Wednesday, December 24, 2008

We're gonna talk blogging on blogtalkradio.com!

Well, we had so much fun on Tuesday, Kat and I, that Louise and I are gonna try it on Friday, 12/26 at 2 PM EST- Talk to the Powersellers! We're going to interview Danna Crawford, CEO of PowersellingMom.com about Blogging!

Everything you ever wanted to know about how to blog, where to blog and what to blog about!

Listen to bcherkowsky on internet talk radio

So come join up on Friday and if you have blogging questions, you can call in during the show and Ask Danna yourself!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Soap Opera Comes to Talkshoe Radio!! Today!!

The folks from my yahoo group are going to try to have a talk radio show today - 1 PM EST (12-23) on talkshoe.com

WHAT are you doing at 1 PM on Tuesdays?? Come talk with us about selling online. We're on ebay, amazon, bonanzle and a few other places so come ask us your questions and suggest your answers to our questions...and just generally chat and learn from each other for 60 little minutes.

http://www.talkshoe.com/talkshoe/web/talkCast.jsp?masterId=29246&cmd=tc

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Are you tearing your hair out trying to get your child to read?

I did too. Mine is in his 20's now. And he reads. I don't know exactly what turned the trick. It might ahve been the comic books he started reading when he was about 12. It might have been the desire to read the "whole" story behind some of his favorite horror movies or the Japanese Anime he came to enjoy as a teenager. I really don't care what it was. Something got him reading and I rejoice as my husband and I are life-long readers and book collectors. Now he not only reads, he is writing about what he read this year. (ssssssssssh do not tell him I showed you this. He'd probably never forgive me. But because I read this and enjoyed his analysis of the books he read, I thought you might like to check them out too!

So, Forthwith, here is his Squidoo lens on his 2008 reading list. (Don't miss WRATH of the Thunder Lizards which is his other squidoo lens)

http://www.squidoo.com/xml/syndicate_lens/Cherkowskys08readinglist

(or it's linked in the right side top box!) Check it out.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Blogging your products

Well I'm so behind on everything that I almost put adding to this blog off. BUT,...Steve Lindhorst sent me a new issue of his The MultiChannel Seller Newsletter and in it, Steve said "BLOG" is a verb. BLOG about your products. Or words to that effect.

So, here I am. This week, I'm trying to finish listing a grouping of Nancy Drew books we bought last year. Problem was, there were a lot of double and triple copies of the same volume. So 3 of The Mystery of the Moss-Covered Mansion. All hardback 1940's issues with dust jackets and in reasonably good shape. So rather than dilute the market by putting all three up at the same time, I listed one. And in some cases I actually remembered to list the second copy. Not often enough though so now I still have 2 copies. And there fore, this time I'm just listing them all and letting the bids fly where they may.

Are you a Nancy Drew collector? Girls' Series books are hotly collected still. Even in this economy. But you need Farrah's Guide which is a very specialized and rather hard to find book. My husband bought several years ago when we found several other series of girls books so all of the ones that I've listed this week or will list next wee are marked as to which of the 10 million variatons they are. (hey he has to do something to earn his spending money! ) To see them, click here:



And, because like the rest of you, my family expects Christmas presents to be real gifts and not socks or underwear, I am also listing a whole lot of Roseville, Weller and Royal Copenhagen as well B&G Christmas Plates . So you will see those there also.


Come on in and browse at least. And if you'd like a copy of my new newsletter, please sign up here:

Depression Glass Warehouse Collectibles Newsletter


Ok, gotta go list. List more, Sell more!


C-ya tomorrow!


Beth

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Blogging is like work - DUH!

My sister runs a company (her own small startup) that provides services to senior citizens and their caretakers. She's paying $175 a month for 4 posts a month to be written. She provides the blogger with material and that person writes her blog. AND??? And she's happy paying out money. Me? As hard as it is to blog, I'd rather do it myself, thank you.

So I sat down the other day and wrote this whole draft about how Santa Claus, who used to shop on eBay according to Marsha Collier, is now shopping on Bonanzle (according to me). And I say that because? Because I've sold 4 things since opening there, without really doing a darn thing.

I pushed my eBay listings over. Was taking my sweet time editing them and people started buying. WOW! So I signed up for Googlecheckout. Guess what? I love it!

But back to that original post about Santa shopping at Bonanzle. I was just about done and...(no the computer didn't crash. ! ) I hit the wrong stinking key and deleted the whole darn thing!

TADA! the wonders of modern technology! At least in a typewriter, I'd have had typos but I'd still have a paper copy.

And the creative spark that was burning during that "episode" of my blogging life is dead now. Santa may still be over at Bonanzle shopping his fool boots off, but my brain has moved on and not to more interesting topics. Today, my brain is consumed with "WHY can't I list as many items per day as I used to??"

I'll have an answer for that on Friday. See me then. (After all, it's my consuming project for the day...to figure it out! and reverse the trend!)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Are you ready for the Holiday Mailing Season?

Are you ready?

You and I both know that even with the economy in a shambles, WE are giving Christmas presents (holiday presents to celebrate Hannuaka or Kwanza or New Years or Boxing Day or WHATEVER you feel like celebrating.)

So are our customers online! They may not be spending as much as last year but they going to give each other something. So are YOU ready?

Do you have priority mail boxes on hand?
Do you have packing materials - clean, non-smelly, category appropriate packing materials?
Do you have plenty of packing tape? labels? printer paper? ink?

Did you eat your Wheaties this morning? Cause Black Friday, Green Monday, Cyber Tuesday - they are all on the way. And for heaven't sake, you don't want to have to refund a sale because you didn't have the right size box or other supply.

Now do you know the Post Office's and UPS and FEDEX's shipping deadlines? You need to know them and let your customers know them. So, here's a link to the appropriate websites:


The USPS: http://www.usps.com/holiday/welcome.htm?from=home_lgpromo_RedOrnaments&page=Calendar

BROWN! UPS:
http://www.compass.ups.com/article/article.aspx?id=2289

and last but by no means least - Fedex:
http://www.fedex.com/us/holiday/shipping/lastdaystoship.html


So, go print out the schedules if you haven't already. Be sure to order the supplies from whomever you use for that (I've got recommendations for that on another day) and get packing!


