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Mon Nov 21 2016 09:05:08

Wanted: Positive Tips for Growing Sales on eBay

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
There seems to never be a shortage of people to bash eBay in your comment sections. Although it's far from perfect, eBay is still the biggest and best sales venue for a number of individuals and small businesses, myself included. 

I for one, would like to hear what sort of success that people have been having recently. For example, I was proud to realize the other month that I reached $1,000,000 in sales on eBay, after selling for about 5 years. 

What are other people doing right out there that could help those who are struggling to make sales?
Thanks!
Chris

Note from the editor: Congratulations for reaching this milestone, Chris! This is a great opportunity for people to share tips on what tools they use to manage inventory, improve listings, and attract traffic.




Comments (32) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Wanted: Positive Tips for Growing Sales on eBay   Wanted: Positive Tips for Growing Sales on eBay

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 21 11:06:05 2016

Chris :)

Congrats on reaching that milestone!

If you mean ME (one of "those people") I'll take it as a compliment - thnak you very much.

Its great that you reached the point you did and I wish you all the success in the world and MORE ..... just wait till you get your first "faulty return" OR you get your listings hidden or better yet VERO'd "just cause" - then you will be singing a different tune altogether.

I was once a cheerleader too. I was once someone who thought eBay was the greatest thing since sliced bread, until I learned better.

The ONLY way to "do better" on eBay is to follow each and every rule, "bite" on all their carrots (30 day returns etc) and PRAY to what ever god(s) that you hold dear that someone BIGGER then you doesnt see you as a target - and decide you are a tasty snack.

I dont know what you sell - but ANY brand owner at any time can have you VERO'd, and all the sunshine in the world wont help.

MY last VERO issue was a company (that payed VERO to get me - eliminate me)(they payed NRGinternaitonal - one of eBays shadow companies) to have my listings removed. Their "proof that I did wrong"? WIKIPEDIA!

eBays response? canned laughter and a "so what, come after us/them if you want".

OR you could get an unjust defect like I did 3 weeks ago. Why did I get it? Because I had a return, issued the buyer a label (through eBay) and the buyer told eBay "I cant print it out to ship back the item" ... I CANT. WTF does I CANT mean? He has no ink? he has no box to put it in? He has no post office/Staples to drop it off at? "I cant".

So, the best positive tip is ... open an Amazon account where these things dont happen.

Wanted: Positive Tips for Growing Sales on eBay   Wanted: Positive Tips for Growing Sales on eBay

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Nov 21 11:33:18 2016

@Chris - Congratulations! That's an incredible achievement and I wish you only success in the future.

I'm also one of "those people." While I don't ever see myself hitting that milestone in online sales, I did have a very nice eBay business until JD commenced his reign of tyranny against small sellers.

I was selling consistently until right after the 2006 holiday season when suddenly my sales came to a screeching halt. When I did get sales, they were clustered in small regions, not across the country as they had been. After the dismal holiday 2007 sales, and the looming changes designed to seriously punish the "noise," I decided it was best to leave before things got worse.

Chris, if you've made it to $1M in sales, I think you are the one to be giving advice to other small sellers on eBay.

Wanted: Positive Tips for Growing Sales on eBay   Wanted: Positive Tips for Growing Sales on eBay

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 21 12:33:37 2016

Praying daily might help.

Wanted: Positive Tips for Growing Sales on eBay   Wanted: Positive Tips for Growing Sales on eBay

by: HappyOne This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 21 13:51:01 2016

As a hobby seller I can say $1,000,000 in sales for five years is impressive; except I could sell $100 bills on Ebay for $90 with free shipping and get sales of $1,000,000 quick along with some INR, SNAD and returns of $1.00 bills. Point I am making is NET profit is the most important thing. Unless one has a niche product or rare item price rules Ebay. Normal retail loss leaders do not work; there is little to no buyer loyalty. So if you have a niche product with a net profit of 20% you would make almost a living wage of $40,000 a year before another seller discovers the niche and is willing to accept less than 20% NET profit. Sourcing product is the next important thing on Ebay. In 1998-99 I purchased a huge quantity of WWF figures (at 25% retail). I did well with these until 2003 (got my money back plus some) but now I am setting with and trying to sell the 1/3 remainder at below cost with little success. One of the best product sourcing I had was two local ''real'' manufactures' clearance stores that sold products mostly 30 to 40% off all the time but with additional % off sales and loyalty points I often had a GROSS profit over 70%. I had one or two of everything on hand for sale on Ebay; when one sold I would replace it. Then other Ebay sellers started doing the same thing (profit margin went down ); then these companies started selling on Ebay; then finally both companies closed their outlet stores. I did get many good items at 90% off when this happened. I have found what is good or works on Ebay today may fade away at very short notice. With short notice Ebay can raise fees or change how and what you can sell. Only tip I have is not get too much inventory that can become obsolete, stale or too easy to get.

