Why are my eBay buyers leaving before they purchase?

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Last week, we discussed how to determine whether there was something wrong with your eBay store and/or your items, or if it was simply a slow period when few purchases are being made. As mentioned, one of the ways you can typically tell whether something is going on with your sales is when there are a bunch of click-thrus that don’t result in a purchase.

This week, we want to take things one step further and look at some of the reasons that people get right up to the point of purchasing, but then simply walk away without actually hitting the “buy” button.

They found a better deal
This is usually the number one reason that the person didn’t buy from you. They did some comparison shopping and found they could get the item cheaper somewhere else or maybe another seller was offering free shipping or an extra incentive that you don’t have.

There was an unexpected cost
In most cases, if there is an unexpected cost that happens on eBay that keeps buyers from purchasing, it generally has to do with shipping. Maybe the buyer thinks your handling fee is excessive or another seller is offering free shipping while you are charging shipping costs on your listings. It could also be that you charge a restocking fee for returns and your potential buyer isn’t comfortable with that.

You don’t take returns
Although eBay leaves the decision of whether or not to take returns to the individual seller, it can certainly keep someone from making a purchase from you if they feel they may later have regrets. While it may make sense to go with no returns on some items, if you’re not offering returns on items, such as clothing or used electronics (among other things), it may be hitting you in the pocketbook.

It takes too long for you to ship
If you want to be a top-rated seller, you have to offer one day handling for your items. While some sellers may not mind if it takes a few days for their item to make its way into the mail, for others, it’s a deal breaker. The decision not to buy because of this most often happens around the holidays when people need their items quickly to ensure they are wrapped and under the tree on the big day, but even without the holidays baring down on us, there are still some people who want to know that as soon as they make the purchase – their item is out the door and shipped.

They simply change their mind
Keep in mind that sometimes you can do everything right and the buyer still may decide not to make the purchase. It could be that they are unsure of whether they really want the item or it could be that they decide it is something they can live without. Whatever the case, they are not going to buy and there’s really nothing you can do about it.

How to safely remove price tags and other pesky stickers

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Whether it’s a yard sale find or an item from your favorite department store, one of the most annoying things to deal with when you find an item to sell is a price tag or other type of sticker. Yes, sometimes using your fingernail does the trick and in some cases, you can even just soak the item in soapy water, but did you know there’s often an easier way?

Get a Scotty Peeler

There is actually an item designed specifically for the purpose of removing price tags and stickers? I know, right!? The Scotty Peeler is all plastic and is designed to go up under the sticker and help peel it off. There’s also a metal version with a plastic handle that has metal razor-blade edges for extra hard to remove stickers. Known as the SP-2, it’s perfect for removing stickers from glass and metal.

Use a heat gun

The idea here is that when you heat the label the sticky part will soften and become much easier to remove. A heat gun looks a lot like a hair dryer (which some people also use successfully to remove stickers), but the heat is much hotter and more concentrated, so it’s important to make sure that you have it aimed at the sticker and not elsewhere. Take care to not burn yourself or the item, and be especially cautious when using it on something plastic because the item might actually warp or melt. Also, if there’s any possibility that it might burn the item, you’re better off trying the Scotty Peeler or looking for another way to remove it.

Try a Goo remover

Goo removers, such as Goo Be Gone and Goo Gone aren’t really all that great for unsticking the paper part of the price tag or sticker itself, but once you get the paper part of the tag or sticker off, Goo Be Gone (or other similar products) is the way to go. These products have kind of an oily substance and work great for removing sticky residue from glass, metal and other surfaces. In a pinch, you can also use lighter fluid, but regardless of which product you try, keep in mind that it can stain some surfaces so do a test in an inconspicuous area to ensure it won’t damage the item you’re trying to remove the price tag from. Works really well after you get the majority of the tag off with the Scotty Peeler.

Damp towel and a little elbow grease

Interestingly, sometimes you still have to resort to the basics when it comes to price tag and sticker removal. Wet the area as much as you can, then wait a minute or two. Use a damp towel to gently, but firmly rub the sticky area until it no longer remains. This method works especially well if you are able to soak the item in warm soapy water first.

What tricks do you have for removing price tags and stickers? Leave a comment below.

Is it just slow or is something wrong with my eBay store?

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Every eBay seller has busy and slow times. Sometimes, things are selling so fast you almost can’t keep up and other times it’s like watching tumbleweeds roll across your home office and down the hallway. Whether you’re a long time seller or new to the marketplace, however, it’s still distressing when sells slow way down or even stop. So, how do you know if it’s the marketplace, simply the time of year, or something else is going on?

