How language and names can help eBay sellers sell more…or less

New Laptop

Did you know that eBay has 35 different categories in which sellers can list items? There are also approximately some 68,000 items being sold on eBay as well. With so many products and so many categories to place items in, what is it that makes one item sell over another? Well, in many cases it all has to do with what is known as the linguistic perspective.

In other words, there are certain patterns in language that some sellers use while others do not, that can significantly increase or decrease the odds of an item selling and even change the price that a buyer will pay for an item or whether the item will sell. As an example, research has shown that using ‘gents’ instead of ‘mens’ when selling a watch can make it go from selling for $40 to a sale price of $102. Other words that can affect the price of an item are ‘genuine’ versus ‘authentic’ (genuine fragrances sells for about $30, but an authentic fragrance may sell for $50.

In addition, some words will actually help sell one product, but hurt another. Researchers found that when selling cars on eBay, buyers tend to shy from those listed as “second-hand,” but sellers will use the term to sell small items, such as DVDs and CDs and they will still sell just as well.

As you might imagine, misspelling words or using or not using an apostrophe correctly can affect how and where your item appears in a search item, but did you know that it can stop an item from actually selling too? On the other hand, there are actually sellers who look for eBay items that are spelled incorrectly so that they can purchase them cheaply when they are for sale by auction, so a misspelled item can cost you money another way if you are the one doing the misspelling.

Finally, an interesting little tidbit that may make you think about your store name. Did you know that buyers are willing to bid more and higher when the seller has a male-sounding name instead of a female selling one? Dr Tamar Kricheli-Katz and a team from Tel Aviv University, Israel, discovered while researching items sold between 2009 and 2012, that when identical items were for sale, women typically received fewer bids on their items and their items sold for lower prices. In fact, women received about 80 cents on the dollar for selling the exact same item as their male-named counterparts.

Amazon: The Online Marketplace that Would Be King

Amazon Packaging

In recent years, while eBay has struggled to find its new identity, Amazon has quietly surged ahead with its plans, toppling all the competition in its path while slowly but surely becoming “king of the world” in the online marketplace (insert image of Jack standing on the bow of the Titanic). As you might imagine,their success has drawn sellers in droves to the e-commerce giant, but in some cases perhaps maybe it’s been a bit like a moth to the flame.

As an example, Amazon FBA recently began sending out notices to sellers that certain items were no longer being accepted by the company due to overcrowding in the warehouse. This meant that some sellers suddenly had inventory they had purchased, but could no longer sell.

Meanwhile, in another move of dominance and what seems to have been under most seller’s radars, is that while they have been busy feeding the Amazon FBA beast, the marketplace behemoth has been sitting quietly taking notes and making plans. You see, you may not know it, but Amazon has its own private label and its known as “AmazonBasics.”

While AmazonBasics was initially created to focus on selling commodity items, such as batteries online, the private label has been quietly growing to a point where there are now over 900 products being sold under the label. Interestingly, 284 of these private label items were added within the past year. According to KeyBanc analysts, this number may actually be even greater with AmazonBasic potentially offering even as many as 1800 products.

This information may not be enough to send up warning bells, but take heed, Amazon has no problem switching from working as a distribution partner to being a direct competitor whenever there is an opportunity for them to make a profit. As an example, they have even entered the fashion business by offering clothing items like women’s cashmere sweaters under the marketing label known as Lark & Ro.

Although its doubtful that sellers will turn away from Amazon even if the company they sell through is suddenly their direct competition, it is something sellers should be aware of since moths that are drawn to flames often are the ones that end up burned.

What do you think about Amazon having a private label? Leave a comment below.

That Kat Radio Show Episode 39 Solutions for Multi-Channel eCommerce Merchants

In segment one, Shawn and Kat talked about:

  • Where did LinnWorks come from?
  • The Story behind the company.
  • What companies does LinnWorks partner with.

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In segment two, Shawn and Kat covered more about Linnworks:

  • Shawn talked about the plans of Linnworks for small to mid-size eCommerce Sellers.
  • Kat and Shawn discussed the kind of sellers Linnworks really meant for.
  • Shawn told us about the channels Linnworks support.
  • Shawn & Kat discussed the shipping services and companies Linnworks is incorporated with.
  • Shawn explained that Linnworks works on Android and IOS and what it means to sellers.

