Recently Obtained Top Rated Plus Status On eBay...Need Some Advice

8 replies
  • ECOMMERCE
  • |
Howdy warriors,

So here's the story...

About 8 months ago I co-launched a high end clothing business on ebay (HighEndThrift.com)

I'm pleased to announce that with 500+ sales we are still 100% positive and on Easter sunday we obtained the coveted Top Rated Plus status. Our mantra is, and will continue to be, "Underpromise and Overdeliver!"

From this point forward my partner and I would really like to start scaling things up. By scale up I mean start consistently doing $1000+ in sales every single week.

Being that the warriorforum.com is home to many thousands of ecommerce geniuses I figured posting a thread here would be a great place to start.

Here are some ideas, questions that I have:

1) What are your thoughts on consignment selling?
2) Where can I obtain the best custom designed logo and custom designed template for our store front?
3) Are there any kind of cross selling, up selling platforms available to ebay sellers?
4) Should I focus on just selling clothing items or diversify into other things?
5) Is opening up an Amazon store worth pursuing?

I'm of course open to any advice generally.

Thanks in advance warriors for your advice on this topic!
#advice #ebayneed #obtained #rated #recently #status #top
  • Profile picture of the author rozzski999
    [DELETED]
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9157202].message }}
    • How long have you been on ebay??
      Signature
      "The successful man is the one who finds out what is the matter with his business before his competitors do"
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9157225].message }}
  • 1) What are your thoughts on consignment selling?
    It's a fine way to sell on eBay, I'm certainly not against it. Some things to consider, though. Always make sure you're selling items at the true market worth of the item - and the format that yields that price. I've seen too many people follow the mantra - 'lower price increases turnover' when it's actually 'higher rank increases turnover.' Make sure you know the market before you list the item and you'll be fine.

    In addition, when you do consignment selling, you have to negotiate the consignment percentage before you actually sell the product - and knowing the MARKET WORTH of the item BEFORE YOU SELL IT make it a fair deal for all parities. That is what makes eBay a very good platform for this.

    2) Where can I obtain the best custom designed logo and custom designed template for our store front?

    Hands-down, Fiverr.com

    3) Are there any kind of cross selling, up selling platforms available to ebay sellers?
    Yes, there are a couple of things you can do.

    A) - Spin the listings if you have multiple items to sell. Not in a duplicate manner, but spin them to push out your competition and have your customers do 'window shopping' without them knowing you're the same person. Increase your footprint on eBay with this simple method. You can do this with Turbo Lister 2.

    B) Other ways of doing this is to use Auctiva - they have a good cross-promotional widget.

    In addition - and not a lot of people do this, is you can integrate all Paypal transactions into a mailing list such as aWeber. that way, you can build a list and bring your customers to your store over and over again. Many people will cite the eBay rule that you cannot promote off-eBay sales or acquire customers on eBay for this purpose, which is true, but the loophole (and they cannot and do not dispute this) is tying in your PAYPAL transactions into an opt-in list service.

    4) Should I focus on just selling clothing items or diversify into other things?

    That's up to you. You can follow your cash cow and/or diversify. Follow the numbers, always.

    5) Is opening up an Amazon store worth pursuing? Of course it is, but they do not have the research tools available to predict a market before selling. So you're taking a risk there.

    -Auction Debt Eliminator.
    Signature
    Famous for my '$1000 dollar challenge,' I've been teaching people how to DOMINATE on eBay for YEARS. Sell 100% of your items FOR A PROFIT. Rank higher, sell faster, sell more, and DESTROY your competition with a data-based approach. Quit listening to Guru's-in-training! Click now below!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9157337].message }}
    • Thanks for the info I appreciate it!
      Signature
      "The successful man is the one who finds out what is the matter with his business before his competitors do"
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9158174].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author evie74
    Congratulations, that's great! eBay is a great place to cross sell products. You have so many tools that can help you to do competition analysis and then even furthermore help cross sell products. If you need more information on eBay cross selling, avail your free handbok on eBay store optimization from Commerce Monks featuring eBay listing best practices, cross selling tips, understanding of BEST MATCH algorithm and more. eBay Optimization Handbook | Easy Tricks and Tips
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9170337].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Monsterd
    1) What are your thoughts on consignment selling?

