Wednesday, October 30, 2013

How Copy Writing Can Give You High-End Credibility

How Copy Writing Can Give You High-End Credibility

You have clear, beautiful pictures of your product, a hard-earned and well-deserved reputation as a quality seller, and you may think you’re good to go - but you can undo all of your hard work by ignoring the importance of good copy. From the title of your listing to the description, careful writing can increase views, drive up sales, and lead to trust and interest on the part of your customers. Experienced sellers know this information by heart, but many find it easy to let little things go as their customer base expands and the number of listings grows; after all, what’s one or two little errors on one listing? What’s wrong with using a template description with just one line actually describing the product? However, these errors can cost sellers sales and customers, and they’re easily fixed by recognizing what customers want out of listings and descriptions.

Stand Out From Other Listings

In the early days, at the dawn of eBay, it might have been a new and innovative eye-catcher to use tricks like all caps, excessive punctuation, and liberal use of words like “rare” to lure in curious customers. Yet all bandwagons eventually fill up, and instead of a speedy race to the finish line you get an overburdened heap that lags behind the people who just dust themselves off and start walking. Buyers today - particularly the collectors who are the lifeblood of some sellers - are looking for coherency, accurate information, and confidence. Think about it in terms of offline stores; the ones whose salespeople are shouting and over-hyping their products are generally low-end, while high-end businesses treat their customers with dignity, intelligence, and quiet respect. No matter what you’re selling, it’s always better to be seen as Armani rather than the neighborhood dollar store. Keep your listings as grammatically correct as possible while still listing the important details, be scrupulously honest, and STOP SHOUTING.

Keywords For SEO

Search engine optimization used to be a black-hat hacker trick, and despite advances in using its powers for good, savvy internet users - that is, your customers - are quick to spot the sloppy work of SEO amateurs. While this might not deter them if your items are interesting enough, many might roll their eyes and click away. Employing trained search-engine specialists isone option, particularly if you need to give your store a jump-start, as you can also train yourself by studying the work they provide for you. For smaller stores, or those who are comfortable with their rate of growth, a major tip is to write normally (ignoring SEO writing for the moment) and then go back to change certain words to SEO-friendly keywords. The key is for it to appear natural and for the information to remain as informative as possible. After all, all your work won’t amount for much if you earn a click through SEO but your potential customer is turned away by a wall of shoutygibberish.

Keywords For Interest

It’s also critical to consider which words your customer might be looking for when they scan your listing and description. This may seem like an obvious point, but it depends on your target customer base, and many sellers make this mistake when branching out. Take vintage and antique furniture, houseware, and collectibles for example. There are two main market bases for these items: the average person who is interested in cultivating a certain mood and style in their home, and serious collectors who are more likely to be interested in specific details. Sellers targeting the former should focus on descriptions which are evocative, words which reinforce the buyer’s image of themselves, and any interesting history which will provide that all-important backstory. For sellers whose market is primarily collectors, a straightforward approach will be more successful; many collectors are suspicious of or annoyed by the stylistic approach to what most consider a fairly academic hobby. This tactic applies to almost any product, although the different markets for other products are likely to be different.

Stay Spare And Stylish

Most sellers have a template for their descriptions, which can work very well when used correctly. Unfortunately, the majority of these templates arebusy, confusing, and bury the information their customers are looking for. Given the fast pace of most eBay buying and browsing, this can easily lead to a distracted click away. Remember to always keep your descriptions front and center, using bold to create informative headings and avoiding its use in the copy itself. Whenever possible, put the rest of your template’s store information below the primary description, instead of over it; if you choose to use a sidebar, make it unobtrusive. Finally, remember that templates are not a substitute for good descriptive copy. Think of your template as simply a blank page - if one line on a blank page wouldn't be enough for you to buy an item, it’s likely that it won’t be good enough for your customers either.


Written by Melissa Gardner

Monday, November 28, 2011

eBay 101: Selling on eBay For Part-time or Full-time Income, Beginner to PowerSeller in 90 Days [Kindle Edition]

Here is the Kindle version of this top ranked book and how to sell on eBay.




Editorial Reviews From Amazon.com


Product Description

With today's rocky economy and unsteady job market, there's never been a better time to earn extra cash online. And now there's a new book that guides you each step of the way: eBay 101: Selling on eBay For Part-time or Full-time Income, Beginner to PowerSeller in 90 Days. Access the world's biggest marketplace, right from your own home.

You'll learn how to:

-- Register at eBay and PayPal
-- Start part-time and expand your income when you're ready
-- Find great inventory at low prices
-- Auction to the highest bidder or sell at fixed prices
-- Identify niche markets for big profits
-- Get tax deductions for your eBay home-based business
-- Guard against scammers and rip-off artists

Starting a business on eBay is perhaps your fastest route to the American Dream. The payoff can be high, and the barriers to entry are low.

The world's most popular online marketplace, eBay has millions of registered buyers waiting to do business with you. For less than $100 and very little risk, you can start an eBay venture with profit margins rivaling those of any business. Exactly how much money you earn depends mostly on how much effort you put into your new enterprise and how efficiently you operate it.

In this new eBay guide, you'll see:

How eBay works ... Register your business ... Sell your item ... Build your listing

Timing, planning your auction ... Make a picture worth $1,000 ... Use Pre-filled Item Information ... Price your item ... Reserve Pricing ... Multiple Item (Dutch) Auctions ... The auction alternative: fixed prices ... Best Offer listing option ... Upgrade your listings ... The best time to list

Profit with a niche ... Start with used merchandise ... Win with niche selling ... Cash in on collectibles ... Autographed items ... Trust, but authenticate ... How to recognize fake autographs

Get more great inventory ... Estate sales ... Bankruptcy sales ... Thrift shops ... Local artisans ... Close-out merchandise ... Library sales ... Overstock distributors ... Find overlooked gems at estate sales ... Live auctions ... Postal Service auctions ... Treasury Department auctions ... GSA Auctions ... Government Liquidation ... Law Enforcement Auctions ... Classified ads ... Get merchandise on eBay ... Get merchandise on consignment ... Become a trading assistant

Expand your business ... Create your `About Me' page ... Cross-promotions ... Open an eBay store ... Set up shop ... Promote your store ... eBay Express ... Using eBay's Half.com site ... Google Base ... Why many would-be PowerSellers fail

Prevent problem customers ... Set Buyer Requirements ... Be a feedback fanatic ... Completing sales ... Communicate with a packing slip ... Respond to feedback ... Mutual Feedback Withdrawal ... Feedback policies ... Handle customers right ... Unpaid item disputes ... Work with PayPal

Avoid scams and fraud ... Spot shady buyers ... Recognize predators ... Avoid phishing e-mails ... Beware of hoax e-mails ... Avoid drop-ship, wholesale scams ... Recognize crooks and middlemen ... Warning signs of bogus wholesalers ... Know a fake from the real McCoy

Ship efficiently ... Choose a shipping company ... Communicate when you ship ... Pare shipping costs to the bone ... Sell Get It Fast Items ... Handle delivery snafus ... Print online postage ... Organize your inventory ... Design your SKU system

Get efficient with fulfillment software ... TurboLister ... Selling Manager ... Software for media sellers ... Research prices wirelessly

More eBay rules ... Prohibited and restricted items ... Shill bidding ... Keyword spamming ... Fee Circumvention ... Sales taxes ... Income taxes ... Business use of your home ... Hiring employees


Monday, November 23, 2009

eBay Has Major Search Outage Over Weekend

During this critical shopping period, with the economy in the doldrums and retailers of all sizes needing to make as many sales as possible eBay experienced a world wide search system failure on Friday, November 21st.

