Hi! I hope you had an awesome Christmas! We sure did. I am sorry that it went by so quickly but I am looking forward to attending the Rose Bowl on New Years Day in Pasadena and seeing my team win!! Happy New Year!!
- Special Announcement: eBay Boot Camp in a Box is ready to Ship!
- Feature Article: End of Year eBay House Cleaning and What happened to that Alfa Romeo?
- The Queen’s Update: We Sold three Books!
- Lynn Recommends: Shopping Every Thrift Store in Town
This ezine is now published once a week.
December 29, 2006 Volume II, Issue 22
I am very grateful for having been able to spend three wonderful days with my kids, my mom, my brother, and our cousin Gwen this holiday. We had a blast.
Since Christmas Eve fell on a Saturday, I have to admit that I was absolutely tickled pink (meaning thrilled) when I checked on the garage sales and there was only one in Palm Desert. Yipppeeee!! We did not have to get up early and go to garage sales. Luckily, I have enough stock to last for at least a year–if not two.
So, we attended a really neat church service on Christmas Eve morning. Later in the day, we rented a bunch of movies. Of course, we didn’t watch any of them! Isn’t that always the way? That is why I usually only use Netflix.com. Check it out if you haven’t.
On Christmas Day, I heated the pool and we played Monkey in the Middle. It was a hoot! My mom made an awesome turkey dinner and we opened presents and hung out. My kids were thrilled to get a Nintendo Wii from Santa and they have not stopped playing it since!
My mom got me the coolest nameplate for my desk. Check it out.
This now sits on my desk (in my new office) and I have to admit it makes me feel more professional. I encourage you to get one with your eBay ID on it!
My grandmother’s brother Houston had four children and one of his daughters, Gwen, lives out here in the desert, so she joined us on Christmas Day. She is an incredible artist and brought me a caricature as a Christmas Gift. It shows me sitting in a mod Eames era chair wearing black boots! I have on a crown and have my laptop on my lap–very typical–well not the crown. It was such amazing timing because this has now become the logo for eBay Boot Camp in a Box–What serendipity!
We finally picked up all the wrapping paper and boxes from the Living Room today and this brings me to the subject of this week’s ezine. End of the Year House Cleaning for your eBay Business.
Here’s to Successful eBaying!
Lynn Dralle,’ The Queen of Auctions,’ Creator of the best-selling six-week ‘How to Sell on eBay‘ eCourse.
Many of you have expressed a desire to attend my eBay Boot Camps and for various reasons, you have been unable to attend. I want to see you succeed on eBay and that’s why we have been working ’round the clock on our new product.
And it has arrived just in time for an extra end-of-year tax deduction. As a business expense, the cost of the Boot Camp in a Box makes a great last-minute tax deduction. (As always, consult your accountant for advice in your specific situation.)
Click here to learn more.
eBay Boot Camp in a Box was announced for sale in an email on December 27th! The response has been incredible! I am so excited to teach you the secrets of the “Dralle Method” in over twelve hours of audio and video. (10+ CDs and two DVDs.) We have so many great bonuses in addition to the twelve hours of teaching that I can’t wait for you to read about it AND get it at my special introductory pricing.
It will be just like you were walking into
the classroom when you receive Boot Camp in a Box
with your own Personalized Gift Bag!
One of my LAX boot camp students, Patti Rose, said at the event ‘This Gift Bag has just set me up in business–You have thought of everything!’ It has taken my mom, my sister, and I over a month to gather all the tools that I use on a daily and weekly basis and to get these gift bags ready to ship. Click here to learn more.
The eBay Boot Camp in a Box will enable you to take your eBay business to the six-figure annual sales level from the comfort of your own home. We have put together a wonderful product and the introductory special pricing will end soon–I don’t want you to miss out. Visit this page for more.
‘End-of-Year eBay House Cleaning!’
by Lynn A. Dralle, ‘The Queen of Auctions’
As most of you already know–even though your item sells at an online auction–it may never get paid for. I estimate that about 4% of our bid-for items NEVER get paid for. So out of 600 transactions in December, my assistant or I will spend several hours chasing down payments for about 24 items. It is very frustrating and is a huge time waster. I try and go through my I Sell ‘Waiting for Money’ book every two weeks. Since it is the end of the year, I am doing a major house cleaning!
I have heard every excuse in the book from bidders explaining why they are not going to complete their transaction. I even had one woman call me to tell me that her 16-year-old son had placed the bid and she had no idea that he was even on her computer. Another guy called me to tell me that his ex-girlfriend had bid on the dishes and he just didn’t have the heart to go through with the transaction.
