February 15, 2017 by Andrew Minalto - 2 Comments

TRS, Best Match, Cassini, Buy Box, FBA, EAN ALL Explained!

Welcome back!

This is the 3rd post in the series on “Business Terminology every online seller should know” and today we’ll be covering eBay & Amazon. If you missed out on the previous two posts, you can find them by clicking on these links:

I put eBay & Amazon together as these are the 2 most important selling platforms for us online sellers. Even though this list is geared more towards newbies, I’m sure that it wouldn’t hurt even experienced eBay & Amazon sellers to repeat some basics.

There are hundreds of specific terms used on both eBay & Amazon – I won’t be able to cover them all so what I’ve done is picked the most popular ones, the ones that I regularly get asked about, to clear things up once and for all.

So without further ado, let’s get started!

eBay

Personal account – this is the “standard” account most people open when registering with eBay for the first time. A standard account allows you to buy and sell both used and brand new products on eBay.

Business Account – this is the account most sellers will upgrade to when they start to work seriously on an eBay business. Having a business account on eBay DOES NOT mean that you have to be a registered business. This is only a “Business” account in eBay’s sense and will allow you to qualify for various advanced selling tools and more! You can upgrade a personal account to a business account BUT you can’t change it back to personal after that.

eBay Shop – a paid, monthly subscription service which allows you to have your own shop within eBay’s eco-system. Shop owners get a certain number of free listings each month, based on their shop subscription level.

Years ago normal and shop listings were separated but nowadays, all listings are the same in search results. But owning a shop gives you more branding opportunities, options to create product categories, use the Promoted Listings feature and more!

Auction Listing – the “original” listing format eBay was started with. You start a listing with an opening price and let buyers bid against each other. The highest bidder wins the auction and gets the item after paying for it.

Fixed Price Listing – also called Buy It Now (BIN) listings. These are listings where you set the target price you want your item to be sold for. With fixed priced listings there is no bidding going on and you can sell multiple units of the same item from the same listing (with auction listings you sell just one item). (more…)

February 10, 2017 by Andrew Minalto - 4 Comments

Should you Advertise FREE Shipping in your eBay listing titles?

Happy Friday!

It’s time for our weekly Reader’s Question post.

Today I want to talk about listing titles and specifically what kind of information you want to include in them. In general terms, your product keywords are THE MOST important part of your listing title. As I covered in my eBay SEO post, you can easily get keywords to use in your listing titles using the SEO function in Terapeak.

But what about other information like FREE Shipping? Should you include that in your listing titles?

This is exactly what Max asked me in his recent email:

Hello Andrew,

Thanks a lot for sharing all the information on your blog.

I have been selling professionally on eBay for the past 18 months or so, as an extension to our physical shop and own website. All the listings contain the words “free post” at the end and I wonder if this is wise?

What do you think of adding “free postage” in the title of listings of eBay? Is there any evidence as to the good it does? And does it still matter as nowadays most listings are offering free postage as default?

If the evidence is not there to prove it works, I would happily use the extra characters to enhance the title with more keywords.

Thanks for your advice.

Max

Hi Max,

Thanks for your email.

The short answer is – NO, I don’t think it is worth including FREE Shipping/FREE POST in your listing titles. As you say – the vast majority of eBay listings offer free shipping by default, especially listings on the first page of search results so customers are already used to the fact that most sellers offer free shipping.

Even more importantly – eBay clearly shows which listings offer free shipping with the Free Postage text right below the price for sellers who are NOT Top Rated Sellers and offer free shipping:

In my opinion this is actually more visible than if you write free shipping at the end of your listing title. Most people browse through search results by looking at gallery images, not by reading the actual listing title text. (more…)

January 27, 2017 by Andrew Minalto - 12 Comments

Upgrade Your Personal eBay Account or Create a Brand New Business Account?

Happy Friday!

On a regular basis I receive emails asking about eBay accounts. And even though I have already covered the topic of multiple eBay and PayPal accounts in a separate blog post, many people simply ask what the best option is when you have an established personal account and want to start selling on eBay as a business?

This is exactly what Mark asked me:

Hi Andrew,

I am working my way through your EAB tutorials which I find extremely informative, and wondered if you could provide me with some assistance please.

