Archive for August, 2008

RocketPlace Day Passes Now Available

Saturday, August 30th, 2008

Have you checked out our RocketPlace session schedule, and decided you want to go but can’t make the whole event? We now have day passes available!

Beginner Track: Either Wednesday or Thursday is $130 each. Just use discount code wedonly or thuonly when registering to let us know which day you’re coming, and get your day pass rate.

Advanced Track: Either Wednesday alone or Thursday alone is $129 per day. Friday alone is $99 for the day. Just use discount code wedonly, thuonly, or frionly when registering to let us know which day you’re coming, and get your day pass rate.


Share!  
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Email
  • Digg
  • Google Reader
  • Delicious
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

Come Meet ProPay at the RocketPlace Conference!

Friday, August 29th, 2008

With eBay’s announcement last week that sellers will soon not be allowed to accept "paper money" (checks and money orders), many eBay sellers were introduced to a company that is new to them: ProPay.

We’re excited to announce that if you’re ProPay curious, and who isn’t right now, you can meet them at our RocketPlace conference, 10-12 Sept 2008. http://www.rocketplace.com

ProPay is an alternative to PayPal, combining the best of a merchant account with the best of an online payment system. Check them out, and come talk to them in person.

RocketPlace will also feature fantastic sessions with speakers including Marsha Collier of eBay For Dummies fame, Todd Lutwak of eBay, Jane Judd of Zappos.com, and Jay Berkowitz of TenGoldenRules.com.

Register now!


Share!  
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Email
  • Digg
  • Google Reader
  • Delicious
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

Growing With eBay’s Changes and Holiday Selling

Friday, August 29th, 2008

Hi from Debbie at As Was! We know that with the holiday
season coming, many eBay sellers have lots of concerns… concerns about eBay’s
changes, holiday season selling, your profitability, or competing in the
current eBay marketplace.

Our RocketPlace conference is
coming in just two weeks (Sept 10-12, 2008) at The Rio in Las Vegas, which
makes us the safest bet in Vegas. How much would your sales have to improve for
that to have been worth it? A Spring Rocketplace attendee saved $500 month from
what he learned from just ONE of our speakers. RocketPlace quickly pays for
itself
.

Save $35 off registration with discount code ASWASBLOG!

Our event is aimed at giving PowerSellers the newest and
best techniques, strategies, and tools to compete, grow, and work with eBay’s
changes. Newer eBay sellers will learn the roadmap to success. Everybody gets
to write off a trip to Vegas!

Highlights of RocketPlace: Fall 2008 include:

  • Separate Beginner and Advanced/PowerSeller educational
    track. Our average PowerSeller attendee is gold, nearly Platinum. Yes, even
    bigger PowerSellers can learn something new! :)
  • Star speakers including Todd Lutwak, Senior Director of
    Seller Development at eBay; Marsha Collier, author of eBay For Dummies; Jane
    Judd, Senior Manager of Customer Loyalty at Zappos.com; and Jay Berkowitz of
    Ten Golden Rules.
  • Meet ProPay, the PayPal alternative that combines the best
    of a merchant account with the best of online payments.
  • Affordable! The Rio has dropped hotel rates for our
    upcoming RocketPlace conference to $90/night plus tax, and JetBlue gave us a
    discount code that’ll get you 5% off your JetBlue airfares.
  • nTAG wireless interactive "badges" for easier
    and more fun networking.
  • Speakers are scam-free experts! No hard sells or pushing
    you into a "system."

Whether you’re a seller, consigner, educator, past client,
current client, or future client, we know that RocketPlace is a fun event where
every seller will learn and grow. Come learn what you need to know to boost and
improve your sales, work more efficiently, and navigate eBay’s ever-flowing
changes. RocketPlace is right around the corner! Learn more at http://www.rocketplace.com.


Share!  
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Email
  • Digg
  • Google Reader
  • Delicious
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

If You Click A Live Chat Button…

Friday, August 29th, 2008

Someone on our RocketPlace website clicked the live chat button. This was the conversation that we then had via the live chat. Please remember the other person had to click on our LIVE CHAT button for this window to come up.

