Friday, August 31, 2007

The Easy Way to Make Money on eBay

(ARA) - For a mom working from home, a part-time second job, or as a hobby that pays, you can make extra money selling on eBay. All you need is a computer and a few hours.

Ruth G., a homemaker in Rexburg, Idaho, who's been an eBay seller for some time says, "I have a 17-month-old son and another baby on the way, so [making] a real financial contribution to our family budget AND [being] at home as a mom is very important to me. In just a couple of hours a week, I am able to meet our financial goals, leaving me plenty of time to do the things that are really important to me in life."

Many folks out there are curious about eBay. How do you build up your buying score? How does PayPal work? What is involved in the auction process? These are just a few questions about getting started as an auctioneer, and they all get answered in "eBay Tips For Dummies," just part of the Auction Success Kit. This downloadable "book" provides the answers.

Also included are 14 bonus chapters that provide what you need to get started and be successful. Chapter topics include: streamlining your eBay business by leveraging eBay technologies; fast and effective techniques for finding items to sell; and starting and automating your eBay business. These books reveal some of eBay's best kept secrets, and advice on how to get bids. Included in the kit is a free, 14-day trial to, a membership service that offers access to everything required, including the inventory you're going to sell. is an eBay sellers' inventory supplier, offering literally thousands of products with member discounts of up to 90 percent off. They keep the products so you don't need to store, pack or ship anything. BidFuel takes care of it all.

As reported on "60 Minutes Wednesday," In 2001, 50 million people were using the eBay Web site. Today, more than 125 million people worldwide use the site, with people buying and selling more than $1,000 worth of merchandise every second. "eBay seems to have tapped into something uniquely American and entrepreneurial… where anyone can be a buyer or a seller," says correspondent Charlie Rose. "As many as 150,000 people have literally given up their jobs to create their own businesses selling on eBay."

The BidFuel Auction Success Kit is the ORIGINAL eBay starter kit. Gain financial independence, pay off debt, or earn extra cash with this free offer at

*For Dummies is a registered trademark of Wiley Publishing, Inc. in the United States and other countries. Used here by license.

Copyright © 2006, ARA Content

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Review:The Insider Secrets to Selling on eBay

By Frank Fortunato

It seems that the gap between people making money on eBay and people making money training people to make money on eBay is closing quickly. Here is one of the latest entrants into the latter category. Touted as the "World's Greatest eBay Training Course," the second generation "The Insider Secrets to Selling on eBay" is priced at a hefty $197.

But then more than a mere book on the topic, this is a five-pound multimedia package containing 338 side-tabbed loose-leaf pages, a color pictorial binder, a DVD, 5 CDs, and for good measure, a flamboyant 3' X 2'color poster spelling out in pictures the program's itinerary. We reviewed Derek Gehl's eBay training package to determine if it justified its price — and the time investment.

Gehl, the CEO of the Internet Marketing Center based in Vancouver, an Internet marketing consulting company, began, we are told, nine years ago in a basement with an advertising budget of $25. Now he says the company is worth $60 million. IMC trains entrepreneurs in all aspects of Internet selling via consulting, traveling seminars, newsletters and catering to niche markets such as this eBay training package produced by Gehl and his "Advanced eBay Mentoring Team." The elaborate text breaks down into 30 "lessons" presented in six "steps," with the text augmented by the six discs.

The Discs: The Good, The Bad, The Annoying
Certain discs can be exasperating. Such is the case with Disc 1, the only DVD in the set, in which Gehl, sitting at a desk, pontificates for the full 37 minutes, interrupted only briefly for slides of his points. The presentation is part sales-pitch, part pep-talk on what the average person can accomplish using the system, and part a summation of the program with cues to the other discs' various topics. It seems mainly superfluous, at times, annoying.

