Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Selling online? K.I.S.S. it for better sales

One of the burning debates that often arises is what to put in a listing. Do you add policies? Should you use templates? What about bullet lists? My advice is K.I.S.S. it. Keep It Simple Stupid.

  • Just the facts, Madam
First thing all sellers must remember is Google’s happy spiders feast on the first 250 words of a listing. There you need to be keyword rich. One rule of thumb is to think like a buyer. How would YOU search for this item? Would you type in  ‘Al Hirt Honey In The Horn’ or ‘cool jazz LP by Al Hirt’ ? Yes, Honey In The Horn IS a cool Jazz LP by Al Hirt, but you would not search for it as cool jazz, so skip the ‘nice’, ‘cool’, ‘beautiful’, etc. Exceptions here would be terms like, ‘new’, ‘used’, ‘vintage’, ‘antique’, ‘collectable’, etc. Be sure to stick to the facts Jack, and you will give the spiders a feast they cannot resit.
Templates can dress up your listings, and make it easier to list. BUT you must make sure the coding does not interfere with the spiders. They get confused and will not crawl your items or only feed on the coding.

Templates can also ‘overwhelm’ the buyer. They are there to see what you are selling, not to admire your window dressing, so the basic ones are best.
  • Bullet Lists - are they needed? When are they needed?
This is a hot issue. Bullet Lists can lure in the spiders, but mainly it is to pull the buyers eyes to the important facts about your item. When used effectively, it can speed up a sale by convincing the buyer this is what they where looking for. But do NOT over do it.


Indie CD-2009

  • Lemon Tree 03:12 
  •  Celebrity Slide 02:06 
  •  Pictures 03:28 
  •  Universe 04:05 
  •  Juke box Hit 03:09
  • Sophie 02:52
  • World is Shakin 03:22 
  •  Take Me 03:16
This is a VERY Limited Edition CD. Damien has Hand numbered and Signed only 50 CDs for this special release.
Comes with BONUS Code for free MP3 downloads of all tracks!

Compared to:


Indie CD-2009
  • VERY Limited Edition CD. 
  •  Hand numbered
  • Signed
  • BONUS!
  • Code for free MP3
  • downloads of all tracks
  • Indie
  • Australia
  • Pictures
  • Sophie
  • Universe
  • Take Me
  • Imported
  • New
  • Special Release
See the difference? Adding too many bullets and /or 'Odd'  bullets can take away from a listing.
  • Policies, IN or out of the listing?
Another touchy subject for sure. Again look at it from the view of the spiders, do NOT have it in the first 250 words. Having policies where Google spiders can find it is like spraying Raid … They are gone.

But from a buyers viewpoint, they are good to have in the listing. Buyers now a days are busy, they want to know about the item, how they can pay for it, and when to expect to receive it. So including the basics of your policies is good, but again, do not over do it.

  • Tell them how payment can be made.
  • When you ship and what service ie - USPS Priority? UPS Ground?
  • Do you accept returns? Or is sale final?
  • Demand payment (Or ANYTHING)
  • Go into details of what MUST be done before you accept a return
  • That you will NOT ship to etc, etc
Again … K.I.S.S. this. Don’t ramble, just the facts, and to include a way for the buyer to contact you or a place to view further details of policies is …well… good policy!

Listing items for sale is not rocket science people, it is really common sense. Keeping it simple, direct, and informative without informational or visual overload is the best way to ensure not only to please the customers, but you will make Google very happy as well.

Later! .......Renagade
Renagade is an online dealer of vinyl records and other items on several sites including Bonanzle and Amazon
Comments are encouraged and welcomed

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Expanding support? Should it be from within?

Bonanzle is growing! And like many sites that grow, they found the need to expand their support team. To do so, they always look to their family of sellers and see if any are up to the task. Many marketplaces do this, but is that always the best move? Simple answer is no.

Yes, any company usually promotes from within first, that way insuring the person is knowledge about the company and fostering company loyalty. But when you are dealing with marketplaces, especially those with forums etc, this practice is not always the best move. Why? Human nature.

Sellers form friendships and bonds with other sellers. And you also have those whom don’t get along. And when you pull one, no matter how respected they are, and give them a role that involves possible censorship of other sellers on the site, this is a formula for trouble.

Don’t get me wrong …. There are many good people whom can take their personal feelings and check them at the door, per se, and are able to do their job, but that is not always the case. And even those who can do their job professionally, will the others that they have to correct see this?

Human nature is to trust those you know. When a friend comes to you and says, this is bad, this one is causing trouble, that’s a fake, human nature causes your opinion to already to be ever so slightly tainted by this. Just the same way when someone you really don’t like comes along and says the same thing, your opinion is tainted somewhat the other way. It is human nature.

I have in the past years seen sites just simply take major nosedives due to sellers given power. Some have handled it just fine, but others have let their friendships get in the way, not meaning to, but it happens. And it can be something as simple as a friend saying something like this thread is toxic, that seller is scamming, or that item is a fake and needs to be removed. Trusting their friends judgment, they can make the wrong decision.

Again, I am not saying this is the case on Bonanzle. But a move of giving a seller a promotion, whether it is to support, or a moderator, or anything involving the workings of a marketplace is a risky move. Just one look at eBay pinkslips, Blujay’s forum and PSU will attest to that.

Just my opinion … what say you?

Renagade is an online dealer of Vinyl records, indie CDs and other items at several sites, including Bonanzle and eBay As well as at www.renagadesrelics.com