THIS PAST WEEK WAS FILLED WITH LEARNING, EARNING, AND TONS OF WORK. HERE IS WHAT I'VE LEARNED ABOUT SELLING YOU STUFF FROM YOUR OWN SITE VS. ANOTHER FORUM, SUCH AS E-BAY ....
GOSH, WHERE DO I START ? - WELL, FROM THE BEGINNING I SUPPOSE ;)
I STARTED OUT WITH BIG HOPES AND GOALS. I HAVE TONS OF STUFF,
SO I THOUGHT I COULD JUST CLEAR OUT MY CLOSET,
THROW IT ON A SITE AND THE CASH WOULD BEGIN TO FLOW....
I QUICKLY FOUND OUT, THERE'S MUCH MORE TO IT THAN THAT.
THIS IS A LONG ONE, SO GRAB A POP AND SOME CHIPS ;)
TIPS TO HAVING A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS:
( WEEK 1 )
( This was my experience only. More will be revealed as I go ;)
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS : DO YOUR HOMEWORK!!!
1. DETERMINE YOUR AUDIENCE.
( THIS PRETTY MUCH APPLIES TO SELLING FROM YOUR OWN SITE)
GET TO KNOW WHO READS YOUR BLOG AND ENJOYS YOUR STYLE. ( LET'S FACE IT, MOST OF MY READERS ARE THRIFTERS WHO ARE FAMILIAR WITH A GOOD DEAL. YOUR ITEMS HAVE TO BE SOMETHING THAT CAN'T BE FOUND OR BOUGHT ELSEWHERE. THAT MEANT *(FOR ME)* TO OFFER UNIQUE ITEMS,
NEW ITEMS AND GOOD PRICES. )
I LEARNED THAT NO ONE IS GOING TO PAY A SHIPPING FEE FOR AN ITEM THEY CAN EASILY FIND AT THEIR LOCAL THRIFT STORE ;)
2. FIND SOMEONE WHO HAS EXPERIENCE AND IS WILLING TO HELP YOU.
FIND OUT WHAT'S "IN" AT THE MOMENT AND WHAT THESE ITEMS SELL FOR.
(ask your reader's what they are looking for, don't be afraid to ask questions)
4. BE READY TO WORK HARD !
( YOU MUST OFFER CLEAN, LAUNDERED, PRESSED ITEMS, GOOD PHOTOGRAPHS, A CLEAN SITE, NICE PACKAGING, THANK YOU NOTES, ETC....)
KEEP YOUR SHOP STOCKED, EDITED AND FRESH. BE PREPARED TO RUSH OUT TO SHIP ITEMS ON TIME.
IN OTHER WORDS, THIS IS A BUSINESS !
DETERMINE WHAT TYPE OF PAYMENTS YOU WILL BE ACCEPTING AND VERSE YOURSELF ON THE PROPER WAYS TO ACCEPT THEM, WHETHER IT'S PAY PAL, CHECKS OR MONEY-ORDERS.
LEARN HOW TO MAKE INVOICES ( IT'S A BUSINESS ;)
remember fees !!!! There are fees for using E-bay and Pay-pal. E-bay also charges a 12% fee for sold items as well as the listing fees! Do your Pay-pal and shipping homework before you start!!!
I RECOMMEND BUYING A SCALE AS YOU CAN GET REDUCED RATES BY BUYING YOUR SHIPPING LABELS ONLINE. FOR INSTANCE, THE POSTAGE ON AN ITEM THAT WEIGHS 1 LB. WILL ALMOST DOUBLE WHEN IT GOES EVEN 1 OUNCE OVER! ALSO, FIGURE IN WHETHER YOU WILL SHIP INTERNATIONALLY AND CHARGE ACCORDINGLY. ( I ALSO SUGGEST BUYING AND USING YOUR OWN SHIPPING PACKAGES, AND ACCESSORIES.)
5. MAKE SOME BUSINESS CARDS
WHY? TO PUT IN YOUR PACKAGES FOR FUTURE ORDERS AND THANK-YOU'S.
(GREETING TYPE CARDS ARE A PERSONAL TOUCH, BUT CAN GET EXPENSIVE)
6. NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK !!!
IF NO ONE KNOWS YOU AND TRUSTS YOU, IT'S TOUGH TO SELL ANYTHING ;)
START TWEETING, FACE-BOOKING, AND EVEN HAVE A GIVE-A-WAY!
(However, in my experience, you can over-sell yourself and turn people off )
WITH ALL THAT SAID, RELAX !
Chill out and don't expect great results at first. But, the more you get yourself "out there" and the more involved you are in the community, the more sales you will have. Go above and beyond for your customers. Word of mouth is invaluable and you must be trust-worthy. Be honest! Always represent your items in the true condition they are in. This will create a good relationship with your buyers and repeat business.
ALWAYS THANK YOUR CUSTOMERS !
TREAT OTHERS AS YOU WOULD WANT TO BE TREATED.
YOU CAN ONLY MAKE ONE GOOD IMPRESSION ;)
WITH THE HOURS I PUT INTO IT,
THE 'LEARNING' TIME, PHOTOS, WASHING, IRONING, PACKAGING,
STOCKING, RE-STOCKING, E-MAIL CHECKING, SHIPPING AND SO FORTH,
I MADE ABOUT 10 cents an hour...
HOWEVER, LIKE ANY NEW BUSINESS, MAKING REAL MONEY TAKES ABOUT A YEAR. I STILL NEED TO TWEAK MY MERCHANDISE AND UP MY GAME BY ATTRACTING NEW BUYERS (as in pulling out more vintage items) AND NETWORKING ....
IF YOU GO BY THE AMOUNT OF READERS/FOLLOWERS ASSOCIATED
WITH MY BLOG, I HAD ABOUT A 10% POSITIVE WEEK.
SO, I SUPPOSE IT'S ALL IN YOUR VIEW-POINT.
ARE YOU UP FOR THE CHALLENGE?
QUESTIONS? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Selling Your Stuff