Thanks for the video, Steven. Question on the license plate sale regarding the odor in the plastic: did you mention that in your listing? Just curious if people would buy despite the odor. P.S. Thanks for ending with the Collie photos!
Yes, I disclosed the odor in the listing, I try and never leave any surprises out of the descriptions. I've already received positive FB.
I love your dog pictures and videos. They seem so happy playing with each other. Makes me want to get another dog but they're such a commitment!
Donna, I finally gave in and got a second Sheltie a couple weeks ago. He's 8 years old and has a similar personality to my other one, so it hasn't shaken things up too much here.
I just ran my first variation listing on used items and sold out of all colors to several different buyers in a couple of days. Plus I sold another full set of like items that has been sitting in my store. In the Cassini video, he encourages variation listings. I'm curious if anyone else has experienced good results with that technique.
Do you mean you have multiples of an item, but they are in different color or sizes? We've had a couple items like that, but will probably be more common if you're buying new retail arbitrage.
Yes. I had a set of similar used, modern bowls listed, got an offer via email on 2 of 6, then figured out how to list all colors as variation. I think I'll keep that in mind on new listings when I have the opportunity. I'm still working on the combined shipping rules for multiple items purchased. Like when it goes from fist class to over a pound? eBay doesn't seem to offer too many options.
Thanks for the video Steve! Do you usually get your hats to ship for under 8 oz?
Not with the eBay boxes, they come out just under 9 oz with a typical trucker hat. The eco swift boxes are lighter but cost around .50 each so it's a wash since the eBay boxes are free.
Nancy, this week I shipped this MTV hat in a box and it was 8 oz. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Black-1998-MTV-Movie-Awards-Baseball-Hat-Cap-Snap-back-New-Nissun-/282060383771?rd=1
8x6x4 boxes are a great size for hats. Very rarely go over 8 ounces with them.
YMMV with this but... If you're close on weight, cut off a flap or two on the box. I only do this with lightweight, non-fragile items.
I normally buy hat boxes from ecoswift. These lightweight 10x6x4 boxes always weigh under 8oz: http://www.ebay.com/itm/351216260429For wide-brim hats I use these lightweight 10x8x4 boxes which also come in under 8oz: http://www.ebay.com/itm/351644211292The eBay branded 8x6x4 boxes work for some hats and will weight under 8oz.
I ship my hats in a poly and bubble mailer. Comes in at 4oz. If I want it to stand up I'll fill the back side with paper. And for good measure I write on the pkg not to smooth the item. I don't know if this helps but I've never had an issue. I used my first eBay box to ship a hat and it came in at 10oz. Those boxes are heavy compared to priority boxes. I'll only use them for a very expensive or very stiff hat.
Smush not smooth
"Scrambled eggs on the bill." Ha ha ha!
The collies are adorable, but I want to see a photo of the real Steven Schultz!
I received a return request (wrong size) for an item a couple of weeks ago. Since then, I received a very positive feedback and don't believe the item will be coming back.Can I close the return, or will it automatically close on it's own?ThanksJOE
I always let mine automatically close
Did you check the box to approve the return request? If so, Ebay says something like "We've asked the buyer to return by (date)". If that date has passed, you can call Ebay and they will close it for you. In my experience, the only way for them to do that in their system is to open a "case" and close it in your favor. This prevents the buyer from printing a return label through Ebay and also takes away their ability to leave feedback, if they haven't already.
Thanks for the information. I accepted the return. It's a very large and heavy item. Between the return shipping and the restocking fee, I was very surprised to get the request.I'll probably just let is close on it's own. I've had my fill of customer service for a while.Thanks.
Doggies! Damn I have a seriously cool record stand up and have had zero interest in it so far (don't have a turn table etc to use as props--maybe that is the key, LOl)
(Reuters) - EBay Inc reported a 5.7 percent increase in quarterly revenue as its efforts to revamp its online marketplace start to pay off.The company's net income rose to $435 million, or 38 cents per share, in the second quarter ended June 30 from $83 million, or 7 cents per share, a year earlier.Revenue rose to $2.23 billion from $2.11 billion.
Steven Schultz, you have the best voice for online listening! THANKS for posting your What Sold this week video, always informative.
Amazing stuff! You have the gift for electronics, that's for sure!
