Verify and Inspect Sources

It’s never been easier to get products to sell, but with that ease and convenience, you want to make sure that what you’re getting is what you’ve ordered (the quality, the quantity, the packaging, and all the important details of your order).

You want to make sure that your products are safe and meet safety standards.

In the old days, you had to visit your sources yourself, but fortunately, there are services that can visit your supplier to make sure that what you’ve ordered is what you’re going to receive. They can even have your products laboratory tested to make sure that your products are safe.

There are a number of services that can do this for you, and you’ll most often use these services when sourcing your own products from overseas.

Below are some of the services you can use:

Make use of these services to do an onsite inspection to make sure that the factory you’re dealing with is a real factory and business.

Use them to do laboratory testing on your products to make sure that they’re safe and free from harmful chemicals.

You can also use them to show up when your order is being processed and packed so they can inspect the quality and make sure that what you’ve ordered matches what is being shipped.

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Shipping Supplies

When I was first starting out, I’d get boxes from OfficeMax and they were expensive!

There’s a better way to save on shipping.

If you use Fulfillment by Amazon (which has helped me build my business), you’ll need some larger boxes to ship items in bulk to the Amazon Fulfillment Center.

You can definitely get boxes from Uline.com where I get other packing and shipping supplies, but there’s something you might want to try first.

There are probably lots of businesses in your city that would be willing to give you their used boxes.

If you know someone at the company, get permission to come pick up some of their used boxes that they don’t need anymore.

It’s a great way to save on boxes. Make sure that the boxes are in good shape, and that you cover any barcodes or labels, but such boxes can work out great to house your products in bulk on the way to the fulfillment center.

If you’re looking for bubble wrap, Kraft paper (the brown packing paper), box tape, tape dispensers, or any other shipping supply, Uline is a great source. Uline also sells boxes in bulk.

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Pictures sell products

The quality of your pictures makes a difference. A product picture that has a background that hasn’t full been removed, or is out of focus really puts a damper on sales.

The software I use to clean up product images is Adobe Photoshop. I sprung and bought it as one of their product suites, but you can buy it individually as well.

It really makes a difference when you use pro-software to get the job done.

I’ll use Photoshop to remove backgrounds from product images, re-size images for the web, and Photoshop compresses them really well.

Photoshop has also been helpful as I’ve purchased website themes to use for my product sites because those themes come with the regular images, but if you want to customize them, you need Photoshop to open the files.

You can go for the Creative Suite which is what I got, or the less expensive Elements which is a simplified version of the full Photoshop.

Adobe Photoshop Elements

If you don’t want to remove backgrounds yourself, you can have them removed for you with the service at www.removethebackground.com

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Tools for product pictures

Good pictures sell products, the better your pictures, the better the chance of making a sale.

I use a photo box to take pictures of the products to get a white background.

The photo box has been a tremendous help in taking pictures and giving the white space behind the product.

You may need to take your image into Photoshop for a little bit of cleanup (if the background didn’t come out completely white for example.

The photo box can be folded up and placed into a case which is great so it doesn’t take up a lot of space when it’s being stored.

Here’s a photobox on Amazon with lights similar to the one I have (I don’t think they make the one that I bought anymore): 30-Inch LightBox

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Products viewed but not purchased?

If you’re selling on your own website, or have a blog that you’re using to promote your products and brand, it’s important to track how well it’s working.

You could have lots of visitors to a certain page, but not getting any sales.

If you’re not tracking how visits to your eCommerce site, you won’t know if you’re getting lots of visits, and won’t be able to track your sales conversions.

Lots of visits but no sales could indicate something is wrong with your shopping cart and visitors aren’t getting through the purchase process.

If some sales get through, but there’s lots of visitors, it could be that price, description, or images need to be updated on your site.

Google Analytics is what I use to track the traffic to my eCommerce.

It makes it easy to see how much traffic is coming to my sites as well as what search keywords were used to get there, among many, many other reports.

You’ll be able to see where your visitors are coming from (state, country, etc.). You’ll also be able to see what days of the week and times of day are most popular.

You can also set up “goals” so when a customer visits the “thanks for ordering” page, you’ll be able to see how many times per day that happens (hopefully a lot!).

You can sign up for free, and then you’re given a small tracking code to copy and paste into your website.

Another Tool that I’ve used is Quantcast which can give more information on basic demographics of your visitors.

Point is, if you don’t track it, you won’t know.

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Want to know what Google thinks of your eCommerce site?

If you want to know the basics of how Google views your site, you can ask them, and wait for a response…or, you can use one of the free tools Google has provided to check up on how your site is performing in Google.

Google Webmaster Tools can tell you how your site is doing, and if Google has identified any problems with your site, it’s how they communicate with you.

You can also submit what’s called a sitemap so that Google can be aware of all the pages on your site.

You can view +1 metrics (similar to the “Like” button from Facebook).

How fast Google thinks your site is can have an impact on how well your site appears in Google search results.

In Webmaster tools, you can see information that shows your site speed (at least as Google sees it).

You don’t need any tracking code for webmaster tools to work; they give you a file to upload to your site.

Remember, Webmaster tools are for tracking results on your own website. So if you’ve set up your own commerce site through Amazon Webstore, BigCommerce or other sites.

You won’t be able to track your products on Amazon through Webmaster tools. You’ll need to use the Amazon reports for that.

Visit Google Webmaster Tools here.

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