Guest post by Nick from Zik Analytics
As an eBay seller, you want to maximize the amount of money you make (to state the obvious). There are two basic ways you can do that. First, you can sell a higher volume of products at a lower profit margin. More volume equals more total profits, and so on.
The other method is to increase your overall profit margins on the items you sell. With higher profit margins, you rake in more money per sale than you would otherwise, increasing your overall profits.
In this article, we’re going to focus on the second method for making more money on eBay. Here are 9 hacks that will help you instantly boost your overall eBay profits.
Hack #1: Source Your Items With Discount Gift Cards
Normally, you would source the items you sell on eBay using a debit or credit card. But there’s a cheaper, more cost-efficient way to source your items, which then allows you to reap a higher profit margin – especially if you’re using eBay for dropshipping.
Using a website like Raise or Card Cash, you can purchase gift cards at a discount. For example, you might be able to purchase a $100 Amazon gift card for $80, or a $50 Wayfair card for $30. You can these use these discounted gift cards to purchase the items you’re selling on eBay.
For example, you might see something on Amazon that costs $100 and you can sell for $150. By using the discounted gift card, you’re really only paying $80 for the item. Your profit margin increases from $50 to $70 simply by using the discounted gift card.
Using this technique, you can significantly raise your profit margin on individual items purchased with gift cards. However, if you’re doing this as a way to run a dropshipping business, make sure you stay within eBay’s guidelines for dropshipping.
Hack #2: Leverage Credit Card Points When Buying From A Supplier
When going about your daily purchases, use a credit card that gives you points for every purchase. If you’re using your credit card consistently, these points will pile up relatively quickly, and these points can often be used to purchase things like gift cards
After you’ve accumulated a significant amount of points, purchase the gift cards and then use them to purchase products from suppliers.
Alternatively, you could use a card that offers cashback on every purchase. After you’ve accumulated a significant amount of cashback, apply it to purchases where you’re sourcing items to sell on eBay.
You’ll achieve a much higher profit on products purchased with points than you will on products purchased normally.
Hack #3: Maximize Discounts At Thrift Stores
Thrift stores are a great place to find deals on items which you can later sell on eBay. It’s not uncommon to find something selling for an incredibly low price that you can sell for 10x the profit.
But don’t be content with the every day good deals.
Most thrift stores have specific days when they discount items even more than normal. For example, most Goodwill stores offer steep discounts on different types of items on different days of the week. Take advantage of these days.
Sourcing items to sell on eBay during these discount days allows you to get an even higher profit margin on items you’re selling.
Hack #4: Use A Repricing Tool
Repricing tools like RepricerExpress automatically set and adjust the prices of your eBay listings based on a set of criteria you provide it.
For example, you can tell the tool to automatically lower the price of a product if a competitor tries to undercut you with a low price. Or to automatically increase the price of a product if a competitor is out of stock of a particular product.
These dynamic repricing strategies allow you to automatically act on an instant’s notice, adjusting the prices of your products for maximum profits.
Hack #5: Avoid Scams By Blocking Specific Buyers
Few things are more frustrating than getting scammed by a buyer. You send them the product and then there’s an issue with payment. The more you try to get your money, the more you realize that you’re never going to get it. It’s a terrible feeling.
The good news is that you can prevent specific users (and even entire regions) from purchasing from you. For example, if you know the username of someone who scammed you, you can block them from ever buying from you again (assuming you’ve already reported them to eBay, etc.).
Or, let’s say that there’s a scam that tends to originate from a specific country. eBay lets you block entire countries from purchasing from you. For a detailed guide on how to block specific buyers, read this article about how to block a buyer on eBay.
Hack #6: Purchase More Profitable Items
The simple truth is that some items are inherently more profitable than others. Maybe they’re rarer. Maybe there’s a random surge in demand thanks to a fad (fidget spinners anyone?). Whatever the case, your goal should be to sell the most profitable items out there.
But how can you find these profitable items?
One simple way is by using a market research tool, such as Zik Analytics. Using a tool like this, you can analyze your competitors to see what they’re selling, get eBay sales data on any item, discover the best selling items in any category, and much more.
A market research tool allows you to identify items that are currently hot, as well as spot trends before they become widespread. This enables you to find the most profitable items to sell on eBay.
Hack #7: Be Careful About Using Upgrades
eBay offers a series of upgrades that you can apply to listings to make them more “appealing” to buyers. These upgrades, such as bolding, highlighting, and subtitles, may make your listing look better, but they also cost more, eating into your profit margins.
Use caution when applying upgrades to your listings. The reality is that they may not improve sales much, or at all. Test items with and without the upgrades to see whether they actually make a difference in sales. And when evaluating your sales numbers, be sure that you’re actually making a profit from using the upgrades.
Bottom line: always take a close look at the final listing fee before you take a product live.
Hack #8: Always File Unpaid Item Disputes
When you sell an item, you want to get paid, and when a buyer doesn’t pay quickly, you need to take action. The good news is that if a buyer hasn’t paid within four days, you can file an Unpaid Item Dispute. Sometimes this is enough to jolt the buyer into paying.
If buyers don’t pay after another four days, eBay will refund the Final Value Fees, ensuring you get at least a portion of your money back.
If you don’t want to do this process manually, you can use the Unpaid Item Assistant to automate the entire process. It’s free, handles the process automatically, and gives you one less thing to worry about.
Hack #9: Use eBay Shipping Labels
Shipping is one of the primary things that eat into your overall profit margin. One simple way to minimize shipping expenses is to use the shipping labels eBay provides as part of their workflow.
eBay has partnered with the USPS so that eBay sellers receive a discount when they print their own labels. This discount can be substantive — up to 40% on some of the more heavy items.
Plus, this saves you a massive amount of time. Instead of waiting in line at the Post Office, you can do everything at home. Simply print and affix the label and then set out the package for your postal carrier to pick up.
Hack #10: Use Free Shipping Materials
One simple shipping expense you can eliminate is paying for packaging. There are numerous ways you can get free boxes, sparing you the expense of having to buy them. If you’re shipping items Priority Mail, you can get free shipping supplies directly from the USPS. Order them online and they’ll be delivered directly to your door.
If you’re sending large items, there are numerous places you get free boxes every day, such a Chick-Fil-A, Wal-Mart, Dollar Tree, etc. Call them ahead of time and ask if you can pick up boxes that day. Just take note – the USPS doesn’t allow for reuse of liquor boxes.
Instead of using bubble wrap, ask your local printer if they have any large rolls of sheet paper they aren’t using. They may either give it to you for free (if they were going to discard it) or sell it to you for a discounted price.
It’s true that some of these hacks may only save you a dollar or two per item. But it’s important to remember that when it comes to making profits on eBay, it’s about stacking small gains on top of each other.
You may only save one dollar per item, but if you sell 100 items, that’s $100 you’ve saved. Multiply that out over months and years and you can generate significantly more profit than you would otherwise.
So don’t wait any longer. Get out there and start stacking those profits on top of each other.
Start repricing automatically on Amazon and eBay today. Free for 15 days, no credit card required.