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How To Create an Automated ... Page 1 of 1

Quick Start Guide to Automated eBay Profits

z Chapter One - The Ultimate Home Based Business

z Chapter Two - The Foundation For a Profitable Online/Auction Business

z Chapter Three - Drop-Shipping: The No Risk Way To a Healthy Cashflow!

z Chapter Four - Wholesale - and Far Below - Sources

z Chapter Five - Professional Product Presentation and Killer Advertising


z Chapter Six - Lucrative Listings!

z Chapter Seven - Managing and Automating Your Online/Auction Business

z Chapter Eight - After the Auction - The Profits Continue!

Special Chapters - contributed by authors that have a demonstrated track record making
huge profits with online auctions:

z How To Double Your Auction Profits Overnight

By George Chapin of

z Why You Must Start Selling To The Biggest Captive Sales Audience On The Internet
By Ricky Allen of The Auction Academy

z Interview with an Ex-Ebay employee

By Jim Cockrum of Silent Sales Machine Hiding on eBay

z How To Get An Endless Supply Of Items To Sell On Ebay With NO Investment. By

Terry Gibbs Author of:"The Complete Guide To eBay Consignment Sales”

z How To Find Antiques And Collectibles To Sell On Ebay

By Terry Gibbs. of

z How to Develop Your Own $2,000 a Week Internet Strategy

By Terry Dean of NetBreakThroughs

Click on any underlined link above or use the navigation links on the left of the pages.

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Copyright (C) 15/10/2004

How To Create an Automated ... Page 1 of 4

The Ultimate Home Based Business


Online auction sites such as eBay represent an excellent opportunity for just about any motivated
individual to start a legitimate, successful, home based business to come along in quite some
time... Possibly one of the best opportunities ever! Online auction sites offer the opportunity to
start and run a business where, when it comes to profits and just plain self satisfaction, the sky is
the limit!

The step by step system that I'm going to teach you will enable you to eclipse the income of the
average individual, and depending on your effort, a whole lot more! In fact, I'll want you to pick a
financial goal for yourself in order that you might use my system (throughout most of this course I
simply refer to it as "THE SYSTEM") to achieve the financial goal you've selected.


Your first step after completing this course is to create a written plan, including your income goals,
what types of products you'll sell, and so forth. Make it as detailed as possible. Once your plan is
complete, you shouldn't consider it set in stone. It's a "living plan", one that you can modify and
customize as you go along. Above all, make sure to stick to your plan and review it every day!

The system that I'll lay out for you will serve as the backbone for your plan, but it's up to you to
customize the plan, using THE SYSTEM as your guide... There are "blanks" in the system that
you'll need to fill in. For example, it's up to you to determine what type of products (or services)
you will specialize in. But again, in areas such as finding your niche, product selection, and so
forth, the system will serve as your decision making guide.

Nearly every wealthy individual I am familiar with stresses the importance of the WRITTEN PLAN.
No matter how good your recollection, a plan that is simply stored in your memory will slowly fade
away. Venture capitalists won't even look your direction unless you put a business plan in front of
them. There is a reason for that... They KNOW from experience that those WITHOUT a written
business plan will most surely fail. Having a plan represents more than just what is detailed within
the plan... It represents qualities that are found in those who succeed... Diligence, focus,
knowledge, dedication...


Success relies on YOU! That's right - YOU! Any measure of success is going to require an effort
to be put forth by the individual who dreams of success. You may think you have the drive and
desire to achieve your dreams, but how much desire you really have will be reflecting in what you
actually DO. All the thinking in the world won't cut it. And we can't all be lottery winners. If you're
waiting to win the lottery you realistically better plan on waiting through about 36 life times for a
lottery with a one-in-a-million chance to win - and you'd need to enter the lottery every day of your
life at that!

Success isn't looking for you! You need to find it! Does that sound like bad news? It shouldn't. In
fact, it's great news! It means that success doesn't normally happen by chance. YOU can make it
happen. You've probably heard it said many times that "the rich aren't any smarter than you
are"... But I say the rich ARE smarter than you, simply because of the knowledge they possess.
The rich have become rich, simply because they have developed the knowledge required to
achieve financial success. They have a formula, or a system by which to achieve wealth and
success. This is the reason it is not uncommon at all (take Donald Trumph for example) to lose
everything only to gain it all back again in no time. It's not luck! It is knowledge, and knowledge
equals the power to achieve your dreams and desires.

But again, the common denominator is always... always the same - it's YOU. By purchasing The
No Money Down Auction Wealth Course you'll have the knowledge it takes to achieve virtually
unlimited financial success, that is, if you put YOU into it!

Imagine setting your own hours, being your own boss, receiving handfuls of cash in your mailbox
every week... This is what thousands of others are doing every week thanks to eBay, and other
online auction sites. By the way, throughout this course my main focus will be on eBay, the web's
BEST online auction site by a landslide. But THE SYSTEM can be adapted and applied to just
about any online auction site.

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So why do I think eBay represents the best home based business to come along in a lifetime? I'll
explain. When it comes right down to it, there are basically two types of businesses, product
businesses and service businesses. These two categories basically represent the vast expanse
of businesses throughout the world. There is basically one primary focus that all businesses have,
and that is MARKETING their products or services to prospects and customers. Marketing is the
key word here. Marketing is, in fact, the key to a successful business. Marketing is what I call the
HEART of a business. Without it, a business can't survive. And in fact, countless businesses have
gone under from a lack of, or ineffective, marketing.

A large responsibility of marketing is to promote exposure of a company's product or service -

exposure to the prospective consumer. This is where being an eBay seller has considerable
advantages over a more traditional home business venture. Listen close to this next line because
this is what it's all about - As an eBay seller, millions of potential customers are ready and waiting
for YOU! With well over 12 MILLION registered users, eBay represents a MASSIVE market place,
where a mind boggling flow of people are looking and buying every day, 24 hours a day, 7 days a
week. IT'S NEVER ENDING! Imagine having your products in a typical brick-and-mortar store
with that kind of foot traffic! Well, essentially that is the extraordinary opportunity that eBay
represents! The typical business - and I'm talking about e-business just as much or more than the
"brick-and-mortar" business - uses a significant amount of time, money, and other resources to
attract what eBay already has!


A number of years ago I started up a small online hobby business... This was my very first
Internet business venture... It took MONTHS for me to build this e-commerce enabled web site. I'll
admit I was very picky in getting everything just right... There can be so much that goes into the
making of a web site. When I came up with the idea for this web site I was planning to allow
maybe a week or so for the construction of the site. Boy was I wrong! There is much more to do in
building an online store than what there appears to be on the surface. You have to keep in mind
that you're NOT just slapping some product pictures up along with some info. about those
products. You have to consider return policies, shipping policies, payment policies, merchant
accounts, a business checking account, registering the business, filing a certificate of assumed
name, trademarking the business name, how you plan on marketing the business, and quite
possibly a whole host of other things...

After a lot of work my online hobby store was looking great, working great, and I was ready for the
orders to start pouring in... Now all there was for me to do was to start attracting people to my
site... Simple... right? WRONG! I did all the "usual" stuff... Registering the site with multiple search
engines, link exchanges, banner ads, etc. Some of it worked, some of it didn't... I personally had
the most success attracting people to my web site with link exchanges and posting links to my
online store on various related web sites. I waited... and waited... and waited... for that first order
to come! Then I ran across an article about a business that was having great success attracting
customers to its web site by putting up ads on Internet auction sites. Not only was it attracting
new customers - this business was making over $500,000 a year thanks to it's online auction
sales ALONE!

Being inspired by that, I put up a simple ad on eBay for one of my hobby products... It only took a
few minutes, and guess what? It sold! And even better, it sold for the retail price I had the product
listed for on my web site! So after weeks of no results from my web site I had a successful sale
through eBay with hardly an effort put forth! That's when I realized that eBay was something

Essentially eBay was more profitable for me in about 30 minutes of my time than was my online
web store, which consumed hundreds of hours of my time. And of course, time is money. Just
imagine if I'd initially invested the hundreds of hours spent on my web store in selling on eBay...
What an enormous head start I would have had!


Ebay is NOT simply a gigantic garage sale! In fact, new merchandise represents a very
substantial amount of eBay sales. Even large, established companies are beginning to
acknowledge the value of online auction sites by offering their products and services at auction.
Did you know that Sun Microsystems sells its products on eBay? If it's good enough for Sun
Microsystems, a multi-billion dollar company, it's good enough for me!

This brings me to another point... Just like any other business, you'll face competition as an online

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auction seller. Many full time eBay sellers had successful brick-and-mortar businesses before
eBay was ever around. This means that most likely some very experienced sellers are going to
serve as YOUR competition. People that are closely familiar with the best sources of
merchandise, people that have customer service mastered, people that know the most efficient
methods of shipping, people that just plain know how to move product "out the door"... Now I
hope you're not getting skeptical about your odds of success! First of all, competition is a GOOD
thing, contrary to popular belief. Competition keeps you on your toes, holds you accountable, and
makes your products and services better. This equals increased customer satisfaction, and
therefore increased repeat business from these satisfied customers. And keep in mind, repeat
business is the BEST kind of business! Still worried about your competition? Relax! You now
have THE system that will put you ahead (and keep you ahead) of 99% of the sellers on eBay -
but only if you'll PUT IT IN ACTION...


Of course, this system will do nothing for you if you do not take action. But the sad truth is, most
people are NOT going to take action... When it comes right down to it, most people lack the self
discipline required to achieve the kind of wealth and success that they are capable of achieving.
That's the notorious missing ingredient in the lives of all those who sulk and whine about their
position in life! Don't be afraid of failure! I have a favorite slogan that happens to be that of the
"Nike" company... "Just Do It!" Successful individuals take action when it comes to going after
their dreams and goals - and they don't look back. They'll go through the same obstacles and
failures that anyone else going after the same dream would, but they keep going... and going...
until they've crossed the finish line. Taking action means going the distance. It doesn't mean that
you start out only to quit half way through when things start getting difficult. And not everyone
wins the first race... But you've got to keep entering the next race, and the next, until you find
yourself crossing the finish line first!

One of the goals I want to accomplish in this manual is to give readers the motivation, and
therefore the FUEL to go the distance. Motivation fuels your desire, and desire is key is seeing
your plan through to the finish line. So if I'm not motivating you, I'm not fully doing my job. All that
I'm going to talk to you about is worthless if you don't have the motivation to put into action. By
the way, the motivation that I'm giving you is the best kind of motivation in the world - it's the
TRUTH. When I tell you that you can literally pick a financial goal or figure and achieve that goal
with enough desire and the right plan - BELIEVE IT - because it's the TRUTH!


I want to stress that this course is for both beginner AND experienced online auction sellers. For
the beginner, you'll master a complete selling system that you'll be able to use to produce an
unlimited income. For the expert or current full-time eBay seller, even one new tip learned will
have the potential of significantly increasing your current profits. But I'll show you MANY
techniques and strategies that can boost your bottom line in a big way...

The System takes you beyond the close of the auction, showing you how to make some of the
most substantial profits AFTER the bids are in... The System uses online auction selling as the
catalyst for even more lucrative, non-auction related profits. I'll divulge powerful, advanced online
selling techniques - and even some off-line selling techniques - that will enable you to eclipse
your direct auction profits in a relatively short period of time. Online auctions provide the
"launching pad" for my system, but what you've really got is the most complete, comprehensive,
and effective Internet selling system available today!


Both beginner and expert will want to start out with a monetary goal in mind... How much money
would you like to make per month? Or, how much EXTRA... how much MORE... would you like to
make per month? Keep that figure in mind throughout this course and apply it to the information
that I present to you. By the end of the course you'll be prepared to write out your customized
plan and get on your way to making money or boosting your bottom line to match your new goal.

So choose your financial goal right now.... Do you simply want some extra spending cash, say
$500 a month... Or do you want to match what you make at your current job and have the
satisfaction of home business ownership... Say $2,000 per month? Or do you have a realistic, yet
more ambitious goal of $5,000 per month or more? Top eBay sellers make $500,000+ annually!
Imagine becoming a millionaire in just a few short years! The average business owner makes
around $50,000 per year. That's considerably more than the income of the average person... Yet
that's a realistic goal to set for yourself with your online auction business!

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The Foundation For a Profitable Online/Auction Business

While this manual is mainly intended for beginners, I recommend even you experienced sellers
pay attention... It will serve as more than just a good refresher course for you... You'll learn some
key elements of The System that serve as a solid foundation for the rest of what you'll be

This system is going to require some diligence on your part. Wait, don't stop reading yet... I never
promised that this was going to be a cake walk, because it's not! I'm going to suggest some
resources for the beginner, to get you familiar with the online auction process (eBay in particular),
and so that you can equip yourself with the very basic knowledge you'll need to take full
advantage of my online auction selling system. Beginners should check out "eBay the Smart
Way" by Joseph T. Sinclair available for $17.95 off of, or another good one, "Ebay
For Dummies, 2nd Edition" available through for $15.99. Your assignment: get one
or both of these books and read them through from cover to cover! When you're through you'll be
prepared to get the most out of this course. At the very least skim through them and get familiar
with the aspects of online auction buying and selling you are not familiar with.

I also encourage both beginners and experts to simply spend time on eBay. Browse through the
categories... See what is selling... for what price items are selling... chat with other members
through the message boards... notice what type of products are being featured... watch for
updates and new policies... In short, get to know eBay's web site "like the back of your hand".
There are resources on eBay, some of which we'll talk about later, resources and information that
can dramatically affect your success as a seller. You'd be surprised how many people are out
there selling on eBay that don't know HALF of the resources they have at their disposal. And let
me tell you, many are losing precious time and profits because of it.

Eventually, you may want to familiarize yourself with the number 2 and 3 (behind eBay) online
auction sites - "Yahoo Auctions" and's auctions as you can add to your profits by
multiplying your efforts using these other sites. One suggestion though... Master one auction site
at a time... There are subtle differences, along with some major differences from site to site.
Starting out by posting a product on multiple sites at once could be very confusing to the


Ebay is the first online auction site you should register with. To list Dutch auctions (an auction
format for selling a quantity of identical items) on eBay sellers need to have a feedback rating of
at least 50, and you need to have been a member for at least 60 days. Although not the only way,
Dutch auctions serve as a powerful venue for making some of the biggest profits through online
auction selling. If you bought this course off of eBay, you're already registered! But if you bought
this though a web site, or off-line, you should become a registered seller right now!

When registering, one of the tasks you'll need to complete is selecting what eBay calls a "User
ID". This may seem like a minor thing, and some may not give it a second thought, but your User
ID is what your customers will come to know you by. Buyers can do searches based on your User
ID alone... If you have a prospect, or a customer that has purchased from you before, they can
find you and your current auctions just by doing a search on your User ID. Pick a name that will
represent what types of products you plan on selling, OR, of you're not sure yet, pick a more
generic name (one that could apply to selling just about any product) that is preferably short - and
most of all - memorable. Take your time in choosing your name, and have fun with it. There is no
need for some fancy or "technical sounding" name. After all, a seller by the name of
"PARROTHEAD88" has the highest feedback rating on eBay, and is one of its most successful
sellers! So don't be afraid to choose a FUN name for a FUN business.

DON'T UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER IN A NAME! Entire books are written on the subject of
name selection for businesses and products. Awhile back I heard about a book that went from
collecting dust on the shelf to best seller status simply by changing the name of the book! The
same principles that apply to this situation can mean increased sales for your online auction
business. Try your best to select a name that you will use long term. The idea is to essentially
"brand" yourself and select a name that you will hold onto and build recognition for. Most all
businesses strive for name recognition. Your USER ID, as far as your eBay buyers are
concerned, IS your business name. If you're not happy with your name, you do have the option of
changing it, but you will be erasing any recognition that you've already created for that name. And
name recognition equals profit. If you already have a business name, enter that as your USER ID
if possible. Then , of course, you can notify your customers that you now offer some (or all) of
your products for auction on eBay.

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Ebay gives you the option of using your email address as your user name. I do not recommend
this for two reasons. For one, you'll find that you might soon be receiving excess junk mail from
spammers that will collect this email address off of eBay and add you to their bulk email lists.
Second, people that are looking for your auctions by doing a special USER ID search may have
trouble remembering the type of email service you use. PARROTHEAD88 is pretty easy to
remember, but if PARROTHEAD88 had used his email address of,
his customers might've had a tough time finding his auctions through the "Find Items By Seller"
special search feature.


Before you get heavily involved in your auction business you'll want to be sure you have an
Internet service that is dependable, and that you're are comfortable with. Some free Internet
services have certain limits that could affect your auction business, such as limits to how many
email messages you can send and receive in a day, so check with your ISP (Internet Service
Provider) to determine if there are any limits of this nature before it's too late!

If you're planning on making a full time business out of online auction selling, I would highly
suggest you get set up with a good DSL or Cable modem service. A normal ISP charges around
$20 per month for unlimited access, and many people have an extra, dedicated phone line for
Internet access which tacks on an additional $20-25 a month. So for $5 to $10 more you can get
DSL Internet service and save yourself a TON of time. You wouldn't believe how time can add up
waiting for web sites to load when using a standard 56K modem. You're looking at a potential
time savings of HOURS a day using a DLS or Cable service to access the web. That can add up
to a full work week LOST every month just waiting for sites to load! How much more money could
you have made if you had been listing auctions on eBay during this time rather than waiting on a
slow modem? $50? $100? $500? It is my recommendation for serious online users of ANY kind to
invest in a good DSL or Cable service.

As far as selecting a good email service, something comparable to Microsoft's Outlook Express
will do just fine. As long as you have the ability to create multiple folders, which you I will show
you how to use in organizing your auction related emails, your OK. If you want to spend a little
extra money on one of the best email programs available, check out "Eudora" @ Eudora filtering features are excellent, and you'll save some time from not
having to weed through excessive junk email. If you don't mind having some advertisements
displayed on your screen, Eudora offers a free version of their email software as well!



I'm going to outline a basic email file/folder system that you can set up in just a few minutes to
help organize your incoming auction related emails. I'll explain the system briefly and then let you
determine whether to use this as a loose reference in creating your own email filing system, or
start out by creating the following folders for your email box and customizing or adding to them
later if necessary. Note that the following folders are in addition to your "inbox", "deleted items",
"saved messages", and "sent items" folders...

Folder 1) Customer Addresses/Info.

For any customer related information that you'll want to save, customer addresses, customer
preferences, etc.

2) Auction Listing Confirmations

Ebay and other online auctions sites send listing confirmation messages after you've listed one or
more auctions on their site.

3) Monthly Auction Invoices

Ebay and other online auction sites send monthly invoices showing listing fees, commissions, etc.
Save these for income tax purposes.

4) Payment Received Notices

You'll receive a payment notification message from payment services such as Paypal and
Billpoint every time a customer pays you for an item. This applies to credit card and electronic
check payments.

****** SIDEBAR ******

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I use an autoresponder address like for my paypal account. This way
every time I recieve a payment from someone I thank them for the payment and notify them that
I'll be sending their product out as soon as possible. This also adds them to my list... of course
there is an unsubscribe link in ever email.


6) Successful Auctions (By Month) Exmple: Successful Auctions December 2002

Ebay and other online auction sites will send you an "end of auction" notice. File all the successful
notices here. You may also want to create an "Unsuccessful Auctions" folder for future reference.

7) Supplier Invoices
Depending on which product suppliers you use, you may receive invoices and statements by
email that you can file here.

8) Supplier Product Updates/Info.

You will be signing up for supplier updates, newsletters, new product announcements, etc. and
will want to file those emails in this folder.

9) Urgent
This is your most important folder! Initially you'll want to file every email that requires an "action to
be performed" in this folder. For example, let's say you've received a payment received or
payment confirmation letter from Paypal in your inbox. You now need to "take action" by getting
that product shipped off to your customer. Following my email filing system, this email would go
into the Urgent folder until you've shipped the item. You'd then file it for possible future reference
in its final resting place - the Payment Received Notices folder. On the other hand, a supplier
invoice could go directly into the Supplier Invoices folder because no action is required. This
really is a neat system because you can see at a glance what tasks you need to address by
simply checking your Urgent folder.

If you choose not to use this system, come up with something else. You can set up an organized
system for your emails in minutes and it will potentially save you a TON of time. You do NOT
want to rely on just your inbox or you'll end up with somewhat of a confusing, time consuming

You should routinely go through your folders and clear them out by deleting old files that are no
longer needed. Be cautious when it comes to doing this though, as you'll want to hold on to
invoice files and similar files until tax time rolls around.

Now that your email is organized, you're going to want to set up a folder/filing system on your
computer for the rest of your auction related resources and information. Dedicate a main folder to
your online auction business and name the folder after your USER ID or auction business name.
Under this main folder, create sub-folders for auction ads, auction pictures, product suppliers and
info., customer information or your customer database, business/company information, online
auction resources and info., and a miscellaneous folder.

Again, this filing system is something that will get you off to a good start, but you may want to
make modifications and additions to better suit your needs. I haven't gone into great detail
describing the desktop filing system, as I feel it's pretty self explanatory. As you're creating new
auction ads, saving product pictures, adding to your customer database, adding to your list of
suppliers, and so on, simply file the information under the proper folder or sub-folder. In addition
to the folders I went over, I (personally) also have a "hot product ads" folder for products and ads
that I've noticed to be particularly successful. You're going to realize after completing this course
that you'll have the ability to find just about any product that you can imagine at wholesale or
below pricing. Therefore, when you see a product that's doing well on eBay or any other site,
check your sources and find out where to get a hold of it for the best price.

I'm going to go over the equipment needed for the job rather quickly as this kind of information is
included in the books I recommended earlier to you beginners out there. Here's an example of an
adequate computer system: a PC with at least a 266MHz processor, 32 megs of RAM, a 2.1GB
hard-drive, a CD-ROM drive, a 56K modem, a color printer and monitor, and windows 95 or
above. You can get by with less, and more would of course be better... But you'll do just fine with
this type of computer. Also very helpful but not absolutely necessary right away... A scanner, a
digital camera, a CD "burner", a fax machine, and a business phone and phone line. Although this
equipment is not needed right away, you can find most of these items at a very reasonable price
right off of eBay, and I'm going to assume that as a serious seller you'll eventually invest in all of

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them. By the way, I highly recommend an extremely comfortable chair as I'm getting quite sore
while I sit here.

There is no replacement for a fax machine once you start making a lot of orders for products and
supplies, but you may get by for a while with a computer fax service such as that offered by When it comes to getting a 2nd phone line installed for your business, you may want
to consider NOT mentioning that it will be primarily used for business, as they may charge you a
hefty extra fee. My second home phone line was installed as a dedicated Internet line, and the
charge is a little over $20 a month... I use this line for both business and Internet purposes, and I
have my business phone hooked up to this line with a voice mail message and the whole works.
Here's a little side note... This is something obvious, but often overlooked. Always keep a sharp
eye on your overhead costs, doing everything you can to keep them as low as possible. Don't get
excited about the prospect of a new gadget or an exciting new service until you've carefully
analyzed it... With each decision you make, such as whether to go for the higher cost of DSL or
not, determine how that decision will affect your bottom line. If the extra monthly expense will
increase your profits, do it, and vice versa.

Some other office equipment and supplies you'll want to get asap... A computer desk, a 2 or 3
droor file cabinet along with a hanging file folder system and a box of plain manilla folders, a
bulletin board, a stapler, plenty of printer paper, writing utensils, paper clips, white out (your
business could fail miserably without it), several notebooks, three ring binders, folders with
pockets, post it notes (again, your business could fail without them), a CD rack for your CD-
ROMS and software, and a book shelf for the business related books that I know you're going to
compile! Again, you can get by with less and you may eventually want more, but these are some
good basics to have. Be sure to check out eBay when looking for great prices on these items!

In addition to your computer and email filing systems, you're going to need to organize your
"physical" files as well. Let me look in my own file cabinet here for a minute and see what we've
got... I keep a "Company Information" folder and keep things such as my business registration
information, a copy of my certificate of assumed name, my domain name registration info., etc.
Then I have an "eBay General Info." folder in which I keep eBay fee and commission info.,
Billpoint information, and so forth. Next I keep an "Auction Orders To Fullfill" folder which is
similar to my "Urgent" email folder, but for non electronic payments such as checks and money
orders received. And of course if I've got an "Auction Orders To Fulfill" folder I need an "Auction
Orders Completed" folder right? I keep an "Auction Master Copies" folder for blank supplier order
forms, fax cover sheets and such. Next I have a folder for "Supplier Invoices" from suppliers that
send statements or invoices by mail. At the end of the year I put these together with the invoices
that have been emailed to me. I keep additional, separate folders for "eBay Invoices", and
"General Invoices/Pay Stubs". I have a folder for "Wholesale/Product Info.", in which I keep
wholesale catalogs, hot lists, new product updates, and similar information. And of course, you'll
need a folder for "Bank Statements" for your business checking account statements.

In the next droor of your file cabinet you may want to store your checks, a monthly bookkeeping
pad to keep track of your cash paid out and cash received as you go along, and your general
office supplies.


At this point you may be wondering about some of the things I've mentioned, namely business
checking accounts and bookkeeping pads. Don't be scared off by this... Starting your own
"official" business is a lot easier than you may think, and will cost you very little. You ARE
required to report the income that you'll be receiving from you online business. You'll save
yourself some hair pulling down the road by opening a separate checking account for your
business, keeping your auction income and expenses separate from your personal checking
and/or savings account. In addition, there are some very nice tax benefits to owning your own

Follow these steps to make your online auction business official: Since the rules and
requirements vary slightly from state to state, start out by calling your local county and state
government offices, describe what you would like to do, and write down the requirements as they
are explained to you. Basically, you'll need to select a business name and you'll possibly need to
file a certificate of assumed name with the Secretary of State's Office. This is simply getting your
business name on record so that the business owner's name and location can be referenced.
There is usually a small fee for filing your business name. Unless you're absolutely positive what
type of business you'd like to specialize in, you may want to consider a "generic" name - a name
that could be applied to just about any type of business, product, or service that you may want to
specialize in. For example, selecting a name such as "Bob's Pillow Factory" may make it difficult
for you to purchase wholesale electronics merchandise if you should ever decide to. Also, you'll
be required to describe the type of business that you'll be performing, but you can be generic in

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this area too. I listed my online auction business as being a supplier of retail and wholesale
general merchandise and information. This pretty much covers my bases for whatever I might
want to purchase from a potential supplier.

The next step is to obtain a state tax identification number and register for authorization to collect
and remit state sales and use tax. This is done through your State Department of Revenue. This
simply allows you to collect and remit sales tax from the customers located within your state.
Customers outside your state are not required to pay sales tax to you. You should be able to call
in, give your business name and social security number, and obtain a tax id number right over the
phone in minutes. Just a note... If a wholesaler or supplier asks you for you a "tax resale" number,
they're referring to your tax identification number. You'll be sent a "proof of business registration"
letter by your state which will include your tax ID number. You'll want to file this in your "Company
Information" folder! In addition to these two simple requirements, your state or county may have
additional business licensing requirements... This typically depends on what type of merchandise
you intend to sell, for example, a liquor retailer requiring a liquor license.

Finally, take your new business name and registration info. over to your bank and open your
business checking account. Chances are you'll be able to open a "free business checking"
account! Sign up for online account services, and obtain a business debit/check card to allow for
reduced check writing.

