Category Archives: Selling Online

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Ugly-Christmas-Sweater

Ugly Christmas Hairy Chest Sweater T Shirt Mayhem

When I found this shirt and asked my son to wear it for a #barnesandnoble ugly Christmas Sweater contest I never thought it would be this popular. 

I was able to find 20 more and sell them…..   The stories are hilarious and I think this shirt is the hit of the 2014 year

from #fauxreal shirts

Ugly Poinsettia Hairy chest shirt. 

We had Steven model it for our eBay listings.   If we would have had 100 I know we would have sold every one of them.  http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mens-Hairy-Chest-XL-Belly-Button-Poinsettia-Ugly-Christmas-Sweater-Printed-Tee-/291320715937?rd=1

We have sold these shirts to Australia… Remember it is hot down there in December so the shirt is perfect for the summer months there.   Denmark, Mexico and all over the USA.   We have one shirt on it’s way to a US Navy Ship for one of its’ officers fighting for our freedom.   

faux Real Ugly Poinsettia shirt

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Northern Utah eBay Sellers Meet-Up Friday December 5th

  • Northern Utah eBay Sellers Meet-Up
  • Friday December 5th
  • 12:00 Noon 
  • Chuck A Rama in Bountiful, Utah 
  • Thrifting afterwards at Savers on 5th South
  • Bring something to donate and you get 20% off your full order at Savers 
  • http://www.meetup.com/Northern-Utah-eBay-Sellers-Meetup-Group/

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One drop of water at a time fills the lake

From Guest Writer Marcia Glenn

Sunday Morning Musing with Coffee: One Drop of Rain of Water at a Time Fills the Lake

Some of you are brand new to selling on Ebay and some are old pros. All of us need to keep up with new technology and new ideas that work, whether we like it or not. If you want to grow and be successful.

You can continue to do it the same way you have always done it (if you have done it in the past) and that is fine with me as long as it is fine with you. But I do ask you, please, don’t complain that you are not getting any sales, that your sales THIS year are not as good as LAST year.

I know mine are not. As are most people’s. However mine are improving week by week and I look forward to 2015 as a great year to be an online seller. What am I doing different than those who are not doing as well as I am?

1. I have a business Facebook page that talks about my business. My goal is to post at least once a week, twice or 3 times would be better if I can do it. I have a note on my computer telling me to do this. I have notes in front of me, screaming at me to do this.

What do I post? Things that relate to getting a sale but in a disguised way. I talk about the history of Haviland Limoges dinnerware and make it interesting but short. Then I refer the readers to my Haviland Limoge that I have for sale. Same for smoking jackets, coffee mugs, jewelry, ANYTHING that I am selling that I have more than 1 of.

Cannot write? Yes you can. Everyone can write. You just have to start and practice. Use Wikipedia, other research places. Take no more than 15 minutes to research and write it. Think of it as a blog.

2. I own Oceanbeachtreasures.com. www.oceanbeachtreasures.com. Cost me $15 a YEAR. What is there? Absolutely nothing!! It is a link to get people to ebay. Try it. Why do I have it? Because every single time I use it (in my thank you letters, on my Facebook page, on my Twitter page, it goes out into the universe and the search engines pick it up and remember it.

It is a clickable link in my email correspondence no matter what kind it is. People click links.

It is easy to do, easy to buy and well worth the 1.3 dollars a MONTH that I pay to have it.

I own Glassconfusion.com. There is nothing there right now (again as I rework my ideas about what that business will be in the future) but soon there will be a new website that will point people to not only me on Ebay but me on Amazon, Etsy and Alibris book site. It is part of my 2015 future.

Don’t think you have to build a website. You do not. All you have to do is buy the domain name which would be the name of your store. Then you just easily change where the link (your domain name) goes to. You just change it to stores.ebay.com/yourstorefrontpage, whatever that is.

For this to work you must have a store. To have a store on Ebay you must pay Ebay more money each month to “own” a store. Think of it as rent.

3. I have a store on ebay. Premium Store for me, you can start with Basic store. The store lets me build my business MY WAY. I can link people to it, I can link listings to store pages, I can Facebook, Twitter and blog about my store. MY STORE.

