This blog was written years ago. It was a pathetic attempt at trying to make a few bucks and learn something about website traffic at the same time. Obviously, using a free wordpress blog was my first bad choice since posting ads on the blog was against TOS. In anycase, if you’re looking for traffic to your free wordpress blog you could do the following:
- Review wordpress categories for popular search terms in your niche and then find some alternative long tail keywords where there are only a handful of articles, close to none or even none at all.
- Post all relevant articles with the SAME IDENTICAL tags so that users subscribed to those keyword tags will again see your postings.
- Check the PR rank of the free wordpress category tag. If it’s 2+, and you post frequently with those tags, you’re site will get a boost.
I did this at first to get this somewhat pathetic blog going and it’s still seeing 3-4K visitors a month.
This article will give you some real world examples of long tail keywords on this blog over the last 3 years. I’ve really only thought about making money with blogs but never really made more than a couple hundred bucks. In this website, I want to give those who have some questions about long tail keyword research for their small business or personal blog a small insight to statistics that I think are great for beginners. (I’m not anything but a beginner)
About This Blog:
Well like everyone else, I wanted to blog and make money! I was on my last $1,500 (after tax refund) and thought I would give it a try. I went to wordpress and signed up for a free blog and posted 10-15 articles over a few weeks. These articles had no real keyword research besides google adwords and what you’re typically used to seeing about finding a niche and starting with low competition “high” volume long tail keywords.
I shortly realized that hosting on a free wordpress site wasn’t the way to go if I wanted to make some adsense revenue so I abandoned this blog and registered my own domain. I only even remembered I had this blog after google sent me an e-mail stating that I had an adsense check pending for a year and I needed to tell them where to send it.
Well, these days I’m wanting to get back into blogging. The last 4 years for me was great. As a 20 something year old I went from a box packer to a partner in 2 multi-million dollar companies dealing with eBay, online sales in the mobile industry. While I’m still active day-to-day in one of the companies, I wanted to give blogging a try again as I thought my experiences over the past few years could really help others.
Thank God 3-4 years ago I used the same password for everything and regained access to this blog!
I’m not even really sure where I’m going to begin this time around but with no real financial strain and my experience being around articles previously written I thought having 3 years worth of stats on my articles could help me get some idea of how long tail keywords worked.
I’ve done so much researching about trying to rank for top long tail keywords I was about to go crazy. Really, instead of researching I should have been writing.
Anyways, BACK TO THE MAIN REASON FOR THIS POST. I’ve always had this burning curiosity on long tail keywords and what type of traffic and keyword search variations around long tail keywords could drive traffic. These days, the word seems to be targeting adgroups.
Without further ado, ….my list of incoming search terms and the hits they received. (I’ve made some general comments around them below the search terms). Please keep in mind that it looks like (but not certain) that these long tail keyword incoming search terms only go so far back (I think a few months). So the stats below would cover something over a period of a year or so?
|ebay good til cancelled||1,251|
|ebay consignment stores||953|
|good till cancelled ebay||912|
|ebay good till cancelled||828|
|good til cancelled ebay||770|
|ebay shipping to canada||527|
|ebay good til cancelled fees||441|
|ebay consignment locations||353|
|what does good till cancelled mean on ebay||296|
|good ’til cancelled ebay||270|
|ebay good til canceled||224|
|ebay good till canceled||217|
|ebay consignment store||210|
|ebay stock photos||209|
|google analytics ebay||197|
|ebay research labs||195|
|funny ebay feedback comments||194|
|make a living on craigslist||193|
|good til canceled ebay||188|
|ebay consignment sellers||180|
|good till canceled ebay||169|
|making a living on craigslist||169|
|how to make a living on craigslist||167|
|verizon bring your own phone||160|
|ebay good ’til cancelled||151|
|scammers on ebay||146|
|buy on craigslist sell on ebay||145|
|funny ebay feedback||140|
|ebay google analytics||135|
|buy on ebay sell on craigslist||135|
|shipping to canada ebay||131|
|ebay good until cancelled||130|
|hammertap vs terapeak||121|
