Proper timing on eBay maximizes your bids

Proper timing of a listing is very important to profit from your e-bay bidding.

 

Why?

 

Sellers spend lot of time preparing their listings with correct key words and proper descriptions. Most of them do not understand that they need to consider about timing and traffic flow. EBay traffic is not continues as expected. It differs from time to time, day by day and also by season to season. If you list your items for auction, and if the auction closes before a peak visitor time, you are not going to profit as you expected.

 

Understand when to list.

 

Items listed for seven days on a Friday, will close on next Friday closing time. Your items listed on Monday for three days, will close on Thursday.

 

List your Auction to end during a peak time or in a more constructive time. You are likely to get more visitors if your listing time is lengthier. Most eBay visitors search several times a weak. They do not buy at one go, instead they bid at the last moment of the auction ending time. Most bids are placed during the last thirty minutes. Your listing will also appear under “closing soon” section so you are likely to get more bids.

 

Peak time daily, is between 8.00PM and 10.00PM.  Speaking of peak visitor time weakly is during Saturday and Sunday. Most buyers by during Sundays between the times mentioned above.

 

Listing your item on Saturday to end on Sunday between 8.00PM and 10.00PM will reduce your long listing fee.

 

Why 8.00PM and 10.00PM?

 

According to research, most visitors from Eastern Time frame, brows auction sites during 8.00PM and if considering Pacific Time, it will be during 10.00PM. So if you list geographically, this will help you to decide the ending of your auction time.

 

 

                                  

Catalogue interoperability

This post relates to my previous post about “why you should have a catalogue”. 

 

Supplier Hubs is a supplier managed hosted catalogue interoperability service. They aggregate mass data from supplier catalogues, clean and decode those data into standard of other catalogues. After decoding, resellers can access supplier catalogues in a standard format.

 

Some resellers have complicated procurement systems that can access supplier data. Catalogue item master file will be automatically picked up and data will be arranged according to the reseller’s system instantly.

 

As a supplier, you can host your own catalogue and let your buyers access it online. This can also be automated.

 

 

 

 

Join the E-marketplace

Small businesses that plan to sell their products or services online, must consider a range of issues before they start their E-commerce plan.

Some businesses according to their requirements minimize their involvement by joining the e-market place, where another business will purchase their products and sell it for them.  That means, if you have services or products to offer, another business will purchase them from you and sell it for you.

You do not have to worry about your marketing campaign. More buyers you connect to, more business you make. What you have to do is, send your product to the buyer’s destination or provide your service according to the buyer’s requirements.

There are many e-market places having various business strategies. They might act as arbitrators. E-marketplaces offer services such as business directory listings and Electronic catalogues.

Top market places to join are those that tender low cost financial accounting systems and connect with other market places.

 

Happy blogging.

 

Independent e-marketplace

Buyer-oriented e-marketplace

Supplier-oriented e-marketplace

 

 

 

 

 

Plan ordering methods for your website

Everyone is not an experienced web surfer. Provide your customer with simple instructions on how to order products. Provide step by stem instructions on how to use a shopping cart.

Instructions on using a shopping cart

  1. Click Brows Catalogue to view the product categories
  2. Click on the category you want
  3. You will be taken to the Product List page
  4. Find the product(s) you want and change the quantity if ordering more than one
  5. If you want to order other products, then click “Add to Basket” button
  6. Click the “Browse Catalogue” link again
  7. When you have finished adding items to your shopping basket, click the “basket contents” to check your order and make any changes.
  8. When you are ready to process your order, click the “checkout” and type in your address information
  9. Click the “Submit Order” button.
  10. Next page will add the shipping charge to your order and will show your total charge.
  11. Type in your credit card information on this page
  12. Click the “Submit Order” button again to complete your transaction.
  13. To clear your order, click the “Clear Order” button.

I have composed a short article and will be back with more options for shopping in my next article. Until then please answer my three questions and I will include a link to your blogs with the answer to my three questions.

E-Commerce Challenges

Although most companies are anxious to develop an e-commerce strategy, they also have to be informed about possible pitfalls. There are both advantages and disadvantages in e-commerce.

