43 replies
I am stupid

Or seriously missing something! I've tried ebay and amazon a kazillion ways with soooo many different items. I will give just five examples but there are MANY more!

Example 1: High end vintage clothing in an Ebay store - I made beautiful product pages with all information for each item. I had gorgeous professionally edited item photos. I would have always 100 to 300 items listed at any given time. Shipping set to only exact cost to ship. I was lucky to profit $50 to $75 per month. Worked at trying to make this happen for nearly two years! 5 to 15 hours per day taking photos, making listings, measuring items, etc.

Example 2: Comic books - I'd acquired nearly 1000 decent mint condition, mostly very collectable comics so decided to see what I could get - Set each one on Ebay auction sale, started bidding at $.99 - great photos, detailed information, etc. Never sold a one. Tried grouping them with as many as 39 in one group, began bidding as low as $6.99. Shipping cost only exact cost to ship. Never got a bid. Tried over several months but was losing about $20-30 per month in listing fees beyond the freebies.

Example 3. Sewing patterns - most brand new never opened. Again, good clear photos and information. Ebay bidding beginning at $.99 or $1.99. Would sell maybe 1 out of 20 for a profit of maybe $10 to $20 per month. Did this one maybe a year.

Example 4. Books on Amazon - most in new or near new condition. Sent in several hundred to Amazon FBA. Could barely get sellable prices over fees cost. Each one that sold I made from $.17 to $1.04 on. I probably actually lost money overall!

Example 5. Sewing patterns via Amazon FBA - Best so far - usually a whopping profit of maybe $100 per month - with about 30 to even 50 hours of prep time put in - thus making roughly, at best, $3.30 per hour on that one. Did this one about a year and a half.

I've also tried handmade wire wrap jewelry (nice enough to have won many awards in fairs and such!), various antique glassware that was my grandmothers, couponing folder sets, and soooo many other odds and ends over time - to usually have zero to very few very low priced sales at all.

Theres got to be better than this???? Is this just the reality of trying to sell things online or am I grossly missing something? I've put so much effort out for so little! If sweat equity = income then I ought to be a multi-millionaire by now!

If anyone can see immediately what on earth is my problem, please please share your thoughts!
#stupid
  • Profile picture of the author aizaku
    dont beat yourself up....

    It seems like you jumped around a lot... here are some questions to help you get some answers..

    What lead you from one idea to the other?

    Did you thoroughly research your market and where they are coming from?

    How does your audience search on Ebay?

    Are comics in high demand, yes, some are. Do you own the ones that ppl are looking for?

    What is the data telling?

    I dont know what type of numbers Ebay lets you see but, how many impressions and clicks do you get for your items?

    Did you test your copy to see which ones get more clicks?

    best of luck
    Ike
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  • I know your pain. Making money online can be very hard at the best of times.

    I've made a very good living online for the past decade. I would say only about 1 in 10 of my affiliate campaigns take off and work.

    What you could try and do is affiliate marketing trying to sell other peoples products until you find something that is working with great profit margins and then zero in on doing your own product in that field.

    Things like Books have had low profit margins for years know. Digital assets such as digital books or having your own books printed on things like making pasterns might do better for you.

    One thing I've learned having gone through several startups with 2 hits and several misses is to first identify if the market is really there. This is one reason I love affiliate marketing so much as it does not take me much time to really test out a product and I can see if there really are people interested and willing to buy.

    Chin up my friend. You have to go through the fire first before you get through the gates.
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  • Profile picture of the author karaoke4sale
    maybe you want to try other models as well bro
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Chicas
    Sewing patterns? Books? Vintage clothing?

    It seems you let your heart get the best of you and went after what you were in love with, without doing any market research whatsoever.

    I know of a "guru" who went into the books niche and with all his money and experience, even he failed.

    And I"m not saying not to go after your passion niche, but you shouldn't make it your main niche. Go into a niche that you can actually make money in, one that you are able to provide a service for people that really need something done right. After you cut your teeth learning the ropes, and have saved up some money to spend... then go after your passion niche.

    Do your extensive homework, do your market research, before you go into ANY niche.