View your traffic reports and statistics

Although eBay is working on a new system for traffic reports, you can currently view your statistics through a third party by clicking on “traffic reports” and then agreeing to the terms for the Beta service that is currently being offered. Once you accept, you simply log in with your eBay information and your report is available. There, you can see your click-through rate, as well as page views and other pertinent information to help you analyze your store.

If you have a high click-through rate (meaning the buyer cared enough to actually look at your item and its description), but a low sales rate, then you may need to look further to see what is going wrong. There may also be a problem if you have a low click-through rate, so it’s best to look at all available reports to get as big of a perspective as you can.

Last year versus this year

If you’re just getting started, you will have to look at either your previous month or previous week to gauge how your sales are doing from one period to the next. If you have had at least one year in business though, you should be able to look back and see how this year’s sales are comparing to your previous year’s or even the year before that. Do you always have a slump around this time of year or is it business as usual or even busier? If you see that sales are always down during the early spring, then your store is probably on its normal track, unless you see evidence that something else is going on.

Looking beyond the numbers

If sales are definitely down over the previous year, it’s time to take a step back and see what other factors are at play. Perhaps you were listing items more frequently and have less items now in your store. Maybe you were spending more time on your listing titles and item descriptions. Have you gotten away from your store basics? It’s entirely possible that the recent slowdown you are experiencing is because you aren’t spending as much time on doing these things as you were the previous season. Keeping notes on what actions you take at various times throughout the year can help paint a picture as to what you really have going on and what actions you need to take to correct it.

Are you experiencing a spring slowdown? Leave a comment below.

That Kat Radio Show Episode 49 Tim Chapman’s Home Run Sales on eBay

This week on That Kat Radio, Tim Chapman joined us to talk about eBay Homeruns.

Segment One:

First, Kat and Tim talked about eBay 30-day Return Policy. Before eBay allows sellers to set their own return policy. But as of May 1st, if sellers want to have the Top Rated Seller Discount and the benefit of the Top Rated Seller Plus, sellers have to offer a minimum 30-day return. Kat added that people are more likely to buy from you with that reassurance that buyers can return the product within 30 days.

Kat and Tim discussed about eBay item# 311606751185, it’s a Vtg Authentic Japan made full Carbon Steel Sushi / Santoku knife nice. Tim explained that it’s an original item from Japan. It’s full carbon steel and sharpened only at one side like other sushi knives. He sold many of these before and this one was sold for US $56.00 and got 15 bids. Tim added that knife is one of his bread and butter items. He refurbish all of his knives and spend 2 to 3 minutes per knife. He sharpens the blades and a lot of times when you get to the handles, they’re full of grease, dirty and has a lot of nicks. Tim said what he do, he gets 2 grits, heavy and fine grit, he just go around the whole handle with the heavy grit first and then the fine grit until it’s nice and smooth. Then, finish it off with Crisco white shortening, he just put it on the handle and leave it for about 15 minutes.

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Segment Two:

Kat and Tim spoke about eBay item#311606765158 or the Shimano Torium 30 conventional fishing reel Nice. Tim said that it’s a very high quality saltwater fishing reel. He bought it for US $80.00 and it was sold for US $137.50 and got 4 bids.

Kat and Tim discussed about eBay item#311600014058, Powercrafter Air Turbine artist Tool for etching Glass Metal nice. Tim explained the story behind this item, he was in an estate sale and was looking around and found this item. He didn’t know what it was but it looked fancy to him, so he looked it up and saw that it sells for over hundred dollars. He took it for US $5.00 and sold for US $128.87 with 6 bids.

Kat and Tim explained about eBay item#311600014247 TaylorMade SuperSteel Burner (9) Iron Set 3-S Graphite Bubble R-80 Regular Flex. Tim said that he bought it for US $40.00 for the whole set with bags and other stuffs and sold for US $123.85 with 5 bids. Tim added that to ship it, he put them all together nice and tight and rolled them up. Then he bought some boxes and made them into one big box and put in the item. Because the item was so heavy, he shipped it thru FedEx Smartpost.

Kat and Tim talked about eBay item#201568992523, CRAZ-E PING G2i PUTTER W/ head cover g2 I crazy craze golf black dot Rossa grip. It was sold for US $90.00 with 25 bids. Tim explained that this one was from the same set of TaylorMade SuperSteel Burner that he bought for US $40.00. If you’re selling golf clubs, always look for names like TaylorMade, Zebra and Ping.