Let me tell you this loud and clear, without a store you will not succeed. It is the number 1 on my list of must haves to be successful. Number 1. No matter how well you shop, how well you sell, how well you list, take pictures, anything. Without a store to showcase your items, well…just get it. The page on Ebay that explains the stores, what they cost per month, how many listings you can have “free” of listing fees is:http://pages.ebay.com/storefronts/subscriptions.html

Stop giving yourself reasons NOT to have a $16 a month store. Just stop it. Stop arguing with me that you do not need it and in the next breathe tell me that your sales suck. One of the reasons they suck is you do not have a store. This way of selling is a business. You have costs as a business. This is one of them. When I had a brick and mortar store my rent was NOT $16 a month.

4. Do you have business cards made up for your business? I do. They go into every package I send out. It is a cheap and pretty way for people to remember me. This year I will get some that are magnets. Everyone likes magnets for the fridge. They will like mine as well. I also have a nice thank you paper written and printed 2 to a page on pretty colored paper. It goes with the business card attached into each box of things I sell. It matters.

I also send out a Thank YOU letter by email using the real email address found normally either on the email given to me by ebay or at paypal. Some have commented it is a waste of time to do this. Some are feverantly against doing this. Not me. I think of it as a handshake after the deal, a way to honestly THANK THEM for buying from me.

Maybe it goes into spam folder on their end, maybe not. I don’t really care. I send it out anyway. It is not only a heartfelt thanks but it once again gets my name into their minds so maybe, just maybe they will remember me in the future.

I also give the feedback immediately. I do not play the feedback game, the “I won’t leave feedback until THEY leave Feedback”. I leave it because they have done exactly what I want them to do, they bought from me and paid me money in a timely manner. What else do I want them to do??? Handstands? Bake me a cake? Introduce me to Mark Harmon?

5. Networking. When I was a real store I had groups and meetings I attended where I spoke to people and they always knew my name and my business. I do this online as well. How many times in COST have I said I am Marcia Glenn, Glass Confusion and Ocean Beach Treasures? Is it because I like to hear myself type? Hell no, the more I can cram that down your throats (gently) the more you will remember it, the more you will remember the types of things I sell. The more you will check out my store and maybe spend some money on my sites.

Many of you at COST have purchased from me, I thank you from the bottom of my heart, truly. But first before you could buy from me, you had to know where to go to purchase my items and you had to have Glass Confusion and Ocean Beach Treasures stick into your mind.

Who are you? Why are you not shouting it to me? I cannot find you if you don’t tell me who you are and what your store name is…..shy just does not cut it if you want to be successful. Get over shyness. Be proud of who you are, what you do.

I network in a very few Facebook groups. I do not have the time to go and chat but I do my best to help in the 2 groups I belong to and I know if I help I will reap. I stay away from Social Groups on Facebook, I stay away from groups that are negative and poorly run. Again my time online is for work not play. I value it and I schedule it out and I work the hours that I need to work online.

When (if) you had an office job or any job that took you away from your home and family to somewhere else, you had certain rules to work by. Working on personal things was not to be done at work. While you were friendly to those around you, you did not hang out by the coffee pot watching football games, you did not spend hour shopping online, reading books, knitting or the million of other things that do in your own social time at home.

The same goes for this type of job. YOU are home now. So is the television, the books, the knitting, all the things that you do for fun. I have to plan out my days/week each week. There are times I schedule for walking, with friends, appointments that need to be made, volunteer work that I have signed up for.

I must also schedule in work time. During work time I work. List, pictures, paperwork, research, sell, box, ship, source, organize, store. I can do this NOW in my bunny slippers with “Staying Alive” blasting on the computer, this could be frowned upon at the city water desk or anywhere else “out there” that I could work at instead of here.

You have trade offs. The successful selling people on Ebay never forgot that while this can be fun it is also a job. Act like it is a job. More people come online to try and make a living selling on Ebay every single day. More competition. But I feel that more and more people drop out of Ebay every single day as they never understood that this is a JOB and they did not teach themselves how to do it correctly, thus they failed. It all evens out in the end.

Don’t fail. Do the work needed. Do the learning needed. Get better at everything you do. Understand how to write a title, do the research, pictures that sell your item. Customer Service that is the best it can be. Do this right.

