Dani Avitz: Ask Me Anything
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Milton Keynes United Kingdom
andy939
Kudos: 33
Joined: May 20, 2017
Re: Dani Avitz: Ask Me Anything
2 May 2018
OK, my question is. I have an eBay store that sells just my main products from my business, so I guess you would say it is a niche website as all we sell on there is stainless steel handrails and balustrade posts. I have been given an opportunity to but from another company both wholesale and also we are discussing the opportunity they will drop ship for me also.

I started a new store for these products as they are so very different from what i have been selling, they include things like condoms and fungal nail products, which seem to be very good fast selling products.

So my question is, will it be a bad idea to add the new products to my current business?

I asked because my main eBay account has a high selling limit (£1.7m and 250,000 products) where the new account is £10,000 and 500 items.
Andy Younan
Supplier
Palo Alto United States
Algopix
Kudos: 182
Joined: Jul 17, 2016
Re: Dani Avitz: Ask Me Anything
2 May 2018
@andy939

Hi,

In other words, you’re asking if you should have a niche store or a “supermarket” with all kinds of products.

From my experience, the majority of the traffic you get to your eBay store is for specific eBay product pages. Therefore, if your store contains 1,000 products, I would say that at least 75% of your traffic comes via specific pages.

However, the other 25% of the traffic goes to your main store to see what else you have to offer.

Those who investigate your store will see you sell not only your core product, handrails. So, selling fungal nail products etc. might come across as less professional.

In addition, you are your brand owner and, just like any other big brand, you don’t want to harm your image. Mercedes-Benz also won’t sell their new S500 model together with a simple car that’s worth a tenth of it in price and quality.

I fully understand that you want to enjoy your main account’s high selling limits, but please keep the following in mind.

Your eBay account is built not only from eBay's limits, but also DSR and feedbacks. Customers buying your handrails are paying more and recognize your brand as relatively unique and respectable.

Customers who buy condoms and fungal nail products will be much more criticizing and a lot less forgiving when it comes to minor flaws in logistics. Their reviews might damage your main business significantly.

I wouldn’t say it’s impossible to add these products to your current business, but it’s not ideal. You don’t want to lose your credibility of the high-quality products and deliveries that you provide. By selling cheap and mainstream products on the side, you might damage the long-term reputation you’ve built up.

So, my recommendation is don’t do it, regardless of the opportunity of the high selling limit.

Hope that helps,
Dani
Pakistan Pakistan
imkashif
Kudos: 18
Joined: Dec 4, 2015
Re: Dani Avitz: Ask Me Anything
2 May 2018
This a good opportunity for people like us.

Drop shipping is no longer a good startup business, do you agree with that?

How can I find good drop shippers on Amazon?

Thank you.

From Kashif, Pakistan
Supplier
Palo Alto United States
Algopix
Kudos: 182
Joined: Jul 17, 2016
Re: Dani Avitz: Ask Me Anything
2 May 2018
@imkashif

Hey Kashif,
That’s an excellent question.

There are many sellers like you who see massive traffic on sites like eBay and Amazon.

Many of them sell a lot of products, even in bulk, every second. Others take more time to kick off. It’s tempting to be successful like them and frustrating when we don’t manage (yet). Just like everything in life, it’s not easy and we don’t always succeed at the first attempt. Or even the second

In your situation, you have uploaded products to eBay and other platforms and you see traffic. In other words, your products have watchers but no buyers.

You assume this is because you are a new seller without reputation. This could be true, but there are other factors to take into account.

When we offer products for sale, we have to think in different directions to become successful.

The three main considerations are: choosing products with the right demand, setting an attractive price and building reputation.

Below I’m getting a bit deeper into all three of these considerations.

Choosing Products with Demand
On a first note, I’d like to mention that there is a significant difference between selling as a manufacturer or selling competitive products from other brands and manufacturers. If you are the manufacturer, the existing demand is for products similar to yours, but not identical to them. This because you are the one who produces your own unique products. If this is the case, the best way to check the demand for products is to conduct a comprehensive market survey. Check products of your competitors in terms of features, price and their supply chain. Find out how they advertise their products and where.

Assuming that you are in the wholesale world, I suggest a small test. Do a few checks on the products you just listed.

First, see if these products are sold in the same marketplace as you are active in. If not, ask yourself why. Is it a "vacuum" that you found and is there potential to make a lot of money. Or is this product simply irrelevant?

If your products are already offered in your marketplace, check their sales.
You can also do this by manually searching the marketplace Some will provide more accurate data than others. You can also use analytics tools, such as our Algopix solution.

This gives an indication of the level of demand and financial volume for each product in each marketplace in just a few weeks.

Setting an Attractive Price
Let’s say that there is demand for your products, then the challenge is being competitive. However, this doesn’t mean that when a product is sold for $100, you will earn $100.

First, check if the product is actually sold for $100. Some marketplaces, like eBay, offer a “Best Offer”-mechanism. This means that even if the product is posted at $ 100, it could be sold at $90.

