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A Consignment Seller´s Crystal Ball

By Steve Nye, eBay Certified Consultant

This is a special edition of the HammerTap Auctionography for all consignment sellers, or for sellers who sell a wide variety of one-time items or odds-and-ends.

I hate to be perfectly honest here, but when I first started selling on eBay, it was really quite embarrassing for me. After trying to sell some odds-and-ends around the house, I ended up losing money rather than making some extra cash.

"What the heck is my problem?" I wondered, as did my wife, and she voiced her concerns regularly. Then I realized that although I knew how to sell on eBay, I didn´t know how to sell those items specifically.

No offense, but the same is true for many of you who are selling a wide variety of items like I was, or who may be consignment sellers. Often it takes several sales of the same item before you learn how to sell most profitably. Selling just the one item is a shot in the dark unless you can get some quick selling information.

In this edition, I´ll show you how to use HammerTap to sell a single item more profitably—and it will take you less than a minute to learn how.

By Quick, I Mean Quick!

As a consignment seller, I know you are pressed for time. You have large amounts of items to sell, which means taking pictures, listing, packaging and shipping. Your profits are really determined by sales price and the number of sales you make. This means that the more you sell the product for and the less time you spend on an item, the more money you make for each item and for your time.

But what if spending one more minute selling an item could increase your profit substantially? Would you spend that extra minute? Using what I like to call "quick-shot research," you can get the information you need to sell an item successfully in less than a minute.

Remember my initial selling experience? Although I knew how to sell on eBay, I didn´t know how to sell a specific item. With quick-shot research, you can know more about selling a specific item. Think of it as a crystal ball you look into to find out how to make the most money selling a particular item.

Quick-Shot Research

Enough talking about how quick it is—let me show you!

Let´s say a customer just brought in a Coleman camp stove they want sold. You offer them a certain percentage of the sales price, which means the higher it sells for, the more they make AND the more you make. Everyone wins.

Using HammerTap, I researched Coleman stoves in the Sporting Goods > Camping, Hiking, Backpacking > Cookware, Stoves > Stoves > Camp Stoves > Double Burner Category (#87139). See the figure below.

With a quick glance, you can see that you have a 69% chance of selling this stove (Listing Success Rate, LSR) for an average sales price of $28.78 (Average Sales Price, ASP).

In 10 seconds you´ve done the research and have all the information you need to sell this item for a higher price, and this information is in the figure below.

But what are you looking for when you see these results? Remember, we are using research to find out what the buyers want when looking for this product. For example, which listing type brings more attention to your listing? What end day and time are the most shoppers ready to make a purchase? What listing features grab buyers´ attention AND their pocketbooks?

The answers to these questions lie in the results above. This means that I need to know which listing options (listing type, end day, etc.) will increase my chances of selling, anything higher than 68%, and increase my selling price, anything higher than $28.78.

In the results above, I´ve circled just a few examples of what we´ve been talking about. For example, ending your auction on Friday already increases your sales price by $8.17. For consignment sellers, that´s $8.17 in extra profit for you AND your customer! Choosing a 10-day auction increases your sales price by $27.51, nearly DOUBLE the average sales price!

Are you getting my point? In less than a minute we can see some simple changes to our listing that would greatly increase our profits. As a consignment seller, this is vitally important to your success. Not only are you making more money for yourself, but you are also making more money for your customer. This is perhaps the most powerful way to build repeat business.

Now you can SEE into your future sales through market research—your personal crystal ball—to increase your profits on every sale in less than a minute!

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