Blog

Dropshipping and the Internet

Drop shipping has become more and more common as the Internet grows. Manufacturing companies realize they can reach more people and have more products sold if they allow other people to sell their product for them, place the order with them afterward, and the manufacturer then ships the item/order to the small business customer for them.

There are companies who deal straight with the manufacturers and then offer their drop shipping services to the small businesses. Some of these companies ask for a drop ship fee per order, some don’t. These companies are typical “middlemen”. They are easier to find and sign up to but the profits for the small business owner are smaller than straight from the manufacturer. For a business just starting out who has no idea of how or where to contact manufacturers, these companies come in handy. If you can sell enough products with a smaller profit margin, it is ok for the learning curve. There is only the web hosting fees(monthly $5-$40), domain name(annually $6-$15), and any marketing fees incurred(PPC(0.05-1.00 per click), paid ezine ads($5-$40 a month), targeted traffic($10-$30 for 10,000 hits)etc., that you have to worry about per month.

There are so many different companies these days competing for your business. Research is key to finding the best options for your specific needs.Just because a company is cheap does not mean it is the best solution. I remember finding a really affordable web hosting provider that I scooped up instantly. I ended up canceling a month later when I realized the control panel and site building tools that came with the service were way over my head in comprehension. What good is a cheap site, if you can’t work with it? I know most of you don’t have web programming experience or training, I have basic HTML, and have picked up a few other things along the way, but not enough to build a fancy, standout, knock ’em dead, website without the ease of a built-in script site builder. It can cost $2,000-$100,000 to get someone to build a site for you without it. But luckily there are lots of services that offer the ease of a built-in site programmer. All you have to do is design your site, pick a premade template, use their widgets, write your content, and there you go.

Over time I have found and compiled a list of drop shippers available for little or no fee per order. Most of them are good because they offer the suggested retail price, then give you the price they will sell for. As long as you can make $5 an item minimum, I usually find it is ok to go with it. There are some things that don’t allow that option, so depending on what you really want to spend, you may want to just settle for $1 or $2 profit and aim to sell a lot of them. Always make sure you research other sellers prices online before you make the final price. You know your visitors will. Creative marketing can get you the exposure you need to start getting people to buy.

I will also offer good wholesale sites I have found. If you can afford to go that route, the profits are better, but you need the space to store the merchandise yourself, and then you have to ship the products to all of your customers on your own. Most people who start, start off with minimal stock and sell on eBay or other auction/sales sites instead of setting up a website full of a whole huge inventory of stuff you have no idea if people will purchase. You should be doing research on the products you are interested in too to see if they will sell.

Online Auction Tips

Good Afternoon.
I was going to continue on with another business idea to make money, but I thought I would discuss online auctions first. It still ties in with having your own store, but can be used on it’s own as well if you want to get your feet wet in the online selling world but aren’t ready to set up your own website.

Now, I know everyone knows and seems to use eBay as the number one auction site,but I have found over the last few years that not everyone is still feeling the love.
eBay is getting so competitive these days, some people just can’t be bothered.
From the sellers point of view, unless you have your own unique product, that only you posses, you have to compete with everyone else trying to sell the same product as cheap as possible to get the sale. So, therefore, no room for profit eventually.
Also, the more people post, the more you have to promote to make your ad stand out(like paying extra for Bold,etc.)Therein, the price of your listing just doubled. Once upon a time it was affordable to post on eBay. .25c and you were good to go. Now the average costs you about $2.00.

That can get pricey if you are posting a list of items and only one or two sell with a profit of only $5.00. When I first tried this it cost me $95.00 for the first 2 weeks of posting.Ouch. That was something I could not afford on a regular basis. I started scanning around for other auction listing sites, I found and tried and few, now I use a combination of using the website traffic that goes to those auction sites, and my own online store website. Every few weeks I go and post about 20 items on www.ioffer.com or www.webidz.com and see how they are received. If they seem to sell, I keep it up, if not, I try something else.

I like these 2 sites of all the ones I have checked because they allow you to set up an online store on their site for free(up to 500 products), they can be listed as Buy now,with bidding,or make an offer options. I like to just pay a certain price online when I shop. Some people get a thrill out of haggling, and others love to compete with bidding. So having all the choices available at once is good. Once again,no charge to list the item either, unless you want multiple pictures, and special features, then it is .5c a piece. You also can leave your items up as long as you want. Unlike the auctions on eBay, the items don’t end in the 3, 7 and 10 day cycles. The competition is still there for other sellers selling the same items at low costs, but not as many as in the eBay community.