One gentleman didn’t pay for a child’s toy for 30 days because he had been in prison. The stories go on and on.
As many of you know, I bought an Alfa Romeo convertible in September. I paid $3,000 and thought I was getting a deal. Well, let me tell you, cars are not my strong suit. I have decided to “Stick to the Knitting” (a business school term for doing what you know how to do best) and just focus on antiques and collectibles. NO more cars.
Here is how the car saga played out. I got on CarFax.com and ran a VIN search. The VIN search showed that the car should have 60,000 more miles on it than the odometer showed. The car had not passed a smog check since 2001 and that was the last registration. Yikes! It was getting worse.
I took the car to Pep Boys for an inspection. If you are selling a car on eBay I highly recommend getting an inspection. The inspection showed that the car had major suspension issues, was burning oil, and needed quite a bit of other work. My nightmare was continuing.
So I decided to sell it ASAP. I listed it on eBay with a $3,995 reserve (blue book was about $5,500). I was thinking, “How great to make a quick $1,000,” because typically I would have to sell about eighty $15 items to make that same $1,000. Well, the Alfa only got up to $1,670. Back to the drawing board.
I listed the car at $9.99 with no reserve. I was ready to sell. The car got up to $1872. Better, but not great. So, this is how the Alfa saga ties into the story of non-paying bidders. The eBayer who bought the car wanted to come out from LA to inspect it before he paid for it. He never showed up and ended up calling me to say, “I’ve changed my mind.” Is that an option on eBay? I don’t think so–We had a binding contract.
Nevertheless, It was now November and I still had the Alfa in my garage (instead of my own car.) I listed it at $1,995 this time on eBay and it sold for $2,052! I was thrilled. The fellow that bought it actually called me to pay for it! He asked us to tow it to a repair garage in Cathedral City and he was going to pick it up from them. End of Story (Let’s Hope.) But back to non-paying bidders and how I handle them.
I usually give bidders two weeks before I send a reminder email through the eBay system. Before I send the reminder, I take the stack of unpaid I Sell Sheets (that are at least two weeks old) from my ‘Waiting for Money’ book. I input the item numbers into the eBay search page and check the notes next to the bidder’s id. More often than not, they have already been kicked off of eBay and it will say “No longer a registered user” next to their user id. This saves me from chasing them down and I immediately just relist the item.
It is a really good exercise to search your unpaid items on eBay because if they were paid for in PayPal and you missed seeing the payment, it will tell you at the top of the eBay auction page. (You must be logged in to your eBay account for the payment information to be visible.) We process about 100 PayPal payments each week and sometimes the un-cleared ones fall off of the detail screen or we just miss logging a payment in. This does happen and just today, I found an item that we had not shipped that had been paid in PayPal on December 4th. Yikes–we missed it in the Christmas rush. I immediately emailed the buyer and they were very nice. Whew!
Next, I go to “my eBay” to send unpaid reminders through the eBay system. Please remember that even though I have re-listed those items that were bid on by unregistered users, I will still have to send unpaid item reminders through eBay to collect my final value fees (eBay does not refund the initial listing fees).
The following directions apply to those using eBay’s Selling Manager Pro. This is really a great tool if you are selling a lot of volumes. The process is similar without Selling Manager Pro, but you won’t be able to process multiple reminders in a batch. To find it, you just go into my eBay and look for “Related Links” and under that, you will see “Report an Unpaid Item.”
To send unpaid reminders, you just click on the “Eligible for Unpaid Reminder” link–see below.
“Eligible for Unpaid Reminder” link highlighted
on my Selling Manager Pro page in My eBay
Then you check the box next to each item that you want to send an unpaid item reminder for. These eBay unpaid reminders work great and if the bidder never pays, you will be able to collect your final value fees.
Here is the screen that comes up after you click on each item.
You have to choose two reasons for each unpaid item reminder. I always choose “The buyer has not paid for the item” and “the buyer has not responded.” Then I click “Send Reminder.” Once this has been done, I mark my I Sell sheet with the date that I sent the reminder.
Notice on the I Sell sheet that I have written the number of feedback points next to the bidder’s id. She only has 16 so I know that there is a very good chance that she will never pay. I have found that it is the newer eBay bidders that tend to be non-payers. You can see that I sent her a reminder on 12/4 as noted. Today, 12/28 when I went to check on it she is no longer a registered user. Normally, I would check back on the item after another two weeks but it was Christmas and we were swamped!
