eBay Time Wasters
Last week I gave you an interview to help you get your
eBay business more organized. This week I'm following up
with a list of common ways eBay sellers waste time. This
list will help you improve your efficiency.
These aren't in any order so you might need to read a few
before you find one that applies to you. . .
- "Researching" on eBay. This is my biggest time wasting
activity. I start looking something up on ebay and then a
half hour later realize I'm shopping. I found the best way
to stop going on these shopping tangents is by researching
a few items at a time. This way I find out if one item is
worth listing on eBay and what category to list in, and
then move on to the next item.
Chasing perfect photos. You pictures don't have to be perfect. See 23 Tips For Taking Better eBay Pictures, and
How To Add Free Pictures To eBay.
Doing different operations in different areas in your
home. For example, Fran takes her pictures in a guest
bedroom, then walks the items 65 feet to the office where
she writes her listings. Then the items go into a storeroom
next to the office.
When the items sell, she carries the
items 45 feet into the kitchen, gets out the packing
materials and starts packing them. After packing she goes
to the office and sends invoices. The storeroom has enough
room to do everything, but doesn't have a window and the
tables are covered with crap. Setting up a light stand and
cleaning off the clutter on the table would be 10 minutes
well spent. Then again she does get a lot of exercise!
Over packing. One of my friends wraps each item in
tissue paper, then shrink wraps it, then wraps it in paper,
then puts it in a box with peanuts all around it. Each
package takes him 5-15 minutes to pack. Wrapping each item
in packing paper and then putting it into the box with enough
peanuts to surround and protect the item would take much
less time. The shrink wrap doesn't add anything, it's just
Packing inefficiently. This is one of the most common
wastes of time. In eBay time waster #3 I mentioned Fran
packs her sales in her kitchen after getting all the
packing materials out. For an occasional ebay seller this
makes sense. For a regular seller with 15-30 auctions
ending every week, it doesn't make sense. Regular sellers
should have a dedicated area for listing, and packing eBay
items. See An ebay Selling System for an example of how to set up your workspace.
Two other examples of poor packing effort are not
packing an item until it's paid, and making repeated trips
to the post office rather than shipping once or twice a
week. Doing similar operations at the same time makes it
easier to get a series of items packed.
The place you ship from may also be a big time waster.
There are two post office branches within 5 miles of my
house. One is a probation facility where all the poor
postal employees are sent for one last chance before
they're fired for incompetence or rudeness. It's a mess.
The other facility usually goes quite fast. The second facility
also has a business line that moves really fast. The UPS
counter is always slower than a UPS store. More eBay shipping advice.
Inefficient systems are a hidden waste of time. When we
first start selling on eBay we muddle through the process.
Later as our volume increases, we follow the same steps we
learned haphazardly when we started selling. As our sales
grow, our methods must be streamlined.
One of the best ways to improve your eBay selling system is
to compare yourself to others. People who do a good job and
people who do a poor job.
My eBay selling system is explained in the Auction Revolution.
Get the Auction Revolution and improve your auctions
PS There are summaries of recent eBay articles and links to the free
PPS 19 Ways To Quickly Improve Your eBay Auctions is a related article.
PPPS In my opinion The Auction Revolution is the most comprehensive
guide to eBay selling availible. I've been teaching people how to
sell on eBay since 1998. If reading these articles has improved
your skills, think about the advances you'll make with a 235 page
Get the Auction Revolution and improve your auctions
"The IWantCollectibles Guide to Ebay Sales"
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