Category Archives: Selling

Buy a Bundle, Game for Free!

So you love to play video games. You also love to make money (that is why you are here!) You want to get paid to do it. It is easier than you think, with some simple steps and a little patience. It breaks down into a few simple steps.
-Find a bundle deal on Craigslist or your local Facebook group. A bundle deal is video games with the console and some accessories.
-Sell off all of the items in the bundle you are not trying to add to your collection.
-Enjoy your cost free gaming!
First, look at the local Craigslist ads or Facebook groups. You are looking for the words “Lot”, “Bundle”, or “Games”. If you are looking for a specific title, you can search for that title instead. Determine whether you can make money on this bundle at that price while keeping the games that you want. Video games are fast sellers, especially newer titles and consoles (defined as XBOX 360 or PS3 or newer). You are going to use the lowest price on Amazon as your calculation point. Assume that you are going to lose about 1/3 of the cost to fees. All you need to do is to break even, but of course the more money you can make the more money you can put directly into your pocket!
You do a simple comparison. Use the lowest price of everything you can sell, and multiply by 2/3’s. If that value is higher than the price you can negotiate on the bundle, then go ahead and buy. Things to keep in mind:
When you sell the console, you should include one controller, the charger, and the cables to hook it to the TV.
The games might be scratched, so inspect them carefully before you buy. Light surface scratches are ok, but anything more than that you will need to pay to get them professionally refinished. That will run between 1-3 dollars per disc.
Once you find a bundle, you should contact the seller. One thing I’ve learned over time was that your first offer should make you feel slightly embarrassed. I usually offer somewhere between 50-60% of the asking price. Make sure to mention that you can bring cash and pay them today. Don’t be surprised if they say no at first, just be polite and ask them to keep you in mind. Often they will contact you back within a day or two. If you don’t hear from them, email them back a little later and ask if they still have it available. Between no shows and people not needing or wanting everything that is in the bundle, they will often still have the bundle available. Don’t worry about missing out on a particular deal, there are new ones every day.
When you go to pick up the bundle, make sure you inspect the items carefully. Do not feel pressured to buy if the items are not pristine. Have them turn it on for you, if you are comfortable going to their homes. Remember, you are not obligated to buy anything.
What you are going to do is keep the pieces you want, and sell off all the pieces you don’t at enough of a price difference to pay for the entire bundle. Every part of a video game system is usually easy to sell, especially the newer models. Xbox 360 or PS3 or newer.
My favorite way to sell them is on Amazon. You can sign up for an account to sell on Amazon in about 5-10 minutes. You do not need a pro-seller account, which makes listing your items free. The difference between a pro-seller account and a free account is an additional one dollar fee per item. If you are selling more than 40 items per month, then you should sign up for a pro-seller account, as you will break even.
Keep in mind that almost everything gaming related can sell, and you do not have to settle for the lowest price. The chargers, the controllers, the cameras, the headphones, and the games can all be sold separately.
You want your money back quickly, so the simplest way is to just match the lowest prices on Amazon. List them on Amazon, and write a good description. Read the condition guidelines, and make sure you are following them. Make sure you are on the right listing, especially on consoles. There are different versions of most gaming platforms, and a few minutes of research will show you which is which. This may sound intimidating, but it is really very simple.
Read the descriptions of the people you are competing against. Especially at the lowest price, people often do not take the time to write a good description of the condition. Use their laziness against them. Use a better description, and you can demand higher prices!
There are different versions of most gaming platforms, and a few minutes of research will show you which is which. This may sound intimidating, but it is really very simple.
When the customer orders your items, you will get an email. Package the item the way you would like to receive it, safe and pretty. Once the orders are in (remember that you will lose about 1/3 of the cost in fees), you will get paid every two weeks from Amazon. Sit back and enjoy all of your free games!
This is a very simple way to expand your gaming collection exponentially in a very short period of time. Have fun, and Happy Gaming!
-David Manning @ AmusingTreasures.com

T-shirt business experiment Part 1

Trying an experiment with designing and marketing T-shirts using hired talent on Fiverr. Thought I would post the results in case anyone else thought of doing the same thing.

I have the steps broken down like this:

Get T-shirt designs made
Find online store that does drop-shipping with reasonable prices.
Run targeted ads on Facebook.
Fulfill orders.
Profit.
Start online store, become ungated in clothing on Amazon?

