Tag Archive for ebay

Interview with Dan Miller

Earlier this week, I had the extreme privilege of being interviewed by Dan Miller, author of 48 Days to the Work You Love, No More Dreaded Mondays, and co-author of Wisdom Meets Passion about selling on eBay, Amazon, and Etsy.

I think the interview went really well and if you’d like some tips and encouragement to get started selling on the platforms, you can listen to the interview here:


There’s a hidden resource page that is referenced a few times, but you’ll have to listen to get the URL. ;)


Inventory Turns

Cash flow is the lifeblood of any new business.  The best way to grow your cash flow is to sell things fast and for a profit.  One way to determine how well you are selling your inventory is to calculate your Inventory Turns.

Here’s the formula:  Sales ($) for a given period of time/Average Inventory ($) during that time.

Here’s an example:  Sales of $36,000 in 12 months and Average inventory value of $6,000 during that time.

$36,000/$6,000 = 6 turns

Is 6 turns good or bad?  That depends on what you are selling.  If you sell donuts, 6 turns in a year would be awful.  If you sell industrial mining equipment, that might not be too bad.

You’ll have to investigate to determine what is reasonable for your industry and your business.

In general, with an Ebay business, the faster you turn your inventory the better.  If you can get your turns to be between 6 and 15 per year, you are doing really well at managing your inventory.

Inventory Turns helps you determine your holding costs for products.  If you have products that just aren’t moving, be ready to drop the price to clear it out.  You are better off having most of your cash in hand rather than in products that are just sitting on a shelf.

Learn from that deal and move on to the next.  Are these products out of season?  Is there a better alternative on the market?  Did the market price drop below what you were selling for?

There are lots of reasons for inventory to move slowly.  Dump it and move on.

Calculate your Inventory turns at least every six months to get a feel for how well you are buying.


Fast and Free

Ebay’s Fast and Free program may put you over the top when a potential buyer is comparing your item to others.


For an item to qualify for the Fast and Free logo, you have to meet certain conditions:

  • Both you and the buyer have to be located within the lower 48 states of the US
  • Delivery can be estimated to be 4 days or less
  • Your default shipping service is offered for free
  • Your default shipping service is not “local pickup” or a freight service
  • Your listing is not a classified ad

How to meet the qualifications

That seems like a bunch of qualifications to meet, but it might actually be really easy.

First, if your handling time can be 1 day, please do that.  That gives you more time for the items to be delivered.

Second, if you can utilize USPS flat rate Priority Mail boxes cost effectively, you can easily qualify.  1 day of handling + 2 to 3 day delivery means your item will qualify.

Regular USPS Priority Mail will work, along with UPS and FedEx second day services.

Ebay will also automatically add the Fast and Free logo to your listings for people within a predictable service radius even if you don’t offer an expedited shipping service as your default option.  For example, if you ship small items by USPS First Class mail to someone in another part of your state, chances are very good that your item would be delivered within 4 days.  Ebay, based on previous transaction from your zip code to theirs, may add the logo in this case.

What’s in it for me?

  • You get more exposure.
  • You may get a leg up on your competition.
  • It’s free.
  • As long as you meet the requirements, you’ll automatically get a 5 star DSR rating on both shipping charges (because it’s free) and shipping time (because the item was delivered within the predicted window of time.

See if it makes sense for you to offer expedited shipping and quick handling times.  You may find that it is worth it.