AuctionBytes.com by Ina Steiner has complete details and many comments by eBay users.

CNN.com is reporting on the incident in an article titled EBay Apologizes for Web Site Glitch
Online auction giant eBay apologized Sunday for a daylong glitch that inactivated the search function on its Web site, and said it will compensate sellers for their losses.
The Wall Street Journal.com is reporting about the problem in an article titled EBay Search Glitch Damps Sales where they state;
A search glitch at eBay Inc.'s main e-commerce sites over the weekend damped sales in the run-up to the crucial holiday shopping season.

Although auctions continued to function, sellers began noticing problems with eBay's search system Saturday morning that prevented users from finding products on the U.S. and some international eBay sites. EBay said search functions were fully restored Sunday morning.


The overall consensus is that EBay is a victim of it's on success. The number of buyers that flocked to the site over the weekend crashed the search function. This however begs the question, "Didn't EBay realize this would happen in this climate where many shoppers would be searching for bargians?"

Books About EBay @Amazon.com

Friday, April 03, 2009

QuickBooks

QuickBooks Pro 2009


    Product Features
  • Complete tasks like paying employees, invoicing, bill tracking and check-writing
  • Track sales and expenses, and easily share this data in Word and Excel
  • Stay on top of your business by seeing who owes you money or which bills are coming due
  • Quickly create your own professional-looking custom forms
  • Over 100 included templates for reporting


Spend more time making money, rather than tracking it. QuickBooks Pro 2009 makes the job of running a business easier by giving you tools to organize all your finances conveniently in one place. Easily keep track of sales and expenses so you know at a glance who owes you money and who you owe money to. Use any of more than 100 included templates to create your own professional-quality forms, including estimates, invoices and reports. Plus, you can share your data with such programs as Word and Excel, making it even easier to both make sense of and make use of your business's constantly changing financial information.

Compatible with QuickBooks Point of Sale version 4.0 and later

Monday, October 06, 2008

eBay Announces Lay Off of 10 Percent

According to an article on the New York Times.com Technology page, eBay "is both tightening its belt and expanding its reach in preparation for the coming economic storm."

On Monday, eBay announced it would lay off 10 percent of its 16,000 workers, including 1,000 permanent employees, and pay $1.35 billion to acquire the Web payment firm Bill Me Later and the Danish classified advertising companies Den Bla Avis and BilBasen.
You can read the full article here, EBay Trims Its Work Force And Makes Acquisitions.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Scot Wingo's Thoughts on eBay Changes

Scot Wingo the author of the blog eBay Strategies has a very interesting and informed opinion regarding the recent changes at eBay. He makes the points in an article in his blog titled eBay mega-changes day 3 - Wall St reaction and some 'deep thoughts'..., where he states;
Not all of the analysts have chimed in, but as you'd expect the bears view this as vindication the model is broken and bulls are cheering that the company is making progress on moving towards more CPA vs. listing fee model. Most analysts are concerned that here we are in September basically and the buyer experience hasn't materially improved yet. Thus eBay is looking at a potentially disadvantaged holiday season vs. other retailers (they mean Amazon when the say this IMO).
I really like how he compares eBay to Amazon.com and looks at their business models.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

More Changes From eBay

Various news organizations are reporting new changes in eBays pricing policies. Check out Some eBay sellers frustrated with rule changes from the Associated Press.

According to the article;
Even with the rancor, some sellers clearly have benefited from eBay's changes. Steven Holt and his wife, Crystal, who sell DVDs from Denison, Iowa, say they've seen record sales since the spring, when eBay search results began favoring vendors who, like them, have high feedback ratings.
Changes are coming in the following five areas:

  • Pricing, - All fixed Price listing fees will be lowered to 35-cents and the listing period will expand for 30 days, and one listing fee will cover an unlimited number of items. This will also be accompanied with an increase in final value fees by categories.

