Monday, November 9

On the air with Leo Laporte and eBay For Dummies

This week I was lucky enough to visit with Leo Laporte at Twit cottage and broadcast live on Leo also interviewed me for his weekend, nationally syndicated The Tech Guy radio show.

It always surprises me when I can talk to really smart folks and teach them more about eBay. I guess I've spent so much time buried in ecommerce that I take it for granted. Leo enjoyed a copy of my new book, "eBay For Seniors For Dummies" and I have a feeling we might be seeing some of Leo's awesome collectibles up for sale on eBay soon!

You can listen to the radio segment here.

Sunday, October 25

Los Angeles Breeder's Cup TweetUp November 6

To get some photos, the people from the Breeder's cup sponsored a mini event: ""LA Tech Girls Take To Santa Anita For Pre-TweetUp Photo Shoot" to promote a TweetUp planned at Santa Anita Race Track on November 6th. I was lucky enough to be one of the models. I'm pictured here with Kentucky Derby Winner Mine That Bird.

For those in the Los Angeles area, here are the details of an event that you won't want to miss. (I hope I will see you there)!

November 6, 2009 at the 2009 Breeders' Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, CA. Watch the world's best horses and jockeys compete live for $25.5 million in purses during the first day of the two-day World Championships televised around the world on ESPN. Come socialize and take in a great day of racing.

Tweet-Up will be held in exclusively-designated area - Santa Anita's Seabiscuit Court and will also include access to a designated Tweeter seating area (frontside).

The day will feature:
* 11:15 AM (PT): Betting the Breeders' Cup Handicapping session with Joe Drape (@joedrape) of the New York Times, Ed DeRosa (@EJXD2) of the Thoroughbred Times and Tom Quigley (@Quigleys_Corner) of Horseplayer Magazine
* Q&A with prominent jockeys
* Appearances by ESPN personalities and jockeys from Animal Planet's critically acclaimed reality show "Jockeys" and more

The tweetup will include a buffet, a commemorative Breeders’ Cup giveaway item for all participants of the tweet-up. Someone will win a Nikon Coolpix. And the person who delivers the best tweets onsite will win a trip for two to the 2010 Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs (Kentucky, home of the Kentucky Derby) including airfare and hotel.

Follow @BreedersCup on Twitter for more information
Tickets are available here.
To see more photos from the LA Tech Girls, click here.

Photo by AV Flox

Wednesday, October 7

Social Media Marketing? Learn from Successful eBay Sellers

Once you're a participant in social media, you'll quickly get to meet the "experts." They wildly tout their business and online acumen and attempt to sell you their advice. But really? What have they really sold? The proof of any expert is how much they have earned in practice.

eBay was growing in the early days of 1996 (when I started selling). People would come to the site and buy from others on trust. Trust that was displayed in the seller's description, trust that was built on transactions and feedback. People from across the country would send money to absolute strangers and merchandise would be shipped.

Tens of thousands of sellers became "Trust Agents" (thank you Chris Brogan); making a living and building real business through trust and reliability. I put my daughter (see below) through college on my eBay earnings; and I didn't do it by just giving advice. I sold stuff.

eBay's feedback system has been building reputations for honest, trustworthy people who really make money on the internet. A brilliant idea from Pierre Omidyar, eBay's founder. Click here to see his original statement on trust and community from 1995.

Ask any experienced eBay seller how to be successful with social marketing. They know how to do it - they don't just talk about it. Ask my friend John (@ColderICE) Lawson; he's got over 75,000 feedbacks on eBay. That's one heck of a community.

I wrote my first book on eBay in 1999. Today my books are in seven languages and I've sold over a million. People take my advice because I do it; I'm honest and I give solid information. That's one heck of a community based on trust.

We've been doing Social Media since 1996. I have over 6800 feedbacks on eBay. I'm successful and so are they. Ask a long time eBay seller how.

