Meet Adrian – proud owner of The Ink Squid – one of the UK’s leading specialised companies for compatible ink cartridges and toners. Winner of the BIBAs Lancashire Business Award for eBusiness of the Year.
Just like you, Adrian was eager to start his own eBay business, and after using the Easy Auction Business system, he has now built a £250k a year online business, employs two staff members, has an office and warehouse, a full-time online business, a happy family and a fulfilled life.
The Ink Squid business continues to grow and now dispatches more than 2,000 orders each month for eBay, Amazon and website customers. eBay business alone makes for more than £100k a year worth of sales.
How did he do it?
By following a simple, six-step formula. The exact same formula I’ll share with you in this video. But before we move onto the actual steps, let me introduce myself:
I’m Andrew – author of the UK’s best-selling eBay video course called the Easy Auction Business! Entrepreneur, blogger and owner of dozens of websites, several trademarks, brand names, the world’s largest eBay templates directory – the Spicy Auction Templates, featuring more than 750 eBay templates! A business coach and active The Wholesale Forums member and moderator.
I’ll get straight to the point – there will be no fluff or empty talk in this video! I don’t want to bore you with basic instructions on how to open a PayPal account or list an item on eBay! I’m sure you can find that information elsewhere. Probably in some fancy eBay home study programme which is nothing more than a rephrasing of eBay’s help section.
Today I’m going to share with you the business model that is responsible for making me thousands of pounds in profit each month. The same strategy Adrian used to build his £250k a year Ink Squid business.
The same business model that I use in my 8-week, intensive coaching program called the 60 Day Blueprint Program, members of which are already generating more than one million pounds in annual profits.
Need more examples and proof? Here you go:
Clare & Dean Bloomfield – owners of eBay’s leading children’s shoe store – Kidz Shooz. Now making more than £100k in sales via eBay, Amazon and their own website.
Jaleel Beck – owner of the Internet’s leading online shop for arcade game parts – Focus Attack – an online shop now making more than $500 000 in annual sales.
Adrian – owner of Flaming Wheels, an eBay Shop dedicated to car accessories, another £100k a year eBay business.
All these people have followed my 6-step formula and are now Top Rated Sellers on eBay, making a comfortable living selling highly profitable products online.
So this stuff works, period!
I don’t have to prove it anymore – this stuff simply WORKS!!!
Stop looking around for the next big thing and listen carefully – this video can literally change your life and open your eyes to endless money making opportunities!
Without further ado, let’s get started!
If you’re like the majority of people out there, you have tried selling some personal, unwanted items on eBay before. But that’s child’s play; anyone can take a used video game and put it on sale on eBay as an auction.
If you’re watching this video, chances are you’re looking for something more. You want to start a real eBay business, selling new products sourced from wholesalers or even manufacturers. But what should you sell? What kind of items? Hot, high-demand brand name products? Create your own product?
These all are good questions and most people waste months and even years on this process – basically over thinking a very simple concept.
If I made a dollar each time a person asks – What should I sell on eBay? I would be a millionaire, seriously. This is one of the most frequently asked questions on The Wholesale Forums too, where I am an active community member and moderator.
What to sell on eBay? Is it really such a mysterious and complicated question that very few people get answers to? NO! Not if you follow these simple rules:
Rule Number 1 – Do NOT try to re-invent the wheel!
The biggest mistake you can make is wasting your time trying to come up with the next big idea, product, concept or whatever. Don’t do it! You don’t have to invent a new product to be successful on eBay. What’s more, the chances of you coming up with a new product idea and developing it to the manufacturing stage are very slim.
Even if you do manage to get to the manufacturing process, don’t forget in what day and age we’re living! It won’t take that long for competitors to start copying your product, making improvements and so on. At the end of the day, you’ll be left with the idea everyone else is using.
Sure, there are ways to protect your ideas with patents, BUT it’s a very expensive and time-consuming process. Besides, as we can clearly see, patents and trademarks are really not an issue for Chinese manufacturers! They’ll blatantly copy your products, concepts and ideas – don’t think it won’t happen to you – it will!
To sum it up – don’t waste your life coming up with the next big thing. It carries too many risks and associated costs. For a newbie, it’s a financial disaster.
