As if you haven’t already heard, millions upon millions of people of people buy and sell on eBay every single day. Some only make a few sales here and there. Others have figured out what it takes to become “Powersellers.” Powersellers are the very small minority of eBay sellers that do at least $2,000 per month in sales on eBay and maintain a 99% positive feedback rating. Powersellers are the ones that really know what they’re doing and if you really want to be successful on eBay then follow the secrets they revealed to me.
So, what are the secrets, tips and tricks that will cause you to become a Powerseller as well?
Well, I’ll be completely honest with you… I may be well on my way but I’m not a Powerseller yet. However, one thing that I know from creating several successful businesses is that if you want to become the best at something, you need to copy those that are already successful, ask them to mentor you and ask questions and take notes. And now I am going to take what they taught me and pass it on to you.
This is part one of a four part article series. You will find links to the other parts of this article series at the end of this article.
SECRET STRATEGY #1 – FIGURE OUT WHY YOU HAVEN’T DONE IT BEFORE!
Before, you rebuild a house, you need to tear down what doesn’t work and then rebuild. To just rebuild over the bad parts just doesn’t work. So, ask yourself this question: “Why haven’t I done it before?” And if you have done it before, ask yourself: “Why haven’t I succeeded before?” Now, before you say something like “I didn’t have the money” or “I don’t have enough time,” I want you to consider that the answer is really something that you can’t see. Let me draw an analogy.
Let’s say that you’re driving down the street and you see this house that is tilted. You walk up to the front door, the owner answers and you say, “Hello, did you know that your house is slanted and that there is probably something wrong with your foundation?” The owner replies, “I don’t know what you’re talking about. My house is perfectly straight!” How could they possible say that?! Well, it’s because they’ve been living there so long that they don’t even see the symptom let alone the real problem. So, consider that all the reasons that you haven’t done this before aren’t the real reasons. The real reason is the one that you can’t see… the foundation of the house.
Now, fill in this Bible saying: “_____ is the root of all evil.” You said “Money,” right? Well, would you be shocked if I told you that the Bible doesn’t say “Money”? You’re shocked aren’t you? Well, Timothy 6:10 actually says “The love of money is the root of all evil.” A few words makes world of difference don’t they? After all, if you heard “Money is the root of all evil” over and over again as a child then how could you ever have money around you and still remain good? The sad thing is that while the Bible’s actual saying, “The love of money is the root of all evil,” is true, the often misquoted version simply isn’t true. The Bible is talking about Greed not Money.
Another saying that I really hate is “Money doesn’t grow on trees” because it really does! OK, it may not physically grow on trees but it does grow like fruit on a tree. Investments are a prime example of this principle. If you invest and nurture your investments, they’ll grow and you can use some of the money to spend on yourself and replant the rest. Constantly feed the Goose and it will lay bigger and bigger golden eggs. Later in this article, I am going to tell you about a Powerseller that epitomizes this as he took $1,000 and turned it into $270,000!
My point with both of these sayings is that you need to get at the real reason that you haven’t succeeded rather than focus on the obvious symptoms.
SECRET STRATEGY #2 – GET SERIOUS ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS
According to the Powersellers that I interviewed, they believe that they number one reason that people fail on eBay is that they don’t treat it like a business. While the Powersellers that I talked to really love their work, the realize that it is a business. Even though it doesn’t cost millions of dollars to sell on eBay, they treat it like a business every day of the week and they have it organized like Microsoft or Ford or any other successful business. You know, even ballplayers who make their living playing a game treat their profession as a business. eBay Powersellers treat their business like a business worth $100 million.
SECRET STRATEGY #3 – ORGANIZE IT AND KEEP IT ORGANIZED
This is the absolute hardest thing for me because I am one of those people that likes to go with the flow. Although whenever I’m not organized, I always lose money because I can’t find the web address to that one special deal that I found out about. Or I forget about some meeting or to make a call to place an order. You’ve got to be organized to be successful. Successful businesses are highly organized and disorganized businesses are short-lived.
SECRET STRATEGY #4 – COMPARTMENTALIZE EVERYTHING THAT YOU ARE WORKING ON
This strategy is kind of similar to #3 but I want to make it specific anyways. I have used this strategy for a couple of my small businesses and I am told that it also works very well on eBay. You see, one thing that amateurs try to do is the try to do a little of everything everyday. Post a few listings, answer a few emails, go to the bank every morning, package a few items and mail them. The problem is that this just doesn’t work because you’ll be all over the place and unfocused. And when you’re unfocused, you make mistakes and mistakes cost money!
A better way to approach your business is to do one or two things per day. For example, make Wednesday your shipping day. Simply package all of the items that you sold and then drop them off with your shipper. Make Tuesday the day that you go to the bank. And make Thursday the day that you get all of your listings ready to be posted. The main point is to focus on one thing until you’re done with it and avoid getting scattered all over the place.
SECRET STRATEGY #5 – BUILD A WINNING TEAM
It takes a team of 55 players to win the Super Bowl and 25 players to win the World Series. How are you going to create a successful eBay business on your own? Now, you might be thinking “But I’m more of a tennis player type.” Well the best tennis players in the world have coaches, trainers, medical staff, agents, publicists and tons of other people that are there to help them succeed. Do you think that the President could have even become President without a campaign team?
Or maybe you’re saying something like “But I can’t afford to hire someone!” Look, you can’t afford not to. Take this article for example. I dictated it into a digital audio recorder, copied it onto my computer, had somebody transcribe it for a few bucks (probably in India for all I know), edited it myself and then hired another kid to submit it to over 300 article directories.
On top of that, while the kid submits the articles, I’ll be writing another article. All of this cost me about $30 and would have taken me at least five hours to do on my own. I’m worth more than $6 an hour and so are you. Always look at it this way and you’ll make more money and more money.
And yet another consideration is to barter with people. I know a gentleman that is about 75 years old and doesn’t even own computer. And yet he makes over $100,000 per year online. How does he do this? Well, his grandson knows a ton of stuff about how to create a web site, how to market online and other things. So this gentleman makes fishing flies and lures and his grandson sells them on eBay. In addition, this gentleman dictates articles into an audio recorder for his fishing email newsletter for which he has over 5,000 subscribers. He takes care of the creative stuff and his grandson manages the business and they split the profits. There is not excuse… if you don’t know how to do something find someone that does!
SECRET STRATEGY #6 – TAKE THE HENRY FORD APPROACH
Every single Powerseller that I spoke with had a systematic approach to dealing with everything from posting listings to packaging and shipping items. For example, with regards to packaging and shipping, more than a few Powersellers told me that have their computer set up on the far left of a workbench, then down the line to the right was a printer, then their products and then packing materials. They simply work their way down the line from left to right. The same thing goes with orders. Personally, most of the products that I sell are informational so I have my customers place an order and my autoresponder automatically sends them their product. Takes me nothing to do this. Basically, you want to set up a system that does not change and which you could practically do in your sleep.
SECRET STRATEGY #7 – USE THE RIGHT PHOTOS
One of the things that I love to do on eBay is search for things that I know that I want to buy for myself. However, what I do is that I look for the auction listings where the seller doesn’t really know what they are doing. A lot of sellers use the bad photos and post them in their listings. A bad photo can cost you bidders. Few bidders = less money. So, make sure that your photos look good and effectively represent your product and ask yourself if the photo would make you want to buy the product. If you don’t know anything about taking photos, ask a family member of friend to help you out.
Also, check out your competition and see how the sellers with the highest bids take their photos. Many Powersellers that I spoke to said that the best backdrop that they use for their photos is a light blue backdrop because it catches the buyer’s attention as they are browsing eBay without being distracting or repulsive. And be sure that the photo is well cropped. This is one of the biggest mistakes that sellers make for two reasons: 1) the buyer cannot easily see the product when they’re browsing because the photo is all “dead space” and 2) larger photos (large file size) take much longer to download. This is why it’s critical to use an image optimizer, use as few photos as possible and make them as small as possible while still forwarding your listing. Remember that most Internet users still use slow connections (although you should not worry about this if you are selling items to buyers that you are relatively sure have fast Internet connections like high-tech computer items or plasma screen TVs.)
SECRET STRATEGY #8 – DON’T SELL AN ITEM JUST ONCE, SELL IT A THOUSAND TIMES
It takes just as much time to post a listing for one item as it does to post a listing for 10,000 items. In fact, it takes much less time. For example, you could go to an auction and find one item to sell or you could take the same amount of time to find a product that you could sell a thousand times. A few years ago, I made really good money on eBay selling sporting tickets but they were a pain is the ass to post. Date. Location. Section number. Row number. Hell, some people even asked for seat numbers. It was ridiculous! Dutch auctions are the perfect solution to this problem because eBay will allow you to sell up to 10,000 items per auction listing (this also works for Fixed Price listings).
