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value of money
made per
transaction. And
look, what a
surprise! He is a
platinum
PowerSeller ;-)




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Automated payment collecting: automating a part of your business will not
only save you time on that particular type of business. It will nearly make that
part of your business disappear into thin air so you never have to worry about it
again.

What is automating? It means making something automatic or as many people
like to call it "putting it on autopilot". Wouldn't that be great? Just putting a part
of your business on autopilot so you can be free doing what you love or focusing
on parts of your business that need more of your attention? Yes it is definitely
great and can be done easier than you think.

How can you automate your payment collecting? You need a system, a system
that guides your customers through the payment process without your
supervision. It works like this...

The customer wins one of your auctions, they are than sent an email that
contains payment information and ways to actually pay for the item. What I mean
by actually paying is there is a payment box right in the email where the
customer fills out their name, address, way of payment and other vital
information.

When the customer fills out this payment box, all they have to do is click pay and
follow the easy steps provided to them by your automated payment system.

That's amazing! I'm sure you don't quite feel the same way as me about it, but
this system will save you a lot of time and worry about collecting payment from
people. Oh and when the customer pays, the system automatically sends you an
email informing you that payment was received and gives you the customers
shipping information. This system is a big time saver and many PowerSellers are
using it as you read this sentence.

I first ran into to this payment system when I bought beads from an established
bead PowerSeller. Here is what the email I received after winning the bidding
said:

"Thank you for your purchase

PLEASE READ THIS E-MAIL ENTIRELY TO ENJOY A GREAT SHOPPING
EXPERIENCE!

We use a state-of-the-art online checkout system to handle all
seller/buyer communications. No need to wait for an invoice, ask
for a total, ask for items to be combined or tell us you're still
shopping. Your order has been placed in a shopping cart which
stays open for 10 days. Any additional items you win or
buy within 10 days will be automatically combined and added to
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your shopping cart. We charge shipping on the item with the
greatest shipping cost only - all additional items can be shipped
combined for FREE.

At any time you're done shopping, fill in your address in the
form below, choose payment method and optional shipping
insurance. The information you enter will be sent to us and will
update your shopping cart. Next we'll send you a "Payment
Received" e-mail and later a "Your Order has been shipped" e-
mail. That's it!

To ensure fast, professional and cost effective service, we
require all customers to complete our online checkout regardless
of payment method or location. For more details, please read A,
and B below;


A) If you're done shopping “

B) If you're still shopping



A) ARE YOU DONE SHOPPING FROM US ?

NEXT STEP: CHECKOUT - Please fill in your information in the form
below to complete your order. All your items will be combined and
shipping discount will be calculated automatically only thru this
online Checkout. In addition, you will be able to add more items,
get your order total, print your invoice, send us your address
and choose your payment method. If you choose to pay by:

- PAYPAL - It's quick and easy with our Paypal integrated
checkout (no need to go to Paypal's site)

- VISA / MASTERCARD / AMEX - You can pay us securely by credit
card during checkout.

- CHECKS / MONEY ORDERS - Our checkout will notify us instantly
that your payment is in the mail.

B) ARE YOU STILL SHOPPING FROM US ?

Please don't checkout yet. Wait until you're done shopping and
then complete checkout below. You can continue to add items to
your order and save on combined shipping for a total of 10 days.
After 10 days, you'll receive a "Shopping Cart Closed" e-mail
notification, and any additional items you buy will be placed in
a new, separate shopping cart. Please note we can't add items
to a closed shopping cart.

A word on INSURANCE:
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You can insure your entire order for $1.45 flat. Some buyers
decline insurance because they've 'NEVER HAD A PROBLEM BEFORE'
and that's perfectly fine with us. But please be aware we are not
responsible for lost packages or damaged merchandise unless you
purchase insurance.

Questions? Email me at: sales@businessname.com

Thank you for your business!
Business Name"

Below this text was a form to fill out your name, address, preferred way of
payment etc. It was all automatic; as soon as I filled out my information and
selected to pay by Paypal I was sent to a secure Paypal payment page, typed in
my password and I was done!

I was amazed, the payment process was very fast because I didn't have to email
the seller back to let him know how I wanted to pay or what my address was. I
simply filled out the boxes and clicked "pay now". I was also amazed at how easy
it was for me, it was much easier for me (the customer) to pay this way.

So it is a win-win situation! The customer wins because it is easy to pay and the
seller wins because it saves time and makes it easy to collect payments.

So what do you need to do to create this system? How can you set up and
automated payment system? I must be so complicated and hard to do, it must
take a lot of work and effort, right? If it did require a lot of dedication, work and
effort it would still be worth it.

Fortunately for you it takes very little effort to make your payment collecting
automated. Because the system already exists and somebody has already
worked hard and put all of their effort into making it, all you have to do is pay for it
with a small monthly fee.

