April 13, 2015 by Andrew Minalto - 16 Comments

FREE Image Hosting for eBay Start-Ups!

free-image-hosting-for-ebayLet’s talk about product images on eBay!

I have talked a lot about why EVERY eBay business should have their own web hosting account, for various reasons, such as:

  • The ability to use your own info@yourcompany.co.uk email address. It looks much more professional than a free Gmail or Hotmail email address (IMPORTANT: Read my Hotmail should be BANNED article if you’re still using a Hotmail email account for your online business).
  • Use of your own domain name and website. Even if you don’t have an online shop yet, you still should have your brand name/company name registered as a domain name because when you DO want to start an online shop, you need that domain name in place. Also, even if you’re just selling on eBay, you can promote/advertise your website/domain name to your customers and simply re-direct it to your eBay Shop!
  • Having full control of your image hosting. If you’re using a custom made template, or any template for that matter, you know that you need to host your product images online to be able to include them inside your listing description. Your own hosting account gives you this ability while maintaining 100% flexibility. For example, with your own hosted images you can change special promotions or urgent messages across all listings by simply changing the image file on your hosting account.

The last point is the most important as without an image hosting account of some sort, you really can’t create beautiful eBay listings.

However, many people who are just starting out face one of the following problems when considering a hosting account for their business.

  • They don’t have a brand name yet so don’t know what domain name to register.
  • They are working on such a small budget that even £6 per month for a hosting account + domain name may be too much for them.

For whatever reason, if you can’t open a hosting account right away, you have to look at other options, and luckily there’s a very easy solution: (more…)

April 8, 2015 by Andrew Minalto - 167 Comments

A Complete Guide to Buyers-Scammers on eBay!

scamIf you go by all the posts and comments online, it’s nearly impossible to sell on eBay without being scammed, by the buyer! Pretty much every online forum or eBay related blog you visit will be FULL of such stories and from the emails I get, it’s clear that this is one of the main things that holds new sellers back from getting started on eBay.

But I’m happy to say that these buyer scams really aren’t as prevalent as is made out, and are much more common in certain niches, particularly more popular/everyday items.

And that’s actually one of the reasons you hear so much about this, because a lot of new, private sellers who list their own items (things like mobile phones, tablets, game consoles etc.) aren’t aware of the best practices they should follow, and end up getting scammed.

And that’s what today’s article is all about! I’ll be covering some of the more common scams on eBay and telling you exactly how to deal with them so that you’re never a victim to fraudulent eBay buyers.

To start off, I want to cover some of the selling rules and best practices that you should be following with all your eBay sales.

Create Buyer Requirements

This is probably the simplest and easiest way to reduce your exposure to buyers who are more likely to cause difficulties in a transaction.

Of course there is no universal list that tells you the user ID of all scammers but by applying some common sense filters, you can significantly reduce the chances of you being scammed.

You can block bids/purchases from buyers who:
  • Have unpaid items recorded on their account.
  • Have a feedback score lower than the number you specify (it goes without saying that not all new buyers are scammers, but a high proportion of scams come from new accounts with little feedback, so this is a great way to protect yourself).
  • Don’t have a PayPal account

Here’s an example of set of rules you can set in Buyer Requirements:

buyer-requirementsAnd you can also add difficult and problematic buyers to your “blocked list” via their user ID which will prevent them from buying anything from you in the future. (more…)

March 16, 2015 by Andrew Minalto - 3 Comments

Should you sell SMALL or BULKY items?

small-vs-bulkyCan you make money selling bulky items online? It’s a good question and one that I get asked regularly by my blog readers and customers. And while I do cover this topic in detail in my Easy Auction Business video course, I wanted to do a separate blog post on it as well, to help as many people as possible.

Before we get into the advantages and disadvantages of selling small VS bulky items, let’s first define what constitutes a small or bulky item in the first place. Obviously, there are no precise dimensions to stick with and it’s all very subjective but still, in my opinion, a small item is something you can send off to your customer as a letter or large letter in Royal Mail’s shipping formats.

The next size up is what I would call medium sized, which are items that fit Royal Mail’s Small Parcel size dimensions and only then come the really bulky and oversized items. To give you a better idea of my general classifications, here are a few product examples so you can see what falls into each group:

Small items:

  • jewellery
  • nail decals
  • video games
  • screen protectors
  • tickets

Medium size items:

  • shoes
  • headphones
  • trousers
  • portable HDD
  • mobile phones

Bulky items:

  • computer monitors
  • small pet cages
  • shower units
  • instrument cases
  • home cinema speakers

Oversized items:

  • weight lifting benches
  • chicken hoops
  • large tents
  • furniture
  • mobile sheds

In the context of this article, we’ll consider the first two categories small items and the latter two bulky items, just to keep things simple. But I will still mention some variances within each category as there’s obviously a noticeable difference between say jewellery and shoes. (more…)