That Kat Radio Episode 21 Justin From Seller MarketPlace, Successful Seller Sue

April Monthly Focus – Tools And Advice

 

[audio:http://recordings.talkshoe.com/TC-112441/TS-733127.mp3]

 1 – Guests This Week

 Jean-Charles from Kioui Apps – http://www.kioui-apps.com Jean Charles brings us an update on The Terminator an tool to help eBay sellers protect themselves from duplicate sellers.

Justin – Seller Marketplace  – Justin tells us all about Seller Marketplace and how and why the software was developed and what makes it different from the other software out there.

Sue Roberts – Listen in to how Sue went from selling a few items on eBay in 2003, to how she lost her job and now sells full time on both eBay and Amazon FBA

 

2 – Chat Room Chatter:

  •  There was the normal fun banter, you need to be there early 🙂
  • There was chat around Coupons where to find them and how to use them in your business
  • Sue shared some great tips, listen to the podcast for the great information she shared
  • Justin from Seller Engine kept us up to date as to what is happening on Profit Bandit

 

3 – Chat Room Links

 

Other Links & Resources:

  • That Kat Facebook Group: http://Facebook.com/groups/ThatKat – click on the “Join” button and I’ll add you to the group right away
  • That Kat Blog http://ThatKat.com Sign up for my newsletter here!
  • Do you have a question about selling on Amazon, FBA or any of the topics discussed in this podcast?  Best place to ask is on the Facebook group – see the link above. Over 400 folks willing to help!

 

Next week, May 6th, I will have Christopher Lesley, AKA Golden Pineapple 

Dealing with Sales Taxes When Selling at Out-Of-State Trade Shows and Conventions

“I sell collectible stamps and coins on eBay and locally. I currently collect sales tax in the State of California. Beginning next year (when I retire from my day job) I want to start travelling around the U.S. going to big stamp and coin conventions, setting up a vendor stand and selling merchandise and networking. However, I am being told I need to get a sales tax I.D. in each state by the people running the conventions. Do I really need to do this for a 3 day event? It is causing me huge issues.

If I get the sales tax I.D.s in each state I will then have to collect sales tax on all of my online transactions. This will create far too much paper work and record keeping for myself, I currently run the entire business with myself and some help from a friend. Is there any way around the option of getting sales tax I.D.s in each state? Can I just pay the sales tax out of my own pocket to avoid filling all of the paper work?”

This is not a “rare” situation at all; in fact, it applies to anyone who sells merchandise at a trade show.

You are always required to pay taxes on “in state” sales – where the seller and buyer are in the same state at the moment of sale.  Whenever you sell merchandise at a trade show, you are selling “locally” — the seller and buyer are considered to be in the same state (the trade show floor) at the time of sale.

When are you “selling” on a trade show floor?  Here are the basic rules:

  • if you are merely advertising and promoting your business on a trade show floor and not actually selling anything there, you are not liable for sales tax;
  • if you are taking orders for products or services on a trade show floor, taking the customer’s money there, and fulfilling the order later from your home office, you are liable for sales tax;
  • if you are taking orders for products or services on a trade show floor, shipping the merchandise to the customer after the show, and collecting their money at that time, you MAY be liable for sales tax (the rules here vary from state to state so check with your accountant before you sign up for the show).

Most states (such as New York, Illinois, and Texas) require out-of-state vendors to register for sales taxes on ALL sales made to in-state residents even if they spend only one day attending an in-state trade show or convention.  In Texas, you may also be subject to franchise (income) taxes.  The standout exception is Nevada, where you can fill out a “one-time sales tax permit” each time you attend a trade show or convention without registering for sales taxes generally (gee, I wonder why they’re so easy?)

In a shrinking handful of states, you are not considered to have nexus if you spend fewer than X days at a trade show (for example, four days in Minnesota, three days in Massachusetts, 16 days in California), but you are still required to pay tax on sales made during the show.

To get a sense of where each state stands, check with your accountant, or spend $125 and get a copy of the Bureau of National Affairs’ annual “Survey of State Tax Departments” (www.bna.com/statetaxsurvey), which lists each state’s nexus rules on over 200 situations affecting out-of-state vendors.

