By April Simpson | December 10, 2013
In this episode of That Kat Radio, we discussed hiring an international VA and training them.
Today, Kat spoke with Brad DeGraw of FBA Hotlist and Andy Dew of It’s Dewable.
Brad DeGraw and Kat discussed “Why a VA?”
Questions that Brad answered were:
1. How and why did you first start using VA’s in your business
2. Why do you feel outsourcing is necessary for an internet business?
3. How do you suggest and internet entrepreneur begin outsourcing?
4. What will people be able to learn from the webinar series Kat and Brad did on hiring a VA?
Brad discussed how very important it is to outsource the most mundane of your tasks so that you can focus on the more important ones. He stressed that each job done by you eats away at the time you could be using to grow your business. Kat and Brad discussed the webinar series they did about this very topic. You can find out more information about the webinar by clicking here and by reading below:
When you purchase this webinar package you will learn these benefits to hiring an International VA:
- More flexibility with your time
- Freedom from repetitive tasks
- Greater productivity in an 8 hour day
- Amazon specific tasks for a VA that can bring huge ROI
- Create More Time in Your Day
- Proven training techniques
- Understand cultural differences
Andy Dew and Kat discussed “How to train a VA”
Questions that Andy answered were:
1. How and why did you first start using VAs in your business?
2. Why do you feel outsourcing is essential to online business?
3. How do you suggest an internet entrepreneur begin outsourcing?
4. What are some of the tools you recommend for training a “virtual assistant,” or VA?
Andy discussed how to best decide if you were at a point in your business that it was smart for you to begin outsourcing, then he went on to discuss the best training methods for VAs. He also shared his personal story about how he hired and trained his VA and how he promoted his VA to his online business manager. Now he has tons of free time to focus on different facets of his business!
Andy and Kat revealed that they have begun a new webinar series dedicated entirely to the topic of hiring and training an international VA. This series of podcasts is Kat and Andy walking you through the process step by step. You will have a coaching opportunity with Andy and one on one communication so that you are able to get your questions answered. This is a limited space opportunity and there are only TEN SPOTS available! If you are interested in being a part of this, and you feel that you are at the point where you have the resources to begin outsourcing, send Andy an email at Andy@ItsDewable.com and he will send you a questionnaire to gauge whether or not you are ready for this in depth program. Space and time is of the essence, so send those emails quickly! You can also find out more via Kat’s Facebook group!
After a great and stimulating couple of interviews, Kat wrapped up the show by sharing that she is now in charge of helping to organize the Seabay Cruise coming up soon, February 8-13, 2014. She will also be attending the TES conference in Tucson, AZ, March 21-22, 2014 and she will be attending the More Fun Bigger Profits conference hosted by Danni Ackerman of the Danni App, May 2-3, 2014 in Las Vegas, NV!
Links for the show:
- http://www.bubblefast.com Use code: THATKAT for a 5% discount!
- Kitty Kat Kombo: http://www.bubblefast.com/store/pc/Kitty-Kat-Kombo-10-each-of-4-sizes-192p1818.htm#.UeHeUtLqn54
- Big Kat Kombo:
Brad DeGraw’s links:
Andy Dew’s links:
- what’s new for dewable: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P59jIPX4KSU
By ThatKat | December 9, 2013
A local high school recently contacted me about making a video of their school’s drama production each year. I frankly didn’t realize there was a market for that, so I contacted other area elementary, middle and high schools in my area. All of them told me they would love me to come in and videotape their school functions as long as I didn’t charge the schools anything for that service (in other words, I would charge the parents for copies of their child’s performance).
This sounds like a great opportunity for me, but my lawyer doesn’t like it for some reason. He’s not the kind to explain his reasoning, so I’m hoping you will help me understand the legalities of doing something like this.”
I’m not sure I would be as negative about this as your attorney, but he’s right that if you do this type of video work you need to be very, very careful as things can get very complicated in a hurry, legally speaking.
