Getting Ship Done Right: An Interview with ShipStation’s Robert Gilbreath

ShipStation

The first time I heard about ShipStation was back in 2011. I received an email from Jason Hodges, one of the founders, who at that time I knew as the developer of eBay shipping tool Auctane Pro.

Jason told me that he was launching a new multi-channel shipping application called ShipStation. I’ve been running the Web Retailer directory for 13 years now, and I’ve seen a lot of tools come and go, so it’s not easy to get excited about new products. I just thought, “OK, that sounds interesting. I’ll keep an eye on them.”

Now, most new tools launch loudly and then go quiet while they wrestle with the messy demands of customer support, staffing, technology bugs and all the rest. But not ShipStation. They just got louder and louder, as they released one new integration after another. There was none of the usual post-launch bunker mentality from these guys.

In just a little time ShipStation had support not only for the top marketplaces (eBay and Amazon), but other sales channels including Magento, Volusion, 3DCart, Storenvy, Prestashop, OpenSky and many more. A new integration seemed to come out every week, covering parcel carriers, marketplaces, shopping carts, fulfillment services and mail consolidators. That’s a breakneck speed of development, and it continues today.

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The Truth About “Incentivized” Reviews on Amazon

Unnatural Reviews Detected

This post is by Tommy Noonan from ReviewMeta, a tool that can be used to identify and filter incentivized reviews for any product available on Amazon, simply by copying and pasting the URL into ReviewMeta.com. This post was originally published on the ReviewMeta blog as Analysis of 7 million Amazon reviews: customers who receive free or discounted item much more likely to write positive review.

UPDATE 3 OCTOBER 2016: Amazon has now banned incentivized reviews outright!

If you’ve read reviews on Amazon within the last few years, you’ve surely noticed a disclaimer at the bottom of many that look like this:

I received this product for free or at a discount in exchange for my honest, unbiased review

At ReviewMeta, we call these “incentivized reviews”.

Consumers have growing distrust and even disdain for incentivized reviews, especially when it seems every single one is a glowing 5-star review. We wanted to confirm or deny this seemingly anecdotal opinion, so we analyzed 7 million reviews.

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How To Attend a Chinese Trade Show Like a Pro

Man Jumping

This post is by Gary Huang, an American based in Shanghai, China. Gary has been working in sourcing since 2008, and is the creator of 80/20 Sourcing which teaches online sellers and small business importers how to save time and make more money when sourcing from suppliers in China.

This post was originally published in two parts on 80/20 Sourcing: Hacking a Chinese trade fair as a buyer and How to attend a trade show like a pro.

Every year the seasons change and we enter spring and fall. Do you know what that means? Besides the changing weather, it’s trade show season!

Just as there’s “more than one way to skin a cat” there’s more than one way to find a Chinese supplier. Besides using sites such as Alibaba, did you know that trade shows can be a great way to:

  • Quickly identify qualified suppliers (and weed out the bad ones).
  • Meet them face-to-face to build trust.
  • Get your hands on samples immediately.
  • Find new products and trends.

Imagine all the time you save speaking with someone in person rather than emailing back forth every night to get a sample delivered to you.

So in this article I’ll explain how to find the right suppliers, ask the right questions, and get the right product at the right price when attending trade shows in China.

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Amazon Seller Feedback: The Essential Guide

Amazon Seller Feedback

This post is by Chris Dunne, Marketing Executive at FeedbackExpress. FeedbackExpress is a powerful, cloud-based software solution that helps Amazon sellers automate and manage their feedback communication with buyers. The software is proven to help sellers get more positive seller feedback and product reviews as well as removing any negative and neutral feedback quickly and effectively.

You’re probably aware that Amazon recently updated its product review guidelines, meaning buyers who haven’t made purchases worth $5 cannot leave a review. The ecommerce giant is strongly focused on removing fake product reviews and has recently taken legal action against a number of websites selling non-genuine reviews and against sellers themselves.

Product reviews are getting all the attention of late, but what about seller feedback? The two are completely separate, but often confused. This post is all about seller feedback: what it is and why it’s so important, how to deal with negative feedback, and how to improve your feedback rating.

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The Seller’s Journey: How to Be the Hero Your Business Needs

The Sellers Journey

This post is by Tim Calpin, CMO of multichannel retail platform ChannelApe. Prior to this he worked in brand and content for eBay Partner Network. He also spent several years working in the entertainment world – with credits including South Park and the Bruce Willis indie “Assassination of a High School President”. Tim is a graduate of Syracuse University, an avid writer and a raconteur.

Do you know who Joseph Campbell is?

He’s the foremost authority on journey and myth. Renowned storytellers like Spielberg and Scorsese are all about him.

Campbell believed all truly great stories were, in fact, the same story. He coined something called The Hero’s Journey, a narrative structure that embodies characters ranging from Jesus Christ to Luke Skywalker (as Luke should prove decidedly less controversial, we’ll use him as our example here).

The hero’s journey produces a character with integrity, worth and direction. If a seller can emulate this journey, they’ll create a business with the same characteristics – one that will naturally draw demand and generate a strong brand.

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