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What was it, I wondered, that made these two otherwise similar PowerSellers so different? One loved his business; the other was nearly in tears. The idea for this book came to me on a redeye flight home after a long, exhausting week on the road.
I'd been helping folks open new eBay Trading Postsdrop stores where customers bring in their items for the store's employees to sell on eBay. I had overseen the opening of one new store that week, and visited another that had been running for a couple of months. They were both in similar, mid-sized, upper-middle class neighborhoods, both owned by bright, successful people, and one was already off to a great start.
The worrisome store had been open more than 60 days, and should have been doing much better than it was. There weren't many customers, much of what folks brought in was not valuable enough to sell on eBay, and the items this store was listing had a pretty dreadful sell-through rate and relatively low average selling prices.
By contrast, the brand new store had a line of people waiting outside with great stuff to sell when I arrived on opening day. The store owner and employees had listed some of their own belongings two weeks earlier (before the doors opened) to get some practice and work out the store's kinks. These items had almost all sold successfully at respectable prices.
The busy store had been generously covered on multiple local television stations and in local and regional newspapers. Their biggest problem was likely to be coping with their almost instant success.
In the course of my work over the past 18 months I have worked with more than 100 PowerSellers, sometimes digging into their P/L statements with them, other times sifting through their inventory bins or celebrating their victories over a beer. I even managed a Trading Post briefly. It has been eye opening and rewarding.
This book, I believe, contains many of the tips, techniques, resources, and best practices that successful eBay PowerSellers use to excel. I've tried to point out some of the pitfalls and challenges you are likely to encounter along the way. It will also help you set realistic goals that are complimentary to your own lifestyle and work expectations. What are the keys to success when selling on eBay? What does it take to earn a living as a PowerSeller or Trading Assistant, and how does one run a successful Trading Post?
Because e-commerce is such a moving target, and because there are so many online resources available to us these days, I have added some related materials and links to my web site, http://www.RonMansfield.com. Besides updates to the book, you will find links to resources, discounts, many of the examples mentioned in this book, and much more. And as always, I am interested in your reaction to my writing, so please feel free to drop me a note. The address is ron@RonMansfield.com.
This is not a beginners' book. My approach assumes that you have sold at least something on eBay and are hungry for the tips, techniques, best practices, and resources necessary to run a high-volume online auction business.
If you are a casual eBay seller, you will see how to how to take your selling to the next level. PowerSellers will learn how, why, and when to become Trading Assistants and see what it takes to open and run a retail Trading Post (also known as an eBay drop store).
You will read about eBay's latest PowerSeller tools including Selling Manager Pro, custom listing headers, new eBay store features, buying keywords, and eBay's new Resellers' Marketplace, a wholesale source exclusively for PowerSellers.
I've tried to include information about the technical, management, and marketing skills necessary to grow your business to the level you desire, be it a profitable kitchen table operation, a mom-and-pop retail presence, or a regional chain of eBay drop stores.
In addition to the obvious eBay selling taskstaking great photographs, writing compelling descriptions, picking the best listing categories and starting timesyou need to understand customer service, fee setting, and marketing. To truly excel, you must know how to hire, train, and manage employees. Setting up a retail storefront requires an understanding of real estate, local regulations, insurance, and other issues. That's what this book is all about.
Along the way you'll encounter Notes, Tips, and Cautions that provide helpful tidbits that you don't want to miss. Most chapters end with a checklist or other information that takes what you've learned in the chapter and boils it down to a useful guide that you can flip to any time along your journey to PowerSeller status and beyond. And, be sure to visit my site, http://www.RonMansfield.com, for additional information and tools to help you along the way.