Truly Quirky Me

Living an Alternative Life

Category: Selling

Benefits for becoming a Powerseller on Ebay.

There are some definite benefits to becoming a Powerseller on Ebay.  Some of these are not very obvious so I detail them here.

Its now about 6 weeks since I opened my new personal Ebay account.   As soon as I opened the account I made the decision to try and aim for Powerseller Status on this second account.  This is as well as maintaining that level on my first account, and I’ve had several questions asking why would I bother?

To be honest I am not a great fan of Ebay these days  due to a lot of the rules and the fees.  By accident I found out a lot of these issues disappear simply by being a Powerseller.   Basically Ebay are working on a reward system for sellers who consistently meet their high standards.  It is this system that makes being a Powerseller worth aiming for.  In my opinion most of the general frustrations I experience as a seller just disappear as soon as I reach Powerseller status.

The Benefits of Becoming a Powerseller on Ebay

According to Ebay the benefits of becoming a Powerseller are:

  • Priority customer support

  • Advanced selling education

  • Promotional offers

  • Opportunities to participate in research

  • eBay promotional merchandise

Personally none of that is very appealing to me.  The experience of being a Powerseller however has shown me the real benefits are:

  • Reduced Fees
  • Listings appear higher up on search results
  • Protection from the problems associated with lower star ratings left by buyers

These benefits are not immediately obvious, and are not advertised by Ebay.  However in my opinion these are much more relevant to sellers than the benefits Ebay do promote.

Basically I find becoming a Powerseller more or less makes selling on Ebay much more like how it used to be before they made all the crazy changes.   In other words it just makes things a lot easier to be a Powerseller now than not to be.

If you have found this post useful please feel free to share it with others.  Thanks in advance to those who do share it, I always appreciate your help in reaching a larger audience!

Ellie xx

 

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How to Create a Sales Target

Creating a sales target might seem like a very simple task for some who work from home.  After all you can just pick a figure and work towards it can’t you?

Actually, there is a bit more to consider when setting yourself a sales target.

Why Create A Sales Target? 

Knowing why it is important to set yourself a sales target is the first step in the process.  If you don’t know why you are doing it you are less likely to take the process seriously.  A common mistake that new business owners frequently make is to simply aim for “as many sales as possible”.  However,  the number and frequency of sales you make is probably one of the best indicators as to how your business is going.  If you just aim for as many as possible how can you access your business properly?

As well as being able to monitor your progress sales targets help keep you focused on achieving your goals.  Those who set targets are generally more motivated and more likely to succeed.

A well set sales target will also enable you to build your business over time.

How to Choose A Sales Target?

Firstly the amount of sales to aim for should be based on some calculations.  What is the reason for you making the sales in the first place? Is it to help you pay your bills for example? If so you need to know how much these bills are.  Is it to replace an income? If so how much is that income?

Of course many people start a business for reasons other than financial reward.  A sales target however is directly related to the financial income side of the business.

Is Your Target SMART?

With any goal you want to work on it is a good idea to make sure it is a SMART goal, and the same goes for a sales target.  A SMART goal is one that is:

Specific – With a sales target it is easy to be specific.  A monetary amount is already specific as long as you choose a single figure.  By this I mean not saying I want to sell around £500 – £600, instead make a clear decision.  My personal sales target for example is £250 per month.  Alternatively you could use a specific number of sales you want to make, such as 100 items per month, or indeed a certain number of customers.  Any of these options are fine.

Measurable – Again a sales target is already measurable.  You know when you have reached halfway to a sales target because it is a number.

Achievable – A good sales target will stretch you a little, but still be achievable for you.  Make sure you consider any barriers such as other obligations.

Relevant – Is your sales target relevant to you? This takes you back to the reason you are making the sales in the first place.  Does it cover a bill? Or replace your other income?  What will it mean to you to reach this sales target?

Time Constrained – It is important to have a time limit attached to reaching your sales goal as this will help to keep you motivated to achieving it.  Is your target per month? per week? per day? Only for one month? Do you want to reach £x.xx level of sales within the next 3 months?