That brings me to the buyers point of view. Great for low prices, but as more people list,you have to scan through pages to find a good deal. Alot of the sellers only sell to Americans to keep the costs low for shipping.

The big thing for todays resellers is using dropshippers. What dropshipping is, is a company who has the inventory stored in a warehouse allows you to sell their products with out physically buying the items first. Then when you have a buyer for the item you put the order in to the company and they will dropship the item to your customer without their own company info on the box. That way, you pay a wholesale price they ask for and sell it to your customer for a retail price, you collect the money, give the lower price to the company when you place the order for the customer, and the difference is your profit. I use this method for most of my products. As you start making more money you can just go to wholesale sites, buy more products at even cheaper wholesale prices, and earn more profit. You will have to store the merchandise yourself by then, so usually most people wait to proceed to that step when they can afford a storage space or extra room in the house for their storeroom.

Dropshippers can be found online, but you have to do alot of research and spend a few dollars to find good ones. Most of them say they are, but they are what is known as “middlemen.” You would still get a discount, the profit margin would just be a little bit smaller. A good place to get into even though it is pricey to start is OneSource, brought to you by www.WorldwideBrands.com It costs $299. to sign up but it provides so many viable good sources it is worth the money in the long run. One time fee. There are other cheaper sites, but they are not quite as extensive. If you prefer to go that route, I recommend Shopster.com They have the option you can make a store through them, so you would not have to invest in a hosting site for $20 a month as well. Lots of products there. The profit markup isn’t quite as high as with worldwidebrands, but still good enough to learn the ropes with. They ship worldwide as well. Other big sites like Doba.com, only ship to the US.Shopster has good customer service to help you out. They are offering a 7 day free trial for you to check it out and see what you think. Then it is $29.95 a month with a one time $99 startup fee.

If you are interested in starting up your own online store, want to try the dropshipping method, and would love to have this great opportunity to try your own business online with relatively low start up costs, check into one of these two companies. Then remember, for promoting your products, use the auction sites as well as your website. Also, ioffer.com has a promotional tool you can use to create flyers for your products. You could print some of those out, and try putting them up around your neighborhood, or door to door mailboxes. You can promote in so many ways. They don’t all have to be costly either.

Create Your Own Online Shop

Have a blog of your own? Why not. But having your own online shop is even better! It takes less than five minutes to sign up, a few more to personalize your shop and finally, a pleasurable stroll through Zlio’s directory of over three million items to fill your newly-created virtual e-store. And at the end of the day, you get a commission on every sale generated through your store (2 to 15%, depending on the supplier).

The most important thing, then, is to generate traffic on your shop (mine’s here, by the way!) Or in addition, you can rely on your family and friends – indeed, if you refer someone to Zlio, Zlio gives you a free bonus of 10% of that person’s commissions, for ever, and 5% of the commissions of anyone they refer in turn! By the way, I thought I might mention that my referral link is http://zlio.com/?page=app:signup&r=116049, in case you’d care to click on it!

Traffic Tips-How to Use Ebay Traffic for More Sales

Do you sell items on eBay? I have a brother who makes a healthy living doing that. He sells computers, parts, software, ipods, and other assorted products. Of the people I have talked to who sell on eBay, they all say it can become an addiction. They enjoy it immensely. Now doesn’t that sound like the best kind of job? Ebay gets a lot of traffic and one of the best traffic tips is to use that to drive more to your own website through the use of an auction.
The following article should give you some tips on how to make eBay work for you to generate more traffic to your own site. Follow the guidelines though or you may break some rules and regulations.

How to use eBay auctions to drive traffic to your site
Copyright 2005 Peter Tarrida del Marmol

Many eBay auction sellers rely only on eBay for generating
100% of their online income. Many of these people are
running a successful auction business; however, they could
do even better. They are missing a huge opportunity to
turbo-boost their business profits and reduce their listing
fees at the same time. If you feel you are one of these
people, these are the steps you should follow to optimize
your net auction business:

1.Create a website. If you can write an eBay ad, then you
can design a website. It is not rocket science. You can
download many free web templates from the internet and
customize them easily with any HTML editor. If you type the
words “free web templates” in Google, for example, you will
get more than one million results!

2.Register a domain name and hire a web hosting service.
These services start at about $40 per year, depending on
the web space and special services you require. Once you
have set up your hosting account, you must publish your
site.

