The last days of Turbo Lister are finally here, and this time eBay means it.
If you're a seller who has a large body of listings stored in Turbo Lister, this can inspire a kind of panic, even if you long ago switched to inkFrog for most of your day-to-day selling.
Turbo Lister has reached the end of it's life. It's time to get that data into inkFrog. Here's how.
Happily, it is possible to move much of your Turbo Lister data and listings to inkFrog. Because Turbo Lister is a very old tool hasn't been supported for a long time, the process is a little more involved than many are accustomed to in 2018—but it's possible.
Here are the steps involved!
1. Export Turbo Lister Data
Your first job is to export listings from Turbo Lister to a CSV file. There are some caveats to understand before you begin:
You can only import up to 250 listings at a time into inkFrog, so it makes sense to process one folder of listings at a time, rather than try to get them all in one go. Repeat these steps for each of your inventory listings folders.
You can only export inventory listings from inkFrog—not active listings. For active listings, the export option is grayed out. Don't worry, this isn't a limitation for you—as an inkFrog user, all of your active listings are already imported into inkFrog for you.
Here are the steps to follow to export listings to a CSV file:
Select a range of listings to export. Open a listings folder, click on the first listing in the folder, then scroll to the bottom of the list, hold down your "Shift" key, and click on the last listing in the folder while still holding the key. You should see all of the listings highlighted.
In the "Inventory" area, select a range of Turbo Lister listings to export.
Click "Export Selected Items" in the "File" menu. This step starts the Turbo Lister export tool for the listings you've selected.
Choose the "Turbo Lister Format (CSV file)" option. In the export dialog, select the middle option, which exports your listings to CSV format with as much data as can be preserved. Don't choose the "File Exchange Format" option, as this will omit all listing images.
Opt to export in "Turbo Lister Format" and then click "Export" to continue.
Click "Export" to begin the export. After clicking, you'll be asked to provide a location to save your CSV file. Select a location and give it a name, then save it.
Now you have a CSV file containing as much data from the listings you selected as Turbo Lister is able to preserve and export. If necessary, now is the time to move your CSV file to a different computer, if you're now using a newer machine to manage your eBay business.
2. Copy Data to inkFrog's Template
Now for the hardest step in the process—moving data from the Turbo Lister file into inkFrog's CSV template. To complete this job, follow these steps:
Download the inkFrog CSV template. Click here to download a copy of inkFrog's CSV import template. This is the file into which you'll copy Turbo Lister data.
Open the Turbo Lister CSV file in one window, the inkFrog CSV template in another. You'll need to have both files open because you're going to copy and paste between them. Note that the inkFrog template has sample data in it; erase this sample data before you begin and leave just the headers in place in the inkFrog template file.
There are a lot of columns in the Turbo Lister file. Find those listed below and copy them to inkFrog's CSV template.
Copy Turbo Lister "Title" data to the inkFrog "title" column. Copy all of the data (except the header) from the Turbo Lister "Title" column to the column labeled "title" in the inkFrog CSV template.
Copy "Description" data to the "description" column. Copy the data from the Turbo Lister "Description" column to the column labeled "description" in the inkFrog CSV template.
Copy "Quantity" data to the "quantity" column. Copy the data from the Turbo Lister "Quantity" column to the column labeled "quantity" in the inkFrog CSV template.
Copy "Starting Price" data to the "price" column. Copy the data from the Turbo Lister "Starting Price" column to the column labeled "price" in the inkFrog CSV template.
Copy "PhotoOneURL" data to the "images" column. Copy the data from the Turbo Lister "PhotoOneURL" column to the column labeled "images" in the inkFrog CSV template.
Copy data from either "UPC" or "EPID" to the "product_identifier" column. Depending on whether you use UPC or EPID numbers for your eBay products, copy either the UPC or EPID column data to the column labeled "product_identifier" in the inkFrog CSV template.
Whew! Glad that's done. Remember as you copy not to change the headers or the order of the columns in the inkFrog template.
Now, save the inkFrog CSV file template containing the data copied from your Turbo Lister export file.
3. Upload the CSV File
Now it's time to import the CSV file you just created into inkFrog as new listings. Don't worry—these won't go live on eBay unless you specifically push them live later. Right now we're just going to create them in your inkFrog library.
