Questions for eBay Sellers RE: Email, Accounting, and Photos

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United States United States
brbisback
Kudos: 25
Joined: Jul 15, 2008
Questions for eBay Sellers RE: Email, Accounting, and Photos
17 Jul 2008
Hey Reader!

Thank you for taking the time to read my posting. I'm a platinum power seller on ebay and I have two accounts. I'm here because I would like some advice from those of you who have experience and wisdom and the willingness to help a fellow seller out. Any and every piece of advice is welcome and appreciated! Here we go:

1. Managing Customer Inquiries: Syncing Ebay email System and Outside Email

Like I stated previously I have two ebay accounts from which I receive a lot of messages in my outside email service. I then use the ebay messaging system to communicate with my customers directly. This process has become quite the hassle since I have to juggle between a private email service and ebay’s messaging system. On top of the headaches from signing in and out of multiple portals, emails and messages sometimes get lost in the process.

How I can make my system more efficient?

2. Accounting

For those of you who have been able to streamline your accounting, what is the simplest accounting method?

What arrangements do you have/suggest for a growing seller like me?

3. Product Photos

I have been using my own equipment [Nikon D80, Softbox, Phototek Lamps] to take photos of my items but the photos themselves have not turned out great. Further, the photos have to be edited [I use Adobe Photoshop CS3] so that the item alone remains. The editing process has proven very time consuming and I'm trying to maximize my photo quality while lowering the time it takes to prepare the item photos.

What should I do to get great photos, done quickly, and efficiently so that my buyers can get a greater feel for the items I'm selling?

I know it was a lot! Thank you for reading.
Herts, England United Kingdom
Andy
Kudos: 11,661
Joined: Jan 1, 2001
Re: Questions for eBay Sellers RE: Email, Accounting, and Ph
21 Jul 2008
Hi brbisback,

Thanks for posting, your questions are very structured and clear - do you write?

I can point you to some services to check out in each of those areas:

Managing Customer Inquiries

Hosted Support's ezSupport for eBay service automatically answers buyers' questions using a knowledgebase that you build up yourself. They still have an offer where it's free for the first 1,000 sellers to sign up (excludes the FAQs expansion module).

Accounting

You don't say if you are using an accounting package at the moment. Probably the most popular for small businesses is QuickBooks, and eBay's Accounting Assistant downloads eBay and PayPal transaction data to it. Accounting Assistant is free for subscribers to eBay Stores, Selling Manager, Selling Manager Pro, and eBay Blackthorne.

Product Photos

I can't help you with the photography myself, but there are eBay-specific photography guides out there, e.g.:

eBay Photos That Sell
Taking Great Pictures for eBay Auctions
eBay Photography the Smart Way
Skip McGrath's Online Auction Photo Secrets

Bling! It is a tool that specializes in removing photo backgrounds to isolate the product. It is $50 but has a 15-day free trial.

Hope that helps!
Andy Geldman, Web Retailer
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Newcastle upon Tyne United Kingdom
Tradebox
Kudos: 185
Joined: May 3, 2006
Re: Questions for eBay Sellers RE: Email, Accounting, and Ph
30 Jul 2008
Hi brbisback

Its a blatant plug, but Tradebox has been designed to integrate eBay, Amazon and websites directly into Sage 50 Accounts, thereby streamlining your post-sales administration. Have a look at www.etrader.uk.com.
Accounts integration for online retailers
United States United States
pesrls
Kudos: 30
Joined: Aug 27, 2008
Re: Questions for eBay Sellers RE: Email, Accounting, and Ph
27 Aug 2008
I would like answers also!

I HATE ebay messages. I think the point you were trying to make is a battle I fight also! A person emails you through ebay messages, you answer, then they email you directly, etc.

It is difficult to "connect" messages sent through ebay with messages sent to your POP3 mail server. The ebay user ID does not match the email address,

almost impossible to carry on a "conversation" with a customer....

Example, a person emails you direct "how much to ship" then a week later, he finally buys, you send a ebay invoice, but not the quoted amount.... you did not know "ebay user happypants" was "jic@gmail.com"

Also, it is a nightmare trying to use ebay message exclusively because it does not quote original text, and all you get when you do a search in your ebay messages is "you have replied" so you have to go to the "sent folder" and see what you said.

