3 Things You Need to Know Before You Start Selling on Ebay

By Kate Hornsby | April 17, 2014

 

 

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A couple of months ago I had a friend ask me some questions about selling on eBay. I could tell she was curious about it, but I could also tell that she wasn’t quite ready to throw herself into the deep end and actually get started with the process. I remember telling her it was fun and a great way to make a little (or a lot of cash), but since I sensed she wasn’t actually serious, I didn’t really go into a lot of detail. Later when I thought about it, however, I recalled a few things I know now that I wish someone had told me when I first became interested in selling on eBay.

First, the world may be your oyster, but by the time you have sold through everything in your house that has any value (this is where most sellers get their first inventory!), you need to know what types of items you’re going to sell. We call this a “niche” or your specialty. You may be interested in selling a lot of different things, but in reality, you will do better in the long run if you pick one or two niches and start with those. As an example, you may want to concentrate on selling vintage clothing and accessories or books and records. Remember, what you sell is not written in stone, so you can always change your mind and start selling something else if you grow tired of the niche you have chosen or if it doesn’t seem to be working out for you.

Second, find a like-minded group that can show you the ropes. You might think that sellers don’t want to share “secrets of the trade” with other sellers, but in reality most sellers don’t have a problem helping a new seller along and what they teach you can be invaluable. I was fortunate to stumble onto a Yahoo egroup with some established sellers that didn’t mind taking me under their wings. Later, that group broke off into another group and years later we are all still together. You can find similar groups by looking on Yahoo, Google or even Facebook.

Finally, it’s important to realize that you’re going to have some missteps and there will be ups and downs in your eBay business. You’ll sell an item for too little or accidentally post the wrong shipping amount. You’ll choose the wrong items to sell and sometimes you’ll get stuck with them. On the other hand, the yard sale item you gave twenty-five cents for might sale for $50 or $100 and knowing that you sold an item that someone has been looking the world over for can really be a thrill. I guess what I’m really trying to say is to expect a learning curve and just enjoy the ride. Trust me, as your knowledge increases and your sales grow, you’ll be glad you took that leap!

Topics: eBay | 1 Comment »

That Kat Radio – Podcast 61 – April 14, 2014: Jim Cockrum Coaching with Bob Willey and Nathan Bailey and CLEER Amazon tool with Jordan Malik

By April Simpson | April 16, 2014

Listen to That Kat Radio – Podcast 61 – April 14, 2014: Jim Cockrum Coaching with Bob Willey and Nathan Bailey and CLEER Amazon tool with Jordan Malik

 

 

In this episode of That Kat Radio, Kat speaks with Bob Willey and Nathan Bailey about Jim Cockrum Coaching and with Jordan Malik about his amazing new tool for eBay called CLEER. 

 

Before the show started, Kat was joined on the line by Nathan Bailey. Once the show began, they were both joined by Bob Willey, and they all three began to discuss Jim Cockrum Coaching.

Questions that were asked were:

Nathan and Bob both have a lot of history in the world of ecommerce. They were both ecstatic to be asked to join Jim Cockrum as coaches for his program. Jim’s program began as a relatively small endeavor, then continued to gather steam. Today, there are thousands of people who can testify that Jim Cockrum has forever changed and improved their businesses. Jim employs Nathan and Bob as coaches who write articles for his blog, discuss strategies with clients and do personal coaching with Jim’s clients as well. These coaching strategies are excellent because they are tailored to your specific business. Not only do you get the expertise of your coach, you get the entire program at your disposal, including hundreds of pages worth of articles about how to sell, what to sell, how to price, etc. This information is invaluable and all available to Jim’s clients. There are several links below, but the main Jim Cockrum Coaching page can be found by clicking the link above.

 

After a commercial break, Kat was joined on the line by Jordan Malik to discuss his newest venture, the CLEER app. 

Questions that were asked were:

Jordan’s new program, CLEER, is a google chrome add on that is available in the chrome app store and helps you find completed eBay listings simply by clicking a few buttons! This can save an incredible amount of time when researching items you are interested in selling. All of us, at one point or another, have had to go to eBay, search for our item, then change our wording around, then change the parameters of the search to the “sold” listings or “completed” listings and we know how frustrating the process can be. Odds are, you’ve had to sort through all of the completed listings before even finding one that sold and how much it sold for. This was a great invention by Jordan and we can’t wait to find out what’s next! Tune in to his podcast to find out more about Jordan, or follow the links below!