    Not knocking you, just telling you what's up.
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  • Profile picture of the author PLR Basket
    All I see is eBay eBay, Amazon Amazon. Have you ever thought about building your own store?

    Etsy would've been a perfect platform for some of the products you're trying to sell.

    You should've built your own website and sent traffic to it through ppc. Don't drink the eBay kool aid.
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  • Profile picture of the author agmccall
    If you want to learn about selling books, try bookstothefuture.com lots of great info about sourcing books and pricing

    al
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  • Profile picture of the author coxmg
    Don't worry you are not alone in this.... i tried Amazon FBA too, my first product did fine but my second product only sold 5 units out of 300, so now im considering tossing the other 295 in the ocean as useless junk!


    Originally Posted by kissunow View Post

    I am stupid

    Or seriously missing something! I've tried ebay and amazon a kazillion ways with soooo many different items. I will give just five examples but there are MANY more!

    Example 1: High end vintage clothing in an Ebay store - I made beautiful product pages with all information for each item. I had gorgeous professionally edited item photos. I would have always 100 to 300 items listed at any given time. Shipping set to only exact cost to ship. I was lucky to profit $50 to $75 per month. Worked at trying to make this happen for nearly two years! 5 to 15 hours per day taking photos, making listings, measuring items, etc.

    Example 2: Comic books - I'd acquired nearly 1000 decent mint condition, mostly very collectable comics so decided to see what I could get - Set each one on Ebay auction sale, started bidding at $.99 - great photos, detailed information, etc. Never sold a one. Tried grouping them with as many as 39 in one group, began bidding as low as $6.99. Shipping cost only exact cost to ship. Never got a bid. Tried over several months but was losing about $20-30 per month in listing fees beyond the freebies.

    Example 3. Sewing patterns - most brand new never opened. Again, good clear photos and information. Ebay bidding beginning at $.99 or $1.99. Would sell maybe 1 out of 20 for a profit of maybe $10 to $20 per month. Did this one maybe a year.

    Example 4. Books on Amazon - most in new or near new condition. Sent in several hundred to Amazon FBA. Could barely get sellable prices over fees cost. Each one that sold I made from $.17 to $1.04 on. I probably actually lost money overall!

    Example 5. Sewing patterns via Amazon FBA - Best so far - usually a whopping profit of maybe $100 per month - with about 30 to even 50 hours of prep time put in - thus making roughly, at best, $3.30 per hour on that one. Did this one about a year and a half.

    I've also tried handmade wire wrap jewelry (nice enough to have won many awards in fairs and such!), various antique glassware that was my grandmothers, couponing folder sets, and soooo many other odds and ends over time - to usually have zero to very few very low priced sales at all.

    Theres got to be better than this???? Is this just the reality of trying to sell things online or am I grossly missing something? I've put so much effort out for so little! If sweat equity = income then I ought to be a multi-millionaire by now!

    If anyone can see immediately what on earth is my problem, please please share your thoughts!
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    • Profile picture of the author aizaku
      Originally Posted by coxmg View Post

      Don't worry you are not alone in this.... i tried Amazon FBA too, my first product did fine but my second product only sold 5 units out of 300, so now im considering tossing the other 295 in the ocean as useless junk!
      is it small and light?

      dont toss it and use it as a lead magnet.. just tell them they have to pay for shipping and handling... its a great way to grow your list...

      and when you ship it you can add a postcard or something, another way to market to them.
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  • Profile picture of the author coxmg
    yep its a piece of metla like a metal scooper
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  • Profile picture of the author EPoltrack77
    Your first mistake is thinking and talking the way you are. Your not stupid. You just have not learned it yet. Keep at it
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  • Profile picture of the author DWaters
    When I first started selling on Amazon I quickly noticed that the market for most books is over-satirated with low prices. Only a few books will sell well on Amazon for an FBA seller.


    I use camelcamelcamel for selling history research. It makes it easy to see how often an item sells and for what price. This often can be used to project into the future so you know when an item in your inventory will sell and how much you can ask.