If you're not already logged in to inkFrog, log in now, then follow these steps:
Open your listings library. Click "Listings" → "Library" to open your inkFrog listings library.
Click "Import" → "From CSV" to start the import tool. The "Import" option is located at the upper-right of your inkFrog window.
Click "Import" → "From CSV" in your listings library to start the import process.
Click "Choose File" and select your CSV file. Click the "Choose File" button, then browse to the saved copy of the inkFrog CSV template that you just filled with Turbo Lister data.
Click "Upload" then "Start Import" to import listings. After you click "Upload" to begin, inkFrog will tell you how many listings it thinks it has found in the CSV file you created. If the number seems right, click "Start Import" to actually begin importing listings. A progress bar will be displayed as data is being imported.
Select the listings to create. Now you're shown a list of all the listings that inkFrog found in your CSV file. Select each listing that you'd like to create, or click the check box in the header row to select all of the listings found in the file. Click "Next" when your selections are made.
Select the listings you'd like to create, then click "Next" to continue.
4. Select or Create Profiles for Each Listing
After another brief progress bar is displayed, you'll be shown a long list of your newly imported listings.
Go through each of these listings, following these steps in each case:
Choose to create a listing or map to a listing. Since your goal here is to import data from Turbo Lister, in most cases you'll want to create a new listing—and this tab should generally be selected for you. You may opt to map a Turbo Lister listing to an existing inkFrog listing, however, if in some cases you want to overwrite the data in your inkFrog library with the data from a Turbo Lister listing.
Select profiles or create new profiles. For each listing, select an existing inkFrog listing, shipping, return, or payment profile if you already have one that's appropriate for the listing, or click the "plus" icon next to each option to create a new profile on the fly.
For each listing, either select existing listing, shipping, return, and payment profiles or create new ones.
Once you've selected or created profiles for each of the listings shown, click the "Import Products" button to have inkFrog create new listings in your library for each old Turbo Lister item.
Again, don't worry about this step—these listings won't go live on eBay; they're just being created in your inkFrog listings library.
5. Add More Data to Each Listing and Organize
Now it's time for more cleanup work.
The listings you've imported from Turbo Lister are now in inkFrog, but you may still wish to perform additional maintenance work:
Organizing your newly imported listings into inkFrog folders
Updating profiles or customizing listings that don't precisely match your profiles
Adding new images, since only one image for each Turbo Lister item is made available when Turbo lister exports data
Yes, this can be a time consuming step, but in most cases you've still saved a ton of time by exporting from Turbo Lister, then importing into inkFrog—particularly if you have hundreds or thousands of listings with hand-crafted item descriptions.
Repeat as Necessary and For More Information
Now you've imported your first batch of up to 250 Turbo Lister listings into inkFrog.
If you have more listings in other Turbo Lister folders, repeat the process—and keep doing so until your entire Turbo Lister library has been moved to inkFrog.
Then, breathe a sigh of relief that you've finally taken that step you've been meaning to take for years now—and moved your library of old listings from an old tool—Turbo Lister—that's scheduled to disappear forever in just a few weeks into a new tool—inkFrog—that'll be around for as long as e-commerce happens.
Posted on December 18, 2018
It's time. Turbo Lister is finally reaching end of life, so let's get your listing archive into inkFrog.
So you've conquered eBay with inkFrog. Maybe even Amazon. And now it's time to take the next logical e-commerce step and open your own Shopify store.
As it turns out, selling on Shopify is very different from selling on eBay or Amazon, in a variety of ways, as you'll soon discover. Here are eight big-picture tips that can help you to navigate these differences.
Pre-built design work for Shopify and for websites abounds online. Spend a little and get a head start, rather than trying to do everything yourself. (Image: Google)
They won't tell you everything that you need to know to succeed on Shopify, but they do tell you where to look to address some of the problems and uncertainties that you'll need to resolve on your way to the top.
Map Shopify listings to eBay listings as you create them. Don't get off on the wrong foot by leaving yourself with inventory confusion. Go over or double-check your synchronization settings after linking your Shopify store to inkFrog, then map your Shopify listings to existing eBay listings.
