How to cope when your online business has you feeling overwhelmed

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You would think that when we have a lot to do, we would become super productive so we can get it all done. After all, you know those Amazon packages aren’t going to ship themselves.

When we have too much on our plate, however, sometimes the opposite occurs. We freeze. Or maybe we move fast, but we aren’t really making any progress. A little here, a little there, but there’s so much competing for attention, we really don’t have a clue as to where we should begin. In turn, we don’t really begin anywhere.

So, how do you cope when there are things to be done, but you feel overwhelmed? Here’s some ideas that might help:

First, make yourself a list. Write down everything you know that you need to do. Some people like to include both business tasks and non-business tasks in this type of list, but for this exercise – simply concentrate on the business tasks rather than all those other types of tasks that you keep telling yourself you need to do. I say this, because if you set in and make a long list with everything you need to do, it will make the next part a lot harder to accomplish.

Once you have everything written down, you set a timer for 15 minutes and then work to get as many of the small tasks off your list as you can. Unfortunately, if you’ve included your tasks around the home as part of this list, you will find yourself emptying the litterbox or loading the dishwasher, which may need to be done, but won’t really be productive for your online business.

Instead, use the allowed time to make a business phone call, order your shipping supplies, or gather the items you want to list or send in.

Now that you’ve gotten started, you can continue to set a timer for 30 minute or an hour and continue to work on crossing things off the list. When each task is done and the time goes off, give yourself a 10 minute break to relax and then return to the list and start all over again.

While you may question why you need the timer for this, think of it this way. Do you remember when you were in school and you put off writing a book report until the very last day? You may have procrastinated right up to the very last second, but then something amazing happened as the deadline approached. All that fog and dread over working on the project just disappeared. The fog lifted and suddenly that report got written. If you’re lucky, you may have even managed get an A+.

Will this stop you from still feeling overwhelmed? Not entirely. It will help you to move forward, however, and instead of freezing you can get everything done.

Are you ever overwhelmed with your online business? What tricks do you use to make yourself more productive? Leave a comment below.

Can Ebay Get Its Groove Back?

By Cliff Ennico

cliff ennicoIt’s hard to believe that eBay, one of the early Internet pioneers that celebrated its 20th anniversary as a public company last year, is viewed by many today as a stodgy, “late stage” company. But so it seems.

Earlier this year eBay, under pressure from shareholder activist Carl Icahn (we used to call these people “corporate raiders” back in the 1980s), announced that it would spin off its profitable PayPal division into a separate company (with a market value of about $40 billion), and either sell off or take public its eBay Enterprise division which provides technology solutions to e-commerce companies.

That will leave what is now called “eBay Marketplace,” or what those of us who fell in love with the site in the 1990s called “eBay” – the place where everyday people buy and sell stuff to other everyday people.

It is tough to predict what eBay Marketplace’s strategy will be once it’s back on its own again. For the past several years, its strategy – if it can be called that – has been to copy Amazon.com’s business model as much as possible but without making the capital investments Amazon has, such as establishing highly automated “brick and mortar” warehouse and distribution centers in most states. It hasn’t worked. Many of the Mom-and-Pop sellers who made eBay a household name 20 years ago are now selling mostly on Amazon and other platforms such as etsy.com.

It will be interesting to see what CEO Devin Wenig will do with eBay Marketplace when all of the dust settles. It has been suggested, among other options, that he sell the company to Chinese copycat Taobao.com, which currently does not offer an English-language version of its site or distribution within the English-speaking world.

Could eBay Marketplace continue to thrive and grow as an independent company, and get its “groove” back? I think it can. Here are some things for Mr. Wenig to think about before the “escape pod” leaves the mother ship.

Stop Chasing Amazon. Amazon has done some things right, but at a huge cost. Building “brick and mortar” warehouse and distribution centers in all 50 states (to say nothing of those freaking drones and other “sci-fi” initiatives) is costing them a bloody fortune, and its shareholders haven’t gotten a penny in dividends in over 10 years. That simply can’t last forever – not for a public company. Sooner or later, the backlash will come.

