Improve eBay selling efficiency

In my previous post, I went through most of the basic functions an eBay seller should be familiar with. In this post, I am going to show some essential tools you can subscribe to your eBay account to improve the efficiency of selling products. Even though most of them are paid tools with monthly charges, I highly recommend you to at least give them a try (you can always cancel them at any time. You might have to pay for one month though), because the time and energy they end up saving you is invaluable.

eBay Store

Why open an eBay store and pay a monthly charge?

Image the difference between selling random things on a website such as Craiglist and selling several categories of different product lines on an official online retail store, it’s not hard to tell which one will present more professionalism. There are lots of benefits to have an eBay store.

Most importantly, to generate steady monthly income, you want to build up your brand on eBay, which is the best way to retain earnings from your loyal customers to a well-organized store after providing first class customer services.

In addition, with a fixed monthly charge, insertion fee for listing each individual product in a store is significantly lower than the fee without a store. E.g. Insertion Fee for 1 Fixed Price listing without a store is $0.50; it only costs $0.20 to list the same product in a basic store; for veteran sellers with subscription of the most comprehensive store (Anchor Store), the same listing only costs $0.02. It’s not hard to figure out how much it can save you when you have hundreds or thousands of listings.

Efficiency is always an important thing I personally care the most. No matter how much money I can make per month, if my time is used up, (e.g. I need to work for 12 hours a day on average) my future growth will become nearly impossible – if I have no time to explore new opportunities, I rather stop what I am doing even though it’s making good money. Therefore to manage my eBay business efficiently is what I enjoy the most from eBay store subscription.  

How to subscribe (open) an eBay store?

On “My eBay” page, under the tab “Account”, by clicking on “Subscription”, you will be brought to “Subscription” page as showing below

 ebay subscription

As you can see, there are total 5 subscriptions to choose from. In my post, I will only focus on “eBay Stores” and “eBay Selling Manager” (later in this post). Please feel free to try other subscriptions yourself and if you have any great experience from them, please come back and share it to everyone.

eBay Store has 3 different levels, basic store, premium store and anchor store. For a complete comparison among them for price, listing charges and features, please check out this eBay page. If you are a new seller account, with the current requirement from eBay, you can only start with the basic store, but as your sales go, as soon as you hit more than 10 feed backs with a good standing, you will be granted the option to subscribe a different store. The following table has complete recommendations and requirement for each store.

 eBay store recommendations

If you like numbers, there is another tool provided by eBay. It can show you how much it will cost you very month based on volume of listings and sales in your store – which is my favorite part. Based on the analysis, my pick right now is Premium Store package.

Handy eBay Store Functions

I am not going through each function of eBay stores in details as I assume if you are serious enough on your eBay business, you will spend some time to look into them. Here I just want to share my experiences of using some functions of Premium Store (the one in my subscription) which I found very handy while managing listings and sales.

– Custom Page & Custom Store Header: With a store subscription(any store), you have the ability to use customized pages to build up your brand. You can add your own logo and links to the store header to help customers easily recognize your brand and navigate in your store.

– Promotion box: If you have any featured item or anything on sales, this function can highlight them to cause more attentions from your customers.

– Store Categories: Up to the capacity of 300 categories (including sub categories). If you are not good at HTML or do not feel confident enough to make some Custom Page, this function can help you organize your listings and your customers will definitely appreciate the easy navigation.

FREE sales management tools: I am going into more details in the next section

– Markdown manager: Want to boost sales when holiday season is approaching? This function can easily add a dollar amount or a percentage discount to your existing listings. To put something on sales, you can have them done in as quickly as 5 minutes.

– Vacation Hold: Once switch on, the system will send an auto message to customers when they have any inquiry while you are away. I traveled to China 3 times last year and I can’t tell you enough how much I like this handy function.

– Off eBay Email Marketing: After buyers subscribe your store newsletter, guess how many opportunities will be opened up to you when dealing with your loyal customers.

I highly recommend you to play around with the functions of eBay Store, I am sure you will be surprised by how much the store features can help for your business. Want to be a store owner now?

 

Selling Manager Pro

I went through functions of “My eBay” in my last post. It’s a very basic selling tool to handle individual listings and sales. Now to go on a step further as you want to prepare yourself before volume is picking up, I will introduce a new tool – Selling Manager Pro. To review the difference between different selling tools on eBay, you can take a look at simple comparison among 3 selling tools on eBay. In this section, I will highlight the benefits of using Selling Manager Pro.

