Wednesday, March 31, 2010

It's Here, Store's in Core

Yesterday was the BIG day at Ebay. Spring Fee changes go into effect. We all have known since January 26. Of course we’ve been very busy figuring how these changes in fees will impact our bottom line. Ebay has provided a fee calculator to help in our decision on how we want to sell on Ebay.

Stores as we have known them to function in the past are gone. Store merchandise is now going to be part of Ebay’s core site. A huge change for sellers who rarely had their store merchandise show up in customer’s searches.

Will this raise a new problem for sellers as the whole Ebay site is flooded with merchandise? I saw little changes to my inventory yesterday even though it is visible for all to shop.

Today I did sell a book internationally that I’ve had in my store for some time. Possibly this is a good sign of what is to come? I am being very optimistic as I REALLY want this new Ebay model to work. I know all my seller friends at "These Are The DSRs Of Our Lives" feel this way too.

So how is everyone else doing with this change? We’d love to hear your thoughts…..

I’ll chat with you again next month, in the mean time List More Sell More (LMSM) Sound familiar?

FBA - Fulfillment by Amazon - get those books out of your house!

Ok, you have probable hear about it, FBA, so what is it?
Fulfillment by Amazon.

What is Basic Fulfillment?

Basic Fulfillment is Amazon's service to enable merchants to fulfill orders from sales channels other than using the inventory that they have stored in the Amazon fulfillment center.

With Basic Fulfillment, merchants can submit order fulfillment requests to using either a simple Web form, a flat file upload (for bulk requests) or use a direct website-to-website XML integration.

When the seller submits a fulfillment request for Basic Fulfillment, they include the buyer's address, shipping instructions (including the method/ship speed for Amazon to use) and can even include a customized note to the buyer on the pack slip.

When using Basic Fulfillment, Amazon will pass the cost of shipping through to the seller. Prices for Basic Fulfillment vary depending on the item and the ship method used for fulfillment. (Quick Reference: Pricing)


So, is is right for you?

Maybe, maybe not... It is not for everyone.

Basically you list your items on AZ as usual, convert them to FBA, create a product label, box them up, ship them to the warehouse, then let them sell, and then let Amazon ship the item(s) for you.

There are, of course, extra fees involved, so you don't just want to sell low-priced items. But the storage fees is minimal, as well as the shipping fees. Many people compensate for the fact that your item can ship via PRIME or FREE Super-Saver Shipping, so you can add up to $3.99 to your item price and still be competitive.

I also host a YahooGroup specifically for FBA: BookSellersFBA
All are welcome.

It frees up room in your house, as you get rid of those books, media and other items, and send them to the warehouse. It also takes the rush of shipping out of your hands. Some people worry about having to have inventory sent back to them, or destroyed, if the items do not sell. And that does happen, but as long as you are sending items that should sell, there is little worry.

Some people have things fly off the shelves when using FBA, some get mediocre results, as always, your results may vary.... (YMMV)

There is no cost to get started, so little risk.

Bob Willey
Scan Tool for Book Scouting
Baltimore Consignment Reporter for

Monday, March 29, 2010

You're in Business! KNOW YOUR LAWS!

This is a subject that irks the daylights out of me.  YOU'RE IN BUSINESS! Know the laws that affect you.  Do you realize that as online seller's we're considered "mail order" businesses?? (No it doesn't matter that you're selling the junk from the garage.)

The Federal Trade Commission has RULES and LAWS that govern how we behave..(or how we're supposed to behave in our business).  I'm not going to outline the whole thing but there is a

A Business Guide to the Federal Trade Commission’s

And this is the link to it.  GUIDE
It covers things like, (for ebay sellers) Why, if the buyer files a charge-back via their credit card and says they didn't order the item you mailed and didn't authorize the charges, not only will Paypal refund them BUT they will let the buyer keep the merchandise.   SO... that is why you want INSURANCE on any shipment you can't afford to lose AND not be paid for both.   But insurance is a topic for a whole 'nother post.
Check out the guide. You can down load it as a pdf.  Oh! and the rules cover the idea that if something is insured you're not responsible for delivery....sorry charlie, you are too! Check out the guide and up your game!  Your business will improve, your customers will love you more and spend more money and the world will run a little smoother.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Know Your Numbers from Uncle Griff

Griff's Presentation at eBay On Location in Atlanta was titled Know Your Numbers and was the best attended session as reported by several folks. I found it very interesting and thought he made some great points. I promised to upload a scan of the handout from the session so that is the first image here

Griff began his talk with what seemed to be a theme of the convention, "you ARE in business"

Once he brought the group to the agreement that even part-time eBay income was important to the seller, he then introduced a much quote line  . 

