The All-New OpenSky.com, Start Accepting Exchanges, Get Set for Cyber Week & More

Just in time for the holidays! We’ve been working round-the-clock to remake the marketplace for shoppers and we’re excited to unveil our new look. See details below.

Plus, let us know if you accept exchanges, ensure you’re shipping in time and get set for the busiest shopping days of the season—Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

The New OpenSky.com

Shoppers are in for a treat! The OpenSky marketplace just got a huge makeover. The newly redesigned site features eye-popping collections, a sleek new interface and a totally immersive experience. Here’s a quick look at the new “About Us” page:

 

Revamping the marketplace is just one of the ways we hope to increase your sales—and while it will be hard to look away from all the pretty things and pops of color, rest assured that the same functionality and information for your store and product pages are still the same. Let us know what you think and stay tuned as we continue to optimize the site.

Offer Exchanges and Keep Your Sales

Shoppers often ask if they can exchange an item rather than returning it. Offering exchanges is a great way to keep the sale and build long-term relationships with customers (especially during the busy holiday season).

We recommend offering exchanges and will help facilitate this by promoting this option on product pages, and working with you and the shopper to find a suitable alternative for each exchange request.

To accept exchanges, simply go to the Orders tab in your Merchant Toolkit, choose whether or not you accept exchanges, and save your settings.

Keep Up the Good Work and Avoid Shipping Penalties

Are you shipping your orders as quickly as possible? Remember, we expect orders to be scanned by a valid carrier within 2 business days of being placed (and customizable products must be shipped within your estimated shipping time). Orders that do not meet these requirements result in shipping time penalties.

You can now review your penalties (if any) in the new Penalties section in your Merchant Toolkit. You’ll also be able to dispute penalties if you don’t think they’re accurate. After each payment period, we’ll send you an email summarizing your penalties for those orders and give you 2 more business days to file disputes. Once we’ve reviewed all disputes, we’ll calculate your final penalty deduction and apply it to your next payment.

Reminder: Extended Holiday Returns Are Here

Starting today, all products with a 14-day return window will automatically be part of our Holiday Returns Program.

This means all items purchased between November 8, 2016 and December 31, 2016, can be returned until January 31, 2017. Remember, any gift a shopper purchases before December 10 would essentially be Final Sale since she would not have enough time to return the item within the 14-day return window. By offering extended holiday returns, you can capture shopper demand early in the season and ensure you’re not missing out on sales.

Get Set for Cyber Week

Lastly, let’s talk Cyber Week, the week which includes Cyber Monday, one of the busiest shopping days of the holiday season.

Historically, this week has been big for online sellers. We expect even more traffic during Cyber Week this year, so we’re running huge promotional events every day that week, as well as the week before (which includes Black Friday).

As we run these, we’ll email shoppers to tell them about our promos and remind them of all the great deals they can find on OpenSky. We’d love to include your products in our events, potentially placing them in dedicated promo emails and landing pages!

All you have to do is set your maximum allowed discount to 30% or more.

To do that:

  1. Visit the “Max Discount” section of your “Marketing” tab.
  2. Set your max discount to at least 30% to be eligible for inclusion in our Black Friday and Cyber Week promotional events.
  3. Save your settings.
  4. Then get ready for the sales!

Time to Get Ship Done: Avoid Shipping Penalties, How Our Holiday Returns Program Will Help Your Sales & More

Are Your Shipping Times Shaping Up?

Before you know it, the holidays will be upon us. To ensure you have your most successful season yet, it’s important to stay on top of your shipping times and offer a holiday return policy that gives shoppers the confidence to buy. That’s why we’re making it easier than ever to stay updated on orders that didn’t ship in time and be part of our Holiday Returns Program. Get details below.

Plus, check out a new Boost feature, get some help from your team so you don’t miss important messages and learn more about the power of branding.

Ship in Time to Avoid Penalties

How are your shipping times shaping up? With the holidays just around the corner, shoppers will soon be expecting their orders to arrive more quickly than ever.

To avoid penalties, ensure you’re taking all the necessary steps to stay within the guidelines outlined in our Merchant Quality of Service Agreements. Remember, once an order is placed, you have 2 business days for it to be scanned by a valid carrier.

Also, stay tuned for a new Penalties section in your Merchant Toolkit. This will give you visibility on orders that did not meet our requirements and are subject to penalties. After each payment period, we’ll send you an email summarizing your penalties for those orders and give you 2 more business days to submit exception requests. Once we’ve reviewed all exception requests, we will calculate your final penalty deduction and apply it to your next payment.

Hassle-Free Holiday Returns

Ready for your most profitable holiday season ever? On November 1, we’re taking an extra step out of your holiday prep by automatically updating all products with a 14-day return window to be part of our Holiday Returns Program.

This means all products purchased between November 1, 2016, and December 31, 2016, can be returned until January 31, 2017. These products will still abide by the same guidelines as our current return policy, however, it gives shoppers a little more time to return their items, and most importantly, gives them the confidence to buy.

Remember, any gift a shopper purchases before December 10 would essentially be final sale since she would not have enough time to return the item within the 14-day return window—thus limiting your holiday selling potential in a big way. By offering extended holiday returns, you can capture shopper demand early in the season and ensure you’re not missing out on sales.

Learn more or contact us if you have any questions.

See How Your Boosted Products Measure Up

Pro Plan merchants, put your Boosts to the test! Here’s a sneak peek at the new Product Performance Chart you’ll soon see right below your Shopper Traffic Graph in your Merchant Toolkit:

This new feature will help you compare your Boosted products’ daily conversion rate with the average OpenSky marketplace conversion rate (the red line at the bottom). Similar to your Shopper Traffic Graph, the green portion represents how much impact Boost has on your products’ performance.

Anxious to try Boost? This program is currently only available to a pilot group, however, we’ll be inviting more merchants later this month. Stay tuned!

Getting Your Team Involved

Need help staying on top of important notices and messages during the busy holiday selling season? If you have a team of employees or co-workers who help you manage your business, you may want to route certain types of notices to their inboxes, freeing you from forwarding messages.

You can have different people receive messages in the following categories:

  • Business Owner
  • Customer Service
  • Accounting
  • Order Information
  • Product & Inventory Management
  • Marketing & Merchandising Updates
  • Social Alerts (Loves, Follows, Comments, etc.)

To add secondary users to cover these sections, go to your “Users” section located in the “Account” tab of your Merchant Toolkit. Scroll to the bottom of the page or click the “Add Account” link at the top. Enter the email address of the account you want to add.

After the additional user confirms via email, you can go back to your “Users” section and use the checkboxes to choose the types of notices he or she will receive. An important thing to note: After a user becomes a secondary user, he or she will have access to your entire Merchant Toolkit with the exception of your “Billing” section.

Get more tips in our quick-start Guide to Selling on OpenSky.

Merchant Newsletter | October 12, 2016

 

Why You Should Review Your Returns, Making the Price Right, Prepping for the Holidays & More

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Monitoring Your Returns?

We no longer review all returns, so you need to let us know if you want to dispute a return request from a shopper. Get details below. Plus, check out our enhanced Boost insights, see if you need to rethink your pricing strategy and start prepping for the holidays now.

Track Your Returns

Shoppers can now initiate returns without contacting our Customer Support Team. They just have to go to their “Purchases,” or “Order Details” pages and specify the reason they’re returning something. Then they’ll either:

  1. Get a shipping label for the return and send the product back to you.
  2. Or the request will be submitted to our Customer Support Team for review. We’ll then either email the shopper a return shipping label, so she can send her return to you or we’ll ask for additional information.

You will be notified of each return and it’s in your best interest to keep track. Since we don’t review all returns, you must let us know within 24 hours of receiving the return if you disagree with the reason a shopper specifies and want to dispute it. Keep in mind that the reason associated with each return determines who will pay for the return shipping cost.

Improved Shopper Traffic Graph Gives More Insights

Pro Plan merchants, check out the Shopper Traffic graph that appears in your Merchant Toolkit Dashboard when you Boost. Three tabs let you easily see how many views, orders and sales your Boosted products have received.

57dc6479c915e45a9a763034And take a look at the gray and green portions. They show you just how much impact Boost has on your traffic with gray representing organic traffic and green representing Boosted traffic!

Currently available to a limited pilot group, Boosts and the Shopper Traffic graph will become available to all qualifying merchants later this fall. With the holidays just around the corner, you’ll be able to Boost your products to put them in front of millions of shoppers across the Web.

Note: Boosts are only available to Pro Plan merchants who don’t have managed marketing campaigns.

Is Your Pricing More than Right?

Price matters—a lot. It can actually help build trust and encourage shoppers to buy.

The key is to show shoppers the value you’re offering them and you can do that in 3 simple steps:

  1. Do some research to ensure your products are competitively priced. Shoppers are always on the hunt for the best price, and if they find your products elsewhere for a different price, it could cost you a sale—and their trust.
  2. Set the MSRP on all your products. We’ll display MSRPs above the OpenSky prices to show shoppers the savings you’re offering them and that can be just the push they need to buy.
  3. Ensure your MSRP is accurate. Posting an inflated MSRP can hurt your sales. Remember, shoppers research their purchases, and if they see an inflated MSRP, they’ll go elsewhere. Plus, inaccurate MSRPs are a breach of our Merchant Terms of Service Agreement.

Get more tips in our new quick-start Guide to Selling on OpenSky.

 

Merchant Newsletter | September 29, 2016

New ‘Orders’ Page, Make Your Products Our MVPs, Capture the Perfect Angles & More

 

The “Orders” page got a facelift this week. See details below. Plus, learn about OpenSky Certified products and how your items can achieve that coveted status. We’ll also give you helpful tips on how to take your product photography to the next level and more.

Streamlined ‘Orders’ Page Debuts

Checked out the new, streamlined design of the “Orders” page? It shows all your OpenSky, Twitter and LivingSocial orders (if you sell there) together on the “Review,” “Pending,” “Processed,” “Delivered,” and “Canceled” tabs. We no longer separate orders depending on where items sold.

The result? A better looking page that loads faster!

Be sure to take a look. You’ll like what you see. But don’t worry; none of the functionality on the page changed. You still process orders the same way you always have.

Make Your Products Our MVPs

Heard of OpenSky Certified products? They’re our MVPs—and shoppers know to look for them.

These products have a proven track record of shopper satisfaction and quality, and are easy to identify. They all proudly display this easy-to-spot bright blue badge:

It lets shoppers know at a glance that the product they’re viewing:

  • Ships quickly from a top merchant
  • Gets the highest product ratings
  • Is a popular product with a minimum of 100 orders
  • Has the lowest return rates
  • And has been approved by our Quality Assurance Team

You can’t pay to have your products certified, but providing accurate descriptions, shipping quickly and selling quality items can go a long way in achieving this coveted status. And with the holiday season just around the corner, selling OpenSky Certified products could be a real benefit.

Get Their Good Side

You already know that a picture really is worth a thousand words when you sell online. But you may not be getting your product’s good side.

So keep these tips in mind the next time you pull out your camera to capture your products’ full glory:

  1. Products look best when photographed from a straight-on view or from directly above.
  2. Center the item in the frame and provide sufficient open space around the product.
  3. Give the shopper multiple views of your product and some up-close shots that show important details.
  4. Keep products in context so shoppers understand the general size, scale and use of your product.

Here are a few killer examples that should help:

Get more tips in our new quick-start Guide to Selling on OpenSky.

From Auctiva EDU & The OpenSky Merchant Blog

Had Your Checkup Lately?

Take stock to finish the year strong.

By Dennis L. Prince

Guess what? The year is more than half gone. Went fast, didn’t it? The second half will go even faster. So take a minute to see how you’ve done so far and how ready you’ll be to energetically tackle the last—and busiest part of 2016. Read Story

Merchant Newsletter | September 9, 2016

Important Changes to Final Sale & Returns, Take Our Fulfillment Survey, & More

 

Changes to Final Sale & Returns Hit Soon

Plus, take our new fulfillment survey so we can help you save & more

We’re retiring Final Sale and changing our guidelines on returns soon. See details below. Plus, tell us about your fulfillment process so we can help you save and see how we’re making order processing easier for ShipStation merchants.

Final Sale is Ending

As you may have seen in your Dashboard, we’re updating our Merchant Agreement on August 15, 2016. As of that date, items can no longer be listed as Final Sale and most OpenSky merchants must accept returns within 14 days from the shipment delivery date.

Only certain products are exempt from the new return guidelines, for example:

  1. Custom products
  2. Products listed in categories that do not allow returns, including: Books, Intimates and Gourmet Food

These changes will help us align our policies with those of other marketplaces and help foster trust among shoppers.

What should you do? Double-check that any custom products you sell are listed as such. We’ll automatically update products’ return policies according to the new guidelines when the changes take effect.

Please note that we reserve the right to process returns within 14 days of purchase for items that are changed from Final Sale to accepting returns when changes take effect, even if they were listed as Final Sale at the time of purchase. Learn more.

Take Our Fulfillment Survey

We want to get to know your business better so we can serve you best—and help you save. If you haven’t already, be sure to take our short fulfillment survey. It’ll take just a few minutes and will go a long way in helping us identify new opportunities to help you reduce your costs.

Take the survey now.

ShipStation Merchants, Your Job Just Got Easier

If you use ShipStation to process your OpenSky orders, you now have one less step to take. Last week we added an OpenSky packing slip to ShipStation, so you no longer have to go into your OpenSky Merchant Toolkit to print packing slips for your OpenSky orders.

You can download the slips right from ShipStation. Get step-by-step instructions on how to do this in our Help Center.

When Should You Take Product Photos?

Morning and early evening. That’s when you’ll get the best lighting, a key ingredient in great product photos. To get the perfect shot, set up a seamless background next to a window for soft, natural lighting as shown below.

photo-tip-os-nlBe sure to avoid direct sunlight and harsh midday lighting. (They can wash out your image.)

And if you set up your shot outside for a lifestyle image—remember those receive almost double the traffic of other images—make sure it’s not in direct sunlight.

Get more tips in our new quick-start Guide to Selling on OpenSky.

From Auctiva EDU & The OpenSky Merchant Blog

Nail Product Sourcing

The trade shows you can’t miss

By Brad and Debra Schepp

Nothing beats old-fashioned face-to-face communication when it comes to sourcing, and trade shows are a great place for that. That’s probably why the shows are thriving, but which ones should you attend? Read Story

Merchant Newsletter | August 3, 2016

Exciting News: FTP is Here! Learn How to Manage Your Products More Efficiently

 

Introducing Our New FTP Feature

Plus, how to cut your commissions in half & more.

Want a new way to manage your products and orders in bulk? We have just the thing. Plus, see how you can cut your commission rates in half and how we’re improving the Merchant Toolkit to better serve you.

Say Hello to FTP Updates

You can now manage your orders and products using our new FTP feature if you’re on the Pro, Elite or Enterprise Plans. If you’re on the Starter Plan, be sure to upgrade to gain access.

The FTP feature is a great option if you have a large amount of products, or orders as it allows you to update and process these items in bulk quickly.

You can access the feature on the “Add More Products” page of your Merchant Toolkit and get step-by-step instructions in our Help Center. They’ll walk you through enabling and using the feature.

Use a third-party partner that uses FTP for managing products or orders? Contact our Customer Support Team and we can work with the company to integrate our systems.

Cut Your Commissions in Half

Don’t forget to sign up for an OpenSky plan if you haven’t already. It’ll cut your commission rate in half.

As we’ve mentioned before, our new plans reduce commission rates from up to 30% to a low, flat 15% regardless of how a sale is generated—which means you keep more of your profits.

The new plans also give you access to powerful tools to scale your business, the ability to reach more than 20 million U.S. shoppers and much more. Plus, they allow you to continue selling on the marketplace.

Take a few minutes to review our plans now and sign up for the one that best suits your business. We can’t wait to welcome you to a better, more profitable way to sell on OpenSky.

Toolkit Cleanup

Notice more helpful tips and guidance in your Merchant Toolkit as you add products? It’s just our way of improving the OpenSky selling experience for you and ensure you’re utilizing our tools to your full advantage.

Recently we had non-OpenSky merchants test our tools to get their feedback. We learned a lot and have been optimizing the Toolkit accordingly.

For instance, we debuted a new explanation of the “SEO description” field that displays when you add products to make it more evident that we enter this information for you, but you can change it as you see fit. We also reworked the “Photos & Video” section so you know that we require at least one photo for every product added.

More updates are on the horizon, so stay tuned!

From Auctiva EDU & The OpenSky Merchant Blog

Are You Wasting Time?

How to budget your time like your money

By Dennis L. Prince

If you want to use the precious hours you have making money, you don’t have time to waste. But you could be doing just that. Read Story

Merchant Newsletter | May 5, 2016

Have You Picked a Plan? You Need to by May 1.

 

Pick a Plan by May 1

Plus, avoid penalty fees, streamline your multi-channel selling & more.

If you haven’t signed up for one of our new plans, be sure to do so ASAP. On May 1, 2016, all merchants will need to be subscribed to a plan to continue selling on OpenSky. Read on for more details.

Plus, see how you can keep shoppers happy and avoid penalty fees, check out two new fixes you’ll love, and improve your multi-channel selling with Skubana.

Pick a Plan in the Next 2 Weeks

You’ll need to subscribe to a new plans by May 1, 2016, to continue selling on the marketplace.

If you don’t, your account will be deactivated, your products will be unpublished and shoppers won’t be able to buy from you until you’ve picked one of our plans.

Join more than 1,000 merchants who have already made the switch and take advantage of new features, a flat, lower commission rate and much more. Remember that OpenSky reaches more than 20 million eager U.S. shoppers who spent millions last year.

If you’re unsure about which plan suits you best, set up a time to talk to one of our Merchant Advisers to learn more about how our new plans can help save you money, reach more of the right shoppers and much more.

Shoppers Love Tracking Info

According to comScore, 97% of shoppers want tracking services for their packages. We can vouch for that. Shoppers regularly contact our Customer Support Team to ask when they’ll get their purchases. Who can blame them? We’re sure you get excited when you buy something online, too, and are eager to get it.

So be sure to enter valid tracking numbers for all your orders. Doing so will keep you in shoppers’ good graces, will help you comply with our Merchant Quality of Service Agreements and will help you avoid penalty fees.

And if you enter tracking info incorrectly, be sure to update it. It’ll keep shoppers in the loop and will make it so your product shows movement once it’s on its way. Remember that all orders (that aren’t custom items) must show a carrier pickup on the tracking number within 2 business days and must be delivered within 10 business days. Orders that don’t will incur fees.

You can view, update and process orders on your “Orders” page, so be sure to check that page regularly and update any orders that need it—especially ones that aren’t showing movement!

Fixes You’ll Love

We did a little clean up this week and fixed two things that will help you gauge your profits more accurately and sell more efficiently.

  1. We reworked the stats that appear on your Dashboard so your sales totals no longer include canceled orders.
  2. We fixed a bug that was allowing some products to be oversold.

Unlock Your Products’ True Selling Potential with Skubana

Earn EVERY dollar that your product is worth. With Skubana’s powerful profitability tools and intuitive multi-channel inventory software, selling is now a science of automation. Understand your customers’ buying habits, discover each product’s peak seasons, all with full control over your inventory and start selling smarter. See why the top 500 Amazon sellers use Skubana. Try Skubana free for 14 days.

From Auctiva EDU & The OpenSky Merchant Blog

Instagram Advertising, Part 2

How to succeed

By Brad and Debra Schepp

The billions of photos shared on Instagram are proof of just how popular this social media site is. And now that you know how to get started, let’s look at how to really become part of the Instagram community to gain new shoppers. Read Story

Merchant Newsletter | April 20, 2016

Important News: New OpenSky Plans Are Now Live

 

Have You Picked Your Plan Yet?

It’ll cut your commissions in half.

April 1 was a big day. Not only did we release new improvements we’ve been working on (a new Dashboard you can now see and a better way to calculate ship times), we debuted our new plans.

If you haven’t already, be sure to review the plans and sign up today for the one that best suits your business. Eventually, all OpenSky merchants will need to sign up for a plan to continue selling on the marketplace.

Our powerful growth plans give you the right tools to scale profitably. Not only will you save more, you’ll sell more by getting your products in front of the right shoppers. Read on to learn more about the savings and the new features included in each plan.

Plans Cut Commissions

Picking any of the plans (Starter, Pro, Elite and Enterprise) will cut your commission rate in half to a flat 15%. And, if you opt in to a plan for a year, you can save up to 20% compared to signing up for a monthly subscription.

If you’re unsure which plan is right for you, here’s a quick rundown of our most popular options.

The Pro Plan is perfect for existing OpenSky merchants and those looking to grow their operations. It gives you access to:

  • Unlimited product listings
  • Access to affiliate marketing across more than 250 publishers
  • Preferred placement in OpenSky search and categories
  • Inclusion in abandoned cart emails
  • Easy product uploads and imports
  • And more

The Elite Plan is perfect for larger businesses with $5,000+ advertising budgets that really want to keep pushing their selling potential. It gives you access to everything you get with Pro plus:

  • Account management services
  • In-depth shopper and marketing analytics
  • Targeted ads on Facebook, Pinterest and Google (that are managed for you)
  • Access to selling on LivingSocial, Twitter and 200 other ad channels (again, managed for you)

We also have plans for bigger and smaller businesses if you need more options. Just check out our Starter and Enterprise Plans.

Need Help Picking a Plan?

We know this is a big change, so if you have any questions or need help picking the plan that’s right for your business, don’t hesitate to set up a time to talk to one of our Merchant Advisers.

From Auctiva EDU & The OpenSky Merchant Blog

Instagram Advertising, Part 1

How to get started

By Brad and Debra Schepp

If you’re not using Instagram to market your items, you’re missing out on a valuable tool. Instagram is nearly as popular as Facebook. Not sure where to start? We’ll walk you through it. Read Story

Merchant Newsletter | April 6, 2016

Start Shipping Faster by April 1 to Avoid Late Fees

 

New Shipping Timelines & Late Fees Start April 1

Plus, how you can improve shopping on OpenSky.

Ship times and packaging can leave lasting impressions on shoppers—both good and bad.

They can build trust and give visitors the confidence to buy again and again, or they can prevent shoppers from making another purchase, no matter how amazing your products are.

As we’ve mentioned in past newsletters, we’re continually working to ensure shoppers always have good experiences and keep frequenting the site and buying from you. To continue our efforts, we’re updating our Merchant Quality of Service Agreements.

Changes take effect April 1, 2016, and one will require you to ship products sooner. Failing to do so will cost you—literally. Read details below and see how you can help improve the OpenSky shopping experience even more.

The Biggest Changes & Their New Fees

The 2 biggest updates to our Merchant Quality of Service Agreements have to do with fulfillment and they have new associated fees.

Change 1. We’ll reduce the number of potential shipping-related violations, but you’ll have to ship orders faster. Starting April 1, tracking info for your shipments must show a carrier pickup within 2 business days of the order placement date and delivery within 10 business days of order placement.

If a package doesn’t show movement within 2 business days, you’ll face a $5 fee. If it doesn’t show delivery within 10 business days, you could pay another $5. We’ll apply that fee at our discretion and encourage you to contact us if you worry you’ll be fined once these changes take effect. Please note that we’ll use the fees collected to offer shopper incentives to encourage visitors to buy from you again.

These updates will align our ship times with the timelines other marketplaces have in place and shopper expectations.

Of course, we don’t want you to incur these fees, so be sure to process and ship your orders ASAP. You may even want to look at your shoppers’ locations and compare them with your own to see if you need to process some orders before others to ensure they meet the 10-day delivery timeline.

Change 2: We’ll simplify the penalties for merchant-initiated cancellations and will charge a $10 fee per occurrence. Every merchant has a responsibility to shoppers to ensure their listings are accurate. There’s nothing worse than having shoppers purchase items only to hear after the purchase that the product they thought was available was in fact out of stock.

To avoid fees, be sure to keep your inventory up to date. And if you ever find yourself needing to cancel an order for any reason, especially if it’s one that’s out of your control (for instance, if you sell custom jewelry and need additional information from a shopper to fulfill an order), please contact us.

We’ll do everything we can to assist you and help you avoid penalties.

Other Changes

Change 3: We’ll remove the section of the agreements called “Failure to apprise OpenSky of inventory changes.” It stated that you could face a $100 fee if you didn’t keep us posted of inventory changes within 15 days. However, the changes to merchant-initiated cancellations should take care of this issue, so we’ll no longer need that section.

Change 4: We’ll add clear packaging requirements, so shoppers receive their products in good condition and see the OpenSky name and our contact information in case they need assistance once they receive their purchases. Nothing ruins a shopper’s experience more than seeing the product they fell in love with arrive in pieces.

See full details on the updates to our Merchant Quality of Service Agreements.

Make OpenSky Even More Appealing

We’re confident these changes will help improve the shopping experience on OpenSky and will encourage visitors to tour the site regularly.