Easy to Start

Selling Manger Pro is a paid tool costing $15.95 per month, but eBay is nice enough to provide a 30-day trail to get you try it before you commit – so you have nothing to loss, yeah! One thing I want you to keep in mind is, if you subscribe “Premium Store” or “Anchor Store”, this tool is free to use, so by taking this combination into consideration, Premium Store is not really too much more expensive than Basic Store – which is one of the main reasons I picked Premium store.

Please note that Selling Manager Pro is subscribed per each eBay site, so I highly recommend you to subscribe it to the site you use to list all the products. In my case, I use ebay.com, so I subscribe it to my account at ebay.com. If you want to subscribe it to more than one eBay site, you will need to pay the monthly charge for each site – don’t pay more than you need to.

Easy to Use

You can find Selling Manager Pro at your selling section because it’s an upgrade of that section. Now let’s look at the regular selling section from My “eBay” and Selling Manager Pro side by side,

 selling manager pro comparision

As you can see, Selling Manager Pro has more functions while managing listings and sales. Similar to last section, I am only going through the functions I used the most. Please feel free to have your own investigation done as well.

Bulk editing

Selling Manager Pro provides the ability to edit same section of multiple listings at the same time. The sections I advise a lot includes:

– Handling time

– Payment information

– Price, Quantity and Best Offer

– Return Policy

– Shipping

For example, if you want to revise your return policy, you can simply choose all the listing that you want to revise and enter the new return policy once. You should not go through each individual listing for the same stuff, so now you do not have to.

Automation Rules

By setting up automation rules, you can relist or stop the listings under certain circumstances. This is very useful when controlling inventory. If your listing is stopped as soon as you run out of inventory, you will never run into the situation that you have to apologize to your buyers about the item is not in stock after they bought the item – trust me, this is a big time saver.Furthermore, if you list your items for a duration of 10 days or 30 days and you want it to be automatically relisted after they end, with this function, you do not need to log into your account to manually relist them every 10 or 30 days.  

Automation Preferences

If you mind being polite to leave feedback to your buyers or want to be notified when things went wrong with listings, this is a perfect place to handle them by the system without spending extra time. Another big time saver with no doubt.

Marketing Tools

Want to increase your sales volume, marketing is an essential. eBay add this new section to help start some marketing strategies by implementing Email marketing, Promotional flyer and RSS Feeds.

With Selling Manager, I only need to work average 2-3 hours per week mainly on answering questions from customers and process the order (collecting money, nice!). To automatically manage the sales and listing revisions on over 500 listings, the benefit of using Selling Manager Pro makes me sell like a pro!

 

Applications 

“Applications” section is added by eBay not too long ago, but there are lots of great tools in the section help making a revolution change to experience of selling on eBay. As it’s very new, I personally do not have too much experience with it yet, but I will talk about some basic stuffs here and leave the rest of the venture to be explored by you, my readers.

How does it work?

If you have any experience with smart phone apps, this works in a very similar way. Thinking of eBay account as the operating system of the smart phone and the applications are like apps you can download to your phone as plug–ins to add more functions to your phone. Or it’s just like software you can install to your computer empowering it to work for you on different tasks.

Two Applications I personally use

– eBay Listing Analytics: It gives great insights of your products and provides the detailed data of the sales from listings in your store. If you enjoy statistics like me, this is a very effective way to improve your sales by studying the previous record. Plus all the data is downloadable, so you can have your work down even when you are offline.

– Outright: This is a tool to help record total sales, profits and expenses. The simple charts make your sales report and accounting report easily. I used to manually record each listing into my own excel sheet by plugging in mathematical functions to calculate eBay and PayPal fees, but since I found this tool, it saves all my hassles on report making. How much time this tool saves me per week? At least 2.

The future potentials

What makes Apple iPhone a better smart phone than the phones made by its competitors such as Samsung, Nokia and Blackberry? Better display or easy-to-use system, cooler design or better battery – maybe a little bit. The most powerful Apple iTune App Store gives the best user experiences ever. Thousands of new Apps are developed every day and total iTunes app download is over 10 billion times after 6 years since it first appears onto the market. This huge influence in the world is absolutely amazing!

eBay adopted the same idea by laughing “Applications” section in eBay seller account . Millions of eBay users will be definitely benefited by more handy “applications” in the future, so I truly believe this is going to be the future of eBay selling. 

