Our first article featuring long-time eBay Top-Rated seller Cie-Bay introduced you to this powerhouse of positive energy, who has enjoyed more than a decade of building and sustaining a thriving eBay business.
The positives of eBay far outweigh the negatives… so the little bumps in the road are just that, 'little bumps!'
Cie-Bay praised eBay for providing a marketplace that allows her to operate a professional e-commerce business and not just a hobbyist's place to sell unwanted goods. Her devotion extends to the sellers she's befriended throughout her career. She thinks of them as family, and she shares help, support, worries, and day-to-day life with them.
This seller is a staunch supporter of eBay and the marketplace it maintains, and she's willing to take to task other sellers who underestimate its value.
"The positives of eBay far outweigh the negatives," she says. "With this platform, it has afforded me the opportunity for so much, so the little bumps in the road are just that, 'little bumps!'"
Know your strengths
Cie-Bay is clearly a "people person" with a natural knack for networking. But to have a successful business, you must use your natural strengths and compensate for natural weakness, too. For Cie-Bay, that weakness is organization.
"I have struggled with organization my entire life!" she tells us. Fortunately, a close friend introduced her to a simple yet efficient system to keep track of what needs to be listed, what's listed and what's on the way out the door.
"I keep everything in banker boxes and on adjustable industrial shelving," she notes. "The shelving was key." While some sellers may prefer the standard inexpensive plastic shelving, Cie-Bay wants to be able to adjust the shelves to eliminate wasted space. This way, she has the flexibility she needs to manage her changing inventory needs.
The banker boxes help Cie-Bay sort the listed from the yet-to-be-listed, and they're vital to her shipping process, too. She used clothing as an example.
"Once my item is listed on eBay, clothing is bagged up then placed in a banker box," explains Cie-Bay, who has part of her shelving designated for items listed and waiting to be shipped.
She puts the box number of the item and its weight into the custom label fields. 'When it sells, I can print the label and package it in under a minute'
"I use the custom label field found in Selling Manager," she notes. She puts the box number of the item and its weight into the custom label fields. "When it sells, I can print the label and package it in under a minute," she continues. "I cannot tell you how much of a time saver this has been!"
Cie-Bay also designates part of the banker box for items she has yet to list. Those boxes are also numbered and input into Cie-Bay's inventory spreadsheet. "Once I'm ready to do some listings, I look on my spreadsheet and see, for example, box No. 3 isn't listed, so I grab that box and start listing those items," she notes.
This system is simple, easy to maintain and has served Cie-Bay well.
Take a good look at yourself
But just because Cie-Bay has found an effective way to overcome her organizational challenges, don't think she's satisfied with chugging along doing business as usual. When we asked her to share some advice for other sellers trying to grow their businesses, she suggested taking a good hard look at your operation.
"Step back and assess your routine," she advises. Cie-Bay's goal is to encourage other online sellers to keep their stores, listings, and inventory fresh and interesting.
"Again, I see people with complaints about not getting sales," she says. "They even admit they have listings that have been up since 2009!" She says this is like having customers walk into your brick-and-mortar store to find your items stacked on shelves layered with dust! No one wants to shop in a place like that.
"Many of us can admit that we would have to dust and clean that item in a brick-and-mortar store, so why not do it in your online store?" she asks. "You have to assess your business and see what needs to be done to keep it fresh!"
With her optimistic and outgoing nature, Cie-Bay is well equipped to adapt to the changes that come with e-commerce. Change is inevitable, but it scares many.
"Many people don't like it," she acknowledges. "The fact is, with the online world we are in, change is constant!"
One area where she sees reluctance among sellers is mobile shopping. She's jumped into mobile selling in a big way, and she shared some sensible advice for other sellers who want to join her.
I list with mobile optimization in mind because if someone can view my item well in mobile, it will view well in any other format
"Look at your items on eBay's mobile app on your cellphones," Cie-Bay recommends. "I list with mobile optimization in mind because if someone can view my item well in mobile, it will view well in any other format."
Cie-Bay keeps her titles keyword rich and her listing descriptions short, sweet, and to the point.
"I give my buyer the facts, period," she adds. "I keep my personal feelings out, e.g., 'Item is in excellent condition.' I will say, 'Pre-owned condition, no flaws noted.'"
Cie-Bay also keeps listings simple. "I stay away from multi-colored fonts and keep everything left-justified."
The seller prefers black, Arial 14 point text because it's always readable and clear. "I still hear eBay sellers say, 'I don't shop on mobile,'" Cie-Bay notes. But this is a mistake.
"Mobile shopping will continue to be a huge part of online shopping," she reminds us. "Don't limit yourself. Make it easy for your buyers to spend their money on your items!"
Keep it simple and don't be afraid
Yes, this seller is a definite fan of simplicity.
"I'm a huge believer in K.I.S.S," she says. For Cie-Bay, that means "Keep it simple, sweetie!"
We'll leave you with one last piece of advice: "If you can dream it, you can make a goal to achieve it," Cie-Bay says. "Don't let others' or your own fears, or negativity stand in your way. Seek support; it's out there. Align yourself with people who are of a similar mindset and don't let anything stop you!"