Ebay to Discontinue Store Traffic Reports in June

By Kate Hornsby | May 5, 2015

Daily Traffic
Ever notice how when it rains at eBay, it pours at eBay? On May 1,2015, sellers not only had all those pesky policy and rate changes to deal with, store owners also got the notice that eBay is discontinuing the Store traffic reports and there will be no more as of June 30th.

For those who haven’t ever used them, the traffic reports are basically about the same as what Google uses (they call theirs Google Analytics) to help people know how much traffic their site is getting. These traffic reports are specifically for sellers on eBay, however, and helps them to measure the amount of traffic that is coming to their store page and viewing their items. For those that study them, traffic reports have been a good way to analyze exactly how successful a seller’s marketing efforts have been.

Here’s a copy of the letter that eBay sent to store sellers on Friday:

As an eBay Stores subscriber, you have access to a number of powerful marketing tools, including Sales Reports Plus and Store traffic reports. Starting June 30, you’ll no longer be able to access Store traffic reports. Later this year, we’ll introduce new features to replace the current Store traffic reports.

We’re committed to notifying you 60 days in advance of any changes to features included with your Stores subscription. We apologize for any inconvenience this change may cause. Know that your access to Sales Reports Plus is not affected and that in the weeks ahead, we’ll let you know all about the new reporting features we’ll soon offer.

As always, thank you for selling on eBay and for subscribing to eBay Stores.
Best,
The eBay Selling Team

Although eBay is promising that they’ll introduce a new feature to replace the current traffic reports, sellers are questioning the timing of the announcement. The summer months are notoriously bad for sellers anyways, and some sellers feel that the discontinuation is a way to stop them from seeing just how bad the traffic really is going to be for the next several months.

As you probably already know, it is during this time period that PayPal and eBay will most likely split, so sellers are already going to have to deal with the shakeout from that too. Is this a preemptive strike by eBay to stop sellers from know just how bad it’s getting as the company shifts off into two separate entities? Looks like we’ll just have to stay tuned to find out.

What do you think the end of the Store traffic reports mean? Do you use them and how do you think this will affect you? Leave a comment below.

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That Kat Radio – Podcast 14 – April 28, 2015: Worldfirst, CrazyLister, JoeLister and Ryan Reger

By That Kat | May 3, 2015

In this episode, Kat spoke with Jason Magee of Worldfirst, Viktor Levitin of CrazyLister, Max Kolysh of JoeLister and Ryan Reger

 

Jason Magee is the Head of eCommerce Partnerships for North America at World First. He establishes strategic relationships with key players in the ecommerce arena to bring complete solutions for online merchants who are selling internationally on marketplaces. He always wants to do more on International scale.

_________________________________________________________

Questions that were asked and answered were:

  1. Please tell us about your history in Ecommerce?
  2. How did WorldFirst get started?
  3. What does WorldFirst do and for what type of seller is it most useful for?
  4. How is WorldFirst different than other solutions for International payments?
  5. How much does WorldFirst cost and are their any discounts for That Kat Radio listeners?
  6. How can our listeners connect with you online to learn more?

_________________________________________________________

Viktor Levitin, is the CEO of CrazyLister, After being a seller himself, developing a technology for in-house use and winning awards from eBay for having the highest conversion rates. He decided to share the technology with the rest of the community, this is how CrazyLister was born.  Talking about conversion rates, conversion rate is a number of sales on an item divided by the number of people who looked at it.

CrazyLister is a tool to create eBay listings from scratch or customizing eBay auction templates.  This listing tool is compatible for eBay, complete with a selection of HTML templates that you can edit to fit your listing design.

Questions that were asked and answered were:

  1. Please tell us about your history in Ecommerce?
  2. How did CrayzLister come about?
  3. What does CrazyLister do and for what type of seller is it intended for?
  4. How is CrazyLister different than other solutions for eBay listings?
  5. How much does CrazyLister cost and are their any discounts for That Kat Radio listeners?

_________________________________________________________

Max Kolysh is the founder of Zinc.io, a company that creates infrastructure for modern ecommerce. Zinc’s newest product is JoeLister, which is specifically made for Amazon FBA sellers who want to sell their inventory on eBay. Before founding this company, Max was studying computer science and software engineering at MIT.

