61 posts categorized "eBay Strategies"

November 11, 2013

Optimising Your eBay Titles and Subtitles

We've moved our blog! EbayStrategies.blogs.com will eventually be shut down, however the posts will live on. To access this blog post at its new location, click here.

eBay allows retailers just 80 characters for product listing titles — a fairly low but mightily important figure that plays a vital part in marketing your product. A notable title can make your product stand out from the crowd and encourage shoppers to select your product instead of your competitors’. 6a00d83451d7ed69e201901e14692c970b-320wi

The product title on eBay is especially important because it’s used to match the search results of the buyer. For that reason, try to use as close to 80 characters as possible. You also need to ensure that your descriptions, item specifics and images are optimised so your listing is visible to the highest number and most appropriate consumers on eBay. Subtitles give you the opportunity to add eye-catching keywords that don’t fit into the title or promotional text.

Titles

There are two key aspects to consider when optimising your eBay titles:

1. Describe your item accurately and set expectations.Accuracy is key — do not include any keywords that could be ambiguous or misleading. Avoid spelling and grammar errors, and capitalise words in a title.

A recommended sequence in titles would encapsulate key information: Brand – gender – type – style – size – colour – condition.

2. Convey trust and confidence.If similar products are frequently produced with poor quality, use words such as ‘original’, ‘official’ or ‘genuine’ at the start of your title as reassurance to the consumer. Include attributes that best describe the quality and build of your product, together with the location of where the product is manufactured.

The inclusion of ‘From Your Seller Name’ can increase your brand visibility and build conversion through trust and security.

Skullcandy Screenshot
Additional Resources on Title Optimisation

Below are some robust tools that will help you identify the most powerful titles:

  • Terapeak:Arguably the most professional tool for optimising your title on eBay, Terapeak provides retailers transparency into competitor behaviour, pricing techniques and strategies, supply and demand, category and product trends, and customer purchase patterns. It does, however, have a subscription fee starting from $19.95 per month.
  • Title Builder:A useful and free tool that helps you build out existing keywords in your title.
  • Listings Analytics: If you’re already listing products on eBay, then you’re able to review how your active listings are performing and being seen. You’ll also be able to quickly identify the most and least efficient performers, enabling you to optimise your strategy.
  • Competition research: Analysing your competitors’ strategies will enable you to see whether there is a pattern on how titles are constructed, what keywords stand out and if you are missing any item specifics.

Subtitles EBay Blog Quote 3

eBay also offers subtitles that permit you to write an additional 55 characters detailing your product information. Maximise the potential of subtitles by listing information that doesn’t fit into the title, as well as additional keywords and item specifics.

Consider adding other available benefits, such as seasonal promotions, savings against RRP (recommended retail price) prices, free delivery offers or other promotional activity that’s explained in more detail in the product description. 

Hopefully you’ll find that optimising your eBay title and subtitle can substantially improve your marketplace listings. For more information on optimising your sales and listings on eBay, check out ChannelAdvisor’s eBook How to Revive Your eBay Sales, which offers six tips on maximising your presence there.

Blog post written by Dominic Grevsmuehl @DominicGrevsmuehl, Campaign Manager at ChannelAdvisor UK

August 09, 2009

eTRS in search results - this is only a test, but...

I haven't been able to reproduce it, but a reader sent in some great screen shots that show how the eTRS badge is being tested in search results.


You can see that there's a good sized badge right in results in a column between the description and the price/bid column. (click to zoom)

Etrs_badge_search2

In this close-up you get a good feel for the size of the badge (much larger than anything like the PayPal logo or the powerseller logo: (click to zoom)

Etrs_badge_search3

As this test expands, it's going to be interesting to see if eBay gives buyers a feature that allows them to filter the results and show "eTRS only".


SeekingAlpha Disclosure - I am long Google and Amazon.  eBay is an investor in ChannelAdvisor.


December 12, 2008

Is eBay's strategy working?

In previous posts on this blog and in the press, I'm on the record pointing out many eBay issues that we see with DSRs, BestMatch/Finding, fraud, eBay's overall strategy, how they treat sellers, etc. Like everyone in the ecosystem I am very concerned about the future of eBay.