First ad on Fiverr was to post a gig wanted. This is the ad that I went with.

T-shirt designers! At least 5 T-shirts, Includes Graphics and text, right to republish/resell, editable file delivered, eye-catching, bold T-shirts. Ready for printing. Can you deliver?
received 34 responses in 3 days
follow-up email

Hi!
I received your reply to my offered gig. The first T-shirt I would like is a picture of an elephant with a bite or two missing out of it. A zombie in the foreground / off to the side. The logo “One bite at a time” clearly visible, but may be artistic text (could look faded, torn, etc as long as it is visible and easy to read). I would like the original files with transparent background ready for immediate upload to T-shirt printing store, and all digital and reproduction rights. If any of this does not work for you, please tell me immediately. This will be the first of at least 5 T-shirts if I like your designs. I look forward to working with you.
-David

That is where the experiment is right now. That email was sent to 5 people so far. I have eliminated all of the responses that were misspelled, not complete, or whose art I thought was not great. If you would like to see the rest of this experiment, make sure to follow me at facebook.com/amusingtreasures. If you have any advice, leave it in the comments below!

One Page Workflow – CD’s

I have been thinking a lot about processes and streamlining. Having an established process helps you to eliminate sticking points, and allows you to train your replacement. It also eliminates the number of decisions you have to make each day, which allows you to focus on better and bigger decisions. In part inspired by the Four Hour Workweek, and in part by the E-Myth Revisited, here is my one page CD workflow for resellers.

Before you start:
-Determine your low price threshold. 19.99 is a good one for most prices at most sources. You may elect to use a formula (3x price + 2$ as an example), but I find just setting a floor to be an easier strategy.
-Determine your level of comfort for sales rank. Higher sales rank = sells less often.
-Print the condition guidelines for CD’s, keep them near your desk.
-Look up professional CD refinishers on Ebay. You can get good prices when you do them in bulk. This also allows you to add the words “Professionally refinished” to your description, and guarantees that the CD is functional. (For more information about faulty CD’s, check out the article on pin-hole faults due to age.)
-Have some new empty CD cases standing by. This is optional, as you can sell CD’s with cracked cases. Buying them in bulk saves you money and increases the quality of your product.
-Decide on your pricing strategy. If you use a repricer, set the levels now. If you prefer to manually price them, jot down your way of thinking when you set the price. This allows you to standardize your pricing, and not make individual decisions for every CD.

Now it is time to find some money!!

1) Go to your source – for CD’s, I find thrift stores, Goodwills, Salvation Army’s, and estate sales to be the most profitable. You should track your mileage, costs, and profitability of each source. There are multiple programs that help with this. You can also just keep a spreadsheet.
2) Scan them for potential profitability – I use Scanpower right now, but any scanning program would work.
All ones with a purchase price of $19.99 (or your floor) or more, with whatever sales rank you are comfortable with, go in the cart.
3) Visually inspect, if any scratches whatsoever, place them in groups of 100 and get them professionally refinished. You can find someone through Ebay for about $1.00 – $1.50 per CD.
4) Rematch CD’s with cases and list. You can use whatever scanning or listing program you prefer.
5) Attach labels. (Optional, you can use Amazon’s labeling service for a small fee.)
6) Send in boxes to Amazon.
7) Profit.

Now obviously, each one of these steps can be broken down into much smaller chunks. If while reading the steps, there is something you are not familiar with, now is the best time to ask questions. If there is something you are not familiar with, such as sales rank or refinishing, then it is time to do a little research. If you have specific questions, you can contact us at amusingtreasures@gmail.com.

Once your processes are smooth, you can outsource, eliminate, or delegate these tasks to someone else. Remember, it is the processes that make your work easy or hard. Take the time to establish good habits and groundwork, and it will pay large rewards in the future.

How to create a successful Auction Listing on Ebay

Recently, we reviewed a bunch of completed auctions to look for some keys to success, to improve our listings. Special thanks to the fine folks at the Thrifting With The Boys Facebook group for posting up some of their great success stories. This is what we found, if it helps you then let us know!

There are a few areas where you can make your auction stand out. Take a little time and effort to separate yourself from the people that don’t care.

First and most importantly, PICTURES! I cannot stress enough how important it is to take well lit, sharp, clear pictures. Let the customer know exactly what they are getting, good and bad. Any trademarks, watermarks, tags, defects, special features, unique characteristics, EVERYTHING! You can upload the pictures to a photo sharing site like Picasa to save room.

