Sunday, March 21, 2010

eBay On Location in Atlanta

This weekend I really enjoyed attending the eBay on Location conference in Atlanta. I've been an eBay seller for years, and have never attended any of the conferences or special events. I'm a full-time seller (Power Seller, Top Rated Seller) but I feel as if I've hit a plateau in moving up, and was looking for motivation. I found it at this conference, and look forward to applying some of the ideas presented.


The Atlanta event was held downtown at the Omni Hotel. I attended the local meeting with Bob Gilliland of Gilliland's Memorabilia. His eBay store is located at http://stores.ebay.com/Gillilands-Memorabilia, and you may know him from his music blog or radio appearances about vintage vinyl.

Friday night, March 19, we registered and had a couple of hours to meet and greet other sellers. It was fun mingling and talking to others about their selling experiences. We really enjoyed the networking event that Danna Crawford of Powerselling Mom (http://powersellingmom.com/) held at Latitude's Bistro and Lounge. We enjoyed meeting eBay CEO John Donahoe at Danna's event.


Saturday was a busy day. It started at 7:30 with continental breakfast and a chance to pick up tickets for limited seating (100 person) breakout classes throughout the day.


The first session I attended was Strategies to Grow Your Business by Sarah Brubacher. Sarah is an eBay employee, and her session was full of helpful tips! Sarah mentioned the importance of adding a link to your eBay store in each eBay auction description. I did not know we could link to our store within our listings and I want to do this ASAP. She also talked about the new Unpaid Assistant Tool which allows you to auto-file for unpaid items on eBay. This is so helpful and such a time saver! Information on this tool is located at http://pages.ebay.com/sell/UPI/upiassistant/index.html. I have already signed up to auto-file for unpaid items after 8 days.


The next session was The Art of Customer Attraction by Mike Michalowicz. Mike is a very dynamic and entertaining speaker, adding lots of humor and anecdotes to his presentation. He was great at motivating sellers. He had some really innovative ideas, like adding buyer testimonials to your website, including a note with each package sent, and sending a survey or follow-up to buyer after purchase, which puts your name in front of the buyer again. He also suggested that sellers take one new idea from the conference and start practicing that idea. (I love this suggestion and am planning to choose my one new idea on Monday!)


Then there was a panel discussion called Top-Rated Seller Secrets, moderated by Jim "Griff" Griffith, with Lynn Dralle, Jordan Insley, and Cindy Shebley. It was really interesting to hear how these top sellers deal with everyday issues like finding items to sell, storing inventory, and the dreaded "high maintenance" buyer. Lynn mentioned that she has an ongoing goal to list 100 items a week. I really like this idea, and am thinking about adapting it to my own eBay schedule. I always have a backlog of items to list, and know that it is important to offer new inventory to buyers weekly. Lynn is a fan of Best Offer (as I am, as well), and talked about raising prices and adding Best Offer. Cindy mentioned the importance of making sure that RSS feeds are turned on at eBay, and making sure accurate and descriptive keywords are included in each title and description. Cindy also talked about looking at our own feedback as sellers to learn from both positive and negative comments.



After a lunch break, I went to the eBay Customer Service room where I was able to talk, at length, with an eBay representative about my store. We pulled up my store on the computer. My store is located at http://stores.ebay.com/Birdhouse-Books. The eBay customer service rep, Art, was complimentary about my store design, layout, categories, and auction design/content. I told him that my greatest interest is finding a higher sell-through rate, and, of course, making higher profit from my eBay sales. Spending about 20 minutes talking one-on-one with an eBay representative was invaluable. He offered several tips that I plan to utilize:
  1. Loss leader (with links to my similar eBay items) offered weekly - i.e. starting at 99¢
  2. HTML link to my store within descriptions (this is available at Manage My Store on eBay)
  3. Best Offer - raise prices
  4. Tuck-in with each purchase (include information about my newsletter, and a note letting buyers know I offer special sales and promo codes to newsletter subscribers only)
  5. Promotional flyer - printed from eBay newsletters page
I attended a session called 10 Steps to Entrepreneurial Success held by former Entrepreneur Magazine creative director, Rieva Lesonsky. She covered legal issues related to entrepreneurs, and spent a lot of time talking about sourcing (i.e. wholesalers) for eBayers who sell new items online.


