Tag Archives: ecommerce business

Mobile Apps and E-Commerce

Several years ago, mobile apps were regarded as expensive. Today, developing them has become cheaper, and you can find an app for just about anything. There are retail apps, e-commerce apps, and business among others. Today’s markets are quite dynamic. Shopping with smartphones has become the norm in most countries. 

E-commerce businesses rely heavily on mobile apps to find new customers and market their brands. A significant percentage of the world’s population owns smartphones, and most of them spend their time on apps.

So what are the advantages of e-commerce apps?

Having an ecommerce app is not the only guarantee of profit. It is simply a tool to improve your customers’ experiences and engage them. If you have a business, you should have an app as well. 

Most of the websites now have mobile versions. However mobile devices load search results and data faster with apps. Moreover, apps do not require pulling data from a server, and so browsing and purchasing products is faster for customers.

 M-commerce revenue keeps rising every year, and it might hit $150 billion in 2017. Amazon, being the biggest retail app, went from 43 million to 67 million customers in only two years. When customers have a comfortable experience, they make repeated purchases increasing a business’s sales.

Many people already know how tablets and smartphones work so they can easily find the products they need. Customers share their shopping experiences with friends and sometimes also ask community shopaholics for shopping advice. When the experiences are positive the conversion rate increases, and you will have new customers.

Make your online app convenient, exclusive, fast, interactive and more importantly, simple.   Let the buying process on your app be as simple as possible and add features like discounts, notifications among others to keep your customers happy. You will retain almost all your clients and even gain more.

You can’t do this with a website.  Even sending emails about seasonal sales and new products cannot compare with customer notifications through apps. Push notifications have the advantage of being instant and noticeable. 

You can alert shoppers when their parcel(s) will arrive, rewards, offers and shopping recommendations. 

A mobile app helps you deliver personalized content to your customers based on their shopping patterns and individual preferences. The app gathers customer data and recommends items to them. 

Tailored content ensures better engagement with customers which equals higher customer loyalty.

For a prosperous business, you have to know your clients. User analytics can be set within the app to know the sex, age and shopping history of a customer. Understanding your customers helps you to serve them better and learn trends. 

Having a mobile app significantly reduces your marketing costs. If your app is integrated into social media satisfied customers will spread the word. When your app has grown, you can place ads there and earn revenue.

It is easier to create and maintain an app than any other selling point. Apps reduce costs, and they are more efficient in marketing which means improved business productivity.

Incorporating GPS locators in your app helps users to find your store in a shorter time.  You can easily create route pointers to direct customers straight to your store. If you do this, expect higher purchases. Besides, it is a great experience for your clients. 

Online shopping apps are convenient, which is one reason why everyone loves them. Overall benefits to users include;

•    Smart shopping—businesses can provide users with relevant content according to their shopping preferences.  Apps also help users shop at physical stores and push notifications alert them on special deals. 

•    Faster buying process—there is no need to go to the store and wait in line. 

•    The power of social media—incorporating these apps into social media is a great marketing strategy, and it exposes your business to more potential customers.

•    Tracking stores—you can find a store’s location by logging in their app and following route pointers.

M-commerce and mobile apps are always expanding. With billions of people spending most of their time online, there is no better place to look for customers. Marketing has been made easier and more efficient.

Ensuring customer satisfaction was a challenge until mobile apps came along. What else would customers want if not straightforward and convenient shopping?

Email Marketing for Ecommerce

You need to venture into email marketing if you want your ecommerce business to thrive in 2018. Competition is really heating up and you have to enhance your relationships with your customers and leads. You might already be using email marketing but with no specific strategy.

Use the tips below to come up with a clear strategy and increase your ROI.  Who are you trying to reach? Every email sent to your list is an opportunity to get personal with a potential customer. If the content you are sending does not resonate with your recipients or encourage them to take a certain action, then you are not doing much. How do you know your audience?

  • Check your customer data: dig in the data you have of your customers to find any trends relating to purchasing habits, location, and age and use it to communicate with your list.
  • Build audience personas: create several audience personas then reference and refine them over time.
  • Check data from social pages: if you have a social media page check its analytics about your audience. 