Alright, I know you have been reading a lot and about to complain…I apologize for the super long post, but hope you enjoy the reading some far. I have covered lots of things in the post and if you have any questions, please leave your comments and I will help with clarifications and detail explanations. Thank you!

Have a great one, everybody!


Inside your Ebay Account

I hope you had some fun with my demonstration in the last post. Please continue bearing with me for this post and the coming post as I am going to show you how to use Ebay account to operate your business.

IMG_0206

In this post, I am going to talk about all the basic functions every ebay account comes with and in the next blog post, I will focus on talking about the add-on tools. (There will be monthly charge involved for most of the add-ons) I will leave the decision to you to choose from the tools that suits your situation.

As Ebay has very detailed information about all the functions and features, I am not going to go through everything in details. Here I will only focus more on the functions and Things I use the most. If you need help on basic stuff, please find the information from Ebay Customer Support. If you have any questions regarding the methods I am using, please contact me directly. If you are not using Ebay very often, the functions and features might look a little bit complicated at the beginning, but trust me, once you get used to it, it’s fairly easy to use. Please feel free to skip some of the details if you are already familiar with them.

Main Page

After log into your ebay account, by clicking on My Ebay (at the right top corner of the page) -> Summary, you will see your main page. If you are new to Ebay, the default “My eBay” landing page is set to “Summary”. By any chance you want to change that, on the right hand side of the main page, there is an option to change that setting (Please see the picture below).

 EbayChangeHomePage

 

What is behind your ID?

 EbayID

On the main page, right below Ebay logo, you will find your Ebay ID. In any communications with customers, this is used as your nick name. In my opinion, this needs to be easy to remember, as it gives you more opportunities to generate business – when there is chance for you to tell someone about your business, at least they can easily keep you ebay ID in mind.

Right beside your Ebay ID, there is a number showing. It’s called feedback score, which is used to keep track of the reputation of a seller/buyer on ebay. In most of the cases, higher the score, more transactions have been completed for the Ebay ID.

If you have a brand new account, in the first 30 days, you will have the shining icon right beside your feedback score (as showing in the picture above)

Both of Ebay ID and on the main page are clickable. By clicking on Ebay ID, you will be brought to Ebay My World page. This is a little place you can add some information about yourself. Many sellers on ebay spend some time to personalize this page, because it gives people who you communicate with a personal touch, so they do not feel like they are dealing with a machine or robot. By clicking on feedback score, you will be directed to feedback profile. Please click here to find out more about how feedback works on Ebay. To better understand how feedback profile is working will not only help you on maintaining your own reputation, but also help you study how other sellers were doing – this is especially important when you study your competitors.

 

3 most used Tabs

Now let’s go back to the main page and look at the three tabs under ebay ID.

        Activities:

  • Buy & List, saved searches and purchase history: these sections are mainly used for buyers, so I am not going to talk about them. Except if you want to know how an auction from a seller is going, you can add it to your watch list. Again this function is barely used as a seller.
  • Saved seller: I usually save my major competitors. Not because I want buy something from them. I always spend time to learn about the products they are selling and their sales volumes. From them, I can have a better understanding about the market and estimate my potentials to survive in the industry.
  • Sell: There are mainly two types of listings showing on Ebay. One is auction Type of listing and the other is fixed price type of listing. For most of the time, I use fixed price for the products I am offering. Why? In my opinion, auction works better for vintage personal items or super popular products. By running a business, I stay away from those products. I know you already have a question regarding that. There are some explanations.
    • As I mentioned before, the selling method I am using on Ebay is through drop shipping, therefore, vintage type of items will not work in this case (maybe you can find supplier for this type of products, but I doubt how much chance they will offer drop shipping).
    • What is super popular item? Things like Apple iPhone – whenever available on Ebay, hundreds of views established within a couple of hours. These “hot cakes” usually have very low profit margin and drop shipping can barely survive with this kind of profit. Why? Anyone knows they are selling like a charm, so countless retailers are willing to carry inventory for them. What is the profit margin left for drop ship? 

