  More:  The Evolution of Social Media (2004-14)

 

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Optimize Your Listing to Boost Sales by 220%: How Buyers Became Power Sellers eBay!

By That Kat | December 15, 2014

By:  CrazyLister

Our story starts out a few years ago as a buyer on eBay when I was shopping around eBay for a GPS device. I ended up making a questionable purchase from an anonymous seller in China. The listing for the item had a formidable wall of text, mixed media font styles and colors, and even a smattering of pictures that were unrelated to the product being sold.

It was not the item or the seller, but the listing itself that triggered my bias against purchasing this product. However, I bit the bullet and made the purchase because hey, it was cheap.

As luck would have it, I got a whole lot more than what I had paid for: a great item for a bargain price. I had wrongly assumed that the quality of the item would be poor, or at the very least suspect based on listing description. After checking up on similar listings for GPS devices, I discovered that these listings followed in the same vein of haphazard, even weird product listings which cheapened the face value of their items considerably.

I was struck by a crazy idea. Why not create a more professional description for the same GPS devices and sell them at a higher turnover rate? A quick phone call later with my partner solidified our decision to become sellers on eBay. We were in business.

Some six months later we were ranked among the top eBay sellers of GPS devices. Our listings topped search results on eBay US, UK, Australia, France and Germany despite the fact that our prices were far from the lowest.

A few months later, eBay awarded our business with a certificate of achievement.

And yet, our selling method was not to be the cheapest on the market as I was dropshipping directly from fellow eBay sellers. This meant that my prices were by no means the lowest on the market. But I was the highest ranked seller in my product categories. So what was the difference?

Optimizing listing descriptions

We set ourselves apart from the competition by fine-tuning our listing aesthetic via CrazyLister’s optimized listing descriptions, and of course above all else, with a finger to the pulse of our conversion rate.

Understanding the Importance of Conversion Rate

Similar to Google search, eBay uses a search engine algorithm to determine the order as they appear in search results. This algorithm is measured by a combination of metrics which displays the sort order of listings to a potential customer.

So, how do listings make the cut? How does eBay calibrate the metrics which dictate who is ranked on top?

Simply put, these metrics are both quantitative and qualitative. Here is a list of examples of qualitative metrics: customers’ location, recent searches on eBay, watched items, etc. Whereas quantitative metrics include but aren’t limited to the following: items’ title, location, price, and sellers’ respective feedback record. Naturally eBay won’t disclose their exact metrics and their exact hierarchy of relevance, however numerous reports and studies by eBay sellers clearly indicate that the most important metric that determines the rank of a listing on search results is (drumroll please):

Conversion Rate. Why is conversion rate the most important factor when determining a listing’s rank in eBay search results? The answer is simple – bottom line profit. eBay makes money when there is a sale. As such, it is in eBay’s best interest to place the most relevant, highest converting items at the top of search results.

Boosting your products’ conversion rate leads to high ranking search results which leads to improving YOUR bottom line – sales, sales sales!

Find Your Conversion Rate Using Free Resources

Visit eBay’s Listing Analytics App:

Step 1: Go to “Applications”

Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 11.15.34 AM

Step 2: Sign up for the free to the “Listing Analytics”

Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 11.16.30 AMThe column you are looking for is “sell through rate” (conversion rate)

Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 11.17.24 AM

Improve Your Conversion Rate to Boost Sales – Here’s How!

When a potential customer is looking at your listing, there are several implications to consider:

  1. There is a pre-established interest with the product’s price, title, and image (otherwise the customer wouldn’t have clicked on your listing in the first place).
  2. The customer has their virtual purse open and are ready to purchase.

So what is stopping them?

Your product listing is a determining factor in the process of converting page viewers into customers. Case and point, by revising the listing descriptions of our supplier, we managed to increase the conversion rate on the GPS listings from 2% to 4.4% – that’s well over double gross sales. People make snap decisions when purchasing online based on superficial qualities such as the professional aesthetic of your listing descriptions. Most people aren’t keen on taking risks when it comes to anonymous, even potentially fraudulent sellers on eBay. Our revised and refined listings proved this point exactly: by creating aesthetic, professional listings we succeeded in selling OVER DOUBLE of SAME GPS devices for an even HIGHER price.