Kat and Tim discussed about eBay item#201568992658, Sony DCR-TRV350 Digital 8 Hi8 Video8 Camcorder Transfer Player TRV350. The story behind this Tim said, a lot of people have old tapes, 8mm tapes and no way to play them. With this camcorder they can use this to transfer their videos to a computer and play them, that’s why there’s a market for these kind of camcorders. It was sold for US $113.50 and got 13 bids.

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Segment Three:

Kat and Tim talked about eBay item#201578028723, Vtg Binolux 6×25 medium size binoculars Japan made No. J-B99 Nice. Tim explained that he bought it for US $20.00 and sold it for US $56.00 with 19 bids. Tim added that this is one of his bread and butter items. You can’t make a living for your family on homeruns only, you must have your bread and butter items.

Kat and Tim spoke about eBay item#201578031483, Vtg Gustav Emil ERN Germany made Full carbon Steel / Angle Tang Chef’s knife. Tim said that he bought it for US $10.00 and was sold for US $82.75 with 13 bids. People are going back to full carbon steel because they keep their edge really long in the shaft.

Kat and Tim discussed about eBay item#201569017080, (2) Bose jewel dual cube speakers black nice. Tim explained the story behind this item, he bought it from swap me for US $30.00 for 2 sets of 2. He decided to break them up to earn more money. This one sold for US $77.00 with 11 bids and the other set was sold for about US $60.00.

Kat and Tim talked about eBay item#201578027362, New Old Stock Osmiroid Calligraphy Fountain pen set England made nice. This one was a really nice set. It’s for a left handers. It was sold for US $74.00 and got 30 bids.

Kat and Tim explained about eBay item#311600014595, Climbing rope 110′ Black dynamic mountain Rock nice. This one sold for US $69.00 with 12 bids. Good climbing rope in retail stores sells for US $110.00 – $120.00 so this is a good price, half price.

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Segment Four:

Kat and Tim talked about eBay item#201578027808, (59) Pcs Oneida Lasting Rose pattern Stainless flatware set Oneidacraft USA made. He paid US $30.00 for this and it was sold for US $69.00 with 13 bids but Tim said he wanted more. He added that the prices for these things go up and down. Sometimes for the same set can go up for over US $100.00. Other people sell these items separately, he just doesn’t have the time. Kat added that it’s important to look at your Return Of Investment but remember your time is worth something also.

Kat and Tim spoke about eBay item#311606746681, Vtg Seiko 17 Jewel Automatic sports watch No. 7009 – 8089LS Japan Runs Great. Tim said he sells a lot of these watches because they’re easy to package and easy to ship. He bought 5 of these watches for US $20.00 each and this one was sold for US $63.00 with 15 bids. It has 17 jewels and the more jewel the better.

Kat and Tim talked about eBay item#311606767210, Sony DCR-IP220 MicroDV Camcorder Transfer Player IP220 W/ Charger. Tim explained that this one is a newer version but has a different format, old ones has Hi8 or 8mm format. He bought this for US $20.00 and sold for US $59.00 with 5 bids.

Kat and Tim explained about eBay item#311606746609, Vtg Seiko DX 17 Jewel Automatic watch No. 6106-5529R Japan Runs Great. Tim said that he got this for US $20.00, same batch as the last one. It was sold for US $58.00 with 8 bids.

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InventoryLab

eBay Store: www.HomeRunSecrets.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/timdchapman
https://www.facebook.com/Mr.Customerservice/?fref=ts

Understanding the Millennials By Cliff Ennico

cliffI was amused to read, in the Wall Street Journal last week, an article about a human resources consultant who has developed a popular (and apparently very lucrative) program for corporate HR executives on “understanding the Millennial generation.”

Apparently this has become a recognized and respectable field for consultants.  A quick Google search for “millennial consultant” (in quotes) comes up with 4,740 hits.

What makes this amusing (at least to me), is that hardly any of these people are themselves members of the Millennial generation.  The subject of the Journal article – by her own admission — is 41 years old and considers herself Gen X.

Personally, I think it’s pompous and pretentious for any generation to claim to crawl inside the mind of any other generation and tell you what goes on there.  Although I do understand the temptation:  it’s hard to find Millennials willing to talk about their generational quirks because, frankly, they don’t talk at all (maybe if you texted them?).  Also, I have to admit that when a person of the male persuasion reaches a certain age, there is nothing – and I mean nothing – more pleasurable, satisfying or just plain fun than cornering some young whippersnapper and boring the living crap out of him.

