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Wed Dec 21 2011 19:29:42

What Do Online Sellers Resolve to Change in the New Year?

By: Ina Steiner

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It's a few days before Christmas, and in a week online blogs will be inundated with topics about New Years Resolutions for 2012. January is definitely a time to make adjustments and to evaluate your business model, but if you don't know by now what changes you'll be making to your business, then it's unlikely that a week will make much of a difference. So let's get a jump on the pack.

What three changes will you be making to your online business starting in January? Let's try to make it constructive. Are you going to take steps to make your operations more efficient? Will you be looking at ways to save on shipping? If you're expanding the channels on which you sell, where are you going? Will you be making any changes to the payment methods you accept?

What about resolutions around social networking, email marketing, product sourcing? And will you explore new tools such as repricing services?

Let us know what you resolve to do in 2012 to improve your online sales, and tips to share with others about what's working well, and what's not working so well.




Comments (22) | Permalink

Readers Comments

What Do Online Sellers Resolve to Change in the New Year?   What Do Online Sellers Resolve to Change in the New Year?

by: Royal Presence
Web Site

Wed Dec 21 20:31:49 2011

Excellent questions!  

Some of these questions you posed have been running through my mind this last busy rush week before Christmas.  


Will you be looking at ways to save on shipping?
Always on the radar, yes!


If you're expanding the channels on which you sell, where are you going?

Not sure about this one yet. Very happy with addoway.  

Will you be making any changes to the payment methods you accept?

I'm on the fence with amazon payments with other venues, so keep shuffling back and forth.  Will need to make a decision.

What about resolutions around social networking, email marketing, product sourcing?

Definitely need to refine the networking, but I don't do email marketing and probably never will.  I work with so many emails that I prefer not to engage that way, not to inundate someone's inbox with further overload.

And will you explore new tools such as repricing services?

Yes, and will investigate inventory synchronization.

Mainly, what I need to integrate into daily life is balance.  Hopefully my tree will get decorated on Friday.  All that's up is the white lights, and they are pretty!  

Intellectually am cognizant of the last minute purchases and even though I may advise customers of longer ship times, order early, etc., ....there are those who think of things at the 'last minute' and would like them in time for their Christmas gifting still.  I try hard to not refuse, so it's a struggle to do ordinary things like bake and cook, family stuff, wrap, yada yada yada!    

Resolution for 2012, take the week of Christmas off from the day job!  

Great questions, hope to learn more from others.  



What Do Online Sellers Resolve to Change in the New Year?   What Do Online Sellers Resolve to Change in the New Year?

by: Nana
Web Site

Thu Dec 22 00:44:35 2011

1. Build my inventory throughout the year instead of waiting until Fall.

2. Expand the surface space in my sewing room. I spend so much time in there and I'm just cramped which makes me edgy...need some "calm" in there!

3. Find a better source for my materials...I'm going to look for 1 place that meets all my needs.

What Do Online Sellers Resolve to Change in the New Year?   What Do Online Sellers Resolve to Change in the New Year?

by: Moonwishes
Web Site

Thu Dec 22 03:12:05 2011

Without Goals a business flounders. I don't always accomplish all the goals I set each year, but I would rather be heading somewhere and only get halfway, than set no goals and end up getting further and further behind from where our business should be.

Setting our goals last year, I didn't realize that I would be having two surgeries which took a good 4 months out of my life when you include recovery time, along with my usual chronic poor health, so I will continute to work towards hitting last year's goals of a new minimum monthly sales goals and also increase listings to 10,000 seperate listings by the end of 2012.

After reading Jeff Molander's book Off the Hook Marketing, http://www.offthehookguide.com/ my big goal is to provide more and better content in social areas: my blog, website, FB and Twitter posts. Any email contact with customers I want them to get any needed information about our company that they will see us as professional and personable sellers, here to stay, a store to bookmark and buy from. I want to turn customers into return customers because we have what they want.

As an ecrater seller I have found that it is vital to do your own promoting and marketing and not to depend on ecrater uploads to the main search engines. I need my listings to fit into the pattern the search engines are looking for and I have found that that makes my listings more visible. So I will continue tweaking my listings that need changes made and at the same time seek out places that I can introduce my store and it's inventory to.

