EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 36 - April 21, 2001 - ISSN 1528-6703     8 of 9

Letter to the Editor

Dear Ina,
I have to tell you that I found that article in the last issue [How To Establish A Clientele: Part 1 - How I Did It] to be a marvelous piece of fiction.

I have and currently do list 90% of the same items on Epier that I do on Ebay. I offer the items at a lower starting bid on Epier, I include Epier's URL in all of my emails. I include a flyer with every item I send out. The result? I do have repeat buyers. On Ebay.

I offer a 10% discount with my flyer, it's never used. Never.

So, the article in my view either addresses a pretty out of the ordinary clientele, or I offer items for weirdos only or it's sheer fiction.

Let me tell you about my Epier sales. It's a good thing I don't need them for my beer money because the sales would not even cover that. I have maybe 2 sales a month on Epier.

I subscribe to the notion that Ebay needs some serious competition. I don't subscribe to the notion that Epier will ever be that auction house.

[Editor's Note: I asked Michele if she had a response to Joe's letter. She wrote a response, which I edited for length. Here's what she said. - Ina]

Dear Ina,
My main response to the letter above is that this person is listing BOTH on Epier and Ebay. I stopped listing on Ebay. The people who wanted my jewelry anyway followed me. I can almost assure you if I had continued to list on Ebay while listing on Epier that those customers - mainly because it was easier for them - would have continued to shop with me on Ebay. But because I totally moved and they wanted my items, they decided to give Epier a try, they found it easy to register and they continue to bid as they see fit. I have also picked up a few new customers on Epier - I have not turned them into repeat buyers as of yet, but I hope they will come back when they are ready to purchase another piece of jewelry.

He mentions his items are "the same" which makes me wonder how "collectible" they are. My market is collectibles - for instance, if someone collects big ritzy rhinestone brooches and that is what I sell, and they are consistently happy with the brooches they buy from me, they will come back. Although he does say he has repeat buyers but they are on Ebay. So the repeat buyers are there for him.

People do not like change and they want things to be easy. As long as he is listing on Ebay, it's easier for those folks to shop with him there.

And to be honest, I find his tone of voice in his letter a little sharp - believe it or not, that does come across both in emails throughout the sale and also in the auction listings. People like to be treated nicely, and they also like to get a "this is a nice person who is going to bend over backwards to make me happy" kind of feeling.

-Michele Johnson

Thanks Joe & Michele for writing such thoughtful messages. Everyone has different experiences selling online.

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