The Next Step to Boosting Sales: Revising Your Description

How do we improve our conversion rate? By optimizing our product listing!

I don’t know about you, but I personally don’t know HTML nor am I skilled in web design. When I was working as a seller on eBay, I had to spend days watching Photoshop instructional videos, what a snooze-fest. Through painstakingly meticulous work and with a lot of blood, sweat and tears, I managed to revise the listings according to the various input we received about our GPS devices.

But then it dawned on me: there should be an easier way to create professional, aesthetic listings without extensive knowledge in web design. So I shopped around for an editor that could do the coding for me. Unfortunately, this is what I discovered:

There are a lot of tools to create listings, the problem is that none combine the two simple features that I absolutely required:

  1. Easy to use – I needed an editing tool that was simple.
  2. Total customization – why use generic templates when I know exactly what I need? I needed an editor that I could use and manipulate to create the exact listing I WANTED, not be forced to work around a generic design.

But an editor with those specifications did not exist. Either you needed to know HTML to code custom listing or use generic template services. Admittedly generic templates are easy to use, however they do not allow total customization. It is crucial to customize a listing in order to able to respond customer’s concerns and feedbacks – without that there is no way I could have addressed my customer’s needs and improved my conversion rate without customizing my listing description. The key to boosting sales is in customization.

So, with a lot of hard work and a dedicated team of optimization specialists, we created CrazyLister.com.

CrazyLister is a super easy Drag&Drop editor for eBay sellers. It allows any seller with zero coding skills to create professional, 100% customizable listings. Making a change to a listing takes only minutes or seconds, compared to hours of coding. And it gets better: if I want to add a YouTube video to my listing I simply use CrazyLister’s editor to drag the video icon onto my design template and input the URL address of the video. Try comparing this to manually copying a piece of code from YouTube and finding the correct location in the HTML code of the description, only to realize that YouTube code is not compatible with eBay… talk about a headache!

With CrazyLister, we made things simple. Using our editor makes the listing process fun and intuitive, if you’ve been battling your listings to look professional and you are a bit of a dinosaur like me with HTML code then we recommend you try CrazyLister out!

Quick Wrap-Up

Here are the steps to boost your sales:

  1. Measure your current conversion rate.
  2. Figure out what is important to your potential customers and what they expect to see on your product listing.
  3. Revise your description to remove unnecessary information and bring focus to all relevant information using images and strategic highlighting choices.

For advanced, professional listings, use CrazyLister to easily create or revise your current listings to make them stand from the crowd. We wish you the best of luck! Happy selling!

(eBay Awards: Viktor Levitin and Maxim Godin with certificate of achievement for outstanding sales)

Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 11.18.05 AM

For our full story plus exclusive tricks and tips, read more here. – See more at: http://www.thatkat.com/?p=3351&preview=true#sthash.reK5G8kF.dpuf

Topics: eBay, Guest Posts | No Comments »

Show #84 – Paul Cole and Bill Cortright

By That Kat | December 14, 2014

 

In this episode, Kat spoke with Paul Cole of Seller Engine Services

sellerenginePaul Cole is the Creator of digital marketing campaigns, thriving online communities and friendly, and conversational content.

Topics of the interview were:

    1. Ways for Amazon sellers to give back during Q4. Organizations we like, things we’ve done here at SellerEngine
    2. Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
    3. This Black Friday & Cyber Monday infographic
    4. Pricing strategies to get the most out of what’s left of Q4.
    5. Long term hold and finding inventory right after Christmas to hold for next year.
    6. What’s coming for Profit Bandit in the new year?

 

Next Kat spoke with Bill Cortright of “Stress and the Entrepreneur

billcortright

Bill Cortright is a sought after international speaker specializing in personal development, motivation, wellness, anti-aging, weight loss, and stress management. Bill’s journey began like most at a young age struggling with weight loss/maintenance, resulting in a decade long fluctuation of 100 plus pounds three times before successfully losing the weight and becoming a seven-time bodybuilding champion. Today he is one of the top experts on wellness, weight loss and stress management. Bill is the author of the international bestseller “The Stress Response Diet” and has the soon to be released sequel called “TRUTH”, The Real Understanding To Health.