(Yes, That's my daughter @SusanDickman helping ship items when she was in college)

(A Tweet from Pierre Omidyar, Founder of eBay about this post - Thank you)

Thursday, September 24

Monetize: PayPal Open API & Innovate 09 for only $49

The future is calling. PayPal is announcing a new, open platform which will help you monetize your applications and innovations. Check the one minute video below to grasp the possibilities.

On November 3 - 4 in San Francisco at PayPal X Innovate 2009, they will open their payment platform to third-party developers. By releasing new APIs (Application Programming Interfaces), PayPal is enabling the developer community to build new ways to pay and get paid. Twitpay, a Twitter-based payment service, LiveOps, a new on-demand workforce service and Microsoft’s Windows® Azure are some of the first applications.

eBay Inc CEO John Donahoe, as well as PayPal President Scott Thompson and VP of Platform/ Emerging Technology, Osama Bedier will be presenting keynotes.

Visit the conference site and attend for only $49 Paypal will $49 to charity for each signup. Wow, what a deal (your secret code is tc).

Monday, September 7

The Basics: Using Social Media for Online Sellers

In my years of speaking and writing For Dummies books, I have learned that most of us tend to be shy about admitting we don't know the basic ins and outs of new technologies. It really is OK - didn't your mother tell you there were no stupid questions? (My Mom did). There's a daily barrage of new tech stuff that I have questions about almost every day; believe me I am quick to ask to get answers. We have lives to live and there's no way we can be on top of the latest of everything!

At a recent ecommerce conference, I decided to close my talk with a bit of information on basic best practices of social media for online sellers. Even though many people in the room were already participating on Twitter and Facebook, the information was well received. Probably because we all feel good with the validation of what we think we know is really true.

In this portion of my talk, I give you the basics on how to smartly use Twitter to build your business base. Below the video you'll find a short list of Twitter commands. See you on Twitter!

Twitter Basic Commands
@username = Reply to another Twitter member
D username = Direct Message, a message to the recipient not seen in the public tweetstream
PRT = Partial Retweet or Please Retweet = a plea to other members of Twitter to spead the word and rebroadcast the tweet
RT = Retweet: used before a retweet to credit the orginal post
#followfriday = A list of recommended users to follow on Fridays. One of many themes on Twitter days.
# Hasttags are used to add context to a tweet or make your post easily searchable. A basic descirption of how to use hashtags is posted on Mahalo.

Tuesday, September 1

Can Social Media get more fun? Try Whrrl

If you want to share information about yourself, your friends, a product or event, and don't want to do the usual announcement - there's a fun and easy tool.

Using Whrrl, you can take pictures with your iPhone (there's a free app) or MMS enabled cell phone and turn them into a story complete with location, notes and the participants. You can also start and edit stories from the Whrrl website. Telling stories with Whrrl helps you capture and share moments of your life with your friends and family in a whole new way.

My friends, Heather Meeker, AV Flox and I had a lot of fun with a box of cosmetics from e.l.f. We had never used their products and decided to put them to the test by dressing up (and making up) like stars from the past. Take a look at our Whrrl story below. It was a lot of fun - I give Whrrl five stars!


Powered by Whrrl

Sunday, August 23

Using Twitter to Promote Your eBay Listings

I'm loving Twitter and really enjoying connecting with my readers and friends online. (Follow me @MarshaCollier). Twitter can be a very powerful sales tool - when used appropriately. Watch this one minute video with Kat Simpson @katskloset for a couple of ideas on how to grow your eBay sales through social media. Here are a few more things to keep in mind:
  • Don't deluge your Twitter audience with sales messages.
  • Be real, be a person and participate in the conversation
  • Keep in mind that social media is social, not a broadcast media

Monday, August 17

Ten years of Social Media: Startups and Entrepreneurship

A few weeks ago, one of my favorite websites, Mashable organized the #Hyatt4Good Tweetup Tour. The tour visited six cities: New York City, Chicago, Denver, San Diego, DC and Boston and 100% of income from ticket sales was donated to the Summer of Social Good charity fund.