|ebay consignment fees||121|
|amazon restricted item||113|
|amazon restricted items||109|
|amazon restricted categories||99|
|ebay store franchise||97|
|ebay ship to canada||97|
|ebay stock photo||96|
|ebay consignment seller||96|
|easiest things to sell on craigslist||93|
|good ’till cancelled ebay||92|
|problems shipping to canada||92|
|please provide the correct information in the highlighted fields.||91|
|make a living selling on craigslist||90|
|easy things to sell on craigslist||88|
|terapeak vs hammertap||87|
|ebay good till cancelled fee||86|
|good until cancelled ebay||85|
|money on craigslist||85|
|ebay duration gtc||85|
|scammer on ebay||85|
|selling manager pro||75|
|ebay franchise stores||75|
|good til cancelled fees||73|
|ebay consignment shops||71|
|ebay order management||67|
|fixed price gtc||67|
|how long does it take to process a video on youtube||65|
|ebay good till cancel||65|
|ebay research lab||64|
|ebay good ’till cancelled||64|
|easy money on craigslist||64|
|how to make money on craigslist||62|
|make a living off craigslist||62|
|bring your own phone verizon||61|
|consignment on ebay||61|
|bring your own phone to verizon||60|
|making a living off craigslist||58|
|what is gtc ebay||58|
|turbo lister gtc duration available||57|
|ebay fixed price gtc||57|
|asking for money on craigslist||56|
|ebay consignment sales||55|
|ebay gtc listing||54|
|google analytics for ebay||53|
|interapptive shipworks reviews||53|
|ebay shipping canada||53|
|money with craigslist||51|
|ebay gtc duration||51|
|ebay gtc fee||51|
|easy items to sell on craigslist||50|
|how to make easy money on craigslist||50|
|what is good till cancelled on ebay||49|
|google analytics on ebay||47|
|how to make a living off craigslist||47|
|ebay fixed price duration||46|
|location of ebay consignment stores||46|
|what is good til cancelled ebay||46|
|how to sell restricted items on amazon||46|
|research ebay seller||45|
|how to do craigslist||45|
|how to make money on craigslist fast||45|
|ebay consignment shop||45|
|selling manager pro inventory||45|
|what to buy on craigslist and sell on ebay||44|
|stock photos for ebay||44|
|stock photos ebay||43|
|new ebay policies||43|
|gtc on ebay||42|
|good till cancel ebay||42|
|ebay scammer caught||42|
|top powersellers on ebay||40|
|how to use stock photos on ebay||40|
|how long does it take for a video to process on youtube||39|
|good til cancelled on ebay||39|
|ebay gtc fees||39|
|how long does it take for youtube to process a video||38|
|amazon selling tricks||38|
|endicia scan form||38|
|how to make a living selling on craigslist||38|
|bulk acceptance scans||38|
|easy money with craigslist||38|
|good ’til cancelled duration||37|
|what is gtc on ebay||37|
|stock photo ebay||37|
|research ebay sellers||37|
|ebay consignment store locations||36|
|shipping to canada on ebay||36|
|how long does it take to process a youtube video||36|
|using stock photos on ebay||36|
|good till cancelled on ebay||36|
|consignment store franchise||36|
|fixed price (gtc)||35|
|good till cancelled ebay fees||35|
|ebay seller research||35|
|tips for shipping to canada||35|
|ebay research tools review||35|
|ebay “good till canceled”||35|
|catching a scammer||34|
|can you make a living on craigslist||34|
|how to make money off craigslist||34|
|dazzle postage software||34|
|what is ebay gtc||34|
|ebay good til cancel||34|
|buzzirk mobile scam||34|
|programs for ebay||33|
|easy money craigslist||33|
|most profitable items to sell on craigslist||33|
|shipping ebay to canada||33|
|ebay canada shipping||32|
|restricted item amazon||32|
|what does good til cancelled mean on ebay||32|
|random computer tricks||32|
|how to email a shipping label from usps||32|
|ebay power seller||31|
|amazon closed categories||31|
|problems with shipping to canada||31|
|fixed price (good ’til cancelled)||31|
|how to email a usps shipping label||30|
|ebay software reviews||30|
|new ebay rules||30|
|seller manager pro||30|
|set windows password||30|
|ebay good til cancelled listings||29|
|ebay good until canceled||29|
|clark howard verizon||29|
|buy craigslist sell ebay||28|
|email usps shipping label||28|
|good till cancelled ebay fee||28|
|consignment shop franchise||28|
|ebay feedback comments||28|
|ebay stock images||28|
|how to make quick money on craigslist||28|
|how to use a stock photo on ebay||27|
|email postage label||27|
|what does good till cancelled mean ebay||27|
|making a living off of craigslist||27|
|how to make craigslist||27|
|ebay software review||27|
|funniest ebay feedback comments||27|
|how long does it take for a youtube video to process||27|
|how to run 2 same programs at the same time||26|
|good til cancelled ebay fees||26|
|buy from ebay sell on craigslist||26|
|ebay good till cancelled fees||26|
|ebay good til cancelled listing||26|
|how to research a seller on ebay||26|