What is Your Current Sales Level?

Knowing what your current sales level is will allow you to make sure your new target is achievable.  It will also provide you with the information about what is required to hit your next target.

You should work out what your average sale value per customer is. The fastest way to do this is to make a list of the value of your last month’s sales, and then divide that number by the total number of sales.

Making this calculation will allow you to work out how best to reach your new target.  For example, lets assume your average sales value is £8 per customer and you want to increase your sales by £100 per month.   This means you need to aim for at least 13 new customers per month.  13 x £8 = £104.

If you are completely new to the business you can give yourself a target of 1 sale per day, or 10 sales in the first month etc etc.

Review

Reviewing your sales target and your progress towards it on a regular basis will help you to stay on track.  It can also be helpful to write a list of things that worked well or not so well after your time limit has expired.  What helped you to reach your target? What got in the way of you reaching your target?

Continual Growth

Setting yourself a sales target that is achievable means you can work on an ever increasing basis.  Remember to nurture relationships with current customers as well as adding new ones so you are not simply replacing 1 customer with another.  Pay attention to what it is that your customers are buying.  Letting customers know if there is an offer available on their favourite product for example will help them to feel important to you.  Everyone likes it when they are made to feel important!

If you have found this post useful please feel free to share it with others.  Thanks in advance to those who do share it, I always appreciate your help in reaching a larger audience!

Ellie xx

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How to Minimise Ebay Fees

ebay-fees

Selling unwanted items is a great way to make some extra cash.  Ebay fees can be a bit of a shock at times though.  It is therefore important to be able to minimise the fees when selling on Ebay.

The fees you pay can be divided into 3 main parts:

Listing Fees

When you are actually adding your item to Ebay you go through the process of listing it.  There are various fees charged at this stage in the process.

The first fee will depend on whether you have a Private Seller Account or a Business Seller Account.

With a Private Seller Account you can list up to 20 items a month for free. After your free 20 items, each item you list costs £0.35.

With a Business Seller Account it is much more complex as you can add various shop subscriptions.  For this post I will assume you have a Private Seller Account.

In addition to the fees based on your account type, there are fees to add various features to your listing.  These are added as you complete the listing process:

You start off with a title, for example “Gold Necklace” and then decide which category to list it in.  When you enter the title you will now get various options to choose from in a drop down menu:

minimise fees on ebay

Click on one of these options to get to the listing form.  Your choices on the listing form are important.  You should note the fees for the following:

  • Adding a Subtitle – This adds £1 to your cost
  • Listing your item in more than one category – This adds 35p
  • Displaying a larger photo in search results – This adds £2.50 for some listings but is free for others.
  • Adding a reserve price – This adds 4% of the reserve price you set (reserve of £10 = 40p)
  • Adding a buy now price – This adds 50p to your cost

minimise fees on ebay

minimise fees on ebay

minimise fees on ebay

All of these are optional and personally I do not use any of them.

The price you charge for postage effects ebay fees too.  You need to be aware of this when filling in the listing form.

Ebay charges a final value fee of up to 10% (for private sellers).  This is on the full price the item has sold for INCLUDING the postage.  This means selling an item for £5 + £3 postage will cost 80p.

Fees for receiving payment

You will also have to pay a fee if the buyer uses paypal as the payment method.  This is 3.4% of the TOTAL amount you receive + 20p per transaction.

Total Fees Examples

To help simplify things for you I have done a few of the calculations for your info.  These calculations DO NOT include listing costs.

Total Selling Cost

£1.00 = 10p Ebay + 24p Paypal + Postage.  55p is lowest price for UK postage, so at this rate you will get 11p for this sale.

£3.00 = 30p Ebay + 31p Paypal + Postage.  75p is the lowest price for large letter UK postage, so at this rate you will get £1.64 for this sale.

£5.00 = 50p Ebay + 37p Paypal + Postage.  £2.85 is the lowest price for small parcel UK postage, so at this rate you will get £1.28 for this sale.