I wanted to share something I discovered while experimenting. I created a few "eBay Collections" of my best items (those things that look like Pinterest boards) hoping to give those items more visibility. I have also been ending and selling similar listings that are 6 months+ old. I just ended one and checked it on the collection and it said "Ended". Then I did "sell similar" and checked it again and it had been replaced in the collection with the new listing! So previously my thinking was that "sell similar" was supposed to trick it into thinking it's a completely different, new item. So how was it replaced in the collection with the new listing? That was awfully presumptuous of you eBay! ;) I use sell similar all the time when I am truly creating brand new listings. This makes me reconsider. What if using "sell similar" carries some behind the scenes stale data?
That Anonymous Woman,I think you are on to something that may debunks many of the views that people have taken regarding relisting vs sell similar. You are not the first to notice this.I wonder if you noticed if the listing ID had changed. Every new listing should have a unique Id. This is the small numbers just before the description of this listing. I suspect it did.Also, did you make any changes when you did a “Sell Similar”? If you didn’t, I suspect this is why eBay is displaying the new item in your collection. My theory is that Ebay treats a Sell Similar listing the same as relist if nothing changes in the listing.I’d like to hear back if you do a retest.Thanks.
Yes the item IDs are different. I changed the price on this particular item.
I wonder if you would change up the title and description as well.
My theory is that it might be the photos.
The two things might not be mutually exclusive.--I've always felt that eBay would know an item was the exact same even if you "sold similar". You'd have to significantly change titles, items specifics, and photos to be different.--Using "sell similar" may still give a boost in search even if eBay knows its the same or similar item.
FYIEbay Stock is rallying currently at $29.57
Thanks for sharing your video Steven. You make it look so easy to find an item for a few dollars and turn it into $50 or $70 or $90! That bag was a great find. I usually walk past the bags because photographing them requires extra effort with my setup and also because they take up a lot of room. Maybe I should be spending more time looking at them. Waterman pens seem very popular, I'd always grab them if I saw them. (They aren't marked very well so they might be hard to spot without the case/paperwork).
Bag: you can take the picture outside on any non-busy backgroud - like a deck, or on a big piece of paper (or roll paper like Steven).Pen: It helped a lot that it came in the original box with paperwork and was in (near) new condition. I'm sure to someone who knows how, dealing with the ink draw mechanism is no problem. those pens vary in value a lot. It's usually a collector thing. same old story: rarity and condition.
Clothing Guru's. We don't do a lot of clothing and usualy what we do list is either personal stuff or things we find at thrifts on hangers. But we got two plastic tubs of assorted T-shirts and Golf shirts and they are all just wadded up and piled in the tubs. To say the least they are wringled to beat the band. So, what is best / fastest way to get all of these wrinkles out . Many are new and have tags so washing them would be difficult without loosing the tags. Wife says throw into a dryer and tumble on low with a wrinkle sheets and take out fast and hang up. But I also remember some of you saying to use an steamer and just hit shirts on both sides and the wrinkles just drop out. That would mean us getting a used steamer, but maybe a good equipment investment for the business. What say ye' all? mike in Atlanta
If you're going to be selling clothes, sure why not? I'm sure you can resell it if you don't like it. You could even buy new (or almost new ;) ) and write it off. Seems like you have a lot of energy, and a lot of reselling experience, and accounting experience, and a just a whole lot of experience in general. I say, think big.
Never used a steamer BUT I love the dryer method your wife suggested. I just throw 6 or 7 items in the dryer while I'm taking photos, let them tumble with heat and pull them out one at a time to photograph. Adding a dryer sheet freshens them up and if they are really wrinkled add a damp bath towel. My dryer is right beside the room I take photos in so it's pretty easy for me to use this method.
The dryer /combo method won hands down. Wife did a light spritz of the Woolite Wrinkle out then threw 3 shirts in dryer, low heat tumble dry along with a damp small hand towel and each shirt came out like new. We hung up and they are ready to photograph. The one shirt that we only sprayed and hung up without using the heat is still slightly damp after 20 minutes and only partial wrinkles came out. So light dampening and use of dryer, then pull one at time to photo., then fold up and bag for storage. thanks everyone mike in atl.
I use the dryer method for anything I can, but occasionally, you'll run across fabrics that look worse after a tumble. I invested in this steamer about a year ago and really like it. Heats up quick, lightweight, stores easily. Bought mine on Amazon for about $40, but looks like the price has gone up.ESTEAM Personal Hand Held Steamer, 120 Volt
I live for wrinkle release spray... it's truly amazing stuff. If you don't want to spend the $8 on a bottle at Target, here's a DIY version to make your own for pennies:http://thekrazycouponlady.com/at-home/diy-ditch-the-iron-and-make-your-own-wrinkle-release-spray/
Thanks Brian.. That looks like a great idea. It says get a bottle of fabric "Softener" and add 1 part of it to 10 parts water in a sprayu bottle and then you have a home made wrinkle release. Just spray and then throw in the dryer as above. Did 5 last night as a test with the damp cloth in the dryer and all came except one. Will try it a second time today. mike in atl.
