Subscribe To This Blog:
Name:
Email:


How to crop your photos when uploading to your eBay listing

Whilst browsing eBay, I’ve noticed many listings where the photo has lots of unnecessary space around the main subject, or even that the photo is not the correct way round and hence needs rotating.  This has led me to conclude that many users don’t know how to rotate and crop their images when uploading them to eBay.  So I’ve made a short video showing you how to do it.

 

Hope it helps.

Don’t shop on eBay this Saturday 5th December

Ofcourse, I’m joking.  As an eBay seller myself, I would never say, “don’t shop on eBay”.  It’s just one of those querky titles to grab your attention.

As I was eating my breakfast this morning before starting work, I heard that this Saturday is ‘Small business Saturday’.  I seem to recall it being mentioned about this same time last year.  It was a government introduced scheme under the Conservative and Liberal Democrate Coalition in 2013.

It is aimed to help small business in a varitey of ways including:

  • encouraging shoppers to turn away from your big name shops and buy from smaller businesses
  • the ability to register your business and advertise for free
  • free business start up advice
  • free marketing toolkit

If you run an online business, or any other small business such as a brick and mortar business, then head on over to Small Business Saturday to register your business for free and for loads more details about it.  You can even register to attend free workshops in your area and there is a link to the post workshops youtube channel too.

So why did I start by saying “Don’t shop on eBay this Saturday”?  Well my concern is that consumers will see eBay as a big name, when in fact it is a platform for small business to trade on.  I can’t remember what happended to my sales last year on small business Saturday, but I will be paying attention to my sales this Saturday.

 

 

An example of why using different web browsers helps on eBay

When it comes to packaging up the sales I’ve made on eBay, I have been doing each one separately, that is print a packaging slip, postage label and packaged it up, then move onto the next one.

Then in December, when I was getting so busy posting parcels, I found a way of printing multiple packing slips and postage labels at once.  I use selling manager by the way.  If you don’t have selling manager pro or selling manager, I would recommend subscribing to one or the other.  Selling Manager has no subscription fee, and Selling Manager Pro costs £4.99 after a 30 day free trial, or included if you have an eBay shop at featured level or above.

Click to learn more about Selling Manager.

Click to learn more about Selling Manager Pro.

Click to learn more about eBay shops.

These are links on eBay.co.uk.  Just search the help section of your countries eBay site for fees in your country etc.

In selling manager, I discovered that you can select multiple sales records, then from a drop down menu labelled “Dispatch action” select “Print postage labels or invoices”.  So I discovered I could print multiple packing slips at once.  I found this a great time saver, instead of printing each item separately.

However, I was using Chrome, and when printing the multiple packing slips, each one wasn’t separated on different pages, so on one page I’d have a packing slip then the start of another.   I also have Internet Explorer and Firefox on my computer, and so tried Firefox.  This worded fine.  You can do a print preview to check before printing and wasting valuable ink and paper.

So I just thought I’d share this with my blog readers, as you may find it useful to learn you can print more than one packing slip at once, and that using different web browsers can make a difference.

UK sellers only: you can now send larger parcels using Royal Mail’s small parcel product

On 30th March 2013, Royal Mail introduced a new pricing structure for sending parcels.  I wrote a post about it on 15th March.

There are three different parcel sizes; small, medium and large.  The size of small parcels from 30th March were 8cm x 35cm x 45cm or 16cm x 16cm x 16xm, both with a weight limit of 2kg.  This left us very limited to what we can send for £2.60.  The next size price up for medium parcel is a whooping £5.20.

You’ll then have noticed I tried out a different courier service called ‘MyHermes’, and then wrote a post about that as they are much more reasonably priced.  I’m wondering if I am not the only one, as now Royal Mail have changed the size restirctions for small parcels, which is very good news as it means we can now send larger items for £2.60.

The new sizes are:

Length: 45cm Width: 35cm Depth: 8cm Weight limit: 2kg (no change)

OR

Length: 35cm Width: 25cm Depth: 16cm Weight limit: 2kg

You can see the new prices on this pdf

Royal Mail’s new prices effective from October 2013

You may alrady have known, but if not, I hope this comes as a nice surprise for you.  I confess I was very excited when I found out.

I only found out when I was in the post office recently to send a couple of items recorded delivery, and saw this leaflet about it in the rack.  I’m usually on the Royal Mail website every day, and they have not made any announcement about it, so thought I’d share this with my UK blog readers.

 

Increase your chances of selling so close to Christmas on eBay

At time of writing this post, we are just two weeks away from Christmas day.  That leaves only ten delivery days left.

So now we are likely to find more buyers shopping on the high street instead of online for fear of their gifts not arriving on time.  I certainly have noticed a decline in my eBay sales now.

