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Make It Easy for Someone to Buy from You – Develop a Brand

February 11th, 2015 by Skip McGrath

Today’s post is a guest post by Diana Ratliff and expert in website marketing. Her contact info is at the end of the article.

Make It Easy for Someone to Buy from You – Develop a Brand
By Diana Ratliff

If you want your products to stand out in the marketplace, you need three things.
1. to be discovered – prospects need to know you exist;
2. to be selling – the folks who find you need to buy; and
3. to be remembered – for repeat business and referrals.

Branding makes the third one easier.

Entrepreneur magazine defines branding as “The marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products. Simply put, your brand is your promise to your client. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it distinguishes your offering from that of your competitors. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be, and who people perceive you to be.”

Note that it is more than just your name and logo!

Having someone remember your brand in a positive way makes it easier for them to buy from you. Brands give us shortcuts – they save us from having to think too much or do too much work when deciding what to buy, because we know what to expect – that’s called a “brand promise.”

Consider a few successful brands.

Starbucks: They’re as much about lifestyle as they are about coffee, and they have intense brand loyalty. Starbucks is seen as a comfortable place to sip your favorite brew while chatting with a business connection or surfing the Internet.

Lexus: Lexus is the luxury car division of Toyota. The cars share engineering, the chassis, and design elements. Certainly the cars differ, but more important the brand differs. You see it in the way their salespeople are dressed and the way they treat you. The upscale showrooms and squeaky-clean service departments foster that impression of class and luxury. People pay a premium price for that.

McDonald’s: Fast service and consistency in taste, quality and pricing are the hallmarks of the McDonald’s brand. You know what you’ll get when you go into a McDonald’s restaurant, and we’re reassured by that.

Okay, so you’re not McDonald’s or Starbucks – let’s look at this in another way.

Your brand is your value proposition. It’s a positioning statement that explains what benefit you provide, who you do it for, and how you do it uniquely well. It describes your target buyer, the problem you solve, and why you’re distinctly better than the alternatives. Very often, it’s described in your tagline or slogan.

Branding is the glue that binds various products together in your customer’s mind, and the dazzle that makes your products stand out above your competitors.

How though, to create a brand, especially if you’re offering products that others can sell too? Maybe you’re buying at wholesale or private-labeling products that others can also locate.

You need to find a way to make your product unique or better. Here’s what one client did.

He was buying lawn care items at wholesale and struggling to compete. There was no reason for someone to buy from him rather than anyone else, and he didn’t want to compete on price.

What he ultimately did was bundle them as a “recommended products kit” under his own brand. He added a DVD he made on how to use them.

No one else was bundling or adding the DVD, and few were targeting the market he chose, which is people who do not want to use certain types of products on their yard because they have younger children and pets.

He also created his own brand website. Though Amazon fulfilled the orders, the brand site allowed him to collect email addresses, set re-targeting cookies, and further educate prospects on the benefits of his product line.

You need to do something similar for the products you sell. You must either develop a product/line that is clearly different or better, or position it so that it’s perceived that way by your target audience.

Then wherever and whenever you market that product online, be consistent in the way you present it and talk about it, so that your brand becomes synonymous with a benefit to your prospect.

To sum up: Want to make it easy for someone to buy from you? Then focus less on “selling products” and start “promoting a brand.”

###
Diana Ratliff is an experienced online marketing consultant whose company, YourFriendontheWeb.com, specializes in e-commerce strategy, design and marketing. She’s also an Amazon and eBay seller.

She’s working on a special report, Secrets to eCommerce Income: What Sellers Must Know Before Starting an Online Store. If you have stories, anecdotes or advice to contribute, email her at Diana@dianaratliff.com.

If you’d like to be notified when the book is published, please sign her list at http://bit.ly/ecombook

February Newsletter is Now Available

February 9th, 2015 by Skip McGrath

The Feb 2015 Issue of the Online Sellers News for eBay and Amazon Sellers is now online.

In This Issue

1. Five Tips to Increase Your Amazon FBA Profits
2.  eBay’s Woes Continue – Can They Ever Recover?
3.  eBay Niche of The Month – 35mm Film Camera Lenses
4. Preventing Returns on eBay and Amazon
5. New Wholesale Sources for eBay and Amazon Sellers

This is the early Feb issue. The next issue will be out around Feb 22nd.  If you’d like to get a notice in the email about new newsletters you can sign up here.  In addition to getting an email about the newsletter you’ll get some great bonus items.

