I got a random PM today from someone that has heard about me but didn’t know me. They asked “Cindy what are the top things you can tell a new eBay seller” I said… let me write it up for my group and I will message you later… so you all get to read what I will send to him.
By Cindy Sorley- Owner CO$T (Cindy’s Online Selling Tips) on Facebook
1. Postal Scale: You must have a postal scale and not a food scale. You can get a 35 lb scale on eBay for under $20.00 with free shipping. This is something every seller needs to have before they sell on eBay. You can set your shipping price at listing and also never have to go to the post office. Never use the counter at the post office as it is much more expensive. Do online shipping and drop your packages at the post office without standing in line.
2. eBay and PayPal Account: Make sure you have an eBay and PayPal account and buy inexpensive items on that eBay account to get your feedback number to around 20 before you sell. This gives you experience as a buyer of what you do and do not want to do to your buyers. Also, make sure that your eBay name is easy to remember with not a lot of underscores and dashes. You will have selling limits as a new eBay seller to make sure your buyer has a good buying experience so my suggestion is to list items that will sell quickly and not sit. The more you sell you will get feedback and such and your limits raised.
3. Sell Your Own Stuff: Start by selling items in your own home. No need to go and buy items to start selling on eBay. Look in Closets, kitchen cupboards (for unused Coffee cups), children’s rooms, book shelves and ladies, how about the garage? Okay, maybe not. As you sell these items, save some cash back to buy inventory from thrifting, wholesale or arbitrage.
4. Research Before You Sell: Research the item you are selling. a. Go to eBay b. search box c. type in item and on the left side you can see show only, hit sold. You will see what has sold on eBay. (Remember eBay on PC or Mac is 90 Days, Mobile is 15 days). Make sure that if is sold for less than you thought it more than likely could have been a Buy it now and sold immediately without the seller doing research (I buy to resell on eBay). You don’t have to be the lowest. I am most of the times the highest and still sell… Make sure people know you are a business and not a thrift store. I use Terapeak because I can check items that have sold on eBay for up to a year.
5. Title: When you list an item make sure you use all 80 Characters in your title. Don’t use all Capitals. Use Title Case Like This. No ” ” ? or keyword spamming using words like style like etc. Look at your items and think what you would search for if you were looking for that item. Do not even attempt to sell a fake item. You will be kicked off eBay really quickly.
6. Photos: Photos are what can sell your item after they arrive on your listing from searching key words. Put your photos (you get 12 free) in GALLERY and not embedded. Mobile users can thumb through the photos and if interested will then open your description to see the rest of your listing. Sell your item with title and photos.
7. Item Description: On your item description remove all templates. You want to be mobile ready. More and more buyers are using mobile devices and it is shocking the number of eBay listings touched by mobile. Use short sentences to describe your item. Left aligned. no bullets. Google shopping does not allow bullets so why use them? You don’t need to tell people why you deserve five star feedback. You don’t need to tell people you will ship in one day or you ship international. eBay does this for you. When a buyer comes to your listing they see that you ship in so many days, that you ship internationally, etc. eBay states your return policy.. no need to reiterate it. You do have a box to add return policy information, Use it. When you have a long, detailed TOS “terms of service” you appear hard to work with and will lose customers so fast and they won’t be back. Use only one color of font, preferably black.
8. Organization: Get organized. Have your eBay listed items in one area and easy to get to to pull when sold. Organize your unlisted inventory in like categories in bins or on shelves in another area if you have space. . List Like Items all at once so that you can do it faster and easier. Pull a bin at a time and list that bin so you don’t have to change category, shipping prices etc much. For example, I grab a bin of coffee mugs and list 30 or 40 in one sitting. The next night I list 40 Cross Stitch Kits. My shipping stays the same. Category is not that big of a change and it just goes faster.
9. Shipping: Understand shipping and ship international. 1. First Class is under 13 ounces in the USA and under 4 pounds international 2. Learn about Regional A and B Boxes. These are not available at the post office. They have to be ordered for free online at usps.com. 3. Padded Flat Rate Priority envelopes can be your best friend. You can ship heavy coffee cups in them for under $6.00 anywhere in the USA instead of priority rates of up to $12.00. Check out my invention of FOMO Shipping at www.FomoShipping.com 4. If you ship lightweight flat items such as leaflets, patterns, kits, etc you can use the first class large envelope flat option and save a lot of money. eBay and PayPal does not offer it but stamp.com does. 3 ounces worldwide is $3.75 (Canada is less) vs almost $9.00 for Package first class. If you use eBay and Paypal shipping, along with Stamps.com the tracking information is uploaded to eBay immediately.
