The first RocketPlace was held at Disney World's Yacht Club Resort February 27 - March 1, 2008. This conference for eBay Powersellers was initiated and organized by Debbie Levitt of As Was, an eBay marketing and stores design firm based in Tucson, Arizona.
The two and a half day conference featured numerous eBay and eCommerce solutions providers, software vendors and Internet experts. The focus was on business building rather than the controversy surrounding eBay's recent fee and feedback changes. The attendees at RocketPlace came ready to learn about new ways to increase business and get more out of the most recent eBay and eCommerce options available to them.
This conference was created to encourage current Powersellers to expand upon the methods which have made them successful in the past with new ideas and techniques. We carried the concept to the marketplace and created a seminar, which provides value while avoiding the hard sales pitches normally found at similar events. Debbie Levitt
Multiple software providers were present and made presentations at the event. Attendees learned a great deal from all of the presenters, here are a few of the highlights of the RocketPlace presentations for Auction Software Review readers who could not attend.
Jessica Hum, online marketing analyst for the Ontario, Canada based multi-channel sales automation software company, provided the audience with an inspiring presentation detailing the necessity of managing SEO and SEM for entire product lines online. Kyozou provides a managed service approach to these very important factors of any online sales operation.
Max Leisten, Senior product manager at ChannelAdvisor detailed the extensive e-Commerce capabilities of the ChannelAdvisor stable of software tools. When asked about ways in which ChannelAdvisor is improving their already extensive product lines, Max Leisten said "With regards to marketplaces and eBay we are working closely with our sellers and eBay to support many of eBay's recent changes regarding feedback, Finding 2.0 and PayPal Extended Seller Protection — in a way which will really use the new programs to a seller's advantage."
The ChannelAdvisor product presentation was thorough and covered the entire process and possibilities available regarding the real benefits of using the application to insert inventory into multiple marketing channels including eBay. ChannelAdvisor is a strong product and should be one of the primary solutions under consideration by merchants with over $15,000 in average monthly sales volume.
Brian Gibbs, President and founder of the company, explained the benefits of the shipping service monitoring system his product provides to sellers. Brian developed the software from within the trenches of the shipping & packaging industry as an actual shipping and packaging store owner. The Refund Retriever monitoring service operates in the background keeping tabs on all of the shipping accounts a business uses.
"There isn't a single carrier that ever notifies its customers of a late package. Can you imagine UPS, FedEx, or DHL sending you a check in the mail or removing charges from an invoice because they failed to meet their self imposed guarantees? Of course not, the customer must watch his own back", says Gibbs. Refund Retriever watches your back for you and secures the refunds due to your company when time constraints or other guarantees are not upheld by the shipper.
Lisa Sparks - Constant Contact's Regional Development Director in South Florida - presented a lively and interesting explanation of the power of email list building and customer contact programs. "We've found online sellers use Constant Contact's email marketing tools to promote repeat purchases from existing customers and to build a solid list of bidders for future listings," said Sparks.
Steve Nye - Hammertap's Research Education Specialist - explained the importance of research and how to find important and relevant information regarding eBay sellers competition, niche and category choices all from a single platform console. Hammertap is one of the best tools available for eBay sellers who want to know not only what to sell, but when to sell it and at what price.
Michael Lambert, CEO and co-founder of Merchant Advantage, gave the presentation. Merchant Advantage is a clearinghouse of information exchange between merchants and online portals or channels. The service imports database information from inventory for any client and then processes that data in real time to evaluate over 100 different online channels as a potential marketplace for each inventory item. Once an evaluation is delivered via the web site (or a more advanced desktop application) a merchant may easily place online inventory on any - or all - of the hundreds of emerging niche marketplaces in the Merchant Advantage system.
The benefits of this service are vast time savings, ultimate market testing capabilities and ease of evaluation of specific niche channels for products. The days of being limited to only one or two channels to sell through are gone. Merchant advantage opens up the entire world of Internet channel selling to any merchant with an existing inventory.
The presentation was delivered by Tobe Goldfinger, CEO of custom applications software vendor JDT Technologies. When a company needs a specialized application designed to work with existing programs, such as integrating QuickBooks with a sales management tool, JDT is the company to call.
Tobe Goldfinger is enthusiastic about the future applications her company can deliver, due to ChannelAdvisor's strong movement toward an open API. JDT is already taking advantage of the API to create interesting extensions to the ChannelAdvisor platform. On other fronts, JDT is developing a new desktop tool to manage one-of-a-kind inventory, and they are looking into doing a consignment communications system.
Overall the RocketPlace (TAWC) conference was an informative and valuable two and a half day event at the beautiful DisneyYacht Club Resort in Sunny Florida. The conference will possibly move to Las Vegas in the fall of 2008. Check RocketPlace.com for details, or look out for an announcement in the newsletter .
Photos by Jen Franklin
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About the Author
His company - AllBusinessAuctions.com based in Largo, Florida USA provides eBay stores design, eCommerce development, Internet & eBay solutions & software to small and mid sized businesses worldwide.