3.Register an account in Paypal in order to allow online
payments from your website. Paypal’s payment buttons and
shopping cart options are easy to use and allow you to set
up your site very quickly.

4.Use allowed strategies in your eBay auctions to drive
traffic to your website. You don’t have to pay listing fees
and commissions for the sales that come from your website,
so your objective should be to use eBay only to generate
traffic and monetize your sales from your own website.

But everybody knows that eBay does not allow placing
outbound links in the auction ads, so how can you turn the
massive eBay daily traffic into a continuous stream of
visitors to your site?

Here comes the interesting part…

The first method is to put a link to your site on your
“about me” page and then link your auction ad to it. This
is allowed by eBay. Your auction visitors will be directed
first to your “about me” page, and then driven to your
website. A second way to gain traffic is advertising your
business using a picture or logo on your auction ad that
includes your website’s URL. By doing this, you will be
using eBay as a very cheap way of advertising online. All
your auction visitors will see the name of your site and
will be invited to type your URL in their web browser.

To optimize the number of visitors to your auctions, make
sure to use popular words in your auction’s title.

Another easy technique is to write your site’s name without
the “http://” or “www” in a paragraph of your eBay ad. This
should be done carefully. The paragraph should not look
like an ad for your site, but as a natural explanation. For
example, let’s say your website is www.auctionearnings.com.
You could include a paragraph like this in your ad:

“You can find more information regarding this product at
AuctionEarnings.com, as well as free articles and free
e-books that will contribute to increasing your knowledge
on your subject of interest.”

Finally, and in my opinion, the most efficient way to gain
massive traffic is to create an information product and
give it away on eBay. Sell it for one penny and send an
email to your customers with a link to your download page.

Attention – very important!

You MUST capture your customer’s name and email address in
order to build your own customer list, so that you can
promote other products in the future using auto-responders.
At this point, you will be taking control of your own
business and you will not have to depend on eBay anymore to
monetize your sales.

—————————————————-
Peter Tarrida del Mármol has succeeded on using eBay to
generate traffic for his affilliate internet business. To
learn more, click on:
http://www.auctionearnings.com

While there are many other traffic tips that you can find to use to your advantage, using a huge traffic source such as from ebay, can really mean a lot to the growth of your business if you play the game right.

Sales Tactics-Learn What Really Works

Last year I worked for a call center troubleshooting printer and computer issues. Then Hewlett-Packard decided they wanted us to add sales to our calls. We were not impressed. For the first few weeks most of us didn’t do very well, even with the bosses threatening to fire us for not fulfilling our job requirements.
After awhile we brought in a special instructor to help us generate sales tactics. Some people benefited from it and others didn’t. What I found was when I fixed an issue successfully, explained the benefits of products that could improve their performance and better their company or personal lives throughout the call, the customer more than often asked if I knew where he/she could purchase such an item for a good price. That was my opening to slide in the fact we had what he needed and I could set him right up at the end of the call. But I didn’t push a sale. I didn’t even ask if they were interested. I didn’t get a sale on very many calls compared to some of my colleagues but the sales I did make usually amounted to enough to keep me on par.
The following article should give you some tips on how to change your selling technique and develop the right sales tactics that will work for your business.

The Ultimate Sales Tip – Give Up the Need to Sell
Copyright 2005 Ike Krieger

Most business people will tell you that selling is not
their favorite activity. Let’s explore a way to look at the
process of sales a bit more favorably.

Whether we like it or not—“we’re all in sales”. Most of
us have an internal dialogue about both selling and closing
that is less than positive. Most of us approach the sales
portion of our business hoping we’re not “coming off like a
salesman.”

Most of us hate to be sold to. Most of us have to sell to
live. Most of us realize that in order to keep our business
afloat, we need to sell. I suggest that you give up that
need to sell.

Please notice that I didn’t ask you to give up the
commitment to sell, but rather the need to sell. The
hardest time to do anything is when you need to.

In the revised edition of his book “Man’s Search for
Meaning”, the noted psychiatrist and author Victor Frankl
coined the term “Paradoxical Intentionality”. He defines
“Paradoxical Intentionality” as “The twofold fact that fear
brings about that which one is afraid of, and that
hyper-intention makes impossible that which one wishes.”

In other words, if you need to do something it makes the
task much more difficult. Frankl’s thesis can best be
illustrated by an example with which we all can identify.

