If you've used inkFrog for any length of time, you've probably discovered that you can quickly and easily print invoices and address labels when viewing any order in the "Sold (orders)" category in the "Listings" area of your inkFrog account.
(If you hadn't yet discovered this feature, go open one of your past orders now and look for the printer icon at the upper right of the page.)
By default, when you click the printer icon for an order, you can opt to print address labels for the order, an invoice for the order, or both.
Click the print icon while viewing an order to print order-related documents. You can customize these.
Did you know that you can customize both this list, and what each item in the list prints? This can make your record-keeping and fulfillment workflow far easier to accomplish. Let's take a closer look.
Adding a Logo to Your Invoice Template
Let's take a look at one of the most commonly desired changes for inkFrog print templates: adding your company logon to the invoice template, so that when you print invoices, they're branded. Let's get your logo into your print template.
Start by uploading your logo image to your inkFrog images area.
First, we need to get your logo into inkFrog. Follow these steps:
Find a copy of your logo saved as an image on your computer.
Click "Images" in the right sidebar, then "Upload" to upload a new image.
Either drag your image file into the pop-up window or select "Click here to upload" in the window, then upload your image.
Now your logo is in inkFrog, but we need to take one more step before we head over to your print templates to change them—we need to get the web address of the image. Follow these steps:
Still in the images area, click on the thumbnail of the logo image you just uploaded.
When you see the large version of the image pop up, right click on it.
Chose "Copy Image Address" (in Chrome and Safari) or "Copy Image Location" (in Firefox) to get the image's web address. We'll paste the address somewhere else in just a few seconds.
Preview your image, then right click and choose "Copy Image Location" to get its web address.
Now let's head over to the print template editor and open your invoice template to customize it. Follow these steps:
Click "Settings" →"Print templates" in your inkFrog account.
When you see the list of templates, click the pencil icon ("Edit Template") to the far right of the word "Invoice" to open your invoice template for editing.
You'll see a list of your print templates. Click the pencil icon to edit a template.
You should now see the HTML code for your invoice print template, ready for you to edit. Not an HTML expert? Don't worry. All we need to do is add a single line to your template. Follow these steps:
Click in the editor and position your cursor at the very beginning—the first position on the first line.
Press enter to add a blank line, move back up to the new blank line using your arrow keys, and insert the following text:
<img src="" height="50">
Now position your cursor in between the two consecutive quotation marks, and paste in the web address of the image that you copied previously.
Add the first line to the top of your template, pasting your logo's web address between the quotes.
And you're done! To see what your invoices will look like with your company logo at the top, click the "Preview" button at the upper-right of the editor view.
If all went as planned, you now see your business logo when you preview your template.
If you like what you see, click "Save Template" to save your changes, after which your logo will always appear on the page when you print templates.
Customizing the HTML Code
If you know something about HTML, the gears in your head are probably now turning rather quickly.
What other things about the templates can you customize?
We won't go over how the templates are put together in-depth, but as someone who's familiar with HTML, a quick scan through the template will probably show you that in fact it's mostly quite standard HTML code, with a few fields pulled in for things like seller name and address, order ID number, and so on.
Follow your nose to edit and style the HTML, while making use of the same fields, and you can achieve all kinds of interesting customizations.
If you know HTML, you'll feel right at home making bigger changes to your templates.
Just one key suggestion—if you plan to make significant changes to a print template, do it in a new template, so that if you make a mistake or don't like the effect, you still have your standard templates to fall back on.
Creating New Print Templates
Of course, that raises a key question—how do you create an entirely new template? In fact, it's startlingly easy. Follow these steps:
Click "Settings" →"Print templates" to return to the list of print templates.
Click "Create New Template" at the upper right to create a new, blank print template.
Enter a name for your new template in the "Template Name" box.
Type the HTML for your template in the "Code" editor box.
You can use inkFrog's default templates as a guide for how to add commonly used data fields to the print output in your template.
Use "Preview" as you work on your template to ensure that you get it looking just right, and when you're done, click "Save Template" to save it.
The print templates you create are available to you when you print your orders.
The next time you click the print button when viewing one of your orders, your new print template will be available to you. It's that easy!