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In segment three, Shawn and Kat chatted further about Linnworks services:

  • Kat & Shawn discussed how item translation services work and for what channels they are available.
  • Shawn explained how Linnworks help synchronize inventories. For example, will it end listings on eBay if the item sells out on Amazon?
  • Shawn & Kat talked about creating bundles or sets from your inventory.
  • Shawn told us about the kind of reports Linnworks makes available to help sellers be more efficient and profitable.
  • Shawn explained the inclusion of Amazon repricer and how it works

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For final segment, Shawn and Kat talked about:

  • Shawn answered whether Linnworks work for a seller using the Amazon FBA system to fulfill orders.
  • Shawn discussed about the price of Linnworks and if there’s any discounts or extended trials for That Kat listeners.
  • Shawn told about how the listeners can connect with them online.

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That Kat Radio Show Episode 46 Tim Chapman’s Home Run Sales on eBay

This week on That Kat Radio, Tim Chapman joined us to talk about eBay Homeruns.

In segment one, Kat and Tim first talked about the recent news about eBay:

Kat said that eBay is getting ready to integrate Facebook messaging for its buyers. Kat further explained that if bidders opt-in, they will get a message thru their Facebook account, telling them they’ve been out-bid.

Kat and Tim spoke about the announcement of retiring US Dollar Listing Currency on eBay Canada or eBay.ca. Before if you’re listed on the eBay Canadian site, you can choose to list in either US Dollars or in Canadian Dollars. Now if you want to list on eBay.ca, you need to list in eBay Canadian Dollars, Kat explained.

Kat and Tim talked about Product Identifier. For items that have product identifier, eBay now will allow buyers to search by codes.

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In segment two, Kat and Tim discussed about eBay Homeruns:

Kat and Tim talked about Homerun item#201555536000 or (44) Pcs New Old Stock Oneida Rushmore pattern flatware set nice. Tim said that he got it in an estate sale. He got it for USD 15.00 and sold for USD 308.00 with 7 bids. New old stock means, it’s old but it was never used, Tim further explained.

Kat and Tim discussed about Homerun item#201550935878, (57) Pcs Oneida Michelangelo pattern Stainless flatware set USA Made Cube mark. Tim said that he got this in another estate sale. He got the whole set for USD 15.00 and sold it for USD 303.00 with 11 bids. He knew it will sell because in Oneida, Michelangelo is the best pattern there is.

Kat and Tim spoke about Homerun item#311578280771 or Dentron GLA-1000B Linear Tube Amplifier Ham Amateur Radio Working Condition. It was sold for USD 301.99 with 8 bids.

Kat asked about Homerun item#201550935960, The Browning Superposed by Ned Schwing 1st Edition Book Shotgun gun nice. It was sold for USD 281.00 with 67 bids. Tim said that he got a whole stack of these books and got it for USD 2.00 each. Tim added that all sold very well except for one.

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In segment three, Kat and Tim talked about more eBay Homeruns:

Kat and Tim discussed about Homerun item#311578265357, it’s the Vtg Lost in Space Rover land toy nice. It was sold for USD 263.89 with 18 bids. Tim said that he found this Vintage toy in an estate sale. He bought it together with some other items for USD 10.00.

Kat and Tim talked about Homerun item#201550935595 or (59) Pcs New Old Stock Oneida Brahms pattern Stainless flatware Set USA made. Tim added that he bought this together with some other items for USD 100.00 or 120.00. This set sold for USD 260.00 with 15 bids.

Kat and Tim explained about Homerun item#311578277454, Vtg New Old Stock Mitchell Garcia No. 408 Spinning reel Freshwater W/ Box France. Tim said that he’s also a fisherman and been fishing all his life. Back in the day, Garcia Mitchell was the best of the best fishing reel. He found it in an estate sale for USD 15.00 and sold it for USD 227.51 with 21 bids.