After I send the notices and look up all the item numbers, I make a pile of sheets to wait eight more days for payment and a pile of sheets to relist. After eight days if the bidder doesn’t pay, you must close the dispute that was opened up with eBay when you sent the “unpaid item” reminder. You must do this so that you can request your final value fees. Here is more on that….
To receive your final value fees you must CLOSE the dispute anytime after the eight-day waiting period but before 30 days–if the buyer does not respond. If you don’t close the dispute, the final value fee credit will not show up as an option.
Once you have closed the dispute, you need to go to “Eligible for Final Value Fee credit” on your my eBay page to request your fees.
“Eligible for Final Value Fee credit” link on my
Selling Manager Pro page in My eBay
eBay does NOT automatically credit your Final Value Fee and they make it kind of difficult. You have to jump through a lot of hoops. It is a three-step process to get your final value fees refunded:
1. Send unpaid item reminders.
2. Wait eight days and if you don’t get paid close the dispute.
3. Request your fees.
I learned this the hard way because I lost the $40 final value fee on the Alfa because I never closed the dispute (didn’t know I had to)–and after 30 days eBay automatically closes it and does NOT grant the FVF (final value fee) refund. Someday, I hope eBay will make it easier for the sellers.
Once I have finished all of this, my ‘Waiting for Money’ book is clean for the New Year–Here’s to 2007!
I am working on my end-of-year/January plan for my slow-moving store inventory. I am thinking about doing a 50% off global sale in my eBay store–but there is no way to do this without paying the full selling fees unless you go in and manually change all the prices–what a pain that would be! I am also torn because I have a lot of new gift merchandise in my store–Royal Copenhagen, Prisms, etc. that I can’t really afford to sell at 50% off retail.
To announce the sale, I would email my newsletter list, send actual postcards to the physical addresses of my customers (from my UPS log) and post it on my website. What do you all think?
Another idea is to take my eBay store books from 2004 and 2005 look at each piece on an item-by-item basis and end those that I think will never sell. I would keep the unique items (things that I just have one of) and end auctions for dinnerware and flatware sets that have never sold a single piece. I have plenty of these and by just doing that–I would free up a lot of shelves and save eBay store fees.
I’m also thinking about pulling merchandise from the shelves in my eBay room that I think will never sell, searching for them in my store, ending the auctions, and then pulling the I Sell sheets. Then I can throw away the I Sell sheets and then donate it all to charity.
Any thoughts? I will let you know what I decide and what I end up doing in an upcoming newsletter.
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Remember in a past ezine (December 7, 2006) how my eight-year-old daughter helped me list some books on eBay? We listed 20 books together and so far we have sold three of them!!!! She is so excited and asks me every day, “Mommy, did we sell any books today?” It has really helped her to know more about my business and it is a fun thing for us to discuss.
Also, when one of the books sells, my mom has her go and pull the item to be shipped. We are training her already to be The Princess of Auctions!
We sold one of the books at auction for $4.99 and two from my eBay store for $4.99 each. Not bad for only 3 weeks of exposure!!
Here is a link to the most recent book we sold. Notice the pre-filled information on this auction that made it sooo easy for us to list.
If you have not taken my advice and opened an eBay store or are struggling with it–please check out my special report here. Last week (once again), I sold more out of my eBay store than I did at auction. Having a successful eBay store is the most important building block of your eBay business.
eBay Power Seller and third-generation antique dealer, Lynn Dralle, is the creator of the online e-course ‘How to Be Up and Selling Successfully on eBay in Less Than Six Weeks.’
If you liked today’s issue, you’ll love this step-by-step course that is guaranteed to be the most complete and enjoyable guide to selling on eBay that MAKES YOU MONEY.
Read what students are saying about it here.
The Queen of Auctions also offers free articles, free teleseminars, how-to books, tracking guides, DVDs, eBay Boot Camp training, and other resources to help entrepreneurs make their eBay business a six-figure sales machine. Click here to learn more.
The Queen of Auctions/All Aboard Inc.
PO Box 14103
Palm Desert, CA 92255
Hit all your local thrift stores this week and next! I am not kidding, I have been stocking up. As you know, the end of the year is near and we all need those tax write-offs that donations bring. I took four bags of my son’s clothing to my local church thrift store to donate and the sign on the door said “no more donations today.”
Do you know what this means? It means that they are getting swamped with donations and the time to be shopping for them is now. Tons of new merchandise is being put out daily. I recommend going in at least every other day if not daily during the next two weeks. Happy Hunting!
Happy Buying & Selling!
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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 an online auction click here.