Happy New Year 2012

I want to wish everyone all the best for the New Year and hoping it brings you good health, wealth but most of all happiness in whatever it is you choose to do.Happy-New-Year-20122011 was an interesting year for me, with some severe ups and downs. I lost a very close friend of mine tragically back in April and that is something that will stay with me forever.  On the other side of the coin, the blog has gone from strength to strength which resulted in me hosting it myself and buying my own domain name making the leap from WordPress.com to WordPress.org.  I have had the pleasure of meeting some fantastic people and achieving some really impressive (well I think so) things professionally too.

2012 i’m hoping will be a massive year for me professionally.  I have many things lined up for early 2012 which will bring with it some fantastic opportunities, all of which you will find out about on here, in due course.

So on that note once again I want to wish you a fantastic 2012 and remember it is up to you what you make of it.  I’ll leave you two of my favourite quotes below as this is the inspiration i’l be taking forward into the New Year.

Dave

“Are you bored with life? Then throw yourself into some work you believe in with all your heart, live for it, die for it, and you will find happiness that you had thought could never be yours.” – Dale Carnegie

 

“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” – Dale Carnegie

eBay Weekly Deals – The Hidden Benefit

As promised here is my take on the hidden benefits of eBay weekly deals.  But first lets have a little bit of background on eBay weekly deals.

eBay is perhaps most famous for having its daily deals pages and some would say that  it was the first ‘daily deals’ type sites which has paved the way for the likes of Groupon etc.

ebay-logo.previewNow weekly deals are a whole dedicated page on eBay which change on a weekly basis on a Thursday.  You can check the weekly deals pages here.  You can see that they have categories for all different types of product from fashion to technology and everything in between.  The deals page is one of the most visited pages on the eBay site and because of this is lucrative web real estate.  So now that we have decided that you really want to be on Weekly Deals, here comes the not so easy bit…how do you get on it?

Well sadly you will need to be one of eBay’s Enterprise Sellers.  This is a challenge in itself.  I won’t go into the exact criteria you have to meet in order to be an enterprise seller but if your getting close you should notice that eBay will start showing more interest in your selling account and start getting in touch with you.  The bottom line is, you need to be turning over a certain amount of money each year on eBay, (a nice large round number 😉 ) You also need to be able to demonstrate that you can successfully sell on eBay and can keep Top Rated Seller consistently.  Treat eBay like a game as Matt Ogborne describes here and getting to enterprise status is one of the last levels.

So what is this hidden benefit I speak of?  Well it ties in very closely with what I mentioned above with regards to your increased audience with appearing on the deals page.  Now this comes from first hand experience of something that happened a few months ago to a company I work for.  They put a bluray player on weekly deals and the sold quite well.  A week later they were taken off the deals page and two weeks later on a Monday night…whilst they were NOT on any deals pages they sold all of them.  Between 8pm and 9 am the following morning they had sold out selling over 150 in just  over 12 hours.

eBay logo San FranciscoSo as some of you may of guessed the hidden benefit here is found in the Best Match algorithm.  The added impressions and sales from weekly deals had pushed this listing up and it has found its way to the top product for the search ‘Blu Ray Player’. what we saw was the power of having the number 1 listing in a generic search result.  I should also add here that we are a Top Rated Seller,owners the cheapest price online and offered free shipping therefore ticking lots of best match boxes.

What I am saying here is not if you get on weekly deals 3 weeks later your product will sell out.  I have only seen this happen twice and we have been on weekly deals quite often.  What I am saying is, with eBay the higher you climb the eBay ladder the more benefits you seem to see. By being on Weekly deals they are giving you more traffic which works hand in hand to get your listing higher up the eBay search and therefore give you even more traffic and potential sales.

I know there will be many who read this and automatically jump on the negative bandwagon that argues that ‘eBay focus on making the big bigger and don’t focus on the smaller businesses’. And yes you are right that is exactly what eBay are doing, but remember eBay is a business too and they are going to do what makes them the most money.  All of the enterprise sellers had to start somewhere or are being run by people who started at the beginning and have had to work their way up.  Let’s go back to Matt’s game analogy, play the game, beat the levels and you will work your way up to becoming an enterprise seller, and getting the hidden benefits that this brings.  Good luck and have fun.

Dave

What Can You Learn From Ebuyers Mistake On Cyber Monday?