Wanted: Positive Tips for Growing Sales on eBay   Wanted: Positive Tips for Growing Sales on eBay

by: strife This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 21 14:12:08 2016

Wow, another $1,000,000 seller.Seems to be a lot of those these days. Every Facebook Ebay selling group seems to have 2 or 3 of em.

A million over 5 years at any decent amount of margin and you're still screwing around with Ebay? There's some mental defect there for sure. Either that or your full of shyte!

Wanted: Positive Tips for Growing Sales on eBay   Wanted: Positive Tips for Growing Sales on eBay

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Nov 21 14:43:48 2016

I'd love to know how people are achieving this as well. With seller limits (even when eBay tells you that you don't have them) and can't-see-me search, do come forward and let us know how this is possible.

We used to have an amazing eBay business until John Donahoe came along.  Sales under Wenig have been even worse than under Donahoe.  Who even thought that was possible?

Wanted: Positive Tips for Growing Sales on eBay   Wanted: Positive Tips for Growing Sales on eBay

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 21 16:06:01 2016

I USED to do 400K a yr on eBay, but that number is now down %35, thanx to the sheer genius of the top brass in San Jose.

Thank god I do a good amount on Amazon or Id be on unemployment!

Hmmm so you want a POSITIVE tip for selling on eBay ....?

Marry Wenigs daughter?

Let me explain why that might help!

See (as an example), I used to do TONS of Beats headphones - then I got VERO'd. I had invoices (from a direct dealer) and EVERY piece was %100 original with serial number.

After that incident (I proved I was %100 legit) ... sales on that line NEVER recovered.

Then I moved on to Skullcandy. Weird bunch of people in Utah, but they made great items.

Same game. Skullcandy VERO'd me (and a bunch of other people) with the "we dont know who they are so everything they carry MUST be fake) BS. Got a lawyer (Skull admitted they never bought a piece I sold, never had ONE complaint, etc) and guess what? Skull opened a Platinum level store, my sales went into the tank and NEVER recovered ... out went THAT product line.

Lets move on to the next one shall we (I have alot of these stories - we could be here for DAYS). Casio (G-Shock). 1) Im an authorized US dealer - and my company rep NEVER complained I was on eBay, never complained about MAP - nothing.

In walks in Casio EU (who used WIKIPEDIA as a legal source) and BAM! VERO'd again.

eBay and its "trust & safty dept (now theres an oxymoron for you) told me that even though Im here in the US - apparently Im IMPORTING things into the EU. I send the dopes a PDF of the actual agreement (looking back I probably should have just edited Wikipedia!) that states IN BLACK & WHITE that the US is NOT party to the agreement (so even if I was "importing" something - its irrelevant since the USA isnt part of the agreement). eBay told me STFU - we dont care.

I was told "dont list in the SHIPS TO section "Europe (lol the final countdown), UK, France, Germany but you can do GLOBAL SHIPPING)(since the goods arent being shipped by me).

After that FIRST VERO, 1 yr goes by (lord it took me ages to recreate all those listings (200 of them), and BAM! VERO'd AGAIN! Why? What changed?

Sell it seems that Casio EU threatened eBay and my "unasked for business partner who knows as much about law as a newborn child knows about Nuclear physics" and eBay decided that THEIR previous rules ... were no longer valid. Why? "cause"!.

So for those of us at home keeping score thats 2 from Casio, 1 from Monster, 1 from Skullcandy - and I have a few more - but Ill spare Ina's computers the bandwidth.

Positive tips ..... ? Listen to everything Rexford, Sparrow, Marie, Ming and the other smart people here have to say. Protect yourself from eBay as much as you would a mugger, robber or rapist - as eBay behaves in just those fashions.