Posted on February 01, 2019
Ever wish you could add your business logo to your inkFrog invoice template? Here's how.
Drop shipping is a popular e-commerce business model for small and first-time sellers. If you are a drop shipping seller, you:
Identify products that shoppers might like to buy
Find them for sale from another vendor at a good price
Offer these products for sale on eBay, Amazon, or Shopify, without first buying them
When shoppers order these products from you, you then:
Contact the vendor you've identified for the product
Place an order for the product and have it shipped directly to the buyer
As a business model, drop shipping enables you to set up an online shop, offer products to shoppers, make sales, and earn a profit all without having to store and manage your own inventory, or make a large up-front investment.
Drop shipping is a tried-and-true business model, but there are both practical and policy concerns to be aware of. (Image: © nik bibik / Dreamstime)
The Drop Shipping Gotchas
While millions of buyers and sellers have had positive experiences with drop shipping, many without even realizing it, the fact that sellers don't actually have the inventory they're selling on the premises can lead to some classic drop shipping problems:
Making sales when inventory isn't actually available
Delivery times that are longer than they would be if the seller maintained their own inventory
Return and exchange processes in which buyers are asked to interact with companies from whom they did not directly purchase
All of these problems can be avoided by drop shipping sellers that work conscientiously to provide a great customer experience—but they are also tendencies that can quickly turn shopper experiences bad if sellers don't actively work to prevent them.
And as always, while there are many conscientious sellers out there, there are also some that get sloppy or cut corners. That's bad.
eBay's Most Recent Drop Shipping Policy
For this reason, most marketplaces are hesitant to uncritically embrace drop shipping by their sellers, and most have carefully crafted policies that drop shipping sellers must meet if they are to continue to sell. eBay is no different in this regard.
What are the key points of eBay's current drop shipping policy for sellers? They are:
Drop-shipping is allowed, but
Drop shipping suppliers must be wholesalers, not retailers, and
All the other eBay rules and performance standards still apply
Let's break down what each of these points means in practice, so that if you're considering drop shipping on eBay, you know how to do it in a way that won't end up creating problems for you on eBay.
1. Drop Shipping is Allowed
Despite what you may have heard, there is no blanket policy banning drop shipping on eBay. In fact, eBay's policy page clearly says:
If your would-be supplier does most of their business with the general public, you probably can't use them as a drop shipping supplier on eBay. (Image: © Thodonal / Dreamstime)
"Drop shipping, where you fulfill orders directly from a wholesale supplier, is allowed on eBay."
That's pretty unambiguous—and it's safe to say that eBay doesn't particularly want to block perfectly good sales from taking place. They profit from every transaction, after all.
But with that said, the next point is important.
2. Drop Shipping Suppliers Must Be Wholesalers
The same eBay policy referenced above also includes another key line:
"[L]listing an item on eBay and then purchasing the item from another retailer or marketplace that ships directly to your customer is not allowed on eBay."
It's allowed, but it's not allowed? What are we to make of this?
The key is in the difference between retailers and wholesalers. People often think of retail and wholesale as words that are all about price, but there's more to the difference than that. Retailers:
Accept orders primarily from individual shoppers and families
Are easy to find and buy from
Require no prior relationship for an order to be made
Have websites and customer service policies targeted at customers, not resellers
Often interact directly with the people that will actually use their products
Is it your business name or another brand listed on the packing slip, carton, or shipping label? If the latter, you could be taking a risk. (Image: © Tatchaphol Chandraprasit / Dreamstime)
Wholesalers, on the other hand:
Accept orders primarily from resellers
Are not as easy to find and buy from
Generally require a relationship or preliminary agreement prior to the first order
Have websites and customer service policies targeted at resellers, not customers
Rarely, if ever, interact directly with the people that will actually use their products
So if you're going to be a drop shipping seller on eBay, to comply with the rules your suppliers need to be businesses that sell to or through other businesses (like you), not businesses that sell directly to the public.
Is there an easy way to differentiate between the two for sure? Probably the easiest is this:
If a potential shopper would receive a parcel or packing slip that lists your business name somewhere on it, you're probably dealing with a wholesaler.
