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How I became an Accidental Online Bookseller...

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Volunteering Can Pay Off

Volunteering Can Pay Off Posted by on Jul 5, 2015

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Wal-Mart Reveals Some Intriguing Online Capabilities

 Your new favorite book is free! Check out Literary Guild today. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) is revealing some intriguing new online capabilities that should give competitors like (NASDAQ: AMZN) pause. The retail behemoth is quietly promoting and testing its new free delivery option, ShippingPass, at the same time with a brilliant online strategy. The strategy demonstrates that Wal-Mart’s leaders have a tremendous understanding of human nature, publicity, advertising, online marketing and retailing that they are using to drive sales to in clever new ways. TechCrunch reported that an unknown number of web surfers stumbled upon a leaked internal link at The link took them to a webpage that revealed the name of Wal-Mart’s new service, ShippingPass, and offered customers free shipping for $1 a year. Customers were even invited to sign up for the service, but the link later disappeared. Those that signed up for the fantastic deal later received an apology email from Wal-Mart that included a $50 e-gift card. The apology email claimed those that had signed up had accidently stumbled upon an internal alpha test of the service. Where would you be without your car? The right insurance for the right price from SafeAuto keeps you driving for about $3 a day. Get your quote today at How Wal-Mart Mastered Free Publicity and Social Media This does not sound like a mistake to me; instead, it sounds like a very deliberate and extremely clever publicity stunt that took advantage of the Alpha Test. The event can be categorized as a publicity stunt because of all the attention it brought to ShippingPass. Not only did it get media attention but it also attracted interest from social media and the blogosphere. The external testers that signed up for the test become advertisers for Wal-Mart because they will talking about the $50 they got for simply trying to sign up for ShippingPass. When I heard about the affair, I went straight to the ShippingPass waitlist page and signed up....

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How to List a Book on

Apr 02, 15 How to List a Book on

Posted by in Amazon

I like listing books on Amazon because it is easy, time-saving, and basically free. The best thing about Amazon is that it does not charge you unless you actually sell the merchandise, which makes it cheaper than eBay. Listing on Amazon is nowhere near as complicated or time-consuming as listing on eBay. I figure that I can list four or five books on Amazon in the time that I list one book on eBay. That makes it easy to list a large volume, which is the only way to make money on Amazon. The drawback to Amazon is that you will not have as much control as you have at eBay. You will not be able to offer an auction, take and refuse bids, and write a detailed description. The number and quality of pictures you can display is limited. There is also little chance to add your own Search Engine Optimization (SEO) terms, which can help drive more sales. Since Amazon is a retail marketplace directed towards general consumers, it is a good idea to only list recently published books geared towards a general consumer there. I have not listed many collectible books on, but I plan to in the future to see how they sell and how much I can make from them. Here is the basic process for listing a book at Go to   Click on Your Account on the righthand side of the screen. When your account comes up, click on your Seller Account on the Other Accounts If you do not have a Seller Account, follow the instructions for setting it up.   Log into your Seller Account. If you do not have one, follow the instructions for setting one up.   On the top of the screen, you’ll see Inventory, and if you mouse over to it, a drop down menu will appear. Look for the words Add a Product and click on them. Now you’ll see the Find it on Amazon search feature....

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A Few Tips for Creating a Killer eBay Listing

Listing an item on eBay will take a little longer than listing something on Amazon because you will have to do more work. This is both good and bad; eBay listings take more time to create, but it gives you more control over the process. There are also some things that you can do to make your eBay listing more effective and more likely to sell your item. These strategies and steps include: Avoid eBay’s valet program because it does not take most books and items under $40.   Always list older and unusual items as antiquarian or collectible. This lets you set up a completely new listing for the item and stops eBay from confusing it with something completely different. That would keep your first edition of Kurt Vonnegut’s Player Piano from 1952 from getting lumped in with a recent paperback reprint of the same book. It also directs your stuff to people more likely to pay extra for it, namely collectors. A person who just wants to read Player Piano is looking for the cheapest copy possible; a collector is looking for special attributes.   If you are listing with an ISBN, check the title eBay gives you. They sometimes get it wrong, especially the year. Make sure the year listed there is the year the book you are selling was published and that the title and author are correct.   Always post at least one really good picture of your book at eBay. The picture should only show the book and nothing else. Use a scanner to take the picture and a photo editing program to crop the picture. This makes it look more professional.   If possible, post more than one picture; I usually post a picture of the front and back of the book unless the back is blank. If there are illustrations inside the book, post pictures of them. If there’s a signature, post a picture of that. If you think it is a first edition, post a...

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Why you have to sell through Amazon and eBay

There’s a very simple reason why you would want to sell through Amazon and eBay if you want to succeed in online retail. Amazon and eBay are where the customers are. During the third quarter (May, June, July, and August of 2014), Amazon sites had 168 million visitors a month in the United States alone, according to the Statistics Portal, Statista. Statista’s data also showed that eBay attracted 111 American million visitors a month. There simply is no other website in the United States or Canada where you will be able to make contact with that many customers. Not one of the other sales platforms that will let smaller retailers conduct third-party sales attracts that kind of traffic.   Secrets from a Manhattan Broker: Things Your Rental Broker Doesn’t Want You to Know by Alex Zane Coleman. $9.99 from Looking for an apartment rental in Manhattan is undoubtedly a frustrating experience. Having to deal with lying brokers, fake ads on Craigslist, and bait and switch tactics, most apartment hunters find themselves in a desperate state filled with many unanswered questions. This book provides answers to those questions and more, helping you to save time, money, and most of all, your sanity!   The Best Online Real Estate Basically, eBay and Amazon have staked out the best real estate online, and in retail of any sort, location is everything. The great thing about these giants is that they are willing to let you sell through their prime locations. Walmart and Costco would not let you come into their stores and sell used books, but eBay and Amazon will. Amazon and eBay’s numbers also show why setting up your own online store is now a dumb idea for most sellers. There is no way you will be able to attract that kind of traffic to your website. If you set up your own online store, you would have to pay for website design and hosting and invest a fortune in advertising to attract a tiny...