Just take a look at all those people on Dragons’ Den – they spend years on their product ideas, spend all their savings, borrow money and end up nowhere…
Rule Number 2 – Stay away from branded products!
Yes, you want to stay away from branded products if you want to make any serious money on eBay! By branded products I mean any product that is made by a well-known brand, such as Sony or Philips for electronics, Ralph Lauren, Dolce & Gabbana for clothing, and so on. Why do you want to stay away from products like these? Here are some darn good reasons:
- Margins with branded products are very small. Even huge online retail giants such as Amazon are making very tiny profits on branded goods and that’s with their massive buying power! You stand no chance competing with them, especially on eBay when you have to take into account all the eBay and PayPal fees. If a typical profit margin on a branded item is 10-20%, that’s exactly what eBay and PayPal will take from you.
- Difficult to source – most brands will have very strict rules in place on how their products are distributed. Usually it’s via authorised distributors and direct retailers. Now, to become a retailer and work directly with manufacturers you will need a bricks and mortar shop, trade references, a business history and some serious buying power. This is most likely not something you can offer at this stage.
- VeRO program – many brands protect their distributor profitability by NOT allowing sales on eBay via the VeRO programme. This means you are not allowed to sell their products on eBay and your listings will be pulled down. More and more companies are joining eBay’s VeRO program and you cannot know who will be next.
- FAKES – lastly, if we talk about gaming accessories, memory cards, clothing, shoes, fragrances and other items, eBay is FULL of fakes! Yes, it’s totally against eBay rules but it seems that eBay is losing this game. They can’t catch every seller who sells fakes, and this results in a marketplace with an uneven playing field. If you want to sell genuine branded goods, you’ll have to compete with people selling fakes for a lower price. I guess I don’t have to explain to you that you’ll be the loser in this price war.
So keep it simple and stay away from branded goods.
There will be some exceptions though, when we talk about niche specific, small and little-known brands. For example, you could still get good margins from fishing rods produced by a little-known Polish company. Brands like these are usually on the lookout for new sellers and distributors worldwide and offer quite generous profit margins and even regional exclusivity.
To sum it up – well-known branded goods are a NO-NO while small, niche-based brands can still be profitable if your buying power is enough to start working with them.
Rule Number 3 – Sell un-branded or little-known brand products!
Yes, you want to stick with un-branded products and little-known brands to create a profitable eBay business! By un-branded products I mean products that have no name or have a name that doesn’t ring a bell in customers’ minds. The same applies to little-known brands, and niche specific brands that still offer good profit margins.
Why un-branded products, you may ask? There are several good reasons:
- Profit margins. With un-branded goods you can expect to make 30% to 50% profit or even more, compared to 10-20% for branded goods. And this is HUGE! There is no point in high turnover if you can’t make any profit out of it! So always look for products with a decent mark-up.
- Competition. With branded products customers can easily compare prices as they know exactly what item they want to purchase. With un-branded products it’s a different story. There are so many different versions of un-branded products, quality and feature wise that people can’t easily compare prices, making your life much easier. You can effectively ask for higher prices and separate your offer from the crowd by selling a slightly different item or even the same item in different packaging.
- Branding options. When you deal with un-branded products, you almost always have the option of putting your own brand on the product and packaging. Again, this effectively allows you to create a UNIQUE offer and ask higher prices than other, lazier sellers. Not to mention the long-term effect in building your brand awareness, customer base and repeat sales.
I have built my business empire purely based on un-branded and my own brand items. Adrian did the same when he started working with ink cartridges – he created his own, unique brand and creating a unique selling proposition! If this works in such a competitive niche as ink cartridges, trust me – it works even better in less crowded niches!
Rule Number 4 – If you can, ideally work in a niche market!
Niche markets are the way to go for individuals who want to start their own online business. You have no chance competing with online retail giants like Amazon, Best Buy or similar companies. You can’t sell everything they do for a very simple reason – you would need millions of pounds to even start thinking about it. DON’T do it! Don’t waste your time on ideas like these.
