Make Paying Easy 02/21/2008
 

I've touched on this before, but I need to go back to it. MAKE PAYING EASY. Whether you only accept money orders or you can process credit cards online (best), make it pain free for your buyer to pay you.

Nobody wants to go through any hassle to GIVE someone else there money. So what I would say is simplify the process and accept credit cards online. You may be charged a fee, but it's worth it in the long run. You will get money faster, safer and people will be more likely to come back to you.


 
 

Now, it may seem that I have been doubling up on my advise. Advertise, shamelessly plugg, and now this; but I promise, all of these help in the long run and they all have slightly different results.

What I mean by cross referencing yourself is simply that if you are selling items on your own website, also sell them on a classified site, or auction site if you so desire.

That is is. These sites have thousands more viewers than you do. Lets face it... we all don't know how to advertise our website. I've just begun and it's more slow going than you would ever think. But these sites do, and they already have the viewers.

So sell your items in the classifieds online too, some sites even allow you to post your own info (if you have a high enough  membership level). This will double (more likely more than triple) your exposure and will be more than worth the small posting fees.

 
 

Now there are tons of way to generate traffic (eyes) on the internet... the more eyes you can direct towards your classified ads, the more likely you will sell the item in the shortest amount of time possible.

So go out there and post links to your ads in forums (if the rules allow), list items on Craigslist.com (the ask for no firearm listings, use discretion), pay for advertisements if you have a store built or you want to send people to your own personal webpage where you are selling items. The point is, sell your item the same way you would sell your business, advertise it.

I have even had luck with directing people to my Gunsamerica.com listings through the classified ads in my local paper. Put you're name out there and eventually it will stick.

 
 

Thank you all for hanging in there with me while I missed the last week. The Shot Show was great, but I did need some recovery after Vegas for the week (and some extra time off while I was there).

Now back to business. Todays tip is not to outgrow yourself. Now, I don't mean never grow your business, but what I do mean is when diving in head first, make sure you have enough room before you hit the bottom.

When signing up on sites, most times you are allowed to pick some sort of level, or you can insert tons of adds. Pace yourself, choose a lower level to test, and then, once you know what kind of volume you will be doing, upgrade. On gunsamerica you even get freebies the higher level you are. So pace yourself.

Just because you have 50 guns to unload does not mean you should post them all at the same time, unless you will have 50 a month. When people start recognizing you as a great dealer, then they will be expecting to see more from you, but until then, give them enough to always want more, but never run out of listings. When one comes down, post the next.


 
Missed postings 02/07/2008
 

Sorry everyone for the missed posting days. I managed to get out to the Vegas SHOT Show and have been in a haze since then.

Postings will resume next week as scheduled and I will try to make it up to everyone somehow. I know readership is still low because I have just started the blog, but I will continue if you will spread the word.

 
Sell... A Lot 01/29/2008
 

More is....well, MORE. On some of the most popular sites, you have the opportunity to link from one item to a list of all of your items. That right there is your opportunity for exposure.

Do not limit yourself to one or two sales a week, testing the water. Expand your repetoir, SELL MORE. The more items you are selling, the more people will see them. When more people see items, you have a better chance of making a sale.

If you cannot make the investment to sell big ticket guns, then find other items to sell that are related to the guns you are selling. Even if you are selling lots of items at almost no profit, you are increasing your chances of someone clicking... see more from this seller. When they do that... you get to make the BIG sales that bring you the BIG bucks.

So find a way to sell a lot. Sell empty shells, sell tents, sell hunting gear, sell Swiss army knives, just sell. The more you sell, the more people will buy.

Now, pricing and everything else comes into play, but that is for a later day.


 
Use Keywords 01/24/2008
 

As with all internet inquiries, online ecommerce sites use Keywords to browse their own website. And that's what it all comes down to, keywords.

When you want to find an item on Google, what is the first thing you do, type in a keyword. If you don't find what you're looking for, what’s the next thing you do? Change your Keyword!

Now imagine if you found the item you were looking for the first time, wouldn't your life just be that much simpler? If I have an item in the mind, and find it immediately, I am more likely to make a purchase that instant. If it takes me some time and I can't really find it.... you are loosing your 'impulse buy'.

Now, I know you think you may be using keywords when you type in a title or when you throw in an accurate description, but will EVERYONE looking for your item find it? Better yet, will everyone looking for a SIMILIAR item find your item? Because keywords can also create opportunities, not just exploit them.

As you are writing your description in your classified ad, remember that you are not writing for you, who already knows what the item is, you are writing for someone looking for your specific item, you are writing for someone looking for a similar item, you are writing for someone just browsing a general topic or you are writing for someone who isn't looking to buy, but can be persuaded.

As a previous post has said, I tell people to repeat themselves. Repeat yourself in as many different forms as you can think possible.

Beyond that though, you need to explain the use of the gun. Type in, "this rifle is great for plinking," or, "great for personal protection and concealed carry." The more keywords that are included in your description, the more your item will be seen.

If the gun has recently been featured in a movie, write that in the description, it can't hurt you, it can only help.

 
 

Do not be afraid to push yourself on other people when selling firearms or anything else online. If people do not know you are selling items, how can they buy from you?

So throw plugs in every once and a while. Create a myspace account for your selling account, post the item you have for sale on facebook, link to it from craigslist (Craigslist doesn't allow for people to post guns... so say that you are adhering to all their rules and link to your gunsamerica listing or something to that affect). Whenever you are in a forum (specifically a gun forum) tell people in your signature that you are selling stuff and (if policy allows) link to your items. Blog about your items in your personal blog. Create traffic any way you can. The more people you have viewing the listings on your site, the more likely you will sell more items.

Now, some people may be wondering why I haven't been pushing my items for sale on anyone. Well currently I am building awareness of this new username, and I am trying to keep this blog focused on the point. I have items for sale under other usernames and use my own formula for those names, but I want to keep this separate. I am however pushing this blog using these tactics.


 
 

Well, yesterday I made my decision on whom I would be using to process my credit card payments, and if you have read all of my blogs then this may not come across as a surprise.

However, it was a surprise to me when I discovered that they were now processing credit cards.

My choice to process credit cards for my online firearms and also, face-to-face transactions from now on is GunsAmerica. They have just launched GunsAmerica Live Payments because of Citigroup and First Data's choice to stop accepting payment on non face-to-face items.

I went with them because of their obvious firearm-friendly attitude and for the ability to accept payments for online goods sold through them, but also on items that are sold on Ebay. Even if I had a store, I would still be able to use them as a provider for credit card processing.

i am not going to give my rates, but they are comparableto other users, and they come with an agreement that they will not go up in only two months.

 
 

Well, now the time where you are actually handed, or hand over cash. How are you supposed to process all of this?

Well, if you have been paying attention to the forums lately, then you may know about the decision made by Citigroup and First Data to stop processing online credit card transactions for firearm sales. If you didn't know, then... surprise surprise! First Data and Citigroup control the majority of all credit card transactions in the U.S. and are now deciding that they do not want any part of a LEGAL transaction.

Now, in light of this, there are alternatives which I am reviewing currently and will blog about my decision on Thursday. In the mean time, my decision for the safest online transaction would still have to be credit cards.

There are other forms, and I will get to them in the future, but credit cards are the way to go. They are quicker then waiting for snail mail, and have fraud protection that can help both buyers and sellers.

If you are looking to set up any type of regular payments, then you should consider accepting credit cards. You will make yourself available for a large amount of people who can only purchase firearms, etc with credit cards.

Come back Thursday January 17, 2008 to see who I have decided to use for my credit card processing.