Challenges faced by most web developers are creating a website that would keep the customers on the site until they make a purchase. If the Website is difficult to navigate, products are not described well, and Forms are not easy to fill out. Links are broken, pictures take too long to load or have disappeared; harder it would be to keep the customer. A website that keeps the potential customer entertained is called a sticky website.

Although starting involves some expenses, a brick and mortar store will benefit from a user friendly website and the website will gain recognition to the business not only locally, but round the world. It will be open 24 hours a day and every day. Online presence is an advantage for any business to be recognised.

Traditionally many businesses operate as middle men between a business and the consumer. Agents, brokers, and sales representatives are all examples of middlemen. Authority of these middlemen are fast being made obsolete because consumers can go directly to a company’s web site and purchase products and services without help from an agent or other intermediary (disintermediation).

Intermediation is not going to finish yet. While traditional intermediaries are made obsolete, a new kind of cyber intermediaries that could not have existed before the internet has immerged. Cyber intermediaries include auction sites, payment – processing sites, and web site store front services.

When a website displays a Buy it! Button and a customer clicks on the button, credit card information is processed by an online processor company and the vendor pays the processing company a transaction fee. This is a Cyber intermediary


For E-Commerce, There is no world wide standard established yet. From a vendor’s point of view, a website is an advantage to advertise worldwide. A website can reach narrow market segments regardless of location. E-transactions can reduce costs related to processing orders. Internet presence can streamline business operations by incorporating business to business transactions and form virtual communities.

High start up cost is a disadvantage. Difficulty of keeping data current and upgraded can be another disadvantage; this becomes more when there are few available trained employees. E-Commerce transactions are sometimes difficult to combine with current systems. Language barriers might cause difficulty in doing transactions. Government tax regulations are different from country to country, and it always is confusing. Identifying a world wide standard is the main solution to these problems.

Instant Messaging

MSN Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, Windows Messenger, Skype and many other types of instant messenger tools have now become a powerful productivity enhancing tools for many enterprises. In a few years time these instant messaging tools will be used by employees and enterprises more than e-mails as a base of communication via Internet. Of course most of these messengers are free of charge.

Benefit of using messengers over e-mails is that your e-mail can be ignored by the recipient while instant messages take place in real time. They offer real time monitoring and participants can see who is online and who is away from the desk whether you are communicating internally or internationally.

There is no effective way of preventing spam e-mails, instant messaging tools allow users to customise their preferences and accept messages only from contacts. Sending and receiving messages take place in real time and also only after the recipient at the other end has agreed to receive the file. You can send files in a similar way to e-mail attachments here.

You can hold conferences over the web no matter where ever your contacts are. Instant messengers allow you to communicate using voice and video. You can invite your business contacts to participate in discussions at a set time and you will experience the real value of it. Conferencing this way is cheaper and very effective. This will save your telephone and travel costs.

These instant messages can be a wonderful tool for employees in a workplace. They can swap messages; ask questions in a collaborative team environment which is more effective than e-mail messaging.

The disadvantage is; one instant messenger is not compatible with the other. A better way of performing is downloading all of this software and using them with your contacts preference. You will find almost all of your contacts do the same. But in an office environment it is different. In an office environment one such software is used. These are ideal for small enterprises than a corporate environment. With the use of instant messaging, there is a possibility of transmitting viruses. It is advisable to ensure your virus protection software is up to date and overall security measures are taken and improved to work with your messenger tool. Yahoo! Messenger has advanced features such as encryption of messages, control of user access and advanced logging and archiving features.

When you use these tools you have to be careful that you do not provide your important information to anybody via instant messengers. Never include you credit card information, bank details and any passwords in your messages. Do not give any of your personal information that you do not wish the public to know. Choose a user name to identify yourself. Always customise your settings to accept messages only from your contacts. Keep your messages pleasant, short and to the point. Never use messengers for big decisions and agreements. If you are in business, always start your instant messaging software when you start your computer and set it as “busy” or “away” when you are not able to respond to messages.

