Once in a while it’s interesting to go out and see who else is selling and how big some of the companies on ebay actually are. Searching through the core can be tedious but a few websites and tools can help you locate and see some of their statistics rather quickly.
- Top Sellers List – A rather cheap database that extracts just the basics of high feedback sellers. While feedback score is sometimes irrelevant to success, it does give a general indication of “status” on the marketplace. Sellers have to submit potential user names to scrape information from but the list has most of the big names included.
- SellerDome – Another database that has a few more search options and organized a bit more than others. One feature I like is the row that shows what category the user is in. Scanning down the list to find categories of interest are easily found.
After you find some competition or interesting names you can always use hammertap or terapeak to get their revenue and listing data. The data can sometimes be a bit behind but offers some potentially valuable starting points for finding out whose out there selling in volume.
In the past this option s Newegg.com has always been a great place to find all your computer parts at a fair price. They’ve even opened up shipping to Canada after a lot of demand from potential customers. Combo deals and customer ratings and reviews are two reasons you can find a good price and be sure of your purchase. New egg ships over 25,000+ orders a day and has a very intelligent flow of products in their warehouse. One plus I’ve always had is the shipping speed of their product and in touch via email each step of the orders.
Their peanut machine is pretty large and has dozens of utters for dispensing. They even have an automatic box makers that is built to the customers orders to ensure safe packaging while reducing shipping cost with tailored precision.
(Photo from AnandTech.com)
Their systems also seem very automated and completely leaves the decision making and costly error prone procedures robotic. Their pick, pack and pull procedures are control ed by computers and use bins with what looks like some bar-code hierarchy. This brief and rare inside tour of a companies internal operations is a great way to see how large e-commerce vendors are able to use the best in technology and conveyor belt systems.
(Photo from AnandTech.com)
While all the procedures are not spelled out, Anand’s article might give you some ideas on your operations. You can view the entire tour and a great write up of newegg’s facility at AnandTech.com.
Image hosting is something almost everyone does off of ebays platform. Being charged to expose your image from different angles can really add up if you run lots of listings. Likewise, it’s nice to have a all your images in a centralized location if you use your images for your website or just want to have more organization that ebay provides. There’s a few free companies that get the job done with ease.
- Photo bucket is a great tool that has a very user friendly website. You’re able to login and on the first menu have the option to upload photos. Reduces alot of clicks and when you need to copy and paste the image location somewhere else the auto copy box is a great tool. After you upload you see a thumb nail of your image and the code for various ways to display the image. One says “Copy URL” all you have to do is click that field and it automatically copies the code. It’s also very reliable and theres only been a few short periods of down time from my experience in the past year. The ads are minimal and very rarely get in your way.
- Using your own FTP is also a great way to upload photos. After you’ve grabbed some web storage space (you can upgrade on photobucket or find one for cheap all over the internet) uploading is even faster. I tend to notice FTP’s upload the photos fast and if you have multiple places you need to get the image you can easily drag and drop in different categories or sites with a few clicks.
Heres a website that highlights alot of the free and reliable image hosting options out there.
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! 🙂
I just finished downloading Mozilla Firefox’s new add on called “CTR-TAB”. It’s one of the best add-ons for me, especially with all the multitasking that goes on in the office or at home. When you start to have 10+ tabs open at a given time, the description at the top or icon of the website only tells a simple story when a quick page view would direct you to the previous page you were visiting.
I might have 10 ebay tabs open when changing auctions, but just having an ebay tab at the top saying “Ebay.com” or “My Ebay – Selling Mang | -(Cuts off here) is only going to tell me that this is one of the dozens of Selling Manager Pro tabs I have open. I might be editing one, adjusting qty in another, creating a listing in the 3rd etc.
After you install, all you have to do is press “CTR & TAB” and it will bring up a quick thumbnail screenshot of all your open windows and acts like you’re using ALT-TAB. Keep pressing till you get to the screen you want and that’s it! As soon as you release the “CTR & TAB” key, it disappear just as quick as it came on the screen. Comes in handy too when you have your hands on the keyboard typing and know shortcuts to prevent having to take your hands off the keys and using the mouse for the tech-savvy.
For other FireFox Add’ons that can really help your productivity, visit – FireFox Add On’s
Seller Manager Pro, en ebay listing tool has some serious errors after fixed price 30 and good til Canceled rolled out 2 weeks ago. Updating quantity and other changes to active templates are giving sellers error messages that prevent them from making adjustments to descriptions and quantity changes. Until they’re fixed, high velocity listings maybe effected after you go to relist the item as well.
My exact example is coming from an active FP30 featured listing. Yea, one of those you pay $118.00 to list! I had an auction that was about to run out of quantity and for the first time tried to add another couple of pieces since it still had 20 days to go and got the following error message.
Error: Please provide the correct information in the highlighted fields.
- Description – The description can no longer be revised.
The description hasn’t been changed but does now include a text box below your current HTML/Description. The only way around this is to add something to the description that will appear unprofessionally at the end of the active auctions and says something like “The Following was added to the description on XX/XX/XXXX “A great item!”. It’s actually been tough to come up with lines so I’ve been adding a “.” not to confuse buyers.
The next problem is updating the quantity. Again, you go into a product template to change the Quantity Available filed and when you click continue you get an error telling you:
Error: You must fill out the Return Policy Specifics
When you scroll down to the red text that highlights to problem, the return policy is filled out and an an un-editable field.
After calling the powerseller support line, we found out it’s a problem that has been called in a few times already. We checked different Internet browsers and they even logged in under our name and received the same two problems.
After going through a few dozen auctions and checking this out, the problem was defiantly coming from the changes in the return policy. In the last 3 months ebay has made 3 difference phases of Seller Manager Pro’s return policy fields.
- Phase 1- had only two text fields for Payment Instructions and Return Policy Details.
- Phase 2 – added in the amount of time a customer could return the item and the length of time.
- Phase 3- added the Return Shipping Cost – Is paid by Buyer/Seller.
If your template is recent in phase three, you shouldn’t experience any problems. If you are in phase one or two, you will get the error messages.
Ebay did agree they would refund some money back on listing fees for those listings that we wanted to change. If you’re running out of inventory, updating the quantity for a FP30 with 20 days left is an easy way to save two more relist attempts at $100+ per listing so it can be costly.
The third error I found (and I haven’t called in about this one) is some of our images are not showing up in the core results gallery image at all. I’ve checked our images and the templates say they’re uploaded and a preview of the listing in their software pulls it up just fine. I saw immediate dips in sales where the images didn’t show up and again these were a few FP30 Featured listings.
They should have this fixed soon and was told the developers were working on resolving the issues.
HOW TO FIX AND UPDATE TO PROBLEM!
I’ve been scrambling to find a solution and finally I found the answer. You wont be able to fix it on the front end, but you can correct current listings. For us, I’ve only noticed featured or multiple quantities listings being effected so I only had about 15 to changes. They were $100 listings so I didnt mind spending the time. If you have dozens or hundreds, it could take some time but at least for now you’re able to make the corrections
- Go to the sitemap located on ebay.com in the upper right hand corner
- Under Selling Activities , click “Change your Items Image Gallery Image”
- Type in the item number and click continue. You’ll get a screen that looks like this.
If the image gallery photo is correct in the upper portion, click “Create”. This will populate the below field with the correct photo and click submit. Check your auction in the core results and it should be fixed. It’s worked for me so far.
I was a bit unsure about the differences between Fixed Price 30 and Good Til’ Canceled and how it would effect velocity with your listings so I decided to shoot a call to the powerseller hot-line. In a brief summary, the differences are both obvious but can drastically change velocity and rankings within ebay’s core search results.