Pick a suitable niche for your buying power and stick with it! Again, don’t try to re-invent the wheel here – millions of people worldwide are making a full-time income by working in highly targeted niche markets. That’s the ONLY way to compete in today’s online marketplace.
Be it trampolines, dog collars, wallpaper or camping equipment – I don’t care! Just pick a niche that interests you, is suitable for your buying power and work with it! Many people are afraid of doing a niche research process, but it’s really not that complicated when you know HOW to do it effectively. There’s a whole separate module covering Niche Research Process in the Easy Auction Business video course – the course actually starts with it, as the first thing you need to do is find the niche to build your business around.
Here’s a Hot Tip – Stay away from niches dominated by big brand names! In niches like these, very few people buy un-branded products. For example, electric shavers – this niche is dominated by well-known brands such as Philips and Braun. I would never purchase an un-branded shaver myself, would you?
There is of course, a small percentage of people looking for cheap, un-branded items, even in niches like electric shavers, but they WON’T be the majority! So my advice is to stay away from brand dominated niches.
OR you can simply look for opportunities around that niche and maybe find a twist! For example, with those same electrical shavers – while I personally wouldn’t purchase an un-branded shaver for myself, I wouldn’t be that strict when looking for a clipper/trimmer for my dog. And just by doing a simple search on eBay it’s clear that in the pet trimmer niche, most items that are selling are un-branded ones. There you go – I just found an item in the pet grooming niche, where un-branded shavers are totally ok to sell.
The biggest advantage when working in a niche market is the way you can connect with your customers from the moment they visit your listing – your logo, template, company name. People will see you as an EXPERT in that niche and trust you! And there’s nothing more important than TRUST when we talk about online shopping and how people behave when dealing with a brand new company.
So what makes a good niche?
Obviously, you could come up with dozens upon dozens of different ideas, but how to filter out which ones are better than the others and how to come up with the winner?
- Passionate customers – this one is huge, really! It can literally double or even triple the sales you’ll get from the same traffic levels. You should always try to find a market where people are passionate about what they’re doing as they will spend a lot of money! Passionate customers often act irrationally; they love what they’re doing so much that they don’t care how much a particular product costs – so long as it’s the one they need. Scrapbookers are a good example of this. Any kind of hobbyists, professionals, new parents, fans, gamers and so on! Find that passion and you’ll have a winner!
- Great in numbers – there’s nothing wrong with creating a small online business. If that’s what you want – go for it! But in general, niches where you can have only a few hundred customers around the world aren’t the best option. So, make sure the market is big enough in numbers that yearly sales in that niche are worth at least a few million pounds.
- Easily reachable (online) – the most typical mistake a person can make is to start building an online business without knowing how to get targeted traffic! Don’t do it! Don’t go into markets where you have no idea how to generate enough targeted traffic on eBay or for your own website.
In your research process, take a look at what’s going on in that market. Are there many blogs, forums or websites you could advertise on? How about YouTube, Facebook? Any activity or traffic generation possibilities there? Check out the Google Keywords tool and see what kind of search volume can be expected via search engines and so on! Map out your traffic generation plan so that you know exactly how you are going to get at least your first 100 unique daily visitors.
- Proven buyers – lastly, you want to work in a niche market which has been proven to buy. There may be many people in India who would like to learn English, for example, but how many of them will actually buy the language learning programmes or books you would sell? Not many I’m afraid; they will be more likely to look for free resources than pay a premium price for a home study course. So make sure there are proven buyers in your market, with a credit card in their pocket!
Rule Number 5 – When building a long term business, stick with items/a niche you really like and are passionate about!
A very simple rule, but so crucial in the long term.
You’re starting a business here – something you’ll be attached to for years to come! Wouldn’t it be a good idea to pick a niche or products you really care about? Something that is of personal interest for you as well?
If you simply follow numbers and blindly pick a niche, you’ll get bored over time and quit half-way towards success. Don’t do it!
If you have no hobbies or interests at all why not take this opportunity to fulfil your dreams? Have you always wanted to get into fishing, but due to lack of time and other reasons haven’t been able to get around to it? Here you go – now you have a reason to do it by starting your own fishing equipment and accessories business.