If you would like to find out more about being coached by That Kat herself, go here: http://www.thatkatcoaching.com/

 

Links from the show:

Kat ended this episode of That Kat Radio by telling the guests that she knows they’re busy entrepreneurs and she is devoted to bringing them new content each week that will make a big difference in their businesses. We will be back next week at 2 PM EST right here at ThatKatRadio.com with more eCommerce information and connections to help you define your success and achieve it!

 

Topics: Amazon FBA, eBay, eCommerce Education, eCommerce Events, eCommerce News, eCommerce Tools, Friends of That Kat, Podcast Notes, Programs and Software for eCommerce, Sourcing Products, ThatKat | 1 Comment »

Windows XP: Is Your Computer Still Safe?

By Kate Hornsby | April 16, 2014

Are you a seller who is still using Windows XP on your computer? If so, you need to take heed because your online activities may no longer be safe. Unfortunately, as of Tuesday, April 8, Microsoft officially quit supporting the Windows XP operating system. This means that since there will be no more security updates, your computer is wide open to computer hackers and they not only have free access to your computer, but to all your computer’s files as well.

Will your computer still operate if you continue to use Windows XP? Well, yes and no. My husband is scrambling because he has Windows XP and one of the websites that he uses for his business has stated that the website may no longer work properly without an update to at least Windows 7. I haven’t heard anything about eBay or Amazon acting strangely if you don’t update to Windows 7 or 8, but you should be aware that Microsoft is saying that XP users can expect to see a whole lot more viruses and issues that can’t be fixed by simply running an antivirus program. This could make you vulnerable to things like identity theft and a hacker could possibly have easier access to your PayPal or seller accounts.

That is why the computer experts are recommending that you upgrade to at least Windows 7. I use it and I can tell you that there really isn’t all the much difference between it and Windows XP. There are a few changes here and a few upgrades there from one to the next, but basically it all feels about the same. I haven’t had the privilege of playing with Windows 8 yet, but my understanding is that it’s designed for computers with touch-screen, so it not only operates very differently but also looks really different too.

Before you order a copy of Windows 7 or take the plunge and try Windows 8, keep in mind that you may need to upgrade your computer’s hardware before it will accept a more current version of Windows. In most cases, this means you either need to upgrade the RAM (Random Access Memory) or memory. To find out how much memory you have to have for your computer, you can read about it at the Microsoft website or the actual box the Windows 7 or Windows 8 product comes in, should have this information printed on it as well.

Finally, should you discover that you don’t have enough memory, you will basically have two choices. Upgrade your current system or purchase a new computer. Since I’m not computer expert and don’t claim to be, I would suggest talking to the store where you bought your computer or a local computer repair person. Depending on the age of your current computer, there might not be all that much difference in cost between upgrading your computer and buying a new one. Remember, if you have an online business, you can consider the new computer an office expense and take the tax credit. That might actually make all this updating of Windows stuff not such a bad thing….am I right?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Topics: Programs and Software for eCommerce | No Comments »

Monday , April 14th Update

By That Kat | April 14, 2014

1.

TaxesFor those, like me, who are still adding numbers and scanning receipts, I wanted to offer some good sources of information. As an entreprenuer, taxes can be very overwhelming to many. Now the IRS is in possession of 1099 forms from Amazon & Paypal, so they already know about all the income you are taking in. It is in your best interest to tell them about ALL your expenses. Sometimes remembering them all, and knowing where to enter them, can be a nightmare.  It doesn’t have to be!

Last year the folks from Outright AKA Go Daddy Online Bookkeeping did a series in their blog that walked through the Schedule C that most of us use to list our expenses. There is a separate blog post for EACH line and one for an overview. Here is a link to a search for all posts on “Schedule C” and here is “What Goes on Line 1 of the Schedule C?”

2.

Happy Easter!  Got all your Bunny Rabbits, Baskets and such listed for sale? It’s NOT too late. The average consumer will spend over $145 to fill that basket. Get your %. List those items, advertise as EASTER and get ready to ship fast and free!

3.

Tomorrow, Tax Day, April 15th, the early bird price for the Phoenix e-Tailers Conference ends! PhoenixlogoSign up NOW to get in for less. Use Coupon Code ThatKat75 to save $75 off even the early bird rate!

 

 

4.

The ‘More Fun Bigger Profits’ event is now giving away one free ticket each week!  Wanna go to Vegas and learn to make your eBay profits soar? Sign up here! Use Coupon code KS50MFBP for $50 off if you don’t win the free ticket!