An alternative to the fabric softener mixture, if you are sensitive to the smell, is to use white vinegar and water. It takes the wrinkles out in the dryer or with a steamer and gets rid of musty odors. I haven't used fabric softener in years because I can't tolerate the overpowering odor. I think many thrift stores use some sort of spray like this because some stores I can only shop in for a few minutes
deb truervaluesHi Mike - I just discovered that you can hit something with a regular squirt bottle full of water--If you spritz it lightly, it will dry in a few moments almost straight - You could probably tackle 10 or 20 at a time,. flip them over....by the time the last one is done, the first one should be about dry.I think you could avoid labels pretty well doing it this way.I have been using this method with great success on linen clothing, which wrinkles very easily between the thrift store and home--I spritz the clothes, take my other pics, and by the time I am done,the linen garments are pretty much wrinkle-free--no-ironing solution!!!
I use the spritz with water method too. works well. spritz and give the garment a shake.
deb truervalueI should add that it is summer right now and things dry quickly....come winter this method might not work at all.
Deb.. wife just came in with some Woolite wrinkle spray. We are trying one of te shirts now to see how effective the spritz and hang method is. She said it would maybe be better to sprtz 5 or 6 of them and then toss in the dryer for a minute or two then take out and hang immediately. We are doing a test now. We'll see. Thanks for the input. mc in atl.
Mike - I posted above, but here's also a DIY wrinkle release recipe that costs pennies to make on your own:http://thekrazycouponlady.com/at-home/diy-ditch-the-iron-and-make-your-own-wrinkle-release-spray/
Does anyone know if eBay has an option to create discount coupons rather than using the markdown manager or similar. Thanks.
Anon, Non stores do not. Stores have the so-called "codeless coupon":http://cgi1.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?SellerTargetedCampaign
My Cottage have you tried using the code less coupon? I read the description but am confused how it is used. Anyone else tried this?
Nancy, Yeah, the description isn't real helpful, I agree. It's really less of a coupon and more of a targeted sale. I hope J & R don't mind, I'm not trying to promote my store by what I'm about to do, just trying to show what this actually looks like. So, let's say I want to target the readers of this blog, and I want to offer them 5% off when they spend $100 or more in my store, limited to a certain category (Paint By Number paintings) in my store, with the offer good for 48 hours. I'll go create that offer now, and be back shortly to post the URL.
Nancy, OK, I THINK this is the URL...I did this many months ago and I kind of remember ebay giving me a shorter URL to give out, but this is what I am seeing...of course, I could probably use bitly: http://ebay.to/29ZQpIN...so you, and anyone else who uses the link , will see the 5% off offer....but NO ONE else will see it.
I think once you've used the link, you can go to one of my PBNs---here's a link: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Paint-By-Number-Autumn-Landscape-Grist-Mill-Stream-Framed-/162118025834 and NOW you should see a bunch of stuff about the 5% off offer on THAT page, with a link to the main page. Hope this makes sense.One way to use this: Let's say a buyer buys an item from me...I think they might be willing to buy more, so when I send them a thank you I can add a link to an offer tailored to their interests.
Thanks for the example! I'm thinking people who blog could use this to offer their readers a discount.
Nancy, Absolutely. Or post it to Facebook, send it to ebay buyers who've subscribed to your newsletter, etc. In some cases, it might be a better choice than a partial refund to make a buyer happy. A couple things to remember: there's nothing stopping a buyer from sharing the URL with his Facebook friends etc....so it's not really all that "exclusive". Also, something like my example would probably work better if I had a rule in place to handle combined shipping for Paint By Numbers (which I don't). This sort of offer would be better if everything had free shipping, or if there was a rule...
I was asked to provide more info on this. There are a number of different promotions you can run with a store. Here's a link to an ebay PDF file that provides a tutorial about them (including the coupon): http://pics.ebaystatic.com/aw/pics/pdf/us/Promotions_Manager_Seller_Tutorial_US_20142.pdf There are a number of ways to get to the page you need on ebay. Do you have Seller Hub? If so, go to the Overview page, look for "Selling Tools' and click on "Manage Store", then on left side look for "Marketing Tools", see "Item Promotion"? Under that is "Manage Promotions". Click on that.Now, on that page, you'll see a drop down button on the right," Manage Promotions" Click on it and select "Codeless Coupon" The page that opens will give you the form/instructions to set up the coupon. It is fast and easy, but does require some thought when choosing just what you want to do. percent off? So many dollars off? 24 hour sale? Ten day sale? etc...I suggest taking the time to choose carefully, based on your goal for the coupon. But the actual creation is pretty easy.