In my own case, as a professional speaker whose audiences are getting younger by the minute, I am forced sometimes to engage in cultural anthropology on 80 million of my fellow Americans so that I don’t come across as irrelevant or unsympathetic.

I subscribe to “Entertainment Weekly” magazine (the pop culture bible), and listen to Top 40 radio stations at least weekly.  I am almost – almost –at the point where I can tell Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Selena Gomez, Meghan Trainor and Gwen Stefani apart without looking at the text ID scroll on my car radio.  (Adele is much easier to recognize because of her weird accent that turns “young” into “yehng” and “breakfast” into “brakefist”).

Based on my admittedly nonscientific research to date, I can report one interesting – and rather troubling – observation about Millennials:

The boys and the girls don’t seem to like each other very much.

My Exhibit A is Meghan Trainor’s current hit “My Name is No.”  It’s basically a cute EDM number about a girl resisting the unwanted advances of some bozo geek at a dance club, on the grounds that “if I want a man, then I’ma get a man, but it’s never my priority.”

Okay, so far so good – your typical basic female empowerment song about women taking more control over their lives.  Nothing new here – watch any recent Disney movie (men are either jerks or evil, so trust only your sistahs).  But listen carefully, especially towards the end, and there’s a subtle change in the lyrics: the singer, apparently to herself, starts repeating like a mantra “I’m feeling untouchable, untouchable” over and over again.

It seems that Ms. Trainor (she of the basso profundo) is saying something more than “dude, get lost” to a specific individual.  She maybe – just maybe — is rejecting the Y chromosome entirely, saying “I am impervious to male charms, period”.

Maybe I’m reading too much into that, but now comes Exhibit B – the male riposte to Ms. Trainor’s anthem – in the form of Justin Bieber’s new song “Love Yourself.”

(Did you ever think a column for entrepreneurs would shout out to a guy who relieves himself in mop buckets?)

No ambiguity at all in these lyrics:  this is a “put down” song of the first order, with the Biebs telling his former flame exactly what he (and his mother) think of her, culminating in the memorable refrain “if you like the way you look that much, oh baby, you should go and love yourself.”

Knowing what little I know about the boy who wants to bronze his you-know-what (does this kid EVER smile?), “love” probably wasn’t his first choice of lyric.

And these are not isolated samplings.  Seriously, listen to the Top 40.  In literally half of these songs, somebody is telling somebody else off, putting someone down, or asserting themselves in such a way as to put others in the background (a practice one of my Millennial contacts – clearly a traitor to his class — refers to as “throwing shade”).  The idea that romance may involve a degree of sentimentality – or require the object of someone’s affections to show humility or vulnerability in the face of a powerful human emotion – just doesn’t happen in the world of these songs.

One only hopes that Duke Ellington was right when he said “in music there is no mischief.”  If these songs are any indication of how Millennials really look at each other, the long-vaunted “battle between the sexes” may soon become a shooting war.

But maybe we don’t have to worry.  Here’s the headline from another recent Wall Street Journal article:  “scientists grow embryos for up to 13 days outside the uterus.”  Once again, where culture fails, science comes to the rescue.

Cliff Ennico (cennico@legalcareer.com) is a syndicated columnist, author and host of the PBS television series ‘Money Hunt’.  This column is no substitute for legal, tax or financial advice, which can be furnished only by a qualified professional licensed in your state.  To find out more about Cliff Ennico and other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit our Web page at www.creators.com.  COPYRIGHT 2016 CLIFFORD R. ENNICO.  DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.

 

4 Untruths You’ve Probably Heard About Amazon

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A lot of wannabe sellers want to take the plunge and start selling on Amazon, but find they are intimidated by some of the things they’ve heard about the mega marketplace. In fact, there are a lot of misconceptions that get bantered around the Internet on an almost daily basis. Here are four untruths you’ve probably heard that may be holding you back.

It’s hard to sell on Amazon

Hang around on some of the Amazon sellers boards or Facebook pages and you’ve no doubt heard sellers talking about getting massive orders ready to send in to “feed the Amazon beast.” They talk about how stuffed animals have to be in plastic bags and boxes have to have labels on them and…and…well, it can seem quite overwhelming.

