3…2…1…OpenSky’s Birthday Countdown!

To celebrate the one year birthday of OpenSky’s Marketplace, shoppers will enjoy 9 days of amazing deals, specials, and promotions while we count it down to May 1.

IMPORTANT: This countdown is a surprise for shoppers, so keep it quiet!  But here’s a sneak peak so you have the 101 on how it’s all gonna work:

4/23- Day 1: Rewards Credit for Shoppers
4/24- Day 2: Rewards Credit (Day 2) + “Win $1000 OpenSky Shopping Spree” Member Sweepstakes
4/25- Day 3: Rewards Credit (Day 3) + Shoppers receive a special surprise
4/26- Day 4: Shop More, Save More – the more you spend, the more you save. Shoppers will be able to save up to 30% on their purchase via rewards credits delivered at checkout. This will be a one day, subsidized event with 10% of the discount funded by OpenSky!
4/27- Day 5: Sunday Splurge. Big time savings over 40% for 12 hours.
4/28- Day 6: Buy 1, Get 1 Collection. Shop BOGOs, BOHO and Gift With Purchase Promotions all day!
4/29- Day 7:  This one is a secret for everyone – check back for updates! 🙂
4/30- Day 8: Shop Today & Get Free Shipping for the Month of May
5/1- Day 9: Happy Birthday! A Super Secret Gift to All Shoppers!

Legal Basics For Your OpenSky Business, from our friends at Priori

The law has a serious impact on you as an online merchant—even if it’s the last thing you want to deal with.  We had our friends at Priori provide their best practices for some of the legal issues facing many emerging businesses. 

From protecting your creations against copycats to negotiating the best deals with vendors, getting legal right is crucial for your business. In the long run, investing in legal advice in the following areas can save you time and money.

1. Corporate Form. If you’ve never filed any paperwork to establish your business, you are probably running a sole proprietorship or partnership. While that might seem easy in the short-term (especially if you also have a day job) you may want to consider establishing your business as an LLC or corporation to minimize liability and protect your personal assets. A lawyer can evaluate your particular situation and recommend which arrangement is best for you.

Request your corporate lawyer today.

2. Vendor Agreements. As your business grows, you’ll probably work with a range of vendors to produce goods or source different materials. Lawyers help minimize the risks of these relationships by offering expertise in:

  • Drafting. Lawyers can create versatile templates for vendor agreements to allow deals and decisions to be made quickly, while limiting risk and liability.
  • Negotiating. Lawyers can advocate to remove detrimental clauses (example: impossibly short delivery time-frames) and achieve a better price overall.
  • Resolving Conflicts. When a dispute arises, it is imperative to seek legal advice quickly in order to assess your obligations and options for resolution.

3. Employees and Independent Contractors. If you hire employees or work with independent contractors to design, produce or sell your goods, lawyers can help with:

  • Drafting. When you hire employees or work with independent contractors, a lawyer can craft high-quality agreements that are tailored to your business. For example, a lawyer can help make sure that you own everything that your employee or contractor creates, and can address how your employee or contractor can use or display those works.
  • Worker Classification. Misclassifying someone who functionally is an employee as an “independent contractor” can be extremely costly. A lawyer can advise you on the rules and regulations for working with independent contractors to make sure you don’t wind up on the wrong side of a big tax bill.

Request your employment lawyer today.

4. Brand Protection. When you sell product online for the world to see, it is particularly important to protect your intellectual property from competitors and retain rights in your innovations. Consulting a lawyer can help you better understand your rights and what innovations you need to protect.

  • Trademarks. Any word, symbol, or phrase used to identify and distinguish your company’s products can receive federal registration and protection. As you establish your business with customers, you’ll want to protect your unique name and logo so you can build your brand.
  • Copyright. A copyright protects “original works of authorship.” While you do not need to file with the U.S. copyright office, it is recommended and might give you a leg up if there is an issue later. A lawyer can help guide you understand what to copyright and how to do it.
  • Patents. If your business has invented a non-obvious and novel product or business method, you could receive federal patent protection.
  • Copycats: Infringement. If you notice someone has co-opted all or part of your work, a lawyer can help guide you through the process of getting them to remove the infringing work—from a letter, hopefully, to litigation, if necessary. On the other hand, if someone has unjustly accused you of infringing, a lawyer can assist and protect your brand.

Request your intellectual property lawyer today.

Priori’s network of vetted lawyers have specialized experience handling these and any other legal issues your business may face. Request a lawyer through Priori for free, plus receive 50% off the Priori fee by mentioning OpenSky.

Learn the Lingo: OpenSky Promotional Events

OpenSky hosts innovative promotional events in order to drive more exposure and sales to Merchants. These Promotional events are a great way to bubble up savings to shoppers, and as result, get repeated periodically.

The newly-introduced Pitch Your Promotion form gives you an easy way to share your Promotional events with the OpenSky team so you can be considered for placement. Before you submit your best promotions, take a moment to walk through what it takes to qualify for some of our regularly scheduled events:

1) Sales Ending Soon

This email sends at the end of each day and includes sales that are active on the site but ending within the next 24 hours. There are a variety of factors that come into play here, but products with the larger discount will weigh heavy in the algorithm.

2) Sunday Splurge

The Sunday Splurge is one of the most highly shopped emails of the weekend (and the week). If you’re looking for a great way to boost sales and get your product in front of a large audience, this is a great event to apply for.

The requirements are simple:

  1. Products must be discounted a minimum of 40% off
  2. Minimum inventory of 10 units
  3. Sale will last for 12 hours, noon to midnight EST.
  4. Only one product per merchant will be accepted

Apply now for this week’s Sunday Splurge.

3) Lunch Time Rush

The Lunch Time Rush is quick and exciting promotion only lasts two hours — regularly between 2pm and 4pm ET. Products must be discounted by 20% and sales must end at 4pm ET.

4) DoorBusters- #doorbuster

Regularly, doorbusters exceed a 70% discount in some sort of a limited quantity. Doorbusters are meant for exactly what they sound like, getting customers in the door. As a result, they tend to be products with a much lower margin – effectively a marketing expense to get traffic to their store.

5) Buy One, Get One- #bogo

Commonly referred to as a BOGO offer, Buy One, Get One free sales are a great way to communicate sales messaging that includes the word “free” – this is bound to get someone’s attention every time. But be careful – not every item is a candidate for a BOGO sale. Do people really need two navy blue winter jackets?

6) Buy One, Get One Half Off

The cousin of BOHO is the commonly used Buy 1, Get 1 Half OFF sale.  It has a similar effect on the shopper on the BOGO, and is a bit kinder to your margin.

7) Gift With Purchase

This is a BOGO deal in disguise, and with more flexibility.  Think for the shopper and give them the opportunity to buy one item, and get a little something extra as an added bonus for buying.  If you sell Pancake Mix, throw in some Syrup for free. If you sell a necklace, throw in an affordable pair of earrings for free.  Give shoppers the nudge they need to buy in the moment.

8) Storewide Sale

Our Storewide Sales sales data suggests that these notifications have the potential to perform roughly 4x better then an individual product sales alerts. A Storewide Sale gives customers more choice and selection, while still driving home the impact of a limited time discount.

Ready to participate in one of these promotions? Check out the Pitch Your Promotion form to get featured.

*It’s important to remember that standard OpenSky exposure requirements still apply. If you’re interested in what basic requirements are needed for a product to be promoted by OpenSky please check out this article.

The Spring Friends and Family Sale

The weather is getting nicer by the day and you know what that means: Time for spring shopping!

Many of our friends and family members will need new sandals, clothing, outdoor serving and entertaining pieces, and more. Let’s help our favorite people spring into the new season in style with a Friends and Family coupon code.

When you invite anyone to OpenSky and they join through your link (OpenSky.com/STORENAME) they’re tagged as your member in our system. That means that this member and all purchases they make from you will be free-free for LIFE! (we even pay for the credit card fee!)

In addition, you’ll also receive 10% of what they spend when they shop from other merchants for the first year they’re on OpenSky (this comes from OpenSky’s commission).

So, you’ll actually be earning more money on those sales than you would have from your own website–and you’re helping to support another OpenSky business in the process!

Here are the details:

What:  The Friends & Family Coupon Code Promo
When: April 13th-April 23rd (leading up to the one year anniversary of the OpenSky marketplace)
How to participate: read below

Step 1: Select your discount and create a coupon code by going to your toolkit.

Step 2: Share it on social media sites and to your mailing lists. Tell your friends and family.

Step 3: Email merchant.success@opensky.com with:

      • The link to your shop
      • Your coupon code
      • The discount you’re offering.

Then Merchant Newsletter scheduled for Wednesday, April 16th will include all of the Friends and Family Coupon Codes that merchants have created, to date. All brands will have one week to shop with these discounts from their fellow merchants. Do your part to support your fellow Merchants!

Announcing the launch of OpenSky Brand Advertising

Many of you have asked about having the opportunity to purchase placement for your products in OpenSky emails and events. Great news! You are now able to purchase advertising space in select OpenSky special event collections and emails. Buying ad space guarantees exposure for your products during our most highly-trafficked OpenSky events and holidays.

To celebrate the launch of this exciting program, all ads are priced at 50% off for a limited time! 

Here’s how you can learn more and buy ads:

  • Click here to visit and follow the OpenSky Brand Advertising store, which is where you will purchase your ads. It’s easy and efficient!
  • Select the event you are interested in. We are currently selling ad space for six Mother’s Day events, with new events being added weekly
  • To ensure your products qualify, please carefully review the Details section of all events that are of interest
  • If your products qualify, choose the ad placement you’d like to purchase (collection only or collection + email)
  • In the space allotted, include the URL(s) for the product(s) you’d like to advertise, separated by a comma
  • Update the quantity of advertisements you’d like to purchase (maximum of 3 advertisements per brand, per event)
  • Add to cart! If you are approved, your purchase will be confirmed and your credit card charged. If you are not approved, you will be notified, and you will not be charged

* Note that the OpenSky Brand Advertising program does not apply to regular daily emails, which are automated. The automation that controls placement of products in these daily emails remains the same. To learn more about the automation of daily emails, read this.

We’d love to hear from you with questions and feedback! Please email the OpenSky Ad Team  at marketing@theopenskyproject.com

Visit the OpenSky Brand Advertising Store