From the Editor
By Ina Steiner
I received a letter from a reader named Andre asking if we had considered writing articles about "failures."
"While successes are great stories, I feel we, readers can also learn from failures," Andre writes. "There are 2 ebay people I buy from (clothing and shoes) with a lot of listings, one stopped the listings and had about 94% feedback. Also, you did have an article about a guy who was big on ebay, then got many negatives (sold pool tables or something) then disappeared. Turned out he said he was making more money giving lectures and speeches on ebay."
I agree with Andre that we can all learn from hearing about strategies that didn't work, and challenges that people were unable to overcome.
If you have had minor setbacks or spectacular failures, please consider sharing your experiences. Also consider visiting our discussion forums when you encounter challenges. The people who frequent those boards often have constructive advice and are professional and polite in their replies. http://auctionbytes.com/forum/phpBB/index.php
In today's column, Mark O'Neill discusses eBay's email marketing offering to drive repeat business. Email marketing is the electronic version of direct mail, a technique that can be very effective in its targeted approach. This works especially if you offer similar or complementary items on an ongoing basis. The person who buys the digital camera from you might be interested in a photo printer. A collector of McCoy pottery might be happy to know about your new items if they've had a positive experience buying a McCoy from you in the past.
eBay's tool is useful, but has some limits. Another interesting example of a unique service geared specifically for eBay sellers is MyStoreCredit, a hybrid email newsletter/coupon service to drive repeat business http://www.auctionbytes.com/forum/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=10883.
There are many email services online merchants can use, from freebies on up to sophisticated tools, including some geared specifically for eBay users. eBay lists some in its Solutions Directory (http://digbig.com/4cjmn), and two years ago we compiled a list of email newsletter services in our ecommerce resources directory (http://auctionbytes.com/cab/pages/marketing) - scroll down to Email List Hosting Services. (Be aware of eBay's policies before using them with eBay customers.)
Michele Alice racks up another winning collector's corner column with her look at the interesting and sometimes controversial field of Black Memorabilia.
And I take up a lot of bytes in this issue with my look back at the online auction industry in 2004. There were some predictable occurrences as well as some real surprises. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
We are in the process of conducting a survey of eBay consignment drop-off stores. If you operate a retail drop-off store (open regular hours to walk-in traffic), please send me an email with a link to your site. Once I verify your information, I'll send you a link to the survey. We've looked at the early responses coming in, it's fascinating information! We'll be publishing results in upcoming issues of this newsletter.
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 email@example.com.
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