Learning the “Inside Baseball” of Online Retail by Cliff Ennico

Cliff EnnicoI had the honor last week of speaking on e-commerce legal and tax issues for the Kansas Jubilee eBay and eCommerce Conference at Fort Hays State University in beautiful Hays, Kansas (www.kansasjubilee.net).  This annual event brings together eBay, Amazon, Bonanzle and other online sellers throughout the midwest to compare notes and learn the latest online selling strategies.

Some of the attendees shared with me the important lessons about online selling they learned at the Hays conference.  Here they are, in their own words.

“When you are selling on eBay or Amazon, you have to remember that you are just the same as Dillard’s.  You have to act professionally, and give your customers the same quality experience they would get in a brick-and-mortar store.  If you are not prepared or disciplined enough to do that, do not sell online.”  Joseph “Uncle Joe” Adamson, eBay Certified Business Consultant and Education Specialist, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (www.unclejoeradio.com).

“The biggest challenge online sellers face is tracking their income and expenses and staying in compliance with taxes.  Small business owners have to spend way too much time on financials, often to the detriment of doing what they love – running their businesses!  Outright.com, an online accounting tool, can help these businesses thrive by making these tasks simple and easy.”  Jennifer Dunn Escalona, Community Manager, Outright.com, Atlanta, Georgia.

“I learned that ‘microsites’ – websites that reach small, highly targeted communities of collectors – are often the best places to sell antiques and collectibles.”  Del Paeske, Keizer, Oregon (www.itsallwrite.biz).

“Seven years ago I sold books on eBay for five years.  I got burned out and abandoned my Seller ID and a 1,200 feedback score.  I now sell books on Amazon.com and after this weekend I want to sell on eBay again.”  Lucian Siedler, BRTCO-Amazon, Asheville, North Carolina.

“I learned that all of us have started at the same position on eBay, we’ve all been new at this once, and by networking and making mistakes and never giving up we can succeed.  Oh, and that you should always offer your customers ‘free shipping’ wherever possible.”  Jan Maughmer, Kansas City, Missouri.

“That a successful online business looks a lot like an octopus – you have the ‘head’ which is your own business website, the ‘tentacles’ which are your outposts on eBay, Amazon and elsewhere, and the ‘suckers” which are your Internet marketing tools driving customers to your website and outposts.  A very compelling metaphor!”  Lacy Bruggeman, Misslacyg’s Market of Miscellany, Hays, Kansas.

“If you don’t track your numbers, you will never really know if your way of doing business is profitable.”  Leanne Skrok, The Designer Family, Edmond, Oklahoma.

“The importance of getting a federal trademark if you have a really cool name for your business, and making sure to protect it if you see someone using the same name to sell similar stuff.”  Kim Everitt, WalkInAuction, Denver, Colorado.

“The things you need to do to avoid an IRS audit, and especially the tips on how to claim your pet as a tax-deductible ‘guard dog’!”.  Michelle Petersen, Happy Dog Deals, Osborn, Missouri.

“Learning about how to limit your liability for ‘ripple effect’ damages, so for example if I sell someone a dress on eBay, they wear it to a corporate function and there’s a wardrobe malfunction that causes the buyer to lose her job, I won’t be liable for anything other than the price she paid for the dress to begin with.”  Linda Wolff, L&P Enterprises LLC, Northglenn, Colorado.

“I’ve been selling on eBay for some time now, and it was very interesting to learn the details of selling on Amazon.com and other online platforms.”  Paula Hughes, Occasions2go, Kansas City, Missouri.

“How to search items on eBay to find out what they normally sell for, and also how to pick the right keywords for your listing titles and item descriptions so you can get your listings noticed by search engines.”  Dottie Caldwell, Solomon Valley Books, Russell, Kansas.

“Discovering the vast variety of products that can be marketed and sold. It has made me realize I too can build a small business doing something I love.  And, it’s shown me there is a possibility my business could someday turn into a larger one.  For someone just starting out that knowledge is invaluable.”  Rachel Lundy, Midnight Software, Kansas City, Missouri.

“Learning how to find inventory in thrift shops – the stuff that sells well on eBay, and the stuff you should pass on.  It was amazing to learn, for example, that teeshirts from little-known rock and roll bands often sell better on eBay than teeshirts showing the Rolling Stones or Beatles!”  Danni Ackerman, Udderly Good Stuff, Las Vegas, Nevada.

“The importance of having a great good accountant when you’re first starting out.”  Kat Simpson, Kat’s Boutique, Mount Plymouth, Florida.

“How others sell!”.  Karin Banghart, Glam-R-Us, Windsor, Colorado.

Cliff Ennico (www.succeedinginyourbusiness.com), a leading expert on small business law and taxes, is the author of “Small Business Survival Guide,” “The eBay Seller’s Tax and Legal Answer Book” and 15 other books.

Kansas Jubilee eBay to eCommerce

Kansas Jubilee eBay to eCommerce

What is the Kansas Jubilee and why should you attend?  The Kansas Jubilee is an up-and-coming eCommerce event that started in 2008 and is growing into a gathering of exceptional eCommerce talent covering multi-venues. From eBay to eCommerce is the 2011 theme and there will be experts there to teach about selling on Amazon, Bonanza, Addoway and your own website, as well as generous representation from eBay including the famous Uncle Griff himself!  Here are all the details and we would love to meet you there!

The Kansas Jubilee, eBay to eCommerce Conference is a seller to seller working conference held at Fort Hays State University (FHSU) Memorial Union in Hays, KS 67601.  It is supported by the FHSU COBL (College of Business and Leadership) and the Kansas Small Business Development Center.
The Kansas Jubilee,  eBay to eCommerce  Conference, Sept 30/Oct 1 is at Fort Hays State University Memorial Union Conference Center (FHSU).  This will be a two day event of seminars, workshops and round tables focused on Education, Networking and Community. We have a page set up with primary information on Facebook  Kansas Jubilee.     The registration website is Kansas Jubilee Registration  and registration went live on July 25.  Our target is micro sellers who are looking to start or expand a business and business builders.  To that end there will be two tracks of learning:  1. Beginner/Inexperienced sellers. 2. Business builders and entrepreneurs. We are offering Social Networking, Selling on multiple platforms and basic of selling  information.
We held a Jubilee in 2008 and it was a lot of fun and had good response. The Jubilee is supported by eBay.  Jim “Griff” Griffith was here and several eBay staff members to present workshops. Griff is already on the calendar for this one too and is bringing staff members with him again.
This is a regional conference and we have seller experts from eBay, Amazon, Bonanza, Addoway as well as eCommerce and Social Networking, who come in from all over the USA to give workshops/Seminars and participate in round table discussions . Our goal is to provide the best possible information to registrants in a community setting of networking and interaction.
Danni Ackerman, Shawna Seigel, Kathy Simpson, Byran Goodman & Jason Smith (AKA ‘Thrifting With the Boys’), Cliff Ennico, Judy Oglesby, Uncle Joe Adamson, and Fredrick Nijm are a few people who will present workshops and be active in the roundtable discussions.
This is an important conference as it is rural in nature and part of the focus is show how eBay and eCommerce can assist in rural economic development.  Most of rural America is just now getting high speed internet so it opens up new markets for eCommerce and eCommerce seller.

Fort Hays State University (FHSU) is a public, co-educational regents university located in Hays, Kansas. It is the fourth-largest of the six state universities governed by the Kansas Board of Regents, with an enrollment of approximately 11,200 students (4,000 undergraduate, 1,200 graduate, and 6,000 online students in China).

Our sponsors will participate in roundtables to further the learning experience for the registrants.  In other words we want our sponsors to be able to explain the use and need their product fills (without it being an advertisement).  We are selective about who we are asking to sponsor the event.  We are grass roots and our goal is to assist our non-corporate speakers to make the trip–we are not paying any speaker honorarium fees.  Our venue capacity is capped at 200 paid registrations plus the sponsors and speakers so this will be an intimate setting with a lot of person-to-person and networking time. The workshops will take place in break-out rooms rather than one central location.
In addition we are asking our sponsors to assist in promoting the Kansas Jubilee through any avenues they might have to give it exposure.  Sponsors may provide materials for the gift bags, have information through hand-outs and participate in the Round Table discussions.  There will be exposure on our website and and other materials that will be distributed to our registrants.
Please take time to like us on Facebook Kansas Jubilee  and visit the Kansas Jubilee Website

 

Kansas Jubilee – Your Input Requested!

Kansas Jubilee

Joyce Banbury is gearing up for this year’s Kansas Jubilee and she  needs your help! She has come up with a great list of suggested topics but what she really wants to know is ‘What do YOU want to hear!’ so please weigh in here, or on the Kansas Jubilee’s Facebook page!

Product sourcing: how and where to find merchandise

Social Media: Networking for profit

Know Your Numbers: Not just income but profits

Extreme Listing Makeovers Optimum listing for compliance and search placement

Packing and shipping Strategies

TRS (Top Rated Seller Panel) Q & A

Success Triangle  eBay to eCommerce

eBay Basics nuts and bolts of eBay selling

Beyond eBay Bonanza, Amazon, Etsy  worth a try

eCommerce Website In business for yourself

So what do YOU Want to hear???

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