Maintaining the accounting aspects of your business are pretty simple. You be required to send a
check to your state for the sales tax you've collected every three months or once a year, so keep
track of the amount of sales tax you've collected. And use software such as "QuickBooks" to keep
track of your business income and expenses, or a monthly bookkeeping pad as I mentioned
before. A bookkeeping pad is sufficient at first but sooner or later you'll want to get some business
accounting software to save yourself some time. Be sure to keep your business checkbook up to
date as well!


In my opinion opening your own business is beneficial to just about anyone - even those that
don't intend to profit off of it. As I mentioned before, there are potential tax benefits, but in addition
to that you'll have the ability to BUY MERCHANDISE AT WHOLESALE PRICES! You'll potentially
be able to save yourself $1,000's a year just by avoiding retail prices and buying directly from
wholesalers. You can find everyday things such as batteries, paper towels, light bulbs, cleaning
supplies, kitchen utensils, tools, toys, gifts... basically whatever you have a need for, you'll have
the ability to buy at 50% or more off retail price!


When it comes to payment, follow this general rule: The easier it is for your customers to pay you,
the more money you'll make! This means accepting as many forms of payment as possible.
"Paypal" is still the number one form of payment on eBay, so you'll want to put it at the top of your
list for payment services to sign up for. You'll want to sign up for Paypal's "Premier" or "Business"
account since there are limits to Paypal "Personal" accounts. Next in line I'd recommend eBay's
Billpoint payment service, which is becoming increasingly popular with eBay users. Both Paypal
and Billpoint will allow you to accept various credit cards and electronic check payments. Both
Paypal and Billpoint have an "Instant Purchase" option, allowing your customers the ability to pay
instantly after the auction ends, as long as you've provided the necessary shipping and tax
information for them to do so. State the fact that you accept credit cards and electronic checks in
your auction ad.

Regardless of the horror stories you've heard about personal checks, you'll want to accept them.
Quite a few potential customers may pass on your offer if you choose not to accept personal
checks. The fact is, purposeful bad checks are pretty rare, especially on eBay. You'll want to
consider waiting for personal checks to clear before shipping an order out... I recommend doing
this for checks over the amount of $20-30, UNLESS the bidder/buyer has a good feedback
record. With a positive feedback record you can be pretty confident the check is good. State your
policies on personal checks in your auction ad.

You'll also want to state in your ad that you accept money orders and cashiers checks.

For high priced items, you'll want to consider offering payment through an escrow service, as this
can make your bidder considerably more comfortable with the purchase. If applicable, include this
information in the body of your ad.

If you decide that you'll be accepting international orders, my suggestion is to accept only

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International Money Orders in US dollars. You can choose to accept credit cards as well, but
transactions dealing with non-US credit cards and non-US shipping addresses carry a
significantly higher risk of fraud.'s help section has some good guidelines to follow in
preventing credit card fraud.

I also recommend stating in your ad that "payment must be received no later than 10 days after
the close of the auction". 7 to 10 days is a reasonable amount of time for both you and your
customer. The exception to this rule would be international orders.

Include several lines about your satisfaction guarantee or return policy... A 30 day money back
guarantee is the most common guarantee, and should be reasonable for both you and your
customer. Indicate that the customer will receive a prompt refund provided the merchandise is
returned in the condition it was received... I would recommend offering a refund for the cost of the
item less shipping, unless the return is the result of an error YOU made, such as sending the
wrong size or color item. You can be certain that you'll receive more business by offering your
potential customers a guarantee and making it known that you offer a guarantee in the body of
your ad. Be sure to make your guarantee stand out. A gaurantee is one of the keys to a "killer"
ad, which we'll be talking about more in a later chapter.

When it comes to shipping information, I like to indicate a fixed price in the body of an ad. This
fixed price should include the cost of shipment, handling, packaging materials, and insurance if
applicable. Setting a fixed price simplifies things, expedites the payment process, and allows you
to take advantage of the Instant Purchase option offered by Paypal and eBay. In your after
auction instructions or in the body of the ad you may want to add that for shipments to Alaska,
Hawaii, or Canada (if applicable) an additional shipping charge will apply... Ask the bidder to send
address information so that you can then contact them with the total purchase price along with the
revised shipping charge. The same would apply to other countries you ship to. By the way,
offering a reduced shipping charge or "shipping discount" on additional items purchased is an
excellent way to create extra sales. Add something like "shipping for the first unit is $11.95 and
only $5.00 each additional unit ordered. Another tip - mention that you'll ship directly to your
customer's "gift recipient" for no extra charge. You might state it in the following way... "This is
one of our most popular gift items, and we'll ship directly to your gift recipient for no extra charge!"
Another profit boosting technique that you may want to file away somewhere in that amazing
brain of yours is this... If you've got a relatively small, lightweight product - software is the perfect
example - you might try listing it at just a penny (or for a small fee) and then mark up your
shipping & handling price to include a small profit. This is a technique that they've used with great
success on infomercials for quite a while, and it works great for online auctions as well. Try
something like this in your ad: "So why are we virtually giving these away!? Simple! We know that
once you've tried this amazing product, chances are you're going to come back for more of our
many other fine products!"

So you see that even with something as mundane as shipping information, you can create extra
profits by the way that the information is worded and offered. What's exciting to me is just the fact
that mere words are so POWERFUL! The right words stir up emotions - excitement and desire -
causing people to do what you want them to - to take action and purchase your product. Later on
I'm going to teach you exactly how to create "killer", professional quality ads and sales letters for
your auctions that will have a profound effect on your selling success.

Be sure to include policy information in each of your ads. Try to make your policies as "universal"
as possible... In other words, try to use the same set of policies for as many of your products as
you can - if not all of them. Obviously you'll need to edit information such as shipping & handling
charges from product to product, but try and maintain the same underlying policies and
guarantees for all of your products. I created a policy "outline", if you will, that I can copy and
paste into each of my ads, or simply use as a reference when entering policy information for an
ad - and you may choose to do the same as you can save yourself some time this way. Here's a
basic example of how the policy section of one of my ads reads:

PAYMENT: Winning bidder(s) to include $4.95 for shipping, handling, and insurance (if
applicable). Add $2.00 shipping for each additional unit ordered. I accept credit card payments via
eBay's Billpoint and Paypal, money orders and cashiers checks, and personal checks (which I
must wait on to clear). Payment must be received within 10 days of auction close.
GUARANTEE: You're satisfaction is guaranteed! If you are not satisfied for any reason simply
send back your order in the same condition it was received within 30 days of receipt and I will
promptly refund your money!
Thank you for bidding and be sure to check out my other auctions for more great deals!


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You're going to need a dependable service for image hosting and hit counters. One of the most
popular, and most dependable image hosting services is provided by Honesty will
save your images for as long as you continue to use them - a feature that you'll find you're going
to need. You'll want to use hit counters to track the effectiveness of your one line description,
among other things. If you're not getting enough hits, you'll need to start making changes.
Changes may include such things as your auction title (or one line item description), the category
your ad is placed in, "special feature" options, and the price of your item. Remember that when
making changes to increase the effectiveness of your ad, only change one thing at a time! If you
make more than one change at a time you'll learn nothing! You won't know which change
improved your results. Making just one change at a time can test your patience, but it'll be worth it
and will reflect in your profits in the long run! (I'll discuss these topics in greater depth later on in
the course!)

By the way, Honesty's image hosting and hit counters are free, and work as well or better than
paid image hosting services, so sign up today!


After becoming a member, one of your first missions as an eBay seller will be getting your
feedback rating up to build your reputation and establish credibility with prospective buyers. Also,
in order to conduct Dutch auctions, one of the most profitable forms of selling, eBay requires that
you either become "verified" for a small fee, or have a feedback rating of at least 50 and have
been registered for at least 60 days.

I have a little method that you can use anytime you want to give your feedback a little boost! I call
this method of rapid feedback improvement "The Feedback Booster", and have even sold it
successfully on eBay as an information product targeted to new sellers.

Note: I wrote the "Feedback Booster" before eBay changed it's policies and requirements on
Dutch auction listings... However, I included it in the course because it contains a number of
valuable tips and ideas that still apply...

Here's the Feedback Booster as it was e-mailed to my winning bidders...


Greetings and thanks for the payment! If you're ready to start making "real" money on eBay you'll
want to use this clever little system I developed to get your feedback rating up to 10 (or more) in a
hurry! If you want to list auctions with a certain quantity of identical items, that is, if you want the
ability to list Dutch auctions, you'll need to have a feedback rating of at least 10, and you'll need to
have been a member of eBay for at least 60 days. The 60 day requirement I can't help you with -
you'll just have to serve hard time! But when that's over with, or better yet, before that's over with,
follow these instructions to not only get your feedback rating up, but to boost your credibility as a
buyer and seller on eBay as well! Credibility is a very important thing to members of the eBay
community, and is something you'll want to establish if you want to take full advantage of the
largest online trading community in the world! I used this system to "boost" my feedback rating
from "1" to over "10" in just five days - and I bet you'll do it even faster. So here it is...

1. While at the eBay home page, click on the "Search" link. The "Find Items" form will appear.
2. In the "Search Title" box enter an item description. (Suggestions "how to", "plans", "magazine",
"postcard", "card", "button", "stamp", "coin", "sticker"... and other items that typically have a low
selling price AND a low shipping price)
3. In the "Price Range" box enter ".10" to ".25" (price range of item you are searching for - you
can experiment with different price ranges but the idea of course is to keep the price range as low
as possible. I personally search "card" with a range of 10 cents to 50 cents.)
4. In the "Sort By" box enter "Items Ending First".
5. Click on search.
6. If no items are found, try a different a different "Search Title".
7. Browse through the list of items that appear and look for the following...
-Items with no bids on them.
-Items that you want!
-Or, items that NOBODY would likely want (better chance of being the winning bidder!)
-Dutch Auctions (will usually guarantee you a winning bid)
-Auctions that are ending soon.
-Auctions that allow payment via credit card (quick transaction)
-Sellers with a high rating!

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*Optional - bid on about 20 items to increase your chances of getting at least 10 winning bids +
positive feedback ratings (If you get more - great!)

*Watch out for...

High shipping and handling charges! (Some people don't list shipping costs. Beware! E-mail them
to find out shipping costs first or skip the auction altogether.) Avoid auctions that only allow
payment via money order/cashiers check. (Unless you want to pay the bank fee for sending this
type of payment!)

Remember, it costs a minimum of $.25 to SELL an item on eBay too. But by BUYING a very
inexpensive item (the main goal of this system) you are actually guaranteed to GET something for
your money and quickly increase your feedback rating in the process. So, how do you ensure that
you get positive feedback from a seller? Simple. Send payment RIGHT AWAY! Also, ASK for the
seller to leave feedback! Make sure to include the auction item # and your ebay user I.D. with
payment. This will make it easy for the seller to give you feedback. Sellers are more likely to leave
feedback than buyers because if they are at all serious they care about their reputation... And
their reputation, of course, is established by making buyers happy. Sellers are aware of the
simple fact that leaving positive feedback makes for a satisfied customer! Furthermore, it's a trade
off... If a seller leaves positive feedback on a buyer, the buyer is more inclined to leave positive
feedback on the seller! Simple stuff. (This is the main reason you want to look for established
sellers, or sellers with a high rating already. They'll want to continue to establish their feedback
and credibility!)

Feedback is feedback! When viewing feedback ratings, generally people don't really care or pay
much attention to whether the transaction was a sale or a purchase. And to achieve Dutch
auction status (a feedback rating of 10) or to get to that next "star", it doesn't matter what kind of
feedback it is anyway.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: You may want to include a little reminder note with your payment to
post positive feedback, i.e. "I would greatly appreciate it if you could take a minute to post positive
feedback on me as I will do the same for you. Thank you!" (Include item # and your user I.D. in

Good luck and I hope you can use this system to give your feedback a BOOST!

The Feedback Booster sold quite well for $2.00 per report/person. (I also included a bonus along
with the report which I called "The Top Ten Online Auction Selling Tips". I didn't mention the
bonus in my auction ad - rather I "surprised" my winning bidders with it!) You may wonder - is it
even worth the hassle for only $2.00? Sure it is! I add to my customer list, which is potentially
worth far more than $2.00, and for simply emailing the report to my winning bidders it's easy cash
that can ad up quickly! Imagine 20, or 30, or even 50 little information reports being listed on eBay
at $2.00 ea... Let's say you ran 3 day auctions for your information reports like I did... And we'll
say you have 30 different information reports to list... Chances are you can list each individual
report at least several times in different categories. If not, eBay allows you to list up to 10 of the
same item even if it's in the same category. So you could take advantage of listing identical
reports in the same category by spacing out the individual listing times by a couple hours or more.
This does several things... Your auctions will begin and end at different times and will be exposed
to different people than if they were listed one right after the other. It will also space out each
listing so there's an increased chance that more people will see the item... Not everyone browses
a category page by page, rather they skip ahead or pick random pages to view... Rather than
having all ten listings on the same page you could one listing on ten pages! In situations like this
is where those hit counters will really come in handy too. If you've got 10 different listings for the
same item, why not try different one line descriptions to see which is the most effective? But
getting back to our discussion... You've got 30 reports that you can list at $2.00 each. Let's say
you list each of those reports 5 times (either in different categories and/or multiple listings in the
same category). That's 150 listings, and at $2.00 profit per listing, that's a potential of $300 dollars
profit less expenses. If each one of those 150 listings is a Dutch auction, you're profit potential is
limitless! But in the real world you're not going to sell 100% of the items you list - not on eBay -
not anywhere. But with online auctions you will experience far higher percentages than with other
venues... Take traditional mail order, for example, where 3% would be considered a great return
on a bulk load of sales packages that you sent out to a targeted customer list. I've experienced a
50-75% or greater return on some of my online auction listings! (In the chapter on "Lucrative
Listing" you'll learn in further detail how to calculate sales percentages, and how to "play the
numbers game" with your auction listings!)


If you've never sold anything through an online auction before, don't try to do too much at first. A
great way to test the waters is to go through your used stuff and get rid of some of the things you

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don't need anymore. This is how many have started, and gotten "hooked" on online auctions in
the first place. It really can be somewhat addictive... You're getting envelopes of money in your
mailbox for items you don't even need anymore! I sold a video camera from 1984 that was given
to me, and which had a broken microphone, for over $90! I sold an old model car that had been
stored away for years at $40. I'd purchased the cars about six years before for $50 - only $10 less
than what I'd bought it for! At one time my wife bought me a golf putter for my birthday that she'd
purchased at a charity auction... She hadn't known I already had a putter that worked great for
me. So (with her approval of course) I sold the putter on eBay for more than she paid for it at the
charity auction!

So just selling off some of your used goods is a great way to get a feel for online auctions, a great
way to clear out some space in your home, and a very good way to make some extra cash to
reinvest in your growing online auction business!

Unless you're an antiques and/or collectibles expert, selling used goods isn't the way you're going
to make a lot of money. This is not to say that fortunes can't be made if you have the knowledge,
it's just not as easy for the average person to build a successful business on antiques and
collectibles as it is on new merchandise. Let's say you decide that garage sales are going to be
your product source for online auctions - which is the case for some sellers. For each used item
you find, you're going to need to go through all the steps as you would for 100 (or any quantity)
new "widgets" listed in a Dutch auction. You'll need to take a picture of the product, upload the
picture, write a product description, find out how much shipping will be, and so on. Again, this is a
great way to learn the ropes, but it's no way to make efficient use of your time and resources, and
it will be very difficult trying to make your living off of selling garage sale, yard sale, and estate
sale merchandise unless you have a very well trained eye for finding great deals on items that
people will pay good money for - mainly antiques and collectibles. If that's the route you'd like to
go, not a problem... The system you're learning can be applied to any product or service you can
imagine, but the focus throughout will be on new products for the reasons I've explained.

Here's a little pointer for describing used items... Describe the item in as much detail as possible.
If there is a problem with the item, make certain you mention it. I made it very clear in the
description of the video camera I sold that the microphone was broken. Returns are a hassle, and
you'll save yourself some hassles simply by being as informative as you can about the item you're
selling. Remember, honesty is the best policy. There is no quicker, surer way to lose a customer
than by being dishonest with them. Likewise, there is no better way to keep a customer coming
back for more than by being honest and fair with them!

There is one thing that I've noticed time and time again when dealing with mail order customers -
at first, they do NOT completely trust you! Just because they've placed an order with you, and
have sent you their hard earned money doesn't mean they fully trust you yet. If a customer's order
is running a couple days behind the normal time of arrival, there is the chance you might be
contacted by a slightly upset customer. Over 95% of the time the reason this person is upset is
NOT because the package is a couple days late, but because they don't know you, and have
begun to wonder whether the package was really sent at all. In other words, they wonder if you've
simply taken their money, having never intended to fulfill the order. This is a customer service
issue. Simply reassuring your customer that the package is indeed on its way, and letting them
know when you expect it to arrive, will more often than not take care of the problem. If necessary,
you can back up your information with an item tracking number if you shipped the item through
UPS or Federal Express.

It's experiences like this that you're are going to have to learn to deal with and get used to if
you're just getting started. Here's the best way to get going... List some auctions on eBay, let
them run their course - 3 days, 5 days, 7 days, or whatever, and then fulfill the orders that you've
received off of this first group of auction listings before listing any more auctions. This way you'll
have a taste for the whole "cycle" from beginning to end.

I recommend completing this course AND my previously mentioned recommended reading

material (for beginners) before listing your first auctions.


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Drop-Shipping: The No Risk Way To a Healthy Cashflow!

If you're not familiar with drop-shipping, here's a good definition for you: It's the shipping of
merchandise from a supplier directly to your customer, to minimize your inventory and overhead
expenses. If you don't have the space and resources to house a large amount of merchandise, or
if you simply don't want the expense involved with things like renting or leasing a space, utilities,
etc., finding suppliers who will ship merchandise directly to your customers is the ideal solution.

Another big advantage to having merchandise drop-shipped rather than stocking it yourself is that
you won't get stuck with extra merchandise. You don't need any money to invest in merchandise
either - YOU ONLY PURCHASE WHAT YOU'VE ALREADY SOLD! Since most drop-shippers
allow you to purchase single items vs. items in quantity at or near wholesale cost, you can put
any number of items up for sale, collect payments from your customers, deposit the payments in
your account, and then order the merchandise from your drop-ship supplier who then ships it out
from their warehouse directly to YOUR customer. This is exactly how anyone can profit from
hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of merchandise for NO MONEY DOWN!

Drop-shipping is a very common practice by eBay sellers, and I'm sure you understand why.
Since many eBay sellers are operating out of their homes or even apartments, they don't have
the space to store a hundred leather jackets, or 500 Razor scooters. But more than a space
issue, it's an issue of convenience, and an issue of experience. (If you had to, I bet you could find
a good storage space in your home or garage to keep quite a bit of merchandise.) By having
products drop-shipped, sellers don't have to make countless trips to the post office, they don't
have to bother with packaging supplies - not to mention the packaging itself... They simply take
orders from their customers, then contact their supplier, give them the ship-to address, pay with a
check card or credit card, and that's it! They don't have to lay a finger on the actual product.
Experience comes in to play here to... Established mail-order companies have experience when it
comes to knowing where to find the right materials, the best methods of packing and shipping all
types of merchandise, the right method of delivery (USPS, UPS, Federal Express, etc.), and all
this can be intimidating for some.

I've pointed out many of the advantages of drop-shipping, but it does come with its drawbacks
too. First of all, prices typically aren't quite as good with drop-shippers as they are with other
wholesale merchandise suppliers. Drop-shippers get away with charging prices that are
sometimes a little above wholesale because of the convenience they offer to their clients (you).
Also, some drop-shippers charge a hefty membership fee that they require you to pay before you
can take advantage of their drop-shipping services or even order their merchandise direct. Some
drop-shippers will refund your membership fee after you've purchased a certain dollar amount of
items, and other offer no refund. Because drop-shipping is so convenient and risk-free, you'll find
a greater number of sellers using the same drop-ship supplier(s) as you, and therefore selling the
same exact products as you. Another disadvantage is the fact that you don't have control over
your merchandise. If one of your suppliers is running behind in the shipping department, their isn't
much you can do about it except be persistent over the phone, politely urging your supplier to get
your orders out as soon as possible! In some cases you can pay an extra rush order and/or rush
shipping fee too, but this can quickly take a toll on your bottom line if these extra charges weren't
initially passed on to your customer. For example, a $5 rush order charge and another $5 to have
an item shipped UPS 3 day select is fine if your customer agreed to pay for this prior to ordering.
But paying $10 extra out of your own pocket because your supplier is running behind is a different
story. And you don't always know when your supplier is going to run into a slow down.

Another possibility that is ultimately out of your control is when your supplier runs out of an item. It
can take days, weeks, or longer for your supplier to have that item back in stock. This is
especially common around the holidays - so much so that I would suggest changing your routine
a little bit (if all your orders are drop-shipped) by keeping a good stock of merchandise on hand
yourself around the busy holiday season. You can lessen the risk that suppliers will run out of
merchandise by running shorter auctions. You can also simply ask your supplier how long they
expect a particular item to remain in stock - if they can guarantee anything. But this is usually
unpredictable, and you'd be amazed how fast an inventory can sell out around Christmas time!
Throughout the regular season you'll get a good idea of what sells, and what type of products
make good gift items. This will aid you in determining what types and quantities of merchandise to
stock up on for the holidays! Holiday rushes are something that many, even very well established
merchants have problems dealing with. You have to predict how much you can sell, what will sell,
how quickly it will sell, and so forth. There is no rule that says you HAVE to sell around the
holidays, but this is when a large portion of your profits can be made. If you don't feel comfortable
ordering a supply of merchandise to keep in stock and to then pack and ship out yourself, you can
greatly lessen the risk of a dissatisfied customer by following a few simple suggestions... Follow
the "Honesty is the Best Policy" rule. Include in the policy section of your auction ad that "due to
the unpredictability of the holiday season, I (or we) reserve the right to void or cancel a bid or an
order in the event that an item becomes temporarily sold out, and therefore unavailable."

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Continue by stating that "if this situation should arise, winning bidders will be notified immediately,
and customer payments that have already been issued and/or processed will be refunded
immediately, and in full." Can a statement like this reduce the number of bids you receive on an
item? Possibly. But most people are aware of the effects that holidays have on merchants, and
will see this as a professional presentation of your policies, and the type of business you conduct.
If possible let your customer know that an item has run out of stock BEFORE payment has been
sent. If payment was already sent on an out of stock item, refund the customer's money
immediately, explain the situation, and don't forget a sincere apology. Be certain to keep in close
contact with your supplier and get daily updates on the status of the products you are auctioning.
If an item runs out of stock before your auction is over, you can cancel your bidders' bids and end
the auction early. Your bidders will be unable to leave you negative feedback that way, but you
don't want to make a habit of doing this. Another suggestion (although potentially a little risky):
Call your supplier as soon as your auction has ended and (if your supplier allows it) pre-pay for
the number of items that you've received bids on... You can then have your supplier ship orders
out as you receive payments from your winning bidders. Request either in the ad or after the
auction that payment must be received within 5 days after receiving your after auction payment
instructions (shorter time than normally allowed), to lessen the possibility that the item will run out
of stock. As mentioned earlier, running 3 day auctions will also reduce the risk of this happening.
The whole idea here is, again, to avoid a dissatisfied customer. The best way to guarantee a
happy customer is to have the merchandise in your possession, and therefore in your control. If
you list items for auction that are sold out before you have a chance to fulfill your winning bidders'
orders, no matter what you say or do, people may assume you were selling merchandise you
didn't have. Following my suggestions will do a lot of good, but will not absolutely guarantee you a
"complaint free" holiday season. Around the holidays in particular, I'm personally more
comfortable with having the merchandise that I'm listing for sale in hand - and in my control!

Drop shippers often charge an extra handling fee for small orders - and most drop-shipped orders
are small. This extra handling fee, or drop-shipping fee usually ranges anywhere from $1 to $5. If
it's a couple bucks or less, add this fee in with your customer's shipping charge. If it's more than
that, you'll want to consider dividing it up - add a couple bucks to your shipping charge, and a
couple bucks to the price of your item. If you're a good, regular customer you can request that
your supplier wave their drop-ship fee altogether. They may wave the fee or they may not, but it's
worth asking. The worst they can say is "no"!

There's a very simple routine I go through when listing merchandise by a drop-ship supplier. Right
before putting up the auction I make a phone call to the supplier and check the stock of the items
I'm putting up for auction. This is something you MUST do as a responsible seller. Don't just
assume that a particular item is in stock. I ask specific questions about the quantity of items in
stock as well as how long the supplier expects the item to remain in stock. I don't always get a
concrete answer, but it's helpful when I do. Some suppliers have quantities listed on their web
sites, or at least indicate whether an item is in stock or out of stock, which can save you a phone

If you're unfamiliar with a supplier, ask for a catalog if one is offered. Find out if the supplier has a
web site with product pictures that you can use for your ads. Find out what the drop-shipping fee,
or extra handling fee is, and when it applies. Carefully read the suppliers policies on shipping,
returns, warranties, and such. Find out how soon your orders normally leave the warehouse...
within 24 hours? 48 hours? And does the shipping department occasionally run behind schedule
or are they always right on time? Does the supplier drop-ship to U.S. destinations only? Or do
they ship to certain international destinations as well? Check to make sure that you're supplier
offers "blind" drop shipping - you want to make sure that your supplier's company name doesn't
appear on YOUR customers packages. Almost all suppliers understand this and therefore offer
blind drop shipping as a standard. Since you may end up with several suppliers, or even dozens
of suppliers, be sure to save notes concerning policies, supplier requirements, and other pertinent
information for each supplier.

Now I'm going to give you the best drop-ship suppliers in the business! These are the drop-
shippers used by a large number of sellers on eBay and other online auctions... the suppliers that
they don't want you to know about. Wholesale directories have been selling well for quite some
time on eBay, but suppliers such as these are in most cases coveniently excluded:

Probably the most widely used - and one of the best - drop-ship suppliers is the "Specialty
Merchandise Corporation". Their web site address is They carry thousands of
gifts, collectibles, toys, novelty items, and more. But here's the drawback to "SMC"... you'll need
to shell out $300 to become a member, which is required to purchase merchandise at wholesale
and below prices. However, SMC has some of the lowest prices you'll find anywhere, and they do
refund your membership fee after you've purchased $5,000 in merchandise from them. Their
order fulfillment can be a little on the slow side - it has taken up to two weeks for some of my
customers to receive there SMC merchandise. SMC offers a beautiful, full color catalog that you
can send out to your customers with your company name or USER I.D. printed on the catalog.

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Another nice benefit to becoming an SMC member is that have product pictures available on the
"members only" area of their web site. You won't have to bother with the time consuming process
of scanning and uploading product pictures - a huge time saver! If you've got some cash to invest,
I do recommend that you make SMC one of your suppliers, and they are one of the best! By the
way, SMC offers a membership fee payment plan to lessen the blow of the rather hefty fee.

Another GREAT drop-ship supplier is Maxam Wholesale, at You'll want to

order one of their FREE color catalogs right away. But call them at 912-386-5910 rather than
filling out the catalog request form on the web site. It is pretty obvious that they don't invest much
time in web site maintenance and development... I've filled out their online catalog request form
twice, and twice I have not received a catalog until I made a phone call. Maxam has some
excellent quality products, some that I've sold with great success on eBay and through's auctions. Maxam does have a rather high drop shipment charge of $5, and I
haven't convinced them to wave this fee for me yet. So I split this fee up by tacking several dollars
onto my shipping & handling charge, and the rest onto my sale price for the item. Also, Maxam's
prices are low, but could be even lower. Becoming a member of Maxam Wholesale is absolutely
free! Unfortunately Maxam doesn't have product pictures on their web site, so you'll have to put
your scanner to use, and spend some time uploading pictures. But with the wide variety of high
quality products that Maxam offers, along with the free membership and free catalog, I highly
recommend you add Maxam Wholesale to your list of top suppliers.

