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

Here Come the Holidays, Part 1

here-comes-the-holiday-part-1-os

Most people have plenty of time before they have to start thinking about the holidays, but you and other online sellers just have a few more weeks to get ready for that jolly time of year.

“Hopefully, you have already purchased and planned your holiday season inventory,” says Larry Phillips of 4stampsales.com when we asked him for advice about what e-merchants should be doing to get ready. Anyone who takes on the role of “holiday provider” will tell you that the first step is planning. The next step is getting the house in order.

Trusting that you already stocked your shelves, we’ll turn our attention to ordering and structuring those shelves—and every other part of your operation—in this 2-part series. Let’s get started.

First, the physical

“Go through your inventory,” recommends longtime eBay seller Cie Bay. “Make sure everything that is listed can be quickly and easily found. Make sure your listings are up to date.”

With your inventory in order, Cie Bay recommends focusing on shipping supplies and processes. “Stock up!” she says. Boxes, tape, poly bags, whatever items you use to get your items to your customers should be in your house very soon if they aren’t in your home already.

“If you use inserts, thank you notes, etc., make sure you have plenty on hand,” she continues.

Dimira Teneva of Metrilo.com offers consulting services to online retailers. She recommends planning the details now.

“Make arrangements for guaranteed shipping with your partners well in advance,” she suggest. “Get on the same page about the absolute latest time possible for placing an order and getting it delivered before the holiday.”

Cie Bay also suggest looking at your staffing. “If you’re able, hire an assistant,” she continues.

If you bring in help now, you’ll have weeks of experience working together when the rush hits and you’ll know if you have enough support, or need more help.

“The holiday season is extremely busy, and once those ‘cha chings’ start rolling through, you won’t have time for anything but getting those goodies packed and shipped,” Cie Bay tells us.

She also suggests letting your postal carrier and local post office staff know how much you appreciate their extra workload during your busy season. That added touch could prove helpful when you start shipping like crazy.

Look at the details

With your inventory, shipping supplies and staff at the ready, it’s time to market your business, so shoppers remember you when they’re looking for that perfect something for their special someones.

“Create a content calendar for both your social media and blog,” recommends Mallory Musante of Boldandpop.com.

Selling expert John Lawson agrees. But his recommendations go a little further.

“Start making your marketing calendar,” he advises. “Detail what offers you plan to make on what days going into the holiday sale cycle.” And be sure to “review last year’s data, specifically pay attention to inventory velocity, time frames of the season, best sales days, and slowest days.”

With the information in hand, you can come up with a plan for your most-likely busy and slow weeks. “Finally, be sure not to forget the lesser-known shopping days like Small Business Saturday, Free Shipping Day, Green Monday, etc.,” he adds.

Linking your promotions to already established “special” sales days, gives you free advertising and reinforces your image as a professional business.

Ensure the important stuff works

The final detail to address has to do with the mechanics of your payment mechanism and ordering process.

“Now is the time to make sure everything is working properly,” Phillips notes. “Go through the motions of purchasing something from yourself, up to and including the checkout.”

Some sellers stop when they’re asked for payment.

“That is the most important part!” he reminds us. “Remember, an abandoned cart means that a buyer took the time to commit to buy and stopped after that commitment.”

By making this purchase for yourself, you can see first-hand if there is a problem with your process that you, as the seller, would be unlikely to discover.

“Next, ask 3 friends or relatives to make a purchase from you,” he continues. “Have 1 very novice Internet purchaser, 1 occasional user and 1 experienced purchaser shop. Get their feedback, and then make any changes necessary.”

Or contact the marketplace where you sell (eBay, OpenSky, Amazon, etc.) and mention the problems your friends encountered.

Part 2 of this series will look at ways you can make your site, listings, packages, and customers feel the holly, jolly holiday spirit! Stay tuned.

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

DIY Order Cancellations, Your New Guide to More Sales, How Selling is Like Dating & More

 

Just Released: DIY Cancellations

Plus, our best insider tips to wow shoppers & more

Cancellations are part of doing business. To make them a little easier, you can now cancel orders without contacting our Customer Support Team. See details below and check out our new Seller Guide. It’s bursting with our best insider tips to help you sell more.

