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 »  Home  »  Ebay Tips and Tricks  »  eBay Watch: iPhone Apps, Free eBay Alternative

eBay Watch: iPhone Apps, Free eBay Alternative

Category:  Ebay Tips and Tricks

This Week's EBay and Online Selling Highlights

EBay delays mandatory shipping specifications until August, eBay apps for the new iPhone are out now and eBay offers Fixed Price listings promotions. Plus, we take a look at the free eBay alternative selling site, Flippid.com, and also offer hints and tips from eBay sellers.

Specified Shipping Required Soon
Dinesh Lathi, vice president of seller experience, recently reminded eBayers that in August sellers will be required to specify their shipping cost and services in their item listings. This change was originally announced in January and slated to take effect in July. EBay says the move is being delayed while it fixes some problems with the bulk-editing tools, which eventually can be used to update shipping information in all of a sellers' listings in one process. This fall sellers will also be required to provide a return policy and include the handling time when listing items.

EBay's Fixed Price Promotion
Sellers who list items using the Fixed Price Format can take advantage of the auction site's latest promotion that lets merchants list for just 25 cents. This promotion will run for two weeks (from July 16 to 29) on the eBay.com and eBay.ca sites, and is available across all listing tiers. Items listed at $500 and up are still only a quarter to list, where normally it would cost $4 in listing fees for such items. For a list of excluded items and categories, check out the Fixed Price Promotion page.

EBay iPhone Apps
With one million iPhone 3G devices sold in the three days since its official launch, it's not surprising that the Apple Apps Store has several applications for eBay, including a native eBay program called eBay Mobile 1.0, that is free through the Apple Apps Store. This eBay app is designed to run on the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch, and lets you access your eBay account from your iPhone at any time. EBay members can use the app to bid, check their eBay activity and view sales.

Other eBay iPhone apps, available through the specialty store include riflethru.com, a search interface for eBay users' iPhone and iPod Touch devices. This program lets you search eBay at any time from any place and provides access to live eBay results.  SilkSystem also offers iPhone users iRibbit.com, an eBay Compatible Application that lets you bid, search, watch auctions and more. iRibbit.com also offers support for eBay Global Sites including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Singapore and the United Kingdom.

List on Flippid for Free
Flippid.com, an auction-style marketplace, recently removed all fees allowing online sellers to use the site for free. In addition to free listings, sellers listing 10 or more products can also take advantage of free custom store fronts.

Flippid.com offers SellOff auction listings with a reverse auction structure, JustBuyIt listings that allow you to list an item at a fixed price that can be purchased instantly by any buyer and also BuyOffs, where shoppers can type in a group of keywords and let Flippid.com find matching buyers.

When you first create your Flippid seller account, you will need to provide tax information and also your accepted payment options. Flippid currently supports Authorize Net, PayPal PayFlowPro gateway and PayPal.  Flippid has an easy-to-use member dashboard from which you can access your buying and selling history, including an overview of active listings, sold items, purchased items and your BuyOffs.

When listing, you start the process by choosing up to two categories, then a basic form lets you insert a title (60 character max), item keywords (100 characters max), an item description and your images. Sellers with their own text-based product catalog including an item name, price, description and image URL can use Flippid's bulk uploader.  In addition to the buying and selling tools, Flippid.com also offers members a customized profile page for creating want lists, sorting friend lists, changing public avatars and more. Overall, this eBay alternative is a well-rounded, eye-pleasing auction site with a friendly interface for buyers and sellers. The added bonus is that right now, it is also completely free to use.

In The Trenches: Seller Tips & Tricks
The eBay discussion forum can be a valuable resource for eBay sellers — if you're willing to spend the time searching through thousands of threads and messages. One eBay discussion thread, that was actually started back in 2003, lets sellers share their tips, tricks and secrets to success. Here are some suggestions and advice from your fellow sellers:
* Dixiedollie said, "I love to add that little extra special touch to my shipments. I add a thank you note to every shipment with a pack of flower seeds attached to it, during the spring and summer, and holiday gifts, such as decorative pencils on holiday occasions."
* Neatkidstoys-n-booksllc wrote, "We try to cap our shipping costs at $9.95 for big orders over $50 when we can. Then we'll throw a sellers' discount on the invoice prior to payment so they (the buyer) get even a little more. Lastly, try to send customized e-mails after auctions close to the winning bidders. Many times if you repeat your combined shipping policy to them, or even suggest a complimentary product from your store, it will increase the sale."
* Kbsbeans posted, "I wrap all my items in white tissue paper (clothing and fabric items), give customers a coupon for free shipping for their next two auction listing items within a seven-day period. ( I created and custom made the coupons to match my templates and other forms and certificates) Another note: make sure you communicate with your customers using message programs or create an individual personal note."

The full discussion thread can be read in eBay's Seller Central discussion forum.

Vangie Beal is a seasoned online marketplace seller, frequent contributor to ECommerce-Guide.com and avid online bargain hunter. She is also managing editor of Webopedia.com.


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