Does eBay Care About Its Sellers

IMG_4405I recently attended the eBay 20th Anniversary Celebration and heard a lot of talk about whether eBay “Cares” about its sellers. eBay put a lot of time and money into the celebration and it was clearly a Seller-Based event. In fact, one seller I spoke with talked about how this could be seen as one big focus group for eBay to see how its sellers felt and get their input. I totally enjoyed myself meeting new friends and catching up with old ones. [Photo of the main stage area.]

IMG_4465I was blessed to hear directly from many of the executives and participate in some small group talks and Q & A’s. The emotional tide was overwhelming, bringing Pierre on-stage was just surreal and then going through the clapping tunnel (employee formed) right behind him with my dear friend Cindy was such a trip. Pierre was talking, remembering and shaking hands. He posed for an unknowable amount of photos that night and never seemed to tire of it. One friend was blessed to attend a private dinner with him and said he maintained the friendly, down-to-earth quiet humor the entire time. It was a great reminder of where eBay came from and Pierre’s original vision. [Photo of Hal Lawton and myself on the Seller Lounge Floor]

The executives admitted publicly and from the stage as well as in small private settings that they had ‘lost their way’ in the past years and were more committed now than ever to a ‘Seller-Centric’ platform, ‘partnering with the sellers’ and giving us more control over how our businesses are run. IMG_4426

From the beginning, I’ve maintained that eBay was the ‘original social media’ company and that the community was their strength. I am now a believer that the current leaders of the company (eBay Marketplace company) intend to come back to the original vision and empower sellers. I pray they are able to become the market leader as they were in the ‘boom years’ and I’ll be thrilled to watch. [Photo of Sarah Brubacher in eBay Hat by Stephanie Inge.]

Cliff Ennico’s Report from the 2015 eBay Radio Party and Conference

Ciff Ennico HeadshotLast week over 200 top-level eBay sellers attended the 12th annual eBay Radio Party and Conference in Las Vegas. This event, sponsored by the eBay Radio podcast (www.voicemarketingradio.com), has become the must-attend national “meetup” for people who sell on eBay.

I always look forward to this event each year (my talk this year was on “Social Media Marketing and the Law”), as I get to catch up with the latest developments and resources for eBay sellers.

The big item of discussion at this year’s conference was eBay Seller Release 15.1 (http://pages.ebay.com/sellerinformation/news/springupdate2015/index.html), warning that unique product identifiers – such as Universal Product Codes (UPCs) and Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs) – must be included in new listings of branded items in “new” and “manufacturer refurbished” condition within many categories starting June 29, 2015. Sellers of antique, collectible and one-of-a-kind goods will not be affected by this change.

Up to now, sellers have not be required to include product identifiers in their listings, but only suitable “keywords” to help buyers find the products they want. As pointed out by eBay spokesperson Jim “Griff” Griffith, the host of eBay Radio, while this makes life easier for newbie and inexperienced sellers who may not be familiar with product identifiers and how they work, the process is often frustrating for buyers. Someone searching for a particular Versace® product (for example) will see lots of unrelated and irrelevant items in the eBay search engine results. Requiring product identifiers in all listings will, in eBay’s view, lead to more accurate search engine results and a better buying experience.

The new rules will, however, pose a challenge to new or inexperienced sellers who will have to add product identifiers to their “learning curve” when learning to sell on eBay. Release 15.1 does not say what resources (if any) eBay will make available to sellers to help them identify the correct product identifiers for their merchandise.

The new rules will also (although this is not stated anywhere in the eBay release) make it a lot easier for eBay to identify sellers practicing “retail arbitrage” – buying branded or trademarked goods at retail stores and then reselling them at higher prices on eBay without permission or authorization from the product manufacturers – and shutting down their listings if the manufacturers complain about the practice.

Here are some other new things I learned about at the conference:

Many eBay sellers are fans of the cable TV reality show “Thrifting With the Boys” (www.thrifting-with-the-boys.com), which teaches folks how to identify best-selling secondhand merchandise at local thrift stores, bargain shops and other venues. The bad news is that the show has not been renewed for another season (although I suspect it will continue on YouTube® and other online venues). The good news is that co-host Bryan Goodman has written and self-published one of the best – and hands down the funniest — book on negotiating I have ever read that I have not myself written. The title is “Everything is Negotiable”, and it’s available wherever books are sold (even, maybe, on eBay).

So, you found an interesting collectible item at a local thrift shop, garage sale or flea market and have absolutely no idea what it is, much less what it’s worth? WorthPoint Corporation (www.worthpoint.com) has created “Worthopedia” – “the largest online database of antiques, collectibles and other one-of-a-kind items in the antiques business” — featuring full access to “sold for” prices dating back eight (8) years and unlimited access to millions of sale recods with item details and images.

eBay auction expert Lynn Dralle (www.thequeenofauctions.com) offers these tips (among others) to new sellers:

  • you should make at least 10 times your purchase price when selling on eBay;
  • list at least 50 to 100 new items at auction each week;
  • always auction first before selling at a fixed price (otherwise you’re leaving money on the table);
  • when selling fixed-priced items in your eBay Store, price “super high”;
  • use eBay’s “Markdown Manager” feature consistently so you will not be grossly overpricing the market; and
  • always use eBay’s “Best Offer” feature on every item in your store.

Marsha Collier, author of the best-selling “eBay for Dummies” series of books (www.coolebaytools.com), introduced the audience to Periscope® (www.periscope.tv), a mobile phone app owned by Twitter® that allows users to capture streaming video in real time, post it instantaneously to social media and get immediate feedback from users around the world. It’s available for both the Apple® and Android® mobile platforms, and is guaranteed to increase the income of copyright lawyers throughout the world.

A number of software products offer to help eBay sellers automate and manage their listings, control their inventories, and handle bookkeeping chores. The latest entry is CampaignGo® (http://campaigngo.com).

It’s no secret that success on eBay depends on building a profitable niche – the narrower, the better. The “nichiest” sellers I met at the conference are:

  • Barbara Baur, vintage auto license places (thelicenseplateguy.com); and
  • Leslie Ann Batistich, hoof care products for horses (www.hoof-it.com).

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 2015 CLIFFORD R. ENNICO.  DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.

 

Midwest e-Com 2015 – 2nd Annual Conference

Bloomington, MN — Friday, July 24 and Saturday, July 25, 2015: Join us for our second annual Midwest e-Com Conference at the Ramada Mall of America Hotel – Minneapolis, MN. . It’s a two-day, fully catered event packed with tips and tools on e-Commerce for only $199.99 a person. (to save $50 for a limited time, use TL50OFF). Two-day sessions are from 9am to 4pm, includes fully catered lunch and networking fun and happy hours afterwards. Tickets are on sale now at our website: http://www.midwestecom.com/.

If you are a current online seller on eBay and Amazon or always wanted to start your own business, this is the place to be. Two days of dynamic sessions featuring well-known professionals in the field; sharing tips, tools and techniques for running a successful e-Commerce business. Topics to include selling and sourcing inventory on eBay and Amazon; Thrifting for profit and using tools like PayPal and Inventory Lab. Learn about FBA selling on Amazon and the new Sales tax rules all sellers are talking about. More information and detailed sessions and speaker profiles at: http://www.midwestecom.com/.

The Ramada MOA Hotel is offering discounted rooms, Free WiFi and complimentary Shuttle to and from the airport and the Mall Of America.

Thank you to our sponsors: NeatOScan, Etail, BubbleFast, Kioui-Apps, and Bid On Fusion. Please contact us if you would like your company to become a part of Midwest e-Com 2015.

For more information on the conference, hotel, sponsorships, to purchase tickets and press:

Travis Barritt

715-323-4189

Ecomconference@gmail.com

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2 Day Conference for Chicagoland eCommerce Sellers of All Levels

 

Rosemont, IL, October 17-18, 2014  — The Chicagoland Area eBay Sellers Group is proud to announce that it will be presenting eCom Chicago, an exciting eCommerce Conference on October 17th and 18th  at the Holiday Inn Express in Rosemont, IL.
Whether you are an eCommerce “Newbie” or a Successful Seasoned Seller there will be so much to learn!  The 2 day conference will feature an incredible roster of eCommerce presenters including John (“Colder Ice”) Lawson (world renowned speaker and author of “Kick Ass Social Commerce for E-Preneurs”), Chris Green (founder of Scan Power and author of “Retail Arbitrage” and “Online Arbitrage”), Danni Ackerman (“the Danni App”), Kat Simpson (Talk Show Host – “That Kat Radio”), Sandi Garcia (aka “Social Sandi”), Brandon Dupsky (founder eCommerce Money for Nothing & OnFair), Ryan Grant (FBA enthusiast), Michael Yublosky (Chicago SCORE speaker) , Anna Barnes (Photography for eCommerce) Mark and Robin Le Vine (Shipping Tips and Tricks) and More………
The conference includes 2 full days of learning.  Continental breakfast and lunches are included in the conference package.  Also included is a DJ party on Friday night with appetizers and cash bar.  Cost  for the entire package  is only $149.  But sign up early –  from now through September 30, 2014 there is a $20 Early Bird Discount available.  Don’t miss this amazing opportunity to jump-start your holiday selling season.  Learn, network,share and be inspired .  Sign up now to reserve your spot.

Conference Bonus from Bubblefast

An additional opportunity is available for those who want to extend their stay through Sunday.  Bubblefast (vendor providing shipping supplies to online sellers) is located in Gurnee, IL, 32 miles north of the conference venue.  Gurnee is home to Great America, Key Lime Cove Water Park, Gurnee Mills Mall, The Gurnee Antique Center  and several quality thrift shops.  Any treasure hunters who journey up to Gurnee on Sunday can take the Bubblefast tour, enjoy some refreshments and explore the many shopping opportunities in the area.  Bring your treasures back to Bubblefast where Mark and Robin will be happy to help you pack them up (free bubble wrap!) and arrange to ship them home for you.

Come to eCom Chicago and tell all of your friends about it. It is going to be a great conference for learning, resources and fun!

Things I Learned at the eBay Radio Party and Conference

Ciff Ennico HeadshotLast week’s eBay Radio Party in Las Vegas was a sellout:  more than 300 sellers on the eBay platform, ranging from rank “newbies” to powersellers with millions in gross annual sales, enjoyed three days of networking, educational programs and (ahem) extracurricular activities.

For those who don’t know, eBay has its own Internet radio station (www.voicemarketingradio.com), broadcasting a weekly talk show/podcast on everything eBay, hosted by Lee Mirabal and Jim “Griff” Griffith, eBay Inc.’s avuncular ombudsman to its seller community.  With eBay no longer hosting “live” events for its sellers, the annual Radio Party (www.ervegas.com), organized by eBay education specialist and consultant Betsie “eBetsy” Bolger (twitter.com/ebetsy), has become a lightning rod for sellers hungry for information, the latest software tools and advice on how to build their businesses on eBay.

Here are some new developments, news items and choice pieces of advice I picked up during the show.

According to Richelle Parham, eBay’s Chief Marketing Officer, more than $20 billion worth of merchandise was sold last year on eBay’s new mobile smartphone app (mobile.ebay.com) – that’s billion with a “B,” folks.

Marsha Collier, author of virtually all the “eBay for Dummies” books and her latest, “Social Media Commerce for Dummies” (www.coolebaytools.com), told me she was very excited about WorldLister™, a new easy-to-use software tool that helps eBay sellers list items for sale from their mobile devices with fewer than five mouse clicks (www.worldlister.co).

In her keynote address, Collier gave several tips for marketing your business on Twitter®, including:

  • tweets with hashtags and links outperform tweets with just one or the other;
  • tweets with more than two hashtags get 32% less engagement;
  • tweets that use more than 120 characters perform best, while tweets with under 60 characters see 1/3 the engagement of longer tweets;
  • tweets containing the word ‘click’ average 35% more engagement than the brand average;
  • tweets containing the words “right now” or “today” average higher engagement than the brand average; and
  • link with embedded photos perform 29% better than plain text tweets with links.

John “ColderIce” Lawson, author of “Kick-Ass Social Commerce for E-Preneurs” (www.colderice.com), told me that branding is largely a function of “staying in your lane” – focusing on a specific niche of merchandise rather than “selling stuff all over the place.”

The Home Run Guide, authored by eBay expert Janelle Elms (www.homerunguide.com), is an easy to use e-book (including a special download for Droids, iPhones, tablets, and iPads) that will help you separate the junk from the profitable treasures at garage sales, estate sales, rummage sales and thrift stores.

Cindy Sorley (www.bubbacandance.com), the founder of CO$T, an 850-member eBay seller group, shared a great story:  “On my flight home from Las Vegas I say next to the rapper Coolio.  No clue who he was. I had never heard of him.  By the end of the flight and after attending his concert he was wearing my cost shirt and will be selling on eBay!   Why?  Customer service on both levels.  A Utah girl who had never heard of Coolio or listened to rap went to his concert because he was so nice and so real.   I am now his eBay mentor to get him started selling.”

Bryan Goodman and Jason Smith (www.thrifting-with-the-boys.com) are the hosts of a hot new reality TV series, “Thrift Hunters,” on the Spike channel (www.spike.com/shows/thrift-hunters).

Kathy “ThatKat” Simpson has teamed up with sales tax compliance service TaxJar®  (www.taxjar.com), to provide a new service that will help Amazon third-party sellers (yes, this was an eBay event but a lot of sellers put up merchandise on multiple e-commerce platforms) register for sales tax in all 19 states in which Amazon sellers currently have “nexus” for tax purposes (for details, see www.thatkat.com).

E-commerce marketing strategist Lisa Suttora (www.visualcontentvelocitytips.com) spoke about several free software tools to help sellers organize their visual content, including:

  • Evernote (www.evernote.com) – a tool for aggregating your visual content ideas;
  • Skitch (www.evernote.com/skitch) – a annotation tool that helps you add arrows, comments and shapes to your visual content to announce sales and promotions; and
  • Hootsuite (www.hootsuite.com) – a tool that schedules your visual content across social platforms.

Last but not least, here are some pointers from yours truly, who spoke about legal and tax issues at the Radio Party:

  • if you download an e-book from the author’s website and give the access code to all members of your eBay sellers group, you have infringed the author’s copyright to the e-book and owe him or her royalties for each and every person who received the access code, whether or not they actually downloaded the e-book; and
  • some big department stores are beginning to crack down on sellers engaging in “retail arbitrage” (buying goods at retail and then reselling them on eBay or Amazon for more money) by creating “buying behavior profiles” on frequent shoppers – if you are buying so much at the store that you are clearly engaged in reselling activity, you will be called into the manager’s office for a friendly chat, and may possibly be banned from the store.

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 2014 CLIFFORD R. ENNICO.  DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.

 

KiOui-Apps presents 1st Annual Midwest e-Com

Bloomington, MN — Thursday, July 24 and Friday, July 25, 2014: Join us for our first annual Midwest e-Com Conference at the Ramada Mall of America Hotel – Minneapolis, MN. . It’s a two-day, fully catered event packed with tips and tools on e-Commerce for only $99.99 a person. Two-day sessions are from 9am to 4pm, include lunch and networking fun and happy hours afterwards. Tickets are on sale now at our website: http://www.midwestecom.com/.
If you are a current online seller on eBay and Amazon or always wanted to start your own business, this is the place to be. Two days of dynamic sessions featuring well-known professionals in the field; sharing tips, tools and techniques for running a successful e-Commerce business. Topics to include selling and sourcing inventory on eBay and Amazon; and using tools like PayPal and Inventory Lab. Learn about FBA selling on Amazon and the new Sales tax rules all sellers are talking about. More information and detailed sessions and speaker profiles at http://www.midwestecom.com/.
The Ramada MOA Hotel is offering discounted rooms, Free WiFi and complimentary Shuttle to and from the airport and the MOA.
Thank you to our sponsors BubbleFast, The Danni App, 2ndOffice, NeatOScan and Inventory Lab. Please contact us if you would like your company to become a part of Midwest e-Com 2014.
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For more information on the conference, hotel, sponsorships, to purchase tickets and press:
Travis Barritt
KiOui llc
715-323-4189

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SCOE – Sale on Tickets Now!

SCOElogoThis will be my third year attending the Seattle conference and I can’t wait. It is such a lift to my Amazon business to be able to network with so many different Amazon sellers with so many different business models. This is the ORIGINAL conference and the only one with any Amazon presence.

I was very excited when Rhonda contacted me and told me about a new SALE coupon!  You can now save $150 off the ticket price!  Just use ‘ThatKat‘ and you will automatically get that huge discount. Thanks Rhonda!  Remember, the prices go up July 1st so sign up soon!  Early is better, too, as the hotel is many times sold out and airfares will be higher the closer we get!

So . . . . . . Hear me speak

 

Improve Your Online Marketplace Sales

SCOE Attendance is a Worthwhile Investment in Your Business

· Get the latest information on tools and trends from online selling experts

· Increase sales – over 75% of past SCOE participants report a strong increase in their Amazon sales

· Meet platform integrators, topic experts and service providers face-to-face – Find the right combination of products and services to support and grow your business

· Begin your global expansion the right way, with products and services that are a perfect match for you

· Network with other sellers like you – Shorten your learning curve as you grow your online business

Your Registration Includes

· Single-seat reservation for all educational sessions

· Entry to the exhibit hall

· Lunch

· Printed learning materials

· Hosted networking opportunities

That Kat Radio – Podcast 61 – April 14, 2014: Jim Cockrum Coaching with Bob Willey and Nathan Bailey and CLEER Amazon tool with Jordan Malik

Listen to That Kat Radio – Podcast 61 – April 14, 2014: Jim Cockrum Coaching with Bob Willey and Nathan Bailey and CLEER Amazon tool with Jordan Malik

 

 

In this episode of That Kat Radio, Kat speaks with Bob Willey and Nathan Bailey about Jim Cockrum Coaching and with Jordan Malik about his amazing new tool for eBay called CLEER. 

 

Before the show started, Kat was joined on the line by Nathan Bailey. Once the show began, they were both joined by Bob Willey, and they all three began to discuss Jim Cockrum Coaching.

Questions that were asked were:

  • What are your ecommerce histories, Nathan and Bob?
  • How did you connect with Jim Cockrum?
  • Does every ecommerce seller need a business coach?
  • How would a good coaching program improve my business?
  • What kind of programs are available through Jim Cockrum’s program and what costs are involved?

Nathan and Bob both have a lot of history in the world of ecommerce. They were both ecstatic to be asked to join Jim Cockrum as coaches for his program. Jim’s program began as a relatively small endeavor, then continued to gather steam. Today, there are thousands of people who can testify that Jim Cockrum has forever changed and improved their businesses. Jim employs Nathan and Bob as coaches who write articles for his blog, discuss strategies with clients and do personal coaching with Jim’s clients as well. These coaching strategies are excellent because they are tailored to your specific business. Not only do you get the expertise of your coach, you get the entire program at your disposal, including hundreds of pages worth of articles about how to sell, what to sell, how to price, etc. This information is invaluable and all available to Jim’s clients. There are several links below, but the main Jim Cockrum Coaching page can be found by clicking the link above.

 

After a commercial break, Kat was joined on the line by Jordan Malik to discuss his newest venture, the CLEER app. 

Questions that were asked were:

  • What is your ecommerce history like, Jordan?
  • What and where are you selling now?
  • Can you describe your newest eBay tool for us?
  • Where can our listeners get this tool?
  • How much does it cost?
  • Tell us about your new “Ask Jordan” podcast and how my listeners can be on it!

Jordan’s new program, CLEER, is a google chrome add on that is available in the chrome app store and helps you find completed eBay listings simply by clicking a few buttons! This can save an incredible amount of time when researching items you are interested in selling. All of us, at one point or another, have had to go to eBay, search for our item, then change our wording around, then change the parameters of the search to the “sold” listings or “completed” listings and we know how frustrating the process can be. Odds are, you’ve had to sort through all of the completed listings before even finding one that sold and how much it sold for. This was a great invention by Jordan and we can’t wait to find out what’s next! Tune in to his podcast to find out more about Jordan, or follow the links below!

If you would like to find out more about being coached by That Kat herself, go here: http://www.thatkatcoaching.com/

 

Links from the show:

Kat ended this episode of That Kat Radio by telling the guests that she knows they’re busy entrepreneurs and she is devoted to bringing them new content each week that will make a big difference in their businesses. We will be back next week at 2 PM EST right here at ThatKatRadio.com with more eCommerce information and connections to help you define your success and achieve it!