Monday, November 30, 2009

iabol for eBay: Multi-Carrier Shipping Solution

spring cleaning c/o ebay, ups, and usps - _MG_9003Image by sean dreilinger via Flickr

Mark Your Calendars!

What: 'Tips From the Top' Podcast

When: Tuesday, December 1 - 2:00pm ET/11:00am PT

Your are invited to join our 'Tips From the Top' podcast to learn about iabol for eBay - an easy-to-use multi-carrier shipping solution currently certified with UPS and USPS via Endicia.

This new eBay app gives eBay sellers more choices for domestic and international shipping. Designed with powersellers in mind, this solution is fully integrated with Selling Manager and Selling Manager Pro.

Marty Stamps, Director of Marketing at ABOL Software, will be our podcast guest on Tue Dec 1 (2pm ET/11am PT). He'll discuss the features and benefits of iabol for eBay and will be happy to answer your all your questions about this service.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Holiday Trends and Bing's Shopping & Cash Back Programs

Bing first page (Portugal)Image by bpedro via Flickr

Mark your Calendars!

Today our 'Tips From the Top' podcast guest will be Kelly Scott, Product Manager on the Bing Shopping/Cashback team.

Kelly is joining us to answer questions about Bing's shopping and cashback programs and how they hold value for merchants.

In addition, Kelly's position at Bing gives her a unique view of the holiday trends that are already appearing. Listen in - something you hear might help you take advantage of them and increase your holiday sales!

Please join us for an information-filled 30 minutes - all about Bing!

The podcast is TODAY - 3:00pm ET/noon PT. The chat room will be open and we welcome your questions!

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Monday, November 9, 2009

A ReCap of The 'Presenters Series' Master Mind Roundtable

Bridging the conf. call for the April 15, 2009...Image by Dimdim Web Conferencing via Flickr

The 'Presenters' Series' explores the techniques and tools that are essential for a successful presentation, whether it's an online webinar or an in-person class.

A Master-Mind Round-Table discussion held on Mon Nov 2nd served as the introduction to the 8-part series. Janelle Elms, Phaedra Stockstill and yours truly, Marlene Gavens, shared tips for those who want to master the art of public speaking or teaching.

As part of the series, co-hosts Cindy Shebley and Dany Byrne will be trying out a variety of tools in the individual sessions.

In this first session, they used What did they discover about the service?

First, although there is a lot to recommend the service, during the peak evening hours, Free Conference Pro has a reputation for dropping calls. Sadly, the call re-inforced this reputation - it was dropped half way through. They were unable to continue, and so missed a presentation by the fourth speaker, Sheryl Schuff, as well as the anticipated Question & Answer Session.

Second, the audio quality was spotty. Each speaker's phone had a different sound - some clear and crisp, some with a low hum.

So on a technical front, this call receives a C+

But the content was stellar. Each speaker addressed a different aspect of interviewing, from preparation through helping guests to relax. In addition, the discussion touched on the many ways internet conferencing tools could be used to grow an online business.

I invite you to listen to the replay on The Web Sellers' Circle and to sign up for the remaining 7 sessions!

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Saturday, November 7, 2009

10 Ways Small eCommerce Sellers Can Compete with the Big Guys

Browsing items in Google BaseImage via Wikipedia

The following tips come to you courtesy of

Paul O’Brien.

Paul is VP of Sales & Marketing for, the free online financial management platform that tracks business performance, income and expenses so sole proprietors and small business owners can put their taxes, bookkeeping, and back-office on autopilot.

1. Track Your Best Customers: Offer special deals for those customers who order the most volume. Not only will you further your relationship as a vendor, but you’ll be able to maintain your margins and secure future business. Best way to do this? Bookkeeping. Be sure to record every sale and associated expenses clearly and consistently and you can review a report of who bought what, when, and with what impact to your bottom line. does this all automatically with a handy report of your best customers.

2. Offer Special Discounts: Timing is everything. I know, we all hate hearing holiday music and seeing the decorations in stores BEFORE Thanksgiving but the fact is, the holiday shopping season has started. Learn from the brick & mortar stores: promote the bargains, offer packages or discounts for bulk purchases and recognize that people want to get in and done. Offer short term promotions to entice them to wrap up their purchases by buying everything from you.

3. Don’t Miss Tax Deductions: If you sell online, you’re very likely work from home. Don’t be afraid to plan on taking the home office deduction, especially if you have your inventory in your house. What else can you write off? eBay sellers, do you hop garage sales on the weekend looking for steals? Are you keeping track of that mileage?

4. Check out Comparison Shopping Sites: To divert customers from mass retailers, many small businesses are looking into online comparison shopping sites to reach a larger audience and attract sales. Check out free shopping sites like Google Base to get started. Use SingleFeed to distribute your products to multiple CSEs (comparison shopping engines), optimize performance, and do it all at the right price.

5. Simplify Checkout: Believe it or not, 3 steps to checkout has a higher conversion rate than making it easy for customers to check out with just one step. Don’t put everything on a long form; walk them through the process. Order Review > Shipping Info > Payment.

6. Organize Sales and Manage Inventory – Work with manufacturers, vendors, and drop shippers now to ensure inventory is available and shipping is on time. Their ability to fulfill your needs can make or break your store during the holiday.

7. Effectively Market Your Promotions: The best form of marketing is retention; you’ve identified your best customers and converted hundreds more through the holiday season, keep them around in 2010 by creating e-newsletters them know what’s hot with your store.

8. Be Up Front and Clear about your Shipping and Handling – 72% of customers who abandon an online shopping cart do so because shipping charges are higher than they expected.

9. Offer Free Shipping - 61% online shoppers prefer to shop with a retailer that offers free shipping, 60% claim free shipping is a reason they are more likely to shop online, and 90% believe free shipping offers would entice them to spend more online. According to a Wharton study, free shipping offers that save customers $7 is more appealing to most shoppers than a discount that cuts the price of a purchase by $10!

10. Don’t Worry About Others’ Conversion Rates: Benchmarking your own store against everyone else will only give you headaches. Spend a couple hours with Google Optimizer and learn how to do basic A/B and Multivariate testing. The best thing you can do for your business is focus on improvement. A 10% increase in conversion rates (say from 5% to 5.5%) puts 10% more sales in your pocket and improves your ROI on EVERY marketing campaign.

About The platform is fast-becoming the go-to resource for e-commerce sellers, as their newest integrations with PayPal and eBay allow millions of merchants to automatically record their sales and track their growth across multiple ecommerce channels, including etsy, eBay, Amazon and the Yahoo! Store. Business owners no longer have to manually record each sale they've made in multiple marketplaces or even in their own store; online merchants managing their checkout with PayPal, have sales automatically recorded and reported with

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Monday, November 2, 2009

A Master Mind Call, A Call To Action & How To Terapeak

A phone made specifically for conference call.Image via Wikipedia

November starts out in full swing with 3 powerful podcasts! Be sure to mark your calendars so you don't miss a single one!

'Presenters Series' Mastermind Round Table
Tue Nov 3
8:00pm eastern / 5:00pm Pacific

Online education is a new way to reach students, clients and promote your business. It's a growing field and an abundance of new technology makes it easy and inexpensive to reach more people.

Webinars and Podcasts are becoming a common way to communicate and build a community, yet
most educators don't know where to start, what tools work the best or a host of other details.

The Web Sellers Circle is proud to introduce the new "Presenter Series" which will be a valuable resource for those interested in learning how to participate in online trainings. As a way to introduce the series, The Web Sellers' Circle is hosting an exciting, free Master Mind Round table conference call with industry experts:
Be sure to save time on Tue Nov 3 at 8:00pm eastern and join us. You can register for the program by using this link:

Social Media and More for eCommerce Sellers
Wed Nov 4
Noon eastern / 9:00am Pacific

Join Michael Stelzner, author of the Social Media Marketing Industry Report, organizer of the Social Media Success Summit & founder of the Social Media Examiner as we talk about
  • using social media in your business
  • how a white paper can help your business
  • the importance of a call to action & why you must have one
  • and more!
Michael Stelzner is known as the "Grandfather of White Papers." He has written over 130 white papers for companies including Microsoft, Dow Jones, FedEx, Motorola & Hewlett Packard. He is a sought after speaker who has presented at national business and marketing conferences such as MarketingSherpa and MarketingProfs.

This past month he launched the Social Media Examiner - a free online, weekly magazine that features how-to articles, case studies, video interviews and tips from experts in the field.

Michael has written numerous blog posts and articles including: Six Deadly Marketing Mistakes and a New Approach, How To Use Twitter To Grow Your Business & How To Use LinkedIn to Create Authoritative Content.

Join our Tips From the Top podcast on Wed Nov 4 at 12:00 noon (eastern) for an information-filled, fast-paced conversation with Michael Stelzner. The Chat Room will be open and we welcome your questions.

How To Research with Terapeak
Thu Nov 5
2:00pm eastern / 11am Pacific

Today our podcast guest is the dynamic Denise Hogue, Terapeak Product Manager. We'll discuss Terapeak's new, free eBay Keyword application and then cover some of the other, perhaps less well-known or less-used features of this research tool that can improve your selling strategies.

Join our Tips From the Top podcast on Thu Nov 5 at 2:00pm eastern to learn about Terapeak! Our Chat Room will be open and we welcome your questions!

Watch a Terapeak eBay Research Demo

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