Time is precious! How to maximise your time to make more money on eBay
PLUS: If you like dropshipping, you’ll love this!
Top-level research suggests most of us waste at least three minutes every hour – some a good deal more. Taking phone calls from salesmen selling goods you don’t want and don’t need, creating all your eBay listings from scratch rather than using ‘fill in the blanks’ templates for repeat products, checking how many of those 100 emails in your box today are genuine and how many are scams – they’re all time-wasters!
Looking on the bright side, let’s say you waste just three minutes every hour and you work an eight-hour day, five-day week.
The end result is three minutes lost each hour: 24 minutes per day; 120 minutes each week.
Two hours every week is eight hours a month (actually more, because this figure is based on four weeks – 28 days – whereas most months include 30 or 31 days).
Eight hours is an entire working day lost each month. One working day lost each month is 12 working days over the whole year.
So much time wasted – all because you did things you should not have done: you failed to create systems to shortcut repetitive tasks, you responded to emails and phone calls and letters you really should have ignored.
Did that surprise you? It certainly surprised me, because I waste much more than three minutes every hour.
That is proof we all need to eliminate time-wasters and spend more time listing items to sell.
The following tips will help…
- Make a ‘to do’ list at the start of each day. Divide it into three lots: ‘urgent’, ‘important’, and ‘only if time allows’. Allot each task to the appropriate section and mark items 1, 2, 3 and so on, ranked most important down to least important. Start on urgent items and work your way through these, in number sequence, from 1 to however many tasks you might accomplish each day. Don’t even consider doing less important tasks until all urgent jobs are done.
- There is an allowed exception to doing all urgent tasks before commencing less important ones. It happens when you are tired and it makes more sense to do less important jobs than risk making mistakes on important matters.
- Make a new ‘to do’ list at the start of each working day, beginning with all outstanding urgent tasks ranked again, in order of importance. Add any outstanding important and only-if-time-allows tasks that might have become urgent. You’ll be amazed how many tasks you once considered urgent are no longer important, or they’ve been resolved elsewhere.
- If the phone isn’t an important feature of your business, put it on answer and monitor calls as you work.
- Learn to type faster and so list more items each day. Ask about courses at your local adult training college. Or search for ‘free typing lessons’ to do it all online.
- Use Turbo Lister to list items in bulk and upload your listings when you’ve finished work for the day. You can download Turbo Lister free of charge from your eBay account. It’s a big time-saver and allows you to create custom templates, so cutting time normally spent listing items individually.
- Add a signature file to your PayPal email address, telling buyers you have received their payment and their goods will be dispatched very soon. This eliminates time normally spent contacting buyers individually, and no one will ever guess it’s coming from an auto-responder and not a real person.
If you like dropshipping, you’ll love this!
Many highly successful eBay sellers consider dropshipping the perfect way to locate goods and sell them online, and in many ways that’s exactly what it is – perfect! (Well, almost!)
It’s almost perfect because dropshipping represents a process whereby you don’t have to buy products for your eBay customers until those people have actually paid for their goods and that money is in your bank account.
Using the dropshipping model the eBayer never has to stock products and never runs the risk of items going out of fashion and finding himself lumbered with expensive stock nobody wants to buy.
All the seller does is take illustrations and product details from the dropshipper’s website and uses them to create his own eBay listings. When orders come in, the seller banks the profits and only then does he contact the supplier and pay for goods to be sent direct to customers.
There’s no upfront investment, nothing to stock, and the eBay seller can pick and choose from thousands of very different products and suppliers sending goods direct to buyers.
But there are a few small problems surrounding this almost-perfect product-sourcing method: namely that most dropshipping companies deal with countless sellers on eBay, and also on Amazon and other Internet marketplaces. With so many people selling the exact same products, the market becomes saturated and pricing wars escalate until no one is making money. Except for the dropshipping company that is!
Another problem is that eBay UK doesn’t like dropshipping and won’t answer questions about it.
Those problems and one or two others are the reason you must choose dropshipping companies very carefully indeed, looking for reliable suppliers, preferably by arranging your own exclusive dropshipping deals with local suppliers who promise to provide goods to you exclusively on eBay.
So there’s no market saturation and all your suppliers are a few miles drive away, meaning you can pack and deliver to your customers direct from your suppliers’ premises.
That works like a dream and really does make the dropshipping model as perfect as any product-sourcing method can be!
But there’s another very easy way to attain exclusivity of products for your eBay business, without you ever investing money upfront or having to trust other people to deliver the goods and keep your buyers happy.
You do it by becoming what’s known as a ‘trading assistant’, sometimes called a ‘consignment agent’. Like dropshipping it’s a way of selling goods belonging to other people without you having to buy those items in advance.
Even better, this process lets you send goods direct to your own customers, so you don’t risk another person being slow to deliver goods or treating your customers unfairly, thus ruining your feedback rating.
As a trading assistant you take other people’s goods, you create your own illustrations and product descriptions, then you take payment and bank your money, before fulfilling orders to buyers.
Then you deduct your personal share of the profits, plus all your listing and final selling fees, and send the rest of the money to your product suppliers.
Doesn’t that beat trusting your business to dropshipping companies and spending a fortune with wholesalers for goods that have to be stored in your garage or loft and may not even sell?