During the event, I was interviewed by up and coming web rock star, Jun Loayza Partner at and Co-Founder of In the interview, Jun brings out the fact that I've been deep in social media for over ten years. My reachout to readers of my eBay For Dummies series gives me a community in excess of 10,000. The community was built to share ideas and solutions for online sellers, reaching further than my books ever could.

Jun also asks my advice for startups and entrepreneurs. After 10 years on the web, I've certainly seen successes and failures, and always love sharing positive advice.

Please IGNORE the ads that appear below this post - I can't get rid of them

Friday, August 14

Social Media for e-Commerce: Radio with eBay's Jim Griffith and Lee

I had a great time with Griff and Lee during a segment on eBay's PowerSeller hour. We discussed the way online sellers can build their business profile online. Social media is a powerful tool and too many people just don't get right. Click the headline of this post to listen in.

Please IGNORE the ads that appear below this post - I can't get rid of them

Thursday, August 13

Follow Gumby from from Facebook to eCommerce Summits?

I saw this post on Facebook and thought I'd share it here.
"Gumby is traveling the world from eCommerce Summit to eCommerce Summit. After an amazing Summit in Atlanta, he is now attending the PESA Summit Australia 2009 in Sydney August 13-14. He never travels without his eBay for Dummies Books to keep him company."

I am a founding member of PESA and it's killing me that I can't be in Sydney right now with my eBay & e-commerce seller peeps. (We need to see more Tweets from you guys)! But watch out, fellow PESAns! I will be with you in Spring!

Tuesday, August 11

Ask the Expert Fox 11 TV

I did an interview with Jean Martirez of Fox 11 in Los Angeles. Jean asked to give advice for those new to selling on eBay.

Thursday, August 6

Don't want to share your eBay photos with other Sellers? Opt Out now!

Work hard on your eBay photos?
eBay will allow other sellers to use yours

On August 31st, a new policy goes into effect where photos you upload to your listings can become part of an eBay image catalog of images that eBay will use to picture an item that is sold by many sellers.

The default for this is opt-in. A copyright notice is posted with a link to your user profile, but no additional information is given, and the link will be small. You must opt-out to keep your images for your own; if you don't opt-out eBay will make your photos part of the open catalog.

eBay has not made an official announcement about this and I don't want my readers, who work so hard on their images, to be caught at the mercy of this change in policy.

To opt out you must change your settings before August 31st. If you opt out after then, any photos you upload between the 31st and when you opt out may be included in the catalog.

To opt out, follow these steps:

1. Go to your My eBay summary page

2. Note there are three tabs that are ttled Activity, Messages and Account.
Hover over the "Account" tab.

3. From the drop-down list that appears, click on Site Preferences

4. The resulting page should look like the image below.
Find the Share your Photos line and click on Show next to this option.

5. The box will expand and look for the Edit link. Click it to change your auto opt in to NO!

The next page says: "If you'd like to opt-out of this program, please do so by checking this box and clicking the "submit" button below. (If you opt-out before August 31, 2009, none of your photos will be considered for inclusion in this program unless you opt back in at a later time. If you opt-out after August 31, 2009, any photos we select for inclusion in this program prior to your opt-out may continue to be used in the catalog)"

6. To opt out, click to put a check mark in the opt out box and then click the Submit button.

7. eBay returns you to the Site Settings page and you will see a confirmation note that says you have opted out.

Understand that I don't think this policy is a bad thing, but when you work as hard on photos as I do, I don't want to give other sellers the benefit of my hard work. I hope this post will help you improve your sales and keep your images yours.

Monday, August 3

What should I sell when I start on eBay?

When I meet with new eBay sellers, this is the most asked question. You don't have to spend a fortune to start an online business and you don't have to sign up with some company who will repeatedly charge your credit card for instructional material you'll never use.

Beginning is simple. Have the patience to get to know your products and get some practice on your site. Practice makes perfect. Make your mistakes (and early profits) on small, cheap or even free stuff.

Monday, July 27

Do I need more than one eBay store?

Your eBay Questions Answered by Marsha Collier! Here's 072709 in the series, asked by Carmie Docton at the 6th anniversary party for eBay Radio. Lots of sellers have more than one eBay store, is that a worthwhile expenditure in this retail starved market? Considering the popularity of eBay's Fixed Price listings, are eBay stores even still necessary?

Thank you, again. eBay For Dummies 6th edition, is still #1 on Amazon Computers & Internet!

Monday, July 20

What's the best way to deal with a counter offer on eBay?

Your eBay Questions Answered by Marsha Collier! Here's 072009 in the series, asked by Melinda Jackson of Galleria Gifts at a recent eBay conference, Many sellers get frustrated when trying to use eBay's "Best Offer" option. It's a great way to build your bottom line, but it's also insulting to get a low-ball offer. How to counter it? I answer here.

Thank you all for the warm reception of eBay For Dummies 6th edition), it's a best seller out of the gate!

Monday, July 13

Your eBay Questions Answered by Marsha Collier!

This is the start of a new series. I'm always asked questions from all levels of eBay sellers, so I decided to vodcast some of the more popular questions. There were hundreds of eBay sellers at the eBay Radio party a few weeks ago in Las Vegas, that I was able to film many Q&As. I answered them on the spot and will post them here. They're very short and to the point. Follow these tips and you're on your way to making serious money - in your spare time - on eBay.

I'll be posting them here each week. My Facebook fan page members get to see new questions a week earlier. Please join me there.

Monday, July 6

Twitter & Social Media For e-commerce sellers

Word has spread about my advice to online sellers a couple of weeks ago at the eBay Radio conference in Las Vegas. I taught about using Twitter to build your brand. I've seen my words mirrored on many blogs since and I'm glad the word is getting out. Since I began the buzz, I was interviewed last week by RSSRay on

We discuss the use of Twitter and how it can impact an e-tailer's bottom line. More importantly, I discuss the pitfalls many users fall into when first starting with the service. Quality, not quantity is a phrase you've heard before, but in the realm of social media, it rings even more true.

If you're packing items to send out today (hope you had a big weekend of sales) why not click the title of this post (it's a link) and give a listen.

Wednesday, July 1

Social Media for eBay & e-commerce sellers

It's time to get down to the business of social media. Last week I spoke at an eBay Radio conference in Las Vegas (OK, it was more like a party - but I digress) and the most savvy online sellers were excited to jump on the social media train.

Like anything new, Social Media has attracted gurus, experts, mavens and scammers, each with a different story to tell. I've been studying Social Media for a while and I've learned a few important truths.

The internet is still a community
Yes, SEO is important, updating your webspace is too, but keep in mind that the town square of years gone by has moved to the internet. Conversations are barely held in person or over the phone - they happen online. This is a community, where you need to respect your friends (your audience).

It is not a soapbox - don't sell, share
As fascinating as your sales message or opinions are to you, constantly barraging folks with your importance doesn't cause your friends to interact. They don't make people want to converse with you or do business with you. They want to know the person behind the tweets (or the blog or the page) is a real person, with a real life.

Be a person
Every name on the web has a person (or persons) behind it. Share a little of your personal day. If there is more than one person at your business handling the tweeting for your Twitter account, have them sign their tweets with a caret and their initials, like ^mc.

Time those tweets
If you tweet at the same time every day, you're no doubt hitting the same audience over and over. We are creatures of habit and log onto Twitter around the same times every day. Set
your calendar to vary the times you tweet - you will hit a different audience.

Answer back & retweet
If you're not interested in what other people are saying, why should they feel engaged in your comments? Read, comment, inquire. Be a part of the community. Save your promotional tweets for one in five - one in six is even better.

Quality still wins over quantity
Is it really important that you have a gazillion followers? I think not. There's really no way to effectively follow tens of thousands of people. Go to wefollow and categorize yourself and your business. Find people who are interested in your message and/or your product. Follow them.
If they like what the see on your Tweetstream, more will follow.

Follow back those of like mind. Do you care about a new MLM program? If that's what you are intesterted in, follow them - but don't clutter up your stream with unusable verbage. If you don't
care about the latest get-rich-quick program, pass when those citizens follow you. You have a market. Know it and follow back.

Commit to the community
Fill out your Twitter profile with links to your site or your online profile. Let people know who you are. Isn't it more interesting to know about the person you're following? Is a faceless profile even the least bit interesting?

Visit your Facebook stream at least twice a day
Check the posts of your friends on your Facebook home. Again, comment or "like" what they have to say. It's all about the interaction. Don't post your sales message to other peoples walls. Friend and join fan pages of people and businesses you like and respect. Communities only survive when there are active participants.

I was named an iCitizen by brand marketing guru, Kelly Mooney in her book, The Open Brand. I take that title very seriously. A good citizen of the web participates. Become a leader. Your voice is just as important as Ashton Kutcher or Oprah. Learn from the real Social Marketing geniuses like @MackCollier and ecommerce newsman @ColderICE. Follow social media conferences online if you can't attend the, like them 140 characters conference.

Followers and friends stay with you only if they like, respect and trust what they discover.

Friday, May 29

Windows 7: Interview with a Real Expert

How lucky am I to be able to interview Stephen Rose, Sr Community Manager Microsoft (Windows OS) on my radio show last week? Tres lucky.

If you have any questions about the new Windows 7 operating system and how it will change (improve) the way you do things, click the link on Stephen's blog to hear the interview.

He's not a typical, stupifying techie - he's funny, smart and well informed. He explains the tuff stuff so that even simple-geeks like me can get it. You'll love hearing what he's got to say!

Monday, May 11

Do the New USPS First Class Rates Affect your sales?

As you know, I'm a huge proponent for saving money, in the real world or virtual one. As an eBay seller, I'm always looking for ways to make my items more desirable to the buyer while not cutting down my bottom line. Saving money on shippping is the most basic of steps.

I use USPS First Class for many of he items I sell online, and today the rates went up. The new First Class rates can be found here, but without a calculator they can be confusing.

So let's just say that any package weighing 13 ounces can now be sent via First Class mail for $3.45 (including Delivery Confirmation fees). A 16 ounce package (with the electronic discount) sent Priority Mail goes for $4.80. Not a huge chunk of change, but a considerable savings. With smart packaging, you can usually package your item in a bubble envelope and lower the postal rate. (A box weighs more than an envelope).

Don't forget that Delivery Confirmation is de rigeur when you use USPS. It's the only way that PayPal will stand behind you if the customer says the package was never delivered - and the USPS confirms that it has.

Tuesday, April 21

Empowering eBay Entrepreneurs in a Crisis Economy

I did a short segment on today's eBay Radio PowerSeller hour with Jim Griffith and Lee Mirabal. Click here to listen. I think you'll find some value in what we spoke about.

Tuesday, April 14

Visiting with my friend, Kathy Ireland

Today was a fun day! I got a call to visit my friend Kathy Ireland at her booksigning for her new book at Borders, Real Solutions for Busy Moms: Your Guide to Success and Sanity. Aside from wanting to see Kathy again, her new book is a must read. No matter how old your children are - you're sure to be a busy mom! Although Kathy signed my copy of her book saying I was "a powerful inspiration," she's more than that to me. Kathy is an amazing woman.

She communicates with moms every day: online, at the grocery store, at church, at speaking engagements, and on her company website. She is grateful that her conversations don't center around beauty tips or requests for autographs or advice on how to dress. Rather, she has the honor of hearing from real women who struggle with balancing the responsibilities of marriage, raising children, managing a household or career or both, and finding any time left to take care of themselves.

