Archive for January, 2005

eBay’s Fee Increase. Time To Quit?

Tuesday 25 January 2005 @ 12:06 pm

Have you heard about eBay’s new fee increases?

Has it got you worried?

Is It Time For You To Quit eBay?

- Should You Quit eBay Because Of The Fee Increases?

- Get paid $75 and get 2 months free usage of this tool which helps you sell more!

- Great affiliate program paying up to $119.75 per sale

Click to get more info

Random Thought: Suitcase Trivia

Friday 21 January 2005 @ 5:59 pm

Do you put a padlock on your zipper suitcase when traveling?

This is not allowed anymore in the USA since security measures have gotten so strict.

Still, A friend of mine that works for customs in San Jose, Costa Rica taught me this trick.

If you have a plastic zipper on your suitcase, all it takes is a “BIC” pen to break in (undetected) EVEN when it is locked. Simply place the tip of the pen in the middle between the 2 zipper tracks. Then smash your fist into the back of the pen. It will separate the zipper and you can freely see what what is inside. When done, simply run the zipper up and down to reseal it.

No-one call tell that the bag has been opened.

The moral of the story is to buy a suitcase with a metal zipper :-)

Save TONS Of Keystrokes And Time!

Thursday 20 January 2005 @ 1:56 pm

This freebie is a great tool to save you time, especially in responding to emails.

How often do you have to type the same exact sentence or paragraph OVER AND OVER AND OVER!

It allows you to type a paragraph of information (up to 3000 characters) by just using a few key strokes.

Do you have the same information that you type over and over?

Well with this great FREE tool, you no longer have to.

It is called Shortkeys. There is a lite version for no charge.

Click Here to read a PDF describing it.

Click Here to visit the download page to get a FREE copy.

Cancun For FREE!

Wednesday 19 January 2005 @ 5:51 pm

Here is a great deal.

How do you make your home and business purchases?

Do you use a credit card?

Do you have a card that rewards you for using it?

One card I use is an American Airlines Mastercard from CitiBank. I use this whenever possible.

I use it to pay for gasoline, groceries, restaurants, clothing, EVERYTHING possible. Each time I spend $1.00, I get a frequent flyer mile.

Figure out how much you spend on these necessities of life. It really adds up.

Normally, it takes 25,000 miles to earn a trip within the 48 States. Mexico and the Caribbean are normally 35,000 miles.

Here is the cool part.

Four times a year AA/Citibank has a promotion where they heavily discount the number of miles required for a trip. There are both domestic and international locations. For the last 3 years, Cancun Mexico has been on the list during September.

This year during September it only took 17,500 miles to get a round trip ticket! That is half the regular amount.

Check out the discounted locations here

So, for $52,500 of spending, I am able to get 3 tickets to Cancun! Woo Hoo!

When I checked today, they would give you 12,500 miles to start you off!

They even have a debit card version. For more info call 1-800-374-9700 or visit their website.

Check it out here

Hey, with your eBay business and personal spending your going to spend a lot.

Why not get something for it?

How To Get A $400.00 Label Printer AND FREE Labels For ONLY $2.00 A Week.

Tuesday 18 January 2005 @ 12:39 pm

This is one of the sweetest deals around!

UPS will lease you a thermal label printer for $2.00 a week AND supply you with all the labels that you need for $0.00!

This printer is AWESOME. I have printed thousands of labels on it, and it has NEVER even jammed once!

It uses labels that come on a roll. It takes about 30 seconds to put a new roll in, and you are back in business. What is really great is that if the labels run out in the middle of printing a label, no problem! It is smart enough to reprint that label once the new roll is inserted.

If you do not have a UPS account, you MUST get one. They charge $7.00 a week to do a daily pickup.

My friend has a “UPS Store” five minutes away, so he just brings his packages there.

I use the same printer to do all of my USPS package labels too.

This is a great printer. Run, don’t walk and get yours :-)

Q&A: How Do You Set Your eBay BIN (Buy It Now) Price?

Monday 17 January 2005 @ 5:36 pm

Q. How do you set your Buy It Now price?

A. There is no hard fast and rule for setting my BIN (Buy It Now) price.

When I have multiple quantities of the same item, I normally would prefer to move them consistently at a decent profit for each.

I do not expect extra profit due to a bidding war.

My target auction price is normally 40% or more of my cost.