Active and Sold are the sections I use the most. “Active” section shows all the products I am selling and I always make sure the ended items (after the listing period) are renewed properly and have a basic idea what percentage of my listed products are sold. “Sold” section tells me the selling history, so I know which products are more popular than other and what kind of sales volume I am having for each time period.

         Messages:

This part of your account is acting as a simplified version of email system. Even though it does not have all the fancy functions life Google Gmail and Microsoft Hotmail, for simple communications between sellers and buyers, it’s sufficient and easy to use. If you know how to use email, I don’t think you have any trouble with it.

        Account:

In last blog post, I went through the PayPal section of the tab. Other sections such as personal information, addresses, communication preferences and site preference, have all the basic information of your account. These are straight forward, so I would not waste any time here. What I want to talk about a little more are the followings:

  • Feedback: is where you are dealing with feedbacks to the other party. As for sellers, I am going to introduce a more efficient tool called Auctiva in my future blog posts.
  • Subscription: is the section where you can subscribe most powerful add-on tools to your Ebay account to improve effectiveness and efficiency, which I will go into much more details in my next post.
  • Resolution Centre: is where you are dealing with issues with another party involved in the transaction. Very similar to the Resolution Centre in PayPal and these two resolution sections are linked together.

 

To readers

If you are an experienced ebay seller and have any good information to share about handling Ebay account, your comments and ideas are greatly appreciated here. See you next time.


Inside your PayPal Account

In my last post, I went through the process of opening Ebay and PayPal accounts. Once the accounts are opened, you can link them together to build the backend of your business and put in the hard work consistently. Before I dive into the details of the PayPal account, let’s look at how to link your Ebay and PayPal accounts together.

IMG_0205

Link Ebay and PayPal accounts

To link Ebay and PayPal accounts, you will first need to log into your Ebay account. Once logged in, most likely you will be directed to “My Ebay Summary”, of not, simply click on “My ebay” at the right top corner of the page (Please see the picture below)

 my ebay

 

In the middle of the “My Ebay” page, right under your id, there are four tabs, which you will use a lot when operating your business, but as this post is focusing on PayPal, I will not go into too much details. For more information about Ebay, please stay tuned for my next 2 blog posts regarding Ebay particularly.

 ebay-paypal

By clicking on “PayPal Account” from the drop down menu of the tab “Account”, you will be landing onto the page showing as following:

  linkpaypal


By clicking on the button, “Link My PayPal Account” and entering the login information of you PayPal account, your Ebay account and Paypal account will be linked together. Not sure if it’s done properly? You can go back to “PayPal Account” section in your Ebay account and double check. Now you will see the following.

 confirmlink

Well Done!

Ok, now if you want to purchase anything from  a seller on Ebay by using your account, you can do so. After you have done shopping, when check out, the linked PayPal account will pop up and ask you to enter your login information in order to submit your payment.

 

Inside PayPal account

  1. Main screen: on the main screen, you can see the basic information including your name, your account balance and recent transaction within last 7 days. On the right hand side of the screen, the top section, “Notification” indicated the urgent issues you need to deal with as soon as possible. If no urgent issues pending in your account, the only link you will see in this section is “Policy Updates”.   

 PayPalMain

        2. Basic functions:

  • Payment details: For each payment you receive from a customer, there is a link named “details” in the column of “Details” in the list of “My recent activities”. (The default setting of “My recent activities” is within last 7 days, if you want to go back further, there is link on the right hand side just above the section, named “View all of my transaction”.) By clicking on the link, you can see the page showing transaction details.
    • Top Section: includes customer’s name and address. In order to protect sellers, Paypal provides Seller Protection with the following terms:

“Protection for items not received

When you ship to the address on this page and provide proof that the item was delivered, you’re protected against claims for items not received. For complete requirements, seeterms.

Protection for unauthorized payments

When you ship to the address on this page and provide proof that the item was shipped, you’re protected against claims for unauthorized payments. For complete requirement, see terms.”

 

paypaltransaction1

Therefore as a seller, when receiving a payment, you need to make sure you are eligible for seller protection (as showing in the picture below) – to give you a safe mind.

    • Other Sections: these sections include item description (you know what to ship to the buyer); total amount, fee amount and net amount; the date and time of the purchase; customer’s name and ebay ID (you know how to contact the buyer if there is any issue); and which email you used to collect the payment (Why is this so important? Because when you have multiple product lines, you can use different email address to collect sales for each product line, but still able to manage everything in one paypal account.)