The final session of the day was called I Just Tweetered on FaceSpace by John Jantsch. I love social media, and enjoy my blog (thanks for reading it!), a Facebook fan page (http://www.facebook.com/birdhousebooks) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/birdhousebooks). I also have a personal Facebook page to chat with friends, relatives, and keep up with my all-important Farmville crops! John Jantsch had a great session with so many fun and motivating ideas about social networking and eBay business. He talked about the importance of creating a hub (i.e. your eBay store) and directing your social media attention back to that hub. One idea he mentioned, and that I would like to try, is starting a flickr account with vintage treasures and descriptions. He also talked about the importance of blogging 3 - 5 times weekly. I tend to blog once every 7 - 10 days and I need to get in the habit of blogging more frequently.


eBay work is fun but sometimes isolating. I do my vintage shopping with friends and relatives (and it is the most fun part of my "job"), but photos and listings are done at home and on my own. It was great fun meeting so many other eBayers, and especially meeting longtime online eBay friends like Kat Simpson and Louise Dietershagen Sanchez. It was fun to meet eBay superstars Griff (Jim Griffith) of eBay Radio, and Lynn Dralle, who wrote The 100 Best Things I've Sold on eBay series (very highly recommended -- so inspirational!).

In addition to everything else, I was reminded that parking downtown Atlanta is a bear, the city skyline is spectacular downtown at night, and it is important to break in new shoes before wearing them to a 2 day conference!

I'm really glad to have attended this conference. Future eBay On Location events are in Dallas, Chicago, and San Jose, and I highly recommend them to other sellers: http://www.ebayonlocationevents.com/

13 comments:

Bob Gilliland said...

Great review of a fantastic and extremely motivating event. I'm now bubbling over with energy and this seminar provided a much needed shot in my arm. It re-focused my attention on what I need to do overall with my sales and what I should do to grow my business and nurture relationships with customers. Kudos to the eBay staff for their work in setting up On Location in Atlanta!

mymomsbooks said...

Trish, Thanks for the recap. For those of us who could not go you painted a virtual tour for us.I can't wait to hear about some of your changes tips. Discount coupon code, have to pick your brain on how to do this. Great tips!
Suzanne

pat said...

Loved your recap of events Trish! Very well written and included just enough info to help those of us who could not attend. Good job!!

strayspay said...

Great blog on attending the ebay live event Trish. A lot of this information can be carried over to other venues and I love the emphasis on social networking. Way to go girl!

sally said...

Thanks for this very well written and very helpful review of the eBay Atlanta meeting, Trish. The information and ideas you have taken the time to share with all of us are very helpful. Just reading your blog has motivated me to work harder and smarter on eBay. Thanks so much, Sally

idea coach said...

You know, I was just wondering about the impact of blogging and Ebay. This is an awesome recap. Thanks so much

Kat Simpson said...

Excellent ReCap Trish! Thanks so much for putting it all together for those who couldn't be there. You did a great job. Was awesome meeting you and Bob there!

Beth Cherkowsky said...

Don't forget to sign up as an Amazon associate and you can automatically include an Amazon link here on blogger and advertise the books from Cindy Shebly and Lynn Draille (and get some coins if they sell!)

You did a Great Review Trish! thanks!! I feel like I really missed a lot!
Beth
AntiqueDaze

birdhousebooks said...

Thanks, y'all, for the nice comments! It was a really fun time. I am feeling extra-motivated and inspired about eBay after the event. BTW I discovered that John Jantsch, social media guru, has a great blog (that you can subscribe to) at: http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog/.

Danna Crawford said...

You are a true inspiration to many as your eBay store shows class and top notch customer service! I look forward to watching you grow your eBay business and seeing you again one day! Such a pleasure to know you! All the best, Danna

EZAuction Photos said...

Great recap on this weekends events. We had such a great time, I hope this helps others to decide to attend the next one.
Warmly,
Cindy Shebley

Susan said...

Fabulous recap! Sounds like you really did learn a lot in just a couple of days. So nice you could get the one-on-one advice. I hope you report back on the results of any changes you implement based on what you learned at the conference. Thanks for sharing!

birdhousebooks said...

Thank you for the nice comments! It was such a fun and inspiring conference that I couldn't wait to blog about it. :-)