Yesterday, we saw an interesting datapoint I wanted to share.  Now it's one datapoint and I realize that, but it is a significant datapoint and could be an early signal that eBay's changes are working.

eBay: A mile wide and an inch deep.
For 8yrs+, ChannelAdvisor has been helping sellers of all sizes on eBay and we quickly learned that the eBay sweet-spot for sellers of any size is for wide (lots of SKUs), but not deep (lots of quantity of a single item).  Back in the day (2001-2007), we worked with eBay to bring some manufacturers and retailers on the site and also with larger powersellers to test the depth of the platform.  We've had IBM sell hundreds of laptops, Motorola sell hundreds of handsets, and shoe sellers sell hundreds of great-priced shoes, etc.  While that sounds interesting, it's usually just a blip out of the total inventory available.

In fact most eBay sellers of scale ($2m/yr+) have to run a wholesale business as they buy in such large lots, they can only sell a small % on eBay so they end up wholesaling the rest.  Large manufacturers and retailers turn to 'jobbers' or liquidators to move volume.  Some of that product comes to eBay, but the bulk doesn't so there's a huge opportunity GMV out there of 'deep sku discounts'.

Companies like Overstock and smartbargains and liquidation.com fill some of the gaps there as well.

In retailer slang, it became well known that eBay is a mile wide and an inch deep.

Houston, we have a problem?!

Ok, back to today (December 12, 2008).  24x7x365 at ChannelAdvisor  we have 2-3 people on-call watching our production systems.  During the holidays we effectively double/triple that staff.  Aside from the obvious benefits from doing this, we are also able to see unusual trends and monitor them and react if needed.

Last night around 6pm (start of ecomm prime-time), we started getting some massiver alerts from our systems that there was some unusual volume.  One of our folks dug in and figured out what it was.  We had a single eBay listing that was selling at a rate of one every 5-7 seconds on average, but at peak we were seeing several per second.

The system was keeping up, but it was actually causing some delays in the eBay servers (we were able to spread this around and avoid any latency).

eBay - no longer an inch deep?
It turns out that we have a customer, webbestdeals, that had an item selected by eBay for their new deal of the day program (you can read more about it here - clear your cookies if you don't see it).  The item is a Logitech Harmony Advanced remote contorl - these are pretty popular and the low price on the internet is $40-50.  This seller has it with free shipping for $29.99 - a SICK DEAL! (In fact, I believe the listing was hit on many of the popular sickdeal/fatwallet type sites as well).

As of this writing they've sold over 6000 of these and are on pace to hit 9-10k easily.  At 6000 by $30 that's a whopping $180k in a listing. Sure there are cars and stuff that have achieved that, but this is 6000, $30 transactions in a 24hr period.  click on 'purchases' if you don't believe me!

So while this is one datapoint, it is interesting to think about the implications.  As we enter this tough economic climate, I'm sure there will be a LOT of inventory that needs to be liquidated.  Historically a small % of this has made it to eBay.  Imagine if eBay could take this model and scale it.  There could be some pretty big opportunities out there with sellers of any size (webbestdeals is titanium PS, but not a 'diamond'/brand) that could bring some deep gmv to the 'new, deeper, eBay.'

A word of caution to my Wall St. friends
This reminded me that many of the analysts on Wall St. still try to calculate what's going to happen at eBay based on listings data.  They frequently go to the browse all category page and count the listings.  Then they look at completed listings to get an idea of conversions.  In most of these listings historically the quantity is 1 or close it (dutch auctions, fp7 and others allow multi-quantity listings, but they were rare).

Well FP30 totally ruins that model.  First of all you now have lots of 30-day listings out there with more and more quantity 'hidden' behind them.  Take the example above.  That would have probably been 9000 listings, now it's one listing, quant=9000.

Also, the conversion data is all wacky now too.  The reason why is the fp30 doesn't show up in completed listings until it's life is over or it is sold out.  So in the above example, you could have 30 days (you wouldn't 'see' until jan) before this listing shows in completed listings. Also, it only shows as 'one sold completed item' in completed search.

To see each transaction, you'd have to dig into the listing and get into 'completed sales'.

The bottom line is eBay is driving FP30 adoption HARD by increasing the mix of fp30 in search results (50% in most cases) and thus there are a material number of fp30's out there with a material quantity behind them and the old listing-count scheme is largely blind to all this activity.