Here's a rather unique supplier you'll want to add to your list... Premier Closeouts is the name of
the company and their website is at Premier is a little different than most other
drop-ship wholesale suppliers in that they offer closeout merchandise. Closeout products are
those that have been discontinued or have been replaced by updated models, or which didn't
entirely sell out. Retail merchants have various ways of getting rid of closeout merchandise to
make way for fresher merchandise. They have clearance, or closeout sales, selling off products at
greatly reduced prices. Or, they sell their excess merchandise to closeout companies such as
Premier Closeouts that purchase bulk quantities of product at prices that are often below standard
wholesale. Premier offers a variety of mostly electronics merchandise. Their prices are pretty
good, right around what wholesale cost would have originally been. Premier's web site is
excellent... A very simple layout which makes browsing products and placing orders a pleasure.
Anyone can buy products from Premier. There is no membership fee or anything of that nature.
You can copy and use the product pictures and information right off of Premier's web site for your
ads. Quantities of each item are indicated under the product description, and these quantities are
updated automatically when someone places an order. Premier's shipping department is one of
the best that I've experienced. Always very prompt, orders are sent out within 24 hours after the
order was placed. Even around the holidays Premier is very good at getting orders out fast - very
rarely more than 48 hours after having placed the order. With all these benefits you might wonder
if there's a downside... Due to the nature of the closeout business, items that run out of stock can
run out for good. Some of Premier's products are reordered and become available again after the
first "batch" sells out, but with other products, once they're gone, they're gone. This means having
to replace a successful product that becomes unavailable by finding another product to sell in it's
place... You'll have to make up a new ad, upload a new product picture, and so forth. But Premier
seems to have a knack for finding products that sell well not only on eBay, but just about
anywhere. A highly recommended supplier - and a great way to begin selling NOW!

Salco International is one of the top sources for "As Seen On TV Products". You know, Ginsu
Knives, Tap Lights, Oxyfresh, etc. You'll find good, wholesale prices on their growing product
inventory. Check out their web site and for full details. Salco gives you the option of
ordering products in certain minimum quantities to be sent directly to you. Or, for an annual
membership fee of $99.95 you can become a member of their "Singles Club". As a member of the
Singles Club you can take advantage of Salco's drop shipping service, where there are no
quantity requirements to meet. As with SMC, order fulfillment can be a little slow with Salco.
Salco's web site is also very slow. But their web site does include product pictures and
information for your use. As a member you'll have access to the inventory status of each product,
but I don't feel they update it enough. I would still recommend calling to ensure a particular item is
in stock before putting it up for sale yourself. There is money to be made with As Seen On TV
Products, so keep Salco International in mind as an option.

DBL Distributing ( is a great drop-shipping, wholesale supplier of electronics

and electronics accessories. Unlike Premier Closeout, they are a true wholesaler, so their product
stock is replenishable - not gone forever! DBL is a bit picky about who they let in. You really have
to present a professional appearance to become a dealer of their merchandise, and they only sell
to those serving the consumer electronics industry. If this is the niche you intend to go after, put
DBL near the top of your list. They have a neat inventory tracking feature that they email out to
their dealers every morning, so that you have a completely up to date record of DBL's product
inventory. A very nice feature indeed. DBL carries a wide selection of merchandise, ranging from
accessories such as cords and connectors, to VCR's, DVD players, and even big screen TV's!
There is no fee for becoming a dealer of DBL Distributing's products, but you'll need to complete
an application which will need to be reviewed and approved before you can start selling.

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Check out "", the home on the web of Melvin Powers and Wilshire Book Company,
to find out how you can become a dealer of their great selection of how-to and self-improvement
books. Many of the books they supply are best sellers. Books are always an excellent mail-order
product. One of the best selling publications on the Internet is the American Drop-Shippers
Directory, and it's available through Melvin Powers' Wilshire Book Company. If you want a great
resource for hundreds of companies that offer drop-shipping, you can pick up this directory for
around $10... You can find a drop-ship supplier for just about any type of product you can
imagine. Research each prospective company thoroughly before doing business with them. You
can check with the Better Business Bureau to find out if any complaints about the company have
been filed.

And by the way, be aware that some drop-shipping companies are simply "sub-wholesalers"...
Sub-wholesalers get their merchandise from other true wholesalers, which they then mark-up a
small percentage and sell to retail merchandisers (people like you and I). Often sub-wholesalers
use suppliers who drop-ship, because mark-ups are low and the typical sub-wholesaler cannot
afford the overhead costs involved with leasing warehouse space and such. There is nothing
unethical or illegal with sub-wholesaling. You're basically just acting as a broker between
wholesalers and retailers. You're picking up a small fee for marketing the wholesaler's products
(which you usually present as your own products) to your retail buyer/customer. Once you have a
solid list of wholesale sources sub-wholesaleing is something you may choose to consider. The
idea is to sell larger quantities of items at lower mark-ups to the reseller. There's nothing wrong
with auctioning "lots" or "batches" of a certain quantity of products. In fact, it can be very
profitable, and you're saving order processing time because your shipping 100 products (for
example) to 1 individual instead of 100 products to 100 different individuals such as in retailing.
You can target other online auction sellers and web store owners and become their supplier! But
the reason I brought the subject of sub-wholesalers up is so that you can be alert to finding the
REAL wholesalers, or as close to the DIRECT source as possible, rather than going through a
sub-wholesaler. But you have to pay close attention to the details because some sub-wholesalers
go along way to appear as the original source. They obviously know that if you discover THEIR
supplier, you'll most often have no reason to continue purchasing through them. Knowledge is
power, and it's no different here. I'm giving you the knowledge you need to find the best, lowest
priced sources on the planet for just about any type of product out there.


Vitamin Power: @ Vitamin Power offers the opportunity to become a

dealer of their high quality line of vitamin, herbs, and diet products. The nice thing about
consumable products such as vitamins is that once you develop a customer base you can count
on repeat sales from your customers. Building a customer base is the primary goal of your mail
order business. The real profits come as you send out new offers to your established customer
base, and/or as THEY return to YOU to replenish their supply of your product!

The Mellinger Company: @ Click on the "Wholesale Imports" link to view
their nice line of products!

Leibermans: @ A massive selection of top art prints and posters. This company
carries everything from Michael Jordan to Michaelangelo paintings and wall posters, and - of
course - they drop-ship!

National Wholesale Company: @ Wholesale supplier of name brand

electronics and sub-wholesaler of SMC's products.

Now that I've given you the absolute best drop-shipping sources available, you should thoroughly
check each one out, order their catalogs, browse their web-sites, and get more familiar with the
types of products and services these companies offer. With these drop-ship suppliers at your
"disposal", you're already a big step ahead of most other online auction sellers... Just think, in as
much space as it takes to set up your computer and an extra phone, you can run a successful
mail order/online auction business!


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Wholesale - and Far Below - Sources UNCENSORED!


I'm going to start this manual out with a bang by giving you the top two wholesale/closeout trade
publications in the country. If you're familiar with them already, great! If not, you need to
SERIOUSLY consider getting a subscription to AT LEAST one of them. The types of product
suppliers you'll find in these two publications are where many successful dollar stores, flea
marketers, mail order companies, online stores, and other re-sellers find their merchandise!

If you're looking for ROCK BOTTOM PRICES, you'll find them here... "Wholesale Merchandise"
magazine(Phone 323-663-6900 Fax 323-663-7927) and the "Closeout News" (Phone 323-525-
2527 Fax 323-525-2531). If you're on a tight budget right now you can order a sample of the
latest issue, and because each issue contains contact information for dozens of the top wholesale
and closeout companies in the country, you can contact these companies directly... Request a
catalog if available, and to be placed on their mailing list, or their faxed or emailed "hot list". Since
the inventory of closeout companies is constantly changing, they often have hot lists of their latest
products and product specials rather than catalogs. By contacting a good number of these
companies and requesting catalogs and/or hot lists, you'll never have a shortage of "wholesale
and below" merchandise again!

In addition to requesting catalogs and hot lists, you'll also want to look for web addresses in the
publications' ads, or request them over the phone. Not every company has a web site address,
and some don't offer as much information as you'll want... Certain companies only list SOME of
their products on their web sites, so don't simply assume that because some products are shown,
they're ALL there. Also, you'll want to get the latest special offers and special discounts and soon
as possible, and these offers are not always posted on a company's web site. Imagine, if you're a
closeout company whose merchandise changes from day to day and from week to week, trying to
keep a web site up to date! What a nightmare! That's one of the main reasons some closeout
companies don't have web sites at all, and others that do have sites that leave much to be

As you're building your list of suppliers, keep a list of which suppliers you've requested catalogs
and hot lists from, along with contact and web address information for each.

When subscribing to these two publications (or other, related publications) you can pay a little
extra to get the publication sent via priority mail, and I recommend doing so. It's worth an extra
$10-15 to have "first dibs" at the great deals and special offers you'll find in each issue. Some
deals are so hot that they sell out in a matter of days, and if you have to wait several days longer
for your issue to arrive, that may be too late!


If you're the type of person who likes the idea of actually seeing and feeling what you are buying,
and want to receive the lowest of low prices (these prices can make so called dirt-cheap prices
seem exorbitant) you'll want to become a regular attendee of "wholesale dealer auctions".
Wholesale dealer auctions can include a wide variety of general merchandise - new general
merchandise. Product is brought in from various sources such as manufacturers, importers, and
wholesalers, and is often priced at unbelievably deep discounts... I'm not talking discounts on
retail price! I'm talking about deep discounts on wholesale cost or the cost of manufacturing!

In addition to completely brand new, untouched merchandise, you'll often find pallet loads of
returned merchandise at dealer auctions... As a general rule, unless you're very experienced with
returned merchandise, stay away from it. Many product returns are defective and are no longer
working (or never worked in the first place) or are missing instructions, small parts, accessories,
and similar items.

I suggest you attend an auction once without doing any serious bidding just to get an idea of how
the bidding process works and so forth. When you're ready for the serious bidding, get to the
auction several hours early to look over what's available, and make sure you bring enough cash
as not all auction houses except checks or credit cards. Also, before attending a wholesale dealer
auction, do your homework in finding out pricing and costs of related products so that you can
reference these when determining what your bidding limits will be. That in itself is another great
reason to subscribe to the trade magazines I recommend. By browsing through the ads and
getting familiar with products and pricing, you'll be well equipped to make informed bidding
decisions when at wholesale dealer auctions. Just like online auctions, the bidding price at dealer
auctions can go higher than what the product is actually worth, especially if you're bidding against
others who are not as informed as you'll be... If you really want to go all out, bring a laptop along

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with you and after browsing an auction beforehand to see what's being offered, jump online and
check out the current prices for similar items on eBay. You'll be the most informed bidder in

There is no real secret to finding wholesale dealer auctions, although they are not widely
publicized. Look under "auction houses" in your phone book or with the online yellow pages. Or
try the state "Auction Commission" and inquire about possible wholesale dealer auctions in your
area, or where the nearest auctions of this type are held. There is no guarantee you'll find
wholesale dealer auctions in your area, so be prepared to put your most comfortable driving
shoes on. To save yourself a long, wasted trip, call ahead and find out what type of merchandise
is being offered, as well as the expected quantity of merchandise being brought in - in terms of
how many truckloads, how many different suppliers, or whatever information you can gather.

One important rule to follow at ANY auction, or any sale of any kind for that matter, is this: don't
buy stuff just for the fact that it's incredibly cheap! There is plenty of merchandise out there better
suited for the recycle bin or garbage dumpster! That's why I stress being well prepared by doing
your homework before buying up a bunch of stuff that you'll eventually end up paying somebody
else to haul away!

If you've spent much time at all on eBay, you've probably noticed some prices that make your
mouth hang wide open? You wonder how in the world it could be worthwhile and profitable selling
merchandise at "that" price? Wonder no longer, because I've just given you the answer in
wholesale dealer auctions.


You already got all the information you'll ever need when it comes to the best wholesale product
resources, but I'm going to give you even more! The sources you'll find in the recommended trade
publications, the amazing deals you'll find at wholesale dealer auctions, and the following sources
will take you from the amateur leagues to the big leagues in a hurry. Don't let this information go
to waste - act on it!

I'm going to now share with you some of the wholesale and closeout sources that I've either dealt
with myself or those of which I've heard good reports on from others. Some of these sources
you'll find in the Closeout News or Wholesale Merchandise magazine, and of those I've picked
out a few of the best. I've also included some little known sources that you should find


If you subscribe to the Closeout News I'm sure you'll notice advertisements for QVC liquidations
but I thought I'd throw in some information for you right away... What happens to extra
merchandise that QVC doesn't sell on the air... At least in part, it's liquidated by the pallet to
businesses who qualify for QVC's liquidation program. I've not personally ordered any of QVC's
closeout merchandise, but I hear good things from the people who do. Call 610-701-8117 to find
out more information about QVC's closeout merchandise, or go to


Go to for a variety of very unique and interesting products. There you'll
find many of the manufacturers who advertise in The Good Catalog Company's catalog - one of
the most popular mail-order catalogs in the country!


Where do wholesale companies like Maxam Wholesale get their merchandise from... Many
IMPORT goods at ultra low prices from other countries. The cost of labor is lower (than the U.S.)
in many foreign countries, so the cost of manufacturing is reduced considerably. For a massive
database of Asian suppliers and manufacturers go to (the
"HOME.HTM" must be in caps). Although it's possible to IMPORT merchandise at below
wholesale prices, there are risks involved particularly if you're not experienced. To learn more
about importing as well as exporting (it's good to know both sides of the coin), I recommend
reading "Building an Import/Export Business, 2nd Edition" by Kenneth D. Weiss, available through Once you've thoroughly researched the topic and have sufficient money to invest,
YOU could eventually become a supplier of online merchants and auction sellers! You'll be
advertising in "Wholesale Merchandise" rather than looking for merchandise to resell!

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If information products are your specialty, you can have copyright searches done on a particular
publication to see if the copyright has expired. If it has, you're free to copy the publication in whole
or in part, in any form you want, even under your own name!

Check out the thousands of informative government publications for the purpose of copying and
selling too... There are no copyrights on government publications!


In addition to finding wholesale products by first finding a wholesale or closeout source and then
selecting products that offer, you can do it the other way around - by finding a product you'd like
to sell and then locating the source for that product...

Once in a while you can find an eBay seller's product source simply by right-clicking with your
mouse on the product picture in the ad (if included), clicking on properties, and viewing the image
address. The image address is simply where the product is located on the web, the same as a
web site address... Each picture you see on the web has to be stored somewhere, and for each
storage space there is an address. Here's an example of a picture address I found on eBay:
"". I can tell by the address that this
picture of Ginsu knives is being "hosted" or stored by "". So I have found out where
this particular seller probably stores most of his or her product pictures, but in this case I haven't
found out the supplier of the Ginsu knives. But sometimes a seller will use the product picture
address directly off of the manufacturer's web site or the supplier's web site. Here's an example of
that: "" is the address of a picture you'll find at, the web site of the Mellinger Company, a wholesale supplier of a wide variety of
products. So any time you come across a product on eBay that you'd like to sell yourself, you
might get a little lucky in finding the supplier just by right clicking on the product picture.

I would suggest that you NOT use images directly off of your supplier's web site for your own
auction ads as you don't want your potential competion finding your supplier in the way I just
described. But you can save yourself some potential uploading time by using the images directly
off of the web site of your product's manufacturer, if available. As part of listing your products on
eBay (or another online auction site), you need to enter the address of your product picture.
Rather than using the image address of a product image that you've uploaded to an image
hosting service such as, just enter the image address of the manufacturer's web
site picture. Before you do any of this, be sure to email the product manufacturer and request
permission to use their product images, or you could be held liable for copyright infringement.

One of the most common ways that I use to find product suppliers is simply by searching the
web... Just the other day I ran across a diet product that had quite a few bids on it. The product
was called "Extreme Power Plus". Because I was interested in finding the supplier of this product,
I did a search using Microsoft Internet Explorer under "Extreme Power Plus" - I used quotes
around the search criteria so that the results would turn up listing for "Extreme Power Plus" as a
whole vs. the words extreme + power + plus. (Putting your search criteria in quotes really helps
narrow down the search results and therefore can help you pinpoint what you're looking for much
more quickly.) After the search was complete, I clicked on the first listing. The web site I was
taken to turned out to be that of a distributor. On the same web site however, I learned that
Extreme Power Plus was an MLM product, similar to "Metabolife", and was manufactured by a
company called "Dutch International Products, Inc.". I wasn't satisfied with just finding one of the
many distributors of Extreme Power Plus, so I tried another simple search technique by typing
"" in my web address bar - figuring that
"dutchinternationalproductsinc" is impractical and too long when it comes to web addresses.
BINGO! My first try was a success! So in about five minutes of research I had all the information I
needed were I to decide to become a reseller of this product... Extreme Power Plus, an all natural
dietary product, manufactured by Dutch International Products, a multi-level marketing company
who's web site address is In addition, I found that Dutch
International Products also manufactures several other products that I've noticed selling on eBay!
Check out when searching for product suppliers. Dogpile "fetches" the results
of many search engines for you all at once. When entering potential web addresses of product
suppliers in your address bar, don't forget to try ".net" in addition to ".com", and different
combinations of the words, with and without hyphens, and so forth.

If you've found the manufacturer of a product, you haven't necessarily found YOUR supplier.
Manufacturer's sometimes go through distributors, who purchase large quantities of product and
distribute them to the reseller or retailer. But once you've found the manufacturer, you can simply
give them a call to find the distributor nearest you. So when searching for a particular product,
your primary goal is finding the manufacturer first. If in the process of looking for the manufacturer

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you find a distributor first - great!

Here is yet another simple method of finding the manufacturer of a product... You can walk into
just about any retail store and come away with a list of manufacturers for the products sold in that
store. First check the product packaging for the name of the manufacturer, and the
manufacturer's location (city and state). Usually, this info. is on the outside of the product
package, but if not, it may be necessary to purchase the item to obtain the info. Look inside on
the product itself, in the instructions, or on other miscellaneous pamphlets or information included
with the product. Once you've got the name and location of the manufacturer, you've got all the
information you really need... Call information, give the operator the name and location of the
manufacturer, and you've got your number! (If you're asked for the city area code and don't have
it - here is a little trick for finding it: Using the Internet White Pages, under the search criteria enter
a very common name such as "John Anderson", along with the name of the city and state in
which the manufacturer is located, and the search results will give you a list of numbers for all the
John Anderson's in that area - area code included!) Once you have the manufacturer's number,
call them up, give them your name and the name of your company, and express your interest in
becoming a reseller of their products, and what the next step is in finding out how to do so. They'll
either tell you what they require or tell you that you have to contact the distributor in your area.
Ask the manufacturer or distributor for any information in the form of catalogs, price lists, dealer
packages, or brochures that they could send out to you. Also, be sure you get a web site address
if available.

Even if the product you'd like to sell is one that you saw online, call around to find out if a retailer
in your area sells that particular product - and chances are excellent that you'll find one.

There is no guarantee with any supplier that you can automatically start selling their products.
Many people figure they're doing suppliers a big favor when they make the request to become a
dealer, but that is just not the case. Some suppliers have strict policies and so forth that may
disallow you from becoming a dealer. For example, my wife is a consultant (distributor/dealer) of
"Creative Memories", a multi-level scrapbooking supplies company. Creative Memories strictly
prohibits anyone from selling their products online. They even have personnel that conduct
searches on the Internet and on popular auction sites such as eBay to make sure their policies
are not being violated.

It's not uncommon for suppliers to request that you send them pictures of your physical storefront
in order to qualify as a dealer of their merchandise. They don't want mail-order and online
companies undercutting the prices of their established brick-and-mortar retailers. So don't be
surprised when your dealer application is rejected because you're an online dealer. But don't be
too disappointed either. There are plenty of other suppliers out there, and most likely there are
other suppliers of the same or similar merchandise that you want to sell. Don't give up the first
time you're turned down... When I first became interested in selling hobby products online, one of
my first tasks of course was finding a supplier. I quickly learned that buying directly from
manufacturers was not the way things were done in the hobby industry. So my task became
finding a suitable hobby distributor. Through a manufacturer's web site I found a list of the top
hobby distributors in the nation. I printed out this list and highlighted the distributors that seemed
most promising - the ones that carried the type of hobby merchandise I was most interested in
selling. Out of at least a dozen distributors I contacted, just two of them were willing to sell to an
online business. One of these two distributors initially sent me a dealer application that requested
storefront pictures, and pictures of product inventory. Instead of tossing the application in the
garbage (because I didn't have a storefront), I called the owner of the company and briefly
discussed my plans for an online hobby store. The owner ended up going against his standard
policy in granting me permission to become an authorized dealer! Because I was persistent and
followed through on my goal of finding the right suppliers for my hobby business, I opened up an
opportunity that I would not have had otherwise. One more point to mention when dealing with
company policies and such... Don't "pack your bags and travel back home" when you run into
your first obstacle, or hear your first no. This is extremely important. There may be a locked door
standing between you and your goal, but you can often find the right combination to get through if
you keep trying. For example, in my experience with the hobby distribution company, if I'd talked
to an employee about becoming a dealer, I very likely would have been turned down. The
company policies would have been cited, and that would have been it for most people. But I like
going straight to the top if possible - to the people who WRITE the policies, and have the ability to
CHANGE the policies. That's why I went straight to the owner of the hobby distributor. If you're
not able to talk directly with the owner at first, don't give up just because you're given some
discouraging news by a salesperson or someone else... It sometimes amazes me the difference
in information I'll get just by calling a company back and speaking with a different person. When it
comes to your business dealings, don't stop at the first "no" you hear (just don't tell your kids


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Professional Product Presentation and Killer Advertising


In the world of mail-order, the right ad is everything! You can turn a very mediocre product into a
very lucrative one - with the right ad. On the other hand, an outstanding product will go relatively
nowhere with a poorly written ad. Using the methods in this chapter you'll be able to take a
product that other sellers have not had success with, and turn it into one of your best money
makers. You'll be able to take a good ad and make it even better. You'll be able to duplicate the
results of a great ad with an original one of your own!

The nice thing about eBay as a selling venue is that there's really no limit to how much
information you can include in your ad. Unlike magazine advertising, you're not spending a small
fortune just to include a few sentences of information about your product. This is part of the
reason the eBay selling venue is so effective. Take advantage of the freedom eBay gives you
when it comes to creating your ad. You don't have to exclude one bit of useful information.


There are many poorly written ads on eBay. But there are also some very creative and incredibly
effective ads as well. I've noticed a common denominator amongst the auctions that receive the
most bids and are the most successful; for the most part, the most successful auctions are those
with ads that have obviously taken some time and experience to create. Earlier I discussed using
the copycat technique in product selection, and mentioned that as you go about choosing
products to sell, you should examine and research the details of successful auctions and their
ads. In addition to using the copycat technique to find proven products, you can benefit by using it
to create your ads for those products as well. You can't, of course, copy an ad word for word, but
you CAN copy the ideas, techniques, and selling strategies used by the seller. A successful
auction ad (or any successful ad) represents a workable combination of elements. These
elements are the ideas, techniques, and selling strategies used in the ad. If the right combination
of elements for a particular product ad already exists, why try to create another ad from scratch?

So what types of elements can you copy? Item price, shipping price, shipping method, type of
auction, category, ad layout, special auction listing options such as highlighting the item
description or featuring an item, facts about the product (facts have no copyright), the kind of
content included in the ad (for example, testimonials or suggestions on how to use the product),
key descriptive words used throughout the ad, which day of the week the auction was listed, the
time of day the auction was listed, the duration of the auction, payment methods excepted, the
meaning or feeling conveyed by the ad's text, the font used, the background color of the page...
Are you beginning to see how incredibly useful and profitable the copycat technique can be?

Again, you don't want to duplicate someone's work word for word. I would not even suggest you
come close. But thanks to the diversity of the English language, you can essentially say the same
thing, or convey the same message or idea, in a different way - using different words.

You can project the same thoughts, emotions, and information from someone else's ad into your
own, as long as you do not duplicate the ad directly. There are most often many different ways to
get the same point across, or "many different routes to the same destination". (If you were paying
close attention, you'll realize that I just repeated my point to you but phrased it differently!)

Copycatting successful ads is one of the most effective "training methods" you can follow in
learning to write powerful ads of your own from scratch. Even if you already consider yourself a
proficient copywriter, you'll occasionally pick up new ideas from browsing through other seller's

The copycat technique has nothing to do with violating copyrights and trademarks! To make
certain you are not in violation of copyright or trademark law, go to eBay's help page and do a
search under "copyrights". They provide some basic information on the subject, as well as links to
other resources you can check out if you have further questions.


Sales letters serve as a very thorough and effective example of ad copy, and I'm going to show
you how to create one step by step! Once you have the knowledge to write an effective sales
letter, you have most of what it takes to write any type of ad (such as a classified or display ad).

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You need to formulate the foundation of an effective sales letter - and an effective business for
that matter -by researching the desires, habits, needs, hobbies, and absolutely EVERYTHING
you can find out about your prospective customers. Thoroughly get to know the type of people
you are writing and marketing to, and you'll be much more effective in presenting your product (or
service) in a way that's appealing to them. A great way to get to know your eBay customers is by
spending time on eBay's community message boards, interacting with regular buyers and sellers
to learn more about their interests on and off eBay.

Before you can begin writing your sales letter, you'll need to determine the primary benefit of your
product. If you've been selling a particular product for a while, you can simply ASK your
customers what they like best about the product. If you're starting out with a new product, ask
others why they would (or wouldn't) purchase it.

Step 1) Your first step in writing the ultimate sales letter is putting what you've determined to be
your NUMBER ONE benefit in the form of a provocative headline. The purpose of your headline is
to create curiosity or desire - TO STIR UP EMOTION - within the prospective customer to read
on... On eBay, this headline can serve as your one-line item description.

Here are a few examples of effective headlines:




Avoid yes or no questions in your headline. Use headlines that are thought provoking or arouse

Step 2) Open the main body of your letter with a short, potent paragraph or a sentence that
reinforces the headline, and "hooks" the prospective customer into reading further. Summarize
how you are going to deliver the benefit you've promised in your headline.

Here's an example of a headline followed by a powerful opening paragraph:


OPENING PARAGRAPH: Create your very own, custom software/information product and have it
ready to be instantly "delivered" to your customers... All in about the same amount of time it takes
to read this letter!

I sometimes open with a short story to draw my readers in. If it's interesting enough, and relates
to your product's main benefit, a story can be THE most effective hook of all.

Step 3) Once you've got your reader anxious to read every last word you've written, begin
bombarding them with a good strong list of the emotional and/or problem solving benefits of your
offer. List ALL the features of your product and ALL the benefits of those features. I like to find
similar sales letters to the products I'm selling and see what types of benefits they list. I often find
benefits that apply to my product, and that I can add to my list by re-wording the sentence or
phrase. You can effectively list your benefits in the form of bullet points.