To me, the purpose of BIN is to have it close enough the minimum (or reserve) that a bidder will think:
“Man, for $5.00, it’s not worth waiting for the auction to end. I just use BIN”.

I may be stereotyping here, but my personal experience makes it seem that most men (not teenage males :-) use BIN because they are simply to busy or forgetful to try to snipe bid the item. (Snipe=To put in your bid at the last moment)

These are the hunters. They shop for necessity, not for pleasure.

For example, I needed a 12 volt battery for my alarm system one day. I checked eBay for the lowest BIN, bought it and crossed the job off of my list.

So.. when setting that price I think “How much would someone be willing to pay for the convenience of BIN?”

Usually, it is about 15% above the minimum or reserve.

IF… I am selling a one of a kind item, that I cannot find an eBay history for, I will usually NOT use a BIN!

Simply because I’m not in a big rush to get it sold. Chances are it’s already been sitting in my warehouse for weeks, so who cares about 7 days more. Recently we listed an original Elvis Tshirt from 1956 that belonged to my mother-in-law. Although it had rips in the underarms, the logo picture was still in decent shape. We had no idea of what it would bring. So, we set a $25 reserve and NO BIN. What do you think it went for? If you guessed $274.00 then you guessed right :-0


So for a recap. IF there will be a BIN, I normally do 15% above the minimum/reserve

Of course, you never know until you try. If it works well, then try raising it. If it doesn’t work try lowering it.

That is the only way to find out what will work for you.

Are Priority Mail Supplies REALLY Free?

Sunday 16 January 2005 @ 5:24 pm

Have you ever heard the expression “There is no FREE lunch?”.

Chances are you have.

Usually it seems that proverb is quite accurate.

Does it apply to our favorite American Bureaucracy the UNITED STATES POST OFFICE?

Don’t they give away those beautiful (yet stylish) Priority Mailing envelopes and boxes for $0?

Just because they don’t charge you, does that mean that they’re actually FREE??

Let’s think about it for a minute… (Click to Continue)

Find The Cheapest Way Of Shipping Your eBay Package

Saturday 15 January 2005 @ 3:47 pm

Have you ever wanted to know what is the cheapest way to ship your eBay package?

Of course you have.

Shipping the right way can make you big $$$, while choosing the wrong method can cost you $$$.

My rule of thumb is:
1oz -13oz = USPS First Class with Delivery Confirmation
14oz-3LB = USPS Parcel Post (If less than 1000 miles)
or Priority Mail if over 1000 miles
>3lbs = UPS Ground

(Note: USPS=United States Postal Service)

Remember: 1lb or less is a fixed rate of $3.85 to ANY US
PROPERTY. This includes Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, Puerto Rico

Want to quickly figure out your best shipping option?

The site has been without cost for awhile, but it looks as if they are wanting people to subscribe to it. I say check it out and see if it is of value for you. From the main page, you can try it out for FREE!

Q&A: What Type of Auction Should You Use?

Friday 14 January 2005 @ 3:39 pm

Q. How do you decide whether to use a regular auction, Dutch auction and/or BUY IT NOW?

A. This is definitely an experience situation. It depends mostly on:

What are you selling ?
How many of them do you have to sell?
How soon do you need to move them?
How “HOT” is the item?
Here are the “rules” that I follow:

- If I have a unique item that I only have one of, I run a regular auction WITHOUT Buy It Now (BIN) for 7 days if I can see others recently sold, or 10 days if I can’t see any recent sold history which probably means it is hard to find.

- If I have an item that I repeatedly sell and have a continuing supply, I run BOTH Dutch and regular auctions. I stagger them throughout the day.

(I live on the East coast so times below are EST)

10:45am - Qty 1. Regular auction with Buy It Now
03:30pm - Qty 3. Dutch auction
07:35pm - Qty 1. Regular auction with Buy It Now
11:00pm - Qty 3. Dutch auction


Because some people hate waiting and bidding and will use BIN, while others feel comfortable that they can put in a minimum bid and will get their item in the Dutch format.

Space out the auctions evenly, alternating between the formats. (ie Reg/Dutch/Reg/Dutch..)

If you are consistently selling out (or almost) then consider adding another auction. If I were to add to the above schedule, I would try adding a midnight auction (which is only 9pm on the West Coast), or try a combo of 9:30am / 12:30 / 3:30 / 6:30 / 9:30 / 11:30. You always want one of your auctions to appear in the front page, (By having it close soon)

Note! Remember that eBay doesn’t like you to have more than 10 IDENTICAL auctions running simultaneously. So be careful!


