This post is by Radoslav Albrecht, the founder and CEO of Bitbond. Based in Berlin, Bitbond is a peer-to-peer lending platform that specializes in providing loans to online sellers and small businesses. The platform uses bitcoin as a payment network and is therefore available to everyone who has access to the internet. Previous to starting Bitbond, Radoslav was advising banks at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants and has worked for Deutsche Bank in London.
As a seller on eBay and Amazon you’ve doubtlessly thought about driving the growth of your online business. Whether its financing new inventory, hiring new staff, or keeping up with increasing demand, growing your business can be an expensive endeavor.
At Bitbond, we’ve helped finance 1,400 loans worth more than €740,000 to small businesses and online sellers. We operate globally, and often receive questions from international online sellers unsure whether a loan is the right choice for them. Our community is over 40,000 strong, but we recognize that many eBay and Amazon sellers still have doubts about growing their business with external financing.
Below, I have given detailed answers to the most commonly asked questions. We will cover all important aspects of financing for online sellers located in the US and abroad. With the information in this post, you will be able to decide if external financing is right for you, and what your next step should be.
This post is by Todd Ryan, a Florida-based IT manager who has been selling online since 1999. He currently concentrates on the Amazon marketplace, growing 100% year-on-year and employing three people in the business. Todd uses a range of applications, including automated repricing software since 2012. He has tested more than a dozen repricers in the sub-$500 per month range including RepriceIt, Appeagle, Sellery, ChannelMAX and BQool, and regularly advises other sellers on repricing.
For an up-to-date list of repricers, with reviews, see the repricing category in the Web Retailer directory.
On the Amazon Marketplace, the Buy Box reigns supreme. Almost all sales go to the seller who is “in the Buy Box”. Few buyers even realize that they can choose to buy from another merchant, because it’s an integral part of the experience to trust that Amazon has already found the best offer for you.
So as a seller, you really need to “win” the Buy Box to make sales, and one of the most important factors in deciding who wins is price. For better or worse, price also happens to be a factor that you, as a seller, have complete control over. By regularly adjusting prices you can potentially make a huge difference to your sales.
It’s quite common now for Amazon sellers to use automated pricing tools, and dozens of repricers have sprung up in recent years to meet that need. Most repricing tools use preset rules and algorithms to frequently adjust prices.
However, there are still many sellers who are wary of repricers, for a variety of reasons – some of which are way off the mark! In this post, I will tackle the most common myths I hear about repricing. I’ll try to pick apart the reality from the myth, and address the biggest concerns which sellers often have.
This post is by Matthew Ferguson, Customer Success Manager at Volo, a provider of technology and services to some of the world’s largest marketplace sellers. Matthew worked as an ecommerce manager in Florida for six years, before moving into a marketplace services role in London. For the last five years he has been helping ecommerce businesses expand their domestic and European cross-border sales, and explore new global markets.
There is no doubt that international ecommerce – selling to customers outside your own country – is one of the most complex and challenging aspects of selling online.
I can’t make it less complex for you than it really is (although I would love to do that if I could!) but I can highlight some of the areas that, in my experience, many sellers misunderstand.
So here are my top ten myths about international ecommerce, covering strategy, translation, returns, taxes and duties, passive versus active selling, selling to Europe, shipping and more.
I hope you find it useful, and would be happy to answer any questions you have in the comments below.
This post is by Lanae Paaverud, founder and CEO of Social Networking Nanny. Lanae began selling on eBay in 2000, and opened her own online retail website, Old World Limited, in 2007. An early adopter of Facebook and Twitter to promote her business, Lanae’s success with social media was quickly recognized by her peers. In 2009 this led to the founding of Social Networking Nanny, a social media services firm helping small businesses get social on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and more.
As an online retailer with 16 years of experience, I quickly learned that social networking is an integral part of business. You can advertise your products, and promote your latest offers, but also put a face to your store – a crucial human aspect that helps people engage with your business and feel comfortable buying from you.
With Social Networking Nanny, I spend a lot of time talking to other business owners about using social media. But there’s a lot of hype and “hot air” out there about marketing through social networks, and it’s easy to get the wrong idea about using social media in your business.
So here are my top nine myths about social media for business. I’ll explain why people believe them and the reality behind the myths, and – most importantly – how you can really make the most of your social presence. I’d love to hear your questions and feedback in the comments at the end!
This post is by Mark Houng, a product sourcing expert based in Taipei, Taiwan. Mark has spent the last 24 years helping small and large businesses successfully import products from China. You can find him at www.markhoung.com
China has dominated the world of manufacturing for some time now. With marketplaces such as Alibaba going from strength to strength, sourcing and importing from China has become accessible to businesses of every size – right down to micro-businesses selling on Amazon and eBay from their garages.
Many businesses have products manufactured in China successfully, but they often make a lot of mistakes along the way. For every successful project, it seems like there are a lot more failures.
With four generations of my family in this business, I’ve been hearing those horror stories since I was a kid. Today, it seems like a lot of problems are down to how businesses work with their Chinese suppliers. They often don’t know who is responsible for what, they don’t understand their supplier’s position, and they don’t know the product well enough to communicate exactly what they want.
So here’s my top eleven (yes, eleven!) myths about working with Chinese suppliers. I’ll let you know the reality behind the myths, and give you my best tips on how to get it right. If you have any questions, just drop them in the comments box at the end.