Friday, October 9, 2009

eBay Sellers Challenge Winners Announced

The eBay Sellers Challenge Winners have just been announced. The four winners, one in each of the four categories, voted on by the eBay community are:

� First-time Sellers on eBay: Tori Nichel, a first-time eBay seller who will use the site as a way to establish an e-commerce presence for her growing Brooklyn-based fashion apparel business

� Part-time Sellers on eBay: Ryan Pugh, a longtime eBay member who recently decided to make her Las Vegas-based eBay business a full-time job, selling products she believes help people to �live clean�

� Full-time Sellers on eBay: Janell Anderson-Ehrke, a full-time eBay seller who helps low-income artisans and micro-entrepreneurs in Nebraska to connect with a community of buyers on eBay

� U.S. Veterans and Service Members: Thomas Costello, a Lance Corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and Chicago-based eBay seller who uses eBay to take advantage of a growing market for used computer equipment

You can see who the runners up are, and also review their business plans and videos at

Monday, October 5, 2009

eBay "Ask Seller a Question" Scam; Url Leads to Evil File

eBay sellers: Don't fall for this "Ask Seller a Question" scam. I have gotten two of these in just the last few days. It goes something like get a question from a supposed interested buyer saying they want to buy it as a present but want to confirm the style is what the friend wants, and can you check this url that will show you a photo of it?

The url is a tinyurl, or shortened url, so you can't see the domain name you are going to. Then it leads to a downloadable file that is malicious. If you download and execute this file you are going to mess up your computer. The one I got let to a file with a .cpl extension. (In some cases the browser automatically downloads it for you, but fortunately the browser I use caught the file as suspicious and asked if I wanted to discard it, which I did).

Here's the email I got with the name and part of the url blacked out:

From: m*********
To: juliawww
Subject: m*********** has sent a question about item #2*********, ending on Oct-11-09
Sent Date: Oct-05-09 13:24:13 PDT

Dear juliawww,


I want to purchase this item as a birthday present for a family
member. I think it's the style they are looking for but I'm not
100% sure. Can you open up the pic in the link and confirm?
Please get back to me asap so I can know If I'll go through with
the purchase or not. Here's the link*******


- m***********


The user id is the case I checked, the user ID showed up as "private" so I couldn't get any info. I'm not going to delve into that one for now.

But, the main point is, if you get one of these questions, ignore it and report it!

eBay Item Wrapped in Depends Diaper; from the What Not to Do Dept.

A friend of mine just told me this and I just had to share.

She bought an antique on eBay and it came wrapped in a Depends diaper: "It gave me the  willies, just thinking about it�.not good marketing! I mean really, they couldn�t spring for some bubble wrap!"

Yikes! Another thing she bought once came with cobwebs on it. Well, chalk those up to the "what not to do" department in packing and shipping.

I must say, though, the things I buy on eBay 99% of the time are wrapped very well, sometimes with multiple layers of bubble wrap.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

eBay's Top-Rated Sellers Badge Starts to Show in Search Listings: The Impact?

eBay's new "Top-rated seller" designation, a little gold badge and ribbon, is starting to show up under the listings in search results on the site, like so many little cherries waiting to be picked.

But will the designation really have that big an impact, such that sellers who do not have it will feel a significant detrimental effect on their business?

Of course it remains to be seen. But I am not convinced it will be that huge a deal. See the below results for a search for a red Chanel bag:

Toprated_chanel2In the pic (click on it to see whole thing), the 3rd and 5th bags have the Top-rated seller icon. But notice the first two do not, nor does the fourth one. Also, these bags are all sufficiently different, such that a person who is looking for a specific type of Chanel bag in red most likely would not choose a different style just based on the icon.

Of course, this is going to depend on the types of items being searched for. If there are hundreds of black nano ipods available, and only ten have the Top-rated seller designation, I think those ten sellers are more likely to have a boost over the competition.

But for more rare and unique types of items, I am not convinced the impact will be that big. Not that the badge is not a positive thing for sellers; it is no doubt something just about all sellers would like to have.

What are your thoughts on it?