|making a living selling on craigslist||26|
|easiest items to sell on craigslist||26|
|ebay fedex scam||26|
|craigslist money makers||26|
|craigslist easy money||26|
|restricted items on amazon||26|
|how to make money fast on craigslist||26|
|easiest thing to sell on craigslist||25|
|can you make a living selling on craigslist||25|
|ebay seller manager||25|
|good ’til cancelled listings||25|
|shipping to canada tips||25|
|selling manager pro templates||25|
|amazon category approval||25|
|setting a windows password||25|
|how to ask for money on craigslist||24|
|return to sender||24|
|funny positive ebay feedback||24|
|ebay franchise store||24|
|good ‘til cancelled ebay||24|
|find ebay powersellers||24|
|how does good til cancelled work on ebay||24|
|funny ebay scams||24|
|funny feedback comments||24|
|buy from craigslist sell on ebay||23|
|ebay shipping rules||23|
|who made craigslist||23|
|selling restricted items on amazon||23|
|usps return postage||23|
|google analytics and ebay||23|
|easy items to sell on ebay||23|
|amazon seller tricks||23|
|stock photos on ebay||23|
|how long does it take youtube to process a video||22|
|how to research ebay sellers||22|
|ebay listing software reviews||22|
|what is good till cancelled ebay||22|
|make a living with craigslist||22|
|dazzle return label||22|
|ebay shipping to canada advice||22|
|quick money hustles||22|
|ebay what is gtc||22|
|how to look up a seller on ebay||21|
|how to make a craigslist||21|
|funny ebay comments||21|
|ebay listing good til cancelled||21|
|search ebay feedback||21|
|how to open 2 ventrilos at the same time||21|
|good ’til cancelled fee||21|
|ebay fees good til cancelled||21|
|power seller ebay||21|
|how to find powersellers on ebay||21|
|best money makers on craigslist||21|
|shipping to canada problems||21|
|ebay good til cancelled fee||21|
|making a living from craigslist||21|
|make a living off of craigslist||21|
|how to make money off of craigslist||21|
|setting windows password||21|
|ebay feedback research||21|
|setting a password on windows||21|
|add google analytics to ebay||20|
|consignment selling on ebay||20|
|can you bring your own phone to verizon||20|
|fixed price gtc ebay||20|
|buy ebay sell craigslist||20|
|make a living craigslist||20|
|dazzle scan form||20|
|make quick money on craigslist||20|
|how to buy on craigslist and sell on ebay||20|
|how to make alot of money on craigslist||19|
|ebay labs estimator||19|
|what is fixed price gtc||19|
|most profitable items on craigslist||19|
|terapeak or hammertap||19|
|amazon restricted category||19|
|easy craigslist money||19|
|make a craigslist||19|
|good til cancelled fee||19|
|picture of a camera||18|
|usps first class international to canada delivery time||18|
|ebay good till cancelled listings||18|
|“good til cancelled” ebay||18|
|consignment for ebay||18|
|gtc in ebay||18|
|how to make on craigslist||18|
|ebay consignment contract||18|
|good till cancelled fees||18|
|good \’til cancelled ebay||18|
|ebay research tools||18|
|ebay fixed price good til cancelled||18|
|please provide the correct information in the highlighted fields||18|
|what does assign automation rules mean||17|
|is it easy to sell on craigslist||17|
|fixed price good till cancelled||17|
|setting a password for windows||17|
|dazzle post office||17|
|what is gtc in ebay||17|
|gtc vs 30 day||17|
|ebay consignment stores orange county||17|
|how hustlers make money||17|
|how to get a stock photo on ebay||17|
|how to catch a scammer||17|
|ebay return policy template||17|
|ebay how to ship to canada||16|
|duration gtc ebay||16|
|ebay good till canceled fees||16|
|run 2 programs same time||16|
|fixed price 30||16|
|how to catch an ebay scammer||16|
|ebay and google analytics||16|
|ebay what does good till cancelled mean||16|
|amazon selling tips tricks||16|
|research methods for dummies||16|
|ebay top powersellers||16|
|how to make big money on craigslist||16|
|money from craigslist||16|
|how to look up sellers on ebay||16|
|ebay good ’til canceled||16|
|can you ask for money on craigslist||16|
|how to research an ebay seller||16|
|how to catch ebay scammer||16|
|begging for money on craigslist||16|
|craigslist money maker||16|
|how to make a living off of craigslist||16|
|how to look up ebay seller||16|
|ebay duration good till cancelled||16|
|gtc vs 30 days||15|
|can i ask for money on craigslist||15|
|how to make money on ebay and craigslist||15|
|“good ’til cancelled” ebay||15|
|good til cancel ebay||15|
|stats on the most successful ebay selling tricks||15|
|ebay good til cancelled listing fee||15|
|gtc ebay duration||15|
|what does good till cancelled mean||15|
|ebay listing duration gtc||15|
|ebay feedback search||15|
|best alarm clock||15|
|ebay fees good till cancelled||15|
|how to find powersellers||15|
|ebay seller franchise||15|
