Monthly Archives: September 2008

ExactTarget Launches Dynamic E-Mail Coupons

Web shop owners using the real-time coupons can target specific subscribers or specify that the offer not exceed a maximum redemption rate, based on their budget earmarked for the campaign.

“Web shop owners have the flexibility from within Live Offers to target specific subscribers or to specify that the offer not exceed a maximum redemption rate, based on their budget earmarked for the campaign.

For example, if you wanted a maximum of 1,000 redemptions but your subscriber list is 2,500 members, you can have Live Offers provide the code for the coupon to the first 1,000 subscribers who open the e-mail, and have the remaining users on your list see a different offer or be sent to a different landing page on your Web site.”

ExactTarget Launches Dynamic E-Mail Coupons
By Vangie Beal, September 25, 2008

Bonanzle Brings the ‘Human Element’ Back to Online Buying and Selling

I remember back (close to ten years ago now) to when I bought my first item online at eBay. It was a box of used Stephen King paperbacks. I got it for an awesome price and I paid with a money order. This seller and I exchanged e-mails back and forth, daily for a week. When I received the item I realized the seller underestimated the shipping charges to Canada. I paid $10 for the books (huge deal) and $5 for shipping. He actually spent $15 on the shipping alone, and didn’t mention it during our conversations.

When I asked him about it, the reply was that he only sold two things so far and didn’t really have an understanding of shipping yet. During that week we developed a friendly relationship and banter while we were waiting for my item to arrive and when I realized the guy made zero dollars and lost a huge box of books I felt bad.  I mailed him a second money order for $10.00, and, I did do so without his asking.

A few years later with both buying and selling experience under my belt, I listed a lot of gently used boy’s clothes. I had an inquiry from a mother about one specific shirt in the lot. I never heard from her again and the auction ended unsold.  Two months later I get an e-mail asking me about that box of clothes, and did I sell it.

Apparently, this woman had just had another child and had to spend quite some time in the hospital after giving birth.  Her new baby and second oldest children had a shirt that was the exact same (exception being the sizes of course) in the lot of clothes I listed. Her oldest son would have fit into the shirt that was in my lot and she wondered if I might still have it.  This woman spent time thinking about getting that ‘matching shirt’ and e-mailed me as soon as she got out of the hospital.

I did not reply to her e-mail. I went back through eBay, got her information; you used to be able to do that, you know (soon you won’t even be able to get a person’s real e-mail address). I wrapped the gently used shirt in gift wrap and put it in a padded envelope with a note congratulating her on her new arrival.  What a beautiful e-mail I received when she got the package.  It felt good to do something nice for a person in another country who I would never meet and never hear from again.

When you hear people talk of “the old eBay” and reminisce about “community”, this is what people miss.  But it’s not even about the giving, as in my experiences; it’s about connecting with the people.

Over the years, in its quest to become the number one marketplace, eBay has deployed so many services,  features, policies and automation that now feels like you are dealing with robots rather than a unique individual person.

There is very little human left in eBay despite the millions of people using it.

I started using Bonanzle because I wanted to write about it.  I loaded the URL and as soon as the page loaded I immediately thought “this place is different”.  Well, I wrote the article a couple months ago, and I’m still there.  Funny, because I have a username and password on roughly 20 online sites for buying and selling and I have not felt the desire to revisit many of them after my article was filed, that is, until Bonanzle.

My first transaction came about because of a ‘want ad’ for care Bears I placed in the forum.  Bonanzle member str8_2_u_from_me replied and we had a great discussion and chatted back and forth until the package arrived. We’ve even exchanged messages since then.  The forums over there are alive with totally uncensored conversations, and the site enables buyers and sellers to communicate in real time directly from a sellers’ booth (which is similar to an online storefront). 

Bonanzle, with its small development team has put together an amazing package. Have you heard of companies going around stamping Web 2.0 all over their site and in their PR? What I love about Bonanzle is that they are the very definition of Web 2.0; something others try to achieve but very few do, and not once have they actually used that phrase or anything like it.

The technology is there. Use Bonanzle for a week, and if you have spent time on eBay, Kijiji,  or any of the other eBay alternatives the first thing you’re going to notice is how sweet the technology is – and it’s all wrapped up in a convenient, easy-to-use package.

Then, you’re going to realize why so many people have joined Bonanzle in such a short period of time.

Because it is actually a humanized online marketplace. 

eBay Alternative Action: Resources, Launches, Updates

This week we discuss what the phrase ‘eBay Alternatives‘ encompasses and highlight the latest news and launches from the constantly growing alternative space.

“The larger alternative sites are generally more firmly established marketplaces that are corporate-owned. These channels, like eBay, are more expensive than other, smaller, alternatives to use as a selling platform. However, they are highly trafficked sites with millions to tens of millions of visitors each month, making them more appealing to larger sellers and merchants.

Some sellers will use these alternative channels in connection with their eBay business. These types of channels are used by B2C (business-to-consumer) and C2C (consumer-to-consumer) sellers and merchants.”

eBay Alternative Action: Resources, Launches, Updates
By Vangie Beal, September 24, 2008

CallWave Rolls Out Cross-Platform Collaboration With FUZE

CallWave rolls technology picked up in its acquisition of WebMessenger into FUZE, a hosted cross-platform collaboration product with video and image sharing.

In a nutshell, the FUZE service is designed to provide synchronized high-definition video collaboration with high quality audio conferencing along with secure instant messaging and managed presence in an easy-to-use service.

To do this, FUZE expands on WebMessenger technology to provide an enterprise-class collaboration and conferencing solution for mobile workforces. FUZE, through its browser-based service provides the means to conduct mobile meetings by initiating calls, delivering presentations and instant messaging with meeting attendees, regardless if they are in the office in front of their computer or out in the field with an iPhone or Windows Mobile device.

CallWave Rolls Out Cross-Platform Collaboration With FUZE
By Vangie Beal, September 23, 2008

Free Bonanzle Booth Images

Bonanzle is an online marketplace for buying and selling goods, faster, while having fun. This online marketplace aims to be the most simple, yet powerful choice for online buying and selling.

When you list an item on Bonanzle, the items can all be viewed in your own personal booth (like an online storefront). You can change the picture (header image) of your own booth, by selecting a template from Bonanzle or by uploading your own image. Bonanzle booth images should be 692 x 104 pixels.

I have uploaded 15 images that you can freely use to edit for your own Bonanzle booth. These images are clips from my own personal stock photography portfolio. For best results, you should save the image and open it in a graphics program to add your own logo, quote, booth name, and so on. Have a look here.

eBay Watch: Hot Holiday Trends

This week eBay implements its new fixed price listing and final value fees, offers hot holiday trends and eBay expert Skip McGrath talks about the future of eBay in his new book.

EBay’s new pricing structure for fixed price listings went into effect at midnight on Sept. 15. This means that sellers can take advantage of multi-quantity items up to 30 days for a single 35-cent fixed price in most categories on eBay, except media, which is 15 cents. Unfortunately, going hand-in-hand with the lower insertion fee prices are many increased final value fees.

eBay Watch: Hot Holiday Trends
By Vangie Beal, September 17, 2008

eBay Policy Watch: Fixed Shipping Limits for Media

Can you profit with fixed shipping limits for media sales? We review the new policy going into effect in October.

Lorrie Norrington, President of eBay Marketplaces, has previously said that enforcing shipping limits is designed to protect buyers from excessive shipping charges.

But one of the biggest concerns expressed by sellers is that they will lose money with set shipping limits, as not all CDs and DVDs, for example, are the same size. At times, vendors may have a specialty box set, or an antique book, for instance, that will require them to go beyond the set shipping limits for those types of items.

eBay Policy Watch: Fixed Shipping Limits for Media
By Vangie Beal, September 10, 2008