Thursday, December 18, 2014

ASK THE EBAY QUEEN: Is this an eBay success story or what?

By SUZIE EADS, Ask the eBay Queen | 3/21/2014

Dear eBay Queen: I wanted to tell you about my sales during the past 120 days. My wife and I have really stepped up how we work. We took one of your eBay classes a few years ago, and you inspired us to find our niche and become the best at it. I noticed it seems a lot of people complain about eBay and how they can’t make money. I am proof you can make money on eBay. Just like any job, you are going to have to work at it.

We both do this full time, going on five years now. Right after the eBay class we took, I lost my job, and we were evicted from our apartment. We had to live in my wife’s grandma’s basement for a year before we finally were able to buy a house with help from our aunt. I’ve had to go to temp agencies at times to keep the power on, and worked part time as a cashier for a store that was an hour away to keep this going. There have been many nights of tears and arguments with this business, and we’ve both wanted to quit at times. All our hard work is finally paying off, even though it’s been a struggle and every day we push ourselves to the max. We sell children’s clothing in lots and adult clothing in lots. They both work very well, though honestly the children’s lots have been more successful for us.

You know, we’ve made a lot of changes business-wise, but I think the number one thing that’s changed is our attitude. We were acting really whiney and negative, without realizing we were. We decided to start fresh by trying lots of different items to sell and see what moves best.For us, it is clothing in lots. Thank you for inspiring us to be better! — Alan T.

Dear Alan: Thank you for sharing your story with us. What a testament to you and your wife’s hard work. 

Dear eBay Queen: I am in the first 60 days of selling. I have been listing regularly. I ship within 24 hours. I have been using auctions lately for some products because of the eBay promotion, although I don’t normally. I do try to make sure I review other completed listings to gauge my price point. I really appreciate your feedback and suggestions.

I really must be doing something wrong, because within the last two weeks I haven’t really had any movement on my eBay items. I’ve sold one thing since last week and two items total last week. I have a ton of watchers on a few things but no real movement. I requested an increase in my listing numbers, because I do have a listing cap. eBay granted me the increase in my listings and have added a ton since then. Now I’m almost capped out on the new numbers I was just given. I have attempted to revise my listings for those that don’t have any views or very little views. I don’t know what else to do. My listings are a combination of auctions and BINs, and I’m unsure what else to do. — Chanda

Dear Chanda: I wish you would have given me a link to your items, or told me what you are selling. My first thought is it could be the product you are selling. Some product does not move as quickly on eBay as many sellers would like it to. 

My other thought would be: are your titles Cassini search friendly? In June 2013, eBay changed the search algorithm. Here are some of the important things to keep in mind when it comes to Cassini search:

• Views versus purchases. Cassini looks at how many times your listing has been seen and the number of sales you generate. It is no longer a good thing to have lots of views without purchases.

• Write titles for a buyer, not a search engine. Keyword spamming is dead on eBay. It is no longer advisable to use all the characters in the space for the title. Use what is relevant to the buyer, and put the words in the same order a buyer would. For example, if you are selling a pair of Levis jeans, an old title might be, “Mens darkwashed bootcut jeans Levis 34x34 pants 5 pocket denim dungarees casual.” A customer isn’t going to search for jeans using those words in that order. A better title for Cassini is: “Mens Levis jeans 34x34 boot cut dark wash.” The order of words in the title is important to Cassini. A great way to test this is to search for the same type of item you are selling on eBay and watch what eBay starts to prefill in the search bar.

• Fill in all item specifics. Don’t skip those little boxes with check marks that describe the item like color, brand, size, style, country of manufacture.

• Keep your account healthy. Cassini likes healthy accounts in good standing. Cassini looks at seller performance including feedback, top-rated status, detailed seller ratings, customer service and disputes history, communication, and shipping time. Serious sellers who really want to get sales offer 1-day processing time (get the item in the mail in 24 hours), respond to customer questions ASAP, handle disputes quickly to keep the customer happy, and go above and beyond to be the better seller.

• Proofread text and write a good listing. Make sure your description is free of grammatical or spelling errors and organized in an easy to read format, such as bullet points.

Getting to the top of Cassini is work, so be prepared to do what it takes. This is called the cost of doing business. Sometimes you have to do things for the sake of keeping the overall business healthy.

Strange eBay item of the week: eBay item No. 400651979384. Did you sell anything St. Patrick’s Day related? Fitz & Floyd figures are highly collectible. Check out these “Fitz Floyd 1988 St. Patrick’s Day Leprechaun Candlesticks Candle Holders.” Sold for $178.48 at

Suzie Eads is a nationally known eBay marketer and eBay trained education specialist. She lives in Rantoul. Have a question for the eBay Queen? Email the eBay Queen

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