Empty you Paypal account nightly, always go over every invoice eBay sends twice, never let eBay "help you", NEVER get them to step into a case of ANY kind, and ignore their emails that "give you tips" - since they all benefit eBay and not you.

Hope that helps!

Wanted: Positive Tips for Growing Sales on eBay   Wanted: Positive Tips for Growing Sales on eBay

by: Frank Abagnale This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 21 17:00:44 2016

"What are other people doing right out there that could help those who are struggling to make sales?"

Sounds like you're a person who likes to receive rather than give. You make one million in sales in 5 years and yet you want people to give ideas on what their doing right yet you don't offer what you're doing right. Well here's what works for me--I buy items for a  really really low price. Then I resell those same items for a much higher price. Repeat.      

Wanted: Positive Tips for Growing Sales on eBay   Wanted: Positive Tips for Growing Sales on eBay

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Nov 21 17:10:06 2016

I wish I had something to offer that would help, but I have nothing on this subject.  If I had a light bulb moment, I'd be happy to use it and share it.  But for me my sales started dying off the at the beginning of the 2nd Quarter of 2014 and has not recovered yet.  It only has continued to go down for most months.  There are a few good ones in there, but still no where near the sales I use to get.

So unfortunately I have no AH HA moment or pearls of wisdom to share as Chris is apparently in much better condition than I am.

I do however appreciate the question and hopefully someone that is much wiser than I am will come along and offer up something none of us has suggested before.

Something helpful.

Wanted: Positive Tips for Growing Sales on eBay   Wanted: Positive Tips for Growing Sales on eBay

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Nov 21 17:14:37 2016

@pace306 - You get bonus points for referencing an 80s hair band.

Wanted: Positive Tips for Growing Sales on eBay   Wanted: Positive Tips for Growing Sales on eBay

by: RL15 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 21 17:43:16 2016


Best thing you can do is to get off ebay. Start your on website.

You should have a lot of email address to start your email marketing.

ebay will screw you, they are not your friend.

Wanted: Positive Tips for Growing Sales on eBay   Wanted: Positive Tips for Growing Sales on eBay

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 21 17:45:35 2016

Sparrow :)

Marie should get bonus points too - she just mentioned AH HA (take on me & the sun always shines on tv)!

Wanted: Positive Tips for Growing Sales on eBay   Wanted: Positive Tips for Growing Sales on eBay

by: Junkyardog This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 22 09:19:18 2016

Sold a million plus past 17 years.
Sales limited to $90K a year past 5 years.
I can sell twice as much if I cut my prices in half.

Wanted: Positive Tips for Growing Sales on eBay   Wanted: Positive Tips for Growing Sales on eBay

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Tue Nov 22 09:59:03 2016

@strife
I think they're astroturfing.  Suggestions would've been nice.  Unless is was dumb like "buy stock cheaper."  Duh, I would if I could.

Anyway...I saw what @iheartjacksparrow described though I never had the volume pre-crash to tell if the clustering was new or happening all along.

This market just has me at a loss.  I see that distribution is bad and read lots of complaints about it.  Yet I can set up a booth charging well under retail and still count my sales on one hand.  I don't know why I even take a Square reader anymore as credit card sales have disappeared.

Wanted: Positive Tips for Growing Sales on eBay   Wanted: Positive Tips for Growing Sales on eBay

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue Nov 22 10:40:50 2016

Welcome to the $Million$ Dollar Club!

It took me 8 years to hit that milestone but I never looked back.

My best advice is to include a Thank You note in every package with your contact information.

You can avoid many problems if the customer can call you if any issues arise.

CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR SUCCESS

Wanted: Positive Tips for Growing Sales on eBay   Wanted: Positive Tips for Growing Sales on eBay

by: donald This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 22 23:52:42 2016





Chris, I also agree with   iheartjacksparrow.

If you've made it to $1M in sales, I think you are the one to be giving advice to other small sellers on eBay.



Wanted: Positive Tips for Growing Sales on eBay   Wanted: Positive Tips for Growing Sales on eBay

by: Barbbie This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 22 23:58:47 2016

Congratulations!

Maybe you should be telling us what you are doing.

