Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Long time since we've posted!

Well, it's been a LONG time since we last posted. We're going to be posting articles and information on a more regular basis in the future.

When I started this blog I worked for a local store, I Sold It on eBay. Since starting the blog I've moved on and now have television programs, websites galore and am out in the studio creating pottery & scultures as often as time permits.

Hopefully the articles I, along with other experts, will post on here will be helpful to many of you! I know I was lost when I first started selling on eBay and have learned a LOT in recent years.

Drop Shipping for eBay

If you are interested in drop shipping, please read this information very carefully before signing up for any drop ship program.

What exactly is drop shipping?

Simply put, drop shipping is selling something you don't own. There are companies that offer merchandise for sale that will ship the merchandise directly to your customer once you pay for it. Here is how it works:

  1. You find a company that agrees to drop ship. You list their merchandise on eBay or your web site for sale without first purchasing it.
  2. When the item sells, you collect the selling price (retail) and the shipping cost from you customer.
  3. Now you send the wholesale (lower) price + the shipping and handling fee to the drop shipping supplier.
  4. The supplier then ships the item to your customer.
  5. Your profit is the difference between the retail and the wholesale price

There are two types of drop shippers and it is important to understand the difference:

  1. Aggregators
  2. Manufacturers or master distributors

Let's look at each type before you decide what kind of company you want to work with.

Drop Ship Warehouse Companies

Drop Ship Warehouse Companies, also known as aggregators, are basically middlemen. These companies list products in a virtual warehouse that other, real wholesale companies have. They don't really have any products in stock.

In general these companies make their money from membership fees or handling fees. When you order something from them, they order it from the real wholesaler, mark up the cost and/or charge you a fee. Because of this it is almost impossible to make any money as they have basically made the actual wholesale profit.

If you sign up with one of these companies, you will soon find that most of the merchandise they offer is already selling on eBay or Amazon for about the same price they are offering it to you. I have been selling on eBay successfully for over 8 years and in my opinion it is very difficult to make money on eBay with these types of sellers.

Some of the companies that fall into this category are DOBA, NetDropshipper, Megagoods, Mahibay, DropShip Design and others.

Before we move on I want to point out that there are some out-and-out scams operating in the drop ship business world. Two of the worst are Simplx and Zibus. Their web sites are very enticing, but they are designed to suck you into a worthless program that can cost as much as $5,000.

Manufactures and Master Distributors

There are hundreds of actual manufacturers who will drop ship. Some of them do it directly while others use the services of a master distributor. When you work directly with a manufacturer of the product or their master distributor, then you are getting the lowest price available. This is where you can make the most money on eBay or a web site.

WorldWide Brands

It is not well known, but thousands of manufacturers will actually drop ship for you. WorldWide Brands is not actually a wholesale supplier. They offer a service called OneSource. OneSource is a listing of real wholesale sources, that have all been contacted by WorldWide Brands and reached an agreement to work with eBay sellers and small internet businesses.

WorldWide Brands has a staff of people who do nothing by research wholesale suppliers every day. Each of the manufacturers has been contacted in person or by telephone and agreed to drop ship for eBay sellers. Their employees actually attend wholesale trade shows for all of the major industries to find the companies that will work with you.

WorldWide Brands charges a fee for this information, but it is well worth it. They are the only supplier of wholesale information actually approved by eBay. My company, The Auction Seller's Resource and WorldWide Brands are the only two eBay Information companies who are allowed to exhibit at eBay Live.

Chris Malta, the founder of WorldWide Brands runs his own radio show and is also the product sourcing editor for eBay Radio.

Worldwide Brands charges a one-time fee for lifetime access to their database. there is a way to get this information for free but it is frankly a lot of work. Go to www.thomasnet.com. This is the home of The Thomas Register, the largest data base of manufacturers in the US and Canada.

You will see category listings on the home page --just select one and start entering products you are looking for into the search box. Hint --you will find most of the products you are interested in, in the "Other" category. I have found companies this way. Although it is free --frankly it is a lot of work. The small fee WorldWide Brands charges to do all of this work for is well worth it.

