|In This Issue:
A guide to the realities of customer service—the good, the bad and the ugly
by Dennis L. Prince
In the quest to provide unrivaled customer service, sellers often proudly announce to their shoppers, "100 percent satisfaction guaranteed or your money back!" While this is certainly an effective and admirable policy to uphold, helping to ease a customer's potential anxiety about purchasing in a virtual setting, it sometimes brings a potentially detrimental effect: It presents an open door for fickle shoppers and even abusive scammers. Read story.
Profit with Facebook Fan Pages, Part 3
Get better conversion rates than with Google Ads.
by Janelle Elms
Paris is Lovely Year-Round
Advice to take the worry out of shipping to international customers
by Brad and Debra Schepp
Bartering Opens New Doors for Sellers
Use the oldest transaction system to streamline your costs and grow your business.
Maximize Your Profits
Auctiva tools give you more bang for your buck.
View more Articles.
Holiday sales are not expected to ring in an abundance of cheer.
While sales are increasing with more than a week left to go before Black Friday, analysts say this holiday season will not be as merry for retailers as others have in the past. Read story.
An Auction Site for the Rich
Millionaires exchange goods on BillionaireXchange.
Royal Mail Strikes Deal with Union
Temporary truce ends national strikes through the holidays.
USPS to Raise Rates in 2010
Shipping services will cost an average of 3% more.
View all News Stories.
Unique Items Online
If you've dreamed of owning a Miami Beach mansion, now may be the time to make your move, while housing prices are still in the trough. It seems even the obscenely rich can't escape the effects of a depressed real estate market. Poor A-Rod was recently forced to drop the $14.9 million asking price on his Coral Gables manor to a paltry $9.9 million—millions less than what he paid for it. Now he's auctioning the waterfront property on a site that positions itself as eBay for the wealthy. Anyone is free to bid, as long as you have a net worth of at least $2 million.
Call it global warming, if you must. This seller left his globe too close to the fireplace, and is now offering the melted remains as a visual reminder to treat the earth kindly and recycle. Not into the "green" thing? It may also be of interest to followers of the Flat Earth movement.
Do you get sad when it's time to eat your fruits and veggies? Let this little guy help you. The smiling tomato will make getting your fiber fun. But don't mistake this nutritious treat for food: "This is art… for a museum with a freezer," the seller says. The artistic smiley face will be shipped frozen so it doesn't lose any of its cheerful charm.
I would love to be able to market my Auctiva Commerce Store to people who've purchased from me on eBay. Is there a way to do that without searching through countless past transactions to find e-mail addresses? Director of Engineering Tom Urbanowicz answers this and other questions from Auctiva users. Read more here.
Got a burning question about Auctiva, eBay or e-commerce in general? Through our Ask Auctiva program, you can speak directly to Auctiva's top managers. All you have to do is send an e-mail to "AskAuctiva" at the Auctiva.com domain. Selected questions will be answered by Auctiva managers and published in an article on the Auctiva Education tab. Read some recent Auctiva Q&A articles here.
Please do not submit inquiries requiring an immediate response. If you need a technical issue resolved right away, please file a support request and your case will be addressed by our customer support team.
View all Ask Auctiva Articles.
Auctiva User Profile
There's almost no better endorsement for a product than when the seller himself is an avid user. And Tim Bedell, the Calphalon King, is a prime example.
"I have a passion for cooking," says Bedell, who operates cookware stores on eBay, Auctiva Commerce and ProStores. "My wife and I love to cook together, so we spend a lot of time in the kitchen." Read story.
Get Featured Here
Got a success story you want to share? What amazing garage sale finds have you turned into monster profits online? How has using Auctiva's free templates and auction management tools improved your eBay business? Drop a line and tell us in 50 words or less about an outstanding e-sale experience, and perhaps we'll feature your story in an upcoming issue of The Online Seller newsletter. Submit your story here.
Auctiva Commerce Store Spotlight
Doggie Duds by Deb caters to dog lovers and their fashionista pets, says store owner Debra Babcock.
Babcock began her business three years ago as a way to "have something to do and make money while doing it," she recalls. Her four-legged friend was in heat and needed a diaper, so Babcock made her one. She knew other owners would find themselves in similar situations and so her business was born.
And Doggie Duds by Deb has developed quite a following—even attracting buyers via the store's Facebook Fan page. "I'm not sure if they have made any purchases yet," she says, "but I'm confident I will get customers through that venue."
Good prices, quality items and the uniqueness of custom items Babcock makes keep shoppers coming back, she notes. Now she's expanded her store to include coats, charms, carriers, dresses and holiday apparel for man's best friend. Pet owners can even find fashionable dog carriers for their pooches.
"I am able to have more items and make more of a profit [with Auctiva Commerce], which encourages me to add more and more to my store," she says. As a result, she's even added an art gallery to her store where she displays commissioned paintings she's done of pets.
Babcock describes her shop as "a happy place" to shop for pet apparel and/or custom paintings where buyers will find durable products for a good price.
"They know that [our items] will most certainly get lots of attention from onlookers."
Visit Doggie Duds by Deb.
Click here to set up your own comprehensive Auctiva Commerce Store and get complete freedom over your shop.
In response to "Can Top-Rated Seller Program Help eBay?," one reader writes: "It's a little ridiculous and hurts the customer service driven, hard-working and experienced PowerSellers. Who does eBay think had the biggest impact for their company all these years prior to the Top-rated program? It certainly wasn't an average Joe selling rummage items every couple of weeks. Since the insertion of the Top-rated program, we've noted a decrease in sales of 76 percent for October, and almost that same percentage in October as compared to September." Read the entire thread, and post your response.
If you'd like to comment on this newsletter, any article contained within, or on topics you'd like to see us cover in the future, Auctiva editors would love to hear from you. Send us your feedback here.
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