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How do you find people willing to sell you items you can sell for huge profits on ebay?
Simple. You advertise.
Advertising is about communicating. It's about letting people know what you have to offer.. and what you want in return. Usually ads are placed to sell products. But what I'm suggesting you do is place ads to locate products you can then re-sell on EBay. You need to let people know you're interested in certain products they may have. and more importantly, what you can do for them. Usually this is in the form of a quick cash payment. but sometimes people just want you to haul stuff away.
Advertising is a great way to build contacts and find new sources of supply. Create a file that lists everyone you connect with and each transaction. Let people know the kinds of products you're most interested in and give them your phone or fax number. If they feel good about the initial transaction, chances are good they'll contact you again when they have something else to dispose of.
You can approach individuals or businesses. If you're looking for single products, you'll probably want to advertise to individuals - homeowners, collectors, or hobbyists. If you're interested in acquiring closeout merchandise, overstock, ends of lines, company sell-offs, or bulk buys, you'd obviously approach the business market.
The first step to making your advertising pay off is to set your objective. Know what it is you're hoping to find. and know how much you can reasonably spend and still make a decent profit.
Ideally, you want to.
* Find quality products -- preferably brand name favorites --that should automatically sell (on the strength of the brand alone)
* Locate and acquire quality products with minimum effort
* Buy these items at a low cost
* Sell items easily at a higher price and net a tidy profit on each transaction
In short, you want to find great products that are sure sellers, so you can earn maximum profit with minimum hassles. Therefore. you want these buyers to come to you. That's the value of advertising.
It doesn't matter what product or category you pursue. It doesn't matter if you approach individual sellers or businesses. What does matter is that you seek out the most motivated sellers. When a seller is anxious to unload his/her merchandise, you're in a stronger position to negotiate a much better deal. The better the deal you arrange, the more money you'll put in your pocket.
You want to buy form those who never thought of selling until they saw your ad. Be the one to plant the idea in their minds. and you'll get the first opportunity to make them an offer.
The best sellers are.
* Private citizens (not collectors or dealers)
* Seniors who would rather sell it than store it
* Those who have no financial or emotional attachment to the item
Now there's potential danger in seeking only motivated sellers. You want to be as certain as you can be that the person selling the merchandise is the actual owner, and he/she isnt just selling someone else's property to net a few dollars. You also want to make sure you don't end up buying stolen property. That can only lead to trouble. While there's no way to be absolutely 100% certain that everything is on the up and up, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself. More about this later.
Other Ways You Can Use Advertising to Put More Money In Your Pocket:
There's a simple secret to making your ads really pay off. That secret is the 3-step technique. In other words, first use your small ad to capture the attention, interest and curiosity of those who have the kind of goods you want
Invite them to call - preferably to your 24-hour accessible recorded message.
Give them specific details about the kinds of products you're looking for and how they benefit by leaving their contact information so you can get in touch. You then contact those who have the kind of goods you Seek. You can even do a lot of this by email if the respondents are Instructed to leave their email address when leaving a message.
Actually, that's always the key for any audience you approach - "what's in it for them". It doesn't matter whether you're buying or selling. If you want others to pay attention to your message, you need to let them know right away how they'll benefit. That's the way people are wired. Don't try to fight it. Simply let them know how they'll be better off by the transaction. That's the way to gain attention and interest.
In the case of motivated sellers, it's usually cash they're after. If you know your prices, you'll know what's a good deal. and what you should walk away from.
If you're looking to create a joint venture with a manufacturer, for example, their motivation might be to expand in new markets and your EBay expertise may be just what they're looking for to get new business channels up and running quickly.
At other times, there may be other motivating reasons why sellers want to contact you.
Circumstances change. Marriages crumble. Partnerships dissolve. Kids grow up and move out. Folks need to make space. Clear out. Create a brand new start. Often they'll accept just about any offer to get rid of the things that are now burdening them. In some cases people just want to get rid of these goods as quickly as possible and will go to great lengths to make it worth your while.
Sometimes people get involved in businesses they're not particularly suited for and end up with a garage full of water filters, electronic gadgets, or vitamin supplements. You might need to rent a truck on occasion. Just be flexible and open to the possibilities. You never know what you'll discover.
It could bring you a steady stream of cash on EBay for months to come!
So use the 3-step method to:
1. Attract motivated sellers of the kind of merchandise you're interested in
2. Filter the responses you get so you can sort and prioritize
3. Respond to the most promising leads first, so you're maximizing the potential payoff
That's the real beauty of using voicemail and a recorded message. It helps to qualify replies so you don't waste time talking to people who don't have the kinds of items you're looking for. Instead, you're spending any effort on those leads that hold the most potential.
When you call back, ask the seller how they came across the item you're interested in. You want to know early on if they're a collector or dealer. By asking how they happened upon the item, you should be able to tell. If they bought it at a show years ago, they have a financial interest in the piece and should therefore be avoided.