    As for the idea of just selling from your own site I would ask you this question - which site will have more buyer traffic? ...... your site or Amazon?
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  • Profile picture of the author ramblinman
    I took a while to start getting sales on Ebay and yes the profits are still low, but after two years I tend to turnover an average of $1,000 per month, less than a year ago I was at $300 per month average, it is slowly but surely growing. If you are selling on those sites you need to sell items specific to your chosen niche, for example if you sell cleaning items then your shop needs to be all about cleaning stuff and related to that, or all comics and comics related or all movie merch stuff, or all buttons...and so on. Jumping from one thing to the next (unless you are selling as a private seller?) does not help. It takes time to build up especially on those sites due to the huge competition and it also takes research to see what is already selling and at what price points. One thing I can say is on Ebay and Amazon you will sell if you have a large inventory. The more items you have for sale the more you are going to get noticed by customers. Small and unique, is still small and not easily noticed there, however everything I put on sells eventually, just takes time.
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  • Profile picture of the author searchnology
    I agree with others...that's a lot of bouncing around with different types of products.
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  • Profile picture of the author searchnology
    1) First you have to find in-demand products. I'm not sure about your product selections but if there is demand I imagine it is small 2) You have to find where your target market hangs out online. Search engines, social, forums, etc. and then plan on advertising there. 3) You have to have products that have margins high enough to pay for traffic efforts. The avg ecommerce conversion rate is around 1-2% so you can't buy traffic if your margins are like $10 per sale...the ROI doesn't make sense because traffic isn't super cheap.
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  • Profile picture of the author RefuseToLose
    You're in the wrong niches if you actually want to make money.

    You need to sell products that cover any of the, what my favorite book calls...

    The Life Force 8:

    1) Survival, enjoyment of life, life extension.
    2) Enjoyment of food and beverages.
    3) Freedom from fear, pain, and danger.
    4) Sexual companionship.
    5) Comfortable living conditions.
    6) To be superior, winning, keeping up with the Jones.
    7) Care and protection of loved ones.
    8) Social approval.

    Unless you want to work like a slave selling low margin products for the rest of your life, you need to rethink the products you are selling and go for something people want RIGHT NOW.

    In fact I'd say ditch the whole ebay, amazon scene and create your own website and sell higher margin products on it. You seem to have the skill set of creating a good store front already. Now take that skill and apply it to a website with a real product people want immediately and you will be golden.
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    • Profile picture of the author Sitestomp
      Originally Posted by RefuseToLose View Post

      The Life Force 8:

      1) Survival, enjoyment of life, life extension.
      2) Enjoyment of food and beverages.
      3) Freedom from fear, pain, and danger.
      4) Sexual companionship.
      5) Comfortable living conditions.
      6) To be superior, winning, keeping up with the Jones.
      7) Care and protection of loved ones.
      8) Social approval.
      This is 100% spot on. You need to find a recession proof niche. Something people will always want. Luxury items are nice, but they are just that - luxury items. You need to cater to people's basic needs, wants, and fears.

      The 3 main recession proof categories that will never go out of style and will always be in demand no matter how bad the economy gets: food, alcohol, and sex.

      The ones that RefuseToLose listed above are a great place to start looking for a new niche. Then, pour your energy into that.
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  • Profile picture of the author ksurivan
    You're doing it all wrong if you only profit $50 - $75 per month! You cannot live off that income. I've been selling on eBay since 2004, and i'll tell you this. It's the products you are selling that isn't in high demand. Sell something people really want to buy. Do proper market research by checking the completed listings. Check to see how much you can buy the products for and how much is estimate net profits. When you are out sourcing, always check your product demands on eBay before buying to resell. You make money when you BUY the right products at cheap prices.

    Your eBay product listing doesn't have to be beautiful, or professionally done. Keep things simple with good descriptions and some photos.
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  • Profile picture of the author skymann
    You must sell into demand.
    Do your market research before you decide what to sell, then you will have some certainty of success.

    NEVER GIVE UP
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    • Profile picture of the author discrat
      Originally Posted by skymann View Post

      You must sell into demand.
      Do your market research before you decide what to sell, then you will have some certainty of success.

      NEVER GIVE UP
      Except when you should :>)
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    Sewing patterns via Amazon FBA - Best so far
    The first items I ever sold on Ebay were sewing supplies.

    My mother was an avid seamstress her entire life. After her death, there were two rooms in her house literally filled with sewing supplies.

