eBay: Custom Template Designs & Digital Downloads

Anyone who sells items that can be sent by email or delivered through eBay/Paypal’s download service has certainly had a rough week.  eBay announced earlier this week that sellers of digital goods would no longer be able to list those items in auction format.  Sellers of digital goods would be required to list their wares in the classified ad format that costs $9.95 per ad and doesn’t receive any on eBay feedback for the transactions (since they would all be completed off eBay).

The main reasoning for this rules change was stated as FEEDBACK MANIPULATION.  Many of the digital downloads are easily replicated and any seller could quickly generate thousands of listings and pump up their feedback.  Unfortunately all goods that can be “shipped” digitally do not fall in this category of items, eBay listing templates and store templates come to mind.

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Expanded Paypal Payment Review Starts 3/17

I logged into my Vendio account today to find a message from Vendio alerting sellers that this Monday eBay will be expanding support for Paypal Payment Reviews on eBay transactions. Vendio states that now more eBay payments made through Paypal will be reviewed to determine if they are high risk (Vendio is estimating the total will be well under 10%). If Paypal determines a payment is high risk they will place a hold on the funds and notify the seller not to ship while they review the payment.

Reading the Paypal link containing the information, Paypal states that the seller will be notified “within minutes” of payment via email, as well as flags put in your Account Overview and History Pages. I would recommend not relying on email and check your Paypal account throughout the day for these “flags” or even delaying shipment by a day on high value items.

Click here to read the Paypal information on Payment Review.

Cyn

eBay Says That New Sellers Must Specify S&H Costs

Yesterday Kristina Klausen from eBay’s Shipping Team announced that starting this week eBay will begin requiring all new sellers who are listing for the first time to specify their shipping costs using the Shipping Details section. By the time eBay Live arrives specified shipping costs will be required in most listings on eBay. Click here to read the full announcement.

What does this mean for me as a seller?

If you use USPS or UPS then you can take advantage of the eBay Shipping Calculator, if you prefer FedEx or DHL then you will have to enter a flat rate when listing.

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Be Notified When Your Website is Linked To & Indexed

Wouldn’t it be nice to be automatically notified when your website has a new page indexed in Google, or when someone links to your site? Well this is very easy to do using the Google Alerts Beta! Here are the instructions for setting up a site wide Google index update Alert and a site wide link alert.

Create an alert for when a page on your site gets indexed:

  1. Go to www.google.com/alerts.
  2. For search terms enter (without quotes) “site:yourdomain.com”.
    1. Make sure you do not use a www or other subdomain.
  3. Select Web as the type.
  4. For “How often” we will select “as-it-happens”. I like this because this tells you exactly when Google is crawling your site!
  5. Enter the email you want the alert sent to.
  6. Click “Create Alert”.
  7. Confirm the alert from the email Google send you and you are set!

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eBay Announces New Checkout

eBay announced today a new checkout flow for Paypal payments.  The response from the community has not been positive as it apparently leaves their Paypal account open at the end, among other glitches.  There are also reports of the order showing the shipping for each item, rather than one shipping charge for the entire order.

 You can read the official eBay announcement here.

Reviewing the screenshots posted by Paypal on the Checkout Forum I am happy to see on the checkout page an explanation of what an echeck is, with an estimated clearing date, and a note that it may delay shipping.  However, there have been problems reported with trying to use other funding methods and being automatically moved to an echeck instead.
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eBay Announces More Stores Exposure

Today eBay announced more exposure for Stores in Search. It’s not the infamous “Stores in Search” but it is definitely better than the small amount of exposure Stores currently receive in search:

http://www2.ebay.com/aw/core/200803121000132.html

Raj Patel
Hi everyone…I’m Raj Patel with the eBay Stores team. As many of our Store sellers know, last November we began testing several new ways to display Store Inventory listings in the expansion area below search results. (As a reminder, this area appears when a search returns 30 or fewer auction-style and fixed price items.) For example, some of our tests included the display of Gallery images for Store Inventory listings when available. We also experimented with different quantities of Store Inventory listings in this area.
The purpose of all these tests was to determine what presentation makes the optimal experience for buyers. Based on our results, I’m pleased to let you know we’ll be making two important changes:

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Last Day of the IMA Conference

Good morning from San Antonio. It is good to be home, but now I have to get to work putting all this new information to work in my business!

If you missed the last day of the conference, you missed out on some great information. Michael Levit from Vendio was the first presenter “Cross Channel Selling Costs and the Effects of eBay’s New Pricing.”

Vendio

Mike spoke about the importance of creating and running your own website store. Get your webstore established now, as internet retailing is only going to get more competitive in the future. He gave us valuable information on how to market a webstore through SEO, SEM and CSE’s (comparison shopping engines).

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Day 3 of the IMA Conference

Good morning again from Vegas. Day 3 of the conference was a whirlwind of new information and new people. Some of the presentations were very detailed, while others were more basic. I was happy to find out we had registered several new members of IMA as a result of our free seminars for ASD/AMD members on “Getting Started in E-Commerce”! Great job everyone!

The first presentation was on Market Intelligence, by Tim Williams from QL2. QL2 is a company that has helped many very large, well known retailers with market intelligence in order to increase their market share.

QL2

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Day 2 of IMA Conference

Howdy. Day 2 was very fast paced – my head is still spinning from all the information that was presented by the speakers as well as conversation with other members.

Upon registration, some of us received canvas tote bags compliments of BuySafe with the IMA logo on one side and the BuySafe Logo on the other. In my bag was the book “eBay Power Seller Secrets- 2nd Edition” by Debra and Brad Schepp. This was exciting to me as I am quoted in this book! I will be available for signings later today :)

The first presentation was given by Matt Singer of TalkMarket – How to Create an Effective Video Presentation. We learned tips and tricks to create an effective video designed to keep the potential buyers attention and convert them to a sale. Video marketing is the new internet marketing vehicle. If you’re not doing it – it is something you need to seriously consider!

Talk Market

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Good Morning from Vegas!

Howdy everyone! Beautiful weather today in Vegas – the sky is blue and the mountains are gorgeous.

Yesterday consisted of walking the tradeshow and meeting up with other IMA members at the Hospitality Suite. I think just about everyone was there, or so it seemed from the roar! The Events Committee did an excellent job making sure there was plenty of food and drinks for everyone.

I met a gentleman from TalkMarket last night and discussed their marketing strategy. It sounds like they have a great concept with video listings being marketed to hotel guests. We will learn more today at their presentation.

Steve introduced me to Kimberly Maul, writer and editor of MerchandEYES Blog, the officisal ASD/AMD blog. We are discussing linking our two blogs in order to bring more information to readers of both blogs.

Today will be a busy day with more tradeshow walking in the morning and then seminars in the afternoon. I will post again tomorrow morning with information from the seminars.

Cyn