7:35:53 am [Debbie] Hi! How can I help you?
7:36:03 am [Visitor] why is there a chat
here?

7:36:12 am
[Visitor] isn’t this just a normal website

7:36:29 am [Debbie] I guess it’s a better than normal website. :)
7:36:38 am [Debbie] We have a chat here so that we can answer any questions you have as you
are surfing. :)

7:36:43
am [Visitor] yes, it has text but also annoys you and distracts
you!

Well then my tip is to NOT click the LIVE CHAT button if you didn’t want a live chat that would take you temporarily away from browsing our website.

Thank you! Come again!


Share!  
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Email
  • Digg
  • Google Reader
  • Delicious
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

This Is A Business?

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

I got this solicitation in an email. Evidently, once you run a conference for eBay sellers, especially in Vegas, you are emailed and called by just about everybody! I am editing out the company name and leaving the rest of the pitch I was emailed.


I would like to
introduce [company name and URL].  We specialize in attending
meetings and taking comprehensive notes.  We are able to capture names of
attendee’s, comments and questions, and action items that might otherwise not
be captured.  We have transcribed hundreds of meetings and executive-level
conference for Microsoft and other firms since the mid-1990s. Our staff has
experience working in many fields such as high-tech, aerospace, education,
anthropology, legal, and charitable organizations.

 

And we are ready and able to do this for you.
This fall.  At your conference.

That’s a business? And I loved the dramatic ending. This fall. At your conference. Like OHMYGOD they are REALLY going to send someone who can take notes that nobody else will take? This is amazing!

This is just not that amazing to me. I have been to plenty of conferences, and have thrown one so far. I never remember thinking that I wish someone were officially taking notes so that I don’t miss anything.

We give our attendees the PowerPoint slides, and this time, we are videoing and selling a DVD of our event. So I do not need to hire someone who will take notes, no matter how amazing the notes might be. They would not be more amazing than the content, since they are a derivative form of our content.


Share!  
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Email
  • Digg
  • Google Reader
  • Delicious
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

Hotel Reviews from “Friends”

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

I was reading some hotel reviews today. This was a gem…

Hotel Review

– Posted May 25, 05

28 year old man with a moderate budget, traveling for business

 
I am
 
not likely

to return to the Wickenburg Inn.

I
 
might
recommend it to
friends.

So let me get this right. You will NOT go back and stay there again, but you MIGHT recommend it to friends? How does that conversation go?

"Man, I stayed at this totally crappy place. Rated it a 5.7 out of 10 online. But you should totally check it out."

?!?!?!


Share!  
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Email
  • Digg
  • Google Reader
  • Delicious
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

Why eBay Should Crack Down on Sellers

Monday, August 25th, 2008

I know that a lot of sellers are bothered by so many eBay changes this year. I know that eBay hasn’t always made these changes smoothly or communicated as well as they could have, but I think the changes are needed.

I buy on eBay all the time, and nearly every time I buy, I buy from someone with great looking feedback who COMPLETELY disappoints me. Some of you may remember the story of my MP3 player. Short version: I read the policies completely. I buy the MP3 player. I make sure I use my PayPal Confirmed STREET address because the policies said no PO boxes. The seller sent me emails (that went to my spam filter) saying that if I didn’t give him my name, he will cancel my order. My confirmed address said "As Was." Why does he need my name so badly but doesn’t have it in his policies? No idea. Bad communication and bad shipping time since he sat on it for days for something I’m not sure he needed. It was coming from inside the country.

More recently, I had an exchange with a seller with a feedback rating over 31,000 with 99.1% positive. Good DSRs too. So I should expect something great, and he probably thinks he’s great, right? Well, I bought a USB TV tuner card for my laptop. Read the listing. Yes, I’m being that atypical buyer, and reading the whole listing.

