Too MANY Payment Options?

Written by Cyn

With the launch of Checkout by Amazon  I have to ask myself – is there such a thing as too many payment options?  When a buyer comes to my site, what are they looking for as far as payment options?  Currently I offer Paypal, Google Checkout and a merchant account.  50% of my shoppers choose the merchant account, 25% Paypal and 25% Google Checkout.

Would I not be shooting myself in the foot by adding another payment option?  Considering each payment processor offers reduced fees based on volume, by having too many options, and spreading that volume among 3 processors, I am paying higher processing costs.

When I only offered Paypal, I had a lot of abandoned shopping carts and even a few potential customers email me that they canceled their order because they couldn’t use their credit card directly.  So I’ve added a merchant account and have had no more abandoned carts.  I may even experiment with deleting Paypal and Google Checkout for a month.  See if I get any requests for them, or if my abandoned carts return.  If I were to process all payments through my merchant account, I could save quite a bit of money on processing fees with the reduced percentages.

So for me, Amazon Checkout is a non-event.  Too many hands in the pie.

IMA Announces Feedback Initiative Website

The Internet Merchants Association recently announced the launch of their new website –

This new website is a Public Service Initiative to give all eBay sellers a one stop link to include in their correspondence with eBay buyers in order to help educate buyers on the effects of eBay’s new feedback system, including DSR’s and neutral feedback.

From what I can tell, the only education eBay has done to help buyers understand the new feedback system is to include a pop-up when a buyer leaves feedback, that encourages them to leave negative feedback by pointing out the seller can no longer retailiate in kind.  That’s eBay’s kind of buyer education.

The Internet Merchants Association felt that more education was needed and took the initiative to publish the site which has been received very positively in the seller community.  IMA is encouraging sellers to include the link in their correspondence with buyers and post it on various sites in order to get it out to the public at large.

Auctionbytes has picked up on the site and Ina’s blog post can be read here.

After the site was posted on various eBay boards, IMA was asked permission to have it reposted in Dutch, French and other languages. Several eBay Certified Education Specialists have requested permission to print the site and use it in their classes.   We are pleased to oblige!

Looking at eBays DSR (Detailed Seller Ratings) – I am concerned

written by Steve Grossberg, IMA President

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I was looking at eBays DSR’s this morning. I pulled up the top 100 active ebay sellers in the USA and compiled a list of their respective DSR’s

Here are my findings

Item as described – average score 4.79
Communication – average score 4.66
Shipping Time- average score 4.58
Shipping Fee- average score 4.41

Below is percentage of top 100 scoring 4.5 or better in the respective category

Item as described – 99% scoring 4.5 or better
Communication – 93% scoring 4.5 or better
Shipping Time- 81% scoring 4.5 or better
Shipping Fee- 44% scoring 4.5 or better

What is really disturbing here is looking at the shipping and handling. When eBay announced the DSR strategy, sellers were voicing concern that eBay was going to use shipping and handling as a rating category.

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When a postcard is not just a postcard

If you have never used Vista Print even if just for their FREE items, you should give them a try.  Not only do they have quality products and fast turnaround, they have a vast array of items that can work for advertising your business.

Let’s “think outside the box”…

* Postcards — create an ad on one/both sides and include your web address.   Use them as inserts in place of a business card.

* Invites — create a note to your customer, introducing a new product line, or an upcoming sale.

* Address stamp — use it for stamping ‘Thank You’ or a coupon code.

* Return labels — create a personalized seal (Thank you for your purchase…Old World Limited) and use instead of tape when wrapping purchases in tissue. 

* Return Labels — put your web addy on and use as stickers on your mailing packages.