Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I'm A Raving Fan Of Ebay!

Ebay is such an awesome company. I have been registered since 2001, but didn't even use it until April 2004, and then after using it for a few weeks, decided to open an eBay business. Amazing.

Open a business on eBay. It's easy to do and costs very little to get going. If you've thought about having your own business, here is a great way to test it out. Open an eBay store for $15.95 per month and then put things in there, develop a marketing style and plan and then expand as you see fit. What's powerful about starting an eBay business is that you can--anyone can. What an awesome opportunity this is. To have the world at your door. Incredible.

Of course, a business is one aspect of eBay. I buy so many things there it is amazing. I buy shipping supplies, books, audiobooks, music, movies, electric woks, hair coloring, collectibles, and much more. My business partner bought a pool table on eBay! Ebay has everything it seems. Being able to find items, and find excellent pricing is part of the eBay experience. Sometimes things are an incredible bargain, other times, they are just at the bottom end of the market, but it is almost always good. I rarely need to search elsewhere.

I love the feedback scoring thing. I've given over 13,300 feedbacks to other people and have received over 10,600 feedbacks myself. I've never needed to give a negative feedback. As a seller I have received about 4 negative feedbacks, but they were not reasonable people. Ebay has now made some changes so that it is a bit harder to leave a negative feedback. If it is deserved, that is a great a powerful tool for a consumer. With my guarantee, it is impossible for someone to leave a legitimate negative feedback because I absolutely guarantee their satisfaction including free replacement. Nonetheless, the feedback system is overall a very positive thing to me. I would love to have the feedback score and comments listed on every business everywhere I go. If I am buying on eBay and see a number of negative feedbacks, I go elsewhere and rightly so. People are saying these guys are not good business people, so avoid them. What a powerful tool.

Ebay has made a lot of changes in the last few years and that has upset a lot of people who have been long time sellers. Business is always changing. It is still a great opportunity. Matter of fact, I promote eBay wherever I go. I try to encourage businesses that we build a website for to try selling some things on eBay. It is really easy. We coach people on building an eBay income stream and help them make it effective quickly. eBay is a great place to move some of that old inventory you might be sitting on.

At our www.delsoutlet.com eBay store, we get the best prices for our merchandise. We have tried other avenues, but eBay so far is the best overall. Of course, for the best prices, we give the ultimate in service. I have no interest in being the lowest price out there because I cannot afford to provide any service at those prices. My prices are fair, but I get a better overall return on eBay--even after eBay's fees. What that means to you, is that you should get the best prices on your items as well. It is a competitive market; however, you do not have to work the low end to be successful. Selling books for a dollar is a waste of energy to me, but there are a lot of sellers who do this. My average on eBay for used books is over $10, so that works for me. We also use eBay's half.com. Our half.com shop, www.delsbooks.com doesn't get the same return that eBay does (one reason is that at half.com, sales are to the US market only), but there are no up front fees, so that keeps the operating costs a bit lower. Ebay works better, but I use them both.

Ebay stores have set pricing and you can have a set price plus a best offer feature so that if someone likes your item, but feels the price is high, they can make an offer and you can choose to accept it, decline it or submit a counter-offer. I just sold a book for $50 where they offered me $20 and I had it listed for $95. They made two offers, and I made two counter offers and finally decided that $50 would work for me in today's market. That is a great feature for me. It was a very rare book and I knew they could not beat the price, but it was fair to both of us. In another market environment I might get $75 or even my asking price of $95. The price that the customer and the seller are happy with is the best price.

Then to add more, you can have sales on items or groups of items and use a percentage discount or a dollar amount. These are some good marketing tools that didn't exist a couple years ago on eBay. In addition, because eBay started with auctions, you can put some things on auction, then into your store if they don't sell and then take some out of your store and put them on auction and so on. You can even automate some of that process. There are a lot of ways to move things around to try different things to sell it. It is a very flexible environment.

When you are selling more, you can add features that allow you to do bulk email notices, bulk feedback and a lot of other features that really save you time and effort. They also have a wealth of various reports you can view and download to help you make decisions about your business. You can also customize your stores look and features. They now have up to 300 categories where a couple of years ago it was only 20. They are constantly improving things and adding features. Any negatives to me are offset by their constant improvements.

From buying almost any thing new or used, to opening your own business online out of your bedroom or garage and be able to sell to the entire world, to the researching of your interests, eBay has a world of things to love. Then, they also have their other companies that they have acquired over time such as PayPal, half.com, ProStores, Rent.com, Kijiji, MicroPlace, Shopping.com, Skype, StubHub, StumbleUpon. What's not to like? Great company, great services, great service.

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