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Finding Profits At Estate Sales Part II: The Garage

August 28th, 2019 Comments off

If you’re interested in selling high-profit items on eBay, you should definitely be frequenting estate sales.  Part one of this multi-part series focused on the kitchen.  Next stop?  The garage!

Garages are filled with goodies just waiting to be snapped up by savvy sellers.  The more disorganized the garage, the better.  There’s gold hiding in them thar piles!

Tools

First of all, focus on tools – especially vintage tools.  Both modern and vintage tools can be worth quite a bit on the resale market.  We recently bought a planer for $5 and sold it for over $400 on eBay.  Tools made by brands such as Snap-on, Mac, and DEWALT are always in demand.  Vintage “Made in America” hand tools such as crescent wrenches should be on your radar.  Vintage axe heads are another favorite of ours. 

Home Improvement Items

In addition, look for home improvement items.  Higher-end faucets and sinks bring in the big bucks if they are new or almost new. And cabinet pulls can be sold in lots.  At a recent yard sale, we purchased a $950 sink new in the box for $20 and sold it for $300.  The man who sold it to us had won it at a Christmas party.  (He worked for a home improvement company.)  We didn’t have to ship it because we had it listed as local pickup only. 

Fly Fishing Gear

Oh, where to start?  Americans love to fish, and fly fishing is all the rage!  Look for newer gear by brands such as Scott, Sage, Echo, Thomas & Thomas, and G. Loomis.  Old bamboo fly rods and vintage Fenwick poles are fan favorites (be sure to ship fishing rods in USPS mailing tubes).  In addition, don’t miss out on buying fly reels.  They are easy to photograph, easy to sell, and easy to ship.  Next, pay attention to vintage lures – the older the better.  And don’t miss the clothing produced by Simms and Filson.  Use your phone to look up current selling prices. 

New and Vintage Christmas Ornaments

While hunting for treasures, don’t miss out on Christmas ornaments.  Christmas ornaments sell year-round. Vintage ornaments in their original boxes are especially valuable.  Modern ornaments are also in demand.  Christopher Radko pieces, for example, are strong sellers.  And be on the lookout for pieces made by Swarovski.  Swarovski designs a new ornament for each and every year.  These crystal masterpieces are hot property and can sell for hundreds of dollars.  The most valuable Swarovskis are those in the original boxes with certificates of authenticity. 

Automobile and Bicycle Parts

Finally, keep your eyes peeled for automobile and bicycle parts.  Sourcing them can be a bit complicated, so be sure to research each piece before you buy it.

Yup.  Estate sales can be full of amazing items just waiting to be flipped on eBay. So get in line early, and when the doors open, head for the garage!

See part one: Finding Profits At Estate Sales: The Kitchen

About the Author

Miriam Otto is an eBay blogger and credentialed teacher with 13 years’ experience selling on the site.  She was a frequent guest on eBay Radio and has participated in eBay seller panels and projects.  Her blog, The eBay Life, is an all-in-one resource for eBay sellers.

Categories: Ebay Shipping Tags:

Mailing Hemp and CBD Products

August 20th, 2019 Comments off

The legislation regarding mailing hemp and CBD have recently changed to allow hemp products to be shipped legally. The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill) removed hemp from the federally controlled substance list which allows for hemp products to be shipped between states as of June 6, 2019. If you plan on shipping CBD or hemp products you’ll want to review the changes to ensure your business is operating within the law.

 

2018 Farm Bill

Based on this new legal status, hemp plants, seeds, and products can now be mailed through USPS to domestic addresses—military and international destinations are currently excluded. In addition to destination restrictions, there are a few conditions you must meet to ship hemp products. For starters, shipping industrial hemp products require a license from a state’s Department of Agriculture authorizing the production. Additionally, the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration in a product cannot exceed a 0.3% limit. If you are shipping liquid hemp products be sure to follow the USPS guidelines to ensure leaks won’t cause your package to become unmailable.

 

Shipping with USPS

The USPS hemp and CBD shipping regulations align with the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018. This means that you can use the USPS to mail hemp/CBD products domestically, as long as your shipment meets the following requirements. The Agricultural Improvement Act states:

  • “Hemp” shall have the meaning provided under federal law, including Section 10113 of the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, Pub. L.115-334 (7 U.S.C. § 1639o), or any successor provision. Hemp and hemp-based products, including cannabidiol (CBD) with the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of such hemp (or its derivatives) not exceeding a 0.3 percent limit are permitted to be mailed only when:
    • The mailer complies with all applicable federal, state, and local laws (such as the Agricultural Act of 2014 and the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018) pertaining to hemp production, processing, distribution, and sales; and
    • The mailer retains records establishing compliance with such laws, including laboratory test results, licenses, or compliance reports, for no less than 2 years after the date of mailing.

It is important to note that it is the mailer’s responsibility to remain compliant with all laws and regulations governing mailability. Make sure to maintain your own records of compliance, including laboratory test results, licenses, and compliance reports for at least 2 years your mailing. USPS can request this documentation if there are any questions on the product’s mailability or the ability to legally receive the shipment so it’s important you have the documents on hand. These documentation requirements are not unique to hemp products however, they apply to all restricted items shipped with USPS.

 

How Stamps.com Can Help

Stamps.com makes shipping easy, with our online postage solution you can print postage directly from your home without going to the post office. Stamps.com gives customers access to all USPS mail classes, and discounts on domestic postage up to 40% off. Your existing technology isn’t a problem—Stamps.com integrates with many popular carts and marketplaces.

 

Categories: Shipping Tags:

Local SEO Tips for Small Businesses

August 9th, 2019 Comments off

If your small business does not have a strong SEO strategy, you are almost certainly missing out on customers. According to a recent survey, the vast majority of consumers search online to find businesses in their area. Local search is becoming increasingly important for small businesses who want to use the Internet to find new customers. The following local SEO tips can help you improve your online marketing strategy.

 

  1. Select Local Keywords

Keywords are the words or phrases that consumers type into search engines when they are looking for information online. As a small business, it is important to target select keywords to differentiate yourself from other brands online.

Local keywords are the perfect choice for a small business, even if you are mostly an online presence customers often prefer to purchase products from their own region. By including the town, city or region that you want to target in your keywords, you can attract consumers in that area while avoiding your site being lost in the huge number of results search engines return for more general keywords. For example, try using local keywords like “Bike Shop Orlando” in addition to more general keywords like “Bike Shop” to attract new customers.

 

  1. Submit Your Business to Listing Sites

Listing sites help people to browse and explore businesses in their local area. By adding your business to listing services such as Google Places, TripAdvisor, Yelp, and any other sites popular in your region, you can help to boost the visibility of your brand online.

It is very important to ensure that your profile on every listing site contains a working link to your website. Google counts links to your website as evidence of its authenticity, which can result in its algorithm ranking your site more highly. Up-to-date contact information also helps interested consumers in your local area to get in touch with your business, which increases the chance that they will become future customers of your brand.

 

  1. Engage With Customers Online

The Internet provides many opportunities to interact with the customers that support your brand. Encouraging them to leave reviews on your social media and listing site profiles can help to make your brand more visible online. Always reply to customers who take the time to review your brand to show that you care about feedback and are prepared to act on it.

Categories: Marketing for Ecommerce Tags:

3 Money Saving Tips for eBay Sellers

July 25th, 2019 Comments off

We currently sell about $14,000 a month in preowned merchandise on eBay, but expenses are high, and we’re always looking for ways to save money. If you want to be a successful eBay seller, it’s extremely important to run your business lean and mean.  The following tips will help you keep as much money in your pocket as possible.

Tip #1 – Sign Up for the PayPal Business Debit Card

First of all, sign up for the PayPal Business Debit Mastercard.  The PayPal debit card allows you to spend the money in your PayPal account while you’re out and about.  Cardholders earn 1% back on all purchases when they use the card as credit. Stamps.com customers can even use their PayPal debit card to purchase postage – this is a great method to get cashback on one of that largest expenses for online sellers!  We basically live off our card, so we get about $50 back a month.

Tip #2 – Scrutinize Your eBay Invoice

Another way to save money, is to go through your eBay invoice each and every month with a fine-tooth comb.  I am embarrassed to admit that I haven’t always done this.  In the past, if my eBay bill seemed about right, I didn’t bother to check it.  Not anymore.  A while back I was going through one of my invoices and realized that on a few of our listings, we were being charged for features that we didn’t want.  I’m not sure how that happened. For example, we were paying $1.50 per month for the item subtitle fee on a listing that had been sitting in our store for 10 months.  Uh oh.

Tip #3 – Perform a Physical Inventory Every Six Months

You can’t make money on merchandise that isn’t listed.  Once every six months eBay sellers should perform a physical inventory of the items they are selling.  I can’t tell you the number of times we’ve done inventory only to discover that, for some unknown reason, products we thought were listed were no longer on the site.  Many of the items we sell can get old over time, so it’s extremely important that we move product in and out as fast as possible.  If an item sits too long, we may have to throw it away.  What a waste of money!  It is extremely important to figure out what you have before going out and spending more money on inventory.

If you are a serious eBay seller, you need to run your business like a well-oiled listing machine. Following these tips will help you reach that goal!

About the Author

Miriam Otto is an eBay blogger and credentialed teacher with 13 years’ experience selling on the site.  She was a frequent guest on eBay Radio and has participated in eBay seller panels and projects.  Her blog, The eBay Life, is an all-in-one resource for eBay sellers.

Categories: Ebay Shipping Tags:

3 Tips for Ecommerce Sellers to Grow Sales on Amazon Prime Day

July 12th, 2019 Comments off

3 Tips for Growing Your Sales on Amazon Prime Day

Amazon Prime Day – it’s like Black Friday in the middle of summer, minus the turkey leftovers and holiday deadlines. This year as in the past, Amazon will offer its Prime members “a 2-day parade of epic deals” on Monday, July 15 and Tuesday, July 16. And if 2018’s numbers are any indication – more than 100 million Prime Day products sold and an estimated 3.6 billion in sales – this year’s Prime Day Event promises to be another record-setter.

However, nowadays the Prime Day shopping frenzy isn’t limited to Amazon. Large, well-known competitors such was Walmart, Target, eBay and many other retailers have jumped on the Prime bandwagon by figuring out how to reap the benefits of this Amazon-invented buying holiday on their own sites. For example:

  • Starting July 15, Target will hold a major 2-day sale, with deals to include 40% off furniture and 30% off appliances.
  • Walmart has yet to divulge details about its upcoming deals, but its midsummer promotion runs July 14 through 17, so it bookends Prime Day. Walmart also teased a few major online-only deals on Dyson vacuums and HD laptops that will go live on July 14.
  • eBay’s July 15 “Crash Sale” was created in response to a past Amazon.com Prime Day site crash. Like Walmart, eBay extended its sale period with events starting as early as July 1. On July 15, eBay will offer doorbuster savings on top brands, but will also launch new deals every day through July 22.

But how exactly does Amazon’s Prime Day event translate to success for a regular ecommerce seller? Research shows that Amazon’s Prime Day creates a “halo effect” – a phenomenon where shoppers looking for deals on Amazon instinctively seek out great deals on other sites, too. This can absolutely include smaller e-commerce sellers … like you.

Here are 3 tips to help you attract shoppers to your site this Prime Day.

Tip #1: Create an Amazon Coupon for your Amazon listing. Since Prime Day is all about price discounts and great deals, sellers can bring extra attention to their product listings on Amazon.com with a great coupon offer.  Products with coupons include a highlighted “coupon” label showcasing the discount being offered.  This is a great method to ride the coat tails of Prime Day sales without having to participate in the Lightning Deals process, including the $500 Amazon fee to participate.   Important!  Coupons must be submitted at least 48 hours before the offer becomes active, so make sure you submit the coupon by Saturday, July 13 for coupons to be live by Tuesday, July 16.

Tip #2: Create a flash sale promo on your site. Offering a product at a deep discount appeals to shoppers’ competitive streak, because everyone loves catching a good deal! For your own flash sale, consider an item selling quickly on other sites. Or take advantage of your page analytics to see which products in your cart routinely get viewed but not purchased. And be sure to alert your customers via email and social media shortly before the sale starts.

Tip #3: Optimize your Google Shopping campaign on Prime Day. If shoppers cannot find the deals they want on Amazon.com, they’ll turn to Google to find them on other sites.  Make sure your website appears at the top of the listings in Google with an optimized Shopping campaign.  First, using the “view search queries” tool in the Keywords tab, scrub out keywords that have not generated a sale in the last 30 days. This action will allow you to spend more money on keywords that are producing revenue.  Then review your conversion stats: increase bids for those keywords that are producing sales and lower bids on those that aren’t.

The Bottom Line – Amazon Prime Day Can Increase Sales for All Sites

Make the power of Prime Day work for you! Pay attention to what the major retailers are doing to tap into Amazon’s event, then optimize your own online store with sales promotions and discounts on top selling products to take full advantage of Amazon Prime Day fever.

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