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Fifty Things I Learned at the 2015 eBay Radio Party

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Last Edited 11:28:28 AM by News Team

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Well, I now have an eBay Radio Party and Conference under my belt. This year it took place in the inferno that is Las Vegas in June (110 degrees every day—no joke). But it was worth it. Hundreds of us chilled in the Platinum Ballroom at Bally’s, soaking up three days of actionable advice for improving our eBay selling game.

 

The breakout star of the event was social selling. In fact, the entire first day was dedicated to using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram to sell more—and sell more efficiently. We heard from eBay selling experts like Marsha Collier, Stephanie Inge, Kat Simpson, and John Lawson, as well as legal eagle Cliff Ennico, and Pinterest’s Joel Meek

 

The other two days were packed with tips on sourcing from The Queen of Auctions, Lynn Dralle, and the stars of Thrifting with the Boys, Bryan and Jason. We also heard from eBay education specialist Katherine Terrill on merchandising like a big time retailer, and the founder of powersellingmom.com, Danna Crawford, on something we all probably need to work on: Time management.

 

It was an intense three days, and while I could easily rattle off more than a hundred things that I took away from the event, I’ve pared it down to fifty tidbits:

 

Social Media

  1. Don’t use your personal social media accounts for your business. Create new business accounts, and make your name and brand consistent across all accounts.
  2. 80% of your social media business presence should add value with content/storytelling, and only 20% of it should be selling.
  3. Don’t spam your followers every time you list something new. It’s the best way to lose friends and potential customers.
  4. Videos do well on Facebook and animated GIFs are best for Pinterest.
  5. Open a Pinterest business account. There are 70 million users in the US, 33% of which are Millennials, and 48% of which are women 18-54. And, the average pin is repined 11 times. This is prime selling real estate.
  6. Make videos for your listings, and use The YouTube Code Converter for eBay to insert YouTube videos into your listings.
  7. Be sparing with #hashtags—one or two per post, and use the Google Adwords Keyword Planner to determine the best words to tag.
  8. Incorporate brick and mortar retail jargon into your social posts (and listings), like “Here’s this summer’s ‘it’ dress,” and “This is on the ‘2015 Most-Wanted’ list for Back to School.”
  9. Be consistent with your social media posts. For example, aim for two tweets, and two Facebook posts daily.
  10. Use Hootsuite to monitor your Twitter feeds, keep track of mentions and retweets, and to schedule posts. Use Simply Measured to understand your audience, and use ‪Klout to gauge their influence.

Sourcing

  1. Look for charity shops off the beaten path, and make friends with the employees at your local thrift stores.
  2. Don’t pay full price when thrifting. Only go on the days when there’s a special promotion.
  3. Grab up the inordinately large clothing and shoe sizes at garage sales, or second-hand stores. People look to eBay for stuff like this.
  4. Use the IFTT app to get notified when specific items are listed on Craigslist, or other sites.
  5. When you go on vacation, set a goal to source enough to pay for your trip.
  6. Don’t buy anything unless you can make ten times the profit. For example, if you buy something for $1, make sure you can sell it for $10.

Listing, Selling, and Promotions

  1. Don’t put pictures in the body of your description. Keep them in the photo gallery. Because, on mobile devices, 66% of people don’t scroll down that far, and your listing will take longer to load.
  2. Make sure all of your listings are optimized for mobile.
  3. Include a video in your listing if your item lights up, moves, or makes noise.
  4. Use product identifiers whenever possible. They help buyers find your items in search on eBay, and via search engines like Google and Bing. Learn more here.
  5. When Lynn Dralle runs auctions she starts them at the least amount that she’ll take.
  6. Sell internationally, or miss out on millions of sales opportunities.
  7. Use Markdown Manager and Best Offer together for optimal results.
  8. Mark items down as little as 5%. It doesn’t matter, people just love getting any kind of deal.
  9. When Lynn Dralle uses Best Offer, she doubles her price because shoppers often offer half of what she’s asking.
  10. Free shipping increases your average order size. Just add the cost of shipping to your listing price to cover your costs.
  11. You can sometimes get free bubble wrap from mechanics (bumpers come wrapped in it). But, if that fails, Bubblefast has your back.
  12. Use the Fee Calculator to determine fees for individual items. Use the Fee Illustrator to determine if you should subscribe to an eBay Store (if you haven’t already).

Marketing and Merchandising

  1. If you have a Store on eBay, you’re running a small business.
  2. Aim to spend 20-25% of your working hours on marketing.
  3. Make sure you can rattle off an elevator pitch about what you sell. You never know when you’ll run into a sales opportunity.
  4. Customer service is the new marketing, so make sure yours is top-notch—especially if it’s visible in social media.
  5. Notice fashion trends in department stores. Think about what you can learn and apply to your eBay business.
  6. Check window displays for inspiration when it comes to updating your Store billboard, or Featured Items. This space is kind of like your physical storefront. More on that here.

Time Management

  1. Time all of your activities (sourcing, listing, shipping, engaging on social media, etc.), and set limits.
  2. Use an egg timer or the stopwatch on your smartphone, especially when working on social media. Otherwise, it’s way too easy to get distracted.
  3. Set aggressive goals for specific activities, and reward yourself when you achieve them.
  4. Use the eBay app scanner to save time on listing items that are already in the eBay catalog, and use the voice-to-text feature instead of typing.
  5. Get help on Lynda.com, if you need help developing business skills, such as accounting, or marketing.
  6. Try hiring a friend or family member to list or ship items. The going rate seems to be a $1-2 per listing, or a percentage of total sales.
  7. Use a monthly calendar to keep track of important retail opportunities, and your sales goals for the month.

Random Facts

  1. Lee Mirabal, star of eBay Radio, has been in the business for fifty years (she must have started when she was eight?).
  2. eBetsy is a rock star and has the (eBay-colored) hair to prove it.
  3. Sellers love Shark Tank. What’s with that?
  4. Louise S. writes on rice for a hobby. Watch for the full story in an upcoming issue of eBay Sellers Unplugged.
  5. Sally M. built a miniature replica of her selling space complete with bubble wrap. No, really. Check it out.
  6. You can see all of our live tweets from the party on Twitter. Just search #eRP15.
  7. Many sellers we spoke with didn’t know about this blog. What? Be a hero and tell your new seller friends to subscribe here.
  8. Find your eBay “family.” Join or start an eBay Meetup group in your area.
  9. The eBay Radio motto is “If it’s not fun, we ain’t doing it,” and they weren’t kidding. Here’s proof. If you missed this year, we’ll see you in 2016!

We’re you at the party this year (or the year before)? List some of your favorite tidbits in the comments below.