I seldom see (or expect) a bidding war to take place in a Dutch auction.

For most sellers, the purpose of this format is to sell a bunch of items FAST. My purpose is to sell CONSISTENTLY! I may have 100 identical items to sell, but I don’t expect that if I ran a Dutch Qty 100 auction that I would sell them all.

Why? Unless you have an INCREDIBILY hot item, I don’t see that happening
(Please email me with examples if I’m wrong :-)

Thinking as a BUYER, if I see a Dutch auction with a 99 qty, I’ll think “Ahhh.. I can buy this anytime.” If I see a qty of 3, I’ll think “Oooh.. better buy now sounds like they are almost all gone!”.

So, I tend to keep my dutch qty as low as possible. To me, Dutch qty=2 doesn’t make sense, so qty=3 is a the minimum I do. Keep your qty 0-2 below your # of bids.

For example: You list qty=3, and get…
4 bids = Keep it at 3.
5 bids = Keep it at 3.
6 bids = Up it to 4.
7 bids = Up it to 5.

To succeed in eBay, you need to be concerned with MANY small victories, not a few “big scores”. “Big scores” are gravy, while consistent average sales are your bread and butter.

The name of the game is a consistent stream of sales!

Have YOU Set Goals For Yourself?

Thursday 13 January 2005 @ 3:21 pm

Do you know what YOU want?

That my friend is the FIRST step of having a successful business.

If you don’t know where you want to go, then where do you start and how do you get there?

You might think “I want to make BIG money selling on eBay”.

Making money isn’t a goal!

Money is a TOOL to help you get to some goal or destination.

- Do you want eBay to be your ONLY business, or just a part time business?
- Where do you want to end up?
- What is your destination?
- What is important to you?
- How much do you want to work?
- Do you want time to be with your family?
- Do you want time to do volunteer work?
- Do you want time to travel?
- Do you want to be able to control your destiny?

Everyone has their own personal answers to these questions.

One woman I met wanted her husband to quit his day job and work eBay from home as a family. She strongly believes (and I agree) that families should be and work together.

Only you (and your family) can set your goals.

It is good to understand what money actually means to you.

How do you view money?

a) As something to be saved as much as possible.
b) As something to be spent as much as possible :-)
c) As something to be invested as wisely as possible.
d) As a tool that “buys” time for me and my family, allowing us to (fill in the blank)

Once you have determined what your goal and destination is, here is some homework to complete:

Write down your goals.

Use a reasonable number of steps and allow yourself adequate time. For example:

“I will be selling $250 a week on eBay within 2 months”
“I will be selling $550 a week on eBay within 4 months”
“I will be selling $1000 a week on eBay within 8 months”

Use Smaller Steps.

It is much easier (and more enjoyable) to reach many smaller goals, than it is to strive after one huge goal.

Smaller successes will keep you motivated to make larger successes.

These details should include:

* How much money should eBay generate per year/month/week?
* Will it be our only income or will it supplement other wages?
* Will you do 100% of the work, or are there others to assist?
* Do you want to fly solo with nobody helping.
* Do you want to “Keep it in the family”
* Do you to eventually, have an employee(s) to help.

Once you follow the above steps, you have now laid the foundation to build your success on!

Making A Fortune On eBay!

Wednesday 12 January 2005 @ 2:58 pm

So… You Want To Make A Fortune Selling On eBay Huh??

* Do you hate your job?
* Do you need money to pay off bills?
* Are you looking to save enough to buy your own house?

Think of the reason why YOU are interested in having an eBay business. When people are asked why they’ll often reply something like:

“Because I know a lot of people who are making good money on eBay and I want to do that too.” or 
“I’m sick of my job. It would be so cool to work from home with no more office politics.”

These are valid feelings, and comments like above have been the reason that many people have started their own eBay business.

Others have tried eBay as a hobby and used it to sell off items around the house. Amazed at how much money they could make in a short period of time opens their eyes to the real potential eBay has to generate a fortune.

That was how my wife (Camille) and I began selling on eBay. I joined eBay in May 1999 (eBayID = Mikee17). At the time I was working as a computer software programmer as a contractor. That means that I work 3-6 months (or more) on programming projects. I have wornexked for many small companies as well as larger ones (ie.. Oceanspray Cranberries, Xerox).