  • Search, - The new search will treat auction and Fixed Price listings more fairly. Fixed price listings and auction listings separately for best match and then combine them in the final listing. The new search algorithm will look at the success rate of an item. The fixed price listings that have a higher sales rate will rank above those that don’t.

  • Seller Standards, - One of the recent changes to the changes that eBay made was to stop counting neutrals in your feedback score. There will probably be more changes made in this area as eBay is serious about getting rid of problem sellers.

  • Shipping, - Soon eBay will set a maximum shipping & handling charge for items listed in the media categories (books, DVDs, CDs, etc.). They also indicated that maximum shipping charges may be set in other categories in the future. This will be accompanied by promotions for buyers that will help with your item rankings.

  • Electronic Payments, - eBay will go to an all-electronic payment system soon. Checks and Money Orders will not be accepted for payment. This change has been in the works for a while, and it will be interesting to see how it pans out.
As always with eBay things remain fluid. Most of these changes will be implemented in late October, if they do not change their minds between now and then.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Ten Niche Items That You Could Be Selling Online

I get a lot of questions from sellers wanting to know what they should be selling. Two good places to find the best things to sell are eBay and Amazon.com.

Both of these sites are giants in the online retelling world. You can buy wholesale and in quantity on both eBay and Amazon.com.

What follows are ten niches that you could be selling right now;
  • 1. Cellphones - Cellphones are the number one consumer electronics item out there. They are bought and sold world wide and even children own cellphones.

  • 2. Bluetooth headsets - With the recent increase of laws making hands free driving a must, bluetooths will only continue to be popular.

  • 3. Bike Frames - The profit margins on bikes will surprise you. Go to eBay and look at what bikes are being sold for.

  • 4. Military Collectibles - Military collectibles is an area that has a long and interesting history. These collectibles go all the way back to the beginning of the last centry.

  • 5. MP3 players (iPods) - Mp3 players are also one of the must haves for the average consumer of electronics. The demand for the new models ensures that this niche will be popular for years to come.

  • 6. Autos - Autos like cellphones is an area of sells where everyone can be your customer, because almost everyone has an auto. So the ability to sell makes this an area that if you are a serious seller you will want to consider.

  • 7. Entertainment Memorabilia - Entertainment memorabilia is an area that resist down turns in the economy and other glitches that cause other niches to loose their popularity. Even during down turns we need to escape into the world of entertainment. This makes this area of sells very attractive.

  • 8. Sports Gear (Golf, football, basketball, soccer) - Like entertainment, sports is an area of escape. And even when we cut back in other areas we still need the escape and inspiration that sports offer. Not to mention the health benefits of using sports gear.

  • 9. Blue ray DVDs - Blue Ray DVDs are also a new area that if you start selling you can expect that there will be years of stable sales growth. This is one of the features that all online sellers should be looking for.

  • 10. Video Games - Video games like cellphones, blue ray dvds and other consumer electronics are growing a rate that offers a very good chance to generate a stable income into the future.

The above list contains items that will give you a good profit margin and allow you to make money. I also hope that it makes you think about what niches that you come up with yourself. The whole point of this post is to get online sellers to think about what they themselves like to sell and what items have to potential to generate the best sells for them.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Amazon.com Offers New Payment Method

According to the article Amazon payment services debut in ComputerWorld.com;

Amazon.com Inc. on Tuesday launched hosted e-commerce payment services for merchants that want to outsource all or some of their online transaction processing tasks.

The two new offerings, called Checkout By Amazon and Amazon Simple Pay, are the latest services for businesses introduced by Amazon, which is best known for its massive online retailing operation.
It will be interesting to see if this new service will have an impact on eBay's PayPal system.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Don't Break Up With Your Customers

This amusing video makes some points that I think the average online seller would do good to remember.

1. Communicate with your customer.
2. Understand their needs.
3. Listen when they talk to you.
4. Make sure they have good channels of access.
5. Be genuine.

The Break Up