The last time you needed to get to sleep because you had
something important to do the next morning… how easy was it
to get to sleep? The last time you needed to stay awake for
the end of a film… how easy was it to stay awake?

So I repeat… give up the need to sell. Be committed 150% to
making the sale but avoid becoming tied to the “outcome” of
making the sale.

This is contrary to what many of us have been taught.
However, if you view yourself as a “problem solver” rather
than a “maker of sales” this concept will make much greater
sense.

I define a problem as, “something that exists when there is
a difference between what you have and what you want.” My
definition of business is, “The ability to solve other
people’s problems and get and make a profit.”

Closing is “the ability to create an environment in which
the prospect can come to the conclusion that our product or
service will solve his/her problem.”

Based on these definitions, our job becomes a process in
which we first uncover whether the prospect has the type of
problems our business solves. Next we have to find out if
the prospect truly believes that a problem exists (and it’s
important to let the prospect be the judge.)

If the prospect believes that there is a problem, and that
the problem is likely to cause monetary or emotional
sacrifices, he or she will be more open to having someone
who can be trusted help solve the problem. In other words,
the prospect begins to close the deal.

Your prospect will begin to convince and influence you that
there is a need for your help. He or she will become the
source of the sales presentation and the close. As
backwards sounding as this may seem… it’s really the way it
works.

Because the responsibility of convincing and influencing is
assumed willingly by the prospect nearly all of the stress
and negativity we associate with selling literally
disappears.

Use this approach to selling and you’ll see a big
difference. Instead of a day filled with trying to sell
things to people, you will get to solve people’s problems.
This is a much more enjoyable way to approach the selling
part of your business.

In summary… give up the need to sell and think of yourself
as a magical problem solver.

—————————————————-
Ike Krieger is a speaker, author and mentor. Ike provides
tips, tools, ideas and resources that focus on sales and
business networking success. Ike will help you get in front
of more of your ideal contacts, and then turn your contacts
into contracts…or clients… more easily and more often.™
– Subscribe to Ike’s mailing list
http://www.BusinessSuccessBuilder.com

One of the key ingredients to creating a profitable business is to try out several selling methods. By using different sales tactics, you can see what works and what doesn’t. By doing a soft sell instead of a hard sell, you may just find that you have found a winner.

Holiday Marketing-Tips for Boosting Your Sales

T’is the season to be jolly. Ho Ho Ho. We’ll for the Americans out there I guess you still have Thanksgiving to go through. It is the time to think about holiday marketing for those of us who have things to sell.
Christmas is the holiday that everyone looks forward to all year. It is the most commercialized holiday out there. There are some businesses that make more money in the three weeks before Christmas than they do all year. It is the time of year when everyone needs some kind of inspiration for gift giving. All the merchants out there can sell any of their products with the right pitch and incentive. If you can convince someone to shop at your store and throw in an added bonus they would really enjoy, they will do so if it means one less store they have to hunt through.
That is why I love places like Walmart because they are a one stop shop with good prices and always something on sale. Why not? How many stores can you shop at where you can get clothes, electronics, office equipment, toys, furniture, tools, and food?
I have never had to return anything for poor quality, and the customer service has always been informative and helpful.
The following article will give you some pointers on how to prepare your business for the holiday season to maximize your profits.Having the right holiday marketing plan can mean make all the difference in your sales volume.

New Ideas For Small Business Holiday Marketing
Copyright 2005 Marketing Comet

2 seconds after Halloween it seems that all the retail
stores put up their Christmas decorations – trying to
capture as much of the Holiday market as possible. Typical
ways that retail stores use to capitalize on the holidays
include extended hours and sales. This is all well and
good. Today I want to give you an early present by giving
you some novel ways to think about holiday promotions.

Many people are fed up with holiday crowds, which is
reflected in the growth of online sales and the decline of
some traditional retailer’s sales. There also seems to be a
trend towards buying fewer gifts, but those gifts tend to
be higher-ticket luxury items.

In the type of marketing we all should be doing ,we start
with the customer in mind. What do we know about people
this time of year?

– Time is a commodity – there’s too much to do and too
little time. – People have more shopping to do than they
usually do. – People are under a tremendous amount of
stress. – People tend to clean and decorate their houses.

These are just some of the factors affecting people during
the holiday season. I’m sure you can think of many more.
Take these things into consideration, and take the stance
of being a giver.