10. Ship Fast: When an item is purchased get it out as soon as you can. eBay has changed in so many ways in the 14 years I have been on the site and people want their item fast. If you have 1 day shipping listed you have until the next day at Midnight PST (eBay time) to get it the label on it. I have a policy that if a customer pays by 4:45 PM Monday through Friday I ship that day. Leave feedback for your customer now .. not after they leave it for you.
11. Be The Customer: Treat buyers the way you expect to be treated. Make sure customer service is your number one priority. When a buyer buys from you do what you can to have them come back and buy from you. I always send an invoice so they know who I am (have an easy name to remember so they can just type it in) Buy the domain name of your eBay store or seller ID and have it forwarded to your eBay name or store. I have www.bubbacandance.com forwarded right to my eBay store and it is on all my business cards and invoices and it so easy to tell someone. Just go to www. etc.) Yesterday I was talking to the owner of the place we eat breakfast occasionally and Steve said. When we go to McDonald’s and they mess up our order we sort of expect that but we go back. When someone comes to my place they expect more and if we mess up they don’t come back. Don’t be McDonald’s be the place you love to frequent. Again leave feedback when they pay.
12. Bad Experience & The Need for Customer Support: When you have a bad experience with a buyer, handle it professionally. When you get a neutral or negative feedback respond positively and not negatively to the buyer. Future buyers look at these neutrals and negatives and see your response. If you need to call customer service at eBay remember eBay employees are not your enemy. They, too, are available to coach and offer support. They don’t *only* protect the buyer- They protect the entire community.
13. Mobile: (My Baby) Consider Mobile. I am a 100% mobile user. I do all my listings on eBay mobile for IPhone App. This is the best thing I ever did when I changed my way of listing. You don’t need the best device on the market. The $299 IPad Mini with Wifi at 16 gig is great for an eBay seller. Your photos are NOT saved on the Mini but are launched through eBay on the eBay app and it doesn’t take up your space on the Mini. The eBay App I prefer is the IPhone app and I use it on both the IPhone and the IPad and the IPad Mini. It is the most frequently updated.
14. Paid Mentors: Years ago when there was no support groups and people willing to help other sellers there were experts, coaches and mentors who charged monthly fees to have you learn from them. Oh wait… they are still there in December 2013. There is no need for them. You have so much FREE Help and support there is no reason to pay them for this SUPPORT. I have heard of people charging these fees to their credit cards because they had no money to pay the fees and then rack up interest charges. Many times a seller is beginning and needing to pay bills and eBay is a must do situation to save someone from losing a house or helping with monthly bills and these seem to be the ones sucked into paying for support from a mentor. We can mentor you here for free.
15. Your Dashboard in My eBay: Watch your Dashboard (available after ten sales on eBay). Your DSR’s and feedback are found here. A lot of sellers get into trouble by not checking the dashboard. If someone dings your DSR’s you could be in a world of hurt if you ignore them. This shows you where you are on policy, DSR numbers and other very important information. I do this daily.
16. Best Match Search: If you find that your listings are not getting views and not selling I suggest tweaking the listing by fixing title, add to description and or item specifics. I do a search for an item and if I am not at the top of the default search of Best Match I look at the Best Match listing and see why they were above me and I change my listing to try to get the Best Match spot. Don’t get worked up about the search engines not working. eBay also allows you to pin your items and to twitter them right from the listing. It just takes seconds.
17. eBay Store: If and when you open an eBay store, make sure you have store categories such as the retail stores you shop in. Also make sure you use your title box for keywords. I had three eBay names and merged them all when I decided that store categories could allow me to sell Cross Stitch and Hunting rifle scopes all in one store. I had a guy last week buy a coffee cup, jeans and a cross stitch kit.
18. Love your eBay Job: Love what you do… eBay is not easy. Make it work for you. Set Goals. It can get frustrating.. ask for help in groups such as CO$T (Cindy’s online Selling Tips). My saying is Buy Low, Sell High, Sell What you Love! (I also sell things I don’t love because they make me money) I sell what I love because I know what it is and the value of those items.
19. Attitude: Have a positive attitude and ride the roller coaster of online selling with all of us. I have found when I am upset that things have not sold or that I don’t want to list… I kick myself in the butt and say.. you have a family to feed, bills to pay, chickens to feed and they are relying on you. I know when I list consistently on eBay I make more sales and so many a night I have stayed up to list when I didn’t want to … it is part of the job we chose to do. Be careful not to listen to naysayers or to get caught up in too much negativity. Stay positive and see this venue as a gift and opportunity instead of a right. It is a like a continual brain-teaser – challenge to be solved, not a one-time thing to learn. You don’t just do it and then forget it – you constantly learn and adjust. It’s what makes it maddening, challenging, fun, frustrating, and exhilarating all at the same time!