Kat asked about Homerun item#201550935929, its a The Winchester model 42 by Ned Schwing & Don Duck Combs 1st Ed Book Shotgun gun. It’s another book about guns. Tim explained that he had a whole stack of these books and bought it for USD 2.00 each. It had 21 bids and sold for USD 204.50.

Kat and Tim discussed about Homerun item#311578265142, The Rifleman’s Rifle Winchester’s Model 70 by Roger C. Rule 1936-1963 nice. It was sold for USD 183.65 with 11 bids. Again it’s a book about guns.

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In segment four, Kat and Tim talked about more eBay Homeruns:

Kat and Tim explained about Homerun item#201548486257 or Vtg American Optical Aviator sunglasses (Frames only) AO Vietnam era nice. Tim said that he put it up for USD 23.95 and it was sold for USD 176.50 with 13 bids. Tim added that he put Vietnam era in the title to help those people looking for these kind of items to find him.

Kat asked about Homerun item#311580803759, Garmin Rino 530 Handheld GPS Receiver & two way radio nice. People use it for hiking or geocaching. Tim said that he found this in Swapme and bought it for USD 15.00 but it doesn’t have a battery pack. So he needed to find a battery pack for it, he bought the battery pack for another USD 15.00. It was sold for USD 172.50 with 18 bids.

Kat and Tim talked about Homerun item#311584424756, the Movado 8 Jewel dress watch W/ Roman Numerals Unisex nice. Tim said that he bought the watch in an estate sale for USD 10.00. It was not working and most of the time it’s just the battery. He brought it home and spent another USD 1.00 for the battery. It was sold for USD 169.38 with 8 bids.

Kat and Tim explained about Homerun item#311575115731, it’s the Vtg Hoya Crystal collection Tokyo Art Glass Jumping Marlin Dream Story Japan. Tim explained that he found this in an estate sale. Tim added that when he saw the item, he said that it was cool and somebody, somewhere got to want this. He bought it for USD 25.00 and sold it for USD 139.50 with 16 bids.

Kat and Tim discussed about Homerun item#311583987475, (2) Hella Rallye 4000 Euro Beam Light Offroad Rally Metal pair W/ Covers nice. Tim said that he was waiting in line in an estate sale when he saw this item. He was hoping that nobody takes it. When he got in, it was still there. So bought it for USD 15.00 and sold it for USD 132.50 with 10 bids.

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eBay Store: www.HomeRunSecrets.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/timdchapman
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That Kat Radio Show Episode 38 Tim Chapman’s Home Run Sales on eBay

For segment one, Tim & Kat discussed the notice from eBay about offering sellers fee credits if they added product identifiers to their listings, and the latest rate changes with USPS. Tim gave some good advice about using FedEx to ship certain sizes and types of products, as well as discussing the changes to weights for First Class and Priority Mail. There was only time to discuss one Home Run this segment and that was an amazing pair of Vintage Sunglasses that sold for $450!

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For segment two, Kat & Tim covered several fun items that were Home Run sales on eBay.
Tag Heuer Formula 1 Chronograph CA1212 RO Watch Nice
43 Pcs Sasaki Double Helix Stainless Flatware by Ward Bennett Japan Made

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For segment three Tim and Kat covered more exciting eBay Home Run Sales.
Mares Long Tom Pneumatic Spear Gun 39 Inch Speargun Scuba Diving
NEW 50 Pcs Yamasaki Morrison Cosmopolitan Pattern Stainless flatware set
Con tax G 90mm F2 8 Zeiss Sonnar T Lens 90 2 8 for G1 G2 camera nice

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And for the final segment there were even more Home Run Sales to learn from.
Vtg Steky Model III B Subminiature Camera W/ case and film 16mm Spy Nice
Vtg Pentax Spotmeter V Ambient light Photographic light meter nice
(100) plus Vtg 1950’s Stereo Realist Family Vacation / Travel slides nice
Vtg SARGENT No. 2 Wood plane Woodworking tool nice

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eBay Store: www.HomeRunSecrets.com

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How to get more stuff done with less stress

clock

Do you manage your time well?

If you’re like most online sellers who haven’t gotten their time management act together, you probably don’t. Such was the case of Sarah, an online seller who recently decided that she had to make some changes after realizing that her eBay and Amazon sales were suffering because she was overworked and burning out.

When Sarah first opened her eBay store, nearly six years ago, she was like most sellers and tried to not only do everything, but often tried to do it all at once. Sarah was constantly checking her emails in between photographing her items and listing, all while trying to handle shipping of her items that needed shipping. Since Sarah worked alone, she thought that it was necessary to put in all the hours she could and do as much of the work alone.

As you can imagine, her endless work schedule began to take a toll and Sarah constantly found herself losing track of time and prone to distractions. After three years of being a top seller, Sarah suddenly found herself not wanting to list new items anymore and would often find herself at the end of the day having accomplished very little.

When she accidentally sent the wrong item to one buyer and had to issue a refund to another because she couldn’t find the item they bought, Sarah realized it was time to do something different. After a conversation with another seller, Sarah decided to take some of the ideas they gave her and incorporate them into her online business.

Today, Sarah is not only a Top-Rated Seller on eBay, but also has a successful Amazon business as well. Below are some of the things Sarah does that she says makes all the difference.

Make a to-do list the night before

When preparing for the next workday, determine what three things you must complete. Once you know what your top tasks are for the day, it is easier to stay focused on them and not get side-tracked working on other less important things.

Create a daily routine

As your own boss, it may seem like a downer to have a strict daily routine. After all, freedom to do what they want and when they want is usually the reason most people want to work for themselves in the first place. Sarah says that by making it a goal to start work at 8 a.m. everyday, she is then able to resist the temptation to stay in bed longer or spend “thirty more minutes” on Facebook.

Track your time

You make think that since you spend all day in front of the computer, you are being productive, but once you start actually tracking your time, you will see where all your time is actually going. In Sarah’s case, she found that she was constantly updating her existing listings, but getting very few new items listed. Once she saw this is where a lot of her time was going, she was able to make listing new items a priority and soon began to see her sales move once again in a positive direction.

Do you have any productivity tips that have helped you become a better seller? Leave a comment below.

That Kat Radio Show Episode 37 Evaluating 2015 and Planning for 2016 with Kat and Ryan Reger

In segment one, Kat discussed how important it was for entrepreneurs entrepreneurs to evaluate how they did in 2015.

  • What Went Right?
  • What Went Wrong?
  • Where do you want to be in 12 months

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In segment two Kat discussed more about HOW to evaluate your 2015 and begin planning for 2016

  • Which Product Lines will you continue with in 2015?
  • Which lines did not REALLY make enough money to be worth continuing?
  • Where did most of your frustration and time get sucked up? How can you change that for 2016?

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For the third segment Kat welcomed Ryan Reger from OnlineBizCoaching.com

By God’s grace, Ryan 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.

  • 47 Pcs Brahms Silverplate Oneida
  • All-Clad 3 1/2 quart Copper Core Saucepan
  • Yosemite National Park Half-Dome Original 1934 Cable

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For our final segment we shared yet more eBay Homerun Sales.

  • Canon EOS Rebel Camera Set
  • Vintage Bell Moto 1980s Helmet
  • Vintage Goose Down Mummy Sleeping Bag
  • New Old Stock Beckman HD Multimeter
  • Oceanic Prodigy Dive Computer

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Vintage Burton Performer

Wollensak 

Vtg Browning Automatic Shotgun Rifle

Vtg 1950’s Ludwing Baritone Bugle

Mares She Dives Hybrid MRS 

Polaroid SLR 680 Instant Film Camera

Sony DCR TRV460 Digital 8 Hi8 Video 8 Camcorder

47 Pcs Brahms Silver-plate Oneida

All Clad 3 1/2 Quart Copper Core Saucepan

Yosemite National Park Half Dome Original

Canon EOS Rebel XTI Digital SLR Camera

Vintage Bell Moto 4 1980’s Helmet

New Old Stock Beckman HD 110T Pro Heavy Duty Multi-meter Thermometer with Case

Oceanic Prodigy Dive Computer W Gauges Console Scuba Diving

 

eBay Store: www.HomeRunSecrets.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tim.chapman.904/about

Twitter: https://twitter.com/timdchapman

 

InventoryLab

Phishing scam brings new concern for eBay members

As if eBay’s free shipping glitch last week wasn’t already enough of a concern, this week, sellers are learning that there’s a phishing email out there that can install ransomware on their computers. According to Komando.com, this alarming malware known as Maktub ransomware not only takes the data on your computer hostage, the hackers that send it to you also have possession of your name and address.

And— reportedly that information may all comes from eBay. The company has stated, however, that while they are aware of the security concern, there has reportedly been no direct link from their stored information to the ransomware.

As you probably remember, eBay reported a security breach back in 2014 that gave hackers access to an eBay database that included among other things their member’s names and physical addresses along with phone numbers and even their date of birth. Although there is no evidence to believe that the ransomware is connected with this earlier breach, some members who have received the phishing scam said that the information about themselves, shown to them by the hackers, did seem similar to the type of information that eBay keeps on its sellers.

If you have never heard of ransomware, it’s just one of the many types of malware out there, but a lot more vicious since once it infects your computer, it encrypts your files. The hacker that sent the email, then usually demands payment in bitcoin to release your information. Payments generally begin around $580, but may increase to $790 or more if you take too much time to respond to their demands.

Although most sellers are aware of the phishing scams out there that appear as an official email from eBay or PayPal, it is still sometimes hard to stay vigilante about what you should and shouldn’t click on when you are having legitimate emails come in and you’re in a hurry to work through them.

While wrong clicks do happen, you can help lower your chances of falling for a phishing scam by going directly to a website if you are told you need to click on a link. Making a backup of the information stored on your computer is also a good step to help keep you from becoming a victim.

Shipping glitch causes problems for sellers

As you know, when eBay sellers creates a listing, there are several shipping options they can choose from. These can include calculated shipping costs, flat rate shipping costs and even free shipping. Unfortunately, there seems to have been a glitch that was recently discovered in the calculated shipping that has been showing up primarily when someone uses eBay’s mobile app.

According to eBay sellers, this glitch has kept the shipping costs from appearing on the product page until after bidding on their items is actually finished. As you can imagine, this has caused a lot of problems for both sides of a sale, with sellers being accused of switching shipping costs and buyers thinking that the shipping should be free. In some cases, the shipping is actually showing up as free, which as one can imagine, doesn’t go over well at the end of the sale when the seller is looking for the buyer to pay for shipping and the buyer thinks there should be no costs to ship.

You might think that this is a new problem with the shipping costs, but apparently the issue has been going on to at least 2015 when a seller posted on the eBay forums that after one of their auctions ended, there was a dash mark where the shipping costs should have been. The seller also reportedly told other forum users that it wasn’t the first time the error had occurred.

Sadly, to keep from getting the negative feedback that would surely follow if a seller declined to ship an item for free, some sellers have been taking it on the chin and shipping for free rather than try to force buyers to pay it since they weren’t expecting shipping costs in the first place.

Although eBay posted an update this week on the sellers community forum stating that they were aware of the problem and were working on a way to fix it, the only way to ensure that all listings are okay at the moment is for sellers to preview their listings on a mobile device one by one to ensure that the shipping costs are as they should be. While this might not be too bad for sellers with only a few items, you can imagine the trouble that it is for sellers who have 100s if not 1000s of listings.

Have you had any problems with the shipping glitch? Leave a comment below.

Is Equity Crowdfunding Right for your Business? By Cliff Ennico

cliffLast week my new book, The Crowdfunding Handbook, was officially released (www.amazon.com/The-Crowdfunding-Handbook-Business-Start-Up/dp/081443360X).

Three years in the making, this book is the first of many you will be seeing about “equity crowdfunding” – how a business can raise capital online from its social media followers and fans using crowdfunding websites such as kickstarter.com.

On May 16, 2016, new federal regulations go into effect that will kick start (sorry, couldn’t resist that) a new wave of Web-based financing that promoters say will overwhelm the more traditional sources of startup funding, such as bank loans, wealthy “angels” and venture capital.

But will it really?

So far comments on the new rules have been mixed.  While many pundits view the new rules as revolutionary, just about as many say that the market for crowdfunded investments is years or even decades away.

The nay-sayers are not without some valid arguments.  The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) – the federal government agency that regulates offerings of securities among other things – hasn’t made it easy for companies to raise capital via crowdfunding.  The new rules impose fairly severe limitations on companies.  For example:

  • all such offerings must take place on a “funding portal” registered with the SEC and the federal banking authorities, subject to a gazillion regulations that will likely lead them to impose high fees on their startup clients;
  • companies looking to raise more than $100,000 via crowdfunding must include “reviewed” financial statements prepared by an independent accounting firm in their offering documents;
  • people who are not “accredited investors” (high net worth individuals for whom the restrictions don’t apply) can invest only small amounts of money in crowdfunded offerings; and
  • companies cannot advertise or promote their offerings outside of the funding portal except for a modest “tombstone ad” on the company website.
  • A number of securities law experts I’ve spoken to predict that advisers to startup companies will discourage their clients from taking advance of crowdfunding.  Among their reasons:
  • bringing in a lot of unsophisticated investors early on will discourage “angels,” venture capitalists and other more serious investors from participating in later rounds of financing; and
  • it will be difficult for most startup founders to handle a large, unruly group of crowdfunded investors who may make unreasonable demands on management time and resources.

Understandably, the SEC doesn’t want to allow unscrupulous promoters of bogus startups to take advantage of naïve, unsuspecting people.  But have the regulators gone too far the other way – imposing so many hurdles to crowdfunding that a healthy, thriving market will fail to develop?

A number of commentators say “yes,” but I disagree.

I do agree that most early stage technology companies will probably forego crowdfunding for the reasons discussed above.  The only exception, I think, will be so-called “concept companies” – startups that have little more than an idea for a new product, service or technology who need small amounts of money ($50,000 to $150,000) to do basic marketing research, develop a prototype and patent their invention.  Such companies are considered too risky for traditional venture financing and as such are likely candidates for crowdfunding.

But there are many other types of business, and two in particular would, I think, be excellent candidates for crowdfunding under the new rules.

Retail and Service Businesses With Huge Followings on Social Media.  Let’s say, for example, that a world-famous restaurant, such as Fraunces Tavern (www.frauncestavern.com) in New York City, is looking to raise money.  Restaurants, like most retail and service businesses, are low margin and unscalable, making them unattractive to venture investors.  Historically, they have had to rely on bank loans to raise the capital they need to grow, or sometimes just refurbish.  Bank loans are rigid and inflexible, because they must be repaid with interest.  Banks also require their borrowers to operate their businesses within a narrow range of “restrictive covenants” that often prevent them from taking necessary business risks.

But if a restaurant has a huge following on social media (Fraunces Tavern has hundreds of “likes” on Facebook and thousands of followers on Twitter), it might be able to raise the money it needs through crowdfunding.  Many people would want the “bragging rights” of being able to say they “own a piece” of Fraunces Tavern, and if the restaurant offers a discount coupon or a free entrée for larger investments, voila!

“Project” Businesses.  Businesses that have traditionally relied on project or limited partnership financing – such as real estate developments, oil and gas drilling, movie and Broadway theater productions – I think will benefit from crowdfunding, especially if investors receive something tangible (such as free tickets to the Broadway show or licensed merchandise) in addition to their shares.

My prediction:  the businesses most likely to benefit from equity crowdfunding are those that have traditionally relied on bank loans or project financing, have a large social media following (and perhaps a touch of glamour), and who can offer investors something other than a “piece of the action”.

Cliff Ennico (cennico@legalcareer.com) is a syndicated columnist, author and host of the PBS television series ‘Money Hunt’.  This column is no substitute for legal, tax or financial advice, which can be furnished only by a qualified professional licensed in your state.  To find out more about Cliff Ennico and other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit our Web page at www.creators.com.  COPYRIGHT 2016 CLIFFORD R. ENNICO.  DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.