As the other seller mentioned balance, I too need to focus on the truly important, eliminate the time wasters, and be sure that I'm not neglecting home life. Hard goal to master as chronic bad health never allows me to truly plan what I want to do and expect to accomplish it, but as I said before, I press on towards my goal.

My last change that I have already started just this week, is finding a charity that is in allignment with what we sell to help support so that we can give back to those that need our help. Do we do this because we are rich and don't need the money for ourselves, hardly. We do this because the need is great and we want to help in whatever way possible. Other businesses might want to look into this as well as it is interesting when looking into charities to support, you suddenly see just how rich you are and our customers will like to see that part of their purchase is going to worthy causes.

What Do Online Sellers Resolve to Change in the New Year?   What Do Online Sellers Resolve to Change in the New Year?

by: pete

Thu Dec 22 03:52:39 2011

Close the last 2 accounts we have on eBay (last of 7 we have left others we closed early 2011).

Fully move onto Amazon where we have made more profit in 1 year than the last 4 on eBay (that included UK,COM,AU,CN and De accounts)

Stop offering Postage included and multi item shipping

What Do Online Sellers Resolve to Change in the New Year?   What Do Online Sellers Resolve to Change in the New Year?

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Thu Dec 22 04:48:21 2011

Ho, Ho, Ho ...

Just for fun, ask eBay’s chief headless turkey to allow Visa's "V.me" payments gateway on eBay listings ...

Oh well, at least off-eBay online sellers will soon be able to avail themselves of this professional offering and rid themselves of the clunky parasite, PreyPal.

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking.

What Do Online Sellers Resolve to Change in the New Year?   What Do Online Sellers Resolve to Change in the New Year?

by: FrenchAntiques4u
Web Site

Thu Dec 22 06:00:48 2011

First, let me sing highest praises to you Ina, and ECommereBytes for the wealth of information you provide to us.  

No. 1 on my list of online seller resolutions is to try to better educate myself on all resources availabe to help me improve my business.  YOU, have been instrumental in this process.

2.  Try using sites that are more cost effective and consider dropping those that cost me, but produce little.

3.  Give more consideration to offering payment services.  In the old days when ebay first started with Paypal, everyone balked, wanting to pay by check and money order.  Now, it seems as though everyone is afraid to buy online when payment options are only by check and money order.  I am finding it extremely difficult to understand exactly what is required and precisely how I go about setting up payment options, so I vow to study this more, make an informed decision, and if I decide on a payment resource, to hopefully be successful in trying to set it up on my site.

3.  Use more social networking to promote my site and share photos, info, etc that I think are fun to share.

Again, Kudos to you Ina and EBytes.  All of the new steps I have taken have been as a result of your actions.  

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Prosperous and Wonderful New Year to all.


What Do Online Sellers Resolve to Change in the New Year?   What Do Online Sellers Resolve to Change in the New Year?

by: Beth

Thu Dec 22 07:51:25 2011

The first three people to answer covered most of my resolutions. But here is my personal version:
1. evaluate other venues - decide on 1 main ''other'' to concentrate on - no not Amazon - OOAK items are ok there but not great.  

2. work on building my own website. I did it before so I should be able to do it again.

3. review payment options for that website?

4. figure out how to offer merchandise and content in proper ratios.

5. find that ''charity piece'' to fit in my puzzle. I'm really interested in 3 main problems - feeding Americans who are hungry (1 in 8 goes to bed hungry..too many of them in my area are children); homeless pets and organizations that assist them; family members who need better paying, and more humane jobs...trying to work one or more of them into my business.

As Moonwishes pointed out, health is a factor in plans for me. I'm not in bad health, but stuff happens so the other thing I need is a better trained ''back up emergency'' clone of me...

NEXT?

What Do Online Sellers Resolve to Change in the New Year?   What Do Online Sellers Resolve to Change in the New Year?

by: Bob N. Frapples

Thu Dec 22 08:37:52 2011

I'm cautiously considering changing everything to ''free'' shipping (or shipping included in price) for my web store.

I'm thinking about shipping internationally in my web store (UK, Australia, Canada, NZ). I'll have to do some research to find out which int'l locations would be the least problematic.

I'd like to be able to make better use of my ''iContact'' email list and keep in better touch with my customers.