Questions that were asked and answered were:

  1. Please tell us about your history in Ecommerce?
  2. How did JoeLister come about?
  3. What does JoeLister do and for what type of seller is it intended for?
  4. How is JoeLister different than other solutions for eBay listings?
  5. How much does JoeLister cost and are their any discounts for That Kat Radio listeners?

_________________________________________________________

By God’s grace, Ryan Reger and his wife, Melane, have built successful businesses on Amazon, eBay, and their own website. Ryan’s true passion is helping others build their own businesses and he is accomplishing that goal through his four books and his growing consultant business. Ryan introduced his new program created wtih Julie Hunt, Private Label the Easy Way.

Questions that were asked and answered were:

  1. Can you tell us a short history of your eCommerce Journey?
  2. How did you learn about Private Label Products?
  3. What exactly are Private Label Products?
  4. Please tell us about your new product, “Private Label the Easy Way.”
  5. What kind of seller would benefit from this e-course?
  6. How much is it and what does it include?

Links from the show:

 

https://www.facebook.com/worldfirstus/
https://twitter.com/WorldFirstUS/
https://plus.google.com/+WorldFirstUSAIncArlington/
http://crazylister.com/
https://www.facebook.com/crosslistnow
http://ryanreger.com/

http://bidonfusion.com/
http://stamps.com/

http://www.bubblefast.com  Use code: THATKATRADIO for a 10% discount!!
http://wsradio.com/42815-worldfirst-crazylister-joelister-and-ryan-reger/

You can follow Kat on TWITTER, Facebook, Google+ and Instagram. Read the blog on ThatKat.com.

Purchase one of Kat’s books on Amazon. Kat’s Sales Tax Book or Ultimate Guide to Savings by Store.

Join her Facebook Group to be notified of upcoming shows.

Topics: Podcast Notes | No Comments »

EBay to penalize sellers who post duplicate listings on site

By Kate Hornsby | May 2, 2015

Screen-Shot-2012-09-13-at-1.03.30-PM
Although eBay’s search engine known as Cassini was designed to help buyers find the most relevant listings that matched their search, it appears that perhaps it’s not living up to it’s hype. Case in point, today eBay announced that as of June 1, they will reduce the listing visibility in “Best Match” for those sellers who “pollute” (their word – not mine) the eBay marketplace by having duplicate listings.

As you may recall, during the big roll out of Cassini, one of the big benefits to it was suppose to be that since it was finding the most relevant items for a buyer, it would filter out duplicate listings on its own. Apparently, this has not been the case.

While this policy is a good thing for those who play fair and abide by eBay’s rules since it helps level the playing field, there has been some concern by sellers as to how eBay will treat listings for items that are similar, but yet still not the same. As an example, eBay allows you to list similar items as long as they are not identical. So, if you have two plates and one is in excellent shape, but the other has utensil scratches on it, you are suppose to be able to list both plates and as long as eBay can recognize the differences between the two, your listings are considered okay.

The problem is, what if eBay doesn’t pick up on the fact that they are two completely separate items? They could potentially reduce the visibility on the two items and as a seller, you might not even know it. The worst part is you would still be paying your listing fees even though buyers would have no way of finding your item.

As we wait to see how all of this plays out, eBay still wants you to take a look at your listings to ensure you are in compliance. Below is their checklist for making sure your listings are correct:

Fixed price listings: You can’t have more than one fixed price listing of an identical item at the same time. Additionally, you can’t have a fixed price listing and an auction-style listing with the Buy It Now option for an identical item.
Auction-style listings: While you can have more than one auction-style listing for identical items within the same account, only one listing without bids will appear on eBay at a time. However, you are not permitted to have an auction-style listing with the Buy It Now option and an auction-style listing without the Buy It Now option for an identical item.
Multi-variation listings: You can’t have an identical variation in two different multi-variation listings.

Keep in mind, however, that eBay is still allowing you to create separate listings for the same item on different eBay sites, or rather, you can have the same item listed on the United States eBay site and also on another eBay site, such as the United Kingdom’s. They just warn that you need to be sure that your international shipping options aren’t causing a problem, or what they call clutter, on any of the individual sites.