 

 

 

Topics covered in the interview were:

  1. Bill’s journey to speaking on the issue of stress.
  2. Specific things relating to entrepreneurs and stress.
  3. Bill’s book, ‘The Stress-Response Diet and Lifestyle Program.’
  4. Stress as a normal factor of the entrepreneur life.
  5. What steps can an entrepreneur take daily to minimize stress’ impact on their health?
  6. What would you say is the MOST important factor in dealing well with stress?
  7. Connecting with Bill.

 Links from the show:

http://sellerengine.com

https://www.linkedin.com/in/paulrcole

https://www.facebook.com/SellerEngineSoftware#sthash.TRb8IqQH.dpuf

https://twitter.com/SellerEngine#sthash.TRb8IqQH.dpuf

https://plus.google.com/116693661677479283668/posts

www.billcortright.com

https://twitter.com/billcortright

https://www.facebook.com/bill.cortright.92

https://www.facebook.com/StressResponse

https://www.linkedin.com/pub/bill-cortright/76/663/234

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC28bqgEDcEPyREzVWhTppaQ

https://plus.google.com/102310758715225842282/posts

http://www.Stamps.comhttp://www.bubblefast.com/store/pc/Big-Kat-Kombo-25-each-of-4-sizes-192p1819.htm#.UeHeh9Lqn54

http://www.bubblefast.com Use code: THATKAT for a 5% discount!!

http://www.bubblefast.com

Http://www.facebook.com/bubblefast

Kitty Kat Kombo: http://www.bubblefast.com/store/pc/Kitty-Kat-Kombo-10-each-of-4-sizes-192p1818.htm#.UeHeUtLqn54

Join the That Kat facebook group! http://www.facebook.com/groups/thatkat

http://www.thatkatradio.com

http://ThatKatGroup.com

http://outright.com/

http://bidonfusion.com/content/

 

You can follow Kat on TWITTERFacebookGoogle+ and Instagram.   Read the blog on  ThatKat.com.

Purchase one of Kat’s books on Amazon. Kat’s Sales Tax Book or Ultimate Guide to Savings by Store.

Join our Facebook Group to be notified of upcoming shows.

 

Please help us spread the word about That Kat Radio!

Please let your twitter followers know about us by tweeting. If you enjoyed this episode of That Kat Radio, please head over to iTunes, leave a rating, write a review and subscribe. And if you listen on Stitcher, please rate and review us there.

Ways to subscribe to That Kat Radio: Click here to subscribe on iTunesClick here to subscribe via RSS (non-iTunes feed). You can also subscribe via Stitcher or Talkshoe.

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Facebook changes in January to affect online sellers

By Kate Hornsby | December 12, 2014

facebook business

In the spirit of “nothing good lasts forever,” Facebook recently announced that in mid-January they intend to step up their efforts to keep unpaid promotions out of Facebook user’s newsfeeds. If you’re wondering what this means if you’re an online sellers who likes to use your Facebook page and status updates to promote your items or steer buyers toward your eBay store, well — you’re basically going to have to “pay up or shut up.”

In other words, you will either have to pay for the ability to advertise your business on the newsfeed, or your status updates containing promotions will likely be filtered out. This basically means that if you attempt to promote your items, they won’t be seen on your fan’s newsfeeds. If you do pay, your post with then most likely show up as a “suggested post.”

What this actually means is that according to The Wall Street Journal, businesses that up to this point have been posting free marketing pitches or reusing the content from their existing ads are now going to see a “significant decrease in distribution.” Since it is estimated the around 80-percent of small companies are using social media as a way to promote their business, this could really take a bite out of an online seller’s pocketbook.

Although Dan Levy, Facebook’s vice president of small business, admits he does feel for those who are going to be affected, The Washington Post says that he is quick to point out that Facebook has paid-advertising options that have recently been quite effective. Still, this probably isn’t going to do much to calm the somewhat growing animosity that some people are starting to feel about social media platforms in general. First, there was the new rule that members on Facebook had to use their real legal name and now it would appear that unless you want to pay to advertise, all the branding and building up of your business that you did on Facebook…may be for naught.

