Now that you have a better understanding of what eBay is, how it functions, who uses it, and how you can best take advantage of it, we will now move on to important selling concepts and best practices used by all the eBay Power Sellers.
LET'S START WITH CREATING A THEME FOR YOUR STORE.
First things, WHY do you need to theme your eBay store?
The reason is simple enough, buyers trust sellers who knows their stuffs.
And the only way of showing that you know your stuff well is to sell items within your defined theme. Lets take an example:
SCENARIO: A BUYER WANTS TO BUY A COMPUTER. AT FIRST GLANCE YOU SEE TWO SELLERS SELLING THE VERY COMPUTER THAT YOU WANT TO BUY. YOU CHECK THEM BOTH OUT:
eBay Seller 1:
Seller one has a huge inventory of items within his eBay store (1 store).
When you click on his store to check out the items, you see that this seller is selling a range of items with no particular theme.
He is selling branded women dresses, many types of watches (both branded and unbranded), umbrellas, stockings, television parts and one or two computers. No theme.
eBay Seller 2:
Sells a huge range of computers consisting of many different brands.
Who would the buyer buy the computer from?
The key idea here is perception.
Seller 2 is perceived to be more knowledgeable in computer hardware stuffs as opposed to seller 1.
Although seller 2 has a huge range of computers from many different suppliers, but his products are all within the same theme, thus he is perceived to be more knowledgeable in this area of business.
It really does not matter if eBay Seller 1 and eBay Seller 2 were both getting their computer inventories from the SAME supplier, the buyer does not know that, all the buyer knows is what the buyer perceives.
And unlike the real world where knowledgeable salesman can convince a customer to buy from Seller 1, however, in the online business, things run quite differently.
What you make yourself out to be will ultimately determine the outcome of your eBay business.
Creating a theme for your store should always start with an evaluation of your inventory choices.
There are a couple of ways to finding the right product to sell. The first and most obvious method is to sell the product which you are familiar with, or the product which you are already selling in your brick and mortar business.
However, if the first two option does not apply to you, and you want to sell just any product online, you will first have to search for HOT selling products, or products which are in constant demand, or products which has seasonal demands.
Finding Products To Sell on eBay.
There are a few main ways of finding the right product to sell on eBay.
Sell a product which you are very familiar with, or a product which you are already selling offline in your brick and mortar store.
This is the first and most obvious answer to offline business owners who want to venture into the eBay marketplace.
This is indeed an excellent way to start a successful eBay business as you possess the know how and profound knowledge in the product which you are selling.
Online buyers will very likely perceive you as an authority in your area.
Finding any products to sell online. Most eBay startup sellers fall in this range, yet, with the right methods, manages to achieve staggering success in their online venture!
With this method, you will have to do some research to finding out what are the products in constant demand, the products in seasonal demand and the niche products which you have an advantage on.
Example of localized niche products are like genuine Hawaiian shell necklaces if you are native of Hawaii, or genuine Malayan Rhino horn pendant, or if you are from China, how about ancient Buddhist jade bracelet?
So, considering that we want to search for the right products, how do we start?
SEARCHING FOR HOT PRODUCTS
eBay Hot List!
Now, when it comes to selecting the actual inventory for your store, there are a number of ways in which you can do this.
One way is to use eBay's ‘Hot Item List’ (which you can find on the eBay site map) to find a number of items you might be interested in selling.
From there, you can go through the process of finding sources for all of these items.
The eBay Hot List is basically crunched data from eBay’s very own transaction history showing what items are in big demand! What better way than to know what items to sell on eBay!
As you dig deeper, you will find that some items have a number of excellent sources while others do not (at least for you).
If you live near a flea market or a brick-and-mortar auction hall, you may find that you have an excellent source of second-hand electronics or jewelry nearby.
If not, you may have to rely on classified ads or Internet-based sources – the two most common being wholesalers and dropshippers (we will get to that later).
Regardless of what you decide to sell, you must make sure that you can purchase your item, list it, and close it at a competitive price while still maintaining a reasonable profit margin.
If you are selling physical products, you can do this by searching for other sellers in each of the potential niches you have selected.
If they sell the same products you will have access to, you will want to check the prices at which their auctions close. You can do this by looking at their feedback.
Make sure you see what you are up against, then you have to decide the value proposition of your product, can your product be cheaper?
Can your product be of higher quality?
Or perhaps cheaper shipping cost?
Or faster product delivery?
Analyze the options at hand, check out your competitors and do a honest Strength – Weakness analysis.
You will also want to look at your cost per item, including both the cost of the item and the associated fees, and then determine how much profit you will make per unit sold in each of your potential niches, provided that your product sells at a competitive price.
Unless you have a specific preference, you will want to want to go with the inventory option that provides the highest return per item.
If you have a preference, simply go with that option, unless the profit margin is unreasonably low.