To encourage more sales so close to Christmas, and if you are  not already doing so, I would suggest you include free first class shipping, or whatever the equivalent is for the postal service of the country in which you live.  I already give free shipping on my items, but only give second class.  I will be going through my listings and changing this to first class.  By doing this you will see a ‘GET IT FAST AND FREE’ in green underneath the item title in search results.  This will help your listing to stand out from those that are not offering the same service, and people are now wanting their items as quickly as possible.  You’ve probably seen this on other listings.

If you are already giving free postage but not using the fastest option, like me, and have the margin to do so, I wouldn’t increase the selling price either.  This way you also get a higher ranking in the search format ‘lowest to hightest price’.

This way you will squeeze as many sales and profit out of your inventory as possible.

Hope this suggestion helps your sales.

Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous 2014.

Why you should no longer be using templates and images in your eBay listings

Over the past few months, when each of my listings have required renewing, I have been updating them.  This was due to something I heard actually last Christmas.  And yes, I have actually been a few months delaying updating my listings.

So what was it I heard?  Well, that on Christmas day itself, shopping online increased by a large percentage.  I can’t remember the exact growth, but that doesn’t matter.  Just the fact it increased, and not on your computer, no, but on mobile and tablets.

This is why you should avoid cluttering up your listing with fancy graphics and images.  You want your listing to be as easy to read on mobile as possible.  So here’s how:

  • Upload all your photos of the item to eBay and keep them out of the product description.  eBay have recently updated their image policy and now you can upload more than just one photo, whereas in some categories you could only have one
  • Use black text on white background.  Don’t try to make it look fancy.  This will just make it more difficult to read.
  • Use bullet points, like in this post, for each part of the description.
  • When taking a photo of your product, try to fill the whole viewfinder with the item.  Remember, more people are viewing the picture on a smaller screen now, so you need it to be as big and clear as possible.  You should have done that anyway ofcourse, but this is even more important now.

Don’t delay, optimise your listings for mobile today.  People have been doing their Christmas shopping online now for many years.  Now they can do their Christmas shopping whilst on their daily commute to work etc. and so will be doing so on their mobile phone.

Here is an example of a listing that does not display well on mobile:

Silver heart watch pendant or search on the app for item number 310416296446

Here is an example of a listing I have optimised for eBay mobile

Digital Camera or search on the app for item number 310721694485

Have a look at both listings on your computer and mobile and see what a difference there is.

Another reason why you should do this right away is because it will not be doing your ranking in best match search results any favours.  The reason why is because a mobile user will view your listing, not find it easy to read and leave your listing again.  The more hits your listings gets without a sale, will move it down in the best match search results.   Resulting in lower conversions and loosing sales.

Beating Royal Mail’s Medium and Large Parcel prices

This post only applies to readers in the UK.

In my last post, I wrote about Royal Mail’s new pricing structure which came into affect on 2nd April.  It was quite alarming to online sellers that some of their postage services were increasing from £2.20 to £5.30 for probably the most common size packages we send.

I have been trying a different postal service for the first time since these new prices came into affect.  I haven’t written about it till now, because I wanted to be sure I don’t get any complaints or negative comments from my customers before telling you about it.  Now over two months later, I have not received any complaints.  In fact I have asked customers for their opinion from a delivery point of view, what do they think.  And I’ve only heard good things.

The name of this service is ‘My Hermes’.  To begin with I was hesitant about using them, because I searched on the internet for reviews, and I read mostly bad things.  Most of which were items being broken in transit.  However I put this down to that people don’t package up their parcels adequately, and this is the most common complaint.  Also people only tend to write a review if they have a bad experience.

I decided to give them a try, and I am glad I did.  You can set up an an account direct with their website at http://www.myhermes1.co.uk and at a parcel site called parcel2go http://www.parcel2go.com.

Here is a list of advantages of My Hermes over Royal Mail

  • Both of these sites will connect to your ebay account and download your sales enabling you to print postage direct from their website
  • My Hermes will come and collect your parcels from your house.
  • If you prefer or is more convenient for you, you can drop your parcels at over one of 2000 late night opening convenience store, meaning you don’t have to struggle to get to a post office when they are open.
  • You get free online tracking
  • If you want a signature on delivery, you can have that too for less than Royal Mail’s recorded delivery option.
  • You get an instant email giving you a tracking number which you can pass on to your customer.
  • Most eBay and other online sellers will just use Royal Mail, so by using My Hermes, you will be able to price your products more competitively., and in my opinion, use a better postage service than Royal Mail.

If your item is small and light enough for Royal Mail’s large letter or small parcel service, Royal Mail is the cheaper option.