What do you think of the new policy? Will it affect similar, but not identical listings? Leave a comment below.

Topics: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Start Multi-Channel Selling NOW with JoeLister

By That Kat | May 1, 2015

JoeLister is the easiest way to list your FBA items to eBay. The software takes care of all the grunt work of multi-channel selling, so you can focus on joe_ad2running your business. Even though it’s called “JoeLister”, the product does much more than just create beautiful eBay listings. It also syncs your item quantities, automatically creates fulfillment orders with FBA, and more.
The best way to understand how JoeLister works is to walk through an example. Doug is an FBA seller who wants to increase his sales by 10-30% without doing any additional work. He signs up for JoeLister on the free trial — which gives him two free listings — so that he doesn’t have to enter his credit card. He follows the instructions to link his Amazon and eBay accounts, and within about an hour, all of his inventory is loaded into JoeLister. He clicks on one item he wants to list, and is pleasantly surprised that the title, description, and item specifics are already populated for the listing! JoeLister automatically priced the item intelligently for him, too. He clicks another button to “list”, and moments later, his listing is live.
The next day, Doug’s eBay item sells. He’s worried about double-selling, so he checks his quantity on Amazon, only to find that JoeLister has already decreased it! He sees the item has moved to the “eBay Sales” tab on JoeLister, and has an FBA ID, indicating that it’s been fulfilled. Later that day, Amazon updates the tracking for that item, which JoeLister automatically sends to eBay. Doug wants to list more items, so he signs up for the basic plan for just $29/mo.

Topics: Amazon, eBay | No Comments »

How to make money while spring cleaning

By Kate Hornsby | April 29, 2015

Corked
If you’re like a lot of people, spring weather means spring cleaning. It’s a time for putting up those winter clothes, putting away those extra blankets on the bed and (most importantly) getting rid of clutter. While sorting through all the items in the house and garage isn’t the most pleasant of tasks, it can be a great opportunity to make money by selling all the stuff that has been taking up so much of your precious space.

Here’s some ideas on how you can make some money:

List your old winter clothes
It may seem like it doesn’t make much sense to list sweaters when the weather is getting warmer, but that’s because you live in the northern hemisphere instead of the southern. In places like Australia, the weather is turning cooler and the sweaters and coats are starting to come out. If you’re someone who likes to dress in the latest styles every season, here’s your opportunity to eliminate some stuff in the closet and take the money to the bank.

Turn your trash into treasure
Interestingly, there are a lot of items that we throw away that could actually put a little change in the pocket, but we just don’t think about it. As an example, did you know that people buy the toilet paper rolls that toilet paper comes on? They are used for all kinds of crafts and if you look on Pinterest you’ll see why they are in such high demand. It usually helps to save them up for a while, but if you have a large family you’ll have a good supply to sell in no time.

Check that recycling bin
You may not have thought about it, but some people like to use wine bottle and wine corks for decorating. Older is usually better and you’ll find you have the best luck with ones that are an unusual shape or color. Meanwhile, cork boards made out of real corks are a popular kitchen decorating item these days, so there’s some money to be made there too.

Old newspapers
Finally, you knew you were saving those old newspapers for a reason, right? Well, guess what! A lot of people like to buy newspapers that were around on the day they were born and if it’s in good shape you can get $15 or more for them and more if they are actually older or vintage. Newspapers with big news events actually do well too. This is especially true when a big anniversary date for an event comes around and people get nostalgic.

photo by:

Topics: Amazon FBA, eBay | No Comments »

World First for International Payments

By That Kat | April 28, 2015

If you’re trading overseas on eCommerce marketplaces then World First is the go-to specialist for

repatriating your profits.

World First works with online merchants who sell products on marketplaces like Amazon, eBay and

Rakuten or any other global marketplace.

The ecommerce offering from the company began when founders Jonathan Quin and Nick Robinson

spotted a gap in the market when it came to repatriating overseas marketplace income. Previously

sellers had no control over when or how to bring their overseas income back to their own currency,

reliant on the marketplace to do it for them. World First offered the ability to open local receiving bank

accounts for online merchants in the UK and Europe, giving sellers more control over when they could

being their money back. Now they can also open receiving bank accounts in the US and Canada.

