Share content with your friends and fans!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Techno Granny Show, eBay, is that a Shore Thing?

Tom and Charity Sutton
Known on E-Bay as blackgold777x, favorite slot machine
How and why did you start your business on eBay ?

Tom talks about how he got started in the eBay business purely by accident selling all of a relatives stuff that they just had too much of.

“It was all just a fun hobby in the beginning, something we did on the weekends. You see, we didn’t have any idea what we were doing. We were learning as we went along, not just how to sell on eBay, but what to sell. We were having so much fun and making some decent money at the same time but none of it was planned.

Before long, we noticed a strange new logo next to our user name on eBay and when we clicked on it we found out that we had become PowerSellers! We didn’t even know what a PowerSeller was, we had to look it up! Then we noticed that we were starting to buy shipping and office supplies in bulk and we looked at each other one day & said “I think we’ve started a business here!”


The list of things you can start selling on eBay is almost limitless, but the best thing you can sell on eBay if you want to start a business is something you know a lot about, and it definitely should be something you love working with.

For instance, someone who is an avid fisherman should think about selling what else? Fishing gear of course. Especially if he happens to make it himself, or perhaps he buys a thing in bulk for his own use and has plenty of surplus. He has a ready made inventory and if he gives his potential buyer’s tips on how to get the most out of his gear in his listing he’ll create happy return customers who will also tell others about his eBay listings or his eBay store if he opens one.

Well, it would be easier to ask what we don’t sell! We tend to buy things that are collectible or just things that catch our eye that are old and can’t be purchased in a store because they aren’t produced anymore. We’ve had a lot of success with things that are new in a box but old, commonly referred to as “NOS” or “New Old Stock”. When I say things, I really mean just about anything that is “New Old Stock”, but things like kitchen appliances, tools, sheets, pillowcases, clothing and toys not to mention electronics are always good to resell if they are NOS.

Your listeners can see our listings by going to eBay’s home page, at & clicking on the “Advanced Search” link in the right hand side of the yellow title bar at the top of the page, then on the top left side of the next page under Advanced Search if they click on “By seller” then enter blackgold777s where it says “Enter Seller’s User ID” and click search they will be able to view our active auction or fixed price style listings or they can click the link to our store.

What’s an eBay store?

Oh yes! We opened our store as an experiment that was supposed to last about three months just to see if it would work, that was about three years ago! I guess I should explain what an eBay store is before I go into detail about how we use ours.

You see, eBay has three types of listings: Auctions, Fixed Price, and Store Listings.
Auctions are listings that you set up to run for anywhere from one day to ten days, most people including us run them for seven days. You set a starting bid price as low as you can afford and if there are people looking for what you’re offering then hopefully it will get bids that will earn you what the item is worth or if you’re lucky your bidders will get into a bidding war and run the price way up. If no one bids then the auction ends and you still have your item.

Fixed price listings are listings that have a fixed price, called a “BIN” or “Buy It Now” price that last for 30 days or until sold. Fixed Price listings are a great bargain because they only cost 35¢ each. Fixed Price didn’t exist when we started our store, but if it had, it would have been a great way for us to test whether or not a store would work for us.

Store Listings are about 5¢ each for 30 days but they get almost no visibility on Google’s searches. Fixed Price and Auction get the highest Google rankings, especially if you offer free shipping. A lot of people don’t know that eBay is Google’s number one customer! They buy more search rankings on Google than any one else.

So an eBay Store is just a place to park things for your auction or fixed price customers to browse through while they are looking at your listings. You can mention that you have a store in your listings and invite your customers to click on the little red door next to your name and that will take them into your store, or they can get there buy clicking on your store listings that appear in a scrolling gallery at the bottom of your listings.

A scrolling gallery is a service that is provided by several third party vendors who offer listing services to eBay sellers to improve their listings. You can also have a dedicated domain name that points directly to your eBay store so you might have something like and that would just be a re-direct to your eBay store, but you can put that on business cards or even on the side of your truck and boat to help drive customers to your eBay store.