Many event sponsors will provide you with the necessary forms to handle state and local taxes on sales made during their events; some will even collect the tax and submit the forms for you.  If an event sponsor instructs you to register for sales taxes generally, then you probably will have to comply. After all, they and their tax experts have probably done everything they can to negotiate an exception for their exhibitors, and if they couldn’t succeed, you probably won’t either.

Note to eBay, Amazon and other online merchants.  Next week Congress will decide whether or not to enact the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013, empowering roughly half of the states (those that have signed onto the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement www.streamlinedsalestax.org) to impose their sales taxes on Internet sales transactions if (1) the purchaser resides in the state, (2) the state imposes a single tax rate and a single point of collection, and (3) the seller has $1 million or more in total out-of-state sales (not just from the Internet) each year, among other conditions.

Even if your sales are well below the $1 million threshold, take a few minutes out this week to let your elected representatives know how the Act will impact your business.  To send a strong message to Congress that taxing Internet sales will hurt a lot of small businesses (whose owners vote), go to www.ebayinternetsalestax.com/ist/step1_b.asp or www.freedomworks.org/blog/mkibbe/freedomworks-key-vote-no-on-an-internet-sales-tax.

Cliff Ennico (www.succeedinginyourbusiness.com), 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.

Alibaba.com Sends Entire U.S. Team to China

Auctiva, Vendio to be special guests at a massive celebration marking the 10th anniversary of Taobao Marketplace, and the retirement of Alibaba Group Founder Jack Ma.

 

CHICO, Calif. — E-commerce providers Auctiva Corp. and Vendio Services Inc. are temporarily packing up their operations and heading to China—to attend a party.

 

But this won’t be just any party. Auctiva and Vendio are to be special guests of Alibaba.com at an Alibaba Group celebration in Hangzhou, China. The May 10 gala will mark the 10th anniversary of Taobao Marketplace, China’s largest online shopping site, and honor Alibaba Group CEO Jack Ma’s retirement from day-to-day operations of the company he founded in 1999.

 

Ma announced Jan. 15 that he will step down as CEO of Alibaba on May 10 to allow the next generation of Alibaba leaders to step forward. Jonathan Lu Zhaoxi, Alibaba Group executive vice president and Taobao CEO, was named as Ma’s successor.

 

The celebration will bring together more than 20,000 Alibaba Group employees from Greater China, India, Japan, Korea, the U.K. and the U.S.

 

“It’s such an honor to be invited to this celebration, and it tells me a lot about the character and spirit of this company that they’ve invited all of their employees worldwide to join them in celebrating this important anniversary,” says Auctiva founder and CEO Jeff Schlicht. “Being in a remote office, it’s sometimes hard to remember we’re a part of this much bigger company. This trip will give many employees the opportunity to feel the energy, first hand, of being part of something much bigger—both in Alibaba and in general.

 

“I’ve been to China myself many times, and I’ve always left inspired and energized,” Schlicht continues. “Not only being on the Alibaba campus, but the scale of the trip, the sites, the scale of the country and it’s people, the fast pace at which things are changing and growing there—it opens you to a broader worldview, gives you perspective, and I think enriches people. It opens you to venturing outside of your comfort zone. You see and feel like big things are happening and it makes you want to dream and accomplish big things yourself.”

 

This will be the first time Alibaba.com, the parent of Auctiva and Vendio, has hosted its entire U.S. team in China at once. More than 100 Auctiva and Vendio employees from Chico and San Mateo, Calif., and Bucharest, Romania, will attend the May 10 festivities in Hangzhou.

 

For more information, contact Alessandra Colaci, Auctiva’s marketing manager, at 530-592-8600or acolaci@auctiva.com.

 

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About Auctiva

Auctiva Corporation, an Alibaba.com company, is a leading provider of e-commerce solutions, and the largest eBay Certified Provider. Founded in 1998, Auctiva gives small merchants the power of large corporations by helping them build their brands, market their products and sell efficiently. Auctiva offers a wide array of listing, marketing and managing tools, as well as image hosting. For more information, please visit http://www.auctiva.com.

