Monthly Archives: January 2013

100+ hot selling items from top sellers on Etsy

By Tony Lam

Did you ever think of giveaway handmade items with your own design to impress your customers ? I did once to attach a surprise gift (without prior notice) to the Christmas shipments. The buyers were very happy and gave me tons of excellent feedbacks.  Last week when I was working on the data for my first infographic about Etsy top sellers, I learned that their supplies or raw materials for handmade items are really cool. For example, colorful thank you stickers from PrettyTape, Vintage Style Key set and Clear Rectangle Glass from SunAndMoonCraftKits, or Grecian Portrait Cameo Ivory from Cathysjewels.  Suddenly, I come up an idea to find out the most beloved hot selling items that I can buy from them to please my buyers.  I sorted out 12 Etsy stores  from the top 35 sellers according to the decreasing order of number of sales per item. Then, I looked through the active items in their stores and identify those with high number of views.



12 top Etsy sellers 1_25_13

Finally, I consolidate more than 100 hot items into my pin board in Pinterest. The hot selling items I picked are from 12 top sellers on Etsy with sales per item greater than 100 and with accumulated views more than 1000. Take your time to find out your favorite. Since the supplies are really hot and selling good, they may give you some insights to make your own design for handmade items that your buyers will love to receive them.

Are your eBay listings ready for mobile devices ?

By Tony Lam



The latest eBay top tips recommended sellers to take advantage of 12 Free pictures per listing and avoid using HTML in the body for better visibility on mobile devices.  I wonder how the key performance indicators such as Best Match ranking, sell through rate changed by doing so. I did an experiment to revamp one fixed price list, and monitor the changes of the key performance  indicators  at eBay Listing Analytics before and after. The result blows me away. Just three days after the revamp, the Best Match ranking improved 46% and the sale through rate increased 105% !! !



revamp your eBay listing for mobile devices

The experiment started with a keyword search at Listing Analytics. The keyword for the experiment is “violin clip tuner”. There were two fixed price listings (List A and List B) showed up after I keyed in “violin clip tuner”. I picked List B and add 7 more pictures to the maximum allowed number of 12. Then, I deleted the HTML codes in the body and only left a few lines of plain wordings, separated by line breakers (e.g.<br>) only.  Finally, I added the HTML code for “Posted with eBay Mobile” to the end to make it look like being posted via eBay Mobile app. As to the other List A, I kept everything intact as a control reference.

Initially, the changes in key performance indicators were not obvious. The BM Ranking of List B improved from 130 to 125 while the control List A behave almost the same from 104 to 105 after 1 hour. I was a bit disappointed. Therefore, I decided to wait for a few days to make sure the eBay server refreshed my latest changes for the BM search algorithm to work on it.  At the weekend, I received a few orders for List B and I knew that the BM ranking should have been improved. Today, when I opened eBay Listing Analytics and checked. The BM ranking is now 70 !!! with an 46% improvement !!!

Because the result is promising, I am going to revamp all the listings with low impressions in my eBay store in this week. How about you ? Are your eBay listing ready for the platforms of mobile devices ?

Summary of Fixed Price Listing revamp

Revamp procedure for List  B : 1) Add up to 12 pictures  2) Delete HTML code for template and video 3) Add HTML code for “Posted with eBay Mobile”

revamp summary eBay Listing Analytics


Listing performance before revamp

Listing performance after revamp

More Reading..

How to write an outstanding eBay auction (Part 2) – ranking up 278% with eBay Listing Analytics !

Multiply your earnings by automation

By Tony Lam

If you have a stable income from eBay, you can easily multiply these earnings by increasing the scale of your current system without additional resource. It can be accomplished by applying automation rules to the routine posting and re-listing process. Here are three ways that you can apply to save time so that you can handle more listings at the same time.

1)      Always set Good ‘Til Cancelled (GTC) for fixed price listings

If you have multiple qty for the item, set the fixed price listing to Good Til Cancelled and enter the inventory, as many as possible.  The listing will be automatically relist after 30 days.


Multiply earnings by automation infographic

2)      Search an exact item on eBay and sell similar

Find out the identical listings of your products on eBay search. If you are selling books, you can just scan the ISBN bar code to find the similar books selling on eBay. Pick the top seller listing and click “sell similar”. You will be asked to enter your specific information and upload your pictures. Making use of the best seller on eBay, you can save your time to enter keywords and long description.

3)      Automation rules assigned to auction listings

You can make use of 50 monthly free auction style listings offer  to sell multiple qty with automation rule assigned. At the top menu of summary page, click “My eBay” to open the drop down list and then pick “Selling” to open your selling list. Then, assign automation rule to the auction listing and select “relist continuously until item sold”. If the item does not sell after 7 days, the auction list will be automatically relisted. If the item is sold and you have more item, just manually relist the item  and assign automation rule to the new listing.


Top selling tips :

1. When you continue a end listing, it is better to choose “relist” instead of “sell similar” since it inherit the view records (but not visually shown) to the new listing, helping BM search ranking.

2. Let the review count and sales add up in the GTC listings, it helps to optimize your eBay BM ranking as well as Google SEO. I have some fixed price listings last for years with huge number of reviews and thousands of sales history. Those listings are always at high visibility in eBay Best Match searching. Also, buyers are more likely to buy from the listing with sales history than the new one.

How to create an eye-catching infographic for viral marketing

By Tony Lam



Infographic is widely used as a marketing tool to present complicated ideas or statistical data with eye-catching graphics and let the readers easily grab the idea within seconds. This is a useful marketing tool to promote your branding, store, products, and impress the potential buyers.  Also, infographic is a useful tool for viral marketing that reach hundreds of thousands or millions of viewers in a matter of days via social media such as Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.



