Your eBay Store: What’s in a Name?

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Whether you’re opening an eBay store or just want to sell some items through eBay’s auctions, one of the first things you’ll discover when you sign up for your eBay account is that you need a name. The problem is, a good shop name is hard to come up with. The name needs to be easy to remember, unique in its own way, and (hopefully) convey a message about you or what you sell. In other words, it’s not something you should take lightly. It requires some thought. Before you start thinking of some ideas about what to name your store, however, I want to go over a few things first.

The Importance of Making Your eBay Store Name Unique

Before you commit to the name of your new eBay store or identity, you need to do some research to ensure that no one else has thought of it and already taken the name before you do. Even if your search reveals that no one in the eBay community has the name, you should take it a step forward and check to see if someone else has claimed it on the Internet. This will not only save you the confusion that identical names can cause when someone performs an Internet search for your store and finds one with an identical name somewhere else, but it will also help you to ensure that you don’t get into trouble for copyright infringement, which is a very real possibility in this day and age.

How to make a memorable eBay name

Although there are quite a few ways to come up with a memorable name, two of the simplest ways to do it are by using rhyming and through alliteration. I’m sure you know what rhyming is all about, but if you’re drawing a blank on the definition of alliteration — well, it’s the repetition of the same types of sounds or the same kinds of sounds stressed in syllables or at the beginning of words. As an example, “Tansy’s Tangy Texas Toast” is an alliteration because all of the words start with the same kind of sound. To use an alliteration for your store name, you might take your first name and match it with the item you want to sell, so it could be “Patty’s Prestige Postcards” or “Tonya’s Terrific Toys.”

A Word of Caution
As I mentioned above, matching your name up with the items you sell can make for a great name, but keep in mind that you’re going to have to live with your name for a long, long time. This can be the downside of pairing your name with certain items because if you decide you want to sell something else, it will no longer fit with the name. So perhaps you might want to think of something more along the lines of “Patty’s Prestige Presents,” which would then allow for you to sell a larger variety of items under the same store name.

Regardless of what name you choose, it should be one that you really, really love. If rhyming and alterations don’t seem to fit the bill, pick a name that has meaning for you. You can always build your own brand (think Target and Home Depot) and have a memorable logo instead! As an example, my eBay identity is Sushiboofay’s and my logo is a purple fish. It doesn’t exactly tell you what I sell (which is a little bit of everything), but few people forget the name and no one forgets my purple fish.

Amazon to Increase Referral Fees

 What is it about spring that makes online marketplaces think they need to shake things up a bit? First, we had eBay and their defect rates, now we have Amazon planning to increase referral fees. As you may recall, Amazon pulled something similar to this earlier in the year, but it mainly affected the categories of Health and Personal Care, Jewelry, and Electronic Accessories. This go around, it’s a whopping 21 categories which affects…well, just about everything.

As you can see from the Summary of Fees Chart, instead of a fee structure that is based on 6 to 15-percent of the total sales price for items that are below a certain price range, it’s just a flat $1.00 referral fee across the board.

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Unfortunately, if you sell a lot of small-dollar items on Amazon, this could leave you in a world of hurt when the new fee structure becomes effective on May 16, 2014. As an example, if you sell a $3.00 plush toy now, Amazon currently charges you 15-percent or approximately 45-cents. Sell the same item on May 16, however, and it will cost you 55 more cents. That’s a 222-percent increase, by the way and if your the seller of low cost items, it may be time to rethink things just a bit.

While the easiest way to handle the increase is to simply raise the prices for everything you sell that is currently below the price threshold, this may not make sense cost wise or be practical. Instead, perhaps consider bundling your lower cost items together and selling them in bundles instead of separately. Another way you could handle the fee increase would be to sell a product with another product so that the compliment each other. As an example, you could sell a baby pacifier with a baby bottle and just roll the cost of the pacifier in with the cost of the baby bottle to push you over the $6.67 threshold. Remember, if you do the latter, however, you will need to get a unique UPC code for your products.