Before you shoot a video of anyone other than a professional actor or actress (and sometimes even then), you need to get a document – often called a “permission and release form” — by which he or she:
- “permits” you to make the video and edit their performance as you think necessary;
- “releases” you from any liability for the video shoot;
- “assigns” or “licenses” the right to use their likeness and voice, their copyright and other rights to you (if you plan to sell the video to people other than him or his parents); and
- “indemnifies” you from any legal liability that may result from the video shoot (unless of course it was your fault).
Because you are dealing with amateur actors and their parents, this form should be written in “plain English” and should be not more than one page long.
Since most of the student performers will be under the legal age of consent (21 in virtually all states, 18 in some), you will need to get the release forms signed by every single parent or legal guardian of every single student involved in the production (a teacher’s signature is not enough). In these days of ready divorce I would not trust a release signed by only one parent unless the release language specifically states that the individual signing the release has “full and legal authority” to grant it.
If you omit to get a release for even one of the students you are videotaping, or if a single parent or guardian refuses to sign your form, then you are faced with a stark choice: you can either edit that student out of the video (which will upset the integrity of the performance you are trying to document), or you cannot use the video for any purpose whatsoever.
Since most schools will be reluctant to give you the names and home addresses of each student involved in a production (after the Columbine and Newtown shootings you can understand why), you will be forced to ask parents to sign release forms as they show up for their child’s production and hope that all of them agree to sign. Some schools may be willing to have their teachers deliver the forms to the participating students so they can be signed beforehand and delivered by the student on performance night, but if even one student forgets to have the form signed in advance (would YOU trust a teenager to deliver an important message to their parents?), you have a “rights” problem that will compromise the video shoot.
Even if a parent or guardian signs the form, they may be reluctant to give you free reign over how the video is used. For any kind of competitive event (such as a basketball game, or a business plan competition), the school or coach may not want copies of the video to be delivered to the other team for fear of publicizing a game strategy or secret play.
Most parents will also want you to assure them that the video will present their child in the most favorable light possible. While we all love to watch videos of little kids saying silly things or making cute mistakes (remember Art Linklater’s television show “Kids Say the Darndest Things”?), there’s a growing concern in this age of social media that “blooper” tapes of students looking foolish, blowing their lines or acting in politically incorrect ways onstage can be posted online for worldwide comment and mockery (to say nothing of college admissions people who may stumble upon them in future years).
In promoting your services, you will need to promise each school they will not be sued or embarrassed as a result of your video shoot. Break that promise, and your entire community will know about it.
Cliff Ennico, a leading expert on small business law and taxes, is the author of “Small Business Survival Guide,” “The eBay Seller’s Tax and Legal Answer Book” and 15 other books.
By ThatKat | December 2, 2013
We are thinking about turning this into a real business. We’ve spoken to a local patent attorney and he’s optimistic we will be able to get a patent on my daughter’s design. All of the graphics she uses on the covers are original so we’re also optimistic we will be able to copyright most of them.
But the process of manufacturing these products is very intimidating. How do we go about doing that?”
With a product like this, you have two basic choices: the “high road” and the “low road.”
The “low road” is fairly easy. You sell a few items each month, make each one by hand, and advertise them locally – notices on campus bulletin boards, booths at local crafts fairs, an ad in The New Yorker magazine, (maybe) a listing on etsy.com which focuses on handmade crafts items.
If you are following the “low road” with low sales volume you need to price your products as high as possible, at least $30 to $50 per cover. If you are customizing each cover with the customer’s name, her pet’s name, or something unique to that individual, you can charge even more, maybe $50 to $75 per cover.
You won’t sell a lot of covers following the “low road,” but it will be easy to do and will generate a fair amount of extra income. Also, and forgive me for saying this, but it sounds like neither you nor your daughter have the free time to build a fast-growing business of any kind. If someone orders 100 covers for delivery next week, you have to say “no”. Until one of you is ready to devote herself full-time to this business, the “low road” is the right road.