I will give you FOUR
Moneymaking eBooks with your no-cost signup.

Newsletter for Online Sellers

  • Sixteen Great eBay and/or Amazon Niches –  This free bonus is better than a lot of eBooks I’ve seen people sell!  The book is almost 40 pages long and has details about 16 profitable niche markets.  There are merchandise tips, background market information, photos and more!
  • Successful Product Sourcing: How to find REAL Wholesale Products YOU can sell Online – This eBook will help you earn higher profit margins by better product sourcing.
  • Forty-Four Wholesale Sources for Small eBay Sellers – Be sure to check out these great sources as well as the sample email to wholesalers on page four.
  • Online Auction Photo Secrets  – This eBook will show how you can increase the number of bids your auctions get…and increase your final values ten-twenty or even thirty percent.  This book usually sells for $17, but we’re giving it away as a gift to our new newsletter subscribers.

 

Ecom Spy helps you find profitable ASINs on Amazon

January 30th, 2015 by Skip McGrath

This is an article right off their website.  This looks like a really cool product and I am going to try it.  I will let you know how it worked out in a later post.  When you get to the end there is a link for a free trial.

The old adage goes that the most important part of fishing is choosing the right fishing hole.

Know where to fish.

If you pick a pond where the fish are too small, you’ll waste time and effort with very few bites. If you pick a pond where everyone else is fishing, you’ll risk getting your line tangled and may never actually catch a fish.

The best spots have good fish, and only a few fishermen around.

Good advice for fishing – even better for selling on Amazon.

Picking the Perfect Fishing Hole

Selling on Amazon can feel like you are searching for the perfect fishing hole. Does this ASIN have enough margin? What is the competition like? What is the demand?

Unlike actual fishing however, when you sell on Amazon, you have access to millions of potential “fishing holes.” You could be selling anything – which often creates more anxiety than opportunity. Are you selling the right product? Should you change your strategy? What are the great opportunities you don’t even know about? Would you even recognize a great opportunity if it came by?

When you are filtering through electronic catalogues of thousands of items, it’s easy to wonder if you are making the right decisions.

Two Characteristics of a Great Amazon Fishing Hole

Here are the two main factors to help you determine if you found a good fishing “hole.”

1. People are making money

Everyone starts selling on Amazon to make money. But too often, sellers act like there is a magic prize for making the most number of sales, even if it means they haven’t made any profit. It is the equivalent of someone spending all day at the fishing hole and walking away with fifty sardines.

Many products on Amazon have razor-thin margins, especially after calculating your FBA fees. Some of these products end up being sold at a loss. Even if you can find a way to win the Buy Box, it’s often not worth your time.

You need a way to quickly measure if you will actually make money, instead of being stuck with a handful of sardines.

2. It’s not too crowded

If you pick an ASIN that has dozens or hundreds of other sellers, the only way to really distinguish yourself is to lower your price. Then you might find yourself in a price war and on a long race to the bottom. You want to find a place where there is plenty of room for more sellers.

Finding out that there are a few other sellers is actually a good thing, because it lets you know that someone else is finding success, but you can safely keep fishing without your lines getting crossed.

How to Fish on Amazon

While this all makes sense, you may still feel some anxiety. With millions of products to choose from, how can you make an intelligent choice? How can you make sure that you are in the right place and haven’t missed an opportunity? It’s impossible to examine every available product and figure out which ones are the best.

At least it used to be.

eComSpy is the perfect tool for anyone who wants to make sure they are fishing at the right hole. Simply upload an electronic catalogue with all the UPCs you want to research and within minutes, you will have all the information you need.

Your report includes:

  • Amazon product sales rank
  • Number of FBA sellers and total sellers
  • Lowest FBA price and lowest overall price
  • Potential profit calculations (factoring in FBA fees if applicable)
  • …and more.

eComSpy will show you all the hidden opportunities you don’t want to miss. In fishing terms, it is the equivalent of examining all the ponds and streams in the world and instantly having information on how big the fish are, how often they bite, and who else fishes there. No fisherman would ever pass on that kind of information, and you shouldn’t either.

Click here for a free trial, and find your perfect fishing hole in minutes.

Brands can’t use copyright to stop resales, court confirms

January 25th, 2015 by Skip McGrath

This is a major decision that will affect all eBay and Amazon sellers.