Step 4) After your features and benefits, or as part of your features and benefits, demonstrate
why your product is better than the competition's. To build credibility with the reader, describe
some of the competitor's products and why they are inferior to yours. Your readers will ask
themselves why they should select your product over your competitors product. So the idea is to
build your product up while discrediting other products, thereby making your product stand out as
the "clear choice". Think of it as creating a "margin" between your product and competing
products. The wider the margin (of superiority), the better. If it's not feasible to marginalize on a
product to product basis, you should be able to minimally create a contrast between you and your
competitors' products in general. For example, "Our line of products is better than you'll find
anywhere else because..." and list as many reasons as you can come up with. As an eBay seller
you could generalize even further (only if necessary) by stating why you're a "better eBay seller
than the rest". But generally, the more specific you are, the better, as long as your comparison's
are "punchy" - or short and to the point - and not boring to the reader.

Further differentiate your product from competing products with a "USP", or "unique selling

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proposition"... This is similar to the main benefit of your product, but you'll possibly need to dig
even a little deeper to find your USP. Find what is unique about your product OR the way your
product is offered. Mention this unqiue aspect several times throughout the sales letter. Can you
still have a USP if you're selling the same item as someone else? Sure you can! Again - it's a
unique SELLING proposition, not a unique product proposition. More often than not, it's not the
product that's unique but the way that product is offered. Including a USP is not only critical in
your ad copy... It's also important in your overall business. What is unique about your business
that makes it stand out? What's your niche?

Step 5) Next, continue to establish credibility. The best way to do this is through testimonials, or
referrals from satisfied customers. Your testimonials should be specific, and reinforce the benefits
that you listed. If you're starting out with a new product and don't have testimonials, you could
possible send out free product samples in exchange for honest testimonials. This works well with
information products, which are relatively inexpensive to produce. Otherwise, you could include
quotes from your feedback profile, or at minimum a link to your feedback profile until you have
specific testimonials about a product.

Step 6) After you've established credibility - and there's no such thing as too much credibility -
create a sense of urgency in the reader. You can do this in a variety of ways... A "special, limited
time offer" is one of the most common ways. For example, "You must act fast as these won't last
long at this incredible price!" or "Order within the next 30 minutes and I'll throw in this special
bonus absolutely FREE!"

Step 7) At this point you'll hopefully have your prospective customer nearly ready to order, but
now it's time to "set the hook": Include one or two (or as many as you want) free bonuses to
customers or winning bidders. Ebay doesn't allow bonuses that are contingent on reaching a
certain bid price or bidding on a certain quantity of items (in the case of a Dutch auction for
example)... The exception to this rule is that you may offer discounts on shipping, or free shipping
for multiple items purchased... Shipping bonuses of this sort can be VERY effective in
encouraging multiple item purchases. Make your non-shipping related bonuses unconditional by
offering them to all winning bidders regardless of bid price of quantity bid on. Be sure to include
bonuses whenever possible, as your sales will increase as a result... Sometimes bonuses are
more appealing to people than the main product!

Step 8) Next, throw in a strong "risk reversing" guarantee - and make it stand out. Take away
your customers' risk by offering the most powerful guarantee you can back up. If it's a thirty day
money back guarantee, great! But if you can stand behind a "double your money back"
guarantee, even better! Here's a guarantee for you: NOT having a solid customer guarantee on
your products or services will cost you business!

Step 9) Before asking the prospective customer to take action, summarize everything you've
presented in your sales letter thus far. Give the reader a "mind's eye view" of owning, using,
enjoying, and benefiting from the product you're selling. Ideally, you want to convey an emotion or
feeling within the reader that he (or she) "can't live without this product!"

Step 10) Finally, it's time for the most important part of the letter - the call to action. ASK the
prospective customer to place the order. On eBay this is simply a matter of including a "PLACE
YOUR BID NOW!" phrase near or at the end of your auction ad. In addition to asking for the
order, EXPLAIN exactly how to go about placing the order. The easier you make it for people to
place orders with you, the more business you'll receive. In your eBay ads, this means including a
brief section about the cost of shipping & handling, the types of payment you accept, your
policies, and other related information you may need to include.

Step 11) After closing the letter, it's a good idea to include a "P.S."... In the P.S. you can once
again summarize the strongest benefit of your product, reiterate your guarantee, offer a final
bonus... Include whatever you feel will remove any last inkling of doubt or reservation your reader
may have about ordering.

There are exceptions to every sales letter rule, but you'll want to stick pretty close with the sales
writing formula I've just given you. This is a formula that WORKS, plain and simple, and only once
you've mastered the basics would I advise experimentation.


Make your sales letter personal, using the word "YOU" throughout.

Keep the majority of your sentences short.

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Use short paragraphs and separate each with a line of space.

Use attention grabbing subheadings when you change subjects, such as before your bonuses
(i.e., "Here are 30 more good reasons why you need this product!"), before your testimonials (i.e.,
"Don't take just my word for it, look what others are saying..."), before your guarantee (i.e., "You
have nothing to lose and EVERYTHING to gain!"), before your bonuses (i.e., "Get these exciting
FREE bonuses, alone worth over $150, by ordering now!"), and so forth. Put your headlines and
subheadings in bold and in a larger font than the rest of the text.

Use exclamation points (!) where fitting to make your point strong!

Make the most important words and phrases stand out by putting them in bold, in color (red or
blue), underlining, in italics, or in caps (don't use all caps throughout your letter).

If in doubt of which colors to use for the background and text of your ad or sales letter, you can't
go wrong with black text on a white background.

Always do a spell check, to look professional and credible.

Follow the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid) principle when designing the layout for your ad or
sales letter (this applies to web sites too!).


Absolutely.. Amazing.. Approved.. Attractive.. Authentic..

Bargain...Beautiful.. Better.. Big.. Colorful.. Colossal..
Complete.. Confidential.. Crammed.. Delivered.. Direct..
Discount.. Easily.. Endorsed.. Enormous.. Excellent.. Exciting..
Exclusive.. Expert.. Famous.. Fascinating.. Fortune.. Free.. Full..
Genuine.. Gift.. Gigantic.. Greatest.. Guaranteed.. Helpful..
Highest.. Huge.. Immediately.. Improved.. Informative..
Instructive.. Interesting.. Largest.. Latest.. Lavishly..
Liberal.. Lifetime.. Limited.. Lowest.. Magic.. Mammoth..
Miracle.. Noted.. Odd.. Outstanding.. Personalized.. Popular..
Powerful.. Practical.. Professional.. Profitable.. Profusely..
Proven.. Quality.. Quickly.. Rare.. Reduced.. Refundable..
Remarkable.. Reliable.. Revealing.. Revolutionary.. Scarce..
Secrets.. Security.. Selected.. Sensational.. Simplified..
Sizable.. Special.. Startling.. Strange.. Strong.. Sturdy..
Successful.. Superior.. Surprise.. Terrific.. Tested..
Tremendous.. Unconditional.. Unique.. Unlimited.. Unparalleled..
Unsurpassed.. Unusual.. Useful.. Valuable.. Wealth.. Weird..


O.K., so you now have a very powerful and effective step-by-step formula for creating your ads.
But why does this formula work? What is the psychology behind the copywriting strategies I've
shown you? You know how to create a sales letter, but what about other types of ads - classified
and display ads for example? How do they relate to a sales letter? What about off-line
advertising? When should you consider off-line (or traditional)advertising methods? I'm going to
explain all this and more - in a way that applies to ALL forms of advertising. Whether it be online
or offline - the following principles and examples can be applied...

All sales begin with some form of advertising. To build sales, this advertising must be seen or
heard by potential buyers, and cause them to react to the advertising in some way. The credit for
the success, or the blame for the failure of almost all ads, reverts back to the ad itself.

Generally, the "ad writer" wants the prospect to do one of the following: Visit the store to see and
judge the product for himself, or immediately write a check and send for the merchandise being
advertised. Phone for an appointment to hear the full sales presentation, or write for further
information which amounts to the same thing.

The bottom line in any ad is quite simple: To make the reader buy the product or service. Any ad
that causes the reader to only pause in his thinking, to just admire the product, or to simply
believe what is written about the product--is not doing it's job completely.

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The "ad writer" must know exactly what he wants his reader to do, and any ad that does not elicit
the desired action is an absolute waste of time and money. In order to elicit the desired action
from the prospect, all ads are written according to a very basic formula:

1) Attract the ATTENTION of your prospect

2) INTEREST your prospect in the product

3) Cause your prospect to DESIRE the product

4) Demand ACTION from the prospect

Never forget the basic rule of advertising copywriting; If the ad is not read, it won't stimulate any
sales, if it is not seen, it cannot be read; and if it does not command or grab the attention of the
reader, it will not be seen!

Most successful advertising copywriters know these fundamentals backwards and forwards.
Whether you know them already or you're just now being exposed to them, your knowledge and
practice of these fundamentals will determine the extent of your success as an advertising


Classified ads are the ads from which countless successful sales have been either created or
initiated. These small, relatively inexpensive ads, give the beginner an opportunity to advertise his
product or service without losing his shirt if the ad doesn't pull or the people don't break his door
down with demand for his product. Classified ads are written according to all the advertising rules.
Ideally your classified ad will be a condensed example, or summary, of your main ad or sales

To start learning how to write good classified ads, clip ten classified ads from ten different mail
order type publications - ads that you think are good, and ads that you see repeatedly (the best
sign of their effectiveness). Paste each of these ads onto a separate sheet of paper.

Analyze each of these ads... How has the writer attracted your attention? What about the ads
keeps your interest? Are you stimulated to want to know more about the product being
advertised? And finally, what action must you take? Are all of these points covered in the ad?
How strongly are you "turned on" by each of these ads?

Rate these ads on a scale form one to ten, with ten being the best according to the formula I've
given you. Now, just for practice, without, clipping the ads, do the same thing with ten different
ads from Sears, Wards, or The Penny's catalog. In fact, every ad you see from now on, quickly
analyze it, and rate it somewhere on your scale. If you'll practice this exercise on a regular basis,
you'll soon be able to quickly recognize the strong points of any ad you see, and know within your
own mind whether an ad is good, bad, or otherwise, and what makes it so.

Practice for an hour each day, write the ads you've rated 8, 9, and 10 exactly as they have been
written. This will give you the "feel" of the fundamentals and style necessary in writing classified

Your next project will be to pick out what you consider to be the ten 'worst' ads you can find in the
classified section. Clip these out and paste them onto a sheet of paper so you can work with

Read these ads over a couple of times, and then beside each of them, write a short comment why
you think it is bad; Lost in the crowd, doesn't attract attention--doesn't hold the readers interest--
nothing special to make the reader want to own the product--no demand for action.

You probably already know what is coming next, and that is right. Break out those pencils,
erasers and scratch paper-- and start rewriting these ads to include the missing elements.

Each day for the next month, practice writing the ten best ads for an hour, just the way the were
originally written. Pick out the ten worst ads, analyze those ads, and then practice rewriting those
until they measure up to doing the job they were intended to do.

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Once you're satisfied that the ads you've rewritten are perfect, go back into each ad and cross out
the words that can be eliminated without detracting from the ad. Classified ads are almost always
"finalized" in the style of a telegram.

EXAMPLE; I'll arrive at 2-o'clock tomorrow afternoon, the 15th. Meet me at Sardi's. All my love,

EDITED FOR SENDING; Arrive at 2-pm-15th Sardi's. Love, Jim.

CLASSIFIED AD; Save on your food bills! Reduced prices on every shelf in the store! Stock up
now while supplies are complete! Come in today, Jerrys' Family Supermarket!

EDITED FOR PUBLICATION; Save on Food! Everything bargain priced! Limited supplies! Hurry!
Jerry's Markets!

It takes dedicated and regular practice, but you can do it. Simply recognize and understand the
basic formula--practice reading and writing the good ones - and rewriting the bad ones to make
them better. Practice, and keep at it, over and over, every day - until the formula, the idea, and
the feel of this kind of ad writing becomes second nature to you. This is the ONLY WAY to gain
expertise writing good classified ads.
Follow these same procedures in studying the next subject on our list...


A display can differ from a classified ad in a variety of ways... Display ads often contain graphics,
usually in the form of product photographs or drawings. Most displays ads have some sort of
border around the ad to show the amount of space used. As with classified ads, display ads are
used for the purpose of convincing a reader to take some sort of action - typically either seeking
out additional information or ordering the product. A display ad simply urging it's readers to
request further information can be smaller, and less informative. Retail businesses typically use
this type of ad to draw customers into their stores, where they can see the actual product and ask
salespeople for more information. The fundamentals of writing a display ad (or "space ad" as they
are sometimes called) are exactly the same as those used for a sales letter.

The layout you devise for your display ad, or the frame you build around it, should command
attention. Either make it so spectacular that it stands out like a lobster at a chili dinner, or so
uncommonly simple that it catches the reader's eye because of its very simplicity - but be careful
not to turn your reader off, such as can be done with neon colors or hard to read fonts. It's also
important that you don't get cute with a lot of unrelated graphics and artwork. Your ad should
convey the feeling of excitement and movement, but should not tire the eyes or disrupt the flow of
the message you are trying to present.

Any graphics or artwork you use should be relevant to your product, its use and/ or the copy
you've written about it. Graphics should NOT be used merely as artistic touches, or to create an
atmosphere. Any illustrations with your ad should compliment the selling of your product, and
prove or substantiate specific points in your copy. If at all possible, when including a product
picture in your ad, show it in use or in action if possible or applicable.


So what type of ad works best on eBay? If you're intent is to sell directly from your auction (which
is usually the case) I recommend a complete display ad that includes a sales letter (for the ad
copy) and a product picture (if possible) arranged together in a professional manner. You can add
such elements as suitable background tiles, textures and colors; borders; modest graphics such
as clip art - in addition to your main product image or images...

Look through magazines and catalogs to see how the content of their display ads are arranged.
Most of the ads you'll find are done by ad agency professionals. Find display ads for similar type
products, and select the one that catches your eye. Study the basic layout of the ad, and then find
a similar layout or ad "template" in the ad creation utility of your particular auction management
resource. Your other option is creating the ad yourself using "Netscape Composer", or a similar
web page design program (Microsoft Front Page is another). You can add such elements as
suitable background tiles, textures and colors; borders; modest graphics such as clip art - in
addition to your main product image or images...

Some sellers go as far as to add music to their ads, but I'd recommend against it. It can
considerably slow the loading time of your ad, and it really doesn't "do" much for most people in

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terms of encouraging the bid or sale. The case might be different if you were to include some
"audio" testimonials of your product!

I personally find simple ads to be the most effective. My favorite layout is just a large headline,
followed by a professional quality picture of my product, followed by a complete sales letter... I
then surround these three elements with a simple border, sometimes including a background or
some sort - if it seems to fit. Now, by a professional quality picture, I mean one that was NOT
taken on the floor of your garage, or next to your laundry basket full of clothes, etc. The nicer the
picture, the better. Most 1 hour photo shops will take product pictures for you. Digital cameras
work great for taking product pictures and can save you quite a bit of time and money in the long
run. You can compare the time you'll save taking your own pictures to having your products
picked up by UPS instead of dropping them off. Use a black, white, or neutral color background
color for your photo - sheets or cloth work well. You can pin a sheet to the wall and have it drape
over a table for larger objects. For product arrangements you can place a box under to elevate a
portion of the arrangement and so forth. Once you've got a decent picture, you can upload it to
your computer and use an image editing program such as "Microsoft Image Composer" to do
such things as crop the unwanted portions, add a border, add text. You can then save it to your
computer and upload it to your image hosting service.

When it comes to picture placement, I recommend that the picture be one of the first things your
prospective customer sees. You want your product's image "bouncing around between the
prospects ears" while he reads all the benefits to owning the product. And, particularly in the case
of longer ads, you don't want the reader to have to scroll down to the bottom of the page to view
the product, and then scroll back to begin reading the text - too much work! Since there's no limit
to your space, you can include one picture of the product near or at the beginning of your ad, and
possibly another view of the product at the end of your ad. This works well when and if your
pictures take a little while to appear. Your prospective customer may have forgotten about the first
picture by the time he's done reading the text, but the second picture will be right there "ready and
waiting" for him. Some sellers include a short statement at the very top of their ads such as
"Please Wait One Moment For All Images To Appear - Thank you!" This is a good sign their ads
take TOO long to load! Assume that the readers of your ad are impatient - and focus on FAST
LOADING product pictures and ad images!

This brings me to another point... You'll want to consider the size of your product picture... You
can set up a smaller picture on your ad page as a link to a bigger picture, but in most cases that's
not necessary. A picture that's around 1/2 the size of a magazine page is usually more than
enough, but use your own judgment in this case. You can have all the "picture" you want, but is it
in proportion with your overall ad? And how quickly does it appear? The biggest product picture
on eBay is NOT the one that gets the most bids!

I don't know how many times I've seen ads on eBay in the form of just a big block of plain text and
a poor quality picture thrown in, assumably in the hopes of getting a decent price for the item
being offered! What's amazing to me is that these ads get any bids at all - but they do! The advice
I have for these sellers is this: If you present yourself, your company, and your products in an
"amateurish" manner - don't be surprised when you only bring in the income of an amateur! The
money you make is a reflection of the thought, and the effort you invest! I've spent hours creating
a single ad. But most of my ads make me money for months - even years! My initial investment of
time pales in comparison to the continued profitable results it brings!



For the sake of this chapter, and for those wondering if ad copy in your eBay auction ads
REALLY makes "all that much of a difference", I conducted a little test between an average ad
(still better than the majority on eBay), and an all out killer sales letter containing all the
techniques I've gone over with you. The difference between the two ads was actually relatively
minimal... The average ad contained some - but not all - of the qualities of a killer sales letter...

The product I listed was an acrylic bird-carrier, used to transport pet birds back-and-forth, as well
as a "home away from home" for birds. These carriers were manufactured by a company I
previously worked for, and were a great seller locally - so I decided to try my luck with them on
eBay to see what type of price they'd bring.

The results of my test? The killer sales letter auction brought in a profit of $20 more than the other
ad, as well as an additional 10 bids! Besides the written content of the ad, all other elements were
the same - listing day, listing time, length of the auction, etc. Even the same excellent quality
picture was used. The top bid price on the carrier was $80.00, which is not bad for something that
costs only $25! Another product to add to my product arsenal!

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Have you ever heard of the "two-step" as it applies to marketing? This is the process of gathering
leads or prospects through the use of classified ads and display ads, and sending the
respondents a sales letter with "all the goodies" or a complete information package. Again, certain
display ads include sufficient information to justify asking for the order directly - but in the case of
magazine advertising (for example) this can easily require a 1/2 page or full page ad, which can
be a considerable expense. If you're on a budget, or if you're in the testing phase, start out with a
classified ad or small display ad, and send out additional information to those who request it.

With eBay, there is not often the need for two-step marketing. There is no need for a classified
ad. You can include ALL the information necessary to (in essence) ask for the order by asking the
prospective customer to place a bid. You'll have either a stand alone sales letter, or by including a
product photo and perhaps a suitable border and background, a display ad.


Did that get your attention?!

Most successful copywriters rate the headline and/or the lead sentence of an ad as - by far - the
most important part of the ad. In fact, they say that a headline accounts for as much as 80% of
the effectiveness of your ad! You should place the same amount of importance on the headlines
you create. After all, when your ad is surrounded by hundreds of other ads, and information or
entertainment, what makes you think anyone is going to see your particular ad?

The truth is, they're not going to see your ad unless you can "grab" their attention and entice them
to real all of what your have to say. Your headline, or lead sentence when no headline is used,
has to make it MORE DIFFICULT for your prospect to ignore, or pass over, than to stop and read
your ad. If you don't capture the attention of your reader with your headline, anything beyond is
useless effort and wasted money.

Successful advertising headlines are written as promises (often promises to solve a problem),
either implied or direct. Implied promises can show you how to save money, make money, or
attain a desired goal. Direct promises are often a warning against something undesirable.

Example OF A PROMISE; Are You Ready To Become A Millionaire--In Just 18 Months?

EXAMPLE OF A WARNING; Do You Make These Mistakes In English?

In both examples, I have posed a question as the headline. Headlines that ask a question seem
to attract the reader's attention almost as surely as a moth is drawn to a flame. Once he has seen
the question, he just can't seem to keep himself from reading the rest of the ad to find out the
answer. The best headline questions are those that challenge the reader; that involve his self
esteem, and (again) do not allow him to dismiss your question with a simple yes or no.

"You'll be the envy of your friends" is another kind of "reader appeal" to incorporate into your
headline whenever appropriate. The appeal has to do with basic psychology; everyone wants to
be well thought of and consequently, will read into the body of your ad and find out how he can
gain the respect and accolades of his friends.

Use words that STAND OUT, that are different than the ordinary in one way or another. Most of
the headlines you see day in and day out, have a certain sameness with just the words
rearranged. The reader may see these headlines with his eyes, but his brain fails to focus on any
of them because there is nothing different or out of the ordinary to arrest his attention.

One real "attention-grabbing" type of headline is the comparative price headline; Three For only
$3, Regularly $3 Each! Still another of the "tried and proven" kind of headlines is the specific
question; Do You Suffer From These Symptoms. And of course, if you offer a strong guarantee,
you might say so in your headline; Your Money Refunded, If You Don't Make $100,000 Your First

"How To" headlines have a very strong basic appeal, but in some instances, they are better used
as book titles than advertising headlines. "Who else wants in on the finer things?"...which your
product or service presumably offers, is another approach with a strong reader appeal. The
psychology here being the need of everyone to belong to a group--complete with status and
prestige motivations.

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Personalize, and be specific! You can (in some ways) throw the teachings of your English
teachers out the window, and the rules of "third person, singular" or whatever else tends to inhibit
your writing. Whenever you sit down to write advertising copy intended to pull the orders - sell the
product - you should picture yourself in a one-on-one situation and "talk" to your reader just as if
you are sitting across from him at your dining room table. Say what you mean, and sell HIM on
the product your offering. Be specific and ask him if these are the things that bother him - are
these the things he wants - and he is the one you want to buy the product...


Once you have your reader's attention, the only way you're going to keep it, is by quickly and
emphatically telling him what your product will do for him.

Your potential buyer doesn't necessarily care how long it's taken you to produce the product, how
long you have been in business, nor how many years you have spent learning your craft. His
primary concern is how he's going to benefit from the purchase of your product.

Even though you have your reader's attention, you must follow through with an enumeration of
the benefits he can gain. In essence, you must reiterate the advantages, comfort and happiness
he will enjoy--as you have implied in your headline.

Mentally picture your prospect. Determine his wants and emotional needs. Put yourself in his
shoes, and ask yourself: If I were reading this ad, what are the things that would appeal to me?
Again, write your copy to appeal to your reader's wants and emotional needs/ego cravings.

Remember, it's not the "safety features" that have sold cars for the past 50 years--nor has it been
the need of transportation... It has been, and almost certainly always will be the advertising
writer's recognition of the people's wants and emotional needs/ego cravings. Visualize your
prospect, recognize what he wants: and satisfy them. Writing good advertising copy is nothing
more or less than knowing "who" your buyers are; recognizing what he wants; and telling him how
your product will fulfill each of those wants. Remember this because it's one of the "vitally
important" keys to writing advertising copy that does the job you intend for it to do.


The "desire" portion of your ad is where you present the facts of your product; create and justify
your prospect's conviction, and cause him to demand "a piece of the action" for himself. This can
be done in or around the benefits OR credibility portion of your ad, or throughout the ad as a

It's vitally necessary that you present "proven facts" about your product because survey results
show that at least 80% of the people reading your ad - especially those reading it for the first time
- will tend to question its authenticity.

So, the more facts you can present in the ad, the more credible your offer. As you write this part
of your ad, always remember that the more facts about the product you present, the more product
you'll sell. People want facts as reason, and/or excuses for buying a product--to justify to
themselves and others, that they haven't been "taken" by a slick copywriter.

It's like the girl who wants to marry the guy her father calls a "no good bum". Her heart - her
emotions - tell her yes, but she needs facts to nullify the seed of doubt lingering in her mind - to
rationalize her decision to go on with the wedding.

In other words, the "desire" portion of your ad has to build belief and credibility in the mind of your
prospect. It has to assure him of his good judgment in the final decision to buy - furnish evidence
of the benefits you've promised - and afford him a "safety net" in case anyone should question his
decision to buy.

People tend to believe the things that appeal to their individual desires, fears and other emotions.
Once you've established a belief in this manner, logic and reasoning are used to support it.
People believe what they want to believe. Your reader "wants" to believe your ad if he has read
through this far- it's up to you to support his initial desire.

Study your product and everything about it. Visualize the wants of your prospective buyers. Dig

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up the facts, and you'll almost always find plenty of facts to support the buyer's reason for buying.

Here is where you use the results of tests conducted, growing sales figures to prove increasing
popularity, and "user" testimonials or endorsements. It's also important that you present these
facts, test results, sales figures and/or testimonials from the consumer point of view, and not that
of the manufacturer.

Before you end this portion of your ad and get into the demand for action, summarize everything
you've presented thus far. Draw a mental picture for your potential buyer. Let him imagine owning
the product. Induce him to visualize all the benefits you've promised. Give him the keys to seeing
himself richer, enjoying luxury, having time to do whatever he'd like to do, and with all of his
dreams fulfilled.

***This can be handled in one or two sentences, or spelled out in a paragraph or more, but it's the
absolute ingredient you must include prior to closing the sale. Study all the sales presentations
you've ever heard-look at every winning ad... This is the element included in all of them that
actually makes the sale for you. Remember it, use it, and don't try to sell anything without it.


Lots of ads are beautiful, almost perfectly written, and quite convincing - yet they fail to ask for or
demand action from the reader. If you want the reader to have your product, then tell him so and
demand that he send his money now. Unless you enjoy entertaining your prospects with your
beautiful writing skills, always demand that he complete the sale now, by taking action now - by
calling a telephone number and ordering, or by writing his check and rushing it to the post office,
and so forth.

Once you've got him on the hook, land him! Don't let him get away!

Probably, one of the most common and best methods of moving the reader to act now, is written
in some of the following:

"All of this can be yours! You can start enjoying this new way of life immediately, simply by
sending a check for ("x" amount of dollars)! Don't put it off, then later wish you had gotten in on
the ground floor! Make out that check now, and be IN on the ground floor! Act now, and as an
"early bird" buyer, we'll include a big bonus package absolutely free, simply for acting
immediately! You win all the way! We take all the risk! If you're not satisfied simply return the
product and we'll quickly refund your money! Do it now! Get that check on its way to us today,
and receive the big bonus package! After next week, we won't be able to include the bonus as a
part of this fantastic deal, so act now! The sooner you act, the more you win!"

Offering a bonus of some kind will almost always stimulate the prospect to take action. However,
in mentioning the bonus, be very careful that you don't end up receiving primarily requests for the
bonus with mountains of request for refunds on the product to follow. Generally, the bonus should
be mentioned only casually if you're asking for product orders; and with lots of fanfare only when
you're seeking inquiries.

Too often the copywriter, in his enthusiasm to pull in a record number of responses, confuse the
reader by "forgetting about the product" and devoting his entire space allotted for the "demand for
action" to sending for the bonus. Ideally, any bonus offered should be closely related to the
product, and a bonus offered only for immediate action on the part of the potential buyer.

Specify a time limit. Tell your prospect that he must act within a certain time limit or lose out on
the bonus, face probably higher prices, or even the withdrawal of your offer. This is always a good
hook to get action.
Any kind of guarantee you offer always helps to produce action from the prospect. And the more
liberal you can make your guarantee, the more product orders you'll receive. Be sure you state
the guarantee clearly and simply. Make it so easy to understand that even a child would not
misinterpret what you're saying.