By the way - remember to smile every day - it makes the world wonder what you've been up to! and? And HAVE FUN!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

WHAT do you like to sell?

I like selling small light things. I normally sell pottery and glass - not exactly small and light. But i love pottery and glass and selling it is an excuse to buy it and have it for a while. I think of my inventory as "my rotating collection".

My favorite thing to ship is....well it's a toss-up between postcards (2 pcs of cardboard or a rigid plastic slip case and an envelope) or authographed baseballs (box, peanuts, baseball, more peanuts. Tape the box shut! WALA!! you're done.

Now even though I don't like shipping big pottery I seem to be doing it pretty regularly. Imagine my emotions when my shipping deparment, aka my husband, confessed that they shipped a 16 inch tall pottery vase, which sold for a mere $150 and...


And he used peanuts, wedged the vase into the box but forgot..the bubblewrap. Thank God he pused a box! It did arrive safely and my buyer did leave good feedback. But JEEZ!! Good help is hard to find.!!!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Philadelphia Phillies 2008 World Series Champs!

Well the Phillies finally did it again! They won the World Series and today is their victory parade. And I have to guess, from what I've seen on TV (cause I ain't going nowhere near a crowd that size0 that there are at least 1,000,000 people WALKING the 6 miles from City Hall to the stadium!

I wonder if this is Mayor Nutter's secret exercise project!

Meanwhile, Phillies gear is selling like hot cakes at the sporting goods shops. We (the whole family) all stood in line to get INTO the store and then in the check out line for about 20 min to get a turn at the register.

http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trksid=m38&_nkw=Phillies&_sacat=See-All-Categories

I found 15,605 ACTIVE items (how's that for Best Match?)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Today's favorite item - AKA I love blue

I have always loved the color blue. If there's a choice in clothing between this shirt in red or blue, I normally buy the blue. I have my kitchen painted blue, I bought blue cars. I once painted our entire house in what was supposed to be "slate blue". Turned out to be bright sapphire blue. I'm sure the neighbors spent several years nauseated to the extreme - that' s how bright blue it was. I used the color to give directions to folks coming to see us. " Turn left at the doctor's office on the corner and I'm the bright blue house". Tellingly, nobody got lost.



So you'll see easily why this piece appealed to me:



Boleslawiec Polish Pottery Figural Lady Cheese dish Nov-27 250192670775



Boleslawiec is an operating Polish pottery company. Their wares seem to be right up my alley. Everything I have seen of theirs on line and even at flea markets and garage sales is offered in a blue and white color combination!



I think this is a butterdish but it is large enough to also be a muffin warmer or a pancake plate. (Or I could hide the Halloween candy under her and my husband and son would NEVER find it.)



In my head, (all the best soap operas happen in our imaginations, ya know?) I imagine this is a Polish Princess turned into a pottery piece by a wicked stepmother who happened to be a witch in her spare time. It's so the wicked stepmother could continue to spend and waste the Princess's fortune on frivolous $3000 pairs of Jimmy Chou shoes.



Of course I could be wrong, she might just be a not so plain pancake plate cover. (say those 3 p words, 3 x fast! I dare ya!)

Friday, October 17, 2008

eBay stuff and a weird dream

So I haven't been listing as much stuff because a couple of family members have medical issues and it's absorbing a lot of my time and energy to assist/cook for/ and generally deal with that.

But my stores sales keep creeping along.
Now I've run out of "new" auction boxes to list so I'm "relisting" stuff out of my ebay store into auction again. Or in some few cases into fixed price listings. And I was working out the numbers on the fixed price listings to compare them to stores. Guess what? Stores are still the better bargain if you can run a few auctions or a few fixed price items to lead people into your store!

Here's my math (with the definite possiblity of flaws since I'm TERRIBLE at math!

Fixed price - random item (not media!) costs $.35 for 30 days. Ebay just announced NO relisting credits. So $.35 EVERY 30 days.

Store item. (assuming you have 1595 items which is MY goal)

$.01 for the store fee ($15.94 divided by 1595 items)
$.03 listing fee - assuming you list every item for $19.95 or under
$.04 per month (also assuming you have only 1 (one) picture per item or that you host the extra
pictures off ebay

So why the flood to Fixed Price? Because those show up in search obviously but does that negate the use of stores? Not for me. I can keep 8.5 items in the ebay store for a month for the cost of one fixed price item. So I'll take out 8 items from my store - put one in Fixed price, auction the other 7 (or donate 'em to the Sr. Citizens thriftshop in my township) and see what happens.

That's my plan for the next 3 months anyway.

Now about the weird dream. I had this last night. I don't even remember what the dream was except that is came in staticy. Remember TV sets with "snow" in the picture? That was my dream. (so what, Beth? Who cares??) well the reason I mention it at all is, it triggered the thought that there is a whole generation of deprived children and even young adults. My son thinks "snow" comes from bad tracking on a VHS tape and he only remembers VHS cause he was an early fan of Japanese Anime and Godzilla movies.

There are now 2 generations of people (most of those under 40) who have NO clue what a horizontal hold button is, or a vertical hold button is or how to get the "snow" out of a TV picture (aluminim foil wings on the TV antenna-rabbit ears)! They think, if the picture is bad it's a bad feed from the Cable company or the Satellite company. In my childhood, Satellites were something we used to spy on the Russians and vice versa. Now we just co-opt them with our TV shows. I didn't get to see Elvis swivel his pelvis on Ed Sullivan cause our TV couldn't be tuned at that point. It needed a "picture tube".
Ah the good old days...

Friday, October 10, 2008

How can an empty blog be "spam"

A couple of friends and I decided to do a soap opera blog - turn our lives, and all the minutae thereof into a soap opera. You know you've had days when every possible thing that can go wrong does? Well so have we...a lot lately...so we were gonna make a funny, over-the-top soap opera incorporating the funny, tragic things that have happened to us.

