Hi! My name is Tom and I’m co-founder of MarketplacePartner.com. When I first started selling a few items on Ebay back in the early 2000s, I never thought I’d eventually be managing and building 40,000 parent SKUs with endless variations. Of course, that didn’t happen overnight. It grew over many years and went through many phases. When I first started, it was easy to just manually make each product page and maintain the few I had. Then a few years later Amazon rolled out an awful desktop application through which you could manage your listings. After getting fed up with that solution I moved to Excel. This was a fairly decent solution until we grew to over 2000 listings, at which point it became cumbersome and sluggish. I then moved to a very large and well known marketplace inventory management system. I was stunned to find out the cost was $10,000 a year, and I still had to maintain 2 sets of inventory, one for my website, and one for all my third party marketplace listings. I refused to accept that this was the best solution, but I couldn’t find the solution I was looking for, so for my own sanity, Marketplace Partner was built.
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Does this sound familiar?
- I have thousands of products to list, but no time, money, or the resources to list all of them! I know I could be making more sales, but I just don’t know what to do…
- I wish I could clone myself, I would be growing a lot faster if I had two or three of me that knew how to make product listings correctly..
- Man, editing images takes so much time! I could be doing better things like researching for hot products to sell and negotiating better prices with vendors.
- I wish I could find great, loyal and talented employees at minimum wage, but it’s just impossible! All the good ones I can’t afford…but how else am I going to grow? Talent is key to a successful business.
Since 2007, Amazon has entered the world of online payment services to compete with powerhouse PayPal with their own version called Amazon Payments. This service allows sellers and buyers to use payment methods for sending/requesting money, adding funds, and making purchases of goods, services, and even purchasing through third-party websites. Although PayPal still reigns supreme, Amazon is setting its sights on PayPal’s hold over alternative payment solutions and looking to become the #1 online payment services in the world.
Did you Know? Amazon.com originally invested in the popular instant credit service “Bill Me Later” before eBay (Owner of PayPal) acquired them.
Amazon Payments is a payment engine that allows users to make purchases from your website or storefront using their Amazon customer ID. Amazon Payments keeps all financial information private from sellers and Amazon Payments offers the same trusted payment experience that is currently available on Amazon.com. To use Amazon Payments you must first have an Amazon account, but once activated, you can make payments on any third-party website that accepts Amazon payments. Also, Amazon Payment offers users the flexibility to use credit cards associated with their Amazon account and even make payments and receive them through their bank account just like PayPal. Amazon Payments accepts verified U.S. bank accounts, credit cards, and transfers from your available Amazon Payments account balance. Credit cards currently accepted include Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, Diners Club, and JCB.
To tighten up the competition, Amazon has even created Amazon Checkout, which rivals with PayPal and Google Checkout, as being a one-stop shop for payment and checkout options on your retail website or storefront. You can also integrate Amazon Checkout and Payments with your own storefront and website that lets you automatically save your customer’s data for quick processing and one-click purchases. What makes Amazon Checkout so innovative and appealing is not only do they not charge any monthly or hidden fees (Fees are based on a percentage of the transaction amount plus a per-transaction fee), but they offer tons of seller protection! Yes, we said it– Seller Protection! So if you ship your product to the provided address from the customer and use a trackable method, you’re covered. Stop fighting off month old refunds and get the coverage you’ve been looking for. Although Amazon Checkout is currently only available to sellers in the U.S, Luxembourg, Great Britain, and Germany, Amazon is working on creating the most efficient and powerful online payment service in the world.
What do you think of Amazon Payment and Checkout rivaling PayPal? Do you think Amazon can become the #1 online payment services for all online merchants? We want to hear your suggestions. Send emails to email@example.com
November 29, 2012–If you thought this year’s Black Friday was big for online shopping, think again. For the third straight year, Cyber Monday (November 26, 2012) had the largest online spending during the Thanksgiving shopping weekend. Cyber Monday topped the record books with over a billion dollars spent online, making it the largest online spending day in history.
According to ComScore, Cyber Monday racked in over $1.465 billion in online spending during the holiday weekend, up 17 percent from a year ago. Almost half of every U.S. dollar spent during Cyber Monday originated from work computers (47.1 percent), with the remainder of buyers purchasing from home computers (47.2 percent). So far this year in holiday shopping, over $16.4 billion has been spent online, revealing a 16 percent increase versus the same days last year.