5.

HRG3Home Run Guide Volume THREE is due out the end of this month but by clicking on the name, you can pre-order yours NOW!

Volume 3 is a bit different than 1 and 2.  Still a lot of fabulous niche Home Run guides (see below).  But we also included a special section called BONUS – Success Knowledge.  This exclusive bonus section includes guides on ‘Setting up your Sales Tax on Amazon’, ‘Attending Trade Shows’, ‘Organizing your Online Business’, and more.

 

Collectibles

·     Hall Teapots

·     Vintage Rudolph

·     Armani Figurines

·     Murano Glass

·     Vintage Tea Cups

·     Vintage Barware

·     Christmas Collectibles

·     Vintage Pillowcases

·     Nativity Sets

·     Vintage Slips

·     Vampire Kit

·     Quadruple Plate Silver

 

Crafts

·     Yarn and Thread

·     Abalone Shells

 

Home and Life

·     High-end Designer Clothing

·     Religious Books

·     American Eagle Coins

·     Sunglasses

·     Appliances

·     Mexican Pottery

·     Insulators

·     Hood Ornaments

 

Jewelry

·     Art Deco

·     Vintage Copper

·     Contemporary Silver

 

Toys and Games

·     50’s Fashion Dolls

·     Muffy the Bear

·     Warhammer Games & Citadel Miniatures

·     Board Games

·     Legos

·     Monopoly

photo by: John-Morgan

Topics: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Phoenix eTailers Conference – April 25 – 27, 2014

By That Kat | April 11, 2014

Phoenixlogo
Since the death of eBay Live, many conferences have come up to fill the void and this year we have a new one. The upcoming Phoenix eTailers Conference looks like a great event and will be here very soon.
The dates are April 25 – 27, 2014 at an amazing resort in Phoenix, AZ.  I was astonished at the amazing array of great speakers so wanted to share it here:
John Lawson
Janelle Elms
Cliff Ennico
Brandon Dupsky
Charlene Anderson
Debra Conrad
Kathleen Manning
Sally Milo
Hernan Charry
Karen Estrin
Olivia DeMoss
Melinda Jackson
Sandi Salz-Johnson
Now, that is an amazing line-up and well worth the trip, IMO!  So, if you haven’t already signed up, if you use this link, which includes the coupon code ‘ThatKat’ you will receive $75 off. But hurry, the price goes up on April 11, 2014.
If you still aren’t convinced, check out the Website for the event or the Facebook page.

Topics: eCommerce Events | No Comments »

Congrats to Kabbage! Funding is a Success!

By That Kat | April 10, 2014

kabbage-fundingI have to admit that watching eCommerce companies grow has become a fun pastime for me. I’ve known the folks at Kabbage since it was only two people (Kathryn Petralia and Rob Frohwein) at an eBay Radio Party back a few years.

Kathryn

They had a unique idea and I’ve gotten a lot of enjoyment out of watching them grow – remember Flat Bill? This round of funding is their third and the biggest yet. $270 million! The funds are intended to make lending easier and cheaper for Kabbage accounts. As a happy customer, I hope so!

 

 

robf

Enjoy reading more on Venture Beat or Tech Crunch.

Topics: eCommerce News | No Comments »

That Kat Radio – Podcast 60 -April 7, 2-14: Social Sandi

By April Simpson | April 8, 2014

Listen to That Kat Radio – Podcast 60 – April 7,2014: Escape Hashtag Hell With Social Sandi

 

In this episode of That Kat Radio, Kat spoke with Sandi Garcia, or “Social Sandi” about how to escape hashtag hell.

 

Kat spoke with Sandi about her history in the social media world, as well as the history of hashtags and how to use them effectively. 

Some of the questions that were asked were:

Sandi began as on online seller and quickly graduated to a social media expert, from there, she began helping others with the social media aspect of their businesses. Sandi is referred to within the seller’s circles as “social sandi” because she has so much great knowledge of the  social media channels and how to use them best. Kat allowed the guests to ask any question of Sandi and the one who asked the best question (or the most, as was the case) won a free business consultation with Sandi! Trevor was very excited to have won and I’m sure his business will profit from it wonderfully! If you would like to find out more about Sandi or have your own business consultation, you can find her here

 

Links from the show:

Kat ended this episode of That Kat Radio by telling the guests that she knows they’re busy entrepreneurs and she is devoted to bringing them new content each week that will make a big difference in their businesses. We will be back next week at 2 PM EST right here at ThatKatRadio.com with more eCommerce information and connections to help you define your success and achieve it!