Build An Actual Strategy

Most ecommerce business owners never take the time to create an actual strategy for their email marketing campaign. Here is why you should strive to have one:

  • A strategy enhances your focus.
  • A strategy helps you know which methods are working and which ones are not.
  • A strategy promotes accountability.
  • A strategy helps you have clear goals.
  • A strategy can be created and improved over time.
  • You can hand a strategy over to someone else.

One of the biggest and most common mistakes in email marketing is sending only promotional and sales emails to your recipients. Other types of campaigns help to grow relationships and loyalty. First, map out the typical journey of a customer buying from you.

As a marketer you should know how to send emails throughout the buyer journey and move the customer along towards conversion. Your wording matters a lot in email marketing. Try to write like an actual person, with authenticity to connect with your audience. Add a voice, personality and style to your email. Keep this in mind when creating content:

  • Do not try too hard to be funny or clever.
  • Use active voice, for instance, “we are processing your order” instead of “your order is being processed.
  • Write the way you would speak.
  • Let a real person write your email.
  • Use emojis and exclamation marks if you need to.

When people feel that they are personally connected to your brand, they will want to visit your site and even make purchases. To personalize emails, include first names in greetings and subject lines, consider seasons and holidays, have special offers for different segments of your list, etc. Ask your recipients what they think of the customer experience in your brand.

When they give feedback, you will not be working based on assumptions anymore. In the process of asking and receiving feedback, customers will trust you more and you will be able to improve your business. 

Email marketing is the best way to promote your business online. About 80% of retailers have confirmed that email marketing is the most effective method of attracting and retaining customers. More than 90% of customers in the USA open their email everyday, which increases the purchase rate to three times more than social media marketing.

Running an email campaign might not seem like much of a task but having a strategy is crucial. You need talent and skill to make sure you are targeting the right audience, having them open your email and spend money. Email verification software is an important aspect of this entire process to make sure that your list is clean which will translate to a higher ROI and accurate metrics.

Use of artificial intelligence tools will support your efforts and help you with competition. AI programs can analyze huge amounts of data with more efficiency and accuracy than humans. With so much incoming data, they will identify patterns and trends that the average human eye cannot. The additional data gives an idea on how to enhance your email campaign.

A significant number of studies have proven that optimized subject lines increase the chances of users opening your email. 30% of recipients will open an email because of the subject line while 70% will mark it as spam based on it. AI programs use your subject lines to choose successful keywords. They compare your email open rates to determine which keywords work in the subject lines, which ones should be dropped and any improvements that can be made.

Persado and Phrasee are some of the companies already offering marketers AI platforms to suggest subject line and content ideas. It doesn’t matter the size of your email list, these companies have all the resources you will need to improve your email campaign efficiency even for smaller lists. The recipients in your lists have virtual habits, much like in the real world. Maybe they check their email in the morning, surf just before they go to sleep, or shop during certain breaks.

People are more likely to respond positively at the time they choose to open and reply to their emails. That is, users pick their own schedule and will most likely show interest at their preferred time of undertaking a particular task. AI platforms will take the load off you and assess your recipients’ preferred time of opening emails.

The platforms will also analyze the type of emails that get more positive responses at certain times of the day. Personalization has significantly increased open and response rates. There are many types of personalization such as adding the client’s name in the subject line. Another form of personalization involves sending content that is tailored precisely for a recipient’s needs. AI platforms automate this process, saving you a lot of time and effort. Email campaign planners should do themselves a favor and learn about AI instead of sitting and waiting. Get ahead of your competitors.

The online marketplace is ever changing. A marketing tactic can be effective today and obsolete tomorrow. Email, however, keeps outperforming all the other marketing channels. Why is email so powerful? What makes it stay in power? It is easy to overlook email as a marketing channel. You may not find it trendy and exciting like Facebook. But it has key advantages over other channels.

Take a look at the demographics of popular social media platforms. Women use Pinterest the most while Snapchat is for the younger generation. On the other hand, almost everyone has an email address.  People willingly submit their email addresses and they obviously expect to receive emails from you. The readiness of your subscribers naturally increases your conversion rates.