 

paypaltransaction2

 

  • Add/withdraw funds to/from bank account. (Please see below) These functions are only available after you link your bank account to the PayPal account.

PayPalBank

  • Send Money and Create Invoice: these functions are usually for transactions outside Ebay.

 PayPaltransfer

 

  • Resolution Centre and Profile:
    • Resolution Centre: is used when you are dealing with disagreement between the seller and the buyer. For most of time, if buyer does not think what they got was exactly as what was marketed in seller’s listing, the buyer will open a case and PayPal will look into the situation by asking the buyer and the seller to provide more evidences.
    • Profile: is to update personal information such as email, address and banking information.

 

       3. Paypal fees: PayPal is collecting fees while providing the platform and protection to help buyers and sellers complete financial transactions.

The amount of fees that PayPal collects can be found in the 8th section of this file. What I want to emphasis here is merchant rates, because it can potentially save you some money. The following is an example for domestic purchase payments in Canadian Dollars. Make sure to apply for merchant rates when you have bid volume in sales as that 0.4% – 1% does matter in your profit margin.                                                        

 paypalfees

 

Please follow this instruction to apply for merchant rates:

Fees (once log in, click the link “fees” at the bottom of log in page – right above the copyright info) -> purchase (click on the link in the purchase section on the left hand side) -> PayPal Merchant Fees (click on the link in the “accepting payment” section) -> standard merchant services (click on the link, “view all fees” in “standard merchant services” section) -> Volume Tiers (click the link in “Volume Tiers” section)

 

I think I will end this post here, but that does not mean I went through all the major functions of PayPal. In fact, if you run an online store (I mean by having your domain name, own website.), PayPal can provide much more powerful tools, however as my purpose is to help Ebay sellers, the information above should be sufficient.

 

To the readers

I apologize for the long and dry demonstration. I was trying my best to make everything as clear as possible. If you have any questions or comments, please let me know. 


Ebay and Paypal Account Set Up

Even though most of you have had some experiences with ebay, I still want to spend some time to go over the process of setting accounts with Ebay and Paypal very quickly here. I know newbies will definitely appreciate it, so please bear with me. If you have already gone through all the account setting of Ebay and Paypal, you can definitely skip this article and check my next few blog posts for other information.

Ebay Account

No matter where you are located in the world, I will suggest you to try to register your account at ebay.com. Even though some of the functions are not working for you if you are not living in USA, as long as you can list your products onto ebay.com, always start from there, because ebay.com is the top ebay site with the most visitors. I don’t how many times I want to mention it here – For an online business entrepreneur, traffic and conversion rates are the only two things matter to you.

In this post, I will use pictures to demonstrate the process. As there are lots of details I want to emphasize, in my opinion, videos might not work as well as pictures. Of course if you miss my voice, you can always go to my YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/user/createvalueshare.

Register an ebay account is very straight forward, after you go to ebay.com, on the left hand side of your screen (see the picture below on the left hand side), you will see a link to bring you to the registration page. Click on the link and fill out the information on the registration page (see the picture below on the right hand side)

EbayRegister

 I will highly recommend to have a separate email address for your ebay business. Depending on the number of listing and your sales volume. You might expect well over 100 emails a day – I an not kidding, so in order to make your life easier, please do not use your regular daily personal email address that you communicate with family and friends for the business purpose. If you are having trouble to register any email address, please check my video on How to register a Gmail Email Account.

Once you submit you personal information, you will receive confirmation on your computer screen and also in your email box that you provided to Ebay and you will be logged into you new ebay account automatically.

EbayConfirmation

 

Paypal Account

Paypal as a financial institution handling online payment for buyers and sellers need more information for its account opening. Similar to ebay, the “Sign Up” link (as showing below)

PayPalSignUp

 

will bring you to the page to choose account type. As I mentioned in my previous post, it’s completely up to you run the Ebay business online as a person or business. If personal, I will suggest to go with Premier as it provides functions to seller for collecting payment.

PaypalAccountType

All the detail personal information is mandate. When there is any change to your personal information, make sure you update the information as soon as possible as I am assuming you do not want to miss any important message from Paypal when they have questions about money in your account.

PaypalAppUntitled

After you fill out the personal information, Paypal will ask you to link either your bank account or credit card to your Paypal account. As a seller, you will most likely transfer your profit from Paypal account to bank account in the future, I will suggest you to go with “Pay with my Bank Account”.

