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Power Seller Tips for Advanced Sellers

by Lily O'Halloran

1. Research daily to become a trend-spotter and marketing guru.

Drop shipping enables you to save time. Use time that you would have spent labeling, boxing, and shipping orders to perform daily product and market research. Product research will help you to stay on top of current trends for hot products. Research what products are selling well, and what products offer a good profit margin. Always know the value of the product you are selling. You can use eBay’s completed listings search feature to determine the approximate value of a product and how well the product has been selling. Keep an eye on current marketing trends to optimize your listings and web presence. For example, multimedia is becoming more popular. Current trends show that pictures are good, but audio and video are even better. Audio and video testimonials work wonders as effective product reviews.

2. Offer bundles and bulk purchase discounts to increase sales.

Selling inexpensive products one at a time is tedious and produces a low profit margin per sale. By bundling inexpensive products together, you can increase your sales while passing on a good deal to your customers. Bundling products or selling discounted bulk orders encourages customers to spend more to save more. Customers enjoy getting a good deal even if the deal is only perceived as a good deal. Bulk discounts can be a percentage of the purchase, dollars off, or free shipping. Another popular option is to offer a free gift with purchase. Use your costs and profit margins to determine what types of sales are worth discounting.

3. Save time with automated features.

Managing feedback is a very time consuming task for Power Sellers due to the sheer volume of transactions. Use power seller and auction manager resource tools, such as Selling Manager Pro, to automate the feedback process. You can set up the tool to automatically provide positive feedback after the buyer leaves you positive feedback or after the customer completes the checkout process. After the initial set-up, you won’t be required to spend time manually responding to feedback. Of course, there is an option to respond manually to neutral or negative feedback should the need arise. Seller manager tools also enable you to set up an automatic email response when a customer wins an auction and when payment is complete.

4. Think big, sell big. Someone has to sell to the rich and famous.

Okay so maybe you won’t sell to the famous, but why not the rich? Rich people buy products too. Don’t limit yourself by selling only inexpensive items. There is a huge market for expensive products – think electronics and techie gadgets. The secret to selling high-end products is to lure the right customers to your auctions or store. Create listings that are professional and invoke a feeling of luxury. Listings should be streamlined, sharp, and sleek. Professional-looking banners can be added to your listings to drive traffic to your eBay storefront. Another important aspect of selling high-end products is to create confidence in the buyer. The customer needs to trust that your products and services are legitimate. Customer feedback, testimonials, and even an 800 phone number can help you achieve trustworthiness in the eyes of your potential customers. Skype, Lingo, and other Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services offer inexpensive 800 phone numbers that you can use for business. You can even choose to have the calls forwarded to your cell or house phone. Although most customers won’t call the 800 number listed in your auctions, having the number listed there helps customers to feel secure when placing large orders.

5. Increase traffic to your auctions with virtual community links and widgets.

Virtual communities, such as MySpace, LinkedIn, and Facebook, have millions of users. Use your MySpace or LinkedIn page to drive traffic to your eBay auctions. You can add professional-looking banners and widgets to lure potential customers. E-Commerce widgets are snippets of code that can be used to showcase your eBay auctions, drive traffic to your online store, or sell products. Blogs are another great option for attracting customers. They can be used to rave about great products or current deals at your store. Blogs also provide customers with a place to ask you questions about your products. Use your product knowledge to gain customer satisfaction and earn customer loyalty.

6. Create a professional web presence on eBay and off.

Increase your sales by creating a web presence outside and in addition to eBay. A web store, even a simple one with PayPal buttons, will increase your sales and traffic. EBay rules allow sellers to include one url in their About Me pages. Use this opportunity to add a link to your web site. Your search engine rankings will increase with the connection between your eBay sales and your web site. Sales from your web site will not incur eBay fees and will promote a more direct relationship with your customers. Your own web site will also aid in branding your business. A brand name helps customers choose your business. Branding is an effective marketing strategy that successful businesses use to differentiate their company from the myriad of other companies on the market.

7. Use advanced research tools effectively.

Seller and auction manager tools allow you to better understand your market and customer demands. Most tools are free and have research functionality built in that will help you determine which products to sell at certain times, select a good starting price, and which keywords will attract the most customers. Seller resource tools, such as TeraPeak, will enable you to learn about hot products and become a trend-spotter. TeraPeak can also help you with seasonal trends, seller insights, and review market research. Many power sellers find TeraPeak, or other seller solution tools, invaluable to their everyday business.

8. Crunch your numbers for a better profit.

Study your costs, sales, profits, and fees to better understand the success of your business. Determine which products sell the best and which products are not worth selling. By studying your sales, you gain a better understanding of the market. Use this valuable information to adjust your starting prices, shipping fees, ending times, and so on. The more information you have the better choices you will be able to make. Better choices lead to a more successful business.

9. Read eBay’s general announcement page and discussion forums.

E-Bays general announcement page and discussion forums can be used to glean information about upcoming changes, new categories, and other pertinent business news. Use this information to take advantage of the opportunities presented. Be one of the first sellers to list in a new category and enjoy the limited competition between sellers. Save money by listing products on cheap listing days. Learn about changes that could affect your business before they are set in place, so that you have time to make any necessary adjustments to your listings.

10. Encourage repeat business to build customer loyalty and increase sales.

Repeat business is the most cost-effective business. Since the customers already know about your store and products, you don’t have to seek them out. An existing customer is more likely to order from you than a potential customer who has not yet ordered. Offer your existing customers incentives to shop from you again; e-mail discount codes work well to encourage sales and to remind customers about your store. Every contact you have with a customer is a marketing opportunity. Always include your url web address on any correspondence. Frequent buyer cards, free shipping codes, and other inexpensive add-ons can entice customers to shop at your store and build customer loyalty.

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