20. Thank You: Always say Thank You and let your buyer know you appreciate them. Write Thank You on your invoice that you mail to your buyer. Get in the habit of sending an invoice. You are now a business not a hobby. All business give you a receipt.
I love what I do… Thank you eBay for giving me that opportunity.
I have had a number of people ask me about my eBay store. you can visit it here.
The video by Yarn Tree is one of the best on the market for those that want to learn to Cross Stitch.
Cleaning Cross Stitch and Stamped Cross Stitch: Needlepoint and Crewel is a different technique:
1. Fill up a sink or cake pan with coldish water and some dawn dish soap. I really really prefer Dawn over anything else. Take the needlework and move it up and down, up and down in the water. You will start to see the water get dirty. If it is really dirty do this twice. Do it a few times. I tend to really go up and down many many times. Then fill the cake pan or the sink with cold water and do the same thing for rinsing. I always say I want it rinsed so well I would drink the water so it might take a few times to get the residue out. ROLL and Do not Wring. After you roll it, then take you fingers of one hand, holding with the other hand, and use the fingers to get out excess water. So for me hold in right hand and use the two fingers closest to the thumb and put the rolled fabric between those two fingers and move down… it will get the water out. Lay out and let dry for awhile then iron with a piece of fabric (preferably white). I use a cotton dish towel that no one in the house touches. I put one towel down, then the project design work face down, then another towel and iron.
For any new eBay sellers or those who want to gain how to be better sellers on eBay join our online selling tips forum. We are a small group that is fun and has a good time. No drama… We do hand pick the members so email me at Cindy@cindysorley.com if you want to join us.
I have an Iphone, Ipad and Ipad Mini. Can I just tell you how much I love the Iphone app for eBay to list, sell and do all my correspondence and daily business. I am not as big a fan of the iPad app. It is missing a number of features that the Iphone app as such as quick photo taking etc. I like to list from my mini as is it is a bit bigger and easier to handle so what do I do when I want to use the IPhone instead? I download the IPHONE app to My IPAD Mini. There is nothing like voice to text to get a listing done in no time. I just love eBay.
Solved my issue and the mobile app is about perfect.
I had a great time at the eBay Radio Party as Bally’s last week. A great talk by Thrifting with the Boys, Jason Smith and Bryan Goodman. The eBay Mobile team of Jonathan Chard, Mark Appolito and Kenric Russell were excellent.
Since it seems that eBay on Location events are gone I would recommend the Radio Party next June in Vegas.
Scott Henshaw told me about a new feature for eBay sellers you can subscribe to. Webstore by 3D. I looked it up tonight and decided to give it a try. We will see how it goes. At $5.00 I will try it for six months and see what happens. Thanks Scott.
EBAY: STITCHING THE FAMILY TOGETHER Taken for eBay Blog at eBay Inc … So excited to be a part of this.
When I am teaching eBay classes to stay at home moms, I always seem to get asked the same question, “Why eBay?” I tell them that after years of having a brick and mortar specialty needlework store where customers would come in and work on their projects, socialize and bring their lunch, I wanted a place where there was a sense of a community and I found it on eBay.
My husband and I were shocked to find out around our 19th Anniversary that we would be blessed with another child. My husband Jim, an airline pilot, and I decided our son Thomas would go to work with me at the store. At 4 days old, he made his debut at Stitchery X-Press and became the store mascot for over three years. As he grew older, it became more unmanageable as he pulled linens off shelves and tried to run our hemstitching machine. Some big decisions needed to be made when every time a customer opened the door little Thomas would run for the parking lot and street.
We received notice that our already high rent would be going up, so I needed to make a quick decision if we were going to stay open or close. I wanted to give eBay a try by selling my existing inventory before having a clearance sale. I had been a buyer on eBay for a number of years so I took the selling plunge and jumped right in. It was surprising how fast bids came in right after listing them.
Within a month my eBay sales were more than my physical store. eBay became a logical choice to sell my inventory. It gave me an opportunity to be at home and have my own work hours instead of being tied to the shop 24/7, six days a week. I had already had the username BubbaCanDance as a buyer from the country music group Shenandoah’s hit song (whom I worked for). When it came time to open an eBay store I decided on Stitchery X-Press, our established name since 1982. After a few months I was going to change my eBay ID to the store name but my customers said no. Seven years later, Stitchery X-Press is one of the largest needlework stores on eBay with customers from all over the world.