Although it might seem like it would be easier selling and shipping your own items out to buyers, the truth is that for many sellers Fulfillment by Amazon makes their life a whole lot easier. In fact, really all you do is ship your items to an Amazon warehouse and Amazon does the rest.

You can’t successfully sell on Amazon these days

A couple of years ago, it wasn’t uncommon to hear about sellers moving over to Amazon from eBay and suddenly go from making almost nothing to making five figures a month. While it’s no longer a sure thing (and really – despite what you’ve heard, it never was), there are still a lot of sellers making some serious money on Amazon. Do your research, study the market and you could still be one of the success stories.

The marketplace is just too crowded

When you consider that there are over two million sellers on Amazon, it’s no wonder that so many people find it daunting to give it a try. After all, that’s a lot of competition to go up against. When you step back and consider that Amazon typically gets around 175 million visitors a month, however, you should realize that you still have a fairly good chance to carve out a spot for yourself.

You can set it and forget it

Maybe once upon a time you could list a popular item, add a price, a few simple details and a photo, then just wait for it to fly off the shelf on it’s own, but that’s certainly not the case anymore. Today, you need to use every optimization tool at your disposal to ensure that your item will rank as high as it can.

This means, good item descriptions, good photos and a competitive price. Even after you have your item listed, you still need to keep an eye on what the competitors are doing and adjust your pricing as needed. You don’t want to be the highest with your prices, but you don’t want to end up losing profits by being the lowest either.

What untruth have you heard about Amazon? Leave a comment below.

Amazon to implement holiday storage fees for end of 2016

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If you’ve been following the Amazon warehouse saga, you know that the company is concerned about storage space, since their warehouses started filling up with unsaleable items that take up a lot of space. Although the company has made some changes that limit the amount of certain items that can be shipped to the facilities, it’s apparently not been quite enough to deter some sellers from their shipping patterns.

To counteract this around the holiday season this year, Amazon has decided to hit sellers right in the pocketbook. They plan to raise the fees for sellers using the Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) service, but the higher fees will only start and stay in effect for the last three months of this year.

Amazon states that this change is to urge sellers to think before they send and instead, use the Amazon warehouse wisely. Basically, they want to make sure that items that are sent in for the holidays will actually sell. Interestingly, while the storage fees are going up, the fees will go down for what they call their Weight Handling Fees, or rather, outbound fees.

Adding to a bit of the confusion, they will actually lower storage fees for October to lower than they are now, but then the fees become higher for November and December. Here’s a copy of the email that Amazon sent out to its sellers. You can also read more about it and see the proposed fees by going here.

Hello from Fulfillment by Amazon,

In 2015, FBA volumes, growth rates, and inventory levels were very high. As a result, our U.S. fulfillment centers were very full in November and December. This fullness was driven in part by FBA inventory that did not sell until well into 2016.

To avoid potential capacity constraints during the 2016 holiday season, we are accelerating the expansion of our fulfillment capacity. Additionally, we are changing our FBA fee structure to encourage all sellers to send in and store products in November and December that are likely to sell by the end of 2016. To give you time to plan for these changes, they will begin to take effect on October 1, 2016.

We are introducing the following updates to our fees:

–  Adjustment to Monthly Inventory Storage Fees: Effective October 1, 2016, the monthly fee for inventory storage will change for Standard-Size and Oversize units. October storage fees will decrease, and the fees for November and December storage will increase. This change will first be reflected in November 2016 charges for storage that occurs in October 2016. See details (or scroll to the Monthly Inventory Storage Fees information below).

–  Reduction of Weight Handling Fees in November and December: To minimize the impact of the increased storage fees in November and December on your business, effective November 1, 2016, we will reduce our Weight Handling Fees for all items shipped in November and December. See details (or scroll to Fulfillment Fee information below). With the reduction in Weight Handling Fees, sellers who reduce the storage space they use in November and December have the opportunity to pay lower total FBA fees. Sellers who hold unproductive inventory through November and December may see an increase in total fees. See examples of how total fees may be reduced.

–  Box content information required for shipments to Amazon: To ensure that shipments to Amazon are received quickly and accurately, effective November 1, 2016, you must provide box content information for each box sent to a fulfillment center. Shipments containing more than 55% of FBA units already provide box content information. In September 2016, we will provide additional tools to make it easier to provide box content information on all shipments. If your shipping processes do not support providing this information, we will apply a fee of $0.15 per unit in November and December. The fee will be $0.10 per unit for January through October. If you provide box content information, you will not be charged this fee.

