Making $ but Need Software...CONFUSED

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United States United States
jw1827
Kudos: 20
Joined: Mar 1, 2010
Making $ but Need Software...CONFUSED
1 Mar 2010
OMG... Where to begin... I am based in the USA but sell worldwide. I am currently selling on ebay, Amazon (I am a pro seller $40 a month on top of 20% seller fee per item because I have one of a kind items), etsy/com and I have my own website but because I couldn't figure out how to build it an add paypal's shopping cart... I just have it hooked to my etsy listings (which I do not like). I sell high end jewelry mostly rings... I have anywhere from 8 to 15 listing at a time and sell 50 to 100 items a month. I would LOVE to sell on Amazon UK (35% of my sales are international) and lots of other places but I am having a hard enough time keeping up with what I have going on now. PLEASE someone help... The other major problem I am having is... All my rings come in one size.. but I offer ring sizing for a fee. So after the sale.. over half do not tell me what size ring they would like because they say there is not a place to put size.. THEN I have to invoice them the sizing fee via paypal separately... which is another fee.
I have the right product now I just need to manage my sales. PLEASE any advise will be much appreciated. Jean
Herts, England United Kingdom
Andy
Kudos: 11,603
Joined: Jan 1, 2001
Re: Making $ but Need Software...CONFUSED
1 Mar 2010
Hi jw1827, and welcome

You have an interesting business. Many marketplace sellers have commodity products that they sell in volume with a low profit margin. You have a relatively low sales volume but higher-value products with (I hope) a good profit margin.

As you have a low volume of sales I can't see how a typical auction management or order management system would help you much - they work best for the commodity product sellers.

Your main issue seems to be handling the size variations - are you making use of eBay multi-variation listings and the Amazon equivalent?

As far as your own website goes, if you want it to be integrated with your eBay/Amazon inventory you will need to sign up with an auction management solution that offers a web store or an ecommerce package with marketplace links. If the nature of your inventory is that you can make products to order then you may not need the links to eBay/Amazon and have a much wider choice of solutions.

I don't recommend this often, but if you are not making the most of the features that already exist on the marketplaces to help sell your kind of products easily, you could consider using a consultant like As Was to provide training and advice. They also design eBay listing templates which might be a good idea in a fashion-related business like yours. There are other eBay consultants around but As Was is the first one that comes to mind.

Hope that helps!

[Last edited: 1 Mar 2010]
Andy Geldman, Web Retailer
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United States United States
jw1827
Kudos: 20
Joined: Mar 1, 2010
Re: Making $ but Need Software...CONFUSED
1 Mar 2010
I have been selling online for over 10 yrs as a hobby and was working for an large online retailer when I was laid off about a year ago.. which has turned out to be blessing. I'm making more money now than I ever have BUT it's like I'm on a wonderful cross country road trip without a map or directions

An Yes, I do have a GREAT profit margin. An I have looked at ebay's multi variation listing but ebay has limited the categories.. an Fine Jewelry is not one of the choices.. I guess I can always list in Designer Jewelry instead.. which kinda sucks but usually my items are found by direct search and not just browsing. AND Amazon is a whole nother situation... 1st let me tell you I raised my prices to cover Amazon's fee's and really didn't think I would sell many because I had to list my rings in the Everything Else Section.... Amazon will not let me sell in the jewelry dept.. You have to have permission... they require pictures with white background (which I have) and a stand alone website... which I do not have yet! BUT I am selling A LOT.. I guess I really need to call them and find out what it is going to take to get in the jewelry section. I think I will also check into "As Was".

Also I'm really trying to build my brand.. I have even considered hiring a Marketing or PR Firm. But being on budget.. I'm not sure if that is even an option. I really appreciate your info ... Please let me know if you have any additional pointers.. Thanks again, Jean
Herts, England United Kingdom
Andy
Kudos: 11,603
Joined: Jan 1, 2001
Re: Making $ but Need Software...CONFUSED
1 Mar 2010
I think you are on the right track Jean.

It's a learning process and if you look back every couple of months I'm sure you will be amazed by how much you will have picked up in a short time.

It's very important to experiment - try the Designer Jewelry category and see what happens - it's the only way to know. Whenever you think of something that might just work, try it out then keep what works and discard what doesn't. Like a process of evolution you will find better and better strategies to suit the environment you find yourself in. But never stop experimenting: the environment and your competitors will change and you must (at least) keep up.

Regarding the marketing/PR, there are firms who cater to small businesses. But I think it would be wise to get your marketplace and website selling in really good order, get a good brand and design, and then try to push to another level. If you try to build a business which has difficulties around basic selling and fulfilment you could drive yourself mad or even damage the business itself.

Best of luck!
Andy Geldman, Web Retailer
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Midlothian, VA United States
Jax Music Supply
Kudos: 2,358
Joined: May 25, 2009
Re: Making $ but Need Software...CONFUSED
8 Mar 2010
I would recommend getting your own website too. You are generating customers currently that may want to come back. You have paid for these customers through eBay and Amazon fees.

e-commerce websites are fairly cheap now so there is no reason no to do it even if you are only selling a couple of hundred a month on the site.

Good luck.

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