Spend time on your store getting it right. Shopify is different from eBay and Amazon in that you are responsible for most of the shopper experience, not just individual product listings. Spend time building your store and doing it well. Build out your home page and category pages carefully.
Include high-quality branding and image materials. Spend time building and talking about your brand. Clearly show who your company is and what it aspires to be. Include high-quality photography or images that go beyond the products that you sell and instead illustrate your business, brand, and identity.
Invest in work done by others. Unless you're already a pro at design, don't spend time reinventing the wheel when you don't have to. Use good third-party themes and good stock images and icons to get up and running rapidly. Spend your time customizing already successful design assets for your own brand, not creating them from scratch.
Make content about your products. Lots of content. Even better if it’s video content. It’s how to get shoppers in the front door at Shopify. (Image: © Diego Cervo / Fotolia)
Optimize and advertise. eBay and Amazon have a built-in audience of millions. Not so with your Shopify store. Learn the ins and outs of SEO and content marketing and use them. Then, look into paid advertising via Google or social media. On eBay, you've been a mall store. On Shopify, you're in your own building in the suburbs.
Start blogging or vlogging. Create a blog on your site and ideally open a vlog (a space for your own videos) as well. Start producing content. Lots of content. SEO and advertising will prime the pump, but over the long term, it's the social content that you produce that will be make-or-break for your Shopify business.
Make clear customer service policies and adhere to them. Front-and-center feedback scores and ratings on eBay and Amazon—along with platform-wide policies—have previously structured your customer service life. Now you're on your own. Spend time and dollars to get customer service right, to ensure growth in the long run.
Understand that your store is never done. The eBay and Amazon home page experiences are constantly changing because shoppers respond to and buy what's just arrived, is on sale, or is seasonally interesting. Now you're in charge of a home page experience, and the rest of the experience as well. Keep your store constantly evolving in new, interesting, and sales-friendly ways.
If you want shoppers at your Shopify store, especially early on, you're probably going to have to advertise. (Image: Google)
Keep it simple. With near-total control, just about every task on your Shopify store can become an open-ended one. This bogs some sellers down. Don't try to become everything you've ever dreamed of at once. You'll never get there. Build what you need, build it well, and move on. You can try to achieve "perfect" later on, once you have "profitable" in place.
Go beyond eBay and Amazon but keep your store in sync with them, too. Your eBay or Amazon stores are assets you've spent months or years building, so ensure that there are overlap and synergies between them and your Shopify store. No need to make them exact duplicates, but make clear that they're the same brand, using what you've learned on eBay and Amazon to help you.
It's Like a Whole New Business
On eBay or Amazon you've always been most concerned with the nuts and bolts of selling—sourcing inventory, getting it online, representing it accurately, pricing it competitively, and fulfilling as orders roll in. Marketing played second fiddle to day-to-day operations.
On Shopify, you're jumping in at the deep end of e-commerce, where you'll need to become a marketing guru as well. It's going to feel like a whole new business—but the increase in creative and branding flexibility can also mean a whole new world of sales.
Play your cards right, keep the points above in mind, and you'll be on your way to success.
Posted on December 18, 2018
Are you an eBay seller getting ready to open your first Shopify store? Keep these big-picture concepts in mind as you embark.
Truetone Music uses inkFrog to easily synchronize their eBay and Shopify inventory through a central location by using inkFrog to connect Shopify to eBay for them:
"inkFrog has made our online lives so much easier !I can't believe how well and easily it integrates with Shopify. Our sales numbers have gone up since using it, thanks to its ease and efficiently!
We've been using inkFrog for about 3-4 years now, and it has made everyone's life here easier.
Its helped in the sense of saving time, which also saves money. It has made us more efficient and as a result increased our sales and bottom line. Listing, re-listing, selling, are all a breeze with inkFrog."