Do you use Facebook to advertise? Are you willing to pay for advertising or will you come up with another marketing plan? Leave your comments below.

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4 Ways to Use Your Amazon FBA Holiday Profits

By Kate Hornsby | December 10, 2014

Profit Margins

If you’ve been a good little Amazon seller this quarter, then you have probably been diligently sending in those Amazon FBA shipments to meet the holiday rush. And with more sales comes more profit, meaning you should be having your best sales of the year. What do you do with all that increased profit though? Here’s some ideas that could help you start the new year off right.

Buy more inventory. Is should be a no-brainer, but if not, right now is a great time to buy more inventory for your Amazon store. As the days get nearer to Christmas, many of the stores will start marking down those prices in hopes of getting those last minute sales. Once the Christmas rush is over, anything that is left will typically get marked down for those end-of-year clearance sales. While you may have better luck actually making the rounds to stores in person, don’t forget to look for clearance sales online too.

Invest in some training. Ready to take your business to the next level? Consider taking a course to help improve your online selling. Schedule a one-on-one with a life coach (or Amazon FBA coach!) or buy a book that gives you more insight into running an online business. You’re already on the Amazon website a lot of the time anyway, so when your taking a break you can also just wander over to the book section or Kindle section and see what you can find. If you’re part of Amazon Unlimited, you may even be able to read the books on your Kindle for free!

Stock up on supplies. Inventory for replenishing your store isn’t the only thing that goes on sale after the holidays. Storage totes and organizational supplies go on sale too. Use some of those profits to catch the best deals and restock all those shipping supplies that got used as you worked to keep up with the holiday rush. You may also want to think about what type of equipment you’ve been needing and make an investment there too. As an example, if you’ve been using an x-acto knife to cut boxes down to size, it might be a good time to get a box re-sizer. Label printers and bar code scanners might be other investments to consider as well.

Splurge a little. Finally, one of the best ways to stay motivated in the new year is to reward yourself when you reach one of your goals. Treat yourself and your family to a nice dinner, see a movie or maybe even consider a spa treatment. Consider your reward a Christmas bonus to yourself and treat you and your family to something fun.

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Topics: Amazon FBA | No Comments »

8 Reasons to Combine Social Media and SEO

By That Kat | December 9, 2014

By Shea Bennett

 

social-media-SEO

 Read  More:  8 Reasons to Combine Social Media and SEO 

 

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Black Friday & Cyber Monday

By That Kat | December 8, 2014

blackFriday2014Infographic2-1024x765Read More:  http://sellerengine.com/black-friday-cyber-monday-inforaphic/

Topics: Amazon, Infographic | No Comments »

Show #83 – Jim Smith of FBA Inspection and Katarina Cechova “Very desperate housewife”

By That Kat | December 7, 2014

 

JimSmithIn this episode, Kat spoke with Jim Smith of FBA Inspection.

Jim Smith has been into internet marketing on and off since 2005.  In 2010, he created over 140 websites in a very short time.  He took several internet marketing courses, was doing well and his IM career looked bright.  The penguin and panda happened and he lost all his rankings overnight.  During the course of a few weeks he found out about Amazon FBA and Jumped ship from IM to FBA. He jumped in with both feet, bought a scanner and a subscription to scan power and was doing really well.  He started getting a bunch of people requesting inspection service and by the end of April he launched FBAinspection.com. Over the last 18 months, his business has Expanded 4 times.  His latest move is in a 7000 sq. facility.  He has 19 team members ready to answer questions and get orders process quickly.

Processing fees include:

FBA prep, (poly bags, FNSKU labels etc.) are available for an additional cost.

They can also add inserts, or just about anything the customer would like.

If you have damaged items, they will hold them, and most of the time, any damage is from shipping, so if you send spare boxes, they can replace them.

FBA Inspection also has a bundling service.

They can protect your products with poly bags, apply FNSKU labels, insert flyers, or business cards / thank you cards etc. All of these services are at an additional cost from the basic processing.

They have 24 /7 surveillance, 24 /7 security alarm and monitoring, Fire and theft insurance and have workman’s comp insurance for their employees.

