eBay is starting a new series of events to help small businesses and part-time eBay sellers “accelerate their businesses” on eBay, which has 90 million active users. The series is called eBay: On Location, and has dates set for Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago, and San Jose.
“eBay sellers are creative entrepreneurs who understand that eBay’s global reach and dynamic marketplace offer the ideal setting to start and build a business online,” says eBay Marketplaces President Lorrie Norrington. “We invite our sellers to eBay: On Location to connect with each other and to take the next step in making their eBay businesses even more successful.”
The goal of the series of events appears to be to let sellers network with one another and share ideas for maintaining a successful eBay business. There are also courses on “top seller secrets”, productivity to boost sales and reduce costs, and utilizing social media to drive sales.
“eBay sellers have become savvier about how to use eBay in ingenious ways,” says Jim Griffith, eBay senior manager, Seller Strategy and Dean of Education. “eBay: On Location is a great way for the seller community to come together and share those strategies—and learn something new from experts.”
They are only letting in 500 people per event, and registration is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. It costs $45 to get in.
Posted by R.W. Casandra Date: Monday, February 8, 2010
It looks like the eBay-Skype spectacle has finally come to a close. Despite all of the arguments (legal and otherwise) that cropped up at one point or another, representatives of both companies announced last night that the sale of Skype to an investor group is complete.
Josh Silverman, the president of Skype, adopted a rather enthusiastic approach when breaking the news. He wrote on the Share Skype Blog, “Great news – we’ve closed the deal with the new investors. . . . Our journey continues: say hello to the future!”
And that future appears to be a bright one, by the way. As had been agreed earlier, the transaction valued Skype at an impressive $2.75 billion (impressive if you ignore the fact that eBay bought it for $2.6 billion in 2005, anyway), and $1.9 billion in cash actually changed hands as the investor group acquired a 70 percent stake.
What’s more, the investor group (which was led by Silver Lake) includes such interesting organizations and people as Andreessen Horowitz, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Joltid Limited, and Skype’s original founders, Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis.
This would appear to make it much more likely that SkypeIn service will expand into Canada, and there’s no telling how else the new owners will try to grow and improve the company.
Posted by R.W. Casandra Date: Monday, November 23, 2009
Overstock.com: Great for designer labels. You’ll find Prada pumps and Gucci satchels as well as auction-only merchandise.
Sam’s Club Auctions: Best for big-ticket items such as vacuums, comforters, TVs, tents and more.
Shopgoodwill.com: A great place to find collectibles such as tea cups and decorative plates. You will also find inexpensive clothing on this site. However, everything is sold “as is” and cannot be returned.
Ubid.com: This is the place to go for electronics. The site sells excess inventory from manufacturers such as Apple and Hewlett-Packard. A lot of it is refurbished, which means that warranties vary.
Posted by R.W. Casandra Date: Sunday, June 7, 2009
“Quite simply, [Bonanzle is] the best I’ve seen in my four years of reviewing and writing about start-up marketplaces” –Vangie Beal, on behalf of Ecommerce Guide.
At Bonanzle, we think that online shopping is stuck where online search was 10 years ago, in the age before Google. Many users today think that eBay and Craigslist are “good enough,” and the “rules” for online shopping are set: items get posted through a series of selling pages, buyers browse static listings, buyers buy items and hope that sellers are trustable.
We think there’s still a lot of room for improvement over the precedent that eBay and Craigslist set 10 years ago (and that the eBay/Craigslist lookalikes have copied ever since).
Here’s how we think online shopping ought to be:
- Relentlessly simple. Remember five years ago when it was easy to post and browse items on eBay? We have spent more than a year designing the easiest selling process, and re-invented the concept of a “store” to revive that refreshing feeling of ease eBay once gave you.
- Instant. Every seller on Bonanzle has the option of tying their Instant Messenger to their group of items, so buyers can get questions answered (or deals made) instantly. For local items, sellers can pre-schedule pickup times to take the guesswork out of which of those Xboxes you could pick up today.
- Engaging. On Bonanzle, the journey to buy or sell your items is part of the destination. With built in user-to-user messaging and pervasive chat, you’ll find that shopping isn’t nearly as lonesome as you remember it being on Craigslist.
- Safe. It sucks to have no idea who you’re dealing with. At Bonanzle, we’re committed to building a community of friendly, everyday people. Bonanzle is not (and will never be) a place for adult content or unseemly message forums.
- Free and Almost Free. There is no reason that you should have to pay a percentage of your item sales to The Man. At Bonanzle, listing is free and fees are dirt cheap. They’re also guaranteed not to raise an iota through 2010.
What Does “Find Everything but the Ordinary” Mean?
While everybody is welcome to sell on Bonanzle, our most successful sellers are those that have items that aren’t new, shiny, and mass-produced. Why? Because we believe Amazon already does a darned good job at helping people find new DVDs, CDs, electronics, computers, and books. We specialize in helping you buy and sell everything else.
I’m Still Not Sold. Is Bonanzle for Me?
“[Bonanzle] is without doubt the cleanest and easiest to use selling platform I’ve ever listed anything on.”
– Auction Wally, Marketplace Writer & Antiques Expert, in article eBay Alternative Bonanzle is Super Simple
“The runaway winner as our Best eBay Alternative is Bonanzle. This startup combines an easy listing process with cutting-edge features such as on-the-fly image cropping and live chat and an avid seller community.”
– SmallBusinessComuting.com, Marketplace Journal, in article 2009 Awards: Reader’s Pick the Best Small Business Tech Tools
“Bonanzle is putting the fun back into online selling.”
– Randy Smythe, Marketplace Analyst, in article You Can Find eBay’s Soul At Bonanzle.com!
“If there was just one eBay competitor to watch, I might just put my money on this one.”
– Scott Pooler, Marketplace Journalist, in article Bonanzle – Bodacious eBay Competitor Gives Birth to Fresh Merchandising Format
“There’s a reason Bonanzle is experiencing tremendous growth. Well, ten and a half reasons, actually. But it all boils down to a simple business model that promotes communication and builds trust among members, a simple interface that’s easy on the eyes and even easier to use, tools that make simple things even easier, and reasonable rates.”
– Salehoo, marketplace review blog, in article Bonanzle: An exciting eBay alternative
… And that’s not to mention the many thousand positive messages about Bonanzle on the Powersellers Unite forum, making it the most talked about eBay alternative in the four year history of this popular site!
Posted by R.W. Casandra Date: Friday, May 8, 2009
Company blames economy for weakness in its core business.
Overall revenue for the first quarter of 2009 was $2.02 billion, down 8 percent from the same quarter of 2008. Net income also fell 11 percent year-over-year, but earnings per share of 39 cents beat Wall Street’s projection of 33 cents.
“We delivered solid Q1 results, exceeding expectations in a tough economy,” states eBay CEO John Donahoe.
Small victories aside, the company’s main business, eBay.com, saw deterioration continue, both in terms of traffic and sales volume. As expected, businesses outside of eBay.com put in strong performances for the quarter, with healthy growth in Payments, Classifieds and Skype.
Marketplace revenue was down 18 percent from the same quarter in 2008, to $1.22 billion. The precipitous drop came despite strength in the online classifieds portion of the division, which posted 23 percent growth. Marketplace gross merchandise volume was $10.8 billion, down 16 percent year-over-year.
“Fixed-price business grew 12 percent, while the auction format declined 20 percent”
The fixed-price business grew 12 percent during the quarter, and now accounts for half of gross merchandise volume, while the auction format declined 20 percent, the company reports.
eBay attributes the revenue decline to a difficult economy and the strengthening dollar against foreign currencies. More than half—about 54 percent—of first-quarter Marketplace revenue came from non-U.S. markets, the company reports.
Efforts to stabilize its core business have mainly focused on bringing buyers back to the site with financial incentives and greater selection. For example, nearly 30 percent of U.S. listings offered free shipping. However, that buyer-centric strategy has yet to pay off, as first-quarter page views slipped more than 25 percent year-over-year, according to Nielsen Online.
Meanwhile, PayPal and Skype continued to bolster eBay’s overall performance, each posting double-digit growth. PayPal revenue grew 11 percent, while net total payment volume rose 10 percent. Skype—which eBay plans to spin off early next year—saw 21 percent year-over-year growth.
Looking forward, eBay anticipates growth in its core eBay business to be slower than the overall e-commerce market in 2009, on pace with the market in 2010 and above the market in 2011.
Thanks To Auctiva Staff
Posted by R.W. Casandra Date: Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Businesses jump onboard as site usage increases by 131 percent.by Auctiva.com staff writer
Twitter saw significant growth in March, increasing by 131 percent to 9.3 million visitors in the U.S. alone—and 19 million worldwide. The actual numbers may be even higher, as comScore’s analysis only counts visitors to Twitter’s Web site, not those who interact with the service using desktop or mobile clients.
The microblogging site allows people to stay connected with others by answering one question: “What are you doing?” But e-merchants and other businesses are using the tool to promote their businesses and products. That’s because sellers can tweet to tell customers about special promotions and sales, says Auctiva marketing specialist Stephanie Seufert.
A tweet, or status update, can be about virtually any subject, as long as it’s expressed in 140 characters or less.
“Twitter is quickly becoming a go-to tool for businesses looking to capitalize on the community-building aspect of the Internet,” Seufert says. “It has a simple format; it’s easy to manage and it’s a medium that is being adapted across all industries. Users are finding innovative ways to utilize it.”
People ages 45 to 54 represent the largest group tweeting, according to comScore, accounting for 36 percent of users. Ages 25 to 34 make up 30 percent of users.
“The skew toward older visitors, although perhaps initially surprising for the social media site, actually makes more sense than you might think at first,” notes comScore blogger Sarah Radwanick. “With so many businesses using Twitter, along with the first generations of Internet users ‘growing up’ and comfortable with technology, this is a sign that the early-adopter model might need to be revisited.”
Older demographics have also begun frequenting other social-networking sites such as Facebook, another source for promoting sellers’ online businesses.
Seufert started Auctiva’s own Twitter account in February and posts updates several times a week, informing people about everything from how the company’s softball team performed the night before, to links to articles to help Auctiva users improve their e-commerce businesses. Click on the links to follow Auctiva and Auctiva Commerce on Twitter.
Some businesses have several different Twitter feeds, notes Biz Stone, Twitter’s co-founder. Dell has 80 and about 11,000 people who follow the feeds. Companies have also started following Twitter users to see what people are saying about them.
Since last February, the number of Twitter users has increased 700 percent, comScore reports. The mainstream media may be one of the reasons for the site’s massive growth, since celebrities and news organizations are giving Twitter a lot of publicity, reports say.
“It seems you can’t get through a typical newscast anymore without some mention of Twitter,” writes Andrew Lipsman, a blogger for comScore. “You might have heard that Newt Gingrich levied criticism of President Obama’s response to the Somali pirate standoff over Twitter.”
Thanks To Auctiva
Posted by R.W. Casandra Date: Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Along with good customer service, finding the right products to offer to the public is probably one of the most significant challenges for those wanting to sell on eBay, amazon or any other online business. The main goal is to buy at low prices and to sell high. Of course, the majority of people just starting out on eBay begin by selling their own personal goods, all of that generally surplus merchandise they have in the attic, garage or basement. This is a good route to take with eBay, as it will help you to become familiar with the basics of listing, shipping, pictures, description writing and general customer service but at some point you will have an empty home if you keep moving in this direction.
When the house is empty you will need to find more items to sell. Many sellers will spend Saturday and Sunday searching around garage sales and flea markets, looking for merchandise and it soon becomes apparent that this it taking up a lot of time and money although I have found a lot of great things that I decided to keep for myself. What you really need is to find a wholesaler where you can buy in bulk at inexpensive prices and make your mark up on eBay then box and ship yourself. Search the items you want to sell for sales numbers before purchasing for stock. You do not want to get stuck with this stuff. Buy wisely.
When you have decided to start trading seriously on eBay, amazon or with any other online retailing business, there are some things to remember about the businesses where you are likely to be buying your stock.
· Have a Business corporation, llc, partnership or sole proprietor set up.
· Make sure your paperwork to purchase wholesale is in order, since this will be required by the supplier.
· The wholesaler will provide you with all of the necessary information for you to buy from him with confidence.
· Have your merchant account in place whether it is paypal or credit card processing center.
· Search, Search and do more Searching, do as much research as possible. Be Confident in the items you choose.
After you have some of the basics covered you should have a great start on your online adventure. Good Luck!
Posted by R.W. Casandra Date: Friday, January 30, 2009
Maybe you have found something everyone is talking about or all the kids are pestering their parents for. That’s great. Now, how do you get hold of it to sell? Well, that’s one of the biggest challenges you will face when building your online business.
There are a few very simple ways to track down manufacturers details. It’s actually easier than you think. The most important thing to remember is that you just need a few pieces of information to get your search started, a name or website address is often all you need to track down the full details. Here are some methods that you can try out.
Lets say there is a fashion label that you really like and would love to sell online, they sell it in your town but you have no idea where it comes from. The first way is simple. Just ask. It sounds silly, but quite often if you ask the person at the counter or get friendly with someone in the shop they might just tell you that most of the time the owner of the shop doesn’t work there all the time. It’s worthwhile sometimes to ask the Saturday clerk, “Do you know the name of the company on the invoices that you get for these clothes?” You will be surprised how many people will tell you if they have the information available. If they are the only one in the shop they might have to go out the back to look it up. It’s possible that the chances are slim, but it’s definitely worth asking.
Keep an eye open for when they receive their stock arrivals. Usually a truck will pull up first thing in the morning to bring in the stock. This is a good time to take a good look. It ’s not unusual for the driver to leave a large number of boxes on the sidewalk for a while. If you can get close enough, just glance at the labels on the boxes as you walk by and look for the suppliers name or website address, or anything you can use to look them up. Perhaps, if the driver is friendly, he might tell you who the supplier is. He might even as he delivers exclusively for them. You only have to ask. Both these methods have been used by prospective sellers when tracking down specific brands, and they do work. It takes some confidence and a little aggression, but it could make a real difference to your business.
Why not try it out this week as an exercise with something you would like to sell.
Thanks – R.W. Casandra
Posted by R.W. Casandra Date: Thursday, January 29, 2009
If you are new to EBAY then the past has not affected you. I was an EBAY seller for years and I was slowly getting discouraged by management with every day that past. Last year EBAY changed direction and new visions came aboard which had effected sellers they made there empire from. Do some searches and you can find the history. Now I use ebay as an advertising platform rather than sole income. I set out to lose “x” amount of $ – dollars – $ every month but the traffic to my site gains it three times back, not always but most months it does. Dont get me wrong I am not telling you EBAY is completely no good but it works for everyone different.
Thanks R.W. Casandra
See this article from webpronews.com
eBay Wants Its Sellers Back
By Chris Crum – Mon, 01/26/2009 – 3:49pm.
Makes Feedback and Payment Policy Changes
Early last year, eBay inflicted some damaging policy changes that sent many sellers running for the hills. Now, they apparently are changing the rules to remove negative comments left by customers towards the sellers.
A couple months ago I talked to a number of eBay sellers, and all but one of them told me that eBay’s feedback policy was their biggest frustration. It now seems that eBay has decided to hear the howls of disgust from its users that have been going on for the majority of the past year. Ecommerce Journal reports:
The move to change the Feedback policy was prompted by numerous requests made by the cross-border sellers who received negative comments from customers while there wasn’t actual fault with the merchants. Now eBay will be removing feedback if: the listing meets the Customs Requirements and/or the seller receives a negative or neutral Feedback comment, which references customs delays or customs fees. Merchants in turn are obliged to advise the buyers that import duties, taxes and charges are not included in the item price or shipping charges. These charges are the buyer’s responsibility.
There was also a lot of frustration about eBay’s payment policy. Many were enraged by the favoritism showed to eBay-owned PayPal. eBay will reportedly now be adding Moneybookers and PayMate as acceptable methods of payment starting next month.
eBay users have been quite vocal in their displeasure with the famous auction site. It seems unlikely that many of them that have been so passionate will be willing to go back to eBay just because they finally acknowledged these issues. But the brand power that eBay carries does pull a lot of weight. Are you (or were you) an eBay seller? What do you think?