The eBay UK Bulletin: Issue 241, 10th February 2012
Topics in this issue:
1. eBay 101 – SEO
2. eBay success story – case study
3. Reader’s rant – tracking numbers
4. Ask Molly – Do I have to use micro-payments?
Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of ‘The eBay UK Bulletin’.
All those readers who adopted the notice board tip last week had their first opportunity to use it to advise about slow deliveries due to snow. Although delivery may have been delayed, sales have been buoyant, with deals including a pair of ‘hi-hat’ symbols, a slide projector and the centre of a Porsche hubcap!
This week sees the inclusion of an eBay case study which may just rekindle your enthusiasm during these dark days.
Also this week a short overview on SEO; it’s boring but essential folks.
[For details of this newsletter, please scroll down to the end.]
1. EBAY 101 – SEO
Search engine optimisation. Anybody dropped off to sleep yet? It does sound a bit heavy but if you own an eBay shop it is something you should have a passing knowledge of.
The contents of your eBay shop can be seen by external search engines such as MSN, Google and Yahoo, and this can be a great source of new business.
The first thing to be aware of is exactly how much business you are doing with customers who visit from a non-eBay search engine.
Click on the ‘Manage my shop’ link from your ‘myeBay’ page. Towards the bottom of the page click on ‘Traffic reports’ – you will have to sign in and may have to subscribe although they are currently free. In the middle of the page select ‘Keyword information’ and then ‘Top keywords that drove traffic to your Store’.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines. This is achieved by entering a number of ‘keywords’ which best describe your web page contents or your shop items. eBay will use your keywords to create ‘titles’ and ‘meta tags’. There is no need to understand these technical terms but ensure the keywords associated with your shop are pertinent and relate to the items you sell.
Never use keywords that are not related to your page content or repeat the same keyword more than once. This is considered keyword spamming by search engines.
Examples of keyword spamming would be the inclusion of inappropriate brands such as Nintendo, Sony, X-Box when actually selling games in PC format.
Keyword spamming could affect your page ranking or even cause your eBay Shop page to be removed from search engines’ indexes.
If you don’t enter your own keywords then the eBay systems will do this for you. Should you wish to enter your own it is very easy – just follow these easy steps:
a) click ‘Manage your shop’ from your ‘myeBay’ page
b) click ‘Search engine’ from the menu on the left of the screen
c) Edit the keywords that apply to each of your categories.
Wake up, all finished [Ed - and now on to the exciting content... I hope].
2. EBAY SUCCESS STORY – CASE STUDY
Can you still carve out a success on eBay in the current economic climate? It is a question I am asked quite often as many would-be sellers feel that they have missed the boat.
Well, the answer is of course you can just so long as you have the right product that you can offer at the right price and have the patience to stick with it.
If you are looking for a little inspiration during the bleak winter and are fed up with my cheerful witticisms, check out this case study of a serious eBay seller – there are even a few videos for coffee time.
These guys had an existing business and developed eBay as an additional route to market and have just clocked up 250,000 positive pieces of feedback, so probably around 400,000 eBay trades – no mean feat.
Bamford Trading – http://sellersphere.ebay.co.uk/post/139
As a postscript on this subject watch this space for my ‘top tips tome’ about making money from car-boot sales which may soon get the green light from Hh publishers.
I have been attending them for almost 24 years and can smell a bargain from 20 yards; in fact you can find most of them on sale in the new shop. I still think this is a great way to get started with little capital outlay. [Ed - one book at a time please!]
3. READER’S RANT – TRACKING NUMBERS
I have been asking eBay to fix a problem I have encountered in eBay and their courier tracking system for many weeks now and they do not seem to have an answer!
I use “myHermes” for many of my parcels and add the tracking number for each order, however when I click on the link it does not go to the myHermes website but either “Australian Post” or “Deutsche Post” and obviously does not show any tracking details.
This is embarrassing for me when buyers try and check their parcel and quite often leads to buyers accusing me of not even sending their item. I also recently had an eBay case opened up against me for an item that had not arrived and eBay asked for the tracking details.
In this instance the tracking did not show and went to the Australian post!! It only works if you actually go to the myHermes website. This just adds to the confusion and is less than professional when trying to keep my customers advised of where their parcel is.
I wonder if you have experienced this problem. The eBay technical team did advise me last week they had fixed the problem but I can’t see that they have.”
370smith – http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Bobs-Bargain-Bits
4. ASK MOLLY – DO I HAVE TO USE MICRO_PAYMENTS?
Thanks to your tip about changing to ‘micropayments’, I’ve been saving a lot of money on PayPal fees on lower value items. However, on the few higher value items I sell I end up paying more than I need to as they would be better on Macropayments.
Is there any way of applying micropayments to the lower value items, but macropayments to the higher value ones? I just use micropayments on everything at the moment.
piggyplanet2011 – http://stores.ebay.co.uk/The-Piggy-Planet-Shop
Yes, dead easy. I use two accounts just as you wish to, the main one for most sales and then micro for little lipsticks and lower value items.
When listing your item you will see your micro PayPal account entered in the payments section, just replace this with your macro payments account (you can open a second account if you don’t already have one). The money will flow into either account as you see fit.
One thing to bear in mind is when a buyer buys two low value items (which would each go to micro) you can alter the PayPal address when send the combined invoice and direct payment to the macro account. You just need to work out the break-even value at which a switch becomes viable.
One further point as we are talking about PayPal is the facility to send money for personal reasons via PayPal free of charge! This is still available and great for sending money to poor Elves who can’t afford to eat much during the slow season. Just select the personal tab from the send money option within PayPal.
If you have a question about eBay or home working in general, please send it to: firstname.lastname@example.org – I will reply personally to every e-mail I receive and remember, there are FREE copies of my book available for the best questions, tips, or stories.
– END NOTE –
That’s all for this week. Check out www.ebaybulletin.co.uk for the latest news from Molly HQ.
I am loving my new shop – it is great to get back to basics and the sale of a £10 fluffy toy causes more excitement than a dozen tubes of hand cream – it’s the kid in me! The only trouble is that the Elves are spending more time playing with the toys than selling them!
Best wishes and happy eBaying
Author of the bestselling title, ‘The eBay Business Handbook’ – available direct from the publishers: www.harriman-house.com/ebaybusiness