Starting Price – If you are doing an auction style bidding, starting the price low will encourage competition. People dislike losing even more than they like winning, which is in your favor when it comes to bidders competing in an auction. A low starting price also lowers your fees, so it is a win-win!

Keywords – Use them often, use them a lot. Make sure you search for completed auctions for similar type items. What words did they use in their titles? Are their acronyms or misspellings that people look for often? The completed sold listings are the best place to look for information.

Shipping options – Offering Free Shipping is a huge draw. Customers will often not calculate the difference, and you can just raise the cost of the product to cover your shipping cost. Which sounds better, 9.99 with free shipping, or 4.00 with 5.99 shipping? Give your customers the easy choice. One other benefit is if you offer free shipping, you automatically are given 5 stars for the shipping and handling.

Another option is to provide a choice of three shipping options, and let the customer choose. I know that offering different options makes it more complicated, but some people like the option to pay a little less and get it later, or pay a little more to get it now. One more note on shipping. Always offer confirmation. Even on the free shipping. It is normally .85, but if you have an account with Stamps.com or an alternative, then the confirmation is free. Pass that along to your customers. It is all about them having piece of mind.

Auction times – If you start your auctions on a Thursday and run them for 10 days, you get two full bidding weekends in. Time the auction to end between 7pm and 10pm on Sunday. This is the time when the most people are relaxing at home and checking online. You can schedule your auction to start at a later time than when you type it up. This allows for you to choose when your listing is available for viewing, and also can give you time to edit the posting if required.

Guarantees – Always offer a money back guarantee. It comes down to making people feel safe and comfortable with the fact that if they are unhappy, they are not going to lost anything. Think about the reason so many companies offer money back guarantees and 30 day trials. Once your item is in a customers hand, it takes a significant effort for them to return it. They need to make calls or send emails, package it, and return it to someplace to shop it. Let your paranoid fantasies of all your products being returned lay to rest.

Another way to make your customers feel safe and cared for is to answer all questions that are asked. Even if the question is answered in the description, make sure that you answer them specifically. It shows that you care, and everyone wants to do business with people that care.

Advertising – Advertise your listings on Facebook, Twitter, Linked-in, or any other social media that you are a part of. Join the resale groups in your area, and put them there and offer free local pickup in your listing. It saves you time shipping, and can lower your outbound material costs.

Lastly, have fun with this! Your description doesn’t have to be a compiling of every small fact about the product. It doesn’t have to be professional hard selling material. There are people out there that want what you have. Use your own voice. Throw in a joke or two, a little humor. Talk to your customers as if you were talking to a good friend. Include little thank you notes with your items, and make sure that your customer knows they are appreciated. After all, without them, you wouldn’t make any money!

I hope that these tips help you out. Good luck with your listings, and you can contact us with any questions or recommendations.

If you could give someone one tip to get them on the road to being successful on Ebay, what would it be?

List of products to avoid

While it is important to focus on products to sell on Amazon, it is also important to pay attention to which products you should not sell. These products are ones which the manufacturers will give you a difficult time if you are trying to sell on Amazon.

Gillette
P90X
Dunkin Donuts Coffee
Dr Dre headphones
Rosetta Stone software
Warner Brothers movies

From the conditions guidelines, you also need to avoid the following items:

Promotional CD’s
Drafts and proofs for books
Any item that is or is suspected to be counterfeit or fake

I will add to this list as I receive additional information.

Instructions are helpful

Today as I was browsing the competitions pricing on some of my higher value items, I realized that they were offering a service that was quick, easy, and added value to the customer. Naturally, those are all things that I would like to offer as well! I found a site, called safemanuals.com where you can download manuals for a wide variety of items. For example, I downloaded a very nice pdf file of the instructions for our Kota the Dinosaur. Since I only learned that you can press down on his butt to make stomping sounds yesterday after watching a video on him, I figured that the instructions would be very helpful for someone else. I added the printed and emailed version to our listing. Any time that you can add extra value for the customer, for little or no time or cost, it becomes a win-win situation. Thank you guys at safemanuals.com. You can also use the free tech manuals that they provide in order to troubleshoot a product, or learn more about it.  Information is power, and they are offering it for free.