Monday, January 09, 2006


Wow! So many e-mails wanting to know why I had a taken such a hiatus and when would I return to fill them in on what I promised last….

You never know how much you’re missed until you disappear for a while! :)

Well, for those of you who were paying attention: the book signing in DC with Joe Galloway was fantastic—we garnered $10,000 in donations for Viet-American survivors of Katrina and a new Vietnamese Cultural Center in the Washington DC area…not bad for only 13 signed paperbacks of The Bamboo Chest and 3 hardcovers of We Were Soldiers Once... and Young (albiet Joe’s were not only signed by him but also General Moore, who was played by Mel Gibson in the movie)!

The fundraiser was held in a fantastic Chinese restaurant in the area. Here’s a photo of me, Joe, Don Duong, from WWS, Green Dragon, and Three Seasons, and who will be playing my interrogator/translator, Chan Le, in the movie based on The Bamboo Chest, and the fundraiser organizer, Lien Tran. Behind us is one of the most famous singers in the Vietnamese and Vietnamese-American community: Thu Phuong…she had to defect from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam the same year as Don: Don because he was in Green Dragon and WWSO, and Thu because she was working on a recording deal in L.A. and Hanoi was afraid she wasn’t going to return—talk about counter-incentive!

The next day, Joe and I spent going over plans for a movie that Joe and I will be writing this fall, and I’ll be directing sometime in the coming two years…would love to tell you what it’s about, but until we’ve written it can’t say much more than…it’s a piece of history that has been lost and is such a GREAT STORY!

Here’s a portrait I really like that I took of Joe being introspective about war, combat, and unwinding with a smoke as we talked about the good-ole-bad-ole days: we not only shared time in Vietnam during a few of the same years, but also Singapore—he actually wrote a piece that saved the Raffles Hotel from Lee Kwan Yew’s demolition (Lee Kwan wanted to take down anything that reminded of the British Empire’s rule of Singapore)!

The Raffles is where the Singapore Sling was designed by a Hainanese-Chinese, called Mr. Ngiam Tong Boon, in 1910, by the way…

As I write this, Joe is in Iraq somewhere, doing a piece on their and our militaries…invited by none other than the Secretary of Defense, our man in the chow hall…Don Rummy :)

Got to love those nicknames that come up…when I was a Naval midshipman we had to know the names of all main government and military commanders, our man then was “The Friendly Ghost”, Casper Weinberg.

Anyway, if you’ve got some good thoughts and prayers, send them Joe’s way… I sure don’t want him having his butt modified by a carbomb!

…Human psychology…a very interesting study I enjoy touching on in every piece I write—and no wonder since I was a drug and alcohol rehab counselor for five years for Friendship House Association of American Indians…and understanding my own mind is the only reason after all the times I almost caught a bullet, or ended up in Davy Jones’ locker that I’m even able to be here to write you…like I like to say: knowledge is not power—knowledge and the implementation of knowledge is power…and increased survivability!

Take for example the human condition as revolves around money, wealth, CASH and how when you give people what they want, they take if for granted, but withhold even slightly and the dogs of war are unleashed to get it back…and they’ll pay whatever it takes to get it back…

Isn’t it amazing when you find out who’s really making lots of money on the Internet…and who isn’t?

If you’re like me you like to make tons of cash not just when you’re actually working but also when you’re having fun, while you’re away from the “office”…and one of the best places to do that is my own big-little copywriting laboratory—!

On average, just tinkering and playing around—experimenting, I’ve averaged $2,500 to $3,000 a month selling stuff on eBay. I’ve sold everything from ancient whale vertebraes, curios from Southeast Asia, all the way to one of my crowning glories: a C.C. Roberts Mud Puppy Muskie lure for $299.97…

That’s $299.97 for a fishing lure!! Here’s the sales page: Cork’s MudPuppy on eBay

My great uncle probably spent about ten cents on that “puppy”!

You’ve probably heard about all these “hidden” treasures that reside in the attics, basements, and garages of you and me…but how many people are willing to look?

Before the Internet and eBay, the main option for selling such long lost goodies was an ad in a magazine, newspaper, or on TV. Now, we’re talking dollars, here, not what it costs to post at eBay: cents!

Depending on how you place your ad, you can make a mint!

So what makes eBay such a money-maker for those in the know?

These are some reasons to start:

  1. Large market base—millions of visitors a month…how many stores can boast that out of one location?

  2. Ease of use by sellers and buyers: search engines, and special searches, and photos!

  3. The ability for a marketer to use the most efficient tools for copywriting—font and line control!

Other than that, reward is based on a potential eBay moguls ability to convince people to visit the page, read the script and finally…

Make a Bid!

What this all leads back is to the question: do you buy logically, or emotionally…an actions that can be considered illogical.

You’ve seen it many times…

A person says they’re not going to sell for anything less than say, $20,000 for a used Volvo….