£10.00 = £1 Ebay + 54p Paypal + Postage.  £4.95 is the lowest price for medium UK postage, so at this rate you will get £3.51 for this sale.

£20.00 = £2 Ebay + 88p Paypal + Postage.  £6.05 is the lowest price for recorded medium UK postage, so at this rate you will get £11.07 for this sale.

£50.00 = £5 Ebay + £1.70 Paypal + Postage. £6.05 is the lowest price for recorded medium UK postage, so at this rate you will get £37.25 for this sale.

£100.00 = £10 Ebay + £3.60 Paypal + Postage. £11.99 is the lowest price for recorded UK postage with sufficient insurance, so at this rate you will get £74.41 for this sale.

 

As you can see selling fees and postage can take quite a chunk of the money made from sales on Ebay.  I used to list items starting at 1p or 99p on ebay, but due to the fees it is no longer worth risking this in my opinion.

How to Minimise the Fees on Ebay:

  1. Use only your Free Listing allowance of 20 items per month.
  2. Do not add a subtitle to your listing.
  3. List in one category only.
  4. Do not use larger photo listings
  5. Avoid adding a reserve price
  6. Do not add a buy now price to auction listings
  7. Keep your postage charge low
  8. Offer local collection

Did This Help You? If so, I would greatly appreciate it if you commented below and shared on Facebook etc 🙂 

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How to Become a PowerSeller on Ebay

Would you like to know how to become a powerseller on Ebay?

I already have one Powerseller account on Ebay, and now I have a second one.

This post is about the strategies I use to get this new Ebay account up to PowerSeller status as well.

It takes time obviously, but there are some ways to speed it up.  Firstly, the main thing to focus on is to increase the number of listings you have.  You start off with 10 and can go up to 100.

Increasing Listing Allowance

As I have another established account, I have been able to link my new account to the established one.  This means my account limits are increased to 30 listings immediately.  If you don’t have another account or you don’t want to link them it will take a bit longer.

To increase your listing allowance you first need to get some sales happening.  I speed this process up by listing a few items starting at just 1p on auction.  Personally I use a slightly higher postal cost than cost price for items starting at 1p.  The higher postage cost is so I do not end up costing myself money with fees etc if there are no bids over 1p. This is a slightly risky strategy for Ebay as buyers could potentially mark me down for the postage costs in the detailed seller ratings. I will talk about these ratings more in a later post, but basically the 1p auction with higher postage rate is something I do only for a small amount of listings.  It is only to get my account up and running and is NOT something I would suggest for a long term strategy.

I have now made 5 sales (only 1 of which sold for 1p) and I need to aim for at least 10.  Today I will be adding some more 1p auction items.  Now I need to get the sold items into the post as quickly as possible.  This is another part of the detailed seller ratings so needs to be taken into account.

My Personal Strategy

Apart from the 1p auction strategy which helps increase the listing allowance, I use extra strategies too.  I try to use various ways to make the buyer more likely to leave me positive feedback and detailed seller ratings.  Personally I use a strategy of lowering buyer expectations so I can hopefully surpass those.  I find this works well for me, as you can see from the first feedback I have got on the new account:

Feedback

To do this I tend to choose the longer dispatch time and post quicker than this.  I also tend to ‘undersell’ the item in the description a bit by being very clear about any marks or wear on the item.  Some sellers try to gloss over issues, but this does not help too much on Ebay.  You might think this will lead to a lower selling price, but to be honest I find that is not the case.  Buyers like honesty on listings and so I do tend to get a reasonable amount for goods despite this underselling strategy.

Do you follow any selling strategies for Ebay now? I’d love to hear about those.

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The Sales are Increasing!

I am really happy to report my sales are increasing since I wrote my post Time to Plan for Making More Sales.  Its brilliant to see my hard work paying off, and its helping to increase my motivation as well.