 

About Alibaba.com Limited

Alibaba.com (HKSE: 1688) (1688.HK) is the global leader in e-commerce for small businesses and the flagship company of Alibaba Group. Founded in 1999 in Hangzhou, China, Alibaba.com makes it easy for millions of buyers and suppliers around the world to do business online mainly through three marketplaces: a global trade platform (www.alibaba.com) for importers and exporters; a Chinese platform (www.1688.com) for domestic trade in China; and a transaction-based wholesale platform on the global site (www.aliexpress.com) geared for smaller buyers seeking fast shipment of small quantities of goods. Together, these marketplaces form a community of more than 79.8 million registered users in more than 240 countries and regions. As part of its strategy to transition into a holistic platform where small companies can build and manage their online businesses more easily, Alibaba.com also offers Chinese traders a wide array of business management software, Internet infrastructure services and export-related services directly or through companies it has acquired including HiChina and One-Touch, as well as educational services to incubate enterprise management and e-commerce professionals. Alibaba.com also owns Vendio and Auctiva, leading providers of third-party e-commerce solutions for online merchants. Alibaba.com has offices in more than 70 cities across Greater China, India, Japan, Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States.

EBay Goes on the Offensive Against Amazon

I was thinking the other day that I could almost compare the competition between eBay and Amazon to the story of David and Goliath (and the rock that took Goliath down), but with eBay reporting $14.1 billion in revenue for 2012, I’m not sure we can think of eBay as the “little guy.”

 

EBay came out swinging this week by announcing both a plan to double its sales to $300 billion over the next three years and a rather aggressive plan to expand on its same-day shipping program. The same-day shipping program announcement also comes on the heels of Google’s new program for same-day shipping through “Shopping Express,” so eBay appears to be tackling two giants at once.

 

We will discuss the same-day shipping program in a moment, but first let’s talk about eBay’s plans to double sales over the next three years. EBay’s CEO, John Donahoe told attendees at the recent biennial analyst event that they not only plan to double the revenue, but also plan to increase active users from 112 million to 200 million.

As we have discovered over the last few months, it appears that eBay plans to do this in a combination of ways that includes both drawing more people into using eBay mobile, as well as giving sellers incentives by lowering selling/listing fees and allowing more items to be listed with no upfront fees at all.

 

We also learned from a Fortune magazine cover story this week that same-day shipping is going to come more into play for eBay as partners, such as Home Depot and Macy’s jump on board. Donahoe has commented that they are actively looking for a way to expand this service and may create networks with other businesses (like trucking companies) to deliver the same-day shipments.

 

Although bringing more active users to eBay can only be thought of as a good thing — there is some concern about how eBay partnering with more large companies (Target, Urban Outfitters) could affect the smaller sellers. Will we have access to the same-day delivery services at some point too? As Amazon moves towards the same business model, it could make sellers who only rely on the United States Post Office to lose out. Whatever the case, it should be interesting to see if Amazon or Google step up their game and if the entire process helps everyone out or just ultimately causes only the sellers more problems.

 

What You Need to Know About Choosing Colors for Your Logo, Store or Template

I always find it interesting to discover the reason behind the colors that a seller chooses when they design their logo, store or template. Usually, it is because they like the colors and thought a certain combination went well together, or in some cases, maybe the person that designed their logo or template chose the colors for them. I personally am partial to the color purple and had my logo designed using a combination of purple and pink.

If you are like a lot of people, however, you probably don’t give a whole lot of thought to those colors that you use or even notice the colors that other businesses use — but maybe you should. Did you know that color can affect the subconscious? In fact, it even has a name, “color psychology.”

 

Basically, we learn through social conditioning to associate certain colors with certain things. As an example, white for Americans usually means “purity” or “innocence,” which is why it is often chosen as the color for young brides. In China, however, white has an entirely different meaning and is often used to represent “death” or “mourning.”

 

While you can use color psychology to evoke certain emotions or feelings, I suggest not getting too hung up on the meaning of colors and focus instead on some things you can do to make the colors that you do choose help compliment your products and even increase your sales.

 

 

 

Here are a few ideas:

 

1. Choose colors that are appropriate for your products and your market. I primarily sell to women, so soft colors and soft shapes are more approp
riate than say, bright bold colors and linear shapes, which could give a logo, template or store a more masculine edge.