Finally, it may also be a good time to branch out and start looking for other venues you can sell on. Granted, you’re still going to run into the same fee structure problem with some of the other sites, but some sites such as Sears and Newegg still use percentage referral fees, so there are most likely other sites out there that will offer the same. Plus, there’s always eBay, but make sure to run through the numbers on their listing fees before you consider making the switch.

5 Yard Saling Tips You Really Ought to Know

Image courtesy of Cooldesign / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It’s that time of year again and the hunt is on. No, I’m not talking about searching for Easter eggs or watching for the Easter Bunny. Instead, I’m talking about yard sales and if you’re looking for items to sell in your eBay store — they’re the place you want to be.

 

You see, during the spring and summer, you can pretty much throw a rock and hit the sign for a yard sale. This means you have lots of chances for potential inventory and with most of it, you can pick up some great stuff for just a few bucks. Before you start scouring those Craigslist and newspaper ads, however, there’s some things you need to know.

 

  • Dress appropriately. It may be cool in the morning, but by lunchtime the outdoors are usually toasty warm if not downright hot. Bring a hat and sunglasses to keep the sun out of your eyes and off of your face. It may be tempting to wear flip flops or open-toed shoes, but since you’re going to be standing on your feet and moving around a lot, a pair of shoes with good support for walking is usually best. Oh, and don’t forget the sunscreen!

  • Think about how you will ship the item before you buy it. It may just be me, but I despise trying to pack and ship big cumbersome items. In fact, I hate it so much that I usually let UPS handle the packaging, but then again, that really eats into my profits. You really need to think about what the item is going to cost to ship and whether you can add in the shipping costs and still get anyone to buy it. In other words, make sure the numbers make sense before you actually buy it.

  • Bring water and snacks. It’s super-easy to get dehydrated if you’re out in the sun for several hours and have nothing to drink. Keep a small cooler in your vehicle and fill it with bottles of water or one of those energy drinks that has electrolytes in it to help keep you hydrated. I also like to carry some snacks with me so I don’t have to stop at a fast food place whenever I start getting hungry.

  • Grab some cash before you hit the yard sale circuit. Don’t show up at the yard sale with all large bills though. You will mainly want to have $1s, $5, $10s, and some change. A friend of mine taught me a great tip that I’ll share with you here. Put your money into different pockets and don’t keep all of it in one place in your purse or billfold. If you start haggling for something and the owner doesn’t seem like they want to budge, you can always say that all you have to offer them is the money in your pocket. You should, of course, be prepared to walk away if they won’t take what you offer, but if it becomes an item you REALLY want and must have, you could always come back and say that you just remembered you had extra cash in another pocket.

  • Check the items over carefully before you buy. Trust me, it’s no fun getting home and discovering a plate or glass you bought has a small chip or crack in it. If you’re purchasing clothing, take a moment and check for holes, stains and tears. It’s also a good idea to inspect the battery holder of anything electronic before you buy it. If the batteries or more particularly the area where you put the batteries looks like it’s corroded, the item most likely won’t work.

 

Do you enjoy the thrill of the hunt at a yard sale? If so, what’s your favorite tip for yard saling? Leave me a comment below.

*Image courtesy of Cooldesign / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

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!

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

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:

  • What are your ecommerce histories, Nathan and Bob?
  • How did you connect with Jim Cockrum?
  • Does every ecommerce seller need a business coach?
  • How would a good coaching program improve my business?
  • What kind of programs are available through Jim Cockrum’s program and what costs are involved?

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:

  • What is your ecommerce history like, Jordan?
  • What and where are you selling now?
  • Can you describe your newest eBay tool for us?
  • Where can our listeners get this tool?
  • How much does it cost?
  • Tell us about your new “Ask Jordan” podcast and how my listeners can be on it!

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!

 

Windows XP: Is Your Computer Still Safe?

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?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday , April 14th Update

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

Phoenix eTailers Conference – April 25 – 27, 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.

Congrats to Kabbage! Funding is a Success!

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.

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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!

 

 

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