What I really need is a coupon that has a one time use with an expiration. The coupon that I'm looking to use will have a high value to it, but I don't want the buyer to reuse it or share it with many of their friends. Does not look like eBay has this option.
Anon, As far as I know, ebay doesn't offer what you are looking for. It is possible a third party provider does....you might want to look into that possibility.
Another question for the clothing experts. Do you recommend buying some sort of electric sweater shaver to get rid of pilling, or just leaving it be and saying "Some pilling" in the condition description? If the former, which sweater shaver do you recommend? Thanks! -Sonia
I have gone through 2 pill shavers this year alone. I prefer to clean the sweaters up first but I haven't been able to find a device that isn't junky. I found some YouTube videos where people were using actual disposable razors. I tried it and it did remove the pilling but I worry that it is damaging the sweater. I imagine a customer wearing the sweater I sold them and have it falling apart, so I haven't actually sold the sweater I tried it on.
Thanks for your input, Anonymous. I used a disposable razor once on a thin cashmere sweater and it worked fine. Just tried it now on a much bulkier thicker sweater and wasn't getting anywhere - hence my question. Let's see what others have to say but at this point I'm leaning towards just disclosing the issue. - Sonia
Anything that is badly pilled or damaged I do not purchase unless it has some special value based on the brand or details.You have to weight the time invested in trying to restore the item to the value you will get. There is more than enough excellent condition inventory out there. Don't bog yourself down on repairing low value items.
I have one of those pilling stones:https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=pilling+stone&tbm=shopand anything I can't get rid of in ~2 mins, I disclose in the listing or do not list. And as Retro says, it's best to avoid buying pilled stuff. Something else to buy/sell will come along.
Thank you for your advice, Retro and Flim! I also try very hard to avoid purchasing stuff with annoying flaws, but I have this disease where I don't see the flaws while I'm buying, or even when photographing, but only after I'm halfway through listing! :) This one is a XL fleece lined LL Bean sweater vest, so I think I'll just quickly disclose and list, and focus on being extra diligent in looking for flaws the next time I'm buying. I like the idea of a 2-minute cutoff for dealing with any flaws. - Sonia
I bought 2 license plates from an "outsider art" sale. Got them home and realized they STUNK just like those in the video! It's the metal, as mine are not wrapped. I keep them in the garage and hope they sell! Thanks for the video
Update - I recently signed up for Truegether.com, they linked my ebay store, like Bonanza. I've sold 4 items the past month so far with no listing or final sale fees. I'm also in the process of relisting my stagnate items and have sold 3 items in the last 24 hours. Keep up the great show Jay and Ryanne. Thanks for all the advice.
Great video as always, Stephen! Love that Orvis bag. I got turned on to Orvis about a year ago when I was shopping for something for myself... wanted a sweater with a leather/suede shooting patch on the shoulder (not to hunt, just to wear as a style) and found one that I absolutely loved at Orvis but it was $300. I obv didn't buy it, but that did add Orvis to my BOLO list and I've found various sweaters & jackets at sales and have done very well with them. Another similar brand that doesn't appear to be anything special but commands very high prices is Paul & Shark which is yachting clothing.Anyway, some of my interesting sales:Herbert Johnson Chipp houndstooth hathttp://www.ebay.com/itm/201625723304Bought this past weekend at an estate sale for $3 I believe and sold for $125. It's a good maker, in great shape, and is houndstooth so I included the keywords like Bear Bryant since it really looks like the type of hat he wore at Alabama. Perhaps my hat will be attending some Alabama tailgates in the fall.1950s American Type Founders Alphabet box:http://www.ebay.com/itm/201598014714Nowadays we just install a new font to our computers. Back in the 50s, printers had to use typesetting cards like these for modelling fonts. The American Type Founders were the foremost authority on fonts, and this was a complete set in a handsome detailed box. Bought this at a hoarder estate sale, digging in the basement. Bought for $10 on speculation just because the box was cool and sold for $100 best offer.Day after JFK assassination NY Daily News:http://www.ebay.com/itm/191925023027Bought this at the same sale as the houndstooth hat this past weekend. I knew it wouldn't bring a ton because everyone saved these papers, but I couldn't let a piece of history be thrown out. Bought for $2, sold for $15.