Also, there are various expenses down the road. You will have to pay the fees of the marketplace, payment expenses, logistics and others. I wrote a post on the subject that can be found here.

Building Reputation
So, there is demand for your products and you offer them at a competitive price. What’s next? Trust. This is a very important value in eCommerce. To build trust with potential buyers that don’t know you, you need a sort of recommendation from a third party. Luckily, third-party trading platforms, like eBay and Amazon, are great for such recommendations.

On the other hand, there are no "free gifts" and you’ll have to work for it. There are many ways to get a good reputation and I can’t go into all of them here, but I do suggest strongly, not to buy reviews or feedback. It’s not only immoral, but if people find out, you can forget about your business.

There's a lot more to say about this topic, but these are the basics that set you off for a more comprehensive online research to better understand the subject.

Cheers,
Dani
United States United States
Pessy388
Kudos: 18
Joined: Aug 5, 2016
Re: Dani Avitz: Ask Me Anything
2 May 2018
Hello

How do you manage returns?

What can you do if you get back an item that a customer used and just returned defective?
Supplier
Palo Alto United States
Algopix
Kudos: 182
Joined: Jul 17, 2016
Re: Dani Avitz: Ask Me Anything
2 May 2018
@Pessy388

Hi,
Thanks for your question.

Unfortunately, product returns are a known problem in the eCommerce world. By returning a product, your customer basically tells you he’s not happy with his purchase.

This can be for any reason, whether it’s justified or not. It’s a complicated issue because you lose a lot of time and money and yet it’s essential to keep your clients happy.

Handling returns, even with financial compensation, is time-consuming and expensive.

What you describe is frustrating and unfair. When a customer seems to have purchased a good product, used it and then returns it damaged, it’s basically a complete loss for you. You ask yourself, “Is the client always right”?

There are a lot of theories and opinions about this, but I can only share with you my own honest advice.

If you ask me, the customer is always right, especially in eCommerce. There is a well-known truth about satisfied customers keeping quiet and frustrated ones spreading their story.

That is why I advise you to get to know your market and try to anticipate the return rate. Try to understand how much it would cost you and implement it in the price beforehand.

Add, for example, 3% management and return fee to the price of your products. This way you will not be affected by the returns, financially and every single return will not keep frustrating you.

Of course, when the suspicion of a customer abusing your policy is real, you have to act accordingly. It could be the marketplace or when it happens in large amounts, you should even consider involving the authorities.

As soon as your storefront starts getting a higher activity level, you will see different patterns of customer behavior. You can start to anticipate the logistics involved. If, for example, product returns from a certain country cause higher costs, you can consider raising the price or even stop serving that country at all.

Hope that makes sense,
Dani
United States United States
chomier705
Kudos: 18
Joined: Mar 25, 2018
Re: Dani Avitz: Ask Me Anything
2 May 2018
Is it necessary to list on individual eBay international sites like is done with Amazon or if we list on eBay U.S., does that get just as good of exposure.

Do we have to now charge VAT and duty for all items sold on foreign sites? From the U.S. site to customers with international addresses?

Which is best for repricing? Algorithmic or Manual rules? And why? Which service is best for this for U.S and International markets?
Supplier
Palo Alto United States
Algopix
Kudos: 182
Joined: Jul 17, 2016
Re: Dani Avitz: Ask Me Anything
2 May 2018
@chomier705

Hi there,
What you are saying is actually that you would like to advertise in one of eBay markets, let’s say eBay US, and want to be visible to all the other marketplaces that eBay operates, such as eBay UK, eBay DE etc.

eBay is very interested in promoting the exposure of users to sellers in different countries. For this specific reason, they have implemented a program called “eBay Global Shipping Program” or “eBay GSP”.

More information and answers to your questions can be found here.

Your question about repricing tools is very difficult to answer without fully understanding exactly what your needs are. Also, I’d need to know what you sell, what competition there is on the market, how many SKUs you have and where you sell of course.

In general, I suggest that if you have a lot of SKUs, there is no other option than using a repricing software. Unfortunately, I can not give you an educated answer to your questions without additional information.

Good luck,
Dani
United States United States
qinglu0917
Kudos: 18
Joined: Mar 27, 2017
Re: Dani Avitz: Ask Me Anything
2 May 2018
I have been into online selling since 2013. I sell toys on Amazon.

How can I get into Jet, Sears and Walmart?

Qinglu
Supplier
Palo Alto United States
Algopix
Kudos: 182
Joined: Jul 17, 2016
Re: Dani Avitz: Ask Me Anything
2 May 2018
@qinglu0917

Hi Qinglu,

Most marketplaces want to attract new sellers and there are specific application procedures to follow in order to be recognized and accepted.

To start selling on the Jet site, you can fill out this registration form.

This one is for Sears and this form is for Walmart.

Please note that each marketplace has its own demands and procedures. Sometimes the process is long, so I recommend to start the application sooner rather than later.

Invest your time to do it seriously in order to have the best chance to start selling on these marketplaces.

