Category Archives: eBay

How to Make PayPal Buy Now Buttons

Buy Now
Buy Now Button

Guest Post By: Celeste Stewart


If you’ve been thinking about selling items on your website but aren’t quite ready for a full-blown e-commerce shopping cart system, you can take advantage of PayPal’s “Buy Now” buttons. These buttons allow you to sell items on your website, blog, or evene-mail(I’ve used them for that and was very successful)without much effort on your part. Once set up, all the buyer needs to do is click the button and pay you!

The PayPal Buy Now button automatically takes the buyer to PayPal with all of the information pre-filled out. Even if the buyer isn’t a PayPal member, he or she can pay you securely with any major credit or debit card such as Visa or MasterCard. Once the person completes the transaction, you’ll get a notification of the sale, so that you can ship the product. The funds are instantly added to your account, unless you are paid with an eCheck which takes a few days to clear.

Unlike commercial shopping cart systems, these buttons don’t cost you anything other than the regular PayPal transaction charges. Making Buy Now buttons isn’t difficult if you only have a few items to sell however, if you have dozens of items, it becomes tedious. If this is the case, you may be better using the free PayPal shopping cart or using a more comprehensive shopping cart system.

How to Add a PayPal Buy Now Button

First, you must have a PayPal Business account. Once you’re signed into PayPal, go to the Merchant Services tab where you’ll see a row of tools including the Buy Now button, Add to Cart button, Send Invoice option, and Virtual Terminal option. Click on the link for the Buy Now button.

A simple form appears. Fill in the following fields: Item name or service, optional ID number, price, currency, buyer’s default country, and item’s weight (if applicable). Next, choose the type of button encryption you need. If you need to add links, such as email links or links for downloads, you’ll need to choose the non-encrypted button. Otherwise, choose encrypted.

Enter shipping method options and sales tax options. Either of these can be based on the information that’s stored in your profile or a flat rate. Once you’ve filled in all of the fields, you can either create the button right now or add more options by clicking the Add More Options button.

The additional options include generic text boxes where you can describe the item, customize the look of the Payment page, specify a URL for successful payment, specify a cancellation URL, quantity and shipping preferences, an option to allow customers to enter a note to you during the transactions, and an optional email address for receiving payments.

Once all of the details are filled in, click Create Button Now. Next, you’ll see a screen with HTML code. Hit the Select All button to select all of the code. Now, use your “control” and “c” keys on your keyboard to copy the selected text. Go into the HTML portion of your website and paste the code in by hitting “control” and “v” simultaneously. Many WYSIWYG editors have HTML modules that you must first access before copying the code. Click the appropriate HTML module button for your website editor and then copy the code into it. Enter descriptive text above the button letting buyers know what’s for sale and a picture if available. Save the webpage and publish.

You should now have a working PayPal Buy Now button on your website.

5 Tips for Crushing Your Competition on Online Marketplaces

Selling on Online Marketplaces
Crush Your Competition

Online marketplaces like eBay and Amazon are a boon for small business owners. Whether you are a startup with one room doubling as your office and your warehouse, or a physical store trying to reach new customers, online marketplaces are the place to be. Even niche product creators have platforms like Etsy to sell their goods online.

As businesses hop on to the online marketplace bandwagon, the competition continues to rise. If you want to find an audience in the competitive online marketplace arena, you need to stand out from the rest. Let us look at a few things you can do to overcome your competitors.

  1. Make sure your photos are of the highest quality.

This is probably the single most important thing you can do to immediately improve the quality of your listings. Taking great photos is absolutely crucial for impressing your customers. If you’ve visited Apple’s website, for example, you can see the impact that fantastic photography can have on brand image.

Products usually look better when they are photographed with white backgrounds. This isn’t a thumb rule though. If you find that a lot of your competitors are using similar photo styles, feel free to do something creative. Make sure your images look professional and share-worthy. Hire a professional to get your photo shoot done.

  1. Create an interesting story around your brand and the product you are selling.

Everyone loves a good story. Instead of beginning your product listing with a list of specifications, draw your viewers in by narrating the story of how the product came to be. Talk about why the product is better than the competition. Use emotive language.

Most e-commerce platforms allow businesses to have an “About Us” page. This is where you should talk about your own story and how your company came to be. Use videos and photos to create a more engaging narrative.

  1. Make your customers feel special.

Buyers love it when they feel appreciated for their purchase. You should always strive to add a personal touch to each of your shipments. This doesn’t need to be anything fancy – a simple thank-you note or a small accessory will do.

