Monthly Archives: February 2015

Using PhotoBucket.com for hosting your photos on eBay

Picture hosting on eBay will soon be free for store owners – so, why am I telling you about PhotoBucket now? Well, there’s still lots of places you may need pictures on and in your eBay store – and the service is free!

Here are a few examples:

  • I don’t really like the photos way up in the corner, and prefer them near the description.
  • You may want a graphic to show off Free Shipping, your 100% Guarantee a company logo inside the listing.
  • Store Custom Pages – if you want to design your own, you’ll have to host your photos somewhere else.
  • Want a slideshow – but don’t subscribe to a service, you can create one in PhotoBucket and put it into your listings.
  • Promo boxes and more…

I know using PhotoBucket can be confusing. Understanding which snippet of code to cut and paste and where it goes may seem mysterious. Here’s a short video to show you the details.

How To Upload A Text File to Get Validated by the eBay Partner Network

When you apply to the eBay Partner Network, they may ask you to add a text file with a Unique Identifier to your web site to prove you are the owner of that web site.

Uploading this file is no different than uploading photos or HTML files to your site. Nor does it matter if you have a traditional HTML site or a WordPress site.

The one thing that is crucial is that you place the file in the root of your domain, since that is where EPN will look for it.

This short video will show you how to save the Unique Identifier as a text file and upload it to your web site.

Five Minutes A Day eBay Store Guide – Part 14

Five Minutes A Day Guide To Setting Up An eBay Store – Part 14, Setting Up Your End Of Auction and Invoice Emails

ebaystore14-1Finally, under the Marketing tab comes: Logos and Branding. In this area you can set up the end of auction emails and invoices to include your store logo and a small, text blurb. You can invite buyers to purchase multiple items, come back again, thank them for shopping with you, etc. Just remember this email is in plain text, no HTML and eBay doesn’t allow off site links even here.

To start click on the Customize End of Auction Emails

ebaystore14-2

By default the “Include my Store Logo” and “Custom message” are set to NO. To include them in your End Of Auction email click on the “Change” link to start.

ebaystore14-3

On this page click the check box to include your store logo. EBay will automatically insert the logo you uploaded during the store setup process.

To include a custom message you’ll want to check the box next to “include my custom message in this email” and then type in the message in the dialog box. You can include up to 2000 characters — plenty to let people know your terms of service and cross promote your products.

ebaystore14-4

Notice the drop down ‘auto text’ box. You can choose certain auto short cuts that eBay can automatically fill in for you by including eBay language. See how it works in the sample below:

ebaystore14-5

In this sample eBay will automatically insert the eBay Buyers name, Title and number of the item they purchased and my email address for the buyer to contact me with questions. I chose the short cuts from the Auto Text drop down menu.

One you are done with your custom message decide if you want a copy sent to you by leaving the box blank or checking it for yes.

Then click “save” and you’re done.

Invoice Email

While the end of Auction email might be used to encourage another sale from your store by cross promoting and up-selling, the invoice is the request for payment including the total amount owed.

Both emails function to remind the buyer to pay and are sent out on your behalf automatically. Again, it’s good to brand and customize your Invoice. To start, click on “customize checkout and invoice.”

You’ll be taken to a page similar to the landing page for end of auction email. Click on the “change” link to start.

ebaystore14-6

On this page click the check mark to include your store logo.

Then write in your custom message. Again, no HTML — here you only have 360 characters because this text goes up near the logo in the email. It’s a good idea to have what you’d like to say on a notepad before you get here. If you have the text on a notepad you can simply copy and paste it into the dialog box. Otherwise type in what you’d like to say to your customers directly into the box provided.

To make sure everything looks good, preview the email.

When you have it the way you want it — choose whether you wish a copy sent to you , then click “Save.

Five Minutes A Day eBay Store Guide – Part 13

Five Minutes A Day Guide To Setting Up An eBay Store – Part 13, Setting Up The Favorite Seller Top Picks

ebaystore13-1Next up under the Marketing Tools tab is Favorite Top Seller picks. Some buyers prefer to bookmark their favorite shops and have quick access to them from their My eBay. That’s what marking them as Favorite Sellers does.

eBay sends emails weekly to buyers with products from all their favorite sellers. Buyers who subscribe to your store as Favorite Seller are sent an email on your behalf with four products from your listings. You don’t have to do anything to be included. However, you should choose what to show them — based on your listing style. If you have new inventory that you list every week you may choose ‘newly listed’ or if you have a more static inventory mix you may customize the feed to show best selling products instead.