Thanks for your video, Steven. License plates often smell bad; collectors joke about sniffing around to find the boxes of them in antique shops. The plates have been typically manufactured in prison industry shops. Is there a connection? Are the inmates injecting a secret ingredient? Inquiring minds want to know.
Do any of the folks on here use Craigslist or Facebook groups for sourcing? I'm trying to broaden my horizons a little bit but it seems like a wasteland of high prices and sellers who get offended when you try to haggle on price. Have these platforms become the den of lazy people who want eBay prices without putting in the eBay effort?
Yes, I've used CL. I try to target someone who is selling a lot of things or ones that label "Moving Sales". When they're moving, they generally have an exact date when they need to get rid of things and that's when the prices are the lowest.
Absolutely! It is definitely getting overwhelmed right now with pallet buyers and "lazy ebayers". The Let Go app all the sudden became a wasteland of folks posting photos of hundreds of clothing items.Craigslist has been hit hard by the spammer scammers to the point I had to turn off all my search alerts.Facebook yardsale sites can sometimes reveal a gem here and there. I'm excited to post my numbers next week about a big ticket item I sourced on facebook yardsale.
About 2 years ago I used to buy video game lots on Craigslist with pretty good success. I had to pay higher than garage sale prices but most people were more interested in making "some" money rather than getting top dollar. Holy cow has that changed. I suspect some of that has to do with the category but a lot of the other stuff I'm seeing does not look very enticing either.
Is anyone else having issues with the ebay bulk editor? I've been trying since last night at home and at work today to bulk price edit all my listings (433), and it keeps stlling out with 1-3 to go. Very annoying!
PayPal eChecks revisitedRemember last post when I asked about eChecks? This is what just came in:An eCheck payment from XXXXXX was declined by the sender's bank. We will automatically try to process this payment again in 3 business days. It then usually takes 3-5 days for the money to be deposited into your account. Please do not ship items until you receive payment.Good thing I did not ship, hopefully just a misunderstanding
Just checked up item communications and the buyer had sent me messages asking when I was shipping because buyer needed the item with urgency before the weekend.Ouch ouch
They want you to ship it fast before the bank notofies you that they have no money! Ha
Globa Shipping to RussiaI had a couple of anecdotes about bad experiences shipping to Canada, Russia, Brazil.Just received this message from Russian buyer:"you have not written that dismantled the phone and the motherboard has a broken connector touchscreen.repair of the touchscreen connector. I cost me 30$, I bought a touchscreen as you have described new,this amount is not included."I cannot mentioned something I do not know.Interesting enough this is my item:"Look at the pictures for scratches on case (and all close up details, including the set turned on)Touchscreen DOES NOT WORK Volume buttons do not workUsed iTunes for Factory ResetAll other features of the phone were workingComes with original box (no cables)Comes with free "Tiffany" style protective caseUpdated to iOS 9.3.2Serial Number C39JDAREF38Y (iCloud Activation Status screen shot in pictures)"I also disclaimed the sale "as is". Assuming always good intent, wonder where is the picture of the issue, why the buyer never opened s claim on eBay?
Do not sell to Russia. My experience is that lying and cheating is to be expected if you do.
I don't ship smartphones outside the US. If you're selling something that doesn't work, make sure you sell it "for parts/not working" instead of "used".
Learning in each transaction
Good sales Steven. Orvis is a clothing brand I always look for that sales pretty good. I always like reading your finds and sales. As for the Pendleton, I list them too. I am unsure why that did not sale other than maybe the older vintage label sometimes is in less demand depending on the current trends. JFH
I have a very disappointed buyer but my hands are tied. Shipped with gsp and he msgd me to say it was delivered incorrectly but that's just because he didn't understand the gsp hub situation. Anyway then it said the pkg was under review. It had a lighter element to it. He said he bought a lighter before and it just made him pay more. This time though it showed up as an exception and undeliverable so it auto refunded him. Here's the kicker though, I can't tell if gsp refunded him or if they took the money back from me. If gsp refunded then they'll keep the item. Who knows what they do with it. If I get it back buyer wants to work something out to re-ship it. But I don't think I will get it back. He's not a happy camper.
I would think that's eBay's problem to solve. They are the responsible for figuring out how to get it from here to there (and what things are & are not allowed in each country). I'd probably give them a call and ask how this situation will be resolved.
I did call them. They are the ones who told me if they refund the buyer they'll keep the item but she didn't tell me either way what they did. I guess I'll just have to monitor my PayPal for a week
I have had Ebay refund a GSP buyer and also let me keep the sale and the money on an item sold, that could not be imported (toy gun).
