Debbie Levitt is the CEO of eBay’s first Certified Service Provider, As Was (Aswas.com), which offers services for online sellers including branding, design, and personalized sales and marketing strategies. Levitt is eBay’s first Certified Consultant and the first Education Specialist trained by eBay. Her recognized expertise as well as her approach to online branding, marketing and strategy are redefining the model of what are “good” eBay listings, eBay Stores, or websites.
eBay recently announced some serious changes. What can you tell Practical Ecommerce readers about those changes?
We know that with what eBay is planning on changing, sellers need to start reassessing how they do things and finding ways to change as soon as possible. Rather than waiting for eBay Live or an event later this year, we know that sellers need to learn what they can immediately. If Detailed Seller Ratings (DSRs) give your buyer the chance to rate your communication and how they felt about your shipping charges, those are subjective ratings that you have a chance to influence. Changes in how you communicate can change buyer’s expectations, and when their expectations are a closer match to what you’re going to deliver, they’ll be happier. Sellers who can get their DSRs up will see fee discounts and advantages in eBay search results, so making such changes is hugely important.
Why would eBay make these changes?
We’ve seen eBay make changes in the past that were aimed at getting sellers to change what they’re doing, such as the fee increase that was meant to get more items out of the eBay Store format and into the eBay Core. I believe that this is the same sort of thing. eBay wants to make sure buyers come to eBay and stay, and they know that better buyer experiences will translate into more happier shoppers and buyers for all eBay sellers. Some of the changes look like they could hurt sellers, but I believe eBay’s message is that the changes should be advantages to sellers willing to do some things differently and better.
Any advice for those who are new to the world of eBay?
Research, research and learn. Before deciding which products to sell, people need to do research to make sure that the products they are considering are likely to sell on eBay at prices that bring a good profit. Also, check your product sources. It’s easy to jump on drop shippers, but often, these drop shippers are low in the totem pole; the lower you are, the more middlemen mark these products up, and the harder it will be for you to sell them at prices you need to charge to make money.
Learn about eBay. Learn how shoppers find your products, and how to make sure you show up when they’re looking. Learn how to work as efficiently as possible. Go beyond what’s in some of the books. You wouldn’t open a pizzeria after reading a book about running a pizzeria. There is still so much to research and learn. Apply these ideas to eBay businesses, and plan carefully.