People trust experts and being an expert in any given niche is one of the most important elements of my Easy Auction Business 6-step formula – whatever you’ll be selling, you’ll position yourself as an expert in that niche. And you can’t really fake this – people will ask you questions, you’ll have to write interesting product descriptions – you really have to LOVE the items you’re selling and genuinely help out your customers. That’s the only way to build a sustainable long term business with repeat sales.
There you go – these are my 5 GOLDEN RULES to building a successful online business! Don’t even bother to question these, because after working with hundreds of people all around the World, I have tested these principles many times and they work every single time without fail.
Now that you’re familiar with the basics, let’s move on to the actual 6-step formula to build a profitable eBay business in no time:
Step 1 – Market Research
The very first thing you need to do is find the perfect niche that you’ll build your business around. As I explained previously, a niche business model has many advantages over All-in-One type shops, and for individuals this really is the only way to build a successful online business.
You start the process by simply brainstorming product/niche ideas. Where to get them? Here are few good places to start:
- eBay product categories
- Amazon product categories
- Classified ads sites
- Blogs, forums, websites
- Google Trends
What you’re looking for are groups of related products OR a group of people with common interests, a group of people based around specific products.
Once you have a few ideas listed, you can run them through Terapeak to get some sales numbers:
- Total Sales – should be at least 10k+ per month for all related products
- Sell-through Rate – ideally stick with a 50%+ sell-through rate
- Sellers per day – if this number is high compared to Total Sales, it could indicate an increased competition.
- Total Listings
Hot Tip: When doing research using Terapeak, always use NEW ITEMS ONLY filter! This will filter out all listings for used items. Why you want to do this? Because in most niches second hand items are listed by individuals, not businesses hence it will mix up your search results.
If the numbers look okay, you then take your idea and analyse it with the help of various additional filters, such as:
- Your Buying Power
- Storage Space
- Long term trends
Finally, do manual research by reading some blogs, analysing eBay listings – how many professional sellers are there already working in that niche on eBay? I go into more details on how to do this process properly in the Easy Auction Business video course, giving you real-life examples and more filters to really find only the best niches.
Once you have found a potentially good looking niche, go to the next step which is…
Step 2 – Product Sourcing
To really see whatever a niche is profitable or not, you need to find suppliers and find out at what prices you can purchase products in first place. If during this process you fail to find a profitable supplier, go back to Step 1 and start looking for another niche.
Here are five fool-proof ways to find a supplier for just about any kind of product you want:
Now let’s look at each one of these in a little more detail.
This may seem obvious, but even if you are used to using Google, there’s a good chance that you aren’t using it to its full potential.
Perform a targeted Google search depending on the type of products you want to sell. If you are working with fish aquariums, search specifically for fish aquariums. If you are working with fencing guards, perform a targeted search on wholesale fencing guards. Here are a few tips that you can use to make sure that you are performing an efficient and targeted search:
- Search Phrases – Be as specific as you can possibly can with your search phrases. A good search phrase should include the product name, the product, the group, the niche that you are working in, and the brand name. Always combine your search phrase with words like wholesaler, supplier, distributor and wholesale. Otherwise you may just get retail results.
- Don’t Stop Your Search on the First Page! – Sometimes the best suppliers aren’t located on the first page in Google search results. Google isn’t perfect and some suppliers’ websites simply aren’t optimized for search engines. You may very well find a great supplier on the third, fourth, or even fifth page of results!
- Local Google Sites – Yes, Google has special sites even for small geographic areas. If you know that a product you are looking for is made in a specific area, go to the regional Google site for this area. You will receive more targeted results.
- Google Images – Google images will allow you to find the products that you are looking for much faster. Simply type the brand and model of the product you are looking for into Google images and click on the picture that corresponds to it. On many occasions, this will take you to a supplier’s web page. Bingo, you’re in!
- Other Search Engines – Yes, other search engines still exist, and they sometimes will actually come up with better results (although not always). Yahoo and Bing are the two most important alternate search engines to check out. Yahoo is actually really great for finding B2B sites located in the United States.
The moral of the story is that you should never underestimate the power of a simple Google search in finding you suppliers. You’re probably not going to find the most amazing Asian suppliers on Google, but you will find most of the best suppliers in the US, the UK and in Europe!