The “high road: is all about fast growth and developing a mass market product. Here are the steps:
- you will need to find a manufacturer who can put together an estimate of the cost of manufacturing your product at different quantities of production (the cost of producing 500 covers will be more than the cost of producing 100 covers but will usually result in a lower cost per cover);
- since you don’t have the time to make, market and sell the covers yourselves, you will need to license your product to a larger company that will take care of all that and pay you a royalty on sales (usually 5% to 8%); and
- you will need to work closely with the large company on an ongoing basis to make sure they maintain your desired product quality and to help manage any changes in the product that may be necessary for mass marketing (for example, if you need to use a lower quality of fabric to keep the retail price low, will the covers fall apart with ordinary use?).
Here are some questions you will need to answer before pursuing the “high road”:
Where can I find a manufacturer to provide the cost estimate? Search online for “[your state] association of manufacturers.” Most states have a trade association of local Mom and Pop manufacturers who will be eager to work with you.
How do I deal with these manufacturers? Deal with several of them, ask for a “nonbinding competitive price quote,” and be sure to get a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) from each of them before showing them details of your product design.
Should I talk to a manufacturer in China? While your large company partner will almost certainly be manufacturing your product in Asia, they will not expect you to find the best deal for them. If you must talk to Asian manufacturers, use services such as www.globalsources.com and www.asiaconnection.com that “certify” them so you know you are dealing with reputable companies.
How do I license the product to a large company? I don’t recommend doing this yourself. Large companies will be more comfortable dealing with a “licensing agent” who specializes in this type of merchandise. To find the leading national agent firms, check out www.inventorsblackbook.com. You should also search “[your state] inventors association”. Most states have associations of inventors, and these organizations almost always have licensing agents as members.
How do I prevent the large company from stealing the product? You will need a good lawyer to negotiate your license agreement with a large company. The nondisclosure clause should be ironclad, and there should be specific language in the agreement preventing the large company from “reverse engineering” your product.
The best protection, though, is to keep “on top” of the relationship with your new partner: don’t let them just take your product and run away with it. Make sure you have the right to approve any product changes they recommend, and that you own the intellectual property rights to any “modifications, improvements or enhancements” to the product.
Cliff Ennico, a leading expert on small business law and taxes, is the author of “Small Business Survival Guide,” “The eBay Seller’s Tax and Legal Answer Book” and 15 other books.
By ThatKat | November 27, 2013
Free eBay Seller Webinar – “Sales Tax Tips for Ecommerce Sellers”
Find out what selling on multiple channels in multiple states means for collecting sales taxes. Learn about the general rules of sales tax compliance for online sellers, how nexus with other states can be triggered by using third-party fulfillment, and the latest news on the Internet Sales Tax laws.
What you’ll learn:
- What selling on multiple channels means for your sales tax returns
- Destination versus origin-based sales tax states
- What nexus means for sellers using third-party fulfillment services
- Update on where the Internet Sales Tax law stands
- And more!
WHEN: Wednesday, December 11th, from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. PT / 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. ET
The webinar will be recorded and a link sent to all registrants when it’s complete. So signup even if you can’t attend live.
You do NOT have to be a Top Rated Seller to participate. The webinar is for eBay sellers of all sizes and levels.
Mark Faggiano, industry expert and Founder / CEO of TaxJar – a service built to make post-transaction sales tax compliance easier for multi-channel ecommerce sellers. Mark previously co-founded and led FileLater to become the web’s leading tax extension service for both businesses and individual taxpayers.
Top Rated Seller Webinars Sponsors:
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About eBay Radio
The host of eBay Radio is Jim “Griff” Griffith, eBay’s Dean of Education and author of the Official eBay Bible. eBay Radio broadcasts (eBay Radio; eBay Radio’s Ask Griff & Lee; and eBay Town Hall) feature helpful guidance, advice, and information from eBay team leaders and guest experts along with hot eBay topics, news direct from eBay, and your calls!