- Paul Ulino
Truetone Music has hundreds of active eBay listings and a stunning Shopify store that is connected to inkFrog and eBay:
You can visit Truetone Music:
Posted on December 18, 2018
Truetone Music has saved time and grown sales by using inkFrog with their business
Spavacandles loves using inkFrog to manage their eBay business and also runs a Shopify store connected to eBay via inkFrog:
"I have been selling now for about 6 years and honestly I can't work without inkFrog. It is the only way I keep things in order and I love how I can make my pages so unique to match all my products. I am able to express myself this way and show the Beadmarks I create. I have had the most incredible people write me because they don't know that often they get Pandora beads in their order. They can be worth up to 50.00 so it is a huge surprise for them and fun for me. My feedback and ratings keep me going because I am ill but I don't want to slow down ( your harder to hit). I sell Bath & Body but I am Spavacandles, I even write a note to have each person smile because there isn't enough of that in the world. I will say it is getting hard for me to keep up my sales were 106% higher this year so I don't sleep much but I would not know what to do if I didn't have inkFrog to help me get it there
Every person who orders from me gets a hand made beakmarl and everyone loves to get gifts! I make every one special for every order I just love making combinations for a beautiful gift set I carry a variety of products, many discontinued. Sets are gift wrapped in a beautiful white bag and bow. Then they are Gift Bagged with a gift card to match the product. It makes the whole perfect gift. This wrap works for any occasion & event. Easy gifting"
- Koren Delpopolo
Spavacandles has almost 700 active eBay listings and a beautiful eBay store:
You can visit Spavacandles here:
Posted on December 18, 2018
Read how Spavacandles runs their business and can't do it without inkFrog at their side
Bobozes has been using inkFrog for over 6 months to sell thousands of media products on eBay France and create professional eBay listing templates for their business:
"I've started to sell on eBay in April 2001. I'm using inkFrog for 6 months now after trying different template and managing tools. As eBay has cancelled Turbo Lister the tool we used for years, it became very complicated for professional sellers to work with the eBay tools. inkFrog is great for creating great templates and sales management . Our store is dedicated to electronic reborns, LPs, EPs, Audio Tapes, Video Tapes, Laserdiscs, Vintage Hifi, video & photo Components."
- Yvan Coriat
Bobozes has over 10,000 active eBay listings and a professional storefront:
You can visit Bobozes here:
Posted on December 18, 2018
Bobozes sells over 10,000 vintage and modern media products on eBay France using inkFrog
Kathleen Walker is a senior citizen who has been selling on eBay for 10 years and has lots to say about inkFrog:
"Been selling on eBay more than 10 years and started out slow. Once I found inkFrog I was able keep and maintain a larger quantity of listings. My favorite feature of inkFrog is the library that keeps information on my items after I take them out because they are unavailable or not in season. When I'm ready to relist, I just pull it up and submit it, I don't need to reinvent the wheel. Before inkFrog I would need to reenter the specifics and description which was tedious and slow-going. Happy customer!"
- Kathleen Walker
Kathleen runs the eBay store called Picket Fence Gifts which focuses on selling home decor items:
You can visit Kathleen's eBay store here:
Posted on December 18, 2018
Read about how Kathleen Walker has been able to run an eBay business with inkFrog
FishFlix.com came to inkFrog over a year ago with the goal of linking Shopify to eBay and streamline the listing and sales process for them:
"We at FishFlix.com have been selling on Ebay for over ten years. We just started using inkfrog about a year and a half ago.
inkFrog has helped FishFlix.com immensely. It took us to the next level of efficiency in allowing our eBay orders to all process through our system seamlessly along with our Shopify orders. We love how all of our eBay customers get funneled into the FishFlix.com customer experience. We've been in the Christian movie space for over ten years and eBay has always seemed like a decent opportunity and a ton of hassle. inkFrog has made selling Christian and Family Friendly Movies on multiple platforms a breeze.
FishFlix.com has been in the Christian DVD space for over ten years, but has always struggled to figure out how to get their products on their website and eBay to move together seamlessly. eBay always messed up our inventory. Since inkFrog, it's been working great!"
- Jake Olson
FishFlix.com has a beautiful Shopify website and they use inkFrog to push their inventory to eBay seamlessly:
You can visit FishFlix here:
Posted on December 18, 2018
Read how inkFrog made it really easy for FishFlix.com to list thousands of products onto eBay from their Shopify store
We use the inkFrog blog to provide lots of different kinds of information to sellers, including information on some the best strategies for succeeding on eBay.