|sorry the ability to create a listing for this item is restricted. amazon||15|
|tips on shipping to canada||15|
|ship to canada ebay||15|
|how to email usps shipping label||15|
|fixed price good til cancelled||15|
|scammer in ebay||15|
|sorry, the ability to create a listing for this item is restricted.||15|
|buy on ebay and sell on craigslist||15|
|ebay consignment selling||15|
|ask for money on craigslist||15|
|how to catch ebay scammers||15|
|random computer code||14|
|what does good till canceled mean on ebay||14|
|restricted item on amazon||14|
|ebay good ’til cancelled duration||14|
|ebay store consignment||14|
|ebay fixed price good till cancelled||14|
|usps bulk acceptance scan||14|
|how to look up an ebay seller||14|
|good until canceled ebay||14|
|tricks to selling on amazon||14|
|how to make a nice craigslist ad||14|
|ebay stock photos search||14|
|ebay research tool||14|
|how to make a living with craigslist||14|
|funny positive feedback ebay||14|
|how to use stock photo on ebay||14|
|random computer knowledge||14|
|picture of camera||14|
|look up ebay seller||14|
|selling manager pro vs auctiva||14|
|most profitable things to sell on craigslist||14|
|ebay feedback tricks||14|
|what to buy on ebay and sell on craigslist||14|
|ebay consignment franchise||14|
|ebay “good ’til cancelled”||14|
|earn a living on craigslist||14|
|hammertap or terapeak||14|
|what is good til cancelled on ebay||13|
|making a living with craigslist||13|
|how to run 2 programs at once||13|
|dazzle printer ebay||13|
|where is the money in craigslist?||13|
|issues shipping to canada||13|
|can i email a usps shipping label||13|
|games like inklink||13|
|what is ebay good till cancelled||13|
|good till cancelled ebay listing||13|
|ebay listing gtc||13|
|buy on line||13|
|best things to buy on craigslist and sell on ebay||13|
|how long does it take to process youtube video||13|
|ebay fees gtc||13|
|how do i use a stock photo on ebay||13|
|ebay please enter your correct information in the highlighted boxes below||13|
|return to sender usps||13|
|good till canceled on ebay||13|
|good til cancelled||13|
|ebay selling manager pro inventory||13|
|research seller on ebay||13|
|change duration from 10 days to good till cancelled||13|
|usps dazzle download||13|
|how i made money on craigslist||13|
|how to scam on ebay||12|
A few points to remember
- My blog had a total of 54 articles
- All of which were poorly written with some knowledge behind the content but masked in the rush to pump some items out in hopes of making some money.
- The articles were about eBay mainly (1/2), craigslist and cell phone related topics.
- It was written on free wordpress.com site.
So how does the traffic break down? (In my own 20 minute review)
- First, I actually did write one “great” article about how terrible eBay franchise businesses were. I was a fool and took the article down and redirected it to my new blog only to abandon that one after I was employed and forgot to pay the hosting fee at godaddy. This one article ranked on the top page for keywords such as “eBay Franchise information” and “eBay consignment”. These were short tail ones back in the day. They probably generated about 1/4 of the overall traffic until the post lost rank on this blog and picked up on my other .com blog.
- It didn’t take long with a crappy looking blog and terrible command of the english / typing language that some other bloggers and sites linked it up and the rest was history. It drove “a lot of traffic”. One blog post for a few short tail keywords and many surrounding long tail keywords drove about 25% of my traffic.
2. Many others came from the wordpress theme “tags” associated with my blog post. I defiantly would pay more attention to these tags and use of them this next time around.
3. While I didn’t rank many times for the keywords I was trying to (or research told me to go after) I did get a lot of traffic around keywords that google adwords showed no search volume for.
4. Some search terms I competed with the big boys. Top 10 search result for over a year for what was a growing trend around ebay consignment stores was a real surprise! This article I probably spent the least amount of time writing and think I did very little to no keyword research before hand. It just flowed naturally and I suppose readers and this the search engine picked up on it.
So that I don’t get too chatty here, for anyone who’s just starting out on a blog, please remember a few simple things.
- Traffic takes a little bit of time to pickup. Sometimes weeks to months, or a year.
- Using a free wordpress site to being with isnt a terrible idea. While you might be limited with ads and the likes, they will feed your articles down global tag categories which can get you some rank and free traffic right out of the gate. Later on you can upgrade or write other articles linked back and forth.