Stamps.com (Nasdaq:STMP) is a leading provider of Internet-based postage services. Stamps.com’s service enables small businesses, high-volume shippers, enterprise shippers, and consumers to print U.S. Postal Service-approved postage with just a PC, printer and Internet connection, right from their home or office. The Company targets its services to small businesses and home offices, and currently has PC Postage partnerships with Avery Dennison, Microsoft, HP, USPS and others.
Terapeak is a leader in ecommerce market research and payment analytics, and is the sole authorized re-licensor of eBay data globally. The company provides custom insights and SaaS technology-enabled solutions to e-commerce merchants around the world.
Currently aggregating over 20% of all online commerce sales data, Terapeak helps merchants make faster, more-profitable business decisions based on real-time market trends, pricing, and transaction data.
About Kabbage, Inc.
Kabbage, Inc., headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, has pioneered the first financial services data and technology platform to provide funding to small businesses in less than 7 minutes. Kabbage leverages data generated through business activity such as selling online, shipping data, and dozens of other data sources to understand business performance and craft financing options for small businesses.
By ThatKat | November 25, 2013
“My husband and I have a small consulting business. We want to hire someone as a subcontractor for some of our projects, but are nervous about paying her a flat fee per hour or per day as we cannot be sure our clients will agree to pay that way.
I worked up what I thought was a very simple plan. On projects where this contractor would be helping us, we would submit our usual invoice to the client. Then when the payment comes in, we would deduct all expenses relating to that invoice (including a portion of our company’s overhead and administrative costs which will be spread over all invoices), and whatever was left over we would split 60/40 with the contractor.
The contractor said she was willing to work with us that way, but when I discussed this with my attorney he freaked out and said he couldn’t draft an agreement reflecting this arrangement. Do I have the wrong attorney, or is there something more to this than I think there is?”
You may well have the wrong attorney (I can’t speak to that), but there is definitely something more to this than you think. While an arrangement like this one is very simple to state verbally, as you just did in your e-mail message, it is almost impossible to put it into legal language that will be enforceable in a court of law.
Generally, “agreements to agree” are not enforceable, and what you propose to do is technically an “agreement to agree.” If you and your subcontractor get into a dispute down the road there is no way a judge, jury or other third party looking at this contract can determine exactly how much your contractor is supposed to be paid on any given project.
Specifically, your proposed fee-sharing arrangement leaves open the following matters:
- does the subcontractor’s proposed 40% split give her a fair return on her investment of time in each project?
- when will each invoice be payable, and how long after you receive your money will be subcontractor be paid her 40% split?
- will your subcontractor’s input be included in each invoice, and if so how will that input be valued?
- what “project specific” expenses will be deducted from the face amount of each invoice?
- will expenses incurred by your subcontractor be included in each invoice, and if so will she receive reimbursement of those expenses before you calculate the 60/40 split?
- what “overhead and administrative” expenses will be deducted from each invoice before you calculate the 60/40 split?
- will “overhead and administrative” expenses include any compensation to you and your husband as the owners of the business?
- will the same percentage of “overhead and administrative” expenses be deducted from all of your invoices, or will you weight them based on the size of each invoice, the amount of business you receive from each client, or some other factor?
What you really want to do here is base your subcontractor’s compensation on the “net profit” from each project she works on. The problem with any arrangement like that is that you don’t know what the “net profit” of any project will be until expenses are deducted, and there’s lots of ways you can artificially increase your expenses to minimize or even eliminate “net profit” from any project. If I were representing your subcontractor, there’s no way I would tell her to agree to any such arrangement.
The only way to make your proposed arrangement legally clear is to say in the contract that you will make all deductions from the face amount of any invoice “in your sole discretion, after consultation with subcontractor.” That clears up the uncertainty, but if your subcontractor feels you are not making these decisions fairly her only option under the contract would be to quit, possibly leaving you in the lurch on an important client project.
