Friday, November 25, 2011

Low DSR scores with positive feedback.

So Ive been doing well with the feedback lately (Knock on wood). Everything has been in the 'green' and all the notes left by buyers has been great, so why did I notice I have scores of '1' and '2' on my DSR ratings?

How do you deal with this? These scores are permanent and damaging to me. How does a person leave stellar feedback but a score of '1' or '2' in every category?

Im so hurt and confused - the worst part is that you cant see who left it or on what item so if there is a problem it cant be corrected.

Im thinking someone just left the wrong DSR score by accident and who pays the price? Me.

How do you handle this since there is nothing you can do about it?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Selling on Amazon vs Selling on eBay.

Ive been selling on eBay for a few years now and took a while before I decided to sell on Amazon.

Here are a list of my pros and cons for both.
First let me say when it comes to fees you will spend the same amount of money.

The pros and cons for Amazon vs eBay:
1. Amazon - Pro - You can list as much as you want and there are no fees to do so. Con - You have to share you listing with other sellers. If someone else is selling the same product as you, its grouped together, so who ever is on top is the main seller. Chances of selling your product drops down a lot. Unless you get the shopper that actually searches thru the sellers your item may be listed for a while, or unless you are the ONLY person selling that item. eBay - Pro - you can list as much as you want and be exclusive. You will not share your item listing with anyone else selling on eBay. Con - There may be pages of the same item and yours may not be found until the next pages. eBay also charges you per listing in store format or in auction format.

2. Amazon Pro - No need for paypal account to accept payments. Con - Funds are not applied to 'your account' until you ship the item!* Then your funds sit 'on account' until they deposit it into your account every 14 days. So you have no access to your money as quickly as you would with paypal. eBay Pro - your money sits in paypal until you withdraw it, you have access right away. You can even use a paypal debit card to withdraw your funds or use as a credit card. Cons - paypal fees are high to accept payments and its yet another website to deal with.

*Note: Too many sellers are marking items shipped to get 'paid' but not mailing the packages which makes other sellers look bad, DO NOT GET INTO THIS HABIT!

3. Pro - Its easy to use the website for Amazon and eBay. You can also create shipping labels right there on the 'sale'. Con - the shipping fee chart for Amazon is grouped together and its based on weight or per item - if another seller inputs the wrong weight, the shipping fees will be all over the place unless you offer FLAT RATES - but this method does not always cover your shipping costs. With eBays weight program it will be based on their zip code as well so your shipping rates are more true.

4. Pro -Plenty of shoppers prefer Amazon over eBay and plenty of shoppers prefer eBay over Amazon. There is a wide variety of buyers out there, you just have to have the listing they are looking for. Cons - Buyers on eBay tend to look for deals - they often ask you for a 'better price' - while on Amazon there is no bargaining.

5. Pros if you find errors on eBay you can just go into your listing and correct it - Con - on Amazon you have to contact customer service to get them to fix it. Since they group the sellers information together its not always correct. If you have to correct a UPC code you often have to show proof via images.

6. Con - Amazon - you have to request permission to sell in certain categories. You are also required to have a UPC code to list your items. There can be be over 100 other sellers selling the same item you are. It becomes a war to get 'on top'. Eventually the selling prices dont even cover your cost and its not worth selling. eBay allows you to sell in any category you want.

7. BIG Con - Amazon also SELLS items! This feels like a big box store opening up right next door to your store, it really sucks! So now Amazon has buying power and can purchase more then you can and then sell it lower then you can. Not only that, majority of buyers would rather buy from Amazon directly then from the Marketplace. Fulfillment by Amazon does not help the little sellers either. BIG PRO - eBay DOES NOT sell items itself! Your only competition are other sellers.

8. Cons for both eBay and Amazon - Feedback! Amazon buyers dont leave feedback so your score can be rather low. Half of eBay buyers leave feedback. The ones that are upset ALWAYS leave negative which brings your score down. You say the wrong thing to a buyer and they will leave a negative and not care. Forget having a perfect score!

9. Pro - Amazon you can easily access your listings to adjust prices, in fact it will tell you if you are the lowest price for that item listed. You can also easily adjust your inventory count all at once. Con - eBay - once your quantity is done you have to 're list' the item, unless you catch it before it ends and adjust your quantity. To make adjustments you have to do it individually. There is a feature to change multiple items at once, however they all have to match. Its a real pain.

10. Amazon store fee is $39.99 plus a percentage of the sale - eBay store fee is $49.99 plus a percentage of the sale. There are too many variables to go over to give details of fees. eBay also charges listing fees while Amazon does not.

After a few months of selling on Amazon they 'investigated' me. I freaked out because many people put horror stories online about being investigated and being dropped as a seller. They basically held any funds due to me for over a month while this was being processed. I had to provide them with all kinds of papers and I guess I passed with flying colors. (Business certificate, tax id numbers, duns numbers, EIN numbers things like that.)

Not everything is bad but its not all good too. Ive been tossing the idea of selling on my own site but there is too much involved. So I created 'add to cart' buttons using paypal on my personal site. I have yet to get a buyer lol.

If your tossed on where to sell, try them both and see what happens. Certain items sell better in one place but not the other. As I said the fees come out to be the same amount in the end. It always depends on your sales and its always a percentage.

I think I will keep selling on both platforms for as long as possible. They both sell pretty well for me. The only thing I would change is getting more sales and more items that no one else is selling, but that is a feat in itself.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Blue Orange Games Review

In my store you will see some of my favorite games by a fantastic company!

Spot it! & Bendomino.

They carry more but Ill talk about just these two games. At the Toy Fair I was scared by the amount of companies there so I pretty much ran thru and left. On the ride back home I found a sample package of Spot it! inside my bag. So I of course opened it and found these round cards. Each card has images on it, it says there is at least one match on each card in the deck. When I got home I showed it to my daughter and we tried to play. There are 4 ways to play this game but with so little cards we didnt know if we could play.

So the game was played was to get rid of all your cards. You distribute the deck between the players and flip one at the middle. This is the starting card. Then you have to 'dump' your cards on the starter card by matching a symbol on your card with a symbol on the starter card. As you place your card on top of the starter card that card becomes the new starter card. This continues until you finished all your cards and are declared the winner!

Well this sample game gave me the desire to just go forward and get the game for my store.

Bendomino is my other favorite game. If you love dominos you will get a kick out of this one. All the pieces are curved! Because of the curve you may not be able to play your last piece! If you are counter, you can easily lock someone out of the game and win! Its a lot of fun, the game is visually stunning as well, a new board each time. The dots in the tiles are colored to make it look nice. A great game for the domino player in your life.

We also carry - Crazy Cheese, Gobbler Gobblers, Fastrack & Pengoloo - I hope to carry more games by this company in the future.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Finally Set up

So I believe I am done with setting up, unless someone purchases my old displays! lol.

The store looks full now and people come in and hang around for a bit checking it all out! Ive gotten a few invitation orders, which is exciting! I cant wait till the holidays! I am offering FREE gift wrapping as well as delivery options for those needing that service.

We just picked up some hats and gloves for the cooler weather. Slowly Ive been adding more and more items to inventory. I am using this program on the MAC called Checkout. Its amazing and works well on the computer. I still have to invest in the cash box, scanner and printer but the program works without those. Its so easy to use!

I know this season is going to be fantastic!