Got the TV tuner card, and set it up. First, I found that when I ran it from the software that came with it, the volume would randomly crap out and not come back on. So I emailed him that it seemed to be faulty. I then tested it with my real TV software, SnapStream’s Beyond TV, which I’ve had for like a year. This software told me that this tuner was incompatible with their system because they require a TV tuner card that has built-in tuning.

This means that someone sold me a TV tuner card that doesn’t tune. Huh? I emailed him that it didn’t seem to work with my software, and maybe I should just return it since it has 2 strikes against it. I made it quite clear that I was NOT happy that this was a TV tuner card that evidently doesn’t tune, and nowhere in his listing did he say this was incompatible with my software or doesn’t tune.

This it the email I got back from the seller:

You don’t go to an Apple computer store to buy a software for MAC and try to
run it on Microsoft Windows. It will not work because Windows will tell you it
is NOT the correct software. But that doesn’t mean the software for MAC is not
a software.

If you wish to return the product for refund, you should just ask instead of
claiming the product is faulty or blame us for false advertising for NOT
advertise that it will not work with whatever software out there.

In one email, you claimed the device is defective, and in your last email
you sounded like you want to return for refund because you purchased to
wrong item. I am not sure what is it, please let me know how do you wish to
proceed. We can exchange it if it is faulty or we can issue refund if you wish
to return it.

Really. Is that the best way to handle this? Did that solve my situation? Let me know how you wish to proceed? My last email said it doesn’t work with my software, and I wanted to return it. So this email was NO help, and just insulting. This is what I wrote him back:

Communication DSR: 1

I have no idea why you think it’s a good idea to
bitch me out.

Both are true. I ran the product with the
software you provided, and the sound randomly stopped. I think it’s defective!

A SEPARATE issue is Item Not As Described. You
sold me a TV tuner that evidently doesn’t tune. That’s not my fault. That’s not
me running Mac apps on Windows.

If the sound were the only problem, I would want
to exchange it. But as it’s evidently incompatible with my software, and isn’t
a TV tuner after all, I would like to return it based on Item Not As Described.

I would like to return this and get my money
back because I bought a TV tuner, and it’s not a tuner. End of story. No need
to bitch me out and try to make it look like I’m an idiot. I’ve done nothing
wrong here. I can only suggest you go to the http://www.rocketplace.com
conference. They’re going to add the Customer Loyalty person from Zappos.com as
a speaker. Sounds like you could learn a few things about how to deal with
customers.

Well evidently, the only way to get a seller to be reasonable is to remind them that someone might actually want to leave them a less than perfect DSR. I got back an email apologising to me, and letting me know where to return the product.

I hope eBay continues making changes so that things can be better for shoppers and buyers. Without shoppers and buyers, eBay could certainly fail. And it’s sellers like these that help get us there. Meanwhile, these are BIG sellers who probably think they are really great. You’re not really great if you send emails like that. You’re not really great if you call something that’s not a TV tuner card a tuner. Funny enough, the box doesn’t call it a TV tuner card. It calls it a TV stick. Looks like our seller took too much artistic license, and then put the burden on me.

I will leave the DSRs and feedback that this guy deserves. He can then either pretend he’s still great and I’m just crazy, or he can learn from this and improve the way he’s doing things.

PS: The box this item came in says it’s a "TV Stick" and NOT a TV Tuner. :(


Share!  
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Email
  • Digg
  • Google Reader
  • Delicious
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

Four Hour Work Week book

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

I just read the Four Hour Work Week book, finally. From what I can tell, the message of the book is mainly this:

Find a product you can sell. It doesn’t have to be something you created. You can grab drop shippers or ebooks or something you can sell. Get someone else to ship it. Keep your day job but find a way to work from home so you can also run your business.

But don’t run your business. You should outsource just about everything. Don’t answer your email more than once a day. Don’t check voice mails more than once a day. Get everybody else to do everything else. Outsource everything to India if you can because they’ll take like $6 per hour to do things you don’t have to make time to do.

Note: I checked into the two companies he suggested hiring. Both want around $15 USD per hour. Given the American economy, you can probably get Americans to do this now!