At last count (on 6th Jan) I had reached £481.08/£1000.  I know I made it to over the £500 mark just from a rough calculation, so I think its time to do some adding up 🙂

 

 

Since my last count I have sold and received the following payments:

£11.87, £13.13, £7.04, £3.91, £3.74, £3.91, £5.30, £10.18, £4.64, £23.95

So thats another £87.67 worth of sales I have made.  I have had a few expenses to pay out of that, such as postage bags etc but to keep it simple I will just add all the sales for this challenge as my plan was to make £1000 worth of sales.

My sales made now total £568.75! I am astounded and I feel like that £1000 target is much closer than I thought it would be.  I wish I had that money now, sadly its been paid out on various bills, but still I’m happy to have been able to make so much just by selling off my old junk. It has certainly made paying the bills a bit easier than it would have been without this money.

Now I have some more parcels to sort out and some more invoices to send out as well.  I will be continuing with my plan to make more sales and clear another bit of space in my house – Iwill be at the £1000 target in no time!

How are you getting on? Have you made a plan for selling? Have you been working on it? I’d love to know.  If not why don’t you make a start on writing your own plan – it really does help!

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Working with a New Ebay Account

ebay-account

 

As part of my Junk to Cash Challenge I have decided to open a new Ebay account.  I must admit I’m not a great fan of Ebay any more.  I actually used to sell a lot on there, but it keeps getting more complex for sellers in my opinion.  Never mind, I will be trying to make the most of it.

After I completed my plan to make more sales I realised I wasn’t making very good use of this selling option.  I have a lot to sell, so its time to suck it up and just get on with it! 😉

I am happy this new account is a personal one, as I want to use it for selling off yet more of my old junk.  My other Ebay account is a business one and I have to pay 30p each time I list something on there.  It puts me off listing things that are under a certain value or I want to add as an auction listing.  It is a powerseller account, though so I will keep that one going too.

Now I have the daunting task of building this new account up to having 100 listings a month allowance.  I might even manage to build it up to another powerseller account.  At the minute I just have 10 listings a month and I want to get that increased as soon as possible.  I do have a whole room full of goods to get rid of!

At least with a personal account 20 listings per month are free. I think the fees for selling on Ebay are very high already and it has increased again recently.  Its hard work now trying to juggle the postage costs, the fees and the requirements to keep Ebay happy.

I’m pleased to say I have made my first sale on this new account today.  I actually made a sale on the business account as well today, and sold 10 items on Facebook too.  This shows my selling plan has already started working to increase my income.

Now I just need to get a few more things listed on this new Ebay account and get it working for me.  Thats the plan for tomorrow.

Do you still sell items on Ebay? If so how do you find it these days?

Information about selling on Ebay

Just in case you don’t know Ebay is now charging a final value fee of up to 10% (for private sellers).  This is on the full price the item has sold for INCLUDING the postage.  This can have quite a big impact.

For example

If the item sells for £3 and the postage is £2 you pay 10% of £5 which is 50p.

You will also have to pay a fee if the buyer uses paypal which is 3.4% + 20p per transaction.

This means on that sale totaling £5 in the example the paypal fee will be 37p.

That adds up to a fee of 87p in total + the postage costs which will be payable on the £5 payment received from the buyer.

Now assuming the £2 postage is the actual cost you pay for sending the parcel, this means you will get a total of £2.13 from the £3 sale. You might also have to pay for the packaging out of that too.

Its not a lot for all that work really is it?

Managing Postage Costs

You might think it is simple enough to just add a little on to the postage costs to cover this additional fee.

Its not that simple!

As an additional complication  the buyer is likely to mark you down as a seller if they think the postage costs are too high.  That means its not the best idea to add this fee to the postage.

In my experience buyers tend to mark you down for postage costs which are higher than the actual cost marked on the parcel.  They don’t usually even think about packaging costs.  Personally I don’t think this is their fault, the Ebay system just encourages it.

I have also found that buyers can mark you down for the postage costs, even if you charge the cost price for it.

Unfortunately being marked down for postage costs will affect the visibility of your listings on Ebay.  You could also get your account cancelled or restricted too.  It is quite difficult to manage at times I must admit.

I will write another post soon outlining my tips for becoming a powerseller and keeping your seller ratings up as high as possible.  Its not easy, but it is possible if you follow a few simple steps!