Prospective buyers come and go, not making the $20,000 the seller offers—one couple even goes as high as $18,000 in cash…

But the guy just won’t sell!

Then, another prospective buyer comes up and admires the car, a young man by the seller’s standards, really shows an appreciation not only for the car, with a strong knowledge of the importance of that model, but that the seller also understands the importance, too!

Rapport is built between the seller and the buyer, and though the seller had promised his wife that he wouldn’t sell for less than $20,000, he ends up selling to the young man for $13,000!

How could that be?

He went through at least 10 calls, five visits and five offers, four of which were well over the $13,000…

What happened?

--Right person at the right time!

And you may have also surmised correctly that while the others were only interested in the car, and were going just going for a “deal” on a machine that would get them to work and shopping, the one who finally got the Volvo was not just another potential buyer, but was also qualifying himself: he sold himself by connecting EMOTIONALLY with the seller!

Making money on eBay is pretty much the same, except rapport isn’t built by interacting verbally. Rapport is built by recognizing who would best be served by what you have to offer and then delivering thoughts, ideas, and facts to them that mesh with their understanding of the world as they see it and want to see it…

There are four main points to moving ahead of the pack:

  • Timing

  • Placement

  • Pricing

  • Description of the item that draws the highest paying bidders appropriate to the item!

Timing has various meanings on eBAy. There’s global timing, which means that you have an item that is in much demand at that time—either because there’s a fad, or because it’s a new version of a product with a long history: all of which are in your favor!

Timing also refers to when you place your item. One of the biggest selling products on the market now is the one by Jock Cockrum in Silent Sales Machine Hiding on eBay. He suggests listing items for bid on Sunday evenings at 7, based on the theory that Sunday evenings are the times when most people will have time to relax before the new work week and do a lot of surfing…

What I’ve learned is that I’m selling on Sunday evenings at 7, I mainly selling to other people trying to make money on eBay: and there’s nothing worse than selling to someone who’s buying your product for to make more money on it—why?

First of all, on average, because there are so many people trying it, buying and selling within the eBay world, is not as good as buying outside the circle and then selling within the arena of eBay.

The best way to do well if you must buy at eBay is finding an item that not too many people are clued into the potential price. If anything the reason to purchase on eBay to make money is to make the purchase on eBay and then sell somewhere else.

On that premise, the better way to really succeed at eBay is to purchase outside eBay and then list. Why? Like anywhere else you can make a mess of money: your money is made not at the time of sale, but at the time of purchase!

If you can get the item for incredibly low price, then the relation of expense to resale value is much better…this is one of the reasons someone like the THE RICH JERK is doing so well—he understands the real strategy about making money like Chris Carpenter with Google Adsense Words!

These are two people who know when to buy, i.e. advertising keywords, how cheaply to buy at…and when to sell and for how high in another venue. It’s a skill learned through practice and trial and error. Sometimes you sometimes you take a hit on your purchase price for the item and wrongly think you’re going to do well on the eBay sale. Then, other times you sell for not only the “buy it now” price but it’s gone in one night!

But, to get the most bang for your buck—to make money at eBay, you need good sales copywriting skills..and do you know what those are?

Getting a potential customer to read the first headline and to not stop until he or she gets to the end, fills in a higher bid, and clicks “Place Bid” or better yet..sometimes, the “Buy It Now” button.

That takes a lot of “emotional” rapport…getting across to the eBay page visitor that you are an authority on the subject or your product you’re offering, that you understanding and appreciate all that bidder is going through emotionally (the expense, and the potential joys of owning what you have to offer) and that he or she MUST buy it now, else go through the remorse of losing the bid…

And the best way to do that is tell a story!

Tell a story that puts the bidder in action using whatever you’re auctioning: have them experience all that they will experience when they have the item in their possession, remind them all they have to do is make a worthwhile bid…then emphasize that the time is short and then do it again…amazing how well that works—people really have a short attention span, especially if they’ve gone through the mental process of

It’s appalling how many potentially great sales copywriters out there write copy that gets the reader so excited about the product: feeling every emotion, every physical sensation as though it were real…then, fumble without delivering the call to action—the potential bidder just clicks another button and is gone!

And so, like I promised: you need to know about making money on without spending a single cent on a TV product on selling eBay…but if you don’t feel that is enough, then, perhaps you do need to read the FREE newsletter available here: Silent Sales Machine Hiding on eBay

Next Time:
Let me ask you, which do you think sells more copies:

….The Rich Jerk

Or… The Rich Dummy?

In the next installment I’ll tell you which one, and more importantly—why! If you make your main money convincing people to buy—either marketing or sales…or even if you’ve just got a product or service and don’t know how to get it out to your target customer—you’ll want to make sure you’re subscribed so that you don’t waste anymore money and time!

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