Well, what if drop shippers don’t work? Many sellers I know find that they just don’t. The margins aren’t there, especially when other people with that product could be authorised dealers or even the manufacturer. Selling ebooks and packs of ebooks is not what it used to be. That’s lost its shine. :)

And I don’t work for somebody else who might let me work from home. I work from me, and I work from home. :) I am not going to ship a product.


Share!  
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Email
  • Digg
  • Google Reader
  • Delicious
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

I Don’t Get Pandora

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

People seem to rave about Pandora. I just don’t get it. I’m trying it for the 2nd time. I gave up after the first. And now on this second try, I am still hugely unimpressed. Why.

When I tell it I like a song, I thought that was going to be used to find more stuff I like or might like. I had no idea that marking a song as "I like it" means it would be played hourly. If Pandora can guess that I like Thomas Dolby because of other things I like, it should know that hearing "Clubland" by Elvis Costello even once a day is enough, even if I like that song.

It doesn’t let me skip songs I don’t like once I’ve reached a certain number of "don’t like it" songs per hour. Wait a minute. I didn’t ask to hear those songs. YOU picked them, and YOU picked wrong. Why make me listen to them? If I can skip some songs, why can’t I skip more songs?

So here I am, another day with Pandora open, and it’s playing me the same songs I already marked as "I like." That’s only like 30 songs, and I hear them hourly.

Now, Pandora is threatening to close shop because of paying royalties. Well you SHOULD be paying royalties, and not trying to weasel out of that. If you can’t afford to pay royalties, then I would rather see Pandora close down than make artists get less money. Artists get such little money as it is, and Pandora is nothing without those artists and their work. Let’s give these people their money.

If Pandora is so great, people will pay to advertise there, and subscribers will pay for the pleasure. I won’t be on that list, but if you’re that great, you’ll succeed. Nobody said a great service has to be free.


Share!  
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Email
  • Digg
  • Google Reader
  • Delicious
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

eBay Changes Accepted Payment Methods

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

RBH of the ebayinkblog posted it here, and it’s also over here, so it must be OK to start talking about this!

eBay is announcing today that it’s changing what payment methods can be accepted by sellers. To me, the announcement has two main components.

1) No more paper money. No checks, no money orders. I am not too sad to see these go. When I used to be more of an eBay seller, I stopped taking those a long time ago. I found a check for $16 once bounced on the 16th calendar day. That’s three weeks. So I can hold your check for a month if you want to pay that way, but that made no sense. Other than USPS money orders, I felt like most money orders I got were things I could have made in Photoshop in 1993.

I am not sure if checks and money orders are huge areas of fraud, but they have the potential to be for any seller who ships say the day after they deposit these. If they turn out fake or the check is bad, you may not know for WEEKS. That’s bad since you then have little or no recourse.

So my heart is not broken over this. Anybody who wants to pay from a bank account can send a PayPal e-check. I think the only potential downside here are sellers who like to get money orders in USD from international customers so that they don’t have to deal with potential PayPal or credit card fraud.

2) eBay is going to start highlighting online payment services and systems other than PayPal. So for those who want or need an alternative to PayPal, they are out there. eBay may not be in the biggest rush to snuggle up to any Google or Amazon payment system, and that makes sense. You can’t pay my company with a credit you have from a company who claims to compete with us. :) But other payment services are out there. And it means that the people commenting in the ebayinkblog that it’s PayPal only are wrong. It’s credit cards, PayPal, and some other services.

ProPay seems to be the first that eBay is highlighting. The transaction rates seem higher than PayPal, and they look higher than what I pay for a merchant account. But again, if you don’t want PayPal or can’t use it, ProPay is certainly an option.

PayPal turned down our invite to our RocketPlace conference next month. We’re hoping ProPay will come. :)

We’ll be discussing this on our live talk radio show tomorrow, and hope to include an interview with ProPay. Make sure you listen and call in live with your questions and comments!


Share!  
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Email
  • Digg
  • Google Reader
  • Delicious
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr