20 Years in eBay Software: An Interview with SixBit’s John Slocum

SixBit Team

Way back in 1997, John Slocum created the very first software tool for eBay sellers: AuctionAssistant.

Over the past twenty years John has not wavered from his niche of creating desktop-based, feature-rich software for eBay sellers.

After eBay bought his first company in 1999, John spent ten years writing software as an eBay employee. When eBay let John and his team go in 2009, John set up his own company again and carried on writing software for eBay sellers.

That company is SixBit, and it’s going strong today. With nearly twenty years in the business, John’s history and knowledge of eBay, and software for online sellers, is unsurpassed.

Now, surrounded by so many cloud-based applications fighting for users, SixBit has held firm as a desktop tool for eBay sellers. But, in a way, that’s coming to an end – because SixBit is adding support for selling on the Amazon marketplace too.

I caught up with John to find out more about his long and remarkable history with eBay. I wanted to find out why he started down this path in the beginning, why he still prefers desktop-based software, and why SixBit is now adding support for eBay’s biggest rival.

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US Sales Tax for European Online Sellers: The Essential Guide

US Flag Maze

This post is by Emma Scotton, Director and Founder at independent ecommerce consultancy KnowGlobal. KnowGlobal offers advice and support to online businesses, both large and small, on all aspects of their ecommerce offering. They help clients grow their businesses both domestically and at an international level.

Ecommerce is booming and businesses are increasingly fighting for a share of the lucrative global market by looking at ways to take their online business cross-border.

The US market makes for a particularly attractive option, with US consumers expected to spend $327 billion online in 2016. Moreover, the number of web shoppers in the US is expected to grow by 15% this year to 192 million and each shopper will be spending more on average, up 44% from 2012 to $1,738 per year.

What’s more for marketplace sellers is that global marketplaces are expected to own nearly 40% of the online retail market by 2020, providing a viable and rewarding route to new markets for businesses of all sizes.

In the rush to expand, however, merchants can overlook areas of international business that are unfamiliar. Ensuring you support international payments and have a logistics network capable of fulfilling orders is important, but with new opportunities come new complexities, particularly when meeting the challenge of sales tax compliance in the United States.

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The Moneyball Method for Amazon Product Sourcing

Baseball Player

This post is by Meghan Gleason, Amazon Account Specialist at Teikametrics. Teikametrics helps Amazon FBA sellers drive traffic to their listings and scale their business using data-driven software and consulting for inventory optimization, repricing, restocking, review management, ad optimization, and product scouting. This post was first published on the Teikametrics Blog as Advanced Product Sourcing for FBA Sellers.

The typical Amazon product lifecycle has become very short, which is a result of increased competition and transparency within ecommerce.

We’ve seen a lot of clients have successful product launches on Amazon, only to have their growth quickly stunted by new products within that category.

We often hear about products that were ranked #1 in a particular category 6 months ago, and now have dropped dramatically in the rankings. This is partially due to the extremely transparent marketplace that Amazon has created, making it easier for the competition to quickly catch on to newly sourced products.

What does this mean for sourcing?

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China’s Tmall Global: Everything You Need To Know

Tmall Homepage

This post is by Misha Maruma. Misha is an online content writer for Nanjing Marketing Group, a company helping Western businesses connect with Chinese consumers. This post was first published on the Nanjing Marketing Group blog as Everything You Need To Know About Tmall Global.

Alibaba’s IPO on the New York Stock Exchange increased this massive ecommerce company’s brand recognition outside of China. But any Chinese shopper will tell you they have been using Alibaba’s ecommerce services for years.

Alibaba’s shopping platforms, including Taobao (consumer-to-consumer) and Tmall (business-to-consumer), are frequented by Chinese consumers looking for ways to buy brands that may not be available to them in physical stores where they live.

In 2008, Taobao spun off Tmall as a platform solely dedicated to official brand stores, allowing brands to sell their goods throughout Mainland China. Tmall now has over 70,000 brands in 50,000 stores.

Then in February 2014 Tmall Global was set up. The aim with Tmall Global was to encourage big foreign brands to enter the Chinese ecommerce market. Here’s everything you need to know about selling on this major new marketplace.

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Sourcing Products from Liquidation Companies: The Essential Guide

Liquidation Products

This post is by Albert Palacci, CEO of Palacci Group. Albert has been in the wholesale and distribution business for the last 17 years, building a strong logistics network in the United States, South America and Europe. Albert’s businesses include liquidation stock wholesalers 888 Lots and Miami Lots, which provide online sellers with groundbreaking platforms for purchasing clearance products.

When people start out selling online, their biggest challenge is often which products to buy and where to buy them from.

There are a number of easily accessible products sources that many online sellers start with: flea markets, arbitrage, used books and so on. Liquidation or clearance stock is only a little harder to access – you just need a resale certificate – and there’s a lot of potential for profit.

But people need to do their research before they jump into the world of liquidation. A lot of sellers start completely blind and with very high expectations. They’ve seen prices up to 95% off retail, so think that they’re going to invest a thousand dollars and make a million. That’s just not the case.

So here’s everything you need to know before you start sourcing clearance products. I’ll explain how the liquidation business works, including all the industry jargon. Then I’ll cover the pitfalls you need to be aware of and give you my best tips on how to profit from liquidation stock.

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