The action you want your prospect to take should be easy, clearly stated, and devoid of any
complicated procedural steps on his part, or numerous directions for him to follow.

Picture your prospect, very comfortable in his favorite easy chair, idly flipping through a magazine
while "half watching" tv. He notices your ad, reads through it, and he is sold on your product. Now
what does he do?

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Remember, he is very comfortable. You've "grabbed" his attention, sparked his interest, painted a
picture of him enjoying a new kind of satisfaction, and he is ready to buy...

Anything and everything you ask or cause him to do is going to disrupt this feeling of comfort and
contentment. Whatever he must do had better be simple, quick and easy!

Tell him without any ifs, ands or buts, what to do... Fill out the coupon, include your check for the
full amount, and send it in to us today! Make it as easy for him as you possibly can - simple and
direct. Make sure your address is on the order form he is supposed to complete and mail in to you
(if applicable). Include your name and address on the order form, as well as just above it. People
sometimes fill out the coupon, tear it off, seal it in an envelope and don't know where to send it.
The easier you make it for him to respond, the more responses you'll get!


By following the steps, guidelines, and information I've given you - and by conscientiously
studying good advertising copy, and practicing writing ads of your own - you should be able to
quickly develop your copywriting abilities to produce order pulling ads for your own products.
Even so, and once you do become proficient in writing ads for your own products, you must never
stop "noticing" how ads are written, designed and put together by other people.

The best ad writers are people with the world in which they live. Everytime they see a good ad,
they clip it out and save it. Regularly, they pull out these files of good ads and study them, always
analyzing what makes them good, and why they work. There is no school in the country that can
give you the same kind of education and expertise so necessary in the field of ad writing. You
must keep yourself up-to-date, aware of, and in-the-know about the other guy... his innovations,
style changes, and the methods he is using to sell his product. On-the-job training, study, and
practice are what it takes - and if you've got that burning desire to succeed, you can do it!


Although this IS primarily an online selling system, I am keeping to my promise by including some
of the most essential offline, or traditional mail-order marketing and advertising strategies.
Increasingly, "die-hard" online businesses are "crossing over" into offline advertising campaigns -
and WHY NOT?! Why put a limit or boundary on something as important as marketing your
business and it's products or services? If at some point you start to feel as though your business
needs an extra nudge to reach the next level, offline advertising may be your answer.
Furthermore, even so much as including your web site addresses at the bottom of your business
cards can be considered offline advertising. So it's likely that offline advertising will (at the very
least) play a small supporting role in the promotion of your online business.

Here are several of the most common questions (and their answers) in regard to offline


Classifieds are best used to build your mailing list of qualified prospects. Use classifieds to offer a
free catalog, booklet or report relative to your product line.


Generally, anything and everything, so long as it doesn't cost more than five dollars which is
about the most people will pay in response to an offer in the classifieds. These types of ads are
great for pulling inquires such as: Write for further information; Send $3, get two for the price of
one; Dealers wanted, send for product info and a real money making kit!

All twelve months of the year! Responses to your ads during some months will be slower in
accumulating, but by keying your ads according to the month they appear, and a careful
tabulation of your returns from each keyed ad, you'll see that steady year round advertising will
continue to pull orders for you, regardless of the month it's published. I've personally received
inquires and orders from ads placed as long as 2 years previous to the date of the response!


The least effective are the ad sheets. Most of the ads in these publications are "exchange ads",
meaning that the publisher of ad sheet "A" runs the ads of publisher "B" without charge, because
publisher "B" is running the ads of publisher "A" without charge. The "claimed" circulation figures
of these publications are almost always based on "wishes, hopes and wants" while the "true"
circulation goes out to similar small, part time mail order dealers. Very poor medium for investing

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advertising dollars because everyone receiving a copy is a "seller" and nobody is buying. When
an ad sheet is received by someone not involved in mail order, it's usually given a cursory glance
and then discarded as "junk mail".

Tabloid newspaper are slightly better than the ad sheets, but not by much! The important
difference with the tabloids is in the "helpful information" articles they try to carry for the mail order
beginner. A "fair media" recruiting dealers or independent sales reps for mail order products, and
for renting mailing lists, but still circulated among "sellers" with very few buyers. Besides that, the
life of a mail order tab sheet is about the same as a daily newspaper.

With mail order magazines, it depends on the quality of the publication and its business concepts.
Some mail order magazines are nothing more than expanded ad sheets, while others strive to
help the opportunity seekers with an on going advice and tips he can use in the development and
growth of his own wealth building projects.


First of all, you have to determine who your prospective buyers are. Then do a little bit of market
research. Talk to your friends, neighbors and people at random who might fit this profile. Ask
them if they would be interested in a product such as yours, and then ask them which publications
they read. Next, go to your public library for a listing of the publications of this type from the
Standard Rate & Data Service catalogs.
Make a list of the addresses, circulation figures, reader demographics and advertising and decide
which is the true costs of your advertising and decide which is the better buy, divide the total
audited circulation figure into the cost for a one inch ad. ($10 per inch with a publication showing
10,000 circulation would be 10,000 into $10 or 10 cents per thousands.

Write and ask for a sample copies of the magazines you've tentatively chosen to place your
advertising in. Look over their advertising-be sure that they don't or won't put your ad in the
"gutter" which is the inside column next to the binding. How many other mail order type ads are
they carrying. Contrary to what you might think, you'll want to go with a publication that is busy
(with lots of similar ads), not one that has only a few ads. The more ads in the publication, the
better response the advertisers are getting, or else they wouldn't be investing their money in the

To "properly" test your ad, you should let it run through at least three consecutive issues of any
publication. If your responses are small, try a different publication. Then, if your responses are still
small, look at your ad and think about rewriting it for greater appeal, and pulling power. In a great
many instances, it's the ad - not the publication's pulling power - that is at fault!

Copywriting can get so in depth and so advanced that you'd be well advised to continue your
"copywriting" education beyond the scope of this course - not just in terms of studying other ad
copy, but also by reading books on the subject. The ability to persuade people to take action
through the written word is such a powerful and exciting thing, and one that you'll want to master
to the fullest extent to outdo your competition and squeeze every last ounce of profit of off every
ad you run!


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Lucrative Listing!

The best ad or sales letter in the world is not enough by itself. Remember, your ad has to be seen
in order to be effective. This is where effective auction listing techniques become important. You
have a seemingly endless variety of options when it comes to listing your items, but the difference
in effectiveness can be "night and day" if you aren't knowledgeable in choosing the best of these
options. This manual will serve as your guide to getting the most out of every cent your spend on
listing your items. Although listing fees are insignificant to other forms of advertising, and
sometimes aren't even "figured into the overall profit equation", they can add up fast - particularly
when your listings aren't producing. If you're a beginner, make sure you've got a good handle on
the strategies in this manual. If you're an experienced auction seller, don't list another auction
without having the information in this manual "under your belt"!


Any good salesperson will tell you that one of the big secrets to effective selling is really no secret
at all... To be an effective salesperson, you need to play the numbers game. I'll use cold calling to
demonstrate this principle... You've got your "pitch" rehearsed and ready to go. You've got a
proven product (or service) that you know is a seller. And you've got a long list of names and
numbers to call. So you're ready to go...

Your first call results in a "no"... Same with your second.... third... fourth... you have no success
until finally, on your 20th call, you've found a match between product and prospect - and you
make the sale! We'll say you've set a goal of 5 completed sales per day. You need 4 more sales
to meet your goal, so you dive right back into the list of names after your first success... You have
a little better luck on your next go 'round, and make a sale after only your 10th call. Your third,
fourth, and fifth sales took 13, 16, and 25 calls respectively...

You ended up having to make 84 calls to meet your daily goal of 5 sales. But let's say you decide
you'd like to increase your daily goal to 7 sales per... Using the data from your first day, you can
easily figure out how many calls you'll need to make per day to reach your new goal. First, divide
the total number of calls you made by your number of sales: 84 / 5 = 16.8 ("calls per sale"). Of
course you can't make a partial call so you round that number to an average of 17 calls per sale.
So to meet your new goal of 2 additional sales per day you'll need to average 34 additional calls.

In addition to calculating the average number of calls per, or between, each sale - you can figure
out your total sales percentage... We know you're averaging 1 sale every 17 calls - that's all that's
needed to calculate the percentage of sales per the given number of calls: 1 / 17 = .059... This
translates to the fact that nearly 6% of all the calls you have made - and more importantly WILL
make - will be successful sales.

These examples are somewhat oversimplified, but they effectively demonstrate how a good
salesperson can - and should - play the numbers game to ensure success. In the examples, we
used data from only a single day of cold calling. For this reason, the accuracy of the resulting
figures will be subject to greater fluctuations vs. making calculations on data obtained over a
period of time - a month... three months... a year... Generally speaking, the longer the period of
time, the more accurate your sales figures will be.

A 1-3% response is considered a good return on a traditional mail-order bulk mailing campaign.
Fortunately, your percentage of successful sales will be much greater on Internet auction sites
such as eBay...

So what does "the numbers game", sales percentages, and so forth, have to do with your auction
listings? Everything! To ensure success, you'll need to first set an initial profit goal. How much do
you need to make to meet your expenses (food, clothing, gas, rent, mortgage, utilities, car loan,
etc.)? And how much do you want to make above and beyond your expenses? Enough for a little
entertainment, and some left over for savings or investment purposes? (You can always increase
your initial goal later on.) Once you've determined your initial profit goal, you can move on to
playing the numbers game...

Just as in the cold calling example, you should "play the numbers" in your online auctions. This
means figuring out - OVER TIME - how many listings you need to conduct per week (or per
month depending on how you choose to figure it) to meet your initial profit goal. If you've got
some auction experience behind you, you can go back and "work the numbers" right away - by
adapting and applying the formulas in the cold calling example. That way, you can find out what it
will take to meet your new profit goal (if you're not already), or what is required to reach "the next

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level". Instead of basing your calculations on number of calls, you'll be basing it on number of
listings! And instead of the average number of sales or percentage of sales, you'll want to
determine your AVERAGE amount of profit per listing. I hate to break it to you, but not ALL of
your auctions will be successful! Yes, you can weed these auctions out if they continue to prove
themselves as "duds", and if the testing process has been fruitless. But still, you'll always have a
percentage of unsuccessful listings. The good news is that I've personally experienced, and have
seen some very small percentages by other sellers in the area of unsuccessful auctions.

When the time comes for some "number crunching"... It is imperative that the expenses resulting
from your unsuccessful auctions are included as you calculate your average profit-per-listing.
When doing your calculations, make sure to include credit card processing fees, fees charged by
your auction management service (auction for example), and so forth.

Let's assume you've got at least a month of solid auction listings behind you... You're able at this
point to come up with some reasonably accurate "profit-per-listing figures"! The two pieces of data
you'll need to begin are:

1) The number of listings you've made in a given period of time - we'll say "number of listings per
day" for the sake of the following example (but more realistically for you might be "listings per
week"), and...

2) Your average amount of profit per listing...

O.K., so you've got your auction management software set up to list 20 auctions per day. You find
that you gross an average of $300 per listing-day (to find this average, add up your total profits
over a month and divide that number by the number of listing days - which in this example would
be around 30 days because you're listing every day). But with all expenses deducted; listing fees,
eBay commissions, payment processing fees, the wholesale cost of merchandise sold, etc. -
you're average amount of actual net PROFIT is $100 per listing day. We know that you're listing
20 auction per day, so you're profit-per-listing average is $100 / 20 (listings) = $5 (profit per

But you decide that you'd like to double the $100 profit you're making per listing-day! Because
you now have the KEY figure to work with - your profit-per-listing average - you'll quickly realize
that you need to list an additional 20 auctions per day, for a total of 40 auctions per day, to meet
your $200 in profit per day goal. (O.K., O.K... with this example you'd figure it out even withOUT
your profit-per-listing average, but you get the idea!)

It's important to remember that when calculating your average profit per listing (or per item sold)
your product mark-ups (the amount of profit you tack on to each product) remain within the same
range. The example assumes that when you decided to double your profits by adding an
additional 20 items, your mark-ups stayed pretty much the same. If, in the example, you HAD
switched to a product with a dramatically different mark-up percentage, you'd need to eventually
recalculate your overall profit-per-listing average, OR separate the low mark-up and high mark-up
items into two categories, and figure the profit-per-listing average individually for each category.

Calculating your percentage of successful auctions is simple. Take the number of auctions you've
listed over a given period of time - let's say a month - and add up the total successful auctions.
Divide the number of successful auctions by the total number of auctions to come up with your
successful auction percentage. For example, let's say you listed a total of 300 auctions one
month. 223 of them were successful. 223 / 300 = .74, which translates to a 74% successful
auction percentage. (By the way, I just multiplied .74 by 100 to come up with the actual

I'm not making the implication that if you want more money, just list more auctions, and bingo -
you've got more money. It's unfortunately not that easy. If you want to, say, double your profits,
you'll very likely need to research additional products to add to your product arsenal. The most
simple way to increase profits is to duplicate successful auctions, but there is a limit to how many
auctions you can list. Even more likely, you may be spreading your auctions too thin by running
too many duplicates at once. You'll need to find a healthly, profitable balance in the number of
duplicates you put up for each auction. By "duplicates" I'm referring to multiple auctions running
simultaneously for the same product... possibly in a different category... possibly with a different
headline or one line item description... but again, the same product. The best way to determine a
healthily number of duplicates balance is by testing. There is no magic trick here... You can start
out by listing a single auction (whether it be Dutch or another type of auction), then several
auctions, then several more, until the profits begin declining, or until additional listing becomes
impractical (for example, if the profit doesn't justify the work involved). If you were to chart out the
ideal number of duplicate listings for a product, you'd want the profit indicator to either be at it's
peak point, or slightly before.

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In the previous example, what does one do with the auctions that weren't successful and just cost
you money in listing fees? Do you eliminate them right away? I wouldn't recommend it. Creating
these listings required an investment of your time, and you shouldn't give up on that investment
so easily. Instead, try fine-tuning these auctions to the point they become profitable. And how do
you fine-tune them? By TESTING...

Review an unsuccessful listing to see if you can gain clues as to the reason for its ineffectiveness.
This is why including hit counters for each of your ads is so critical. You may have a wonderful ad,
but a lousy one-line item description. In other words, it's possible that nobody is seeing this
wonderful ad! All that may be required to turn this dud listing into a profitable one is trying one or
two other item descriptions (or "titles")!

So what if you're getting plenty of hits? Check the price. Is it too high? What are your competitors
selling the same or similar items for? Have you tried starting out with a lower minimum and seeing
where the price ends up? Here's a technique that I've seen used both successfully and
unsuccessfully on eBay, that you might choose to try out... Start out your minimum bid at $1.00,
or even $.01 - with no reserve - the purpose of this being to attract more attention and hopefully
more bids. On eBay, as with most online auctions, item price is indicated next to the item's
description, and is often additional cause for people to either pass by your listing, or click on it. So
a very low minimum bid setting will typically will bring more hits to your main ad page. Hopefully
this will provoke, to a certain extent, a bidding frenzy that will drive the bid of your item (or items)
up to a profitable level - or even well beyond the desired level. This can work for single item
listings, as well as Dutch auctions. In the case of Dutch auctions, just make sure to set your
quantity low. Maybe this is presumptuous of me, but you probably don't want to list a quantity of
9000 of a $10 value item with a price set at $.01 per item! Again, you can test out various
quantities by starting out with a very low, or conservative amount (that you are confident will all
sell for at least close to your target price), and gradually increasing. I actually would recommend
against this technique for an unproved item. Then again, this may be the key, or the right
combination, to turn your unsuccessful product into a profit-maker. You'll have to determine
whether using this technique on an unproved item is a manageable risk for you.

O.K., you've messed around with various price settings, to no avail. Furthermore, your research
leads you to believe your opening, or asking price is more than fair. Have you followed the
techniques for writing a "killer ad"? Do you offer plenty of payment options? Is your ad easily
understandable and attractive?

Is your ad taking too long to appear? Is your product picture loading quickly and appearing
properly - or are people having to wait too long to view what you're selling? I recommend (and
use) "Microsoft Image Composer" to edit my product pictures and ad images. It gives you the
option of using "compression" on your pictures as you save them. The more a picture is
compressed, the faster it will load (as the result of a smaller file size), but the quality will be
reduced proportionately. I always experiment a little in finding the best balance of quality vs. file
size and loading time.

So your picture loads in seconds... Is your auction in the proper category? Is there a more
suitable category? If you can help it, don't list your items in the "general" categories, except in the
case of duplicate listings. The people who are browsers will generally look first for a specific
category in direct relation to the item or type of item they are seeking. The idea is to narrow the
search for people as much as possible. So first and foremost, list your item in the most suitable
and most directly related category you can find. By doing this, your following the same principle
used in searching out a suitable magazine to advertise your product in. You want the magazine
with the MOST ads that relate to what you're selling. Don't advertise in a magazine with few, or
without any related ads - in the misguided belief that you'll be swamped with orders due to the
lack of competition. Here again, what applies to traditional advertising applies online in the same

You've researched and tested the suspect elements of your listing, and are at a loss... But have
you tried simply ASKING people why they are not interested in what you're offering. What you
find out by doing so may surprise you! The answer may be, "This same item is available at
WallMart for $100 less than you and others on ebay are offering it for!" Who knows what you'll
hear, but the feedback you get could identify the heart of the problem - right on target! But how do
you ask for feedback from the people who aren't bidding on your product? Do this: Re-list the
auction, but this time around, include a section in the ad that simply ASKS people to give you
feedback (via email) on WHY they chose to bid on your item, or WHY they did NOT. Either way,
you could offer an attractive, free bonus to the people who respond - and of course you'll include
a link to one of your other auctions, or another offer of some sort in with your free bonus won't

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Always remember: The key to successful testing is to only test ONE THING AT A TIME. If you
change more than one element of your ad or your auction you won't know which change
produced the results.


There are two primary methods that eBay buyers use to find your listing: By doing an overall
search of eBay, or by browsing a particular category. It is important to keep BOTH of these
techniques in mind when writing your auction "title" (as eBay calls it), which I typically like to think
of as the headline (I'll continue to use the words "title" and "headline" interchangeably) for my
main auction ad. In fact, you'll often want to COMBINE both methods when writing your
"headline". We've gone over how to write effective headlines in general, but not in the context of
an online auction ad. There are some differences to be aware of, such as putting more weight on
key words in your auction ad headlines.

Newspaper classified ad headlines are geared toward "browsers" or "skimmers", so key words
don't play the vital role that they do in successful online auction headlines. As you're writing your
auction headlines (referring again to the title of your auction), first put yourself in the place of
those searching for your product. What search criteria or KEY WORDS would you enter to find
the particular product you're selling? Consider the following possibilities: The name of the
manufacturer, the model or item number, the name of the product, slang terms for the product,
singular and plural forms of the product name, and so forth. One trick you might try is including
key words that relate to the product you're selling. For example, if you're selling binoculars, you
could include the word "camping" IN ADDITION TO your primary key words. That way, people
searching for camping gear might also run across your ad for binoculars, possibly reminding them
of the need or desire for a pair of binoculars on their camping trip. The bottom line is this...
Include whatever appropriate words you feel may lead people to your listing as they conduct their

Now that we've addressed attracting the "searchers" taken care of, it's time to start thinking about
the browsers. The people browsing the listings are those that have conducted searches to come
up with a group of listings, AND those that have gone straight to the particular category of their
interest. Your job is only half done if you're amongst the group of auction listings being perused.
The other part of the task is getting people to click on YOUR listing. Just as if it were on a page
full of classified ads, your listing must stand out and grab the reader's attention to be successful.
This is where you'll make use of you headline writing skills. What can you do to make your
auction title - or headline - stand out from the other auction listings? A number of things, but you'll
want to begin by completing the content of your headline. Write the attention getting portion of
your headline just as you'd write any other headline - pick the main benefit of your product and
present it as something that prospects will have to hear more about - and therefore will want to
click on your listing to view your full ad. Because you have an additional concern with showing up
on people's searches, your final auction headline will typically be a little different than a standard
headline. Here are several examples of effective eBay headlines:

ULTRA PROTEIN DIET~EAT MORE & LOSE WEIGHT!!! - This headline complies with eBay's 45
character limit, it would show up for people who do a search for the specific product (Ultra Protein
Diet), for those that do a search under "diet", and for people who've searched "lose weight". The
headline will stand out somewhat due to the fact that it's in all caps (which you should do for your
headlines if nothing else). Also, people who don't know much about the Ultra Protein Diet may
like the sound of eating more while losing we

XL GENUINE LEATHER JACKETS-BLOWOUT-REG $250!!! - This headline bends the "rules"

somewhat, but in an effective way. There is quite a bit of info. packed into this one short line... In
this case, the brand of this "extra large" size "real leather" jacket wasn't listed because it is
generic or relatively unknown, and therefore not a selling point OR a brand that a person would
specifically search for. What do you suppose the main benefit being pushed here is? If you
guessed it's the price - you're correct! Words like "blowout" and "clearance" are great for auction
headlines in particular, because that's something many auction buyers are looking for - good
deals! So when fitting, consider using these types of words in your own auction headlines.
Another key element this headline includes is the original "regular" or retail selling price of $250
for the jacket, which serves to demonstrate the kind of savings potential bidders could receive.

In addition to capitulate letters, you can use asterisks (***), tildas (~~~), or dashes (---) to help
catch a reader's eye. If the profit of your auction justifies it (I recommend the following options
only for higher profit /higher priced auctions), eBay gives you the option of putting your auction
title in bold, or having it highlighted for a small fee. There is no reason to do both - just one or the
other. The extra fee you're paying is for a very small amount of extra exposure to your listing. This
generally amounts to a small percentage of additional hits to your ad page, and therefore an extra
sale here and there - thus the reason for reserving these options for higher profit/higher priced

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auctions. Sometimes the featured items in a particular category are small in number, and if you've
already paid extra to have your item featured - there is no need for the bold or highlight options in
this case. So what exactly is a "higher priced/higher profit item? If you're making $75-100 profit
(or more) on an item, or $75-100 profit overall in the case of a Dutch auction, putting your auction
title in bold or having in highlighted might be worth it. The only sure way to find out is by testing
your particular products and auctions.

By the way, writing a headline for one of your eBay ads works equally well for search engine
searches (such as AltaVista) as well. You're concerned with showing up as a result of the search,
but you're also in competition with the listings you're amongst to be noticed. Keep this in mind
when listing your future (or current) web site with the search engines.


Learning how and when to take advantage of the special options eBay offers for your auction ads,
such as featuring an item in a specific category for example, can have a big impact on your sales!

The $20.00 fee charged by eBay for a featured category listing is usually well worth it. What you
are paying for is added exposure to your product. Increased exposure, more often than not,
means increased sales. You need to be wise in selecting which products to have featured. I
would strongly caution against featuring an untested product, unless you have calculated the risk
and can absorb the additional cost should the featured ad fail. Instead, follow the "test first and
feature later" rule. Your risk is less if you're effectively copycatting someone else's featured ad,
because in effect the other seller has already done some testing for you. I sometimes go ahead
and feature an ad that I've copycatted without testing my own version of the ad first, and I'm
almost always successful. But if you're not an experienced "copycat", I would suggest that you
still test your own ad (version) first. The results I've experienced from having any one of my ads
featured in it's category is that sales on average quadruple (in the case of Dutch auctions). Keep
in mind this is MY average, and for a variety of reasons your average may vary, such as in the
case of selling higher priced products, less popular products, etc. You'll in good time be able to
calculate an average of your own. If you determine your average increase in sales is, say...
tripled, you can then "do the math" with the next product you're considering featuring and
determine if several additional sales will be profitable (taking into account the $20 listing fee).

Even with a product that's a tested, proven seller, there remains an element of risk to having it
featured. By no means am I trying to discourage you from featuring your items - just the opposite
in fact. I simply want to give you the knowledge that will allow you to spend your advertising
dollars in the most effective way.

When featuring single item auctions (non-Dutch), you'll need to determine if the estimated selling
price justifies the cost of featuring. This is where doing a "Reserve Price" auction (where you
aren't obligated to sell if bidding doesn't meet or surpass your reserve price) can be useful. If
you've got an item that's worth $100 (and you want to receive $100 for it), you could try a Reserve
Price auction to see if bidding reaches that amount. If it does not, you could try re-listing and this
time featuring it for more exposure.

Some sellers use Reserve Price auctions to test products they are considering selling, or
considering manufacturing - just to see what type of price that product will bring. Another tactic
used is setting an exorbitant Reserve Price (one that you know will not be met), and then
contacting bidders after the auction to offer the item directly (not through eBay). I don't' condone
these type of actions as they are against eBay policy, but it's good to be aware of what you can
AND can't do with the options eBay offers. Make sure you've got a good understanding of eBay's
policies and the policies of other online auction sites you might be using.

The "ultimate" form of exposure on eBay is the "home page featured" listing option. If invested
wisely, the $99.95 fee you'll pay for this option (in addition to other fees) is really an excellent
value for the exposure gained. As your featured category auctions are proven successful, the
logical next step is listing them with the home page featured option "enabled". You'll want to use
the home page featured option IN ADDITION to the featured category option - for a total listing
fee of around $120. The featured category fee is not a redundant cost. The exposure gained from
the two options are from two totally different sources. In other words, you're gaining additional
exposure from the home page featured option above and beyond the exposure gained from the
featured category option. Again, you'll obviously have to take into consideration whether the
potential profits gained from listing your auction with the home page featured option makes sense
- in terms of potential dollars gained vs. dollars spent on advertising the auction. I have yet to lose
money on a home page featured auction. If you're patient, and don't jump the gun by listing an
unproved auction and product, you'll experience the same success as I have. Make it your
ultimate goal to list the majority of your product arsenal with the home page featured option!

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Be sure to make the most of your home page featuring... Include a link in your featured auction
ads to the list of your other auctions. Although eBay has a link for this purpose, it alone is not
sufficient. You need to TELL people view your other auctions - Add in a little "teaser" line that will
make prospective bidders want to find out what they might be missing if they don't check out what
else you have! This is the best FREE exposure for your other ads (featured or otherwise) that you
can get. By the way, this is something you should do in every ad, but it's especially important in
your featured ads. Once you've got a list of products on eBay, link them together in this way -
making it easy for people to browse your own "little corner store" of the eBay market. A great way
to further encourage people to view - and to bid on - your other listings is by offering reduced
shipping on their combined orders.

Perhaps the most important link of all to include in your auction ads is the one to your web site.
Ebay allows you to place a modest link to your own web site as long as you don't have the same
merchandise (as in your auction listings) for sale at the same or lower price. Remember to
advertise your web site wherever possible... This means placing a link to your web site (or
indicating your web site address) in all your auction related correspondence.


Being profitable is not only about making money... It's also about SAVING money. And I can
show you how to potentially save a bundle when it comes to your auction listings. For the most
part, eBays (they're gonna hate me for this!) are misused, overused, and therefore a waste of
money to many sellers. The best examples of this are the "bold" and "highlight" additional listing
options. As I've said, they can serve a purpose, such as with high profit auctions. But the
exposure - and therefore the benefit - gained from these options is minimal. Be careful not to
overuse them! Other options that you should RARELY use are the featured gallery listings, and
listing single item auctions in two categories at once.

I have had decent results with the $.25 (non-featured) "gallery" option, and use it when I feel a
product is well suited to the gallery auction format (art prints would be a perfect example). When
deciding what to include in the gallery, think like a buyer - what types of products would you (as a
buyer) be searching for by little more than picture only?