  1. Tap into the pulse of your market and get to know your buyers.

Companies that are able to form personal connections with their customers are more likely to succeed on online marketplaces. With social media, you have a platform to interact with your buyers on a more personal level. If your customers post photos of themselves using your products on Instagram, reach out to them and comment on their photos. If you find someone tweeting about your products, engage them in conversation. Communicate with influential people in your market and ask them to promote your products.

  1. Give your customers a solid guarantee.

Your customers need to know that they are in safe hands if they buy from you. On your product listing, mention the details of your shipping and return policies. Let your customers know where they can reach if you if they have any issues with their purchase. If you are perceived as a company with integrity, your sales will be much higher.

In summation, getting yourself noticed on Amazon, eBay or other online marketplaces can be tough. But if you follow the tips outlined above, you will have a much greater chance of success.


The Secrets to Finding Deals on eBay

How do some people always manage to snag low prices on eBay? The answer is: “they probably have a system”. If you’re not familiar with the system, here it is.

Do your research

The most important step to striking a bargain on eBay is to make sure that you know what the product you’re buying is worth. You need to search forums, look at Craigslist advertisements – do whatever you need to find a number.

Hack your way to better searches

If your way of looking for low prices on auctions on eBay is to simply search with the names of the products you want, you’ll find the same listings as anyone else. You won’t find any great deals because these auctions are likely to be crowded with bidders. You need to think differently.

Search with misspelled keywords

While it may sound strange to think that you should go about your bargain hunting on eBay with misspelled words, it works very well.

Many people have a great deal of trouble with spelling correctly. Thousands of products on eBay are by sellers who have made careless mistakes typing the names of their products in their listings. They might spell Motorola Xoom as Motorola Zoom, the iPhone as the iFone, Silver as Sliver, Panasonic as Pansonic and so on. When shoppers correctly type in their searches as Motorola Xoom, iPhone or Panasonic, these listings mostly don’t show up. If you can find these products, you can probably bid on them unopposed.

How do you go about looking for all the different spelling mistakes possible?

A few people do know about the gold mine that misspellings present. This is why software programmers have created special tools for them. Auction Speller is one such popular tool. You go to the website, put in the keyword for the product that you’re looking for and hit Search. Right away, it opens an eBay window with all the misspelled search terms that you need. TypoHound and FatFingers are other options.

A few eBay typo search tips

  • When you separate all of your misspelled keywords by commas, eBay’s search engine takes it to mean that you need a product listing that has all of the terms included. What you should do, instead, is put in the variations that you need separated by commas and enclose the entire string in regular parentheses. This makes eBay give you pages that have even one of the instances that you have in mind.
  • eBay searches need to be shorter than 300 characters. For keyword phrases that are longer than 300 characters, you may need to do multiple searches.

Look for abbreviations and shortened titles

Many sellers who list products on eBay like the idea of quickly putting their listings down and moving on. Often, they use abbreviations. An iPod touch becomes an iTouch, a game called Dungeons & Dragons becomes D&D and so on. When you search for these specific terms, you’re likely to turn up something. You should, then, search for the most popular keywords for your niche and search by tweaking them and shortening them.

Search by missing words

In a hurry to type their listings out, some sellers accidentally miss words. For instance, a seller selling a sweater may forget to call it a women’s sweater in the listing. Instead, he may simply call it a sweater. Most searchers wouldn’t pay much attention to such a listing. When you look for such listings, you’ll find mostly neglected items that will be an easy bargain.

Look for listings with terrible images

Most buyers on eBay wouldn’t bother with listings with poor quality images. When you go after these listings, you will practically have no competition. You’ll simply need to request pictures.

Use an auction sniping tool

Manually bidding for products is a losing game. If you get in well before bidding is due to close, you are likely to enter a bidding war with someone. You will also drive the price up unnecessarily. Not only does this waste time, it drives prices up. You should simply wait until the last minute before bids close and place your bid at exactly the right moment. This kind of action is called auction sniping. Since it’s hard to do this yourself, you should use one of the various auction sniping tools available. BadNapper, Gixen, AuctionBlitz, AuctionSniper and JBidwatcher are all popular names.

Finally, always aim for items that close last

If you find several listings for the same product, all closing within a short period of time, you should always pick the last product to close. Since others are likely to be tied up bidding for the items closing earlier, you may have the last product to yourself.

Note: Of course, if you are a seller, you should know that all of the above happens regularly, and you should create your listings accordingly.

