Monday, August 25, 2008

Etopps 2.0, Prepping Your Inventory, Football and Ebay's Lastest Changes

I received an email from Mark, telling me that etopps will involve Topps' new Chief Digital Officer in the review of the etopps website for upgrading after completing the integration with cardtarget.


I love this time of year: summer is waning, baseball's playoffs are getting closer and football season is less than two weeks away.

You already know full well which etopps baseball in-hands are selling. If those players aren't on a potential playoff team, I would limit my inventory on those players. If they are on a playoff team, stock extras in case one of them ends up the hero of a game or playoff series.


Even though football is heating up but don't be suprised if not that much sells before the season except for Adrian Peterson. Trigger your listings to end Sunday either after the end of the second game or some time deep into Sunday Night's game.

A player's (rookie) card performs better in the off season if they had a great season than other cards and this lengthy selling opportunity ends when the new season starts, when all bets are off.

For example: Larry Johnson in 2006 and Adrian Peterson in 2007.

And sometimes a player's rookie card takes off after a great first game. I had 5 Carson Palmer rookie cards at the beginning of the 2006 football season. By the end of the first game, someone had bought all 5 due to Palmer's performance in that game.


I would try to use the recent changes introduced by ebay to your advantage. They do not go into effect until September 16th, two weeks into the football season.

Whatever you have listed for store, shift to the flat 35 cent fixed price, even as lots, sets, graded or autographed in-hands. While you eat more fees at the end of the listings, you don't pay anything if your listings do not sell. Since the sell through rate on ebay for in-hands are not more than 40% (meaning the odds of selling an in-hand is less than 4 out of 10 times you list it), you're saving something if your cards do not sell the first time around.

If you're not getting some kind of discount for final value fees by now, something is wrong with the way you're selling whether it's high shipping fees, slow handling time or simply ignoring buyers other than their paypal emails.

While I like ebay's favor with fixed price, it puts auctions on the sidelines, the way of determining fair value for an item on ebay such as an in-hand. Maybe this is why etopps never gave us the option to sell in-port cards using Buy-It-Now or fixed.

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