Earlier this month Paul’s post ‘eBay Learnings’ ended up being a wonderful example of the small business community coming together to provide support, guidance and advice to a business owner in need of it. It really showed the true nature of our readers! Love Your Work!
We have invited Megan Stones from Envi Fine Accessories to share her thoughts and plans moving forward based on this overwhelming advice.
Oh, and if you’re after some jewellery, check out Envi Fine Accessories!
To put it simply – Wow! The online business community is amazing.
Paul shared his successful experience with eBay a few weeks ago, and it prompted me to comment about my failing business, my negative experience with eBay and need to liquidate my existing stock.
Such outpouring of help and knowledge is more than I ever expected from my first initial contact.
Unfortunately my business, selling semi-precious and fashion jewellery, has failed. The left over stock is moving very slowly. In fact I still have over $13,000 in stock left over and the associated debt of purchasing this stock.
After reading Paul’s post suggesting eBay as another option for small business, I wanted to share my experience – that for liquidating stock I have found it very difficult using eBay due to competition from lower quality, lower priced overseas suppliers.
I do agree that for the right products eBay is fantastic. In fact I’ve seen a few great ideas on eBay, however I have lost money due to eBay fees. While I have already tried unsuccessfully with jewellery parties, eBay, email promotions and vouchers and school fetes and small market stalls, I was keen to know about other cost effective options for selling the stock.
I do have some time to spare to sell the left over stock as we haven’t got any immediate debts due for collection now, however I do need to get on top of it. We’re aiming to at least pay out the stock credit card with the sale of the stock.
I was literally bowled over by the valuable advice that flowed from my initial comment. My head is swimming with ideas!
To sum up, here’s some of the great advice submitted:
- Trying auction houses
- A stall at the Camberwell Market
- Make the market thirsty for my jewellery!
- Go back to existing customer base with a special offer that’s too good to refuse. Offer them the opportunity of passing on special offers to two or more of their friends.
- Donating some product to charity and claiming the deduction.
- Going back to eBay and giving it another go, this time starting some pieces at 99 cents and seeing how it goes. (I had never noticed the starting price of some items!)
- Putting packs of beads together and selling on Etsy and http://www.madeit.com.au
- Produce a little PDF book about jewellery or beading that would be a value add.
- Look at competitors and seek if any are interested in purchasing stock just under cost.
- A copywriting competition call out to assist with creative copy for selling on eBay (thank you for your generosity Winston!). Using Google Wave to collaborate with copywriters for assistance with some creative prose to describe my jewellery.
- Using the networks of contacts I make.
This is all fantastic!
I was excited by the idea of a copywriting competition (caper!) for eBay listings, and it’s one I would like to try, but to be honest – for me it’s a bit of a case of once (or five times!) bitten, twice shy when it comes to eBay.
So while I need to keep up with monthly bills, I do have a little time available to put together a liquidation plan that will help me get the most out of the stock I have (even if we only break even and just cover the debt, I would like to try for that first before settling for losses).
I look forward to trying out a few of the ideas offered. It is amazing how simple an idea sounds however when you are trying to rack your brains for a solution, often the simplest one eludes you. I guess it’s like what they say – Look at it with a fresh pair of eyes – and that is exactly what all your comments and suggestions have given me. I am currently having a look into some auction houses as well as Camberwell Market (which from what everyone says is a winner for the type of jewellery I stock). I also am keen to keep in touch with the contacts I have made through this experience; I am a true believer that honesty and perseverance in business (and in life) will open doors.
What an overwhelming response I have received from you all, it really is much appreciated. This experience has given me fresh ideas, a new outlook on my situation and a drive to keep going. My husband and I are also discussing our possibilities of going back to eBay and trying out the tricks and tips we have been given. Fingers crossed our future experiences with eBay will be much more positive and that I will be able to come back here and share with you that my faith in eBay has been restored. I look forward to what the future may bring!
Thank you to all the contributors to this blog, for all the hard work and effort you have put in to helping my business. I truly do appreciate it all. If only I’d known how to access this advice when I was starting up the business! :-)
Thank you to Paul and Winston for the time you have taken so far in helping to gather people around me and offer their expertise. And thank you for going out of your way for someone you have never met before! The compassion you have shown is amazing!
Everyone has told me to keep my chin up, and I love that. It’s exactly what I’m doing. And I look forward to updating you all in the following months!
Thank you all for showing me how a community comes together.
If you have any more tips for businesses in a situation similar to my own, please share!
Megan Stones, Envi Fine Accessories