Everyday millions of people are posting items for sale on Twitter, Google Plus, FB and even Instagram. For the millions of folks promoting their “brand” at least half of them are failing to reach the audience or “hit the numbers” they desire for a very simple reason- these folks expect everyone else to share, retweet, or like their products and are failing to do the same for others. I’ve said it before but it bears repeating “social media is a scratch my back and I will scratch yours concept.” If you aren’t promoting your connections, they aren’t going to be promoting you!When you share an item from Ebay, Etsy, Bonanza, Offer Up, Etc. the best way to get anyone else to reshare or retweet is to “scratch their back first!” You see, your connections have only one incentive to share your items and the incentive is that you share theirs! Selling on EBay isn’t easy or cheap with their numerous rules regarding selling and “promoted items” often come at a fairly high price for sellers that includes bending over backwards to keep 100% feedback at all times along with speedy shipping. Fees involved are listing, final value fees and shipping costs along with PayPal fees to sellers with the percentage of final value fees being based on the amount the item sells for. I don’t ship furniture for a very good reason, buyers have no idea what shipping and packaging of furniture actually cost and often, the expense matches the cost of the item. Often a request for shipping from a “watcher” on Ebay without the expense of packaging the product shocks them. Local pick up is not “free shipping.” It means you come to West Fort Worth to pick up the item from my location. Refurbishing trades taken in exchange for services provided at Texas Twins Events for Weddings and Event Services is a time consuminge and expensive endeavor when it comes to furniture. I spare no expense on top of the line heavy upholstery weight fabrics and pride myself on quality over quantity. The quality of the product along with the structure of the item are vitally important to the durability of the piece. I always use a hand loomed silk upholstery because wear will bring the beauty of the fabric out and a Texas Twins Treasure is a “buy it once” endeavor where “big box” furniture is designed to be replaced repeatedly. Buying quality costs less when you only buy it once! The “Pawning Process” is a very important aspect of recovering the expenses involved with floral designs, photography, travel expenses and more that are offered with both of my businesses. Low cost alternatives are offered at Texas Twins Events while trades can be submitted at Pawning Planners- We Take Trades! The items you see in my storefront looked nothing like they do when offered for sale. The condition of the item doesn’t concern me because I have a twenty year history in furniture and design. Knowing the value of a “finished product” is vitally important to the success of Texas Twins Events/Pawning Planners because if you wind up “upside down” you just lost your investment in the event and in the time, expense of fabric and labor of the finished piece. My ability to “target” the amount of fabric, cost of labor and time to complete the “Pawning Process” is the key to making this creative and unique business work. I need to make a small profit to not only recover my own expenses but also to pay my family who work as a team with me. Wendy Wortham & Cindy Daniel- The Pawning Planners YouTube you see when you have a staff or “team” they expect to be compensated too. Maryssa and Makenna Mahaney work for tips or flips of doll accessories, electronics and sporting equipment while my twin and I seek a “quick flip” of couture clothing, furs, jewelry, designer sunglasses and more. Quick flips require no investment of time, fabric or labor and sell “rocket fast!” But, again knowing the value and selling price of the product is key to successfully pulling off the “Pawning Process.”
Modeling items for Texas Twins Treasures takes a bit of time but, Cindy (my saucy sidekick twin sister) and I have learned over the years that the time involved is “well worth it” because when we take the time to show the movement and beauty of the items we are selling, we actually sell at a higher price! Shipping smaller items (purses, shoes, jewelry) is always done by using priority mail to ensure the buyer gets the item quickly. In fact, my twin and I are so accustomed to using priority mail that we often ship things to our family and friends using the same eBay shipping method to ensure that the item gets there fast and with tracking information. My saucy sister has a million #Cindyisms for Ebay buyers who have an issue that is usually ridiculous or, who want to “negotiate” AFTER committing to make a purchase from us. Truth be told, the majority of our buyers are honest and reasonable with only a narrow window of unethical blackmailers trying to use feedback as a bargaining tool. We list several photos, dimensions and various backgrounds to clearly show the item from every possible angle to endure the buyer knows exactly what to expect when receiving their purchase. Overseas shipping and custom fees are highly expensive and we do not lie and list “gift” on custom forms for a very good reason- it’s fraudulent and illegal!
Back to sharing items on Twitter- when we post an item we have already spent 1-2 hours retweeting others items for sale from products to books because many of our connections are writers. When we have a retweet, we look to see what was retweeted and rarely but occasionally, find that the Twitter follower has retweeted someone else?. When this happens, we do NOT retweet the follower for a very good reason- they are promoting someone other than us.
Years ago, when I decided to swap, flip, or trade for wedding and event services, I never planned to be selling on eBay. My plan was to open a storefront but it is something I must set aside adequate funding to properly execute the endeavor.
The moral of this story is that we are happy to “scratch your back” when you scratch ours and selling with social media is hard work and time consuming so if you planned to simply post your item or service and expect everyone to promote you “for the heck of it” you made a mistake in relying on everyone to do your work for you. Social media “branding” can take my sister and I up to 4 hours a day on Twitter, FB, Google Plus, Tumbler, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
Listing on eBay, Offer Up, Craigslist and other platforms takes an additional 1-2 hours a day.
Writing blogs takes an additional 2-3 hours of my day and I write creative content nearly every day for one of my four blogs to bring me up within search engines and promote my businesses:
So, for those of you who may have thought that online selling was either fast or easy- you were misinformed and need to understand that everything relating to social media is “work” when you are promoting either your products, your book, your business or yourself. Buckle up buddy and focus on why you don’t have a strong social network in the first place with the answer being that you didn’t put forth the effort to promote others.
Wendy M Wortham