- Don’t spend too much time researching long tail keywords and regular keywords if it prevents you from writing something. In my case, I probably spent 80% trying to learn SEO and keyword research and my stats suggest I should of just kept writing and I would of generated more visits.
- A lot of the long tail keywords that came up in the incoming search results page would guide me more this time around on how MY SPECIFIC audience is searching for me and outlying search terms to get there.
- Posting AUTHENTIC and helpful/useful comments on other peoples blogs is a great way to get some traffic to you site overtime.
- There is no BS about writing good content. You can spam all you want, write crappy content and do it all for the money. That can even work! But if you have a niche, write about it, help others around the net in your niche and it should grow overtime.
My #1 thought:
If i had it over again (and if this blogging for money helping others) this time around does take off, I would spend less time cranking out pitiful articles (even though they do bring traffic) and spend more time concentrating on fewer articles that really have something to offer the reader.
In my case, 1 article that took me 1 hour to write from start to finish consisted of 25% of my traffic hits and 35% of my google adsense earnings.
Being that this article is way too long, I thank you for getting to the bottom. If you did, leave a message or something. I promise I won’t take 3 years to respond this time. I’m going to make a few other articles highlighting the traffic statistics and how it grew and declined after a while also.
Being in the telecommunication industry selling hardware, service really isn’t my thing. But if your familiar with Buzzirk Mobile, a Multi-Level-Marketing scheme program, the intern CEO officially resigned at 8PM EST on August 5th, 2009. This comes just two and a half weeks after the original CEO quit. Talks of scams, patent issues and a solid vision have been hot and heavy since the first CEO resigned and tonight adds fuel to the fire.
People wondered if Buzzirk would live up to it’s hype! Buzzirk Mobile being the “hot” unlimited pre-paid for $79.99 including international calls, unlimited Internet and basically unlimited everything with every option. The idea for MLM on this didn’t have me from HELLOMOTO. For one, the price was not that great. We’re coming out of a recession and while the deal is hot, I couldn’t imagine the masses being attracted to a plan that was probably more expensive than their current plan. The nay-sayer’s think the idea of making people pay $20-$50 EXTRA out of their discretionary income for options that they most likely will not significantly use would never take off. I personally think this is accurate and wasn’t really too sure on their “PiggyBack” GSM technology with Zer01 . I’m not saying that it didn’t sound impressive; I’m just saying it wasn’t anything to jump up and down about.
I happened to attend one of the scam networking “business meetings” as moral support for someone when the call came through. Pretty embarrassing for the host to cancel the event before it even began , on speakerphone for all the interested individuals who are now glad that they didn’t get suckered into another flopped MLM. It didn’t sound officially dead, but when this supposedly “triple-diamond” regional sales guy from Buzzirk Mobile tells everyone in attendance to take their credit card information out of their account, you can pretty much call it a done deal.
I call SCAM. If it happens not to be a scam, MLM is just not ready for for a dedicated telecommunication gig. In my opinion, the technology just moves to fast and competition is too fierce. Metro PCS offers a $30 unlimited talk/text plan and just added unlimited international calling to a long list of foreign countries for only $5.99/month. Pageplus, Verizon’s new pre-paid dealer is offering similar plans with little restrictions on roaming and availability outside of your market’s area. An MLM needs a breath of fresh air and a calm before the storm when it finally picks up and gets viral and the cell phone market doesn’t allow for that much time before the next best thing comes out.
How Buzzurk was Buzzirk?
“ORDER RIGHT NOW, AND WE’LL DOUBLE THE OFFER”
Billy Maze is known for shouting OxiClean (along with Mighty Putty, KABOOM and Hurculeys Hook ) died around 7:45 this morning. Billy was an icon for all pitchmen and will go down as the best ever! His products sold in the BILLIONS of dollars and was mid-season into the new series “Pitchman”.
Mays was on the US Airways flight from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Tampa on Saturday that had a hard landing at Tampa International Airport when the plane’s front tire blew out. There were no reported injuries on Flight 1241, US Airways told CNN.
According to a local Tampa TV station, Mays said: “All of a sudden as we hit you know it was just the hardest hit, all the things from the ceiling started dropping. It hit me on the head, but I got a hard head.”
Airline spokesman Jim Olson told CNN Sunday there were no reported passenger injuries from flight 1241. The airline vowed to “cooperate fully” with authorities in the investigation.
“We were very sad to learn of Billy Mays’ passing and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family,” Olson said. Tampa officials say the Medical Examiner’s Office expects to complete an autopsy by Monday afternoon. In a statement, Deborah Mays said that although “Billy lived a public life,” the family does not plan immediate public statements about his death.”
