Reply to "Website advice please!"

quote:
Originally posted by hoobyruby tutu:
Hi all! I have just worked out how much I am spending on ebay & paypal fees and contemplating whether to set up my own website! Of course I have no idea where to start and just cant get my head round html! I only need a small website that i can use as a photo galllery for my samples and then offer them for sale along with a custom make section. Is there anyone out there who has done this or can anyone advise me where to start? A big thanks for any reply!
Regards Debbie
Keep smiling your lovely smile!


Hi Debbie. Great question!!

When I started my biz last summer I started out of the gate screaming. I went from $50 in sales in my first month to $1,200 in sales by my third. But then I did my books and realized my profit was 'almost' nonexistent. So I thought that if I started my own website my profit would be much higher.

Well.....

2 months of research, programming, dubugging etc etc.. left me with a half finished website and nothing but fustration. Mainly because half way through the process, I realized, once I get this thing up and running... how am I going to get people here? I have to learn internet marketing too? lol I could, but how much time would that take?

At any rate. I'm all for opening up my own website one day and I'm still working on it. However, I went back to eBay and before reposting, did some research, asked questions and found a new way to sell. Now, my profits are up and my postings seem to work better overall.

Here are some tips: (These are things I personally changed and saw results)

1. Open an eBay Store ($15 a month)

2. Choose 75% of your inventory to be posted in your store.

3. Setup easy to follow catagory menus in your store (don't lump all your inventory in one or two generic menus)

4. All products in your store list at near retail prices.

5. Use the Markdown Manager to create a 'perma' sale on those items, marking them down a % deep enough to a> make a profit and b> be competitive to other eBay stores.

6. Use the other 25% of your inventory for fixed and auction style listings.

7. Do your homework and calculate how much you are spending on average in eBay+PayPal fees + boxes, tape etc.. and have those fees covered in the 'handling' charge of your S&H fees.

8. Use the Shipping Calculator on all your auctions. Get the average weight of the item and round it up, then in the handling box add your number you got for fees etc.. (the reason for this is customers seem to trust the calculator more than a flat standard shipping rate. They type in their zip code get a price and they seem to trust that more. That price will include your handling fee you have calculated yourself.

9. Keep your listings simple. Auction & Fixed auctions should be listed with no thrills. If you want, chose 2-4% of them as attention grabbers. (this of course will change when eBay goes FREE GALLERY).

10. Setup a monthly folder for eBay sales. After each sale, print that eBay invoice. It will show the total of the sale and how much it cost to to ship it. Right down your cost of goods on that invoice and do the math and then write down 'How much I made on this sale'. It will be a + or - and from that you can do a quick judgement on if you are pricing things correctly.

Remember, your store can be a powerful tool. You can send out emails, bring people to items from your live auctions, they see a huge discount sale and they get excited. I mean, if I see a Box A for $2.99 I might overlook it.. but if I see Box B for $5.99 with a 50% off tag on it and a $2.99 highlighted.. I get excited and want to check it out.

Always have your store front stocked and use that Markdown Manager ALL THE TIME.

Just remember, you have to push all eBay fees and PayPal fees to the customer in the backend of the transaction. Otherwise you will never get ahead.

I hope some of this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.
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