In conclusion...
Yes it's one item and one datapoint, but I have to say I'm surprised and impressed that we're finally seeing eBay address the 'depth' problem.  eBay Strategies readers, what are your thoughts?  One-time anomoly, glimmer of hope, turnaround is working or rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic?

SeekingAlpha disclosure: I am long google and amazon.



November 12, 2008

I'm back... awesome eBay webinar manana and some new stars to report

Update: eBay has a recording of the webinar here.

Good morning eBay Strategies readers!  Sorry for the little dry spell in posting. I always underestimate the amount of energy needed going into the holiday selling season and between some webinars we're doing, customer strategy meetings and ChannelAdvisor's big 11/8 release, (custom item specifics - hooray!). I got swamped which left little time for blogging.  I think we're through the worst of it so I'll try and catch up on some topics I owe you.  Specifically we've learned A LOT about fp30 at ChannelAdvisor and I want to share some cutting edge strategies we're seeing that give sellers a leg up on the competition which in this environment can be the difference between life and death.  That piece will be a good partner to the eBay webinar...


eBay Webinar tomorrow - 'MUST SEE' if you are serious about selling on eBay.
eBay's top seller team is hosting a webinar tomorrow (Thursday November 13th) at 1:30pm Pacific, 4:30pm Eastern.

The details are:
Meeting ID: 111308  - secret code for attendee entry: 'attend'
They have streaming audio, but personally I prefer to do the dialin as it's clearer.  The dial-in detals are: ( 866 ) 501 – 3202 / ( 706 ) 679 - 2073        Conference ID:  72758551

eBay gave us a dry run of the presentation yesterday and I have to admit this is by far the best webinar/information session that I've seen eBay do. Period.

Here's a sneak peek at the agenda:
  • Refresher on policy changes
  • BestMatch/Search (lots of good coverage on the new fp30 here too)
  • Driving demand for the holiday season 
  • Coming soon/2009 preview  (some DSR improvements - YEAH!!!!!!)
Having listened to several town halls and other presentations on these topics, I think eBay hasn't been great at communicating many of the nuances around BestMatch and FP30.  Thus most sellers are left with the impression that eBay is learning as they go along (or doesn't understand at all) and the system is unfair/random/stinks/etc.  This is the best explanation, rational and update on how it's working that I've seen thus far. 

This webinar for the first time laid out the facts on the format (there are tons of rumors and urban legend around these two topics in the eBay community) and did a good job of explaining a topic I hacked around here with fp30 on how the fixed-price and auction-style listings work together with BestMatch.  

Bottom line: If eBay still is a material part of your business,  this is a 'must see' webinar (and I'd tell you if it wasn't).  Feel free to post in the Q+A here before/after the webinar what questions you have and I'll make sure they are anonymously forwarded and after I'll do my best to find the information.


The new eBay 'eforcity' stars

New topic.  eBay has released a couple of new stars which I think really highlight the success of one specific seller on eBay - eforcity.  Here's a handy site, sellerdome that crawls eBay and lists the sellers by feedback (note - this is not the same as GMV).

eforcity is a ChannelAdvisor customer and we're really proud that our software played a roll in their achievement of getting over 1m feedback. Also in that lofty club is jayandmarie.  While not a customer, I've known Jay and Marie for a long time and they are a great part of the eBay community.    Jay and Jack ([email protected]) are two of the smartest, scrappiest entrepreneurs I've ever met and they are a great asset to the eBay and ecommerce communities.  It's great to see eBay recognize their achievements in this way.

From sellerdome, you'll notice that the top four are accstation, eforcity, itrimming and everydaysource.  These are all sub-brands for eforcity so in reality this company effectively has well over 5m total feedback.  From personal experience, I can tell you they can make some servers hum over here at ChannelAdvisor!

Lots of sellers ask me about Jack's eBay success and I'll try and wrangle him into an interview here maybe after his holiday sales calm down.

The new stars are a shooting green and a shooting silver.  I have to admit the shooting silver looks like it's worked up a sweat so someone here started already calling it the sweaty silver star.  Sue over at Tamebay had the same reaction.   Maybe it's surprised and not sweaty?  Maybe it takes a ton of hard work and sweat to get to that level...

Enjoy the webinar and congrats to eforcity and jayandmarie on their snazzy new stars.