If you discover that the person on the line is a collector or dealer you'll want to stay away as they would never accept your offer to purchase anyway.
Plan Your Approach
It's a good idea to sketch out a simple flow chart of the entire buying and selling process, so you understand it fully. At the bottom of your chart is the destination you intend to reach - another successful sale on EBay at a nice profit. That's what it's all about. but there are several steps you need to take to get to the finish line.
Your flow chart might include these steps.
* Lead-generation advertising to locate sellers and their products
* Voice mail system to provide more details and connect with sellers
* Call back to confirm availability and pricing
* Visit seller (If concenrned, take a friend and do it in a public place)to close the deal and acquire goods.
* List the goods on EBay for resale and pocket your profits
The first step to the 3-Step system is to create and place your ad. You can advertise several ways. One of the more cost-effective methods for finding motivated buyers is the classifieds. You might also consider small display ads, flyers, postcards, and tear-away sheets.
I prefer classified ads as they're fast, inexpensive, easy to write and they reach a larger market base. Small display ads in local publications can also work well. In some cases, they're as affordable as classified ads in community newspapers. As good as these methods are, don't overlook the effectiveness of posting tear-away sheets on bulleting boards at local Laundromats, Grocery Stores, Pharmacies and Schools.
Postcards and flyers can work well when targeting small areas like industrialunit buildings or a series of small businesses. You'll often find several businesses from the same industry such as woodworking, located in one complex, due to zoning bylaws. So if you were looking for specialty hardware, furniture, accessories, or knick-knacks, this would be a good area to approach with a postcard or flyer.
It's also a good idea to print up some business cards to hand out to potential sellers. This gives people a way of contacting you in the future. Also. If you're dealing with businesses, it makes you stand out as a professional - someone who's worthy of their time and attention.
Where to Place Your Classified And Small Display Ads
There are plenty of places that accept classified ads, but some are far better than others. What's best for you really depends on the products and the category you're interested in. If you're most interested in re-selling personal property,any local advertising opportunity might suit you fine. If you're more into collectibles, you might choose to explore the many specialty publications in that field. Most do accept classified ads and by advertising here, you're already tapped into your market.
* Community Newspapers (usually weekly publications)
* Large Daily Newspapers
* Trading/Shopping Publications such as Pennysavers or The Buy & Sell
* Specialty Magazines (hobby or special interest)
* Entertainment Weeklies (National Enquirer type publications)
* Trade Journals in Industry Specific Publications
* College Newspapers
Prices vary greatly based on the publication and the size of its distribution list. The smallest publications generally offer the lowest prices, although just as you'll find some unexpected gems when buying products, you too can find the occasional great deal on classified advertising. For example. a 3-line ad in a large city newspaper might cost you $30-$40 for a one-day insertion.
But often these same publications have a small section of their classifieds designated for the small market.
Here are some typical rates you'd expect to pay for classified advertising (as of this writing):
Community Newspapers (Weekly)
Poplar Bluff Daily American Republic (Missouri)
20-word Classified Ad (one time insertion): $11.57
Oklahoma Gazette (Oklahoma)
20-word Classified Ad (one time insertion): $56.25
1-inch Display Ad: $59.89
2-inch Display Ad: $108.91
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Arkansas)
20-word Classified Ad (one time insertion): $94.84
Tampa Tribune (Florida)
20-word Classified Ad (one time insertion): $186.85
USA Today (nationwide)
4-line add of 30 characters per line: $296
Fort Smith Arkansas Thrifty Nickel
Circulation: 30,000 - 49,000)
20-word Classified Ad: $18.00
Daytona Beach Pennysaver (Florida)
20-word Classified Ad: $16.00
Pocono Pennsylvania Shopper's Weekly
20-word Classified Ad: $14.00
10-word Classified Ad: $148.20
20-word Classified Ad: $296.40
10-word Classified Ad: $140
15-word Classified Ad: $180
Rubber and Plastics News
1 column inch (1inch x 1 7/8 inches): $174
Michigan State University "State News"
20-word Classified Ad (4 insertions): $106
University of New Hampshire "The New Hampshire"
20-word Classified Ad (4 insertions): $49
The above list gives you an idea as to the pricing of small ads. Decide what products you're looking for. Then choose the media that seems most appropriate for your market and your objective. Check out your local publications first - that's a good place to start.
How To Create A Successful Classified Ad In Minutes
Your purpose in advertising is to either locate individual products, multiple products, potential sources of supply, or promising joint-venture type deals. It's all about discovering profitable opportunities.
The idea here is to continually expand your list of contacts while seeking out great buys and/or partnership arrangements. That's how you maximize your advertising efforts. Every response is a potential source of supply - not just now but in the future too. Keep this point in mind in all your conversations
and contact with others. Be respectful, polite, fair and appreciative that people took the time to contact you. Make them feel good about it and they'll remember you. If they don't get a good feeling from doing business with you, they certainly won't want to do it again down the road.
Don't try to do everything in one small ad. You wouldn't try to attract attention, create interest and actually "sell" your product within a small ad. So you also shouldn't try to find individual sellers, corporate sellers, and joint-venture partners at the same time. Focus on one avenue only. That way you're much more direct and will appeal only to the type of person you want to reach. and nobody else. If you're looking for cameras and related photographic supplies, don't also mention in the same ad that you're looking for jewelry wholesalers who can supply you with product on a regular basis.
Keep it simple. Be clear, direct and focused on a single outcome. That's how you maximize targeted responses to your ad. Your objective is to win action in the form of responses. But you don't want just anyone to respond to your ads - that would only defeat the purpose. Ideally, you want a lot of calls from people who have what you want. and are more than willing to part with it.
There's an age-old formula to writing effective ads. It's called the A.I.D.A. method - Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. Keep this simple formula in the back of your mind and apply it to any type of ad. You'll find it helps you create any kind of ad from tiny classifieds and postcards - to your own product listings on EBay.
Draw attention - that's step number one. You've got to break the reader's pre-occupation enough to want to read and respond immediately. Nobody reads every word of every ad - even when they're scouring the classifieds for something specific. Few people have the time and patience to do that, so they scan the
column, or the page, looking for messages of relevance and interest. Your ad needs to cut through the clutter and speak directly to the person who owns what you want.
Generating interest is just as important as gaining attention. You can get scanning readers to stop in their tracks, but if you're message doesn't interest them, they'll simply move on and forget about it altogether. Everyone is interested in what they get from a transaction. If you're looking to buy products, nothing motivates others like quick cash. If you're looking for a joint venture, ultimately your potential partner is interested in additional profits.
Fuel their desire. Make it easy to respond and quick to pay off. In other words, the less time, effort and energy the reader of your ad needs to put forth, the more desirable your message becomes. For example, having a recorded message where they can get more details pertaining to your ad is a good way to make it more appealing. Offering to haul merchandise away "as is" is another way to make it easier, more hassle-free and therefore, more desirable to reply.
Getting action. This is the key to making your ads pay off. You simply must do everything in your power to encourage an immediate response. Without responses your time and money are completly wasted. But with a solid response, one tiny ad can help you find basements full of merchandise that you can often acquire at terrific prices for your EBay business.
So lets follow my formula and piece together a simple classified ad.
Identify the purpose of the ad. What is it you want?
For illustration, lets say you're interested in acquiring woodcarving tools to re-sell on EBay. (You've done some research, so you know the top brands and how much you're willing to pay).
Indicate the type of person who might have these items and be willing to partwith them at a fair price. These are the types of people you want to reach.
Carvers seeking upgrades, retired carvers, downsized hobbyists, spouses, changing interests, inherited property, gift holders who never used the items, ownersof surplus carving tools and supplies, etc.
Strongest Motivation For Selling To turn something that's no longer needed into money.
Chosen Publication to Run Your Ad Local Buy & Sell Newspaper - Section: Tools (Woodworking)
At this point, you're already clear about what you want, who you're targeting in yourmessage, what appeal to use, where you're going to advertise. Now it's just a matter of creating a short ad.
Contact Information Phone Number: 111-111-1111
Create Your Offer Cash paid on the spot for name brand equipment.
Compose A Simple Headline Cash Paid For All Name Brand Woodcarving Tools!
Secondary Ideas: Liquidate those old carving tools you've been storing for years. Why keep unused tools around when you could easily turn them into cash today? All quality makes (Marples, Henry Taylor, Warren, etc.) wanted. Call now for cash!
Assemble Your Various Components and Modify Until You have Your Classified Ad Down To 20 Words Or Less
Cash Paid Instantly For Quality Woodcarving Tools! We buy Chisels, Marples, Henry Taylor, Warren, etc.. Cash In Today -- Call: 111-111-1111
Total: 20 words
As you can see, there's not a lot to a classified ad. You've only got about 20 words in which to make an impact. Within those 20 words you need to target your prospect,deliver an appealing benefit or offer, and get them to take the initiative and contact you. It's no small feat. but with a little patience and practice, you can do it!
Once you've got the rough draft of your ad, you may have the need for additional editing,in order to reduce the volume of words and subsequently, the cost.
Use short forms wherever possible. but make sure these are something your audience would recognize and understand. If you're using a lengthy address, try inserting just a telephone number instead. This alone can trim 3 or 4 words from your ad. Another tip is to tighten up your copy. Make it readable, yes. but don't worry about composing complete sentences. After all, in most cases, you're paying by the word. Fell free to edit out all but the necessary words to get your message across clearly and succinctly.
Monty & Janiece Smith
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Disclaimer: The information presented and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors
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