Is yours a ‘bread and butter’ income?

Finally, the long school summer holidays have arrived and today you find me writing to you with a slightly different view than usual. I see clear blue skies, a gentle breeze, water lapping gently around the pool, the unmistakable hint of tropical sun lotion…and a nice cold beer at my fingertips. Hurray – I’m on holiday!

I may be on holiday but that doesn’t mean I am abandoning you completely. I will always ensure you still receive my weekly eletters and blog posts from wherever I am in the world and the next few weeks will be no exception. I will be having a ‘proper’ break though and so if you do have any questions whilst I’m away then I will of course respond as soon as I am back at my desk – and with a rather less exotic view!

So, in just a few weeks time the build up to one of the biggest selling seasons of the year will be upon us – yes, the festive season starts building in August – and soon carols will be playing in supermarkets, we will herald the arrival of crackers at the front of the store, gift wrap and cards will appear in abundance…you may laugh but it’s absolutely true, although it does seem very strange to be talking about Christmas when I’m sat here in the sun – but as I said a few weeks ago, you do have to be prepared – and that includes ensuring that you list, on eBay inparticular, with the correct type of listing.

So, just briefly, as you are most likely familiar with these already, you’ve got:

Auction Style Listings – With an auction you can set a start price and, if you wish, a reserve price which will stop your item selling for less than the amount you want to achieve. This should only be used for high priced items though as the minimum reserve price is £50. The final value of your item is determined by the number of people who place bids, just like a real auction, with the highest bid at the end of the time limit becoming the winner of the item. With an auction style listing you simply create single listings for single items, so even if you have more than one of an item, you would list them in singles using this style.

Buy It Now Listings – A Buy It Now listing works in a way that is more similar to a traditional retail store, in that a customer who is interested in what you have to offer simply clicks to buy the goods for the price displayed. If you are prepared to accept a lower price, in some instances you might find that the ‘Best Offer’ option alongside your Buy It Now price will work well for you and prompt offers.

Both of these listing formats have their place on the eBay website. For one off items, antiques or collectables, in my opinion, auction formats are perfectly adequate and can maximise the earning potential of those products, assuming they come complete with great descriptions and photos and finish at a time when the most people are looking at the eBay website. For more standard items however, I am by far a fan of the Buy It Now format. It can be very advantageous if you are serious about running an online business successfully – and I’ll explain why.

If for example you have an eBay store that is set up with only auction listings then customers are unable to make purchases 24/7. Instead they must place a bid, which may or may not be high enough to win the auction, or alternatively they might choose to wait until seconds before the end of the auction to place a bid – assuming they don’t forget the end time of course!

ffpThese auction listings would end at a specific time, meaning those specific times are the only occasions when you as the seller are able to make money. Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against auction listings and in fact part of one of my proven strategies involves the use of auction listings, plus of course, auctioned items can end up selling for a lot of money if people get caught up in the bidding fever, but this isn’t always the case and there is the possibility that your items may sell for less than you expect.

Now, on the other hand if you open an eBay shop where your items are listed as Buy It Now’s, you will know exactly how much profit you’ll be able to make on every sale simply because the price does not change depending on a person’s bidding habits. No matter what the time, night or day, anywhere in the world, people can come and buy your stock. You can also list multiple quantities of the same item on one listing without needing to recreate listings, making your shop much more manageable. So I know which one I would choose!

It’s great being able to set up a Buy It Now listing with a fixed quantity of items, and knowing exactly how much money that particular listing should make. And what’s more, allowing people to purchase your products at any given moment really caters to those impulse buyers who shop online – and there are plenty of those, even more so during the festive season. Our natural desire these days is to ‘want it now’ and if a potential buyer has to wait to place a bid or wait to see whether they have won an item it can cool their desire. However with the Buy It Now format you can capitalise on that desire to purchase immediately by providing the facility to do so – in the form of a Buy It Now.

The truth is that continuing success on eBay doesn’t come from selling one or two items for a reasonable amount of profit every now and then. It comes from establishing a ‘bread and butter’ income, that is a constant, solid source of income, and you can do this by selling multiple quantities of the same product or products using Buy It Now listings.

It’s actually quite a simple four step process and one that if you follow will allow you to build a successful online business:

  1. Research an in-demand product to sell within a niche.
  2. Source the product for as competitive a price as possible.
  3. Create a compelling listing using a Buy It Now format with multiple quantities available.
  4. Rinse and repeat the process by sourcing additional products within your niche (as I mentioned in last weeks eletter) or by branching out into other niches.

As long as your product is selling you can keep restocking your online shop with the original item and with any new relevant products that are also in-demand. This process will keep your online selling business running smoothly – particularly as you build up more and more income streams from a variety of products within your shop, and you will always know how much money to expect to make.

The Buy It Now format simply cuts out the guesswork and allows you to set targets and steadily build your income for long-term success so if you haven’t tried it yet, have a go and see the difference and prepare yourself for a busy time.

As always I wish you the best of success,