Global Sources is perhaps the best kept secret in the world of product sourcing. It is probably the safest way to find suppliers of unbranded goods from Asia. Global Sources is the place to go, particularly if you are looking for un-branded electronics, although it also has some great non-electronic suppliers too.
Here are some tips you should think about when using the Global Sources website:
- Suppliers on Global Sources Are Almost Always Legit – Unlike almost any other sourcing website, Global Sources requires that all of its suppliers go through a rigorous screening process. Each supplier is given a different number of stars depending on the level of verification. This means that you have an objective measure of each supplier’s overall trustworthiness. In fact, I’ve NEVER heard of ANYONE getting scammed on GS. This doesn’t mean that it’s impossible, but I think that it is very unlikely. This makes it a perfect place to start to find un-branded goods from Asia.
- Catalogues – Global Sources publishes an excellent monthly catalogue packed with verified suppliers and pictures of quality products available for wholesale. These catalogues are free, and they are basically an online retailer’s paradise!
- Reports – Global Sources also offers comprehensive ‘Reports’ that give you even more detailed information about particular industries, suppliers and more. This is one of the best places to get exclusive detailed information, including price comparison tables, inside reviews, and industry news. These reports are NOT FREE but they are essentially priceless.
Alibaba is the biggest directory for un-branded Asian products. Unfortunately, however, it also happens to be a scammer’s paradise.
BUT, if you follow a few simple rules you can find great suppliers on Alibaba and reduce your chances of getting scammed to minimal.
First of all, never, ever, buy any branded products from suppliers located in China. This is simply impossible. If any supplier located in mainland China says that he can sell you a branded product, he is lying. You will be shipped fake or low quality products, or maybe even nothing at all. Just don’t do it. DVDs are also definitely off limits. If they are coming from China, they are pirated. The same applies to audio CDs, software, CD keys and similar media products.
Secondly, verify your supplier by all possible means. Alibaba is just a directory; it does not actually verify the suppliers listed in any way. Build a relationship with a supplier slowly and don’t get yourself into any situation where the person can just run away with your money!
I have created a special system to use with Alibaba suppliers to filter out scammers and fake goods sellers. You’ll find more about this inside the Easy Auction Business video course.
Here’s a hot tip – when contacting suppliers on Alibaba, use Alibaba’s built-in Live Chat system. This way you will get answers to your questions much faster and also will be able to test English and general communication skills. When using Live Chat on Alibaba, make sure you do this early in the morning, while it’s still business opening hours in China.
- Zentrada – This is another UK/EU directory that I’ve found very useful. The great thing about Zentrada is that it lists sellers’ offers directly, with the prices and terms laid out perfectly clearly on the website.
- TheTrader – Yes, this website is run by the same people as the famous UK trade magazine of the same name. It’s free and has great pound shop-type items for wholesale. This directory has listings of loads of pound shop-style and customer returns suppliers.
- TheWholesaler.co.uk – This is a huge, highly popular and FREE wholesale directory for UK based suppliers. Worth checking if you’re looking for low key UK suppliers.
- Wholesale- Outlet.co.uk – another FREE UK based wholesale directory.
- The Wholesale Forums – There’s an active Marketplace plus you can post your buying requests as well. If you can’t find any suitable suppliers for your niche, at least join up and say hello to me and other forum members! It’s one of the most helpful and friendliest communities I have ever been a part of! Def. Worth checking it out if you already haven’t done so!
- Yahoo Directory – If you’re looking for a US supplier, this is the place to go. It’s free and it contains information about thousands of great suppliers.
- WholesaleCentral.com – Another great, totally FREE to use US based wholesale directory.
- Yellow Pages (regional sites) – There are actually a lot of great suppliers that don’t have their own websites but nevertheless have listings in the regional yellow pages. If you are looking for a regional wholesaler, this is THE PLACE to start. You’ll find results that won’t show up even in an intense Google search.
As you can see, there are loads of ways to find suppliers. If you’re planning on importing from China from day one, start with Global Sources and Alibaba. If you’re looking for local wholesalers, use other websites for your research.