So Joe and Anne, I am interested in these issues because I ship international often, but direct to the buyer. Frequently they are items that eBay says are not importable to foreign countries but in fact they are legally importable to the countries I ship to and I've never had a problem. Do I understand correctly that the GSP hub in each of your cases caught the alleged issue, kept the item, refunded the buyer, and also let you keep the purchase payment? So the items never made it to the foreign country's mail system?
Check out this listing. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Eileen-Fisher-ORGANIC-STRETCH-COTTON-TWILL-ANKLE-PANTS-in-Brown-Size-Small-/301981404323?hash=item464f7e8ca3:g:WFoAAOSwcL5XMiFCTalk about pricing high!!! I wonder what the strategy behind this is. I used to wear a lot of Eileen Fisher clothing when I worked in my office job, and I can't imagine anyone paying over $200-250 (i.e., retail price in the store) for a pair of ankle pants considering that EF comes out with several new styles of ankle pants several times a year. Weird!-Sonia
I think she may have hit and extra digit in there. I clicked on her other items and there is one item for $60 and then everything else is about $30 or less. She may have meant $65.00 IMHO mc in atl.
And it looks like very similar pants are on sale for $129: http://www.eileenfisher.com/shop/clothing/pants-shorts/Looking at the rest of that seller's store, this is the listing that is outrageously priced, maybe it's a typo and should be $65 instead of $650: http://www.ebay.com/sch/m.html?item=301981404323&hash=item464f7e8ca3%3Ag%3AWFoAAOSwcL5XMiFC&_ssn=mariannefbs&_sop=16
You should message her. I once listed something wrong and had something listed at 2500.00 instead of 25.00. I was appreciative of the ebayer who messaged me and suggested I may have made a mistake:)
Good idea to look at her other items. I will message her now. -Sonia
She has changed the price.
Anyone have any info on eBay Traffic numbers? I'm not able to get on the blog as much as I'd like and I'm sure it's been discussed, but it's not easy to search the posts. If you guys have talked about it, just point me to the correct post. I have no idea if my numbers are good or bad or what I could do about them. Just curious.
Can you be more specific? Not sure what you mean by "eBay Traffic numbers"?
This is a reattempt at posting this... Not sure why the first didn't go through.Hey Chad,I’ve been following this blog for about 6 months now since I started using eBay as another sales channel for my online store and you’re the first to ask about traffic numbers that I can recall. Even though SEO is probably a more advanced topic this community is used to, there just is not a lot of information that eBay supplies or actions a seller can do to improve it. Those that do understanding it, do take advantage of what eBay has to offer, but the results are only marginal.As you’re aware the reports that eBay offers are watered down and as such very limited in use. I guess they don’t want to highlight their negatives. As I spend more time tweaking and pushing the limits of what I can do with eBay, you get an understanding of why Google really hates them. Pages don’t validate, SERP is terrible, Page ranks are in the tubes… Anyhow, I can go on for days.Without dragging this on with details and making this post longer than it should, two observations are apparent.1. eBay is an entity onto itself. No surprise here. All but willing to accept members into its community, but doesn’t play nice with the internet community so its difficult for search engines to drive traffic to eBay outside of eBay. So unless a buyer came from a referral, it’s more than likely they came from an eBay search rather than an internet search. A huge negative.2. Conversion still matters. Conversion = Profitability. Using eBay’s list 3 times and you’re out suggestion, I find that when I keep my conversions above the 2-3% I get more loving from eBay. Better search and sales. Anecdotally at least.In the end, eBay SEO is like trying to read tea leafs. Very little information is shared so you have to rely on the bread crumbs left to figure out what to focus on.So now we have our first discussion on traffic… Yey!
(this got caught in the spam filter. If a comment is too long or has certain keywords, I guess blogger automatically flags it as suspicious. I check it a couple times a day)
Anonymous, thanks for the detailed post about how eBay does in SEO. It's certainly interesting. But as you said, it's a hazy game even for those with the most knowledge, which is why it's not discussed much here. And there's not much we can do about it. It's really eBay's job to make their pages more attractive to Google and others. What we can discuss is how to make our listings better seen by eBay itself, which is still an enormously important search engine. It's the 8th most visited site in the US: http://www.alexa.com/topsites/countries/USHere's my question to you:I know behind the scenes of eBay is a mystery, but why wouldn't the company put all their effort into making their site more attractive to Google? Are any of these recent design changes part of that effort?