When it comes to high priced products in particular, such as computers, DVD players, computer
hardware, digital cameras - it is sometimes more effective to list items one at a time even if you
have a quantity available or in stock. This can be the case for several reasons... First of all, a
single listing is more true to the traditional auction format. A Dutch auction for 9000 baseballs isn't
really an auction. It's simply 9000 baseballs for sale at the price listed. Some eBayers are die-
hard auction buyers - they like the anticipation and excitement that is inherent with the auction
format. Also, there is a psychological factor in that if there is only "one of something" is being
offered, it can for that reason appear more valuable, more rare, more in demand - and might
therefore bring a higher price than a Dutch auction. Another advantage to single listings (or even
low quantity Dutch auctions) is that it's easier to attract more bids by setting a low minimum price.
This won't get you a higher price (or even an acceptable price) on your item 100% of the time, but
often it does - because you often have more bidders with a vested interested in the auction. The
ultimate attention-getter is a $.01 or $1.00 minimum bid with no reserve - especially on a high
priced item. (By the way - this strategy is also a good way to save on listing fees!) Before you try
the "lowest minimum bid" technique with "no reserve" (as many sellers do) I do recommend
testing the auction with a reserve price to help ensure you won't "loose your shirt" on the deal.
Include a hit counter in your test run to make sure you're getting enough exposure. If you want to
play it safe, there is nothing wrong with setting a minimum bid that you're comfortable with. You
don't have to set it at the lowest possible price to make money. I've successfully sold single item
auction products that were set at their regular retail prices. The bottom line is this: if a particular
Dutch auction of yours isn't cutting it, try selling the single listing approach to see if that makes the
difference - OR - try both and see which ends up being more profitable.

The Dutch auction, overall, is the most profitable type of auction on eBay. There are two basic
Dutch auction strategies... The first we just discussed; listing a low available quantity at a lower
minimum bid amount to encourage bidding wars and drive up the minimum bid. The second
strategy (if you'd even call it a strategy) is simply listing a large enough quantity to cover all
possible bids. In doing the second, you'll obviously want to make sure your minimum bid price is
set to include the amount of profit you want to receive on each item sold. Many people want a
bargain, but won't bid if they don't feel it's a guaranteed sale. Therefore, they look for Dutch
auctions with a sufficient quantity of items available.

Now here's my Dutch auction strategy (as applied to eBay) - and I'm quite happy with the success
I've had with it... I basically combine the two listing strategies I've talked about. I do my best to

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estimate the number of items I think will sell in a particular auction. If, for example, I think I'll sell 6
items through a particular auction, I'll list a quantity of 6 and no more. On average I'd say I list a
quantity of 2 (of a particular item) for standard auctions, 5 for featured category auctions, and 20
for Dutch auctions - although quantities can vary greatly depending on the item and other factors.
I try to stay away from round quantity numbers as well. For example, I'll list "19" instead of "20" to
make prospective bidders think that I counted out "19 left" of a particular product. What's the
difference between 19 and 20? Well (besides 1), 20 is a number that somebody could just "throw
out there" - 20 could be 20 of 100 left in stock, or 500 left in stock... But listing a quantity of 19
sounds specific, and deliberate. I set my minimum bids to include the profit I want to make on
each item sold. If I make a little more because my quantities are set "on the edge", great! The
idea behind my Dutch auction strategy is to attract prospective bidders of BOTH varieties I've
described: My lower quantity settings appeal to those who like the traditional auction format
(those who shy away from the "quantity of 9000" auctions), but because I try and set quantities
that will cover all potential bids, I ALSO appeal to people who prefer a guaranteed sale.


There are some items that you can list over and over, one right after the other... But other times it
PAYS to space out your listings 1 or 2 weeks to reach new and/or different prospective bidders.
(If you find that you're having to wait more than a week or two between auctions, start looking at
other potential causes for the lack of success.)


Ebay allows you to choose from 3, 5, 7, or 10 day auctions. Many sellers won't go less than
running a 7 day auction. They follow the rule that the longer an auction runs, the more exposure it
gets - which is true to an extent. But I prefer, as well as recommend 3-5 day auctions when it
comes to standard (non-featured) listings for several reasons... I have actually DOUBLED my
profits on certain products simply by switching the duration from 7 down to 3 days. Because
auctions receive the majority of their overall exposure during the first and last 24 hours, there's a
much bigger "off-peak" or "down" time in auctions 7-10 days long. This is the time that bids are
rare because your listings are virtually buried amongst hundreds, even thousands of others. If
your goal is to make the MAXIMUM amount of money possible in the SHORTEST period of time
(and I'd certainly assume it to be your goal), list 3-5 day auctions...

In the time it takes to run a single 7 day auction from start to finish, I can run MORE than twice as
many 3 day auctions. With the seven day auction, my product receives approximately 48 hours of
"prime-time" exposure for that WEEK. With the (2 1/3) 3 day auctions, my product receives a
whopping 120 hours of prime-time exposure for the week. True, I pay additional listing fees for the
3 day auctions. But let's say, for example, I average one bid for every 24 hours of prime-time
exposure, and my average profit on each bid is $10 - not unrealistic averages by any means. A
seven day auction would net me $20 profit for the week, while the 3 day auctions would net me
$50, minus several dollars in additional listing fees. Even IF I receive an extra bid during the
down-time of the 7 day auction, I still make a considerable amount more with the 3 day strategy.

Again, the 3 day strategy only applies to standard auction listings. Because down-time isn't as
much a factor in featured auctions, you should always list them 7-10 days.


You should always include the condition of the item you're selling in the content of your ad.
Include the item's condition amongst the list of benefits. If an item is "new and still in the sealed
box", "used but in mint condition", "factory refurbished", etc., list it as such. Be sure that you're
clear and thorough in listing the condition of your item.

Does your new item come with a manufacturer's warranty? Chances are good that it does. If so,
you've got another benefit to add to your list! Contact the manufacturer to find out.


Some of the best direct-marketers advise that price should be in whole dollars: for example:
$20.00 instead of $19.99, which is fine for your web site or off-line marketing. But unfortunately
with eBay this practice can potentially cost you quite a bit of money over a period time, simply
because eBay's listing fees are incrementally based on the minimum bid price. For example,
eBay's listing fee is higher for an item set at $10.00 vs. an item set at $9.99.


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By not taking advantage of eBay's "About Me" page option, you're missing out on some fun, AND
some additional bids as well!

Many people assume the About Me page is for telling potential buyers or bidders about their
personal interests, hobbies, etc., and they're right! The problem is, most people assume that's
ALL the About Me page is for... Not the case!

Do you really think prospective bidders are clicking on that little "ME" logo in your auction ad to
find out that you like painting miniature figurines and working on your ice-skating triple-toe-loops
during the winter months? Some people, possibly... But most want to find out more about you as
a SELLER, not about your personal life. They are viewing your ad while considering conducting a
business transaction with you - turning their hard-earned money over to someone they've never
met before who's potentially located thousands of miles away. These prospective bidders are
looking for your credentials! And guess what - good credentials promote good sales!

Knowing this, what type of content do you think is suitable for your About Me page? My
suggestion is that you "SELL" yourself and your business! In other words, TELL people why they
should buy from you... Convince them how reputable you are as an auction seller... List the
benefits prospective bidders will gain in buying from you vs. your competition... Impress them with
the knowledge and experience you have with the business you're in... List your qualifications as a
specialist in your field...

In essence, you want to create a sales letter for yourself as a seller, and your online business.
Here's a list of elements that you should be sure to include on your About Me page (in addition to
whatever else you might choose to include)...

1) A killer sales letter that "sells" your customer on the prospect of doing business with you and
your business. As with any product, find your number one benefit and put it in the form of a
headline to start out your About Me page, and go from there - promoting yourself and your
business in the same way you would your very best product.

2) As you're creating your About Me page, eBay gives you the option of having recent feedback
postings listed. Use this option! These feedback postings will function in the same way product
testimonials would in one of your product ads.

3) Offer your customers an overall satisfaction guarantee. If you have specific, or varying
guarantees for certain products, you can note this fact... But try and offer some "blanket"
guarantee that ensures your customers will be taken care of in any event, and will not have to risk
losing their hard earned money should they happen to be unsatisfied for any reason.

4) Another option you have in creating your About Me page is having your current auctions listed!
Do not - I repeat - do not pass up ANY opportunity for additional exposure to your auction ads.

5) Your About Me page is yet another great place to include a link to your web site. Never - I
repeat - never pass up an opportunity for additional exposure to your web site! This means
auction ads, letterheads, order forms, business cards, emails, message or newsgourp
"signatures", flyers, bumper stickers, tattoos... everything!

6) Include pertinent, general information such as business hours, business phone and fax
number, email address, when you normally post new auction listings, etc., - once again, the type
of information that reflects the qualities of credibility and professionalism.

7) Include a hit counter on your About Me page to gauge it's exposure and effectiveness.

8) This is optional, but some sellers include a "coming soon" or "special offer" section on their
About Me pages and update these sections as necessary. MY suggestion would be to take your
best-selling or "flagship" product and reserve a spot on your page to further promote it.

It's a good idea to ask people to "bookmark" your About Me page so they can easily find and view
your latest auctions!

By going to anyone else's About Me page, you'll find a link near the page's bottom that you can
click on to start creating your own [About Me] page. HAVE FUN WITH IT!

SPECIAL TIP: Attach an ad for your web site, or a special offer, to the physical products you ship
to your customers!

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Managing and Automating Your Online/Auction Business

How well you leverage your time and money will largely determine how successful you can
become financially. There are some notable resources available that can greatly reduce the time
normally spent on such things as listing products, customer service, order fulfillment, and more...


One of the most basic time saving, and profit boosting techniques you can start out with is an
automatic email signature, which is simply several lines of text that appears at the end of your
message. Include your name, your business information (name, address, phone and fax
numbers), and your web site URL if you have one. If you don't yet have a web site, you could link
to your eBay "About Me" page. By the way, I highly recommend you take a little time to do an
about me page. It builds credibility and trust between you and potential bidders, and it's a great
place to promote your auctions as well as your web site. It's also a great place to list testimonials
of satisfied customers, and a list of reasons why people should buy from you. I haven't seen an
email program that doesn't support signatures, but because every email program is slightly
different, you'll have to click on the help file or ask someone how to set up your email signature.
Rather than typing out your mailing address over and over again for customers sending payment
and so forth, you'll save some time and gain some exposure with your automatic signature.


You're going to find that you'll get many of the same questions from your customers. There are
several things you can do to remedy having to type out the same answers to the same questions
everyday for the rest of your natural life! For the same reason, I'm sure you've noticed
"FAQ" (frequently asked questions) and/or "Help" pages on about 95% of the web sites out there.
You can set up a FAQ section on your About Me page or web site, and make sure your
customers know about it by including a link to your whatever page your FAQ's are on in your
auction ad, or in your after auction instructions. You'll of course still receive repeat questions via
email, but instead of having to type out an answer to these questions you can send them a
friendly form letter that you've saved with a link to your FAQ page and an explanation as to why
you direct people to this page rather than answering directly.

Another way to save time answering emails is by using keyboard shortcuts called "keyboard
macros" that will allow you to spit out full sentences, phrases, and paragraphs by simply pressing
a couple keys on your keyboard! The best program I've found for this is called "ShortKeys" at

Probably the most basic solution to answering repetitive questions is compiling essentially a FAQ
page in a word processing program such as Microsoft Word. You can then simply copy and paste
the appropriate text into your email responses. For every new question you receive that may
become a repeat question, add the answer to your FAQ page. You'll eventually have a FAQ page
that addresses 90% of the questions you'll receive. Then if you want, you can create keyboard
macros for any or all of the answers on your FAQ page.


I personally like reading junk mail - I'm a junk mail junky - but if you're getting fed up with junk mail
you can use filtering features such as those that come with Eudora's (@ email
software to filter out spam mail.


It is possible to manage your auction orders using a "paper system", but you MUST take
advantage of auction management software and services to achieve maximum success. I could
readily list dozens of decent auction management resources, but because this is a selling
SYSTEM, and not a directory of the countless online auction related services and resources
available, I'm going to recommend two auction management resources to choose from.

The first is "Auction Works" @ "". Auction Works makes the majority of its
profit by taking a small commission (in addition to the auction site's commission) from the final
sale price of the product. If the item doesn't sell, you don't pay. Believe me - the small price that
Auction Works charges is worth it. You can automate much of the auction listing and post auction
process and free up a TON of time to list more, sell more, and make more than you ever thought

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possible. In addition, Auction Works allows you to create your own free web storefront that you
can use to supplement your auction sales! Will Auction Works take some time for you to learn and
become familiar with? Yes... As with any new software tool you'll need to exercise diligence in
becoming adept at Auction Works' many auction utilities if you're to reap the rewards. There are
free services that offer some - but not all - of the features that Auction Works offers. But from my
findings, you get what you pay for - particularly in the case of auction management services.

If you've got a little extra up-front money to invest, I recommend the very popular "Auction
Assistant Pro" by "Blackthorne Software" at "". Blackthorne's software is
produced specifically for eBay auctions, and started out as an independent company but was
eventually purchased by eBay. Although Auction Assistant Pro doesn't provide quite as many
features as Auction Works, the best and most essential features have been included.
Blackthorne's Auction Assistant Pro software is top of the line, and after the initial purchase price
of $149-200 you won't have to spend a dime in extra commission fees. Some of Auction Assistant
Pro's highlight features include the "Enhanced Ad Studio" for professional ad creation, a "Buyer
Database" to keep track of customer information, batch feedbacks and batch listings, and the
"Correspondence Studio" to help automate communications.

There are other programs more suited to the casual eBay user, such as eBay's Mr. Lister bulk
listing software, but because online auction selling is your business, you'll need the additional
features that both Auction Works and Auction Assistant Pro provide. When it comes down to
which auction management tool is best between these two, it's really a win/win situation with
whichever you choose. If you don't have money up-front to invest in auction management
software, sign up with Auction Works right away. If you've got some money to spare, and just
don't like the idea of paying extra commission fees (as reasonable as they are) to Auction Works,
go with Auction Assistant Pro. Above all, visit the web sites of both Auction Works and
Blackthorne Software and read the information provided on their products and services, and then
select the auction management aid you feel most comfortable with. Be sure to you set aside a
weekend, or several days to thoroughly learn the auction management tool of your choice.

Both Auction Works and Auction Assistant Pro support or are compatible with the most popular
payment options on eBay. In addition, both feature customer database capabilities which is
something you NEED to take advantage of, and I'll explain why...

Keeping track of customer contact information, especially email addresses, is vital to the success
of The System. What many other online business or money making systems lack is the use of
traditional mail-order techniques that have proved successful and which have produced countless
wealthy individuals. Selling on the Internet, whether it be through online stores, auctions, or
whatever, IS the modern business of mail-order. So by NOT taking some of the most effective
traditional mail-order techniques and applying them to your online business is a huge mistake.

One of the golden rules of traditional mail-order marketing is building a customer list, and using
that list in various ways to gain profits. The primary focus of your online business is to
continuously build a list of satisfied customers, and to "milk" that list for as much profit as you
squeeze out of it. Your easiest profits will most often come from the customers you've ALREADY

As you're marketing to your customer base (or customer list), name recognition will be key. That's
why a catchy eBay user ID and business name is important, along with using an email signature
in all correspondence with customers. Even your previous customers can forget who you are, and
then the benefit of having once had them as customers is gone. So with their permission, make
sure your customers hear and/or see your business name often by sending them REGULAR e-
mails and promotions - every 21 days is a general rule of thumb.

I'd like to mention just several more points about Auction Works and Auction Assistant Pro...

Auction Works offers 100 megabytes of free image hosting. If you need more space than this
(which I doubt) check out for excellent image hosting services and hit

With Auction Assistant Pro, you'll either need to find a good image hosting service, or use the free
web space provided by your ISP. I use my web site to host images, but if you do not have that
option Blackthorne Software (the makers of Auction Assistant Pro) recommends "" for
this purpose. For a very reasonable monthly fee they give you 50 megabytes of space.

As you're creating ads for your auctions, you may eventually want to customize them in part or in
whole, and go beyond the limits of the ad creation utilities that Auction Works and Auction
Assistant Pro allow. Both auction management utilities allow you to do this by inserting "custom"

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HTML as you create your ad. I recommend using Netscape Composer or Microsoft Frontpage for
the purpose of customizing your ads if you're not familiar with HTML programming. "Netscape
Composer" is the easier of the two to use, and it's free to download as a part of "Netscape
Navigator" at You'll be able to create just about any type of ad you want with
Netscape Composer and then easily convert what you've created into HTML. After that it's simply
a matter of copying and pasting this HTML into the text block of your ad creation utility. The
reading materials I recommended early on in the course contain more information on customizing
your ads.


You're going to need a very reasonably priced, dependable shipping supply company. I suggest
using a company called ULINE. Their web address is @ Other shipping supply
specialists I have talked to call "ULINE" a dirty word for the fact that ULINE is so competitive in
pricing and has great service to match. If you sell small gifts or jewelry you might want to check
out Fetpak Inc. @ as they carry an interesting array of gift and jewelry boxes at
reasonable prices as well. But the FIRST place I suggest you look for your shipping supplies is...
eBay!!! You can often find GREAT deals on items such as shipping cartons, bubble mailers,
packing tape, and other items.

For packing material, I recommend you stock a good supply of 12" and 24" wide perforated
bubble wrap (very handy), and old newspapers that you can shred or crumple up to fill up space.
If you have questions about how to properly package and protect a particular item, contact your
shipping supply company for more info.


When it comes to selecting which shipping service to use, I recommend going with UPS. As a
professional in the mail-order business, you will come to depend on the package pick-up, item
tracking services, dependability, and reasonable prices that UPS has to offer. As your demand
increases, you'll be able to schedule regular package pick-up days with UPS (for a small fee)
rather than scheduling pick-ups on a per-order basis. Not many people realize this, but the U.S.
Post Office isn't the only place to offer free shipping cartons, UPS does as well! In addition, UPS
will provide you with a shipping label printer along with the labels that will give your packages a
professional appearance. Everything your customers receive from you is a reflection of the quality
of your business and its products and services. From business cards, to brochures, to product
packages, it is important that you spend a little extra time and money to present as professional
an image as possible. Do your packages look as though they came from a 20,000 sq. ft.
warehouse or a residential garage? It doesn't matter where they actually came from so much - it
matters more where they LOOK like they came from. I guarantee your customers will take notice
of such things. When it comes to labeling packages or mailers of any sort, you should either
purchase an ink stamper with your company name and/or logo on it, or have a sufficient quantity
of labels professionally printed.

One note to remember with UPS is that they don't ship to P.O. Boxes, so you'll have to inform
your customers of this in your after auction instructions, and possibly in the policies section of
your auction ad. Although I've had customers who've still sent me P.O Box numbers to ship to, I
haven't had a problem working out a shipping arrangement. I first simply request a home address
to ship to, and if for whatever reason that is not an option, I suggest a friend, relative, or work-
place address.


When ordering merchandise from drop-shippers, although you can often call in your orders, it's a
good idea to fax them in. Your orders can add up fast, and you'll waste time and money sitting on
the phone dictating addresses and so forth. Even more important, faxing in your orders is more
accurate. You can send faxes using an Internet fax service such as for a minimal price,
but I recommend eventually getting a fax machine, and better yet a combination fax/copy
machine. Check out eBay or your own suppliers for this! Give your supplier a phone call after
faxing your order in to make sure it was received.

Depending on the type and variety of your suppliers, you may need to make up several different
kinds of order forms. For example, the order form for your drop-ship suppliers will need to include
space for the "ship-to" addresses of your customers. You'll have a list of individual orders going to
a variety of destinations, vs. orders from direct suppliers who only need your address. On your
direct supplier order forms, you'll need to (minimally) include columns for the following
information: quantity, item number, item description, price, item price total, and down at the
bottom, the grand total. Create and save blank order forms that you can make copies of and fill in

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as need be.

When ordering from suppliers, consider item prices negotiable unless (or until) you're told
otherwise. Find out what the quantity discounts are, and always ASK for the best price BEFORE
PLACING AN ORDER. You'll want to establish contacts at each supplier you deal with. Don't talk
to a different person every time! Ask for "so and so", the person you talked to previously, and
continue from there. You'll get better prices from the individuals who recognize you as a good
customer. You can either discuss price over the phone before faxing in an order, or you can leave
the price columns in your order form blank (even if you know the standard price) and include a
message in the fax asking your contact for the best price they can offer. Following these tips will
often get you discounts of up to 10% or more. I don't want to mislead you into thinking that every
supplier you come across will negotiate on price, but you need to muster up the courage to ask,
or you may never know. Don't feel like you're the only customer ever to have asked any particular
supplier for a discount. This is typical business - (regardless of the impression you get from your
supplier). You're going to hear some "no's" along the way. Keep in mind the best salespeople and
negotiators in the world are the ones that have heard the most "no's"... Each "no" you hear should
be considered a victory, because it's one more out of the way and that much closer to a "yes"!

Whenever possible, have your merchandise shipped "freight collect", or C.O.D. Do this in
following the general rule that you want to keep your cash on hand for as long as possible.
Eventually, as your reputation with suppliers develops and you establish a good business history,
you'll be able to purchase things on credit - usually on "net 30 day" terms meaning you have 30
days to pay for the merchandise. Some suppliers ship F.O.B., or "free on board", which means
freight or shipping is paid for by the supplier.


This is a big one! The way things are these days, you'll outshine a considerable number of other
businesses simply by striving to make customer service your number one priority. It sounds so
cliché and so simple, but customers are your business, and yet it can be so easy to forget that
fact by pushing customer service behind other, less vital daily tasks. And although it may not be
the most fun or interesting subject, customer service can have a major impact on your bottom
line. As you gain customers and build your base, your focus will be on repeat sales... I can
guarantee you solid customer service will have a positive effect on your repeat sales. Just like
your eBay feedback record, you'll want to maintain a very high percentage of satisfied customers.
So when I talk about building and maintaining your customer list, I'm not just talking about any list
- I'm talking about a list full of HAPPY customers.

Follow these customer service rules to keep your customers coming back for more...

1) The golden rule: If in question about a particular customer related situation or request you
should always fall back on this rule - treat your customer in the way you'd wish to be treated in the
same situation.

2) Practice good, consistent communication: In the business of online mail-order, email is

obviously going to be the communication method of choice. If you're not a good typer already,
you will be - but I would strongly encourage you to take a typing class to get there faster.
Respond to customer emails within 24 hours and you should have no complaints... Take time to
answer emails several times a day, and you'll receive compliments on your stellar service. I
actually avoided having to refund a customer's payment thanks to rapid email responses... This
particular lady had ordered two jackets that turned out to be the wrong size, so she emailed on
several different occasions to request information about obtaining a refund on the jackets. In each
case, I got back to here within several hours of receiving her emails. The lady was so impressed
by this that she emailed me a final time praising me for my quick responses to her questions, and
said she'd decided to give the jackets to charity instead of requesting a refund after such
excellent service!

One of the most crucial times for rapid email mail correspondence is after the close of an auction.
Ebay's rules are to contact the customer within 3 days after the auction - but 3 days is way to long
for you as the seller to wait. Send instructions as soon as possible after the auction, and no later
than 24 hours after it closes.

3) Honesty is the best policy: Let's say you're late in shipping a package out. It's actually better to
inform your customer that the package was shipped out late rather than waiting until it arrives.
People like to know the status of their shipments. By shipping with UPS you'll be able to email
your customers a tracking number that will really put them at ease if they're getting concerned
about a late package. Again, you'll find that most of your customers are more concerned about
"IF" (the package will arrive) rather than "WHEN" (the package will arrive).

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4) Don't leave negative feedback: Some sellers would disagree, but as an eBay seller striving to
maintain a mostly unblemished feedback record, I recommend not leaving negative feedbacks
except in the most extreme of situations. I wouldn't consider a "deadbeat" (non-paying) bidder a
reason to leave negative feedback. The reason for being extremely "stingy" about leaving
negative feedbacks is human nature - you want to avoid any possible retaliatory feebacks. By
"negging" a bidder you're leaving yourself wide open for a vengeful negative feedback in return
no matter how stellar your customer service is.

5) Resist the temptation to respond in kind to nasty emails: No matter how thorough you are in
every aspect of your business, you're going to once-and-a-while receive upsetting emails... Let's
say you've received an angry sounding letter as the result of an obvious miscommunication
between you and a customer. It is VERY EASY to email a nasty letter right back to your customer
to "tell 'em how it is"! But maintaining your excellent reputation means practicing patience and
resisting the urge for revenge.

6) Use friendliness, the ultimate weapon against would-be unsatisfied customers: We'll say you've
just plain screwed up, made a big mistake, and now you've got a very upset customer on your
hands. Even so, all is not yet lost. Don't give up on this customer without trying a few things first...
First of all, be as friendly as you can in your emails. Use the customers name often throughout
your emailed letters. Use the words "you're right" several times. Admit to your mistake. Add a
"take care" at the end of your letter. Most of the time a couple "friendly emails" is all it takes to
turn an angry customer around. But you can go beyond "the call of duty" and offer your customer
a special discount off of their current order, or the next bid they place on one of your auctions. If
it's digital information products you sell, you could send your customer a free gift that would cost
you nothing. So use friendliness as your #1 weapon in turning an upset customer into a profitable,
return customer.

7) Thank your customers: How many times have you been sent a special thank you for an online
or catalog purchase? Probably not many! Other than a possible "thank you page" after completing
a payment form, special thank you letters are rarely sent out. Of course, you'll want to thank your
eBay customers by leaving them positive feedback. But an additional emailed thank you letter is
not only going to win you long lasting customers, it's also a great way to squeeze in a special
offer or sneak in a link to your current auctions.

8) Offer your customers value: You can go a long way in ensuring that your customers return for
more business by giving them an excellent value for their money. It can be tempting to go for the
quick dollar by unloading a "short lived", poor quality product that draws top dollar for aesthetic
reasons, but by doing so you're really cheating yourself out of even easier profits down the road. I
personally like adding "surprise bonuses" for my customers, usually in the form of a related
information product. It costs me nothing but makes a very good impression on my customers.
People will naturally be curious and check into their free bonus. For this reason, it's a great
opportunity to include an brief offer or promotion for another product or service. You don't even
need a profitable product of your own to offer... Check out "" for a list of
products and services that you can make big profits from without having to do a thing besides
setting up a simple link. I'll tell you more about this later on.


Want to know how to get paid more quickly, and make more money in the process? Offer your
winning bidders a small discount on the final price of the auction, OR a set price discount such as
"$2.00 off your winning bid amount if your payment is received within five days of receipt of this
letter". You can even compensate for this by adding several extra dollars in when setting your
item price. Encouraging bidders to pay quickly will actually make you more money, and here's
why... Most dead-beat bidders had good intentions to begin with, but procrastinated when it came
time to make payment. People are getting more busy all the time, and some need an extra little
nudge to get that check written out or money order completed. If you don't' like the idea of offering
a small discount on the current auction price, offer a discount on future auctions, or a special
bonus, etc., for prompt payment.


I talked earlier about organizing your auction information, but you'll need to organize the entire
process on what you do from a day to day and week to week basis... In other words, in addition to
keeping the "details" of your business organized, you need to establish a set process that takes
care of the "big picture". How you choose to organize your duties will depend partially on your
current schedule. It will also depend on when you feel like getting up in the morning, spending
time with your family, and so on - one of the great benefits of being your own boss is that, within
reason, you can set up your schedule any way you want. However, you really need to lay out a
set schedule and stick with it. Your business will suffer greatly if what you do and how much you

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do is different on any given day. I can't set your schedule for you, but I'm going to list the main
activities of your online business and give you some guidelines on how to organize and prioritize
your daily tasks.