Scammed on eBay

How to Avoid Being Scammed on eBay

Selling on eBay is an important source of income for many people. Although big companies can afford to occasionally absorb a few losses from unscrupulous buyers, eBay scams can be devastating for small businesses and individuals looking to sell their old stuff. However, you can stay safe from thieves if you know what to look out for. Here is a look at how eBay sellers can protect themselves from scams.

Taking Photographs and Documenting Your Sales

When it comes to proving your case in eBay disputes, photos are key. Many dishonest buyers will try to swap out your good item for a defective item and then make a return. Having a photograph of a serial number will go a long way in proving that you’ve in fact been scammed. You should also take photographs of any identifying marks.

Furthermore, you should fully document any damage or wear on your item before you sell it. Although clear photos of damage might make your item harder to sell, they will ensure that the buyer gets exactly what he or she ordered and will save you from headaches in the future.

Local Pick-Ups

Certain items are too heavy or inconvenient to ship. For this reason, eBay allows sellers to arrange local pickups with buyers. You should never accept PayPal payments for a local pickup. PayPal uses tracking numbers to determine whether or not a buyer actually received his or her item. Since there is no tracking number for an item that has been picked up from your location, PayPal will basically allow shady buyers to force a refund from your account. Although you can prove that the buyer received an item by having him or her sign a receipt, overturning such a PayPal dispute takes time. You will not have access to your money until the case is resolved.

You should only accept cash for pickups. If you are selling an expensive item in person, you should also purchase a counterfeit detection pen or UV emitter to make sure that you are receiving real currency.

Fake Addresses

Some buyers will try to trick you into sending your item to an address or P.O. box that is different from the one listed on their accounts. They would do that if, for example, they are using a fake account with a stolen credit card to purchase goods, and then they have you ship them to a 3rd party P.O. Box that they somehow have access to. Once they receive your item, they turn around and resell it under another account or on another marketplace.

You should never mail anything to an unverified address that is not linked to the account that you are dealing with. If you send a package to such a location, your seller protection will be voided. You should also beware of freight companies who send packages overseas. Although many honest people use these companies to buy items from the US, these companies are also commonly used in scams. If you have a problem with such a buyer, get eBay’s customer service involved as soon as possible. You are only responsible for making sure that your package makes it to its initial destination.

Feedback Extortion

If you intend to be a long-term seller on eBay, negative feedback will take money out of your pocket. You will lose discounts and buyers will have a harder time finding your products through the eBay search engine. Many sellers allow themselves to be bullied into partial refunds or unwarranted returns because they are afraid of receiving negative feedback. It is important to know what your rights as a seller are. If a buyer ever threatens you with negative feedback, immediately report them to eBay’s customer service. Feedback extortion is heavily frowned upon by eBay and will often result in the banning of the buyer’s account.

The IMEI Scam – Selling Phones on eBay

If you sell phones on eBay, be aware of the IMEI scam. This actually happened to me, but I luckily caught it before it became a problem. Many others were not so lucky. When I listed a phone for sale on eBay, I received a message asking me for the IMEI number of the phone. If you are unfamiliar, the IMEI number is a 15-digit number on the back of your phone (usually under the battery) that the carriers use to connect and otherwise service your phone. If you report your phone stolen, for example, your IMEI will be blacklisted, so that nobody can connect your stolen phone to an account. A shady buyer would want your IMEI number, so that he or she can quickly clone it onto another (usually stolen or shadily obtained) phone, activate it and quickly flip it before someone catches on. The message I received was something along the lines of: “Hey, I just wanted to make sure that the phone you are selling has not been blacklisted. I was going to call Verizon and quickly verify that your phone is legit.” I almost fell for it when it happened to me! Never give out your IMEI number to anyone. They will get it when they receive the phone.


In conclusion, when selling on eBay, it is important to remember that most buyers are honest, ordinary people who are looking for good deals and hard-to-find products. Even though most people on eBay are unverified, don’t allow the several thousand scammers to ruin your perception of the site’s culture. However, you also shouldn’t let yourself be scammed. Assume the best of everyone, but be prepared for the worst.

What to Sell – Arm Candy: Spring 2014 Handbags

The top hand bag trends for spring 2014 are the cross-body bags, totes, backpacks, and clutches. From easy-going hobos to stunning, sophisticated satchels, this season’s hand bags are sure to be showstoppers.

Cross-Body Carryalls

Sleek, structured cross-body hand bags are great additions to any woman’s collection as they display beautiful craftsmanship and are sure to hold their value for years to come. Leather (calfskin, lambskin and goatskin), suede, embossed snakeskin, polished multi-tonal hardware (chrome, brass and gold), zippers, magnetic closures, and removable straps all grace these bags this Spring. Cross-body hand bags make it easy to go hands-free and to keep everything close to the vest, so-to-speak.