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Plan to Make More Sales!

Its time for me to plan how to make more sales!

I’m feeling a bit like my motivation for selling is flagging a bit at the minute.  I think its mainly because I’ve not been posting my updates or working on the steps I need to take to keep the sales happening.  I did have a flurry of activity a few weeks ago and that work made a big difference to the amount of money I made from sales.  Its time for me to do that again now.  If you would like to try to increase your own sales this post will help you to work through the steps you can take as well.

First of all I like to try and break down the process I use to make it easier to figure out what I need to do.  I’m wanting to think spedeveloping an action plancifically about increasing sales this time so the first thing I will do is think about what I want to sell and the options I have for selling them.

What do I want to sell more of?

For me this is a complicated question as I sell a lot of different things.  If you only sell one type of thing this might be easy, however I would say most people can look at their selling and identify different groups of things.  You might make your own goods, or you might think well I would just like to sell more of everything.  I would highly recommend however that you decide on a small number of things to focus on.  Maybe you have older stock you would like to clear out? Maybe you have a new line? I would suggest you have a think about one TYPE of item you want to sell more of and write it down.
For me I would like to focus on my range of second hand clothing right now.

Whatever you choose to focus on will then let you think about the best options you have for selling them:

Selling Options 

I have several places i use for making sales right now, your list may be different:
Facebook – my 1p auction group, my preloved items group, my discount and wholesale group and my selling pages.

Ebay – business account and personal account

Gumtree – usually for larger items like furniture

Now I ask myself a few questions about these options.

Are they all suitable for the items i want to focus on right now?

No, I don’t use my selling pages for second hand items, my 1p auction group doesn’t work well for clothing usually and I tend to use my discount and wholesale group for craft items.  I would say the best places for selling this type of item therefore is my preloved items group and my ebay accounts, mostly the personal one. I could possibly list job lots on Gumtree.

Am I making best use of them?

Not really, I could have more items listed in all places – this gives me one part of my action plan

Is there anything I can do to improve them?

Yes, particularly my preloved group could do with some work – this gives me part two of my action plan

Are there any better alternatives? 

There are always alternatives, but at the minute I don’t think there are any better ones.  Possibly I could consider some of the local selling groups for my bigger items! This give me part three of my action plan

The Action Plan

I want to do a few things:

  • List more items

To do this I need to sort items I want to sell, take photos, and list them.  I also need to think about the items I have already listed though – what do I do with those? This time I want to leave those listed.

  • Improve my preloved group

I’d like to do some promoting to increase the number of people in the group.  I need to think about how I have items listed as well.  Could I improve how many people can see them? Maybe I could share the items again instead of just bumping them up the group? I could do an event? Maybe I could separate the items out into sizes etc?  I think I will try promoting the group and sharing the whole album again in the group to see if it makes a difference.

  • Consider using an alternative

I could definitely try the local selling groups on facebook – I could add an album on there.

I could also try taking bigger items to the local auction – I will do this after trying the selling groups as its more difficult for me to take items there.

Has it worked?

Finally ask yourself another question – how will I know if this plan has been successful?

I will know because I will have made a few more pounds and I will have less items here.  I will record my sales earnings again and add to that total.  This is a simple way for me to know how successful this plan has been as already have a starting figure.  You might want to look at sales figures for last week, or last month etc.  Or you might know it has worked just because you have sold some of your old stock if that was what you decided to focus on.

Now all thats left is to go and complete the steps on your action plan.

go

I hope this post helps you (and me) to make more sales 🙂 do let me know if you have found this post useful and watch out for my update to see if it has worked for me.  I’d love to hear about how you have got on too!

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Make Money Decluttering – My Junk to Cash Challenge

It is a great thing to make money decluttering.  Its no secret that most of us have clutter filling up our homes, and most of us would love a magic wand to tidy it all up.  What better way than to make some extra cash while removing the stuff no longer needed?  It is estimated that the average household could make at least £500 – £1000 by selling their old ‘junk’!

I have to admit that I probably have a lot more clutter than most.  I used to do a lot of car boot sales before my health took a downward turn and accumulated a whole garage full of ‘stuff’.  Working through it all means I have plenty of hints and tips to share:

Start Small

Firstly I advise to just start with sorting out a small space.  A drawer, cupboard or wardrobe is ideal.  If, like me, you have boxes of stuff to work through just choose one box.  Decluttering can feel very over-whelming and that is the main reason we don’t do anything about it.  Taking a small space means you reduce that feeling over being overwhelmed and allows you to get started.

Personally I also like to work in small chunks of time.  My health means I can’t do a lot all at once so I give myself a time limit.  15 – 30 minute bursts of sorting is about all I can manage to be honest, but even with no health problems its good to take a little but often approach.  I suggest actually setting a timer for this as it will help keep you focused.

Make it a Game

Unless you are one of those rare people who really enjoy cleaning and sorting you might need to work on your mindset.  Its not the most exciting or fun job in the world to do – if it was I wouldn’t be writing this post because our houses would have no clutter to work on right?

Using the short bursts of time thing I like to play the game of how much can I get through in 15 mins.  I also like to ‘play shops’ sometimes which just reminds me of how much time I did this as a child! Its amazing how much more you can get done when you make it fun.

Save the Cash

If you can I highly advise saving the cash you make to go towards something special.  Having a treat in mind, like a holiday, a new gadget, a new piece of furniture, or a special outfit etc etc will also help with motivation levels.  Of course there is also the pleasure of having a tidy house.  When trying to make money from decluttering though, a plan of what to do with the money will add another purpose.

This is the theory behind my junk to cash challenge – I challenge myself to make a certain amount of money.  This works really well for me, for example on my first attempt I made a whopping £459.87/£1000 within a few weeks, which was amazing.  Because I have so much stuff to work through I can get pretty demotivated about the ongoing quest I have to clear the junk out of my house.  When I feel like that I like to set myself the challenge and soon I am selling stuff like a demon 😉

By giving myself a financial target I can see that I am making progress with the decluttering too.  I have been clearing the house out for over a year now, and sometimes it feels like I am getting no-where.  When I put the money into savings though I have proof that I am getting through it.

Where to Sell?

If you need some ideas on how to sell them here are the main ones I use:

Ebay  – For hints and tips about selling on Ebay you might like to read my other posts Working with a New Ebay AccountHow to Minimise Ebay Fees and Benefits for becoming a Powerseller on Ebay.

Facebook – If the fees on Ebay put you off you can also try listing on Facebook.  I even hold 1p auctions on there when I have the motivation for listing lots of things.  You can list things in local selling groups, or if like myself, you have a lot to sell you might like to start a business page.

My page is Daily Deals Direct  and I post a lot of things over there! You can even add your own items to the deals of the day post if you want to 😉

Preloved – I find this site another really good option for selling goods.  The site  is one of the largest classifieds sites in the UK with over 11 million visits every month.

Gumtree – If you have large items to sell and live in the UK you might like to try Gumtree.  This is particularly good for selling furniture.

Shpock – This one is particularly good if you tend to use you mobile phone for internet access.

Recycling For Cash

Sometimes selling is too time consuming, or you simply prefer to just get rid of a large amount of items at once.  There are options you can use to do this which will still allow you to make some cash.  For example Music Magpie allows you to sell all sorts of things to them for cash including:

  • CDS,
  • DVDS,
  • Computer Games
  • Books 
  • Tech Items
  • Mobile Phones
  • Lego

You will usually make less money from using a recycling service than if you sell items yourself, but they can be really handy.

 

There are a lot of sites you can use for selling your ‘junk’ but these are the main ones I use.  Of course you can also do a car boot sale or even a garden/house/garage sale if you like!

If you try this challenge yourself I would love to hear how you get on – Just leave me a comment below!

If you have found this post useful please feel free to share it with others.  Thanks in advance to those who do share it, I always appreciate your help in reaching a larger audience!

Ellie xx

 

 

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