The second disc features audio of Gehl interviewing the head of his team on avoiding eBay pitfalls, useful over-the-shoulder listening for those so disposed, but probably would have been better in a video format. Disc 5, touted as "inspirational," contains three interviews of eBay sellers helped by IMC, (including the seller of the Double WizDog Indoor Dog Potty,) again somewhat useful for picking up selling strategies, but it tends to be nearly as much an infomercial as informative.

On the other hand, Disc 4 is a marvelous resource of nearly 300 hyperlinks to virtually every needed page on eBay and to tools, products, software, freeware, third-party vendors and sourcing for all aspects of eBay selling. The links on the disc can be accessed alphabetically or by lesson number, referenced in the text. The sites range from Craig's List to something called "fatfingers," a site that helps find sales with misspelled product names that are overlooked in searches, thus becoming bargains for those who can find them. In between is an outstanding Internet cornucopia of business resources, including sites probably unknown to many eBay sellers. This disc is an excellent Internet business 'Rolodex.'

Disc 3 features three video tutorials with step-by-step instructions on setting up eBay and PayPal accounts, finding viable product to sell on eBay and setting up an eBay Store. It is comprehensive, well-done and referenced to the text.

On Disc 6, you will find a free download link to an eBook titled "The Internet Marketing Center's 10-Step Formula to eBay Success," which the purchaser of this program is free to sell at any price they like, ad-infinitum. The point is to help novice sellers get their feet wet on eBay (and no doubt provide advertising for the IMC.)

The Text: Covering the Basics — and Then Some
The 338 pages of text are the meat of the program and are certainly comprehensive. The information imparted at the beginning of Step I is suitable for those who have never heard of eBay, much less visited the site. It included advice on which eBay site to use (U.S., Germany etc.,) registering on the site, selecting a user ID, bookmarking pages, on to the advise to bid before trying to sell, signs of scams and so on. The text is so detailed that it is not until page 21 that the feedback system is explained.

But then by Lesson 4 of the 6 in Step I, the information becomes more trenchant, such as the advice to use a three-tier formula for identifying moneymaking eBay product:

1. Is the item scarce? Scarcity determines saleability if the buyer cannot find it elsewhere, such as a rare and collectible movie poster, unique antiques or an MP3 player that has sold-out in stores.
2. Is the item desirable? An expression in bookselling is that there is "new gold and old junk," meaning a 200-year-old book is not valuable if no one is interested in it, whereas the latest Harry Potter book is white-hot. Successful items on eBay are usually desired by many people, which tends to make them hard to find, adding to their allure.
3.Is the item in demand now? Using the example of the MP3 player, the text points out how they were in very high demand when first released, but cooled off as the initial rush of buyers obtained them.

When deciding what to sell on eBay, it's advised that you "mine your own skills and interests," for several good reasons, starting with the fact that if you have knowledge or expertise in an area, you will seem credible as a seller. The lessons go on to give good advise on the need for research and how to accomplish it, citing on-site eBay resources and eBay approved software. The section ends with detailed suggestions for one of the most venerable strategies in commerce — find and steal winning formulas from the competition.

Profit Margins and Product Sourcing
As the book progresses, it picks up steam. The four lessons in Step II deal with determining profit margins — again spelled out for novices. They cover the "big 3" product sources: wholesale, drop-shipping and liquidations. And, more interestingly, you get solid, detailed advice on contacting manufacturers and their wholesale suppliers and convincing them to do business with you. (Far from guaranteed if you are not a large volume vendor.) Here there are requisite questions to ask of suppliers, such as how to get access to catalogs and samples (always offer to pay for samples), what the pricing and minimum quantity policies are, shipping terms and so on. You also learn the four things never to say to wholesalers:
Don't say you work from home.
Don't ask if they will do business with an eBay seller.
Don't say you don't have enough money to pay for a minimum order.
Don't try to negotiate price upfront. Instead, gather information, determine your requirements then return to negotiate price.

While this may seem a bit furtive, it is solid real-world advice, as is the final note in this section: "If a supplier says he will not sell to anyone doing business on the Internet do not try to change his mind, move on to another supplier."

Step III deals in detail with creating and formatting sales from headers through ad copy to photos, category selection, keywords, payment, shipping strategies and attracting good feedback. Most useful are the 23 pages devoted to an often-neglected aspect of successful eBay selling — writing sales copy. The author points out, and I agree, that many headers and item descriptions, even by veteran eBay sellers, are woeful, in that the items are not described in detail, the prose is not engaging or professional in style and tone, and basically neither welcoming nor persuasive to potential bidders.

However, the writer encouragingly explains that producing sales copy is not an art like creating poetry, fiction or drama, but a science, that can be learned. Again we are advised to filch: in "advanced search" under "Completed Listings" you can seek out examples to emulate as well as those to avoid. Here is what to look for:
Items with the highest selling prices and most bids to determine if the product description or header contributed to the success.
Items with the lowest number of bids and selling price for the same reason.
Items with many bids but lower selling prices from similar products to again determine if the description affected the sell-through price.

Description, of course, is only one factor in creating successful eBay sales. Other aspects such as sourcing, category selection, images and graphics are also covered at length, including eight pages on choosing the right category and 10 pages on keyword selection. In the six pages devoted to simply shooting and preparing images for sales, for example, there are "ten photo secrets," each with paragraphs of explanation that is typical of the detail accompanying most topics in the book.

Growing Your Business
Step IV contains 20 pages on all aspects of starting and growing an eBay store and using eBay and third-party automation tools. Resources for the various issues include all eBay free and subscription services, third-party tools such as Andale, Vendio, Auctiva, Terapeak and HammerTap and freeware including SaleHoo Alerts, an eBay-endorsed wholesale research tool, and Ifanview, image editing software that's much cheaper than Photo Shopwith many free features, again, with hyperlinks to the sites on Disc 4. Steps V and VI are devoted to sophisticated promotional strategies and growing a business off eBay and into international markets. At a total of 100 pages, the boast that these sections contain tips that cannot be found "anywhere" is probably true. Included in the newer innovations mentioned is RSS (really simple syndication,) a means of 'feeding' auctions directly to blogs, other Web sites and anyone who requests it in real time, automatically.

While RSS has been available on eBay discussion boards and for news announcements for over a year, it remains relatively unknown among many sellers. The advantage is that they could use it to notify their best customers when they have new products for sale. RSS requires a reader and there are dozens of free RSS readers available, including NewsGator, Rojo, Bloglines, My Yahoo, My MSN and Google Reader, among others. The latest versions of Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers can read and save RSS feed links.

The Bottom Line: Best for Newbies
Whether or not this is the "world's greatest" eBay training course is open to conjecture, but it's quite possibly the most comprehensive. With its near-maniacal attention to detail and sheer scope, "The Insider Secrets to Selling on eBay" is not for the lazy, serendipitous or hobby seller; just reading and viewing it all can take days.

Topic by topic, much information offered here is more forthright and real-world useful than many books on eBay, including some by specialists, and it is a better training tool than certain expensive conferences and seminars we have attended. But then the price — $197 and $20 shipping to the U.S., may be prohibitive to many eBay novices except those who intend to sell high-ticket items or make eBay their fulltime business. (Though there is a complicated discount 'launch deal' available on the Web site.) Save for those who are struggling or have hit a brick wall on the site, eBay veterans will be turned off by the amount of basic material here; but that said, even the most savvy eBay sellers will probably find something new in this sprawling package.

Frank Fortunato is a regular contributor to

Save Money With Pricing Secrets

Written by EditorsChoice
Wednesday, 29 August 2007

If you want to save money on that next purchase, it can help to know the pricing secrets of retailers. Here are a couple of those secrets.

The Minimum Advertised Price

Pricing may not make much sense at first look. Why, for example, does whole wheat pasta cost three times as much as regular pasta, when regular white-flour pasta requires the extra trouble and expense of taking parts of the wheat out? Of course, economists will tell you that price is determined by what the market will bear, and that is certainly an important principle to understand, but does it always apply in real life? Sort of.

Lets start with a look at the "manufacturers suggested retail price." Sometimes also called the "list price," what does this really represent. In theory, of course, it is the price that the manufacturer suggests to the retailer. In practice, it is generally the maximum price a retailer can charge. (Who really wants to buy something that is priced higher than the MSRP?)

There is another price that manufacturers suggest to retailers, though. It is the MAP, or "minimum advertised price." This is not an absolute minimum that retailers can sell for (and they certainly want to sell for more if they can), but they risk upsetting suppliers if they sell for less than this. How can a manufacturer convince a retailer to carry a product if competing retailers are selling it so cheap that it is difficult to make a profit on it?

To determine (approximately) what the MAP is, you should check several stores for a product. If they are all advertising the product on sale for around the same price, it is probably close to the MAP. The big box stores often stick to the MAP in their sale advertisements. You can sometimes find sales that price the product below the manufacturers minimum advertised price at small stores. Smaller stores have less to risk by angering suppliers, so check the smaller stores to save money.

Be aware, though, that some stores will sell below the MAP because they are selling incomplete products. If it is a computer, for example, you might have to buy a keyboard and speakers separately. If others are selling a complete product, compare the total cost of everything you need to get a product that is functional at these "discount" stores.

Prices Ending In 99

We all know that $29.99 might as well be $30, so why do retailers use this ploy? There is a simple explanation: Because it works. Even if you automatically round up a price like this, you may not have looked at it in the first place if it said $30. This is because we process information from left to right, so you see the "2" before anything else, and this is more appealing than a "3".

Your mind is thinking "20-something dollars" versus "30-something dollars." Even if your next thought is "Oh, it's $30," you are already looking at the product. That certainly makes you more likely to buy it than if you never stopped to look at it.

Also, retailers get caught in this game whether they like it or not. For example, once gasoline retailers started pricing a gallon using ".9" cents, how could any of them stop? Imagine if all the other gas stations had gas at $2.99 and 9/10 and one had $3.00 on the sign. The difference on ten gallons would be a penny - not worth driving further. But us drivers just see that they are the most expensive.

What can you do with this knowledge? You might save money by always rounding up those prices and so being less tempted to buy - which you probably already do. Also be aware that the 9/10 caught your eye at the gas station, but a penny or a tenth of a penny savings won't justify going out of your way. You'll save more money just stopping at the first reasonable station.

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Copyright Steve Gillman. To learn more Unusual Ways To Make And Save Money , and how you can get free e-courses and e-books, visit his website:

8 Money Secrets From Warren Buffett

We all have someone whom we admire and respect. For me one person on my shortlist is Warren Buffett who is sometimes referred to as the "Sage of Omaha". I first heard about Buffett back in 2001 when I first started getting serious about investing and so I started reading all the titles with his name on it. Off course Buffett hasn't actually written any of them but they were priceless none the less.

If you have never heard of Buffett, Forbes currently ranks him as the third richest man in the world and he is arguably the world's greatest investor. He has amassed his fortune by making astute investment decisions and investing in businesses. Here is what I have learnt from Buffett:

1. Rich Is A State Of Mind
"I always knew I was going to be rich. I don't think I ever doubted it for a minute." - Warren Buffett

The difference between being poor and being rich is really just a state of mind. Poor people think thoughts of poverty and lack, rich people think thoughts of abundance and prosperity. Your beliefs are going to determine the way you perceive wealth, the decisions you make and the way you act towards it.

2. Success Is More Than About Your Bank Balance
When asked by CNBC what is the secret to success, Buffett replied "If people get to my age and they have the people love them that they want to have love them, they're successful. It doesn't make any difference if they've got a thousand dollars in the bank or a billion dollars in the bank... Success is really doing what you love and doing it well. It's as simple as that. I've never met anyone doing that who doesn't feel like a success. And I've met plenty of people who have not achieved that and whose lives are miserable."