There are several schools of thought on the best way to organize your online auction duties.
Some people like to do certain tasks only on certain days. Others prefer to do a little of
"everything" each day. And some auction sellers like to list a group of auctions, and then take a
break from listing to take care of order fulfillment. To be honest, any of these methods are
acceptable. You may personally get a little bored by setting aside a day specifically for listing
auctions. On the other hand, you might feel too spread out if you spend a little time on a lot of
different things.

I personally like the variety of spending small blocks of time each day on the majority of
necessary duties, so that is the basis I'll use for the advice I'm going to give you...

So here we go:

1) Product Selection and Development: If you're a beginner to online auctions, you'll obviously
want to spend most of your time at first looking for the right products to sell, and the right
suppliers for those products. After you've built up your arsenal to the point where you are making
enough money to meet your basic needs and a little extra, how much time you spend finding new
products each day could range from a 1/2 hour to as much as 2 or 3 hours a day. This would
depend on how fast you want to increase your earnings in perhaps reaching your ultimate
financial goal.

2) Ad Creation and Testing: Don't skimp on time here! When you've come up with a new product
you'd like to list, TAKE YOUR TIME initially in creating a "killer ad"! Creating an ad in HASTE is a
total WASTE! Ad creation and testing will be a large consumer of time in the early stages, but
after you're on cruise control with a profitable product arsenal, you can go at your own pace.

3) Listing Auctions: This is one spot where you can save a TON of time by using the auction
management resources (Auction Works or Auction Assistant Pro) that I suggest. Listing time will
largely depend on how many new products you are entering on a regular basis. With established
products you can keep your listing time down to a minimum.

4) Customer Correspondence: Time spent answering emails, sending out payment instructions,
etc., will vary from day to day, mainly depending on which days your auctions close. You should
only have auctions closing on the days and at times that are most effective, that is, when your
closing auctions will receive the most exposure and attention. You'll get general questions almost
every day, without fail, so I recommend taking time to address your prospects and customers at
least a couple times a day. Remember when answering questions about your auctions to include
a link back to the auction in question to make it easy for your potential customers to bid. Always
follow the general rule that the easier it is for people to find AND purchase what you're selling, the
more money you'll make.

5) Order Fulfillment: Some sellers like the idea of setting aside several days a week to package
and ship orders. I run my business more like a large scale mail-order business, shipping orders
out as soon as possible - which can sometimes mean everyday of the week. One of the
disadvantages of mail-order is, of course, the time it takes to receive your purchase. People like
getting what they paid for a.s.a.p.! Think in terms of having to balance what is good for you with
what is good for your customer. Shipping everyday may not be feasible for you, but your
customer ideally shouldn't have to wait more than 7 business days to receive an order (referring
to shipments within the continental US). This gives you an extra day or two to ship an order out
after receiving payment, assuming that your package is shipping UPS ground. Normally even
when I'm pretty busy I can get a way without shipping out orders on Wednesday, and I only ship
out on weekends in emergency situations - perhaps if I'm trying to compensate for an order that is
several days behind, or whatever the case may be. Once you've got a routine down for packaging
you'll get pretty quick at it. If you need some good tips on packaging there is no better place to
look than on eBay's message boards. Find sellers of similar type products to get the best advice.
Don't waste your time going to a UPS drop-off station if you don't have to. If you can arrange for
UPS to come to you - DO IT! You may think you're saving money by delivering packages to UPS,
when in fact you'll be far more profitable by spending that time building your online business. The
pick-up fee that UPS charges is very affordable when you consider what your time is actually

6) Post Auction Profit Accumulation: Online auctions can serve as the catalyst to even bigger
things! For this reason, if you're not spending a portion of your day concentrating on the after-
auction side of your business, and advanced online and offline selling strategies, you're missing
out on additional profits! Remember that The System isn't all about about online auctions... It's

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also about using online auctions to make a satisfying income WHILE compiling large prospect
mailing lists and customer databases, thereby leveraging your ability to reach your ultimate
financial goal (whew, that was a mouthful!). Many are satisfied with the income generated by
online auctions alone... But why stop there when more easily gained profits are waiting for you at
the bottom of "the hill you just climbed"?!

Finally, the idea here is to set aside separate blocks of time every day for each of these duties.
You obviously won't be sticking to a precise schedule. For example, on certain days you may
have very little to do in the way of order fulfillment or ad creation, in which case you might be able
to "close up shop" a few hours early! Once you've reached a certain level, you'll be able to coast
for a while at times. Adding new products to your arsenal will be the most time consuming thing
you do - UNTIL you're satisfied with your income level. At that point, if you don't want to continue
adding new products and building your arsenal, you don't have to!


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After the Auction - The Profits Continue!


If you've read and studied this far you now have an extremely effective online auction selling
system under your belt that you can use any time to produce extra cash OR put into full effect as
a home business where the sky is the limit!

But as I've said before, if you're not paying attention to what happens "after the auction", you're
most likely missing out on a substantial amount of additional profit.

In this manual I'll list the "after auction" marketing methods I suggest you put into action, and give
some advice on each, and in certain cases recommend additional reading material on topics
requiring further study.


Once you've got your online auction business running smoothly, with a product arsenal that you're
satisfied with and so on, it's time to start "leveraging" the time and effort you've invested thus far
by creating a web-site, if you don't already have one. It's amazing to me the number of full-time
eBay sellers I come across without a web site!

A good goal to set for yourself is profiting as much from your after auction dealings as from direct
auction profits. You can accomplish this in a variety of ways, one of which is with your own web-
site to further promote your product arsenal.

The fact is, you've already done most of the work it takes to building a successful web-site if
you've sufficiently built up your product arsenal! Think about it... You've got suppliers lined up,
your killer display ads are created, your profits are calculated (you'll want to set your web-site
product prices even higher), your products pictures are ready to go... You can use the same
business name and business financial information you're currently using for your auction business
as it pertains to your web-site store.

If you don't already, you'll soon have a list of customers and/or prospects (I recommend a
separate list for each) that can be used to attract visitors to your new web site once it's complete.
Your primary method of building traffic to your online store (web site) will most likely be through
your online auction business. Market to your customer list regularly and continue adding to it
(more on customer & prospect lists later).

You can certainly use "secondary" methods of advertising your web-site as well, and there are
countless resources available to do so. One book in particular I recommend is "101 Ways to
Boost Your Web Traffic: Internet Promotion Made Easier" by author "Thomas Wong" - available

SUPER TIP: Send auction customers to your web site, and web site customers to your auctions
(put a link to your current eBay auctions on your home page, and include a link to your web-site
on your About Me page)!


Having an e-commerce enabled web-site designed by an outside source can be extremely costly.
Doing it yourself using custom HTML can be extremely time consuming. But creating your web-
site doesn't have to be either of these things thanks to the multitude of software and services
designed to make the lives of small business owners easier and more efficient...

There are more than a handful of companies that will host your web-site for a modest price, as
well as give you everything required to create a very professional web-store - no html experience

"Yahoo Store" offers web-hosting and web-design tools for a modest fee, and has generated a
good reponse from users. Another service I suggest is called "". Bigstep offers
everything needed to build a successful online store for a very reasonable price, and is
particularly well-suited for beginners.

If you want to set up your site to accept credit- cards online, Bigstep has partnered with

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"Cardservice International" so that you can do so. Cardservice charges a modest monthly fee
(currently 24.95 per month), and a small (2-3%) commission on your customers' credit-card

Both of these services give you a variety of attractive, customizable templates to choose from in
laying out your site. You can do some more advanced customizing with your web pages by
inserting HTML into the text boxes provided during site construction. This is done in the same
way as customizing your eBay ads: Use a web-page design program such as Netscape
Composer to create your page, convert what you've done into HTML, and simply copy and paste
it into the text box. If you need additional help in creating your web pages, consult the message
boards, help sections, or customer service of the web-hosting providers.


If you'd like to a custom web-site and have it hosted by the hosting service of your choice, I
recommend picking up a copy of Microsoft Frontpage OR go the free route by downloading
Netscape Composer (part of the complete Netscape browser "packge").

Frontpage comes with an excellent manual that will guide you through the entire process of
building a very professional web-site. Composer is easy to learn just by experimenting with the
various functions and seeing the results. Spend a night "messing around" with Composer and
you'll have a pretty good idea of how to get started in building your site. If you get stuck refer to
the help function, or send an e-mail requesting help.

Once your site is complete, there is one hosting service that stands out among the rest: Host-4-
Profit at You get 300MB's of space (plenty for most web-sites) for just $25
per month. Host-4-Profit offers users $10 per month for every person they refer to the service. In
other words, if you refer just 3 people to Host-4-Profit that become members/users, you'll be
making money instead of paying for hosting. But perhaps Host-4-Profit's best feature is what they
call the control panel, which makes putting up and maintaining your web-site a snap! Uploading is
done with a few clicks of the mouse so don't be intimidated - just do it! You CAN have your own
web-site and Host-4-Profit makes is easy.

****** SIDEBAR *******

Host4Profit is a great host. I have used their hosting packages and they are very reliable. Also if
you have any plans on creating a online business they are an even better choice because they
work with so many developers that there are tons of programs (cgi, php etc) that are designed to
run on their servers easily. Also you have the ability to add another domain to the account for very
little cost. Not many hosting providers allow you to do this.

Here's a link again - you might want to at least check it out.



Although you can get a free domain name through most web hosting services (for example, purchase a URL through "Network Solutions" at
"" of your own. (If you choose to use Host-4-Profit, you can get a domain
name for a discounted price as part of the sign up process!) It's more professional and credible
sounding to have a domain name that doesn't include the name of your web-hosting service.
Yahoo and Bigstep give you instructions on how to link your own domain name to your web-site.


You'll need to create a business LOGO for your web-site if you haven't done so already. Like your
business name, your logo should be simply, memorable, and should relate to the overall type and
feel of your business. A logo can be as simple as your business name in a special font, a picture
or artisitic design that represents your business name, or a combination of these elements. If you
choose a picture or artisitic design for your main logo, make sure the full name of the business is
distinguishable. Browse other, similar business web-sites and view their logos to get your creative
juices flowing. You can then use a program like Microsoft Image Composer to create your logo
and ready it for uploading to your web site. Designing your logo can be a very enjoyable anspect

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of the site-building process, so take your time and have fun with it! It is a good idea to include
your business logo at the top (center or corner) of each page of your web-site.

Check out "" for some more logo ideas!


Creating your business slogan is very similar to creating a headline for one of your products...
What is the main benefit of your business? What's your niche? Your slogan should reflect these
subjects in a simple, memorable, clever, and/or catchy way: "Papa Johns... Better Ingredients.
Better Pizza." What do you gather as being the main benefit of Papa Johns pizza's based on their
slogan? I would say they're trying to put forth the idea that they use better ingredients than their
competitors resulting in a better tasting pizza - wouldn't you?! You can include your business
slogan - the main benefit of your business - at the top (center or corner) of each page of your
web-site to constantly remind people of the benefit of doing business with you as they browse
your site.


The most important thing is that people know what your site is about - why are they there? Too
many sites make this a mystery from the start. How many times have you been to a site thats
purpose is unapparent and unobvious. Don't let your site be one of them!

Also - what do you have to HOOK your visitors into exploring or browsing the rest of your site, i.e.
your product catalog - just like the opening of your product sales letter, you should have a HOOK
on your front page to draw people into the rest of your site.

An element of change - change is good! (special offers, what's new, etc.)

Some section that you can regularly go in and change - like people watch for recurring ads in
magazines before ordering, they watch web sites to see if anyone's "taking care" of the site to
ensure it's not one of the many dead sites floating around in cyberspace. Including the date near
the top of your home page helps for this purpose as well.


What you've learned up to this point about creating and running successful auctions can be
directly applied to your web-site. Keep your web site simple, yet interesting (with good content).
Make it easy to navigate - particularly when it comes to ordering or checkout. Just as with your
online auction ads, make your web pages fast loading by using "compressing" your picture files
and not having too many pictures, or pictures too large on each page. Give your customers as
many payment options as possible. Don't over-do it with flashy or animated graphics, or other
distractions that may take lead people away from your site. For example, links to other sites
should be kept out of the way, such as on a special links page. Better yet, make them links to
affiliate programs that you've signed up for and will profit from when someone clicks through and
makes a purchase.


You can use your eBay reputation to add credibility and impress new visitors... Once you become
a Power Seller (a special status given to eBay sellers with a good reputation and who gross a
certain % of sales per month, etc.) eBay allows you to post the Power Seller logo on your web-
site. You can make the logo a link back to eBay's Power Seller page where your visitors can learn
more about your reputation on eBay. You can also link to your eBay feedback where your web-
site visitors can view the many positive comments posted by your customers!



E-zine (or online newsletter) publishers in particular are always looking for new articles to offer
their subscribers. By providing these publishers with articles they can include in their publications,
they'll provide a link back to your site (or allow you to include one - or several - in your article).
Many top Internet entrepreneurs use this method almost exclusively in attracting visitors to their
sites. Their are various e-zine and newsletter directories on the net that you can find simply by
doing a quick search. "Ezine-universe" @ "" is a good example. Ezine-
universe list the circulation and frequency of many of the publications listed. Email a list of the
more popular (higher circulation) e-zines, and request details on submitting your article to them...

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Do they accept outside article submissions, what type of material are they looking for, how long
the article should be, specific email addresses to submit articles to... Request information on
including your promotional links (links to your web-site or auctions) in the articles you'll be
submitting as well. (Each publisher will vary somewhat - so ask for these details and create a
special file with a your list of e-zine publishers and their preferences for future reference.)

Once you have compiled a list of ezines of a similar subject (you don't want 20 newsletters on 20
different subjects, required 20 different article topics), it's time to come up with articles for
submission. Here's one method: You can purchase info. disks with reprint reports and booklets,
and modify them to suit the publication as well as include your promotional links. Or, of course,
you can write your own articles. If you've already got an information product of your own - and
eBook for example - you could divide it up in to many sections and submit them one-by-one to
various publications, testing new links and subtle advertising strategies along the way.

There is almost no limit to the amount of traffic you can generate using this method. It not only
works great for your web-site, but for your online-auctions as well! But how is it beneficial to link to
your online auctions when they each only last a short number of days?... By including a link to
your About Me page (with eBay auctions), containing a constant, updated list of all your current
auctions! So even if you don't yet have a web-site, your online auction business can start
benefiting from this technique almost immediately... More visitors to your online auctions will
mean more customers, and more traffic to your web site! Are you beginning to really see how
your online auctions and web-site can really feed off each other and begin to snowball?!


Link exchanges are another way to increase traffic to your site. It's also one of the most simple
ways, although time consumer. Although there is software devoted to reciprocal linking, I believe
the best way is still the "old fashion" way. Search the Internet for sites that relate to yours. Ask the
"Web Master" or site manager to exchange links, while at the same time offering them the
benefits in doing so. Perhaps your web-site contains a lot of valuable content that the other site's
visitors will appreciate. Or perhaps you've built up a good amount of regular traffic to your site
already - traffic that could potentially click through to the site you're proposing linking to. Your
success in reciprocal linking is somewhat dependent on what you have to offer in return, so use
your ad copy savvy when requesting link exchanges!



"Supersizing" your order at McDonalds is a classic example of the upsell. Present upsell offers to
your winning bidders after the auction ends, and to your web-site customers at the point of sale.
As an eBay seller, you're required to send after auction instructions - a perfect opportunity to
make your offer!

There are a variety of different upsell strategies you can use...

Perhaps my favorite is offering the customer a choice between three "levels" of product. For
example: A car wash offering a "Bronze wash", "Silver Wash", or "Gold Wash". The key to this
strategy is including three choices. Most people, by their very nature, will compromise and go for
the Silver Wash, thinking they are being somewhat conservative but not "cheap". The secret as
far as you're concerned: You'll want to make Bronze to Silver your biggest price jump!

Try offering something for free, or at very little cost. Offer all takers your feature product at a
discount for ordering right away. The key here: Make your free product impressive. That way,
people will assume your "paid for" product is amazing!

We've all heard of service plans, offered by retailers on household appliances and so forth.
Perhaps you could offer a service plan on certain products. Or maybe an extended guarantee vs.
the standard guarantee of 30 days. Consider what you could offer (as a service, or as an "extra")
to your customers at the point of sale. Around the holidays it could be giftwrapping...
Personalizing the product with the customer's name can be very effective... And so on.

With consumable products (such as vitamins), you could offer a discount on ordering an
additional bottle now... "Get a 2nd bottle @ 1/2 price for ordering now!" Many companies offer
standard quantity discounts. For example: 10 units for $5.00 ea., 25 units for $4.50, 50 units for
$4.25, etc. Magazine publishers use a variation of the quantity upsell by offering discounts on
multi-year subscriptions.

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Check your product arsenal. Do you have products that would go together great as a package? If
so, offer these products not just individually, but together in a package at a discount. Show people
the price of each product in the package if they were to order each product individually. Let them
know how much they are saving by purchasing the complete package! This works great as an
upsell and/or as a regular auction or web-site offer.


Here's the philosophy behind backend product offers... Imagine a wall between you and your
prospective customer. The wall is composed of skepticism and hesitation and built by a lack of
trust. You need to break down this wall by completing a successful transaction with your customer
- a sale that fully satisfies your customer. The easiest way to do this is by offering a free or
inexpensive product initially. After that, you can present your "real" offer with much greater

If you're selling consumable products, try this... Start out by offering vitamins (ugh, back to the
vitamin example) at cost, or even a little below cost (and let people know you're selling at
discount). You know your initial customers are eventually going to run out of vitamins. And who
are they most likely to buy their next order of vitamins from (assuming they enjoyed the product)?
You - because they've developed a level of trust for you which is very important! But this time
around you'll want to raise your prices to a profitable level!

If you're selling a non consumable, try this... Let's say you have this amazing $500 product you'd
like to sell. Come up with an inexpensive product that is closely related to the $500 product. Sell
the inexpensive product until you've got a good list of satisfied customers. Then it's time to write
up a killer sales letter, send it to the people on your list, and rake in the big profits. If you take
nothing else from this course, remember this: Your customer list is your # 1 asset as a mail-order

Not every backend product has to be more expensive than the initial product. Your target market
may not be best suited to high-end product offers. If that's the case, just an additional product will
do. The primary objective is to keep coming up with profitable product to market to your base of
customers - people who have developed a trust for you and your business. These are the easiest
people to sell to!

This brings me to the subject of affiliate programs - an endless source of additional products! If
you don't have a product of your own to sell, you can make a commission by selling someone
else's product, as long as they offer an affiliate program. If you're not familiar with affiliate, or
associate programs, you typically sign up for free with the business or individual offering the
affiliate program. You are then given a special link to the web-site or product offer of this
particular business or individual. You can place the special link in a variety of places: On your
web-site, in your emails, in an eBook, in your newsletters, and so forth. When a person clicks on
your special link, is taken to the site or product offer, and places an order - bingo - you make your
commission off the sale for doing nothing! For a great selection of affiliate programs that you can
use as product offers, check out ClickBank and Now you'll never run out of
upsell and backend product offerings!


Here's an extremely effective, free promotional strategy... I've been talking about taking
advantage of the trust between you and people who have become your customers. But you can
also profit from the trust between other sellers and their customers! Do this by asking other sellers
to endorse your product offering, through a letter, testimonial, etc., and sending out your sales
letter or ad to their customer list! In return for his services, the seller will keep a percentage of
your profit.


In the mail-order business, your continuing goals should be building your prospect list, building
your customer list (I suggest keeping the two separate whenever possible, or as best you can),
and sending promotions (i.e. backend promotions) to these lists - especially your customer list.

There are ways to contact your customers without upsetting them - which can be tricky if you
don't have much experience. But let me get something out of the way right now...

DON'T SEND SPAM (unsolicited emails)! This means that before you send out that killer sales
letter, or ezine (online newsletter) packed with promotions, you should ask prospects AND

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customers if they are O.K. with receiving the promotion first. Also, give people an easy way to
opt-out if they no longer wish to receive your promotions.

A great way to "ask" customers if they'd like to receive future offers (and sneak in an additional
offer right away) is to send them a thank you email for their initial purchase! In the letter, have
customers sign up (opt-in) to receive special offers, or to receive your ezine (online newsletter).

REMINDER: Make contact with your prospects and customers every 21 days of so (a good rule of

Perhaps the best, most effective way to maintain a good relationship with your customers, send
them special offers, and so forth, is via online newsletter, also called an ezine. Effective ezines
aren't simply packed with special offers and promotions. You want your ezine to be seen and
read, and most people aren't going to be interested in a bunch of ads. Your goal should be to
provide people with news and information - even entertainment - that they want! You can then
tastefully include ads, either throughout the ezine, or after the main body of the ezine, that can be
seen by readers.

You'll want to offer your ezine for free, and you'll want to regularly promote it in your auction
dealings, and on your web-site. Put a free ezine subscription offer on your web-site's home page,
and every page if you can.

One common misconception about ezines is that publishing them is a full-time job. This does not
have to be the case. Your "ezine" could simply be a one page, informative article with a few ads
after it, or a special link to a killer sales letter promotion, etc.


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Double Your eBay Profits Overnight!

George Chapin

I started with eBay about 2 years ago. Like most I started as a buyer as opposed to being a seller.

The first item that I purchased on eBay was a 1971 Oldsmobile Toronado brochure. OK so I like
old cars but this I needed about as much as version of Windows 3.1, which I also have.

It all started out great. I bid about $3 including the shipping charge for the brochure when it only
had about 3 days to go. I figured that I had instantly mastered the art of finding the "hidden
treasures" on ebay and was already planning on how I was going to create a vast library of
automotive brochures for pennies on the dollar.

So a couple of days later I was at work and just about ready to go out to lunch. Better check on
that auction, I thought. I couldn't believe my eyes. With only 20 minutes left the auction was up to
$10! Then the "FEVER" set in. I not only wanted the brochure for a car that I had never even
been inside of, I HAD TO HAVE IT. So with about 19 minutes left I rapidly placed a bid for $10.50.
Agh, out bid by proxy! Now I know how this works, I just need to out bid the proxy bid of the other
guy. So now I bid like $15 for this item that had I seen it at a garage sale I honestly don't think I
would of spent more than my original bid of $3 for. Now it's different. It's me against this proxy
bidder. Well there was another flurry of bids and I think I ended up paying about $20 including
postage for this brochure.


I start scouring the house for items that we don't use and that with my highly trained eye I identify
as being high profit items. The "possible eBay material" box starts filling with videos, music cds,
and other odds and ends from around the house.

Soon I learn just how much work it is to write descriptions, take photos, actually place the
auctions, respond to questions, send end of auction emails, collect payments, send reminders,
package the items, print labels, go to the post office, etc, etc, etc. I fizzled out after being
reasonability successful in bringing in about $1000 or so with my highly important feedback being
a perfect 40 or so.

Eventually I forgot the pain of all that work and I thought to give it a chance again. This time as I
am studying my competition on eBay I notice a handful of sellers with the same items, sport
knives, selling them in large quantities, over and over. Apparently they are making pretty good
money. This intrigues me. I scour the Internet for possible wholesale sources of these sport
knives and leather goods. Even with my experience on the Internet I come up basically empty
handed. Can't find a single good source for the products I am looking for.

Then I stumble across a disk that a seller has with all these "SECRET" wholesale sources on it.
It's offered for only $4. The seller doesn't need it any longer as he's "LEAVING EBAY" and no
longer need the information. So I get the disk and search the disorganized text files for the perfect
wholesale source. I don't exactly find it. I do however find a link to a web site that has the exact
knives and leather goods that I am looking for. The prices seem a little higher than what I had
hoped for but low enough that I can make a profit from on.

So I ordered about $100 in knives and multipurpose tools and anxiously awaited my shipment.
The same day they arrived I started placing auctions for the items. Overall I would call it
successful. Somehow I managed to double my investment. That combined with the sales of some
other items from around the house and I had a base to reinvest for the next wave of auctions.

The package of knives and tools that I received wasn't directly from the company that I had
placed my order with. As I looked at the shipping label and packing list I could tell that it was drop-
shipped from another supplier! If I could only deal with them and cut out the middle man!

My search was on. I don't remember how I found their web site. None of the real wholesaler's
information was on the package except for their mailing address. Somehow I found the right web
site and immediately requested a catalog. Within days I placed my next order. This time at real
wholesale prices!

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Now this was getting exciting. I sold these .32 knives for $2 each. Doesn't seem like much but
sometimes people would buy 5, 10, or 20 at a time! Some buyers even wanted more after they
got the first shipment of them. My largest order was to a boy scouts troop where they purchased
about 50 of them!

So everything was going great. I placed another order and it was expected in a few days. I started
placing more auctions. The bids started coming in but the package of more knives and tools
didn't. I called the supplier and it they were kind enough to inform me that the order was being
held up because everything wasn't in stock. Then they did a partial shipment. This satisfied some
of the orders but still left me quite short.

I was left in the situation of telling buyers that the item had sold out and there would be a delay.
Days turned into weeks and after many emails back and forth to buyers everyone was taken care
of but it was a thoroughly exhausting situation for me. I decided to take it easy for a while and lay
off the auction posting. My second stint on eBay ended with my feedback being at about 150 or


After about 6 months of complete isolation from eBay I slowly started entering back into it. I found
some more items from around the house that I could list and with it being garage sale season I
started scouring them for items to put on eBay. That was working well and I was spending more
time studying what successful sellers were doing.

One day I said to a friend of mine, half jokingly, "I'm going to write an eBook and sell it on eBay". I
could tell my friend wasn't impressed, and at a minimum a little skeptical. I had an idea for a
computer training manual that would instruct people on using their computers.

After careful consideration I decided to first test the waters with an auction and see if it got any
bids before I spent much time creating the eBook. That turned out to be a very wise decision. I
placed 2 auctions and nether on received even one bid. Hardly any page views for that matter.


Then I had another idea. I am also knowledgeable about financing and mortgages. Why not
create an eBook about buying a home, no-money-down? Now this was a real good idea. So far I
have sold over 400 of these ebooks! The best part is that I didn't even have to go to the post
office to deliver them! The auction winners just downloaded the ebook from my web site!

Then the wheels really started turning. I can only create so many ebooks. Why not buy the resale
rights to ebooks and sell those. That way I don't have to write the ebooks and create the graphics
and all that other work.

Wow, this has really turned out to be successful! I have invested hundreds of dollars in eBooks
that have resale rights but that's fine because I'm making thousands!

Now I've got this down to a science. My system is so automated that I can successfully complete
over 400 auctions a month doing this only part time.

Here's the really exciting part. I list eBooks for anywhere between $2 and $20. Then in my end of
auction email I simply ask the winner if they would like to "upgrade" to a complete membership to
my ebook site ( About 30 or 40% of my auction winners upgrade! This
increases my overall profit per auction by staggering amounts!


The unique thing about eBookPak is that when you purchase a membership you are granted the
ability to sell memberships too! That means you can do exactly what I do… you are not limited at

Or you can create your own ebook site and offer it as an upgrade to all you auction winners. This
little tactic can double your auction profits overnight... just like it did mine!