The best and fairest way to handle this relationship is to give your subcontractor a percentage of the gross revenue your company “actually receives” from invoices on projects she has worked on. That is not only easier to calculate, but easier to draft in enforceable legal language. Requiring that the subcontractor be paid only when you receive payment from your client protects you against any “hard and fast” obligation to pay the subcontractor when your business is short on funds.
The arrangement you propose also raises the possibility that your client will view the subcontractor as your partner, exposing you to liability for her mistakes. You want your subcontractor to be treated as an “independent contractor” for tax and other purposes, and independent contractors generally receive fixed compensation, not a percentage of a business’ overall profits.
To eliminate any misunderstanding, your client contract should state clearly that the subcontractor is not a partner or employee and has no authority to make decisions for your consulting business.
Cliff Ennico, a leading expert on small business law and taxes, is the author of “Small Business Survival Guide,” “The eBay Seller’s Tax and Legal Answer Book” and 15 other books.
By April Simpson | November 21, 2013
eBay sent out letters last week warning sellers that they needed to provide more information, or their listings were in danger of not being seen. If you are a part of any Facebook groups, such as the ThatKat group or the DanniApp group, you know that we strongly advise our seller friends to be sure they fill out the product condition description. It appears that eBay has decided this is crucial to the listing process as well. In their help pages, eBay explains that the condition description field is different than the item condition. They state that “As a seller, you can use the condition description field to help buyers learn more about the condition, age, and history of your item. This is where you should enter any details about the item’s condition.” You can find a little more information here.
I have to give the folks at eBay props for giving us a heads up. I knew that this was important, but now we know that if this field isn’t filled out, our item won’t be seen as often or as quickly as items that have it filled out. I went back today and filled out the condition description for all of my items, just a precaution. In the letter, they didn’t come out and say that the listings without the condition description would be “hidden,” but they have said that it will “increase your chances of selling.” In the selling manager, you can see what things you can do to increase your chances of your items selling, such as adding an ISBN, UPC, and item specifics. If you haven’t been filling these things in already, I would strongly advise you begin doing so. Cassini is rapidly changing, and anything you can do to improve your item’s chances of selling would be best. If you have the time, I also strongly recommend going back and filling these in on ALL of your items.
With the market over-saturated with sellers and items, don’t you want your items to have the best shot at selling? I know I do. For items that are used and you have put “used” already, you don’t necessarily need to create a flaw that isn’t there for the condition description. Most of the time, I set the item’s condition, then fill in the field with “in excellent condition” if it’s true. That way I have satisfied my duty to fill out the field and the customer knows that I didn’t overlook the description of my item’s condition. If there is a flaw, obviously, you should describe it. Also, in certain categories, there are no item specifics that populate. Don’t be afraid to create your own. Some specifics that will help your item show up in search are: Color, size, type of item, age of item, if it is a book, I fill in the book title and author. Just fill out every possible field, that way you know you have done your best to get your item sold. After that, it’s up the cassini genie and the customers! J
By ThatKat | November 21, 2013
I wanted to thank the folks at Seller Engine Software for permission to post their information here. I appreciate their insight into Amazon selling and the Sales Rank of items as it relates to Sales Velocity. All insight in that area is much appreciated!
Understanding Sales Rank is one of the keys to sourcing profitable inventory. An item with a killer Sales Rank can be a huge moneymaker for your business. But they can also be a total bust.
Why? Because Sales Rank is more than just a single number. An item’s Sales Rank at any given moment isn’t necessarily indicative of of an item’s potential future performance.
Reviewing long term trends in Sales Rank can help you to make smart buying decisions. But you need to know what to look for.
We’ve identified 5 shapes of Amazon Sales Rank that will help you choose great inventory.
With the holidays nearly here, you need to be aware of Seasonal items. Buy them at the right time and you’ll be in for a wild ride. Buy them at the wrong time and you’ll watch as your inventory gathers dust.
Seasonal is an item that’s only popular at a given time of year, like Christmas, Halloween or Mother’s Day. After a period of high sales, the item’s popularity plummets. But it does come back, often on a regular and predictable cycle.