Software like Yahoo! Messenger can be used by outsourcing businesses and freelancing. If you are a freelancer; you can talk with your client and set your working hours. If you are charging for the hours worked, Yahoo! Messenger can indicate the hours and your client can monitor you working on his or her project at a given time. If you tell your client, “I will be working on your project at this time of the day”. They know your hours worked is correct and you can develop their trust.

It is advisable send big decisions, important agreements and sensitive information via Fax, e-mails and letters than instant messaging.

Investing online

This article is related to my previous two articles ‘Investing your profits’ and ‘Doing research on safe investments ’. Now that you have done the preliminary preparation and research, it is time to invest.

It is advisable to invest in different sectors. Do not invest all your money in one sector or one company. Main reason for this advice is due to certain circumstances, if one sector goes down, you have other sectors that are secure. Your research will now tell you what companies you should try to invest. Allocate certain amount of money for your investments from profits. Try small and when you are an expert in this field, you can start big.

Select your preferred ratio limit. Companies within that limit will appear. Look at the prizes per share and think what shares are worth buying for. For example if you buy some shares in a number one company for a big amount per share, you can only buy very few shares and you will have to pay a transaction fee. Your expenditure for investing in shares will be the amount you spend to buy the shares plus the transaction fee. If you buy Thirty five shares for thousand dollars plus transaction fee; you will have to wait for a long period to reap the profits because when you sell your shares also, you will have to pay a transaction fee. If you calculate this, it will show you whether you are going to get a profit or loss after your targeted years for the investment. So think about companies with low share prizes where you can buy at least thousand shares.

Share prizes rise and fall due to various reasons during certain months. This might be because of the factors affecting certain industries. Companies paying dividends usually lower their share prizes after paying dividends. In the company information, you can find the dividend date listed if the company pays a dividend. This is a good time to buy. Indicators also predict the likely fall in value of a share. Target this time and quote for a possible low prize what you think a share value is likely to fall. You can cancel your order at any time before the transaction takes place. Once the transaction is done you cannot take it back. You can give your broker the option of direct debit and credit to your account or transaction via cheque. According to your instruction your broker will do the transaction and will inform you by a receipt. Keep the information of the transactions you make in a separate file well organized because you will need them for tax purposes and they are the written material that you need to assess your shares worth.

If a company pays a dividend they will have two options for you. You can have either your dividends re-invested or paid to you every time they pay their dividends. If you are investing for a long time, it is worth to opt for the dividend re-investment scheme. Some companies give you special prize reductions and benefits for dividend re-investments. Meaning of dividend re-investment is; that you invest your dividend in some more shares of the company. For example: if your dividend amount is twenty Dollars, and the company share prize is ten Dollars, the company will invest your money in two more shares. So the numbers of your shares grow and so is the worth of your dividend.

You can calculate what is best for you according to the amount you invest and the tax you have to pay for dividends. This might vary according to your needs and preferences.
Invest in different sectors like real estate, Industrial, Mining and mineral, Banking and Insurance. Always keep a vigilant eye in the sectors and companies you have invested. Listen to Finance reports and read financial reviews. Companies will send you their financial reports. But you have to be an independent observer. You are the person who is investing and you are the person liable also. Reward is, you gain your independence in choosing your own companies according to your needs whether they are long term or short term. If you invest in mining and mineral or companies that rise and fall rapidly, you have to keep an every day watch out. This way you can reap a quick amount of cash when you need instant cash.

Doing research on safe investments

This article relates to my previous article ‘Investing your profits’. Again I want to tell you please adapt this method only if you are capable and confident. Do not invest all your money in shares or debentures. Try different areas of investment and keep a fair amount in the bank as a stable deposit so you can use it during times of difficulties.

How do you start?

First go to your bank and register with the bank’s discount broker. Read the details of their broachers carefully, so you understand it well. They will give you a password and a number of assistance to set up your account and also they will give you a guidebook including all the steps you should follow while online.

After the initial set up of your account, just go to you account and play around. Do not start ordering directly. Read the news in their web page. Search for companies. Read their profile. You can go further and see their growth charts and take a good idea about the company. Do some research on as many companies as you like and keep reading your financial review every day. So you get a picture of daily trading patterns. You will get a rough idea of what sort of companies you should invest.

If you have taken a good look you might observe that shares of certain companies tend to rise or fall during certain months. By studying the graphs for at least five years, you can get a rough idea of when the prices are likely to fall or rise. Forecasts will indicate the lowest possible price and highest possible price for the year. Keep that in mind too. You can make a work sheet and include all the details in that work sheet. So you do not have to worry searching again. Some times your discount brokers will provide you the facility of saving your search results.

Get to know the (PE) ratio: Price to Earnings ratio.

P/E ratio is defined as the Market value per share divided by the Earnings per hsare. This ratio indicates the time it will take to earn back your full purchase price for you. But you cannot simply depend on the P/E ratio. Usually P/E 12-25 range companies are taken as good and stable performers. They have low risk margins. If you want to do a long term investment, it is better to invest in a company with P/E 12-25. In your brokers website there will be a search tool based on P/E. Select the range you want. Ex: 10-16. If you press search, all the companies with that range will appear on your list.

You can research on the website; the company statistics, Value, Risk, Growth, income and performance. Usually stable companies like industrial, Main food retailers, Banks, and so forth will give a higher P/E growth value than others. Mining and mineral industry will give very low P/E ratios. If you look at their growth charts, their prices go up very quickly and also when prices are falling they fall rapidly too. But you can earn quick money from these companies. Usually their shares prices are very low. Even an increase in 50 cent will be a huge amount compared to the amount of money you spent. But investing in the mining and mineral sectors is very risky and you must do this if you have plenty of extra money to play with. Otherwise don’t do it. I will come back with start investing in my next article. Until then, good luck.

Become a Retailer, Sell First and Pay Later

Have you seen this type of advertisements on the web? It Sounds too good to be true. I have found that it is common for this type of advertisements to include the following entries.

No Inventory
No Warehousing
Can operate from home
Most Profitable business on e-bay
You will be provided a professionally designed website with marketing campaigns.
Training provided

Any one trying to find a small business idea can jump to this kind of advert. They will tell you that these businesses are really cheap, No big investment needed, no shop rentals and good profit. They even provide you with a free website and a shopping cart. Everything is done for you. Yes, the advertisement is true, but this does not make you feel responsible, that is what I think. Before jumping to anything, do research on it. Talk with other people and get to know their experiences. First of all get to know this dropShipping business.

What is DropShipping?

DropShipping is becoming very popular in e-bay. It sounds very easy and people always do look for easy business ideas. You are being lazy if you try this business idea for the sound of being easy. People can sell their products online with their websites without having to carry any inventory, doing packing or shipping. What you have to do is to simply place ads and pictures copied from the supplier on your website and collect money from the buyer. Then you pay the supplier money and purchase the item and give the shipping directions to the supplier. Supplier then pack and ship the product for you in your company name or Supplier’s name as agreed between the two parties. This is an ideal home based business.

How to find a good Supplier

To run an efficient business you have to keep in contact with several suppliers. Suppliers are people who buy from wholesalers (manufacturers). Wholesalers usually do not sell products in one item each basis. They have a minimum order quantity and you have to buy in bulk. If you are not a brick and mortar business you can end up having heaps of rotting items in your backyard that is why there are Suppliers. They buy in bulk from the wholesaler, and store them in their warehouses, while you sell their items. Again, how can you trust a Supplier?

There are lots of suppliers springing up from nowhere on e-bay. You have to be very careful in selecting them. Some are not really suppliers; they are middlemen functioning as suppliers. If you register with them, your mark up price will be twice the normal price and you hardly will be able to do a sale. Lot of customers do some research before buying, and if you are not up to that price mark, you are opted out. Considering the money you spend for advertising and listing items, it is not worth a bit. You will be standing where you were before.

Before you start dealing with suppliers, do a thorough search. Compare prices. If you can get assistance with your government small business programs, consult people who are experts. Contact the suppliers and get to know them. A true supplier will not force you. Others are bound to force you. Go to forums and check. That is another method of getting to know suppliers. Fact is no matter how you do your research you might get a chance of being caught with a false supplier.

There are some websites who offer you free directory of suppliers. They will tell you “Your background research has been already done for you. You will be provided with a Website with every tool necessary for your business. Marketing sources are provided. Why not try now!”
This cannot be, because it takes lot of time and effort to find a real supplier, so how can they provide you with hundreds of suppliers. These are all middlemen. They provide you suppliers and when you sell an item the price is much higher, because these middle men earn a huge amount from your sale while you are struggling to sell a product and the person who supplies you with a dropshipper directory is earning a huge profit from your sale.

You can do your own research, and start by your own. First get help from your government small business development corporation. Before choosing a supplier, contact them and get to know the amount of stock available and their inventory order point. Inventory order point means, that usually a wholesaler keeps track of their inventory. If the seller usually keeps 1000 items in their inventory, they will order another stock of 1000 items when they reach the stock limit of 500 items. It is wise not to use a supplier who has less than 100 items available because these people can be new starters who are not keeping good inventory.

When listing items in your website, always list about 1/4th or 1/8th of the recorded inventory, 1/8th is more safer because your are not the only fish, there are others too in this huge ocean what you call e-bay. Limiting your display stock is also important that if your wholesaler tells you about certain amount of stock but they might not have that much stock available with them, you will be in trouble. You have to be careful also when listing items. Your customers might be looking for a certain amount of items and if you do not have that much they will underestimate you.

This is why even they say that you do not have to keep inventory, you should keep records and payments up to date. And while solving customer conflicts your records will come in handy. As I have stated in my article on managing a good supply chain, every point of the chain should keep good records and efficient management. All work done for you are not going to help you if you do not keep your records.

See my article on managing quality supply chains.

Alternative Online Trading Methods-CCNow

Some merchants do not wish to undergo the trouble of marketing and promotions. If you are one of them, there are services suitable for you. These services will retail the products for you while managing your account transactions.

If you wish to proceed in this direction, you have to do some research on these systems and choose a one that suits your needs. I will take CCNow as an example to give you a rough idea how it works. Remember you have to select a method most suitable and trustable for you. Do some research before selecting any method.

These companies will give you an HTML code to paste in your website. The HTML code provides a connection for online shoppers to select products to purchase, and add them to a virtual shopping cart provided by that company. Online shopper enters billing and shipping information to complete the sale. The retailer company CCNow, acts as your retailer by selling the merchandise to the consumer while simultaneously buying the merchandise from you. Their retail margin includes shopping cart system administration, online payment processing, Reporting, merchandising tools, customer service functions, and fraud and risk management. Every thing is already done for you.

After the shopper’s order has been processed, CCNow sends you a pending order notification email. Your business ships the item directly to the online shopper. You should mark the order as shipped in your CCNow account to complete the process.

Usually, CCNow sends one email message to the shopper after an order has been placed. Another email will be sent to the shopper once you mark the order as shipped. To maintain good communication with the online shopper, you can send an email to the shopper with the additional shipping details and a reminder that the charges will be billed by CCNow. For product Inventory tracking, CCNow will provide a basic inventory tracking system by product ID.

Your shoppers can use a variety of credit cards and PayPal with Companies like CCNow.
They charge you a rate for Retail margin, One-time new account set up fee, monthly fee and a Payment fee (per payment). These fees can vary.

CCNow will charge you a retail margin of 4.99% of gross sales plus $0.50per transaction and one time account set up fee $9.95. Monthly fee of $9.95 will be charged from you only if your gross sales are less than $100.00, otherwise this fee will not be charged. Payment fee will be charged for international Wire transfer or mailed check. This is usually $15.00for a wire transfer and $5.00 for a check.

One thing you must remember is each of these companies has their rules and regulations. With CCNow, you cannot place orders on behalf of customers, nor allow anyone to place orders on a customer’s behalf. Customers must place orders themselves through the CCNow Site. Beyond this there are other terms and conditions you must check before registering with any company.