Monday, April 03, 2006

eBay stuff

I'm in the middle of really looking at how eBay works - gathering data, reading books, etc. It's already an important source of sales and particularly new customers (my regulars tend to just buy direct after a while) but there's always room for improvement. I'm also streamlining the "back end" - basically my whole workflow to get prints, store them, list them, package and mail them. The idea is to be able to scale that end of the business up without driving myself crazy or dropping my level of service. After all, every minute I spend needlessly trying to find a print because I wasn't organized means one less minute taking pictures of beautiful woman - which would you rather be doing?

Don't be shocked if you see me trying a lot of stuff out. You've seen this already with the 16x20s I've been listing as "featured items". I've also started to realize that some days of the week I get twice the traffic of other days, but I want to wait a couple of weeks and see how consistent it is before really trying to take advantage of it. (It may mean listing extra pictures Thursday and Friday during lunch PST or late afternoon EST because people are goofing off at work and checking out eBay). If you're a seller and want to get similar data check out Sellathon - it's quite useful.

I'm also changing my descriptions to make them more clear and in some ways less specific (my lab changed papers and rather than change auctions to mention which specific paper it's on I'm just saying it's professional grade archival paper and hoping if anybody really, really cares if it's Kodak or Fuji they'll ask. They're both teriffic papers, incidentally.)

Partially for strategic reasons and partially to streamline some of the changes I'm making I've started ending store items early and listing them as auction items. I'm not going to add new items to the store, and at some point I'll probably start ending massive quantities of pictures without moving them into auctions. This will eventually put me into a kind of "start position" where I don't have to change every @#$@#$ store item to update it - at some point it's actually easier to end everything and list from scratch than to revise that many existing items. There's also no rhyme or reason to what's up there now (whatever seemed like a good idea at the time minus whatever's sold) and I want to try to maintain it as a more representative sampling of my work (maybe 3 shots per model as a starting point).

Anyway, I know some of you reading this are photographers who also sell on eBay or would like to, and some of you are customers who might like a heads up so I'll post an update on this now and again.

Update: I had some time today so I made a bunch of changes including ending all color items in the store - some got moved to auctions though. The whole thing's been reorganized on my end - nice rows of 3 ring binders depending on where the picture is (auction, store, not listed) and within that alphabetized by model name. The "store" ones are looking kind of sad, but they'll fill back up in time.

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