Topics: Amazon, Amazon FBA, eBay, eCommerce Education, eCommerce News, eCommerce Tools, Friends of That Kat, Programs and Software for eCommerce | No Comments »

That Kat Radio – Podcast 58 – March 17, 2014: Barrington McIntosh & Charlene Anderson

By April Simpson | April 2, 2014

Listen to That Kat Radio – Podcast 58 – March 17, 2014: Barrington McIntosh and Charlene Anderson

 

In this episode of That Kat Radio, Kat spoke with Barrington McIntosh about international Amazon selling and with Charlene Anderson about sourcing at trade shows.

First, kat spoke with Charlene Anderson (or “Char”) about sourcing inventory at trade shows. Questions that were asked were:

 Charlene has been doing the trade show circuit for years now and is considered a pro. She has attended hundreds! Tradeshows can be beneficial to your business and offer countless sources of new inventory. She recommends wearing comfortable clothing and shoes, not deciding on anything until you have done your research and grabbing all the business cards you can!   After speaking to Charlene, Kat spoke to Barrington McIntosh about selling internationally with Amazon. Questions that were asked were:

Barrington has the prestigious honor of having his business ranked in the top 25% of all Amazon businesses during the 2012 holiday season. He didn’t start out on top, but he earned his position by working hard and by doing what needed to be done. Barrington and Kat discussed how hard it can be to source in an area like Jamaica, where there are NO big box retail stores. Barrington discussed how looking in different places and online for different items can make all the difference. If you find enough specialty items that people want to have, you can truly own the market, as he does. You can find Barrington and learn more about his story at his website, BarringtonMcIntosh.com After speaking to Barrington, we were in for a surprise guest! Kat got Scott Henshaw on the line to discuss the new KIOUIApps product, KIPhoenix!  Questions that were asked were:

Scott was approached by Jean-Charles to try out the new ap,KI Phoenix for his business. He said he has never used such an easy app! He loves the simplicity and efficiency of the design and will never go back to doing things manually again! Ki Phoenix is an application that keeps your products in stock and the listing up, even if you have run out of stock of an item. If you sell large quantities of items on eBay, this is the app for you! Every time you have to take down a listing, or a listing runs out of your quantity, you must end the listing and start it again when you get your inventory in. Doing this, you lose sales, as well as potential return customers! To find out more about the app, head over to KIOUI Apps.com and check out KI Phoenix! Links from the show:

 

Topics: Amazon, Amazon FBA, eBay, eCommerce Education, eCommerce Events, eCommerce News, eCommerce Tools, Inventory, Kabbage, Podcast Notes, Programs and Software for eCommerce, ThatKat | 1 Comment »

That Kat Radio Show-Podcast 57-March 10, 2014: Paul Cole and Kenric Russell

By April Simpson | March 29, 2014

Listen to That Kat Radio – Podcast 57 – March 10, 2014: Paul Cole and Kenric Russell

 

In this episode of That Kat Radio, Kat speaks with Paul Cole of SellerEngine and Kenric Russell of eBay Mobile

 

First, Kat spoke with Paul Cole about repricing and the SellerEngine products.

Questions that were asked were:

Kat discussed how long she had been a fan of Seller Engine software and how she uses their products daily. Kat and Paul began discussing repricing by showing the listeners exactly how important it was. They went on to discuss how intelligent repricing could save time and money for sellers by taking care of their inventory without any work on their part. Then, Kat and Paul went on to discuss some great things happening with the SellerEngine folks and their products, including some great new features that any seller would love to use. Paul thanked the listeners for being there.

 

After speaking with Paul, Kat was joined by Kenric Russell to discuss eBay mobile

Questions that were asked were:

Kat and Kenric discussed that eBay now has almost as many mobile users as it does regular users. They discussed the importance of the eBay mobile app and why eBay is spending lots of money trying to make the product better. Kenric talked about how helpful the app is when you’re out sourcing products and how to learn more about it. Kenric even shared with the listeners how to become part of the eBay mobile beta testing program. For more info on that, email him at mobilebeta@ebay.com and tell them what kind of smartphone you have.

 

Kat wrapped up the show by sincerely thanking her guests for coming and invited everyone to join Danni Ackerman at the More Fun Bigger Profits event in Las Vegas in May and at eBay Radio Party in June!