One drop at a time fills the lakes and the rivers and the oceans. Your business is the same. Every single thing you do to enhance it, every single time you talk about it, every single time you promote it on Twitter and Facebook and your own website, every single time you showcase your business it is like a new drop of water entering YOUR pond, stream, lake and ocean.

It all fills you up. Your business plans from last year or 2 years ago needs to be revised. Start doing different things that will fill up your business.

It works.

Now that your are full of turkey, football, waiting in line to buy something in a big box store that you really did not need or did not need to waste the hours to save a bit of money, NOW that all that frenzy is over it is time to buckle down and start building some frenzy of your own!!

Have a great week, stay warm and dry and keep listing and promoting and shipping. Christmas is 25 days away, remember that January will be good as well with the Ebay gift cards as well as the Amazon gift cards if you sell on that site too.


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The difference between counted and stamped cross stitch

When you are out searching for kits to resale at yard sales or thrift stores there are two types that might just say “cross stitch”. They are stamped and counted. Counted is more common today. Both make x shaped stitches on the fabric. To make the stitches in both counted and stamped you have two opposing diagonal stitches to form an X. Step One of a single stitch: /. Step 2 of the same stitch: \. End result: X. Always make sure that your bottom / is always going the same direction. Then your top \ will go in the opposite direction. It doesn’t matter which way you start but just make sure that each stitch has all the bottom threads laying one way and the top threads lay the other way.

This is a huge hint in buying completed Cross Stitch whether it be stamped or counted. If all the top threads are laying in one direction not including half stitches and quarter stitches that you see in faces and hands then this is possibly a consideration to buy but if you see the top stitches going in every direction walk away and don’t buy.

Stamped cross stitch kits have the pattern printed onto the fabric. You stitch with embroidery thread the colors shown on a chart. Counted cross-stitch has the pattern printed on a separate sheet of paper. You will have a blank piece of fabric in front of you. This means that you have to count the squares yourself to see where each stitch goes. This the term counted. Many stitcher’s start stitching in the center of the pattern to make sure there’s equal room on both sides to frame the design. I like to have three inches on each side and tip and bottom and I always start at the top and never the center so that all my new stitches come up in an empty hole and go down in a hole with stitching in it. It makes for a more even stitch in my opinion.

Stamped cross stitch is easier and easier and in my opinion (my opinion only) not as easy to make look consistent with stitching. It is also more popular for beginners. You can start anywhere you want because you don’t have to count squares. Stamped cross stitch does not have as much detail as counted cross stitch. Squares have to be bigger for the x’s to be visible on the printed fabric so you don’t get as many half or 1/4 stitches or color variations usually. Counted cross stitch kits come in many higher count fabrics (more stitches per square inch) so you can work small details and use more colors. Counted cross stitch has become more popular due to many reasons. 1. Overall appearance with consistency of stitches 2. More patterns and kits are made in counted.

A finished counted cross stitch project can have enough detail to look like a painting and they can be framed to be a focal point in a home or office. Stamped cross stitch are usually seen tablecloth and tablecloth borders, pillow cases, and place mats.

Stamped cross stitch is usually done on a tight fabric such as broadcloth or muslin. Counted cross stitch can be done on a fabric called aida (little squares), linen or other specialty type fabrics with different names. Aida cloth comes in several different counts, or stitches per inch. For example, 11-count aida cloth will measure eleven stitches to each inch. Other common counts are 14 and 18 – the higher the number, the finer the weave.

Most people start of with stamped cross stitch and then move up to counted patterns as they get more experience. I started out on counted cross stitch when I was in college and never did stamped Cross Stitch because I never liked embroidery as a child and it reminded me too much of embroidery. If you are listing kits on eBay stamped Cross Stitch will go under hand embroidery kits and counted cross stitch will go under Cross stitch.

I will add photos tomorrow.


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What is a Counted Cross Stitch sampler?

In my Facebook group “Cindy’s online selling tips” (CO$T) I get it asked quite often “what is a Cross Stitch sampler and how do you define one or recognize one?”

Many believe that the samplers were made in the home when in reality they were made in schools.
Samplers are often inscribed with the name of their maker the date and many times the age of the child. Many times you will also see the school in which they were embroidered.
Many believe that these embroideries were the only exposure to formal education received by young women in the early 1700s in America.
The format of the sampler was entirely up to the teacher. She developed a pattern for these creations and then supervised the stitchers.
As education for girls in America became more widespread samplers increased in popularity.
Teachers were inclined to pick recognizable motifs and regional patterns began to emerge.

Samplers are oblong pieces of linen embellished with patterns of embroidery stitches or crosses worked in silk threads.
Samplers were first brought from England and northern Europe where they had been a form of schoolgirl Art for centuries.

Many scholars believe that the first samplers were made by young women during the middle ages as a way of recording patterns for future reference.
Through the years the definition of a sampler changed from that of a learning exercise and embroidery technique signed and dated to the finished work intended for framing and display.
Many samplers made today are not signed or dated but they are still considered samplers.
English samplers from the 16th and 17th centuries were long and narrow and always worked on linen that was cut in a thin strip across the width of the woven fabric from selvage to selvage.
The earliest settlers brought this technique with them to the new land.
Most colonial samplers that you will find will have the alphabet, numbers, the stitchers name and date and like I said before sometimes the school.
I had the opportunity a number of years ago to view a sampler stitched by my husband’s great great great great grandmother. His aunt was the owner of it at the time and it now has been passed down to her granddaughter in Texas. Someday I would love to be able to look at it and copy it and make one of my own and maybe even publish the pattern.
If you look in my eBay store at Bubbacandance.com you will find a number of samplers in our store category.
Many times samplers will have a poem or a saying along with motifs and not necessarily the alphabet or numbers but they are usually Long and narrow or just long and rectangular.

I will post a few photos below to show you ideas of different samplers.
You can see the family tree which was done and in many ways it still considered a sampler because it has names and dates.

IMG_2387IMG_2386IMG_2385IMG_2384IMG_2383

 

 

 

 

 

Counted cross stitch has the design either on a piece of paper and you count to the fabric or you do it freehand like these young girls did in schools where their teacher taught them how to design. She may have written it on a form of board or designed herself one on linen and then they copied it.

I will continue this series about needlework in the next few weeks. I hope you enjoy


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Needlework Supplies on eBay & Pinterest

Today I sell on eBay mostly because I can get worldwide sales.  I also have a few things on etsy but the traffic is just not there. 

You can find me on eBay at www.bubbacandance.com

I can also be found on Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/stitcheryxpress/

We carry a full line of counted cross stitch items from current to long out of print patterns and kits.  We also carry linens, aidas and other specialty fabric items.  We have a warehouse full of four closed needlework stores.  We carry hand dyed threads, Needles from John James and very unique stitching accessories including unique scissors.   

We are also the the automatic mailings from designers such as Mirabilia, Lizzie Kate, Needle’s Notions, Ink Circles, Barbara Ana. etc.   

Join us at Stitchery X-Press on eBay 


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Money Musing Marcia Glenn

Sunday Morning Musing with Coffee: Money (again).

I talked about MONEY (not the root of all evil) in a previous Sunday Musing however I want to come back to this very basic thought for not only the new peeps who did not originally read the other Musing but as a reminder for those who did.

Money. The reason we do this selling on Ebay and everywhere online. To support our families, to pay extra bills, to buy extra things for extra special people including ourselves. Some of us live on this money and some of us play on this money. All of us need this money or we would not put ourselves through this on a daily basis.

So after you have purchased the item for the perfect price and have listed and sold this item for another perfect price and now that you actually have the money in your hands (insert bank account, Paypal account) what do you DO with the money?

Spend it, duh…..well maybe not.

Each of us has their own agenda with this money. But all of us have some basic costs associated with this money and it is those costs and the final change left over after these costs that I want to remind you in this musing.

IMHO, you should have a budget, hell you should have many budgets but for this demonstration you should have an Ebay budget that you build and tally out of the sales, a budget that you stay on in your weekly/monthly/quarterly shopping excursions.

Lets talk about what happens to that money you have holding in your hands from your sale.

In our fantasy sale, we bought something for $10 and we sold it for $100. We shipped it for $9 (it was heavy) and we paid shipping. Now this is what happens.

Ebay wants their share. This is going to be 9% most of the time. Check Ebay for the fees chart but 9% is pretty standard for the categories that we all sell in normally. Ok gang that amount is $9.00 on our sale.

Leaving us $91.00.