– Cited from CNN.com
Here are some useful links that captivate the world of Billy Mays on his journey as the BEST pitch man ever! RIP Billy, you seemed like a great person and a true American Entrepernuer.
Some Funny YouTube videos as well ….
Billy Mays Orders food from McDonalds, pretty funny!
Big City Sliders Video – Only Billy could sell these!
Billy Mays Dubs – Some of these are pretty funny too!
Mighty Puddy Dub
Big City Sliders Dub
Billy Mays, you were a GOD of the TV lands. …RIP sir!
Ebay has scammers? Unfortunately, they have plenty! The sad part is they’re hard to catch all the time and these guys are extremely smart! Getting scammed for anyone who does more than 25/day might be overwhelmed with the attempts and they can be hard to catch 100% of the time. Fortunately, I was able to catch a guy who almost ran with $1600!
Most of our scams come from user names without any feedback (or little), a new user with a new member indicator and they’re purchasing a high end item with overnight delivery. The bad part is that some decide to ship to unconfirmed address across the board because a significant 15% of sales can come from these users. Shipping software can prevent some filtering of potentially fraudulent orders with filters in shipworks, but takes some personal attention to find the real scams.
The Scam: This one was obvious after the fact. It was someone who fell for the craigslist job posting scam to make “$300+” per week and needed to start immediatly. Basically, overseas guys steam an ebay/paypal account with cash and have the item shipped to your house. You sign for the packages and will often be told to purchase the item from your computer so it cant be traced with a hacked account. When the item arrives, you send each package overseas to the scammer with the potential to make $30+ per item that you resend. After you’ve sent the first 10 items they offer to pay and then their gone. All the evidence falls on the receiver/buyer of the item and when the original account holder files a claim …your address is at fault. Some are gullible and believe it, other know what’s going on but go along with it. Being paid is common but eventually you’ll get burned hard.
For some reason they tricked us one day when we were off guard. A user bought 7 identical items worth $150+ / unit. They were shipped overnight through FedEx express and by the time we caught it the packages were already on the way. He had a phone number in the shipping info so I decided to give it a call. Go figure, it was disconnected. Following with a straight forward e-mail of calling the cops if they accepted the package , the scammer did not respond.
At this point I was pretty pissed. Some idiot sits at home and makes more than 98% of Americans by defrauding people from the comfort of his couch. It was getting late in the afternoon and unless we could get something worked out the guy who have the phones and then there’s no hope. I used google earth first just to see what kind of neighboor hood he was in and I was surprised when it was a nice family neighborhood in the city. The image was hard to swallow knowing tomorrows GPS photo might include the scammer accepting the packages from Fedex.
I figured giving this guy’s neighbors a call would undercover a few more facts. I used a reverse directory look up from a website and started to type in potential house numbers that were located next door. Lets say his address was 100 Main St. I would type in 101 Main St. and find the persons number. The one fact he cant hide is where they’re being shipped so you know someone there was participating (knowingly or unknowingly). I basically told the guys on the other end we sell items online and a scammer was using a neighbors address for potential fraud. This way they wouldn’t feel like we were attacking their weekend BBQ buddy, but enough to get in the door and find out a little bit more information. They told me he worked at home and was a “nice man”. I politely asked for his phone number so I could let him know what’s going on and the handed it over like stealing candy from a baby.
Calling this guy was a trip. At first we left a few messages and he actually called us back first. The message told him the same thing, that his house was being used for a scam. When he called back he played dumb and said he just got off of work …but his neighbors said he was home and the car was outside. Later, I told him what I found out from his neighbor that he worked from hom and had been at home during business hours that day. I could feel the nervousness in him now. That line was like McKoy on Law & Order tripping up a weak defendant on the stand to prove their own guilt. He was quick to get off the phone and finally hung up on me saying he was clueless.
Calling ebay and payal did not work AT ALL! After two hours on the phone with both, they didn’t seem to really have the means of reacting out of the training manual for a time sensitive issues. Eventually they told us they had some more info that might help about their location etc but couldn’t tell anyone but law enforcement or fraud division that they recognized.
The next best thing was to call fedex. I asked if we could get them held and they said yes but preferred to put me in touch with the recipients local fraud department and they were the key to getting the items back. Luckily, the guy there was pretty dedicated to his job and knew about the scam from a previous “case”. Now we had the guys if he could stop fedex. He was able to get some information from talking with ebay and he literally was planning a sting for the Fedex guy to deliver and after he signed have proof he had committed a crime and search warrant his house. That was the plan for the next day but before then he knocked on the front door and when he couldn’t get a hold of anyone he left his business card in the door.
By this time the scammer actually called us back again telling us how sorry he was and he didn’t know what he was doing and he’ll send the packages back to us the next day. Kind off because 2 hours earlier I offered him $500 to return the packages and he didn’t even sound interested when he wasn’t even accused yet. Fedex also got our page and we figured we would ask them to go back to the house for a “pick-up” and told the driver to ask for the packages he delivered earlier in the day back. He had to be sweating hard after his neighbor called him and said some random person called them accusing their loving neighbor as a scammer. When Fedex drove by, he was probably so shook he just decided to hand all the packages back over. Everything came back and we were saved (minus some overnight charges) and the local detective was trying to build a case against him. Apparently, it wasn’t the first time this had happened at the location.
If they were caught a few hours later everyone we called would’ve been closed and he the items would be gone but thinking fast and catching some people who wanted to take this kind of thing down saved a bunch of money. The scam is pretty big so catching them all is impossible but at least this one was taught a lesson.
Everyone is trying to sell their items on line these days through a website or ebay. The big guys will always be there but a large percentage of sales are pushed by smaller companies that you compete with on one level or another. Ever wonder why your competitor has higher DSR stars or better feedback ratings than you? Occasionally, a good way to check your own operations or to get a feel for how other companies handle their post sales procedures can teach anyone a few shortcuts or cost savings ideas.
A few interesting points to check are:
- Checkout system – How easy? What processing method? Ease of selecting item specifics etc.
- Communication – What e-mails do you get when you checkout? Do they cross promotions with mailing lists and repeat customer tactics after after the purchase?
- Packing Materials – You may learn a few cost savings techniques in shipping supply reduction or alternatives, invoice information and paper marketing materials.
- Customer Service – Call up after you’ve received your item and even if all is well, test their customer service department with e-mails or phone calls. Test their returns and exchange procedures and length of time etc. Playing the unhappy customer has never been so fun!
Testing a few of these areas can help you find strengths and weaknesses in your own and others post sale transaction. Your routine might be comfortable, but with everything involved after the sale it can be easy to look past an improvement that can make a big difference when multiplied by all of your outgoing shipments.
In the past this option s Newegg.com has always been a great place to find all your computer parts at a fair price. They’ve even opened up shipping to Canada after a lot of demand from potential customers. Combo deals and customer ratings and reviews are two reasons you can find a good price and be sure of your purchase. New egg ships over 25,000+ orders a day and has a very intelligent flow of products in their warehouse. One plus I’ve always had is the shipping speed of their product and in touch via email each step of the orders.
Their peanut machine is pretty large and has dozens of utters for dispensing. They even have an automatic box makers that is built to the customers orders to ensure safe packaging while reducing shipping cost with tailored precision.
(Photo from AnandTech.com)
Their systems also seem very automated and completely leaves the decision making and costly error prone procedures robotic. Their pick, pack and pull procedures are control ed by computers and use bins with what looks like some bar-code hierarchy. This brief and rare inside tour of a companies internal operations is a great way to see how large e-commerce vendors are able to use the best in technology and conveyor belt systems.
(Photo from AnandTech.com)
While all the procedures are not spelled out, Anand’s article might give you some ideas on your operations. You can view the entire tour and a great write up of newegg’s facility at AnandTech.com.
Image hosting is something almost everyone does off of ebays platform. Being charged to expose your image from different angles can really add up if you run lots of listings. Likewise, it’s nice to have a all your images in a centralized location if you use your images for your website or just want to have more organization that ebay provides. There’s a few free companies that get the job done with ease.
- Photo bucket is a great tool that has a very user friendly website. You’re able to login and on the first menu have the option to upload photos. Reduces alot of clicks and when you need to copy and paste the image location somewhere else the auto copy box is a great tool. After you upload you see a thumb nail of your image and the code for various ways to display the image. One says “Copy URL” all you have to do is click that field and it automatically copies the code. It’s also very reliable and theres only been a few short periods of down time from my experience in the past year. The ads are minimal and very rarely get in your way.
- Using your own FTP is also a great way to upload photos. After you’ve grabbed some web storage space (you can upgrade on photobucket or find one for cheap all over the internet) uploading is even faster. I tend to notice FTP’s upload the photos fast and if you have multiple places you need to get the image you can easily drag and drop in different categories or sites with a few clicks.
Heres a website that highlights alot of the free and reliable image hosting options out there.
I’ve been monitoring ebay stocks price pretty closely the past few months and for some reason I kept telling my self it gets much below $16.00 I would take a “gamble” and scoop some up. For some reason, it just seems like the right time. I’ve put some money in stocks before and have money in a Fidelity Roth IRA …but I would never consider my self even half way intelligent with stocks.
