12 easy steps to become a Powerseller
If you have struggled to become an eBay Powerseller, you are not alone.
It can be difficult to decipher the formula of successful eBay Powersellers. Not every "Powerseller" is a financial success but it is the term eBay uses to gauge the professionalism of its selling community. If you are a Powerseller you may not as impressed with the title as eBay may want you to be. The best and most profitable Powersellers know marketing, copywriting, inventory and cost control techniques and they use many tools and solutions to help them automate the business as much as possible. To be a successful and profitable eBay Powerseller is much more involved than what eBay or some eBay guru book writers may want the public in general to believe... But it can be done and the first step is to actually get on the road to become an eBay Powerseller...
First, what is an eBay Powerseller?
eBay's Powerseller requirements:
Every month, eBay calculates member sales data and identifies those who are eligible to be invited to the PowerSeller program. To qualify, members must:
- Uphold the eBay community values, including honesty, timeliness and mutual respect
- Meet the following average minimum sales requirement:
- Three Month Requirement: a minimum of $1,000 in sales or 100 items per month, for three consecutive months
- Annual Requirement: a minimum of $12,000 or 1,200 items for the prior twelve months
- Achieve the following minimum average of items sold:
- Three Month Requirement: 2 items sold per month for the past 3 months (6 items)
- Annual Requirement: 2 items sold per month for the past 12 months (24 items)
- Achieve an overall Feedback rating of 100, of which 98% or more is positive
- Have been an active member for 90 days
- Have an account in good financial standing
- Maintain a minimum of 4 average monthly listings for the past 3 months
- Comply with all eBay listing and marketplace policies
The requirements listed by eBay do not really give any clue as to how to attain the sales and maintain the numbers required to bring your business up to the Gold Powerseller level. For that information most sellers rely on trial and error or an endless number of eBay sponsored books which are really written for the benefit of eBay. To be a successful eBay seller first you must realize that you are running your own business.
- You are not an employee of eBay
- You do not work for eBay
- You do not have to follow everything eBay sells to its core sellers (the mom & pop occasional at home eBay sellers).
When you realize the fact that eBay has only one goal and one interest in you as a seller, you will be far ahead of the game. What is this interest and goal? eBay's interest is generating revenue and its goal is to give sellers all the information they need to increase eBays revenue. How does eBay increase revenue? By selling its customers (eBay sellers) the advantages of listing and re-listing with every option available, thereby increasing fees paid and revenue overall. Is this a good policy for eBay? Yes, of course it is!
Do you want to help eBay reach its goal?
Let me explain - You should be happy to help eBay make money, if in so doing, eBay helps you to make money. If you are spending the appropriate amount of money in eBay fees (read - standard overhead for any business), then you have made a wise business decision.
- eBay is not the enemy, eBay is a tool that wise business owners use to increase sales and worldwide exposure for their brand and products.
eBay has goals and so should you. Wisely using eBay and judiciously paying eBay fees is good business. Every small business in America could benefit from a smart eBay Business Plan component in their overall operation. So, how does a smart business person get on the path towards the eBay holy grail - To become a Gold Level Powerseller?
Learn the eBay sellers Customer Service Credo
One of the most important reasons people do not reach or maintain Powerseller status within eBay is a lack of focus on several aspects of the eBay business they are trying to establish and maintain. Certainly there are a myriad of methods and practices which will improve sales in your eBay store but today we are going to focus on what I believe is the most important.
Successful eBay Sellers Customer Service Credo
- Cherish customers at all times.
- Treat customers as you would your best friend.
- Listen to customers (i.e. read email immediately) - decipher their needs.
- Give customers what they need (not what you think they want).
- Show your customers the benefits of your products - not just features.
- Explain to your eBay customers what they will get when they buy from you.
- Offer customers what they expect - don't decide what you think they need.
- Deliver your products immediately. - Ship today, not next week.
- Give each customer more than they expect - deliver - deliver - deliver.
- Thank each customer - Sincerely and Often. - Include this thank you in each package shipped.
- Help each customer pay you so they will not be embarrassed and look elsewhere next time. (Provide an easy payment pathway, accept every form of payment possible).
- Ask for their continued business - ask them to buy again.
Customer service may seem to be a minuscule part of the overall business plan required to become an eBay Gold level Powerseller to some, but we propose that customer service is the most important aspect of any business and on the Internet it is even more important. To gain trust of an Internet buyer you need more than cold hard facts and descriptions of your product. You need more than a fancy keyword rich description, which is important only for getting the seller to your store item in eBay, once they are there, they must make the decision to buy.
What you need is trust and trust does not come from any source other than experience. Where do buyers expect to find a level of trust when they look at one of your keyword rich, visually appealing, eBay listings?
- Feedback - eBay's secret to phenomenal growth - without the feedback system, eBay would just be another online auction service. Do you remember the names of any of eBay's original competition? Feedback is how customer gauge you as a merchant and eBay takes feedback very seriously. Do whatever it takes to keep your feedback at or near %100 and you will gain trust.
- Policies - Your returns, shipping, and other policies must be clearly stated in an easy to read and non-combative format. Do not mention deadbeat bidders, do not bring up the idea of negative feedback for buyers. Just state your policies clearly in a friendly manner.
- Formatting - An eBay listing can be a very ugly thing. Multiple fonts of varying sizes... Multiple colors and complicated background images... dancing cursors and flash graphic which take the attention away from your product are all examples of bad design and formatting. Consider a professionally developed eBay listing template and eBay store design with your own branding integrated into the graphics. Think fortune 500 style of web design and not flea market booth. For an example of what to look for in a eBay store design template you can go to our new eBay store design here: All Business Auctions. We have worked with Frooition in the UK to develop this design and we are very proud of the results.
- Communication - Buyers want to know you will address any concerns promptly and efficiently. Consider adding Skype chat to your listings and always include your physical store front address and telephone number in your contact information (if you have one). You do not want to buy from nameless faceless suppliers and eBay buyers prefer to deal with established businesses which will answer the phone when they call. Be polite and courteous in all communications, even if the buyer is not, no matter what the stress level is, you do not win by losing a sale or a customer through rude or aggressive communications.
eBay is marketing to the masses on a one by one basis. If you treat your eBay customers as you would like to be treated at a fine retailers counter then your business will reap the benefits in the long haul. Do not think that eBay will provide an unending supply of new buyers, you must cultivate the relationship with each and every one as if they were standing in your store or place of business. Bring them back to you, show them your other products, offer to take them to your off eBay website where prices are even better!
You get the idea ... It all starts where it has always started in retail - Customer Service is King!
Copyright: Scott Pooler - All Business Auctions
Scott Pooler is an eBay Powerseller, eBay education Specialist and eBay Stores Certified Designer. Contact Scott Pooler via www.allbusinessauctions.com