ComScore chairman Gian Fulgoni said, “Despite some news reports suggesting that Cyber Monday might be declining in importance, the day has once again set an online spending record at nearly $1.5 billion. However, it is also clear that the holiday promotional period has begun even earlier this year, with strong online sales occurring on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday. Now, we shall see the extent to which continuing and attractive retailer promotions are able to boost sales for the remainder of the week.”
How much online shopping did you do this year compared to retail shopping? Did you buy more on Thanksgiving, Black Friday or Cyber Monday?
Buying and selling products on Amazon has become a phenomenon. It has become the perfect platform for buyers to purchase their favorite products at the right price. Although the product selection on Amazon is enormous, not everything sold on Amazon is from Amazon. More often than not items sold on Amazon are from third-party sellers than the retail giant. So why is buying from third-party sellers the way to go? We break it down with 4 simple ways.
First off, third-Party sellers, or 3 P’s, are individuals or businesses that sell
products. They are not employees or part of Amazon, but rather freelance sellers looking to sell their own products. Anyone not affiliated with Amazon is considered a third-party seller. For instance, you find your favorite book on Amazon and want to purchase it. When checking out you notice you’re not actually paying Amazon but rather an individual or company (Example: DragonHeart LLC or Jake’s Store). This is buying from a third-party seller. It is buying a product on the Amazon website but not actually from Amazon. Although many people only want to make purchases from Amazon, buying from third-party sellers actually has its advantages.
Supporting Small Business
Whether you support Romney or Obama, Amazon is great vehicle for supporting small businesses. When you make a purchase from a third-party seller on Amazon you are actually helping a smaller business grow– kinda like shopping at a mom and pop’s store rather than Walmart or Target. Amazon gives smaller businesses the chance to use their traffic and marketplace to sell their own goods. Third-party sellers are individuals and businesses looking for another way to sell their products.
Typically, buying from third-party sellers can actually help you save money. Amazon sellers are always looking to get their store name featured first and their products in the buy box. To get featured in the buy box, sellers must not only have fantastic seller rating but great pricing. This is what helps buyers. Not only are you getting a better deal than Amazon offers, but you can save money on shipping costs as these sellers are looking for quick ways to distribute their goods.
Although Amazon is known for having an array of products to choose from, normally third-party sellers are the ones with the biggest selection. Essentially, Amazon is like a swap meet. They offer their own goods but it’s the sellers around them that made up the selection. Because these third-party sellers normally specialize in the products they sell, they can offer more variety and selection than Amazon can. Especially for better prices!!
One of the best parts of buying on Amazon is the accountability. If you’re order doesn’t ship on time or isn’t what you expected, you can always contact Amazon and get it settled. The only drawback is…its Amazon. They’re a giant corporation with hundreds of thousands of emails and phone calls going on every day, so sometimes buyers are sweep under the rug. With third-party sellers, you as the buyer can see and inspect everything that seller has ever sold, their seller rating, and feedback to find the right seller for you. Third-party sellers are held to EXTREMELY tight guidelines and the slightest mistake can mean their storefront being suspended or banned, so customer feedback is important to them. Third-Party sellers are more willing to go the extra mile because they are constantly having to prove themselves with Amazon to increase their rating.
December 3, 2012—In the fight for online payment supremacy, Dwolla is challenging PayPal to a dual. Dwolla recently launched a new Guest Checkout feature for online merchants that will allow shoppers without a Dwolla account to make online purchases. Because Dwolla uses the shopper’s financial institution to pay for transactions, the fees associated with using it are extremely cheaper than PayPal, making Dwolla one of PayPal’s biggest competitors. Starting this week, anyone can use Dwolla to make a one-time payment from their financial institution to an online merchant or marketplace without having to sign up and create an account.
The way Dwolla’s Guest Checkout works is simple. Merchants interested in using Dwolla’s Guest Checkout must first integrate it into their current shopping cart platform. Once integrated, customers who use the service will be routed to Dwolla’s gateway page. Here, buyers will fill out basic information and verify their phone number, which are common practices for online payment services. Once verified, the customer only needs to click and pay to finish the transaction. Unlike PayPal, which charges a commission for each item plus transaction fee, Dwolla only charges a flat-rate of $0.25 per transaction.