However, as a Titanium Powerseller and someone who has his hands in ebay for 12+ hours a day, I’m thinking this is a good call (for now).
- For starters, ebay’s stock has been doing poorly the last few months if not past few years down from $40 on it’s 52 week high. Could it really tank below $10 …my personal opinion is no.
- Obviously, ebays recent policy changes have had the market down and some sellers either adjusting or leaving the marketplace – most have made up their mind by now and things are starting to seem a bit more consistent. The vibe still hasn’t improved but sellers are implementing new strategies and at least not feeling like they’re playing as much of a guessing game with a bit of experience and testing of auctions in the past few weeks.
- Also, last week when the stock market plunged 700+ points ALL stocks were doing poorly; to the point that global markets were taken severe beatings! I considered ebays plunge last week due to economic factors …not necessary ebay’s marketplace.
- The 700+ Billion $ bail out has now been approved and a SMALL bit of hope is putting a bit of confidence into peoples heads and the market (or at least better than when they couldn’t come to a resolution). Please note the word SMALL.
- The Holiday season is approaching and we’ve had a few customers mentioning they’re buying our items for gifts for the Holidays. The summer was very slow this year but even in a semi-recession, you can expect lots more sales from the past few months.
With all of this being said, it seemed a bunch of external and internal factors have been hitting ebay hard all at one time. More importantly for my purchasing decision, as a “large” ebay seller and tax payer, I see ..again a SMALL light at the end of the tunnel at the least. Especially with an election a few months away …no matter who wins, people will feel a page is being turned for the better after the previous administration has left office. I feel ebay is a buy because some of the weights of the marketplace and economy have been lifted off ebays shoulders and I’m willing to buy a few shares to see if this is the case! Lets see what happens in the next few months! 🙂
There comes a time for every customer service department when a customer refuses to pay the return postage, even if it’s their fault! Unfortunately, this can cost you money but to save a negative feedback or the hassle of having them call and bother your crew can often times be well worth the $5.00 to have them ship it back. Likewise, the customer is more likely to send the item off right away instead of waiting at his conveyance to wait in line at the post office. Everyday that passes, the customer might still be e-mailing you threats or silly e-mails.
You will need an Endicia account and have their Dazzle software installed. Dazzle with Endicia does not necessary explain in layman’s terms how to email postage and it’s defiantly not an automated task with that works with your other software applications but it is possible. One reason USPS doesn’t really want you doing this is because the shipping post office is graded on a scale of 100 the on-time percentage of delivery for parcels and upgraded options. You might send someone a label via E-Mail on Monday, but your customer might not send it till Friday, causing the Post Master to feel a small deduction in his percentage if the process is repeated over and over.
Anyways, it’s pretty easy to do.
Step 1: You will need to download adobe reader and install the full version. You also need Dazzle from Endicia installed as stated above. This version doesn’t cost you a dime but might take in upwards of 10 minutes to download and install. Restart your PC. Doing so will allow your computer to set adobe as a valid “printer” when you go to print postage and is necessary in the below steps.
Step 2: After you’ve installed, open up Endicia Dazzle software and the layout that you wish to send return postage etc with.
Step 3: Fill out the address and return address accordingly. Usually I type our company name in both the return address section and the mailing address section. We can usually be accurate with the weight, but if it’s not, USPS might return it to the return address and the postage is wasted and still needs to be sent out. When you put your address in both of these fields, if for some reason something goes wrong, USPS has no option but to “return to sender” and it will eventually make it back to your facility/home.
(When you double click on the senders address a menu comes up. Here you highlight the entire address, press CTR-C and it will auto populate the shipping address. USPS has no option but to send it back to you even if the party you’re emailing over packs for the next earthquake)
Step 4: When you have the label, weight (adjusted by double clicking on the postage section on the label) and method, you’re ready to export to PDF file so you can email the file. You will need to set up the postage to print to PDF Adobe Reader. Click on FILE>Printer Setup> and change the default from your thermal/laser/inkjet printer to AdobePDF Creator. Select this option in printer drop down menu and click ok.
Step 5: Time to “print”. Click on the print Icon in the upper left of the application and it should open adobe, create the file automatically and then (for me at least) opens up Outlook with the file already attached. I enter in the customers email and a quick message and you’re done! EASY!
Remember to remind them to send it out ASAP so you don’t get a call from your Post Master or it gets delayed. Faxing labels doesn’t work because it throws the bar code off and 3D scan postage at the top off and cant be used by USPS. Very rarely, faxing a copy might make it’s way to the lost and found never to be seen again. Also remember to change your layout back to your default!