SeekingAlpha disclosure - I am long Google and Amazon






October 29, 2008

eBay to release new weapon in the 'selection' battle - InDemand

**Update - several commenters have correctly pointed out that I neglected to mention that the criteria for a seller to use InDemand is that you have to be a PowerSeller with 30-day DSRs over 4.8.  I agree this is a very high bar, and I'm already on the record with my top 5 reasons DSRs are broken here so don't shoot he messenger here. If you want access, might as well send an email to '[email protected]'.

ChannelAdvisor and some of our eBay selling customers have been giving eBay some beta feedback on a new program they are calling InDemand.  eBay was kind enought to let us blog about this before it hits the radar (with the stipulation that we didn't have to pull any puches of course).


Introducing InDemand

Indemand0

The general idea is as follows:
  • eBay is (finally!) starting to get some religion around the importance of selection. The prior regime implemented many policies that in my opinion hobbled selection at eBay - frequently I tell folks that eBay "cut off its long tail".  On the flipside of that coin, Amazon around the same time (mid-06), realized that mid-size retailers can bring some really interesting selection to the site that is filling out the long-tail for Amazon.  They priced their third party offering with this in mind (high bar, but once you are in, no listing fees).
  • There are two major hurdles to selection on eBay: 
    •  Information - eBay has tons of data on who is searching for what, what listings are being watched, what millions of keywords they are buying from google, etc.  However sellers never have access to that data.  When your supply is blind to demand - it seems obvious that there will be unmet demand due to a fundamental lack of information parity.
    • Channel Pricing -  Frequently eBay's listing fee, final value fee or both can make it uneconomical for supply to come to the site.  For example, everyone in the media categories knows that the ebay fees make it a non-starter for brand-new items to be on the site, thus eBay tends to not have big slices of 'recent releases's on the site.  (mini rant - In my opinion,listing/insertion fees are the archenemy of selection.  eBay argues they are quality's friend, but personally I worry more about selection and quality will take care of it self if you have a good search/finding experience.)
  • Enter InDemand - InDemand is a microsite at indemand.ebay.com that looks to address the two selection challenges (Info/Pricing).  It does this by first providing a list of 'in demand' products based on eBay's research (this addresses the Info problem). Secondarily, InDemand gives eBay the ability to offer spot fee discounts (listng+FVF based on my understanding) for the products it feels are important for selection but due to the very broad fee structure, that product is not coming to the site.   
Did you say lower fees for InDemand items?!?!
I think this 'item level fee discount' capability and big strategic change on eBay's part in thinking about eBay fees (we went from global to geo to category and now to item) is the equivalent to a tectonic shift and worthy of a moment of reflection....

Ok, now let's dig into InDemand more.

How InDemand works
A seller logs into indemand and is presented with the entire list of indemand items.  In this screen shot below you will see there are currently 510 items.

Indemand1
 
If you look at the first item here - a book, you'll see a couple of things of note:
  • First, you'll see every InDemand item has a 'eBay Product ID' associated with it.  This looks like eBay starting to head to a more Amazon-like ASIN model.  I guess now we have EPIDs and ASINs (that one is for the readers that always comment about my copious use of TLAs).
  • Next, if you look at the little box at the left, that's where you'll see any promotion (listing/fvf fees) associated with that item.  At the time of this writing none of the items have promos, but eBay swears they are coming. 
  • Next, there's a 'currently' on eBay link that pops a new window with all of the listings on eBay right now for this product. 
  • Finally, you'll see there's a 'sell this item' link. This link will take you to SYI which is pre-populated with that products information.
Use case
Let's go through a use case. Let's say I'm a Lego seller and I'm going to order some product tomorrow.  I go to indemand and search for Lego: (full disclosure - Lego is a ChannelAdvisor customer and I'm a Lego customer).

Indemand2
As you can see there are three lego items InDemand, two video games and one toy.  If you click on the toy item, the details are displayed:
Indemand3
So now I know exactly what SKU we are talking about.  Next, I click the 'currently on eBay' and am tickled that there are none on the site.  At this point, I may check pricing on other sites to get a feel for what the item is going for and where I need to be competitive on pricing.

(Interestingly enough, when I do a text search on eBay for "Lego Star wars jedi starfighter hyperdrive" I get 14 core results and 15 store that look like the exact product.  This points out the tough transition eBay faces form text-based wild-west to catalog-based organization.)