I knew I needed more space and looked into renting. One of the reasons I closed the store was to stay at home so we decided to build a warehouse and office in the back yard. We now walk a few feet to work each day.
eBay is part of our family and I feel at home. eBay has allowed me to home school Thomas who has become part of the business team. He is the shipping manager and makes sure all packages get the labels on them. Our other son Steven delivers all packages daily to the post office. Steven is headed to join the Marines to be a pilot next year (we hope) and Thomas is trying to figure out how to get his driver’s license by age 11 to take over that job. Jim will move into a job here when he retires from the airlines soon.
My journey with eBay continues to grow as do the personal relationships that cultivate along the way. One of my favorite sayings is “like what you do, do what you like!” This is who I am and it has shaped the fabric of our family business! I am eBay!
Eli asked me to make a post about the different types of needlework so when you are out thrifting you can recognize what to buy and what keywords to use when listing to sell on the different platforms. I have done better on eBay with selling needlework kits of every type because of the international buyers.
I will also cover in another post the best types of needlework kits or patterns to buy.
First I will cover what is used with what looks like a sewing needle. This leaves out Crochet, Knitting and other forms using other needles. I will cover those in another post.
1 Counted Cross Stitch – Counted Cross stitch today is known mostly as cross stitch. Cross stitch is done on a fabric with squares. The pattern is on a piece of paper and you count the squares from the pattern to the fabric. (sounds hard but it is really easy). Kits come with different counts of fabric. Aida is from 10 to 18 count (squares per lineal inch) Hardanger is 22 count. Linen is used in cross stitch and most of the time is stitched over two threads (example 28 count linen stitched over two threads would make the stitch count 14). I love the look of Linen over aida because you don’t see the squares. NOTE: Make sure you read our next blog about buying completed finished needlework and what to look for.
2. Stamped Cross Stitch – Stamped is cross stitch that is traced onto fabric, usually a cotton poly blend nowadays. There are squares you that you cross over with the floss. These squares are normally mixed in with lines to embroidery. You can do fancy stitches or straight stitches.
3. Embroidery – Embroidery is stitched on fabric that has had the design traced onto it. You can do a number of fancy stitches. This is what you see on dish towels. My grandmother had towels for every day of the week. I always checked to see if she changed them daily….. and SHE DID. Embroidery is stitched with six stand floss. You separate the threads into one or two strands depending on the look you want.
4. Crewel Embroidery or Crewelwork -, is a decorative form of surface embroidery that uses wool yarn (acrylic is used sometimes) and a variety of different fancy stitches that follows a design on the fabric. Crewel is usually stitched on a linen or canvas so that the wool does not pucker. Make sure if you have kits that have part of the canvas silkscreened that you point this out. (Photo 3 is silkscreened partially)
5. Hardanger – this has been called Hardanger embroidery but it is a counted form since you are still working in the blocks of the fabric. Traditionally is it worked on white cloth with white thread but today I see it in all colors. It is worked on even blocks counting and using drawn thread techniques. If you see any finished … just grab and send to me.. I collect it. You will see this in doiles, tablecloths, runners etc. It is really elaborate and if you find patterns they usually are good sellers but not big money. The art is still so limited on who has the patience to do it.
6. Needlepoint – Needlepoint is stitched on a mesh canvas that is painted on the canvas. You will be doing a half cross. There is also counted needlepoint where you would have an empty canvas and use patterns on paper to count similar to cross stitch. You will see Mesh 12 or Mesh 14. This is how many squares are in a lineal inch. (Needlepoint is my least favorite of any of the needle arts.) It is usually done with yarn. Many new designers are using smaller mesh like 18 (squares per inch) and using floss for a different look. I like the smoother look as it is not as bulky.
7. Petit (Petite) Point – Petit Point and Needlepoint are very similar in that they use canvas to stitch on and the same format but they are very different. Petit point is just that…. you make tiny tiny stitches and usually stitch on single threads of Penelope Canvas or fine needlepoint canvas or Congress cloth which is 24 squares per inch. Many people use Petit point to describe very fine cross stitch but since you are not crossing the full cross the term is used incorrectly.
8. Plastic Canvas – Plastic canvas is basically needlepoint done on plastic mesh. You will see this used to make 3-d type items such as doll houses, magnets, photo frames etc. You cut out the designs after you have stitched and either attach to the edges to sew them together or finish off and cut the plastic so it i is not seen.
9. Smocking – I am covering smocking here because there are a lot of kits out there to make pillows with smocking. It is basically pleating and can be seen in the tops of dresses and on bonnets. There are two different types, English and Modern.
10. Brazilian Embroidery – This is the one art I cannot tackle well. It is stunning and gorgeous but I don’t have the patience. It is mostly flowers done in silk or Rayon Threads.
There are other forms of needlework that include drawn thread, schwalm, blackwork etc but the above types are what you are going to see the most of in kits when you are shopping.