I do everything asked of me. My sales are still going downhill for the last 2 years.
This is despite adding more lines and over 2000 new items and becoming an anchor store.
Matter of fact, due to ebay's kind offer of a refund ''pilot'' program, where they look into the facts and help the seller, I have a defect now. It was so nice of them to offer that defect to me and so dumb of me to fall for it.
Advice: Don't fall for ebay's BS.

I have no idea how to increase sales.
I have some stuff on ''best offer'', ''markdown manager sale'' ''special offer sale'' and ''promoted listings'' all at the same time. None of those items have sold. Some of them are new.

I don't think it is me. My stuff sells well on Amazon. My sales are consistently going up on Amazon. I do not have near the same amount of items on Amazon that I have on ebay but last month, 29000 amazon, 8700 ebay. Oct last year 30000 ebay, 25000 amazon. Sad.

I notice my Chinese competitors (several of them) have a few stores. They end all listings on each store, moving their listings to other stores and repeating each year. I thought it was a feedback thing, not sure, but it works for them. I guess they get a fresh slate each year. Maybe that is the secret. Then again, maybe praying hard is the answer.
Good luck all!

Wanted: Positive Tips for Growing Sales on eBay   Wanted: Positive Tips for Growing Sales on eBay

by: AuctionMonkey This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 23 01:43:31 2016

I find creating new listings and listing things that are new every day really helps...

I used to turn over probably 400k a year on eBay, and now I am closer to 60k... More listings, better photos, clearer descriptions and more information than ever. But we get more complaints and disputes than we ever did before... So whilst sales have dropped from 40-45k a month to 6k, we basically just wince every time something sells and hope the customer isn't a NUT! These days we have our own site, and it outsells eBay by heaps - We are slowly phasing eBay out of our lives,and it cannot come soon enough.

Congrats on finally scoring a million in sales. There are a lot of eBay bashers on here, for sure, but it's for a reason. They destroyed a wonderful place.  

Wanted: Positive Tips for Growing Sales on eBay   Wanted: Positive Tips for Growing Sales on eBay

by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Wed Nov 23 02:07:21 2016

I no longer sell on ebay as I left while Meg was there clearing the path for JD. She was just as evil and just as bad for the place.

Please note that $1 million in SALES does not equal $1 million in your pocket. Perhaps that is why you consider yourself to be struggling? That comment reminds me of a hair replacement condition where the guy says he is SUFFERING from hair loss. As someone with a chronic, no cure, painful disease going on 14 years, hair lose doesn't make you suffer. I would swap it any day of the week. Oh wait, my meds make me lose bunches of hair daily! So if you are truly struggling as in only clearing after all expenses, maybe #20-30K/year. Then yeah you could use some help, we all could no matter where we sell.
Part of poor sales has to do with a very saturated market. People need extra money and so they have heard it is quick and easy to sell on line so they throw in the rope and get on board. I remember on one of the venues I sell on, just about every listing I made 3-4 years ago I was either making the listing page or there were only 2-3 other sellers. Now, many of those days there are 2-5 pages of listings! My sales would be terrific if a bunch of sellers would go away and I'm sure they feel the same way about me.

We are also fighting against B&M stores that have come on line now that weren't here10-15 years ago. I go my first PC in 1995. Nobody was selling anything on line except those brave soles that were buying stuff back and forth on a little site called ebay. Then they changed things and kept changing and life will never be the same!

Try not to keep all your eggs in one basket as it won't take much as the other have mentioned for your sales to disappear and never recover. Mine did in 2008 which is why I left there.

I sell on two venues as it is all I can handle. When I find new inventory to source, I pick it up if the price is right and I have tons of stuff to list, but I consider it money in the bank. I used to sell books and then with the proliferation of on line booksellers, those sources dried up and I had to switch from what I was selling.

I also try to handle expenses as well as possible. Make sure you are tracking everything and read everything you can on running a small business.

Wanted: Positive Tips for Growing Sales on eBay   Wanted: Positive Tips for Growing Sales on eBay

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 23 06:24:46 2016

I stopped bashing Ebay.  I'm grateful that it's still around, as it seems like the other platforms like Ecrater and Bonanza are still struggling and don't get the traffic that Ebay gets.  Sure my sales could be better, but I also realize it's a different world and more competitors.

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