Thursday, November 13, 2008

Recap of Top Seller Webinar!

This recap isn't going to be very long. 

There were no big announcements; they said "Best Practices" about 100 times and that was about it. I don't even sell on the eBay anymore and these "Best Practices" are just plain obvious.

The most important statement from the entire webinar was "Recent Sales" are the key element of the Best Match algorithm for Fixed price. Basically if you get sales on a listing, don't ever let that listing run out of inventory and don't change:
  • Price - You can lower but you can't raise.
  • Don't change your title.
  • Don't change your category
  • Don't change your items condition.
If you have multiple quantity product available for that listing make sure to always keep it stocked and relist with the same listing number or use GTC.

Basically you can win the SKU if you fine-tune your FP listing for recent sales.

My Best Practice: After 60 days if you have listings with no sales and few hits, put them back in stores or stop listing them all together, becasue the listings with sales will always have tha advantage.

Just my 15%

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

more blah blah blah.

Hector Duhart said...

The new eBay schema is pretty obvious. Now you insert in multiple FP GTC, ebay put's what ever they want on the 1st page and if you want traffic, you'll just buy some ads on the AdCommerce program.

Randy Smythe said...

Hector,

That is their plan "right on the nose".

My suggestions: If you get sales concentrate on those listings. If you don't get sales bail on those listings. You may end up with just 20 listings but at least you will have profitable sales.

Henrietta said...

Also, you may not edit the body of the description, even to add something or correct a typo.

The whole thing is slanted towards recent sales. A sale last week will benefit you more than a sale two weeks ago.

It is the usual 'we hear ya' schlock. Nothing new here folks, move along.

Randy Smythe said...

Henrietta,

Yep, this all makes sense in a spreadsheet but not in the real world.

David said...

this is actually one of the few things that eBay has done this year that I like.

Anonymous said...

henrieta: you may change description without losing recent sales. just dont change the 4 things mentioned above.

the webinar was a big yawn. and it was supposed to be for the top sellers? what a joke. they might as well just all handed out their email addresses.

basically, they said keep lowering your prices until you start getting sales, always do free shipping if you want to be seen on search, and regardless of wether you are making or losing money, keepo relisting so as to not lose the recent slaes velocity and dont foget to keep lowering your price.

sad.

ms.pat said...

.....and they really feel sellers will fall right in line to do just that? Funny, last time I looked Ebay wasn't a charity - it was a for-profit business LOL

Kids Coats said...

Any news about 2009?

Cliff said...

Thanks for the recap, Randy, guess I didn't miss too much by only watching and not listening!

There was one thing I happened to catch which seemed worth mention though: Auction items take up 70% of page 1 of search results

It seems with all this stressing of FP30, auctions may still be viable.

Thanks,Cliff

nadine said...

What, if anything, of their Best Practice is applicable to those of us who sell antique one of a kind items?

At least they've stopped burying auctions. Maybe it did sink into their heads that a long established brand is not so easily redone, just because some MBA thinks the road to success is imitating the competition.

tekgems said...

Since FP30 only cost $0.35, higher value items can be listed 12 months for the cost to list it 7 days in auction format. I think I can afford to list something for 12 months before I decide to "Store" it or dump it.

Anonymous said...

Why bother with eBay? I list new repeatables for 40% more elsewhere. eBay continures to get OOAK.

Randy Smythe said...

Tekgems,

With "Recent Sales if you don't win a SKU with sales in 60 days you may never win it. Why would you continue to wait listing fees.

If it take 12 months to sell it it should be in the store or gone, IMO

Randy Smythe said...

Kid Coats,

There news about 2009 was just about more information in your Seller Dashboard all stuff we've heard before.

No real news.

Rich said...

Just slightly less KISS ["Keep It Simple Stupid..."]

David said...

Here's the one thing about recent sales that isn't clear.

If somebody buys 50 items from me, is that 50 purchases or just 1?

tekgems said...

David - purchase of qty 50 is considered 50 not 1 in the context of Recent Sales.

Randy - I understand what you're saying, but I disagree. FP30 provides greater visibility over Store, so if I do catch the view from a potential buyer, they are more likely to see it in FP30 than Stores. Recent Sales is a factor, but sellers are not mentioning the importance of keyword research. That is still fundamentally what drives Best Match. You can't compete if your listing does not even appear in the search result.

Bob said...

In sum, ebay wants it's top sellers to:

1) Keep lowering your prices. Lower, lower, lower. Until you are finally making only pennies on the dollar and selling below wholesale cost just to keep cash flowing to stave off bankruptcy.

2) Offer Free shipping, Free shipping, Free shipping (how many times did they say those words in this webinar)

3) Keep your DSRs high with effective ''communication with the buyers'' (also known as customer service, which costs a real business more measurable $ payroll, employee taxes, FICA, etc).

Pretty much all ebay top sellers are commodities sellers already operating at an ongoing net profit loss, living truly only on cash-flow....(exceptions being the ones who made inroads with Amazon at least 2 full years ago)...

Conclusion: unless ebay changes its pricing and policies dramatically, we will see a mass exodus of sellers in 2009-2010.

Maybe that's what ebay really wants: an ''efficient'' marketplace for them would be only, say, 3 very large commodities sellers per catagory, instead of hundreds of sellers with all of their concerns....

Buy.com and future corporate diamond sellers will fill the gaps when we have all finally given up...

Henrietta said...

None so blind as they who will not see Randy, I think that one is ineducable, it is a very familiar theme from the old Answer Center days. Maybe I will blog on it :-}

David said...

The recent sales seems to be helping me. My sales have really picked up as a result

Anonymous said...

David I have to agree with you. My sales are up 25%. I sell on Ebay and Amazon. I know everyone does not like the changes made at Ebay, but they seem to be working. Randy do you think the changes at Ebay are slowly starting to work? Are you also seeing the slowdown at Amazon like I am. I am a small seller at Amazon. About $7,000 a month in sales at Amazon and $12,300 at Ebay. I list about the same amount of Items on both websites.

Randy Smythe said...

Anonymous,

My sales are up at Amazon by about 25% M/M so far. On eBay it seems for every seller that is seeing better sales 2-3 are seeing worse sales.

If you can get sales you will continue to get sales thanks to the "recent sales" feature of Best Match

Anonymous said...

I remember you posting your sale numbers on your blog a while ago. 25% growth from a very low base is not really alot.Even if you want to grow a company slowly you need at least 100% growth for the first couple of months or it is not worth keeping it going.

Randy Smythe said...

Anonymous,

That was 25% Month over Month. I'm not unhappy with that at all. My sales were $25k in Sept.

Y/Y I'm up 300% but mys sales are mostly a function of how much product I have listed. If I doubled the product I put up I would double sales. I'm just not buying that much product.

Anonymous said...

Randy: I think you better check your numbers.On your Oct blog you wrote betwwen Oct 17-27 you had sales of $132.16.Say you triple it you would have sales of about $500. Add 25% growth M/M and you have sales of about $625. I think $25,000 is a bit OFF!!!. Check your MATH.

Randy Smythe said...

Anonymous,

I actually write this blog so I think I might know what I wrote. The sales I mentioned in Oct for $132.16 were for my Webstore which just launched in Oct.

The sales I mentioned in my last comment were for my Amazon sales. Completely different numbers.

I've been selling on Amazon for a year. If you want to make a point make an accurate point.

Anonymous said...

Randy: You are right you know your business better that I do. But checking your listings on Amazon I still cannot figure out how you do 25k dollars worth of merchandise.

Anonymous said...

Randy: I have to agree. I also sell on Amazon and you have to sell alot of high end product in a recession. I also think you should check your #.

Randy Smythe said...

Anonymous,

There needs to be a little mystery. BTW, I sell a lot of boxsets and out of print dvds.

If you are trying to calculate my sales based on feedback remember that Amazon feedback left is between 15% and 20% of total orders.

Since I sell using FBA my items sell on avg. $2.97 higher than if I sold in the marketplace.

I also can stoke sales by sending more product to FBA. I send more product and my sales increase. Depending on how much I can get into Amazon's warehouse.

Unfortunately, I'm kind of stuck on 500 to 600 a week right now (shipped to FBA) and I only have 1,000 in inventory so I don't know if I will see a 25% M/M bump from Oct. to Nov. so far this month I've sold 1075 items.

Randy Smythe said...

One more thing.

I'm not trying to rebuild Glacier Bay here.

My sales are always a function of how much product I can get up to Amazon FBA each week. Just need to find more product.

Paul said...

I have a question for anyone who reads Randys blog and also sells on Amazon. During the Month of Oct when the stock market was tanking and the credit markets where closed.How many of you had sales of 25 thousand dollars or more. I sell electronics and Oct was my worst month ever.

pete said...

Anyone who says that they had 25k worth of sales is most likely telling a white lie. October was a terrible month for sales on Amazon.Unless you where a VERY big seller. Randy considering you kept telling everyone you where keeping your business small I dought your sales where that big. Good luck with your business.

Randy Smythe said...

Paul and Pete,

Glacier Bay was $350K to $400K a month in revenue so maybe our perspective on big business and small business is different.

I don't think $25K is a huge month in sales so I say I am keeping this small. I didn't say it was $25K in profit.

Maybe it is time I stop sharing my stats.

Anonymous said...

Randy,

Keep up the good work, most of your readers understand that $25K in gross sales for a media seller isn't a very big deal at all.

The feedback visible at Amazon (or even ebay) is no true indication of a sellers profit margins or fiscal health. Plus, most of us use multiple selling IDs on multiple marketplaces, (and in my case, operate a brick and mortar as well).

It's all about net profit margin and how much is enough is only relative to the individual seller.

True, most smaller ebay-based sellers aren't even making minimum wage for their time anymore, but, again, it's all relative,

Randy T

Anonymous said...

Paul and Pete,

Doing 25k in a month is achievable, especially in the month of October, even with the stock market crash, we did roughly 40k on amazon alone and we have seen nothing but growth since the "crash". There are always buyers, you just need to always crank out more listings and better quality if you want more sales. As a small seller it is easy for us to grow since we sell in a marketplace were millions and millions of dollars are exchanged a month. It is a supply game that is it, if you know how to price your stuff so it can be lowest price and you can still make money then you will be in the money as long as you can keep listing