Archive for November, 2006

I m often asked by an individual whether or

I m often asked by an individual whether or not they should sell to international customers. My reply is always a vibrant, Yes! Why? Let me tell you a few reasons: First, if you sell your products to international customers, your market has just increased 15% or more. What do I mean? It s allowing more people to bid on your items. The more people you have bidding on your items, the more money you will make. Also, these bidders may not even win your items at the same time their bids are increasing the final bid amount. Is it a hassle to sell internationally? Let me ask you, Would you like to make more money? Of course so. Filling out international forms wether from the US Post office, FedEx or UPS is getting easier and easier. I typically use the USPS for all of my international mailing. We ve managed to widdle down the time it takes to package, attach customs forms, and meter because of all the volume we are doing. I rememer not long ago thinking what a pain it was to do all this work. Then we got better and better at it. Most of the countries that we ship to are (in order) Canada, United Kingdom, Germany and Australia. The rest of our international market is scattered around the world but mostly in Europe. Rarely do we get international orders from South AMerica or Africa. If we do, we always check the feedback of the person who just made a puchase from us. Sell internationally. Increase your sales.

Leave a Comment

How many of you have thought, “If I

How many of you have thought, “If I just wait until the last few seconds of an auction to place a bid I can get a “steal of a deal”. Many eBayers think that if they wait to place a bid on an item they can win it for a great place. Unfortunately, many of them find out that someone else has already entered a higher bid and they lose the item. Or worse yet, their computer crashes or they are away from their computer and forget to place a bid. When I started buying things on eBay I always wondered why I was losing auctions. If you wait until the last few seconds of an auction to place a bid, you have to be prepared to walk away without the item. So you may be asking “how can I win an item for a reasonable price and still not have to be around 24 hours a day?” One of the best ways to win items is to use the maximum bid option. When you place a bid on an item the price only goes up based on the number of bids that have been placed. The best way to describe this is with an example. Let’s use a CD for an example. Say you are watching a U2 CD that has 4 days left. 1. There is already one bid (for the starting price of 0.99). 2. You know you are going to be out of town when the auction ends, so you figure you can’t win this auction. But wait!!! 3. Decide how much you are willing to spend for this CD. In this example we are willing to pay $8.00. 4. We place a bid and using eBay’s maximum bid feature we enter $8.00. This does NOT mean that we will have to pay $8.00 for the CD, however. Let’s assume that the first bidder was only willing to pay $0.99. In this case our bid does up to $1.04, not the $8.00 that we bid. 5. Now let’s assume that (with 5 minutes left in the auction) a second bidder enters a $6.00 bid. Our bid still will not go up to $8.00. In this case our bid would only go up to $6.25. 6. The auction ends with no other bids, meaning we have won this auction for $6.25. The $8.00 maximum bid that we placed does not matter, we only have to pay $6.25!!! So as you can see, there are ways to win auctions without having to guard your computer 24/7. Decide how much you are willing to bid for an item and place that bid early. Sure, there may be times when someone is still willing to pay more than you, but at least you won’t lose the item because of something out of your control.

Leave a Comment

How Much Is Your eBay Reputation Really Worth

Your eBay reputation is everything you are on eBay – without it, you’re nothing. Your reputation is worth as much as every sale you will ever make.

If you’ve ever bought anything on eBay (and the chances are you have), then think about your own behaviour. Buying from a seller with a low feedback rating makes you feel a little nervous and insecure, while buying from a PowerSeller with their reputation in the thousands doesn’t require any thought or fear – it feels just like buying from a shop.

A Bad Reputation Will Lose You Sales.

In fact, a bad reputation will lose you almost all your sales. If someone leaves you negative feedback, you will feel the pain straight away, as that rating will go right at the top of your user page for everyone to see. Who’s going to want to do business with you when they’ve just read that you “took a month to deliver the item”, or that you had “bad communication and sent a damaged item”? The answer is no-one.