Let’s take a look at how this is done.

ebaystore13-0

In the sample above eBay has been sending out items sorted by “highest price” to all the potential buyers who have ‘favored’ my store. That seems like a good idea on the face of it — except when you think that I have been selling these products for over five years now and every week my potential buyers see the exact same inventory — never anything new. If they don’t buy these products within a few months, are they ever going to? Probably not — and now the store has just become noise in their email inbox.

It’s time to mix things up a bit.

To do that, we can either choose the setting from automatic to manual

ebaystore13-2

Once you click the link to change to manual setting the screen will redraw and you’ll notice a button to change item.

ebaystore13-3

Click to start the process.

ebaystore13-4

This is the familiar interface from the Markdown manager and several other store applications. It allows you to choose which item you want to replace by clicking the ‘add’ button next to the item or choose from the sort features at the top.

Once you have chosen your new item, come back and change as many as you wish, up to four — eBay will send out four products on your behalf.

The other choice for setting up the feed is lower on the page. This allows you to simply edit the sort criteria if you wish to have a regularly changing inventory shown to your buyers.

ebaystore13-5

Click on the Edit Criteria to get started.

ebaystore13-6

You’ll notice the interface is nearly identical — with one change — there are no buttons to add specific items to the feed. You can only sort by format, category, price range, highest/lowest etc.

Setting these criteria up is easy — but finding the sweet spot for customer retention will take some thought, testing and fine tuning. Try different settings and see if you notice a higher volume of return customers.

I wish there was some way to know specific numbers of returns and click through rates from this, but as yet eBay is not sharing the information. You’ll need to test and go with your best gestimate as to what works best for your store. Once you have the criteria set — click apply to save the changes.

Five Minutes A Day eBay Store Guide – Part 12

Five Minutes A Day Guide To Setting Up An eBay Store – Part 12, Setting Up Your In Store Cross Promotions

ebaystore12-1Next up is setting your ‘in store’ cross promotions. These Cross Promotion settings will appear when your buyer purchases and checks out using the eBay system. These are not the cross promotions that show up automatically with sellers listings showing on your items. These Cross Promotions are specific to your store and buyer communications.

Look for the Cross Promotions Link under Marketing Tools and click to begin.

On the Cross Promotions summary page you have two choices; the first to Manage the defaults and the second is the Settings which allow you to choose where to have these cross promotions show up.

ebaystore12-2

Let’s start at the top by clicking on Manage.

Cross promotions are setup for you automatically by eBay. Under this tab you can change those automatic settings and specify exactly what the viewer will see at specific cycles during the buying process. That means if you have a specific category that is a perfect up-sell for another — you can specific that category to show when the invoice is sent. An example might be batteries with an item that needs them to operate. The batteries will be shown on the bottom of the invoice. That’s before the buyer checks out via PayPal. Another example might be a GameBoy cross promotion. You could have the individual games you sell show up when checkout is complete, so the customer knows where to return when they are ready to buy new games for their new GameBoy purchase.

To set these cross promotions first chose which tab (or in which part of the buying cycle) you want the cross promotion to display.

ebaystore12-3

Your choice is “When someone views an item” or “When someone bids on or wins an item.” For this demo will choose the first. Now, click on the Create New Rule link.

ebaystore12-4

Here you use a drop down menu to select which Store Category you wish to set up the cross promotion for. Then choose which store category you want to cross promote.

Notice you can choose to use keywords instead of a broad category. For instance, I sell postal scales — instead of just letting eBay populate the cross promotions automatically from a broad category I can choose the keywords “batteries” or ‘ac adapter’ so they show up in the cross promotions.

Once you click continue you are shown a sample of how your cross promotion rule will display.

Notice also that you can choose to use the same rule for checkout if you leave the checkbox checked.

ebaystore12-5

Click Save Rule and you are brought back to the first page to create another rule.

That’s how the default cross promotions are set-up. Now let’s examine the Cross Promotions: Settings link. Here is where you can customize at what point you wish the cross promotions to show up.

ebaystore12-6

On the top of the page you can choose when to have your cross promotions to show — even turn the off if they interfere with the store layout — or if you are using a scrolling display like Auctiva.

** Note: by turning this to off — it does not affect the cross promotions on other sellers listings — that is a different setting — this only affects your item cross promotions inside your store.

Next you can select specifically which type of products, how many and when they show up via multiple choice.