This is becoming an increasingly under-tapped resource, mainly because people have become too lazy to step outdoors and move beyond their computer screens to look for suppliers. Luckily, however, this also makes trade shows excellent resources for finding products that are difficult to find anywhere else.
Trade shows are almost always open to the general public, so you can easily find new products in the UK by attending.
The following website has a lot of great information about trade shows in the UK – exhibitions.co.uk
You can find similar trade show directories online for almost any other country.
Hot Tip – quite often you can find supplier contact details WITHOUT attending a trade show! Just check out the trade shows’ official websites – you’ll often find exhibitor lists published there with company names and contact details.
Product sourcing is obviously a HUGE topic and for a good reason – there are so many things you need to know, especially if you’re importing from outside the EU – China, the US and other countries. That’s why Product Sourcing is the largest module in the Easy Auction Business video course and it covers this process in greater detail.
Step 3 – Branding
Usually people associate branding with huge costs and in general it sounds like something very complicated. But it’s not! At least not on the level you will need as an eBay seller.
Here are some basic key elements you need to get done:
- A name for your company – I won’t go into details in this video but make sure you come up with a great looking name for your company that also describes what you sell and, ideally, your USP.
- USP – or Unique Selling Proposition. From day one Ade knew that he wanted to position you in the marketplace with a unique twist – ink cartridges from under a quid! Quid – Squid – which also plays nicely! Ink cartridges for a quid, wow, that sounds really cheap, right? And it draws attention immediately!
- Logo – get a logo done, period! Again, you don’t need anything fancy, just a good-looking logo to use for your eBay business. If you can invest some money in this process, post a project on elance.com. Expect to pay around 50-100 pounds for a really good-looking logo. If you’re on a small budget, no worries – you can still get a decent quality logo done on Fiverr.com – for just $5!!!
If you sort these things out, you’ll automatically be in top % of eBay sellers as the majority of people are simply too lazy and don’t bother with stuff like this!
Step 4 – Listings
Get a professional eBay listing template. It won’t cost you a fortune! Of course, it’s good if you can spend money on a custom designed template, but even if you’re on a short budget, you can create outstanding listings by using a template from Spicy Auction Templates. When you purchase the Easy Auction Business video course, you get FREE access to more than 750 eBay templates + video lessons on how to make the most out of them.
- Create listings that SELL! If you don’t have the necessary experience, just browse eBay and take a look at a listing you like and try to “copy it”. By saying “copy it”, I do not mean “copy the HTML code”! Just copy the idea/layout – there’s nothing wrong with this approach! If you can’t come up with your own ideas, borrow from others who are successful in the market!
- Describe what you sell precisely. Don’t assume buyers know everything about your item – list all the features, benefits and technical information.
- Format your listings to the highest standards. Clearly visible and eye-catching headlines, descriptions, payment and shipping information can make a huge difference to how your item will sell. Do not use the ‘Comic Sans’ font style and hard to read, pastel-coloured text. Use Verdana or Arial font, black colour on a white background. Headline size should be between 20pt. – 24 pt., description 10 pt. – 14 pt. (depending on the font style). Learn more about how to create & format perfect eBay listings in my Anatomy of a Perfect eBay Listing Guide.
- Let the buyers know that you’re a LOCAL seller! This one is very important! Clearly display a graphic image or at least some textual information that you’re based in the UK (or whatever country you’re based in) and that the item is in the UK with you, in stock. This is crucial, as most buyers prefer to deal with local sellers who can offer proper support and fast delivery times.
- Do not use stock photos! Take a picture of the product by yourself, preferably including your eBay user ID. Take several pictures for better presentation.
- Offer fast & reasonably priced shipping. Make it stand out from your listing! Don’t wait for the buyer to ask for that info, give it to them instead! A graphic image will always do a better job than a plain text.
- Offer a guarantee! It won’t cost you a cent and the chance of receiving a return is very slight, but it will make the customer feel much safer. A good choice to go with would be a “14-day return policy”, meaning the customer can return the items (sealed, un-opened) within 14 days of the purchase date. By eBay rules, business sellers HAVE to offer a 14-day returns policy anyway, so there’s nothing for you to lose!
