What One Man’s Learned in 15 Years of Selling Online, Part 1

years-of-wisdom-osWhen we met Drew Friedman in 2006, he’d already been a successful eBay seller since before the turn of the century. Friedman, the president of White Mountain Trading Company, buys and sells Mount Blanc specialty pens and other high-end merchandise.

His background of more than 20 years in business was a help when he started his e-commerce business, but as anyone who’s been doing this for such a long time knows, that didn’t mean there weren’t challenges, changes and plenty of turns in the road in his journey.

Sales background starts merchant off right

Schepp: What did you do before you got into e-commerce, and how does that experience help you as an online merchant today?

Friedman: I was the national sales manager for a manufacturing firm traveling all over Canada and the U.S. When hired in 1998, I was charged with figuring out how the Internet and e-commerce were going to help increase our sales and decrease our selling costs.

Read the entire article on Auctiva EDU.

Be of Good Cheer: Affirmations for busy holiday sellers

Yogood-cheer-osu’re going, going, going all through the busy holiday season. If sales are up and your process is running smoothly, you surely have a friendly wind at your back.

But what if things are a bit bumpy? What if you’re working yourself in circles but aren’t getting the results you want? When failed expectations combine with the holiday flurry, you could be in danger of going full-on Scrooge before the season is over.

Relax, and remind yourself of a few things that will prove you’re doing better than you realize and that you’re in full control. Here are some happy thoughts, if you will, that you should run through your mind during this most challenging season of the year.

“I’m using a schedule to use the time as best I can.”

One of the most common stresses of the season is the demand on time. You’re working to an immovable date (for whatever it is you celebrate), and there’s no rescheduling it.

Read the entire article on Auctiva EDU.

Why Shoppers Abandon Their Shopping Carts

abandoned-cart-osThe term “cart abandonment” makes many online sellers a little queasy. Orphaned carts represent lost income.

But that income may or may not be lost forever. The purchase could occur down the line or the item(s) will simply remain in the shopping cart.

Why do shoppers abandon their carts? We talked to several experts, who shared some common causes and told us how you can curve cart abandonment as much as possible.

So, what are the reasons?

Adi Bittan, co-founder and CEO of OwnersListen, a site that lets business owners communicate directly with their customers, says one reason shoppers abandon their carts could be that they don’t have enough information to make a confident purchase.

Read the entire article on Auctiva EDU.

What You Can Learn From The Holiday Shopping Season

holiday-lessons-osThe 2015 holiday shopping season is here and, more than ever, people are talking about all the shopping they’re doing online.

But how are brick-and-mortars doing these days and what trends can we discern from the shopping season so far?

We took our Santa caps off for a moment and replaced them with thinking caps to find out. Here’s what we learned.

Why bust a door?

ShopperTrak, which claims to be the leading tracker of shoppers and “consumer behavior insights and location-based analytics,” estimated brick-and-mortar retail from Thanksgiving to Nov. 29 yielded about $20.43 billion in total sales—an estimated 10.4 percent decrease compared to 2014.

Read the entire article on Auctiva EDU.

Merch Agreement Updates Mean New Paydays & More

Important Changes to Our Merchant Agreement

Plus a service that simplifies sales tax compliance

Changes to our Merchant Agreement took effect on December 1—and you want to listen up. Updates affect:

  • When you get paid
  • How we determine late shipments
  • How we handle certain returns
  • And more

Read on for details and to learn about a great service that can help simplify sales tax compliance.

5 changes you need to know about

1. We now process payments on the 15th and the last day of every month, instead of the 10th and 25th.

This means that if you process orders from the 1st to the 15th of the month, you’ll get paid on the last day of the month. If you process orders from the 16th to the end of the month, you’ll get paid on the 15th of the following month.

Please keep in mind that banks take 2 to 3 business days to process payments.

2. We now use “prepared for shipment” dates to determine delinquent shipments.

Orders are “prepared for shipment” once a shipping carrier receives your request for a label, or once you mark an order “processed.” If you do both, we’ll use the date the carrier receives your request as the “prepared for shipment” date.

3. We have a new Declaration of Authentic Goods Statement. You may be asked to submit this if we need to verify the authenticity of your goods, or to ensure they don’t infringe on someone else’s rights.

4. We may ask for more info (including photos) to resolve situations in which you receive returns in un-resalable condition.

5. We can edit your listings to optimize them. Revisions will not change the product being sold or the amount you will receive in the event of a sale.

See full details on all our changes in our Help Center.

Partner Spotlight: TaxJar

TaxJar makes sales tax compliance simple by taking the pain out of reporting and filing your sales tax returns. Worried you’re not handling sales tax correctly? Never fear, TaxJar’s Sales Tax 101 for Online Sellers guide will answer your questions and put your mind at ease. Start your 30-day risk free trial of TaxJar today!

From Auctiva EDU & The OpenSky Merchant Blog

The Psychology Of The Sell

Think like the buyer you are.

By Dennis L. Prince

It doesn’t take a twirling gold pocket watch to get into the minds of your buyers and encourage them to buy more from you. Actually, there’s nothing very hypnotic about employing everyday psychology to sell more. Read Story

Business Blossoms On OpenSky

Amaryllis finds marketing partner, success.

By Brad and Debra Schepp

A night of mobile browsing led Ben Tabai to explore selling online. Today, he and his girlfriend and business partner, Anita Shokouhi, have a successful business, thanks in part to a great marketing partner. Read Story

Merchant Newsletter | December 2, 2015

Merchant Spotlight: Amaryllis

Ben and Anita copyBen Tabai operates Amaryllis on OpenSky with his girlfriend and business partner, Anita Shokouhi. Since they live a life so often attached to their cellphones, Tabai had become quite fascinated with mobile browsing as a way to pass the time, explore, feed his curiosity and inspire a business.

“The mobile-browsing phone is now an extension of our bodies,” he tells us. “Getting into e-commerce was a given to me.” The question that remained was simply, how?

“I was lying in bed one night and viewing Groupon Deals on my phone,” Tabai recalls. “I came across the ‘Goods’ section and saw items being sold in the thousands over a span of a few days. I already had prior experience with importing goods, so I thought, ‘Why not jump on this opportunity?'”

Tabai’s next step was to reach out to Sholouhi to discuss the idea of selling fashion products in large volume online, and that was how Amaryllis got its start.

Read the entire article on Auctiva EDU.