So how does it work?

Once you’ve signed up with World First, they assign one dealer to work with each client – which means

that you’re working with someone who understands your needs and preferences. They are smart, quick,

and can be your eyes and ears on the market, so that you can get back to running your business. When

you prefer to work online, you can transact whenever and wherever you like using World First Online.

Because World First deals only with foreign exchange, the overhead is minimal compared to the banks –

which means they are able to offer competitive rates.

And World First’s accounts are segregated, which means if another online seller is closed down by a

marketplace, your funds will not be affected. Believe it or not, this is not always the case with

international payments specialists.

So how does pricing work?

It’s pretty easy, actually. Registering with World First, transacting, and opening and maintaining bank

accounts – it’s all free. World First makes their profit between the exchange rate they offer you and the

exchange rate they get from their banking partner – but they charge a lot less margin than the banks or

your marketplace. You can talk to your designated dealer more about rates and where World First’s

profit comes from – they believe in transparency!

If all of this sounds like something you can get on board with, there are a few ways you can connect with

World First. You can learn more at their website, or you can cut to the chase and get registered. You will

be connected with a real person and can be ready to transact as early as the next business day.

Topics: Podcast Notes | No Comments »

That Kat Radio – Podcast 13 – April 21, 2015: Debbie Franklin, Ron LaBeau and Ali Young

By That Kat | April 27, 2015

In this episode, Kat spoke with Debbie Franklin, Ron LaBeau and Ali Young

 

Debbie Franklin is an International Best Selling Author (Superwoman Myths), founder Feathering Your Empty Nest, Wellness Advocate, & Business Strategist. She helps woman reinvent their income and lives now that their children are grown. She teaches them how to create a business they love that generates an income, and be more productive with their time, which allows them more freedom to do the things they love!

_________________________________________________________

Questions that were asked and answered were:

  1. Can you tell us about your story and how you got to where you are now?
  2. What is the most important thing from your background that brought you to this point?
  3. Was becoming a grandmother a big turning point for you?
  4. What misconceptions have you encountering as you entered the ‘empty nest’ phase of your life?
  5. Why turn to eCommerce and Online marketing at this point in your life?
  6. What advice would you give to a new ‘empty nester’?

_________________________________________________________

Questions that were asked and answered were:

  1. What exactly is your business, Feathering Your Empty Nest, about?
  2. What is the heart of your business? The purpose?
  3. Please tell us what you can do for a fellow Empty Nester and how you do that?
  4. What mistake have you learned from that you’d be willing to help our listeners avoid?
  5. What are your top three tips for other entrepreneurs to learn from your story?
  6. Where can the audience connect with you online?

_________________________________________________________

Ron LaBeau and Ali Young are web and eBay Store designers that saw a need for successful eBay sellers to share their stories. So, in Sept. 2014 they launched their “So You Wanna Sell On eBay” podcast show. The response has been far greater than they could have imagined and they love the fact that what they are doing helps so many. Their show has been #1 in iTunes and they have interviewed some of the top eBay Sellers and entrepreneurs in the eCommerce space around the world.

Questions that were asked and answered were:

  1. Can you tell us about your story and how you got to where you are now?
  2. What is the most important thing from your background that brought you to this point?
  3. Who are you interviewing for ‘So You Wanna Sell on eBay’?
  4. Who is the target audience for the podcast and what will they learn by listening?
  5. What were some of your funniest moments doing the interviews?
  6. Should our listeners contact you if they’d like to be interviewed on the show?
  7. Are you focusing strictly on the eBay Marketplace?

_________________________________________________________

Questions that were asked and answered were:

  1. Can you tell us about your new product Premium DIY eBay template product?
  2. What kind of seller would benefit by using these templates?
  3. What about mobile – are the templates mobile friendly?
  4. Do you think using a template on eBay helps you sell more? Why?
  5. How much is the “Premium DIY eBay Template?
  6. What custom services do you offer and where can our listeners find them?