Anyway, pretend there aren't already 30 of these on eBay, I go to my supplier, source this item and now am the first to sell it here (at least in the catalog) and enjoy the benefits of any reduced fees as well as what should be some fast selling product since eBay is telling me there's lots of demand and a lack of supply.

eBay tells me InDemand has triggers that will monitor the supply and pull the item once the desired number (not published) are listed.

How do the fee discounts work?
I suspect the top of mind question for most readers now is how does the fee piece work.  Here's a brief excerpt from the InDemand FAQ:

"When do I receive the discount?
If an Insertion Fee discount is offered, you'll receive the discount at the time of the listing. If a Final Value Fee discount is offered, it will applied at the time of the sale.

How long does a discount last?
A discount is valid if units are still needed and the promotional period has not ended.

How do I find out the quantity needed for a certain product?
The first line of the listing requirements indicates the quantity of a product that eBay is looking for.

Do I still receive my PowerSeller discount?
Yes. Any In Demand discount will be in addition to your PowerSeller discount."


I also asked eBay:

Q: Do sellers have to list the item via InDemand to receive the discount?
A: No - as long as you list using the catalog/item specifics during the promo period (live on InDemand), anyone will receive the discount regardless of if it originates via InDemand.

So think of InDemand as a guide to items that are 'on sale' from a seller's perspective on eBay and you are free to list those items however you want.

How does eBay determine what's 'in demand'?
The next series of questions I had were around the demand calculations.  eBay was pretty closed lipped on this, but I get the feeling they look at several sets of data including:
  • Catalog coverage - one of the nice things of having a catalog is you can run queries such as "how many catalog items have zero listings".  That's an easy one.
  • Search data - ebay has a wealth of on-site and off-site search data and subsequently knows how many results are returned.  Another interesting query would be: 'show me the top search terms internal+external that have null search results.
  • Closed loop data -  John Donahoe (JD)  has been saying for years that ebay has the most ecommerce data on the planet and I agree this is an asset that has gone somewhat unused at eBay.  This data is a great gauge of supply and demand. Historically eBay has licensed it out at very expense rates to tool providers with somewhat mixed results.  At ChannelAdvisor we have elected to not license this data because of the lack of structure and usefulness at the end of the day. With InDemand, you could really finally see eBay using this data to figure out which products have unusually high conversion rates and then make sure the marketplace continues to fuel that demand such that it doesn't go off-site.  
One item to watch is how automated the indemand listings are.  I get the sense that there's some manual steps to the 'demand calculation' process so we may not see ebay update the list as frequently as you may like going into the holidays.  That being said, I'm sure if this product is successful (easily measured BTW), then I could see eBay making whatever the next step of investment is to automated the calc+gen of the indemand listings.

Yes it works with third party software! (but we want APIs!)
While InDemand has a handy link to the SYI form for those sellers that use SYI, eBay assures us that a listing of an InDemand item via ChannelAdvisor and other third-party software will receive the discounts.

Long-term what we would love is APIs into the indemand items. Here's why. Our customers typically have their entire inventory in our software (hosted or via a datafeed) and then they send subsets of that inventory to different channels. Imagine if we were able to ping the Indemand database and highlight in the CA complete inventory screens the items that are 'InDemand'.  This would cut out several steps for the sellers of going back and forth which in today's time-limited world can be a big friction point for new systems like this that do things onesy-twosy.

What does this mean for the eBay/Amazon battlefield?

As far as I know, Amazon doesn't have an equivalent to InDemand, but they do provide a very rich set of APIs that provide lots of transparency on demand.  For example, as a developer you can call APIs that tell you which items in the catalog have zero listings, which ones have 'wish list' items set, etc.

Thus it seems Amazon is taking more of a platform approach here - provide the APIs and third parties will innovate whereas eBay is taking more of a 'if we build it, they will come' kind of approach. 

Also with Amazon as I mentioned because of the fee structure, sellers spend zero time worrying about which products to list there, because they just list them all.  So something like InDemand would only be interesting to Amazon sellers that are looking to source more specifically for that channel, vs. identifying items they already carry that maybe a good match for the marketplace.

On eBay I suspect the InDemand usage will be both for items in-stock and for sourcing.