 I wish this one were easier to read but Griff was saying that if your auctions typically end with one bid - you need to consider Fixed Price for your items. Items with 2 or more bids - makes an auction the appropriate choice.

I hope others who attended will comment here and add to the discussion!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Behind Closed Doors: Private seller meeting eBay on location Atlanta

This past weekend was the Inaugural eBay on Location event in Atlanta. There were over 500 attendee to the public sessions held by eBay but behind the scenes there were also several smaller more personal meetings between eBay and sellers.
These are some of the thoughts from 3 of the sellers who were invited to some of those.

Kathy Simpson (Katskloset) of was invited to do a Public Relations interview and also participated in a private video interview for eBay in house use.

Karen Locker (mommysbazaar) of was invited to a coffee chat with 2 eBay seller development employees and Dinner with those same employees and Jim"Griff" Griffith - eBay Seller Advocate.

Henry Neff- (buckcreekmarketing) of was also invited to do a Public Relations interview and also participated in a private video interview for eBay in house use.

We will be continuing this conversations tomorrow am, Thursday 3/26/2010 at 11am EDT. This broadcast will include an open chatroom.

We would love to answer your questions,please you the comment section below for any comments or questions.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Fulfillment By Amazon

For all sellers, packing and shipping is a major time drain. Some enjoy it and some don't but for all of us it's an issue. One solution, albeit a fairly drastic one, is to outsource all of that. This would mean either hiring an employee or contracting with a fulfillment center. This is a service where you ship all your inventory to them and they pull, pack and ship your orders as you send them in. One place that offers this service is Their version is called FBA or Fulfillment By Amazon.

Amazon has just made available a 'peak behind the scenes' which I thought many of us might find interesting.

A Peak Behind the Scenes at FBA

Friday, March 19, 2010

THIS is the soap opera we call life

So eBay on location is happening in Atlanta today and on MOTHER'sDAY weekend in Dallas and June is Chicago? and September is San Jose. Do you notice something there?

Yeah- The Northeast/Midatlantic area is barren... the barren.. no eBay on Location in either area. Why is that??

I know Griff's answer - costs too much. To which I say - IF you can afford the Omni in Atlanta.... and a city Center Hotel in Chicago - WHY not look for less expensive venues for all of these and COME to where the population is?

My area, the Northeast, comprises 1/4 of the continental territory but eBay ain't coming here. Instead, they are going AGAIN to Chicago and Dallas. Dallas has had several eBay Meetups - the eBaybes people make sure of that. Chicago had eBay live and a dinner with John Donohoe, the CEO of eBay and mastermind of all the worst ideas I've ever seen on eBay. And Penna?? once long 2000 we had one crummy session of eBay University. NJ? I'm not sure they even got that.

I'm sure eBay thinks all us northerners look the same and think the same so why bother. And I'm sure they think we'll travel to Atlanta or Dallas or Chicago or San Jose... well ?? are you? I'm not. Time the mountain came closer to me. Oh's ebay we're talking chance they'd figure this out by themselves. So here it is... I ain't going. Have something within a 24 hr drive of me and maybe.... fly anywhere? not at this time.

To my friends who went? I'm hoping you have a terrible time. Leave earlier ...come home... we miss you and eBay won't even know you're there.

The Mid-Atlantic states have more of the population of the country and yet, we're being ignored for Georgia

Monday, March 15, 2010

Energizing Thoughts

Cheryl Richardson is a life coach and someone I greatly admire because of the unique perspective she uses to help people with different issues. She just send me her weekly newsletter and I thought it was appropriate to share since we've been reading different posts here about depression and what makes people happy. Receiving this today was a godsend. I hope it speaks to you, as well. Check out her website at .

Topic of the Week
Energizing Thoughts

I've just finished teaching our San Francisco Movers and Shakers program and was inspired to send the following newsletter after witnessing a powerful moment between Louise Hay and a workshop participant. One woman came up to the microphone for some coaching and started with the following: "I am a terrible procrastinator." No sooner were the words out of her mouth, when Louise stood up and said: "That's an affirmation!" In the spirit of that important message, please use the following story and message to change your life ☺.

Last week I was enjoying some time to myself at a local park when I overheard a conversation between two women who were talking about how frustrated they were with their jobs. They were sitting close by and, after a half hour of trying to mind my own business, I decided to head home. As I drove away, I thought about how much time and energy they were investing in the problem by repeating the details of their situations over and over again. And, I thought about how I've done the same thing in my own life -- energized the very thing I didn't want to continue by repeatedly complaining about it.

When you consider the notion that our thoughts have creative power, complaining about something without doing anything to change it, takes on a whole new meaning. While talking about our problems is a normal (and important) way of working through the difficulties in life, fixating on them can end up magnetizing the very thing we most want to avoid. When we complain, ruminate, whine, moan or gossip about what isn't working in our lives, we may find that the problem persists or even shows up in a whole new form.

That said, there's gold to be found in the act of complaining and worrying about our problems. Just think about the strategy behind what you do. For example, if you're worried about money (and who isn't nowadays), you might:

Continuously think about what you don't have, your debt, or upcoming bills.
Talk with others about how bad the economy is or how it's going to get worse.
Write about your fears in a journal.
Go to sleep at night imagining worse-case scenarios in your mind.
Pray about the problem.

Again, these are all useful ways to process the challenges we face in life, but when we get stuck on these behaviors alone without adding positive actions, we contribute to the problem. Now, imagine what might happen if you used these same strategies to your advantage. To bring more abundance into your life, you could:

Continuously think about what you do have by noticing the little things that make you happy right now.
Start looking for and sharing the stories of abundance that show up in your life.
Begin each day by writing down fifteen things you feel grateful for.
Go to sleep at night imagining yourself living debt free or enjoying a new, higher-paying job.
Pray for the discipline and strength to focus on the good in your life and the ability to receive the abundance that's coming your way.

These examples represent the fundamental steps of attraction. You think about it, talk about it, write about it, meditate on it, pray about it, or imagine best-case scenarios. I've been practicing the idea of attraction in one form or another for the last twenty-five years and these are the things that I do (along with making treasure maps :). As you begin to use these steps to turn things around, please keep in mind three important things I've learned over time:

1. Simply thinking about something you want to bring into your life isn't enough. You need to combine thought with action and be willing to do the work.

2. Making the shift from "me" to "we" is where the law of attraction really becomes powerful. My greatest joy (and success) comes in sharing my good fortune with others.

3. We must surrender to the reality that there is a power greater than our humanness at work in the world and we can't always get what we want. Some things just aren't meant to be.

So, when you think about your life and what you're energizing every day, does it make you smile or is it time to make a shift?

Friday, March 12, 2010

How do you find Happiness?

We are a varied group here of online entrepreneurs that include both full time and part time businesses. We have become like family and share our daily DSR's of both life and business and help each other any way we can. We all have both good and bad days due to health, business and just life in general like most of the population on any given day.

I keep hearing on the news things are getting better but the more people I talk to the more I think they must be making this up. It is not easy being happy when we have worries about life and business issues on a daily basis.

What makes you happy is a question only each of us can answer but many things can bring a smile to our faces. That sharing of a smile is often the beginning of feeling happier if only for a moment.

As we share our daily DSR's here there is often things to smile about even if it will not help with all the big problems in life. We share a successful auction that brings good money, we share some jokes or sayings to bring a smile to our faces and yes we share the rough times too.

We each need to find our own happiness but having a wonderful, caring family to share both the good and the bad with gives us all a little bit of happiness in our day.

How do you find happiness in your day?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

When life gives you lemons....

A couple of months ago - I asked the question on Facebook as to whether most people live happy lives with a crisis here and there they live from crisis to crisis with happiness here and there.

The response was mostly from people who were going from crisis to crisis....maybe happy people don't spend a lot of their time answering questions on Facebook???

Anyway, I'm in a funk and can't seem to get out of it. Things are not going well here and it just seems to be one emotional roller coaster event to the next and no bright skies and sunshine anywhere to be seen.

How do you turn life around when it gets like this? Keeping a stiff upper lip ain't getting it. Working harder isn't helping. Nothing I do, at the moment, seems to make any difference. Just feel like crawling in a hole somewhere and sleeping for a month.


Saturday, March 6, 2010

What is an Ebay Custom Page?

We all have so many things going on an as online entrepreneurs there is never enough hours in a day to get everything done. There are changes on selling sites to keep up with blogging , Twitter , Facebook and of course listing.

Ebay had again made changes which anyone who sells there has to keep up with and one of the choices is Store or no Store. As you check out the differences between a Basic and Premium  store you will see you get 5 Custom pages with a Basic Store and 10 with a Premium Store. Of course now you have no idea what are custom pages and why should you care.

These are important pages for any Ebay seller and you can use them for a variety of things. They can explain something you sell, tell someone why they should buy from you, give important details about a product line and much more.

I have been a race fan all my life and am selling a lot of racing items for a friend of mine so I did my first one on auto racing . I need to get working on the next one and like everyone else just need to make time to do it.

If you are an Ebay seller and have chosen to have a Basic or Premium Store then you need to do your custom pages too.