Are you thinking about starting an eBay business but getting cold feet OR are you simply struggling with your current business?
Don’t worry. You are not alone.
The Fix? Get your self in the right mindset. Reframe your problems as opportunities for improvement. Here are a few mindset tips that you can use to help grow your eBay business.
Remember: Every eBay Business Has Risks and Things Will Go Wrong
Do you ever have one of those moments when you just want to scream like a banshee in frustration until the problem fixes itself? You’re not alone. I sometimes get the same feeling, too. However, you can’t expect problems to resolve themselves. Because in the world of eBay, you are responsible for your own issues and your eBay account will suffer if you don’t solve them.
Keep in mind that business risks when working with eBay vary drastically. Just like in life, there are sunny and gloomy days in the world of eBay. One day you will have a ton of sales and another day you will have nothing but returns to deal with. Opening a retail store 30 years ago was the only way to go and would encounter huge risks even at the planning stage. Thankfully in the current age these massive risks are reduced.
eBay allows you to start your business with minimal risk and super low startup costs. But even with such low startup costs a setup like this still has its’ fair share of issues to deal with.
Risks that take place in an eBay business comes from three places. Your supplier, the buyer, or YOU. I’ve divided the potential risks based those three main factors:
Supplier Risk and Potential Problems
- Runs out of stocks.
- Discontinues the sale of an item you’re selling through your eBay store
- Sells you counterfeit goods
- Can sell or manufacture prohibited items without you knowing
Buyer Risks and Potential Problems
- Can decide to return an item for any reason
- Demands refunds
- Leaves negative feedback and affects your eBay status
- Can give you bad, highly detailed seller ratings
- Has the power to get your eBay store account suspended
- Scams you
You as Seller …
- Might trust the wrong person / buyer / supplier / business partner… etc…
- May make poor business choices and decisions
- Can allow the negativity of only a few buyers to get under your skin
- Can decide to quit altogether and give up
Of all the risks I’ve listed, the last two risks under the “You” category are the most dangerous. You can let risks affect you negatively enough to make you decide to quit. After all, your business begins and ends with your decisions. The risks I’ve listed are just some of the most common that eBay sellers have had to deal with over the years. There are tougher risks up ahead. But with proper effort, your eBay business will succeed if you setup a game plan to deal with these issues before hand and reduce your risk.
Remember: Focus On Your Strengths And Outsource The Rest
“If you can’t fly you run, if you can’t run you walk, if you can’t walk you crawl, but no matter what, you keep moving forward.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
In today’s digital world, people who have no retail or customer service experience can set up a business practically over night. Do yourself a favor by assessing what skills you have and how they can help you create top selling items on eBay. Are you good at making your customers feel appreciated? Are you good at accounting? Do you hate accounting? Are you good at sourcing? Do you hate product research? Do you enjoy it? Asses what is important for your business to grow as well as what you enjoy doing and find some virtual assistants or local help to do the rest.
Time is money and managing your time efficiently is essential for crazy amounts of growth. You can’t do everything your self and you don’t have to. Find some software to help. Hire some employees online. Hire a local person to help with inventory. Figure out a job in your business that can be done by someone else and delegate. Replace yourself. Then repeat the process until you have 100 employees!
Never stop learning. Takes some courses online. See what other sellers are doing. Watch some Youtube videos. Sign up for some free trials to see if the software can speed up your workflow. Do something… and outsource the rest.
POWER SELLER TIP: Try trello.com for managing tasks for both yourself and employees. It’s free.
Remember: Price Is NOT the Only Variable for Selling on eBay
We won’t cover everything here since we wrote any entire post on why price does not matter but let’s cover a few important issues to get you in the right mindset.
Does Price Matter?
The eBay algorithm takes in to consideration a lot more than just price. Also, 60% of sales for the average seller are done completely via mobile phones. Price shopping on a mobile phone is quite difficult so price is the least of your worries for a mobile shopper.
How Important Are Your Images?
Images are the first things that sell an item. When you see a product advertisement on your Facebook feed, the ad’s image is the first thing you notice. Images are placed there to market what is being sold. It’s also used to establish your attention.
Now, imagine an eBay store listing selling a used microwave oven. If the only picture that listing has is a picture of the microwave’s door, would you even be tempted to read more about it? Probably not. So, when you source or take pictures of your item, put yourself in the shoes of your customer and decide whether your images stand out from the crowd OR if you are just another boring seller using the same old dead images.
We wrote a dedicated article to improve your images. Read it here.
Is Your Title Perfect?
We wrote an entire article based on the scanning of over one million eBay listing titles. It explains how to write the perfect title. Check it out here.
Does Your Description Answer All The Buyer’s Questions And Addresses Their Pain?
