Monday, December 21, 2009

American Express 'Gets it' with colderICE

He has a hardy laugh and a winning smile. Quick witted with a straight shooting, common sense style that comes from the school of hard knocks. And he has the ability to make sure you "Get it".
His name is John Lawson, but most people online know him as colderICE. A self made Entrepreneur (3rd Power Outlet) and Internet Commerce Education Specialist (colderICE), John, to many including me, has been a great mentor and wonderful friend. Someone we see as a shining star.
Now American Express also saw the charisma that colderICE possesses, and tapped him for their next commercial. Congratulations John, and to American Express.... I am glad to see you "Get it" too.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Santa John Lawson and Elfish Spa Lady

Christmas time is here, and we all are busy. Here is my Christmas card to all of you...Enjoy!

And a Special Merry Christmas to Santa John and Elf Phaedra!!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Rants, Raves and Renagade: Selling Circus takes a musical approach with Monk

Rants, Raves and Renagade: Selling Circus takes a musical approach with Monk

Selling Circus takes a musical approach with Monk

The challenges of marketing, promoting and branding affect more that just merchants, it is a hurdle for musicians as well. The big name stars have a slew of people handling that for them, so well that they can be arrested and still come out smelling like a rose and making money. But what about the Indie musicians? Many do not have the funds to hire an entorage of high dollar PR people, so they end up doing this on their own, much like the small sellers.
Tonght on the Selling Circus, you can hear how Monk, an Indie Musician, has been doing just that.
Monk has released his Debut CD, 'Damaged Music for Damaged People' this month, and will be discussing not only the creative aspects his music, but the business end of it as well.
AuctionWally has given me the honor of co-hosting this special show with him. Although I have been a guest of the Selling Circus as well as Brainstorming Bonanzle, this will be the first time I will be asking the questions instead of answering them.

Since Monk is also one of the Indie Musicians on my website, I have released the following Press Release. It too is a first for me.

Don't miss this unique broadcast that will bring a fresh look to an old problem for us all.

For Immediate Release
Contact: Susan Leak
Renagade's Relics
Monk talks music and business on the Selling Circus
Fort Payne, AL - Barre, MA - Munich, Germany

November 8, 2009:
Renagade's Relics is pleased to announce that one of it's Independent Musicians, Monk, will be a guest on the Selling Circus podcast, hosted by Walt Kolenda, aka 'AuctionWally.' Special co-host is Susan Leak aka 'Renagade' of This live broadcast is on Monday, November 9, 2009 on the platform.

Monk, from Munich, Germany will discuss the making of his debut CD, 'Damaged Music for Damaged People'. This album was a three year solo project, with Monk writing, performing, mixing and producing.
The show will also cover the way Monk has successfully implemented the Internet to market his music and establish his brand of 'Monk.' Monk and Susan have built a working partnership for marketing Monk's album and have done so strictly via the Internet. This show will be the first time they have had the opportunity to speak directly to each other.

The Selling Circus podcast is hosted by Walt Kolenda of Barre, MA on Talkshoe. The focus is on eCommerce selling and the issues the sellers face in todays ever changing marketplace.
To have a Musician come in an address how the music world faces the same problems of marketing, promoting, and branding, offers a fresh new angle many will be able to learn from.

“ I look forward to being able to share my experiences with The Selling Circus listeners” says Monk. “I have tuned into the show myself. I have found all the guests to be knowledgeable and the platform of Talkshoe a good one. The fact people can ask their questions with ease of just typing in the chatroom or calling in on the phone is great.”

The live broadcast is at 8:00pm EST on Monday, November 9, 2009.
You can tune in by going to:

The show will also be available for download on the site, or at later in the week.

About Monk:
Monk is a singer/songwriter/musician residing in Munich,Germany. His debut CD is available on his website as well as .
Monk now has a band and is working towards live performances to help promote his album.

For more information contact:
Susan Leak
Renagade's Relics
Fort Payne, AL

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Crisler's Say Goodbye to Antique Shop

Crisler Road Antiques in Town Creek, Alabama was the lifelong dream for the Crislers. And for six years they were able to live their dream. Now due to complications of Diabetes, the dream has to come to an end.

Mr. Crisler has had his leg amputated due to his illness and Mrs Crisler is not able to operate the store alone, nor does she want to, for this was a dream they shared together.
Although this dream is ending long before they planned, they are making sure it ends well.With the help of their sons, Justin and Jamey, aka The Alabama Blues Brothers and their many friends are planning the final sale day now.

On October 31, 2009 they will open the shop for the last time. It will be a celebration, complete with good food and great entertainment, along with the best bargains. They would love to see everything go to good homes, so you know the bargains will be tremendous.

So I am asking all Antique collectors, dealers, and music people, come on out if you can and show the Crislers just how we always rise to the occasion to help.
And if you don't know the Crisler Family, all the more reason to go. You may arrive a stranger, but you will leave calling them friend.

Saturday, October 31, 2009
Time: 7:00am - 2:00pm
Location: Crisler Road Antiques and Gifts
Street: 3567 al Highway 20
City/Town: Town Creek, AL
Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Crisler, and I wish you well on your next chapter of your lives.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bonanzle Announces API

Bonanzle is in the first stages of developing the most robust API on the web to date. Bill Harding, Bonanzle's creator today introduced "Bonapitit"(BONAnzle-API-IT), saying :

"This API will allow third party developers to create applications that tie into Bonanzle. These applications could vary from an iPhone application to a desktop program for managing your inventory to a mobile app for tracking your sales... or any number of endless other possibilities. Every application will have the potential to generate revenue from affiliate commissions, usage fees, advertising revenues, or whatever other creative avenues the developers can think up."

Although still in beta, this is going to be one API developers will want to take a serious look at, for the possibilities will be endless.

Just what will this mean to sellers? This means a growth in the market. With the API, Bill and his staff is opening doors for a vast array of applications ranging from those that showcase products and services offered on Bonanzle, to inventory management for the sellers back end.

All developers need to take a look at this opportunity to corner their share of this marketplace. With over 2 million items listed, and the list growing at a rapid pace, Bonanzle is a site well worth your time to develop an application for.Visit Bill's blog to apply for this golden opportunity.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Improve your web presence and earn a little money along the way

We all know that getting yourself known on the web is a vital key to eCommerce. So we join forums, jump on the Social Media train of Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, etc and plug ourselves and our items. Even start a blog, to get the word out. In doing so you may have had people tell you you are good at what you do, your articles are tops, or you have become a 'go to' person in your field. Why not make a little money at this as well? There is two sites I am going to tell you about where you can!

1. Squidoo
Squidoo is a wonderful site where you set up pages called (they call them "lens" ) and this site gives you many great tools to work with. They have a huge selection of modules , everything from You Tube to rss feeds to Cafepress and Amazon so you can dress it up and offer your readers value. Squidoo is a site that even the beginner web user can master in no time. And it pays. Pays for number of reads and pays a commission on some of the modules when people buy an item from them. And if your store front site has an RSS feed, you can pull your items in onto the lens.
Here are some of the ones I have done:
Music Collecting (not just owning a few CDS)
LP Records
Shopping Online? How To Find What You Want!
World's Longest Yard Sale
Discover New Music...check out an Indie artist

I recommend anyone to give this a try. Just say I WANT TO SQUIDOO TOO

2. The Examiner
Are you serious about writing? And want to make some money while setting your self out on the web? Consider writing for the Examiner.
The is a prestigious online paper that is looking for writers to cover all sorts of fields in all areas of the US. You like to go out on the town? Become your areas nightlife Examiner. Love to cook? See about writing for them. You are an art lover? Critique the local artists!
The Examiner is a serious source of information, and receive high ranking on Google and other search engines. The is a position you must apply for, and not all people make the cut, but definitely worth the time the compensation of pay and prestige of being an Examiner is enormous.
To find out more, visit the and tell them Susan Leak, the Birmingham Music Examiner sent you. Yes I am an Examiner. I love writing for them and found it very rewarding. Here are some of my articles:
Damien Cripps Band - Australia's hottest rock
Monk - The man and the music
Fort Payne to host the 101st fiddlers convention
Dewey Wayne - He's just here for the music
Music 101 - A look at vinyl record collectors
The music of Martin DeBourge

There you have it. Two great ways of showing people what you know, building up your web presence and making a little cash along the way. If you need help, give me a shout. You can connect with me on Twitter ...


Monday, September 14, 2009

Bonanzle Hits 100,000 members

Congrats to Bonanzle ... They just completed a huge milestone in really record time. Barely a Year old, Bonanzle just broke its 100,000 member mark and is still climbing. With over 2 million items to choose from this little place is not so little any more. But one thing for sure, Bonanzle still has and always will have the small town neighborly 'Feel' to it. Where the owner and his staff is referred to as 'The Boyz" and everyone knows that they can go to them with any problem, they are always there for their members.

The members are a rare group as well. They started to chatter on the forums about how close the site was to breaking the 100,000 early this morning. All watching the count closely. To show just how quickly things move on Bonanzle, one dedicated seller, Jsgere, came up with this chart above.

What can you find at bonanzle? Well the tagline is 'Everything but the Ordinary.' You can find everything from Vintage Interational Silver Co. tableware service for 12 to a Vintage Lady's Pheasant Feather Pillbox Hat . Hand formulated spearmint scented soap to Beautifully handcrafted Book of Shadows. You can also find Royal Kona Coffee and Sassafras Root tea. Trains for the big model train collectors, and toys for your parrot. New DVDs and X Box games. You name it can find it.

Again, I am proud to be part of this growing community, and have been since August of 2008 ...Wow ..Been there a year already!Happy Birthday Bonanzle ...and congrats to the growth. Now, onward to the next 100,000 members!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Need Help on Bonanzle? Call on a Southern Belle

I start off every day reading my emails, news articles and blog posts. One of my favorites is The Red Ink Diary. Today I was hit with "Do Webinars Have Value?" as the title. I groaned, for I KNEW before reading this, what and who it was all about. When I opened it, I was right.
There is a seller on Bonanzle who started doing webinars. She has been a 'go to' person on Bonanzle from the start of the site, and has always gone out of her way to help. Well this simple act of helping people has blossomed and has taken her to places one can only dream of.

Back before the podcast "The Selling Circus" became the Selling Circus, it was "Brainstorming Bonanzle". The host, Walt Kolenda aka AuctionWally, was in need of a co-host, and saw the value that this little southern belle had in her. He signed her on as his co-host, and with this double dose of expertise, the podcast for just Bonanzle grew into the Selling Circus, covering all venues and eCommerce.
Since then this little Louisiana Lady is like a Ragin Cajun in the eCommerce world. She has been called upon by the River, The Ranch and The Bay, eBay and Beyond, Wednesday 114 for input on Bonanzle. She has interviewed some true 'heavyweights' like Jay Berkowitz, Jake Becker, and Bill Harding . She has had Cindy Shebley contact her for her input on bonanzle.

With all this, it has become difficult for this little powerhouse to keep up with the increasing cries for help. So she did what any other savvy business woman would do, she set up webinars, and a website, 'Learn To Sell On Bonanzle' to market this knowledge.

Now it seems some people do not realize the value of someones time. Time IS money. And when your main business, like hers is creating your product, time becomes even more valuable. Some are questioning the value of an webinar, since it is just someones knowledge and there time. Why pay for one, when you can get the information for free most of the time? Well Henrietta, the author of the Red Ink Diary, said it best:
'The simple answer is the potential buyer determines the value of the product offered to them.' (read more)

Does a Webinar have value? Yes they do. But ONLY if the person giving it is knowledgeable on the subject and engaging enough to make the class informative, enjoyable, and precise. I feel that this sweet gal does just that.

Who is she? Some know her as 'attheboutique' some know her as 'Phaedra' .
I proudly call her my friend. Good luck in your latest venture. Go and show the Nay Sayer's just what the little southern belle is all about.

Phaedra is pictured above with none other than Randy K Smythe "Merchant Evangelist" for

Monday, August 17, 2009

Bonanzle's Bonanza rule changes, who knew?

Bonanza! The term is used on to tell everyone you are running a short special sale. This sale can come complete with special flashing lights and music if the seller so desires, and your booth and items are put on the special Bonanza list to make it easier for people to find. This can be a fun sale for all. The sellers are in their booths or at least on the site, ready to answer any questions, and the customers can find some great bargains.
But, some sellers haven't been using this tool effectively, only putting a small number of items on sale, or only offering a small discount, and making a Bonanza seem more like a Bon-scam-za. And I have seen these same sellers complain and slam Bonanzle for their Bonanza sale not raking in the sales.

So, the boyz of Bonanzle decided to set a limit on the discount rate. no more mini Bonanzas of 5% off. They are saying you must offer at least 15%. And boy, have they caused an uproar over this.
Bonanzle has always took pride in allowing the sellers to run their own business as the sellers saw fit. Which is a good concept, if you are dealing with "professional" sellers who are working hard to grow their business. But, unfortunately Bonanzle, like eBay, Esty, etc, not only have the "pros" but they also have some people who sell just don't take their business seriously. So for the sake of Bonanzle's business, rules get set.

Now like it or not, it is their site, and they have the right to run it as they see fit. Just like you have the right to list on whatever site you see as the best one for you. Although I don't always agree with any sites decisions and changes, I always try to see them from their view point. What I do NOT agree with here on this decision is the fact they did this without ANY warning, announcement ahead of the game. And to add to the confusion, it is NOWHERE on the site that sites the discount must be 15%. Matter of fact, 10% is used in their instructions "Two Minute Guide To setting up a Bonanza" .Come on boyz! That IS poor business practice! You have newsletters, press releases, your blogs, your forums, and Twitter to spread this word, yet not only did you fail to do so, you are misleading in the site "How To's" . I know you are busy, but, if you fail to communicate changes that affect YOUR customer base, ie, the sellers, all you will do is cause, for the lack of a better word, 'Drama'. And the one thing I know you all strive for is minimal Drama.

Will an announcement ahead of time, ruffle some feathers? Sure it will, but at least you will have time to smooth some of those feathers down.

I don't know who dropped the ball on this one, but I am hoping to see that change without notice never happens again.


Other note worthy blogs on this:

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Go Google! You can try your own "Google Store" now!

Google Store? Thats an interesting thought! Google now has a widget you can post on any website and create your own Google store. Easy set up but you must use Google Docs spreadsheet. That is not hard for most that already use Excel or Open Office to upload and track inventory. It is in Beta ...and alittle buggy ...(had could not get a larger store to go into the body of this post)....but shows real promise.
Still attempting to get it to work here, but hope to see this new feature about you? Is this Google's answer to eBay and other venues? Are you going to try it?

Monday, August 3, 2009

You need to go Google yourself

We all have done it. We know back links are good and when we find a site we add our links, descriptions etc, close the page and although we may have added link to our favorites, never venture back on the site. Well you know you change sites, change directions with your product line etc, but the links are still there. Old, crusty, sometimes leading to nowhere. Get going, and clean up your mess!
How? You forgot where all you put those links. Well Google yourself! Bing your names! Yahoo it! Run your names, etc through search engines and see what you find. You will be amazed at the older junk still picked up on them. Go through the links to the sites, and make sure your information is up to date. Google has a removal tool you can use, and you can find help HERE for Yahoo. But the easiest way is to update the information.
As you go through and change the links you find on some of the sites, set yourself up a folder on your favorites, and add the links to it. Anytime you change venues, go and update your stuff! Re summit your URLs to search engines about once a month to keep them fresh. You can do each one individually or use a service like Submit Express or Add Me . Add new content your sites on a regular basis, or change a few things up every now and then. Stir the pot up and the spiders will come crawling.
Not only is this good to keep your ranking high, it does make you appear more professional when all links to you are good.
Not to mention, you will be amazed at what those search engines come up with!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Selling Circus Rocks

This past Monday night I had the honor to be a guest on the Podcast "The Selling Circus". When I say "Honor" I mean that in every sense of the word, for like the title says, this show rocks! I was not able to be in the chat and on the phone at the same time due to a dial up (yes they DO still exist) connection and no cellphone (Yes, there are some people who still do not have one). I was not able to view the questions and chat until it was posted. I noted there was a lot of interest in the Examiner and where and how I network. I hope I can clear up some of that here.
I got started on the Examiner when Walt aka Auctionwally put out the call for more writers. The idea of being able to write for such a site interested me, so I applied. It is a great opportunity anyone who enjoys writing. Does it pay? Yes, but not a whole lot, but they do pay better than other sites of this type. And they are always looking for good writers. You must be able to summit 3 to 4 articles a week and not sound like a blog. Read my blogs here then go to my Examiner site and read there, you will see a difference in style. The Examiner is a good way to get yourself "out there" and I find it to be very rewarding. If you think you are up to the task, please us me, Susan Leak , Walt Kolenda, Cliff Aliperti, or any of the Examiners you know as a referral , that will help you get you toe in the door.
Now networking is something many of you already know about, but if you are like me, you really want to know what works for who. I am on MySpace twice, one for RenagadesRelics and one for 2Wolves and Facebook, and they are more "social" sites than work. Some people have found them to really fit their business, but for me, with the exception of MySpace 2Wolves, it has been mainly a way to hook up with other sellers.
Linkedin I have found to be very beneficial for my Examiner writing and my business. I have made some awesome connections there, mainly from joining some of the wonderful groups there. In the groups, you will find people from newbies to old hat pros, and the discussions are very informative. The trick with a site like Linkedin is to be professional always. Kat Barton mentioned another site I just now looked at this site, and it looks to be amazing as well. Will be setting up on this one too.
Of course, in my networking, I have joined some sites that are geared toward music or the platforms I sell on, but haven't found must time to devote to them. I do however use Twitter alot.
Twitter is a networking dream. Sure, follow your friends, but branch out and follow others that share something that interests you. How do you pick followers or people to follow? If someone I know recommends one to me, I, MOST of the time , will follow them. I gathered people to follow by watching who is tweeting with whom, and what was being said. If someone is spammy by only promoting, or over promoting, or "potty mouthed", I have and will unfollow. I have found the TweetDeck to be a valuable tool. Roger of booksbelow recommends another tool similar called Seesmic , Which I haven't tried yet, but will. If you plan on using Twitter effectively, I recommend using one of them. To find followers of your interest, check out Mr. Tweet and Check out this article on Mashable on Local Twitter covering 9 different ways to find tweeters near you. If you are new to Twitter, follow some friends, watch how they engage, and develop your own style. To keep the list of followers clean and useful, try as, Phaedra recommended, to clean out the dead weight.
If you are on any of these sites, look me up. Find what works for you and your business, and use it. And for more great information on networking , be sure to tune into the podcasts! Wally and Phaedra's Selling Circus, Dave White's Basics to Business, Kat, Mel, and Beth on The River The Ranch and The Bay, and the King of Social Media, colderICE, John Lawson, Wednesday114, Just to name a few. Guaranteed to find me there! (Where do you think I learned most of this stuff anyway?)
I want to thank you ALL for being there to support me. I also want to thank Justin Crisler of the Alabama Blues Brothers and Rick the madbaldscotsman that also tuned in. You guys rock!
Later.........With More........Renagade

Monday, July 6, 2009

Pay it forward, and get a bargain in the deal

If you are an antique lover, bargain hunter, or a fan of good music, keep reading. As some of you may know, I also write for the as the Birmingham music examiner. Through this venture, I have come to know Justin and Jamie Crisler aka The Alabama Blues Brothers. They have put a call out for a little help, and I am more than happy to step up to this plate.
Their Dad, Billy Crisler has an antique shop in a Western Alabama town called Town Creek, namely: CRISLER ROAD ANTIQUES AND GIFTS . Now Dad and Mom planned on selling out someday and retiring, but some severe health problems of Billy's is pushing this plan around. So they are having a huge one day sale this coming Saturday. Here is the details posted on Facebook :
"For all of you that do not know our Dad, Billy Crisler, he had an unexpected amputation of his right leg today in Huntsville due to a severe infection. He is retired from Champion Papers and for the last few years runs an Antique and Gift shop in Town Creek, his life long passion.Dad and Mom were in the middle of retiring to the River in Tennessee and were getting ready to sell off the store and all it's contents to finally relax.With this setback, and slight disability, the move will certainly be delayed for a short time. We, his three children, are wanting to help as many of you have asked to do also. Many times you really don't know what to do for someone, but we are going to give you the opportunity. Dad has always taught us to pay it forward and be good to people and we want to do that for him now...ONE DAY ONLY SALE at CRISLER ROAD ANTIQUES AND GIFTS JULY 11, 2009. If you can simply come by and sign the get well card and shop for just a minute, your purchase of even an ink pen or a nice oak table and chairs would go directly to Dad and help at least clear some of the items from the store.PLEASE SPREAD TO AS MANY OF YOUR FRIENDS AS POSSIBLE. "
This is not only a way to help out someone in need, but it is an opportunity for some great bargains, good food, music, and you will get to meet two really cool guys, Justin and Jamie.
If you are in the area, PLEASE stop in and say hello and see what great items you can find. It is time to "Pay it forward".

Monday, June 29, 2009

Tweeters Unite! Join in the 12 for 12k Tweet-a-thon NOW! Monday June 29th

Who said Social Media people just sit around chatting without a cause?? Some may that is true, but today many are chatting for a very good cause! From Monday June 29, from 10.00am Eastern until Tuesday June 30 10.00am Eastern, 12for12k is holding a special 24-hour event to raise money and awareness for UNICEF and their "Believe in Zero" Campaign.
The 12for12k video tweetathon includes a slew of special guests, Live music, and a whole lot of fun. Plus they will be drawing for some fantastic prizes such and jewelry from Tali Gillette Designs ( @taligillette ) , and Honora ( @HonoraPearls ) , gift certificates from great places such as Katie M. Designs (@KatieMDesigns ) and Roger Hjulstrom ( @booksbelow ) and much much more!
Do yourself a favor and check out the 12 for 12k tweet-a-thon and join in the fun. And while you are there, make a donation and get your name into the drawings. You can help stop the deaths of 25,000 kids every single day from preventable causes.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Circus is in town!

The Selling Circus that is! The Selling Circus is a new podcast hosted by some old favorites in the pod casting world, Walt aka "Auction Wally" and Phaedra of "attheboutique" former hosts of Brainstorming Bonanzle.
Last week was the last episode of Brainstorming Bonanzle. Walt and Phaedra, after polling some of their loyal listeners, realized that many that sell on Bonanzle are multi venue sellers. So, with a new name, fresh new music and content, the Brainstorming Bonanzle show is now The Selling Circus. They say they will teach you how to brand yourself and sell like hell.
With the new format, they will be able to include tips that are more anyone in eCommerce can use, regardless of the venue or venues you sell on or what your product line is. The guests will be many, the information valuable, and the fun non stop.
Check out their web page, and tune in tonight and every Monday night at 8pm et at
See you there! ...........Renagade

If you want to catch past episodes of Brainstorming Bonanzle, the will still be available at

Congrats go out to Phaedra on her new store ! Wonderful hand-dipped Incense at superb prices. Come experience the essence of incense!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

ECTMA 09 summit - Information from the best

Last week I attended my first ecommerce summit in Atlanta, Ga., and there is only one word to describe an event like that, and that's INFORMATIVE! The information one can gather from such an event is unbelievable. But how does one know what is beneficial to them and their business? I practice what I call the 3-R's.... Research, Remove, Reuse.
Step 0ne.... RESEARCH.
At the ECMTA Summit, you have many well qualified speakers, all offering good information on how to drive your business forward. After listening, talking to them, taking notes and gathering business cards, I start Researching. I visit the websites, run searches on the companies and the person, and read reviews, following the concept that an informed decision is the best one. Then I move to ...
Step two....REMOVE
On every website, on every blog, etc you will find there is hype and ideas that just don't fit your business. It is up to you to find the relevant tips and valuable content that you can use and remove it. Start a folder, keeping notes on the information you gather, save the links that you know you will be wanting to revisit, download the videos and podcasts that you know you will want to review again. Remove the GOOD information and save it!
Step three....REUSE
OK, you have listened, talked, researched, gathered the relevant data, now REUSE it! Try out that venue or forum, tune into that podcast regularly, apply the tips that you have removed to your business.
There is no "cookie cutter" formula to this. You must adapt the information to suit you and your business. If you can attend an event such as the eCommerce 09 Summit, great! If not , you can still find the best information right on the web. Here is some that I found because of the summit that you may find valuable:
colderICE: John is "Da Man!" energetic powerhouse loaded with information! Visit his website, podcast, and check out his U-tube Videos Blogs!
eBayandBeyond: Dave conducted two FULL days of live podcasting from the summit. great interviews with some of the top names in the business! I know Dave is still editing the countless hours to get to the meat, so please check back with him often!
Jay Berkowitz - He has Ten Golden Rules everyone in eCommerce should look at. - They sent their "Merchant Evangelist", Randy K. Smythe to Atlanta. has expanded into the world of Marketplace, but they are hand picking the merchants. Are you good?? Check them out.
Vendio - If you sell on eBay, Amazon, or want your own store, check out Vendio. The feedback I am hearing is their customer service is spot on and the rates are very competitive. Also if you are an Auctiva user...have they have a deal for you! They sent Crystal, who is a good spokesperson for the company that will tell it to you straight, and Michael Levit who gave a great presentation. Check out the Slide show from the summit .
Richard Brewer-Hay - If it is happening at eBay, RBH knows it. Great, down to earth guy the maintains the eBayInkBlog
Channel Advisor - Scot Wingo the CEO was there and gave a Great presentation on the state of eCommerce. I found the Channel Advisor's list of blogs a good one and The eBay Strategies blog that Scot maintains to be good as well.

This is just SOME of the informational people I met there. I also met many great merchants as well such and Kathy Simpson of Kat's Kloset - The River, The Ranch and The Bay pocast - and one of eBayandbeyond's eBabe co hosts, Melinda Jackson - Galleria Gifts - and the other eBabe co host of eBayandBeyond, Gary Richardson - CEO of GogglesandGlasses, Cathy Hornsby of sushiboofay's, and so many others.

I must also recommend you to check out Fast if you are a Yahoo merchant or thinking of it. Matthew Ledford President and Co Founder was representing his company and is very helpful. Also check out Paul St. James of They just might be what you a searching for!

And I must HIGHLY recommend Phaedra of attheboutique and of the Selling Circus podcast, which is the BrainStorming Bonanzle podcast, re vamped to include more venues and inforamtion! Awesome person, and a true professional! She has posted many great pictures of the Summit here. Go take a peek!

Now to leave this on a lighter note....not all of the summit was business! Check out this video ...Larry Phillips got a hardy round of applause from this! And for MORE pictures please visit and look for the ECMTA tab at the top of the page.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

eBay-Through the eyes of two very different sellers.

You may know him by AuctionWally, you may know him as Walt Kolenda, but after today the world will know him too. For today, Walt "Auctionwally" Kolenda is one of two sellers featured in the prestigious Wall Street Journal in and article titled "Auctions Fade As eBay Offers Wholesale Items At Fixed Prices."

The article focuses on two sellers, Mr Sheng of eForCity Corp, who describes his company as a "mini Wal-Mart" and Walt Kolenda, a professional antiques auctioneer and appraiser who focuses on quality, not quantity. The author, Geoffrey Fowler, does a wonderful job pointing out the shift the eBay has taken from "quirky flea market known for online auctions, and a shift to being more of a bargain basement offering fixed-price goods in bulk. "

Many people (myself included) feel eBay's changes have done nothing but drive the smaller sellers away from there to other venues such as Bonanzle and eCrater, and this article is one of the most complete analogies of this.

You can read the article in its entirety here.

And kudos to Auctionwally...for helping the world see eBay through the eyes of a professional in the field of collectibles.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Bonanzle Sellers Rally to Help St. Jude Charities

When it comes to rallying around a cause, the sellers at have to be some of the best there is. At this virtual "baby" of an online marketplace, when the call went out that attheboutique, Bobbi85710 ,with the help of Dede of BrightestBlessings and professional Auctioneer and fellow Bonanzler, Auctionwally, were putting together a charity auction to benefit St. Jude's Charities, the response was overwhelming! Donations of some truly unique items came pouring in.

So on Monday, June 1, 2009, they will host their Charity Auction LIVE online, in a way only Bonanzle's platform will allow. The bids can be placed in real time in the booth chat window and will be called live on-air on the Brainstorming Bonanzle Podcast which airs live every Monday night at 8PM EDT. on the Talkshoe platform. To participate you must be a registered member of Bonanzle, which is free and easy to sign up for, and can be done HERE.
Then on June 1st at 8pm EDT tune into the Brainstorming Bonanzle Podcast and go to the BonanzleUpMobile booth and listen as Auctionwally calls the bidding and watch and bid live in the chat window!

Items up on the auction block range from Roseville Pottery donated by gypsygirl of Gypsy's Trading Company, to the OOAK Handcrafted Rag Quilt Tote, created and donated by BrightestBlessings, to you own custom adspot on the award winning podcast, EbayandBeyond: Basics to business hosted by Dave White

To view all the items, please go to and for more information please visit the Press Release and be sure to view the slideshow.
Hope to see you there!
Note: All pictures are items up for bid at this event.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Birmingham Music Examiner: Monk- The man and the music

He is Monk, with a sound he says is “like Kurt Cobain and Timbaland in the boxing ring” Auctionwally, a fellow Examiner and host of Brainstorming Bonanzle, after hearing Monk said "This guy has a pretty fresh and catchy sound. It's like a cross between U2 and Franky Goes To Hollywood! Monk Has a Style that is all MONK!

read more | digg story

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sellers Rally For Charities

People sell to make themselves some cash. Period. But I want to tell you about some that are selling their wares, holding auctions and donating items to raise cash for some very worthwhile causes.
First up is a benefit concert and silent auction at the Eastham Elks Club on McKoy Road in Eastham, MA. to raise money for a trust for Keahlan Mullen. Keahlan lost his Mom, Rosalie Muce, in a car accident on February 27 in Falmouth, Maine. She was a hospice nurse who volunteered frequently for the eHope Foundation. Muce also received the Women's Opportunity Award from Soroptimist International in 2003.

Here is the press release on this event. I hope everyone who can attend ot help out in this cause will.

Cape Cod Musicians Rally to Raise Funds for 11-year old Proceeds from Concert, Auction will Benefit The Man Eats Fish Foundation for Keahlan Mullen05.01.2009 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Michael Pandiscio, 508.432.6675;
EASTHAM, Mass. – On Cape Cod, musicians create one of the most vibrant and tight-knit groups of people. And on Sunday, May 17, scores of these artists will join with the community at large to celebrate the life of Rosalie Muce, and to raise funds for a trust for her son, Keahlan Mullen.
Muce, a native of Harwich and 1994 graduate of Harwich High School, was killed in a car accident on February 27 in Falmouth, Maine. She was a hospice nurse who championed community-based care, and volunteered frequently for the eHope Foundation. Muce also received the Women's Opportunity Award from Soroptimist International in 2003 for her community service efforts.
On May 17 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., a benefit concert and silent auction has been planned at the Eastham Elks Club on McKoy Road in Eastham.
“We’re going to try to raise some money for Kealahn's future,” said Michael Pandiscio, a coordinator of the event. “We thought we would do something nice; something good in such a bad situation.”
Several local businesses have already donated items and services to the silent auction, and additional donations can be made by e-mailing, or calling 508.432.6675.
Music will be provided by local favorites Care Factor Zero, with special guests and former founding members Nick Muce and Tim Taylor, and by Big Rhythm Wine – A Grateful Dead Experience. All of the proceeds will go toward founding and funding the Man Eats Fish Foundation. For more information, visit

Second is the Bonanzleup St Jude Charity auction on June 1, 2009. All items where donated by sellers and all proceeds is going to St Jude's. This is an event everyone can attend for it is a "LIVE" online auction with bidding in the chat box in the Bonanzleup Mobile Booth and the bids called LIVE on the air by AuctionWally on his weekly podcast of Brainstorming Bonanzle. This is a very fun and exciting way to participate in an online auction and with the proceeds going to such a great cause, I encourage everyone to tune into this. Items are up for viewing now so stop in and check them out.

Third is an update on John colderICE Lawson's "Chest For The Breast" auction. John raised over $2000 for the cause with the big prize winner of the T-shirt space on the shirt John will be wearing to the ECMTA/PESA conference in Atlanta, Ga June 3 & 4 being Galleria Gifts.
Melinda paid $760 for the privilege of having her logo printed on a shirt to be worn by John at the Pesa conference. John being the podcaster, video blogger and well known ecommerce personality that he is , Melinda's Ad is going to be seen by many!
John also made several video blogs wearing Shirts with others logos on them as well for this Charity. Go see colderICE in action!

This is just a very very small list of many sellers who donate their wares and time to help others. I hope you will visit their sites, attend their events, and help them help others.


Monday, May 4, 2009

Forums... Are They Just Playgrounds Now?

Forums. All the marketplaces have them, and they are suppose to be the place sellers mingle on, the veteran sellers touching base with each other, welcoming the Newbies to the site, and offering help when needed. Unfortunately this is not always the case. Forums can become toxic places, full of fun and games, snarky comments, and general B.S. that makes it impossible for people to find answers to problems. Don't get me wrong, I love to have fun just like anyone else, but when I need an answer to a problem, I hate having to wade through pages of the "Whoo Hoo" "Fun" threads to find anything of value. ALL forums don't start out this way....but as the site grows so does the forums and unfortunately, not everyone is mature enough to realize the forums are public for all users, not their private playground.

I recently tried addressing this issue on Bonanzle, after being contacted by several who said they hated to bother me but could not find get a good answer in the forums, and they knew I have constantly stated "my door is always open" to anyone. The response was great! Many of the "old tymers" that have been on site since the early days responded, saying "If anyone needs help,...feel free to contact me!"

It was titled : "OLDER BONANZLERS!- United to help! - NEWBIES! Look here for help! "- but unfortunately that thread is now GONE from the site. as I said ALL forums unfortunately have the problem children that seem to be allowed to run amok, causing havoc whenever and however they please.

This is NOT just a "Bonanzle" problem.....this is an everywhere problem...and alot of times it is the same ones stirring the pot, no matter where you look.

One thing Bonanzle has going for it is there is a group of sellers that do care about the site and helping others learn the ropes. Two of them truly shine out as leaders in the help department, and that is Walt aka AuctionWally and Phaedra of attheboutique. With their weekly show on talkshoe , Brainstorming Bonanzle , they ,along with their guests, offer countless tips to all sellers. Phaedra also has one on one booth consultations .

Bonanzle also boasts a spot on a new talkshoe show, "The River, The Ranch, And The Bay" (ie the Ranch part). Tune in and check out Kat and her fine lineup of co-hosts and guest as well for some good info.

Now if you are needing some quick answers between these shows.... check out ANY of these sellers on Bonanzle.... They are ready and willing to help out anyone needing alittle help:

I know there are more willing to help..... but Like I said, unfortunately forums can be a playground for the few...and was not able to get a full list before they deleted the thread.
So the moral of the story is wanna play??? go ahead and jump into the forums. You need help?? tune into a couple of fine talkshoe shows ...or go knock on the door of one of the ones listed here....Good people who only want to help....
Anyone else want to help?? What say you? Are Forums helpful or just "Playgrounds"?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Fear Not The Spiders

Its Known as SEO .... Search Engine Optimization. And if you want to be found on this crazy place called the web, you need to learn it. Google, Yahoo, MSN, and other send out what the call Spiders to crawl the web, looking for good things to bring back.

Google and other search engines are strange. Trying to figure out what it is they want in a website is sometimes like throwing darts blindfolded. I have been at the top of their lists...and have been at the bottom and everywhere in between. But just how can one improve their ranking? I have discovered a few things that seem to help.

1. FRESH content.
This excites the spiders like a wolf around raw meat. so add new items often. New listings, new blog posts, a new picture, SOMETHING anything to get them smelling the fresh blood.

2. Tags.
Tags ARE important for blogs, pictures, etc for they tell the Search Engines in shorthand what it is all about. Like this blogs tags.

3. Attributes
Ahhh Now these little things are great! But can be tricky to use. But they will tell those spiders what the item is and help your customers find them in a search.

4. Pictures
For some STRANGE reason, they love to see pictures. So post a few in your blog, be sure you have some on your web page, and include them in your item listings.

5. Be Keyword aware.
Keywords ARE great, especially in Titles and the first 100 words or so of anything. The Spiders love simple and presence. They will pick up on "Red Hat Size Medium" before they will "Beautiful Fancy Hat" But at the same time will not like it if you are just using the buzz words like " ruby red eBay cap hat ladies men children's". If they think you are spamming they will dump you, So be careful to stick to the facts, Jack!

6. Changes
Google and others like to mix it up! Sometimes just the simplest changes work to trick them into thinking that everything is new. So redo your bio, change a picture, color, rearrange layout just a little and see.

7. Link Backs
Here these to can be tricky. They love links...but hate those that are not relevant. Where you place links to your blog, website etc should be places that pertain to what your blog website etc are all about. Or at least have some relevance to them.

This is just some of what I have figured out...and have worked on this weekend doing to this blog, and my website: , my Bonanzle booths: and .

I would LOVE to hear some of YOUR suggestions...What is good for SEO??
(commenting on Blogs is good for SEO too! LOL)


Some places for great information on this:

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

WOW!.... Now THATS a SEXY Billboard!!

John...Big, Bad, John "ColderICE," Lawson is now the "Sexiest Billboard" you will ever see.

John has generously donated space on his chest to Breast Cancer Research. John will be auctioning off the ability for ANYONE to custom design a T-Shirt with their Company's Logo or slogan that he will wear at the Ecommerce Merchant Summit 2009 in Atlanta, GA . And trust me, not only will it get alot of exposure there, but people will DEFINITELY see your logo. John is a strapping guy with a nice broad chest...plenty of space for any logo. He also has a commanding presence with a wonderful personality and a head full of knowledge that makes people want to engage him.

The eBay Giving Works Auction will start on Monday, April 27th and ends on Monday, May 4th. The auction winner will be announced live, by Podcast host and auctioneer Mr. Auction Wally, during the weekly “Brainstorming Bonanzle” radio podcast show.

This just goes to show you ... John "colderICE" Lawson is a Big, Big Man....with a Big, Big Chest that houses a heart of pure Gold.

Anyone who would like more information on the ..please visit ColderICE at
and help John "Sell His Chest to Save The Breasts!" (and get a peek at this guy too!)

Thanks John....You SEXY Billboard, You!.............Renagade

PS Brainstorming Bonanzle is set up to take donations to help sponsor a "Brainstorming" T-Shirt that John will be wearing during one of his video Blogs...If you would like to donate please Visit Brainstorming Bonanzle . A GREAT way for Bonanzlers to show their support of the show, of colderICE, and the Cause! Just use the Donate Button and tell them its for Breast Cancer!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Fun's Fun but B.S. is B.S.

Ah... the favorite phase my Dad always used when things got out of control. It was also used when it was time to cut through the B.S. and get down to business. And I am starting to see that more sellers and Businesses need to heed the phrase....especially in the eCommerce world.

Online Selling is a business, and sadly there are too many people that are not treating it as such. With the economic downturn and soaring unemployment rate, many people are trying their hand at selling online. These same people, now at home, suddenly find themselves without the human interaction that the "real world" job market gave them. So when they find a marketplace with a friendly forum they join in. New friendships are formed and a whole new world becomes available. This is good, this is fun...but there is a point when the "Fun" becomes "B.S.".

Instead of learning skills to help them grow their new found business, they start joining into the games and B.S. threads that many of the forums have.....and that sadly too many of these marketplaces condone ...even encourage. Yes, it can be fun to play along in a " Three Word Story" thread....or "name that tune" and everyone deserves those fun breaks from listing and promoting. Where it crosses the line is when the games start affecting the entire site....and in turn, the bottom line for all sellers.

John "colderICE" Lawson is the host of a great podcast titled "B.S. Walks when Money Talks " Anyone who has tuned into John, seen any of his Video Blogs, read any of his articles, or have had ANY dealings with him know, this guy is a fun loving person! BUT, John is also a serious seller......VERY serious. And he makes the sales. Not by "Playing games" but by having fun and "knowing the game". Believe me, he has achieved his status NOT by any selling game on any site...but through hard work, quality items, and knowing that Selling IS a business... and although you should enjoy what you do, it is not a game.

Now I am NOT trying to tell anyone HOW to conduct their business and if you just want to play around, normally that would be fine. But when the fun and games start affecting MY business and MY bottom line, I am going to speak up. And since the games and craziness is picked up by Google and other search engines, not every customer out to buy something is going to think it's cute, and not only will they not take the selling venue seriously, they may not view any of the sellers on such venues as serious sellers.

Most sellers online ARE taking treating their business as it should be. As a BUSINESS. And the serious sellers KNOW that "Fun's Fun but B.S. is B.S." because "B.S. Walks...When Money Talks" .

What think you?


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Say What You Mean, & Mean What You Say

Can the phrase be applied to eCommerce? You bet! The phrase has been a rally call to Glenn Beck and his supporters such as The-912-Project, but is should apply to all factors in your life, especially those of us who are eCommerce sellers.
Sellers ...think about it... you're customers cannot hold, touch or examine your product...they rely totally on you, your pictures, your description. So it is up to you to "Say What You Mean, And Mean What You Say". Giving a COMPLETE description is vital to having a satisfied customer.
Sure, pointing out a flaw, a mar, may turn off a buyer, but by doing just that, you know the one who DOES buy it fully knows what they are buying. And by clearing stating your return policy, shipping times and means, etc you are providing your customers with all the information needed to make an informed decision. Now add in CLEAR pictures from more than one angle, and you have provided your buyers with plenty of information and you also gave them a reason to TRUST you.
If You say the item is better be! If you say you ship in five better! Do you state you consider all offers? Well then you need to respond to even the lowballers with an answer. Prompt email response? Prompt is not next week sometime.
No mater where you sell at, be it eBay, Bonanzle, Etsy, etc, go and look over your listings and policies and ask yourself, does this truly "Say what I mean and do I mean what I say??"


Monday, March 16, 2009

WHAT Is eBay Thinking? Or ARE They???

eBay. We ALL know it and USED to love it. Note I said USED to. eBay has taken a sharp turn in marketing strategy that is causing many sellers, even the big boy power sellers with the feeling of being used and stepped on.

Ina Steiner of AuctionBytes wrote several good articles about the "New" eBay and two quotes truly jumped out at me that describes what eBay is thinking :

"President of eBay Marketplaces Lorrie Norrington said, "An analogy that is fairly simple is that the old eBay made a living in peoples' attics and garages. The new eBay is sitting in warehouses, liquidators and off-price retailers. And they're looking for cost-effective channel to be able to move high velocity." eBay SVP & GM of North America Marketplaces Stephanie Tilenius revealed that eBay is allowing certain companies to brand themselves on eBay. "We're changing how we actually show some of those sellers, those larger sellers, on eBay," she added." (article)


"Stephanie Telenius, SVP & GM, North America Marketplaces, gave some examples of secondary market sellers, including, SmartBargains for clothing, TigerDirect in the electronics space, and Act and Powell in the book space. She said eBay was ramping up its business development." (Article)

Another words... eBay has found a new love and has tossed aside the old one. Some of these old lovers are big time sellers on eBay, like John "colderICE" Lawson who wrote a STEAMING rant about the changes....

"At one time, eBay was MAKING people self sufficient, small business were growing thanks to eBay. eBay was once an asset to the jobless, the single moms, the handicap, NOPE…”screw those losers” right-on Lorrie Norrinton, eh?!? Today in 2009 eBay has SWORN to make sure that they will do their part to INCREASE homelessness, poverty, and hyper unemployment. eBay this week have promised Americans, that we will make sure YOU CAN’t SELL your stuff on eBay anymore when you need some rent money. Nope, eBay is NOT for you guys!

Hell no, eBay has said that they want to make sure the YOU and me, “Joe America” & “Suzy Six-Pack”, need to do your trading elsewhere, they are on a mission. As for you and I?…basically, if you are an independent sellers “Go to HELL! We DO NOT WANT YOUR BUSINESS, thanks but no thanks.” " (article)

BUT, like RedInkDiary's Henrietta put it in her "Dear John" letter:

"eBay is your toy and you may set the rules for playing with it, but we users also have choices and if the price for playing with eBay is too high we will not play, or pay for the privilege."

eBay needs to wake up! WE are MAD AS HELL and us old jilted lovers "little sellers" that you are tossing to the side CAN, HAVE, and WILL go elsewhere! We will NOT sit patiently pineing away waiting for you to love us again.
PS...Sellers! Have you left eBay??? Where is YOUR new home at??? Mine is Bonanzle! Come visit me!

Friday, March 6, 2009

It's Just A Matter Of Trust

TRUST...such a little word with such a big impact in this world. When you are buying an item on line, this word can mean everything! You are about to send your hard earned money, to someone you have never met, and don't know from Adam. And you are trusting that the seller has been truthful in their description, and will not only pack the item well for shipment...but that they will actually SEND it to you. And the Seller is trusting you will be honest in the feedback, and will ACTUALLY pay for the item. And this all comes down to TRUST. But how do you know who to trust?

Most sites now have a Feedback System, where both buyer and seller can tell the world how good (or bad) a transaction has gone, and both the Buyer and Seller are given a percentage number based on positive feedback. Bonanzle has taken this and kicked it up a notch.

Bonanzle now offers "MORE" . When you visit an item on Bonanzle you will see on the left hand side the sellers name, number or feedback, rating of the feedback, and "MORE" . By clicking on "More" you will be taken to a page that breaks down the "Trust Factor" for you with links to find more information on the seller. Bill Harding explains it all in his Blog "More Sale Through More Trust"

Now does that mean you should only buy from sellers with high feedback? NO!!!! I have found a lot of new sellers try really hard, wanting to make sure everything is done right, where some of the very seasoned "Veterans" have gotten slack in their customer service skills. What this DOES mean is you now have even more tools to really check out a seller at Bonanzle...and that Bonanzle...being a fairly "New Kid On The Block" working HARD for you to make your experience at Bonanzle a good one. This new page, along with the contact seller button and the Chat In Booth Feature allows YOU as a buyer to truly get a good idea if whether or not you can TRUST this seller.
But remember.....NEW sellers work hard too (sometimes HARDER) please use the MORE page, the contact seller and booth chat feature to get to "know" them...and help them build up their reputation. As well as using these features to truly check out that seasoned Veteran.

Now no matter where you shop,.... no matter where you sell ....I encourage you to not be afraid to fully check out that person...leave honest feedback ...and if you had a good experience TELL people that they too can trust that person.... that is what online shopping is all based on...TRUST.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I AM the Renagade ...And You Are???

One of my biggest pet peeves is people who are afraid to reveal themselves. Anyone who reads articles or tunes into podcasts know what I am talking about. Its those who post comments under names other than the main one they use on line, or jump onto podcasts under "guest" and fail to state who they are when asked. Why would someone do this? There is only one reason ....that is they are saying something that can and will put them in a bad light. What these people become known as is "Trolls" IE people who's only purpose is to slander a site or another person and to cause havoc online. (Two Wiki articles Here and Here)

Unfortunately, trolls think they are being clever, and that by coming up with "Ask Abby-ish" names like "(insert a site name) S@@ks" or "I Am The Victim Here" they foolishly think they are hidden. the problem is they are not. Everyone has a certain style of writing, and have the tendency to use certain words or phrases. Watch for them and you will clearly "see" who is the person behind the words.

Now I have run across some that do use the same name everywhere. But fail to provide a link to their home base online. Now, I know you are thinking, they may not have one. And true some may not. but the ones I am referring to make it known they do...whether a blog, website or store front, by stating they sell or write online, but fail to provide a link...or even state the name of the site. To me, when this is done consistently, these people are not much better than a Troll...when they seem to have a trail of comments slamming one site or person.

Trolls absolutely fear two words .....TRANSPARENCY and ACCOUNTABILITY . For Trolls definitely do NOT want you to know WHO they are, and the hide because they do not want to be held accountable for their snarky words or comments.

As long there are blogs, articles and podcasts open to comments...there will be Trolls. But if you read the comments will soon know who they are and what their agenda is.

How transparent is YOUR presence online? And How do you feel about those who hide?

I will sign this as I sign EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE online


Monday, March 2, 2009

Good Communication - Key To Successful Business


Why is it that some businesses do such a poor job in communicating with their customers when in reality communication is THE most important tool a business has? A quick, timely email or phone call can make the difference between a happy customer or one that can damage your business simply by stating you do not effectively communicate.

Recently, Auctiva (3rd party listing software for eBay) had a major security breach. Did Auctiva quickly inform their users of this? NO. It wasn't till three days later when the public, such as John Lawson of colderICE, started sending out warnings did Auctiva speak out. And even then, did a fairly poor job of it.

Since Auctivas software is used on eBay, this breach caused major problems for eBay users as well. And what communication has eBay done about this? VERY little...did not even address it in their Town Hall Meeting that week.

I find their lack of communication unacceptable and will no longer be using them. And there are many others that have jumped ship as well. Now Auctionwally (Walt Kolenda) has extended an offer to John Donohoe, CEO of eBay for and interview to help eBay users get answers and to also give eBay the perfect opportunity to communicate their views on some of the bad press eBay has been receiving. Unfortunately, Walt Kolenda is still waiting for Donohoe's answer. You can follow this progress (or lack of) at Walt's article on the Examiner.

Now this lack of Communication is a problem in the "Real World" as well. Recently I had a Karaoke Gig booked with a local restaurant. I called to go over some final details three days before the booked date as I always do. I was thanked for the call but was told QUOTE : " Been meaning to call you...we had to cancel it" Really??? When would I have found out about this cancellation if I hadn't called? Poor Communication on their part.

Why is communication so hard for some people? Do they not realize that by not effectively communicating to the public and their customers, they have and will continue to lose business. It only takes a minute....start communicating better today!


PS.....Speaking of Communicating ...I am STILL waiting to hear back from eBays support as they promised they would contact me about their handing out my personal information (see eBay Gives Out Personal Information here in this blog)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

eBay Gives Out Personal Information

I don't know if you realize it, but eBay can and WILL divulge your personal info to anyone that you have had dealings with on eBay. And I am not just stating that it is someone who has actually bought from you or you have bought is also anyone you have had placed a bid with or has bidded on your item. Win or Lose, they can get your information simply by asking.
Now this happened to me this past week, and it is still not resolved to my satisfaction, but I feel compelled to let people know what is going on. I will try not to be too long winded about this, so I will just state what happened.
Received email from eBay Customer Support stating the following:
This message is an automated reply to a request made by
This contact information may be used only for resolving matters related to eBay. Any other use is strictly prohibited.
The information contained herein has not been checked for accuracy; users are responsible for entering their own contact information accurately. If you receive information which you believe to be erroneous, please let eBay know. "
It included the following for myself AND XXX, the eBay user who requested my info. ( yes I was given him name, etc but we will just call him XXX.)

Phone: "

Now, I don't know about you, but I get a little upset when someone gives out my information to someone , (at this point) I have know clue who it is.

I called eBay at approx 4pm that day. Before calling I reviewed AGAIN their privacy policy and checked my Paypal account to be sure I did not know this one. The phone call lasted FOUR Hours, and I am waiting now to hear back from eBay.
Now, during the call they referred me to their privacy policy, stating it was their right to do this. The main page of the Privacy Policy states:

Our Disclosure of Your Information
We may disclose personal information to respond to legal requirements, enforce our policies, respond to claims that a listing or other content violates the rights of others, or protect anyone's rights, property, or safety. Such information will be disclosed in accordance with applicable laws and regulations

After asking them many times to explain, what the reason was that they gave XXX the information, they stated that "Obviously" I must of had XXX buy something from me, or placed a bid on one of my items and didn't win the item. I asked .." in other words, I could place an opening bid on an item, knowing full well that item will be selling for much more, and if I get mad because it did sell for more than my bid, I can contact you and you will give me the sellers PERSONAL info?"
" Well, Ya" was the reply.
I asked WHICH item it was that connected me and XXX. After another LONG argument, they finally told me that they had to go and see if they could find it, and if I would hold.
Well they found the was one that I did sell, and XXX was the winning bidder. NOW, this buyer never paid me, and after two weeks, I filed a non pay against him...or at least tried to. it came back that he was no longer an eBay member, and I got my credit for the listing fee. That was in January.
Now, here it is February and this Non paying, no longer an ebay member, who only had a feedback rating of 3, contacts eBay and gets my PERSONAL information! When asked WHY he was no longer with eBay, they stated that they could not reveal that, due to confidentiality and for the BUYERS protection! After another long argument, I did find out he was suspended for suspicious activity.
OK...Let's summarize this. A NON paying member, with feedback of 3, who is suspended for suspicious activity, contacts eBay for my information, and you GIVE it to him? WHY?
Well it turns out my strike is part of the reason for the suspension, and he contacted eBay to get back in. (At least that's how the story goes) Now, in order for him to be reinstated, he must pay for the item, and they give out the information so that he can "make arrangements" to pay. Since eBay only allows Paypal, WHY would they want him to call me to make arrangements to pay?
Like I stated...this call lasted approx FOUR hours, and during that time, I talked to four different people. I am INSISTING on getting my contact information kept private. And this is something they are not sure can be done. They are looking into it now, and are SUPPOSE to call me in the next day or two.
Through this ordeal, I have discovered, Yes, it IS in their policy, BUT it is NOT on their main Privacy Policy page. ONLY during a deep search of eBay, did I find it. It reads:

Our core privacy principles eBay's core privacy principles remain the same worldwide.

We will not sell or rent your personal information to third parties for their marketing purposes and will only disclose your personal information in accordance with our Privacy Policy and/or with your explicit consent.

Third parties are not permitted to sell the information we provide to them, to market directly to you, or to disclose it in any other way without your explicit consent.

We share your personal information with Internal Service Providers for our operations only to facilitate or outsource an eBay service or operation when absolutely necessary and under confidential restrictions.

We share your personal information with other eBay members in accordance with our Privacy Policy to help facilitate transaction and to allow members to contact you.

We disclose limited personal contact information to verified requests by law enforcement and government officials who conduct criminal investigations, and require a subpoena for additional personal information, in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

We give you choices about how you wish to be contacted in the Preferences section of My eBay.

We will provide you with notice if our privacy policy changes and an opportunity to reject such changes.
We let you change your personal information so that you can keep it up to date.

Other eBay companies that have access to your personal information in accordance with the policy are required to protect your personal information at least as strictly as we do.

We use safe, secure technology and other privacy protection programs to keep your personal information secure on eBay.

Now, I KNOW I Do NOT have my preferences checked to say Call Me!
So in MY opinion, eBay was wrong in disclosing my name town and phone number.

The one point I stressed to eBay, and will stress here, is that there are scammers, hackers, and indentity thieves running rampart on line, and with the information eBay gives, that is all one needs to do major harm. Am I being paranoid? eBay thinks so. I think not. As I said, this is not over yet.......

PS....eBay was surprised to find out that XXX has not called me yet...they told me to try the phone number for XXX and see if it was the correct one! (I kid you not!)

(I did NOT link to anything eBay or eBay policy page on purpose, feel free to go and see just how buried this "Core Policy" is on the site!)