Tagged: amazon sales

Just bought 30 shares of Ebay Stock at 15.25 ..gamble or good call?

I’ve been monitoring ebay stocks price pretty closely the past few months and for some reason I kept telling my self it gets much below $16.00 I would take a “gamble” and scoop some up. For some reason, it just seems like the right time. I’ve put some money in stocks before and have money in a Fidelity Roth IRA …but I would never consider my self even half way intelligent with stocks.

However, as a Titanium Powerseller and someone who has his hands in ebay for 12+ hours a day, I’m thinking this is a good call (for now).

  • For starters, ebay’s stock has been doing poorly the last few months if not past few years down from $40 on it’s 52 week high. Could it really tank below $10 …my personal opinion is no.
  • Obviously, ebays recent policy changes have had the market down and some sellers either adjusting or leaving the marketplace – most have made up their mind by now and things are starting to seem a bit more consistent. The vibe still hasn’t improved but sellers are implementing new strategies and at least not feeling like they’re playing as much of a guessing game with a bit of experience and testing of auctions in the past few weeks.
  • Also, last week when the stock market plunged 700+ points ALL stocks were doing poorly; to the point that global markets were taken severe beatings! I considered ebays plunge last week due to economic factors …not necessary ebay’s marketplace.
  • The 700+ Billion $ bail out has now been approved and a SMALL bit of hope is putting a bit of confidence into peoples heads and the market (or at least better than when they couldn’t come to a resolution). Please note the word SMALL.
  • The Holiday season is approaching and we’ve had a few customers mentioning they’re buying our items for gifts for the Holidays. The summer was very slow this year but even in a semi-recession, you can expect lots more sales from the past few months.

With all of this being said, it seemed a bunch of external and internal factors have been hitting ebay hard all at one time. More importantly for my purchasing decision, as a “large” ebay seller and tax payer, I see ..again a SMALL light at the end of the tunnel at the least. Especially with an election a few months away …no matter who wins, people will feel a page is being turned for the better after the previous administration has left office. I feel ebay is a buy because some of the weights of the marketplace and economy have been lifted off ebays shoulders and I’m willing to buy a few shares to see if this is the case! Lets see what happens in the next few months! 馃檪

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Are Ebays Policy Changes Worth it?

There comes a time for all to seriously consider what it would be like if they didn’t sell on Ebay. For some, it would mean the end of business. For others, it might be the best decision you ever made. Ebay’s consistent and “for the better” changes in 2008 have left sellers using lots more resources to try and achieve the same margins as they were used to.

The plain of the fact is that all these rules are geared at long term changes within their marketplace.

  • Feedback – I just checked our feedback and the results are black and white. Out of a toolhaus feedback search, 48/56 negative feedbacks have come from users with under 50 feedbacks. Of the 48 who left feedback, half were new users within the last year or so with under 10 feedbacks. That’s 85% of negative feedback is from this trend. The others who left negative feedback were varied (ill call it ebay experience).

This type of ratio shows a real problem where these new buyers have unrealistic expectations in the buying process. Many leave negative feedbacks because the item was lost in the mail (and they declined shipping insurance), failed to read the full item description for something that was spelled out in the clear and have fail to abide by your return policy that they accepted. It just seems those veterans who have have bought or sold in any quantity from the first days realize they can take advantage of a good customer service department without throwing in the towel and neggin someone. — Especially for those company’s who truly pride them selves in customer service and would of made the customer happy.

  • For volume sellers or those who make a living on ebay, the changes have hurt their business in one way or another. Weather it’s fees, feedback, search standard etc …the changes have effected a large portion of sellers to some extent.聽 To alot of sellers, spending lots of resources on man-power or new internal processes to implement the new changes can be very time consuming and costly. The big thing is we haven’t seen any REAL changes yet – only suggestions with the promise that a better market place awaits us. This has left many companies frustrated with the lack of an inconsistent marketplace.

