How to Carry Out an Annual Review of Your Chinese Suppliers

Identify key problems, work together on solutions, and grow your business together – or fire them!

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.

When sourcing from suppliers abroad, oftentimes we are so bogged down in the day-to-day communications, fixing problems, placing orders, and handling all other parts of our business, we rarely take a chance to evaluate how the supplier is performing. One of the best ways is to do this is with a performance review.

Does the sound of that make your skin crawl? The thought of meeting with your boss and having him pick apart all the good and bad you’ve done all year. We hate that feeling when someone gives you negative feedback despite the fact it’s “for your own good”. The idea is that this way you recognize your weaknesses, and ideally identify ways to work together to improve upon them.

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Getting Seen on eBay: 21 Tips for Cracking the Cassini Search Engine

This post is by Carlo Silva, founder of ecommerce outsourcing company 2nd Office. Carlo has 16 years of experience selling on eBay and is a former eBay Titanium Power Seller.

UPDATE January 2017: this second edition has been completely reviewed and revised, with three new tips added.

Do you remember the days when you as a seller could leave negative feedback for bad customers?

Do you remember the days when you could list multiple listings and flood eBay’s search engine with auctions, Buy It Now listings and get tons of sales?

This is when eBay was still using their search engine called “Voyager,” which was built around 2002. Voyager was clearly more about the seller and not so much about the buyer because, if you knew how Voyager worked, you would be banking in on all the sales.

If you’re an old school eBay seller like me, then you experienced the glory days of eBay from the early 2000’s to 2008. I still remember those days. I also remember when everything started to change.

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False Infringement Claims are Rife on Amazon

How unethical sellers abuse the system with bogus IP, trademark, copyright and patent reports

This post is by Chris McCabe, a former Amazonian and founder of ecommerceChris.com. For Amazon sellers, having their merchant account suspended means losing time and money trying to get back in business. ecommerceChris shows sellers how to keep their accounts healthy, or, if the worst should happen, how to get their account back from a suspension.

UPDATE FEB 2017: A follow-up to this post, How to Fight Amazon Rights Infringement Claims, covers Amazon’s changing attitude to false claims, how to create a Plan of Action, and how to file a DMCA counterclaim.

As demonstrated in a recent CNBC article about Samsung sales, Amazon scarcely has any process in place to vet disputes over sales rights or to filter counterfeit claims from alleged rights owners.

In order to meet a minimum liability standard, Amazon only acts upon properly submitted and completed notice claims of infringement. They notify specified marketplace sellers which party reported them on what listing, and how to reach that would-be rights owner via email. The rest is up to you.

Unfortunately, now word is out that anyone could submit a form without any true vetting or verification process on the other side. Investigators merely check the form for completed content in all the right spaces. They don’t independently verify that any of the information is actually correct, or valid. The rights owner makes a legally-binding declaration in the form, and signs it. What if you can’t locate a party who submits a false form?

If anything there does not square with reality, then it’s up to you to chase them down.

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7 Leading Marketplaces in Asia from Coupang to Zalora

This post is by Craig Agutter, EMEA Ecommerce Manager at international currency transfer provider World First.

For online sellers across the world, Asia is already a lucrative market but it is the rate of growth and scale that really sets it apart. China’s online retail market is already the world’s largest with over US$600 billion of sales in 2015 according to research by McKinsey.

However, forecasters believe the current size has barely scratched the surface, with China’s low tier cities along with other countries in Southeast Asia beginning to benefit from the ecommerce boom. In Thailand, 85% of consumers not living in major metropolitan hubs use mobile devices for their online purchases.

So, the question every ambitious online seller should be asking is: how can I tap into these active and growing markets in Asia? Below, we look at the top marketplaces and give you tips on taking advantage of the opportunities for online sellers in Asia.

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7 Ways Brands and Manufacturers are Failing Online Retailers

This post is by Trevor Ginn, the founder of VendLab, a retail consultancy which helps retailers and suppliers create, optimize and manage their product data. Trevor is also the founder of online retailer Hello Baby, which has been selling baby, toddler and nursery products worldwide since 2007.

Ecommerce has been around for over twenty years, but in many ways the manufacturers of products which are sold online are yet to adapt.

Online retailers have different requirements from bricks-and-mortar shops, yet the products and service they receive from their inventory suppliers (brands, manufacturers, distributors and so on) are generally still tailored to retail stores.

Here are seven ways suppliers fail online retailers, which I have seen time and time again. Be on the lookout for them!

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