Here’s an idea I’ve never seen (so I want credit if you use
it). If you own a store, offer free gift wrap – nothing new
there. While people are getting their gifts wrapped, they
get a free chair massage? You could partner up with a local
spa, or even a massage school who could also give every
customer a promotional coupon. You save your customers
time, take away their stress, and create a fusion marketing
partnership with the spa.

If you are in a household service business, offer to do
additional winterizing services for your customers to save
them time. Offer a free holiday housecleaning. If you
aren’t in the cleaning business – again team up with a
cleaning service.

Give-aways are great. Give away free Christmas trees –
depending on where you are you could buy a couple hundred
for $10 a piece. The deal could be – spend $100 and take
home a free tree. Give away turkeys, or complete turkey
dinners – a lot of grocery stores have this promotion.

Everybody gives away calendars, aim for something different
but still useful. How about ice-scrapers if you live in the
north? Blankets, sweatshirts, caps – are all good
promotional items when the weather turns cold.

Holiday cards are great. People enjoy getting them and
displaying them. Hardly anybody sends Thanksgiving cards,
definitely consider it. In this politically correct age
(gasp) you have to be sensitive to people’s religious
sensibilities. Send Happy Holidays cards and not Merry
Christmas Cards – unless you are absolutely sure your
customer celebrates Christmas.

If you have any kind of retail business, think about add-on
gifts that might be used as a second gift. A florist might
include a free gift-wrapped ornament with a certain level
of purchase that can be sent to a different address. Two
gifts for the price of one. Buy one get one free offers are
great at holiday times.

Use your creativity this holiday season and think about how
you can solve your customers’ problems.

—————————————————-
J D Moore – Marketing Comet
Small business marketing coaching that gives you more
customers, higher profits, and a lot more fun in your
business.
http://www.marketingcometcoach.com
blog – http://marketingcomet.typepad.com

Since most customers only choose to shop with those people who they know and trust, you should have used the previous year building up your relationships with your customers. They should be all ready to buy from you if you approach it all in the right way. Any new customers you gain for your holiday marketing, you will want to keep throughout the following years as well. Keep your options open, try new things and soon you will find what works and what doesn’t depending on your niche and target market.

Upselling-3 Tips for Generating More Sales

It is a competitive world out there isn’t it? Everyone searching for a new way to attract the customers over their competition. It gets harder and harder with each passing day to find something unique.
I just started working in a Sears call centre part time for the Christmas rush . I take catalog orders over the phone. I enjoy it because it is a great way to learn marketing and promotional tips. Sears is one of the biggest retail companies in the country. They are well known the world around for their quality products, long lasting warranties,fair prices, and friendly supportive staff.
During our calls, we have opportunities to upsell, cross sell, and promote various offers we have for our products and services. There is always an opportune time to inform your customer of something available that could be an added bonus to them or a loved ones life. All our callers are loyal customers who have been dealing with Sears for years. They know that they can rely on us to provide them with prompt delivery service, a reliable,useful or entertaining product,and courteous,understanding customer service.
Sears is the perfect company to model my own company ideas after. I hope to gain great insight into how I can become a reliable, well known name people will remember when they are looking to buy.
The following article I found goes with the theme of my thoughts on selling and the concerns therein.

The Art of UpSelling: Three Tips to Generate More Sales Effortlessly and 3 Ways
People Blow It
Copyright 2005 UpLevel Strategies

Here is the good news. The hardest sale you will ever make
to a customer is the first one. With the first sale, if you
deliver on your promise to the customer, you establish a
mutually-beneficial relationship. The customer gets what he
or she wants, and you get what you want. Also, once you
have received a “yes” commitment from a customer, it’s
easier to continue the positive pattern of continued
“yeses”. The customer finds it hard to break the
affirmative sequence. You then will have the opportunity
to Upsell them.

Upselling refers to when you help a customer decide to buy
a little extra or “up-grade” slightly the final purchase. A
car dealer, for example, might inform customers at the time
of ordering about upholstery protection and undercoating. A
shoe salesperson might suggest that when you buy a pair of
shoes that you also use some weather protectant spray.
These are usually small purchases that the buyer doesn’t
have to put a lot of thought into. The bonus is they can be
extremely profitable for you as the sales person and for
your organization.

Following are three key tips to effectively upsell your
customers.

1. Up-sell where it makes sense. Say a customer purchases
an e-book from your website. Instead of trying to upsell
your customer on a $3,000 seminar, ask if he’d considered
purchasing a $97 teleclass that teaches the work from the
e-book.