Links from the show:

http://debbiefranklin.com/

https://www.facebook.com/FeatheringYourEmptyNest

https://www.facebook.com/thedebbiefranklin
https://twitter.com/debbiefranklin
http://www.soyouwannasellonebay.com/

http://www.autionprotemplates.com/

http://www.yourstoredoingmore.com/

http://bidonfusion.com/
http://stamps.com/

http://www.bubblefast.com
http://wsradio.com/42115-debbie-franklin-ron-lebeau-and-ali-young/

You can follow Kat on TWITTER, Facebook, Google+ and Instagram. Read the blog on ThatKat.com.

Purchase one of Kat’s books on Amazon. Kat’s Sales Tax Book or Ultimate Guide to Savings by Store.

Join her Facebook Group to be notified of upcoming shows.

Topics: Podcast Notes, ThatKat | No Comments »

Selling 101: So You Want to Sell on Amazon

By Kate Hornsby | April 24, 2015

Amazon.com logo
I have to admit, when I first started selling on Amazon I found the whole process to be somewhat intimidating. Unlike eBay, which was super-friendly to new sellers, Amazon seemed kind of like a stern school teacher who keeps a close eye on you and tells you that you better not screw up. It’s really not that bad though although there is a different dashboard to get use to and a different kind of fee structure.

If you’ve been wanting to sell on Amazon here’s some things you should know that can make the process simpler:

Pay attention to Amazon’s Rule and Guidelines. You do not want to have your account suspended at Amazon. Trust me. Take some time and read over the Amazon rules in the “Help” section. Learn about the categories you can sell in and what products are allowed and what products are restricted. Although it didn’t use to be that way, you will discover that some categories have restrictions on who can sell in them, so make sure you find out what hoops you have to jump through before you run out and buy a lot of product that you then find you can’t actually sell there.

Decide what kind of seller you want to be. Amazon allows you to either be a professional seller or an individual seller. As of April 24, 2015, if you want to be a professional sellers it is $39.99 a month. If you want to be an individual sellers, there is no monthly fee, but every time you list something you get hit with a .99 fee when it sells. Plus, with both account there are other types of fees to pay as well.

If you’re just getting started, it’s usually recommended that you try it as an individual. See if you like how Amazon works and then you can start looking at becoming a professional seller and setting up a Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) account if you want to ship your items to their warehouse. You can learn more about the two types of plans here.

Decide what your profit margin is going to be. This is where a lot of new sellers get into trouble. They run out and buy some stuff to list on Amazon, but don’t consider all the fees they are going to have to pay. If you ship it to Amazon there’s a fee. There are also fees if you sell something, monthly fees (as a professional), and if you ship the items to the warehouse there is even a fee for the storage space you are using. Although Amazon can help you calculate a lot of this, you might find it useful to initially start with a written spreadsheet so you can see your actual costs and what you will make sitting right in front of you.

Handle with care. Whether you go the professional route and ship to the warehouse or the individual route and ship from home, you need to invest in some shipping supplies to ensure your merchandise arrives safely. If you are shipping to the warehouse, there are some certain requirements you have to meet, so do some research on that too before sending in your first shipment.

It’s all about the holidays. Keep in mind that Amazon sellers live for the holidays. Since you can sell up to five times your normal sales during that time period, you need to do some planning in advance. Believe it or not, a lot of sellers start thinking about Christmas around July. Decide what products you want to sell and if you see them on sale, you might want to go ahead and get them for later. Pay attention to what the retail stores are doing, when Christmas stuff starts showing up, it’s time to get ready to list your seasonal items and/or prepare to send them in to the warehouse.

Topics: Amazon, Amazon FBA | No Comments »

Target’s Line of Lilly Pulitzer Products Provides Big Bucks for Lucky Ebay Sellers

By Kate Hornsby | April 21, 2015

lilly pulitzer collage2
During the incredibly early hours of Sunday morning, if you weren’t at a Target store or waiting impatiently in front of your computer, you no doubt missed it. That was when Target launched its collaboration with the Lilly Pulitzer Palm Beach fashion brand, making some eBay sellers very happy and other sellers and fan of the bran…well, not so much.