Scot wingo, CEO of Channeladvisor had a very good perspective on this fatigue at his blog.

Part of what’s going on with the seller base is, for lack of a better word, eBay fatigue.聽 Sellers feel their businesses have changes so much (DSRs, BestMatch, etc..)聽 for so little/no/decline in sales that eBay is increasingly becoming a lower priority for them and thus they will tend to be reactive vs. proactive as they would have been as recently as 6 months ago.聽 To be honest, most of our larger sellers are spending their time getting their websites and other channels ready for the holidays and eBay just isn’t a priority.聽 Of course this doesn’t bode well for eBay, but it’s the reality of what is going on in the grassroots of e-commerce.

These comments hit home for many sellers who feel they should be able to market their product and the customer will decide on price, reputation, transit-time and customer service.聽 Ebay now feels like a mathematical equation that requires a MBA in Amazonification to sell sell sell when they feel their business is reputable and legit.

Without a doubt, E-bay’s changes have and will change the way we do business on the giant. For now, it seems like a struggle to keep up and myself and other sellers are reluctantly putting our faith in ebay to see things on the upswing in the near future.聽 Hang on for the ride if you so dare!

Getting access to Amazon’s Restricted Categories

Amazon is defiantly the new hot place for sellers to take their merchandise. While many sellers have relied on ebay in the past for all of their income, recent changes in the market, along with policy changes and increase fees have left sellers searching for the next best thing. Amazon.com can prove to be a solid format for sellers to tap into but what happens when you want to sell in one of Amazon’s restricted categories?

For starters, Amazon.com restricts sales categories of high risk such as cell phones, console systems, DVD’s and CD’s and jewelry. A big reason they do this is the potential fraud around these categories that sites such as Ebay.com experience the most fraudulent activity. I really don’t blame them for doing so because there are tons of sellers out there selling fake or Not-As-Described merchandise.

With ebays current format, anyone can be up and selling hundreds of items in these categories with a bank account and a mailing address. While most people are good, it only takes a few rotten apples to spoil hundreds if not thousands of users from wanting to purchase from their site. And while you are theoretically buying from a seller on ebay users who are frustrated with a purchase sting the site and place blame on Ebay.com’s experience instead of the actual user who made the purchase.

So while the theory seems correct, I still have some unanswered questions to Amazon.com’s approval status in “restricted” categories with my current experience.

For starters, we are not a mom and pop ebay company. The user name has been active since 1997 and has had 3 different business models on it. Currently, we reached titanium status on ebay in 6 months with a 99.8% feedback rating, 4.75 or higher on DSR stars and offer live customer service for 10 hours a day. I noticed the other sellers on Amazon selling the products we wished to sell. They seems to have limited product and if they had ebay users names, had below 5K feedbacks and no where near the reputation that we had.聽 All indications told me that Amazon would have to approve us if they were letting these other guys in.

Several months ago, we applied for approval status in a restricted category. We filled out the online information and actually received a phone call back the next business day from a representaive from Amazon services in Seattle Washington.聽 The application is basic company information as well as basic sales stats on # of Sku’s , volume and return policies. We even included a company video of our internal processes to show we didn’t work out of a basement and that we would truly be an assest to their reputation.

I was shocked when she called and told us she was unable to process the application because we were missing our return policy. I politely told here that it was in the main email and was the first 3 paragraphs. She noticed our return policy and laughed a bit (because obviously she didnt even read the email if she was looking for the right information) and said she would pass the info onto the category manager and we should hear back within 10 business days.

Three weeks passed so I sent over an email and called her direct line and left a message. Two weeks later and no response back. Then I emailed her with a read and delivery reciept with outlook and she responded that she was sorry for the delay and she would give me a call within a week with the decesion.

She finally did call …two months after initially applying (and at least a dozen attempts to contact their department).聽 She apologized again and told me the category managers had been busy working on another project and had put approvals on hold for the time being. Are you kidding me? I could smell the BS from the other line so I figured she was just behind on some work.聽 She promised a response back within 48 hours.