If Facebook goes down, you lose your entire following. Email marketing allows you to have your own subscribers. Use social media to boost your email list. Automated marketing technology keeps on improving steadily and that is why email marketing is so effective. Being able to customize a customer’s experience and send targeted content to consumers drives more conversions and sales for businesses. 

Email personalization has greatly contributed to a rise in open and click-through rates. Marketing technology has made the otherwise tedious task of personalizing emails very simple. Advanced segmentation options have made it possible to tailor your email messages for specific consumer groups in your email list. The customer journey is not as simple as it used to be. Consumers use their smartphones to research a product and then use their desktop to complete the purchase.

Email marketing allows marketers to reach customers on various devices at whatever stage of purchase. Email has been proven to be very effective in acquiring leads and marketing automation has only made it better. It is simple to create a campaign geared towards new subscribers, welcoming them to your list. Email helps you convince a potential customer that your brand is the best.

Triggered emails increase the chances of closing a deal. Offering a valuable tool for deepening the relationship with existing customers. Send helpful guides or discounts to loyal customers via email. Email marketing is a safe investment for online businesses compared to paid search. It reaches more people and has more potential. 

For every $1 you spend on email marketing, it brings in $40, hence a better ROI than most channels. All statistics concerning email marketing are evidence of how effective it is. It is a requirement for anyone that wants more conversions.

Upcoming trends and technology promise a bright future for email. Google has shown confidence in email and is even investing in it. Video is a hot trend in digital marketing and it is now being used in email marketing. Artificial intelligence is responsible for enhanced segmentation and personalization of email. As it continues to advance, email marketing potential can only increase. 

Wholesale Drop Shippers Scams Revealed

If you want to acquire products to drop ship or wholesale, where do you look? There are all kinds of wholesale and drop ship list for sale on eBay. There is likely to be lots of decent companies, right?

Not true, according to Chris Malta, the Product Sourcing Editor for eBay Radio:

When you see all these Incredible lists and books and packages of wholesaler suppliers and drop shippers for sale on eBay and the rest of the Internet, for anywhere from $5 to $50 or more, what you’re seeing 99% junk.

There are thousands of scammers, snake oil salesmen and con artists on the Internet who are just lying around waiting to AMBUSH you when you begin looking for REAL wholesale suppliers to do business with. Believe it or not, there is a whole niche industry built up on the Net around this kind of scamming! The folks who run these scams have all the moral fiber of a box of hair, and the only reason they even recognize the word Scruples is from the TV ad for the party game.

You may have even fallen prey to one of these con artists, selling you their “insider” wholesale/drop ship list of suppliers. Me too. I have purchased so many lists that I cannot even recollect how many. I do not know why, but I tend to find the “good” in people, and I was “sold” by these marketing schemes time and time again, even after being scammed by the latest one. Finally, after so many disappointments, I had HAD ENOUGH. I decided to get to the bottom of this appeal we all have with wholesale/drop ship companies and find out if there really were any LEGITMATE drop shippers for purchasing hot consumer goods at great prices.

I literally contacted the administrator of every wholesale drop shipping website I could find. Posing as an investor, I managed to persuade the owners that I was seriously interested in purchasing their entire website and business. That way, once the cartoonish money bags flashed in their minds, they would grant me free access to their member’s areas to examine what I would be “buying”. Well, I was appalled with 99% of what I found. Many of the owners bragged about how many people purchased their useless subscriptions. I repeatedly found:

*outdated lists

*non-working links

*links leading to other sites that asked for more money

*no help sections

*no real email support

*no refunds

I quickly realized that these so-called wholesale/drop ship lists were totally pointless. And the owners knew it, yet they were laughing all the way to the ATM machine! I did not respond when they asked if I was still interested in purchasing their websites. Surprisingly, while sitting through all the scam artists websites, I was able to locate a group of individuals that ran legitimate programs.

The owners were common folk like you and me that found a way to earn extra money working from home on their computers. Their membership areas were impressive, with an impressive amount of quality information on how to make $100-$200 per day on your computer doing a small amount of work. I even chatted with a few of their customers in several online forums, and they confirmed that they were earning extra money using the information that the websites had provided them with. It was like I found a few diamonds in the rough. But do not take my word for it, you can drop by the over two dozen sites I found. See what you think.