- Offer a FREE bonus with every purchase, if possible. It can be a cheap accessory (like spare batteries), a manual/guide or a video on how to use the item properly. Anything that adds extra value to your offer will increase conversion rates.
- Build confidence by including a feedback box straight into your listing. You have to prove to buyers that you’re a trustworthy person – not the other way around. Embedding feedback into the listing will definitely help build your credibility.
- Display clear contact information. Buyers want to be sure they’ll be able to contact you in case something goes wrong with their purchase. E-mail is a MUST HAVE, and ideally display your phone number and full address too.
If you follow these basic guidelines, your listing will look AMAZING and better than 90% of listings out there! It really doesn’t take that much time; besides, once you create one listing you can use it as a template for other items and just change product pictures and their descriptions.
Step 5 – Customer Relationships
Become a friend to your customers and the money will come in, seriously! If you take those small extra steps to make your customers feel valuable, they’ll come back to you for repeat orders, and recommend you to their friends.
This is yet another huge topic and I could spend hours sharing various tips and tricks with you. But here are some of the most important ones:
- Always answer all customer e-mails within 24 hours (during the business week) and be friendly and polite whatever happens. The customer is always right, remember, and this is especially true on eBay where dissatisfied customers can ruin your business by leaving negative feedback.
- Dispatch orders the same day or next day at the latest and try to offer the fastest shipping service that is viable price-wise for you. Nothing upsets people more than delayed shipments.
- Keep your customers informed at all items – use Selling Manager Pro to send out auto e-mails when payment is received and when the order is dispatched.
- Leave auto positive feedback once payment is received (using the same Selling Manager Pro settings)
- If you mess things up, apologise immediately and do whatever it takes to keep your customer satisfied, even if this means a lost item and a refund.
- Add a Thank You letter to each order. Make it hand-signed for that special touch!
- Pack orders carefully, using suitable materials! (no, old newspapers don’t count!)
- Include a small, unannounced gift with each order you send out. You won’t believe how many glowing testimonials I have received over the years because of this one small trick. In this day and age of global monopolizations and retail giants people really want to feel that personal touch, they want to feel special and to be treated well. A small gift can do just that.
As I said, there are many more things you can do to create a business your customers truly LOVE but for now, implement at least these ideas when building your eBay business and you’ll see great results almost instantly because of them.
Step 6 – Marketing
The last step of my Easy Auction Business formula is all about marketing! In a word, this means how to get more visitors to your listings, how to get higher sell-through rates, how to increase your average order value and much more!
Up-selling, cross-selling, variations, TRS, gallery pictures, listing titles – all of these things play an important role in your overall eBay business performance. In the EAB video course you’ll learn exactly how to win the never-ending battle to get more views for your listings and much more besides!
Hot Tip! Here’s one very simple but yet so effective marketing strategy not many people are aware of – LIST BUILDING! eBay’s own newsletter system is totally out of date and inefficient. But there’s a better way of doing this – by using a 3rd party e-mail service provider such as AWeber or Mail Chimp. By using these services, you can build an e-mail list of all of your eBay customers and send out regular sales promotions, newsletters and special offers.
Even more – when you build your own online shop outside eBay, by using this method you can legally steal customers from eBay and direct them to your website. You can even go further and create crazy, highly individual up-sell offers. For example –
You sell photo paper – once a person makes a purchase on eBay, an e-mail goes out with a special offer:
Thanks for your purchase. Today only we’re offering a FREE pack of photo paper for all eBay customers when you buy another pack from our online shop!
This is a classic buy-3-pay-for-2 offer.
In a similar way you can up-sell accessories – for example, you sell DIY model kits and send out up-sell e-mails for specially discounted painting sets. The beauty of this system is that all these e-mails are set to go out on total auto pilot, 24/7! You don’t have to lift a finger to do this!
There are many more ways you can utilise e-mail marketing with eBay customers, such as sending out CPA offers, newsletters and affiliate offers. With CPA offers you can literally make your eBay fees back by sending out one simple, automated e-mail. It’s PURE GOLD! All of this and many more tips are covered in the Easy Auction Business video course.
