Thursday, May 28, 2009

Alternatives to Ebay: More Places to Sell Your Stuff

While we all know Ebay and most of the world has either been a buyer or a seller on Ebay at some point, it is worth taking a look at some of its competitors. Why would you want to do this? Well, firstly some are cheaper, although some recent changes in Ebay's pricing policy that gap is narrowing. Secondly, some items are just better suited to a different marketplace. Finally, you may find that some your items just will not sell on Ebay, perhaps due to there being too much competition, so in these instances you may find that exposing your item to a different set of buyers increases your chance of success.

I have featured just three sites here; there are many many more, but the traffic for many of these is too low for you to make many sales. These three are the sites that I consider to be the main competitors to Ebay.

Amazon Marketplace

Amazon works in quite a different way to Ebay. Basically you can sell anything, as long as it is something that Amazon already sells. Listing is extremely easy in that you use the standard Amazon description and they also work out the postage and packing charges for you. Some people may find this restrictive and getting your listing stand out amongst the many others is tricky when the only variables available to you are price and condition. However, if you want fast and hassle free listing then Amazon could be for you. All sales are handled by Amazon's secure payment system and credited by Amazon to your bank account.

Another key consideration is that it costs absolutely nothing to list your items on Amazon - you pay nothing until your item sells. So if you have something that absolutely refuses to sell on Ebay, provided it is an item sold by Amazon, you can stick it on the Amazon Marketplace and leave it there until it finally sells!


Ebid is an auction site that has its similarities to Ebay. The key difference though is that the basic listing is completely free! You do, of course, have to pay a final sales fee. If you want to to upgrade your listing in any way (such as a gallery picture) then you do have to pay. However, what Ebid do offer is a subscription option, so you pay a fee and this covers all your auction costs for a given period, or for life if your prefer. So, potentially, the savings with eBid are huge. Payments for auctions are via Paypal, PPPay or Google Checkout.

eBid Online Auctions GBP

CQOut is another site that is similar to Ebay, but the fees for sellers are much more competitive. Firstly, it is free to list and many of the enhancements to your listings are also free. There is of course a final value fee, but this is cheaper than Ebay. Also the fees for a CQOut shop is cheaper than that of Ebay. There is a very small one-off registration fee, but what you save in sellers fees more than makes up for this. Payments for auctions are made via SecurePay escrow.

Do you know of any other alternatives to Ebay that are worth trying?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Making Money With Amazon Associates

Amazon Associates claims to be the world's most successful affiliate program. I have been signed up with them for some time and have I made any money from them? actually! But this is probably because I haven't utilized them to their fullest potential. I have recently started doing book reviews on one of my other blogs and potentially I could make sales there. However, it struck me the other day that these days Amazon sells pretty much everything! So, therefore, the potential for making money as an Amazon affiliate is huge. I can see all sorts of possibilities for product reviews on my blogs. They also have a huge range widgets and banners to include on your site/blog, as well as their "A Store" where you can construct your own store front to embed within your site.

I know this feels like yet something else to try, but actually it is quite painless to fit in product reviews into your blog, especially when you are stuck for content. The main thing to remember (as I have been learning recently), that you need to provide your readers with useful content - people do not visit blogs to read sales pages. Also don't flood your blogs with reviews (unless that is the stated purpose of your blog) and don't give everything rave reviews otherwise your readers will not trust your judgment.

I will be including the occasional review in my other blog as this is good fit for the particular niche (self-sufficiency/gardening) with well placed Amazon affiliate links to the product I am reviewing. Let's hope it pays off!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Reclaim Your Articles!

If writing articles is part of your making money online activity then you will know that many of your articles that you submit to Ezine, Go Articles, or the various other article directories out there will probably turn up on other websites at some point. Every so often (just because my ego needs a bit of boost) I do a Google search for my articles (you need to use inverted commas - i.e. "My Article Title") just to see where they turn up.