With everything that we post, however, it can sometimes be a bit difficult to keep up—as the days and weeks fly by, still-very-current tips and tricks can get buried under a pile of more recent posts, leaving sellers to wonder whether we've covered a topic here at all.
So here are some of our most recent how-to posts all in one place—to help sellers to find and make use of all of them quickly.
Consistent branding is one key big-picture strategy for e-commerce success.
Big-Picture eBay Business Strategies
Before you get into the click-by-click strategies, there are some big-picture things that you need to do to ensure that you create a healthy, growing business.
Establish Consistent Branding Across your Online Storefronts. What it looks like when your eBay, Amazon, and Shopify brands match—and why it matters. Read the article! →
Easy Ways to Increase Your Professionalism. Looking pro is important for long-term growth and repeat business. Here's how to do it inexpensively. Read the article! →
How to Get Un-Suspended on eBay. Suspensions and mean that you have problems to address. But in the meantime, how do you get back to selling? Here are some tips. Read the article! →
Your positioning in eBay search results is going to become more and more important, so it pays to focus efforts there.
eBay Listing Strategies
Once you nail down the big-picture business basics, focus on these strategies to ensure that your listings are ranking in search and driving desire in shoppers.
How to Create eBay Item Descriptions that Lead to Sales. What to include in your item descriptions, and how to do it, to generate sales. Read the article! →
How to Create eBay Listing Titles that Rank and Sell. How to create eBay listing titles that are search-friendly and sales-friendly. Read the article! →
Rank Higher and Get Your Listings Seen in eBay Search. How to master eBay's search algorithm and propel yourself to the top of the rankings. Read the article! →
How to Enter eBay Item Specifics in inkFrog. How to use inkFrog to populate item specifics in eBay listings, and add your own as well. Read the article! →
Create Better Listings when Moving non-eBay Inventory to eBay. How to turn listings from other platforms into listings that will sell well on eBay. Read the article! →
Listing templates are an incredible, flexible inkFrog tool for driving growth in your business with minimal effort.
inkFrog Strategies for eBay Templates and Images
Once you have the business and listing basics down, you're ready to tackle specifics like beautifying your listiings using inkFrog templates and achieving perfect product images using inkFrog tools.
How to maintain Thousands of Listings with inkFrog Templates. How to use inkFrog's templates to manage, update, and maintain a large library of listings. Read the article! →
What to Customize in inkFrog Listing Templates. What customizations to make to inkFrog's listing templates before using them yourself. Read the article! →
Profitable Uses for the Photo Space in inkFrog Templates. What to do with all that extra space in inkFrog's designer templates—to increase sales and profits. Read the article! →
Use inkFrog to Create a Library of Holiday Templates. How to quickly and easily create a library of holiday-themed templates that echo your standard templates. Read the article! →
Key Things You Can Do with inkFrog's Designer Templates. Great ideas for leveraging features of inkFrog's templates into extra profits and sales. Read the article! →
How to Manage a Large inkFrog Image Library Efficiently. How to manage a library of many thousands of images quickly and efficiently in inkFrog. Read the article! →
inkFrog's folder system takes much of the pain out of eBay image, listing, and message management.
Other Time-Saving inkFrog Strategies
For established businesses, saving and making more cost-effective use of time are often the key concerns. These inkFrog strategies will save you time and help you to scale.
Use inkFrog Folders to Organize Images, Listings, and Messages. How to use inkFrog's folders feature to make life with eBay images, listings, and messages easier. Read the article! →
Use inkFrog Profiles to Quickly Create, Update, and Maintain Listings. How to use inkFrog's profile features to accelerate your listing management and updates. Read the article! →
Create Multiple eBay Accounts and Link them All to inkFrog. How to use multiple eBay accounts with one inkFrog account, and the benefits you'll see by doing so. Read the article! →
How to Use inkFrog Staff Accounts to Employ Virtual Assistants. How inkFrog's staff accounts feature works, and how it enables you to grow more quickly. Read the article! →
Use inkFrog Staff Accounts to Hire These Four Kinds of Employees. What kinds of employees you should consider hiring first, then putting to work under staff accounts. Read the article! →
With inkFrog's synchronization tools, becoming a multi-channel eBay, Amazon, and Shopify seller is easy.