BUT Google, in it's best imitation of eBay's paranoid management locked it before we ever got around to posting one stinkin' syllable.

So guess what? YOU don't get to laugh and cry with us. And when we do find a new venue for it, you'll have to pay to read it. (cause we will still write it but it will be a soap opera!)

BTW - please come check out my ebay listings - cause I definitely will need cash to get that venture off the ground.


Beth Cherkowsky
eBay seller id: woadieland
ebay link - copy & paste
1. http://www.depressionglasswarehouse.com
2. http://www.squidoo.com/Depression-Glass-Warehouse
3. read and contribute to my blog - http://ebayforfunandprofit.blogspot.com/

Friday, October 3, 2008

MY ITEM OF THE DAY! Little Black Sambo - 1st Edition 2nd printing book

My items of the day - Little Black Sambo book
I always have so many items and some of them get NO attention on ebay so I decided to blog extensively about one each day. TODAY my choice is this one -

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=250301480153&ssPageName=STRK:MESE:IT

This is a 1901 edition (first edition - 2nd printing) of The Story of Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman. The First Edition First printing had red boards. This one with the tan boards is universally declared (by booksellers all over the internet) to be a 2nd printing.
One of the first library sales I ever went to, was in a small small community library - like, with me and the librarian in the same room, there was no room to turn around. As I was checking out, she asked "did you look at the old books under the tarp?" (DUH NO! How would I have known they were under there? Who would have supposed? NOT ME!)
So, I respond no, and being in a foul mood from not being able to move or breathe in the tight confines, I say something stupid like, "that's ok, I spent enough today". HA, hubby goes over, lifts the tarp and starts pulling out books. And I found this is a bucket of unused paint brushes (no for like housepainter paint brushes, not cute artist brushes).
It's printed with text on the left side and one facing picture to a page. Then the next two pages are blank. It's sewn together and bound with some weird "buckram" spine back. But it's soo cute. And you can see a lot of the little "finger prints" of the little hands that looked at this. It's not library book. It's been in private hands. No markings, no typical librarian damage. But a lot of "unlove" in it's life. Some pages are loose. The first of the 26 illustrations, of the main character, is missing. Lots of finger print stains.
Now think about this. SOMEBODY (who probably is cringing now trying to explain it to granny) donated this to that library. Someon, who obviously didn't love books as a child. (my favorite part of this one is where the tigers chase each other round the try and turn into butter. LOL wonder if the zoo knows about that trick?)
Where are the childhood books you saved? What was your favorite one? Do your Children or heirs understand the value of the books in your collection? Better start righting them notes! (that's what I'm doing. "DEAR SON, don't throw this out, the great great grandfather you are named for brought it with him from Ireland" for example - on my great grandfather's level and plane)
Ok, well think about your book collection and how to protect it from ending up in a bucket of paint brushes in the libary of East Armpit, USA. And come back tomorrow for something else to look at!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Marketing your ebay store

So - what do YOU do to market your eBay store?



Nothing? I think that's what most people do. They set it up because they can't be bothered running auctions, don't want to wait for the auctions to end to sell something. And then? THEN there is a deafening silence.

It's only in Kevin Costner's brain or the movie Field of Dreams that you "build it and they will come". It' s not true in the brick and mortar world and it' s not true on eBay.

So how do you go out into the streets of eBay and drag folks in to your store to look at your stuff?

1. On the Manage my store page there's the RSS feed. Enable that.

2. Use lots of key words and custom pages to bring people in to read. If you use your custom pages to discuss ONE category that you list in your story...(one per custom page I mean), you have, with a basic store 4 custom page...so 1 for a home page and 3 for custom pages.

3. Buy PPC advertising? I haven't done that so if you have, post your ideas and results in the comments. I'd be interested to hear them.

4. Have a Squidoo lens and feed your store to that. I do that. It's got limited effectiveness until you start to drive traffic to the lens too. So now you've doubled your work. But at least making the lens and editing them is kind of fun.

So what else do you do?? I'll list some more ideas I have next time. Meantime in the comments post your ideas. Or email me. depressionglass@comcast.net

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Ebay changes - some ways to make some sales

Okay, lots of folks want to know..(inquiring minds...ya know?) HOW can I make money on eBay?

With all the hubbub about all eBay's changes, I think a lot of us forget the single most important point about eBay:

YOU CAN'T SELL IT IF IT AIN'T LISTED!

Now, I've personally found, that when I went over 100 store items (as far as quantity on my inventory I mean) I started seeing more sales. When I went over 200, sales again went up incrementally. That was true with every 100th block I passed. The best was when I managed to get over 1000 items in my Ebay store for more than 10 seconds. (cause you do know right, that if you're aiming for 200, as soon as you hit 195, things will start selling out of the store. As soon as it goes over 200 items, more things will sell...it's Murphy's Ebay Law). As soon as I passed 1000 items, I got about 8 sales in the next 2 days. ! HALLELUJAH!

So - my personal motto is: (come on Dar, you know the words...! ) LIST MORE, SELL MORE!

I try to list 100 items a week. Since February I've had a problem doing that - I must have developed eadd..otherwise known as "Ebay Attention Deficit Disorder". I just can't focus on eBay.

Still my current goal is 35 new listings on Sunday evening and 10 every other day of the week. Which in theory, would get me darned close to 100 new listings a week. I haven't managed it more than once or twice in the last 3 mos. But I haven't given up either.


The second thing to remember, with auctions especially, if the right eyeballs are not on eBay that week, your item will not sell. So what to do?

I personally wait 10 days, relist the item and try to publicize it, (making sure I use the eBay referral code for that item or for my store) and then if it doesn't sell then, I put it in the eBay store for a while. How long? depends? If it's Christmas maybe for a while. If it's June, probably definitely for a while. If it's tax refund spending time, for 3-4 weeks.

What about stuff you put into your store and forgot? (OH don't tell me you never forgot about them? Baloney. I do so I know everyone else does. LOL I mean we are all human. Life intervenes). So when I look at my eBay store and stuff is sorted by ending soonest for me, then I end the item and relist it...or I change the title, the picture, the wording or the price. (NO I almost NEVER EVER EVER lower the price. An old real estate adage is to raise the price...so I do that and guess what? An awful lot of stuff sells. I mean it's unreal. AT HIGHER than they could have bought it the week before. But again, it's that thing about the "right eyeballs" seeing your item.!