    The patterns sold pretty well in packs of 20, but the best selling, money-maker was fake fur. I sold boxes and boxes of fake fur. Sewing is still alive and well and I think you can find a way to profit from it more than you have so far.

    Based solely on your OP, I feel you have a much better chance for success than most.
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  • Profile picture of the author shaunybb
    Hey there,


    I admire your work ethic and passion but I think your trying to do to much at once!


    In this game if you want to make a lot of money you need to:


    • Focus on one thing at once
    • master that and then have a blueprint
    • Learn how to scale
    Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    I bet OP could have salvaged the sewing pattern niche.

    Probably didn't...
    • Track and narrow down to the top selling patterns.
    • Generate traffic outside of ebay/amazon.
    • Follow up with existing buyers and sell more patterns.

    [edit]

    BTW, you should have tested a $5 price for each pattern.
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    Hi
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  • Profile picture of the author reachintan
    Nowadays it has become tough to make money online with cutthroat competition in place. I advise you to go through the article that will help you start a new innings altogether.
    Make Money Blogging
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    Chintan Mehta

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  • Profile picture of the author THK
    I don't think your niche choice is that bad. Between the sewing pattern and vintage clothing there are on average 2million searches per month. I am sure people are buying those products.

    Surprised that you couldn't sell anything in the clothing niche. Ebay has more than 100k listings. I was going through the "sold listings" and gave up on page 10. At least 500 related products were sold just today.

    Can it be the products you are picking? Maybe they are not appealing to the customers.

    Can it be the price point? Maybe you are too high.

    Are you not getting the eyeballs?

    Are you being objective enough when you are saying "good listing", "good pictures"etc.? Maybe you should show it to someone else (not your loved ones). I doubt your listing is the problem though. I have seen people selling with average listings a lot.

    If you already moved on , ignore the comment and dig deep into the other niches.

    All the best. I think you will make it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex July
    Don't blame yourself, kissunow!
    Don't you see that you succed at anything you do?
    What you lack is focus, persistance and motivation and self-discipline.
    Read "The One Thing" by Gary Keller.
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  • Profile picture of the author Importexport
    I am not an online marketer, but I do know the appeal of the word FREE.

    Maybe you should try offering free postage.

    Walter Hay
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  • Profile picture of the author Nico Puegher
    You are getting overwhelmed and thinking only at results, that's exactly why you are not getting results.

    Also, you are trying so many different things, pick one and focus 100% on that, even if it doesn't work, get better and better and keep trying. If you change week by week, failure will be the only result.

    You can do this mate!
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  • Profile picture of the author BacklinkzTopper
    No you are not. Its just that you did so many thing with little experience which ended in failure. its better to focus on one thing rather than too many.
    Good Luck!!!
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  • Profile picture of the author Peter Bright
    Kissunow!

    You should be proud of yourself, you are NOT stupid nor are you a failure, you have found a kazillion ways not to sell on Ebay & Amazon. There's a lot of good advice and encouragement from fellow posters on here, have a read through the posts and FOCUS on one or two products / strategies. You are doing the most important activity - which is Taking Action.

    Wel Done You!
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    PAY IT FORWARD

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  • Try to keep going and not give up. The story of successful people often involves many failures along the way, even for a long time - that's normal.

    Personally, I have found that it's more or less impossible to make any money with both eBay and Amazon, so I dropped them. Move on as they say...

    Also, the items you mentioned (
    except perhaps for high end clothing) appear to be only worth - what - pennies or at most a few dollars per sale? If you're going to put in time and energy and resources, try to find promotions which can compensate you in ways that can help and change your life. I started out spending valuable time on low compensation stuff too, and it can be a dead end, especially if there are no recurring/repeat commissions as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author 3bagsfull
    I am not sure that your items are on the right sites -

    I would put vintage clothing on Etsy and put pictures on instagram, tumblr and pinterest

    I would also do this for the patterns.

    I think you aren't going where the customers are. Instagram has a huge vintage community that buys and sells to one another. And Tumblr has a huge number of people that share photos with links to vintage clothing they love and want to wear.

    Pinterest has a whole vintage clothing and housewares community.

