Monday, July 22, 2013

eBay Store Update, DSRs, and Facebook Promotion

On July 11, I opened my eBay store.

Jennifer's Series Books on eBay

My current plan is to list different books than the ones I have on Bonanza.  

Jennifer's Series Books on Bonanza

The Nancy Drew and Dana Girls books will stay on Bonanza, and I will list duplicates of some titles for which I have enough extras on hand.  Other series books, like Beverly Gray, the Hardy Boys, Cherry Ames, and even Judy Bolton, will more likely be listed on eBay.

The problem is that I am no longer able to get good sales for books outside of Nancy Drew and the Dana Girls on Bonanza.  A good many buyers refuse to look outside of eBay.  My Cherry Ames books sat in my booth for months, some for years, without selling.  I have sold every single one of my Cherry Ames books in six weeks on eBay.  I have sold most of my Hardy Boys books.  Beverly Gray and Judy Bolton books that have sat in my booth for months are selling on eBay.

While I dislike taking on an eBay store fee, I find it necessary in order to get books to move faster.  The main advantage of having a store is that I have a store URL which is easy to give to buyers.  I want my eBay buyers to visit my Bonanza booth and my Bonanza buyers to check my eBay store.

My Facebook page is now my center of operation.

Jennifer's Series Books on Facebook

I have apps installed that display both my eBay and Bonanza listings.  Last week, I began including a small flyer in packages in addition to the main flyer I include.  The small flyer mentions my eBay store, Bonanza booth, and Facebook page.  I suggest that people follow me on Facebook as the best means to view both my stores easily.  Every post I make here is published to my Facebook page, so the Facebook page keeps everyone aware of when I have a new blog post.

The goal with this blog is to publish at least twice per week, and each post is an essay.  The Facebook page consists of short comments and pictures, and my goal is to publish at least once per day on Facebook.

I try to have regular, interesting content on my Facebook page.  Sometimes I will sit and think for several minutes about something I can post.  Sometimes I have to skip a day or two because I can't think of anything.  My very best Facebook posts come from random thoughts that come to me that connect somehow to series books.  Yesterday's second Facebook post is a good example of one of those.

I also try not to post too much on Facebook.  People get really annoyed when one person posts one update after another, which means that one person is dominating the newsfeed for a brief period of time.  It does no good, since posts roll off the newsfeed quickly.  I have read articles that give two reasons why people quit following Facebook pages:  too many updates and too few updates.  It is important to strike a balance between the two.

I am guilty of posting two to three times in one day on my Facebook page at times, but I try not to do that very often.  My goal is one and only one Facebook post per day, two on some days.  When I know that I have already posted at least twice in one day and have another thought that I really want to publish, I schedule that post for the next day in order to spread my posts out.  Facebook does have a feature where posts can be scheduled.  It looks like a clock right under where the user types the update.  It's a very handy feature.

Back to my eBay store.  The DSR beast has reared its ugly head.  I have sold a pretty high volume on eBay since early June.  I have done well on the DSRs, but my shipping cost DSR is suddenly taking a nosedive. 

Just a couple of days ago, my shipping DSR was 4.92, and it has now dropped to 4.86.  I do not know which transactions are costing me, but I suspect I know.  Most of my sales have been individual books with shipping set at $3.95.  While $3.95 seems high to many buyers, I actually now take a loss on most all packages that contain one book and ship for $3.95.  I have kept my $3.95 shipping charge for five years as postage has gone up each and every year.  My actual cost is $4.25 to $4.50 for each package including the cost of a new box, shrink wrap, packaging tape, paper for the label, and ink for the label.  Yet I am perceived as charging too much.

I am not complaining.  It is my choice to charge $3.95 postage.  I could use eBay's shipping calculator to up my shipping charge above the $4.00 limit in the books category.  And of course on Bonanza, I can do whatever I want.

The problem is that many eBay sellers are artificially placing their postage charge at around $2.00 to $2.50, which makes people like me look like gougers.  Other sellers use free shipping on all listings in order to force an automatic five DSR on shipping.

You will notice in the seller dashboard that I have not received any low DSRs, but since my shipping DSR has gone down fast, I must be receiving many threes and/or fours.  When I feel like taking the time, I will go in and figure out exactly which transactions are causing my average to go down.  eBay does provide the means for us to do so, yet they tell us not to do it.  Makes sense, right?

Last year at this time, all four of my DSRs were taking a nosedive.  I had one repeat buyer, and I used eBay's tool to figure out that he was giving me a four on all four DSRs.  This should not have been a problem, except that he alone was 30% to 40% of my transactions.  Even fours drag a seller's average down quickly.

As a buyer, the DSRs no longer mean anything to me.  I leave a generic comment and quickly click through the fives on the DSRs for all sellers.  No one ever gets less than five from me unless they did something rather bad, and even then, they will get a three or a four.  If the feedback comment is positive, then the seller should not get less than three stars.  I think sometime last year was the last time I gave any seller less than five stars.  I no longer care to do anything that could hurt an eBay seller.

Since my shipping DSR is plummeting, I changed many listings to free shipping when I relisted them.  I have to force some fives so that my DSR average does not continue going down.  In order to sell successfully on eBay, one must constantly make changes in order to keep the seller dashboard at an acceptable level.

1 comment:

Ryan said...

I'm happy to see that there are softcovers on your ebay store now. I finally got the last of the 1-56 hardcovers last month, and am now concentrating on the paperbacks. I'm missing most of the ones in your lot, so I hope to buy it soon. :)