They do charge a minimal fee for access to their program, which is to be expected for any legitimate enterprise that has people on staff who are dedicated to helping you get earning online. What a warm group of people! Anyway, if you do decide you are interested in any of the two dozen companies, I advise you to join post-haste, as the owners have informed me that they are getting so many new members by word of mouth referrals that they will be blocking off membership completely by months end. (By the way, you did not get this news from me!) They do not have a large enough staff to welcome many more people, and they are driven to providing excellent service to each person. Well, my quest to find legitimate Drop ship companies has come to an end. I have to mention I was thoroughly disappointed with most of what I found, and I strongly urge you not to take any chances doing business with any companies other than the twenty four I will share with you.

Whatever you do, I hope for you and everyone you love a healthy and prosperous year.

Take care and I wish you all the best.

19 eBay Secrets for Your Success

Gaining success through the eBay selling business may not be as complicated as you think. You only must know where to find free eBay secrets that count. Once you get hold of free eBay secrets, start applying them for you to put up a successful eBay selling business.

No need to look high and low for free eBay secrets, we’ve got them compiled here for you. You can use these free eBay secrets to create a booming business on eBay.

Once you decide to become an eBay seller, choose the user ID you will have to use, carefully. Choose a User ID that represents your business or the items you sell. Your User ID automatically becomes your eBay identity to potential buyers.

Look up the How to Sell Tour and watch the eBay selling demonstration video. Then learn of free eBay secrets in starting up at the eBay Learning Center.

Get your ID verified by using the ID Verify option when setting up a Seller’s Account. This gives you an ID Verify icon in your feedback profile thereby giving the eBay community more confidence to buy from you. Don’t let this free eBay secret go unheeded.

Make sure to get computer backup disks for you to store up valuable data. A free eBay secret of using accounting software will help you know how your business is doing so you can make it more profitable.

Look for a good place where you can put your inventory and shipping materials. It’s a free eBay secret that they need to be in a safe, dry place nearby. Writing a daily To-Do List will help you organize your schedule. It is also the free eBay secret for you to manage your time on normal tasks and follow up on opportunities that aren’t part of them.

Taking eBay’s fees into account may be the free eBay secret you need that’ll guided the pricing of your items.

Find the best category where to list your products under. This free eBay secret is probably known by everyone. From eBay’s home page, click the Buy button, and browse the categories to find categories that apply to your items. Another free eBay secret that’s necessary for your products success is checking where competing items have been placed. It’s a good idea to choose two categories for your listings to reach more buyers.

Even if you must pay additional fee, spotlighting your title is a practically free eBay secret that’s guaranteed to grab buyers’ attention when they search for listings.

Hiring a Trading Assistant can free up the time you need to let you focus on the more important aspects of your eBay business. Constantly monitor My eBay for your listing’s performance and other activities on the site. Keep track of your eBay correspondence by using My Messages. Surely, this free eBay secret will be a great help.

Attending trade shows is not only a free eBay secret advice it is also a great opportunity where you can get product trends preview and connect with manufacturers and discuss the opportunity of selling their products on eBay. Make sure to bring your business cards and be ready for discussions/

Protect yourself from potential fraud. Be wary for unusual buyer requests and consider it as a fraudulent sign if such requests come to light.

eBay consultants are available for advice and even free eBay secret tip offs. Once you know how to sell on eBay and checked out the eBay Community, your head will be buzzing with new business ideas.

Subscribing Chatter may get you not only feature articles, tips, helpful links and member interviews but maybe also free eBay secrets to success. Signing up for the Powerup Newsletter can get you advanced notice of upcoming events and promotions. You’ll get to know free listing days, feature discounts, seller sweepstakes and more.

There’s nothing wrong in promoting your eBay store. In fact it is another free eBay secret that you design marketing materials to promote your store.

Once you made a final sale price, donate part of it to a Nonprofit Organization of your choice. Remember that the ultimate free eBay secret to success is passing on the blessings and knowledge you acquire!

