The eBay “PowerSeller” Secrets to Save You From the 3 P’s
I’m just amazed that more people don’t realise it! Ebay has a secret that makes it THE best market in the world – offline or online! In fact it’s THE best market EVER. Do I sound enthusiastic about Ebay?! I do! good – I love it. Let me give you an example of why I love Ebay.
Years ago I set up my very first business to help me pay my way through college. It was a stall selling antiques (well more like rubbish!) in Camden market in London (yes, sorry I’m a Brit!).
When I started I didn’t have a clue. I went through all the junk I’d collected over the years and put that as “stock”. Then I went to a number of auctions, rooted about in boxes and bought some that looked “promising”.
Then I rented my stall (5.30am to get a spare table) set up my “stuff” and waited. 9 hours later, after watching person after person perform the 3 P’s (Pick up, Put down and P*** off! – apologies for the language but it IS the official term amongst UK dealers) I began realising that my items only appeared promising to ME!
During this time of sitting stiffly, trying to disappear into my jacket both to keep warm and from sheer embarrassment, I noticed that certain dealers seemed to act like magnets. People didn’t simply go to them to perform the rites of the 3 P’s, they actually lingered, discussed and, joy of joys – reached into their wallets and bought!
Over the weeks I ventured over to these stalls and hovered while I watched the magnificent spectacle of customers parting with cash! Eventually even I couldn’t help notice that certain items seemed to be selling more regularly than others, and, as some of the dealers took pity on an earnest young man (I developed a helpless sort of pitiful look that worked a treat!) I began to learn the business of buying items that people actually WANT to buy. And miracle of miracles came the day when I actually made more profit than I was paying in rent for the stall!
The absolute, sheer, magnificent beauty of Ebay is you don’t hve to go through all that. I don’t think there can be any market, of any kind, where so much information is available to the public. Because Ebay allows you to SEARCH COMPLETED AUCTIONS for free! And that is an advantage no other market allows. Everything you could possibly need to know is there, available to you just for the time required to root it out.
Now imagine, if back then, at Camden market I had been allowed the same advantage.
Firstly, before going anywhere near an auction, I could have had a good look at WHAT KIND OF THINGS WERE IN DEMAND. The dealers attracting all those people at the market had learnt over the years what kind of items were ready sellers and what was likely to sit there for months tying up valuable space and capital. With Ebay you can search the completed auctions looking at the relative “SELL THRU RATES”
(percentage of sales to total number of auctions) and condense those years of trial and error to a few days or weeks of evening study.
Next, I could have saved myself a very large amount of money. The other thing those dealers had learnt was that “PROFITS ARE MADE WHEN YOU BUY”! If you pay too much for your item, even though it’s in demand, you lose! Again Ebay completed auctions help you condense years of hard knocks into a few evenings research into discovering your items “ASP” (Average Selling Price).
Are you beginning to realise the extraordinary advantage of Ebay?
How about this – what if while I was sitting there, in Camden market (believe me, I had lots of time to spare!) I could have had a crystal ball that let me see the details of every one of the sales that were going on around me. Not just what KIND of things were selling or at what average price, but what brands sold most, what colors, years of manufacture, sizes etc. and what prices encouraged more sales than others. Advantages that not just allow me to match what the other sellers were doing but to take the best knowledge from each and merge it.
I wouldn’t have had to perfect my “take pity on me” look! With a window into every detail of the most successful dealers sales – even before I paid my first weeks rent money or paid for my first auction purchase – I could have been king! I could have set up my stall on that first, early morning, knowing without a doubt that I had the items that buyers were looking for at prices they were willing to pay. My goodness, what I would have paid at that time for that kind of advantage!
This, of course is just the tip of the iceberg – there is a whole list of vital business information that can be learnt from the Ebay completed auctions. For a fuller listing you can see most of them at ProfitFacts for Ebay Auctions http://www.profitfacts.com.
I estimated that, given my eventual earnings on that Camden stall – after I had served my enforced apprenticeship – This kind of vital market research would have saved me close to $12,000.
But the real value of this amazing Ebay data isn’t reserved for antiques. There is an even greater potential for dealers in new items. Product that can be easily bought in bulk for a market known to exist, at a price known to sell.
So what is it going to be for you? suffer the 3 P’s or take the opportunity Ebay offers, and condense what would take years of experience to learn in any other market.
Rob Noble, of http://www.profitfacts.com, has had a varied business career including dealing in antiques, owning a printing company, Venture capitalist for a private investment consortium, trading index futures and for the past two years – full time businesses on the web. He is now CEO of ProfitFacts for Ebay a brand new service which “tracks who’s making big money on Ebay, how much they’re making and how they make it”.