Become an eBay PowerSeller in 90 Days
The Definitive Guide to Becoming an eBay Powerseller guides you through the rules, giving lists of prohibited items, behaviors, and other landmines.
Remember that, unlike with retail stores, there may not be as much room for buyer's remorse with eBay. Once again, the path to avoiding buying blues involves research, a thorough understanding of the eBay auction rules and processes, and finally, some careful attention paid to your worrisome inner voice.
If you're still having trouble narrowing your results, try conducting an Advanced Search. Advanced Searches can help you if you're looking for very specific items or information. To conduct an Advanced Search, either click Advanced Search in the top-right area of any eBay page, or click Refine Search next to the search field at the top of a category auction listing and then click More Search Options. Doing so opens the Advanced Search screen, shown in Figure 3.7.
Log in to your eBay account and click My eBay. Although paying your fees manually does the trick, you may prefer to pay them automatically. The benefits of setting up automatic payments is that you can be sure to pay your fees on time every month and avoid the 1.5 late fee that eBay charges if you don't make your payments on time. Here's how to set up automatic payments 2. Scroll down to the eBay Seller Fees header, and click Another method. My eBay Account My Account Pay your eBay Seller fees Note These payment options ara not for a buyer to pay lor an item. They are for sellers to pay their eBay seller fees._ _ _
As you grow into a professional eBay seller, you should keep you eye on one ball in particular becoming a PowerSeller. This is an honorable distinction that will set you apart from many other sellers. As a PowerSeller, you're in an exclusive group. Yet it seems like everybody who uses eBay recognizes the, er, power of the PowerSeller label, which communicates to bidders that you are reputable, honest, and knowledgeable. To become a PowerSeller, you must achieve 1,000 in sales each month for three continuous months. You also must Comply with eBay listing policies. Once you've achieved that milestone, eBay will automatically e-mail you to invite you to become a PowerSeller. The privilege of becoming a PowerSeller is free, and also offers perks such as dedicated customer service, a special portal and forum, a tool for easily creating banner ads, and more. If you've reached your 1,000 milestone and haven't received an invitation to become a PowerSeller, check your eBay Preferences to make...
The sign that you're on eBay to stay is when you look into setting up your eBay store. An eBay store is a single place to consolidate all your items for sale. It also allows you to sell items at fixed retail prices instead of only listing auctions. Similar to other user-friendly e-commerce shops such as Yahoo and Amazon zShops, eBay provides an easy format for getting an e-business up and running, and it helps you establish credibility with buyers, proving that you're a legitimate merchant. If you're trying to establish a business and build an online brand, eBay stores offer a viable option for you. Starting at 9.95 a month (plus fees when your items sell and other optional upgrade fees), the service offers you the option of posting auctions for up to 120 days or even indefinitely. You also get a cross-promotion tool, a site design that you can customize, your own domain name, and a search engine. The idea behind opening an eBay store is to build repeat business, open your eBay...
You can use My eBay to manage and watch all the items on which you're bidding, as shown in Figure 6.5. Once you're signed in, access your My eBay page by clicking the My eBay tab then click Bidding on the left menu. The Bidding page will tally the number of items on which you're bidding, the number of auctions you're currently winning, and the total amount you're currently bidding.
The most common strategy for winning an eBay auction is known as sniping. Sniping means waiting until just before the auction ends to place your bid, taking other bidders by surprise and snatching the item up at the last minute. The term makes it sound like a sneaky practice, but some eBay vets use the technique regularly to win items for a few very good reasons
Even though it is technically legal, many eBayers buyers and sellers alike are outraged by the practice of sniping. They feel like it's dishonest and To snipe or not to snipe is a personal decision. Especially if you're a buyer who has been outdone by a sniper, or a seller who feels he's been cheated out of good deal by a sniper, you might strongly oppose the practice. Indeed, many eBayers speak out adamantly against sniping on the community boards. Depending on your take on the matter, you might want to use other bidding strategies that are tamer, but equally effective. These techniques include Proxy bidding. Decide how much you're comfortable paying, and place that high bid one time letting the eBay system automatically bid on your behalf as normal. Of course, the trick here is deciding how much you're comfortable paying. To get a ballpark figure, research the average prices for which similar items have recently sold, and then place a proxy bid that's 10 or 15 percent above that...
Although there are a few dishonest sellers out there, these days, you're probably less safe when you're off the eBay site than when you're on it. Why Because clever crooks have discovered the art of phishing, which is a slang term for using deceptive e-mails to fool you into giving credit-card or other private information. These e-mails appear to come from eBay (see Figure 8.7), and typically warn you of a compromised account or possible account deactivation if you don't update your information. Then they include a link that appears to point to an eBay page. If you click on the link, you're whisked to a site that looks exactly like eBay but it isn't. And once you've entered your information, these identity thieves can use it to their advantage before you even realize what happened.
And yet there are millions of people who sell on eBay worldwide, thousands of them specializing in jewelry and watches. Why Quite simply, because it's an easy way to make a profit. Your consumer base is made up of thousands of people, with a range of tastes, personalities, situations, and expendable incomes. You've got men shopping for the perfect engagement ring or anniversary present shoppers always on the lookout for pieces that let them express themselves collectors who will jump all over anything that's Art Deco or Bakelite or just bored browsers looking for entertainment or inspiration. And depending on what you're selling, any of these consumers could get emotionally attached to your item and bid up the price so that you're making back your investment many times over. You've heard the adage one person's junk is another person's treasure. It's the classic philosophy of the yard sale and the flea market. And it can be adapted perfectly to the eBay sellers' model, even if what...
First, don't be discouraged if your item didn't sell. Regular eBay sellers will tell you that it typically takes two or three listings before they get a bite. This is where software to help you automatically list and relist items will come in handy. I'll talk about those resources in Chapter 15, Getting Serious About Selling. For now, you need to decide whether you want to relist your item at all, and if you do, what changes you'd like to make to your listing strategy. Here are a few things to consider
You want to begin your life as an eBay seller believing wholeheartedly in the honesty of the eBay community members. But at the same time, you have to keep your eyes open. The risks you run as an eBay seller are the same as any merchant in the offline world. There's always the possibility of shoplifting a shopper taking your merchandise without paying for it. But you also have the murkier problems of fraud, having to do with stolen credit cards, identity theft, and other modern-day scams.
Favorite links on your toolbar so you can get to the page in one quick click. (For instructions on bookmarking a page, see your Web browser's Help information.) Alternatively, add the category to your My Favorite Categories list by clicking Add to My Favorite Categories at the top of the category page you can access your My Favorite Categories list from your My eBay page.
In each auction listing, you'll see the seller's user ID with a number listed beside it in parentheses. This number represents that seller's eBay feedback score. The number is a combination of feedback for both items sold and items bought, but it generally gives you an idea of how active the seller has been on eBay, how long he's been around on the site, and how credible he is. In addition to viewing the seller's feedback score, you can also view actual feedback he or she has received. To do so, click the seller's user ID. At the top of the page you'll see a summary of the feedback received, tallying the number of positive, neutral, and negative feedback replies the seller has received in the past one month, six months, and year. But the most important number you'll see here is the percentage of positive feedback. You're looking for a very high percentage, roughly 97 to 98 percent or above. In the eBay world, anything lower spells trouble.
If you think you might like to bid on the item but aren't quite sure yet, you can put the auction on your watch list. If you are signed in, click the Watch This Item link, located on the upper-right section of the page below the item number. Now, and until the auction ends, every time you sign in and visit your My eBay page, you'll see a mini-listing of that item with the product description, current bid, number of bidders, time left for the auction, and seller's name (see Figure 6.2). If you decide to take the plunge and bid on the item, you can do so directly from the My eBay page.
Lots of people in the world now sell on eBay full-time, and many more supplement their steady incomes with solid eBay sales. But before you start indulging your fantasies of quitting your day job, holing yourself up in your spare bedroom, and making millions off your grandmother's (and other people's grandmothers') jewels, there are some important things to understand about selling on eBay. Namely
If you're considering selling jewelry or watches on eBay, the first question that probably comes to mind is How do I find items to sell After you've cleaned out your great-aunt's old costume jewelry and other pieces you no longer want from your dresser drawers, where do you go from there Sourcing, or finding items to buy and resell, is a constant challenge for eBay sellers, and it often determines the difference between a successful and unsuccessful seller. Other eBay auctions. If you have a good eye, you might be able to buy jewelry at a deal and turn it quickly at a higher price. Many sellers do this regularly.
You might want to read a few descriptions written by PowerSellers in your category before you try to write a description of your own. That said, do not steal their words. This research should help you with strategy and inspiration only. Use your own creativity to conjure up the perfect description.
You have two things to consider when it comes to paying taxes on your eBay sales. First, you are obligated to pay federal and state income tax on your net income. In most cases, you'll need to report this income on a Schedule C along with your usual 1040 tax form. Then there's the somewhat confusing issue of state sales tax. Unless you live in a state that does not charge sales tax at all (Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming), you must charge and pay sales tax if you sell to buyers in your own state. Rates vary by state visit the Federation of Tax Administration's table of state sales tax rates at http www.taxadmin.org fta rate sales.html to look up rates in your own state.
Let's assume, however, that you've been paid satisfactorily and that you're ready to pack up your jewelry or watch. Although many eBay sellers merely need to worry about having enough padded envelopes and bubble wrap on hand to pack up the items they've sold, sellers of jewelry and watches have many additional concerns. The jewelry industry suffers millions of dollars a year in thefts of shipped merchandise, carried out either as inside jobs by employees at courier companies or by thieves trolling neighborhoods and mailboxes to pilfer valuable-looking items. So, when shipping jewelry to your buyer, you need to be sure your jewelry is not only safe from the usual careless jostling, but also from sticky fingers.
If you're planning to be a regular seller on eBay, you might want to go ahead and invest in a good supply of packaging material. Make a trip to your local discount store or office supply warehouse and stock up. When your item sells, you want to be prepared to quickly pack it up and send it off to your buyer, because speed is highly valued in the world of eBay transactions.
The problem of eBay members who bid, win, and don't pay is the most common issue eBay sellers will face. Although most bidders mean well, every once in awhile you'll encounter an eBay member who is new to the site and doesn't really understand the rules. If the mood strikes, they'll bid on your item, but winning the auction might take them by surprise. Suffering a healthy dose of buyers' remorse, they might slink off and never respond to your requests for payment.
You're immediately enraged, and you're ready to seek vengeance. How dare this person accuse you of being less than honest But before you fly off the handle and do something destructive, take a few deep breaths. Then address the situation the way a mature, honest, upstanding eBayer would.