Your next few items will need to be very cheap things, just to push that negative down the page. You might have to spend days or even weeks selling cheap stuff to get enough positive feedback to make anyone deal with you again.

It’s even worse if you consistently let buyers leave negative feedback – once you get below 90% positive ratings, you might as well be invisible.

You Can’t Just Open a New Account.

Besides eBay’s rules about only having one account, there are far more downsides than that to getting a new account. You literally have to start all over again from scratch.

You won’t be able to use all the different eBay features. Your existing customers won’t be able to find you any more. Your auctions will finish at a lower price because of your low feedback rating. Opening a new account is like moving to a new town to get away from a few people who are spreading rumours about you: it’s throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

A Good Reputation Will Get You Sales.

When a PowerSeller tells me something, I tend to believe them. They can be selling a pretty unlikely item, but if they guarantee it is what they say it is, then I trust them – they’re not going to risk their reputation, after all. This is the power of a reputation: people know you want to keep it, and they know you’ll go to almost any lengths to do so.

This is true even to the point that I would sooner buy something for $20 from a seller I know I can trust than for $15 from someone with average feedback. It’s worth the extra money to feel like the seller knows what they’re doing, has all their systems in place and will get me the item quickly and efficiently.

You really will find selling on eBay so much easier, and there’s only way to get a good reputation: make sure you please your customers every time. But some customers can be, well, just a little difficult to please. In the next email, we ask: is the eBay customer always right?

Comments (1)

How To Avoid eBay Scams And Fraud: For Ebay Sellers & Buyers

Countless people have been scammed and defrauded on eBay. eBay is a fun place to bid on items and to sell items – but you must know how to recognize a scam, and how to avoid them, them or you quickly join the ranks of those who have lost their money to eBay scams. Of course, if you are scammed, there are some actions you can take the correct the situation – but in many cases, the scammer does indeed get away! The best option is to avoid being scammed.

You can easily avoid many scams with the payment method that you use – whether you are a buyer or a seller. eBay owns Paypal, and in most cases, Paypal is the payment method you should use. First, as a buyer, if you are scammed or less than satisfied with the item when it arrives, you can dispute the charge easily, and demand a refund. The seller must reply and show proof that the item was shipped, and that it arrived in the condition that you expected, or Paypal will return your funds to your account.

As a seller, you can protect yourself by only accepting Paypal. This will eliminate the chances of receiving a bad check or having the buyer dispute a credit card charge. Instead, they must dispute the charge through paypal, and you of course will be able to prove that you shipped the product. You cannot, however, prove that the product arrived in the condition that was expected. In this case, you should demand that the product be returned to you before the refund is issued.

Another common scam that buyers use is the bidding scam. This type of scam is run either with two separate eBay accounts – with one person in control of both of them, or with two friends with separate eBay accounts. A very small bid is placed on your item, using one account. This is followed by a very high bid, from the other eBay account. Right before the bidding ends, the high bid is cancelled or withdrawn, leaving the low bid as the winning bid. This bid can only be avoided by setting a reserve price – the lowest bid that can be placed is the same as the reserve price that you set.

If you are an eBay seller, you can further protect your auctions by placing a notice on your auctions page, declaring that you have the right to back out of the sale if you suspect potential fraud. As both a buyer and a seller, also beware of spoofed emails. These emails appear to be from eBay. The email may claim that you need to verify your information, and ask you to login to your eBay account, using the link provided. If you follow that link, the site looks exactly like eBay, but it is actually a scam to get your eBay login details, as well as your credit card details! eBay will never ask you to do this. If you suspect a spoofed email, report it to eBay immediately!

Don’t let scammers ruin your eBay fun! Just use good common sense, and a reasonable amount of caution, and everything should run smoothly. Report suspicious activity to eBay, and if a deal doesn’t feel right, simply back away from it and move on to the next auction.