Dutch auctions also help with your “assembly line.” Think about it. Is it easier to package 100 items that are exactly the same size and weight or 100 items that are all different sizes and weights? Now, you might be thinking “We’ll then, all of my auctions are going to be Dutch auctions!” Not so fast! There are drawbacks to Dutch auctions. First, eBay listings fees are calculated as the sum total of all the items be sold in the listing. For example, let say that you are selling 1,000 $1 items. Then eBay will say that your listing has a $1,000 value and the original listing fee will reflect this value even if you only sell one item (although they only charge up to $4.20 per listing so there is not a ton of risk.)
Even more importantly though, in Dutch auctions, the final sales price is determined by the bid of the lowest winning bidder. For example, let’s say that you have ten items with winning bidders. The highest bidder bids $50 and the lowest bidder only bids $25. In this case, every winning bidder will receive the item for $25. So, as you can see, you need to be very careful when using Dutch auctions as you need to know the balance of supply and demand.
SECRET STRATEGY #9 – “BULK LIST” YOUR AUCTIONS
Once you decide on which products you want to sell large quantities of, it’s best to bulk list them with auction management software. Auction management software makes it extremely easily to list your auctions at the right time so that you make the most money. They also make it simple to copy listings, make changes and manage everything including payments and feedback. They are an incredible timesaver and extraordinary powerful because they allow you to list your auctions at your leisure and schedule them to be posted on the day and at the time of your choice. Of course, the professional versions of these programs cost money but almost all of them have free versions that you should start with.
SECRET STRATEGY #10 – KNOW HOW YOUR BUYERS WILL FIND YOU!
Every Powerseller I interviewed said that this is the most critical aspect of any auction listing. Why? Because the buyer must first be able to even come across your listing. Powersellers use titles with keywords and no fat. Many sellers don’t understand that while it is important for the title to be catchy, it is more important to be seen in the first place.
How do you get seen? Well, 93% of all eBay purchases begin with the buyer searching for a particular keyword in the title and the more specific you can be the better. For example, the most searched keyword on eBay as of this writing is “Xbox” and the second is “Xbox 360”. So if you are selling an Xbox 360 then include “Xbox 360” in the title. This way, everyone that searches for “Xbox” or “Xbox 360” will find your listing. If you only had “Xbox” in your title, then people searching for “Xbox 360” would not even find your listing.
Furthermore, include as many valid keywords in the title as you can like “Brand New Xbox 360 Premium Sports Package Video Game System”. Use words that sell like “rare,” “antique,” “popular,” and “free” but use them sparingly. It is more important to have keywords in your listing. And resist the temptation to use words like "LOOK", "WOW" and "MUST SEE" because they waste valuable title space. Instead, be "search engine savvy" and realize that keywords in the headline are found by the eBay search engine. As of this writing, over 59,000 listings included “LOOK” in their titles and, while I didn’t check them all, those that I did check were selling for about 10% less than their competition.
SECRET STRATEGY #11 – WRITE DETAILED AND ACCURATE “SALES PAGES” FOR YOUR DESCRIPTION
Let me ask you a question. Without reading a description and the items being identical, would you buy the item with the longer description or the shorter description? Of course you’re going to buy the one with the longer description because sellers that go into more detail are believed to be more honest. Therefore, you want to make sure that you give a detailed and accurate description that answers just about every conceivable question that a buyer could ask. Also, be sure to ask yourself (or better yet, ask someone else) whether you would bid on the item after reading the description.
It’s also critically important to have a description that acts more as a sales page when you have a product that people might not specifically be looking for. When a person is looking for a particular product like a video game then they will generally enter the particular video game into the search engine such as “Madden football”. For these items, you don’t really have to “sell” the product because people already want it. In this case, you simply have to describe the product… “for Sony Playstation” and “brand new”.
For other products, you have to be more descriptive such as “beautiful Icelandic helmet” and for informational products such as books and programs, you need to create more of a sales page as the buyer might only be looking for “how to make money on eBay”. In this case, you need to sell the person on the benefits of your product over your competition. If writing sales letters intimidates you, I suggest that you buy a book or creating sales letters or hire a copywriter.
Finally, always have a “call to action”. A “call to action” is a simple statement in the auction telling the buyer what you actually want them to do like “place a bid now!” You might be thinking that the buyer already knows what to do and that’s true. But just because someone knows what to do doesn’t mean that they will do it. People in the United States now know more than ever that they should eat healthy but obesity is at an all-time high. Having a simple “call to action” can increase bids by 40% or more. I have got this guide off a site outside of ebay, however I feel this will be very useful for people on ebay.