Now Paypal wants their share which is 2.9% and .30 each transaction. On our original $100 that is $2.90 plus .30 or $3.20.

Leaving us $87.80.

Now we still have to pay for that shipping. Either it was taken out of our Paypal account with Ebay shipping or we prepaid at Stamps.com and all the other mailing sites. Either way that cost was $9.00. (If you charge for shipping you would have received more money. However you still have to buy the shipping somewhere each time.)

Now we have $78.80 left out of our original $100.00.

These are our fixed costs. There are also Ebay store costs from the basic store to the most expensive store. Take your store costs and divide it by the number of items in your store and this is the cost for that 1 item each month to sit and wait for a buyer. For me right now that cost is .03 a month. Piffle amount. But it is still a fee, buried in the way back of my mind.

Some of us have more items than allowed for free and for me that means I have an additional .10 per item per month for some of my items. While this is a minor cost (really minor, do you know how many .10 it takes to buy a decent coffee in this town??) this cost is always in the back of my mind adminst the other trivia I cannot seem to forget). For now we will just assume you do not pay any additional costs.

So we have spent $21.20 of our $100 to get this transaction completed.

21%.

Not including the original cost of the item.

Did you know this? Do you think of this when you sell the item? When you BOUGHT the item? Do you have 20% wrapped around your mind each time you pick something up, research it on your smart phone and make a decision whether to put it in your shopping cart or put it back on the shelf?

Cause you better.

In our fantasy sale at this moment we are not going to set aside any money for replacement costs, meaning you are eventually going to need to put aside money to start buying inventory to sell again. Some of you are so over extended in inventory it might be a year or more before you SHOULD buy again, a few people will need to go shopping within the month to replenish the inventory.

Either way, in the future or now, you will need to set aside money to buy again. For todays example, we are too heavily inventoried to even think of stepping into a thrift store so NO we are not going shopping and NO we are not putting any money aside from THIS sale to shop.

Ok, back to our sale. We now have $78 bucks to spend. Not $100. $78.

This is the amount we can spend on our bills we need this money for. Tuition, food, shelter, electricity, all the reasons we are doing this is the reason we need to spend this money right now.

But WAIT. (hehehe)

What about paper for the printer? What about ink for the printer? What about a new printer? Batteries for the camera? A new camera? Boxes, Packing Material, Tape. Pieces parts including mannequins, display hands, rings displays, bust displays? Magic Eraser? Paper Towels? Computer Monitor? New computer?

Look at YOUR life. Did you buy those batteries on sale at Costco along with the tape when it was on sale? Did you have the money to do this? Are you scrounging for packing supplies like I do? Do you have to buy them?

Look at your life. Are you going to need a computer/printer/camera/storage solutions in the future whether near or far? If you answer yes or even Maybe, then start putting away just a little bit from each sale, say 5%.

Into what I call a “tucked envelope”. When I was in college oh so many decades ago and I dealt in cash, I would “tuck” a bit of each salary from my 2 jobs into envelopes labeled “rent”, “utilities”, “gas for the car”, “food”. Then when the bills were due I would pay the bill out of the “tucked envelope”.

Get a tucked envelope system started even if it is just on paper and in your bank account. Call it savings, call it Fred, your choice.

Back to our story. Now our $78 and change is $73 and change after our 5% tuck. But when the printer finally gasps its last breath you just might have enough to buy a new one. Without crying.

Last point. You will be expected to pay taxes on this income no matter how small it is. The days are gone where the IRS does not know you are making money online. Old Ebay sellers, new Ebay sellers, we all have to pay taxes on this new income.

It would behoove you to know how much taxes, what to do to make your expenses help cover your income and how much you need to save each week/month to be able to pay the piper in April (extended until October 15th if you have to?.

Get a professional. Seriously. Get a professional tax person to help you. Don’t use your sister in law who took a course, don’t use your father who has “done your taxes for decades”, get a PROFESSIONAL.

Preferably a CPA. Preferably a tax CPA. Preferably a TAX CPA who specializes in Businesses. Preferably a tax CPA business dude or duddette who knows the online selling business.

They will save you money.

The biggest reason that businesses fail whether they are virtual like ours or brick and mortar is that the owner did not realize the money aspect of the business. They did not realize how to spend their money when they received their money.