    Don't do it unless it's your core business and you've got an existing or killer idea to get it going. eBay drop off store franchises were a huge BUST in the 90's and early 2000's. While this is "different", the theory remains the same. The overhead to acquire a consignment client and funnel his product through the entire sales life cycle and make a FRACTION of the cut isn't worth it (in MOST all cases). Secondly, today's generation of youth know how to post something on eBay when they're 12 years old (and on craigslist etc).

    2) Where can I obtain the best custom designed logo and custom designed template for our store front?

    Do something SIMPLE yet effective. eBay listings appearing as a storefront these days are diminishing and sellers are really pushing to convert the sale for the item they're looking at more than they're trying to convert to check out the rest of their store.

    I did some consulting for a client last year and as a side bet, I put his eBay template (that was boss) up against one I created in a few hours. We posted same items, on same user name at same times for a few different product. The results were about equal.

    You just need to have the basics down. Some sort of template that includes the most important aspects of PRODUCT and your TERMS AND CONDITIONS.

    3) Are there any kind of cross selling, up selling platforms available to ebay sellers?

    Yea, but not on eBay. (That are worth it)

    Include an insert in your sales to convert to your website and use their paypal email address to opt-in to e-mail marketing.

    4) Should I focus on just selling clothing items or diversify into other things?

    Is the bucket of selling clothes drying up and having diminishing returns on your effort? If so, sure branch out and try some other stuff out.

    My favorite saying, "Stop trying to get more juice out of this orange and go get another orange"

    5) Is opening up an Amazon store worth pursuing?

    Yes. (Although I'm not too familiar with clothes on Amazon). I know if they're used and what not, they're really picky about that stuff.

    Where it does make sense is if your back-end system/inventory management can EASILY prompt to other marketplaces. Since you have a site, maybe you can.

    When going down multi-channel, you have to have a system in place if you want to serious about it. Your going to post X product on eBay AND Amazon AND website at the same time. If sells on eBay, do you have a system that removes/gives priority/ships orders all from one centralized system?

    I'll tell you what, I did consulting for another large 50MIL/year client last year for their ecommerce and I used M2E Pro (a Magento extension) and it's BAD ASS ...oh yea and FREE. It takes time to setup but for those who aren't in the ecomm space like I am...Magento = Cadillac of ecommerce engines and M2E Pro is the Cadillac of multi-channel selling (with focus on eBay).

    I'm of course open to any advice generally.

    6) I went to your website and googled to find your eBay store.

    - Website Design - Looks good.

    - I went to a product and the product page looks good also.

    BUT, it says "Make Offer" ....My initial thought is I don't want to offer a price and wait to know if I win for something like a paid of jeans. It's almost a commodity. Have you ever walked into Walmart and they said bid on a load of bread and a gallon of milk?

    - I like the picture format on the website. Implement that on the eBay listing page....seeing ALL the thumbnails.

    - The eBay template isn't bad, but I would sync it with your brand style on your website and rework the colors. You don't need a more fancy template. If anything, I would make the listing page specific to the PRODUCT, where now 3/4ths of the listing page is TERMS/CONDITIONS. Burry these in the other sections eBay has an input for them rather than on the product page. Product = Product Info.

    - I went to your SOLD listings and saw most of your PAST listings (over half) were in Mens Clothing>Sports Jackets/Coats

    So I did some research on eBay to find the top sellers on eBay selling mens coats.

    The top 20 are listed in this file with the sales numbers for the past 30 days....

    #1 frieschskys $37,740
    #2 topshelfapparel $27,629
    #3 shiny-deals $21,240
    #4 allthewayup188 $19,759
    #5 exquisite_finds $10,995
    #6 vip_couture $10,434
    #7 shoppersshop2014 $9,061
    #8 sartoriale $9,030
    #9 134241162 $8,981
    #10 madmensuits $8,878
    #11 kabirkhan63 $7,721
    #12 anniesuniqueaccessories $6,622
    #14 xiefei02 $6,229
    #15 cai.hongxiaoqiao $5,985
    #16 sartorial-shop $5,595
    #17 84421044 $5,473
    #18 luxurypalace777 $5,343
    #19 kismizi $5,273
    #20 iwearlux $5,124

    Look at their eBay stores and listing pages and get some ideas of what works...looking at the top sellers (in regards to GROSS SALES) is a good way to see what others are doing that get lots of sales.

    - NOW THE BIGGEST OF THEM ALL

    I see you charge shipping. Please, just take my advice and offer FREE SHIPPING on all items. It doesn't mean your going to give it to them for free. Just add it to the buy it now price.