Some cross-body hand bags feature highly innovative features like expandable zip sides, zip-top fold-over flaps, and hidden mirrors in their removable zip-trimmed shoulder straps. Designs in woven calfskin with smooth leather trim reflect the current multi-textural trend. Other cross-body styles are adorned in high-gloss crocodile, or feature flap top accordion styles with multiple interior pockets, tonal lining, and hidden push-lock clasps.

Totes & Satchels

Tote bags are being toted in every shape and size imaginable, from small hand bags to more spacious over-sized carryalls … then, there are the trapeze totes; they make for a practical purchase when shopping for a new hand bag this season that transition well from work to evening.

Made of canvas, leather and crocodile in soft neutrals, or bold bright hues that pop (hot pink, electric neon and cobalt), they add a needed shock to the season’s otherwise delicate pastel and neutral color palette. This season’s canvas totes highlight leather piping, mixing hard leather and soft suede to reflect this season’s multi-textural, and dual tonal trends, playing on the union of masculine and feminine qualities.

Tote bags have open tops for easy access to all of the essentials that the modern, multi-tasking woman carries with her, or drawstring, snap or zippered closures to ensure that everything stays in place. Either way, their roomy, spacious interiors are sure to hold everything but the kitchen sink.

Elegant, ladylike satchels in soft, supple leather don studded embellishments, gilded hardware, and cracked leather for a sweet, but tough juxtaposition. These roomy bags have easy to carry double and rolled top handles along with adjustable, removable shoulder straps to sling over the shoulder and go.

Shoulder Bags

Spring 2014 shoulder bags range from slouchy hobos and messenger bags to boxy, structured bags.  This season’s shoulder bags come in solid neutrals, bold saturated colors (cobalt, fuchsia and tangerine), and monochromatic motifs. With their more laid back sensibility, slouchy hobos are great for errand running during the day.

Structured canvas and supple calfskin leather combinations exhibit this season’s multi-textural trend and color blocking and dual toned bags make for great contrasting pieces. Structured shoulder bags have optional straps that can easily be removed to carry by hand, transitioning seamlessly from day to night. Portable-sized bags are small enough to carry around all day. Design trends include fold-over flaps, flap buckles, chain straps, top stitching and gunmetal studding. Envelope styles, python-embossing and expandable bottom bags are other fashion-forward shoulder bag options to choose from.


Backpacks are no longer just for grade school kids but rather for the modern woman. Updated backpack styles may be carried as hand or shoulder bags or as a backpack. They come in soft leather bucket bag shapes with drawstring closures, as well as grained leather, boxy, flap top styles. Vegan-friendly options are available in faux deerskin (polyester) and lightweight nylon. Backpack detailing includes whip stitching, metallics, curb-chain trim and slim straps. They come in pretty pastels like mint green, multi-tonal prints, and bold, bright shades like strawberry.

Envelope & Fold-Over-Flap Clutches

Envelope clutches (resembling envelopes) are also statement-making pieces to sell this season. They are easy to carry, and some even have front straps to clutch onto. Designed in two-tone, color blocked, and pretty pastel shades, rich buttery or high-gloss patent leather, super soft suede, and snakeskin (python), these bags can really hold their own. Top design trends seen on these bags this Spring include perforations, lattice work, laser cutouts, and intricately woven leather.

While some clutches stick with the minimalism trend, others feature sparkly faceted Swarovski crystals, mirrored palettes, and/or gilded hardware (studs, clasps and chains) embellishments that add high fashion glamour to any outfit. These eye-catching bejeweled clutches complement any simple, sophisticated dress or jumpsuit for a stylish night out on the town. With so much bling in one sleek piece, other jewelry can be kept minimal.

Some clutches are small enough to be carried in tote bags for the day and brought out at night, while others are large enough to hold a tablet; some of them even resemble brief cases with due to their fold over flaps. Over-sized clutches are carryalls for everything today’s women need to have on hand. More compact designs with wrist straps (wristlets) allow for a hands-free evening while keeping all necessities (ID, compact, lipstick, and cell phone) close at hand. In the season’s most popular prints from floral, camouflage, tropical prints, water colors, graphic graffiti, art-inspired, sharp metallic, and safari (leopard), these bags are very “clutch.”

Spring 2014 is all about having the latest “It” bags in stock, whether you choose to sell a more relaxed silhouette like the hobo bag or a super structured, more proper satchel. Beautiful materials and detailing make these bags eye-catching pieces to highlight the season’s hottest trends in shopping carts.