This may take a little fore-thought as to which items specifically turn up and when. If you sell using mostly auction style listings you may want to choose ‘ending soonest.’ However, a store with static inventory my want to choose highest priced or randomly selected.

And finally if your store uses customized colors you can choose to change the promotion box to match your branding by choosing the customized display instead of default look.

Five Minutes A Day eBay Store Guide – Part 11

ebaystore11-1Five Minutes A Day Guide To Setting Up An eBay Store – Part 11, Setting Up Your First Sale with Markdown Manager

Promotions

Next in line is setting up your store promotions. Some of these promotions you’ll set up and check periodically. Others, like Markdown Manager will help you create special limited time sales and are used on an ‘on call’ bases.

Let’s start with Markdown Manager. Under Promotions, the first link will be Markdown Manager. This promotion feature allows you to create in store, limited time sales on your fixed priced items. You can edit your sales with Markdown Manager while they are scheduled, inactive, or active.

Click the Markdown Manager link to create a new sale. You’ll arrive at a page that will show you all past and current sales. To create a new sale look for the create sale button at the top of the page.

ebaystore11-2

 

On the top of this page you will enter a sale name that will help you identify your sale (limit is 40 characters). The name will not be shown to buyers.

ebaystore11-3

Set the day you would like the sale to begin. The exact start time will vary depending on eBay’s server load. You can schedule a sale up to six months in advance.

Select an end date for your sale with a maximum duration of 45 days from the start of the sale.

* You will not be able to change the start or end dates once the sale is active.

Discount amount

ebaystore11-4

Next, choose a price discount or a free shipping discount (or both).

There are two ways to select price discounts for your Fixed Price and Store Inventory listings:

By percentage: Percentages can be selected from the pull-down menu. The discount amount must be at least 5% and cannot exceed 75% of the original listing price.

By fixed amount: Whatever discount you enter will be in the currency of the original listing. For example, if you enter 10, you will be discounting the price by $10 for US listings and CN$10 for Canadian listings.

Price sales can’t be applied to auction listings. However, you can select a free shipping discount for any listing, including Fixed Price, Store Inventory, and auction listings.

If you select a free shipping discount, it will apply to the first shipping service that you selected when you listed your item. The free shipping discount will not apply to any additional services that you selected.

Choose Your Listings

ebaystore11-5

Choose which listings will be included in your sale by selecting the appropriate option:

Add all listings from a category: Select a specific category by using the pull-down option. Note: This will only apply to current listings in that category, not future listings.

You can:

  • Add all active Store Inventory listings
  • Add all active Fixed Price listings
  • Add all active Auction-style listings: Only free shipping discounts can be added to auction listings.
  • Select listings individually: Select individual listings from a list.

In this example we’ll select the items individually.


  

Once you click continue you’ll be returned to the ‘create a sale’ page where you can continue setting up the markdown.

Note: A listing can only be in one active sale at a time. If an item is in two sales that will be active at the same time, it will be added into the most recent sale that was saved and removed from the other. The number of active listings that can be put on sale in one 24-hour period is limited to 250 for Basic, 2,500 for Featured, and 5,000 for Anchor Stores.

Promote your sale

Before you move on to the next page you can promote your sale by sending a customized email to announce your discounted listings to your Stores newsletter subscribers.

Once you click continue you’ll be able to review the sale and then you will be returned to the Markdown Manager main page. Here you’ll find the sale has been set up. If you scheduled it to start immediately it may take several hours before eBay makes it live. It will change from ‘scheduled’ to ‘active’ once it is live on the site.

That’s all there is to creating a sale in your store.

Five Minutes A Day eBay Store Guide – Part 10

Five Minutes A Day Guide To Setting Up An eBay Store – Part 10, Setting Up The Store Listing Feeds

ebaystore10-1The store listing feed helps your store by driving traffic to your listings from outside of eBay. While the rules have, and continue to, evolve with the search engines the listing fees should still be turned on.

Luckily this is a very easy thing to do.

From the Manage My Store Area look for the Listing Feeds Link under the Marketing Tools area.

ebaystore10-2

Make sure your RSS feed is active. That way interested buyers can subscribe to store updates and you can use an RSS feed for your store to promote your products.

Also make sure your feed is available to the Search Engine and comparison sites.

This used to be an important step in getting your store listed on Google. Now eBay takes care of that feed for you — but you may find other sites asking for the esssl feed in the future. Turn it on and you’ll be ready.

Click Apply and you’ve set your listing feeds.