Brands can’t use copyright to stop resales, court confirms

In 2013, the fate of everything from used bookstores to neighborhood garage sales hung in the balance as the Supreme Court decided whether it was legal for people to sell secondhand goods without the permission of the original owner. Fortunately for resellers, the court said it was and, this week, a new court ruling cleared up the issue once and for all — for physical goods that is. Digital possessions are still a different story. Read the full story at Gigaom

eBay & Amazon Seller’s News – January 21, 2015 Edition

January 23rd, 2015 by Skip McGrath

I just wanted to let you know that a new version of our newsletter is available.  You can always find the current version of the eBay and Amazon Seller’s News here.  And past issues can be seen in the archive area.

So what’s in the newsletter?

  1. FREE 19-point checklist reveals… the secret of finding suppliers in China!! – This handy checklist will help you evaluate suppliers in China
  2. Why Total Dollars Net From a Sale are More Important Than ROI – It’s always important to look at the numbers.
  3. Now Is the Time to Source and Ship for Mother’s Day – Mother’s Day is closer than you think!
  4. Easy Product Bundles Anyone Can Do – I’ll show you how to make some easy product bundles.
  5. Combat Amazon’s Latest Fee Increases With Higher Conversions  – Yes, there are some things you can do.
  6. New Wholesale Sources for eBay and Amazon Sellers – You know I’m always on the lookout for new wholesale sources.

And don’t forget to check the musings.  I’ve got a simple way for you to find the top selling items in any category.

Amazon Seller Tip - How to find the top selling items in any category

Updated Article – 20 Tips for Selling on Amazon

January 22nd, 2015 by Skip McGrath

Tips for Selling on AmazonI’ve updated my article, Twenty Tips for Selling on Amazon.  It includes three good reasons that you should become a professional seller.  (You can see one listed on the left.) You can also see ways to deal with negative feedback,  packing tips and 17 other tips.

Leveraging Sales Rank to Formulate Amazon Selling Strategies

January 19th, 2015 by Skip McGrath

Amazon Sales RankToday’s post is a guest post by Izabella de Souza of Appeagle – am Amazon repricing service.

Leveraging Sales Rank to Formulate Amazon Selling Strategies

By Izabella De Souza of Appeagle

Selling on Amazon is a marathon, not a sprint. There are numerous factors and idiosyncrasies that play into selling effectively online, and it can take years to acquire all of the expert-level knowledge that’s out there. When deciding whether an item is worth the investment to sell on Amazon, sellers often factor the item’s existing sales rank into their decision.

Sales Rank Defined

As defined by Amazon, sales rank refers to the current selling performance of an item. A lower sales rank (higher numerical value) indicates a drop in sales for an item, while a higher sales rank (lower numerical value) denotes higher, more active sales for an item. Amazon doesn’t disclose its algorithm, but we know the retailer updates an item’s sales rank every hour in their effort to reflect recent sales trends and maintain a current ranking system. The idea of sales rank sounds simple enough, but much like selling online in general, there are complex elements that go into understanding the full scope of sales rank.

What Does Sales Rank Really Mean

Many sellers have a hard time grasping the true notion of sales rank. Some may believe it is a cumulative representation of a product’s sales standing overall, while others consider it a permanent grade that doesn’t change. In layman’s terms, sales rank can be thought of as representing sales velocity or the duration of time since the item was last purchased. A product’s sales rank will begin to rise until it sells again. The longer the period of time between sales, the higher that product’s sales rank will be. When a new sale for the product occurs, the sales rank drops—often significantly.

Common Misconceptions

Sellers tend to either overemphasize or ignore sales rank. Sales rank shouldn’t be ignored because its data that comes directly from Amazon—which is hard to come by. Amazon is very selective in sharing data and anything that the marketplace provides should be taken into account. However, while sales rank provides valuable data, it only represents a product’s most current standing—not a history of the SKU’s sales position which should also be weighed.

Some sellers think that product reviews can be used to measure sales rank accuracy. The idea is that a greater number of reviews denotes a precise sales rank, while little to no reviews represents the opposite. This is incorrect. While both reviews and sales rank can technically be manipulated—reviews by sellers posting fake evaluations, and sales rank by sellers placing fake orders—reviews and sales rank still do not correlate even when neither is manipulated. Additionally, a manipulated sales rank will return to its true value over time while reviews will not.

Much like with product reviews, many sellers may be under the impression that stock quantity affects sales rank. This misconception is derived from the idea that if a seller has many of an item in stock, it may be likely that the item’s sales are infrequent. Because of all the factors that contribute to every individual seller’s replenishment methods, this is an arbitrary argument that does not contribute to sales rank at all.

Category Is Everything

One of the most important factors to recognize about an item’s sales rank, is that it is entirely relative to other items in that product’s category. In highly saturated categories like Health & Personal Care or Home & Kitchen, a higher sales rank means less competition for sales. Likewise, in a category less inundated with SKUs—such as Electronics or Jewelry—a lower sales rank can mean the opportunity for sales, but with much stiffer competition.

Paying close attention to popular sub-categories is also important. There is a general sales rank among parent departments and depending whether or not a product can be found in different sub-categories, the sales rank may change. Sales rank ties directly into search in the sense that even a good rank in a sub-category is only useful if that is how people are searching for an item. So while the fixed blade knife you’re selling may rank high (#33) in the sub-category of Hunting Knives, it can rank a bit lower (#89) in a sub-category like Knives & Tools, and much lower (#3,212) in the parent category of Sports & Outdoors.

Finding the Balance

With so many factors influencing sales rank, it can be difficult to decide how best to weigh the components that affect sales rank. We’ve compiled a checklist to help eliminate some confusion…

  1. Understand Which Department/Sub-Categories Your Products Fits In. As mentioned, depending on the item’s department or sub-category, the sales rank can mean different things. The nature of your product will determine whether or not the parent department sales rank or the sub-category sales rank should be weighed more heavily.
  2. Know Your Budget. What really matters is your decision to risk selling with high competition (low sales rank) and perhaps making a smaller profit, or with low competition (high sales rank) and maybe not making a sale. Deciding how much of your own money you have to spend on inventory for a specific SKU should be your ultimate deciding factor.
  3. Use Google Trends to Gauge Public Interest. If an item has a high sales rank in a saturated department or category but you still wonder if there’s a market demand for it, you can use Google Trends to see if people are searching for that particular item. Google Trends will show recent search results, as well as results spanning years back and regional interest. In other words, if you’re an international Amazon seller and you see that the item in question is not popular in the U.S. but is widely sought after in Europe, you may choose to list it on Amazon France, Germany, Italy, UK or Spain.

 ——————————–

This is one of the best explanations of sales rank I have seen.  After reading this I felt like I had a college course in Sales Rank 101.  If you are interested in learning about Appeagle’s’ repricing service, please click here.

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If you would like to learn how to sell on Amazon professionally, please read about The Complete Amazon Marketing System – it’s a two volume training program that covers all aspects of learning how to sell like  a pro on Amazon.

Updated – My Top 99 Wholesale Sources For Online Sellers

January 6th, 2015 by Skip McGrath

Updated in 2015 I wanted to let you know that I’ve updated another popular book.   I just uploaded the January 2015  version of My Top Ninety-Nine Wholesale Sources For eBay and Amazon Sellers .  As with all of my eBooks you get updated versions for life.  If you’ve already bought the book just go back to the download page and you’ll find the newest version.

If you haven’t purchased this book I highly recommend it.  You can have instant access to this specialized list, plus my own specialized wholesale search engine for just $4.99 –AND it comes with a money back guarantee if you are not happy with the information.  You can’t beat a deal like that!

New Years Resolution for FBA sellers

December 31st, 2014 by Skip McGrath

“Master Inventory Control”

For most of us, inventory is our single biggest expense. Amazon is very simple – In general, the more SKUs you have, the more you will sell.

But under performing inventory can be a profit trap. As you go through the year, follow these steps:

– Practice Just in Time Inventory. Watch your stock like a hawk – know how long it takes to reorder and get new inventory into Amazon. Ideally you new inventory will hit FBA just as your last item sells.

-Pull an inventory report and a transaction report every month. On the transaction report, sort your transactions by SKU and create an extra column where you enter the cost of that product (including inbound and FBA shipping cost). This will tell you what your top sellers are and how much money you are making.

On your inventory report identify your slow sellers and take action such as lowering the price, rewriting your titles, keywords and descriptions, etc. Basically do anything it takes to get that inventory moving. If it just won’t move, then you have a dog product and you want to really lower the cost to get that money back to put to work on products that sell.

– Keep searching for new items to sell to replace those slow sellers.

– Don’t be a margin pig. Yes big profit margins are nice but not if the items are sitting there a long time. Lowering your price and margin will allow you to turn your inventory over more often. And, the more times you can turn you inventory over in a year the more money you will make.

-Don’t forget about the extra Long Term Storage Costs Amazon imposes twice a year on inventory that has been in Amazon over a year. Don’t get caught with a lot of that. It can be very expensive and a real profit killer.

Follow these steps and I guarantee you will see a more profitable 2015 than last year.

Good luck and Happy New Year
Skip McGrath

Updated Version of Ten Little-Known Highly Profitable Niche Markets on eBay

December 23rd, 2014 by Skip McGrath

Ten Little-Known Highly Profitable Niche Markets on eBayJust a quick note to let you know that one of my most popular books has been updated. The most recent version of Ten Little-Known Highly Profitable Niche Markets on eBay was added to the site just this morning.  As with all of my eBooks you get updated versions for life.  So if you’ve already bought the book just go back to the download page and you’ll find the December, 2014 version there.

Amazon Repricing Software Glitch Bankrupts Many UK FBA Sellers

December 15th, 2014 by Skip McGrath

Before I get into this, I wanted to let you know I had a bad fall the other night and although nothing broken, my left arm is in a sling.  I should be able to get out of it in about a week – but in the meantime I can only type one-handed.  So let me apologize in advance for any typos.

Now the story – Repricing software is used by a lot of sellers to win the buy box on Amazon.  Well a third party repricer by a company called Repricer Express in the UK had a glitch  a couple night ago and repriced millions of items at one-penny.  The glitch lasted about 3 hours but it was the busiest time of day and millions of items were sold at the price of one-penny.  Merchant Fulfilled sellers were able to cancel the orders, but FBA sellers were hit hard as Amazon was shipping as fast as the items came in.

People were buying expensive items like jewelry, appliances, and even mattresses.

Since the problem was caused by a 3rd party – Amazon bears no responsibility and will not be reimbursing sellers.  I saw a Facebook post from one FBA seller who said they lost 90,000 pounds (About $150,000) in three hours and that size loss may cause them to file for bankruptcy.

I had a short interview with Shmuli Goldberg, President of Feedvisor and algorithmic repricer, who said that over 75,000,000 items were sold during the time period.  I asked Shmuli if he though other repricers were at risk for this type of action and he thought not.  His system, Feedvisor has a 4 point checking system including a sanity check to prevent bogus prices from being sent to Amazon.  He feels that other companies have similar systems and that this is not an industry wide problem.  As for folks getting reimbursed by Repricer Express – they are certainly liable, but I seriously doubt that they are big enough financially and may be the first casualty.  I would be seriously surprised if anyone got any money back.

Although the Merchant Fulfilled sellers were able to cancel orders before they shipped they still had some damage as several customers posted negative feedback when their orders were cancelled.  Its not clear yet, whether Amazon will remove those feedbacks, but I suspect they will in time.  But in the meantime, those bad feedbacks can knock those seller out of the buy box during the hottest selling time of the year.

The lesson here is when you use any third party software or any software you may design yourself –then realize the risk is on you when something goes wrong.

Search for your own books – use bookfinder.com as metasearch

December 12th, 2014 by Skip McGrath

Today’s post is a guest post by Scott Laming and Bernd Heinisch from team at www.bookfinder.com

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In online bookselling the competition is fierce. With such a vast number of books, sellers and marketplaces for a customer to choose from, it can be hard to stand out in the crowd.  However simple changes in your pricing or listing information could make a big difference for your future earnings, and if you use a metasearch – like bookfinder.com it just takes one search to compare your offers to those of over 100,000 other sellers around the globe.

How many different marketplaces do you sell on? When did you last search for your own books on any of these websites?

Last week? Very Good!

A few months ago? Hmm, things may have changed.

Never? Oh, then this is a great opportunity to do it today!

You will never be able to micromanage all of your listings, so just select a dozen of your books which you think offer a representation of your whole inventory, additionally select some truly random books. Excel has a rand function =rand(), use it.  We will use these to spot check your competitiveness and listing quality.

Before you begin each test query take a moment to imagine who the typical buyer for each of your selected books might be? How would they phrase their search, what factors would be most important to them and does you’re listing explain the benefits of your listing compared to the competition…

Would the customer be a student looking for a textbook?

A student would probably search by ISBN.  Also they would likely value shipping speed more than condition.  Ask yourself if they would compare your domestic textbook to international editions?

Would they be a pensioner looking for an affordable price?

This customer would probably search by author and title using the full first name and surname and full title.  Also overall price is probably more important to this buyer than shipping speed.  Would they care if the book is new or used?

Would the buyer be a collector looking for a specific edition?

A collector might search by author and title, but will likely use keywords and all available filters to further refine their search.  The more meticulous your description, the more trust this buyer will have in your listings.  Also consider where this buyer might be located, collectors scour the globe looking for that rare listing; be mindful of global shipping rates for rare items.  Do you mention that you can offer insurance or tracking for high value items?  Which would describe your book:

  • Hardcover, First Edition and/or Signedimage001
  • Put in the publication year (same year for Min and Max).
  • Even add the publisher, illustrator or other bibliographic details in the keyword field.

On BookFinder.com click on “Show more options” to see all the filter options available.  Experiment a little bit with these filters and find out:

Let’s assume your randomly selected collectible book was this:

This link shows you the above prefilled search form:

http://www.bookfinder.com/?mode=advanced&destination=us&currency=USD&lang=en&author=John+Stuart+Mill
&title=A+System+of+Logic%2C+Ratiocinative+and+Inductive&binding=HARD&keywords=Longmans&max_year=1880

Now that you have completed your searches look back at your notes:

  1. a) Can your books be found on com?

If not, chances are customers cannot find them on other websites where you have listed them.

  1. b) Are your books competitively priced across all marketplaces?

If not does it make sense to lower prices or would it make more sense to shift your focus to less competitive books? Shift focus to a specific kind of buyer?  Or focus specifically on one marketplace for this kind of listing?

  1. c) Are your books described as well, or better, than others in the search?

If not, find out how you could better describe them. Customers love good descriptions.

  1. d) Are your books in better condition, and only slightly more expensive, than others?

If not, maybe you can think about how you could get there?

Of course these are just a few examples; you can expand on this idea on your own to tailor your marketing for your own inventory.  The main message is…

If you can find your books – chances are your customers can as well.  Once you have found your listing, ask yourself if you would buy your listing. 

Happy hunting, for your own books!

All the Best,
Scott Laming and Bernd Heinisch from team at www.bookfinder.com

How to Create a Unique Selling Proposition that Will Sell More

November 28th, 2014 by Skip McGrath

Today’s post is a guest post by Massimo Colella, the Co-founder and COO at Itly.com.

How to Create a Unique Selling Proposition that Will Sell More

When your business is selling products on eBay or Amazon, chances are with such a broad marketplace others are probably out there selling your same product. The trick here is to make your product stand out, make it unique in a way. Even if you’re selling the same iPhone 5/6 charger from China find a way to make yours unique. Market your charger as not only a charger, but also a connector to upload all of your pictures and music from your computer onto your iPhone. You can also create your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) by bundling together your products. For example, 2 for 1 or if you sell other iPhone accessories you can offer a case with the charger for a discounted price.

Your USP is what makes your business different from everyone else in the market. If you have an instantly recognizable USP you can lead the way through competitive and niche markets in your industry, but until you have your USP thought out and learn to capitalize on it you’ll just be another bird in the flock.

Defining your USP can be very difficult, especially for conventional companies. Fortunately, there’s quite a few ways you can make a name for yourself even if your product or service is swarming with competition.

USP as told by…

TOMS Shoes

There’s nothing all that unique about TOMS lightweight, inexpensive, and comfy everyday shoes. Sure they’re stylish and come in fun patterns, but that alone isn’t going to make the company stand out in the shoe business. What makes TOMS unique and compelling is there USP: for every pair of shoes you purchase, they give a new pair of shoes to a child in need. The story is what sticks, what people remember about TOMS is that their shoes that they bought went to help someone else in need. What other shoe company gives you this type of gratification and charitable feeling when splurging on a new pair of shoes? eBay doesn’t allow you to mention charity contributions in their listings, but you can select to donate 10% of a charity by selecting eBay’s Giving Works option.

The Mast Brothers Chocolate

The Mast Brothers literally creates every bar of chocolate themselves; every step from growing the cacao beans, through the packaging. This dedication in and of itself makes a great USP, but this chocolate has it’s own personality. It’s Rick and Michael’s (the brothers) personal style that stands out. Their style brings you back to the 18th century when craftspeople took pride in working with their hands. They even take this to the next level and travel to foreign places by ship to find the best cacao for their product. Completely over the top? Probably. But sets them apart from any other company producing chocolate? Definitely. This is something you can mention in your listings if selling that type of product. So whenever you buy a wholesale product that has a USP, be sure to use that information in your listing.

Price is not a USP

A lot of sellers think that setting their price lower than the competition can serve as their USP, but if your business practices are similar you will only end up creating a price war and further eroding your margins. Look for ways to create a USP so you can keep your prices higher. Here is an example. One of the jewelry lines I sell is made in India by individual artisans. So in my listing I say – “Designed in the USA and made in India by a woman-owned micro business. Each piece made by hand –not mass produced in a factory.” I have set my prices about 20% higher than similar products and have no problem selling items in this line. In fact two of the pieces are two of my best-selling products.

Customer Analysis

It’s important to keep in mind that whatever you come up with as your USP must be valuable to your customers. If you do good research to thoroughly understand your buyer’s persona you can gain really good insight to help you develop and test your USP. Your USP should be sustainable, but it’s not something that will last you forever, it needs to be constantly further developed to move quickly with your fast paced audience. Test your USP on various online sites and see if you get the desired effect with how many follow-ups and sales you receive.

A strong USP will help you attract and retain your customers and reduce client churn. At the end of the day it’s important to remember your USP should still represent what you’re selling and what you do, not just to make you stand out.

This is an especially important concept if you are doing private labeling. You private label products should have a Unique Selling Proposition that will set you apart from sellers of similar products.

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Massimo Colella is the Co-founder and COO at Itly.com. Everyday detailed Business operations mean have every single customer happy. He loves always having challenges, hates losing them.

 

 

 

How to Create and Sell Information Products

September 25th, 2014 by Skip McGrath

Several years ago I wrote a training course called How to Create and Sell Information Products. The info product market has changed quite a bit with sites like Create Space and creating info books for Kindle. Unfortunately I did not keep up with all the changes to the marketplace. Although the course is a bit out of date, I would say that about 75% of it is still relevant and one of the bonus items is Power Copywriting for The Internet. The 147-page eBook by Bob Serling that will lead you step-by-step to creating sales letters that sell. This book alone has sold for as much as $197, and is frankly worth the cost of the whole course.  Another great bonus is the coupon for The Complete eBay Marketing System or The Complete Amazon Marketing System.

Anyway, I have decided not to update the course, but instead I am having a one-time, 10-day closeout sale. I have reduced the price from $47 to just $17. This offer will last just 10 days and then the sales and delivery page will be killed for all time. So just click How to Create and Sell Information Products to read about the course and decide if it’s for you. There is still plenty of value in the course to match this new low price.

Note – because of the low price I am not offering my usual 90-day money back guarantee on this course, because there is plenty of value in it for the money -but all of my other products still come with my no hassle, no-questions-asked Money Back Guarantee. So please read the sales material carefully and make sure this is something you are interested in before you buy.

Information Products Sale

Protecting Your eBay Feedback

August 22nd, 2014 by Skip McGrath

Today’s post is a guest post by Eamonn Costello from XSellco Unity

 

eBay’s upcoming new seller performance dashboard has the potential to adversely impact your seller reputation. It implements new eBay seller standards on August 20th, so now is a good time to check your performance and understand the metrics involved before this deadline.

Review all your defects and check all your neutral and negative feedbacks to see if any feedbacks can be removed.

Handling negative feedback is pretty consistent across eBay and amazon:
Work with the buyer to resolve the issue. If you resolve the issue satisfactorily you are entitled to request them to remove the negative feedback. Note you are not allowed to coerce or bully the buyer to remove the feedback
You are allowed to publicly reply to the feedback. Only do this after step 1. Where you have made a mistake, apologise and state what steps you have taken (or will take) to resolve the situation. Be polite and to the point.
Where the feedback violates criteria set by ebay or amazon you can raise a case for the feedback to be removed (NOTE it will not be removed automatically – you need to raise a case to ebay or amazon)

XSellco Unity is a complete reputation management system for ebay and amazon sellers. It manages all your customer contact, feedback management in a single dashboard across ebay and amazon. By integrating full details of emails, orders, shipment dates, feedbacks and dispute cases, XSellco Unity will reduce the time it takes you to respond to customer queries by 50%!  See http://www.xsellco.com/crm for further details.


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