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Are you making the most of eBay?

eBay store
This auto recycler in the States lists nealy 40,000 items in his store - wow!
Life changes at a fast pace these days and that includes anyone selling used green parts. It wasn’t long ago that sales were done over the counter or in the yard but many of us now sell vast amounts over the internet. After all, it’s quick and easy and you have a huge market to go at, not only national, but international as well.

I was prompted to write this article after talking to a dismantler in the States (take a look) who has nearly 40,000 items listed on eBay at any time and it started me thinking; how long would it take to list that many items? Surprisingly, with the right tools, the answer is not very long at all.

Many of us are already doing good business on eBay and are more than aware of the benefits it brings. Those who don’t use on-line selling are missing out on a growing market that doesn’t cost that much to capitalise on. After all, anyone can put up a listing for a few pence and reach an enormous target audience. And don’t just think common parts, but those parts from rarer models that can get stuck on the shelves can often command a better price if you could only find the right buyer. I have an old Fiat X1-9 I have been meaning to break and list on eBay as it is now quite rare and buyers will pay a premium for the parts.

So there are two prongs to this. Firstly, if you are one of those who haven’t tried it, then get your computer out and give it a whirl. If you have parts that aren’t moving off the shelf, then it is worth the effort and it will show up on the bottom line. For those of you who do list items on eBay then ask yourself, “How am I doing it?”

The trouble comes when you start to see on-line sales working for your business and you want to make more use of it. Then time becomes an issue. It may not take too long listing one or two items, but if you have 50, 100, 5,000 plus items to put up each week, then this will soon become a drain on your manpower resources. When that happens you really need to look at automating the operation. That way you ramp up your number of listings without tying up valuable time.

A dismantler in the south was telling me how he has just bought Pinnacle software to do just this. Apart from handling other key stock control and accounting issues, the drive to get Pinnacle was to allow him to physically be able to list a sensible volume of parts on line as he is well aware that more parts will mean more sales, and let’s face it, that’s what we are here for!

I thought I better have a chat to Pinnacle and find out what savings can be made and what benefits await the eBay seller using automated listing software such as that which comes with Pinnacle. It’s quite simple when you think about it. Your stock is already on Pinnacle and the eBay module just gives you the added extra benefit by letting you use that information automatically. Your time is saved as you don’t have to repeat information. And it isn’t just the individual item’s information but the general stuff that applies to all parts as well. By that I mean things that are the same for each listing. How you do this is by setting up defaults for the information you want to include in a listing and how you want it to display. For example, for all engine listings you may want:
  • Listing Type (Auction or Fixed Price)
  • Category
  • Shipping option, cost & dispatch time
  • Paypal email address
  • Condition (new or used)
  • Return Policy information

You can then add templates that automatically include details such as:
  • part year
  • part model
  • stock number
  • mileage
  • part comments
  • IC Applications
  • default eBay Title
  • VIN

All other details can also be set automatically such as time period for the auction, reserve prices, starting bids etc, etc. If fact just about every detail you need to fill in. This way, you can list then any engine in stock at the click of a button. You can even set the system so your sales staff can’t sell the item whilst it’s listed on eBay - the last thing you want is the part sold twice! And, once the item is sold on eBay all the sale details come back into Pinnacle.

What’s great here is that you can now increase sales considerably while reducing the time and effort involved to do it. And it’s not just high value items such as engines, this makes it worth your while listing almost anything and everything - you could be selling parts that you thought you would never be able to sell before.

Hopefully this article has, if nothing else made you think. The whole idea behind this is to increase sales and if that’s part of your business strategy (and it’s hard to imagine it isn’t) then you should at least take a look - Don’t forget my cut from those increased sales!

If you want further information you can visit Pinnacle's website or give them a call on 0131 538 8538.

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