First Item Sold Online: Digital Camera Cheat Sheets
By Ina Steiner
Do you remember the first item you ever sold online? Today we hear from Bert Sirkin who created a new product category by filling a need that many consumers and online sellers share.
I bought a Nikon F5 camera in 1997 and needed a "CheatSheet" to remember its features. I printed one up and had it laminated at the local office store. After using it for a month or so I decided to put one up on eBay - the first one was bid up to $21 (see http://www.photobert.com/temp/FirstF5CheatSheet.jpg). I was embarrassed to sell such a simple product for so much and set a fixed price for all my auctions using buy-it-now.
That started a whole "Industry". I started selling my CheatSheets in earnest in 2001 or so and now have over 100 different titles for different cameras. Somewhere around 2002, eBay created a category just for my product (Cameras & Photo > Manuals, Guides & Books > Camera Cheat Sheets). Around 2003, other people started selling similar products.
We've been a PowerSeller for 5 years or so and have a feedback rating of over 15,000. We also write all of our own software for managing auctions on eBay, using the eBay, PayPal and Stamps.com APIs. All of our sales are completely automated, from listing to providing feedback.
About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to email@example.com.
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