2. Use sales incentives. Once you’ve received the first
sale, offer a discount on the second item. Give the
customer a 10% discount off their first teleclass.
Sometimes a very small price break is enough to get that
extra sale.

3. Identify buying patterns. Take note of how many
customers who purchase e-books also buy teleseminars. This
kind of information tells you what items to pitch and when.
Your grasp of market research will impress potential buyers
as well: telling consumers that 90% of the people who buy
e-books from you also buy seminars might tip them towards
making that extra purchase.

The best part of upselling is that it’s practically
effortless. Since it’s done after the customer has decided
to go ahead with a major purchase, the hard part of the
sales conversation has already been done. You’ve already
established rapport, identified needs, summarized,
presented benefits, asked for the order and handled
objections. Upselling is just presenting the information in
a “by-the-way” assumptive manner.

Also, make sure that you include an upsale opportunity in
your autoresponder within your shopping cart. For example,
someone buys an e-book. In your autoresponder, thank them
for their purchase and ask them if they would like to
register for the teleclass on the same subject for a
discount.

So if it is so easy, you might be asking, how can I go
wrong?

The 3 biggest mistakes in upselling:

1. No attempt is made to upsell. I can hear it now as I
write this article. “I hate to sell”, “I don’t want to
bother people”, and the ever popular “They are probably
going to say no”. This upselling business might all sound
a bit contrived, but let me introduce another perspective
to look from assuming that you only provide top notch
products and services that can make your customers life
easier and more enjoyable.

If you had information or a product that could help people
improve the quality of their life, wouldn’t you actually be
doing a disservice to them to not offer it. You would
actually be withholding valuable information from them.
And here is the thing… they do have the right to say no.
AND you are in business. If you don’t offer or ‘sell’ your
services or products to prospects, you won’t have a
business much longer and then all the people who need you
won’t have access to you.

2. The salesperson comes across as being pushy. How can
you avoid this? Being assumptive is the key. You’ve got to
assume that the customer will naturally want your product
or service. Begin the upsell with a brief benefit, and then
if possible, add something unique about what you’re
selling. To avoid sounding pushy, particularly if the
upsell requires some elaboration, ask for the customer’s
permission to describe it.

3. The upselling is made in an unconvincing manner so the
customer generally refuses. This issue really links back
to the objects made in number one, which is you don’t feel
comfortable ‘selling’, so you don’t really make an effort.
If you believe in your products and services, let the buyer
see your passion. If you don’t…it is time to go back to
the drawing board.

—————————————————-
Kelly K. O’Neil, Chief Strategy Officer, UpLevel Strategies
Business & Marketing guru Kelly O’Neil is passionate about
helping entrepreneurs succeed in business through her
Business Mastery Success System. She is the lead author of
“Visionary Women Inspiring the World: 12 Paths to Personal
Power” (Skyward, 2005) and is writing her second book
Guerilla Business Strategy with mega-marketing genius Jay
Conrad Levinson. Kelly’s company received several awards
for her exceptional work including the PR Compass award for
outstanding Public Relations, The ADDY Award for Branding
and recently received the Purple Cow Award acknowledging
her company as one of the Most Innovative Companies in
America by best-selling author Seth Godin.
For more information, or to subscribe to O’Neil’s Arrive!
E-newsletter filled with countless tips and resources for
creating more profit in your business, visit
http://www.uplevelstrategies.com Please contact UpLevel
Strategies at (408) 615-8150 for a Complimentary 30 Minute
Strategy Session.

Credit Card Merchants-Tips for How to Use Them

One thing that can become a concern while doing business online is credit card fraud. We have all seen the commercials, we are all aware of the dangers. But how can we still do business with credit cards and prevent this from happening to us? By using the help of credit card merchants, you can safely protect your customers and receive money for sales in your own business.

If you are thinking of selling merchandise online, you will need to know what to do, who to trust and how to get it all started.
Here is an article that will give you some added insights and tips to help you decide how you would like to set up your account for receiving income.

Credit Cards and Your Business
Copyright 2005 Brad Eden

Any business will cringe at the thought of what the banks
put them through to use credit cards. If you do not know
what I mean, then this article is for you!