WorldWide Brands One Source gets my 5-Star Recommendation. I use it personally and strongly endorse the service. If you use the links in the article you can get $50 off of the new One Source service plus another $20 off that they offer to my readers.
By Skip McGrath

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Amazon.com Editor’s Picks for Hot Gifts This Holiday Season; Great Selection of Toys Eligible for Amazon Prime and Free Super Saver Shipping

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Amazon.com (Nasdaq:AMZN) today announced editor’s top picks for the holiday season including top toy products that for the first time are eligible for Free Super Saver Shipping and Amazon Prime. The announcement comes as Amazon’s Toy Store brings the hottest toys from top manufacturers to customers during the holidays.

"Amazon and our trusted marketplace sellers have a huge selection of over 150,000 toys for kids of all ages," noted Mark Randall, vice president of Toy and Baby Stores at Amazon.com. "When you combine our great selection of products from leading toy vendors like Hasbro, LEGO, Mattel/Fisher Price, Leapfrog, VTech, MGA Entertainment and Radio Flyer with low prices and Free Super Saver Shipping, customers will find great value and convenience in shopping at Amazon.com this holiday season."

Amazon.com’s Toy Store offers both mainstream and hard-to-find, niche products in over 20 categories for kids of all ages with a great selection from leading toy manufacturers like Fisher Price, Hasbro, LEGO and Mattel.

“We want to make shopping for Hasbro’s toys and games convenient for our consumers and Amazon.com offers a great online shopping experience,” said Duncan Billing, chief marketing officer for Hasbro, Inc. “Hasbro is well-known for the depth of its brand portfolio of toys and games. Hasbro truly has something for everyone’s wish list.”

“We are thrilled to partner with Amazon to offer a wide variety of the hottest LEGO items through their new toy shop this holiday season, and have already seen strong consumer response,” said Colin Gillespie, senior director, customer development, LEGO Systems. “The rising trend in online shopping, combined with Amazon’s strength in offering one-stop shopping for anything a consumer wants in a way that is convenient and quick, makes a LEGO feature shop on Amazon a win for anyone looking for the high-quality, fun construction sets.”

In what is expected to be its biggest holiday season ever, Amazon also announces its annual top gift picks for 2006. The following are great gift ideas from Amazon editors:

Toys & Games (amazon.com/toys)

