Monday, November 30, 2009

3 simple ways to increase holiday sales

It’s the season for selling, but with the state of the economy it may not be the season for buying. With layoffs at all time highs, and paychecks at extreme lows people just don’t want to spend their money. However, you can’t afford to let them keep their hands in their pocket. Thus, here are some ways to get your customers to buy from your website this holiday season.

1. Update your website. Many companies leave old content up expecting it to serve the same purpose it did last year. Every three months you need to go through your website to make sure the content is still relevant. Another big mistake webmasters make is leaving old pictures and links. It’s the holiday season, meaning it’s time to decorate your site with pictures and links that relate to the time of year. Change your banners to holiday related ones, spice up your site with winter and seasonal pictures, and put up content that meets the needs of the season. The more up to date your site looks the more likely you are to get your customers to buy.

2. Play up seasonal benefits. Now is the time to drop general campaigns. If your front-page looks like it could read for any time of the year, rewrite it. The reason for this is there is a different shopping attitude during the holiday season. People are looking for gifts, deals on gadgets, creative ideas. They don’t mind splurging, but it has to be the right item and give them the desired reaction from family and friends. Your campaigns should target not only the right consumer but meet the seasonal needs of that consumer.

Example: If you are selling GPS guides then your campaign can let consumers know, “they’ll be able to find their way to family and friends this holiday season by buying your GPS guide.”

Now more than ever, you need to hit the emotional cords. Go from “The is will help you lose weight” to “This will help you look like the most attractive person at your company Christmas party so the cute intern will finally pay attention to you.”

Playing up seasonal benefits will help prospective customers get in the mood to shop for the holidays.

3. Create urgency. People do this all the time, but the holiday season is the one time when it really works. Everyone shops around the holidays because they can get their hands on deals they may not otherwise get. If your customer thinks they only have 48 hours to get hold of the offer they will whip out their credit card. Once you’ve told them the time limit of the deal, follow through. Create the sales page with the original price. This way those who were rolling their eyes will pay attention to the next you hold a sale.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Ebay Sellers: Shop On Black Friday And Make Thousands

Black Friday is a goldmine for eBay resellers. On one single
day there are more profitable items for sale than during the
entire rest of the year. If executed properly, Black Friday can
easily create thousands of dollars in profit. This article
explains in detail how to find and buy deals on Black Friday and
then how to sell them on eBay for a profit.

Preparing for Black Friday

In order to make the best purchases on Black Friday, it is
necessary to start by gathering some supplies. Initially you
will need the following:

- Money
- Transportation
- Advertisements

The first requirement is fairly self-explanatory, but keep in
mind that the more money you can spend the more you can make.
Don't go out and spend $10,000 on your first trip though, as
that is a lot to loose if you mess up. Prepare yourself to spend
a set amount of money before leaving, that way you will know
exactly what you are getting into. The second requirement is
actually more important than it sounds. My friend and I went on
our first Black Friday trip over four years ago, and boy were we
under prepared. We went out with two sedans and came back with
two sedans filled with products plus another sedan's worth tied
to the roof. I highly recommend that you at least attempt to
find a rather large vehicle, though it isn't imperative. Lastly,
you will need to find yourself as many advertisements for Black
Friday as possible. The sooner you get these, the easier it will
be to do the research. I personally advocate searching online;
there are many websites that post Black Friday sales ads well
before they are printed. Look for deal sites and eBay selling
sites to have these. Now that you have everything together,
let's get to the important part.

Researching Products for Profitability

It is ironic that the most important part of making money on
Black Friday isn't actually done on Black Friday. This is the
part that separates those who will profit from shopping and
those who will just buy things. It almost all comes down to the
research. When the big day rolls around, it is important to know
exactly where you are going and exactly what you are buying Also
know how much money you expect to make from each product. Keep
the importance of this step in mind as we continue.

The initial research begins with finding the material, a.k.a.
advertisements. This can be done in two ways; the first is to go
and get newspapers on the Wednesday before Black Friday, the
second is to find ad-scans on the internet. I fully prefer the
second method, as it allows me to research weeks in advance. A
simple Google search for Black Friday will reveal many websites
that are dedicated to providing ads as far ahead of time as

Once your ad collection is assembled, you will need to sit down
and look through all of them, paying specific attention to items
you think will sell best. Next you want to write down a list of
the products that you think will be profitable when sold. You
will then check this list against the completed auctions on eBay
to get an approximate selling value. To reiterate, you will be
looking through ads to pick out valuable buys and comparing the
price with their current value on eBay. This will give you a
guess as to the amount of money you can make off of each item. I
recommend repeating this process of finding an item and checking
its eBay price several times so that your list will be fairly
complete. At the end of this process, you should have a good
number of products along with an idea of how much money you can
make from reselling them.

Ranking and Scheduling Stores

Now it is time to plan out our shopping trip. Here we have this
list of products and how valuable they are to us. The next step
is to arrange the items by store and by profitability. This
should make it apparent which stores are going to be more
profitable than others - these are the stores that you'll want
to visit first. After you have the stores arranged based on
profitability, you want to double check the hours of each sale.
This will assure that you catch all opportunities because of
differently timed sales (in a perfect world, each sale would
start about 2 hours after the previous, in reality they will
likely all start at the same time). The final step to this
process is to write down an exact order of the stores that you
will visit and an exact order of the products you will buy in
each store. This list makes buying the best products a very
straight forward trip. If you know what you want before hand,
you will get there before the people who will have to think
about it.

