Thursday, April 24, 2014

ASK THE EBAY QUEEN: How do I clean my Care Bears to sell on eBay?

By SUZIE EADS, Ask the eBay Queen | 12/6/2013

Dear eBay Queen: My husband went to an auction six months ago and bought about 25 rubber or plastic Care Bear figurines. Do you have any great tips on how to clean these figurines quickly? I would like to get them listed before next week. I know I should have cleaned these in July, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. These Care Bears are pose-able and really cute; but there is dust/dirt in all the little crevices of their legs and arms. How do I clean these without taking the paint off and taking forever? — The Maid

Dear Maid: I think I know the figurines you are talking about it. I would try dry methods of cleaning first, if those don’t work, I would use the wet methods. Here are some possible options:

• Canned air.

• A vacuum — if you are worried you might suck up the toy in the vacuum, you can put nylon or hosiery over the end of the tube.

• You also could use a hair dryer on the cold setting and a small paintbrush to get into the crevices that the air can’t get.

• A magic eraser might work, but I would be afraid it would take off the finish. Make sure if you use a magic eraser, find a test area first.

• Micro fiber and a little Dawn soap is fine for durable figurines. I like to try on the least valuable first. You can always list soiled and leave it up to the buyer, just make sure you put it in the description.

• I’ve used toothpaste and a toothbrush to clean items. 

I Googled this, and saw other people recommend using alcohol and Q-Tips. Good luck cleaning your bears! I hope they sell well this holiday season.

Dear eBay Queen: I met you a few months ago at Panera Bread in Overland Park. We talked a little about eBay analytics. I still haven’t checked these out yet. I’ve been banging my head against the wall, wondering “What am I doing wrong? Why isn’t my stuff selling? Is it the pictures? The title?”

Could you give me a few analytics pointers again? — Jolie

Dear Jolie: Analytics can give you a clearer picture of how you are doing. If you haven’t done it, you should take a look at your Listing Analytics.

Many eBayers think about views and watchers, but if you want to get down to the nitty gritty, listing analytics will show how many people have actually had a chance to see your item (the impression, meaning your item was on the search screen before them and then see the “clicks” and see all the people who did not click on it), that will make you start really thinking about your items. 

Imagine this: You have an item you haven’t sold; it has decent views and a few watchers (to me 50 views in a month is good), but then I take a look at the analytics: More than 2,000 people have had the opportunity to click on my item (actually 2,945) and only 23 actually clicked on the thing. Out of those 23 people, no one bought it. So, that means more than 2,922 people passed right by my item, never clicked on it, never paid it any mind. 

This really gets you thinking a little clearer about your items. We all only look at views, but what is really important, above that, is impressions. Of course, views are low if your item isn’t showing up on the first or second pages of the results search, but what is even more troubling is if the item is showing up thousands of times, and only two people click on it. Remember, your views are not real views. They count bots (web rovers that collect data to put in search results), so even if your views say 50, maybe only 10 were real people looking at the item and the other 40 were bot hits.

If people aren’t searching for your item, that’s one thing. If people are searching, and they are scrolling right past yours (proven with the impression), it is an entirely different issue all together. If you have no idea what Listing Analytics are, here is the link: http://pages.ebay.com/sellerinformation/sellingresources/listing_analyticsapp.html

Strange eBay item of the week: eBay item No. 111185289261. Do you have your Christmas decorations up yet? Some of those ornaments might be collectible. “4-inch ANTIQUE GERMAN KUGEL GRAPE CLUSTER CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT RUBY RED.” It sold for $4,049 at http://www.ebay.com/itm/ANTIQUE-GERMAN-KUGEL-4-GRAPE-CLUSTER-CHRISTMAS-ORNAMENT-RUBY-RED-/111185289261?

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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