Should this concern sellers?

Well, yes and no. Basically, you will have to pay higher storage fees, but when the item sells it will cost you less in “fulfilled” fees.

If you want to keep costs down, you will really need to take a long hard look at what you plan to keep in inventory this holiday season. You will also want to adjust your prices accordingly to cover the cost of your items sitting in Amazon’s warehouse on a shelf, so that you can recoup the extra amount of the fee. While I wouldn’t panic or completely change my strategy, I would keep it in mind as you begin getting your holiday inventory together and perhaps may even consider listing some of it elsewhere if you believe that the storage costs could present a problem for your unsaleable items.

What do you think of the fee change? Leave a comment below.

4 things to do before naming your online store

Cash register: "Welcome to our store"

You’ve brainstormed, agonized, brainstormed some more, and finally, finally, you have the perfect name for your online store. Before you make it official on eBay, Amazon, Etsy, or another marketplace, however, there’s some things you need to do first.

Check the marketplace
Depending on where you are planning to sell, you will first need to see if the name is available. Almost all of the marketplaces are designed where you will type in the name you want for your store and it will let you know if that name is available. Don’t be surprised if the name is already taken. If it is, you will either need to choose another name or get a little more creative with the name you selected (we’ll discuss that in a moment).

If the name is available, you still need to do a few things before you make it as your final selection.

Google it
Google the name to see if any similar names come up. As mentioned, don’t be surprised if you find one, or two or even three names that are the same as the one you’ve selected. It is really hard to come up with a completely original name. If you do find the name has been taken by someone and is being used on another marketplace, it is not necessarily the end of the world, but you will have to do some additional legwork to ensure you can still use it.

Trademarks and the law
Some names and even some words are trademarked. This means that someone owns the name and using it could actually get you in legal trouble. As an example, even if you discovered that the name Nike was not on eBay, you could not use it because the name and brand is trademarked. In the United States, you can check to see if a name has been trademarked by checking the website of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. If you are outside of the US, you would check with your local trademark authority.

Here is where things can get interesting. If the name does not have a trademark and isn’t on the marketplace where you want to sell, you may be able use it, but you should still proceed with caution.

As an example, if the name is unusual such as Carol’s Candles and you and the other Carol both sell candles, Carol may become very unhappy to find out you are using her name even if it’s on another site. It could also become a source of confusion for Carol’s customer’s or even yours, so even though you can use it, you may not want to. In this case, slightly changing the name may help since it will distinguish between the two and help avoid this kind of confusion. For instance, you could use Carol’s Candle Creations and this could help to distinguish you from the other Carol.

Ask for Feedback
Once everything has checked out, it is still a good idea to run it by some other people to see if you are missing anything. You may find that you have inadvertently come up with a name that has a slang meaning or double entendre that could cause you embarrassment or be a real turnoff to buyers. Finally, ask people what they think a business with this type of name would sell or what kind of branding it would have. Just because the name is cute and people like it, doesn’t necessarily mean that it is appropriate for your store.

That Kat Radio Show Episode 48 How to Keepa Camel with Stephen Smotherman

This week on That Kat Radio, Stephen Smotherman joined us to talk about his book “How to Keepa Camel”.

Segment One:

Kat and Stephen talked about Stephen’s history in ecommerce and how he became an author. Stephen explained that back in 1998 while he was in college, he got addicted with buying on eBay. Soon, he found out that he had no more money and needed to begin selling on eBay. He sold a lot of his things on eBay and realized that he actually made more money back than what he initially invested. He added that the whole reselling thing just caught on fire with him. He did eBay for about a decade or so for just a nice income hobby. In 2011, he found himself needing to turn his hobby into a full time job. He started searching online on how to turn eBay into a fulltime job and discovered Amazon. He said that he completely fell in love with selling via Amazon FBA. Six months after he started out, he was able to make a full-time income to support himself and his family on Amazon. In 2013 his wife encouraged him to start a blog, so he started blogging over www.FulltimeFBA.com. He spent part-time hours to make a full-time income on Amazon and the rest of the time he get to have fun blogging, writing eBooks and helping others make full-time income also.

Kat asked Stephen, where is he in eCommerce now and what kind of things is he selling now? Stephen told Kat that he is doing both Amazon and eBay. He further explained that 97% of his sales go to Amazon and the other 3% are on eBay. On Amazon he is selling anything that is profitable. On eBay he said he is selling items where he is not approved to sell on Amazon. Also he is selling board game pieces on eBay from time to time and any item that needs a specific detailed description.

