Archive for March, 2008

Can’t Contact People

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

I’ve been to a few websites lately that seem to have NO contact information on them. One them has navigation along the top AND different links along the bottom, and NONE of those is Contact Us. They’re missing out on hearing from me and everybody else. What if a visitor to their site has a question? They’ll lose that person.

Another site I went to on the contact page had a home address of one of the principals (?) and a phone number but no email address. The contact page had an email form, but when I filled it out, I was told that I can’t view that resource, and my mail wasn’t sent.

I called them, and later found an email address on the FAQ page. But this could have been a lot smoother and better.

Do you make your contact information or contact details page easy for people to find? If not, do you want people to contact you? If you’re a business, you should want them to contact you. :)


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My Set Up Is OK

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

Someone engaged me in a live chat from our website this weekend. He (assuming it was a guy, who knows) wanted to find someone who would help him with eBay strategies. He said his listings were fine, but he needed to know more about strategies.

I never believe that listings are perfect. Something can always improve. So I told him we typically don’t get involved when someone only wants advice but isn’t open to making bigger changes. I asked him if in the course of advising him, what if I felt he needed to make major changes to his listings. The response in the live chat was:

"Debbie, my set up is OK."

Let’s say you go to the dentist because your front teeth hurt. He finds 6 cavities in other teeth. Should you have him NOT fix those because you only wanted your front teeth fixed? Are the teeth with cavities fine because they don’t hurt yet? Sure, you can go a while without doing anything about those cavities, but eventually, that strategy just may not serve you.

And that’s why we don’t work with people who are not open to changing their listings. With everything going on right now with Best Match, DSRs, and eBay’s changes, the right client for us is open to making changes that will increase buyer satisfaction and increase sales. Of course, let’s try to increase profitability too!

Even if I gave my best strategy advice, and this person brought people to a listing that wasn’t that great, didn’t clearly communicate things, or anything else that can turn off a buyer, then what have you really accomplished? You’ll get more people to listings, and people still may not buy. Someone not open to change is not the right client for us.

Good luck to that person. As I like to say, call us back when you get tired of how good we make your competitors. :)


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Americans and St. Patrick’s Day

Monday, March 17th, 2008

Well, it’s St. Patricks Day. Being friends with Iarla has taught me a lot about the Irish. Some came from him, some from my own observations.

  1. The Americans who say, "I’m Irish!" and wear shirts and drink green beer and may be named O’Connell are as Irish as I am Polish if they were not born in Ireland. Iarla is Irish. He was born and raised there; he lived there full time until his early 20s. "Irish" is reserved for people like him. Irish-American is for people who were not born there and didn’t grow up there. I always ask these Irish-Americans if they were born in Ireland. No. How much Irish do you speak? They didn’t know it was also a language. OK you’re not Irish, case closed. This is my opinion – not Iarla’s. I say that anybody not born in Ireland shouldn’t be yelling, "I’m Irish!"
  2. The proper short form for St. Patrick’s Day is Paddy’s. It’s not St. Pattys. In Ireland, Patty is a woman, and St. Patrick wasn’t. The Irish call the day Paddy’s for short, and we should too.
  3. Leprechauns and jigs are insulting stereotypes. The Shamrock was evidently St. Patrick’s way of explaining the Trinity to people (something that is 3 and 1). The idea that the Irish mostly spend their time drinking and fighting is an insulting stereotype.
  4. The stereotypical Irish accent doesn’t exist in one town. It’s a bastardised combination of a few different areas’ accents.
  5. According to Iarla, "the luck of the Irish" is meant to be sarcastic. It would be like looking back at hundreds/thousands of years of persecution and the Holocaust, and calling the Jews "lucky." The Irish have a similar bad history of persecution and being at the bottom of totem poles. So evidently, you DON’T want the luck of the Irish.
  6. If it’s Scottish, it may not be Irish, which means it may not be right for St. Patrick’s Day. A guy in a kilt playing a highland tribute on the bagpipes might be Scottish.

I heard a comedian on XM talking about this. He basically said that St. Patrick’s Day is the most important holiday in Ireland. It’s the national holiday. It’s like our July 4th I guess. It’s holy in Ireland. And the Americans have turned it into every negative stereotype. Americans have made it about getting as sicko drunk as you can, all while having no understanding of the holiday or real respect for real Irish culture.

You couldn’t get away with taking any other culture’s or religion’s holiday, and focusing on the negative stereotypes. You’d probably make CNN (in a bad way) for dressing up as a happy-go-lucky slave on Martin Luther King Day. The comedian made points like that, and I agree with him.

Iarla says that the stereotypes continue because there is no Irish (from Ireland) voice in this country. You have groups standing up for people of various races, religions, and the gay community. But nobody is speaking out when the Irish are reduced to a bunch of dancing, drinking, fighting, little people.

So if you’re celebrating Paddy’s today, just think about what you’re celebrating. Now that I know more about Ireland and modern Irish culture, it IS to be celebrated, but with respect.


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Job on Monster.com

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

Every day, I have Monster.com email me every job that has the word eBay in it. I like to see who’s hiring for what (and using Monster). Yesterday, one of the jobs Monster sent me was really interesting. Here is most of the listing.

Job Description

Ebay, Ebay store, Developer, Manager, Administrator, office manager, marketing

Are you an eBay store developer or have the ability to be one? If so, read on….

What is in it for you?

– Salary
– Breaking into the fashion and jewelry industry

What you will be doing!

– Developing, managing and updating current eBay store.
– Ad Hoc Office work
– Customer interfacing
– Some light web development

What you need!