Now I know this is late getting published but here are my thoughts on the Ebuyer Cyber Monday fiasco.  For anyone who hasn’t heard of what happened then I will give a bit of a background story here.  Ebuyer are a large company based in the UK that specialise in electrical and computer products.  This year to try and maximise the sales and impact of ‘Cyber Monday’ (28th November 2011) they started to market a £1 Sale where they would offer last remaining stock items for  £1.

ebuyer £1 SaleThis seemed like a fantastic marketing tactic to gather a lot of interest but also to shift end of line items which were no longer desirable.  The reality however was that they underestimated the demand and instead the large amount of visitors at 10:30 am crashed the Ebuyer site.  With such limited stock and such a high volume of potential buyers this was the worst thing that could of happened to Ebuyer and many of their potential customers decided to let them know how they felt.

They received thousands of complaints from both customers who were unable to reach the site, but also many who paid for products they managed to order through Google Checkout but later found their order had been refused.

Many complaints posted on Ebuyer’s Facebook page claimed that the site failed to process orders which used the Google service, which meant that their orders didn’t go through.  Others said that they received an email hours after they had placed an order telling them that they wouldn’t receive the product as it no longer existed on the system, having already been sold.

Ebuyer said that they received “an overwhelming response” to the £1 clearance sale and had “an unprecedented number of visitors” to their site.  They went on to explain that many of the items on sale were from limited stock and they understand that many shoppers had trouble reaching the site in order to take advantage of the offers.

“We understand that many of our customers could not get their hands on these deals, resulting in a degree of disappointment. However, we will be running many more sales and promotions and customers can look out for plenty of amazing offers for the rest of this week and beyond,” they promised.

One shopper said that they had found a way around the problem by buying from the technology retailer through their eBay express page.  Other users on the company’s Facebook page accused Ebuyer of running a marketing scam and deleting customer complaints from the page.  One user commented “Here at Ebuyer (a website that sells computer parts and specialises in technology) we trick our customers into flooding our website at the same time all for a bogus ‘£1 Clearance Sale’ knowing our servers can’t handle it and only our staff can access the website, using a direct line,”

One Facebook Fan created this image to get across his thoughts on eBuyers incompetence and lack of preparation for their £1 Sale.

ebuyer fail picMy Thoughts

It would seem somewhat short sighted of the company to not make provisions for what was bound to be a popular sale, on one of the busiest online shopping days of the year.  But I think a lot of people were too harsh on Ebuyer.  Let me tell you why.

There is no denying that what happened left only Ebuyer to blame, but the logistics involved with offering such a sale were enormous.  They had to contend with making sure they had the capacity and man power to deal with orders, questions, inventory and dispatch on a day when I guarantee they would of had full man power.  They made one oversight with regards to their server capacity and they paid the price for it.

A lot of selfish people were complaining that they couldn’t get their £1 deal but that day will have cost Ebuyer thousands and thousands of pounds in wages, missed sales and perhaps most importantly a damaged reputation.  What I find commendable about what happened is that throughout the whole time of the site being down, Ebuyer did their utmost to keep people informed about what had gone on, with continuous updates on Facebook and Twitter they were genuinely concerned about their fans and didn’t want them to feel like they were being ignored.  For a company as large as Ebuyer it would of been easy for them to cut the whole thing off and ignore the backlash but they didn’t.

The same day the Managing Director of Ebuyer Armando Sanchez posted a press release acknowledging what had happened and offering his apologies.  You can read this here.

In my opinion Ebuyer did the best they could out of a bad situation and i’m sure this expensive lesson won’t have to be taught again.

Dave

Update from Dave

So the blog has been quiet for the past month so figured to get it going again I should write a quick update on whats been going on and what is to come.  (Also need to play with the coding for the site again…updated theme and cant find where I put my back-up file…d’oh)

So for the past month I have been inundated with comments and e-mails from the dodgy iphone / ipod website the blog can be found here.  I have with the help of some other great people trying to make sure people got their money back from these scammers and luckily most from what I have heard have been successful.  This is still ongoing at the minute for some which is a shame so close to Christmas but hopefully it will all get sorted out soon.

I also went on a get fit again mission so back in the gym as well as a new hobby which is going well.  There may be a new blog / website about this soon.  Not sure how it could / would work yet but for Christmas I have asked for more hours in the day…so if I get that then we could be on to a winner.

So whats coming up soon then?  There are a few blogs i’m hoping to get posted in the next few weeks.  These will include looking at the eBuyer Cyber Monday fail, eBay Weekly Deals and a post looking at postage and packaging when selling on eBay.

So thats whats been going on and whats coming up, as always I look forward to any of your questions, comments or experiences etc.

Dave