|In This Issue:
Simple steps to create listing photos that catch buyers' eyes
by Cindy Shebley
How do you turn your snapshots into good-looking, professional photos? Your challenge as an online seller is to keep your photos professional enough to compete with the big-box sellers, while reminding your customers you are even more special. You are a mom-and-pop outfit who treasures their business, and will treat them with respect and care. Read story.
That Tweet Smell of Success
How some online sellers are making Twitter work for them
by Brad and Debra Schepp
The Rise and Fall of Online Prices
How economic cycles shaped e-commerce—and why a downturn is nothing to fear
by Dennis L. Prince
The Long and Short of URL Shortening
What you need to know about using condensed links
Is Shipping a Nightmare?
Insuring items may give you—and your buyers—peace of mind.
View more Articles.
Tips and tools for coping with eBay's newest policies
More than a week after eBay announced its spring seller update for 2010, many online merchants are still digesting the news and trying to make sense of how it will impact their businesses. We've put together some tips and tools you can enlist to make the transition easier. Read story.
A New Way to Blog
Bubble Motion introduces 'voiced-based Twitter' service.
Auctiva Unveils Marketplace Platform
AMP is designed to power multiple e-commerce applications.
Cupid Feels the Pinch
'Personal and practical gifts' will rule this V-day.
View all News Stories.
Unique Items Online
Tell your sweetheart how much you care right at the kitchen table with this edible delight. Sure, you could go with heart-shaped waffles, but why not make this Valentine's Day extra memorable with a heart-shaped boiled egg breakfast? The seller's even done the work for you—the egg's cooked and ready to be enjoyed.
Looking for a home in a quiet area? Why not try the Tranquility Estates on Mars' southern highlands? You'll have hardly any neighbors and a great view—of Earth. We're guessing you won't be able to build your dream home on the red planet for a few more years, but when it's eventually possible, you'll have a nice place to retreat to. And if you buy four properties, the seller will throw in the fifth for free. Talk about peaceful surroundings!
Tackle those busy shopping days with this "credit card survival tool kit." This pocket-sized device won't help you buy shoes or dresses, but it will come in handy if you get stranded on your way back from the mall. It features a screwdriver, can opener, butterfly screw wrench, saw blade and more. We'd bet MacGyver never leaves home without one of these.
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-dot-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
As The Silver Diva, Carrissa Barbee has stamped out a niche in the handmade silver jewelry arena—first on eBay, then expanding her business to additional online channels.
Before discovering the wide world of online sales, Barbee would travel to Taxco, Mexico, where she'd buy unique silver jewelry in large quantities to sell at trade shows, conventions and in hospital lobbies. But when she began hand stamping designs in high-grade silver and selling her creations on eBay, the business really took off. 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
Brenda Hoover says her shop, ByTheBox4U, aims to help customers make their houses into homes.
"The concept is: Some folks make their house their home room by room, some piece by piece, and we are helping them box by box," she explains. "So our focus is to find the items that they must have and need on a daily basis, plus the items that are the extra special touches. We are currently working on touching every room in the home [including] outdoor living."
After leaving a career of more than 20 years in retail management, Hoover began casually selling on eBay three years ago. Back then she sold clothes her children had outgrown and collectibles her mother-in-law had no use for. But after deciding to open her own online store, Hoover decided to go another route, specializing in items for the home.
She learned about Auctiva Commerce as a result of using Auctiva's eBay listing templates. "The news of the new software actually was the push I needed to open my own online store," she says.
The hottest items in her shop are baby bedding and accessories. "The Organic Sesame Oil and hard-to-find sheet sizes are also a hit," Hoover says. But above all, notes this former retail pro, good communication is the key to the success of any business.
And she has some advice for other sellers starting their own online shops: "Don't give up. Starting your own business is rough going. Even though I have a substantial background in retail, this is a learning experience that will change in direction at any given moment.
"Be flexible, be open-minded. Do your research," Hoover recommends. "And don't let one hurdle stop you in your tracks. If one piece is not going right, move on to the next task that can be accomplished, as to not lose momentum or sanity! It's the only way to keep your business going and growing.
"Communicate with your customers one-on-one at every opportunity regarding their order," she continues. "Status updates on a personal level give them such great comfort and respect that they are just not another sale. It can be time-consuming, but the rewards outweigh the time."
Set up your own comprehensive Auctiva Commerce Store and get complete freedom over your shop.
In response to "What's Your eBay Location?," one reader writes: "So true. I was looking for an item with one- to two-day ship time in December. Had to e-mail sellers first to find their locations. Many times the auctions ended before I received a reply, and many times for less than I was willing to pay. Sellers' loss." 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.
Sent by Auctiva Corp.