35 Top Etsy Sellers

You may notice some infographics such as below that draw your attention in the past. Do you ever think of creating your own? It is not as difficult as you thought. I’m going to show you step by step how to create an infographic with “35 Etsy top sellers in USA” as an example.

UPS ground map


how to make your marriage last

1)      Think of one or two simple ideas or messages you want to convey

Think of something you want to convey via the infographic. If possible, think about something that adds values to your viewers. Then, they are more willing to spend a few seconds to view AND share with their friends after reading. It may be an answer to a common problem, or it shows statistic data that reveal trends or mysteries.  For example, I learned that Etsy has been growing very fast lately. Some eBay sellers may try to sell in this marketplace and they are eager to learn more about how other successful Etsy top sellers are doing business. Therefore, I created an infographic showing location distribution of the 35 Etsy top sellers and what product categories of products they are selling.

2)      Find creditable data source to back up your idea

If you can find credible data to support your idea, your message is more convincing and likely to be shared. One tips for you, you can look for the free audited data at annual reports of some public listed market leaders such as Google, eBay, Paypal, Amazon for credible data source. Other accessible credible data sources are Google Public Data and Gapminder. In my inforgraphic, I collected the top 35 sellers that record the highest number of sales since 2007 at The data are originated at Esty website and open to the public.

3)      Pick the most suitable infographic template from online infographic creators

There are multiple websites provide free or paid services for users to create their own infographics. They have all sort of colorful templates, icons, graphics and text fonts. You can pick a template and add necessary graphics and text to make it eye-catching.

I picked the US map template at I also have accounts on and You may try other infographic creators Chart Gizmo, Creately, Piktochart , Venngage, to find a suitable template.

4)      Create your own infographic

After choosing a basic template, you can add more graphics or texts in their tools menu. You can also upload your own graphics or icons to make it stand out from other infographics.

In my top 35 sellers location map, I add the categories statistic at the right corner to make the marketing tool more comprehensive.

5)      Refer to URL link of your product listing, website and the credible data source

Don’t forget to include your URL information and data source in your infograhic. Without such information, your effort of viral marketing goes down the drain. I add the URL link of this blog and data source at the bottom of the infographic. It helps to get traffic from general public when see it.


More Reading.

17 Resources to help you create killer infographics

In the previous post, Alexis provided some great tips for designing awesome infographics. Infographics are very popular and if you have the right tools, you can simply create it from scratch.. and more

Lessons learned from customer complaints related to manufacturer

By Tony Lam

I received one of the most serious customer complaints around Christmas time in 2012. An eBay buyer complained that the snake skin in the cultural musical instrument she bought was fake. The bow was completely falling apart and it felt like plastic, not wood. This was the first time I was complained to be selling fake products with such a bad quality. Although I was pretty sure the snake skin is real, I didn’t want to argue with the customer.  I thought it might be misunderstanding or unmatched expectation, like the other customer complaints. My passion of selling is not to let myself disappoint any customer I met. In this case, frankly speaking, I had no clue that I could able to resolve the issue nicely. I prayed for God to give me wisdom, and made my best effort to satisfy the buyer.  After lots of eBay’s messages to and fro with the buyer, I got the item returned back ultimately, hoping it was the end of the nightmare. I learned something new through the process and want to share with you.

serious complaint

Step 1: Show empathy and resolve any misunderstanding

I said sorry about the complaint and asked what made her think that the snake skin was fake even though an official snake skin export certificate was attached, and requested the buyer to send me pictures showing defect for further investigation.

Response  from buyer :  “i will be opening a dispute about this so i hope that you are going to work this out, i am really unhappy”

Step 2: Make every effort to make the buyer happy again

I forwarded the complaint to the supplier and the manufacturer for investigation and requested a proof for genuine snake skin and solid wood. In the meantime, I put an end to all the listings related to this product and offered full refund to buyer.

Response  from buyer :  “ i am thankful that you have responded and am hopeful that your manufacturer will disclose the truth to you as this is quite a joke!!”

After that, the buyer sent me pictures and reaffirmed that material is fake and said “it is so shocking that i want to write to eBay to tell on all of them, for poor people like me end up very disappointed or ignorant. i will get to the post office when i can an tell you how much it will cost to send back to you and then you can send me that money and cover the cost of my efforts and packaging to return it.”

Step 3 : Keep the promises that I made to follow up with the vendor

Receiving no reply from the manufacturer about the buyer’s allegations, I requested the vendor to get hold of the manufacturer’s contact. Finally, I got the email from the manufacturer via the supplier saying that they admitted to produce synthetic boa skin for lower models only, but they seem not to be purchased from my supplier.

Step 4 : Take accountability and report politely the findings to the buyer

Noted that the buyer didn’t want to pay for the return shipping, I sent a return label at my cost. Although the manufacturer didn’t confirm if my model fell into the list of “lower models”, I reported politely what I found to the buyer.

Lesson learned in this customer complaint related to manufacturer

Always treat feedback and customer complaints with respect. Customer’s interest should be the first priority. Sometimes, our judgment is not always right and the truth may never be found when involving a third party such as the manufacturer. If risk or loss is inevitable, the business owner should hold the accountability. In the long run, reputation will be earned. This is a painful and costly lesson I learned. You may not agree with my points but I love to hear yours.


More reading…

The 4 Step Method to Handle Customer Complaints

When a customer feels they have been treated unfairly or that they did not receive what they expected, they will complain…. and more

Shipping Large Items