Currently FBA Inspection’s fees are 10 cents cheaper than their competition, although the are planning to increase prices as of Jan 2015.

Questions that were asked and answered were:

  1. Please tell us how you got started in ecommerce sales.
  2. Tell us how you got started with FBA Inspection, please.
  3. What exactly does FBA Inspection do?
  4. How much do the services at FBA Inspection cost?
  5. What kind of seller are the services best for?
  6. Are you accepting new clients now?
  7. How can our audience connect with you online and learn more about your services?

Kat also spoke with Katarina CechovaVery Desperate Housewife on eBay

KatarinaKatarina Cechova was born and lived in a communist country of former Czechoslovakia till the age of 28.  She escaped from the country and lived for one year in a refugee camp and moved to US 28 years ago.  She worked there as a molecular biologist till her 2nd son was born.  Katarina is a mom of 3 kids, volunteering in the community a lot especially on church and schools.  She recently enrolled in community college to take business and finance classes.

She has a store on Ebay called “Very Desperate Housewife”.

 

 

Questions that were asked and answered were:

  1. Please tell us about your history in Ecommerce and how you can to sell on EBAY?
  2. What do you sell and where (what platforms or places) do you sell?
  3. How do you feel EBAY compares to selling on eBay or Amazon?
  4. What is better about selling on EBAY?
  5. Tell us about your use of eBay Collections, please.
  6. How do you think the use of collections helps with sales?
  7. What is different about selling on EBAY?
  8. How can someone be successful on EBAY?
  9. What are your top 3 tips for being successful as a seller on EBAY?
  10. How can the audience learn more about you and connect with you online?

 

Links from the show:

http://fbainspection.com/

http://fbainspection.com/pricing-1/

https://www.facebook.com/amazingshipping

https://twitter.com/fbainspection

https://www.linkedin.com/pub/jim-smith/79/129/23

https://plus.google.com/117105141778695382817/posts

http://fbainspection.com/helpful-videos-tutorials/

http://verydesperatehousewife.com

http://stores.ebay.com/Very-Desperate-Housewife-Store

https://www.facebook.com/VeryDesperateHousewifeOnlineStore

https://www.facebook.com/VeryDesperateHousewife?fref=nf

https://plus.google.com/+KatarinaCechova/posts

https://www.youtube.com/user/311Katka

http://www.ebay.com/cln/lattegirltoo

http://www.Stamps.comhttp://www.bubblefast.com/store/pc/Big-Kat-Kombo-25-each-of-4-sizes-192p1819.htm#.UeHeh9Lqn54

http://www.bubblefast.com Use code: THATKAT for a 5% discount!!

http://www.bubblefast.com

Http://www.facebook.com/bubblefast

Kitty Kat Kombo: http://www.bubblefast.com/store/pc/Kitty-Kat-Kombo-10-each-of-4-sizes-192p1818.htm#.UeHeUtLqn54

Join the That Kat facebook group! http://www.facebook.com/groups/thatkat

http://www.thatkatradio.com

http://ThatKatGroup.com

http://outright.com/

http://bidonfusion.com/content/

You can follow Kat on TWITTERFacebookGoogle+ and Instagram.   Read the blog on  ThatKat.com.

Purchase one of Kat’s books on Amazon. Kat’s Sales Tax Book or Ultimate Guide to Savings by Store.

Join our Facebook Group to be notified of upcoming shows.

 

Please help us spread the word about That Kat Radio!

Please let your twitter followers know about us by tweeting. If you enjoyed this episode of That Kat Radio, please head over to iTunes, leave a rating, write a review and subscribe. And if you listen on Stitcher, please rate and review us there.

Ways to subscribe to That Kat Radio: Click here to subscribe on iTunesClick here to subscribe via RSS (non-iTunes feed). You can also subscribe via Stitcher or Talkshoe.

Topics: Podcast Notes, ThatKat | No Comments »

Should You Sell it With Amazon FBA? 5 Questions to Ask Yourself

By That Kat | December 7, 2014

fba_flow_chart_FINAL

 Read More:  Should You Sell it With Amazon FBA? 5 Questions to Ask Yourself

Topics: Infographic | No Comments »

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