Cancel Orders on Your Own

Before we tell you how to cancel orders, keep this in mind: Canceling too many orders can result in fines as noted in our Merchant Quality of Service Agreements. But when you must cancel an order, here’s how you do it on your own:

  1. Find the appropriate order in your “Orders” page. (Please note that orders must be in the “Review” or “Pending” tabs.)
  2. Click on the order.
  3. Click the order’s “Cancel Order” link.
  4. Select the reason for the cancellation.
  5. Click “Cancel Order” again.

Keep in mind that this will cancel all pending products contained in the order and that you can only cancel pending orders. If you have a pending order that contains multiple products but you already marked 1 product as “shipped,” you can still cancel the order, but the shipped product will not be canceled.

Once you cancel an order, we’ll email the shopper to let him or her know of the cancellation, just like we do with any other cancellation.

If you ever need to cancel only 1 or a few products in an order, or cancel an order for a product that has already been marked “shipped,” contact our Customer Support Team and they can help you. Learn more about cancellations in our helpful guide.

How Much Did You Pay for Marketing?

Pro and Elite merchants: You can see this figure labeled “Marketing Budget Renewal” in your Merchant Toolkit. This figure represents how much you’ve paid for Boosts and other marketing services to reach more qualified shoppers.

“Marketing Budget Renewal” figures are negative numbers because they represent payments you’ve made. (Payments made to you appear as positive numbers.)

Remember, Boost and other marketing services are only available to Pro and Elite merchants. If you’re on the Starter Plan and want access, upgrade your account. Already on the Pro Plan but not using Boost? See if you’re eligible on the “Advertising” section of your “Marketing” tab.

Psst… Your Listings Need Some Work

You’ll find some of our best listing and selling tips in our new quick-start Guide to Selling on OpenSky. Be sure to check it out to learn how to wow shoppers, improve your products and avoid common listing mistakes.

For instance, you’ll learn that:

    • Not using a lifestyle image (like the 1 below) as your 1st product photo can cut your views and sales in half.

  • The weird lighting rule that many merchants ignore—ruining their sales!
  • The No. 1 feature that successful merchants opt into.

Plus, you’ll learn how to:

  • Customize your account to build trust.
  • Perfect product names & descriptions.
  • Set up your product photography shots.
  • Get the right lighting for your product images.
  • Get your team involved.
  • And more!

Consider saving this handy guide onto your desktop or bookmarking this page in our Help Center, so you always have it at your fingertips.

From Auctiva EDU & The OpenSky Merchant Blog

Selling is Like Dating

You have to build trust.

By Dennis L. Prince

Today most people buy online. Some only buy online. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have to earn and retain shoppers’ trust before they’ll commit to buy from you. Read Story

Merchant Newsletter | July 5, 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

New Feature! Put Your Best Price Forward + Learn How to Rock Your Returns

 

Set Product-Specific Discounts

Plus, the ins and outs of returns.

Wish you could set a discount limit on specific products? Soon you’ll be able to. See more details below. And get a refresher on our returns process to ensure your shoppers and you have good experiences. Because, well, returns happen.

Best Deal Pricing Hits

On Friday, you may have seen a new price you can enter for your products: the Best Deal Price. This optional price is the lowest price you will charge for an item once discounts from a promotion are applied. This price will override your Maximum Allowed Discount so you can have more control over your bottom line.

pricing-simplification

You can start entering this price now on desired products, and we’ll start using that info in mid-March.

Since the Maximum Allowed Discount specifies the maximum discount you will give all of your products during an OpenSky promotion, we wanted to give you a feature that lets you set pricing limits on certain products. For instance, if your Maximum Allowed Discount was set to 40%, but you only wanted to discount one product by 20% at the most instead of 40% or by 50% max instead of 40%.

When you set a (b) Best Deal Price, the affected product will always sell between this price and the (a) OpenSky price (the price at which your product would sell if no discounts were applied to it) starting in mid-March.

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Navigating Best Deal Prices

You can enter any price in a product’s “Best Deal Price” field as long as it’s lower than the OpenSky price.

Keep in mind that the Best Deal Price is not your landed cost. You should account for commission fees, ad spend and other costs you incur as you calculate the Best Deal Price.

You can add Best Deal Prices (we will not add these for you) in your Merchant Toolkit by going to the “Price & Variations” section of any product.