And to pay for it, all you have to do is go to
www.andale.com

Go check out Andale's services because they will come in handy in the future,
but don't just go and buy everything they have to offer. You don't need all of it yet
because you are still just beginning. What you need to do first is start selling. It
is only than that you should start thinking about all this time saving stuff.

Email: answering emails can be one of the most time consuming parts of an
eBay business. Some PowerSellers can receive over 1000 questions per day,
most of them by email. Can you imagine how long it would take to answer 1000
emails!?

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I have spoken to several sellers that spend more than half of their work day
answering emails and contacting customers about their payments. Can you
believe that? Answering emails takes up more time than listing auctions, packing
and shipping products, taking photos, keeping track of expenses and profits and
everything else put together.

Luckily, the most time consuming part of an eBay business can easily be cut n
half. That's right, it is extremely easy to take time off answering emails. There are
several good ways to take time off answering emails. Here are 3 of the best
ways...

Detailed listings: this is the most obvious way to not only save the time of
answering emails, but more importantly answer everyone's questions right in the
listing. If your listing provides all the information anyone would like to know,
less people are going to email you.

That is one of the major reasons your listings need to be full of information about
the product you are selling, shipping, payment options, delivery times etc. If your
listing is full of detailed information, everyone's questions will be answered right
there. That way less people will email you. This isn't a way to answer emails
quicker, it is way to reduce the number of emails you get in the first place.

A lot of PowerSellers complain that they get too much email every day, and that
it takes too long to answer those emails. Instead of complaining they should take
a moment and look at their listing, because than they would surely see why they
get so many emails.

It would be easy to spot the problem because most of these sellers are selling
$200 products with only a couple of sentences describing the product and a
small photo lifted from the manufacturer's website.

You need a listing full of relevant contents (description, clear photos, shipping
and payment info etc.). Not only to make visitors comfortable and anxious to buy
but to reduce the number of emails you receive. Most of the questions you will
receive will be about things you failed to mention in your listing.

So unless you want a hundred emails a day asking you what color the socks
you™re selling are¦ Make sure you mention everything anyone would possibly
want to know about the product you're selling and how they can get their hands
on it.

FAQ page: another way to reduce the number of emails you get, is to include a
FAQ (frequently asked questions) page. Most sellers that list a large quantity of
items up for auction make use of a FAQ page. But even something as simple as
a FAQ page is sometimes done wrong. This is how to do it right...


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First make a list of questions people might ask you. To do this simply look at one
of your listings and ask questions about it; questions like "can I pay with cash?"
or "does the camera come with a leather case?" After you have about 30
questions, write the answers to the questions.

Note: the questions don't have to be about information that is not included in
your listing. So even if you clearly say that shipping takes 1-3 days, you can have
a question asking how long shipping will take.

After you have answered all of the questions, organize them into categories. You
should have a "questions about product" category, a "questions about payment"
category, a "questions about returns" category etc. You need to organize the
questions into categories in order to make the FAQ page easy to use. If it's hard
to use people will give up and simply email you with their questions.

You should include a link to the FAQ page at the bottom of the page. You should
present it right beside your contact information. Say something like "if you have
any questions please check our FAQ page or email us at..."

You will notice that a lot of the questions you get regarding your listings will be
about something you clearly explained in the listing. Why do people do this, why
do they ask you questions you clearly answered?

Because they want to hear the answer straight from you, they want to make sure,
double check etc. It's a comfort thing, it makes people feel comfortable to hear
the answers to their questions straight from you.

That is why a FAQ questions page will not only decrease the number of emails
you get but also make people more comfortable. It is because the FAQ page is a
list of questions with the answers to the questions listed right below them. A FAQ
page is basically a "double checking" list, a "making sure" list and a "just
checking" list.

Make sure that you save all of the questions people actually do send you by
email, answer them and add them to your FAQ list. You should also use the
questions people send you to your advantage. How? Well if someone is asking
you a question, there is a good chance you forgot to answer it in your listing. Use
questions as "hints" to improving your listings.

Even if you don't have problems with the volume of emails you receive. You
should include a link to a FAQ page in your listings. Because a FAQ list will not
only decrease the number of emails you receive but it will also make people
comfortable and push them farther towards placing a bid on your auctions.

And when you receive an email asking you a question that you clearly answered
in both your listing and FAQ page¦ Don't reply by suggesting the person should

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read the listing and FAQ page more carefully and refer back to the FAQ page. If
you do this the person reply might be "FAQ YOU!" HAHAHA. Get it?

Answering emails: detailed listing and FAQ pages are more like "filters" that
decrease the number of emails you receive. They do not make answering emails
any quicker or more efficient, these filters simply leave you with less emails to
answer.

So what do you do with the emails that pass through your FAQ page and detailed
listing? How do you save time on answering emails, how do you make answering
emails more efficient? The answer to these questions is also surprisingly simple,
and very effective.

The trick is to have the answers ready before you receive the question. How? By

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