Kind of a long answer, hope this one makes it through…As we can probably both agree, site visitation does necessarily mean revenue generation.This topic is more philosophical than pertinent to most of your readers, so the short of it is, eBay wants to be so like Amazon. But realizes that they cannot compete on the same level, so they have to be more protectionist of their marketplace and be more captive of their audience. They’re trying to run two distinct business models under one roof. Trying to cater to both the aging online thrift store business that is no longer profitable and the high volume, low margin retail businesses.The ability for sellers to easily create their own ecommerce stores, competitors like esty, and selling on social media, all with better results, has drastically cut into eBay’s cake.eBay’s has failed at wooing big store retailer like Home Depot, Macy’s and others in opening sales channels like they do on Amazon. In fact those same retailers find it more profitable by opening their own discount channels to move their merchandise rather than sell it on eBay.While the cost of running ecommerce store has been declining for years, eBay has constantly been raising the cost. Started with increasing fees, fees on shipping, more fee changes and lastly with store fee increases.Even though eBay’s recently quarterly results had record GMV it was driven by real estate and automotive. Two areas I don’t think people here sell on a regular basis, if at all. I suspect when their annual 10K report comes out and more details are given, we will see revenue margins in our area of business has increased due to fees and less on selling volume.Yes they could change their site to be more google friendly. That would be the logical answer. But I guess spending $54 million for 170 million in Adwords cheaper.There a new push now for AI. Doing away or minimize search. But AI is not going to work if all you are doing is trying to predict sales from a small captive audience.Sorry for the long reply.
Thanks for the detailed answer. I agree that much of this is philosophical since we have no control over these topics.But curious when you say "Trying to cater to the aging online thrift store business that is no longer profitable", is this true? Just curious where you get this number from.Or do you mean that the used marketplace is a steady source of profit, but isn't growing exponentially like stock holders demand. It's always a screwy system in American capitalism that sees a business with steady profit as a "failure" if it's not growing, growing, growing. That being said, all we can do is focus on listing items that we think people want. The weird, vintage, used marketplace is a nice little corner where the Walmart, Amazon, etc have no interest in. Let them fight it out.
I’m referring declining profitability to eBay. This I think has been in a steadily decline since 2009. Despite the increasing net revenue from transactions, net revenue from transactions actually declined viewed as a percentage of GVM. The individual businesses you and I operate our fine, for now. But competition, both in the marketplace and other sales channels available to sellers are making eBay difficult to sustain profitable growth.I know it is happening. I read it on your blog frequently of people stepping out of their comfort zone and trying new channels and using them with good results. Why? Because as the success of a seller grows, the value proposition that eBay offers diminishes.For example, let’s look at eBay’s value proposition for its Anchor Store. I know you have an Anchor Store and my intent is not to pick on you or your business. It’s just for illustration purposes only. There is no right or wrong. How you run your business is entirely up to you. [I’m going end this post here and start a new thread if you don’t mind. It will be easier to read and follow for those who want to play along. I’ll be back shortly].
Understood. There's definitely two conversation to have here.If you're an investor in eBay stock, you can debate whether or not profits will grow and stock prices will rise. That really has only nominal interest to someone like us that just uses the service to sell goods. We aren't investing in eBay stock. The other conversation to have is if eBay will still be the best place to sell used goods. Yes, scavengers (including us) have experimented with selling on other channels like Etsy, bonanza, Craigslist, Instagram, etc. I just don't see consistent numbers anywhere close to what you can sell on eBay with their global audience. Will eBay always be the place to sell? Maybe, maybe not.But I feel there will always be a market for used goods. Especially vintage and collectibles. I'd be very worried if I felt people didn't want what we were scavenging and selling. That's not the issue. If eBay can't evolve and buyers move to another venue, it's easy enough to move over there. eBay is really just a URL with a database.
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I guess you guys help sell books now for sellers: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Speed-Cleaning-Jeff-Campbell-Recommended-by-Scavenger-Life-Housekeeping-DIY-Tips-/281937969311?hash=item41a4d0009f:g:VhIAAOSwuYVWmwUz
I gave a very aggravating buyer who is stressing me out. Hes mad I won't take his offer. Yelled at me in caps that I shouldn't have best offer listed if I won't take them and how he's already told me how much he will pay. So I wrote back that I don't have to accept every offer and sorry. A month has gone by and he messages messages me again to say I shouldn't have best offer listed and caps said we should ask eBay. It's funny to me that he's threatening me to ask eBay who's right. Meanwhile his Screen name is another word for poop so I shouldn't be surprised he's acting like a jerk. But he has hundreds of feedback. Wish sellers could leave negative because I'm sure he'd have some. I blocked him but since he's already contacted me he can do so again easily. I'm afraid if I report him he'll harass me more. Ugh
Sounds like a very unhappy person. You're first mistake was to engage him in conversation. Either accept, decline, or counter the offer, but there's no upside to having a conversation. We use the silent method to great effect: http://www.scavengerlife.com/2014/05/ebay-scavengers-episode-115-how-to-deal.html
He won't know you reported him. I am sure you aren't the only one he treats like poop. He needs to be reported so ebay can investigate his rap sheet.