PaypalCB

Unless you know your banking information by heart like me, (My advantage of working for a financial institution before kicks in here!) you will need a cheque handy to enter your banking information. After you enter all the information, the following page will appear as to be safe, Paypal wants to confirm your account to make sure it gets linked to your right account.

PaypalBank
Now by clicking on the link “Go to My Account” (showing at the bottom of last picture), you will see you brand new Paypal account front page.

One more important thing to mention here is to get your Paypal account confirmed as soon as you receive the two small amount deposited into your bank account. This will remove the limit on your Paypal account. For details of verifying your account and limit on your brand new unverified account, please click on the link on the front page of your Paypal account. (as showing below)

PaypalScreen

 

 


Whose product do you want to sell on ebay

“I am standing at the top of the mountain, with a snow ball in my right hand. I want to drop it. I know it is going to be big and it will keep growing bigger before it stops, however I have fear, too much fear, to let it go…” If that sounds like you, I am here to help you. I dropped my snow ball 3 months ago and now I see it’s growing bigger and bigger…  

Once you have done your product research on ebay and found your idea product (if you haven’t done so, please look at my previous post, 4 steps, 2 alternative ways to find an ideal product selling on ebay), the next step is to find a decent supplier (or suppliers) who you want to build concrete relationship with. In this post, I am going to show you the tips how I look for suppliers. I will use a video to help on the explanation as sometimes it’s an easier way to follow me when I am getting too excited.

Let me start with answering some common questions.

Where do you look for suppliers?

Google? Sounds pretty reasonable, because nowadays, people can search almost everything from Google about either certain things and facts, or for answers and solutions to their questions and problems. However to look for suppliers (either manufacture or wholesalers), this is not the best way, or in my language, it’s not very effective.

Here are three major reasons:

1.    There are too many spammers and frauds online. If you type in “suppliers” into Google search, millions of result will come to you, however how many of them are legitimate? Even you find good ones, there is a great chance one of the next two reasons can possibly stop you.

2.    The representatives of suppliers are usually commission based, so they do not want to deal with everyone. For small retailers with low sales volumes, it does not worth their time to maintain a relative small account. If they do not see enough potentials, they rather say no.

3.    The suppliers who are spending good amount of money to advertise online prefer to deal with established retailers and not beginners. My personal experience on this is about some franchise opportunities I was trying to apply for 2 years ago. I was thinking of opening up a coffee shop by applying for a franchise that is very popular in Canada; however I was turned down very quickly. It’s not only because it needs lots of cash upfront but also it requires a solid previous retail business experiences. More important, the franchiser is not actively looking for more investors at all, because almost all the current franchisees are willing to open the second or the third store. It’s almost a guarantee that this brand will make you money, but the barrier to enter the market is very high and almost impossible to a beginner like me.

It sounds very sad. So does it mean that you as a beginner have no opportunities at all. Absolutely not! There are tons of small manufacturers and suppliers out there, who are not very well known and could not even afford to budget on their massive marketing yet. They are waiting to find retailers to spread out their brand as quickly as possible, but the problem is, if they don’t speak loudly, how are you able to hear their voice?

Before I show you where and how to find them, I want to answer one question you might have in your mind already? Some of friends ever asked me, “If the brand is not well known, how am I supposed to sell it?” Well, you do not need to expect everything you are carrying to sell as quickly as Apple iPhones, that’s not the only definition of success. Even for iPhones, early years, retailers can fairly easily sign a contact with Apple. Therefore make sure you run your market research based on supply and demands and not underestimate customer’s needs and wants. Don’t rely too much on your own judgement only, because lots of times, you are wrong.

Alright, I know you have been waiting for this. Wholesaler sources are the most valuable resources that provide solutions to new online sellers to find great suppliers. Some wholesalers sources are

1.    www.esources.co.uk

2.    www.worldwidebrands.com

3.    www.wholesaledeals.co.uk

Personally, I only had experiences with www.worldwiderbands.com as it is the only one I used to find all my current suppliers. It does cost $300 to sign in, however as I made way more money than $300. I will say it’s definitely worth your investment. There are free ones out there, but remember, “You get what you pay for”. In my post I am going to focus on how to use Worldwide Brands to search for suppliers. If you are interested to try the other two, please go ahead and don’t forget to share your experience here though.