If YOU do not know the financial side you will not succeed. If YOU are looking at the pile of bills at the end of the month and comparing it to the pile of money in your hands, well the lack of money in your hands and wondering where the heck it all went to….well…you are in trouble.

We do not want you in trouble. We want you to be richer than you were last month. More successful than you were last month. This is why we are all here in this room. To improve ourselves. To learn. To teach. All here will learn, all here will teach.

My spreadsheet that I do, entering every single sale every single time shows me the GROSS which is my income including shipping if it was International and the NET which is what money is left after all the fixed expenses of: 1. Cost of the item, Ebay Fees front and back, Paypal fees and Shipping. Insert Amazon/Etsy Fees if you sell on those sites.

Those numbers are added up automatically by the spreadsheet and I can see that the Gross and the Net differ by 38% on my sheet, different from the 21% earlier talked about because of the cost of the item.

I still think about 21% when I go shopping. When I do my research. I also think about the TIME that it will take me to list 10 items that will net me $5.00 each or 10 items that will net me $25 each. Which will cost more normally but if I save the little bit I would have spent on the cheaper item that will only give me $5 then I can afford to buy the item that will give me $25.

Basic final thought. When you see that $100, did you think “YEAH I have $100 to spend now on XX or did you think Yeah I now have $78 to spend?”

It is the difference from making it as a business or shutting down and going back to work for “others”.

Manage your money. I don’t care if you don’t like this idea, you MUST know what the amount of money is coming in, what the amount is going out and what you really have to spend from each sale.

Deal with this. Do not trust others to have your best interest as their interest or you just might meet any number of Hollywood celebrities who did this as your jail mate.

Remember you can sell their autograph on ebay when the time served is over. 

Great week all, enjoy the weather, get ready for Christmas. Football anything online? I am selling tee shirts from the sports teams lately and a Reyn Spooner shirt for $67 that I bought on Ebay 3 weeks prior for $13. Dallas Cowboys flip.

Key things to list this week: Halloween, Costumes, Party Supplies, Decorating items for the FALL, football, college football stuff. Coats. Jackets. Fall clothing. Golf shirts (cooler weather in the hot states means people will be out golfing all winter long and they will not be allowed on the course naked.

Flatware, Dinnerware for the holiday season. Just think of what you are going to be looking for in the next 90 days. That is your target market now.

Watch the cover of the “womens” magazines when you stand in the checkout line. If good ol’ Martha is pimping Pumpkins and decorating your fall holiday table, millions are listening. And Googling Ebay for “fall holiday table decorations”.

Enjoy your week!


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Sunday Musings by Special Guest Marcia Glenn

In Cindy’s Online Selling Tips I have been honored to have Marcia Glenn write a Sunday Musing for us for a long time. I wake up every Sunday to these wonderful posts.  

Sunday Morning Musing with Coffee: What Does Ebay REALLY Want From ME?

I have thought long and hard these last few months on how to do my Ebay business better. From getting faster at listing to buying only things that I know will generate me a good if not great profit, there are a bazillion things to learn to do my job faster, better with more profit. I am using some great APPS like KiQuantity and KiPhoenix to streamline my process but one thing keeps cropping up in my daydreams and my dreams at night….

What Does Ebay REALLY Want From ME?

They won’t tell me.

Well they won’t tell me in a definitive statement. Or even 10 statements. They will never come out and say, Marcia (fill in your name), THIS is what we want you to do!! Follow this and that and the other thing and we almost guarantee we will love you forever and a day and show your listings to EVERYONE!!

But they hint at it and it is these hints that I have started to listen to and do for them. When I do these things that they hint at telling me my sales go up. So I continue to do them. I believe that they “rate” me somehow, no idea what that “rating” is but if I do what they have told me to do in newsletters and policy changes I will get higher rankings, my listings will be shown to more qualified people (people who are searching for what I have to sell) and I will have more sales.

Here is what I have heard from them over the last year, thought about and implemented.

1. They want me to use 12 pictures. They expanded the pictures to 12, thus I believe they want me to use 12. So pretty much I do now. I do my very best to fill up all 12 spots, sometimes it is easier than other times but try I do.