2. Keep the look simple. Stick to two or three colors for your design. Any more than that and your store’s colors will look too “busy.”

 

3. Try the isolation effect. Sometimes known as the von Restorff effect, this is a theory that states that one color that stands out on its own is more likely to be remembered than using a bunch of other colors. As an example, think about the colors that Home Depot, Lowes, and Target use. I don’t know about you, but anytime I see an orange color, I immediately think of home improvement!

 

Finally, remember that whatever colors you do pick — keep it consistent throughout your listings or on your website. Use the color pattern to draw them in and make them click on your next item. If it’s all done right, I can almost guarantee that you will be seeing a lot of “green!” 🙂

 

 

 

That Kat Radio Episode 20 Salvage Sourcing And SCOE

 

April Monthly Focus – Tools And Advice

 

[audio:http://recordings.talkshoe.com/TC-112441/TS-733126.mp3]

1 – Guests This Week

 Jean Charles from Kioui Apps – http://www.kioui-apps.com Jean Charles brings us an update on The Terminator an tool to help eBay sellers protect themselves from duplicate sellers.

Jessica Larew  – Jessica started selling on eBay in 2005, In 2008 when she lost her job she decided to ramp up her eBay sales and the rest is history, come and find out where she is selling.

Rhonda Schneider – http://scoe.biz  Come and find out what will be happening at this years SCOE conference and who will be there.

 

2 – Chat Room Chatter:

 

  • There was chat around patterns and digital patterns
  • There was the usual chat around the weather and how some areas were still having snow.
  • Charlene says even Minnesota sounds sexy in French !!
  • Jessica bought excitment to the show with her product sourcing ideas.

 

3 – Chat Room Links

 

Other Links & Resources:

  • That Kat Facebook Group: http://Facebook.com/groups/ThatKat – click on the “Join” button and I’ll add you to the group right away
  • That Kat Blog http://ThatKat.com Sign up for my newsletter here!
  • Do you have a question about selling on Amazon, FBA or any of the topics discussed in this podcast?  Best place to ask is on the Facebook group – see the link above. Over 400 folks willing to help!

Next week,

Next week, April 29th, I will have Jordan Malik with his new My Local Inventory product and Successful Amazon Seller Sue from the Seller Engine Spark contest.

 

EBay to Focus on Customer “Personalization”

Over the last few months, the eBay buzzword has been all about “personalization.” From their shiny new buyer’s homepage that is tailor-made for each buyer, to their encouragement of buyers to enjoy shopping on eBay through the use of their smart phones, it’s all about giving buyers a more personal experience. Or is it?

 

eBay Logo In reality, what eBay is actually doing is a kind of data mining. Just this week, they brought in, Zoher Karu to be the first Vice President of Customer Optimization and Data. According to an website article by Tech Crunch,  Zoher’s role is to use their customer’s (which means buyer’s) data to “to drive a more personal and relevant experience across eBay properties .”

 

What this means in reality, however, is that eBay is going to use your data to sell targeted ads. You know how when you visit a website, an ad for the item you were looking at somehow magically appears on your Facebook page a short while later? Well, it appears it is going to be a lot like that. The somewhat disturbing part is that eBay is going to start sharing your browsing experience on their website with other third-party sellers.

While they claim that they won’t be releasing all of your data to these third-party sellers, if you get the feeling that you are going to be getting or rather seeing “junk mail” through the Internet — I kind of have the gut feeling that you are right.

As sellers, I am really interested to see how all of this is going to play out. If you’re like I am — you are on eBay several times a day just to research the items you are trying to SELL, so does this mean that we are suddenly going to be seeing ads as we go to other websites for the same items we already own?

There is also the privacy issue that I am sure will be a concern to some. Do you really want third-party sellers outside of eBay to know about your “Hello Kitty” obsession or that you sell racy lingerie? I can see this information getting out as a real possibility and until we see more about eBay’s actual plan, I’m not 100-percent sure it’s something I am going to be comfortable with.

Twitter’s Vine App Gives Amazon Sellers Something to Tweet About

Over the last couple of years many different types of mobile Apps have been created in an attempt to compete with the largely successful Instagram photo sharing App.  While most of these mobile Apps have been found lacking, Twitter may actually be on to something since they upped their game last week by introducing their members to a new mobile App called “Vine.”