    Don't believe me? Go to Instagram and type in #pyrex. I would be shocked if your mind wasn't blown. I would stay off amazon and ebay and go to where the customers and the money are for those types of niche products.
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  • Profile picture of the author LindyUK
    Hello kissunow

    I am going to tell you a story, sorry if it's a bit long.

    I started in IM nearly 14 years ago, trying to sell ebooks on eBay. I started with bout 6 ebooks, all directed towards Guys, on subjects like: How To Get A Girlfriend, relationships, sex an so on. Didn't sell a single ebook in my first 3 months so then listed the IM books that I had bought with resell rights. I made exactly US$104 profit from my whole first year, that obviously wasn't very many sales for my efforts, I was putting in at least 2 hours a night trying to learn IM.

    I used to like going into the MSN chat rooms, chatting up the Guys lol. One night I met John, we started talking an I found out he was from Australia an had been involved with IM Business's for 5 years. He was making a fulltime income from them, around US$75,000 a year which I viewed as a fortune then. I asked him if he would mentor me, but he said no. He said he didn't mind having a chat every now an then but he didn't have time to mentor me.

    Well, I'm not one to give up, every time we had a chat I would ask him, and he would say no, no, no. But I wore him down to where he eventually said yes.

    He started his mentoring by looking at what I was doing in ebay. I had bout 20 ebooks by then, most on Internet Marketing, a few recipe books and the 6 on relationships, like how to get a girlfriend. I had never sold a copy of any of the relationship books, he decided to use those for my first lesson.

    He choose the How To Get A Girlfriend book as the first exercise.

    He said, ok there are thousands of different books in ebay on thousands of different subjects. An thousands of people looking for books too, but how many might be looking for a book on how to get girlfriends, or even know one exists an listed in ebay?

    Next he said, but what if you stopped every young Guy you saw in the streets in London and asked them if they were looking for a girlfriend, an if they said yes, you then said, well go into that Hall (Building) and I'll come in an tell you how you can get a girlfriend.

    So now he said, well we have hundreds of Guys in there now who we know want to get a girlfriend. (a targeted audience) and you're the only girl in there, up on the stage in front of them, so you know their attention is going to be all on you and what your going to tell them. (a captive audience)

    So then he said, do you now think you could sell your ebook to some of them? My answer was yes, but how could I do that in real life?

    He said you build a Website, that's your Hall. And you attract single Guys to it. He also told me way back then that I needed to find other ebooks or products to sell on my website, to increase my chances of a sale from every visit to my site.

    I won't go on with the story other than that he helped me build a website then attract my target market of Guys via MySpace. I sold bout 36 relationship ebooks in the first month an by the end of my second year had a thriving website.

    Now, if you get the gist of my story it is about targeting your audience. Three of the product lines you are trying to sell are really for women - Sewing Patterns, Vintage Clothing, Jewellery. So without having to do what I did in creating a targeted list of Guys an building a website, where can you already find large Groups of women?

    My first answer would be in Pinterest, it has over 70 million users with bout 81% of them being women.

    My second answer would be Facebook Groups for women, you might find Groups with interest in those specific subjects. If you are a member of a Group you can post your Ads for free.

    With your comics, your target market there is likely Guys, search to see if you can find either FB Groups or other Forums relating to collecting comics.

    Ebay an Amazon are great for selling but not for specific niche markets. You go to where your target market is, or you attract your target market to your specific website. In your case go to already established sites where you have a high percentage of women, like Pinterest.

    To end my story, John started as my Mentor and eventually became my adopted Dad. In the years since we have built one of the largest privately owned group of IM Companies in the world, over US$20 million a year turnover and 65 full time employees. A bit different from my first year profit of US$104. We are mainly involved in the Offline market now as well as some Affiliate marketing, but our growth is based on the above - Go to where your target market is or bring your target market to you. Hope my story an advice helps you.

    Cheers
    Lindy
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  • Profile picture of the author imperets
    Ebay was the beginning of my "IM" career before I realised that it was much more efficient to sell digital products instead; I honestly hated dealing with packing and shipping things. But anyway, my eBay business was indeed profitable (albeit time consuming) so I can share what I did and why I think it worked.