  • Disney Channel's High School Musical DVD Board Game, $19.99
  • WowWee Roboreptile Robotic Reptile, $89.99
  • LEGO Mindstorms NXT, $249.99
Apparel & Accessories (amazon.com/apparel)
  • Latico Women's Python Collection Weekender Bag, $250.00
  • Kenneth Cole Reaction Men's Double Breasted Wool Peacoat, $109.99
  • Cinzia Clara 3-Piece Cashmere Hat, Glove and Scarf Set, $49.99
  • Robeez Kids' Reindeer Slip On Shoe, $29.95
Automotive (amazon.com/auto)
  • LifeHammer Orange The Original Emergency Hammer, $14.99
  • Larin 15 pc. Emergency Kit, $22.95
  • Schumacher Mity-Mite JumpStarter With 12 Amp Hour Internal Battery, $42.99
Beauty (amazon.com/beauty)
  • Laura Mercier Beauty Library Set, $120.00
  • Philosophy The Ski House, $35.00
  • Bare Escentuals Shake Your Tail Feather, $55.00
Books (amazon.com/books)
  • “Barefoot Contessa at Home: Everyday Recipes You'll Make Over and Over Again,” $20.22
  • “The Yale Book of Quotations,” $31.50
  • “The End (A Series of Unfortunate Events)” Book 13, $6.53
Electronics (amazon.com/electronics)
  • Canon Powershot 7.1MP Digital Elph Camera, $229.94
  • Apple 80 GB iPod Video 5.5 Generation, $332.49
  • Bushnell Yardage Pro Golf Pinseeker 1500 Laser Rangefinder, $449.99
DVD (amazon.com/dvd)
  • “Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man's Chest” (Two-Disc Collector's Edition), $19.99
  • “Da Ali G Show: Da Compleet Seereez,” $34.99
  • “The Sopranos” Season 6, $63.27
Gourmet Food (amazon.com/gourmet)
  • Leonidas Belgian Chocolate Santas (Set of Two), $25.50
  • Geoff & Drew's Christmas S'MORES Kit, $24.00
  • Dean & Deluca Penguin Cookies, $55.00
Health & Personal Care (amazon.com/hpc)
  • Braun 8995 360 Complete Men's Shaver, $169.99
  • The Art of Shaving kit, $35.00
  • Philips Norelco Men's Bodygroom, $34.99
Home & Garden (amazon.com/home)
  • KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Quart Mixer, Metallic Chrome, $299.00
  • Rachael Ray 'Gusto-Grip' 8-piece Birch Wood Block Set, $149.99
  • iRobot 5800 Scooba® Floor Washing Robotic Hard Surface Cleaner, $299.99
Jewelry (amazon.com/jewelry)
  • 14k White Gold Journey Circle Pendant, $319.00
  • 10k White Gold Blue Topaz & Diamond Circle Pendant, $79.00
  • 14k Yellow Gold Beaded Mesh Necklace, $129.00
Music (amazon.com/music)
  • Tony Bennett’s “Duets: An American Classic,” $12.99
  • Rolling Stones “Singles 1963-1965” Box Set, $59.98
  • Andrea Bocelli's “Under the Desert Sky,” $19.97
Shoes (amazon.com/shoes)
  • Rebels Judy Ballet Flat, $68.95
  • Jessica Simpson Women’s Leve Ballet Flat, $58.95
  • Kenneth Cole Women's Knot Tonight Mid Shaft Dress Boot, $449.95
Sports & Outdoor (amazon.com/sports)
  • NBA League Gear Spalding NBA Official Game Basketball, $99.99
  • Razor Electric Scooter, $94.99
  • Paha Que Aluminum Pole Tepee Shower and Outhouse Tent, $159.99
Tools & Hardware (amazon.com/tools)
  • Denali 3.6V Lithium Ion Cordless Screwdriver Kit, $24.99
  • Toro Power Shovel 7.5 Amp, $75.00
  • Black & Decker BDL220S Laser Level, $12.50
Watches (amazon.com/watches)
  • Bulova Women's Diamond Bezel Chronograph Watch, $241.00
  • Tag Heuer 2000 Series Aquaracer Men's Watch, $725.00
  • Betsey Johnson Women's Leopard Pony Black Leather Watch, $67.99

Holiday Shipping

Amazon.com is the home of great shipping options. For convenient and effortless shopping customers can take advantage of a popular program called Amazon Prime. For $79 a year, customers receive free two-day express shipping on qualifying items. Amazon Prime benefits can be extended to up to four family members living in the same household and there is no minimum purchase required and no need to consolidate orders.

Additionally, customers can save money and be assured that their packages will arrive on time for the holidays by using Amazon.com's convenient Free Super Saver Shipping.

For delivery by December 24, the following guidelines apply (for items with 24-hour availability):

-- Dec. 15: Last day to order items using Free Super Saver Shipping on qualifying orders over $25
-- Dec. 18: Last day to order items using Guaranteed Standard Shipping
-- Dec. 19: Last day to order items using Two-Day Shipping
-- Dec. 20: Last day to order items using One-Day Shipping
-- Dec. 21: Last day to order items using One-Day Shipping, as late as 3PM PST (varies by item)

Follow These Online Auction Buying Tips to Find Holiday Deals (And Avoid Getting Ripped Off)

MISSION VIEJO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--PropertyRoom.com, the most popular destination for online police auctions, has developed the following list of “do’s and don’ts” for anyone planning to hit online auction sites to bid for holiday gifts. These tips are designed to help consumers find the best deals and the items they want — without being defrauded.

Follow These Tips to Find What You Want at the Best Price…

  • Look for sites that prohibit “sniping.” It is frustrating for many bidders to watch their auction for a few days only to have it “sniped” away.
  • “Sniping” is the practice of using automated software to place a bid for a penny more in the last seconds of an auction. To defend against this, trusted sites use automatic bid extend and work just like physical auctions: the auction closes only after everyone gets a chance to match the increased bid.

  • Look for auctions that have been overlooked. Resist the temptation to bid on a “hot” auction with lots of bids. Instead, pick a category you’re interested in, such as cameras, and do a search for auctions closing soon that do not have bids. While a bidding war may be going on for the Pentax point and shoot, the Canon SLR may have been overlooked.

  • Stick to your price. Don’t get sucked into auction frenzy. Set a price you’re willing to pay and be willing to let an item go. For “one-of-a-kind items,” allow for flexibility — but only to an extent.

  • Do research. More often than not, there is value in an auction that a seller may not realize. Stick to auction categories that you know something about. The more you know, the more advantage you will have over other bidders.

…And Follow These Tips to Avoid Getting Ripped Off

  • Determine If a Seller is For Real. There are two things shoppers can do to perform their own background check on a seller: 1) Check to see if the seller has a brick-and-mortar store or their own Web site; either can indicate they're for real. 2) Look at ALL of the items a seller is selling. Scam artists often try to game the system by selling low-cost trinkets to gain a high ranking and then quickly switch to selling big-ticket items like computers… which buyers never see.

  • Ask questions… about the item you're buying or about the seller themselves. If the seller does not respond before you buy, you can bet they won't afterward.

  • ALWAYS pay by credit card. Most reputable card issuers insure you in the case of fraud, with many imposing a $50 cap on losses. NEVER buy with a debit card or by electronic check… doing so could give scam artists the info they need to drain your bank account.

  • Examine customer satisfaction, shipping and return policies. Does the company or seller stand behind their goods? Do they have a flexible return policy? The ability to pack and ship an item within 24 hours is a good indication of whether a seller can be trusted.

  • Let the seller know promptly if you have issues. Don't wait. The holidays are a busy time and retailers, both on and offline, are busy. Act quickly and don't let the issue slip away.

A Trusted, Fraud-Free Site

PropertyRoom.com works with more than 800 law enforcement agencies nationwide to auction found, seized and other personal property online. The PropertyRoom site also hosts trusted third-party merchants, such as Always At Market, that auction goods in accordance with the company’s strict guidelines and standards. PropertyRoom guarantees transactions for buyers and sellers by monitoring the payment and delivery process.
About PropertyRoom.com

PropertyRoom.com is the largest and most popular Web site that auctions legally recovered goods online. The company works with more than 800 law enforcement agencies nationwide to collect, package and sell unreturned, found and seized goods in practically every category, from consumer goods to real estate, cars and boats. Based in Mission Viejo, California, PropertyRoom.com is owned and managed by former police and law enforcement officials. More information about the company is available at about.propertyroom.com.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Selling Your Crafts Through EBay

Selling on EBay has become a popular phenomenon. Many a time I’ve heard people mention that they bought their latest gadget from no other then EBay.

For the craft lover who doesn’t know where to begin marketing their crafts, EBay would be a good start. It is the best way to get the broadest audience’s attention. EBay goes beyond your backyard and reaches people all over the world. With their advanced search engine, it allows someone who may be looking for a particular item to go straight to what their looking for.

For those who have heard of EBay but not actually gone searching, this is how it works. For a first time seller, you must create an EBay account which includes your name, address and credit card number (secure site). Once you’ve filled in the online forms, you will have your own seller account which will list your auctions. Each time you want to check your sales, you must log in with a screen name and password. When selling an item, you will go through a series of pages describing your item for sale. To top it off, you will upload a picture onto the auction site for others to view your craft.