How else can you make money from your items? I think through an affiliate code but I'm no expert yet on that. I'm just designing my first campaign. Maybe (I think there's a rule on this) you can't get an affiliate referral payment on your items. But you can get them on mine. I can get them on those of bookcornercottage, or my52cents or bigdaddysmoney...or you blog, or you make a website, you put a feed on it. And we'll see how we both do.

Oh - and you make Squidoo lenses of your items, my items, every blue dress on eBay etc. and you update those lens regularly, (something else I"m not timely or reliable about yet) and WALA! soon you have a nice little account building up in Squiddoo money.

So. that's my idea for today...just basic commonsense. Want to see what I'm selling? That top feed in the box on the right side? That is me...come on in and visit!
Beth

Monday, August 18, 2008

Have you see these...?? They are soooo cute

Ok, I don't make a lot of money on these and I got started picking them up by accident at an auction.


Annalee White Dragon with Hearts 1990 doll figure toy
Annalee Mobilitee 1988 Green Elf doll toy figurine
Annalee Mobilitee Fluffy Sheep Lamp Flowers 1992
Annalee Mobilitee 91 Hunter Camoflauge figurine doll
Annalee Mobilitee Sitting Santa with Sack Doll 1971
Annalee Doll Santa Claus w/ Christmas gift packages '89
Annalee Doll Santa Claus Painting Toys '90 Christmas
Annalee Doll Mrs Santa Claus with packages 1989
Annalee Christmas Choirboy Doll '93 Holiday decoration

These are all in my store on ebay - they are the sweetest little dolls and figures and decorations.

And I mention them cause I think they are soo cute!!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Another eBay Faux Pas...do they ever end?

Have you all seen this at the bottom of the eBay search page? I have no clue how long it’s been since I looked al the way down the search page...maybe 4 months – like when I last went to an auction and was looking for comps...but tonight I’m looking for completed prices on some of the less common books we bought yesterday...and found this:

We found other stuff close to what you're looking for

Now, maybe it’s me but...I can call my “stuff” STUFF but I think ebay should be referring to it as “we found more items” or “we found more selections simliar to what you searched for”

And I know I’m being picky when there are soooo many things wrong on ebay right now...but this one, this just annoys me.

I’m not selling STUFF. Maybe John Donahoe sells "stuff" from his closet or his basement. But I go to estate auctions and buy consignments directly from people liquidating estates and my "stuff" is MERCHANDISE and most of it is too expensive to be STUFF. STUFF comes from the dollar store. I’d like to think my “stuff” could go – a lot of it – on Antique Row on Pine St in Philadelphia.

What about the rest of you? Am I just being petty about this? (Don’t answer that, I know the answer...)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

So some hints about making more money on ebay

Ok, this is supposed to be about making money on ebay (I've given up on the hope of FUN on ebay for the moment...)

So, first what are my credentials?

a) Silver level power seller (for the last 3 years straight and at times during the 8 years and 3 mos before that)

b) Been on ebay 11 years - primarily as a seller

c) Been making a living for the last 3 years on eBay - not a great one but paying the bills


SO on to some tips

#1 TIP of all time - List More Sell MORE

On ebay - volume counts - the more auction listings the more traffic I get. The more store listings, the more traffic I get. As part of that, let me remark that I have an ebay store...and every time I "cross" a hundred mark, my sell-through goes up a bit more. My sales increase.

When I got over 100 items in the store it went up.
When I got up to 200 items it went up.
The day I got the 500th item in there it jumped amazingly.

So list more - sell more


#2 Tip of all time:

YOU CAN'T SELL WHAT AIN'T LISTED!

Your mother is going "DUH, I told you that".

Seriously - put the Christmas stuff in the store now. Put the Halloween stuff in the store now.

Put the woolen sweaters in the store now. (You know it is winter in Australia right? So THEY are buying woolen sweaters when WE are just sweating. )

At Halloween you can put the stuff in auction or run a special. The week after Halloween have a "clearance sale" like the real stores do. BUT LIST IT. AND....Leave it listed. It costs a crummy 3 cents to keep it going for a month.

#3 - USE a spell checker and speak English (assuming of course you are listing on the US /UK/CA or AU sites and are reaching an English speaking market. )

Nothing ruins that initial impression as fast as bad spelling, bad grammar and not proofreading your material (and I'm guilty of all three on this blog sometimes so it proves my point. )

#4 - find, make, steal or buy an inventory system. Keep track of where things are so you can ship fast. I swear sometimes that people look at my listings and deliberately buy anything that doesn't have an inventory number. (those are the older listings pre-system and are very hard to find. LOL)

5. Put all your terms in your listing but say it gracefully. This crap with people saying IF YOU DON"T PLAN TO PAY DON"T BID..?? do you think people bid with the intention of not paying or maybe they bid, find out they are over extended and then are embarrassed by your nasty terms?

6. Have a return policy (this will soon be required) even if it says SORRY! No returns on this item

7. Take Paypal (I'd say take googlecheckout too if ebay would let us) because? BECAUSE, Silly, people pay faster, they don't have to give you their credit card info and they don't really trust us so they feel safer with ebay. (I know not everyone does but 80% of the buyers on ebay do)

And as a footnote - in 11 years 4 mos on ebay? I have NEVER had a bounched check. So if someone wants to send you a money order or a check? Say ok, THANKS!

8. Don't ship without insurance - I use a third party insurer for lower value items. it's so easy to report shipments to them. And for breakables, I buy insurance from the PO or the carrier. I do require it on my auctions (all of them...what if the stinkin' thng gets lost in the mail -not broke cause it's not fragile..just LOST - gone disappeared, never existed??)

Use my referral code please! http://www.dsiinsurance.com/transfer.asp?refId=130
and ask for a quote. Try them, you'll like them. VERY easy and pleasant to deal with.