The Big Day - Black Friday

Believe it or not, this isn't nearly as difficult as it is made
out to be. Yes, there will be crowds. Yes, people will be acting
like maniacs. This is why you will succeed - because you have
already planned and researched everything and will not be acting
crazy. The drill is simple: follow your schedule and buy as many
of the profitable items as you can get. There may be times when
you need to be assertive to stay at the front of a line, or even
to push your way through a crowd to get to a product. The key is
to remain polite, confident, and assertive enough to get to
where you are going. Getting angry or causing trouble will only
make things worse. If you cannot get one of your best products,
it isn't the end of the world. Remember that there are a lot of
other items that you can get to resell for a profit. Here is a
general set of guidelines for getting the best items:

- Always remain calm. You must be in control and thinking at
all times.
- Be assertive. Say excuse me to get past people, don't just
wait there.
- Be polite. The moment you loose your temper, the sales reps
will turn on you.
- Stick to the plan. Purchase the items that you can, and move
on to the next store.

If all of these guidelines are kept in mind, there should not
be any problems during Black Friday. There is one other thing to
be aware of; up selling. Sales personnel will try rigorously to
add on warranties, surge strips, antivirus software, and many
other items that are not worth mentioning. Do not buy into their
sales hype - stick with the plan and purchase the profitable
items, nothing else.

Selling your Products on eBay

Almost there! Here is what's next: cataloguing and selling the
items online. This is pretty easy; the hard part is certainly
over. Sell as many of the items as possible within the next two
or three weeks, that way they will arrive by Christmas. Don't
panic or overload eBay in order to reach this deadline, the
items will sell nearly as well the first week into January. I
don't recommend selling products during the weeks before and
after Christmas, as this is usually a pretty slow sales period
on eBay. I would highly recommend reading these selling guides
if you need to brush up on your eBay auction technique. On the
most basic level, you need to at least include a picture in each
auction. That is about it - once everything is listed you need
only sit back and deal with shipping. There are also some
shipping guides in the above link if need be.

Let the Items Sell, and Count the Profits

This is the best part. Once everything is finished selling,
it's time to add it all up and see just how great Black Friday
is. I personally made well over $2,000 on my first Black Friday.
Give it a chance, do the research, and good luck!

About the Author: Mason Hipp is an eBay powerseller and a
regular contributer of selling guides, ebay products, and
information to


Permanent Link:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Do you need a business degree to work at home?

Did you ever question if you were smart enough to work at home? If you look at some of the sophisticated websites with all their fancy widgets and content written by people who claim to have a PhD in life, it can make you wonder if you’re smart enough to keep up with the competition. So is it necessary? Do you need formal education to run a home based business?

No, it’s not necessary, a commodity but not a necessity. Obviously, you need dental knowledge and experience if you plan to run a website about it. Knowledge and experience in your chosen niche is required, but formal education isn’t.
Formal education doesn’t guarantee success for online businesses. Because despite gaining useful knowledge, most people don’t learn the greatest factor in operating a home business—drive.

Most people fail at their work at home business because they just don’t have the drive, determination or perseverance. It has very little to do with what Ivy League university they did or didn’t graduate from.

I’m not saying you don’t need knowledge to run a home business. You do, and the learning curve can be great for those who know little about computers and marketing. Unless you have the funds to start hiring a team of experts, you’re going to be investing some time and money into learning how to get it right. What I am saying is it’s doable. The average person can escape the rat race. Your GPA isn’t a leading factor in how successful you’re going to be. It’s your commitment to your overall business goal.

The thing I love about home based businesses, and network marketing, is it levels the playing field considerably. Let’s be honest, in a lot of industries your chances of creating wealth are minuscule unless you already have a foot in the door. But network marketing lets you start from scratch and achieve financial success.
It’s not an easier way; you still have to work. However, it is a smarter way. You can find ways to create passive and multiple streams of income. In addition, by tapping into your networking skills you can employ the talents and knowledge of others.

Business is business, there are many aspects that don’t change whether it’s home based or traditional but a work at home business is considerably different. If you’re worried that you just aren’t smart enough to run your business, invest in some home business education. One of the best resources available is SBI! eLearning.

If you are worried that you're not ready to build an online business, don't be. If you can write a memo, then you're ready!

SBI! eLearning takes you by the hand beginning with a plan and a step-by-step process that has proven to work across industries, across continents and across age groups.
SBI! eLearning is not your typical course. You'll always know that you're on the right track and headed in the right direction.

Most school systems teach very little about being an entrepreneur online. Enter SiteSell Education and SBI! eLearning. Take the class and "graduate" with an income earning e-business.

It allows you to minimize your business expenses while adding to your bank account.

After you take the SBI! eLearning course you'll have access to a special Alumni Relations Group on LinkedIn. Networking with classmates and other SBI! eLearning alumni will become invaluable. The Alumni group helps you take what you've learned and continue to follow through on building your business.

If you are able to find an average of an hour a day to keep current with class work and build your business, then you're ready for SBI! eLearning.

In an uncomplicated, down-to-earth, and easy to understand way, your dedicated and experienced SBI! eLearning instructor will answer your questions during each live session and via e-mail.

Join the next SBI! eLearning class and get your business started on solid footing.