Have inkFrog Automatically Leave Feedback for You. How to automate your eBay feedback using inkFrog tools. Read the article! →
Use inkFrog to Automatically Relist Unsold Inventory. How to configure inkFrog to automatically relist unsold inventory for you. Read the article! →
Use inkFrog to Move Listings Between eBay Accounts. How to use inkFrog to move listings between your eBay accounts with just a couple of clicks. Read the article! →
Use inkFrog to Get Your Amazon Inventory on eBay Quickly. How to use inkFrog to get your Amazon inventory up for sale on eBay quickly. Read the article! →
Use inkFrog to Sell on Both Shopify and eBay at Once. How to use inkFrog to get your Shopify inventory up for sale on eBay quickly. Read the article! →
Customize and Manage Your Synchronization Settings. What sorts of changes you need to make to your Amazon or Shopify listings as you import them for listing on eBay. Read the article! →
Video is just one strategy you should probably be adopting for e-commerce success in 2019.
E-commerce Strategies for 2019
The e-commerce landscape is constantly changing, and 2019 will be no different in this regard. Here are some things to know for the year ahead to help you to outrun the competition.
E-commerce Trends for 2019. Big-picture e-commerce strategies that are going to drive success in 2019, no matter which platform(s) you sell on. Read the article! →
Drop-Shipping Tips for 2019. How to survive and thrive as a drop-shipper in the crowded drop-shipping market in 2019.Read the article! →
Videos to Consider Making for Your Business in 2019. The kinds of videos you should be creating and using to promote your business in 2019. Read the article! →
Ready for More?
If you've read through all of these helpful articles, you're well on your way to becoming an inkFrog (and e-commerce) guru. Want more?
We're constantly publishing new ones—so continue to read the inkFrog blog until the next time we publish an omnibus index like this one!
eBay shoppers in 2018 expect generous return policies of they'll go elsewhere to shop. eBay is well aware of this fact—and as a result, has been pressing sellers to offer such policies for some time now.
Use the "International Returns Accepted" checkbox and options to set an international return policy that differs from your domestic return policy.
The trouble for sellers is that not all returns are created equal. Different items call for different return policies—and so do different buyers—if a seller is going to be able to stay afloat.
inkFrog enables sellers to create flexible return policies as profiles, and to make these policies different for domestic and international buyers on each eBay site.
Creating Domestic and International Return Policies
In the "Return Profile" area of the "Create New Listing" form, there are two checkboxes related to your returns policy for the listing:
International Returns Accepted
Each of these does precisely what its name suggests. Check the "Returns Accepted" box to accept returns from domestic buyers for the eBay site in question. Check the "International Returns Accepted" box to accept returns from international buyers for the eBay site in question.
In each case, if you enable returns, you'll then be able to also select:
Return window. Use the first drop-down list to select the time period within which returns must occur.
Refund method. Use the second drop-down list to select what the outcome of a successful return will be—a simple refund or the option of replacement (with a like item) or exchange (the value of the purchase applied to another item from inventory).
Save the return policies that you create as profiles to be used with other, similar products in your inventory.
Return shipping responsibility. Use the third drop-down list to select who will pay the shipping costs for the item being returned.
inkFrog's ability to provide this set of choices once for domestic returns and a second time for international returns enables you to manage costs and complexity to provide the best possible service to domestic buyers, without being constrained by the more costly realities of international returns.
Saving a Returns Policy as a Profile
Once you've made your selections on the listing form, you can save your returns policy as a profile to be used with other similar products in the future.
To do this, click "Save as new profile" once you've made your selections. You'll be asked to provide a name for your new returns profile, and also whether you'd like to link the profile to the listing you're creating.
In most cases, linking should be your preference—when a profile is linked to a listing, any updates to the profile in question will also update all of the live listings to which it is linked.
Using Your Profile with New Listings
After saving a returns profile, you can use it for any new listings that you create by clicking the "Link existing profile" button on the listing form, on the right side of the return profile area.