Also, Wal-Mart, with its thousands of “brick and mortar” distribution centers (a/k/a stores) already in place, is taking giant steps to compete head-on with Amazon online through its own website. Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.

Get Back to Your Roots as the World’s “Flea Market”. The one thing eBay consistently does better than Amazon (or Wal-Mart) is used, secondhand, antique, collectible and other “one of a kind” merchandise that is best sold through auctions and competitive bidding. Over the years Amazon has tried to do auctions, but has always failed.

By all means eBay should continue to offer fixed price (“Buy It Now!”) merchandise, but auctions have always been eBay’s core strength (remember it was originally called AuctionWeb). Yes, it’s a much smaller market, but eBay can own it with minimal effort, and with zero competition from Amazon or Wal-Mart.

Become the World’s Leading Online Auctioneer. One of eBay’s most valuable yet underdeveloped assets is its Live Auctions website (www.ebayliveauctions.com), where buyers can sign up to participate in “live” auctions hosted by small to midsized auction houses around the world. A decade ago, eBay ruled this market. eBay needs to get back into this game big time, and give current market leader Heritage Auctions (www.ha.com) a run for its money.

Empower – No, Worship — Your Sellers. Until 2008, eBay was two things – a Fortune 500 corporation based in San Jose, California, and a worldwide community of sellers and buyers engaged in peer-to-peer e-commerce. Starting in 2008, eBay effectively destroyed that community by raising its fees through the roof, imposing onerous rules which small and casual sellers couldn’t meet, giving preference on its search engine to large-volume sellers, and eliminating its outreach programs for sellers (including its annual “eBay Live!” trade show and “eBay University” seller training courses), among other things.

Now, to be fair, eBay had the best of intentions. There were an awful lot of bad, even downright crazy, sellers on eBay back in the day which hurt its reputation as a safe and reliable marketplace. But trying to impose MBA-type discipline on millions of casual, part-time and inexperienced sellers (a/k/a “herding cats”) backfired.

Amazon has so far successfully courted these people with its popular “fulfillment by Amazon” (FBA) program. But, unlike eBay, Amazon competes with its third party sellers, exposes them to complicated sales tax liability and offers them little or no support. There has never been, and never will be, a “community” of Amazon sellers. If eBay offers the right incentives and rebuilds its “community” initiatives, it can lure most of them back.

eBay’s true business has always been the empowerment of Mom and Pop retailers, and it has to cultivate them again if it plans to survive. eBay Marketplace has announced plans to lay off thousands of its employees worldwide, many of them in “seller support” and “community” functions. That would be a colossal mistake, and needs to be reconsidered. Unlike Amazon, eBay Marketplace relies on third party sellers for 100% of its revenue. It needs these people.

Small retail and wholesale businesses cannot survive any more as “brick and mortar” entities. They have no choice but to sell exclusively online. If Amazon blows them off (as sooner or later I predict they will), where will they go?

Cliff Ennico, 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.

How to minimize your returns on eBay

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It happens to all of us. You have a great auction or a buyer snaps up one of your items as a “Buy-It-Now.” They pay right away and you rush it to the post office. Life is good. A few days or a week later, however, there it is. An email from eBay in your inbox that your buyer isn’t happy.

The sad thing is even if you don’t offer returns, eBay’s Money Back Guarantee can still have you on the hook if the buyer says the item isn’t exactly what they ordered. So what’s a seller to do?

While your first thought may be to apply a restocking fee to try to ward some of these buyers off, but it’s actually more productive to take a step back and look for a reason for those returns. If you seem to be getting a lot of them, it’s even more important for you to correct the problem.

Here’s some things you can do:

Pay attention to your item descriptions. If you use eBay mobile when you are listing, it is easy to get a little sloppy with the descriptions since you want to list your items as fast as you can. It’s also a bit of a hassle to try to type out everything on your smartphone. To keep this from happening, I like to create the listing on my smartphone and add all my photos, but then save it so that I can write the actual description when I’m back on my laptop.

Measure. Measure. Measure. This is especially important when you are selling clothing, but really you should measure anything you sell that doesn’t come in a standard size. Since the buyers can’t see your item in person, they have to rely on the description you provide to help them know how big or small the item is going to be. Measuring can make this process so much easier.

Although I’m not a big fan of the “soup can” comparison in photos, it really can help to have a coin or something next to the item when you sell something that is particularly small or maybe show a yardstick next to the item if you need to emphasize that an item is really large. Even when you do use an item to help compare, it is still best to put those measurements in the listing itself so the buyer knows the exact size of the item they are getting.

A picture says a 1000 words. My favorite part of eBay mobile is that it gives you the ability to take a ton of photos of each item and once you’re done, you can upload them right to your listing. I usually have a few photos I am not happy with, however, so I crop or delete them when I am finishing the listing on my laptop.

One of the best ways to avoid returns is to take just as many photos as you can. Make sure to show any flaws or defects an item has, so it doesn’t “surprise” the buyer when the item arrives. As an example, if a sweater has a hole in it you can take a photo to emphasize just how big or small the hole is. That way there is no surprise for the buyer when they receive the item.

Finally, remember that there are a lot of reasons that a buyer might want to return something. Often, the biggest reason is simply that the item arrived damaged. Take your time when you are getting an item ready to ship and use the right box and shipping supplies to ensure that the item arrives safely.

One of the worst mistakes I ever made in shipping was when I tried to ship a gin jar to someone. It was a tight fit in the box and I was running short on packing peanuts. I convinced myself that it would be alright to send it with the few peanuts that I had and then use some newspaper to help with the padding.

Unfortunately, the box was a bit too small and with little space around it and only newspaper to secure it, the foot of the gin jar broke off in transit. Fortunately, I had an understanding buyer and even better — I had the good sense to insure it. Still,lesson learned.

That Kat Radio – Podcast 5 – February 10, 2015: Tim Chapman – “Home Runs”

In this episode, Kat spoke with Tim Chapman.

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Tim Chapman has been a full time ebay seller of 13 years with username Mr.customerservice. He buys and sells almost anything as long as it is not offensive. and he LOVES to hunt for treasures. Tim talks about where he finds his inventory, finding home runs and the difference between those and bread & butter Items. This month Tim’s Home Runs included: vintage Bob Kramer chef’s knife, vintage 1980’s Levis strauss Jeans, Leitz Leica binoculars, Culinox fry pan skillet set, rough raw natural genuine amber stones, Cordon Bleu saute’ / fry pan skillet, Daiwa sealine conventional saltwater reel, Yonex badminton racket, Scubapro twin jet split fins, Polaroid instant camera, King James version holy bible.

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[smart_track_player url=”http://filesource.abacast.com/wsradio/thatkat/021015/segment1021015.mp3″ title=”Segment #1″ ]

Questions that were asked and answered were:

  1. Remind everyone who you are and how long your eBay history is.
  2. How eBay has changed over the years and how you have adapted.
  3. The Recent news aboutebay:
      • eBay lays off 2400 7% of workforce
      • eBay earnings call.

    eBay scams.

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[smart_track_player url=”http://filesource.abacast.com/wsradio/thatkat/021015/segment2021015.mp3″ title=”Segment #2″ ]

Tim talked about his home runs:

  1. Early Vintage Bob Kramer Original HANDMADE Chef’s Knife Carbon Steel Zebra wood
  2. New Old Stock Vintage 1980’s levis Strauss Jean 501 Shrink to fit W 35 L 34 NWT
  3. Leitz Leica 8x40B Trinovid Binoculars & Leather Case 8 x 40 B 8×40 nice
  4. (5) Culinox fry pan Skillet set quality Copper W/ Stainless lining Swiss made
  5. Large Lot of Rough Raw Natural Genuine Amber Stones 1490 Grams nice

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[smart_track_player url=”http://filesource.abacast.com/wsradio/thatkat/021015/segment3021015.mp3.mp3″ title=”Segment #3″ ]

Tim talked about his home runs:

  1. Cordon Bleu Saute’ / Fry pan Skillet 9 1/2″ Diameter heavy copper France made
  2. Daiwa Sealine 600H conventional saltwater reel Big game fishing Japan made nice
  3. (4) Yonex B-560 DF Badminton Racket Racquet W/ Cover rackets nice

_________________________________________________________

Tim talked about his home runs:

[smart_track_player url=”http://filesource.abacast.com/wsradio/thatkat/021015/segment4021015.mp3″ title=”Segment #4″ ]

  1. Scubapro Twin Jet Split Fins SCUBA Diving size small USA made TwinJet Nice
  2. Polaroid SX-70 Sonar One Step Instant Camera Fully Tested SX70 nice
  3. King James version Holy Bible Scofield Study Oxford Leather KJV Nice

Links from the show:

http://www.HomeRunSecrets.com

https://twitter.com/timdchapman

https://www.linkedin.com/pub/tim-chapman/a/a32/18b

http://www.bubblefast.com

http://bidonfusion.com ; use “THATKAT” to get 10% on your auction

http://wsradio.com/021015-tim-chapman-home-run-sales/

 

 

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 her Facebook Group to be notified of upcoming shows.

Etsy category changes frustrate some sellers

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Etsy made some major changes to their category structure this week, but it appears not all sellers are happy about the changes. While some sellers, such as those who sell vintage items were suddenly able to place their items in a lot more different categories, others, such as one seller who specializes in license plates suddenly found themselves out of luck with no category at all.

In what may seem like a flashback for those who have dealt with these types of changes with eBay in the past, Etsy has stated that the new categories were created so that buyers could search for what an item actually is rather than what the seller will use it for or what it is made out of.

As an example, Etsy states that although crafters may know there is a difference between a hat that is handmade by knitting and one that is handmade made by crocheting, a person that is simply looking for a handmade hat may not. Instead of making the buyer look through multiple categories they can now see all different types of handmade hats together.

Unfortunately, this not only puts all types of hats into one category with a lot more competition, but as one seller noted, since there is now no category to put miniatures in, their dolls are now part of dolls and action figures. This may make them harder for people to find if the buyer fails to use just the right keywords. Perhaps the category changes are apples and oranges to some, but from the comments on the Etsy discussion boards it appears the changes have many simply shaking their heads.

Here is a list of the 15 top level categories you can now choose from:

Jewelry
Craft Supplies & Tools
Home & Living
Art & Collectibles
Accessories
Clothing
Paper Goods & Party Supplies
Bath & Beauty
Bags & Purses
Weddings
Toys & Games
Books, Movies & Music
Electronics & Accessories
Pet Supplies
Shoes

On a more positive note, Etsy has been responding to questions and comments placed by frustrated sellers on the discussion boards. They have also promised to pay attention to both buyer and seller feedback so that they can continue making improvements.

Meanwhile, Etsy is asking sellers to review what categories there items have been moved to. If every item you have is in the completely wrong category, they have suggested using the “bulk edit” to make the process easier.

FAA Grounds Amazon Drone Dream

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Although Amazon still says it plans to one day deliver items to sellers via its fleet of drones, it doesn’t look like that is going to happen any time soon.

That’s because last week the Federal Aviation Administration took direct aim at commercial drone operations and on February 15 basically shot the whole idea down.

While the FAA did bring some good news to the drone industry, their draft rules (for now at least) put up several obstacles that businesses, such as Amazon would have to overcome. Among them, drones will not be allowed to fly over people who are not part of the drone operations and more importantly, the operator of the drone would have to be able to maintain visual contact with the aircraft while it is in the air.

Proposed rules include:
*Commercial drones would only be able to fly up to 500 feet in altitude
*Drones would have to fly within visual sight of the operator
*The operator of a drone would have to be at least 17 years of age
*The operator would have to be vetted by the FAA (which would include a written test)

Still, Michael Huerta, chief of the FAA states that this should not be thought of as the last word on the use of drones in commercial industry. For one, the draft for the FAA regulations has to be approved and even then it is still about two years away from implementation. There’s also a process that could allow the FAA to grant waivers to their rules if companies that want to use drones can demonstrate to the FAA that their drones are safe.