Often I will find my articles on related sites complete with my name and the links intact. This is, most certainly, a good thing. It certainly helps to get more links to whatever it is I am trying to promote out there.

Sometimes, however, I will find my articles credited to me, but no links. This is obviously less good. Even worse I have sometimes found my articles not credited to me, no reference to the original source and no links!! This is very annoying!! On these occasions, I have left comments (if the site allows) giving the link to the original article and the links that were originally included. Sometimes, if the site allows, I will contact the site owner to request that they acknowledge the source of the article and to include links.

There are some people who will continue to pursue the matter after this if the article is not amended. However, I tend to think that the time you spend pursuing people further could actually be more usefully utilized to write more articles.

So, go reclaim your articles..... but just don't stress too much over it!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Winners of Contest

There was a huge response to the business card and brochures giveaway, so thank you very much to all of you for your entries. This is now closed so any further entries will be rejected.

I have now drawn the two winners through and I can now announce that the winners are (drumroll please........):

FreeStuff and Mom2gabnnat

Congratulations to both of you!! I have passed the e-mail addresses of the 2 winners to to arrange for the making up and delivery of the business card and brochures.

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Change of Direction and a Grand Plan for my Internet Earnings

In the past few months I have been following a journey to making money online. So far my earnings have been fairly modest, but I have ambitions to increase this substantially. My recent purchase of One Week Marketing has forced me to re-evaluate what I am doing and thinking whether I am actually using my time effectively. And it is time that has been a particular limiting factor in me earning more money. This had led me to adopt the mantra:

Don't Work Harder, Work Smarter!

These are my current sources of online income:

Paid to Click
Paid Blog Posts
Cashback Shopping
Affiliate income

The purchase of One Week Marketing has shown me what is possible with Internet Marketing, so I have decided that a change of emphasis is needed. I am intending to switch my focus to Internet Marketing following the One Week Marketing method which focuses on making use of free methods such as Squidoo for promoting your affiliate links.

I am intending to focus primarily on a few niches with a view to setting up my own sites at some point in the future with opt-ins. My theory is that I can use the campaigns that I launch now to link in to my own sites when I get to that stage.

In order to make sure I am using my time effectively I need to look at what I am doing and how it contributes to my plan. I am making One Week Marketing the focus of my efforts at the moment, so the majority of what I do needs to feed into this. Therefore any articles I write should link to my OWM campaigns, and if I write these articles for HubPages, Bukisa, Associated Content, etc., then I also have the potential to earn from these articles.

Surveys have formed a large part of my money making efforts. I am currently receiving between 15 to 20 survey invitations per day!! If I were to complete all of these then this would take me around 5 to 6 hours! I have decided to scale back my activities with surveys gradually, concentrating firstly on those that are close to payout. Once I have reached payout with all of them then I will stick with 3 or 4 panels and ditch the rest.

I have decided to ditch most of the paid to click sites - frankly, life is too short to spend my time clicking on ads for pennies. The only one I am keeping for the moment is Hits 4 Pay as I am not that far of the $25 payout. I have resigned myself to the fact that I will never the small amount of cash I have accumulated with the others.

Likewise with cashback shopping - I used to diligently visit these sites and click on those advertisers that would give you pennies for visiting their site. Again, I have resigned myself to the fact that I will never see this money, as it is really not a good use of my time.

Despite the fact that I have made only £0.80 so far with my Zlio shops I am sticking with them for now. I have some ideas for promoting them which I want to try out in the near future. If these don't pay off then I will let them go as well.

I am disappointed that have changed their rules so that I now receive $2 per 1000 visitors to my blog. They have now allowed some other options for making money, such as some limited affiliate opportunities. If this was the focus of my activities then I probably could make some money from it if I really put my mind to it. However, it isn't. I have decided just to put up some occasional posts, just to keep it ticking over.

There is Ebay of course - I keep finding stuff around the house to sell so it makes sense to continue with this.

There we are, that's the plan. Any thoughts anyone on how use time effectively when making money online?