Good luck,
Dani
So.California United States
tcamon
Kudos: 23
Joined: Jun 26, 2015
Re: Dani Avitz: Ask Me Anything
2 May 2018
I have had 2 Ecoms. 1 that we sold 6 years ago that was grossing $4MM per annum. It was a conglomerate of sites - Sporting goods, yoga, health, insoles. We were precluded from selling those items for 5 years by way of a non-compete. So I started a business selling Horse tack and western products. It has done surprisingly well considering the smaller audience. We have mainly focused on Private Label now to fend off the cannibalism of the ever increasing competition. We have about 1400 SKUs.

I have consulted myself for several years. And also hold a patent that was sold to Google that controls advertising via video.

But we seemed to have painted ourselves into a box. After having large warehouses, security cameras and dozens of employees I tried to see how far I could take FBA and Multichannel fulfilment.

Today 100% of our inventory is kept at AMZ FBA. We love the 100% feedback that we have maintained and the competitive metric that we can rotate and get Buy Box even though we are smaller than many. (this Is for the majority of our non-branded products).

But we are wondering what we are missing buy not going into Walmart. As you know we cannot Multi channel fulfil to Walmart from AMZ FBA as that is something that you can lose your account over. SO is it worth getting a warehouse to open Walmart?

We are approved and have set up an account after receiving an invite a year ago. We made a listing and sold a few products, just to keep the account. May even be dead now, but regardless. Is there significant money being made through Walmart?

Also given our Equine Products mix – is it a fit? I know Walmart services many rural areas, but are people looking to Walmart for these items is my concern. Are there tools to get tracking like Jungle Scout for Walmart or better?

Thanks,
Supplier
Palo Alto United States
Algopix
Kudos: 182
Joined: Jul 17, 2016
Re: Dani Avitz: Ask Me Anything
2 May 2018
@tcamon

Well done! Sounds like you’re on the path to success!

As for your question - I get your point. You ‘feel’ the potential in the air, and you even almost have logistic foundations. Firstly, I suggest that you exercise judgment and act, of course, in a way that does not endanger your relationship Amazon.

My suggestion is to find your best sellers (Pareto rule - 20% of the products that generate 80% of the sales) and ship 5-10 pieces of each product to a 3rd party warehouse. There are many good service providers in the US.

I won’t mention names, but before you choose one, check if they are technology-friendly (i.e. you can connect your ERP to their API).

See if they offer good rates and have a simple SLA (Service Level Agreement). In the SLA you can see references to very important things, such as rates for Inventory Storage, Pick & Pack (P&P) Services, Domestic/International Shipping, Return Processing, Kitting & Assembly and more.

You will also want to find a warehouse with no or very low setup fees. Also consider no minimum monthly shipments, no long-term storage fees and no hidden or tricky fees.

Usually, they offer short-term contracts, so if you see somebody who is forcing you to sign a long-term relationship, it’s a red flag.
Good warehouses also offer optional services, such as insurance, inventory control, product photography etc.

As for a product to track Walmart - I’m not familiar with product market research or analytics tools for Walmart, but I’m sure you will see some new solutions during the next year. In my opinion, Walmart is going to have a big cut when it comes to retail eCommerce.

Hope that helps,
Dani
Australia Australia
bsread
Kudos: 26
Joined: Dec 27, 2015
Re: Dani Avitz: Ask Me Anything
2 May 2018
We operate an eBay store in a very narrow niche. There are only a small number of competitors in my niche currently. One of these competitors regularly outranks me in best match, despite having a horrible feedback record (under 95% and from reading their feedback, plenty of INR and SNAD claims).

My question is what steps can I take to outrank this competitor without simply starting a price war?

I feel like my eBay sales are artificially throttled because of this competitor.

Thanks
!B
Supplier
Palo Alto United States
Algopix
Kudos: 182
Joined: Jul 17, 2016
Re: Dani Avitz: Ask Me Anything
2 May 2018
@bsread

Hi there,

I can think of numerous ways to do this, but none of them are legal or ethical, so I would not even dare to write them down.

If you believe that your added value - compared to your competitor - is the quality of your products and your customer service (usually feedback is based on them) I would suggest that you highlight these parts.

Perhaps you can build a dedicated page that explains why customer service is important and "educate" your store’s visitors - they should understand the real value of a low feedback score. This allows you to leverage your comparative advantage.

As for the specific question you asked - I’m afraid I do not know legitimate ways to do so.

Good luck,
Dani
United States United States
ronie.schmidt
Kudos: 15
Joined: May 2, 2018
Dani Avitz: Ask Me Anything
2 May 2018
@Andy
SOme ofo my question maybe for all of the team here on who ever can anwer me on these.

Few of my questions that I wanted to discuss are
1- Amazon ranking issues - for Sports products - Whats the best way to create good titles to rank up
2- eBay ranking issues – We were doing excellent sales some years back and now we are 80% down
3- Listing optimizations for ebay and Amazon -
4- Review strategy for the products
Ronie Schmidt

Algopix
Sellware
Informed.co
2nd Office