    I sold vintage analogue synthesizers which I acquired locally (primarily on Craigslist). These were fairly expensive items to buy and the profit was anywhere from 15% to 30%. Typically from one sale I could get $100 - $500 of profit. Why I think it was profitable:

    - I sold rare, highly sought after items with a very limited supply.
    - I was a true expert in my niche having used a number of vintage analogue synthesizers myself.
    - I took advantage of my local market, the city of Chicago, which had a high number of people willing to sell the product at an acceptable price.
    - If the price was too high, I negotiated it until it became reasonable to buy the item.
    - Since my items were expensive, I only had to sell a few per month, keeping the amount of time spent on packing and shipping low.
    - I made a deal with a local music instrument repairman to have items repaired at a low price. That way I could buy broken synthesizers, have them repaired inexpensively and resell them on eBay at a profit.
    - I used a high quality camera and a lighting kit to photograph my items.
    - I provided exhaustive information on the state of the item in the copy and linked to the article that reviewed the item.
    - I sold globally and charged extra for shipping abroad.

    So my advice is this:
    1. Find rare, hard to find, and expensive items on your local market
    2. Check their value by using eBay's *completed* listings (not any other kind of listing - this is important)
    3. Make an offer to the local seller ensuring at least 20% resale profit on eBay. Use the average selling price of completed listings to calculate that number.
    4. List the item with high quality photos and copy.

    Again, I think it's much more relaxing to sell digital items, but if you must use eBay I hope my advice was helpful.
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  • Profile picture of the author wrcato2
    I know others have said this in theire threads, but you do seem to have a lot of interest. A Jack of all trades and master of none.
    What interest you the most of all the niches you have tried and failed at?
    Are you organized?

    These are the two toughest questions to ask yourself and to actually do. I have sold books on Amazon, Half, Abe, and I scout as often as I can. The thing about books is that you need to find old near mint and in a niche that interest you. MIne is advertising, and I don't send my books to FBA. I do it all my self. Now if I was making a tone of money selling books I still wouldn't do it.

    I like having control of my inventory and I save on the fee's.

    A really good book to read is "Garage Sale Millionaire," you can get on Kindle or as a real book. That would be a good start. If you already have it read it again, because you missed some important stuff. That book isn't just about Garage sales, as much as it is about discovering a niche you will love.
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  • Profile picture of the author T S Chan
    Try to run a search on ebay "completed listings" to find out whether your customers are buying the type of products that you're currently selling.

    - If yes, what is the highest price they're paying?
    - if no, you need to sell something else.
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  • Profile picture of the author james flynn
    Looks like you're determined and have a courage to succeed. Apparently, what I can sense is that you have a lot in your plate and you need to slow down on the progress and find out where you're lacking.May be just sticking with amazon might not turn the trick for you right away and you need to diversify your marketing tactics.The first thing you should do is to start promoting your products on pinterest. Get the best product from the inventory and pin the image in pinterest.Spice it up with some fancy keywords so that customers finally feel inclined to click on the image.
    Apart from that may be you should change your inventory a little bit away from clothing products and try looking for something which is trending on Amazon.You can look for that on camelcamel as well to find the rank of each product trending on Amazon.

    Cheers-James
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  • Profile picture of the author chetanlegend
    Better to analyze other sellers like you or those which is performing best in your knowledge. Then see at yours posting, then prepare the analysis report and work on it. Also analyze the data very carefully because after this step you have to continuously analyzing, definitely you'll get idea how to improve it.
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  • Profile picture of the author apollo gabriel
    I believe you are not alone in having issue doing business online, that doesn't see the equality of ROI to

    their hardwork and effort, it is really true that doing business marketing is really hard and tough for

    someone, I guess you will be lucky if you see your effort in less than 3 months, it takes time to pick up

    in the market.
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  • Profile picture of the author imnathanjames
    You may have already tried this but just incase.....Etsy?
    If you wanted to carry on selling the clothing and jewellry.
    Etsy does really well at this, it pulls a huge market for ...well, anything really.
    You can even buy metal suits of Armour, all hand made.

    It sounds like your gonna be successful, you try and don't give up easily.
    How many people can honestly say they put the hours and years in like you have.