I personally use AWeber but Mail Chimp is as good a service + it’s FREE for the basic account. So, if you’re on a tight budget sign up for Mail Chimp and start using e-mail marketing to super charge your customer lifetime value!
Marketing is my passion and I come up with new ideas all the time that you can use to make more money for your business. That’s why I run my blog, where I share my discoveries with other people on a regular basis. Marketing is something very few eBay sellers are aware of and your key to outcompeting them!
That’s it – the exact 6-step formula Adrian and hundreds of other people have used to build a profitable online business. No magic here, just loads of small pieces – when you put them all together, you get a truly outstanding business you can be proud of!
To make your life even easier, here are some great tools I use to do all kind of business-related tasks:
- Terapeak – the best research tool for eBay. When you conduct initial market research, you simply can’t do without it. There’s a 7-day free trial available, so make sure you sign up for the account! You can cancel your account whenever you want, but after seeing what it can do for you, I’m sure you’ll stick with it for at least a few weeks.
- Google Keyword Tool – a free tool that shows you what people are searching for on Google. It gives you exact numbers so it’s invaluable when projecting how big a niche is. Sign up for a free AdWords account and you’ll find the keyword tool under the Tools menu. No strings attached.
- Photoshop Elements – I LOVE Photoshop! It helps me with improving product pictures, cropping, creating gallery images and so much more! There’s a 30-day free trial available, so give it a go. Alternatively, for product picture editing use one of the many FREE online tools available, such as Pixlr.com
- Turbo Lister – some people hate it but I can’t imagine my day without it! Yes, it’s slow and buggy, but in reality there are no similar desktop eBay listing tools available. Turbo Lister allows you to create, manage, schedule and upload listings to eBay. Bulk editing features are available too. It’s free to use, and with some basic training you’ll master it in no time.
- Go Daddy – when you come up with a name for your online business, make sure to register a domain name for it. Go Daddy is the world’s leading domain registrar, so you really can’t go wrong.
- Host Gator – once you have registered a domain name, you’ll want to get some hosting space – to host your product pictures and to be able to use a professional e-mail account – firstname.lastname@example.org. I have been with Host Gator for years now and use it to host all of my websites. I recommend it to all my customers. Save $10 off your first invoice when using this coupon code on the checkout page: ANDREWMINALTO
- Fiverr – be it a logo, product picture editing or a video intro – you can get all these tasks and many more done on Fiverr.com, for just $5 per project.
- Skype Online Numbers – if you need an inexpensive and simple way to get a separate phone number for your business, use Skype Online Numbers. These numbers look like ordinary landline numbers and come with voice mail and call forwarding features.
- AWeber and Mail Chimp – as mentioned previously, these services are invaluable when you start building your customer data base. Mail Chimp offers a limited/basic account totally free of charge, so you have no excuses!
This video turned out to be much longer than I initially expected and still it covers only the basic guidelines on how to build a profitable, 6-figure eBay business. I could easily go on for days and days about this topic, but what I’ve given you today is the most important information for you to know to begin with.
My best advice at this point is NOT TO OVERCOMPLICATE things and just take action! There will be loads of questions along the way but you absolutely MUST start doing something and take those first steps!
You can have a full-time income-generating eBay business in just a few months; I have seen it happen many times! BUT you must take action and follow my 6-step formula to the letter.
I strongly recommend you check out the full Easy Auction Business video course where I cover every single aspect of this process in more detail, give more live examples and exact instructions to follow.
All the materials are available online, via a secure members’ area! Instant access 24/7.
Plus you get FREE Spicy Auction Templates membership and a 1-hour chat session with ME! Yes, me – not a personal assistant or an outsourced help desk clerk – I deal with all my customers personally. On top of that you get e-mail support and FREE updates for life! And all this is covered by my risk free, 60-day money back guarantee – if you can’t make money following my system, I don’t want your money either, as simple as that.
Share this video with people you know, and get in touch with me on Facebook or Google+! If you have any questions or need help with your business, feel free to contact me any time and I’ll do my best to get back to you within 24 hours, Monday to Friday.
Thanks for watching this video and I’ll see you inside the Easy Auction Business area!