There are several different levels of stores, the starter package costs about $20.00 a month, we have a PRO Store that costs about $49.00 a month, but it makes us about $800.00 a month from failed auction style listings. You see, when an auction ends with no bidder, you have to decide what to do with that item. Do you re-list it at auction again, donate it, or throw it away? That depends on the item, but most of the time if you think the item has value some one else will too. You just need to sit it on your store shelf and wait for that someone to come along.

E-Bay Classes

There was a point where we started treating it as a business and things just continued to get better. Then Charity’s Sister, Faith wanted to try selling on eBay so we started teaching her and now she is a PowerSeller as well. By the time that happened several people had started asking us to show them how to sell on eBay or give them tips to help them sell more so we became eBay Certified Education Specialists and began offering classes at the Regional Learning Alliance Center in Cranberry, PA.

Well, if you don’t want to sell on eBay, you certainly should consider buying things on eBay.

, eBay is the world’s largest market place. A few years ago at the eBay live convention in Las Vegas, the Post Master General of the United States Post Office was a Keynote speaker. He was there to announce the new U.S.P.S. & eBay co-branded Priority shipping boxes that the Post Office gives you for free to encourage you to use their shipping service. He explained that 80% of all the parcels that were going through the Post Office at that time were eBay related and that was the reason for offering the free shipping supplies.

Now surely you don’t think that 80 % of the parcels flowing through the U.S. Postal Service are weird potato chips, chockies or fishing gear do you? Granted some things don’t make sense to buy from eBay because you need them right now, today, or because the cost of shipping would negate anything you might have saved over buying the item in a store near you, but I have a challenge for you. Over the next 90 days no matter what you are about to go to the store to buy, type it into eBay’s search field first and see what comes up, I know you are going to be amazed and thrilled with the savings you’ll find there. You’ll be hooked.

3. Well, that sounds great, but is this a good time of the year to get started?

This is a great time to get started because the busiest selling season is coming up fast. Back to school and then the holidays are always big on eBay. Our next class is scheduled for Saturday July 18th at the Regional Learning Alliance Center in Cranberry, PA.

4. What is included in your class?

Well Joanne, we hold the class in a computer lab so you will be in front of a computer the whole day and though the lab seats 24 students, we like to keep the class down to 20. We provide an eBay university work book so you can review everything once you get home, the course begins at 8:00 AM & it ends at 4:00 PM. The goal of the class is to get you registered on eBay and PayPal if you’re not already & then teach you how to put up a listing by the end of the day including tips on taking good photos for online listings. There is plenty of Q & A time and you have access to us via email & phone after the class if you need help.

You say they have access to you after the class, is that for a limited time?

No Joanne, if they need help, all they have to do is call or email and we’ll be glad to help get them started or get through any problems they may encounter. There is no time limit on this offer because we know from experience that once they get going they’ll catch on and won’t need to keep calling us, but they are always free to call.

Can anyone attend or is there an age requirement for these classes?

The average age of our students seems to be mid 40’s and up but anyone 18 years old or older can register for the class. You have to be at least 18 years old to register for an account on eBay.

What is the cost of your classes?

Our students get a full day in a computer lab in front of a state of the art computer, the eBay University workbook and access to us via phone & email all for just $150.00

Wow, that’s great, I’ve heard of course with books and DVDs about eBay that cost a lot more than that! But Tom, do you have any type of special offer for my listeners?

Sure! If your listeners mention that they heard me on the Techno Granny radio show we’ll knock off $25.00! So they get the class, the workbook, and access to us afterwards for help all for $125.00 but they should hurry if they want this special price because our classes fill fast & remember we like to hold the class size down to 20 people.

So tell us again, where can people go to register for your upcoming classes?

That’s easy Joanne,
And they can pay us with PayPal or any major credit card. We also accept personal checks or money orders but they have to get them to us at least two weeks before the start of the class.

No comments: