Monday, May 19, 2014

eBay store about to bust at the seams! Consignment offers opportunities...

by Robert Leavitt

Greetings fellow workaholics!  I am back in full swing on eBay and my store is about to burst at the seams!  I am very close to reaching my max list limit (which is around 600 items) for the month.  I have never actually reached it so I'm not sure what happens then. I know just as I get close to maxing it out, eBay raises my limit, so from experience I can deduce that will happen once again.

I opened a "consignment" shop of sorts.  It's just a few friends and family that have me listing stuff for them under my account.  There are advantages to doing this as I have established a history of sales within the eBay community and I have managed to maintain my 100% feedback rating. (Knock on wood!)

The feedback rating is huge, not only does it drive people to your listing, it also will allow you to charge a premium for your items.  You can compete on price on certain things, especially used items, however if you are listing new in box items for sale, you are going to find that competing with "top-rated-plus" sellers is a very difficult task.  They pay the monthly fees to have an eBay store and they also receive discounts on the final listings and are able to undercut you.  Even if you have the same supplier and shipping costs.

eBay is addictive, it really is, both as a buyer and a seller.  If you plan to sell on eBay, start as a buyer (buy things you need for your business, like tape, bubble wrap, tape guns, boxes, etc...) and learn how the process works first.  The best thing is that you get ratings for being a buyer.  If you have 10 buying transactions and 3 selling transactions you will have a rating of 13 total transactions.  The buyers can see this in the "detailed seller ratings" but many don't know that they are combined, and what they don't know can benefit YOU!

I did say earlier in this post that I have a store, which is a stretch of the truth.  I haven't not actually upgraded to a real "Store" yet because of the fees.  I will shortly if things maintain this pace, but for now I will keep it the same.  I have read that it is a mistake to upgrade to early, and I can see that for certain.  If you are only selling a few hundred dollars per month on eBay, a store is not necessary and is in fact a waste of your hard earned money!

The consignment process is easy in principle.  It is however a challenge to maintain your inventory (keep it separate, ideally with a catalog system of some sort allowing you to put item numbers on everything so you can remember who things belong to!).  But at the very minimum at least keep your groups of boxes separate from each other.  I have yet to find an "vendor Item number" in eBay but I'm sure that one exists. I plan to find an inventory solution, perhaps built into a management platform.  I will keep you posted on this and let you know should I decide to use one.  I'm looking for something that has inventory features and will allow me to "dump" the product to amazon, eBay and a shopping cart all at once.  Maybe that's too much to ask!

I will keep you updated on my eBay progress.  I really want to write an eBay eBook but I have yet to find the time.  It really is a big project that requires a lot of thought and preparation.  There are 1000's out there, but the demand is high.  Everyone wants to do this, but not everyone can.  It is intimidating and unlike other mistakes on a computer that can often be fixed, mistakes on eBay can often mean "losing money" which is a burden few people can bear.

You can learn more about Robert Leavitt on his Google Plus page.

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