9. List regularly - better to do 10 a day than 90 on one day and nothing for a month.

10. You really make your profit when you buy your item. So buy low, sell a little higher. Do not list an item for 99 cents when you paid $10 for it. And then what? You cross fingers and toes and pray that it goes higher? THAT'S just plain stupid. List for Cost plus Expense (the ebay and paypal fees/FVF fees) plus Profit. I learned this from ROY on AOL's small business forum and it's serving me well. (Roy used to have a blog but there was some family problems and I can't find his blog right now. When I do I'll post HIS 13 tips. They were excellent.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Recent eBay changes/unchanges

So, do you really think eBay management actually has a written plan?

No, I don't (thanks for asking)!

First they are going to make us have a handling time - but their editing tool doesn't work. I have 1200 listings (I took down 200 because of the new links policy...we'll get to that in a minute).

Like I said, I have 1200 STORE listings. If you want me to put a handling time, a return policy etc INTO them, you'd think that management would have ordered one of their many fine programers to FIX the edit function. NOT! (nope tried it again today to change 62 auction listings cause I put in the wrong paypal account name....NOPE..didn't get ANY of them to work...SIGH!)

Next (well second on MY list) they want all extraneous links OUT! Including my 3rd party insurance company who offers better, less-expensive, easier to use coverage than the almost as crazy as ebay post office. They want my EMAIL link out (but they want to rate me on my customer service which they insist on funneling thru their glitchy message system. They want my website link out of my ME page (where it's resided peacefully and uselessly for 11 years, cause who the hell reads the ME pages?)

They want any possible links to 3rd party service (like Auction listing or Photoservers) OUT. But wait, they are the ones who told me to use them?????????

I have a newsbulletin - THERE IS NO PLAN! If JD or LN get up and are PMS'ing...we get hit with some new stupid idea.

I have asked for years, WHO is in charge of STUPID IDEAS?? I mean they have "disruptive innovation" right? they must have a Dept. of Stupid Ideas...or maybe a "stupid idea farm"? Where they grow them? Like corn?

I want to be Director of Stupid Ideas. I have as many as any of the management team (just ask my husband and son). The onlything is...I have too much sense to implement my stupid ideas. I usually just float them on the river past husband's head during a baseball game. It's kind of funny to watch him try and deal with that and not lose track of the score. LOL

Seriously, here are some of MY stuppid ebay ideas:

1. Allow buyers and sellers to EMAIL each other - freely - on and/or off ebay - like the adults they are supposed to be

2. Allow sellers to offer any payment method they want - cash, checks, money orders, Paypal, credit card processing, GOOGLE CHECKOUT, Bidpay, Revolution Cash. Money moves merchandise.

3. STOP PUSHING FREE SHIPPING - (nothing's free.) If I offer free shipping I have to raise the starting bid, pay ebay more fees, and eat the rest of the shipping costs. It's hypocritical to keep saying buyers expect free shipping. They don't get it from me on Amazon why should they get it from me on ebay?

4. Set a better example in Customer Service. If ebay management wants me to offer free shipping, they could offer:
a) Free listings
b) free photos - like more than 1?
c) free ebay stores (I could use another $16 in my pocket every month)
d) free design elements, like the "gift" tag, the border on the pictures, the picture slide show they stole when I wasn't looking last month.

So do you still think management has a plan??

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Exercise - It's so good for you!

Exercise

Inspired by my friend Deb’s new committment to Curves on regular basis, I went>to the state park with my 26 year old son today. He uses a fitness path they have there or just walks the trails around the park. He does about 3 mi.

So..I go. I’m fat, outofshape and have asthma so I start small on what I think is gonna be about a 1 mi trail. Supposed to take me 30 - 45 minutes. Of course, (I’m directionally challenged. I can read a map lke a wiz but I get lost in the sections of my hometown here – LOL). So I take off up hill and dale. Get to the middle of his fitness trail and realize that, to go back, it circles around. I look – that’s MORE uphill. The trail I just came along is uphill too for the first ½ mile to get back to where I started.

So I decided to keep going forward. I mean how far can it be? So I walk...(what you thought I had the sense to wear my watch or take my cell phone??? HA! I don’t>need no stinkin’ cell phone!). And I walk...and I rest (resting means standing still in one place til I can breathe again cause if I sit on the ground, I can't get back up...bad knees, bad back, BAD idea!) and I walk And I walk...and I rest and I walk And I walk...and I rest and I walk And I walk...and I rest and I walk.

And two hours later, I finally make it back to the stinkin’ car. (down hill the last 1 mile --- which by that time the old knee is achy...and downhill is bad for old achy knees...real bad). But here I am at the car? Where is my chauffeur???

Out with the ambulance and the rescue squad looking for me I guess. HE had water and he drank it all and left his hat on the seat so I know he’s been back and is done...WHERE is he?? Didn’t his mother teach him to stand in one place til she finds him??? I know her – I know she did (not that he listened back then either..).

20 min later he comes back>>>> He’s walked MY circuit (on top of his longer harder circuit) looking for my body in the gullies and under the logs, convinced I had had a heart attack and was laying in the leaves in the woods. Meanwhile if he’s gotten in the car, given up and gone home, he’d have passed me on the road 45 min earlier and we could have been done. LOL!

The good part of all this?? I lost 4 lbs water weight sweating up and> down all those stinking trails. Am I going back Friday ?? Yeah and this time I’ll use the city girl’s tried and true method...I’m printing out a stinking map of the trails. and I’m> taking my gd cell phone. (so I can call his father to come and get me.> LOL) Exercise – it’s so good for you!

What has this got to do with eBay, you ask? You have to be in shape to shop. You have to be in shape to walk in the godblessed HUGE venues they pick for eBAY Live. So I'm in training for 2010.

Monday, July 7, 2008

So what next?

This blog is titled Ebay - For Fun and Profit but...

Have you set up another venue yet?

I tried I-Offer. Then in May when they were nagging me about signing in more often did, I though " BALONEY " so I deleted all the store listings. Done . In 4 mos there I had one sale for a box of trading cards. Not enough to waste any energy on.