In truth, a product’s description is the third or last thing every buyer on eBay looks at. Can you believe that some people don’t even check the description before hitting the checkout button? It’s true! But it’s not true for everyone. Most of the time, buyers will want to know more about the product being sold. If an eBay store listing only provides the condition and the model unit of the item, it will take a long time before someone even thinks about purchasing. If there’s not much to say about a product, you can always add your reason for selling it. If you want, you can give a brief background of yourself like some sellers do.
Be sure to always apply the golden rule of honesty in writing descriptions, and you’re good to go. Cover all the details and make sure to sell those benefits. Features like height, color, and size are important to include but writing a little bit of playful sales copy can go a long way into turning browsing window shoppers into impulsive buyers.
Remember: The Customer May Not Be Right But They Have All The Power
What if people won’t buy this? What if people get upset after they purchase? What if people return it? What if I pay for a listing and an eBay store just to get zero sales? What if my buyer is livid? These are all valid fears but these are not the correct questions to be asking.
Fear of failure is one of the setbacks hindering every entrepreneur in every business and the fear of failure is rooted to one thing. The customer. The customer is always right….. well sort of…
Some aspiring entrepreneurs give up on the dream of developing a business for fear of failure, a man-made construct created by the imagination. During times of fear and doubt, summon your inner coach and gather all of your best ideas. Think about how greatly your life can improve after your ideas materialize. Fear does nothing but incite more failure, and it only holds you back from the things you can achieve.
Questions starting with “What If” will only bring you to a slippery slope of – you guessed it – failure. Instead of focusing on the things you have no control of, focus on the things you can control. Collect the right information on your target market. Know who you are selling to.
What are their hobbies and likes? Are they male or female? Are they young or old? The key to running a successful e-commerce business is knowing who your customer is and making plans to not only sell to them but also to cater to them.
For example, if your target market is older males who love the outdoors and hate computers, you can expect to have more trouble with dealing with customer returns and getting them to answer your messages in a timely fashion. If you are selling to young tech savvy professionals, they will probably have no issues following your instructions and returning your items and they will answer your messages immediately.
The more customer issues you have, the more it will cost you to fix. Know your customer and make plans to address issues before they arrive. Because whether you sell to tech savvy individuals or not, a small percentage of your buyers will always be pissed and nothing makes them more happy than you giving them their money back.
Remember: The Customer’s Feelings Are More Important Than Your Ego
Every eBay business has 3 parts: the customer, the transaction, and you. Usually when things go bad it is because of you. It is how you deal with the customer when things go wrong that sets you apart from your competition.
We all know that you have read every part of the eBay documentation right? And that you know the rules and know how to play the game and that you are always right? Drop the ego. It won’t help your business.
Remember that a business cannot grow without increasing customers and you can’t increase customers if you piss them off with your need to be right.
For every 100 sales you make you will have at least 1, 2, or or even more buyers that will be upset with something that either you did OR that you don’t even have control over like a lost package. Put your ego in a box and lock it up and apologize to the buyer and and acknowledge their frustration.
Then fix the issue or refund them. It is as simple as that. Who cares if they are wrong. This only happens on 5% or less of your transactions. Fix it and move on.
Remember: Negative Comments, Suggestions, and Criticism Are Opportunities Not Problems
Take criticism as a reward and never let it get to you on a personal level. They are criticizing the business not you. They are telling you that something is wrong and that you need to fix it. Sometimes people are just crazy but other times you need to listen to them and take those criticisms as suggestions and opportunities to improve your business.
Sometimes, criticism can be mind numbingly crippling. But it doesn’t always have to be. Consider every success and downfall either as a trophy or as a lesson. Bad experiences can mold your eBay business into a power house. Listen to your buyers and build a better business.
Remember: Visualizing Your Success Will Lead To A Successful eBay Business
Now that you’ve settled all that needs fixing within you, you may now be able to envision the success of your eBay store. Fixing yourself first is the best way to begin any kind of business venture. You are your business’ greatest asset, so if something goes wrong, you can alleviate it. Whether you’ve caught the positivity bug or not, this step is necessary to determine what you want out of this experience.
It’s no question that you would want success to stem from it. So, since success is what you aim for, put all that we’ve listed into practice and start to make money selling on eBay today. Create a vision board. Create a to do list. Get a notebook and write down ideas. You can’t progress if you don’t address your issues and visualize solutions.
Following everything on this list does not guarantee success as an eBay Seller. And it does not guarantee your rank amongst the magical world of eBay Power Sellers. Success in any form requires hustle and hard work.
All businesses have problems. With the right mindset as a business owner, you can turn these problems into profits or at least reduce your losses when they occur. Applying these tips will guarantee a brand new positive outlook on your problems. Face the reality of all the problems and solve them professionally and your business will grow. Guaranteed.
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