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For more information please visit my ebook site

For a FREE 5 day auction training course containing my 5 top ways to increase auction
profits send any email to

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Why You Must Start Selling To The Biggest Captive Sales Audience
On The Internet

Ricky Allen
CEO, The Auction Academy,

You can and you will make money by having your own web site and selling products from it. But
there is an opportunity to make even more money and you cannot afford to ignore it! And the cost
of displaying your product in this huge money making arena? In most cases for less than a dollar
a time, plus a percentage of the winning auction bid, gives you the opportunity to show your
product to a huge sales audience who have only one purpose in mind. They want to buy!

Let me give you some idea of the potential we are talking about here.

Ebay users transacted $3.11 billion in gross merchandise sales (GMS) during the first quarter of
2002. Auction listings reached 138 million, representing a 55% increase from the 89 million
reported in the same quarter last year.

In fact:

Ebay gets over 65 million hits every 24 hours!

There are over 12 million registered users on ebay!
Ebay generates over $100 per second every day in completed auction sales!
And yes, ebay is the largest of the Online Auction sites. But there are many more on the world
wide web that you can sell at and make money from. This really is a phenomenal market place
where many, many people are making mega money. And yet it is a sales area that is often

If you want to find out exactly how to buy, sell and make money at Online Auctions then I strongly
recommend that you take a look at my web site The Auction Academy but for now I want to make
sure that you are aware that selling from a web site is not the only Internet money making option
available to you.

So what can you sell at Online Auctions? Well just about anything and everything. There are a
few exceptions but generally speaking the vast majority of products that you can sell from a web
site can also be sold at Online Auctions.

Here's an example of how it can be literally and actually money for old rope. A recent ebay
auction for "OLD ROPE BLOCK & TACKEL - 35 ' OF ROPE" attracted a high number of bidders
and sold easily for a price that I am sure delighted the seller!

Now there is a popular misconception that if you sell at ebay or any of the other Online Auctions
you have to sell cheap! This is wrong. If this is your view then you will have to change your
mindset! What potential buyers at Online Auctions want is value for money. There is a difference!

The huge army of buyers who surf the Online Auction highways and byways are on the lookout
for bargains. So offer them what they are looking for and they will buy from you!

What do I mean? Well one good example is using the following method. One of the most common
(and well received) techniques of improving the selling power of a product from a web site is to
add bonuses to the main product to offer more value for money. Adopt this technique at Online
Auctions and you will sell! Add a few more bonuses and you will sell in abundance! This works
particularly well with non physical products, for example, electronic books and software, as it is
fairly easy to add bonuses, but the technique can be adopted for a variety of other products as

There are other methods available to you to boost your Online Auction sales. Featured Auctions
will give your item a high visibility to potential buyers. Dutch Auctions will allow you to sell large
quantities of the same product at one auction. And if you really want to rocket your sales then a
Featured Dutch Auction will often send your sales soaring to new levels! You will have to pay
more to offer your products at an Online Auction in this way but increased sales should
compensate for this.

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As with every form of business, Online Auctions follow the same success path. The more you
become known, the more people are willing to buy from you. The more satisfied customers you
have, the more your reputation increases and the more you sell.

Ebay, and many of the other Online Auctions, adopt the Feedback approach. Buyers and Sellers
are encouraged to give their views on every transaction they carry out. In other words, to give
feedback on whether the person they bought from or sold to gave good service. Positive feedback
is the Online Auction equivalent of a testimonial from a satisfied customer. Anyone considering
buying from one of your Online Auctions will be able to see, at the click of a button, what your
previous customers thought of you.

It is of vital importance that you continue to surprise and delight your customers whatever your
selling medium and Online Auctions are no exception. The fact that your previous customers
views can be readily seen means that you must make giving good, and where possible,
exceptional customer service a high priority. The major plus point of this visibility of previous
customers views is that good feedback will improve your sales.

Anyone and everyone can make money selling at Online Auctions. A part time business or a full
time career are readily available and you do not have to spend a fortune to get started.

You cannot, you must not, and you dare not ignore selling to the largest captive sales audience
on the Internet. Remember the millions of visitors Online Auctions attract every day already have
the primary visit purpose of wanting to buy. If you are selling a product from a web site, make that
your bread and butter business but also sell at Online Auctions to put the icing on your Internet
moneymaking cake.

Ricky Allen, CEO,

The Auction Academy,

To learn more about running a profitable eBay business join Ricky's eZine by sending a
blank email to

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Interview with an Ex-Ebay employee

Jim Cockrum
author- "The Silent Sales Machine Hiding on eBay"

Are you as confused as I am about what eBay's seller policies REALLY mean?

If you said yes, you aren't alone. This article is for you!

If you've read my book 'The Silent Sales Machine...' you know that I don't advocate violating any
eBay policies. If you've done your homework though, you know that there are MANY gray areas
when it comes to applying eBay policy to your auctions.

I've often compared the confusion associated with eBay policy to the confusion most Americans
face when dealing with the IRS at tax time.

Personally, I look for every legal deduction when I pay my taxes. I also stretch every advertising
dollar I spend with eBay. Every time I spend a dollar on eBay fees that is an ADVERTISING cost!
I want to get the best return I can on my investment WITHOUT violating eBay policy. That's part
of what my book is about (if you've read it...)

Enough introduction-

I'm excited about a new contact I made a couple of weeks ago.

He's been reading 'Creative eBay Selling' for several weeks now and contacted me to correct a
mistake I'd made in one issue. He told me he was an ex-eBay employee.

I got excited when I heard that!

I've been trying to track down an ex-Ebay employee for an interview for's not an easy

Since our first conversation several things have happened. We spoke on the phone, I gave him
some advice on his Internet business, and he agreed to do an interview with me for YOU my

He is actually in the process of writing an ebook about his experiences at eBay. He will refer to
his new book a few times in the interview.

He's asked me not to reveal his real name because he might want to work for eBay again some
day (he left eBay on good terms). For our interview I'll call him eBay-Insider'.

Here's our interview:

Jim: What were your job duties at eBay?

eBay-Insider: During my employment at eBay, I worked in

several departments. As a Customer Support Rep, I
answered general support emails from members. I was
also on the phone team for a short while. Yes, eBay
DOES have limited phone support believe it or not! I
learned most of eBay's policies on the phone team
because we got calls from just about everyone for every
reason. I covered the globe in eBay Policies &
Procedures that way. I also had experience in the Safe
Harbor department where ending auctions and suspending
members made me feel quite empowered.

Jim: Do most eBay employees have an eBay account?

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eBay-Insider: Actually ,it is an unwritten policy that

ALL eBay support employees have an eBay account. Part
of the hiring process requires that they have knowledge
of at least the buyer side of eBay. I'm sure they'll
say they do this so they can be sure each employee can
actually give first hand knowledge of how the site is
run and therefore provide better customer service, but
some will argue that this is not the best hiring
practice as many new employees have never even used
ebay until just before their interview. Others say it
only helps eBay to increase the number of registered
members for the analysts.

Jim: Thanks, I've always been curious about that...

Jim: How is the eBay site monitored for violations? Is

it really monitored only by eBay users or are there
eBay sponsored 'police' as well?

eBay-Insider: Both. EBay does rely on their users to

police the site. This "tattle tale" system is what eBay
used to solely rely on. In the last year or so, eBay
has created teams that target certain types of
auctions; this is a very proactive approach. eBay has
also developed their own applications that actually go
out and run searches for unique phrases and foul
language content (among other variables). A rep then
reviews the list of items that are captured and then
goes through to confirm and sort the violation and then
just copies and pastes the seller's ID into another
program which automatically ends all auctions or
suspends the users as appropriate. Some reps get a
great sense of satisfaction at doing this as it makes
them feel almost God Like.

Jim: That's scary...God Like? Yikes!

Jim: How should you handle an email from eBay that

tells you that you've violated an eBay policy?

eBay-Insider: eBay does not like to point out exactly

what you are violating because it is costly to research
each auction for the exact guideline. There may not
even be an exact policy that covers your specific item
anyway. eBay won't tell you the exact guideline in the
policy that you violated. Instead, they'll send you the
guidelines and just remind you to follow them and hope
that you can determine the violation on your own.

Most users don't think they've done anything wrong and

because they've seen the exact same listing on another
user's auction, they feel as if they are being singled
out or that eBay is out to get them. Thus, they become
defensive and rightly upset that they now have to
resubmit all of their auctions after they correct the
issue. This leads to hot headed emails to eBay's Safe
Harbor department and trust me, read 100 or so nasty
emails from upset users and you'll have NO problem
understanding why some reps just flat out don't reply
or reply with more bad news. The bottom line here is:
catch a rep on a bad day and be the brunt of his/her

Jim: So it sounds like your tone is important when

writing eBay - cooperation will take you far...

eBay-Insider: Yes

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Jim: How hard is it to get you account back up and

running if it's been turned off (suspended)?

eBay-Insider: It depends on your infraction; it isn't

that difficult unless you are indefinitely suspended.
That can be nearly impossible. The clue here is to not
get all hot headed and defensive about your suspension.
The louder you yell, the slower they investigate
they're only human after all. Obviously, ebay wants
you as a member because you are a valuable revenue
stream for them, however, if you are a problem member
who is costing ebay money by using up their resources,
they will have to let you go.

Jim: How does eBay really feel about one user having
multiple eBay accounts?

eBay-Insider: Certainly, no one at eBay corporate will

frown upon you having multiple accounts after all, it
DOES make eBay "appear" to have more registered members
and that only helps eBay's image to investors.

Note to readers from Jim - "See I told you so!!" ;0)

Jim: Do Power Sellers really get preferential treatment

when it comes to eBay policy? It seems so...

eBay-Insider: Oh yes, many do. I know of one PS whose

feedback score got so high that eBay actually created
the top flying star icon just for him. He also got an
expense paid special invitation to visit with Meg and
tour the facility in San Jose and Salt Lake City. In
fact eBay now offers their Gold members health
insurance! Of course, they all still get that special
email account that is really answered within 2 hours
and Bronze/Gold members get a special phone number they
can call for immediate help. Gold members even get
their very own account manager to hold their hand
through just about anything.

Jim: What are the hottest categories on eBay (get the

most TRAFFIC - and bids)?

eBay-Insider: eBay MOTORS is the fastest growing

category since 1999 and ELECTRONICS is probably the
top-producing category for number of items listed (lots
of fraud in Electronic items so beware!) Collectibles &
Antiques still remain to be the hottest items traffic
wise on eBay. Oh, but wait - did I mention the other
side of eBay? The Mature Audience categories don't get
publicly counted but are THE #1 highest traffic source
on eBay!

Jim: I won't be going there...


Jim Cockrum
author-"The Silent Sales Machine Hiding on eBay"

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How To Get An Endless Supply Of Items To Sell On Ebay With NO


An Introduction To eBay Consignment Sales.

Terry Gibbs
Author of:

"The Complete Guide To eBay Consignment Sales”

George asked me to share some of my secrets to eBay success with you. Before I begin let me
introduce myself. My name is Terry Gibbs and I buy and sell antiques and collectibles for a living.
Mostly toys and trains but I sell all kinds of stuff. I started selling on eBay in 1998. Like most other
sellers, I sold items from around my home and also sold trains and toys that I bought to resell. I
have been buying and selling trains and toys since 1977 as a way to build my own collection.

After I started selling on eBay, I was approached by friends without computers who wanted me to
sell their items for them. They had heard the stories about the outrageous prices items some
ebay auctions brought. They knew I could get more money for them on eBay than they could get
selling the items themselves. An added incentive to them was I did all the work. All they had to do
is say “I don’t want this anymore, sell it for me;” and within a few weeks I converted their castoffs
into cash.

I was already selling on eBay, and I had developed a system for listing and dealing with sales that
allowed me to list lots of items in a short time. The chance to make a few dollars without any
investment was too much to pass up. I made some good money doing this and because I didn’t
have to tie up my money buying inventory I was able to use it to grow my train business.

Consignment Selling Is The Perfect Way To Start Your Own eBay Business.

There are no set up fees or investments. You won’t need to risk your own money buying items to
resell. You don’t need a detailed knowledge of antiques and collectibles. You only need to know
how to find the right category, write an adequate description and take some high quality photos.
George’s ebook will help you learn about creating auctions that sell.

Selling on consignment will allow you to learn about antiques and collectibles without risking your
own money. By selling other people’s items you learn the value of items in the most practical way.
By handling them and selling them. No matter how many price guides you read, and antique
shows you attend, you will never get the feel for items until you sell them.

When you sell on consignment, you provide a service that makes them additional money. When
most people sell something, they sell to a dealer who needs to mark up the item in order to make
a profit. This is not what happens on eBay. On eBay the END USER is the buyer and will always
pay more than a dealer would. Even after paying a consignment fee, the sellers always make
more money.

Additionally, dealers frequent eBay and will always bid on items up to the point where they cannot
make money reselling them for a profit. This guarantees the final selling price will be above
whatever a dealer would pay for the item.

This is the true benefit of eBay consignment selling. Finding the END USER. Before eBay this
was a difficult and daunting process. With eBay, a simple listing placed in the correct category,
with a good description and some high quality photos, is enough to get a few END USERS to fight
over the item.

Things You Have To Know To Succeed With eBay Consignment Sales

When you sell items on consignment you risk your eBay name and reputation. You take these
risks when you sell your own items, but you are in complete control of your actions. In order to
lower your risks you need to get complete control of the items you are going to be selling. Here’s
an example:

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A few years ago, I offered 1350 dollars for a train set figuring I could sell it for between $1800 and
2000. The seller, a man named George (just a coincidence), said he wanted $1800 for it. I figured
I could pick up a few hundred dollars fast by selling the train on eBay for the him. I took some
pictures and went home and listed the train set on eBay. A week later the train sold for $1875. I
told the owner I would charge him 15 percent so I had made $281 dollars less eBay fees for 30
minutes of work. I was quite pleased with myself.

When the payment came in, I called George to arrange to pick up the train so I could ship it.
George told me he had decided to keep the set. Now legally, George and I had a binding verbal
agreement and I could have sued him in court and won. The problem was the eBay buyer was
not going to wait six months while I got a judge to force George to hand over the set. I ended up
sending the buyer back his money along with an explanation. The buyer was understanding, but I
ended up getting nothing but aggravation from the experience. I vowed to learn from the ordeal.
Now I always take possession of the consigned items.

You should always have a written contract. One of my friends was sued by a consignor who felt
the commission was too high. The consignor agreed to pay 20 percent of the selling price, then
when the item sold for $8500, got upset about paying $1700 to someone for doing 30 minutes of
work. My friend won in court, but if he had had a written contract, it would never have gotten to

You’ll also need to perfect ways to get items. At first your friends and co-workers will provide you
with a good stream of salable items. After a while this stream will dwindle and you will need to go
out and find consignors. This is not as difficult as it may seem. Remember, by consigning with
you, the seller gets more money than they would otherwise.

Many store owners have inventory they cannot sell. You can provide an outlet for these dead
items. Manufacturers have equipment they are no longer using they will sell if you bring them a
buyer. The possibilities are endless.

I have grown my consignment business to the point where I now contract out most of the listing
chores. I am now consigning the consignment items to someone else. You can do this.

I have compiled all the strategies I use to find and sign up consignors in my book "The Complete
Guide To eBay Consignment Sales." The book also includes the letter I use to introduce myself to
thrift stores, and the legal contract I use to protect myself. I had a lawyer draw the contract up for
me. The price of the book is a fraction of the cost of the contract. Follow the link below to start
your own eBay consignment business.

Terry Gibbs is a dealer/collector of old toys and trains. Terry also teaches others how to
buy and sell antiques and collectibles. Learn more about Terry’s Antique and Collectible
Buying Strategies on his website:

To recieve a FREE Course on buying collectibles send a blank email to or click here

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How To Find Antiques And Collectibles To Sell On Ebay.

By Terry Gibbs. of

Many people who decide to make a living selling collectibles on eBay soon
fail. I meet them in the line at the post office. They tell me they just
quit their job in order to sell things full time on eBay. I ask everyone of
them, "What are you doing in order to find more items to sell?" Only the
people who can answer this question last more than a few weeks. The others soon run out of
things to sell and give up.

I got started buying trains and toys when I was in grade school. My dad and
I collect toy trains and this was how we built our collection. We didn't
have lots of money so we ran ads, put signs up, handed out cards, networked and tried all kinds
of methods to get people to sell us their trains. Then we kept what we wanted and sold the rest in
order to keep the cash moving.

Over the past 23 years we have refined the system so it constantly generates calls.

George asked me to share some of the methods I use to find collectibles, so I have put together
this short list. These 27 strategies will get you thinking
about ways to get sellers to call you. Remember, you are always better off
making someone call you, than competing with everyone else. When you go to yard sales,
auctions and antique malls, you are in a race against all the
other collectors and dealers. When people call you it is because you have
made them think about converting their unwanted items into cash by selling
them to you.

Sure, you can go to yard sales and rely on luck. But if you are serious
about selling on eBay you need to have a steady stream of collectibles
coming in. You can't rely on blind luck or getting there before the other
dealers. You need a system to get a constant stream of new items to list.

Here's twenty-seven quick ways of getting people to sell you their antiques
and collectibles. These will get you thinking about ways to make your phone
ring. I buy and sell toy trains, but so you can better focus on what you
specialize in, I have substituted the word widget for toy trains.

1. Develop a marketing plan outlining exactly how you are going to make your phone ring.

2. Consider how you are going act in order to make the seller take your

3. Ask the person in line behind you at the post office, bank, and
supermarket if they have any widgets for sale.

4. Change the message on your answering machine so it tells everyone who calls you pay cash
for old widgets.

5. Invite some people over to see your widgets.

6. Put some of your widgets into a display case at your local library or
anywhere with a secure display case.

7. Put a display ad in your local paper, "Top Dollar Paid For Widgets."

8. Run an ad in the classified section of your local newspaper saying you

pay cash for widgets.

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9. Ask the person in line in front of you at the post office, bank, and
supermarket if they know anyone with widgets.

10. Put signs up in the local businesses you frequent saying you pay cash
for widgets.

11. Have business cards made saying top cash paid for widgets, and hand one to everyone you

12. Run a free ad in the weekly shopper papers like the Pennysaver and
Thrifty Nickel saying "No one pays more for widgets."

13. Buy a sign on the outfield fence at a Little League or Pop Warner field.

14. Run an ad in your company's newsletter saying you collect widgets.

15. Put 3 by 5 cards saying collector will pay cash for widgets on bulletin
boards in grocery stores and Laundromats.

16. Send a letter to local real estate agents telling them you pay cash for
unwanted widgets.

17. Tell other widget dealers you will buy any widgets they don't want.

18. Drop off your business card at local pawn shops.

19. Call everyone who offered you widgets and then didn't sell and ask them
if they have changed their mind about selling.

20. Join the local widget club and try to buy the other widget collectors

21. Look at every ad you see and think about how you could modify it to get

22. Run an ad in Val-pak or Money Mailers saying you pay "Cash For Widgets."

23. Hang signs on telephone poles saying "Collector Pays Cash For Widgets Call 777-7777."

24. Tell the person in front of you, you will pay them if they get their
friends to sell you widgets.

25. Send Thank You letters to everyone you bought widgets from in the past, and remind them
you pay when they get their friends and neighbors to sell you widgets.

26. Tell your barber or hair stylist you like widgets and tell them you will
pay them for sending you widget sellers.

27. Put a sign on your car that says "I Pay Cash For Widgets."

All these methods are explained more fully in my antiques and collectible
buying system. You'll learn "How To Get An Endless Stream Of People To Sell You Their
Antiques And Collectibles. 67 Strategies To Make Your Phone Ring With Anxious Sellers." The
exact letters I send to thrift stores and pawn shops are also included in the system. This is a
complete turn key system to make your phone ring with anxious sellers.

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By Terry Gibbs. of

To recieve a FREE Course on buying collectibles send a blank email to or click here

Copyright (C) 15/10/2004

How To Create an Automated ... Page 1 of 3

How to Develop Your Own $2,000 a Week Internet Strategy

By Terry Dean
In most of the articles on the web, probably 97% - 99%, you will read about the technical aspects
of building a profitable business online. Most of the information I cover deals with that arena...but
what most people forget to mention to you is that the technical aspects are ONLY half of the
equation to your success on the internet.

When you really get down to the nitty-gritty of making money online, it all starts with your strategy.
Even if you know exactly how to achieve top positions on the search engines or know exactly how
a link campaign should be done, it still won't let you achieve the level of success you want if you
don't know how to develop the strategy for your site.

To put it simply, tactics are your day to day actions in building your website. A strategy is your
overall plan and goal for exactly what you would like to have your website and business
accomplish for your customers.

The Random House College Dictionary defines strategy and tactics this way... "In military usage,
a distinction is made between STRATEGY AND TACTICS. STRATEGY is the utilization of all of a
nation's forces, through large-scale, long-range planning and development, to ensure security or
victory. TACTICS deals with the use and deployment of troops in combat."

Have you ever stopped the day to day battle of trying to achieve top positions on search engines
(And believe me...This is a battle) long enough to develop your long-term strategy? What is your
overall vision for your site? In the Bible, Proverbs 29:18 states, "Where there is no vision, the
people perish..."

I know some people who are brilliant strategists about online marketing who have achieved
amazing success even though their actual tactical skills are only so-so. They hire out the web site
design, the search engine registrations, the linking campaigns, and the copywriting. As a matter
of fact, one of these brilliant minds once mentioned to me that "The Concept is Greater than The

In other words, the right marketing strategy can overcome slight problems in the copywriting or
even the carrying out of the plans. Even the best copywriting on the planet won't make a success
out of a poor business strategy or concept.

No contractor would ever consider starting work on a project without having a detailed blueprint
already done and in their hands. It also doesn't matter how good they are at following the
blueprints if the blueprints are all wrong. For many people, their internet businesses are in this
exact state. They have many of the internet tactics ready, but they have yet to develop a powerful
strategy to empower the whole process.

So exactly how do you choose the strategy for your Internet Marketing Empire? Below you will
find a three step process in helping you develop your overall strategy. I don't want to over-
complicate the process by any means, but I do want to help you create ideas through this. Your
actual day to day internet marketing tactics will then flow out of your overall marketing strategy.

STEP ONE: Create Your Overall Theme to Your Online Business

You can't develop a business around a single product. Even if you are promoting a single product
upfront, it is not the product that people want. They want the BENEFITS they receive out of the
product. When designing your site, think about an "Ultimate Benefit" to build your site around.

I first heard the phrase "The Ultimate Benefit" through Dr. Jeffrey Lant and it has stuck with me
ever since. It is that ever abiding "WANT" or "GOALS" that your prospects have with them
continually. Ultimate Benefits are things such as: more money, weight loss, online success, being
sexually attractive, self-defense, etc.

Ultimate benefits are what your prospects are really seeking after. So, don't base your business
just on products. Base your business on this Ultimate Benefit. This will be the theme that binds
everything else you do at your site together. It is what you want your site to become known for. It
is why people will return to your site over and over again forever.

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What is it that your prospects ultimately want?

More Money
Better Health
Weight Loss

Once you have defined your "Ultimate Benefit," that's where the products can come in. You will
want to provide multiple products that all fall under the same Ultimate Benefit. This will help you to
create "Multiple Streams of Income" all generated from one web site.

What mail order or internet company do you know of that only has one product? There aren't any
really successful ones. Even the sites which seem only to have one main product still have
dozens of different profitstreams which all come out of the backend of that product. Your mission
online is to help people reach their ultimate goals, and that cannot be done with just one product.
It takes a variety of products to accomplish this goal.

One warning I do want to mention here though is that your site will be more successful if you have
one LEAD product. By testing both multiple product sites and sites which focus on one lead
product, I have found that the lead product sites will outsell the multiple product sites by a long
shot in most cases.

So, the absolute best set-up is to focus on a main product, and then have many different
backends or supporting products which will help your customers to further their goals. This type of
system is often referred to as a marketing funnel. You may be selling a book about Ad Copy on
your site, but you will also have consultations, seminars, audio tapes, and ad writing services
which all support your theme.

If you are selling web sites as a primary lead product, you could also sell books on internet
marketing, web design services, CGI programming, etc. If your theme is weight loss, your primary
product may be a nutritional product. You could also sell weight loss and exercise books. A
newsletter could be started. You could also do personal one-on-one consultations for specific

You also don't need to come up with all of these products yourself. Many of them can be found
through Joint Venturing with other companies which have products you know your customers

STEP TWO: Develop A Unique Aspect to Your Business...Your USP

Your business cannot just be a me-too business online. You need to develop some type of
uniqueness to it...something that sets you apart from all of the rest of your competition online. You
need to create a "Unique Selling Position" which makes you stand out from the crowd online...

For example, everyone is selling books online. How did becomes the most well
known bookstore on the Internet. They developed a USP which basically states "The World's
Largest Bookstore" which is exactly what they are. They have stated in one phrase exactly what
makes them unique from the rest of the bookstores in the world.

How can you develop your own USP? You probably aren't going to own the largest selection of
anything in your business since most of us have started out bootstrapping at home or in our small
business. Let me give you a simple little formula you can use which will help you immensely in the
creation of a USP for your business.

To find your USP, pull out a blank sheet of paper. At the top of the paper, write "You know how
most __________..." Then, halfway down the page, write "Well, What I do is..."

I want you to write how most of the businesses in your market are in the first section. Then, I want
you to write what sets you apart from them. Avoid using words such as quality or better service,
because those types of things don't really mean anything UNLESS you are more specific in your
description. This may take you a while to do.

You probably will have to study your competition online for a while. Give yourself a few days to
think it over. Then, write it down.

Next, I want you to boil down that entire sheet of paper to a single phrase or sentence. This takes
some work. Write it out in a sentence or phrase as many times as you need to until you get just
the right words. Again, if this takes you a few days, let it. Think about it when you are driving,

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eating, etc. Mull it over. Then, once you have just the right wording, that is your NEW USP which
you will use to separate you from all of the competition.

Use it on your signature file online...Use it on your website...Use it in your ad copy. Let it become
a guiding force to your online business that sets you apart and defines you as the person to deal
with in this area.

STEP THREE: Concentrate on Building Relationships with Your Prospects

To fully develop an online business, you need to maximize your relationships with people.
Although your goal in your Internet business may be to set it up on auto-pilot, you have to
remember at all times that you are dealing with real people. Credibility online is a major issue
because there are many fly-by-night get-rich-quick operators on the internet.

To help you develop this credibility with your prospects, your overall strategy has to include such
tools as ezines, message boards, chats, conference calls, dealer programs, etc. Many people
keep asking exactly why does it seem ezines are popping up everywhere...It is simply because
they work. They help you to develop the relationships you need with your prospects. You are able
to contact your prospects over and over again providing them with good useful information.

The same thing is true of the message boards. Once you have worked them up to a certain level
of traffic, the same people will keep coming back day after day learning from you and the other
experts you may have brought to your board.

Use your imagination and develop other free services such as these to help you develop your
website and relationships online. How about doing JVs with other businesses? How about
running a monthly conference call on your subject? Your business online is only limited by your

Get Started Today In Developing Your Online Strategy...

Don't let this report just sit there in your email box. Print it out. Start today in putting these strategy
building tips to work for you. It is a proven fact that if you put this off for more than 24 hours, you
will probably never come back to it.

Developing Your Internet Strategy can be the most important key to creating the internet business
you dream of. Take action today and at least start thinking and working on it.


Terry Dean, a 5 year veteran of Internet marketing, will Take You By The Hand and Show You
Exact Results of All the Internet Marketing Techniques he tests and Uses Every Single Month"
Click here to Find Out More:

Copyright (C) 15/10/2004