Once you have a rough idea of what items will comprise your inventory, you will want to begin working that into an overall theme for your eBay business.
eBay Theme: Physical Goods
Let's say you determine that selling electronics is your best option.
So, your theme would be say, home electronics, or consumer electronics.
You will want then to create an eBay ID that is related to electronics, a store name that is related to electronics, a graphic header for your auctions that contains your store name, and multiple selling templates that are specifically designed for each of your different products.
For instance, you could use a background that is dotted with computers or you could use thumbnail pictures of stereos in lieu of normal bullet points.
Other than that, you will want to create a clean, fast-loading template that has pre-assigned spots for pictures, a description, and data input fields for product specifications.
Make sure all your items, your header images, your banner and your logo and motto are themed.
Do not have any discrepancies within your theme such as putting a aquarium header that reads: MP3 Global.
ENHANCE YOUR THEME
You can further enhance the theme of your store by offering specialty follow-up and support services related to the products you are selling.
If you do not have the capacity to do this, it is probably a good idea not to attempt it.
If you do, however, it will make a nice addition to your business – and will provide you with a means of contacting customers on a regular basis.
Having Opt-In forms is an excellent way of generating repeat sales.
However, for beginners, this option would take considerable effort.
Start first will sales based on a good theme, then once your business starts rolling, add on these Opt in forms and build your list.
eBay Theme: Selling Information Products Strategy
If, on the other hand, you decide that you want to sell information products, rather than physical products, the inventory selection and theming process will be somewhat different.
While many eBay sellers simply buy massive ebook packages on eBay and then resell them on eBay once again, this is not always the most profitable route, which is why many of them make little money doing it.
There are basically two ways in which you can create an inventory with information products on eBay that will have a reasonable chance of generating profit.
The first way is to sell your products for low prices and make money from the back-end; and the second way is to purchase resale rights to expensive products (or develop your own) and sell them for high prices.
Now you must be asking, what two methods again?
METHOD 1: BACK END INCOME FROM EBAY SALES
The first method is by selling your information product at rock bottom prices to generate income from the back end.
This basically means that the selling of the product itself does not make you much money; it is from the sales made through your information product that makes you money.
For example, you may be selling a piece of software with 70% of its functionality disabled for a mere USD 19.90.
However, once the buyer buys it, you will provide backend support where the user can buy add-on software packs worth around USD 10 each or so.
This generates repeated and ongoing sales for you once the product HAS been sold. Another great way is to sell an ebook for a very cheap price, say, a mere USD 10.
However, within the ebook, you will have embedded your affiliate links to products which you talk about and recommend to your readers.
Remember, once a buyers has bought your e-book, you are now perceived as an expert in that field.
Products which you recommend within the e-book has extremely high chances of being purchased by your readers!
And we know, affiliate program pays handsomely.
So, do not be discouraged just because you see E-books selling for measly prices, think about how much you can influence your readers reading your E-book!
And if you are still not convinced, think again, if you have bought an E-book on Hair Growth, it is obvious that you are highly interested in growing their hair back!
And if within the E-book the writer speaks very convincingly of a great hair growth product, complete with reviews, testimonials and documented results, I am sure you, as a reader would be compelled to buy the product as well – through the affiliate link.
This transaction between your reader and the Hair Growth Shampoo manufacturer results in income for you! Passive Income!
METHOD 2: INCOME FROM SELLING PRIVATE RESALE RIGHTS PRODUCTS
The second method of generating income from eBay sales are through PLR products. PLR products stands for Private Label Rights.
These PLR products are produced by someone else, normally ghostwriters, which you can use and sell, and keep all the profits from the proceeds of the sales.
PLR e-books are made specifically so that the buyer of the ebook can simply stamp their name on the e-book as the author of the book!
However, some minor changes are normally recommended in order to create the feel of the book. But if you are one busy persons, simple buy a PLR product, stamp your name on it and presto!
You are the author of the book! PLR e-books are normally bought at a relatively low price, and then re-sold in eBay. Selling price is not high, profits are slim, but profits here are from mass sales.
Think about it, information products need no inventory, needs no lock down cost and the best thing of all, the number of sales of information product is limitless.
You can keep on selling the same product over and over again and keep all the proceeds from the sales.
YOUR UNIQUE EBAY SELLING ANGLE
Once you have selected your selling angle, you will then want to determine a theme from there.
For instance, if you're going to sell only expensive products, you will want to work that angle when developing your theme.
Pay for high-quality graphics for your auctions (or create your own), use a clean layout, offer excellent support, and explain why your products are worth so much.
If, on the other hand, you're going the cheap route, you will want to stress the amazing value they receive for the amount of money spent. If you take the middle route, stress that you offer “something for everyone.”
Whichever method you take, make sure you maintain within the theme you have chosen!
Once you have selected your theme, you will want to begin working on your eBay auction templates.