If a potential shopper would receive a parcel or packing slip that lists only their name and the name of your supplier on it—or if your shopper can use what they learn by receiving your package to make a future purchase directly, bypassing both you and eBay—you're dealing with a retailer, and should steer clear for eBay purposes.
3. eBay Rules and Performance Standards Still Apply
It's very important to understand the difference between retailers and wholesalers in order to comply with eBay's drop shipping policy, but it's at least as important to understand that all of the regular eBay performance standards still apply.
You get no breaks, in other words, just because your business is based on drop shipping and some eBay standards may be more difficult to meet.
Delivery times and processes must still meet eBay standards
Returns and exchange policies must still comply with eBay requirements
Your shoppers can still provide honest feedback about your transaction afterward
At present, delivering your own eBay inventory via Amazon fulfillment and other similar practices is still allowed in North America—but it can still lead to a less-than-ideal shopper experience. (Image: © Ifeelstock / Dreamstime)
It's important to make these points because it is objectively more difficult—though not by any means impossible—to do well in these areas as a drop shipper. They will, in other words, require special care and attention from you if you're going to succeed on eBay as a drop shipper.
Side Note on FBA and Other Gray Areas
For a few sellers, these policies raise an obvious additional question: what about eBay orders that technically don't violate eBay's drop shipping policy in any way, yet are processed and/or fulfilled by services or brands that are also retailers at times?
Given that eBay forbids sourcing products through Amazon when drop shipping, for example, what are sellers to make of using Amazon fulfillment on eBay to deliver their own inventory?
For the moment, the answer is a nuanced one. Third-party fulfillment and order management are not against eBay rules today, at least not in North America, so you're probably on solid ground to use them. However, there are some things to note for the future:
On some other global eBay sites (notably Australia), Amazon fulfillment is already against the rules, so there is no guarantee that it will continue to be permitted in North America indefinitely.
eBay has hinted and analysts have predicted that eBay is working behind the scenes to provide eBay-branded alternatives to sellers that currently do business this way, no doubt to put an end to the less-than-ideal experience that occurs when—for example—a customer makes a purchase on eBay only to receive an Amazon-branded shipping box.
For these reasons, it's probably best to assume that even if you use retail fulfillment partner like Amazon now, you'll probably stop doing so in the future if you plan to continue to sell on eBay.
Drop Shipping at Present and in the Future
Drop shipping has been a staple of e-commerce since the beginning, and despite what some have imagined, it shows no signs of abating anytime soon.
Keep abreast of the policies of your preferred marketplaces, stay savvy to the trends that separate successes from failures in drop shipping, and you'll do fine as a drop shipper on eBay, both now and in the future.
Posted on February 01, 2019
Drop shipping is a venerable online business model, but eBay has specific guidelines about how—and how not—to do it.
Starting an e-commerce business? It's a hot idea these days.
But if you're new to e-commerce, it can be difficult to know where to start, and to understand how many of the big brands that are often talked about fit together as parts of the larger e-commerce world.
Let's take a look at what each of these brands is, and what sort of opportunity they present to you as a seller.
Trying to figure out e-commerce and how big brands like eBay, Shopify, Amazon, and BigCommerce fit together? Here's what you need to know. (Image: © Lightfieldstudiosprod / Dreamstime)
eBay and Amazon: The Marketplaces
eBay and Amazon are both e-commerce marketplaces.
Consumers search for products beneath an eBay or Amazon logo, find products under an eBay or Amazon logo, and they pay for products under an eBay or Amazon logo. If they'd like to return a product, they do that under an eBay or Amazon logo, too.
Between them, eBay and Amazon boast over half a billion active shoppers yearly—people who go directly to eBay and Amazon.com to find products to buy.
As it turns out, many of those products are not actually sold by eBay and Amazon, but by independent sellers and e-commerce entrepreneurs. In practice, it works something like this:
eBay and Amazon operate websites where products can be sold
Millions of sellers go to these websites and list their products for sale
Hundreds of millions of shoppers go to these websites, find, then buy these products
eBay and Amazon take a cut of the proceeds, relay the rest to the seller
The product is delivered to the shopper
Despite the fact that sellers have to sell under an eBay logo or an Amazon logo, and despite the fact that these marketplaces take a cut of the profits and impose strict rules that sellers often struggle to comply with, this is a very attractive arrangement to sellers for one simple reason.