I sometimes have 8 emails back and forth over weeks, and my ebay inbox typically has between 800 and 1000 "questions to seller" that I have to search....
United States United States
pesrls
Kudos: 30
Joined: Aug 27, 2008
Re: Questions for eBay Sellers RE: Email, Accounting, and Ph
27 Aug 2008
Accounting.....

I use quickbooks, and I keep it simple. Weekly, I transfer money into my bank account from pay pal, I generate one "invoice" for "online sales" in the amount of the transfer.

One invoice, one "sale" and it is in quick books as "sales income" for tax purposes. Simple and my accountant is happy. that way I do not hide any sales income.

As for Profit and loss, I can not give you a firm figure at a instant.... but it boils down to a balance sheet (Current inventory+cash+outstanding liabilities) figured in along with the income and expense for the year.

So it is gross sales, less cost of goods sold, plus inventory fluctuation, equals net profit

I just cant track each sale, that would be silly.

As for a camera, I use OLD cameras, with small pictures, 150K MAX size. I do not have to re-size the image then. I really like the Olympus D150...

Use a White sheet for a background, or white board...
Herts, England United Kingdom
Andy
Kudos: 11,661
Joined: Jan 1, 2001
Re: Questions for eBay Sellers RE: Email, Accounting, and Ph
28 Aug 2008
pesrls, I can understand your frustration with eBay's messaging system.

I have become aware of a few more tools for dealing with customer emails (in addition to ezSupport for eBay). They are:

Saeven|CRM - fully integrates with eBay's "My Messages"
ReplyManager - currently email templates only but planning integration with My Messages
Infopia - handles customer communication via a Salesforce.com integration

Take a look at this discussion for more info: www.webretailer.com/forum/907-...tes--ask-seller-a-question.asp

[Last edited: 28 Aug 2008]
Andy Geldman, Web Retailer
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United Kingdom United Kingdom
ebaysellersupport
Kudos: 35
Joined: Jun 12, 2008
Re: Questions for eBay Sellers RE: Email, Accounting, and Ph
28 Aug 2008
HI brbisback,
Thank you for giving a detailed explanation of your requirement. Looking at your requirement i would suggest you to look in www.vendio.com. We provide multiple eBay id support, which means with one login you can access both your eBay ids.
Going forward, we have the integration with quick books to manage all your accounting work. Secondly we have a robust image manager, which helps you to make your images look better as well as automatically crop and resize all your images.We even have automated email system for customers. Last but not the least if you need further more details you can reach me on (877) 258-8488.
Will be more than happy to answer all your queries.
Many Thanks
Bill Morgan
United Kingdom United Kingdom
markb
Kudos: 146
Joined: Jun 12, 2008
Re: Questions for eBay Sellers RE: Email, Accounting, and Ph
8 Sep 2008
eseller would handle everything you mentioned.

all web based hosted.

FAQS can be stored against products to be used again and again
United States United States
brbisback
Kudos: 25
Joined: Jul 15, 2008
Re: Questions for eBay Sellers RE: Email, Accounting, and Ph
17 Sep 2008
Hi pesrls,
Do you figure sales tax at all? My accountant really wants me to integrate that
United States United States
pesrls
Kudos: 30
Joined: Aug 27, 2008
Re: Questions for eBay Sellers RE: Email, Accounting, and Ph
18 Sep 2008
If you click the check box on ebay, they will charge sales tax.

go to pay pal, download you history into excell, and a columns will be for shipping, fees, tax collected, etc.

you get a total amount collect, and send in that check!

Again, I dont do anything "by item"

ALL my sales info comes from pay pal. If I did not get paid, it is not income! Any payments I got are income. I make sure all payments made from that pay pal account are for bussiness expenses (ebay fees, shipping, etc)

so, bottom line, the dollars I take out of my pay pal account, and put in my checking account are the net income for my accountant.

At the end of the year, I look at the balance from the start of the year in my pay pal account, and make sure it is the same on the last day of the yewar.

Try downloading the csv file from pay pal, you (and your accountant if he wants to see) will be amazed at the detail, and information. He will probably want to take all the info, and re-write it into expense and income catagorires (and charge you for his time) but bottom line, if all your expenses are legit, then what you have left is the taxable income. does not matter if you spent some of the pay pal money for ebay fees, or postage, it all came off the bottom line.

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Seller Dynamics
ReplyManager
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