(16) Secrets to building a successful online auction business
â€œGrab your piece of the 400 billion dollar eBay pie.
The transition from full-time employment to full-time Internet entrepreneur, is determined by what you know, and if your determined to make it work.
First, eBay has grown from few thousand items listed in 1995 to 12.5 million today. This kind of industry growth doesn't happen every day, or even once in a decade. Try once in a lifetime. EBay has become a phenomenon in an industry that is based on sound economic principles and whose origins go back thousands of years. Trading of goods & services.
The difference between success and failure in any enterprise, as I discovered, can be summed up in three words:
Focus â€“ Commitment â€“ Value
The ability to know what's vitally important to the survival and the growth of your business-and to do that â€œimportantâ€ thing every single hour of every single day.
To continually serve your customers or clients as if they were your personal friends. This aspect of business success takes a good deal of courage and trust on your part, because your commitment is not always reciprocated or even appreciated by your clients, but it's vital to your success. Without it, you will not succeed in today's social and economic environment.
Handling your client your product or service in a plain brown paper wrapper with no â€˜personal touchâ€™ is a mistake. Plain brown paper wrapped version might work for sellers at the fish market, but for most other items its essential to add â€˜somethingâ€™ extra to your product or service when it's delivered. That â€˜somethingâ€™ extra could be just a personal note, saying â€œThanksâ€ or an unexpected â€˜giftâ€™ or the way it's wrapped-just about any small gesture that shows you care. It shows how much you value them and their business.
â€œCOMMITMENTâ€ and â€œVALUEâ€ are important but they are also fairly self-explanatory. As we continue I will assume that you understand what I mean by COMMITMENT and that you are constantly thinking of ways to add VALUE to your eBay business.
Secret # 1: Commitment
Commitment: to continually serve your customers or clients as if they were your personal friends.
This aspect of business success takes a good deal of courage and trust on your part your commitment is not always reciprocated or even appreciated by your clients- but it's vital to your success. Without it, you will not succeed in today's social and e-economic environment.
Secret # 2 Focus
Focus: The ability to know whatâ€™s vitally important to the survival and growth of your business-and to do that important thing every single hour of every single day is what leads to success.
One of the most important things you can do as an Internet entrepreneur is TEST, TEST, TEST!
One of the things I love about Auctions, especially those on the internet, is that within a few days, you know, if there is any demand for what you're selling. We all have ideas of what we think will sell online and what won't, but the only true indication of success is hard sales data.
Secret #3: Value
Value: value your client's business. Handling your clients your product or service in a plain brown paper wrapped with no personal touch is a mistake.
Secret # 4 Profits
Profit: Its not what you get to keep after all expenses in your business expenses have been paid. It's a planed process that takes dedication and work.
You should be earning a healthy profit from your business, if not you are doing something very wrong and you need to fix it right away.
Profits are the goal of being in business. You can't replace them if you don't make a good profit, how will you stay in business?
Secret # 5: Helping others
Secret # 5: Why we are in business (Helping others)
If you're not building your Internet business to earn a healthy profit and help others you are bound to fail. Profits alone will keep you in business,- but only if you have customer without customer's â€“no business Period.
Treat your customers well, and give them top-quality service and respect the fiduciary responsibility you have when you exchange their money for your product or service.
Secret # 6: Marketing
Marketing: eBay and other large sites have great marketing abilities that drive customer to you. The problem, of course, is finding new ways to maximize the number of people who see your listings, respond to your description, and actually buy it.
Secret # 7 : Copywriting
Copywriting: Take a course in copywriting, or study the master of good copy like Claude Hopkins. Your auctions descriptions need to be:
Avoid vague generalities in your descriptions and titles. Be specific.
If someone searches for â€œTiffanyâ€ on eBay and your selling Tiffany you better be sure to put â€œTiffanyâ€ in your title and description. Same hold true for your personal web site. Selling with words is an art. Donâ€™t expect to master it overnight, but study it. Your long-term success in this new dynamic market place depends on it.
Secret # 8: Listing is THE BUSINESS
Listing: Its not enough to list a couple of items, hope they sell for 5 to 10 times what you paid and expect to make a lot on of money in this business. You must continually search for new auction sites to list your items, and list as often as possible. Most full-time, Power sellers have 200-300 items for sale *everyday* How do you handle that many auctions? Turbo Lister. The next step is simply to follow-up with all past buyers on a regular basis. Thatâ€™s where the money is. Repeat customers.
Secret # 9 : Auction Management
Auction Management: When you listen item, your job isn't done until the money has been received in and your item is safe in the hands of the winning bidder.
Managing the entire process so that you have time to do other things is one of the most important functions of an Internet business.
Responding to e-mails and answering questions about your item being auctioned by prospective bidders can take up a lot of time.
Be prepared to answer questions and have saved all answers to questions you've ready answered.
Someone asked the same question. You just answered, cut and paste your response in your reply e-mail.
P.S. If you're getting a lot of questions about your auction listings- Check your description and make sure you're providing good, accurate and informative descriptions.
Secret # 10: Automation
Automation: when possible, I made everything about your business.
Automate listings, so you only have to click twice to list an item- to send e-mails- to collecting money for shipping items.
Secret # 11: Organize Now!
Organize Now! If you run your business out of your home or apartment finding corner or better yet, an entire room to organize your business.
You'll need a computer printer, pencil, tenants, envelopes, labels, packing tape, packing materials bubblewrap peanuts, etc. a filing cabinet or two or an assortment of boxes depending on what you're selling.
Secret # 12: Ooops! How to Manage Mistakes
Mistakes: Mistakes are going to happen. Its how you manage them that makes all the difference. When youâ€™re at fault donâ€™t cover it up or hide it-admit it, make it right and move on. Take the hit.
Secret # 13: Back-End Sale:
Even though your primary business is a web site-donâ€™t forget that you are generating a happy and (hopefully) satisfied customer base with your online auctions. Those customers maybe interested in other things you have for sale.
Secret # 14: Manage Expenses
Manage Expenses: Keep a log book next to your work area and list every expense for your business by type (e.g. office supplies, insurance, rent, software, hardware, etc.)Save all your receipts. Save all of these logs and receipts for your taxes. They add-up quickly.
Secret # 15: Follow-Up! Follow-Up! Follow-Up!
Follow-up; This is the most important thing you can do. Let each customer know what you are going to do for them, what you are doing for them and then remind them what you have done for them. Never let customer wonder if you received their money or sent an item. Let them know what you completed and when you completed steps in the post-auction process. Also, donâ€™t be afraid to ask their opinions of your service and your products. Solicit feedback every chance you get.
Secret # 16 :
This is a serious game-But you can still have fun!! Have Fun!! Make your internet business a game. Try to beat your own records.
In conclusion, you make the rules, you set the records and you make the game. But realize it *is* a game. Sometimes itâ€™s a very serious game-especially when money is involved-but do not ever lose your sense of humor or competitive spirit.
See you at the Top!