At that time, computer programmers were getting paid insane rates of $50 - $100 AN HOUR (or more!), and it was fairly easy to find the work. Life was good! Then, I had a client stiff me out of MANY thousands of dollars of invoices. I was in a major cash crunch. Camille & I were at a local chain store that sells closeouts and I saw a huge display of recent computer books selling for $6.99 each. Now I know computer books! I have on multiple occasions dropped $30-$50 on a single book. These were VERY valuable books, with a retail from $35 - $75.

So, I picked up a dozen, listed them on eBay and quickly sold them all, making about $20 profit for each one. Hmm.. I visited 5 of the stores in the area and bought up almost 200 of the titles that I knew would sell. I made about $5000 profit by the time I was done. Hmmm.. I thought “I bet you could make a HUGE living selling on eBay!”

My wife and I continued to sell part-time, while I worked full time programming. After awhile, it started getting harder to find the programming work without doing a 3 hour commute round trip to Boston. I knew I was not going to do that kind of commute for an extended period of time. Leaving the house at 6:00am and getting home at 6:00pm stinks!

My thoughts returned to the eBay idea….

“Could I make enough money selling on eBay to replace my full-time programming work?”

“Did I want to trade one full-time job for another?”

“What shortcomings of contract programming could be overcome by an eBay business?”

After much thinking and number crunching, I was able to answer the above questions with:

“Yes, there is no limit to how much money you can make on eBay! “
“No, I did not want to build a business where I would always be a slave to it.”

In contract programming, every hour worked is another hour you get paid. No work + Holidays + Sickness + Vacation=NO PAY! Every Monday morning I started at $0. It is not uncommon to be let go at a moment’s notice. Working today, but not tomorrow. A common expression is “Great gig if you can find the work :-)”

So after all this thought and contemplation, I formulated


1) In the long run, it would NOT require my fulltime attention. (Although in the beginning it would require BIG hours to get it rolling!)
2) I wanted to be able to go on vacation, take a day trip, go to the doctors, work around the house, play with my kids, etc… and STILL make money.
3) I would need to make $XXXX per week/month/year to replace my consulting work and keep my level of living.

Tomorrow, we’ll discuss:

“Have YOU Set Goals For Yourself?


Tuesday 11 January 2005 @ 5:13 pm

Many people ask me what tool they should use editing the HTML for their eBay auction ads.

Up until now I hadn’t found a FREE tool that I wanted to recommend.

Until today!

A company called NVu has created an open source full blown HTML editor. Here are some features:

- WYSIWYG editing of pages, making web creation as easy as typing a letter with your word processor.
- Integrated file management via FTP. Simply login to your web site and navigate through your files, editing web pages on the fly, directly from your site.
- Reliable HTML code creation that will work with all of today’s most popular browsers.
- Jump between WYSIWYG Editing Mode and HTML using tabs.
- Tabbed editing to make working on multiple pages a snap.
- Powerful support for forms, tables, and templates.
- The easiest-to-use, most powerful Web Authoring System available for Desktop Linux users.

The program is small and FAST. The weird thing is that you don’t actually install the program!

I just downloaded the zip, extracted it to a directory, and then ran NVU.exe.

I’ve been using Frontpage for too long, and have been looking for a new tool.

For new eBay sellers on a limited budget, this is DEFINITELY worth checking out.

Find out more by visiting the website

They have a Windows version and a LINUX version. Simply click on the DOWNLOAD menu button to get your own copy.

I’ll keep you posted on my success (or tribulations) with it.

January 2005, eBay Selling Tips N Techniques Available

Monday 10 January 2005 @ 12:53 pm

This is to let you know that the lastest version of the newsletter, the January 2005 issue of eBay Selling Tips N Techniques is now available.

In this issue we will discuss:

How To Whoop Your Competition!

  • Easy Inexpensive Ways To Whoop Your Competition
  • Watch A Video To Learn How To Create A KILLER Gallery Image
  • Where To Find A List Of Popularly Sold Items (eBay Supplies it!)
  • How To Get THOUSANDS Of Dollars Worth Of Computer Training For FREE!
  • Get Your eBay & Internet Questions Answered LIVE!
  • Now you can listen to the newsletter!

You’ll read this and MUCH more in the latest newsletter.

You can read it by clicking here:

Monday 3 January 2005 @ 4:49 pm