But you can do a few other things, too, to improve the OpenSky shopping experience even more, including:

  • Making sure products arrive undamaged and in working condition
  • Checking all your orders to ensure they’re complete before shipping them
  • Double-checking that the right products are included in the right packages
  • Shipping out products that match the product photos and descriptions you provided

From Auctiva EDU & The OpenSky Merchant Blog

Show Your Items In Use

It can pay off in a big way.

By Dennis L. Prince

The Internet has become the go-to source for how-to information. Shoppers want instructional content, and they want it about everything, especially your items. Read Story

Merchant Newsletter | March 2, 2016

Simplified Promos Are Live! Plus, How to Get the Biz Funding You Need & More

Welcome to Simplified Promos

Plus, respond to reviews like a pro & learn about funding that can help your biz grow.

Good news! Promos are officially simplified as of today. Learn more about how this new approach will benefit you and save you time.

Not sure how to respond to product reviews? We’ve got tips on how to do it well. Plus, if you need funding to grow your business, our new partnership can help.

Simplified Promos Are Here

Our new simplified approach to promotions started today, and that means:

  1. Discounts and Credits will no longer “stack.” Shoppers will only be able to use one or the other when they buy from you.
  2. You’ll only have to set one maximum discount for all of your products to be eligible for our marketing promotions.
  3. Welcome to hands-free promos! We’ll create all promotions going forward and they will be sitewide.

Be sure to check your new Maximum Allowed Discount (the maximum discount you’ll give all of your products during a promotion) on your new “Settings” page of your “Marketing” tab in your Merchant Toolkit.

As you’ll recall, we set this for you based on your Credit and Sitewide Coupon Code ceilings so your products can be eligible for OpenSky promotions.

You can make any adjustments you’d like. Just keep in mind that the higher your discount, the more promos your products will be eligible for.

A few other things changed, too, as we retired:

  • New Follower, Loyalty, Love and Beta Discounts
  • The “Customers” section
  • All mentions of creating or posting promos
  • Any storewide and product-specific promos you had going
  • And individual Credits for inviting friends to OpenSky

If you missed our last newsletter, check it out to see the full details about our simplified OpenSky promotions.

Respond to Reviews the Right Way

As your products get reviewed, you may find yourself wanting to respond to answer a shopper’s question, clear up confusion or just provide more information. And you should! Responses can be the determining factor for future shoppers as they decide whether they’ll buy.

Not sure how to compose your response? Here are some tips:

  • Explain: If a reviewer has a question or needs more information on your product, give the shopper the insight he or she seeks. This will help the reviewer and future shoppers, too.
  • Be precise: Only address the reviewer’s concerns. Don’t respond to multiple reviews in one response. Specific information is much more helpful. Plus, it shows you’ve heard your shopper.
  • Don’t take reviews personally: We all have opinions, and we should all be able to voice them. We’ll never publish reviews that contain personal attacks, and we’ll follow the same rule when it comes to responses. If something really upsets you, wait a few minutes to cool off and then respond.

Keep in mind that we review all responses before we post them, so you may want to check out our response guidelines as you craft your comments.

Get the Business Funding You Need

Businesses often need additional money to grow, and our recent partnership with Kabbage can make getting funds easier.

Apply today for a line of credit from Kabbage of up to $100,000 based on your business’ real-time data. Use the line of credit to buy more inventory, stock your shipping supplies or boost your Co-Pilot marketing efforts. Use the funds to take your business to the next level.

You won’t pay any fees to establish your line of credit. You’ll only pay fees on the funds you take, and qualified merchants can get access to funds in minutes.

More than 50,000 businesses have trusted Kabbage to help them grow. Apply today!

From Auctiva EDU & The OpenSky Merchant Blog

How To Stay Relevant

Listening is a must.

By Dennis L. Prince

How do you stand out in a sea of merchants? By being relevant, of course. For businesses, that means establishing a presence and process to become part of your shoppers’ lives. Read Story

Ink Master

PowerSeller talks tricks and staying on top

By Brad and Debra Schepp

Ron Saxton has been selling online for 18 years. In that time he’s tested the waters on Amazon, but both he and his current employer agree that eBay is the best fit for their business model. Read His Story

Merchant Newsletter | February 18, 2016