Leave a Comment

How To Find Hot Selling Items For eBay Auctions

Many people who are trying to start an eBay business spend a great deal of time trying to figure out which items sell the best on eBay. Many of these people have elaborate systems for determining this information, and many others purchase expensive courses that teach them how to find this information as well. None of that is necessary. Everything you need to know is right in front of you – on the eBay website!

Take a look at any category, and you will see the word ‘hot’ beside some items. These items are not marked as hot sellers randomly – there is a method to the madness! Items only get marked as hot when there have been more than thirty bids placed on the item. All you have to do is wonder around the eBay website for a while to find an item that will do well.

However, most power sellers will agree that there is more to figuring out which items sell best than this. In fact, they claim that it is a science. A great way to start your search for items that will result in a successful auction in the future is to do research on the auctions that were successful in the past. You can view old listings that have completed at: http://listings.ebay.com

A new way to determine what items sell best on eBay is ‘eBay Marketplace Research.’ Marketplace Research will allow you to view important statistical information on the buying trends at eBay. This product contains all of the data one could possibly ever need to determine how well – or how poorly – an item will do in an eBay auction. There is a small fee for using the eBay Marketplace Research tools, however.

Another tool that will be very useful in your quest for finding hot selling items for your eBay auctions is the listing of popular eBay search terms that is found on the site. This list can be found at: http://popular.ebay.com

This list is divided into categories, which will make it easier to determine how popular your potential item may be.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that an item will do poorly, or that it will do well without doing your homework on the item first. Some of the strangest things sell for the highest prices, while items that would sell quickly in any other environment just sit there. Almost any eBay Power Seller will tell you that the key to a successful auction rests in the amount of research you put into the items you hope to sell.

Leave a Comment

How to Avoid Being a Victim of eBay Buyer’s Fraud

From everything you’ve heard about the risk of fraud on eBay, you might think it’s only buyers getting scammed – but you couldn’t be more wrong. Here are a few common scams that sellers fall for every day.

The Rubber Cheque.

This one obviously isn’t limited to eBay – it’s been going on for years in all kinds of business. It works like this: a buyer sends you a cheque that they don’t have the funds to cover and you pay it in your bank. You then send the goods right away, only to find out a few days later that the cheque bounced.

The solution to this is simple: don’t send anything to a buyer until their payment has cleared, no matter how quickly they might say they need it. Advise them to pay electronically if they don’t want to wait so long for their items. Then again, if your items are quite small, you could just take the loss from an occasional bounced cheque. Think of it as a small price to pay for faster and better customer service.

‘I Never Bought Anything!’

This is one of the riskiest scams to fall victim to. In this case, the credit card’s real owner still has control over it – no-one has stolen their details. They have realised, however, that they can phone up the bank who issued their card to say that it’s being used fraudulently and they never bought any such thing, and the bank will often reverse the transaction without even investigating. The only way to beat this scam is to make all your sales through eBay, as they keep a record of transactions.

The Unconfirmed Address.

It is quite easy to steal PayPal accounts from inexperienced users: all you need, after all, is their email address and password. PayPal tries to protect against credit cards registered on stolen accounts being used to buy things by listing a ‘confirmed address’ for each buyer – an address that matches what is registered with their credit card issuer.

What many scammers will do is ask you to ship to a different address – unless you’re very sure of them, this is a bad idea, as they could be trying to commit credit card fraud. Be especially suspicious of anyone who wants to pay a higher price and get overnight shipping, especially if not even to the same country as the confirmed address. The fraudster is trying to make sure the item reaches them before they are discovered.

It’s up to you to take responsibility for fraud on PayPal, as eBay’s favourite way to refund fraudulent payments to their rightful owner is to just reverse it from you! This is considered an occupational risk of PayPal usage, and sellers who get burned severely sometimes go as far as moving to a rival electronic payment service. See http://www.nopaypal.com for more.

Leave a Comment

Tips To Prevent Identity Theft

Identity theft cannot be 100% fully prevented. To do so would require a policy of never sharing financial information with anyone, anywhere, anytime. You would not be able to conduct financial transactions in society with that policy. And even if you were able to, your information is already in the records of your physician, bank, the IRS, department of motor vehicles, etc. There is no way to remove this information. Therefore you could become victim to identity theft. However, there are steps you can take to reduce those chances. Internet mail is one of the main sources that perpetrators of identity theft are using to gain access to your personal information. The perpetrator may send threatening emails, or emails that seem appealing. Emails requesting personal financial information are linked to identity theft and arrive in millions of mailboxes worldwide each and every day.

In most cases, no one person is being specifically singled out to become the next victim. It is just not worth the effort involved. Identity thieves are not interested from whom they are stealing the identity from. Instead they focus on targeting as many people as possible as it is a numbers game. The more people they target the higher are the chances that someone will be tricked into volunteering personal financial information.

The senders of these emails are challenging the receiver by using deception, hoping the receiver will give out personal information, such as bank numbers, PIN and passwords, Social Security numbers and other precious information that the thief can use to gain control over your identity. Often these emails state that a bank account or Paypal account has been frozen until information is verified. The victim, being worried that pending transactions will not clear properly, will follow the demand of the email that account information be “updated”. The criminal who sent the email will always include a handy link to click on for updating the requested information. Never click on those links.

If you want to avoid identity theft, there are several emails that you may want to bear in mind are SPAM, and you should completely ignore them. One is the forzen account along with a request to update your personal financial information. Another is a claim that you have won x amount of cash, and to act now to receive your prize. If you have not joined a contest, then chances are you have not actually won a prize. A third is an email claiming that you could receive scholarships or grants to attend such and such a college; to earn your degree act now by providing your personal information. These are all fake and designed by criminals to steal your personal financial information. Delete them without a second thought!

Companies that already have your personal information, such as your bank have no reason to ask for this again in an email. In fact, most banks clearly state in their Terms & Conditions that they will never send electronic mail requesting information from the customer at any time. Giving your personal information to someone that sent an email that has your bank name listed in the header is only asking for trouble.

Identity thieves are extremely creative when it comes to stealing identities, including sending emails in respected names. The prestigious FDIC was targeted by thieves; the sender sent emails to recipients of the bank requesting that they provide personal information to avoid closure of their accounts. Microsoft was also targeted by thieves when emails were sent to various inboxes requesting the receiver to download patches to protect their computers. Once the receiver downloaded the attachment, a dangerous virus took control of their computer, leaving a backdoor entry that would give the hacker access to the information stored on the computer.

EBay is also a target for thieves. EBay scams abound. False Paypal payments are common, as well as false or counterfeit checks. Be very wary of anything purported to be from EBay that seems fishy. If you have to think twice about the legitimacy, it is likely a scam. Beware. Here are some helpful tips for you to avoid identity theft as much as possible: 1) Do not open emails if you do not trust the sender.

2) Never give out your personal information over the internet, unless you know that the company can be trusted and is using encryption to secure the web page(s). If Paypal or EBay request your information, which they never have done to this author. go directly to their home page, log into your account there, and see if the request is associated with your account. Never click the link in an email requesting information.

3) Do a background check on any site you are thinking of giving your information to or you are considering buying from. This includes calling the state attorney general’s office. 4) Change your PIN numbers and passwords regularly, at as minimum every 6 months. 5) Do not post even general financial information on forums, bulletin boards or discussion boards online.

6) Conceal your personal information at all times, including at home. 7) Never give your personal information over the phone line. 8) When using ATM or other machines to make deposits, withdrawals, or purchases make sure no one sees you type in your PIN number.

9) Do not just throw personal information, such as bank statements or letters containing your postal address, account numbers or any sensitive information in the trash. This is a favorite place for criminals to search. Put it through a shredder first. 10) Never mail your tax return by putting it in your mailbox with the flag up. Criminals will drive neighborhoods during tax season searching for tax returns. These are the ultimate sources of information for identity theft.

Comments (1)

Older Posts »