When listing a craft, you will be charged an initial fee which is a set amount for the listed price. For example: If you list a craft for .99 cent, your initial fee will be .25 cent. If you list an item from $1.00-9.99, your initial fee will be .35 cent and so on. Once your item has sold, you will also be charged a “final value fee.” This is calculated by a percentage of what your craft actually sold for.

If someone likes your craft they will put a bid on it. If someone else comes along and wants the same craft, they will put a higher bid on it. At the end of the auction which is generally seven days, the highest bidder wins.

EBay also offers EBay stores, which allow you to sell many items in an online store. When listing an item, you usually list a BIN (Buy it Now) price. There is no auction involve. In your online store, you can list prices as well as pictures of the item. This is a good route to go if you plan on selling multiple items of different colors, shapes or use.

Be sure to list pictures. People love to see pictures of the items their bidding on. You even have the option of placing multiple pictures on your auction site. Try to get different angles when taking pictures. Get close-ups of any detailed work. When taking the picture, be sure to get it in the right lighting and best background. Appearance sells!

When listing a price at auction, it’s best to start low. This will attract more buyers to your item. If someone is interested in your craft and they want to watch it to see the bids being placed on it, they can put it in their “watch.” You will know how many people are taking interest in your item because the number of watches shows up beside the item in your account.

When listing your craft, be sure to give plenty of detail. If there is a default in the craft, make sure you explain that in the description. Also describe the color and the size of the item. If you sell it in various colors, explain this to the potential buyer. Some people are looking for a certain color and you want to be open to them. If they like your item, they might come back for more in the future.

EBay isn’t for everyone. Sales are made by pay pal, cashiers check or even person checks, whatever you’re willing to accept. And the only communication that generally transpires between the seller and buyers is through email.

The most important thing to remember when getting started is to be honest about the item, and explain the craft in detail. People want to know all there is about an item that they may purchase. Explain the texture if you’re selling something that is wearable. Let them know about the special detail you’ve put into a painting. And if you’re expertise is pottery, elaborate on the special colors used for the craft.

By: Paul Duxbury
Article Source: http://www.artsymmetry.com

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Here’s some tips if you want to BUY an item on eBay.

Review the entire listing thoroughly. Read the item description and note descriptive words. Review the pictures in detail. Be sure to check the shipping costs, payment options, and return policy. Don’t assume anything – ask questions.

Are you dealing with a reputable seller? Check the seller’s feedback. Look for a trend in any negative or neutral comments. If you are purchasing a higher value item, look at other items that have been sold by the seller and see if they are also high value items. Look for a seller with a 99%+ rating and good comments. Ask the seller a question to test responsiveness.
Don’t pay too much! Review completed listings for similar items to help determine value. Don’t get caught in a bidding war at the end of an auction.

Pay safely. I would recommend using PayPal or a credit card for any purchases on eBay. You want to have the ability to get your money back if you never receive the item or it is grossly misrepresented. If you pay via cash or wire transfer, you’ll have no recourse. Do not send money overseas via Western Union!

There are a few potential pitfalls, but with a bit of investigation and knowledge, eBay is a great opportunity to purchase some wonderful items at amazing prices. Hop to it!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

How big is eBay?

Although most people have heard of eBay, just how big is the eBay phenomenon?

According to eBay’s 2005 annual report – at the end of 2005

- There were over 70 million active users

- More than 1.5 billion items were listed during the year

- Over $44 billion in transactions occurred!

eBay is currently ranked the 100th largest company in the world – worth $55 billion in market capitalization.

Even more surprising is that these numbers have approximately doubled in the last two years. So, eBay is huge…and getting bigger.

From a buying perspective, eBay offers some great deals on just about anything. If you want to sell your stuff – talk about exposure! There are some pitfalls to avoid which I will cover in detail in future articles.

So, don’t forget about eBay when you’re purchasing that special gift, or when going through your attic. There’s opportunity on eBay!