Recognizing seasonal items is easy if you have their sales rank history. Look for deep valleys and high peaks, like big ocean waves!
If you’re buying a Seasonal item, you want to make your purchase before the boom begins, not as it’s ending.
Items with a steady sales rank are the bread and butter of successful Amazon businesses.
The Steady is an item that consistent stream of sales that you can count on. You likely won’t be the only seller on a Steady item. But when purchased at the right price and in volume, you can turn Steady items into steady profits.
Don’t forget that if you can win even a fraction of a Steady item’s sales, you’ll be earning more than if you have all the sales for an item with a consistently low Sales Rank.
When looking at historical Sales Rank, Steady items have very few deep valleys and few high peaks. Instead their sales rank stays relatively flat over time.
These 2 trends are just part of making sense out of Sales Rank. We’ve identified 3 more trends that you can look for when you’re looking at an item’s historical Sales Rank, as well as tips and tricks for finding this data.
Complete this short survey and we’ll send you the complete Shapes of Amazon Sales Rank ebook.
By ThatKat | November 20, 2013
A few days later I noticed it showing as ‘ Unfulfillable’ in my inventory so I opened a case to ask why. The reply was that it was expired and they had destroyed it! Well, that was a surprise because I knew I had just sent it in and I remembered the Expiration Date. So I went back into the case on Seller Central and added a note to that case that I knew they were not expired, as I had just sent them in.
The next day I got a new reply. This time they apologized for destroying the item, classified it as ‘damaged in warehouse’ and informed me they would be reimbursing me $14.49. At the time I sent in the item there were no sellers and I priced it at $56.25.
So I went back into the case, and I protested the reimbursement. I stated that it should have been based on my sales price and the sales history of the item. The reply the next day requested me to send in my invoice.
Today I sent in my scanned invoice with my receipt for $15 and within two hours was informed they were going to reimburse me an additional $42!
So, here’s the lesson!
First, when an item goes into unfulfillable, ask Amazon to explain it. (Of course, some items you will recognize from refunds and won’t need to ask.)
Second, when the reimbursement amount is insufficient, appeal. In this busy season it may seem a waste but for this one item, I spent 10 min and netted $42 so not a bad ROI.
What have YOUR experiences been with Amazon’s Reimbursement Policy?
By ThatKat | November 18, 2013
Every small business conference I have attended in the past year has featured at least one keynote speaker who I shall call the “social media screamer”.
This individual, probably a former college cheerleader (or lead singer in a punk rock band), gets up on stage and starts dancing, jumping up and down and screaming at the top of his lungs (very seldom is the “screamer” a female) about the benefits of social media platforms such as Facebook® and Twitter®.
- “You should be marketing your business on social media, because social media is the future,” is this speaker’s mantra, which he repeats ad nauseam in 1,000 different forms, such as:
- “Your kids are all hooked on social media just like you were hooked on television; to a kid, it ain’t real unless his friends are texting about it on social media, so you can’t sell to kids if you’re not on social media”;
- “If you’re not on social media, you business will go bankrupt, your spouse will divorce you, your kids will disown you and your dog will pee on your leg”;
- “You should spend at least five hours every day updating your social media feeds, and you should have a presence on all 3,176 social media sites.”
Now, maybe it’s so, maybe it ain’t, but one recent speaker I heard went too far. When an audience member asked about the need for privacy online, the speaker chuckled, rolled his eyes, and replied “ma’am, let me tell you the truth, no one gives a rat’s pitootie about privacy.”’
I beg to disagree.
I’m in the middle of reading Dave Eggers’ novel “The Circle.” I haven’t finished it yet, but from what I’ve read so far this book should be Number One on your reading list if, like me, you are confused about social media and where it is taking us as a society.
The book is set on the campus of a fictional social media Web company called “The Circle.” This corporation, combining features of Apple, Facebook, Twitter and Amazon, has developed a social media solution that enables users to combine all of their social media, spending, banking and other online accounts into a single Web presence. Users must use their own names – they cannot hide behind user names or aliases. Thus, their presence on The Circle is, indeed, their very identity.