That reason is the captive audience of hundreds of millions of shoppers who are already very comfortable buying on eBay and Amazon and, who have eBay and Amazon shopping apps installed on their phones and tables, who already have their payment information on file at eBay and Amazon, and who are thus unusually ready to click "Buy Now" buttons.
A fast and endless supply of shoppers is what makes marketplaces attractive. (Image: © Rene / Fotolia)
As a seller, listing on eBay and Amazon is the single easiest way in existence to get your products in front of a very large shopping audience very, very quickly—often mere minutes after deciding to become a seller.
Shopify and BigCommerce: The Store Providers
But there are limits to how far you can go on the marketplaces:
No matter how great or how unique your products or your brand are, they'll always be dwarfed by the eBay or Amazon logos, colors, and language on these websites.
Both eBay and Amazon impose limits on what you can do with your buying audience, making it far more difficult to built repeat sales and a loyal customer base.
By the time you're making lots of sales, you're also dreadfully aware that you're sending lots of money to eBay and Amazon that you could otherwise be investing in your business rather than in theirs.
And if you're struggling to get to lots of sales, you may be frustrated by the degree to which both eBay and Amazon limit your ability to present your products in new, different, and interesting ways, rather in their own standard formats.
For this reason, most established and growing e-commerce entrepreneurs and even many brand new ones also want to operate and invest in their own online store—a store that they build themselves, brand and design in their own way, and whose sales revenue doesn't get parceled out to already-rich third parties like eBay and Amazon.
That's where Shopify and BigCommerce come in. They're two of the best-known providers of online stores for sellers. Instead of selling on eBay.com under a red, green, blue, and yellow logo, or on Amazon.com under the yellow and black arrow, Shopify and BigCommerce provide easy-to-use tools for you to build your own website.
With Shopify or BigCommerce, you build your own online store. (Image: © georgejmclittle / Fotolia)
They can enable you to:
Create your own layouts, look, feel, branding, and colors
Present your own story, policies, methods of presenting products, and support content
Your own web address, like WildWestShoes.com or DiaryEmporium.com or MikesBoatParts.com
Accept payments yourself as you build and communicate with your own loyal, satisfied customer list
It's easy to see the allure. It's also a longer-term project to build business on your own site this way. After all, between the time you list your first product on eBay or Amazon and your first cup of coffee afterward, hundreds or thousands of shoppers will open their eBay or Amazon apps or visit eBay or Amazon in their web browser, perhaps looking for products like yours.
On the other hand, the day after you create WildWestShoes.com, it's unlikely that anyone will type it into their web browser. Perhaps not even the first week. Or the first month. It's your job to bring them there, and you're starting from scratch.
They're All Useful—and So is inkFrog
For many new sellers, the obvious thing to do is therefore to sell in several ways. For example, to drive sales quickly by selling on eBay and Amazon from the start, and to build more slowly in the background, with more ownership and long-term potential, using Shopify or BigCommerce.
Trying to sell in several places at once can make you tired. Very tired. But inkFrog can help. (Image: © pathdoc / Fotolia)
But this comes with problems of its own, as many new sellers find out.
You want all of your inventory up for sale on every platform, for the greatest chance of a sale
Yet this means potential overselling—if you have one item listed in three different places and a shopper on each of them makes a purchase the same day, it's may be a problem
It also means a lot of work—it's hard enough to create product listings, set prices, and manage orders in one place—but three selling venues means three times the already heavy start-up workload
Happily, there's inkFrog, which is designed precisely for this situation:
Sell on eBay, Amazon, and your Shopify store—or on eBay, Amazon and your BigCommerce store
Reduce the number of times that you have to create listings for each of your products
Keep your inventory levels and prices up-to-date with real inventory numbers across all of your platforms
Earn early sales quickly on the marketplaces while you build a business in the background
Without having to do two or three times the work, pulling your hair out in the process
With inkFrog, you can add Shopify, BigCommerce, or Amazon support to your eBay sales.
