For you, what is the best thing about eBay, or other online auctions? Well, to be honest, there are so many good things about selling online through auctions that it is hard for me to say what the best thing is. However, one of the best things is that eBay levels the playing field.
What do I mean?
Well, I believe that on eBay, a small guy like you and me can compete head to head with the big boys. I mean, as a small time player, it can be hard for us to compete against the big businesses in the “real world.” But, online, the game changes. As a matter of fact, for a small, single person operation, we can generally move more quickly than the big boys. We don’t have to gather a meeting of 20 people in order to decide to change the color of our auction listing from red to blue. When we decide to change the color of our listing, we don’t have to run it up the flagpole and get approval from 13 different people. We decide to change it, make the change and move on to the next challenge or improvement. Small business can move more quickly, be more spry, by more dyamic than the big guy. It’s that simple.
As a small player, we can also do things that help us take advantage of some of the benefits and advantages that the big boys have too.
What? Didn’t you just say that the small guy has all the advantages?
Well, I didn’t say all the advantages. Fact is that the big players have some advantages that the small guys can’t have. A big company can have a whole staff of employees devoted to selling the product. They can have people on duty 24/7 to answer e-mails or address customer concerns.
You can too! Yeah, that’s right, you. How? Well, you don’t need to hire a whole staff of people, you can pay for a service to do it for you. The truth is that a lot of those e-mails, feedback, auction listing, etc., are things that can be automated by computer. You can set it all up yourself, or you can simply pay a small fee for an auction management service to do it for you.
In my past life, when I was selling big time (for a small player!) on eBay, I used a company called “Marketworks” to handle automated e-mails, feedback, etc. for me, and they did a great job. Since when I was selling, Marketworks has changed it’s name, and I believe they are now doing business under the name “Auctiva” – I don’t know if they are still as good as they used to be, but when I get going in a bigger way on eBay again, I will certainly check them out. I think you should too.
Using Marketworks cost me some money. It’s fairly inexpensive, but not dirt cheap. As I recall, I used to spend about $500 to $600 per month for Marketworks’ services, but I was selling many thousands of dollars at auction each month, so it worked out to a small percentage. But, you know what.. the way I look at it, Marketworks did not cost money, it made money for me. You see, because of the automation, I could concentrate my efforts on making money, not on doing mundane tasks like posting feedback for people. Also, instead of being able to personally handle only 100 or 150 auctions at a time, I could run 1,000 or 2,000 auctions at once without even breaking a sweat. You don’t make money on eBay running only a few auctions, at least not the kind of money that I am interested in. When you are able to start running 500, 600 or thousands of auctions at the same time, that’s when you start making some real money on eBay. And, in my opinion, as a small player, you cannot do that kind of volume without either hiring employees, using an automation service, or doing both. I did both.
Did you know that in the recent past, some of the “big boys” have started noticing that doing business on eBay and other online auctions can help improve their business models? I’ll be writing more about that soon, so come back and check it out!