I want to figure out how (or if) having a FaceBook page would be of any benefit (ie: effort vs sales).

I want to get to a point where I can say sayonara and adios to Ebay forever.

What Do Online Sellers Resolve to Change in the New Year?   What Do Online Sellers Resolve to Change in the New Year?

by: Kabbage Sean
Web Site

Thu Dec 22 10:30:11 2011

Goals for my year:

1. Learn as much as possible about eCommerce practices so i can engage and understand at a higher level with our Kabbage Kommunity.

2. Make a difference in 52 peoples lives. 1 for each week, no matter how big or small the difference is.

3. Try and find a way to have a more influential voice amid the very active online crowd.

4. Find a club swim program to join a stick with for the full year.

5-50. Make decisions that will make me as happy as I can be  

What Do Online Sellers Resolve to Change in the New Year?   What Do Online Sellers Resolve to Change in the New Year?

by: JLynnPro
Web Site

Thu Dec 22 10:55:20 2011

I have some big goals and some little ones.

(Big) See more revenue!

Buy a new tent for shows.  The one I have is fine, but I could do with a sturdier one.

Figure out bookkeeping.  By this, I mean I need to decide in 2012 whether I'm going to continue to do my bookkeeping myself or whether I'm going to hire someone.  I was not consistent with getting it done in 2011 (I have all of my receipts and such organized--just not entered,) and if I can't get myself to do it on a regular basis, I may have to outsource it.  Bah!

Other than those three, I hope to be more consistent in putting up listings on ALL of my sites (I have six!) in order to keep people coming back.

Same thing with blogging:  I need to figure out a schedule and stick to it.

Happy New Year, everyone!

What Do Online Sellers Resolve to Change in the New Year?   What Do Online Sellers Resolve to Change in the New Year?

by: Digby
Web Site

Thu Dec 22 15:02:36 2011

Yes Ina and David, thanks for your great site all year.

Find a good fullfillment site to store my stuff in the USA.

Find a few good wholesalers and resellers in the USA to sell my product.

Try to improve my website and find a cost effective way to get good traffic.

What Do Online Sellers Resolve to Change in the New Year?   What Do Online Sellers Resolve to Change in the New Year?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Thu Dec 22 17:02:38 2011

I'm really impressed with these answers - everyone is taking a big-picture view of their lives and at the same time looking at specific things they can do to be happier and more successful. Kudos to you, and thanks for sharing.

What Do Online Sellers Resolve to Change in the New Year?   What Do Online Sellers Resolve to Change in the New Year?

by: Joe Average

Thu Dec 22 21:35:45 2011

Free shipping is not working, so I will take the next logical step: For customers who dont want to pickup, I will still ship for free but additionally, I will insert cash in each item shipped.

What Do Online Sellers Resolve to Change in the New Year?   What Do Online Sellers Resolve to Change in the New Year?

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Fri Dec 23 14:31:14 2011

I'm already in the midst of it...revamping and streamlining my website(s) to make them easier, more convenient....and to meet with Google Bases requirements.  This is tedious but I think will be rewarding in the end.  My plans don't include much of anything new to Ebay.

What Do Online Sellers Resolve to Change in the New Year?   What Do Online Sellers Resolve to Change in the New Year?

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Fri Dec 23 17:09:07 2011

In light of today's announcement that eBay will make permanent the new ''best'' match algorithm, it appears that eBay is forcing my hand and that I will be departing sooner than anticipated.

Even with solid-5's for every DSR category, and with 100% feedback, over 10 years loyalty, never a negative feedback, TRS, and powerseller... I'm still buried DEEEEP in the search results.

I offer free shipping, 14-day returns... the only thing I cannot guarantee is ''same-day'' or ''next-day'' shipping.

It's something that I regularly do, but it's not something that I can ALWAYS do.

I'm a small home-based business. I don't have a team of pickers and packers and boxers and labelers and runners... I DO IT ALL MYSELF.

eBay wants all this and the best they can offer in return is that our listings will show up. Otherwise, our listings will be hidden. Nice, eh?

We must provide platinum service and solid-gold options... and in return we get eBay's tin-ear and pewter treatment.

