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eBay Beginner Tips Part 3: Getting Started Selling On eBay

by Sidney Johnston

The pieces of the Net auction business puzzle are falling into place. But to get a full sense of the "big picture", you need one more important piece—the SALES TRANSACTION (the actual income producer).

The Sales Transaction

A sales transaction is simply an exchange. Your buyer gives you her money and you give her the solid gold widget she just bought. Somehow that treasure (i.e., product) has to get from you to your buyer.

So you need to...

1) Accept payment.

2) Package and ship.

But before you do either of those, you need to figure out a way to keep records of WHO bought WHAT.

If you are like most folks, you will begin by just selling an item or two. And those first auctions are so darned exciting and interesting that you won't forget them—especially the sales that happened overnight while you were sleeping! (Talk about a hassle-free business!)

And if you stay small in scope, you won't have any problems handling a few items, here and there. Details about each item will be easy to remember.

But that won't last...after you catch "Auction Fever". As you become more involved and grow your Net auction business, you will start creating problems for yourself if you don't have some sort of a SYSTEM.

Be organized, right from the beginning. Develop an effective record-keeping system.

The minimum information that you need to record is...

* Name and contact information of your buyer

* Description of what they bought

* How they paid and how much

* How and when you shipped their goodies, including tracking numbers or insurance information, if appropriate

* Dates of everything

With an organized system, you can keep track of your business and respond intelligently to inquiries about your products and/or sales. And when it's tax time, it's easy to fill in the required spaces on those government forms.

Make Your Net Auction Sell! provides more details on how to "stay-on-top" of your Net auction business and make it as streamlined as possible.

When you first begin, you may decide to keep your listings very simple. As you gain experience, your content will reflect your growing awareness of your market and what they want. Potential customers will be able to identify themselves in your listing.

OK. With that in mind (and on the ledger), let's continue with the other parts of the SALES TRANSACTION...

Before you list your item at an auction site, you need to figure out what you will charge for shipping and handling.

There are only two choices...

1) Either the buyer pays the actual amount of the shipping, or

2) She pays a set amount that is predetermined by you.

The predetermined amount is how many auction sellers are able to set their prices so low. They start an auction at one cent but charge a flat fee of $5 for shipping and handling.

It may only cost a fraction of that amount to mail. If the item sells for a lower-than-expected price, there is some cushion built into the transaction. If the opposite happens, the extra money is profit in the seller's pocket.

Always pay close attention to shipping and handling when you are researching auction listings. Keep track of the different rates for items in your category. This will help you to decide your own shipping fee structure.

OK. The auction is over. Your item sold. The auction site contacts you confirming the sale and provides you with the e-mail address of your buyer.

Now it's your job to follow up with the customer. In an e-mail, remind him of what he bought from you, the final sale price and the shipping and handling charge.

And specify how you accept PAYMENT.

When Net auctions first began, almost every item was paid for with checks or money orders. Today, this is no longer the case. Almost every item is paid through online payment. We recommend this option for its convenience.

The best known and most widely used is PayPal, but there are many other choices. Some auction sites have their own payment systems.

The one thing you never want to do is ask for cash! It's still perceived as a security risk by many people and could turn off potential buyers.

Next step in the sales transaction? You receive payment from your buyer—thus fulfilling his part of the exchange. Now, it's your turn. And that means...

Shipping And Handling

Although not as exciting as other parts of the auction game, shipping is another critical factor in your success. If your buyer receives his box with grandmother's prize tea cups and if it rattles when he picks it up, he's not going to be happy.

However, packing really isn't all that difficult once you understand how to ensure safe delivery. Initially, it might change your lifestyle a bit...as you become a "box fanatic" and a recycling champion. :-)

You have several options for your mailing service, such as the Post Office, UPS or FedEx. The last two are be a bit more expensive. But if you are sending parcels internationally, they are the service of choice.

There are even companies who will pack items for you and guarantee safe delivery. This is your best option for larger, more expensive items.