3. Spend Less Than You Earn
"Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks." -Warren Buffett

It seems like common sense advice and you've no doubt heard financial experts preaching about it for years. You can't possibly get ahead financially if you're spending more than your paycheck. Buffett is famous for living a simple and frugal lifestyle. He is the only billionaire I know that still lives in the same house he bought back in 1958 for $31,500. He drove a 2001 Lincoln Town Car for years which he bought second hand. Buffett has a net worth in excess of $52 billion and yet lives off an annual salary of $100,000. The relative percentage of his spending based on his overall net worth is minuscule.

4. Avoid Consumer Debt
The sooner we realize that consumerism is a social plague that has been propagated by billion dollar marketing machines to keep you shackled to your job, the sooner we can stop spending money on useless stuff. It is a fool's game to spend today so that you can work tomorrow to pay it off. It is a losing proposition because one day your working days are going to be over but the debt is still going to be hanging over your head. Clever marketing has convinced our society that to be happy you have to have more, be more and do more. Buffett abhors consumer debt instead choosing to use debt wisely by leveraging it in investments.

5. You Are Who You Associate With
"It's better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours and you'll drift in that direction." -Warren Buffett

If you want to succeed financially you need to associate with people who are most conducive to encouraging and cheering on your financial journey. If the people you associate with see money as evil, object to capitalism and find wealth a foreign concept then your financial health and well being is going to be influenced by their views. Whether we like it or not we are all influenced to some extent by the people we spend our primary time with. If you aspire to achieve financial security then you need to find a mastermind of people in your life whom you can all encourage and help each other.

6. Gambling Is A Fools Game
"Rule No.1: Never lose money. Rule No.2: Never forget rule No.1." - Warren Buffett

While we are young and naive we choose to take risks with our money that are dumb and stupid. Trying to hit a home run with your money every time is a losing proposition with long term consequences. To chase investments that offer a high rate of return you must also assume that it also comes with a higher rate of risk. Bill Gates once quipped "Warren's and my betting has always been confined to $1 bets" when talking about them paying poker together. If two billionaires take risk management this seriously, it's time we average punters did the same thing.

7. Give Back To The Community
"Of the billionaires I have known, money just brings out the basic traits in them. If they were jerks before they had money, they are simply jerks with a billion dollars." - Warren Buffett

They say that to have more you need to give more. A contradiction in terms, maybe, but it's a simple truth that is as enduring as time. As the bible says "It is more blessed to give than to receive -Acts 20:35". Buffett has announced in 2006 that he was giving away over $30 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation making it at the time of writing the largest charitable donation in history. He also contributes large sums to his children's charitable foundations.

8. Generosity and Abundance Goes Hand In Hand
"Even though Ben Graham [Buffett's mentor] had everything he needed in life, he still wanted to give something back by teaching, So just as we got it from somebody else, we don't want it to stop with us. We want to pass it along too." - Warren Buffett

A famous bible quote goes: "What benefit will it be to you if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?" - Mark 8:36. The path to wealth isn't a solo endeavor. How sad would life be if you come to the end of your life and there is no one to share it with. So as you journey on your path to financial abundance remember that there will be many people who generously helped you on your journey so it is only fitting to pay it forward when the opportunity arises. Generosity with your time, with your money, with your resources are great virtues to have. The greatest ally to building a strong friendship is to help others achieve what they want from life.

I leave you with this last quote "You only have to do a very few things right in your life so long as you don't do too many things wrong." - Warren Buffett

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Being 4 Eva Young is not about age, it's about attitude. 4 Eva Young is dedicated to inspire, motivate and encourage anyone who is young at heart to live a life of significance filled with peace, joy, and contentment. For more information visit: