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Survey Says: Amazon is Eating eBay’s Lunch

If you are an eBay seller with or without a home dropshipping business, you might be interested in a recent report concerning eBay and Amazon that basically says what a lot of us knew anyway: Amazon is eating eBay’s lunch.

According to a report released by Citi Investment Research and Analysis, Amazon shows significantly more traffic and growth than eBay and will continue to do so unless and until eBay manages to veer off its present course of apparent self destruction.

eBay’s traffic lagged far behind Amazon’s. In fact, eBay traffic will soon be second to CraigsList.

comscore ebay amazon craigslist traffic 06 10 resized 600

comscore azon ebay craigslist resized 600

This report predicts that eBay will continue its decline in traffic due in part to several key factors, including “transition/execution issues in the U.S. with the new pricing policies and search algorithms.”

The report goes on to mention some of the most recent changes in eBay policies, notably the so-called reduction in fees for sellers and the dumping of thousands upon thousands of eBay store items into core search.

Here is what the Citi report has to say about these particular changes:

“Our checks with key eBay seller sources like ChannelAdvisor, which we detailed in a May 6th note, indicate uncertainly over the impact of these changes, with specific concerns over both whether the net fee impact to Sellers could actually be an increase given a rise in some Final Value Fees and whether the new Search results could actually create a less relevant/more cluttered Buyer experience on eBay.”

It goes on:

“We believe that Buyers will continue to migrate away from eBay—taking Sellers along with them—until the overall convenience and trust and safety of the eBay marketplace has materially improved.”

YES!

Is this not exactly what eBay sellers have been trying to convey to management for the past few years—since the current CEO started his disastrous “disruptive innovation” strategy?

If research firms such as Citi can see it, eBay sellers can see it, and others outside the upper echelons of eBay can see it; including buyers who land on the dysfunctional mishmash of eBay’s Search results pages and are voting with their feet as they leave in droves…..why, oh why, can’t the eBay Board of Directors see it?

What are they waiting on?

John Donahoe has had several years now to improve eBay and the result is what you see in the graphs above.

His ill conceived and poorly executed plan for Disruptive Innovation is a resounding failure in anybody’s books. It has accomplished nothing except the steady decline of what was once a thriving marketplace.

At this point, since the Board of Directors seems satisfied to allow this systematic ruin of eBay to continue unchecked, maybe the best solution would be to chuck them all out, the CEO included, and install some people in their places who are able to read the 10 foot tall handwriting on the crumbling wall of eBay before it is completely lifeless and damaged beyond repair.

If what has happened to eBay was a movie, this would be the point when the villagers arm themselves with torches and storm the castle to get rid of the Frankenstein monster before he can wreak any more havoc and mayhem.

Instead, this film seems more like a “Nightmare on eBay Street” with an unlimited number of sequels as one ruinous change follows another.

A lot of buyers and sellers have decided NOT to stay tuned for any upcoming new releases!

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eBay Fall Seller Updates: Stop the Insanity!

As most eBay sellers know by now, more changes are coming down the pike and scheduled to go into effect this coming September.

There is a new twist to the latest and possibly one of the worst, most truly mind-boggling changes made since CEO Donahoe’s reign of terror—this one is retroactive.

Yes! Believe it or not, eBay is actually going back a year for smaller sellers and their stats during the past year will count against them, for a period of time before they even knew about the change. It would be funny if it wasn’t so awful.

The newest change: Starting in September, sellers will have yet another flaming hoop to jump through. The new policy says that a smallish seller cannot have more than .05% of “open cases” filed against them in a twelve month period.

Remember that number. One-half of one percent.

That equates to approximately two opened disputes for Item Not Received or Item Significantly Not as Described in a years time. Anything over that and a seller will lose their Top Rated Seller Status, be demoted in Search, and according to some of the eBay “Pinks” or employees who fielded a few questions on an eBay discussion forum this week—these horrible sellers who exceed two opened cases in a year might have to receive “coaching” to help them shape up.

One must wonder how on earth eBay, who seems completely unable to provide even the bare bones of a Customer Service department, is going to come up with someone bright enough to coach sellers.

Be that as it may, the totally ridiculous part of the new policy is that it makes no difference how a case was resolved, the seller—even if clearly shown to be innocent of any wrongdoing—is still considered guilty by eBay by virtue of having a case opened at all.

Here is a quote from an eBay employee on the above mentioned discussion forum:

“We count opened cases, because it is an indication of how well a seller is both setting and meeting buyer expectations.”

Huh?

Incredible, isn’t it?

So, if a buyer gets a seller mixed up with another seller and files an Item Not Received in error, and the accused seller furnishes a Delivery Confirmation number that proves the item was, in fact, received; it is still a strike against the seller!

One of the goofiest things about this new policy is that during an eBay webinar back in April when this upcoming policy was discussed, one of eBay’s own employees said that “only about 1% of buyers are problems.”

So, eBay acknowledges that 1% of buyers are problems, and yet sellers are only allowed HALF that percentage before they’re sanctioned?

What is wrong with this picture? Does nobody at eBay see how ludicrous this is?

Let’s apply the warped reasoning behind the new change to an automobile driver we’ll call John Q. Seller:

Mr. Seller has been driving for years and has never had an accident or gotten a ticket for anything. He observes all of the safety rules of the road and does his best to be a defensive driver.

However, one day Mr. Seller is stopped at a red light when a vehicle driven by an escaped lunatic—drunk and on drugs—and who also has never driven an automobile before in his life; rear ends Mr. Seller’s car.

11 months later, Mr. Seller is proceeding in a safe and orderly fashion down the street when suddenly, a car driven by a fleeing felon who has just robbed a bank careens out of a side street and T-Bones Mr. Seller’s vehicle.

Now, if the Department of Motor Vehicles, insurance companies and law enforcement followed eBay’s convoluted logic, John Q. Seller….even though totally innocent and obviously the victim in both of these mishaps….would have his drivers license revoked, his auto insurance canceled and be thrown in the slammer for 30 days to boot.

Why? Because—based on eBay’s reasoning—for John Q. Seller to be involved in two incidents within a year, it is a clear indication that he must be doing something wrong.

There doesn’t seem to be any difference between this scenario and eBay’s latest policy change!

And the hits just keep on coming……

If you are a dropship seller, or any kind of eBay seller, good luck on making the newest and most unrealistic cut!

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A Tisket, A Tasket, Don’t Put All Your Eggs Into eBay’s Basket!

If you are an ecommerce entrepreneur who is selling solely on eBay, you are probably making a potentially very bad mistake by putting all of your eggs into one basket.

For most smallish sellers with home businesses in dropship eBay sales or other auction or Fixed Price listings on eBay, it is entirely too risky anymore to make eBay your only venue for selling.

Why?

Simply because the policies that have come with the “Disruptive Innovation” —as the CEO of eBay, John Donahoe likes to call the train wreck of the past two and a half years—are definitely not seller friendly.

Unless you sell a huge amount of merchandise on eBay, it would only take two or three unreasonable or dishonest buyers to ding your DSRs and feedback badly enough to get you suspended for 30 days or longer.

Most people can’t afford to lose their livelihood for a month or more. If eBay is your only source of income and you have even a mini-run of bad luck with buyers….you won’t have an income for a while.

This is not a happy situation in most cases.

So, think ahead. Do your best to be an excellent seller with great customer service, etc. Unfortunately, though, that won’t always save you from unfair negative feedback or low Detailed Seller Ratings.

So, hope for the best but prepare for the worst!

Preparing for the worst means that you should be set up on other websites. There are eBay alternatives, good ones! Whether it’s Amazon, Bonanzle, Etsy, Boocoo Auctions, eCrater or any of the other alternative selling sites; you should already be a presence at one or more of them.

That way, if you are unfortunate enough to encounter a few snarky buyers or scammers, you can weather the storm of a suspension from selling on eBay by having alternate sources of income from your products.

Even if your eBay sales are good at the moment, it’s always a good idea to hedge your bets. So check out some of the eBay alternatives today!

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Why is Finding the Right Niche Important?

Why is choosing the right niche market so important to the success of your ecommerce business?

One of the best answers to this question is that if you pick the right niche, you will have a broad market of potential buyers to target, whereas if you choose a poor niche, there simply might not be enough of a customer base to allow for success.

In choosing a niche, it is a great idea to go after the long tail keywords for an industry and choose a niche within that broader niche.

For example, the sale of toys is a huge niche.

If you set out to sell toys, you can count on having some hefty competition from the giants in the industry, such as Mattel, that will have a far greater advertising budget than you do and will corner the lion’s share of the market for toy sales.

However, if you drilled down a little deeper and got into selling vintage toys, you would not be competing with the huge toy corporations with the brand recognition and advertising that you cannot possibly hope to emulate.

Now, vintage toys is a great niche within a niche, but like the Russian nesting dolls, you can still go down a little further and find an even more specialized niche within a niche within a niche by focusing on selling a specific type of vintage toy.

There are vintage metal toys, vintage wooden toys, vintage Japanese toys, etc. etc.

This is where you need to do some research to find out which niche is most in demand, and target that one.

How do you get this info?

Check eBay to see which vintage toys are consistently selling for the most money, as well as which vintage toys are consistently selling, period. If there is still a good market and flow of sales in a particular niche such as toys with the economy in the mess it’s in, you can bet your sweet bippy it’s a very lucrative niche!

Where would you find the vintage toys to sell?

One of the best places to find this type of niche product for resale is eBay. Many highly successful sellers never get off eBay for their entire buying and selling operation.

Many of these sellers purchase lots of whatever it is they’re selling, break the lots down and then resell individually. In some cases there might be a bit of cleaning or repair to do, but once you become knowledgeable about your niche, you will know what to buy in order to turn a nice profit.

Anyhow, regardless of what you sell, drill down to find a niche within a niche for a successful online business!

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How to Make Quick Money Dropship Selling on eBay

You can make quick money dropship selling on eBay!
Competition is fierce on eBay, that much is true. But, the opportunity still exists to make some quick cash with dropshipping products on eBay, if you play your cards right.
First of all, be sure to do business with a top notch drop ship company such as Drop Ship Access.
Drop Ship Access is an eBay partner, and features full integration of site and catalog. So listing on eBay couldn’t get any easier!
With over 1 million wholesale products, you can easily find some fantastic items to sell on eBay, just in time for the Christmas shopping season!
The recession is still pinching a lot of pocketbooks, but holiday shoppers are predicted to be online en masse this year, and you couldn’t find a better time to jump in as an eBay seller.
Drop ship selling is the fastest and easiest way to start making money on eBay!
For example, you can simply go to Drop Ship Access and choose which products you want to sell on eBay, then get them up and running with just a click or two of your mouse.
You don’t have to pay for the products up front!
As each product sells and after the customer pays you, then you pay Drop Ship Access.
You don’t have to invest time and money into packaging and shipping supplies, either.
Drop Ship Access takes care of all that for you. If you have done any shipping, you know what a tremendous hassle it can be and will fully appreciate having someone else shoulder that burden.
If you are stumped for ideas of what to sell, browse the various categories on eBay to get an idea of which items are the hottest sellers. Check the eBay Pulse, too, as it can furnish you with a lot of valuable information about what shoppers are looking for.
Drop Ship Access has everything you need to make some money FAST for your own Christmas shopping this year!
Check it out today and you can be making money as an eBay seller tomorrow!

Start your own online dropship business today!

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Vendio: A Good Solution for Multi-Channel Dropship Selling

Vendio can be a valuable platform for multi-channel dropship selling!
For most ecommerce entrepreneurs with dropship sales on multiple channels, having one central location or software package to handle all of them is a veritable dream come true.
Vendio has an all-inclusive platform for FREE that includes:
  • Quick and easy user friendly set-up. You can literally have an online store up and running in mere minutes. Not development or technical knowledge or skills needed!
  • Customizable! Allows you to customize your store with your own logo, offers custom categories, featured items, external links and much more.
  • Dozens of FREE templates to choose from for professional designs that make your store visually appealing!
  • SEO and Analytics Help. You can add meta tags and keywords easily, plus Google Analytics Integration helps you to understand and monitor your store traffic.
  • Very simplified sales! All of your customers, items and orders are handled from one central location. You won’t have to worry anymore about tracking transactions across different channels because it’s all in one place!
  • You can get a FREE Vendio domain or create your very own custom domain name to preserve the integrity of your brand.
  • User friendly search. Buyers can search your items through both your item titles and your product descriptions!
  • Totally awesome FREE widget that you can use to promote and showcase your products anywhere—blog, webpages, social sites, etc.
All of the above plus store management is absolutely FREE!
One of the most unique and powerful of the Vendio Platform is that all items uploaded are immediately placed in your store and available to sell. No waiting!
It doesn’t matter if you sell 10 items or 10,000 items….you still pay
  • NO Listing Fees
  • NO Web Hosting Fees
  • NO Image Hosting Fees
  • NO Final Value Fees
  • NO Credit Card Required
No catches, no gimmicks, it’s FREE.
Now, if you want to sell your dropshipping products across multi-channel marketplaces, Vendio offers several very attractively priced programs.
For instance, if you are a dropship seller on eBay and want to branch out into selling on Amazon, Google Product Search, Shopzilla, Shopping.com or your own web store, for example; Vendio will allow you to sell in all these places while using one convenient interface that keeps sales, inventory quantities and more in sync across all channels.
Just think: You only have to furnish one description, one set of images, one time—and stock your virtual shelves in multiple stores and venues!
If you are an eBay dropship seller who is tired of having all your eggs in one basket, check out Vendio for multi-channel selling the easy way!

Start your own online dropship business today!

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How does drop shipping work

So how does drop shipping work?  Watch this quick video to see how dropshipping works and how Drop Ship Access can help you!!

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Personalize Your eBay Dropship Product Listings for More Sales!

If you are an experienced eBay dropship seller, you are surely aware that you are not alone.
As a matter of fact, there are probably more sellers offering the exact same products as you than you can shake a stick at.
In order to excel and emerge ahead of all your competitors, you must make yourself stand out in some way. You must make your products more desirable to buyers.
How can you do this?
One way is to take your own photos.
Another way is to write your own product descriptions instead of simply copying and pasting the ones directly from your wholesale dropship supplier’s website.
The product descriptions on your wholesale supplier’s website might be perfectly adequate. However, they are not your descriptions, written in your voice.
And honestly, most of the product descriptions to be found on supplier’s websites leave something to be desired.
If you sit down and invest a little time and effort into it, you can almost certainly produce better, more descriptive, more compelling product descriptions than any words written by somebody else that you could copy and paste.
Chances are that your competitors will copy and paste. That by itself is a prime reason why you shouldn’t do the same!
When you are shopping for a product, you are being influenced and sold by the words of the description, whether you realize it or not.
For instance, let’s say that you are shopping for a dress to wear to a Christmas party.
You find several for sale on eBay, by different sellers.
The description for one reads:
“Black ankle length formal dress, back zipper, polyester, size 10.”
The same dress, offered by another seller, has this description:
“Beautiful, sexy evening dress in mysterious midnight black is a soft and silky knit that will enhance your curves and turn every head in the room with its alluring style!”
Which sounds more appealing?
If you want to look and feel sexy and alluring, and get plenty of attention, which evening dress would sound like it could accomplish that for you?
Remember, the pen is mightier than the sword! Words are powerful and if used judiciously, can either pack a punch to help you make a sale…or not.
Beef up your eBay dropship sales by writing your own product descriptions!

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15 Power Foods To Boost Your Business

power foods for businessIt often takes effort to stay focused and be productive as a small business owner.

A good diet can go a long way towards making your business a success. Eating the right foods can give you energy, focus and improve your mood, not to mention your health. Drinking coffee will give you a temporary boost of energy and focus, but won’t give you the nutrition you need. Plenty of water is always a good idea no matter your diet.

To help guide you in choosing the best foods for snacks and meals for productivity in business, we’ve listed 15 to get you started. While some of these power foods may not be healthy in large amounts, it goes back to the old saying: everything in moderation. Consider these foods for business success:

  • Whole grain bread: Much better than white bread in providing energy and nutrients whether eaten by itself or used for toast or sandwiches.
  • Whole wheat pasta: A good source of complex carbohydrates to give your body an energy boost, and can be broken down easily.
  • Vegetable juice: Provides a quick energy boost and vegetable servings and the same time.
  • Fresh salads with vinaigrette: You may want to opt for fresh vegetables, and using vinaigrette for salads helps the body absorb protein and nutrients longer, which improves focus.
  • Bananas: Provide potassium, vitamin C, complex carbohydrates, and energy.
  • Avocados: Contain fats that add to heart and brain health, promoting blood flow. Great for sandwiches and salads.
  • Eggs: Contain protein and cholin needed for the brain to develop motor functions and memory.
  • Apples: Great source of vitamin C to help the blood vessels and overall health. A great snack or addition to salads and other foods.
  • Grapes: Inexpensive and healthy. A great source of vitamins A, C, B6 and folate. Also provide magnesium and iron.
  • Walnuts: Good source of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, vitamin B6, and other nutrients for brain health.
  • Almonds: Also a good source of vitamins and protein.
  • Salmon: Often called “brain food” (as with other fish), a source of good fatty acids and protein for heart and brain health.
  • Green tea: Inexpensive source of caffeine, energy and a great mood booster.
  • Air-popped popcorn: It may not be the most filling, but a quick snack that’s healthier than potato chips.
  • Dark chocolate: It may seem counterintuitive, but when eaten in small amounts can help curb your appetite while helping digestion and improving your mood and focus.

For hundreds of recipe ideas and ratings for these and other foods (including vegetarian), check out All Recipes.

Zeer is also a great source for full nutrition information and reviews on tens of thousands of grocery items to help make more informed decisions about what to purchase and eat. The above are only a few healthy food ideas to help in your business success – feel free to add your suggestions in the comments section below.

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About the Author: David Cotriss is a business, technology and new media writer, having published 500+ news and feature articles to date worldwide in magazines ranging from PC Magazine to The Industry Standard.

From Small Business Trends

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