As you might expect, the collection didn’t last long in the stores or online either. In fact, if you thought you would take a leisurely stroll into a Target to pick up a few pieces of the collection around lunchtime, you were most likely greeted with a completely empty display area. Both eBay sellers and just plain old fans of the fashion brand had patiently waited in line for hours before the stores opened, just so they could be there around 8 a.m.. As you can imagine, once customers were inside, the items quickly flew off the shelves.

Since Target doesn’t limit the amount of product their customers can buy, as one can imagine, chaos ensued. Those who chose to order online got a head start with east coasters being able to buy around 5 a.m….if…they could get online that is.

Unfortunately, Target had several problems with their website after the product went live online along with a bunch of glitches. The site crashed, then was taken down for 20 minutes. There were internal service errors, shopping carts emptying by themselves (after online buyers had frantically filled them). Even worse, some people couldn’t even get on the website and those who did, didn’t even know for sure that their orders had been taken since the confirmations didn’t get sent out. Still, there was a bright note to the confusion, some items actually showed up online on the mobile application just before midnight.

Regardless of all the chaos, some of you obviously had pretty good luck. There are currently 65,327 products showing up for Lilly Pulitzer and quite a few of them already have bids.

Did you get in on the Lilly Pulitzer craze or did you stay far, far away? Leave a comment below.

photo by:

Topics: eBay | No Comments »

Common Sales Tax Pitfalls eCommerce Sellers Face

By That Kat | April 18, 2015

Mark Faggiano is the founder and CEO of TaxJar, a service built to make sales tax compliance simple for taxjarlogoeCommerce sellers. Mark’s passion is solving complex problems for small businesses. He previously co-founded and led FileLater to become the web’s leading tax extension service for both businesses and individual taxpayers before being acquired in 2010.

Sales tax can be one of the biggest headaches eCommerce sellers face. There are so many pitfalls on the path to sales tax compliance that it can be downright treacherous, but if you already have a handle on the most common mistakes, you are going to be just fine.

So what are the four most common sales tax mistakes and how do we fix them?

Nexus – What’s That?
It is common knowledge for most online sellers that they should collect sales tax from buyers in their home states. By operating your business in that state, you have sales tax nexus. But It can come as a shock though to find out just how easy it is to create sales tax nexus in other states. Some activities that create nexus include:

● Having items stored in a state
● Having an employee in a state
● Using a distribution center in a state
● Having delivery vehicles in a state
● Attending a craft show, exhibition, or trade show in a state

If you do have nexus in a state and you didn’t realize, you can register for a sales tax permit with that state. However, if you have been operating for awhile without a permit, you should probably check with a sales tax expert to see what you should do about all the unpaid sales tax.

No Permit? Uh, Oh.
If you have been operating for awhile and you know you have nexus, but you don’t have a permit, you could be in trouble. Most states consider it illegal to collect sales tax without a permit. Be sure to check with your state’s department of revenue to make sure that you have a permit and that it doesn’t need to be renewed. If you have nexus in multiple states, you need a permit from each state.

Collecting the Wrong Amounts
Many sellers have trouble calculating sales tax rates. Let’s say for example that you live and operate your business in Minnesota. Because Minnesota is a destination based state you will calculate sales tax based on where your customer lives. The Minnesota base sales tax rate is 6.875%, but you must add any applicable local rates.
So for example, although the base rate is 6.875%, if your customer lives in St. Paul, you would pay a total of 7.625%. If they live in the Anoka area, you would pay 7.125%. This can be trickier than you think, especially when you sell online and have to set up your shopping cart to collect. You can learn more here about which sales tax rate you should charge to buyers.

So Many Platforms
This mistake happens frequently. Let’s say you are selling on Etsy and you set up to collect in the states where you have nexus. You think you have it all taken care of, but what about all the items you sell through your personal website? The next step is making sure that you have all the platforms you sell on set up for sales tax collection. So if that’s eBay, Etsy, and your website, make sure that you have all of those platforms set up to collect sales tax from buyers in every state where you have sales tax nexus.

That about sums up some of the most frequent sales tax errors. (Though, with sales tax being so complicated, there are thousands of other pitfalls!) If you have questions about sales tax pitfalls, start the conversation in the comments.

Need help with sales tax? Check out our Sales Tax 101 for Online Sellers Guide!

Topics: Accounting & Taxes, Guest Posts | 1 Comment »

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