They DO know that such demands are unrealistic and that it will be impossible for small mom-and-pop businesses (or just ''mom'' businesses) to be able to meet such rigid and irrational requirements.

As our listings get pushed further and further down, it's impossible for us to compete.

This is intentional. It's just ANOTHER squeeze to justify their stealthy way of kicking us out.

It saddens me to know that there are so many others who TRULY TRULY RELY ON EBAY for the pittance they can scrape together... I guess I'm luckier than most in that regard.

What Do Online Sellers Resolve to Change in the New Year?   What Do Online Sellers Resolve to Change in the New Year?

by: dans parts This user has validated their user name.

Fri Dec 23 21:01:54 2011

I agree with Annie.

My stats are similar (99.9, TRS, PS), but I know my listings are buried, since traffic is way down.  Most things that do sell have only one bidder.  Can't remember when is the last time I've had a REAL bidding war.

Free shipping is a joke, and I won't raise my prices to cover it, as my opening bid price would then drive away more potential Buyers (gee, just the way eBay wants to try to flush another small seller down the toilet).

Unfortunately for me, unlike some lucky folks on eBay, I'm stuck here.  There simply aren't any other auction sites that cater to my OOAK items.  There are no greener pastures for me to leave to.  I've also learned that (with PROPER exposure), some of my items can fetch thousands of percent more in sale price than my opening bid price (or a fixed price on a website), so I NEED the auction format.  And I can't get it anywhere but eBay.

Things that I would like to do this year include figuring out a website for me, that I can use more or less like an outlet mall for small, dumb stuff.

With a website, of course, comes SEO, and a whole slew of new things on my plate that I need to educate myself on.  So put that on the list for this year.

Oh, and I need to do something about bookkeeping this year as well.  My old ways are just too time-consuming, so a BIG revamp is in order.

Ina, you mentioned something about making ourselves happier?  I'd settle for something less than the 14-16 hour days, 7 days a week that I'm now doing to keep up with listing enough items to pay the bills.

I no longer have a life.  eBay has sucked it out of me, just to survive.

What Do Online Sellers Resolve to Change in the New Year?   What Do Online Sellers Resolve to Change in the New Year?

by: Y.D.D.D

Sat Dec 24 20:28:08 2011

Will take Patricia's advice and build everywhere I can

What Do Online Sellers Resolve to Change in the New Year?   What Do Online Sellers Resolve to Change in the New Year?

by: Y.D.D.D

Sun Dec 25 08:18:37 2011

Don't know whats up with eCrater, but haven't had a sale there for months and months, honest truth !

Did they change google search engines so customers don't go to small to medium sellers elsewhere ?

What Do Online Sellers Resolve to Change in the New Year?   What Do Online Sellers Resolve to Change in the New Year?

This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Thu Dec 29 16:21:56 2011

Given my "collectibles" bent - and my major source of sales are on eBay (even with the problems associated with a now mediocre morally corrupt company [OK - I'm a whore]) since that is where most of MY customers (not eBay's), there are a few things I have to do soon.

1. Evaluate the free listing frenzy eBay has done for the last few months. I have taken advantage of it & my sales have spiked upward for back inventory. If that means opening (gasp!) an eBay store, and it seems to be profitable - why not. Capitalism has no morals and I keep my customers satisfied.

2. Evaluate the free shipping option on eBay. My DSR dings come from shipping - so if I include "free shipping" in my price AND I get a 20% reduction in FVF, oh well. As P.T.Barnum said "There is a sucker born every minute".
BUT - my repeat customers will benefit by my reducing their multiple purchases.

Happy New Year to y'all.

What Do Online Sellers Resolve to Change in the New Year?   What Do Online Sellers Resolve to Change in the New Year?

by: Mr. Bill

Thu Dec 29 17:26:58 2011

I will continue to improve my website sales with a goal of doubling that volume. I will also continue to list a few items on other venues to test the waters. I would really love to remove myself from ebay completely as it is just too stressful, I cannot be perfect and that is what it takes on ebay as the the ceo there thinks we all have a office building of employess. Obviously he is unable to allow the fact in his twisted vision that small businesses may only have a few employees. So we that in mind I look forward with hope that I will do well this new year and maybe the board will send jd packing and a new ceo will dismantle innovative disruptions and bury jd's ideas at sea.

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