As the involved mom of three very active children, the supportive wife of an emergency room doctor, and a dynamic businesswoman, Kathy knows of these struggles firsthand. She credits her strong faith in God and her parents' love and support for any success she has today and dedicates her days to finding the solutions that can make life easier for busy moms in all phases of life. As she tackles the tough financial concerns families feel today and many other issues, Kathy offers empathy and encouragement. She shares stories from her own life and wisdom she has gained through her years from teenager with a paper route to successful supermodel to mom to entrepreneur with a dream for big business big business which was realized by building what Forbes now calls the "Billion Dollar Brand."

Saturday, March 28

Starting an eBay Business For Dummies on a Playaway audiobook?

I opened a box from my publisher the other day to find the latest iteration of one of my books, it's on a Playaway(?). I went to the website and checked it out:

"Playaway is the newest format of audio, combining a wide variety of content with an easy-to-use player all in one small unit. When you receive your Playaway, all you have to do is press play to start listening immediately – there is no need for a separate player, and it comes with earbuds and a battery to make it play.

Playaway is the most simple and immediate way to enjoy music and audiobooks. Its portability allows users to enjoy their favorite authors and titles on-the-go, whenever and wherever. "

Well son of a gun, sounds interesting, so I emailed the manufacturer for more info. They didn't respond. I guess I'm not a big enough name. Their site featured a trade-in program, which makes these audiobooks pretty green.

Amazon sells them too: Starting an E-Bay Business for Dummies (Playaway Adult Nonfiction) and it seems they have a co-author attached to it. After some studying (since I've never heard of the co-author) it seems the person listed "reads" the book. What the hey? I've checked him out - he's big in the voice over industry, so I guess that makes his reading my words equally important as my writing the book.

Saturday, March 7

Online Entrepreneurship Best Practices

I put a lot of work into my new book to help anyone who wants to make money online. Below is the information from my publisher:

“The Marsha Collier, eBay for Dummies books are phenomenal.You cannot find more focused books than those from Marsha.“
-John Lawson, CEO 3rd Power Outlet (, Commerce Blogger (, eBay Platinum Powerseller

“Following the steps that Marsha's books outline can help you grow your business with realistic expectations and a true
understanding of the steps involved. We are living proof!”

-Clarissa Parashar, eBay user perpetual-vogue

In today’s economy more and more people are beginning to supplement their income by selling on eBay® and nobody knows more about starting an eBay business than Marsha Collier, the undisputed queen of eBay experts. In her new title, eBay® Business All-in-One For Dummies®, 2nd Edition (February 2009) she lays out a simple plan to help people become eBay® entrepreneurs.

This all-in-one guide includes nine handy minibooks that cover:
  • •eBay Basics
  • Essential Tools
  • Selling Like a Pro
  • Sourcing Merchandise
  • Presenting Your Items
  • Promoting Your Goods
  • Storing and Shipping
  • Power Selling
  • Office and Legal
Overall, Collier shows you how to:
  • Set up your business, find and manage inventory, and run your business like a pro
  • Equip yourself with the tools that count—eBay’s search engine, online sources of information, the PayPal system, and eBay’s management tools
  • Source merchandise and learn valuable strategies for managing and maximizing sales
  • Set up the optimal eBay photo studio and develop and market your eBay Web site
  • Learn the ins and outs of online retailing and what it takes to buy and sell online safely and easily
  • Find deals on the computer equipment you need
  • Promote, market, and show off your goods, all the while keeping your business legal

Use the link below to buy at discount!
eBay Business All-in-OneFor Dummies (For Dummies (Business & Personal Finance))
Published by John Wiley & Sons
Publication date: February 2009
Retail $29.99; Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-470-38536-4

Thursday, January 8

Thank you, Las Vegas eBay fans!

I'm in Las Vegas for CES, staying with my dear friend Patti "Louise" Ruby (of eBay fame). We visited a Target store in hopes of my scoring a small hoard of their exclusive edition of my book, "Making Money on eBay For Dummies" (to sign and sell on eBay).

In this entire display bin we couldn't find a one! Patti thinks it's because they were the most popular. I say it's because another savvy eBay seller beat me to it. Thank you, Las Vegas.