My Hermes typical delivery time is 3-5 working days, so if your customer wants the item quicker, I also give them Royal Mail’s first class service, obviously charging the appropriate postage.

Just one more point before I finish this post, Parcel2Go, gives you access to more delivery services than just My Hermes, so I would use them if nothing more, than to keep an eye on the prices of other services.  Just compare the price they charge though against My Hermes direct as on the odd occassion they do charge a little more for some reason, but mostly do charge the same.  Parcel2Go say that the more you use them, the cheaper your postage will get.

Happy mailing.

Why you need to sell any bulky items before 30th March.

This post only applies to my readers in the UK.

Royal Mail announced last week a new price structure and changes to their products coming into effect on 2nd April.

When I first read the announcement on my mobile device whilst traveling to Heathrow last Tuesday, I have to say it did not get my trip of to a good start which I had been hugely looking forward to.  The announcement worried me, and here is why.  The changes are:

  • Letters and small letters are unchanged in service and price.  That is the good news.
  • The ‘Packet’ product is going to be discontinued.
  • The ‘Standard parcel’ product is going to be discontinued.
  • Royal Mail ‘signed for’ service price has increased from 95p to £1.10
  • Services of ‘small parcel’ and ‘medium parcel’ have been introduced, replacing the old ‘packet’ product.
  • Compensation reduced to £20 applicable to small and medium parcels

How does this affect you?

The big change is the difference between the current ‘packet’ option and the new two different sizes of parcel.

The current packet can measure 61cm x 46cm x 46cm.  Most items we send are under 1kg.  2nd class costs £2.20 and 1st class costs £2.70.

The new small parcel can measure upto 45cm x 35cm x 8cm or 16cm x 16cm x 16cm, pricing from £2.60

The new medium parcel can measure upto 61cm x 46cm x 46cm (same as old packet type), pricing from £5.20

Comparison: An item weighing 500g and measures 20cm x 10cm x 10cm currently costs you £2.20 for 2nd class.  After 2nd April that same item will cost £5.20.

That is why you need to sell and post any of your bulky items before Saturday 30th March.

For the full new pricing guide here is the link

http://www.royalmail.com/sites/default/files/RoyalMail_OurPrices_April2013.pdf

You may notice from this price guide that any parcel weighing more than 2kg, be it small or medium parcel, is actually cheaper to send Parcelforce Worldwide Express 48.

 

Dave Nicholson’s 12 week coaching program

Firstly I’d like to point out that this is only available until Thursday 14th February.

The best way to succeed online as an internet marketer, is to learn from someone who is already successful.

Dave Nicholson is a successful internet marketer and he has created a 12 week coaching program.  This has been available for $500 and you would get access to each module one week at a time.  Now he has made this available for only $27 and you have access to all modules at once.

Each module contains step by step video tutorials and you will learn

  • How to build profitable websites
  • How to build a mailing list
  • How to create your own product from scratch
  • How to build and grow a successful internet marketing business
  • plus lots more

This is a blue print on how to get started and succeed.  But hurry, it is only available at this amazing price of $27  until 14th  February when the price will go back up to $500.

Plus if you buy through my link, I will promote any products you create via my mailing list and on my blog.  Just make sure that the payment page has at the bottom ‘affiliate = marcsa’

CLICK HERE to get this right now before time runs out.

To your success,

Marc.

Selling and posting products internationally

This is probably one of the most important posts so far on my blog.

I am a big believer of making your products available to customers overseas, but I know a lot of people are put of by this, for reasons I don’t know.  I can only think of the postage costs, but as long as you charge the correct price, you wont be out of pocket.

Many of my sales are to international customers.  For example, Monday of this week I had sold four items, all overseas, my custom came from Republic of Ireland, USA, Brazil and Australia.

However one of the items I couldn’t post and didn’t realise this until I got to the post office.  I usually do my postage online and just leave at the fast drop desk, but on this occasion, I decided I would wait in the queue and do the postage there.     I had sold some aftershave to a customer in Australia and it is this that can’t be posted.  On the 14th January, Royal Mail amended what they will accept to delivery overseas.  I don’t think it is a decision they made, but a change they were forced to make to comply with transport regulation.  So I’m sure this will apply all over the world.

There is a leaflet detailing all of the prohibited items for international posting.

http://www.royalmail.com/sites/default/files/International-prohibitions-and-restrictions-leaflet-consumers.pdf

I would urge you to have a read through this and if you do sell internationally, check your inventory to see if you are offering items that you can’t send.

After getting back from the post office, I sent a message to my customer explaining the situation, and that I was really sorry.  I sent a request to cancel the transaction, which my customer rejected, so I now leave myself open to negative feedback, and you don’t want to be in that same situation.   So do not delay, do this now.