The consensus is that eBay Power Sellers have it all figured out. But, every eBay Power Seller has a few secrets that they would never admit to anyone especially their buyers.
1. Their eBay Business Introduced Them to Countries They Never Knew Existed
I opened my Rival Ripper Slim Messenger to check my eBay messages and I saw a message from a potential buyer. It said, “How much is shipping to Nauru?”. I was doing an inventory review at the time and I was met with a questionable gaze. I asked myself, “Where in the world is Nauru?”. I had to pull out Wikipedia and look up Nauru.
Millions of Power Sellers have experienced the same kind of confusion. However, not knowing about a country is only part of the problem.
Sellers must also know if their product is prohibited or restricted in a specific country. Let’s look at incandescent light bulbs as an example. These kinds of bulbs have been banned in Cuba since 2005. If someone from Cuba orders a light fixture that requires an incandescent bulb, you now have a problem. To prevent this from happening, Power Sellers have to do a lot of boring research to limit certain countries from ordering their products.
Power Sellers hate all these rules and regulations but it’s a part of selling to an International list of hundreds of countries.
POWER SELLER TIP: Make sure to check shipment prohibitions and restrictions at USPS’ International Mail Manual.
2. Every Power Seller Got Super Excited (and Frightened) By Their First International Shipment
Who wouldn’t be? Getting international customers can be intimidating and exciting at the same time. eBay offers sellers the chance to get in touch with foreign customers, as the service is available worldwide to hundreds of countries. An eBay representative told me that their sellers get in contact with more than 155 million international clients. 97% of eBay business owners testify to this by exporting their products to an average of 30+ countries.
In comparison, major USA retailers usually only export to a select number of countries in North America and many only ship to this USA and that’s all. Selling through eBay gives sellers greater opportunities to experience exporting and earn some additional revenue that big box stores are leaving on the table. The Global Shipping Program, one of the eBay tools that sellers use, allows them to have items delivered worldwide without much additional effort. A shipment company will take care of the item’s delivery and customs dealings. Your only job is to get the item to their fulfillment center in Kentucky.
POWER SELLER TIP: If you sell outside the USA, check to see what other similar programs are available in your country.
3. Their Inventory Didn’t Get Updated And They Just Sold An Item They Don’t Have
Many eBay Power Sellers sell their products across multiple channels. Keeping up with inventory can be a real pain. Even with software in place to help you keep up with your inventory, there are hours or even days sometimes where a buyer purchases your last item and without fail someone else buys another before your inventory software updates your stock.
POWER SELLER TIP: The best Power Sellers have a list that they put together to address most issues that could occur in their business. Consider it like a Wikipedia for their business. It’s a document that lists all the scenarios and the procedure for when it occurs. By doing this you will never be caught off guard by most issues. And a bonus is you can give this document to your employees to follow.
POWER SELLER TIP: When you sell an item that is out of stock, this can hurt your eBay status when you cancel the order. Do everything you can to obtain the item and ship it out even if it incurs a loss. If you can’t ship the item, when you cancel the order mark the item “Issue with buyers address” instead of “Out of Stock” and send the buyer a message offering them a discount on anything else in the store. Hopefully this will help keep your account in good standing.
4. The Two Listings They Just Compared Belong to the Same eBay Seller
Running multiple eBay business accounts isn’t against the rules. Anyone can create multiple brands on eBay. However, duplicate listings is against the rules and you will be penalized for it so be careful. But some sellers like to bend the rules and Power Sellers see it happening all the time. Power Sellers sometimes run multiple accounts to maximize their visibility in the online market and place their products in more defined niches to help gain some traction. They may sell similar items but with small tweaks to the product or they may bindle up multiple items in to one auction in lots. The biggest secret is that many Power Sellers use eBay management tools that help them manage multiple stores.
POWER SELLER TIP: Managing multiple stores can be tedious but with the right software, anyone can do it.
5. Power Sellers Often Go the Extra Mile And May Even Take A Loss To Keep A Buyer Happy
Even with thousands of positive feedback, people are still very skeptical about making purchases from eBay sellers. Several uncertainties exist that make buyers wary. Who is this person I am buying from? Are they trying to scam me?
No matter how hard you work on your business, there will always be a small subset of eBay buyers that are just flat out rude, ignorant, or just unaware of how anything works on eBay. They won’t answer your eBay messages or they don’t know how to. They will complain about every little thing imaginable. They will fill out the return form on eBay incorrectly. They will threaten you by posting negative feedback or filing a dispute with Paypal or even filing a chargeback with their credit card company. They do not know anything about eBay policies and will argue with you no matter what links you send them to.