2. They want my pictures to be bigger. They made the picture requirements bigger and will actually kick off my listing if it is not to their requirements picture size so now my pictures are the size they want. I make them cleaner, bigger, clearer, more details. I want my pictures to rock not only because of MY pride but because Ebay wants my pictures to ROCK. So I do my best to get the very best pictures I can.

3. They encourage me to put Free Shipping in my listing and while there is no such thing as Free Shipping as we add the shipping price to the listing price, what I think they are saying is that with Free Shipping the buyer has no surprises as to the final price. People search for FREE SHIPPING listings ONLY and never ever do I think someone searches for “no free shipping please” so I add the shipping value to my listing price and have 99% of my listings as Free Shipping.

4. They want me to have short and simple, non HTML filled listings. Whether this is a software issue or not, Ebay says no HTML so now I am in the process of dumping my Auctiva templates on Glass Confusion and reworking those listings to a simpler, cleaner line format. Surprise surprise that these new listings are selling and the old HTML are not.

5. They want me to be Top Rated Seller, Power Seller and have a Store. All three of these things they encourage for me to do or achieve so do and achieve them I did. With this Ebay gave me the option of having a cleaner looking store front with new store look and I changed over to that as well. My store looks clean and pretty (especially with my new store banner from Scott Henshaw).

6. Ebay wants me to ship FAST. 1 Day shipping is what I say I will do thus this is what I do.

7. Ebay wants me to sell Internationally so I do. It makes me money, I have no issues with it and in a global economy it only makes sense. I ship Internationally.

8. Ebay wants me to have a very larger than necessary return policy so I do. I get so little returns that it means nothing to me. I have had 2 pieces of clothing returned in the past, one was too small and we both knew it would not fit him, he paid shipping both ways and apologized profusely for it not fitting…I sold it to another with a higher price and my first buyer bought a bigger shirt…win/win.

My second one was a mistake on my part…learned that you really cannot rely on the Levi butt tag as the real size, those jeans shrunk an amazing 4 inches from what the tag said. Taught me to measure. Again I sold them only this time with the right measurements and even paying double the shipping made a profit. Since I was polite and apologized to the seller and paid the shipping to her, from her and gave her an extra bit of money for her “trouble” she bought the correct size from me the next week.

9. Ebay wants me to promote the listing with Pinterest. They spend a bunch of dollars to put the Pinterest link on all listings thus it is important to them. So it is important to me and I have found that it works for me. I pin, I sell. Ebay just makes it easier for me to do it.

10. Ebay wants me to be the best seller possible, give the customer the best that I can be so that they will rate me the highest rating if I earn it. The rating system could use some work and this stupid, idiotic defect thing will go the way of leg warmers but for now I just make sure I do the best I can in listing, photographing and shipping so that I get the best feedback that I deserve.

This is my top 10 list of what Ebay wants from me. Now what does that REALLY mean?

To me and remember this is only MY opinion, Ebay will promote me if I do what they ask me to do. With all the data that companies gather on me in the world, I cannot imagine that Ebay does not have the software or the programmers to pick apart…well ME. I believe they take every single thing about me on Ebay and put it into a computer somewhere and come up with something that they use to determine if they really really really like ME.

I think they even look at all the WORDS that are typed in my feedback from others. Why not? The information is there, why not use it. So when 10 out of 10 or 100 out of 100 of my feedback says FAST Shipping, I gotta think that means another notch in my virtual profile towards love from Ebay. When people say positive things about me I know Ebay is taking notes. As well as how much I list, when I list, what I list, how much I sell, when I sell, what I pinned, what I purchased, what I said in Feedback and on and on and on.

Then they use this information to compare to others who are selling the exact thing that I am selling and put me just a tad higher in the ranking or the showing or something so that mine will sell before the others.

All this information they gather about me and YOU is called BIG DATA by the computer geeks who name things like this. Ebay “Wants” you to evolve along with e- commerce which is shaped by what buyers want and expect. Also, I think the reason for any wants are based on a this new thing called, “Big Data” which is a means of collecting mass quantities of pieces of data and in the end their data shows that what I have mentioned above are things that “Buyers want”. So in the end eBay wants me and you to provide this.

Let’s use an example. I have a yellow rubber duck. Mass produced and sold by many other people. Lets compare me to one that Mike has (if you are a Mike, please think about your middle name as this is not to compare to YOU).