The Best Way to Start
So, at the end of the day, if you're new to e-commerce, here's our advice for the best way to start:
Start building your own store on Shopify or BigCommerce
And also selling on eBay, a flexible marketplace where millions of shoppers already shop every day
As you have success and get the workload under control, add Amazon sales and continue to polish and grow your store
If you're just starting out, there's a lot of research and learning still to do—but bookmark this page and return to it for the big picture. And when you're ready to start, sign up for inkFrog as one of your very first steps.
Posted on January 24, 2019
Just starting out and trying to figure out how these big e-commerce names fit into your future? Here's what you need to know.
This article was provided by Mollie Thick, Marketing Manager for BitBond.
For most eBay sellers, the biggest problem they have to worry about is whether or not their products are selling.
But you have a different problem.
Your eBay business has experienced consistently impressive conversion rates, and you've managed to turn a healthy profit.
You're beyond worrying about the effectiveness of your business strategy. Now, you’re ready to expand.
But expanding your eBay business is easier said than done, especially if you don’t have tons of liquid capital lying around.
Fortunately for you, building a bigger eBay business doesn’t have to be a nightmare - if you have the right tools and information available.
With that in mind, we've put together this article detailing the biggest obstacles you'll encounter, and how to overcome them.
By the time we're done here, you won't just know how to raise funds for your eBay business. You'll have a strong understanding of what it means to properly fund your own expansion.
Ready to get started? So are we.
Let's dive right in by tackling the first (and most important) piece of this puzzle: the current problem with most small business loans.
The Problem With Traditional Small Business Loans
For the sake of simplicity, we'll be putting small business loans in two categories: traditional loans and intuitive loans.
We'll discuss intuitive loans a bit later on, but for now, we'll just be focusing on traditional loans for your average lender. There are a few major issues that you’ll have to deal with if you’re looking for a typical lender to fund your eBay business expansion.
For starters, let's talk about the speed factor.
Being the talented eBay seller you are, I don't need to tell you how important speed is when it comes to managing your business.
Your ability to make important decisions quickly and efficiently is something your business relies on, and it's likely one of the reasons you fell in love with eBay as a platform.
The amount of freedom you're given, and the flexibility that comes with it, are essential to the continued success of your business.
Anything that threatened that would be an inconvenience at best and a liability at worst.
And that's the problem with typical small business loans. Even under ideal circumstances, your funds can take weeks to become available.
But that's just the tip of the iceberg. Typical lenders qualify your business the same way they would qualify you as an individual.
In fact, one of the reasons that small business owners struggle with getting loans is because of this outdated credit check system that traditional lenders use. Keep in mind, they're typically performing a hard check.
That's why these loans are usually only available to a small number of people. And let's not even get into the numerous hidden fees you'll have to deal with. Or the repeat visits to their offices because they insist on doing everything "face-to-face".
There's no getting around it: as an eBay business owner looking to expand their business, you're going to be in for a bad time with traditional lenders.
There's a small chance they'll say yes. If they reject you, it was likely because of something that had nothing to do with your actual business. Getting your actual funds can take weeks, and once you have them, you can expect a variety of hidden fees to pop up.
Not a particularly exciting deal, is it?
Understanding Bitbond and Instant Online Business Loans
Enter the world of intuitive loans. Where traditional lenders are inflexible and unreasonable, these instant online business loans have been built to innovate the way small business loans are handled.
More specifically, companies like Bitbond are much more interested in helping you make the most out of your business.
How do you know if you're eligible for funding from a company like Bitbond? Well, there are a few bare minimums to keep in mind.
- Your business has been in operation for at least 1 year or longer
- You're looking to repay your loan in 3-12 months
- You're looking for up to $25,000 in funding
Instant online business loans are exactly that: instant.
Instead of having to visit an office multiple times, you can complete your application for a Bitbond small business loan in as little as 10 minutes.
Yes, you read that correctly.
But the perks don’t stop there. When you work with Bitbond, you have access to international funding. In other words, you can get your small business loan anywhere in the world.