Most of the time it is just a matter of lack of knowledge or confusion on the buyer’s part and there is little you can do to resolve it. No amount of eBay store management tools can ever beat stellar customer service. Sometimes, stellar customer service is just giving the money back to the buyer, taking one for the team, and writing it off as a loss.
POWER SELLER TIP: If you sell smaller items under $25 in costs, it might be a good idea just say, “Keep the item. I issued you a full refund.”. The amount of time you waste trying to keep track of this issue is not worth the $25. Trash it and move on so the buyer doesn’t ruin the status of your eBay account.
6. Many eBay Power Sellers Can Hardly Afford a Vacation from Their eBay Business
It’s true. They can hardly afford a vacation because they’re generally too busy with managing their eBay business to escape for even a day or two. Even with the advancement of communication and the existence of eBay management software, not everything can be done with a swipe of the finger across a smart phone or a tablet. Traditional eBay businesses that have stock stored in their homes or office struggle with finding time to go on leisure trips because bringing stock on vacation with them is just not possible. Who is going to fulfill these orders and handle all the cancels/returns/refunds/messages/disputes/cases/etc….?
POWER SELLER TIP: Use some eBay management software like Rival Ripper and train a virtual assistant abroad or even a local employee on how to use the software to keep things under control. You work hard. You deserve a vacation.
7. Many eBay PowerSellers Have Thought About Quitting
Why? Usually three reasons… inventory (and sourcing) problems, accounting (and keeping track of real profits) and out of control customer service.
Having inventory in check is one of the main tasks every seller managing an eBay business must master. There will be times when a seller’s stocks won’t tally with his inventory. This is a nightmare for sellers with stocks on hand. Luckily for them, modern technology provides easy to use free eBay management tools that can be installed in a matter of seconds. Applications for syncing orders with inventory exist to eliminate any future conflicts that may arise. Most apps can link multiple stores in one, making the entire process hassle-free and convenient.
Here are some of the most recommended eBay store management tools that sellers use:
- Outright: Outright is GoDaddy’s solution to eBay bookkeeping. This eBay management software organizes every eBay business’ sale, expense, and fee for PayPal, listing, and final value. Another feature of this software is its ability to give its user a snapshot of their market performance, their best customers, highest expenses, and sales by state. This helpful software charges $9.99 a month with annual subscription available. Outright is great for tracking revenue and expenses by connecting your Paypal and credit card accouts to it. However, it doesn’t give you detailed profit information on all your eBay sales. It’s great for helping with taxes and looking at the big picture but it doesnt help locate leaks in your business.
- Auctiva: Auctiva allows its users to simultaneously change their eBay listing descriptions. This way, an eBay seller can never lose sight of all his live listings by unifying them with certain keywords and phrases. Its Find and Replace capability is true to its name, as it finds the keywords you need and replaces them with something else you would like to input. So, instead of opening tens and hundreds of eBay listings, a seller can just locate them with this software and replace the keywords that need to be replaced. There are other features Auctiva can help with.
- Rival Ripper: Rival Ripper offers one of the best eBay management softwares on the market. You can do bulk edits, build beautiful mobile friendly listing templates, organize photos, manage multiple accounts, bulk edit listings, manage conversations with buyers, keep track of issues with orders, and best of all, compare your competitors’ prices with its PriceRipper feature. You’ll easily have the listing with the best price and know where you stand in comparison. Learn more about Rival Ripper’s innovative all-in-one software here.
8. Power Sellers Re-write Their Titles And Find the Best Keywords
Power Sellers don’t just type in what it says on the box. They often use targeted highly effective keywords, especially if an item is on high demand or has a lot of competition. They do this by selecting choice keywords or SEO keywords to include on the title of each listing. Some eBay store management tools are available online that provide keywords to help with visibility. Power Sellers understand that every niche has its own set of complicated jargon. Enthusiasts and professionals in that niche know what words buers are thinking about and these are the keywords that lead to sales.
This is the main reason why many eBay sellers choose to sell products they have a background in. An eBay seller who buys and sell different camera gear may have trouble competing without specific knowledge about photography. You have to speak the photographers language in order to sell them. Customer inquiries often translate to sales and good feedback. If an eBay seller can’t answer technical questions that are not written in the product manual, they will lose the sale.
eBay’s famed Power Sellers have done all sorts of things to skyrocket their sales each year. The secrets we’ve listed here are only a minuscule amount of what they’ve done to attain their success.
Do you have more eBay business secrets or other free eBay management tools to add to our list? Feel free to let us know in a comments below.
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