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Time-Saving Tips for Your eBay Biz

Successful entrepreneurs know that every minute counts. Stop wasting your valuable time doing menial tasks. Use these tricks to free up time and boost your business.

Many PowerSellers share tales of coming to a point in their businesses where 24 hours in a day just wasn't enough. They realized a person, company, process or piece of software could allow them time to become more productive. Here are some of the PowerSellers' time-tested secrets for being successful on eBay:

Tools for Automation

The eBay Solutions Directory is a good starting place for finding quality solutions providers that can help increase your productivity in selling, listing, product sourcing and much more.

Brad Lerch, owner of ListAssist in Blandon, Pennsylvania (eBay User ID: listassist), tested various auction management programs to help streamline his business and chose Kyozou to do the job. This efficient software helped speed the sales process and freed up Lerch, 29, to grow his business. Two weeks after implementing the software, and only four months after the business's inception, Lerch became a PowerSeller. His company now helps businesses liquidate their overstock.

Worrying about how much a tool costs is one of the biggest mistakes new--and even experienced--entrepreneurs make. When evaluating solutions to help scale your business, ask yourself if the cost of the product or service justifies the return on your investment.

Creating an eBay Store

Upon setting up their eBay Stores correctly, many eBay sellers have typically seen an increase of 25 percent in sales within three months. This increase in exposure was exactly what PowerSeller Rob Smith (eBay Store) was seeking for his Freeport, New York-based business on eBay. "Opening my eBay Store and using auctions as a tool to drive business not only increased my profits, but lowered my overall fees as well," says Smith, 48.

eBay Stores offers a fully customizable e-commerce solution for your business. For as little as $15.95 a month, eBay Stores helps build your business brand, provide you with seller reporting tools to analyze your sales and, most important, provide a vehicle to get your store and your listings indexed in the major search engines. An eBay Store is integral to easily scaling your business without having to invest time and money in the creation of a website with a shopping cart.

Plus, where else can you get an e-commerce site that ends up on the big search engines such as Google for less than $20 per month?

Learn more about opening an eBay Store.

Marketing Made Easy

Successful PowerSellers realize that marketing is a required part of their business, and many use inexpensive guerrilla marketing techniques to promote their businesses. Techniques include knowing where to get unlimited free business cards (www.vistaprint.com), tapping into the power of the eBay e-mail marketing program within their eBay Stores, and taking advantage of eBay's popularity to help boost the visibility of their own businesses.

"I had a very definite turning point in my eBay selling career," says Lewiston, Maine, PowerSeller Bill Cartmel, 52 (eBay Store). "An article about our eBay business in our local newspaper was picked up by newspapers throughout New England and the Eastern Seaboard. The focus was on vinyl records, which were only a small part of our business at the time. I received so many responses from people from New York to Maine who wanted to sell their rare, high-end record collections that we have now become the fifth largest seller of LPs on eBay, and our goal is to become No. 1."

Selling Internationally

Many sellers are looking outside the boundaries of the United States as a way to increase their customer base. eBay offers these five solutions for selling internationally:

1. Accept paypal as a payment option. PayPal is now available in 56 countries and territories and accepts multiple forms of currency, including euros, Canadian dollars and yen.

2. Offer international shipping. Maximize your global exposure by choosing which countries you're willing to ship to.

3. Include shipping costs. eBay's Shipping Calculator makes it easy for you to offer international shipping options and instant pricing to your buyers.

4. Use item specifics. A little-known eBay fact: When you fill out the item specifics for your item, such as the size of those shoes you are selling, that number will be translated on the eBay international site it is viewed on.

5. Download the International Selling Toolkit PDF. This in-depth report is the best place to start when targeting your international buyers.

Find additional information about selling internationally.

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Janelle Elms eBay University instructor and dean of Online Business for LA College International, is creator of the eBay Stores Video Series.

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