Amazon
I sell books there. Currently only have about 60 listed. THAT changed this week and will change again soon as I add in some. I haven't tried the Pro-Merchant yet but will this month (July 2008). I'm not sure if I'll keep my books on ABE or not after I put them on Amazon. I might. But that's up in the air, right now.

The main attraction from Amazon is the abilty to list my glass and china there. I'll let you know how that goes next month

ABEBOOKS
I had a bookstore on ABE back in 2005 and it didn't set fire to the world but it paid its own way. Then they changed software or platforms or some IT thing. And my sales crashed. After three months I gave up. Based on my friends' sales there, I reopened in April 2008. So far, it's paying it's way again.

There are two things I have to do. One is to synchronize the prices on EBAY in my store with the prices on ABE cause I missed a $74 sale today on ABE by having sold the book on eBay 6 wks ago for $19.95. THAT hurt. It's my own fault too cause I knew the files needed to be doublechecked and prices corrected. And I didn't do it. BUT I will be later today. (7-10-08 I have checked and correct them so everything is sort of inline with the other venues. NOW I have to get more books on Amazon)

ECRATER
I could never figure out how to upload a "file" to them. Gonna look at that again this week too.

And I've found a bunch of places that have shops/shopping carts etc. So I"ll be exploring those and reporting back (in case anyone every reads this)

So where do YOU sell and how do you like it? Comments are public so you'll get some free publicity and maybe even some sales. Post your url. !! Please!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Well you can see how excited I was to go to eBay Live 2008! I loved New Orleans Live. So off I went - !
I have some suggestions for eBay for BEFORE the next Live or even before the next regional get-together:

  1. Pick a more consolidated venue. Walking 2 miles from one class/seminar/talk to the next wears folks out. There's been a lot of talk about how "quiet" and unexciting this live was. I didn't think it was a lack of enthusiasm. More a lack of energy. I'm an "Original" ebayer - been here 11 years. I'm 60 Stinkin' years old. That walking stuff got old the first day.
    Maybe a college or university while they are on hiatus - so you'd have inexpensive housing in the dorms and the classes would all be pretty close together.
  2. Schedule multiples of EVERY class since I got closed out of 3 because the fire marshall called a halt to the overcrowding of the rooms. Or put the popular ones in venues that can expand.
  3. For the Gala?? Could we have some "dinner" music during dinner? So we can talk to the people at our table - especially for people like me that come by themownselves. It would have been nice to meet eight more people. But we couldn't hear ourselves think. On the shuttle afterwards, one of my fellow "oldies but goodies" say the band, Twisted Lister, was making his heart hurt. Made my ears hurt.
  4. Besides color-coding classes by experience level (I think that's what they did), sort them by "Buying experience" or Selling Occasion
  5. Quit it with the stupid buzz words. We counted (my friend Louise actually counted) during the keynote address and John Donahoe actually said "GREAT BUYING EXPERIENCE:" 21 times in like 10 minutes. JEEZ! get a new speech-writer.
  6. Announce all the policy changes for the year at least 2 mos before LIVE so the classes can address the questions and confusions.


Will I go to Orlando? If I'm alive, I'm there. (I'm 60..ya know I hate to think I might not make it ...but realistically? I might not. I am however gonna try. )


I think eBay's making a big mistake isolating us and thinking we'll all gonna stay "down on the farm" after we've seen Amazon and Googlebase etc. All the venues should be encouraging us to make webrings of our various selling venues, letting our Amazon customers come to eBay and vice versa. They'll all cutting off their noses to spite their faces.

Does the various venues' mgmt think we won't find ways "around the roadblocks"? I have confidence someone is figuring it out right now. Won't be me cause I ain't that smart but I will follow their lead.

At this year's eBay Live, I did find the enthusiasm to be more subdued. It was more like resignation - "oh well I put a lot of work into my ebay store - guess I will keep it going." Rather than "OH MAN! THIS IS GREAT!" like I heard in 2004 in NO.

I did see fewer people (and it wasn't hard to figure out when I walk right in and right up to the registration desk to get my badge.) The marble canyons of McCormick Place literally echoed - it needed more bodies for absorb the sound waves.


WHAT did you think?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

eBay Live - Chicago... I'm here!!!

I left the house at like 6 AM yesterday. Had a great flight - quick trip in on a shuttle and am comfortably set up at the beautiful Palmer House Hilton. Today I have to try and get pictures of the lobby ceiling for you. It's just gorgeous.


The man who built and owned the Palmer House hotel (before the Hiltons) also built I think it was Marshall Fields? I have to go back and look. And I'll check that fact for you.

At any rate, having arrived a day early to go to the M&G, I went sightseeing yesterday. Now, keep in mind, I'm 60, short, fat and with asthma and a new knee. So I figured I'd take it easy. I walked 8 blocks to see the Sears Tower. And went up in it to SEE CHÏCAGO. I mean it's 103 stories. Took 47 seconds - astronauts could launch from that elevator.!!

And then, there are panoramic glass windows ALL the way around the floor. And you can see Chciago. Heck I t hink I could see home in Penna. from there if there was no haze. It's just a beautiful view - all of them.

So here's the slide show

ttp://s300.photobucket.com/albums/nn28/bcherkowsky/2008%20eBay%20Live/


Last night was also the M&G organized by ebayers (with no help from ebay) and it was a blast. They gave us sheets as we went in and we had to get other ebayers to sign. So you had to find people who had driven, or flown the furthest, or came from a foreign country. (I met two Londoners and one young woman from Peru! and not Peru Ill.)


I signed a lot of people's sheets for being a full time seller and also for being on ebay more than 10 years. I also signed for having come alone, for having come more than 100 miles. And those of us who brought gift bags, swapped and shared all night. I got a tee shirt that says "This is as dressed up as I get" . Which would be great for my husband but it's only a Large. Oh well.

Today - we do classes, seminars and discussions - and hopefully today I get to eat. Yesterday I go 2 glazed donuts for breakfast and 1 tiny slice of crispani for dinner. NOT enough.

Tentatively I'm going to the "How to imprevoe your visibility in search results" class today as well as one on ebays affiliate program and one on improving your DSRs. C-ya at ebay....ebay live that is.

Beth

Saturday, June 14, 2008

eBay Live 2008 - the first steps on my trip

Here I go - I have my tickets for the plane. Thanks to William Shatner and Priceline Negotiator I have a nice place to stay (I think it's nice. If it's not you'll be the first to know. )

I have new much more comfortable walking shoes. The suitcase is down from the attic and waiting to be packed.

I'm excited to be going but also apprehensive.

Excited because:
1. In New Orleans at Live, I met so many amazing people and got so many ideas and so many new techniques and methods that I've been able to earn my living on ebay for the last 3 years. Which is a good thing cause, I guess not too many people voluntarily hire 60 year old women.

2. I love to travel. Haven't been to Chicago in 35 years and that time was for one day - in and out. This time I Hope to see some sights on Wednesday afternoon at least. Maybe more later

3. all the same stuff in Number 1. I am gonna learn so much.

4. I've been invited to some "get-togethers" where I hope to get a chance to "speak truth to power" as the saying goes. Me truth - ebay mgmt /power. There are a lot of things I don't like. And not being shy, I'll probably manage to mention a few.


Apprehensive:

1. I hate traveling. I love the arriving and the visiting part but not so much the getting there part.

2. Not thrilled with flying. Not since 2001

3. Worrying about hubby who has some health issues.

4. Worrying about the grownup adult son who doesn't have health issues but he's my baby so I can always find something to worry about.

5. Being lonely without those two and my cats.

6. This is my first trip since my knee replacement. I'm hoping I can manage physically on my own.

7. I get lost. I mean LOST in my own neck of the woods. Chicago is a big place. I hate being lost.


Ok, call me a worry wart but those are the top worries. Then there's all the other ones - like don't say something stupid and get kicked off ebay (yeah they do that.)
don't lose all my money - or my stuff.
don't get so exhausted it takes me 3 weeks to recover cause then who is gonna do the listing?

But mostly I'm trying to focus on the fun/exciting things - a new city to explore, new friends to make, new things to learn. Lots of eating out and shopping and sight-seeing.

Come back later for an update.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Ebay Live - Chicago - less than a week

I can't ever get those countdown things to work or I'd put one on here. A week from now, I'll be 3/4 thru my first day at Ebay Live. I am so excited - now I hear a lot of other people are going to complain. (not that I disagree but when did eBay EVER listen to us?)


I've bought stuff for the Meet and Greet - ironed an outfit for the Top Sellers get together (I didn't know I was one) and for the Powersellers get together and for the Lunch with the executives and for the PESA get together and I signed up for the Alibaba get together although I have NO idea how I'm gonna get there and get home to my hotel in one piece. (or how my back and knees will take to such a long day).

Now? Now I want to go. Enough with the waiting.

Meanwhile here's aquick way to make some money back off of Paypal, even as you spend money on eBay - go to this link and sign up . It will probably tell you you'll be notified if you qualify. So here's what I'd like to ask. Please come back here and post if you are accepted - and if you are or are not, please post whether you use your bank account balance to regularly fund your purchases. (one of paypal accounts does and one doesn't. ) Inquiring (nosy,busybody) minds want to know.

June 04, 2008
Link to the Paypal 1.5% promo
Turns out the Paypal money back promo I mentioned here, isn't showing up for everyone, just 'top buyers' (so maybe it is a test?). In any case, here's a link, so sign up and see if you can get in!
Note: If you get in, the eBay Strategies blog royalty is a mere 10% - thanks for your support :-)
Posted by Scot Wingo on June 04, 2008 at 07:47 PM in Of interest to ebay buyers


I am just curious what the "qualification" is. No need for anti-paypal rants or even anti-ebay rants cause I probably agree with all of what you think but...(big BUT!) I make my living on ebay at the moment. That may not last much longer but right now, I'm trying very hard to stay on their good side for the duration. (til my website is up and running or I win the lottery whichever comes first).

Beth

Saturday, June 7, 2008

10 Good Reasons to go to Ebay Live 2008 in Chicago

1. Who knows if we'll even be alive in 2010?

2. With the price of gas and oil, airline tickets to Florida will surelycost WAY MORE!

3. Ebay's changing everything - there may never be another one no matterwhat they say. When they see how much money they save next year not doing eBay Live, they may never bring it back.

4. You'll learn so much your head will feel like it's splitting from being crammed so full

5. You'll get the "enthusiasm" injection and be charged up for several months if not several years

6. You'll make business contacts for new sources of goods, new software, new trading partners

7. You'll make friends and meet friends you already have

8. You'll walk too much, eat too much drink too much and go hoarsetalking to folks and you'll love every minute of it.

9 If you do it carefully, you can write off the trip as a businessexpense - or at least I'm gonna try. After all if 4 weeks in Europe was a business expense why not 4 days in Chicago? Obviously I wouldn't go there for the fun of it. (LOL! dont tell the Chicago Tourism Dept. I said that. )

9A. You'll learn so much (I know I said it but it bears repeatingseveral times.

10. You get to meet me!!

Come on now! Quick before it fills up.....Those of you in Il, Mi, In etc who are close enough to drive or train in...SHAME ON YOU. You should be going.I t's a crummy $100 registration and George Bush gave you your economic stimulus check early so you could register!

Especially if you're close enough to commute you should be going!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

So - about ebay & online selling in general

Did I tell you I wasn't good at remembering to post? I'm not. But I'm going to try harder to post at least once a week about some aspect of MY online selling experience. And then you can tell me what you think. Either about that aspect or about some other aspect.

What do I mean by an "aspect"? Any little thing that affects how I sell, when I sell, What I sell or how I get people to see my things so they can buy them.

One concern, for me, is, how do I reach a wider marketplace? I need to figure out who buys the kind of things I sell and where do I find those folks and how do I get them to come look at my stuff.

I sell:
Depression Glass
Depression Era China, Porcelain and Pottery dinnerware
Art Pottery
collectible books

anything that's not nailed down?

Who buys each of those categories? I don't think I'm looking at 20 somthing's as customers. But who? And how to I get my stuff in front of their eyeballs and buying fingers?

I ought to get organized better and sell the things that are in boxes in the garage and the attic and the dining room and the weight room upstairs. Which includes paper dolls, games, more glass, lots and lots, literally thousands of books that are not "collectible" but I bought them, read them and don't need them sitting around collecting dust.

So this week's project, for me, is to figure out some of those question and toput more items into my ebay pro-store and to find a way to publicize that. More on that later this week (when I figure out my url etc. to post a link.)

See you all next time
Beth

Friday, April 18, 2008

Ebay - some fun - more profit

I have been really lacksadaisical about "blogging" (obviously). So I'm gonna try to post at least once a week.

Here's my current reaction to ebay's Feb. changes.

I listed my little fingers off in March and had the best month ever. April?? So so so far. 1/3 of March and April is 1/2 over. Considering the complaining I hear everywhere about how bad sales are, maybe I should shut up and keep listing. (NOT HAPPENING)

But here''s what I've been doing since I posted last -

#1 - got the software set up to use THEARTOFBOOKS to list my 3000 books
#2 - set up ABE and Biblio to upload too
#3 signed up for Prostores and have some items almost ready to open there. Should be open by Sunday 4-20-08
#4 put all my ebay stuff on I-offer - had 2 sales and 1 offer there

I've also been posting sales to the various news and email groups I belong to and so I have some "off-ebay" sales (SWEEET! no fees - all cash local pickups! I love it)

This week's schedule (called a to-do list here)
1. Finish the Prostores
2, set up AOB to upload books to ebay and 1/2.com
3. sign up for either Alibris or Amazon (well if sales are good, maybe both!


Ok so that's what I'm doing to counteract the ebay fee increases and stupid feedback moves.

What about you!!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Well, where do we go from here?

Everyone seems to be trying to make sense of ebay's changes. Me too! So where do we go from here?



Well for one thing, each of us has to analyze what we sell, what venue on ebay, it sells best in (auction/fixed price/store inventory) and at what price level.



I am so NOT a professional retailer it's not funny. No business courses, no statistical analysis etc. So this is just my "method" that follows.



1. I always put everything into auction and then if it didn't sell, into the eb ay store.



2. Mostly 7 day auctions.



3. Gallery on everything



so...I'll save money on the gallery pix being free. I will still do mainly 7 day auctions.



When things go into the store inventory, they will get piced up higher because of ebay's new 2% minimum higher store FVF.



AND I'm using the google base store connector more regularly.



Oh and yes, I am using Best Offer on EVERYTHING.





AND??



And I have a list of other selling venues to explore

I have found a webhost with shopping cart I'll be exploring and I'll let you know if I'm gonna jump in there right now or wait a bit.

I also am going to reopen my ABEbooks bookstore - and put a lot more books and items on Amazon. Both things will cost me money initially but we'll see if it sells enough to support itself. All my friends are doing it, so why not.


Now, before you ask, NO I have not revised all 900 items. The new things all have the new template the eBay Seller Outreach program recommended but the 900 already in there? Nope, not yet.

I had knee replacement surgery last week and I'm spending hours a day doing rehab so I'm behind on my "updates" and moving a lot more surgery. But that's a whole 'nother blog. or Squidoo lens. See ya later

Friday, February 1, 2008

Why do I have to revise 900 items?

Last post I said, I had to revise 900 listings. Why, you ask? (I know you meant to) --

1. Because somewhere back in the summer, ebay called me on one of those random outreach calls. They asked if I wanted to participate in seller outreach and I said, "ok, if it's free". It is. So I've been participating.

I've had 2 calls so far and have another one scheduled. The first call, the person on it from Seller Outreach actually sells on ebay. He suggested changes to my category structure, category names and the Store description and Store header. Did them.

The 2nd caller was just this week. Her call came about 10 minutes after the fee increase announcement. She negated some of the first person's recommendations but made some of her own. And the one that made the most sense to me was the layout of my listings. I had a table format and used different cells for differnt headings. Such as: SHIPPING, RETURNS.

She recommended consolidating my terms and getting rid of the table since the cell margins created a visual barrier. She also said to use Auctiva more since it lets me put the picture at the top for free. Which is fine except I'm exceptionally slow on Auctiva.

She made some other "visual" recommendations. Which I'll share with you as soon as I start making changings. Cause I think it will be easier to visualize if you can see the "picture" instead of just the words.

Now, I did ask, for all my friends out there, HOW do you join seller outreach if eBay doesn't call you? You CALL THEM!! Call store support or call Powerseller support and ask to be included in the program. Eventually they will get around to you. And when they do, I'd love to hear what they tell you.

Now, after Call #1 - I did make the changes to the category structure in my store and I changed a lot of the category names to be more like keywords. And I have seen an increase in store activity. So, that worked well. On Sunday, when in theory, I'll actually have a couple of minutes to think, I can write out more accurately, the recommendations the advisor had and I can tell you what I did. And I'll give you some numbers on what is happening saleswise.


Meanwhile, the weather has turned cold and nasty most places for at least today and tomorrow. So bundle up, drive safely and don't take any chances getting stuck in snow or on ice. Come back soon.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Ebay - for fun and profit

Well it might seem like a weird time to start a blog about ebay for fun and profit but...I've been doing ebay for fun AND profit for 11 years next month. So it's about darn time I got around to it.

All these other folks are touting themselves and talking about what great ebay gurus they are, so I figured, "why not me?". I mean I started on ebay before any of the so-called gurus. I paid my son's college tuition with my action figure auctions. Now I pay my bills with a full-time ebay business for the last 3 years. So "WHY NOT ME?".

Here's my first reaction to the disruptive innovation of ebay yesterday - WAIT, BREATHE, THINK, PLAN.....beat them at their own game.

So today is the first day of the new ebay regime and my first project is to revise 900 listings.

And on that note, I'll just leave you to BREATHE, THINK, PLAN

And over the next few days/weeks and months, we can talk about how to work the "new system" of ebay.

Official eBay Search

Squidoo: My 2008 reading list