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A Few Reasons Why You Should be selling through Amazon and eBay

The minute you start researching online retail, you will probably discover dozens of websites, blog posts, and forum posts bashing Amazon and eBay. You will probably also see all the horror stories about high fees, eBay rules, Amazon rules, etc. The best piece of advice I can give you is to ignore them because there currently is no good alternative to Amazon and eBay for the small seller in the United States and Canada. Unless you have several thousand dollars to invest in a website and retail operation, you will have to deal with Amazon and eBay. Something else to remember is that most of that anti-Amazon and anti-eBay propaganda is being spread by people trying to sell some sort of alternative to them, such as a prepackaged online store. Do not listen to them. Most of their solutions will cost more than Amazon and eBay and not attract one percent of the visitors you would get through Amazon and eBay. More reasons why you should concentrate on Amazon and eBay sales include: Statista reported that Amazon had 168 million visitors a month to its U.S. sites during the middle of 2014.   Statista also reported that eBay attracted 111 million visitors to its U.S. sites. The volume of merchandise moved by third-party vendors through Fulfillment by Amazon increased by 65% in 2014, according to Tech Crunch.   Selling through Amazon and eBay is the best education in online retail that I know of. You will learn basic skills, gain lots of insight, and make money at it. If you do decide to try elsewhere, the systems will be basically the same, so you will know how to use them.   eBay can give you a substantial discount on shipping, which can save you money.   Services like Fulfillment by Amazon and eBay’s Valet and Global Shipping Program can save you a lot of time, which is just as important to an entrepreneur as money, if not more so. Customers are already familiar with...

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eBay Is Now an Acquisition Target

Investors and online retailers need to pay close attention to the situation at eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY) right now. The online marketplace is getting ready to spin PayPal, its payment solution, off into a separate company. That should concern us because PayPal generates around 44% of eBay’s revenues. eBay reported a TTM revenue of $17.9 billion on Dec. 31, 2014, of which $7.786 billion came from PayPal. Get the picture, folks; without PayPal, eBay’s value and revenues drop by nearly half. That puts eBay in a very vulnerable position because its other business, the online marketplace, has only been growing by around 1% a year. Most of the revenue growth at eBay is coming from PayPal. eBay could survive without PayPal, but it would not grow very fast without the payment solution. eBay Has Lost Its Momentum If eBay wants to remain relevant and regain its momentum, it will have to restructure its business in a big way. eBay’s core business is no longer growing; it is facing aggressive competition from rivals like Walmart (NYSE: WMT) and (NASDAQ: AMZN). Much of Amazon’s recent growth has been driven by third party sales and its Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) operation. VentureBeat estimated the value of Amazon’s third party sales at $17 billion in 2013. Tech Crunch reported that the volume of merchandise moved by Amazon’s FBA business increased by 65% in 2014. Since third party sales are eBay’s core business, you can see the problem here. eBay is trying to restructure its core business by offering a solution similar to Fulfillment by Amazon. For those of you unfamiliar with it, FBA is a service in which Amazon warehouses, packs, and ships merchandise on its website on behalf of customers. The problem is that eBay’s answer to FBA looks like too little too late; its Valet service is limited, and it is not clear if eBay has the resources to match Amazon’s capabilities. eBay’s Future as an Acquisition Target Despite its lack of momentum, eBay has two...

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What is the Difference between Amazon and eBay?

Mar 08, 15 What is the Difference between Amazon and eBay?

Posted by in Amazon, eBay

Understanding the difference between eBay and Amazon is critical to success as an online retailer or bookseller. Even if you are not selling on these sites, they are your biggest competitors, so knowing how they work can enhance your business. Both Amazon and eBay are online marketplaces and third-party sellers. A third-party seller is an entity that serves as a middle man between the customer and the seller. It makes its money by taking a cut of the final sale. The big difference between Amazon and eBay is that Amazon is a retail market and eBay is a wholesale market. A retail market sells goods directly to the largest possible customer base at a fairly steady price, while a wholesale market sales goods to a specialized customer base at the lowest price possible. Wholesale marketers usually sell to professionals, dealers, and hobbyists, while retailers sell to everybody. A good way to think of Amazon is that it is a giant retailer, such as Walmart and the grocery store operator Kroger. Like those behemoths, Amazon is in a wide variety of businesses, including third-party retail. eBay, on the other hand, is more like a thrift store or a dollar store. It sells a much smaller selection of goods to a much smaller market.   How to Use the Difference between Amazon and eBay to Drive Profits You can take advantage of the differences between Amazon and eBay to generate profits. Those differences determine which books sell best on each site. Specialized and collectible items, such as old books and comic books, sell best on eBay. Items with a strong mass market appeal, such as bestselling fiction from the last 10 or 15 years, sell best on Amazon. The reason for this is the difference between the shoppers.   Celebrity Authors’ Secrets – The World’s Greatest Living Authors Reveal How They Sell Millions of Books by Stephanie Hale. $12.99 from Twelve of the world’s greatest living authors reveal their tips for writing a book that...

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