    Maybe set up your own store through shopify and when that's all locked and loaded just concentrate on sending traffic.
    What ever you choose, Good luck.
    Signature

    My mission to escape the factory grind http://imnathanjames.com

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  • Profile picture of the author mcbeauty
    As this was posted a year ago you have probably moved on and hopefully are succeeding now, but just for anyone else interested I have been selling on ebay and Amazon for over 10 years and the absolute number one mistake that people make is not researching WHAT ACTUALLY SELLS.

    Sure, take a field that interests you but don't then try and sell items to that audience that they don't buy.

    For example I used to sell wedding decorations. Why? I was looking for a a new category of items to sell and randomly browsed through categories on ebay and found that that category sells a LOT of items. So I picked one that sold a lot, there were a good number of sellers but each of them were selling a good deal, it was small and light and that I could buy from sellers on Alibaba at a price good enough to make a profit. It cost me £300 (I'm in the UK) to get started (and actually I could have made a minimum order of about £200).

    It was fairly successful right from the start. I have only ever done my Amazon and ebay businesses very part time as have kids and other commitments (basically a work from home mum but with limited time due to other factors) so I have never gotten into the big bucks but at a peak could earn £300 a week doing about 10 hours work which wasn't bad.

    The particular things I was selling now have a lot more competition in the last couple of years so have wound that down and now just doing some retail arbitrage while I get started in a different field (just now learning to build wordpress sites so can build some static niche sites with affiliate links in some low competition, but look like could be profitable, we'll see!) Also have some other ideas related to that.

    I was going to go straight into getting my own products made for Amazon FBA (I already sell branded products FBA and a couple of my own but sort of generic ones) but as the items I was looking at that I think I could make a go of and sell well require a good deal of capital to get started I thought I'd see if I could set up another couple of income streams along with the bit of retail arbitrage to get that capital together without having to borrow and have always wanted to learn to build nice-looking websites and learn some proper coding eventually too.

    Anyway, that was very long and rambling but the basic point was when selling on ebay and Amazon FIND OUT WHAT SELLS FIRST!
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    • Profile picture of the author Importexport
      Originally Posted by mcbeauty View Post

      As this was posted a year ago you have probably moved on and hopefully are succeeding now, but just for anyone else interested I have been selling on ebay and Amazon for over 10 years and the absolute number one mistake that people make is not researching WHAT ACTUALLY SELLS.

      Sure, take a field that interests you but don't then try and sell items to that audience that they don't buy.

      For example I used to sell wedding decorations. Why? I was looking for a a new category of items to sell and randomly browsed through categories on ebay and found that that category sells a LOT of items. So I picked one that sold a lot, there were a good number of sellers but each of them were selling a good deal, it was small and light and that I could buy from sellers on Alibaba at a price good enough to make a profit. It cost me £300 (I'm in the UK) to get started (and actually I could have made a minimum order of about £200).

      It was fairly successful right from the start. I have only ever done my Amazon and ebay businesses very part time as have kids and other commitments (basically a work from home mum but with limited time due to other factors) so I have never gotten into the big bucks but at a peak could earn £300 a week doing about 10 hours work which wasn't bad.

      The particular things I was selling now have a lot more competition in the last couple of years so have wound that down and now just doing some retail arbitrage while I get started in a different field (just now learning to build wordpress sites so can build some static niche sites with affiliate links in some low competition, but look like could be profitable, we'll see!) Also have some other ideas related to that.

      I was going to go straight into getting my own products made for Amazon FBA (I already sell branded products FBA and a couple of my own but sort of generic ones) but as the items I was looking at that I think I could make a go of and sell well require a good deal of capital to get started I thought I'd see if I could set up another couple of income streams along with the bit of retail arbitrage to get that capital together without having to borrow and have always wanted to learn to build nice-looking websites and learn some proper coding eventually too.

      Anyway, that was very long and rambling but the basic point was when selling on ebay and Amazon FIND OUT WHAT SELLS FIRST!
      Your experience could be helpful to a lot of people provided they are willing to work as hard as you have.

      Your concern about the need for a lot of capital to get started in selling your own products needs some thought.

      I have taught hundreds of people how to source small quantities from genuine manufacturers in China and other countries without needing a lot of capital. Some have built very profitable businesses starting off with as little as $300.