After 48 hours I received an email from her and attached in the FWD comments was the category managers response.

This is the 4th time submitting the application and we have not heard a response back. Please look at the attached information and politely get back with me

Right above her comments were the category managers response

And for the 4th time. You did not include a copy of their return policy.聽 Please have them send the correct information so I can review

He had additional sentences showing his frustration with our (which was really Amazon’s “secretary” who passes the information along) inability to submit the correct information.

Amazon.com wants you return policy to be steller. They offer all products 30 day money back so they want to make sure that sellers stand behind their products with a solid customer service department. We exceeded these expectation by offering 90 day no questions asked policy. I then took word for word our return policy, privacy policy, term, conditions and the whole nine yards in a PDF format.

Twenty Four Hours later, we received a response back. “Unfortunately, you have been denied access to sell on Amazon.com. Thanks for your time”.

I was OUTRAGED. When all was said and done it had been a total of 4 months. What I was really frustrated with was our liaison who passed the manager our information incorrectly a hand-full of times when all the information was in front of her.

We have been talking with Multi-Sales Channel software providers and one passed us some useful information on trying to get approved to restricted categories. He even claimed that even the average user had a 60% chance of being granted access if the followed the following guidelines:

Thanks for your time today.

Try the following.聽 We鈥檝e had over a 50% success rate with this:

Following are some points to discuss with Amazon in getting them to open up access for you to list and fulfill from the closed / restricted category on Amazon Seller Central:


Reliable Source of inventory statement.

Annual Total Revenue Data for the last 5 years as it relates to your e-commerce business results

How long you鈥檝e been in business.

Do you have a brick & mortar location?

How long you鈥檝e been running your eBay ID and relate data to your feedback and the number of successful transactions & revenue figures you鈥檝e done on eBay

About Us inclusion (See Below)

Price point range of the items you carry

Type of items/product types you carry

Shipping turnaround times to the customer

Discuss the use of a Customer Service Department so customer can call and talk to a real life person instead of simple email communications

Your goals and business strategy as to why you think you can bring value in listing your items to Amazon


USE YOUR ABOUT US SECTION FROM MY EBAY:


If you are able to compose a letter to them addressing the above topics and any further add on topics which you think will lend more credibility to your claim; then use the below contact phone numbers and emails to send the same letter/message to these contacts so you鈥檙e attacking Amazon on all fronts so they hear your message thus hopefully they鈥檒l grant access to this restricted category.

To resolve this matter; we recommend you contact Amazon via all options presented below:

1. http://www.amazonservices.com/contactus/index.html (Use this URL to fill out the generic form; then use the 鈥淐OMPANY DESCRIPTION鈥 field to thoroughly explain who you are, what you do, what revenue you produce, etc鈥s it relates to the bullet points above regarding items to discuss and inform Amazon on about YOUR COMPANY LLC.)

Please use the below telephone numbers, contacts, and emails to send the exact message your are inputting on the COMPANY DESCRIPTION field so your message on all fronts will be the same thus enhancing your ability to possibly get access to the CLOSED/RESTRICTED category.

2. 1-800-201-7575 (Amazon Customer Service Line)

3. 1-866-226-2966 (ASC Tech Support Line)

4. ecr@amazon.com (executive customer relations = ecr)

5. https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/contact-us/call-me.html Use this link to have Amazon CALL YOU about your situation

6. Julia Backholm Channel Sales Business Development Amazon Services LLC – An Amazon.com Company Phone: 206.266.6488 Email: backholm@amazon.com

I will keep everyone updated as we attempt to get reapproved. I think we have a good case for approval looking at our competitors and just need another shining moment with the right individual with Amazon. I wish I had these tips before I submitted or we might already be approved. Dont push them either. Follow up, but act like a pro and like you simply expect to be approved as our rep said many are basically begging! Good luck to all!