Here are some tools and services that have caught my eye recently that should be of use to online retailers and eBay sellers.
eBay sellers have to take a keen, even obsessive, interest in postage services and couriers. It’s one way that sellers can stay competitive and provide that vital 5 star service that buyers want. But it’s surprising how many sellers might be in a bit of a rut. It’s worth keeping an eye out for new services and offers to make sure that you’re getting the best deal on the best services. Sending bulky or heavy items requires a courier and there are loads of services out there to choose from. That’s why I like this parcel checker which is basically a comparison engine for couriers. Prices depend on speed and the nature of what you’re selling but this takes the heavy lifting work out of getting the best deal.
eBay iPhone App
Probably the most significant development in the eBay marketplace this year has been the dramatic rise in people using their Apple iPhone and other smartphones to buy goods. eBay itself reckons that Brits buy something every 10 seconds using their iPhone. If you have an iPhone check out the eBay app. It’s free from iTunes. As a seller, it’s well worth exploring, not least to check out how your items and listings look on a mobile. eBay is pinning a lot of hope on mobile as a future for the marketplace so keep an eye on developments. These are interesting times.
One of the most exciting things about eBay is the wealth of data there is out there about buying habits and trends. But many sellers are flying blind and not getting to grips with what’s selling, for how much and what the next hot items will be. That’s why Terapeak.com is a fascinating service. It’s a US-based business that slices and dices all the buying activity on eBay and presents it in a very easy and digestable way. eBay changes fast and using a tool like Terapeak means that you can monitor your own sales and compare your own activity with the marketplace in general. Are you doing better than your competitors? If you were considering a major investment in stock, for instance, then taking a look at Terapeak would give you an indication of whether you were getting a good deal or not. Taking the guess work out of buying stock is well worth the modest fees they charge.
I’ve been hearing good things about stockshifters.com recently from eBay sellers. It’s a website dedicated to selling liquidated and surplus stock. Lots of eBay sellers are often keen to get their hands on more things to sell at the right price and Stockshifters sells all sorts, usually in job lots or the pallet-load. The array of different lines and stock is dizzying, everything from fridge freezers to DVD box sets, and I can see it becoming a vital source of supply for lots of sellers.