      A major factor in their success has been finding products with very high profit margins. I'm talking about margins of 300% to 500% in many cases and often a lot more than that. You can buy ex-factory at prices less than 1/10 of retail. Retailers who import direct are making a killing.

      Walter Hay
      Provenchinasourcing
      Signature
      Don't just slap on a label. Build a GREAT BRAND http://powerlabelsforprivatelabelingprofits.com Safe sourcing and easy importing from China & many other countries.https://ko296.isrefer.com/go/pcs001/whay/
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  • Profile picture of the author tagiscom
    Originally Posted by kissunow View Post

    I am stupid

    Or seriously missing something! I've tried ebay and amazon a kazillion ways with soooo many different items. I will give just five examples but there are MANY more!

    Example 1: High end vintage clothing in an Ebay store - I made beautiful product pages with all information for each item. I had gorgeous professionally edited item photos. I would have always 100 to 300 items listed at any given time. Shipping set to only exact cost to ship. I was lucky to profit $50 to $75 per month. Worked at trying to make this happen for nearly two years! 5 to 15 hours per day taking photos, making listings, measuring items, etc.

    Example 2: Comic books - I'd acquired nearly 1000 decent mint condition, mostly very collectable comics so decided to see what I could get - Set each one on Ebay auction sale, started bidding at $.99 - great photos, detailed information, etc. Never sold a one. Tried grouping them with as many as 39 in one group, began bidding as low as $6.99. Shipping cost only exact cost to ship. Never got a bid. Tried over several months but was losing about $20-30 per month in listing fees beyond the freebies.

    Example 3. Sewing patterns - most brand new never opened. Again, good clear photos and information. Ebay bidding beginning at $.99 or $1.99. Would sell maybe 1 out of 20 for a profit of maybe $10 to $20 per month. Did this one maybe a year.

    Example 4. Books on Amazon - most in new or near new condition. Sent in several hundred to Amazon FBA. Could barely get sellable prices over fees cost. Each one that sold I made from $.17 to $1.04 on. I probably actually lost money overall!

    Example 5. Sewing patterns via Amazon FBA - Best so far - usually a whopping profit of maybe $100 per month - with about 30 to even 50 hours of prep time put in - thus making roughly, at best, $3.30 per hour on that one. Did this one about a year and a half.

    I've also tried handmade wire wrap jewelry (nice enough to have won many awards in fairs and such!), various antique glassware that was my grandmothers, couponing folder sets, and soooo many other odds and ends over time - to usually have zero to very few very low priced sales at all.

    Theres got to be better than this???? Is this just the reality of trying to sell things online or am I grossly missing something? I've put so much effort out for so little! If sweat equity = income then I ought to be a multi-millionaire by now!

    If anyone can see immediately what on earth is my problem, please please share your thoughts!
    I hope that newbies read this, great thread!

    I have been in a similar boat. I wanted to do flyers, but could only do 1 per every three days. Or it would take me about 8 years to make a thousand a month.

    Then on the GR forums, some Guru mentioned that he could do one in a day. Most of us though, how, and some thought that he was having us on.

    A while ago l finally figured out how to do one within 2 hours, which finally made making decent money from this a real possibility. And within a year instead of 8 years.

    As l write this, l can do one even faster than 2 hours, but l won't say how fast. Only that they are high end, usually sell well, type flyers, not a background with boring text over it.

    Anyone could do one like that and it probably would never sell.

    But the point is, flyers always sell, and sales do fluctuate, and you need to do 10 to see one sale a month, but seasonal tends to do better.

    Obviously l need to employ someone for more products, instead of just buying more stock, but the potential is there.

    Good luck.

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  • Profile picture of the author MValmont
    It is not for everybody.

    Not everybody can become a scientist for example...

    I suck at science, and therefore I'm not trying to be a scientist.

    I'm good at marketing and selling stuff. I think I'm really good at it compared to others actually, and this is why I'm successful at it.

    Everybody seems to think they can become a top marketer...

    The money is good if you play in the NHL, does that mean everybody could play in the NHL? No

    The money is good for doctors, can everybody become doctors? No

    Same with online marketing.
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