– Successful eBay Experience
– Light web programming
– Some Database
– Light Photoshop

So if you are an Ebay store developer or have the ability to be on, apply now!

So it’s an eBay Store designer and office worker and customer service in the Los Angeles area, and for $30K/yr. And you want them to know web programming, Photoshop, and "some database." I also don’t understand the "ability to be an eBay Store developer" but you aren’t one now. If I were hiring, I’d want someone who really knows what he or she is doing!

Bad marketing in that I am not sure that this job will be filled by the expertise the ad claims to want… I’m not sure that expertise comes for $14/hr before taxes are taken out. After taxes are withheld, that person might end up with under $400 per week. ?!?!?!?!


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eBay Live 2008 Speakers

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

I’ve just seen the list of who is speaking at eBay Live.

If you are someone I’ve blasted in this blog as someone who is maybe lacking integrity or good eBay advice for people, guess what. I’ve noticed you’re NOT on the speaking list! One of you is, but only doing two "basics" classes. I won’t say on what so I’m not calling anybody out by name.

But once again, eBay triumphs in NOT picking those lacking integrity to speak at eBay Live. Thank you, eBay! For you sellers out there, this is a great way to check who eBay thinks are the authorities on certain topics. They choose speakers very carefully and deliberately.

Of course, I got picked for 3 classes, and we’ll be in booth 735 I think it is. A 20×20 in the middle of the room. You can’t miss it. :)


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Mystery Guarantee

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

Remember yesterday’s post about the number one ranked eBay Store design firm in the whole entire world, according to themselves? :)

This company is using graphics in their marketing that says "Guaranteeed." I clicked and clicked, and I read and read their pages. I couldn’t find anything about what this guarantee is. I hate this stuff since it’s so misleading.

For all we know, the guarantee could be that you WILL receive work at some point from them, and that work will contain at least one graphic in it. Without a stated guarantee, they leave you to imagine what it is, and I bet that you imagine that their work will make your sales go up.

Well have them put that in their contract. If they are guaranteeing a change in your business, it should be in writing. And if it’s a guarantee, the next logical question is what happens or what do you get if your business doesn’t change or grow to their guaranteed point? Do you get money back? Do they do more work? How much more work?

This is just bad marketing because it’s slippery and deceptive. If anybody offers a guarantee, make sure it’s part of the contract that you’re both signing. Don’t go on a handshake. Don’t just go on an email. Make sure you totally get it in writing, and that it’s clearly written.


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Great Blog Post About Best Match and DSRs

Monday, March 10th, 2008

http://www.auctioninsights.info/decoding-ebays-best-match.html


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The #1 Ranked eBay Store Design Service

Monday, March 10th, 2008

I was looking around some eBay Stores recently, and one of them was designed by a company I’d never heard of before and won’t name. I followed their link to their eBay Store, which promoted them, and then to their website, which I found incredibly bland. By they used two lines in a few places that really intrigued me.

  • We are the NUMBER ONE ranked eBay store design service worldwide on eBay today.
  • Number One Ranked eBay Store Design Firm WORLDWIDE!

I emailed my guy at eBay to ask if they are ranking or awarding design companies. He said no, that company appointed themselves the number one service. So these guys are THE BEST IN THE WORLD and even though we’ve been doing eBay consulting and design for 7+ years, I’ve never heard of them. I don’t remember them speaking at eBay Live or exhibiting there. I guess they are too big and busy to come to eBay Live. :)

So then this is some bad marketing since it’s a lie. Who ranked eBay Store design services? Where does my company fall in this ranking?

I just don’t like when companies do this. They might as well say, "We’re the best company out there, as voted by our mothers!" And anybody who hires them because they read that, believe they are the #1 ranked company, and don’t even dig deeper to see who did the ranking and where other companies fell… well, you’re not doing your research!

Always check on claims people make. If a company makes a claim or guarantee, which this company did, make sure you get it in writing and signed.


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Time For Saving Daylight

Friday, March 7th, 2008

This Sunday 9 March in the wee small hours is Daylight Savings in the USA. Everybody except I will be turning clocks one hour ahead.

Remember that Arizona doesn’t change clocks. We are on "Mountain Standard" all year. So once everybody else moves forward and we stay the same, we’ll be on the same time as California. What’s up with Arizona?

Well in the summer, we get some wild temperatures down here. You can get 95 in May and 110 in July in Tucson. They feel nicer than they sound, but you’re still running air conditioning plenty. Temps drop off quickly in the evening once it gets dark. It may drop to 80, but it’s still a drop! The idea is that if we had the "extra hour of sunlight" while people are awake and active, more energy would be burned. Slide that extra hour into a time when people may be sleeping or it looks darker outside, and people are hopefully using less energy like for air conditioning.

Friends and clients, it’ll be an hour earlier here than you think! Just remember that when you call. :) If you’re working with our Account Managers, they are outside Arizona, so they’ll be the time you think they’ll be.

:)


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Photos From RocketPlace

Thursday, March 6th, 2008

Our RocketPlace conference for eBay sellers was last week. I finally got the photos into Flickr. There are roughly 1300 of them, but don’t panic. Flickr’s thumbnail view makes it pretty easy to see what’s what, and then only click to see the images that interest you.

http://www.RocketPlace.com/images-spring08.shtml

We welcome people sharing these photos… put them in your blog, on your website, email them to friends. We only ask two things.

1) Please credit our photographer Jen Franklin.

2) Please include a URL of http://www.RocketPlace.com so that people know what event this is. We don’t want anybody using these pics to advertise something that isn’t RocketPlace. :)

Enjoy!


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