The fact is that everyone online wants to use a credit card
or debit card to process their order. It is very true in
our society that the credit card is a way of life, and if
you do not offer that ability to accommodate them,
customers will move on to another website that does allow
them to use their cards. This society has become driven by
instant gratification and expects to receive their products
immediately, either by a download or a short shipping
duration. Taking credit cards as a form of payment on the
internet or offline should be thoroughly understood. Read
on to see what I mean and how to protect yourself.

The fact is that any merchant taking in payments is
immediately at risk for whatever amount is charged and
MORE. The banks will take the charge disputed along with a
“charge back” fee right from your merchant account, and you
better have enough in there that has cleared to pay your
own bills or you will be charged more for “overdraft
charges”. Some banks are waking up to the fact that it is
not always the merchant at fault and most merchants are
more than honest in their dealings. There is so much credit
card fraud out there and since the merchants are ALWAYS
liable, you need to realize this and take action to prevent
as much disaster for your business as possible.

First, if you have your own merchant account, then you have
a lot of work to do when you receive a credit card order.
You must verify as best you can that the card, the name on
the card, the address, the cvv number verification, and the
quantities are all in order. You need to verify the IP
address of every order and see if it is within the location
of the card holder. A person living in Toronto, Canada,
probably would not be in Las Cruces, New Mexico, charging
products. This is a red flag but not a deal breaker, some
people DO travel. Caution needs to be taken to protect your
cash flow. As a merchant you must get money safely into
your account for any goods or service you provide, so that
you can become a larger or more substantial independent
business.

Do not just take in cards and believe that everything is
going to be just fine now that you have the money in your
account, because it can come out just as fast, or faster,
than it went in. There is a real need for you to understand
a lot more than can be mentioned in this article.

The best way to receive all the tools and services you need
to protect yourself and to make your voice heard is to
check this website:http://www.merchant911.org This is a
group of dedicated individuals who have been working for
years to try to change banking and processing company rules
and regulations as relative to merchants, both large and
small. If you need any more proof of their dedication, just
read some of the press releases and look at the tools they
have assembled for merchants to use.

Right now is the time to start to protect yourself from
credit card fraud. If you have read any of the newspapers
or listened to any of the news reports, then you already
know you are at risk. There are reports of over 40 million
cards in the hands of criminals and thieves and they will
sell these cards or will use them in various illegal
methods. It’s not hard to imagine that some day soon you
will be approached and asked to spend your time and money
to ship a product or provide a service with these
fraudulent cards.

Do your part to keep America strong and allow your business
to grow and prosper, not be destroyed by thieves and credit
card sharks.

—————————————————-
Brad Eden is a Entrepreneurial Sciences expert with 14
years of industry experience in real estate, marketing and
technical communication. He currently consults with IBM in
CA. Brad owns & operates a free traffic resource for
entrepreneurs.
http://www.amercanfreetraffic.com

Credit card merchants like Paypal are designed to provide us with the best protection and easiest way to accept money from anywhere in the world. With the help of these companies, we can take our business to a whole new level of income and growth. Paying the monthly fees are worth the protection and ease of use we receive when signed up with sites like Paypal and they are known and trusted around the globe.

eBay Tips for Successful Selling

There are so many sites out there now designed to work with you to sell products if you have a lot to sell but don’t have the time,know-how or money to create a website of your own to promote.One well known company is ebay. I was reading of one lady who made a living of going around to garage sales and finding items that are listed in a directory with a value of profit.Successful selling on eBay is possible if you know the best eBay tips to follow.

She then posts the items on ebay to see if she can get the proposed amount. In alot of the cases she has exceeded the value and then some. You would be surprised what some things go for online. And it is a fun venture to get into.

My brother made a good living selling laptops and accessories online before graduating to greater things a couple years later. Do you like ipods? You can check out my brother Matt’s site for purchase or repair. http://irepair.ca
I would like to share the following article with you regarding ebay tips if you are thinking of getting into selling on ebay.

Beware: The Dangers of Selling on eBay 101
Copyright 2005 Brad Eden

It’s obvious that eBay provides internet users with an
online flea market where buyers and sellers from around the
world meet to conduct trade.

However, like most traders who are faced with an innovation
of this sort, the first question will always be: It is safe?

The answer is yes, but devious scammers seem to be plotting
daily to forward their dastardly schemes and take advantage
of eBay’s power.

So, what is the user’s recourse? The users of eBay must
learn to gather information and take meticulous care in
dealing on eBay. Only then can they be less gullible to
scammers.

A common consensus is that bidders are often scammed by
sellers. But it is possible for things to be the other way
around.