I have held a personal eBay account for 7 years selling items from around the house that are no longer of use. I have not sold on a regular basis, but just as and when. I have 100% feedback and a light blue star. I have recently changed the account name as the previous one was more a novelty name selected by my young daughter.

I am looking to establish myself with TRS status and then build upon that to Premium Service level.

In the previous 10 months I have sold two vehicles through Classified Ads so can satisfy the requirement of a minimum of £1000 sold in the previous 12 months. However, I have not had 100 transactions.

In order to achieve the required 100 transactions in the previous 12 months, following your tutorial, I have identified a number of items around the house that I would normally sell off at auction.

I am looking to establish a niche market, and therefore the household items would not fall within this niche. In view of this, would I be better placed to leave my eBay account as a personal one and create a new one to use to auction my items to reach the 100 transactions, or would I be better off simply changing the account to a business one and selling my items on this, although they do not fit within the niche market I aspire to?

Kind Regards,

Mark

Hi Mark,

Thanks for your email.

There’s no need to start a BRAND NEW account from scratch! Why? You already have an established account with a proven track record, feedbacks and sales. You must likely also have decent selling limits too.

What you want to do is simply upgrade your current personal account to a Business account, that’s it. You can also change the user ID if you feel that’s necessary (it can be changed once every 30 days).

This way you are not starting from scratch and will benefit from the sales history you’ve already accumulated on that personal account. (more…)

January 25, 2017 by Andrew Minalto - 4 Comments

Can You Still Do eBay Competitor Research with the New Terapeak Rules?

Video transcript:

Hello & Welcome!

This is the very first blog video for this year and there are many more to come! I’m planning on creating a video once a month, so I can show you “live”, on screen, how to do various eBay, Amazon & eCommerce related tasks!

Today I want to cover the recent changes in Terapeak’s Competitor Research tool which came as a big surprise to many of us. For people who don’t know what I’m talking about – previously Terapeak showed seller IDs in various places and this was great, especially when doing Competitor Research. We were able to simply enter the seller (user) ID and get various data for that seller, including total sales, their best selling products and much more.

Unfortunately this has been replaced with anonymous seller ids. From what I understand, eBay was concerned about the privacy of their sellers and therefore came to an agreement with Terapeak that this information will no longer be shown.

But what does that mean for us sellers who use Terapeak to do various research tasks? Does this new change make Terapeak pointless?

No, not at all!

First of all, this change has no effect at all on other tools – including our main tool, that we use to do the majority of our Terapeak research, the Product Research tool, as well as the SEO tool, Hot Research and all others.

Secondly, we can still see how much in sales the top sellers make for any product we research. We simply don’t see seller their IDs anymore.

So the only negative is that we can’t see seller IDs and use the Competitor Research tool which allowed us to get further user specific data.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not a fan of this change and I would 100% prefer if things stayed as they were before… But from the conversations I had with Terapeak directly I understand that this was out of their control and something eBay simply insisted on. We will most likely never be told the exact reasons for this, but it’s out of our control anyway, we can only accept it and move on. (more…)

January 16, 2017 by Andrew Minalto - 120 Comments

HOW To LOSE International Customers with eBay’s Global Shipping Program!

One thing I always advice to my Easy Auction Business and 60 Day Blueprint customers, after they’re up and running in the UK and making good sales, is to expand internationally!

Most people seem to be unaware of this fact, but after America, the UK is in general one of the cheapest and best places for shopping and this provides a big opportunity for us sellers to offer products abroad and make good money. The margins are often even better than when selling locally due to higher prices and less competition and this makes international orders very lucrative.

I’ve had a few clients who have started selling internationally just to bolster their sales and make some extra money, and eventually their exports eclipsed their sales to the UK! A customer of mine actually discovered such an amazing market for used/retro video games in Australia that he stopped selling in the UK entirely and instead solely sells his products in Australia, using a fulfilment company to process orders.

So don’t underestimate the potential opportunity of international sales, as they can actually contribute a large percentage of your overall sales.

Now I have always said that the best way to sell internationally on eBay is to list directly on the regional eBay site of the country you want to sell to.

That means if you want to sell to Spain, list on eBay.es, if you want to sell to Australia, list directly on eBay.com.au, etc.

This, combined with shipping yourself using the best/cheapest method possible, is the best way to do things in terms of search ranking, views, and therefore SALES.

And that’s why I’m so confused by the growing popularity of eBay’s Global Shipping Programme!

For those of you who don’t know, eBay’s Global Shipping Programme is basically a service run by eBay that allows us sellers to offer our products for sale internationally BUT they take care of all the work! (more…)

January 11, 2017 by Andrew Minalto - 4 Comments

FREE Terapeak Trials Now Available for ALL Services!

Welcome Back!

This is just a short post to announce a change I recently noticed in Terapeak’s sign-up process while helping out one of my EAB customers to get going with market research.

Previously, the free trial Terapeak offered was just for the Basic account which had some limitations and didn’t offer you all the tools needed for your eBay research tasks. It has changed recently and now, by default, you sign up for the Professional Account AND you can also sign-up for additional features like My Sales Pro and SEO Pro right on the trial sign-up page itself:

I personally don’t use My Sales Pro but SEO Pro is a very handy tool to find hot keywords for your eBay, Amazon and even eCommerce store products as it does include keywords from Google too. I have created a special guide on how to create keyword rich listing titles here.

On the same page you can select whether you want to be on a monthly or yearly billing cycle, which offers significant savings. And they genuinely are big savings – 33% for the Professional subscription which should really be the minimum package for any serious eBay seller.

Remember that the first 7 days of your Terapeak subscription is free and to visualise this, you can see a very good graphic that tells you when you’ll first be billed:

If you cancel your subscription before that date, you won’t pay anything.

And for those of you who are worried about signing up for trials using a credit card, you can also use your PayPal account for this process which means that you’ll be 100% in charge of your subscription and can cancel it any time you want.

But there’s no real need to be worried – I have worked with Terapeak for many years now and they’re a completely legitimate and genuine company that has developed a number of excellent tools and services for us sellers. (more…)

January 6, 2017 by Andrew Minalto - 12 Comments

What’s Best on eBay – Individual Listings or Listings with Variations?

Welcome back!

It’s time for another Reader’s Question post and today we’ll be looking into the listing with variations or individual listings dilemma. So which is best when you sell similar products on eBay? And how will your choice affect your sell-through rate and search ranking?

Here’s an email Anne sent to me on this topic:

Hi Andrew,

First of all thank you for all the very useful advice you publish, which people like me benefit greatly from.

I created a business eBay account earlier this year with a handful of items. Over the subsequent months I added a few more but I was becoming frustrated at the lack of exposure my listings were getting and decided to upgrade to a basic shop.

Despite reading this wasn’t really worth my while unless I was selling 50 items plus a month, I was not happy until I had the Good ‘Til Cancelled listing option. I was planning on adding more items anyway and figured I would never move up the rankings if my Amount Sold went back to 0 every 30 days.

I thought I could push my items a bit more, so I decided to list my listings which had variations individually too, i.e. by colour.

Initially I thought I had so many free listings with my shop subscription I may as well use some of them up. Even today I realise that I am not getting the best value from my shop but to be honest having GTC has been the best thing ever and I would rather fill those listings gradually as I grow.

And it has definitely helped me to raise my profile. Lately, however, I checked how many views I am getting on eBay per item, and my listings with variations get way, way more. I also sell a lot more this way.

So my question is this…..first of all is it worth listing my items individually and duplicating them and more importantly am I doing this to the detriment of my variable listings? I think what I am trying to say is does it take away focus from my more successful variable listings or should it not make any difference?

Many thanks,
Anne

Hi Anne,

Thanks for your email and questions.

First of all – you DON’T need an eBay shop subscription anymore to use the Good ‘Til Cancelled (GTC) listing format, not anymore! Yes, this is a new change on eBay, introduced very recently so you may have missed it but it’s true – anyone on eBay can now use GTC format – with or without a shop subscription.

So if you’re selling just a few items, it’s probably not worth paying that subscription fee anymore.