To use a saved profile with a new listing, click "Link existing profile" button in the listing creation form.
When you click the button, you'll be asked to select the profile to be used for your new listing from a list of the returns profiles you've already created. Select the desired profile, then click "Link selected" to apply the profile to the listing.
Once a profile has been linked to a listing, any changes to the profile will also update the policy in the listing—and in any other listings also linked to the profile.
Offering Returns with Confidence
By easily creating and using granular shipping policies that vary with the products that you offer and the locations of your buyers, you'll be able to offer levels of service that make you competitive for return-friendly items and shoppers without having to risk losing your shirt where generous return policies don't make sense.
That's a win-win for everyone.
Posted on December 10, 2018
Don't get stymied by your eBay return policies. Just create granular policies—for products and for shoppers—and save them for later re-use.
In some ways, it's harder than it ever has been to be an online seller—competition is incredibly intense, margins continue to fall, and the expectations of shoppers are higher and higher.
On the other hand, there's also never been a better time to be a seller—the level of professionalism that even small sellers can achieve is higher than it has ever been before.
Here are some of the things that small sellers are now doing to play right alongside far bigger companies.
With today's great smartphone cameras, inexpensive digital SLR cameras, and inexpensive lightboxes, even sellers that are just starting out and operating on a shoestring can put together studio-quality product photos that make products look amazing.
How to take advantage:
Making high-quality photos and videos is less expensive and easier to do than ever before. (Image: © StockRocket / Fotolia)
Get a recent smartphone or an entry-level DSLR camera
Get an inexpensive photography lightbox—they can be had for less than the price of a movie ticket and popcorn these days
Take time to practice getting your exposure and image size settings right
The same smartphone or DSLR gear used for better photography can also be used to create pro-quality videos, if you also invest in an inexpensive tripod and basic video editing software, then find a nice setting in your home or business environment.
How to take advantage:
Get an inexpensive tripod—no high-end features needed, just something to hold your gear
Get ahold of iMovie or a similar program for your computer or tablet and learn to make basic edits
Start producing basic social media and product videos that will help to build a loyal shopper base
Yes, anyone can advertise online these days, and it doesn't cost a fortune. Take a day to learn—then reach a new world of the shoppers that you want to target.
There was a time when global advertising was out of the reach of most small businesses, but in the present, any seller can reach any audience anywhere around the globe for very little money. Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter and most importantly search advertising with Google and Bing enable you to reach new shoppers anytime you like.
How to take advantage:
Set aside a few dollars (literally) to experiment with advertising
Pick a platform or two—Facebook and Google Ads are good places to start—and learn about them
Start running inexpensive ad campaigns to reach shoppers that'd otherwise never find you
Polished fulfillment experiences.
With eBay now offering eBay-branded packaging material along with easy-print labels, and Amazon FBA providing professional packaging as well, the delivery experience for even first-time sellers can match the best the industry has to offer.
Pair with simple bubble wrap and laser-printed packing slips or included business cards for an unboxing experience that's top-shelf.
How to take advantage:
Either get your own branded shipping materials or take advantage of eBay-branded shipping materials for the professional touch.
On eBay, get eBay-branded packing materials and an inexpensive food scale, then pre-print labels
On Amazon, take advantage of the FBA service
Use your own printer to create packing slips and marketing material to include in boxes
Smooth returns and exchanges.
The days of having to negotiate returns and exchanges by email—along with the embarrassment and goofiness that this generates in comparison to major retailers—are over. Instead, sellers on eBay and Amazon can now deliver a first-class experience to shoppers when problems arise.
How to take advantage:
Opt in to the eBay managed returns program
Be sure to handle any returns, refunds, and re-shipments promptly to preserve the experience
Don't Put it Off, Take Advantage
Even if business is going well and sales are coming in, don't put off taking advantage of all that the modern e-commerce ecosystem has to offer. No matter how well things are going, they go even better when you polish the rough edges away and take a step up to the next level.
This is especially true when each of the strategies above are so easy today to take advantage of—and when your competition is increasingly likely to be using them. So get started today!
Posted on December 03, 2018
Think you can't look like an established, high-gloss operation because you're just starting out? Think again. Try these easy strategies and look the part.
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