Your second and ongoing consideration will be how to find the cheapest sources for packing materials. One of the keys to consistent auction profits is to always be aware of that bottom line.

Keep costs/expenditures as low as possible. If you are selling in large amounts, a 20% reduction in your packing materials will mean significant dollars in your bank account.

Identify free or cheap sources of packing materials. More importantly, do some detective work and locate your own suppliers, online and offline. Do you have a local box or bubble wrap producer or a paper company?

A reliable supplier will create ever-more independence—and will let you drive past a dumpster without stopping. ;-)

And there you have it. A "bird's eye view" of a Net auction business—a business that is perfectly suited to ANYONE. You don't need a multi-million dollar ad budget, a staff of 50 and a Search Engine specialist working full time to succeed.

All you need are the resources and skills that you ALREADY have and some solid information. With that you can be speeding down the road to financial independence

Net auction business is e-commerce at its most colorful glory. It is the marketplace in its purest form—an exciting mix of all kinds of unique merchandise, fascinating auction listings, dynamic pricing, direct supply/demand outcomes and open communication between buyer and seller.

Most of us are familiar with quiet, unassuming offline stores, that pride themselves on uniformity. Have you ever noticed that you can go into any chain store, no matter where it is located, and everything is presented in the same way? If you know where the socks are in Omaha, you know exactly where they are in Seattle.

That's reassuring to the customer but a trifle...boring.

The Internet has often been compared to the Wild, Wild West. In many ways, that is an appropriate comparison. In Net auctions, you can allow your creativity and personality to run wild! Or you can be cautious and stay with one type of product in one type of category.

YOU decide how you want to develop YOUR business.

And you have do-able options. If your treasures don't sell well on one particular auction site, you are not stuck. Just try another site. There are lots available, eagerly waiting for your registration.

How quickly can you expect major success?

The answer, of course, is...

...there is no answer.

Each person is so different, with varying degrees of determination, persistence and abilities. What IS certain is that your learning curve will be much, MUCH shorter if you follow the guidance and use the resources of Make Your Net Auction Sell! The pages of MYNAS! include dozens of strategies and ideas that will increase your earnings immediately. There are even examples of what NOT to do (often we learn more from mistakes than successes).

You can also take a peek at some successful sellers who are encouraging role models...

* Alan Probst, a catcher for the NY Mets AAA team, is proof that you CAN hold down a job and still succeed in auctions.

* Richard involves his entire family in the auction business.

* The Youngs have an online business that grew out of their own needs. They sell mailing supplies to auction sellers.

* And, as a final example, there's Wendy who had to scrounge for change on the floor of her car, just to cross a toll bridge—until she discovered auctions.

Click here to learn more about this truly outstanding book. NOTE: Make Your Net Auction Sell! is now FREE!

Auctions are in their infancy. There are so many directions in which they can go. For example, one possible direction is towards store-front auctions, where the seller can have catalogs and an actual Internet retail site.

There are constantly evolving new tools, creative products and ways to promote your business.

No one can possibly foresee where this trend is going. But...one thing is definite. Internet auctions are here to stay. They are, in fact, mushrooming madly in every direction.

Net auctions are one of the most exciting, lucrative, challenging, ever-changing games of the century. Make Your Net Auction Sell! gives you the confidence to JUMP in and PLAY the game successfully.

Where you go with Net auction is entirely up to you. One thing is for sure...

...whatever you want from auctions, you can get.

Money, fun, the thrill of the chase, time with your family, financing your hobby, whatever...

...it's YOURS!

All you have to do is reach out and TAKE it.

Sydney Johnston's Make Your Net Auction Sell! (MYNAS!) outlines other powerful features and benefits of a Net auction business. This outstanding book gives you the "big picture" so that you can easily see YOURSELF in that "picture". This eBook sold thousands of copies at $30.00 each. It is now FREE! CLICK HERE to download your copy and learn to sell on eBay.

 

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