Category: How To

Confessions of a Shopaholic’s Friend: Selling Consignment for Others Online

Sourcing inventory can be a fun but challenging process. What if there aren’t many cheap thrift stores near you? What if garage sales are low-end and/or sporadic? What if you just don’t have enough money on hand to invest in inventory to resell?

For these people, consignment is a great option that I’ve used with a lot of success.

What is consignment?

Consignment is specifically an agreement to pay a supplier of goods after the goods are sold.

It’s typically done in a store setting, where someone goes into a store and strikes a deal with the shop-keep, however, a person will give you their items to sell online too.

In principle, the owner of the item and the seller of that item will agree on final price. Once the item sells, the seller will pay the (now) former owner, and in turn the seller will get a previously agreed upon percentage of the sale.

How does the item owner get paid?

There are two main ways for item owners to get paid, and there are pros and cons to each method.

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How to Take Great Photos for eBay, Poshmark, Mercari, or Etsy

how-to-take-great-product-photographs

I’m always amazed how truly bad some product photographs are. Whether you’re just clearing out your closet, flipping part time, or trying to make some serious cash, why would you shortchange yourself (almost literally) with off-putting product photos? It’s important to learn how to take great photos for eBay, Poshmark, Mercari, or Etsy!

Unfortunately, no one told these people…

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How to Create Powerful Listings, Part 4: 9 Ways to Seal the Deal with Effective Description

So far in this four-part series you’ve learned why it’s important to spend time creating great listings, how to write IRRESISTIBLE titles, and how to create eye-catching cover photos. The fourth and final installment answers the following question: How do I write a great listing description?

Descriptions matter, but how much?

This is an interesting question. In the next thousand words I’m going to suggest you take some extra time to write a really good description of your item, but does it really make a difference?

Yes, it does.

I have an eBay store. One of the benefits of having a store is that eBay gives me a whole suite of metrics that aren’t available to sellers without a store subscription. One of those metrics is “Sales Conversion Rate.” This is a crucial metric that tells me how often people who click on my listings actually buy my items.

Sales Conversion Rate is calculated by counting the number of people that buy an item divided by the number of people that clicked on an item. See below:

sales_conversion_rate

When I first opened my eBay store, I had your typical, bad descriptions. As a result, my Sales Conversion Rate was poor — about 0.7%. This means that for every 1,000 people who clicked on one of my listings, I generated 7 sales. To get one sale, I needed to get 150 people to click!

Now, after using the tips below, I’ve nearly tripled my Sales Conversion Rate, which routinely sits around 2.0%. For every 1,000 people who click on my listings, I’m getting 20 sales, and on average I need just 50 people to click on a listing before someone buys it.

What does this mean?

Without changing either my pricing or the items I’m selling, I have TRIPLED my Sales Conversion Rate.

That’s sales three times faster, which means more items getting sold, more new inventory getting posted online, and more rapid growth.

And all I did was use these simple strategies.

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Milk Is for Cookies & Hairspray Is for Curls…WRONG: Stain Removal Part 1, Ink

Stains.

My worst nightmare. That euphoric feeling of finding Michael Kors Jet Set Kempton Monogram Tote on a 50% off day has turned into a lot of loud curse words when you realize that you never actually looked inside the bag. When you do, this is what you discover:

The previous owner did not give as much TLC to the inside of the tote as they did to the outside, and that becomes very obvious when you see the ball point ink stains on the inside. I bet you’re now wondering how to get ink out of fabric.

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How to Create Powerful Listings, Part 3: Eye-Catching Cover Photos in 5 Easy Steps

You’ve already learned why optimized listings are important and how to write irresistible listings titles, so let’s now dive into Part 3: perfecting eBay cover photos (or Poshmark, Mercari, or [insert marketplace here]).

When creating a listing, what you’re really creating is an advertisement for your product. Just like Coke and Pepsi battle in the advertising landscape, creating memorable commercials with catchy slogans and vivid imagery, so too are you! You’re not the only one selling second-hand jeans, so how do you advertise your jeans as being a better purchase than someone else’s?

You need to do the same thing Coke and Pepsi are doing!

Advertise your product with catchy slogans (we covered title writing in Part 2) and vivid imagery (we’ll do this today).

What do buyers want to see?

Put most simply, your cover photo needs to elicit the following reaction from your potential buyer:

“I want that.”

With that in mind, do some role reversal and think about the kinds of things buyers might want to buy, such as these:

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How to Create Powerful Listings, Part 2: 11 Tips for Writing IRRESISTIBLE Titles

In Part 1 of this four-part series, I discussed how selling items is just a numbers game. To borrow from that first post, this is the blueprint successful sellers follow:

  • They ATTRACT more people to their listings with clickable titles and eye-catching cover images.
  • They INTERACT better with those potential customers through accurate photos and complete descriptions that aren’t just a wall of text.
  • They CONVERT more of those potential customers into actual customers.

Today I want to discuss the first part of the first bullet point: attracting people to your listings with clear, effective, and irresistible titles.

Why do buyers click on particular listings?

You have items you want to sell. So do a lot of other people. And other people probably have items like yours. They may even have the same items as you. How do you make sure potential buyers click on your items and not other people’s?

You need to make buyers think your item will solve their problem better than someone else’s item. And yes, when you sell someone a sweatshirt you are solving their problem.

Before clicking on an item, buyers ask themselves these questions (whether they consciously realize it or not):

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How to Create Powerful Listings, Part 1: A Primer

Selling items online is hard.

Sorry, let me qualify that — selling items well online is hard.

Actually, it isn’t even hard. It just takes some effort.

The actual act of taking some pictures, writing a description, clicking “Create Listing” and waiting for a sale doesn’t take that much time or thought. It’s doing it well that takes some effort.

And trust me, the extra effort is well worth it.

If you’ve ever bought an item online, think about your experience as a buyer. Here at Debt Free Dawn we specialize in clothing resale, so let’s use a related example. Let’s say a buyer goes to eBay and wants to buy a pair of second-hand Lululemon Pace Breaker shorts like the ones below:

Collage_PBShorts

They’re nice shorts. Super comfortable, clean, functional — definitely a great item. There’s no doubt these shorts will sell, and they’ll probably go for $30-$40. Because Lululemon products are in such high demand, you could take some lame photos and write a two-word description (e.g., “nice shorts”) and they’ll still sell.

But there’s also a ton of other people selling shorts just like these. So while your Lululemon Pace Breaker shorts will sell, they might sell after or for less money than someone else’s.

That’s a problem.

In the reselling business the goal is to find that happy medium between sale price and quick time to sale. Poor photos, bad headlines, and lackluster descriptions hinder your ability to sell items quickly or for their full value.

Take a look at the image below, which illustrates this point:

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