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)