 

Links from the show:

Topics: Amazon, Amazon FBA, eBay, eCommerce Education, eCommerce Events, eCommerce News, eCommerce Tools, Podcast Notes, Programs and Software for eCommerce | No Comments »

Keeping “Showroomers” Out of You Service Business

By That Kat | March 21, 2014

One of the biggest threats to any “brick and mortar” retail business these days is the customer known as the “showroomer.”

 Ciff Ennico Headshot  You know the type, and I’m willing to bet you may have even done this yourself on occasion.  A “showroomer” is someone who visits a store, examines the merchandise at great length, asks dozens of questions of the store personnel, spends lots of time playing with the product and getting their grimy fingerprints all over the display models, and then . . . goes home and buys the product online to save money.

“Showrooming” is costing the retail industry millions of dollars, and is forcing many department stores to close their outlets, or convert them into “showrooms” to facilitate online sales of their merchandise.  There is even a new retail store chain known as “Hointer” (www.hointer.com), where customers can buy clothing without human intervention of any kind.

One of the saddest commentaries on human nature (at least for a small business writer like me) is that while people genuinely want the extra service, handholding and advice that can only be provided by human beings in physical, “real world” stores, they don’t want to pay extra money for that customized service. The easy availability of discounted merchandise online (with free shipping and no sales taxes) empowers them to become “showroomers”, and it’s killing traditional retail outlets.

Why?  Because it costs retail stores more money to provide that extra service, which they don’t recoup when customers “showroom” their stores and then buy from an online competitor.

Now here’s some news: the “showrooming” phenomenon is no longer limited to the world of retail.  It’s happening in service businesses as well.

Like, for example, mine.

I make a fair amount of my annual income by forming corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs) for people forming small businesses.  Having a corporation or LLC gives entrepreneurs some protection against liability, and (sometimes) some tax benefits as well.

Up until a few years ago, you had to hire a lawyer or accountant to help you form a corporation or LLC.  Not anymore.  A bunch of online services (the most popular of which is Legalzoom.com) offer to form your corporation or LLC for you, at a price significantly less than what most attorneys and accountants charge for the same service.

I also make a fair amount of my annual income by drafting and negotiating contracts for small businesses.  Up until a few years ago, you had to hire a lawyer or accountant to help you do that.  Not anymore.  A bunch of online services (the most popular of which include uslegalforms.com and findlaw.com) provide you with all kinds of contract “forms”, with drafting instructions, for a measly few dollars.

Now, these services don’t do the whole job, which is why they are so inexpensive.  They also do not provide you with one-on-one advice as to whether you should form a corporation or LLC, or guidance on customizing and negotiating the “boilerplate” form contract (if they were to do this, they would run afoul of state laws prohibiting the “unauthorized practice of law”).

How can a penny-pinching business owner get the advice they need and still get the everyday low prices the Internet offers?  Well, a growing number of them are calling up professionals like me, asking a million questions about how to set up their businesses or how to put together their deals, asking me for a fee quote, saying they will “get back to me,” and then forming their company on Legalzoom.com or downloading a contract from Uslegalforms.com once they have the necessary advice.  Without paying me a nickel.  I am being “showroomed”.  And I don’t like it.

So what can lawyers, accountants and other professionals do to stem the tide of “showrooming” other than just sit back and watch while technology renders their core services obsolete?

The answer is simple:  start charging your clients for giving advice.

Starting this week, I have put the following language at the bottom of all of my e-mail messages:  “Please be advised that there is a minimum $75 charge for advice or information given over the telephone, via e-mail, or by text message.  If after receiving any advice from me you choose to retain my services, the $75 will be applied towards my retainer fee.  Otherwise, the $75 will be invoiced separately and will be due within 30 days.  Any request for advice should be accompanied by your name and mailing address for billing purposes.”

I am also thinking about putting a shorter version of that message on my telephone answering service, but may wait until I actually speak to the client before informing them of my new “minimum service charge”.

Some clients may still “showroom” you, but charging a fee for your advice makes you more competitive with your Internet-based competition, and drives home the point that if you want to do things yourself, “you get what you pay for”.

Cliff Ennico (www.succeedinginyourbusiness.com), a leading expert on small business law and taxes, is the author of “Small Business Survival Guide,” “The eBay Seller’s Tax and Legal Answer Book” and 15 other books.

Topics: Cliff Ennico | 1 Comment »

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