If you have read through these far, good for you! If you have any comments or questions, please leave after the post, I will provide my best answer possible.

 

Do you need to carry inventories?

Not necessary. Only if you want to. Before I proceed, I want to introduce a term, drop shipping. The following is the definition from Wikipedia,

“Drop shipping is a supply chain management technique in which the retailer does not keep goods in stock, but instead transfers customer orders and shipment details to either the manufacturer or a wholesaler, who then ships the goods directly to the customer. As in retail businesses, the majority of retailers make their profit on the difference between the wholesale and retail price but some retailers earn an agreed percentage of the sales in commission, paid by the wholesaler to the retailer.”

If you think it sounds too good to be true, that’s the exact feeling I had about 2 years ago when I was first introduced to drop shipping. Since then, I have proved it is working like a charm and I am now running 3 product lines earning total $1200 – $1500 profit from ebay every month. The beauty of it is I only spend average about 30-45 minutes to maintain the accounts. It is not something completely hands off, but it offers me enough freedom to live a better life.

The best part of drop shipping is with nearly no investment involved. In order to provide my honest opinion, I summarized 2 benefits here:

1.    No investment = no excuse.

If I tell you an idea to make money with $5000 investment, you can easily turn it down as you do not have enough savings (If you do, you have more options for sure). Nearly no investment provides an easy to start opportunity. I can’t tell you enough, TAKE ACTIONS!!! (I already took all your excuses away, what are you still waiting for) 

2.    Not a whole lot of time consuming either.  

How much time do you need to spend on finding a great supplier? Well it depends on your niche and a little bid luck some time. I am going to show you the process in my video and you will see how easy the process is. I will be surprised if you could not find a supplier.

 

What kind of budget do you look at to get started?

If you choose to use worldwidebrands.com , you will need to pay $299 to set up an account with them. For a limited time only, please simply click on the following link, it can save you $30 instantly:

http://www.worldwidebrands.com/wwb/iphoneandroid.asp

I do earn an affiliate commission if you sign up worldwide brands through my link, but that’s not why I’m linking to it here. I had great experience with it and I want you to enjoy the success as well.

It’s a one-time fee and you can use it unlimitedly for life time. Some of the drop shippers will charge you a setup fee as admin charge, but for most of time, they will credit that amount to your future orders from them. The worst case scenario, you are looking at under $500 to set up an account with a supplier before start selling on ebay.

 

Now I want to use a video to show you how I find my suppliers for my new niche, home décor by using Worldwidebrands.com,

 

Some FAQ regarding the video:

1.    Light Bulk vs. drop shipping:

Light Bulk is a kind of account you need to start with a little bit inventory, but sometimes you can start as little as a quantity of 5 for the same item. So far I have not tried light bulk yet, because I want to keep myself completely away from the post office.

2.    Business approach vs. personal approach

Lots of suppliers prefer to deal with business, so I registered a limited company for my ebay business, also to protect myself and my family. I am not a lawyer or an accountant, so I will suggest you to consult with your local professionals to the pros and cons on this.

3.    How to choose suppliers?

I want to give some details that I usually use to find suppliers. These are my personal opinions only.  

1)    Website: We are running an internet business here, so there is no doubt that a user friendly website is a must. If you have funny feeling about a website, or it looks really like someone’s personal blog, it’s a bad sign already.

2)    People you are dealing with: You might not find it right away, but I always communicate with the representatives of the potential supplier before I send in my first order. I ask questions by emails and from their answers, I can see how well you understand their products and how helpful they want to be. I talk to them on the phone and get to know how efficient they are dealing with problems, etc.

3)    Restrictions: Very often, suppliers have different type of restrictions. Some of them are understandable – usually to do with business regulation in certain geographic area, but others might seem a little bit ridiculous. For example, one of the potential suppliers told me their email can only be read by Outlook and not web email accounts; the other potential supplier told me they do not accept payment via Paypal; another one told me they only accept sales orders by email or fax – NO ONLINE ORDER SYSTEM.

 

Congratulations if you have read through the whole post. I know it’s a long one and lots of information was involved. More importantly, you need to apply what you have just learned into actions as soon as you can. If you have any questions, or comments, please email me directly or leave me a comment and I will get back to you as soon as possible. If you had any success on finding your ideal suppliers, please share it!


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