Or you can perform a Bulk Edit. Here’s how you do that:

  1. Click “Bulk Edit” in the “Products” tab of your Merchant Toolkit.
  2. Download your Full Product File.
  3. Open your CSV file from your Dashboard once it’s ready.
  4. Enter Best Deal Prices for applicable products.
  5. Save the file.
  6. Re-upload it to OpenSky.

We’ll let you know when we start using Best Deal Prices on your Merchant Toolkit Dashboard.

Rock Returns

Returns are part of doing business. But if you accept returns in your store, do you know exactly how the process works? Here’s a refresher just in case to ensure the process is good for your shopper and you.

1. A shopper contacts us letting us know she wants to return a product.

2. We send the shopper a return label through email so she can return the item.

3. The shopper receives the label and ships the product back to you. At the same time, our Customer Support Team notifies you of the return and provides you with:

  • The shopper’s name, the order number, the shipped date, the return request date, the reason for the return and the label tracking number

4. Once you receive the return, we’ll issue a refund to the shopper (minus the return shipping cost) as long as the merchandise is in resalable condition. You’ll see the order deducted from your “Payments” page.

If the returned item is not in salable condition, let us know within 24 hours of receiving the product. If you don’t, we’ll assume the return is in resalable condition and will issue the refund.

Want to know more? Get all the ins and outs on returns.

From Auctiva EDU & The OpenSky Merchant Blog

Ditch the Vanilla Approach

Personality can propel sales.

By Dennis L. Prince

Strong businesses stay strong thanks to their projected styles or personalities. Shoppers remember a business that makes them laugh, shows a unique kind of caring or sensitivity, or (best yet) shares their values. Read Story

Should You Give Bloggers Swag?

Sending freebies can boost your exposure.

By Brad and Debra Schepp

Should you give products to bloggers for free in exchange for exposure? That question sparked lots of comments on The eCommerce Group’s Facebook page. It also ignited our curiosity. Read Story

Merchant Newsletter | February 28, 2016

Promos Are Simplified. Set Your Limit and Go.

What’s Your Max Discount for Promos?

Let us know and learn how we’ll simplify promos starting February 18.

At OpenSky, you’re our top priority. It’s important to us that our tools are easy to use, that you sell products at the price you want and that you never have to worry about over-discounting your products when we run promotions.

It’s for those reasons that we’re streamlining promotions on February 18, 2016. On that date, you’ll notice several changes, including:

  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 your products to be eligible for our successful marketing promotions.

Why Are We Doing This?

To protect you from over-discounting your products and make things easier. Some promotions “stacked” while others didn’t, and it was hard to keep it all straight. As a result, sometimes your products sold for less than you wanted.

We get it. Credit and Sitewide Coupon Code ceilings were confusing and it was hard to know what ceilings would best serve your growing business. So now you’ll just tell us the maximum discount you’ll give all of your products in your new “Settings” page. Then you can focus more on your business.

We’ll Set a Maximum Discount for You

To ensure your products are eligible for OpenSky promotions when the changes debut, we’ll set your Maximum Allowed Discount for you. Be sure to review it on February 18 and feel free to make adjustments.

Just keep in mind that the higher your discount, the more promos your products are eligible for. For example, if your Maximum Allowed Discount is 20%, your products are eligible for inclusion in:

  • Sale on Sale Credit Events
  • Sitewide Sale Credit Events
  • Any Coupon Codes for 20% or lower

If your Maximum Allowed Discount is set to 50%, your products can be included in:

  • Sale on Sale Credit Events
  • Sitewide Sale Credit Events
  • Any Coupon Codes for 50% or lower
  • Discount Dollar promos
  • General Credit Events
  • Half Off Events

Calculating Your Max Discount

We’ll base your Maximum Allowed Discount on your current Credit and Sitewide Coupon Code ceilings. If those values differ, we’ll set the max discount to the lower of the two, unless one of those values is set to 0% and the other is something greater. In that case, we’ll use the higher percentage.

Other Changes You’ll See in Your Toolkit

As we take this streamlined approach to promotions, you’ll notice that your Merchant Toolkit will look differently beginning February 18.

  • We’ll retire New Follower, Loyalty, Love and Beta Discounts.
  • We’ll remove the “Customers” section.
  • We’ll remove all mentions of creating or posting promos.
  • And you’ll no longer be able to create sales or Coupon Codes for your store, or products.
  • Only OpenSky will be able to create promotions and these will be sitewide promos.

Why Are We Ending Store & Product Promos?

We know change can be scary, but we honestly believe this will benefit you. In our research, we’ve found that our sitewide promotions generate far more sales than storewide discounts, promos and coupons. So by focusing on sitewide promos you’ll get the best marketing results with little effort. We’ll do the work for you.

As a result of this change, storewide and product-specific promos will automatically expire as will individual Credits for inviting friends to OpenSky on February 18.

Want to know more? See full details about our changes to OpenSky promotions.

From Auctiva EDU & The OpenSky Merchant Blog

A Real Gem

Seller turns love for precious gems into profits.

By Brad and Debra Schepp

Merchant David Saad is happy to contribute to people’s long love of looking their best. “The oldest jewelry found was some shells and beads from 100,000 years ago,” he tells us. “As soon as humans had any spare time, they started adorning themselves.” Read Story

Stay In Love With Your Biz

Easy steps to reignite the passion

By Dennis L. Prince

Ever wonder if you really do feel that same flutter you did when you first fell head over heels in love with the idea of running your own business? See how to fan that flame and keep the love alive. Read Story

Merchant Newsletter | February 10, 2016

Product Reviews Are Coming Back! Plus, Win $50 & See Your 2015 Sales Figures

Product Reviews Ahead

Plus, where to get your 2015 sales figures and our survey that can literally pay off

Product reviews are a great way to foster trust among the shoppers who love exploring the unique finds you offer at OpenSky, so we’re working to add this feature back to the site. See details below.

And let us guide you to the spot in your Merchant Toolkit where you can see your sales figures for 2015 broken down by month. Need another reason to read? Take our quick survey and you’ll earn a chance at a $50 Visa gift card.

The Reviews Are In

We’ve been collecting product reviews from shoppers since October. Late last year we ran a test and showed reviews to a portion of our visitors. Now we’re working to make reviews visible to all shoppers.

Next week we’ll release a feature that sends you an email containing all the reviews your products received in the previous 24 hours. Your reviews will look like this:

We encourage you to use the email you get to:

  1. Actively monitor your reviews.
  2. Respond to those reviews.

Want to know more? See full details and how you can respond to product reviews.

X Marks the Spot

With tax season up ahead, you may be wondering how much you made in sales last year. Not to worry. We have your back.

You can easily request your Payment and Tax Report for 2015 to see:

  1. All the payments you received last year
  2. All the sales tax you collected in 2015

Plus, these figures are all broken down by month for added convenience.

Where do you request your report? From the “Payments” section of your “Account” page in your Merchant Toolkit.

It’ll take us a few minutes to create the report for you, so we’ll email you once it’s done. Then you can download it as often as you’d like.

Take Our Survey & You Could Win $50

We’re working on a new blog that will help you grow your business and reach new heights. Take a minute to tell us about yourself and the issues that concern you in our short survey. This will help us cover the topics that matter most to you—and it could pay off, literally!

If you take the survey by February 13, 2016, you’ll earn a chance to win a $50 Visa gift card. Be sure to check it out and good luck!

Take the survey now!

From Auctiva EDU & The OpenSky Merchant Blog

Edit Your Images Like A Pro

Creating consistency is key.

Andy Bonnenfant

You’ve probably been taking product photos for years. But what if your shots don’t come out exactly as you had imagined? How do you create consistency? Let’s take a look.Read Story

Relax! Don’t Catastrophize

Thrive by living in the moment.

By Brad and Debra Schepp

Catastrophizing, or assuming the worst case scenario will occur, is a problem that plagues many online merchants. See how to stop this massive energy and time-waster! Read Story

Merchant Newsletter | February 4, 2016

How to Stop Negative Self-Talk

negative-self-talk-os-blogDo you see failure lurking behind every corner?

If so, there are two issues at play. First: negative self-talk. Second: what psychologists call catastrophizing or thinking that something is far worse that it is.

We catastrophize and are negative self-talkers, ourselves. As a small-business owner, if you are, too, you’re less effective. Your creativity drags like molasses in winter and your overall output drops, too.

To help, we spoke with psychologists and other therapists for advice on dealing with these issues.

Read the entire article on Auctiva EDU.