Conclusion

InDemand is an interesting step from eBay because it shows eBay is willing to head into some previously unknown ground:
  • InDemand is the first eBay foray into SKU-level fee discounts
  • InDemand is the first time eBay has focused on selection at such a granular level
  • InDemand gives us a glimmer of hope that eBay is opening the kimono on some of the great 'demand data' they have kept behind iron curtains for 10+yrs.  I'm a strong believer that marketplaces thrive in transparency so hopefully this InDemand experiment will finally convince eBay that's the way to go.

For these reasons, I think its going to be a very interesting offering to keep an eye on and you can count on eBay Strategies to continue to keep you up to date on it.  You can see a path (small probability, but it's there), that InDemand can be like a lizard and help eBay regenerate it's chopped off long-tail, but we've got a good 12-18 months before we can see if that's happening or not.

Stay tuned and as always I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

SeekingAlpha Disclosure - I am long Amazon and Google.

October 16, 2008

eBay's search outage

**Updated to more correctly reflect the time of the outage. Details from eBay here.

Today eBay's search engine has been down for a couple of hours (see screen shot below).

The good news is that the paid-search advertising seems to be running just fine.  Maybe this is just a test to see how the site monetizes with 100% ads vs. all those annoying listings+gmv and what-not? 

What's also interesting is since the home page is very search driven it's causing all kinds of wacky behavior there too.

I'm getting increasingly concerned that all of the changes plus the influx of fp30 listings plus bugs upon bugs that are taking weeks to fix have so destabilized the search code that eBay can't get it stable for Q4.  Wait, we're in Q4..., ok, Thanksgiving++.

My advice to sellers - go buy some Yahoo! keywords in the US if you want some eBay exposure. While search is down they are getting all the traffic you paid listing fees for.

Search_down_ads_up

October 06, 2008

eBay misses own shipping cap deadline, media sellers confounded and befuddled

Back in August, along with a host of other changes, eBay announced shipping maximums (caps) for the media category.  They also published a checklist that pinned the date to October 5th.  Well here it is October 6th and... nobody knows why, but it hasn't rolled out.


Some sellers are reporting they've heard October 16th, others say it's been delayed till Q1. What's disturbing is nobody at eBay seems to know the answer.

Why does this matter?
You may be asking yourself why does this even matter? Why can't sellers just go ahead and set up the limits now and not worry about the date.  The problem is that ecommerce is a zero sum game and a marketplace has to change all at once for someone not to be the loser.

Let's look at scenario, for example video game systems (with a $15 shipping cap as per eBay).  Let's say these are $100 items with shipping included (all in).

Seller A lists these for $80 and $20 shipping

Seller B lists these at $1NR with $20 shipping 

Seller C is a model citizen and lists them at $85 with $15 shipping

Seller D is also a model citizen and is an auction traditionalist, starting the systems at $1NR with $15 shipping.

The whole reason eBay is implementing the shipping caps is because eBay buyers don't look at S+H cost very closely so with that caveat, Seller C is immediately at a disadvantage because their item is $85 vs. $80 on the others.  However, if they do get a sale at least it will be for the $100 target.  If they do sell something, they'll have the pleasure of paying eBay's FVF on $5 more so they face a higher effective take rate vs. non-compliant sellers.

While Seller C is in pain, Seller D is truly hosed because to buyers it looks like the market is saying $80 for the items, thus they stop bidding at $80 and the seller is left with a paltry $95 in total sales.  What's $5 you may ask yourself, well this seller was probably going to fund some S+H cost in the core price so they get a triple wammy.  Electronics margins are very thin and $5 on almost any sale with of $100 item destroys all margin.

Time for eBay to get buttoned up on these changes
The bottom line is eBay has to start realizing these changes impact their customers in serious and profound ways and are not to be taken lightly.  Of course a (maybe) unintended consequence of these kinds of random activities is that they really destabilize auction sellers who find themselves having to switch to fixed-price for some continuity or leave eBay for other pastures.

Can you imagine any other business doing this?  What if your employer told you pay day would be October 25th and then moved it to October 31st?  What if you hustled to do your taxes, and the IRS moved it June this year unannounced?  Those seem ludicrous, but this is how it now feels to sell on eBay.