In case you haven’t heard, Vine is a mobile App that allows users to create short (six second) looping videos that can then be shared with your Twitter followers. Since it only plays for six seconds before going into a loop, it sort of has a bit of an animated feel to it. Some people have even referred to it as having a kind of retro look and I have to say that it does brings back memories of those old home movies that families use to make.

I confess that when I first heard about Vine, I wasn’t really sure if it would be of any benefit to Amazon sellers, but after watching a few Vine videos to see what it was all about, I do see potential there for the savvy seller who isn’t camera shy. Since you’ve only got six seconds to make your “pitch” you will have to get rather creative and get straight to the point about what it is that you are advertising and trying to sell, but then again — isn’t that what marketing is really all about?

After all, we all know how short of a attention span most people have these days when they are on the Internet. We also know that it can be extremely boring to sit and watch a l0-minute video of advertising how a product works and why it is such a great item that you need to buy it. Since these videos are only six seconds long, however, it is no big deal to watch them at all.

Really though, the main thing I like about Vine is that I see that it has some great potential to provide free advertising for Amazon sellers. Also, since Twitter is the brains behind Vine you know that these types of videos are here to stay and as the public catches on, they are just going to become more and more popular.

 

 

 

EBay Acquires Svpply.com, a “Social Shopping Site”

svpply
On Thursday, September 6 of last year, it was announced by Svpply.com’s owners that they had sold the company to the internet giant that is our beloved eBay. For those of you not familiar with the site, Svpply is what’s considered to be a “social shopping site.” Basically, members of the site take items from websites and marketplaces and add them to lists of owns or wants, or simply create a collection of items. It is similar to pinterest in that the users aren’t buying or selling but are just creating collections and building lists of items that they either would like to own or currently own. If you like someone else’s lists, you can “follow” them and you can also have “followers,” similar to twitter. Supposedly, the main difference between this site and the pinterest site is that Svpply focuses more on items you can buy than on ideas for your home and such. I guess from that standpoint, it might be understandable that eBay would want to join forces…but not really.

According to eBay, “Svpply.com assets – including a talented team of six designers and developers – are well-suited to help eBay advance more personalized experiences and merchandising options on eBay.com.” Whatever you say, eBay. I can’t say that I believe this is their smartest move ever, and the whole idea behind the site and why it might be useful to eBay is still a bit foggy if you ask me. Why not just add your items to an eBay wish list? Am I wrong? What are your thoughts? Is this site one you have used? Is it something you could see yourself using in the future?

Supreme Court Case Scores One for the Little Guy

As you might recall, last year we posted about a court case that was making its way up the legal chain and headed to the Supreme Court. It involved an eBay seller named Supap Kirtsaeng who was purchasing textbooks from Thailand to sell in the United States. The textbook publisher (John Wiley & Sons) didn’t like this because although the textbooks were the same as the ones they sell here in the United States,  the quality wasn’t as good and the Thailand books were a lot cheaper.kat4 (1)

 

Wiley & Sons decided to sue Kirtsaeng for violating the company’s copyright protections, and won their case in court. Kirtsaeng appealed, but the Wiley & Sons case was upheld in the Federal Appeals Court in 2011.

 

The case next headed to the Supreme Court where oral arguments were held in October of 2012. In March, 2013 the Supreme Court overturned the U.S. Court of Appeals ruling by a six-to-three vote. This means that Kirtsaeng is not liable for copyright infringement for reselling the textbooks that he bought in Thailand.

Although this case may seem insignificant, it actually could have had a huge impact on online sellers. Specifically, those who purchase items abroad to sell on eBay and Amazon here in the United States.

While Justice Stephen Breyer concluded in his opinion that “The ‘first sale’ doctrine applies to copies of a copyrighted work lawfully made abroad,” he also stated that Congress did not have geography in mind when they wrote the present version of the Copyright Act. What this means for online sellers is that they can now safely sell the items that they have already bought and own and it doesn’t matter where the products were made. Of course, some people are saying that this could potentially become a problem for American publishing companies that produce copyrighted material to be sold overseas, but for those savvy sellers in the United States, it is very possible that a whole new door to entrepreneurship has just opened.