Selling Online 2.0: Migrating from eBay to Amazon, craigslist, and Your Own E-Commerce Website

Overview

REMEMBER WHEN eBay USED TO BE A GREAT PLACE FOR SMALL SELLERS TO BECOME BIG SELLERS?

Unfortunately, recent changes at eBay have made online auctions less reliable and profitable. So where can you sell when you can?t sell on eBay? Online auctions are the past; fixed-price selling is the future. It?s time to move beyond eBay and first-generation online selling and start Selling Online 2.0. Second generation online selling means migrating from eBay to other online marketplaces, ...

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Selling Online 2.0: Migrating from eBay to Amazon, craigslist, and Your Own E-Commerce Website

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Overview

REMEMBER WHEN eBay USED TO BE A GREAT PLACE FOR SMALL SELLERS TO BECOME BIG SELLERS?

Unfortunately, recent changes at eBay have made online auctions less reliable and profitable. So where can you sell when you can’t sell on eBay? Online auctions are the past; fixed-price selling is the future. It’s time to move beyond eBay and first-generation online selling and start Selling Online 2.0. Second generation online selling means migrating from eBay to other online marketplaces, including craigslist, Amazon, and your own e-commerce website. You’ll need to make some new plans, learn some new skills, and change some of the things you do--but you’ll find that there’s more money to be made on your own than relying on traditional eBay online auction sales.

  • Put together a plan to maintain your sales level and profitability--to counteract eBay’s changes
  • Discover how to shift from auction sales to fixed-priced listings on the eBay marketplace
  • Find out if running an eBay Store or selling on Half.com makes sense for your business
  • Learn out how to sell locally on craigslist and other online classifieds sites
  • Discover how to sell fixed-price merchandise on the Amazon marketplace
  • Find out how to launch your own e-commerce website--and promote your online store
  • Learn how to sell products across multiple channels--and manage multichannel conflicts