12 Easy Ways to Maximize Your eBay Product Photos

It’s a fact. Clear, high-quality photos will greatly enhance your chances of selling your products on eBay. Here are 12 simple tips that will help you make the most of your eBay product photos.

1. You don’t need an expensive, high-resolution digital camera for your eBay photos. You just need a digital camera that will produce a 640×480 pixel image (which includes just about all digital cameras on the market.)

2. Before you buy a camera, handle it to feel how comfortable it is in your hands. Make sure the camera controls are logical, and that it’s easy to transfer photos from the camera to your computer. The camera should be able to focus within four inches or less.

3. When taking a photo for your eBay product, generally select the cameras smallest photo size. If you are going to crop the image or upload it to eBay’s picture services, however, select at least a 1024 x 768 image size.

4. Disable your cameras built-in flash when taking a photo. The built-in flash produces a glare on the photo and makes your products look two-dimensional.

5. Use your cameras Macro Focus feature to take close-ups of your product. (Macro Focus is usually indicated by a tulip flower symbol.)

6. The key to effective product photography is lighting, and the key to effective lighting is control. You can control the strength, size, position, color and number of lights you use. And each of these controls changes how the subject looks. Review your cameras manual to understand your cameras white balance symbols (i.e. a light bulb for indoor shots with incandescent lights, a sun symbol for outdoor photos, etc.) You’ll use the white balance control to get accurate colors. You can preset the white balance to match the type of light you’re using (daylight, shade, tungsten, fluorescent).

7. Use the Exposure Control (EV) to correct light and dark photos. A plus number lightens the image, a minus number darkens it.

8. Use a tripod when taking pictures of your product. The tripod stabilizes your camera and eliminates blurry photos.

9. Photograph your products at an angle.

10.Take more than one photo of each item. For example, if you are selling clothing, take one full-length photo; one photo of the tag showing size, fabric, content, brand; and one or more close-up photos showing the texture of fabric and any details or flaws.

11.Use photo-editing software to make final adjustments.

12.Host your pictures on your own website. You will save money and be able to use as many pictures as you need to adequately show eBay bidders your products. It’s simple, and yet 70 percent of eBay sellers don’t do it.

Adding high-quality product photos that enhance your eBay listings will greatly increase your sales. Try it today!

10 Ways to Save Time and Money with Shipping On eBay

One problem with eBay is that unless you are careful you can end up spending far too much time on routine tasks such as packing and shipping. Not only is there the time spent wrapping the items, but also when you take them to your local post office to have them weighed, stamped and posted. As someone who never seems to have enough time, I have adopted some time saving measures which frees up my time to do other things.

1.Buy Stamps in advance.

Many of the items that I sell are similar, CDs, audio tapes and books. Therefore, I know exactly what the postage is for these items and I buy in advance a quantity of stamps for the various denominations that I use. I can then pack, stamp them and just drop them into the post box without the need to wait at the post office counter.

2.Get a set of scales

Of course, one helpful piece of equipment is a set of postal scales. Not only does this save you time by allowing you to pre stamp packages but it is also very useful when you are listing an item. You can quickly and accurately calculate the exact cost of postage for each item. This can save you making those errors of underestimating the true cost of posting an item or having to make a special journey to the post office just to find out what it will cost to post.

3. Buy packaging materials online

A thriving industry has grown on eBay offering packaging materials. It really is a case of selling spades to miners, but as a result the competition in this field is very fierce. This means that you can make considerable savings if you go to the Business, Office and Industrial Category and look in Packing and Postal supplies. Also, many of the major stationers such as Staples and Viking offer a good 24-hour service and often have some attractive special offers or gifts to make an even better deal. Most offer free postage for orders over a certain quite low amount.

4. Whenever possible use padded bags.

If it is suitable for your products one of the great time savers is the use of padded envelopes. They come in a big range of sizes and thickness and are suitable for a wide range of products. It is much easier and quicker just to pop something into an envelope and seal it than putting something in a box, put in padding and using tape to seal it. Also, these days padded envelopes can work out cheaper than other forms of packaging.