Mike and I have the same Rubber Duckie. My pictures rock, his do not. I have a store, positive feedback, top rated seller, all the bells and whistles. Mikey does not…his pictures are lousy, his feedback is borderline, he has no store, no top rated seller. I offer free shipping, he does not. On and on and on. He will lose out overall I feel.

Mine will show up more in searches, higher in searches, Ebay will promote it with things that they do to promote it online. They send out emails, they show my listings when you log on, I will feel the love more than poor Mike.

Algorithms. Kinda like Calculus that it is part of the universe but does anyone really understand it? I don’t and don’t have to. All I have to understand is that Ebay understands it and applies it to me and you and everyone and I want to be top page, above the fold (newpaper term), highest of the high.

So I play the game. But playing the game instead of fighting it, well that gives me money. In the end that is all that I care about.

What DO I Have to do to make Ebay happy? Pretty much play their game.

If I don’t like the game I can go to Etsy, Bonanza, Craigs List, Amazon and the others that provide me a selling platform to sell my wares. I do sell on multiple platforms but Ebay is tied with Amazon for income stream and I pay both games with different rules because when it is all said and done, that is what I want to do.

When Ebay comes out with changes, I listen and implement them. They are subtly telling me to do this without forcing it down my throat (normally) but I don’t care, they tell me this is what they want, I will do it. I won’t cross the road without holding their hand as we are partners in this business, the more I sell the more money we both make. I have to think they are trying to make me a better seller which will make their goals for their investors happy and their bank account numbers higher.

I don’t think they made up these new things like bigger, clearer pictures just because they were sitting around a board table and wondering what they could do this month to make my job harder (changing 2000 listings with pictures that are too small for example). I think this is what they have determined that buyers want so they have told me this is what buyers want.

Gotta listen to what my buyers want. Fast story. I created and sold my own jewelry when I had the storefront. Glass pendants mostly. Had them in a large jewelry display, each in an individual box for gift giving. Over the course of a year I heard over and over again “Do you have a chain for sale in the store to go with the pendant”. My answer was always “I’m sorry, no we don’t”.

Took me a year to “listen” to what my customers were asking me to stock so they could buy it along with the chain. A YEAR! Finally, finally, finally it dawned on me to start stocking chains…duh! Which sold. With the jewelry and without. Just because I own a bizzillion chains does not mean others did not.

So I listen to Ebay when they whisper and I listen to them when they scream and I watch my bank account grow.

Summer sales everywhere, are you stocking up on discontinued items in the stores? Are you thinking Christmas yet? I am. I am selling Christmas Icicles, fall glass pumpkins. It will really get into the “shoppers” mindset within the next 30 days so I am tweeking all my pumpkin and Christmas items to make sure they are what Ebay likes in all regards.

Great week for all…summer vegetables, warm temps and safe lives for all.


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Being Part of the eBay and PayPal Community

Being part of the eBay and PayPal community has benefited me as a seller and a buyer.  A couple of years ago I was asked to make a video for PayPal about being a seller in the eBay and PayPal Community.  You can see it here. I run a Facebook group for online sellers to become better sellers and the fulfillment I get from heading this forum has been so rewarding. I have wonderful members in this group (CO$T) and I cannot thank them enough for believing in me.  Another video was done of me in 2008 eBay at my home. We have since expanded to a warehouse but you get a feel for who we are.  Watch the video here. I find great joy when a seller who had problems a few months ago and was ready to give up comes to me and says… Thank you for your help. I think I am getting it.   Remember we don’t always get all the rules and all the concepts of selling online but if you can remember as a seller to treat the customer the way you would want to be treated you can be successful.   If someone makes a best offer on an item you have and you are offended.. Don’t take it personally… this is a business.. realize that.   If you don’t like the best offers.. remove them.   I got a bit off track here about the community idea… I encourage all sellers to find other sellers in their area or on facebook and work together on helping each other, giving ideas.  You don’t need to give your sources on where your get stuff to sell but help them out. These sellers are in the same boat as you… Join a local seller’s meet up group.  I have been privileged to be a speaker at a number of these and it is a great experience for local sellers to get to know other sellers. Be a voice … eBay and PayPal listens.. if you have a suggestion to eBay write them here.  eBay and PayPal listens.   

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