    For two main reasons:
    1) A top rated sellers account has to be ELIGIBLE to receive the benefits of top rated seller but EACH LISTING must qualify for the benefit.

    The REQUIREMENTS
    - FREE SHIPPING
    - Returns Policy (you have)
    - Offer an expedited shipping service (you have)

    Brother, your missing SO MUCH from this. eBay will display your item VASTLY more (in perspective) than items that do not have free shipping. Shipping costs are so the 90's. No one wants to add $10.20 + 9.50 shipping.

    Not to mention you get like a 20% discount on your fees. More search exposure = more sales and lower fees.

    BUT I have a feeling that you're not offering it out because your starting your listings a penny and if they don't get high enough you'll have a loss...

    My advice would be to A/B test similar items in a BIN vs this auction style you have now.

    I did research for you again ..... about 60% of these listings in mens clothings>coats are Buy It Now. Of these 60%, they have a higher ASP by 18%. Questionable would be the speed to turnover. ...

    TEST TEST TEST....

    If you're just doing auctions (which from what I see, mostly you are) then you need to have a reason to be going against the grain from the data of 60% BIN and a higher ASP.

    ME PERSONALLY, If I need a jacket to buy, I'm planning on going to an event and it's coming up shortly (If im going to eBay to buy it). I really don't want to wait around 2,5,7,10 days for a $30 jacket. My time (and most other peoples) is worth more than waiting around to see if they win the jacket. What if they lose the bid? Shit, guess I gotta go find another and bid on it or go local to Men's Warehouse and pay more.

    - I don't see (clearly) anywhere, including the condition description that specifies that the article of clothing is CLEAN or has been CLEANED. More of a "use" condition scale. I want to know my jacket doesn't stink, smell or have cat hair all over it.

    - After I went through 5-6 of your listings, all 5-6 had a different product template used from Auctiva. Stick to one if possible. I questioned if I was on the same sellers page a few times.

    - International Shipping - Nice you offer it! I'm sure sales are crazy with it, but it's a good way to add some sales.

    It looks like you handle your OWN international shipping. I'm not saying NOT to but CONSIDER eBay's new international shipping fulfillment. This is where you just click YES I'll ship internationally and eBay handles EVERYTHING. If you listed your item at $10 and free shipping, eBay is going to display international rates to an international buyer based on their rates (which by far, are better than 95% of others including their mark up as a business).

    When the item sells, you ship it to eBay here in the USA and they take care of it from their AND the liability is off your hands once it's reached the USA center. They handle returns etc.

    A/B test this!!!!! It could be HUGE.

    - If you sell SHOES, cross promote SOCKS

    Ok so that's enough for now..... To answer the question if you should get into other "stuff", I would say NO, you need to squeeze this orange for more juice until some of these items (or all ) are taken care of to minimize leakage and make whatever line of business that comes next more lean and profitable.

    I spent like an hour on this post ....if it helped, please thank.

    BTW, these items listed above are what I see with a lot of sellers.

    _________________________

    Last thought

    I liked the few listings where you had someone IN the jacket. The last thing I'm worrying about when I buy a jacket is if it's going to FIT regardless if I know my size. If I see it on someone, I can size myself up to them and know....

    Invest in these inputs and the results will shop....

    Did I mention offer free shipping and make sure you're qualifying for Top Rated Seller AND listing your items with the requirements to take advantage of top rated seller benefits????
    Signature

    Godlike eBay experience, talent and success.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9423563].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Monsterd
    Just to be clear....just because you've qualified for top rated seller, doesn't mean you're getting the benefits. That was a few years ago.

    Your account qualifies but then INDIVIDUAL listings must also meet the criteria. If the listings don't meet the criteria, it's very close (if not identical) to NOT having qualified top rated seller status.

    Your dashboard might show a 20% discount (or increased search exposure) but when you go and look at the bill, you won't see a 20% discount for listing line items that didn't have free shipping, expedited shipping option and a returns policy.

    If have questions, just ask.
    Signature

    Godlike eBay experience, talent and success.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9423578].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author jumbo1
    Monsterd <=== this guy deserves a big THANKS
    Absolutely useful post
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9428876].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author jkgultimate
    Amazon has WAY more buyers and less sellers than eBay.

    It's a bigger learning curve selling on Amazon because you have to learn
    how to rank items and you need to purchase UPC codes.

    See if similar products are selling on Amazon and check out the number of
    reviews it has. If it has a high review count means it's selling well.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9429120].message }}

Trending Topics