I need some advice. I am seriously considering taking a job in West Texas down near Big Bend. The pay is ok and it comes with a free house and utilities paid. All is great except that my wife will not have an opportunity to get a job becuase of how remote the location is. It's 70 miles to the nearest gas station! Mail only runs 3 days a week and you have to drive 10 miles to meet the mailman! Believe it or not but there is internet! No phone service tho. So her only way is to work from home. We have been doing good on ebay for years in the rural midwest. But yardsales and auctions are common within 30 miles. This new place is a different story. Does anyone else live this remote? If so how do you source? Make a weekend of it and drive 4 hrs one way? The nearest real town is Midland which is 3.5 hrs one way. She will have her PHD in January so she is also looking into online teaching. Does anyone have any ideas for an online income source or a way to source in the desert? Thanks Justin
This an interesting question. I'm from Texas so can give a little feedback on your plan.The Beg bend area is beautiful. It's awesome that the job comes with a house etc, but it's even cooler that land is cheap if you fall in love with the area. It is remote, but that could be a big plus if you have the right mindset.As far as scavenging, I'd say that El Paso is a better city to visit since it's a very active lively city. Midland is just a sleepy desert town. I've heard that there are huge warehouses along the border of TX/Mexico where all our junk ends up. Especially clothes. The stuff gets baled up on pallets and sold in auction to dealers, or else gets sent to developing nations. Maybe you could find out how to get into that network.
And there's Fort Bliss in El Paso. Transient military personnel are always needing to sell stuff.
Some random thoughts, FWIW: My wife loves the desert; she grew up in it. Me, not so much but I could learn to like it, maybe learn some amateur geology or astronomy, hunting, photography, etc. for fun. Take several days to visit there with spouse (and kids, if any) if you have not already and let your family get a feel for it. They will not have the work and social network that you will have from day one so it will be harder for them to adjust. An ebay business will take much more time to run successfully due to your mail situation, distance from sources, etc. You may not be able to offer one day shipping in order to get TRS Plus. It would help to think through what an ebay week would look like, time-wise. For sourcing, besides what’s already been suggested I would get on mailing lists for ranch and estate auctions to try and get a truckload of inventory at a time. As small as the towns are there may be the occasional flea market and mom and pop thrift shop. Maybe you could map circuitous route to hit everything along Route 90 within a day’s drive, out and back, once a week. There may be a town that has a once a month “market days” flea markets which are a TX tradition in many areas. What is available in that area may certainly dictate changes in your inventory mix. As for online “jobs” unfortunately they frequently only pay very little, making it difficult to even make minimum wage for the time spent.
You could easily source 100% via eBay and make a living. There's also all sorts of other online sourcing options. Move there because you like the area. A job is just a job 99% of the time. It doesn't sound like it's your dream job. Make sure you and your family would be happy being so isolated.
Thanks for the info Temudgin and Mike. We have been down there several times for my wife's phd field work. We both love the area and have no kids. So that's all good. I feel like the sourcing thing will be a challenge but I can overcome it. When we moved to our current location I figured it out pretty well in about 6 months and developed a routine. We just have to decide if this is a place we want to live in for 4 to 5 yrs at least, or is it just a cool place to spend a few weeks ever year. Honestly I don't think you can truly answer that question until you move. Thanks again to all.Justin
Thanks for the advice Jay and Stephen. I'm still trying to wrap my head around potentially taking this job. My wife and I want to get out of the cornfields amd suburbs of the midwest, but I still don't know about the desert. I never thought of El Paso fot sourcing. I suppose to make it worth doing you would have to drive the distance and just buy buy buy.
Thought the Amazon sellers and RA sellers might be interested in this potential opportunity. We have a crappy Kmart here but I suspect it would be one of the last to go as it is likely profitable since we don't have Target or Walmart.http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companies/kmart-workers-believe-all-the-stores-are-going-to-be-imminently-shut-down/ar-BBuIFAn?li=BBmkt5R&
P.S. The price scanner on the floor is your friend.
The what sold videos are great, Steve. I have noticed that I have to crank my volume up as high as it will go when I listen. I don't know whether anyone else has noticed this. I don't typically have to increase the volume as drastically when listening to Jay & Ryanne. Thank you, again, for sharing!