“We purposefully designed Dwolla to make it a risk-free, easy-to-integrate, and complimentary way to save our merchants millions in swipe fees,” says Jordan Lampe, spokesperson for Dwolla. When you combine that, our flat 25 cent fees, and an active user base, merchant adoption has been remarkably easy.”
Along with their Guest Checkout service, Dwolla has a new feature called “Dwolla Price”, which allows merchants to pass along the payment-processing costs to shoppers to entice them to choose Dwolla as a payment method. They also have multiple checkout options, shopping-cart plug-ins and any payment less than $10 is free!
So far, Dwolla has over 100,000 users and 15,000 merchants as of April 2012. However, the number is sure to rise as more and more marketplace and ecommerce merchants get their hands on this inexpensive ecommerce feature.
The introduction of Fulfillment By Amazon has made selling items online easier (and more profitable) than anyone thought possible. FBA is a system implemented with Amazon.com which allows merchants to store products in shipping centers until orders are placed. When orders are received, Amazon will professionally package and ship the product directly to your customer. This innovative system is designed to assist merchants in selling more products while eliminating tedious dirty work like customer service and shipping. Sound too good to be true? Read our compiled list of the advantages and disadvantages of using Fulfillment by Amazon and make your own decision.
While most online sellers were preparing for the busy holiday shopping season, Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba was making an important announcement. Alibaba subsidiaries Taobao (the Chinese version of eBay) and T-mall (their version of Amazon) sold $3.06 billion in products and they did so in a single twenty-four hour period. Yes, you read that correctly. That’s a ‘b’ as in billion and that’s ‘24’ as in a single day. When you consider that $3 billion is triple the online sales the US generates on a single Thanksgiving weekend, everyone wants to know – how did Alibaba sell so much product so quickly?
The Chinese Online Market
The Chinese online marketing is maturing rapidly and Alibaba is a cornerstone within that market. The two online sites, Taobao and Tmall, share a combined active user base of over half a billion people. That number may seem large, and it is compared to US totals, but it only represents about 30% of the total Chinese population. This means that Alibaba and its subsidiaries have an open road for continued growth and many experts agree that $10 billion in sales in a single day is not impossible in the coming years.
October 15, 2012—An Online Marketplace is an established website that offers potential sellers the opportunity to sell items and products online. These marketplace platforms work almost like a virtual swap-meet as people come to
buy products, while others come to sell their products. They provide a method for listing items, selling them, and collecting payment. The advantage of using marketplaces to sell products is the proven audience arena each one consumes, making it extremely easy to showcase potential products.
Although there are dozens of internet marketplaces for people to sign-up and start selling, very few of them are worth the time, energy, and money. Depending on what you’re selling and to whom, each marketplace has its own niche of customers, prices and products. Typically these platforms charge various fees and/or commissions to sellers for listing and selling items. While there are hundreds, if not thousands, of online marketplaces people can use to list and sell items, here are the Top 5 Marketplaces You Can Start Selling Today!
Appeagle.com–The post-holiday season, the days following the festive season when the family packs up to go home, the house is cleaned up and the decorations taken down, is typically a time for relaxation and recharge. For e-sellers, however, the post-holiday season is typically filled with dreaded returns and exchanges. If you are dreading the post-holiday season because you are afraid your customers are going to turn tail and send everything back to you or demand refunds, here are three tips to help you cope. You might even learn how to turn all those returns and exchanges into unique opportunities to earn more business.
Returns and Exchanges: A Quick Note
For shoppers, it’s always a hassle to return an item or demand a refund. The item has to be shipped back to the seller, the refund has to process and this all takes time.
For the online seller, returns and exchanges are equally frustrating or even more so. Some sellers end up paying for shipping both ways and in many cases the item returned cannot be restocked or sent back to the manufacturer. This leaves the seller out of money and with a useless product that cannot be resold.
This means that, whenever a return or exchange occurs, it’s a good bet that both parties are pretty unhappy. This should never be the case for sellers, however. Sellers should see every encounter with a buyer as a chance to improve their business and sell more products.