August 19, 2008

eBay introduces new 30-day FP listing with great economics

More details as they become available, but according to Reuters, eBay is introducing a .35, 30-day fixed-price listing (we call it 30fp) that I think is going to change the strategy of most sellers that do any fixed-price.  The trade-off is 30fp will have a higher FVF, so once the rates are published officially we'll chime in here with some thoughts on the economics and how they impact sellers.

Check in for more as soon as it's available

June 10, 2008

Well, I'm just speechless on this eBay Live promo...

Ebay_heroes(ok, maybe not entirely speechless)....

Today on eBay's Chatter blog/news site, they revealed the theme for this year's eBay live. The theme is "eBay Heroes" (see image at left - note this is not a joke).

"SCOT!!! Who are these eBay Heroes!?!" You ask, well according to the post:

"They're ordinary people who buy or sell extraordinary things!"

Based on this cover image, we have three eBay heroes:

  • The guy (GuitarGuy!) in the center is either buying or selling that guitar.  In the meantime it looks like he's ready to clobber some low-DSR sellers right on the head with it as he is holding his axe, much like, well, an axe. Nice Mullet dude.
  • To the right we have BeanieGal - She is clearly in love with that beanie that she is dragging on the ground by the stretched arm and looks as happy as a rented mule to be involved with the eBay Hero team.
  • Last but not least we have green-sweater-ed "digital camera lady". She stands at the ready to photograph the exploits and obvious heroics of the eBay Heroes.

This book is kind of a teaser. According to chatter, here's how it will work:

Here's how it works: at registration, you'll receive a small black-and-white comic book about the Heroes. It won't have the complete story in the book, only bits of what is to come. You can then collect colored stickers over the rest of eBay Live! to complete the story.

So if you didn't plan on attending eBay Live, you'll see me at the participating booths chasing down some eBay Heroes!

May 30, 2008

Long time, no blog... (aka June is going to be busy!)

Phew, it's been a very busy couple of weeks here at ChannelAdvisor and my normal midnight-2am blog time has been occupied by a variety of other things and thus I haven't had much time to blog.  A lot of time has been spent on two upcoming shows that I wanted to alert readers that we'll be at in full force:


  1. Internet Retailer - (IRCE for short is in Chicago this year June 9-12).  ChannelAdvisor has a huge booth at this event (booth 453 - it's the one in front of the entrance just left of center).  As ecommerce channels have grown in importance, IRCE has become a cornerstone tradeshow for us.  With 5-8k internet retailers under one roof what's not to love about this conference?  One interesting trend I'll be reporting on for you eBay-focused folks is that over the last 2-3 years we've seen more of the larger eBay sellers choosing to go to this event vs. eBay Live.  With eBay skipping Live in 2009, it gives IRCE a chance to really take over.  I'm speaking at IRCE at the June 9 "Advanced strategies for marketing your website" Workshop with the folks from Vitamin Shoppe about PPC advertising.  There's some great content our team came up with here so I'll make sure to put it on the blog or our sister site (our paid-search blog), www.searchmarketing.com.
  2. eBay Live - is ALSO in Chicago the next week June 19-21.  ChannelAdvisor will be at booth 911 (Got an eBay emergency? come to booth 911!).  eBay Live is going to be very busy with Wall St. events, talks and panels.
    • For the Wall St. readers in the audience we are co-hosting three sell-side events (a breakfast lunch and dinner so all of your culinary needs can be met!) featuring a wide variety of our top sellers- shoot [email protected] an email if you want more info.
    • 6/19 - 3pm - I have a talk on 12 tips to improve your DSRs (rm w375a)
    • 6/20 - 10:30am - Sitting on a panel on using CSP software and tools to improve efficiency (rm W180).  This one's fun because I get to talk about how often Blackthorne crashes all the time and what not. (that's for John).
    • 6/20 - 1pm - I'm hosting a panel entitled 'how to run your back-office for top sellers' (this is going to be strong as we have a rockstar panel) - (rm w375c)
    • 6/21 - noon book signing (I guess in the book store?)
    • 6/21 - 3pm - Is a repeat of the DSR talk for those that couldn't make the earlier one (rm W179a)

So preparing for all of this has taken a big time investment, but I think we're ready.  I'm definitely looking forward to meeting tons of customers, industry folks and blog readers.  See you in Chicago!

P.S. I have a couple of pent up blog items I'll try and get out today/this weekend.