Now, onto your dilemma on listing individual products versus one listing with variations – you have basically already answered that yourself. If the items you sell are the same but in different colours, you want to list them all under one listing, using variations. (more…)

December 13, 2016 by Andrew Minalto - 2 Comments

eBay Branded Packaging – Great Marketing or a Waste of Time?

Last week on this blog I posted an article about a new eBay feature, the i-ways Free Listing Template Creator, which was recently announced in the November business seller newsletter.

Sadly the free template creator was a big disappointment, but there was another interesting point in that newsletter which I want to look into today – eBay branded packaging!

In eBay’s own words – “now, you can get high-quality, competitively-priced eBay-branded packaging. That means it’s easier than ever to give your buyers the full eBay experience when they shop with you.”

Hmm, interesting…

But my initial reaction is, what’s the point?

Now before you start screaming at me, saying “but Andrew, you talk about branding ALL THE TIME!” let me first explain what I mean.

Yes I do talk about branding – in fact it’s pretty much my no. 1 way of creating an actual business online, instead of just being one of a million online sellers.

When you have branded products/packaging, you achieve a number of things:

  • You set yourself apart from the crowd and the masses of other sellers offering the same or similar products.
  • You become more memorable to buyers, thereby increasing repeat purchases and even recommendations.
  • You increase the perceived value of your products.

The last point is probably the most important! When you receive an item in branded packaging, you feel like it’s come from a real business and that item suddenly seems to be a bit more valuable… that’s why I always call branding an investment, not a cost, because it allows you to charge higher prices. (more…)

December 9, 2016 by Andrew Minalto - 0 Comments

Why Should You Stay Away From 
BRAND Dominated Products?!

Welcome back!

Let’s talk about market research and specifically – the manual research part you do when Terapeak numbers have confirmed a potentially good product to sell on eBay.

Yes, you still need to do manual research on eBay before you make your final decision! You can’t just blindly follow Terapeak numbers. While sales data is super important, you need to carefully check at least the first page of search results on eBay to see what’s going on there, what the competition looks like etc. And with this research, you’ll often find a certain percentage of your listings is for branded items.

How do you know when it’s okay to compete with branded products and when you have to drop that product completely?

This is exactly what Ben asked in a recent email to me:

Hi Andrew,

You mentioned in the EAB course to stay clear if a product is dominated by a few brands.

But are you referring to the product brand or the company brand?

For example there is an automotive parts business that sells the three most popular air freshener brands (California scents, Jelly Belly, Little Tree’s).

Are you saying that it’s unwise to try and compete with these air freshener juggernauts by branding my own imported air freshener? Or are you saying that I should simply steer clear of niches that have a very uneven distribution of revenue?

Hope that makes sense!

Cheers, 

Ben

Thanks for your email & question Ben.

First of all, let’s define what I mean by branded product and brand domination.

Branded Products

These are products that are branded e.g. have a brand name/logo on the product itself and/or packaging. Essentially any product that has a logo on it could be classed as a branded product BUT my reference is little bit different.

I use this term to describe products that are made by well known brands, for example:

  • Samsung TVs
  • Gillette razors
  • Apple phones
  • Beats headphones
  • Netgear routers
  • etc.

Basically well known brands, many of which are household brands even a 3 year old child can recognise (trust me, I just tested this with my son! 🙂 (more…)

December 7, 2016 by Andrew Minalto - 22 Comments

eBay’s NEW Feature – FREE eBay Listing Template BUILDER!

Last week eBay sent out their November business seller newsletter and there were a couple of quite interesting points inside. One was the eBay branded packaging that is now available for us sellers, which I’ll be covering in a post next week, and the other is the news that eBay is now offering FREE, mobile optimised listing templates!

This has come about in an attempt to provide a simple and clear option for all eBay sellers that is fully compliant with their upcoming rules on active content (check out my post on these changes if you missed it here).

Well, without any further ado – let’s test it then!

Now I have to say I was quite surprised to be taken off of eBay and to another site, www.i-ways.net, to design my template as I thought this would be something built in to eBay itself, within the new seller hub… but it seems you have to create an account with i-ways specifically to use the new eBay template creator.

Once you’ve created your account, you have to fill in some basic business information and are then asked to link your eBay account to your i-ways account, but I skipped this step and went straight to the template creator. (more…)