Kat and Stephen spoke about what Stephen thinks about Retail Arbitrage. Stephen said that he is about 60% online arbitrage and 40% retail arbitrage, and they are just now starting to add in some wholesale accounts just to broaden their horizon. Stephen further explained that he has no fear about retail or online arbitrage in the future. He thinks that the main reason why other people are getting scared about retail and online arbitrage is because they are not buying the right items to sell or they are selling items as new that shouldn’t be sold as new. Stephen added that he is not scared about the future of retail arbitrage but in fact excited about it.

Kat asked Stephen his thoughts about retail arbitrage. Stephen thinks that no matter what kind of business that you’re in, things are going to change as the world changes. People should adapt to changes and instead of seeing it in a negative way, people should focus on finding success in this change.

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Segment Two:

Kat and Stephen discussed about Stephen’s new product offering “How to Keepa Camel”. Stephen joked that it’s not about how to keep Camels. It’s about how to use the free services CamelCamelCamel and Keepa. He explained that Camelcamelcamel and Keepa are both services that give people the price and sales rank history along with a ton of other different pieces of information. People can look at the sales history and the pricing history of an item that they want to sell on Amazon. With this people can be able to see what items are going to sell out and possibly how fast they’re going to sell in the future.

Kat and Stephen talked about Keepa. Stephen explained that it’s a free service that provides sales rate history, pricing history and other pricing information of items on Amazon. It has a comprehensive price history graph, so people can be able to easily understand the history of the item they’re looking at.

Kat and Stephen explained about Camelcamelcamel and what it does for Amazon sellers. Stephen said that it has very similar information with Keepa. Keepa will put all of the graph information on one graph and then you can choose to turn on and off different lines. Camelcamelcamel on the other hand has a different graphs for the prices and then you can change to another graph to see the sales rate. So it’s not as confusing with Camelcamelcamel because you can choose the information you want to see. With Keepa, it will throw all the information on the graph at the same time and it can be confusing. But the great thing about both of them is that you can choose what you want to see.

Kat asked Stephen if anyone can use these tools and how much do they cost. Stephen answered that anyone can use these tools and the great thing about them is that they’re tracking the information not just from Amazon.com but also in Amazon Canada, Europe and other parts of the world. You can just go in and choose which Amazon platform you want to look at. It’s absolutely free, you can get access to it with on your laptops, desktops, tablets or smartphones. Stephen added that Keepa and Camelcamelcamel were not created for Amazon sellers, they were created for price sensitive shoppers who want to make sure that they get the best price on an item that they’re looking for. People found ways to use both Camelcamelcamel and Keepa as resellers. He also added that Camelcamelcamel and Keepa are getting their money from affiliate sales and some advertisement and if ever he said that they run out of fundings, this is something that he’ll pay for.

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Segment Three:

Kat and Stephen talked about the top three tips for Camelcamelcamel. To start off Stephen said, you can look at the graph and get a good idea of how many sales have taken place over a given time span. You can go to Camelcamelcamel and look at a particular item, change the date range to the last month and count the number of sales for that particular item. Anytime the sales rank number jumps from a higher number to a lower number that indicates at least one sale. Everytime you see those straight up on the graph, it’s indicating at least one sale and if the line is twice as long as the other line, it could mean two sales.

Kat and Stephen spoke about the second tip for Camelcamelcamel. It has to do with seasonal items especially with Q4. A lot times when you’re pricing an item, you look at the current low price and most people will match the current low price. But say you got seasonal item and that season is coming up in a month or two, you can go and look at the history of that item in Camelcamelcamel and see what kind of prices you’ll expect for that item. Say for example you can sell the item today for $12 but Camelcamelcamel is showing you that if you wait for 2 months you can sell the item for $40. You can make good decisions on when to sell your items with the information that Camelcamelcamel is showing you.

Kat and Stephen talked about the third tip. It has to do with making good buying decisions for your business. Stephen said that he has a lot of items that he use for his business that he buys on Amazon. You can import your Amazon wishlist to Camelcamelcamel and then you can set up price alerts so that when those items go to a certain threshold of price it will alert you.

