I hope this holiday season finds you doing great! This ezine is coming out a little late due to several things. My brother (my technical guy) was stuck in Florida and I was busy wrapping up my two ecourses with a teleconference Wednesday night. The teleconference went incredibly well and was so much fun! Read more about that later in this edition. Two important things that came up in the teleconference were how to request a user’s information and the rules for selling food on eBay. I will discuss these also.
This e-zine is published every other Tuesday
December 13, 2005 Volume I, Issue 13
- How to request a user’s information
- Selling Food on eBay
How to request a user’s information
During the teleconference one of my students told a story of how she sold an expensive item and the buyer sent a check. One week went by and the check hadn’t arrived so she contacted her bidder several times through the eBay system. He claimed that he never received the emails through eBay (and this does happen sometimes). So she emailed him from her personal email account also. He still claimed to have sent the check and after two weeks she just gave up on him and relisted the item.
Lo and behold, four weeks later, the check did arrive and the buyer had written the incorrect postal code. I have had this happen on numerous occasions. So, I usually give my bidders 4-5 weeks to pay. If they haven’t paid by that time and numerous emails it is a good bet that they are never going to pay.
What I suggested to my student was that she could have requested her high bidder’s user information through the eBay system. By doing this, the bidder would also get an email with all of her contact information (including telephone number) and know that she was serious. Also, a phone call placed before relisting an item, can get the item paid and on its way. For some reason, a personal phone call can get unpaid items paid!
To request a user’s contact information (phone number and address) just click on the Community button at the top of the eBay home page. Then click on the big “find a member” button. On the page that comes up next is a sidebar menu. Under Members click on the “Find Contact Information” hyperlink. It will take you to a screen that looks like this:
You will need to input the user id of the member and the item number that you have an ongoing or recent transaction with. Just keep in mind that both you and your bidder will each receive contact information for one another. This is a great feature and one that I use for special circumstances.
Rules for selling food on eBay
Whenever I do a radio interview, I am invariably asked, “Is there anything you can’t sell on eBay?” Yes! And I want to talk a little bit about what is not allowed and some other areas with strict regulations. We will look at food, alcohol, and plants. eBay does not permit the sale of alcoholic beverages on its U. S. website, except for certain pre-approved sales of wine (see additional information on the site here) and certain sales of collectible containers.
You can sell food on eBay, but the sale of food is regulated by the federal government. Sellers who list food and food-related products should familiarize themselves with these laws before listing such items on eBay. This information can be found here. Finally, some federal, state, and local laws prohibit the sale of certain types of plants or seeds that are considered “exotic” or “noxious” weeds. More on this can be found here.
Let me save you some time. Live animals and live pets are not allowed to be sold on eBay. However, don’t overlook the huge opportunity to market to pet lovers. Pet lovers go nuts for their animals. In fact, if you can believe it, Ferrets have their own lower level category and there were 1182 items listed: things like cages and toys.
Even with all these regulations, there are still a lot of opportunities in the food and gardening categories. Keep in mind that you don’t always have to purchase items to sell on eBay. You can make them or grow them! Many creative eBayers are selling their recipes and home baked goods on eBay. I just saw an auction for 2 lbs. of homemade Italian cookies that sold for $14.00. One of my students in the ecourse has a homemade recipe for Biscotti and she will be selling this on eBay. A terrific idea!
The gardening category is another huge area of opportunity. Who knew that you could grow plants and sell them? An area to really look into is Bonsai growing. These live plants can sell in the $500 range! I have also found that anything with a bonsai shape is highly collectible. I have sold ceramic, glass and material bonsais on eBay for $50 to $100.
Don’t overlook the opportunities waiting for you in the food and garden categories.
On Wednesday night I held my first teleconference ever! It was such a fun experience and such a success. I had eight of my ecourse students on the line and each one had ten minutes to discuss their auctions, talk about their successes and ask questions. This teleconference is available for purchase here. What a great way to learn more about eBay while at your computer or even driving to work! You won’t want to miss out on this special deal being offered for the holidays. You can either get it as a download or on two audio CDs.
Of course, all of my ecourse students will receive it for free and you should be watching your inbox for it! Speaking of the ecourse, the next one starts on January 8th and once again I am offering a special low price. Sign up now and make selling on eBay your number one priority for the New Year! I can’t wait to meet my new students and get to know you and your auctions. I really take a personal interest in each and every one of you and want you to be as successful as I am. Please sign up now! Don’t miss out.
Happy Buying & Selling! Lynn
For more great eBay tips and stories, visit my web site at:
Please contact me with any questions or suggestions for future issues. I would love to hear from you Lynn@TheQueenofAuctions.com
Lynn is an experienced eBay Power Seller, author and teacher. If you want to know the eBay tips, tricks and tools that Lynn uses for buying and selling at online auction click here.