As if you haven’t already heard, millions upon millions of people of people buy and sell on eBay every single day. Some only make a few sales here and there. Others have figured out what it takes to become “Powersellers.” Powersellers are the very small minority of eBay sellers that do at least $2,000 per month in sales on eBay and maintain a 99% positive feedback rating. Powersellers are the ones that really know what they’re doing and if you really want to be successful on eBay then follow the secrets they revealed to me.
So, what are the secrets, tips and tricks that will cause you to become a Powerseller as well?
Well, I’ll be completely honest with you… I may be well on my way but I’m not a Powerseller yet. However, one thing that I know from creating several successful businesses is that if you want to become the best at something, you need to copy those that are already successful, ask them to mentor you and ask questions and take notes. And now I am going to take what they taught me and pass it on to you.
This is part three of a four part article series. You will find links to the other parts of this article series at the end of this article.
SECRET STRATEGY #12 – DO ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING TO MAKE YOUR CUSTOMER HAPPY… EVEN IF IT MEANS LOSING MONEY ON A DEAL!
Of course, we’ve all heard “the customer’s always right!” On eBay it’s even more true. Here’s something odd that you probably don’t know: when a customer tells other people that a company or product sucked, the people they told are 5 times more likely than the person that told them to not do business with that company or buy that product. Five times more likely than the person that actually bought the thing!
Now, on eBay it is even more important as a seller to make sure that you maintain a highly positive rating because every single potential customer can see the negative ratings left for you. In addition, for every 1% (for sellers that have a rating under 1000) you’re your feedback is lowered, you will lose 11% in bids. That’s why every Powerseller says that their rating is more important than money that they lose off one deal. Personally, I can tell you that I know that several bidders have purchased my information products and then asked for their money back even though I know that they are still using the product (FYI, there are certain tricks that you can use to make money off even those that rip you off.)
I also highly recommend that you subscribe to SquareTrade and register for the Better Business Bureau Online if you qualify. I’m sure that you are familiar with the BBB so let’s talk about SquareTrade. SquareTrade has been working with eBay pretty much since eBay began and they are a certified eBay partner.
Basically, what they do is mediate disagreements with customers but, even more beneficial, they immediately investigate negative feedback is soon as a customer leaves it for you and they work with eBay to remove negative feedback that is malicious (i.e. your competition buys a product just to leave a negative feedback.) If they determine that the negative feedback was indeed caused by the seller, they attempt work out a resolution with the buyer so that the negative feedback can be removed.
Many Powersellers have been subscribed to SquareTrade for years and they also told me that it pretty much pays for itself right away because when buyers see the SquareTrade logo on the listing that the seller is making every attempt to make sure that their customers are fully satisfied. Check out SquareTrade:
Next, I believe, as do all the Powersellers that I spoke with, that you should always offer a powerful guarantee. I, for one, offer a 180-day, no-hassle, satisfaction, money-back guarantee on any information product that I wrote and at least a 30-day guarantee on everything else. One thing that I do not do is offer a “100% Money Back” guarantee although if a customer asks for all of their money back, I give them exactly what they ask for. What I do is always send them an email telling them that they will get to keep the product since there is no way me to make sure that they don’t use it. Most of the time they ask for 25-75% of their money back but very rarely do they ask 100% of their money back.
Also, for physical products most Powersellers require that items be returned in their original condition. And they charge a restocking fee for all returned items. But remember that their customer’s satisfaction always supersedes these policies. Just keep this in mind: your feedback rating is your best advertisement but can also be your largest downfall. Never let your emotions get in the way and always make 200% sure that your customer walks away happy… even if you have to bribe them with extra gifts.
SECRET STRATEGY #13 – BUILD YOUR OWN WEBSITE
While you don’t need your own website from the very beginning, every Powerseller I spoke with has their own website. Why? One, they do not want to be at the mercy of eBay. Certainly, eBay doesn’t make it a goal of theirs to hurt businesses that sell on eBay but on occasion they do. For example, a few years ago, many people realized the power of selling their cars on eBay. At that time, it cost around $60-80 to place an ad in the newspaper or AutoTrader but only a couple of dollars to put an ad on eBay.
So, many auto traders started creating businesses where they would sell their cars on eBay. Well, eBay soon realized this new popularity and then created eBay Motors. Now, it costs $40 to list a car and $40 at the close of the sale. This is still a pretty good deal but definitely more risky than it was before. However, Powersellers realize two things: 1) that it is not good to be at the mercy of others and 2) that they can make more money selling through their own web site.
That’s why it’s very important to set up your own web site as soon as possible. Furthermore, when you have people buying through your own web site, you don’t have to pay eBay fees which can save tons of money. Finally, many Powersellers have developed ways to use eBay as a traffic generator rather than really try to make money off eBay. For example, they might have an informational product that they are selling like “The Most Spectacular Fishing Trips In The World” and to promote this product, they sell various fishing items such as lures and rods.
Of course, they want to make a profit off these items but the big money is in the back end product. In this case, one could sell the fishing guide as well as have affiliate tie-ins to companies that selling fishing tours in the areas that were talked about in the guide. On top of that, if you get the customer’s email address then you can contact them in the future about new products or services. Even if you cannot set up your own website right away, at the very least, make sure that you get their email address for use in the future.
SECRET STRATEGY #14 – ACCEPT EVERY FORM OF PAYMENT THAT YOU POSSIBLE CAN!
Powersellers make it as easy as possible for their customers to pay for an item and give them as many options as possible. Many sellers are opposed to accepting credit cards because of the fees that credit card companies charge. This is the most ridiculous belief when it comes to business for several reasons. One, the average credit card purchase is 30% higher than purchases made by cash or check. So, do the math. Do you make more money by offering credit card payments or less? Sure you have to pay 2-3% to the credit card company but you will make 30% more on the sale.
Now, many people then say “Well, why should I accept personal checks or money orders then?” Because, even though credit card payments are the safest way to pay on the Internet, many people believe that they’re just not safe. I try to tell people that using their credit card on the Internet is actually safer online than offline as the credit card companies attest but, most of the time, they simply don’t believe me. And you know what?
I hate having to go to the bank to deposit a check and wait until it clears but the funny thing is that even though I accept checks and money orders, the winning bidder rarely wants to pay via check or money order. This goes back to the first reason why you should accept credit cards… because people that pay via credit card are willing to pay more usually making them the highest bidder. Finally, when you accept more forms of payments, you’ll receive more bids and the interesting thing is that this can often times create a bidding frenzy.
SECRET STRATEGY #15 – START WITH THE LOWEST BID POSSIBLE AND AVOID RESERVE BIDS
Many sellers are terrified of starting their auctions at $.01 and not having a reserve price. They are afraid that if they do this then the item that they’re selling will sell for less than its worth. First of all, an auction is capitalism at it’s best. Whoever is willing to pay the most gets the item. Basically, whatever the highest bid ends up being IS what the item is worth.
Of course, if you have read the rest of this article then you’d know that there are many things that you can do to receive higher bids on your auction like adding photos and writing a great description. However, the Powersellers that I spoke with all told me that they begin 99% of their auctions at $.01 with no reserve; the rare exception being extremely expensive items that they have never sold before.
You see, one Powerseller that I interviewed told me about a little experiment that he conducted on several occasions. Basically, what he did was place identical items up for auction which he knew that he normally had sold for $300 (with a starting bid of $9.99) in the past, placed them in the same categories and began and ended them at the exact same times. The only difference between the two auctions was that one auction he began at $.01 and the other he began at $25. In fact, if one searched for the particular item that he was selling, these two auctions would show up right next to each other.
At the end of the auction, the one that began at $.01 had received 63 bids and ended with a winning bid of $343. That’s $43 more than he had ever made off a previous sale. The auction that began at $25 ended with only 43 bids and a final price of $287 for a difference of $56! Remember that everything was exactly the same except for the starting bid price.
Why does this happen? It’s pretty simple really. First of all, you’ll receive bids from a larger number of unique bidders and remember that every time someone is outbid, they receive a notice that they have been outbid. In affect, eBay is promoting your item for you even more.
Second, more bids draw more bidders. Ask yourself this: when you are scrolling through eBay listings, what catches your eye more: an auction with 3-4 bids or an auction with 20. Some people claim that it doesn’t make a difference but the numbers prove otherwise. Bids beget more bids.
Finally, people always want to “win!” You know, when you go to Wal-Mart and buy something, they don’t say “You Won!” do they? Of course not! But on eBay, you’re the “winning bidder!” The more people that you draw into your auction then the more people you will have wanting to win.
Don’t be scared! Always start your auction at $.01 and “no reserve.” This option always makes more money. But there is one exception to this rule: don’t do it when you are just beginning to sell an extremely expensive item that you have to put a lot of your money on the line. For example, when I first started selling sporting tickets on eBay, I really had no idea what I was doing or how to effectively list an item. But once I figured that out, it really didn’t matter how much I bought the tickets for because when I listed them at $.01 and no reserve, I made about 18% more per sale!
Special note: if you have no reserve on your auction, always put “no reserve” (minus the quotes) in your auction title or, if you don’t have enough space for that, then put “nr” in the title. Do this because many people are opposed to auction with reserves and so they will always search for their keyword plus “no reserve” or “nr” and if your title doesn’t have these keywords then they won’t see it.
Well, that’s it! Armed with these secret eBay strategies, you too should be well on your way to making a very substantial income on eBay. However, should you wish to obtain even more information about how to make money on eBay and the rest of the Internet, please visit our eBay store for some fabulous informational products.
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Finally, if you missed any of the four parts of this article, you can read the other three at the following addresses:
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