Having raised gazillions of dollars, The Circle’s 10,000-plus employees are encouraged to develop new products and services. For example, cameras the size of Post-it® Notes that people can put up on walls anywhere, indoors or outdoors. With a single mouse click, users can access all cameras at a particular location and see in real time what’s going on there. Including people’s bedrooms.
The novel’s protagonist, a 20-something named “Mae,” is recruited for The Circle by her former college roommate, who is one of the company’s inner-circle “Gang of 40” senior executives. As Mae climbs the corporate ladder (more accurately, as layers of management are built up beneath her as the company experiences exponential growth), she is told that her success depends not only on her job performance, but on her participation in The Circle’s social media platform, on her Web postings generally, and in company-sponsored social events that occur several times a day.
As the novel progresses, Mae gradually starts to realize that The Circle is taking over her entire life, and that everything she does – both on-campus and off – is expected to be visible to the world at large and open to public approval (or criticism). At one point, her superior reprimands her for not posting her daily activities frequently enough, explaining that any withholding of information by Circle employees is “selfish” and contrary to The Circle’s mission: to capture, in real time, everything everyone is experiencing every second of every day, everywhere around the globe.
Again, I haven’t yet finished the book, but so far the author seems to be ambivalent about the role of social media in people’s lives. He acknowledges that social media can be a force for social and political progress, citing the recent Arab revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia and pointing out that if police officers knew there were hidden cameras everywhere trained on them, they would refrain from brutalizing suspects like Rodney King or Trayvon Martin.
But the author also illustrates the potential abuses of social media by large corporations (like The Circle itself), dictators, authoritarian governments, employers, and others who say “we are one community” and “we care about you” but actually have quite different agendas. The theme of “Big Brother is watching you” has been dealt with before, of course – in George Orwell’s “1984”. “The Circle” is very much a “1984” for our times, and is more frightening than anything Stephen King has ever written, precisely because the technology to create “Big Brother” exists today as it did not in Orwell’s time.
Buy it, and read it now.
By ThatKat | November 15, 2013
Anytime I “Follow” someone on Twitter, I can’t help but think of the Peggy March song “I Will Follow Him.” This time, it’s not Twitter members that are going to be following you around, however, it’s eBay members. That’s right! EBay is rolling out some new tools designed specifically to let buyers follow you and your collections.
Collections — you ask? If you’re not familiar with eBay’s newest concept — just think “Pinterest” on eBay. I had my doubts when I first heard about it, but I have to admit that now that I know more about it, I think eBay’s latest idea is pretty cool.
You know how when you log onto your home page, all those images of things you like or have searched for on eBay pop up? Well, now you can take the eBay items you have for sale and group them into “collections” based around a common theme that you create. As an example, if you sell vintage clothing, you could base a collection around that or you could create a collection of items that remind you of the summer or the ocean. The possibilities are endless!
Other members can then look at your collection or even add your images to their own collection. They can also “Follow” you so that they can see what you add to your collection next. This not only gives your items a lot of exposure on other member’s pages, but also if you’re creative enough, your collection may even end up on the front page of eBay itself! Just think about it — your items literally have the potential of being seen by thousands or even million of people without them even having to search for your store!
But…wait! There’s more! It gets even better. EBay is now going to allow you customize your profile page too. You can add images, showcase your business and engage buyers in conversation. The best part is that when someone follows you, your profile shows up on the follower’s eBay profile. Since people tend to follow people with common interests, this means even more exposure for your items.
While I have heard some sellers grumbling that this is just another way for eBay to make itself more like Amazon and Pinterest, I really think eBay may be on to something with this one. We all know that buyers are more likely to buy from someone they know and trust. This will not only allow people to get to know you a little better, but increased exposure just about guarantees increased sales. Since that’s the case, “I will Follow him, her or them — all the way to the bank!”