Here is a list of the common problems sellers encounter and
the means to handle them.

Fake Escrow Services

A winning bidder may request that an escrow service be used
to assure both parties of a fair transaction.
Unfortunately, the seller is sometimes duped into using a
fake escrow system.

To avoid this situation, the seller must always verify the
authenticity of an escrow service. eBay recommends the use
of escrow.com. If the bidder insists on his or her escrow
service, chances are, that person is a scammer.

Victims of this fraud find it difficult to reclaim their
items. They may, however, appeal to the legal system
afforded by the state they live in. They must also contact
eBay regarding the matter for any assistance they may be
willing to offer.

Deadbeat Bidders

Deadbeat bidders (a winning bidder who doesn’t pay for an
item at the auction’s close) are more common on eBay. If
the winner of your auction does not pay, you may leave that
person a negative feedback.

As for the listing fees the seller shells out, eBay lays
out a four step procedure that sellers can use to
potentially recover lost selling fees. If sellers complete
the process to eBay’s satisfaction, they will receive a
Final Value Fee credit and a re-list credit. Filing out an
Unpaid Item dispute is the first step toward eBay
reimbursing such fees. A person can report an unpaid item
up to 45 days after an auction’s close.

Trade Dispute

This occurs when the seller and bidder disagree on some
terms of the sale. This may also happen if there is a
purported violation of any of these agreements.

If communication between both parties does not help, they
may consider availing of a third-party dispute resolution
outfit to help. SquareTrade.com is one of these outfits
that eBay recommends.

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

A seller’s life may be made terrible because of the
constant scamming attacks unscrupulous individuals
undertake. But, with proper information and care, he or she
can continue trading on eBay with relative safety.

Payment Methods on eBay

Gone are the days when only cash (or cattle in some cases)
was the only accepted mode of payment for trades. As the
concept of trading evolved, so did the means of paying for
items.

Today’s electronic world pushes the envelop further. With
the advent of online trading systems such as eBay, many new
forms of payment have flourished.

First of all, on eBay, the mode of payment depends on the
agreement between the buyer and the seller. Most often, the
seller will specify his or her desired payment method. In
these cases, the seller often has primacy in the decisions
regarding payment modes. However, the buyer may still
communicate with the seller regarding a viable alternative
if it suits both parties.

The following is a list of common eBay payment modes.

Cash On Delivery

Cash is, after all, still cash. This payment method can be
done through a third party courier system or by the buyer
and seller meeting each other at an agreed place. The
advantage of a cash transaction is that the exchange of the
item for payment is done in the presence of the buyer and
the seller (or the seller’s representative). However, some
people will not accept the risk present when two strangers
meet.

Personal Check

One popular method of payment is personal check. Writing
checks is easy and safe. However, many sellers do not like
accepting check because they are easy to cancel.

PayPal

PayPal is the payment of choice on eBay. In fact, eBay owns
PayPal.

Using PayPal is easy, convenient, and relatively safe.
PayPal acts as like an internet ‘wire transfer.’

After signing-up for PayPal, one may send cash to anyone
with an email address using the PayPal system. PayPal also
has security features that safeguard against fraud in case
there is a dispute between the seller and the buyer. This
system is best for transactions up to $1000.

Escrow.com

Escrow.com is the payment of choice for purchases over
$500. Escrow.com holds the buyer’s money from the seller
until the seller delivers the item. Only then will the
funds be released to the seller. This system makes for a
very safe, although highly procedural transaction.

Wire Transfer

This is the payment of choice for countries that do not
carry the PayPal service. Wire transfers are risky because
the buyer usually has to wire over the funds before the
seller sends the items. The chance for non-delivery of
items is high.

Other Payment Systems

The number of third party payment services is steadily on
the rise. Their systems for payment vary. However, to be
successful they must be convenient to use and safe as well.

—————————————————-
Brad Eden is a Entrepreneurial Sciences expert with 14
years of industry experience in real estate, marketing
and technical communication. He currently consults with IBM
in CA. Brad owns & operates a free traffic resource for
entrepreneurs.
http://www.americanfreetraffic.com

Like with all other business models dealing with selling items, success is a matter of trial and error. You may find that you lose money when you start with shipping if you don’t follow the best ebay tips you can find regarding this matter. This is what happened with me but soon enough, I was back on track and doing ok. Selling on eBay can be really fun if you would like to try it out.