Kat and Stephen discussed about the typical mistakes people make in using Camelcamelcamel. One of the mistakes that Stephen sees is that people doesn’t change the date range when it comes to looking at sales rank. The default shows the lifetime sales rank of an item. So people might think that the item sells a lot because they see a lot of up and down lines indicating sales, but if they choose to look at the last month, they might realized that it only sell once a month or once every three months. People make the buying mistake by not changing the date range. Another mistake that a lot of people make, is that they assumed that the price on Camelcamelcamel is the price that the item is actually sold for. The price on Camelcamelcamel is actually the current low price for an item. Third mistake that people make is that they ignore Camelcamelcamel completely, they say that it’s too much information and just a waste of their time.

Kat and Stephen spoke about the tips for Keepa. Stephen said that the three tips for Camelcamelcamel are the same with Keepa. There’s only a few other tips for Keepa, on Amazon there’s a shaded area for items in stock and the white area for items out of stock. Another tip for Keepa, there’s link called historical data. Click on the link and it will give you the history of the number of competitors of a new item and a used item. You can actually look and see the history of the supply. The last tip about Keepa, there’s a little box that you can click and it will give you the highs and lows, the averages and including the sales rank. The statistical data information will give you the average sales rank over the last three months.

Kat and Stephen talked about the typical mistakes people make using Keepa. Stephen said that people who ignore Keepa is probably the biggest mistake that they make. Another mistake people make using Keepa, on their sales rank graph, if it peaks, it indicate sales. It can be confusing because with Camelcamelcamel it displays opposite.

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Segment Four:

Kat asked Stephen his advice to someone getting started now, in 2016. Stephen said that his advice is to follow your heart and follow your passion. No matter what you’ll do, you’ll come up against failure, change, and obstacles and that passion for it is what going to get you over the hump. So you won’t end up quitting on it and try something else. Also follow one course until successful, learn about it, master it before you move on to the next thing.

Kat asked Stephen if he still believes that ecommerce is the best option for someone wanting to start their own business. Stephen said that he believes that ecommerce is the best option. It provides the most amount of freedom. It provides the most amount of possibilities. The more time you put into it, the more time you spend learning about it the more you’re going to get something in return.

Kat and Stephen spoke about some of the common mistakes new ecommerce people make. Stephen said that the number one mistake is not being able to focus, people try to do too much at once. Second is that people don’t spend enough time to properly educate themselves.

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InventoryLab

www.fulltimefba.com

http://www.fulltimefba.com/four-sentences

Ebay Selling 101: Stocking the Shipping Station

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As a new seller, it’s easy to get overwhelmed when you first start selling on eBay. Not only is there a learning curve on the listing process, but shipping items so that they arrive in safe and timely manner is sometimes daunting as well. Having a well-stocked shipping station is the best way to ensure that things go smoothly.

Boxes and envelopes
One of the biggest problems many sellers run into is finding boxes that are the right size to ship the items that they sell. Use a box that is too big and it can increase the cost of your postage. Use a box that is too small and the item you are shipping could become damaged.

While many sellers buy boxes and eBay is now even selling boxes with their logo, the United States Post Office offers boxes and envelopes for free and what’s better than free? Keep in mind, however, that they can only be used for Priority Mail and they will also have the USPS logo and information on them. In other words, you can’t use them for parcel select or for shipping through UPS.

Shipping/Packing Tape
Packing tape is essential for sending packages through the mail. Unfortunately, not all packing tape is created equally and through experience you will find that some brands shred easily or just plain don’t stick. Carol, a longtime eBay seller states that when she shops for tape, she typically avoids getting the bargain basement tape and instead generally purchases packs of the “mid-tier” priced tape unless the top named brands are on sale.

Peanuts and Bubble Wrap
Although the type of packing material you will need greatly depends on what it is that you sell, most sellers use peanuts and bubble wrap for items that are fragile or could become damaged without some kind of protection. Since it’s hard to ship items without packing material, this is an item for your shipping station that you should order ahead of when you will need it so that you don’t run out.

Measuring tape
You may already have a measuring tape on hand for measuring the items that you sell, but keeping another one handy at your shipping station can save you a lot of time when you are printing out your postage. When shipping by Priority Mail, you are generally asked to include the measurements of your box or envelope so that that postage is calculated correctly. Keeping a measuring tape of small ruler right on hand can help you through this process with ease.

Postage Scale
Since the weight of the package determines how much postage you must have, a good postage scale is a “must have” when it comes to stocking your shipping station. Postage scales come in a variety of sizes and usually have weight limits. Buying one that will allow you to weigh items up to 20 or even 40 pounds is best since most typical items will not weigh over this amount.