This and That: Online Auction Roundup
By Ina Steiner
Fulfillment Companies Can Help Auction Sellers
If your online business is bursting at the seams, you may want to consider using a fulfillment company to store and ship your inventory for you.
PA Depot is a fulfillment company in Pennsylvania specializing in providing business order fulfillment and warehousing to small and medium sized businesses. Clients include traditional brick and mortar stores, Internet merchants including eBay sellers, publishing companies and best-selling authors. Kashif Raza chipped in when his friend, an eBay Powerseller, needed help. A business was born, and Kashif and his father, Aley, formed PA Depot last year. http://www.padepot.com
American Booksellers is a new fulfillment company specializing in storing and shipping books. American Booksellers employees have ten years or more experience working within the antiquarian book trade. They know how to treat books! http://www.americanbooksellers.com
MoreDeals Has Free 1-Month Classified Ads
Alan Mendelson invited readers to advertise their eBay and other online auctions and direct sales, on http://www.moredeals.com in his free classified ads section. The link is on the home page in the left column.
Sellers Who Accept BidPay, Listen Up
Some AOL users have problems accessing BidPay, the online payment service that allows users to purchase money orders online. AOL has yet to fix the problem. (AOL, are you listening??!)
Sellers, if you advertise BidPay in your auctions, you should mention that if customers are having problems accessing BidPay, they should send an email to email@example.com.
Problem Ordering Supplies on USPS Web Site
AuctionBytes reader Cindy wrote in that the USPS supply-ordering site does not always work, and that they are having problems with it. A USPS representative confirmed that they have been having problems since the new Web site went live. To order USPS supplies, call 1-800-222-1811. Thanks, Cindy!
April Antiques Show: Marburger Farm Antique Show, Texas
The Marburger Farm Antique Show in central Texas features 350 dealers from 33 states and Canada. This spring the show runs from April 1 to April 5 on Highway 237, halfway between Houston and Austin. Early buying is Tuesday, April 1 at 10am for $15, with regular $5 admission at 2pm. Admission is good all week and parking is free. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday show hours are 9am-5pm with Saturday, April 5 from 9am-4pm. http://www.roundtop-marburger.com
Diary of a Fraud Victim
While it can happen to anyone who has an email account, fraud certainly happens to eBayers and PayPalers. One eBay victim recorded her story online in the hopes that others will learn how to avoid similar scams: http://www.samnjoe.com/eBay-Scam.htm
Auction Shipping Tool
Lynn Phillips has an auction related Web site called Zonalyzer. It came about as a result of the USPS rate changes last June, and Zonalyzer offers a free and paid version of the product.
Shipping companies use a system of zones to classify the distance a package must travel from the point of shipment to reach the delivery point. This means bidders from different regions will pay different shipping costs for a particular seller's items.
The Zonalyzer allows sellers to embed a copy of their personal zone chart and custom rate table in each of their auctions. It also includes a small program to do the calculation based on a zip code supplied by the bidder. This way, shoppers know their shipping costs before bidding. http://zonalyzer.com
AuctionCritique Service Launches
AuctionCritique.com announced a new service last week that sellers can use to gather feedback about their auctions. Sellers can collect critiques of their auctions so they can improve their future auctions. The charge is $4.95 per month, payable in three-month segments. Free 30-day trial membership. http://www.AuctionCritique.com
Weekend Workshop for Jewelry Collectors & Connoisseurs
The Antoinette Matlins Practical Gem and Jewelry Course For Jewelry Lovers, Collectors and Connoisseurs is a weekend of hands-on learning with expert and author Antoinette Matlins. Learn everything you need to know about diamonds, colored gemstones, pearls and gem identification. The workshop takes place at the Woodstock Inn in Woodstock, Vermont, May 8-11, 2003. The cost is $575 per person. Enrollment is very limited and on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations must be received by April 9, 2003. http://www.gemstonepress.com/Seminar_files/seminar.htm
ScamBusters Warns of War-Related Scams
ScamBusters.org warns that scammers may take advantage of people who want to help in war relief efforts. "Within one hour after the 9/11 attacks, Internet users started to be bombarded with spams claiming to be from fictitious organizations. To help out, all you had to do was click a link and donate money... money that ended up in the scammers' pockets." They say you should never donate based on an unsolicited email. Always give to a trusted charity. Subscribe to their free email newsletter for updates and alerts on scams. http://www.scambusters.org
In cased you missed it in AuctionBytes Newflash, ChannelAdvisor Corporation introduced ChannelAdvisor Merchant, a service for eBay PowerSellers. http://www.auctionbytes.com/pages/abn/y03/m03/i17/s03
About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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