About the Author
Michael Miller has written more than 90 nonfiction how-to books over the past two decades, including Que’s Absolute Beginner’s Guide to eBay, Making a Living from Your eBay Business, and Tricks of the eBay Business Masters. He also wrote Teach Yourself Business Plans in 24 Hours and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization for Alpha Books and Online Marketing Heroes: Interviews with 25 Successful Online Marketing Gurus for Wiley.
Mr. Miller has established a reputation for clearly explaining complex topics to the average reader and for offering useful real-world advice. Find more information at his website, www.molehillgroup.com.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Selling online isn’t quite as simple as it used to be. In the good old days, just about anybody could create an eBay listing and let the online auction site do the bulk of the work. All you had to do was wait for the auction to end to see what the final price was and who to ship to. This model created a lot of successful sellers.
All things change, however, and online selling is in the process of some major changes. The eBay auction site isn’t near as friendly to small sellers as it used to be; sellers are finding that it’s harder and harder to make a decent profit selling exclusively on eBay.
If you made your mark as an eBay seller but find eBay an increasingly unfriendly environment, what do you do next? It’s all about migrating your sales to the next-generation selling model—what I like to call Selling Online 2.0.
Selling Online 2.0 doesn’t completely abandon eBay—at least, it doesn’t have to. But it does embrace alternative marketplaces and channels, opening up the opportunity for you to sell your merchandise on sites such as craigslist and Amazon, as well as on your own e-commerce website.
Here’s the bottom line: If you want to maintain or grow your current level of sales, you have to move beyond eBay auctions. To do this, you have to learn some new skills and fine-tune some old ones; you may even have to spend some money setting things up. But the upside is that your online sales can be even more profitable than before—and you may be able to attract a completely new base of customers.
If all you know is selling on eBay, how do you learn what you need to know to sell in other marketplaces and channels? Well, you’ve come to the right place; that’s what this book is all about. While selling on Amazon or craigslist or your own online store might seem daunting at first, it’s something you can do if you have the motivation and the knowledge. You’ll have to supply your own motivation, of course, but the knowledge you can get from reading this book.
What’s in This Book
As you can probably tell from the title, this book tells you everything you need to know to migrate your current eBay business to other online marketplaces and channels. You’ll learn how sites such as Amazon and craigslist work, how to plan for success on these sites, and how to create listings, manage sales, accept payments, and even migrate your existing eBay sales to the new marketplaces. You’ll also learn how to plan for and launch your own e-commerce website and how to promote and manage that site on a day-to-day basis. Some of the information presented will be familiar to you (both craigslist and Amazon share some similarities with eBay, after all), and some will be completely new. That’s the nature of the beast.
There are 22 chapters in this book, divided into five major parts. Each part deals with a different online selling channel, walking you through everything you need to know to get your business up and running in that channel:
- Part I, “Beyond Online Auctions: Creating a Successful Online Business,” is the part you want to read before you get into all the details in the rest of the book. Here is where you learn about how eBay is changing and how to plan for online sales success outside eBay.
- Part II, “Fixed-Price Selling on eBay,” shows that there is life on eBay beyond the auction format. You’ll learn how to migrate your auction listings to fixed-price listings, how to open an eBay Store, how to sell on Half.com, and how to promote your fixed-price sales on the eBay site.
- Part III, “Selling via craigslist Online Classifieds,” presents the first alternative to eBay: local online classified ads. craigslist is the biggest online classifieds site, and in this section you learn how and what to sell on craigslist, how to migrate your eBay listings to craigslist, and how to promote your online classifieds business.
- Part IV, “Selling on the Amazon Marketplace,” details how to sell your merchandise on the Amazon.com website. You’ll learn what types of items sell best on Amazon, how to create and price your listings, how to migrate your existing eBay listings to Amazon, and how to promote your new Amazon business.
- Part V, “Selling on Your Own Website,” is the section for any seller who wants to launch a standalone online store. You’ll learn how to plan your online presence, set up an e-commerce website, manage your store’s sales, promote your online business, migrate your eBay business to your own store, and sell items in multiple channels.
That’s a lot to cover—because there’s a lot you need to know to be successful. While you can skip around a bit, particularly if you have no intention of selling in a specific channel or marketplace, my recommendation is to start with Chapter 1 and read the whole way through the book. There’s a logical process to migrating from eBay to these other channels, and what you learn in one chapter will be applied in following chapters.
Who Can Use This Book
I assume that if you’re interested in Selling Online 2.0, you’re not a newbie to selling online. You have some experience as an eBay seller under your belt, and you have a handle on what you sell and how.
In other words, I’m not going to teach you how and what to sell. If you’re looking for the magic product that will make you rich, look someplace else. This book is for serious and experienced sellers who are ready to move to the next level of online selling.
That said, you don’t have to be a large seller to move beyond eBay. This book is written for all levels of sellers, large and small; all you need is some online selling experience and the willingness to make the next move. It also doesn’t matter what you sell; all types of sellers can be successful selling beyond eBay.
How to Use This Book
This book is easy enough to read that you really don’t need instructions. But there are a few elements that bear explaining.
First, there are several special elements in this book, presented in what we in the publishing business call “margin notes.” There are different types of margin notes for different types of information, as you see here:
Note - This is a note that presents information of interest, even if it isn’t wholly relevant to the discussion in the main text.
Tip - This is a tip that might prove useful for whatever it is you’re in the process of doing.
Caution - This is a caution that something you might accidentally do might have undesirable results.
Because many of the solutions presented in this book involve various websites on the Internet, there are lots of web addresses in the text. When you see one of these addresses (also known as a URL), you can go to that web page by entering the URL into the address box in your web browser. I’ve made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the web addresses presented here, but given the ever-changing nature of the web, don’t be surprised if you run across an address or two that’s changed.
For that matter, some of the products and services (and corresponding prices) presented here are likely to change by the time you read this text. I apologize in advance, but that’s the way the online world works.
There’s More Online...
When you need a break from reading, feel free to go online and check out my personal website, located at http://www.molehillgroup.com. Here you’ll find more information on this book and other books I’ve written. And if you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me directly, at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can’t guarantee that I’ll respond to every email, but I will guarantee that I’ll read them all.
Making the Move
With all these preliminaries out of the way, it’s now time to get started. Put on your reading glasses, put on your best business thinking cap, and get ready to migrate to the next level—Selling Online 2.0!
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