5. Hold a stock of Post Office Forms

These days forms control our lives and it is no different with the postal authorities. Normally if you are a regular postal user your local post office will be happy to supply you with a stock of the forms that you might need. The ones I keep handy are customs declarations, recorded International and national forms and supplies of airmail and fragile stickers. Completing these and applying them to your packages before you go up to the post office can save considerable time.

6. Use Rubber stamps

I also have a selection of rubber stamps with First Class Mail, Do Not Bend, Small Packet Rate, this saves the time rather than writing these phrases over and over again.

7. Preprint return labels

I would never send out a packet without a return address on it. Over the years that I have used eBay I have had about 5 parcels come back to me because they were undeliverable for one reason or another. If I had not had a return address label on them, they and the contents would have been gone forever. You can of course order a pack of name and address labels from the local printer but I have found the most cost effective is to use the sheets of plain labels such as Avery, the 65 labels to a sheet are ideal and print them off as required a sheet at a time. I then just stick one of these on to every packet I send out. And of course, it also makes you look a little more professional with your packaging.

8. Pick the time that you go to the post office

There are always sometimes in the day or days in the week when your local post office is liable to be busier than others. If you ask the counter staff, I am sure they would be happy to tell you when these times are likely to be. Also, they would also be able to tell you the times they would expect to be less busy. If you use this information you can cut down the time you spend waiting in line at the post office.

9. Copy addresses from PayPal notification.

Whenever you get payment notification from PayPal it will contain the name and address of the buyer. I always highlight and copy this and using my labelling software I paste this into the label template this saves having to write or type the information in. I always print my labels on the AveryL7160, 21 labels to a sheet paper.

10. Compare prices

There is plenty of competition to ship larger items and it is worth comparing prices for the various shippers and couriers to get the best deals. In my experience with smaller items it is difficult to beat the Post Office but for items that need to be shipped fast or weigh over 2 Kgs (4 1/2lb) it is worth looking for the best deal.

10 Steps to Selling On eBay

So, you want to be a successful seller with your own eBay business, do you? Here’s a simple, ten-step path to eBay enlightenment.

Step 1: Identify your market. Take a while to sit and watch for what sells and what doesn’t out of the items, you’re interested in. Any market research data you can collect will be very useful to you later. You’ll probably see the sweet spots quite quickly those one or two items that always seem to sell for a good price.

Step 2: Watch the competition. Before you invest any money, see what the other sellers in your category are up to, and what their strategies are. Pay special attention to any flaws their auctions might have, because this is where you can move in and beat them at their own game.

Step 3: Find a product: Get hold of a supplier for whatever it is you want to sell, and see what the best rates you can get are  don’t be afraid to ring round quite a few to get the best deal. If the eBay prices you’ve seen are higher than the suppliers, then you’re set.

Step 4: Start small: Don’t throw thousands at your idea straight away get started slowly, see what works and what doesn’t, and learn as you go. Remember that its very cheap to try out even the craziest ideas on eBay, and who knows, they might just work!

Step 5: Test and repeat. Keep trying different strategies until you find something that works, and then don’t be ashamed to keep doing it, again and again. The chances are that you’ve just found a good niche.

Step 6: Work out a business plan: A business plan doesn’t need to be anything formal, just a few pages that outline the market opportunity you’ve spotted, your strategy, strengths and weaknesses of the plan and a brief budget. This is more for you than it is for anyone else.

Step 7: Invest and expand: This is the time to throw money at the problem. Buy inventory and start spending more time on your business. Set a goal number of sales each week, increasing it each time.

Step 8: Make it official: Once you’ve made a few thousand dollars’ worth of sales, you should really register yourself as a business. Don’t worry, it’s not expensive or hard to do a lawyer is the best person to help you through the process.

Step 9: Automate: You’ll probably find that you’re writing the same things again and again in emails or item descriptions. This is the time to give up on the manual method and turn to automated software that can create listings for you and respond to completed auctions and payments with whatever message you provide.

Step 10: Never give up: Even when it looks like it’s all going wrong, don’t stop trying until you succeed. If you keep working at it then you’ll almost always find that you make a real breakthrough just when things are starting to look desperate.

Once you get into the swing of things, you might start thinking that you should quit your job and take up eBay selling part time. But it’s not always as easy as that there are all sorts of factors that you need to consider. The next email will weigh up the case for and against taking up eBay full-time.

10 Tips for Buying On eBay

eBay has become a household name for shoppers. A lot the buyers on eBay are not regular internet shoppers but they still shop on eBay. Such is the power of eBay giving simplicity of shopping and top bargains. From time to time, there is some fraud on eBay about fake fashion items, event tickets that do not exist, some expensive electronic items that do not exist.

eBay does its best to intervene and resolve such disputes. As a shopper, you can follow these 10 safety tips to avoid being conned.

1. Check the seller’s feedback. Positive feedback rating of over 95% is good. If there are many recent negative feedbacks, then this is not a good indication. Also, read all the negative feedbacks. Are these negative feedbacks reasonable? What type of response does the seller have for these feedbacks? Does the seller’s defense sound reasonable? Sometimes new members who buy items on eBay are paranoid and they leave a negative feedback in a haste so make sure if the seller has defended himself/ herself in a reasonable manner. If there are too many complaints of the same nature, then it is probably true.

2. The sellers must have identification or recognition seal like PayPal verified, or Square trade or a Power seller seal on the auctions. Such sellers are more reliable. This is especially a good check when you are buying an expensive item.

3. Ask seller a question before bidding on the item. Responsible sellers reply promptly to questions. Also, if the seller has the item, he/ she may be able to answer a valid question otherwise not.

4. If you are buying something expensive, then get the contact information of the seller at http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQtZvbQQsofindtypeZ9. You have to login to your eBay account and send a request. You can get the sellers address and phone number. In doing this, your address and phone number will also be emailed to the seller.

5. The items must have pictures unless it is a service that is sold on eBay. If there is no picture, then the items are probably not there. Almost all sellers will put at least one picture of the item. Let’s assume that the item is there but the seller has been lazy in not putting the picture in the auction ad. Would you like to deal with someone who is so careless? It just shows that the item may not be in good condition, maybe defective or broken.

6. Check description of the item. Research other websites for the same item. Some of the shopping websites to research would be shopping.yahoo.com, overture.com and shopping.msn.com. These sites are adequate for researching items and get the description that you need. The eBay description should match item description on other sites.

7. Research prices for the item on sale. If the item on sale is Gucci handbags, then search for this model of handbag on shopping.yahoo.com. If it retails for $800 on Yahoo and seller on eBay is selling a brand new one for $90, then this item may not be authentic! Large wholesaler are able to sell items for around 50% of retail but something like an original Gucci handbag, it is unlikely that a seller would let go for $90 because these items sell like crazy. Just a note on fraud items, a lot of fraud eBay occurs on fashion items. This is very unfortunate, and eBay has taken a lot of steps to eliminate fraud.

8. If the seller has not mentioned any shipping and handling terms, then ask before bidding. There are many auction ads, where the seller mentions that shipping and handling will be mentioned to the winning bidder. Surprisingly, there are bids on that item! If you start bidding on the item, then it means that you agreed to the terms and condition of the sellers and there is less room for you to dispute later so ask for the clear instruction on shipping and handling.

9. Reliable sellers have clear description on their refund policy. If it is not there, then ask the seller for it. If the seller has no refund policy, then do not bid on the item. If the there is no refund policy in the auction description, then make sure you get the refund policy in an email from the seller. In this way, you have a document of the refund policy.

10. Do a search for the sellers past items on eBay. Check to see if the seller has sold similar items in the past. To search on the past auctions, go to the Advanced Search page. Here click on the items by seller link and type in the seller’s ID and check the box for Include Completed listing. It is always good to check this especially if you are considering buying something expensive.

10 Great Ways to Source Low Cost Products for eBay

So, you’re having trouble finding stock cheaply enough to sell it for a good profit? Well, you’ve come to the right place.

Garage sales. The chances are you’ve gone most of your life seeing ads for these and ignoring them. Start going to as many as you can. You won’t find good things at every one, but when you find one person with good stuff, make them an offer for the lot they’ll be so happy about it that you can get a real bargain.

Markets. If your area has a market, then go there and look around for anything good. You could buy it there if it’s cheap enough or try to make friends with the market traders and find out who their suppliers are.

Pawn shops. Pawn shops don’t usually know what to do with the junk they accumulate (unless its jeweler, of course). Generally, they put their stock out on the shelves haphazardly, hoping that someday someone with a little money will just happen to come in, search around and buy wildly obscure things. Get them to offer you a discount for bulk.

Real auctions. Go to a real auction, as the chances are that you can resell things for more than they will sell them. After all, they only have a few hundred people in that room you have a few million to sell to!

Local newspapers. Place an ad in the local paper that reads I pay cash for [your item type], with your phone number. If you can afford it, make it a big display ad, so it’ll be noticed.

Ad boards. Get one of those little ads in the grocery store.

Friends. Ask your friends if they have anything, they’d like to sell you, and ask them to spread the word to their friends.

Become known. Give out business cards, mention to people what you do. The chances are that you’ll come across someone who’ll say Oh, really? I’ve got a load of [item] I don’t want.

Shops. This might be a little surprising, but some real shops even sell things more cheaply than they sell on eBay. Take a look around your local deep discounter, and pay special attention to any shop that takes trade-ins from customers. The chances are they take a loss on trade-ins as a promotion and are dying to get rid of that stock.

And finally: eBay! When you’re looking at the completed items view, you’ll notice the massive range of prices that items can sell for on eBay. Try taking the highest-priced item and searching for it on its own, then sort by lowest price first: I can almost guarantee that you’ll see an auction for the same item where it sold for almost nothing. The trick is to find these flawed auctions before they close, win them using a bid sniping service, and then turn around and resell the item.

After all that trouble, though, when do sell the item you might find that a buyer leaves you a feedback rating you just don’t think is fair. The next email will show you what to do about it.

5 Ecommerce Secrets the ‘Experts’ Aren’t Willing to Share with You

People are buying less from brick-and-mortar stores. The ecommerce industry is growing rapidly. 

Although the growth is massive and offers countless opportunities for ecommerce entrepreneurs, a ton of newbies keep on making mistakes that prevent them from being successful. 

One expert in this industry pointed out that the profitability of your online store does not just depend on an awesome website and a quality product. These are just essentials that every other ecommerce online store will have. 

This expert goes on to give you the essentials that will make a difference in your business and set you apart from the rest. 

A Pre-Launch Audience

A very high percentage of entrepreneurs start marketing after they have launched their store. The issue with this approach is that online marketing efforts do not deliver instant results. During this time, you will still be required to pay hosting fees among other expenses. 

Rather than wait, establish a pre-launch audience. Even if your product is neither original nor new, spread the word. Use email list sign ups, product giveaways and social media. 

Customer Lifetime Value

It is not easy to convert customers. The conversion rate in most cases is only 1-3%. Therefore, every sale must count. 

This means that you should focus on the CLV (customer lifetime value). Make sure that the customer has an amazing experience during their first purchase. On top of that, follow up. Email marketing will help with this. Reach out for special seasons and holidays too. 

The Power of Remarketing

Ecommerce professionals spent a huge amount of money on marketing. The goal is to attract new customers who will hopefully make a purchase. 

However, many of these professionals forget about the shoppers they have already convinced. There is a very high chance of repeat customers buying from your store again and even spending more cash. Make sure to target those who have already bought from you. Use AdWords and Facebook campaigns to your advantage. 

Let the Customers Do the Talking

As an entrepreneur you have to create a strong brand identity. It lets you establish an emotional connection with potential buyers. A strong relationship with your passionate customers may help you leverage their enthusiasm. They will advertise your store through word of mouth. 

Most marketing methods are neither effective nor trusted. 

Nonetheless, you need to know that even your best customers will not decide to market your business on their own. You need to offer them some kind of motivation. Ask them for input on your service or product.

To build this enthusiasm among customers, hold social media contests. If you work hard to personalize the interactions, your customers will be more prompted to be true ambassadors. 

If You Opt for Dropshipping, Do Not Botch It

Dropshipping makes sales simpler for ecommerce professionals. But that does not mean that it does not have its downsides. Issues like low-quality products, slow delivery, among others can kill your business. Therefore, do your due diligence and partner with reliable suppliers and shipping companies.