Meanwhile, Democrat Senator Charles Schumer, is calling for the FAA to consider more business-friendly rules for companies like Amazon. With countries like the United Kingdom, Canada and Denmark already allowing the use of drones in the commercial sector, he tells USA Today that he is urging the FAA to modify the rules as they are finalized.

Where this leaves Amazon in the long run is unknown for now, but the company still insists that the drone program known as “Prime Air” will continue to move forward. Hopefully, one day in the not too distant future we will see their vision of a sky filled with delivery drones fulfilled. For now — We can only wait and hope.

Read about the proposed FAA rules here. Do you think drones are a good idea? Leave a comment below.

Amazon FBA: Push it – Push it Real Good

Okay, I confess. I chose today’s title after hearing Salt N Peppa on the GEICO Insurance commercial. I will also confess that I am old enough to remember skating to this song at the skating rink while trying to catch the eye of this really cute guy, who I am quite sure didn’t even know that I existed.

I think the song goes well with today’s subject, however, because as eBay nears its big split off with PayPal, I think it’s time for those who have been dabbling in Amazon FBA to…PUSH IT – PUSH IT REAL GOOD!

In other words, if you want to start making some serious money as an online seller, it’s time to get serious and start treating your Amazon FBA business like a real job.

First (and this was a hard lesson for me to learn when I started selling on eBay), you are going to have to spend some money to make some money. If you don’t, you will have a lot bigger learning curve as you try to learn what is going to sell and what won’t. There’s really no set number for the amount of cash you will need, but I would say somewhere around a $1,000 is a good amount to invest to get yourself up and running. Keep in mind, you won’t be able to buy all your inventory with this. You are going to need to buy some shipping and packing supplies too.

Second, don’t waste your time selling $5 items (or below) on Amazon. You are not going to make a profit doing this because you’re going to have a bunch of fees that are going to eat into your profits. If you do find some lower priced items that you feel are hot sellers, bundle the items together or sell them as a multi-pack. Not only will you have a whole lot less competition, but you are going to pay only one fee when they sell.

Third, you need to “feed the beast” as many Amazon sellers like to say. In other words, you need to make a point of sending inventory in to the warehouse on a regular basis. Don’t wait until you are out of a popular item to run out and buy more. Keep an eye on those inventory numbers and restock before they are completely gone.

Finally, make it a race to the top instead of a race to the bottom. It’s hard to keep yourself from lowering prices when all the sellers around you are trying to undercut each other. The good thing about holding your price steady though is that eventually after all those sellers sell their items at a loss or for very low profit, the buyers will turn to you to purchase the item instead because your the only one still standing. While you don’t want to be the highest priced seller in your category, don’t aim to be the lowest priced seller either. Go for the middle ground and then hold for a while until you see how it’s all going to play out.

Are you a part-time seller on Amazon FBA who want to take it to the next level? If so, what’s stopping you? Share your comments below.

The Ten Biggest “Business Plan” Mistakes

By Cliff Ennico

Ciff Ennico HeadshotIn any given year I look at hundreds of business plans from entrepreneurs and business school students across the country. While the businesses are “all over the place,” ranging from basic retail and service businesses to advanced technology concepts bordering on science fiction, the authors of these plans keep making the same mistakes over and over again.

Here are the 10 biggest mistakes.

Assuming that “everyone” is a potential customer. Your customers are not “men and women between the ages of 13 and 75”. The market for any product or service is quite limited – even a cure for cancer will appeal mostly to cancer sufferers and people “at risk” for the disease — and small companies generally do best when focused on “niche” markets.

Not understanding your customers. Why will your customers buy this product or service? What are the real needs, fears and passions they feel that will motivate them to buy? People don’t always do the right thing, make intelligent choices, or do what they say they will do. When reading your business plan I need to be convinced that real people – people I know, with all their faults and imperfections – will actually shell out their hard-earned cash for whatever you’ve got.

Thinking you have no competitors. If you truly think there’s no one else out there, you are either lazy or delusional. There may not be any “direct” competition for your product or service, but I will bet my bottom dollar there are:

  • “indirect” competitors (someone looking for a quick, cheap lunch can order a pizza or Chinese takeout, so those two restaurants do compete even though their menus look totally different);
  • “big box” retailers and franchises that offer similar products or services on a much larger scale; and
  • new products, services and technologies that could render your idea obsolete.

Neurotic people see competitors behind every bush, which is why neurotic people often make the best entrepreneurs.

Not understanding your “competitive advantage.” How will you beat the crap out of your competition? Why is your product or service better, more desirable, more likely to succeed than theirs? Are there barriers to entry (such as a patent or high startup costs) that will keep competition at bay for a while and give you the chance to grow? It isn’t enough to offer a “me too” product or service (if I see another “find the cheapest martini within a 10-block radius of where you are” smartphone app, I will scream). You’ve got to have a gimmick, and I’ve got to be convinced you will win. Or at least stand out.

Underestimating your startup costs and the “time to breakeven”. After estimating your startup costs, double them. I’m serious. There are hidden costs in every business, and costs you overlook until it’s too late. Build a “fudge factor” into your cost projections, and be sure to include a generous marketing and advertising budget. Be realistic about your revenue projections – it will always take longer than you think to generate sales. If it will take more than 12 to 18 months for your business to “break even” (become self-sustaining because operating revenues are covering all of your operating expense each month), investors will be scared off.

Offering your investors the wrong deal. Angel investors and venture capitalists will not buy stock in a “personal business” – a basic retail or service business having a primarily local market. Such a business should be seeking loans from local banks, friends and family members. Likewise, don’t offer voting common stock to investors – they should get preferred stock, nonvoting common stock, or convertible notes. If you have to ask why, you don’t know what you are doing.

Not having an exit strategy for the business. Businesses don’t last forever. Tell your investors how – and how soon – they are likely to get a return on their investment, or their money back with interest. If it will be longer than five years, have a darn good reason why.

Assuming your company will go public. Initial public offerings (IPOs) are quite rare, even in bull markets. Only a handful of companies in each thousand will “go public.” The vast majority will sell out to bigger companies, or merge with them (if they don’t fail first). Identify the exact companies in your industry you think will acquire your company, and why.

Not discussing your business risks. Investors can be litigious. Not discussing your business risks, and offering strategies for dealing with the most likely ones, invites them to sue you because “you didn’t tell me that could happen.” Always discuss laws and regulations that affect your business, and have your attorney look at your “risk factors” section, because lawyers are really, really good at spotting risks you haven’t thought of.

Failing to “tie it all together.” I see too many business plans with sections that contradict each other, or an “executive summary” that is not supported by the sections that follow. Before sending out your plan, re-read it one last time and make sure everything ties together.

At least before you send it to me.

Cliff Ennico, 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.

That Kat Radio – Podcast 5 – February 3, 2015: Joann Woods-Yoder and Beth Cherkowsky

In this episode, Kat spoke with Joann Woods-Yoder and Beth Cherkowsky

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Joann Wood-Yoder is an accountant by trade, with a master’s degree in taxation and a bachelor in accounting.  She has been an etailer for over 10 years and an affiliate marketer for over 8.  Joann started selling on eBay in 2001, and was recruited by Amazon when they opened their Clothing Category.  Her first FBA order was on  1/9/2008.  Joann started to sell Christmas presents on eBay and has a goal to earn of  a $100 per week.  She and her husband just did it for fun.

Beth Cherkowsky started on eBay when it was auctionweb.com.  She started selling books from Amazon on an associate account about a year later.  Still on both, she does FBA, MF and Amazon affiliate marketing as well as the eBay EPN program.

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[smart_track_player url=”http://filesource.abacast.com/wsradio/thatkat/020315/segment1020315.mp3″ title=”Segment #1″ ]

Questions that were asked and answered were:

  1. How did you get started in ecommerce and what marketplaces have you sold on?
  2. What type of merchandise have you sold and what do you sell now?
  3. What marketplaces have you sold on and where do you sell now?
  4. What hurdles have you had to overcome while growing your business?
  5. Why did you turn from a successful accounting career to E-Commerce?

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[smart_track_player url=”http://filesource.abacast.com/wsradio/thatkat/020315/segment2020315.mp3″ title=”Segment #2″ ]

Questions that were asked and answered were:

  1. What is your Business plan for 2015 regarding merchandise, marketplaces and growth?
  2. What mistake have you learned from that you’d be willing to help our listeners avoid?
  3. What are your top three tips for other entrepreneurs to learn from your story?
  4. Where can the audience connect with you online?

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[smart_track_player url=”http://filesource.abacast.com/wsradio/thatkat/020315/segment3020315.mp3″ title=”Segment #3″ ]

Questions that were asked and answered were:

  1. Why do you think Affiliate Marketing has gotten such a bad name recently?
  2. How long have you been doing Affiliate Marketing and how has it changed?
  3. Do you think Affiliate Marketing is something all E-Commerce sellers should add to their business model?
  4. Is Affiliate Marketing something I can count on as an additional income stream?
  5. Which affiliate program do you think is more profitable, eBay or Amazon?
  6. What mistakes have you made in your history with Affiliate Marketing that you can share and help others learn from?

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[smart_track_player url=”http://filesource.abacast.com/wsradio/thatkat/020315/segment4020315.mp3″ title=”Segment #4″ ]

Questions that were asked and answered were:

  1. What kind of Affiliate Marketing can you do on Facebook?
  2. Please tell us all about your group on Facebook. (name, link, charge – why?, Beth income first 10 days.
  3. Who should join?
  4. Will I find good deals for myself personally and/or my E-Commerce business?
  5. How can I make money on the list.
  6. Contact info!

Links from the show:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/GreatAZDeals/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1513939895536264/

http://wsradio.com/020314-joann-woods-yoder-beth-cherkowsky-share-sale-success-stories/

 

 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 her Facebook Group to be notified of upcoming shows.

Are your descriptions making or breaking your sales?

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Yesterday, I scored a package of Nabisco’s Special Edition Red Velvet Oreo Cookies. Actually, I got the last package on the shelf – so YAY ME! As we were driving home, I got to joking with the hubby about whether we should eat them (the original plan!) or sell them on eBay.

I was curious to know what they were selling for, so I did a little Oreo price comparing. I discovered that sellers who were selling two or more packs at the same time seemed to be getting the best prices and that it probably wasn’t really worth the trouble right now to list just on package of them. With this information, I finally decided we are going to eat ours…I’ve really been wanting to try them.

Interestingly, the thing that I really noticed during my search was the product description boxes and how much or just how little information some of the sellers had. There were some listings with descriptions that read like sales copy and tried to tell me how much I was going to love the cookies, and others with a more “here’s some Red Velvet Oreo Cookies – now buy them” type description.

The thing is, some sellers don’t seem to realize that when you are looking at multiple listings of the same item and they are about same price, the description box is generally what seals the deal. Too short of a listing and I wonder if I’m missing some important details. Too long of a listing and my eyes start to glaze over. Note, that it’s even worse to read when you try to view a long description on a smartphone.

So, the question becomes,when you are creating you listing – what do you really need to include?

Well, first make sure to tell the buyer what the condition of the item is. In the case of the Oreo cookies, obviously they are new, but providing an expiration date will make the buyer more comfortable about buying them. Second, provide a short and simple description of the item. In this case, how many cookies are in the package would be good and also I would mention once again that the cookies are a limited edition.

Although you wouldn’t need it for a package of cookies, you normally also want to include any flaws an item might have and the measurements of the item if applicable.

I also like to put a notation at the bottom of my listing that we are a smoke free home. If I’m selling clothing, I also add that we do have a dog and he sheds. That way, if an item arrives and there are a couple of dog hairs attached to it (which trust me – you can’t get them ALL when it’s winter and there is static electricity), then I have already stated that this might be an issue, so if you have dog allergies it’s probably best not to buy from me.

Finally, while Amazon encourages and wants bullet points. There is a bit of debate about whether it’s a good idea to use them on eBay. In fact, some sellers think that using any type of HTML on your listing can hurt – so do a little experimenting with this and adjust your listing as needed.

Have you tried the Red Velvet Oreo Cookies or are you selling them? Leave a comment below.