Introduction 1

What’s in This Book 2

Who Can Use This Book 3

How to Use This Book 3

There’s More Online... 4

Making the Move 4

I BEYOND ONLINE AUCTIONS: CREATING A SUCCESSFUL ONLINE BUSINESS 5

1 The Problem with Online Auctions 7

What eBay Used to Be Like... 7

Why Is eBay Abandoning Smaller Sellers? 10

Changes Are Afoot--and You Probably Won’t Like Them 12

Emphasizing Fixed-Price Sales over Auction Sales 12

Changes to the Fee Structure 12

Changes to the Payment System 14

Changes to the Feedback System 15

Changes to Search Results 15

eBay’s Deal with Buy.com 16

How Do eBay’s Changes Affect You? 16

2 Planning for Selling Success 19

Planning for Life Beyond eBay Auctions 19

Asking--and Answering--Key Questions 20

What Type of Merchandise Do You Want to Sell? 20

How Much Money Do You Want to Make? 21

How Do You Intend to Manage Your Business? 23

Where Do You Want to Sell? 25

Conceiving a Business Plan 26

Understanding the Components of a Useful Business Plan 28

Mission 29

Opportunity 30

Strategy 30

Organization and Operations 31

Strengths and Weaknesses 31

Financials 31

Writing Your Business Plan 32

Implementing Your Business Plan 33

II FIXED-PRICE SELLING ON EBAY 35

3 Migrating to Fixed-Price Listings 37

Why Fixed-Priced Sales Are the Way to Go 37

Comparing Fees 38

Comparing Listing Lengths 40

Factoring in Customer Demand 41

Different Ways to Sell at a Fixed Pric 42

Understanding eBay’s Fixed-Price Listings 43

Understanding eBay’s Buy It Now Auctions 44

Understanding eBay Stores 46

Understanding Half.com 47

Creating an eBay Fixed-Price Listing 50

Creating an Auction Listing with a Buy It Now Price 51

Managing Fixed-Price Sales 52

Before the Sale: Setting the Price 53

After the Sale: Payment and Shipping 53

4 Fixed-Price Selling in an eBay Store 57

What Is an eBay Store? 57

Benefits of Opening Your Own eBay Store 59

Challenges of eBay Store Selling 60

Understanding eBay Store Subscription Levels 61

Understanding Insertion Fees and FVFs 63

How to Open an eBay Store 63

Further Customizing Your eBay Store 67

Managing Your eBay Store 68

Listing Merchandise for Sale in Your eBay Store 70

Handling eBay Store Sales 71

Marking Down Your Merchandise 72

Viewing eBay Store Reports 73

5 Fixed-Price Selling on Half.com 77

Getting to Know Half.com 77

Understanding the Half.com Shopping Experience 79

Understanding Half.com Fees 80

Listing on Half.com 81

Pricing Your Half.com Items 83

Calculating Shipping and Handling Charges 84

Managing Half.com Sales 85

6 Promoting Your Fixed-Price eBay Sales 87

Promoting Your Fixed-Price Listings on the eBay Site 87

Optimizing Your Listings for eBay Search 88

Linking from Other Sites to Your eBay Listings 90

Promoting Your eBay Store 90

Seeding Listings into the Traditional eBay Marketplace 91

Enabling Cross-Promotions 91

Creating an Email Mailing List 92

Linking to Your eBay Store 94

Adding a Stores Widget to Your Blog or Website 95

Creating a Listing Feed 95

Exporting Your Listings to Search Engines and Shopping Sites 96

Advertising on the eBay Site with AdCommerce 97

Advertising Across the Web with Google AdWords 99

Promoting Your Store in the Real World 101

Promoting Your Half.com Listings 102

III SELLING VIA CRAIGSLIST ONLINE CLASSIFIEDS 105

7 Online Classifieds: Are They Right for Your Business? 107

Understanding Online Classifieds 107

Examining Major Online Classifieds Sites 110

craigslist 110

Oodle 111

Kijiji 113

backpage.com 114

LiveDea 115

Google Base 116

The Pros and Cons of Selling via Online Classifieds 117

Pros of Online Classifieds Selling 117

Cons of Online Classifieds Selling 118

Do Online Classifieds Make Sense for Your Business? 120

The Best Businesses for Migrating to Online Classifieds 120

The Worst Businesses for Migrating to Online Classifieds 121

8 Doing Business on craigslist 125

Understanding craigslist 125

Navigating craigslist Listings 126

Before You List... 129

Listing an Item for Sale 130

Formatting Your Item Description 133

Using HTML Formatting 133

Inserting Images into Your Listings 134

Managing Your Listings 135

Editing a Listing 135

Deleting a Listing 136

Making a Sale 136

9 Migrating from Online Auctions to Online Classifieds 139

What Items Should You Move to craigslist? 139

Changing Your Business Model 141

Going Local 141

Pickups,No Shipping 142

Cash Is King 143

We Don’t Need No Stinking Tools 143

It’s the Wild West 144

Businesses Aren’t Always Accepted 144

Making the Move 145

10 Promoting Your craigslist Business 147

Choosing the Right Community and Category 147

Optimizing Your Listings for Search 148

Keeping Your Ad at the Top of the List 148

IV SELLING ON THE AMAZON MARKETPLACE 151

11 The Amazon Marketplace: Is It Right for Your Business? 153

Understanding the Amazon Marketplace 153

What the Buyers See 154

The Many Ways to Sell on Amazon 156

Selling Individual Items on the Amazon Marketplace 157

Understanding the Amazon Marketplace 158

Understanding Amazon’s Fees 159

Selling as a Pro Merchant 161

Selling on Amazon via Selling on Amazon 162

Selling in an Amazon WebStore 163

Using Amazon to Fulfill Your Orders 163

How It Works 164

Understanding Fulfillment Pricing 164

The Pros and Cons of Selling on Amazon 166

Selling on Amazon: Pros 166

Selling on Amazon: Cons 167

12 Doing Business in the Amazon Marketplace 169

Listing Individual Items in the Amazon Marketplace 169

Listing Your First Item 69

Managing Your Account and Inventory 173

Selling an Item 175

Setting Up Your Amazon Storefront 176

Moving to the Pro Merchant Program 177

Upgrading to Pro Merchant Status 177

Uploading Multiple Listings 178

Creating a Product Detail Page 180

13 Migrating Your eBay Business to Amazon 185

Does Migrating to Amazon Make Sense? 85

Comparing Fees 185

Comparing Sales and Effort 187

Which Items Should You Migrate? 188

Evolving Your Business Model 189

Making the Move 190

14 Promoting Your Amazon Business 193

Keeping Your Listings Competitive 193

Competing on Feedback 194

Placing Product Ads on the Amazon Site 196

Advertising Your Business with a Display Ad 197

V SELLING ON YOUR OWN WEBSITE 201

15 Establishing Your Own Website: Is It Right for Your Business? 203

Building an Online Store--What’s Involved? 203

The Components of an E-Commerce Website 203

Different Ways to Build a Store 206

How Much Does It Cost? 207

Pros and Cons of Running Your Own Website 208

Pros of Running Your Own Online Store 208

Cons of Running Your Own Online Store 209

Does an Online Store Make Sense for Your Business? 211

16 Planning Your Online Presence 215

Step One: Create Your Plan and Define Your Goals 215

Step Two:Determine What You’re Selling 216

Step Three: Choose a Hosting Service 216

Step Four: Build Your Website 217

Step Five: Choose an Online Payment Service 218

Step Six: Plan Your Promotion 219

Step Seven: Launch Your Site 220

Step Eight: Evaluate Your Performance 221

17 Setting Up an E-Commerce Website 223

Choosing a Hosting Service 223

Features to Look For 224

Comparing Prices 226

Using eBay ProStores 227

ProStores for eBay Sellers 227

Subscription Levels 228

Getting Started with ProStores 229

Building an Amazon WebStore Store 230

Inside an Amazon WebStore Store 230

Creating Your Own WebStore 231

Building a Yahoo! Merchant Website 233

Subscription Levels 233

Unique Features 234

Creating Your Own Yahoo! Store 235

Exploring Other Pre-Designed Storefronts 236

18 Managing Online Sales 241

Managing Your Inventory 241

Managing Your Sales 243

Managing Your Customers 245

19 Choosing an Online Payment System 249

Accepting Payments with PayPal 249

Pros and Cons of PayPal 250

Signing Up for PayPal 251

Understanding PayPal Fees 252

Adding PayPal to Your Website 253

Collecting PayPal Payments 254

Accepting Payments with Google Checkout 255

Pros and Cons of Google Checkout 255

Understanding Google Checkout Fees 256

Setting Up a Google Checkout Account 257

Choosing a Google Checkout Service 257

Adding Google Checkout to Your Website 258

Collecting Google Checkout Payments 259

Withdrawing Google Checkout Funds 260

Integrating Google Checkout with Google AdWords 260

Accepting Payments with Checkout by Amazon 261

Pros and Cons of Checkout by Amazon 261

Understanding Checkout by Amazon Fees 262

Setting Up Checkout by Amazon 262

Establishing Your Own Merchant Credit Card Account 263

Pros and Cons of a Merchant Account 264

Choosing a Credit Card Processor 265

20 Promoting Your E-Commerce Website 267

Putting Together a Marketing Plan 267

Optimizing Your Site for Search Engines 269

All About Search Engine Marketing--and SEO 269

SEO Tip #1: Fine-Tune Your Keywords 269

SEO Tip #2: Tweak Your and

SEO Tip #3: Solicit Inbound Links from Other Sites 271

SEO Tip #4: Submit Your Site to the Major Search Engines 272

SEO Tip #5: Use Text Instead of Images 274

Submitting Your Products to Comparison Shopping Sites 275

How Comparison Shopping Sites Work 275

Examining the Major Comparison Shopping Sites 276

Submitting Your Listings to Comparison Shopping Sites 278

Creating and Uploading a Data File 279

Buying PPC Advertising 280

How Important Is PPC Advertising? 280

Purchasing Keywords 281

Paying by the Click 282

Evaluating the Big PPC Ad Networks 283

Creating a PPC Campaign 285

Buying Display Ads 286

Engaging in Email Marketing 287

Marketing on YouTube 288

Marketing to the Blogosphere 289

Conducting Online Public Relations 290

21 Migrating Your eBay Business to Your Own Website 293

Does Migrating to Your Own Online Store Make Sense? 293

Comparing Costs 293

Comparing Effort 295

Which Items Should You Migrate? 295

Changing Your Business Model and Processes 296

Making the Move 297

22 Selling in Multiple Channels 301

What Is Multichannel Selling--and How Does It Work? 301

Pros and Cons of Multichannel Selling 302

Benefits of Multichannel Selling 302

Drawbacks of Multichannel Selling 303

When Does Multichannel Selling Make Sense--and When Is It a Recipe for Disaster? 305

Managing Inventory Across Channels 306

Creating a Multichannel Marketing Plan 307

Index 311

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

This detailed guide offers sellers alternatives to eBay auctions, and, more importantly, strategies to assess which online retail web sites are the best for selling which products and services. Although the book does not address doing business using social networking web sites, such as Facebook or Second Life, the analytical techniques presented here will assist business professionals with making decisions about using all such Web 2.0 applications. Miller also discusses multichannel selling and preparing business plans. Because many more sales transactions are taking place online than ever before, his book is a recommended read for all retailers.


—Caroline Geck
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780789739742
  • Publisher: Que
  • Publication date: 4/10/2009
  • Pages: 333
  • Sales rank: 482,774
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Miller has written more than 90 nonfiction how-to books over the past two decades, including Que’s Absolute Beginner’s Guide to eBay, Making a Living from Your eBay Business, and Tricks of the eBay Business Masters. He also wrote Teach Yourself Business Plans in 24 Hours and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization for Alpha Books and Online Marketing Heroes: Interviews with 25 Successful Online Marketing Gurus for Wiley.

Mr. Miller has established a reputation for clearly explaining complex topics to the average reader and for offering useful real-world advice. Find more information at his website, www.molehillgroup.com.

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Read an Excerpt

IntroductionIntroduction

Selling online isn’t quite as simple as it used to be. In the good old days, just about anybody could create an eBay listing and let the online auction site do the bulk of the work. All you had to do was wait for the auction to end to see what the final price was and who to ship to. This model created a lot of successful sellers.

All things change, however, and online selling is in the process of some major changes. The eBay auction site isn’t near as friendly to small sellers as it used to be; sellers are finding that it’s harder and harder to make a decent profit selling exclusively on eBay.

If you made your mark as an eBay seller but find eBay an increasingly unfriendly environment, what do you do next? It’s all about migrating your sales to the next-generation selling model—what I like to call Selling Online 2.0.

Selling Online 2.0 doesn’t completely abandon eBay—at least, it doesn’t have to. But it does embrace alternative marketplaces and channels, opening up the opportunity for you to sell your merchandise on sites such as craigslist and Amazon, as well as on your own e-commerce website.

Here’s the bottom line: If you want to maintain or grow your current level of sales, you have to move beyond eBay auctions. To do this, you have to learn some new skills and fine-tune some old ones; you may even have to spend some money setting things up. But the upside is that your online sales can be even more profitable than before—and you may be able to attract a completely new base of customers.

If all you know is selling on eBay, how do you learn what you need to know to sell in other marketplaces and channels? Well, you’ve come to the right place; that’s what this book is all about. While selling on Amazon or craigslist or your own online store might seem daunting at first, it’s something you can do if you have the motivation and the knowledge. You’ll have to supply your own motivation, of course, but the knowledge you can get from reading this book.

What’s in This Book

As you can probably tell from the title, this book tells you everything you need to know to migrate your current eBay business to other online marketplaces and channels. You’ll learn how sites such as Amazon and craigslist work, how to plan for success on these sites, and how to create listings, manage sales, accept payments, and even migrate your existing eBay sales to the new marketplaces. You’ll also learn how to plan for and launch your own e-commerce website and how to promote and manage that site on a day-to-day basis. Some of the information presented will be familiar to you (both craigslist and Amazon share some similarities with eBay, after all), and some will be completely new. That’s the nature of the beast.

There are 22 chapters in this book, divided into five major parts. Each part deals with a different online selling channel, walking you through everything you need to know to get your business up and running in that channel:

  • Part I, “Beyond Online Auctions: Creating a Successful Online Business,” is the part you want to read before you get into all the details in the rest of the book. Here is where you learn about how eBay is changing and how to plan for online sales success outside eBay.
  • Part II, “Fixed-Price Selling on eBay,” shows that there is life on eBay beyond the auction format. You’ll learn how to migrate your auction listings to fixed-price listings, how to open an eBay Store, how to sell on Half.com, and how to promote your fixed-price sales on the eBay site.
  • Part III, “Selling via craigslist Online Classifieds,” presents the first alternative to eBay: local online classified ads. craigslist is the biggest online classifieds site, and in this section you learn how and what to sell on craigslist, how to migrate your eBay listings to craigslist, and how to promote your online classifieds business.
  • Part IV, “Selling on the Amazon Marketplace,” details how to sell your merchandise on the Amazon.com website. You’ll learn what types of items sell best on Amazon, how to create and price your listings, how to migrate your existing eBay listings to Amazon, and how to promote your new Amazon business.
  • Part V, “Selling on Your Own Website,” is the section for any seller who wants to launch a standalone online store. You’ll learn how to plan your online presence, set up an e-commerce website, manage your store’s sales, promote your online business, migrate your eBay business to your own store, and sell items in multiple channels.

That’s a lot to cover—because there’s a lot you need to know to be successful. While you can skip around a bit, particularly if you have no intention of selling in a specific channel or marketplace, my recommendation is to start with Chapter 1 and read the whole way through the book. There’s a logical process to migrating from eBay to these other channels, and what you learn in one chapter will be applied in following chapters.

Who Can Use This Book

I assume that if you’re interested in Selling Online 2.0, you’re not a newbie to selling online. You have some experience as an eBay seller under your belt, and you have a handle on what you sell and how.

In other words, I’m not going to teach you how and what to sell. If you’re looking for the magic product that will make you rich, look someplace else. This book is for serious and experienced sellers who are ready to move to the next level of online selling.

That said, you don’t have to be a large seller to move beyond eBay. This book is written for all levels of sellers, large and small; all you need is some online selling experience and the willingness to make the next move. It also doesn’t matter what you sell; all types of sellers can be successful selling beyond eBay.

How to Use This Book

This book is easy enough to read that you really don’t need instructions. But there are a few elements that bear explaining.

First, there are several special elements in this book, presented in what we in the publishing business call “margin notes.” There are different types of margin notes for different types of information, as you see here:

Note - This is a note that presents information of interest, even if it isn’t wholly relevant to the discussion in the main text.

Tip - This is a tip that might prove useful for whatever it is you’re in the process of doing.

Caution - This is a caution that something you might accidentally do might have undesirable results.

Because many of the solutions presented in this book involve various websites on the Internet, there are lots of web addresses in the text. When you see one of these addresses (also known as a URL), you can go to that web page by entering the URL into the address box in your web browser. I’ve made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the web addresses presented here, but given the ever-changing nature of the web, don’t be surprised if you run across an address or two that’s changed.

For that matter, some of the products and services (and corresponding prices) presented here are likely to change by the time you read this text. I apologize in advance, but that’s the way the online world works.

There’s More Online...

When you need a break from reading, feel free to go online and check out my personal website, located at http://www.molehillgroup.com. Here you’ll find more information on this book and other books I’ve written. And if you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me directly, at sellingonline@molehillgroup.com. I can’t guarantee that I’ll respond to every email, but I will guarantee that I’ll read them all.

Making the Move

With all these preliminaries out of the way, it’s now time to get started. Put on your reading glasses, put on your best business thinking cap, and get ready to migrate to the next level—Selling Online 2.0!

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

What’s in This Book 2

Who Can Use This Book 3

How to Use This Book 3

There’s More Online... 4

Making the Move 4

I BEYOND ONLINE AUCTIONS: CREATING A SUCCESSFUL ONLINE BUSINESS 5

1 The Problem with Online Auctions 7

What eBay Used to Be Like... 7

Why Is eBay Abandoning Smaller Sellers? 10

Changes Are Afoot--and You Probably Won’t Like Them 12

Emphasizing Fixed-Price Sales over Auction Sales 12

Changes to the Fee Structure 12

Changes to the Payment System 14

Changes to the Feedback System 15

Changes to Search Results 15

eBay’s Deal with Buy.com 16

How Do eBay’s Changes Affect You? 16

2 Planning for Selling Success 19

Planning for Life Beyond eBay Auctions 19

Asking--and Answering--Key Questions 20

What Type of Merchandise Do You Want to Sell? 20

How Much Money Do You Want to Make? 21

How Do You Intend to Manage Your Business? 23

Where Do You Want to Sell? 25

Conceiving a Business Plan 26

Understanding the Components of a Useful Business Plan 28

Mission 29

Opportunity 30

Strategy 30

Organization and Operations 31

Strengths and Weaknesses 31

Financials 31

Writing Your Business Plan 32

Implementing Your Business Plan 33

II FIXED-PRICE SELLING ON EBAY 35

3 Migrating to Fixed-Price Listings 37

Why Fixed-Priced Sales Are the Way to Go 37

Comparing Fees 38

Comparing Listing Lengths 40

Factoring in Customer Demand 41

Different Ways to Sell at a Fixed Pric 42

Understanding eBay’s Fixed-Price Listings 43

Understanding eBay’s Buy It Now Auctions 44

Understanding eBay Stores 46

Understanding Half.com 47

Creating an eBay Fixed-Price Listing 50

Creating an Auction Listing with a Buy It Now Price 51

Managing Fixed-Price Sales 52

Before the Sale: Setting the Price 53

After the Sale: Payment and Shipping 53

4 Fixed-Price Selling in an eBay Store 57

What Is an eBay Store? 57

Benefits of Opening Your Own eBay Store 59

Challenges of eBay Store Selling 60

Understanding eBay Store Subscription Levels 61

Understanding Insertion Fees and FVFs 63

How to Open an eBay Store 63

Further Customizing Your eBay Store 67

Managing Your eBay Store 68

Listing Merchandise for Sale in Your eBay Store 70

Handling eBay Store Sales 71

Marking Down Your Merchandise 72

Viewing eBay Store Reports 73

5 Fixed-Price Selling on Half.com 77

Getting to Know Half.com 77

Understanding the Half.com Shopping Experience 79

Understanding Half.com Fees 80

Listing on Half.com 81

Pricing Your Half.com Items 83

Calculating Shipping and Handling Charges 84

Managing Half.com Sales 85

6 Promoting Your Fixed-Price eBay Sales 87

Promoting Your Fixed-Price Listings on the eBay Site 87

Optimizing Your Listings for eBay Search 88

Linking from Other Sites to Your eBay Listings 90

Promoting Your eBay Store 90

Seeding Listings into the Traditional eBay Marketplace 91

Enabling Cross-Promotions 91

Creating an Email Mailing List 92

Linking to Your eBay Store 94

Adding a Stores Widget to Your Blog or Website 95

Creating a Listing Feed 95

Exporting Your Listings to Search Engines and Shopping Sites 96

Advertising on the eBay Site with AdCommerce 97

Advertising Across the Web with Google AdWords 99

Promoting Your Store in the Real World 101

Promoting Your Half.com Listings 102

III SELLING VIA CRAIGSLIST ONLINE CLASSIFIEDS 105

7 Online Classifieds: Are They Right for Your Business? 107

Understanding Online Classifieds 107

Examining Major Online Classifieds Sites 110

craigslist 110

Oodle 111

Kijiji 113

backpage.com 114

LiveDea 115

Google Base 116

The Pros and Cons of Selling via Online Classifieds 117

Pros of Online Classifieds Selling 117

Cons of Online Classifieds Selling 118

Do Online Classifieds Make Sense for Your Business? 120

The Best Businesses for Migrating to Online Classifieds 120

The Worst Businesses for Migrating to Online Classifieds 121

8 Doing Business on craigslist 125

Understanding craigslist 125

Navigating craigslist Listings 126

Before You List... 129

Listing an Item for Sale 130

Formatting Your Item Description 133

Using HTML Formatting 133

Inserting Images into Your Listings 134

Managing Your Listings 135

Editing a Listing 135

Deleting a Listing 136

Making a Sale 136

9 Migrating from Online Auctions to Online Classifieds 139

What Items Should You Move to craigslist? 139

Changing Your Business Model 141

Going Local 141

Pickups,No Shipping 142

Cash Is King 143

We Don’t Need No Stinking Tools 143

It’s the Wild West 144

Businesses Aren’t Always Accepted 144

Making the Move 145

10 Promoting Your craigslist Business 147

Choosing the Right Community and Category 147

Optimizing Your Listings for Search 148

Keeping Your Ad at the Top of the List 148

IV SELLING ON THE AMAZON MARKETPLACE 151

11 The Amazon Marketplace: Is It Right for Your Business? 153

Understanding the Amazon Marketplace 153

What the Buyers See 154

The Many Ways to Sell on Amazon 156

Selling Individual Items on the Amazon Marketplace 157

Understanding the Amazon Marketplace 158

Understanding Amazon’s Fees 159

Selling as a Pro Merchant 161

Selling on Amazon via Selling on Amazon 162

Selling in an Amazon WebStore 163

Using Amazon to Fulfill Your Orders 163

How It Works 164

Understanding Fulfillment Pricing 164

The Pros and Cons of Selling on Amazon 166

Selling on Amazon: Pros 166

Selling on Amazon: Cons 167

12 Doing Business in the Amazon Marketplace 169

Listing Individual Items in the Amazon Marketplace 169

Listing Your First Item 69

Managing Your Account and Inventory 173

Selling an Item 175

Setting Up Your Amazon Storefront 176

Moving to the Pro Merchant Program 177

Upgrading to Pro Merchant Status 177

Uploading Multiple Listings 178

Creating a Product Detail Page 180

13 Migrating Your eBay Business to Amazon 185

Does Migrating to Amazon Make Sense? 85

Comparing Fees 185

Comparing Sales and Effort 187

Which Items Should You Migrate? 188

Evolving Your Business Model 189

Making the Move 190

14 Promoting Your Amazon Business 193

Keeping Your Listings Competitive 193

Competing on Feedback 194

Placing Product Ads on the Amazon Site 196

Advertising Your Business with a Display Ad 197

V SELLING ON YOUR OWN WEBSITE 201

15 Establishing Your Own Website: Is It Right for Your Business? 203

Building an Online Store--What’s Involved? 203

The Components of an E-Commerce Website 203

Different Ways to Build a Store 206

How Much Does It Cost? 207

Pros and Cons of Running Your Own Website 208

Pros of Running Your Own Online Store 208

Cons of Running Your Own Online Store 209

Does an Online Store Make Sense for Your Business? 211

16 Planning Your Online Presence 215

Step One: Create Your Plan and Define Your Goals 215

Step Two:Determine What You’re Selling 216

Step Three: Choose a Hosting Service 216

Step Four: Build Your Website 217

Step Five: Choose an Online Payment Service 218

Step Six: Plan Your Promotion 219

Step Seven: Launch Your Site 220

Step Eight: Evaluate Your Performance 221

17 Setting Up an E-Commerce Website 223

Choosing a Hosting Service 223

Features to Look For 224

Comparing Prices 226

Using eBay ProStores 227

ProStores for eBay Sellers 227

Subscription Levels 228

Getting Started with ProStores 229

Building an Amazon WebStore Store 230

Inside an Amazon WebStore Store 230

Creating Your Own WebStore 231

Building a Yahoo! Merchant Website 233

Subscription Levels 233

Unique Features 234

Creating Your Own Yahoo! Store 235

Exploring Other Pre-Designed Storefronts 236

18 Managing Online Sales 241

Managing Your Inventory 241

Managing Your Sales 243

Managing Your Customers 245

19 Choosing an Online Payment System 249

Accepting Payments with PayPal 249

Pros and Cons of PayPal 250

Signing Up for PayPal 251

Understanding PayPal Fees 252

Adding PayPal to Your Website 253

Collecting PayPal Payments 254

Accepting Payments with Google Checkout 255

Pros and Cons of Google Checkout 255

Understanding Google Checkout Fees 256

Setting Up a Google Checkout Account 257

Choosing a Google Checkout Service 257

Adding Google Checkout to Your Website 258

Collecting Google Checkout Payments 259

Withdrawing Google Checkout Funds 260

Integrating Google Checkout with Google AdWords 260

Accepting Payments with Checkout by Amazon 261

Pros and Cons of Checkout by Amazon 261

Understanding Checkout by Amazon Fees 262

Setting Up Checkout by Amazon 262

Establishing Your Own Merchant Credit Card Account 263

Pros and Cons of a Merchant Account 264

Choosing a Credit Card Processor 265

20 Promoting Your E-Commerce Website 267

Putting Together a Marketing Plan 267

Optimizing Your Site for Search Engines 269

All About Search Engine Marketing--and SEO 269

SEO Tip #1: Fine-Tune Your Keywords 269

SEO Tip #2: Tweak Your and

SEO Tip #3: Solicit Inbound Links from Other Sites 271

SEO Tip #4: Submit Your Site to the Major Search Engines 272

SEO Tip #5: Use Text Instead of Images 274

Submitting Your Products to Comparison Shopping Sites 275

How Comparison Shopping Sites Work 275

Examining the Major Comparison Shopping Sites 276

Submitting Your Listings to Comparison Shopping Sites 278

Creating and Uploading a Data File 279

Buying PPC Advertising 280

How Important Is PPC Advertising? 280

Purchasing Keywords 281

Paying by the Click 282

Evaluating the Big PPC Ad Networks 283

Creating a PPC Campaign 285

Buying Display Ads 286

Engaging in Email Marketing 287

Marketing on YouTube 288

Marketing to the Blogosphere 289

Conducting Online Public Relations 290

21 Migrating Your eBay Business to Your Own Website 293

Does Migrating to Your Own Online Store Make Sense? 293

Comparing Costs 293

Comparing Effort 295

Which Items Should You Migrate? 295

Changing Your Business Model and Processes 296

Making the Move 297

22 Selling in Multiple Channels 301

What Is Multichannel Selling--and How Does It Work? 301

Pros and Cons of Multichannel Selling 302

Benefits of Multichannel Selling 302

Drawbacks of Multichannel Selling 303

When Does Multichannel Selling Make Sense--and When Is It a Recipe for Disaster? 305

Managing Inventory Across Channels 306

Creating a Multichannel Marketing Plan 307

Index 311

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Preface

Introduction

Selling online isn’t quite as simple as it used to be. In the good old days, just about anybody could create an eBay listing and let the online auction site do the bulk of the work. All you had to do was wait for the auction to end to see what the final price was and who to ship to. This model created a lot of successful sellers.

All things change, however, and online selling is in the process of some major changes. The eBay auction site isn’t near as friendly to small sellers as it used to be; sellers are finding that it’s harder and harder to make a decent profit selling exclusively on eBay.

If you made your mark as an eBay seller but find eBay an increasingly unfriendly environment, what do you do next? It’s all about migrating your sales to the next-generation selling model—what I like to call Selling Online 2.0.

Selling Online 2.0 doesn’t completely abandon eBay—at least, it doesn’t have to. But it does embrace alternative marketplaces and channels, opening up the opportunity for you to sell your merchandise on sites such as craigslist and Amazon, as well as on your own e-commerce website.

Here’s the bottom line: If you want to maintain or grow your current level of sales, you have to move beyond eBay auctions. To do this, you have to learn some new skills and fine-tune some old ones; you may even have to spend some money setting things up. But the upside is that your online sales can be even more profitable than before—and you may be able to attract a completely new base of customers.

If all you know is selling on eBay, how do you learn what you need to know to sell in other marketplaces and channels? Well, you’ve come to the right place; that’s what this book is all about. While selling on Amazon or craigslist or your own online store might seem daunting at first, it’s something you can do if you have the motivation and the knowledge. You’ll have to supply your own motivation, of course, but the knowledge you can get from reading this book.

What’s in This Book

As you can probably tell from the title, this book tells you everything you need to know to migrate your current eBay business to other online marketplaces and channels. You’ll learn how sites such as Amazon and craigslist work, how to plan for success on these sites, and how to create listings, manage sales, accept payments, and even migrate your existing eBay sales to the new marketplaces. You’ll also learn how to plan for and launch your own e-commerce website and how to promote and manage that site on a day-to-day basis. Some of the information presented will be familiar to you (both craigslist and Amazon share some similarities with eBay, after all), and some will be completely new. That’s the nature of the beast.

There are 22 chapters in this book, divided into five major parts. Each part deals with a different online selling channel, walking you through everything you need to know to get your business up and running in that channel:

  • Part I, “Beyond Online Auctions: Creating a Successful Online Business,” is the part you want to read before you get into all the details in the rest of the book. Here is where you learn about how eBay is changing and how to plan for online sales success outside eBay.
  • Part II, “Fixed-Price Selling on eBay,” shows that there is life on eBay beyond the auction format. You’ll learn how to migrate your auction listings to fixed-price listings, how to open an eBay Store, how to sell on Half.com, and how to promote your fixed-price sales on the eBay site.
  • Part III, “Selling via craigslist Online Classifieds,” presents the first alternative to eBay: local online classified ads. craigslist is the biggest online classifieds site, and in this section you learn how and what to sell on craigslist, how to migrate your eBay listings to craigslist, and how to promote your online classifieds business.
  • Part IV, “Selling on the Amazon Marketplace,” details how to sell your merchandise on the Amazon.com website. You’ll learn what types of items sell best on Amazon, how to create and price your listings, how to migrate your existing eBay listings to Amazon, and how to promote your new Amazon business.
  • Part V, “Selling on Your Own Website,” is the section for any seller who wants to launch a standalone online store. You’ll learn how to plan your online presence, set up an e-commerce website, manage your store’s sales, promote your online business, migrate your eBay business to your own store, and sell items in multiple channels.

That’s a lot to cover—because there’s a lot you need to know to be successful. While you can skip around a bit, particularly if you have no intention of selling in a specific channel or marketplace, my recommendation is to start with Chapter 1 and read the whole way through the book. There’s a logical process to migrating from eBay to these other channels, and what you learn in one chapter will be applied in following chapters.

Who Can Use This Book

I assume that if you’re interested in Selling Online 2.0, you’re not a newbie to selling online. You have some experience as an eBay seller under your belt, and you have a handle on what you sell and how.

In other words, I’m not going to teach you how and what to sell. If you’re looking for the magic product that will make you rich, look someplace else. This book is for serious and experienced sellers who are ready to move to the next level of online selling.

That said, you don’t have to be a large seller to move beyond eBay. This book is written for all levels of sellers, large and small; all you need is some online selling experience and the willingness to make the next move. It also doesn’t matter what you sell; all types of sellers can be successful selling beyond eBay.

How to Use This Book

This book is easy enough to read that you really don’t need instructions. But there are a few elements that bear explaining.

First, there are several special elements in this book, presented in what we in the publishing business call “margin notes.” There are different types of margin notes for different types of information, as you see here:


Note - This is a note that presents information of interest, even if it isn’t wholly relevant to the discussion in the main text.



Tip - This is a tip that might prove useful for whatever it is you’re in the process of doing.



Caution - This is a caution that something you might accidentally do might have undesirable results.


Because many of the solutions presented in this book involve various websites on the Internet, there are lots of web addresses in the text. When you see one of these addresses (also known as a URL), you can go to that web page by entering the URL into the address box in your web browser. I’ve made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the web addresses presented here, but given the ever-changing nature of the web, don’t be surprised if you run across an address or two that’s changed.

For that matter, some of the products and services (and corresponding prices) presented here are likely to change by the time you read this text. I apologize in advance, but that’s the way the online world works.

There’s More Online...

When you need a break from reading, feel free to go online and check out my personal website, located at http://www.molehillgroup.com. Here you’ll find more information on this book and other books I’ve written. And if you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me directly, at sellingonline@molehillgroup.com. I can’t guarantee that I’ll respond to every email, but I will guarantee that I’ll read them all.

Making the Move

With all these preliminaries out of the way, it’s now time to get started. Put on your reading glasses, put on your best business thinking cap, and get ready to migrate to the next level—Selling Online 2.0!

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 11 of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 21, 2009

    Great place to start...

    This is a well written and organized book that helps the novice and experienced online business owner to assess, plan and improve his/her current business model. Lots of great tips and helpful advise. A must read for anyone thinking about starting an online business using any of the major online stores or even for those looking to establish their own website store. I checked it out from my local library but then purchased a copy for my home reference. Ideas in this book have saved me a lot of time and I highly recommended this resource.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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