Still not convinced? Well, here's something that might change your mind - Bitbond actually offers truly instant funding to prime borrowers. You'll receive the funds in your bank account after one business day.
That's right: with Bitbond, you're one day away from the business growth you deserve.
Plus, you can rest assured knowing that you're in good hands, with Bitbond being Germany's first BaFin regulated blockchain company.
Bitbond doesn't bother with outdated credit checks. They qualify your business accounts using your sales history.
See what we mean? Intuitive. It just makes sense.
You can stop worrying about hidden fees cutting into your eBay business profits. Bitbond online business loans apply a single, simple fee. More importantly, that fee only applies once you're funded.
Bitbond cares just as much about transparency as it does about efficiency. You'll be provided with a full repayment schedule before you officially publish your loan. You'll know exactly how much your loan will cost, and when those payments are due.
With over 3,000 satisfied business owners in over 120 countries, is it any surprise that more and more eBay sellers are looking to companies like Bitbond to help expand their businesses?
Listen, we get it. Expanding your eBay business is a massive step, and something that you'll want to consider carefully before doing.
But if you're going to take the plunge into the world of small business loans and expand your eBay empire, instant online business lenders offer you some fantastic perks and tools.
Instead of waiting around for your funds, you can get them within a business day. You don't have to worry about some tedious credit check when your sales history speaks for itself.
You'll have access to worldwide coverage, no matter where you’d like to base your eBay business out of.
You can focus on a single, straightforward fee instead of worrying about hidden fees. And you can apply online, in just under 10 minutes.
Get the funding your business deserves without compromising the integrity of your eBay business in the process.
Posted on January 14, 2019
E-commerce sellers typically use Bitbond to bridge liquidity gaps and try new product lines. Read about our partnership here.
eBay moved nearly $90 billion in merchandise volume in 2017, and will probably move even more than that in 2018. There are a lot of sellers on eBay and a lot of new sellers joining every day.
Things are always changing in eBay's giant universe, and you may be due for an audit. What's an eBay audit? Read on to find out.
What this means is that eBay's inventory levels and competition levels are always in flux. Whatever you sell, there are either more or fewer of them on eBay today than there were when you began, being sold by either more or fewer sellers.
Why does this matter? Because you're in this to make as much money as you can, and you won't if your business isn't aligned with current marketplace conditions, shopper expectations, and eBay practices.
In short, when's the last time you did an audit of your eBay business?
What's an eBay audit?
In an eBay audit, you examine every part of your eBay business to see how well you're leveraging the opportunities that exist now—and avoiding the risks and threats that exist now—as opposed to those that were in evidence when you began.
In an eBay audit, you'll go over your eBay listings, account, and activity to evaluate your:
You're making sales—but could you be making more of them? Charging more for them? Are you at risk of being blindsided by declines over the coming year? Better find out.
Inventory. Are you offering products in oversaturated areas with no hope of being seen? Are you failing to offer products for which unmet demand exists? Are you pricing yourself out of the market or leaving money on the table?
Strategy. Do you stand apart from your competitors or blend in invisibly? What strategies are you using to differentiate yourself? Are they effective? Are there others you could or should adopt?
Listings. Are your listings up to current quality standards, or are you falling behind? Are you using best practices for product images, item descriptions, and other things that affect both search placement and the ability to convert sales?
Compliance. Are you in compliance with recent eBay policy changes, or are you at risk for being dinged by eBay, either in search or in your ability to sell, for violations of policies that you don't even know about?
Workflow. Are you making use of the best tools available to you, or are you missing out on tools that could significantly reduce your labor investment or enhance your sales and productivity over time?
In the eBay universe products, competitors, policies, strategies, and tools enter and exit every day. You could be missing something. The last time most sellers sat down and looked at these things holistically was when they first started selling. How long has it been for you?
How do you do an eBay audit?
The most effective sellers know better than to let their business run for years on autopilot; they periodically stop to consider all of the items above, making a careful SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) list:
The SWOT analysis is a classic business tool—that can help your eBay business to thrive if properly done. (Image: Xhienne / CC-by-SA-2.5)
Strengths. What are you and your business best at, most effective with right now, or able to offer that others can't? These are your foundations—the things that you can double-down on and build upon.
Weaknesses. What are you not keeping up with that you already know you should? These are your areas for improvement—the things that you can do to raise the ceiling on your growth and revenue.
Threats. What forces and realities are emerging now that could affect the way that you do business or your ability to do business at all, and how will you monitor them and adapt?
Opportunities. What new things can you start doing, or what new products or niches can you adopt, to add a new dimension, a new level of effectiveness, new customers, or new revenue to your business?
Practically speaking, making this list takes time and attention. Get out your favorite note-taking program, personal database, word processor, or even just a spiral notebook, make sections for each of the items above, and then begin, one step at a time.
Make notes—things that need to be updated, changed, ended, or adopted. Keep your eyes on the categories outlined earlier as you do this and stay organized so that you'll be able to read through and make sense of these notes later on.
Once you're done, read through the notes—a couple of times—and put together a mission statement for the year and lists of urgent tasks, things to stop doing, investments to make, inventory to add or discontinue, unsolved problems to solve, and new things to try.
Professionals like Day to Day eBay audit your eBay business for you, providing an in-depth, objective SWOT analysis—so that you can focus on running and improving your business.
Um, isn't there an easier way?
Of course, eBay sellers are busy people (we don't have to tell you this), so all of this may sound just a bit pie-in-the-sky, as in:
"Yeah, sure, just as soon as I catch up on my fulfillment backlog, get my latest 200 products listed so they're not sitting there depreciating, manage to reconcile my bookkeeping, and get my one hour a day of sleep."
Happily, you can also pay someone else to do an audit of your eBay business for you. eBay specialists and coaches abound online and are often happy to consult. Even better, consider using an eBay audit specialist.
Specialists like Day to Day eBay go over your business in detail, then provide you with a professional SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis and matching consultation via Skype to understand what your next steps ought to be.
Just as importantly, as an objective third party that specializes in understanding eBay businesses, a team of auditors like those at Day to Day eBay can often spot things that even highly detail-oriented sellers miss about their businesses.
For this reason, an external auditor is often a sound investment for any eBay seller looking to continue to grow and thrive in the massive eBay universe.
Whether you do it yourself or invest in the help of a seasoned professional, take the time today to ask yourself two important questions:
When's the last time I really understood my eBay business?
How much more success could I achieve this year by coming to understand it once again?
Looking for ways to spice up your listings, promotions, or inventory now that the holiday season is over?
Sell housewares or anything like them? It's white sale time for you.
Here are five ideas that you can incorporate into themed templates or your promotion or inventory strategy that will resonate with January shoppers.
1. White Sale
If you have home products that are compatible with the idea of a white sale, which is traditionally about linens, housewares, and home decor, then you're in luck—because January is white sale month.
Dress your listings down and get back to basics for a white sale; traditional visuals and colors are neutral and simple following the technicolor explosion of the holiday season, and consumers are drawn to this simplicity as they stock up on housewares for the months ahead.
2. Valentine's Day
You may have noticed that brick-and-mortar retail is already transitioning to the Valentine's Day inventory in the promotional aisles, and there's no reason to be left behind if you sell:
A wide variety of pink and red products can be marketed with a Valentine's Day theme.
Personal care goods of any kind
Jewelry or watches
Unique gifts or curios
Anything that might be considered a gift for a partner, romantic interest, or good friend
The visual and inventory cues for Valentines day don't need to be explained. Pink and red are your colors and starry-eyed love and affection are your language to reach shoppers for this seasonal shopping event, which is one of the largest of the year.
3. Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year occurs on Tuesday, February 5th this year, when the Year of the Pig begins.
This year, pig products are Chinese New Year products. Asian goods too, as always.
Don't be fooled by the previous sentence—Chinese New Year is a pan-Asian holiday, not just a Chinese one, the audience is sizable, and the pig is no less auspicious than any other animal. People born in the Year of the Pig are said to have beautiful personalities and to be blessed with good fortune.
If you stock Asian cultural goods of any kind, from chopsticks to Anime and comics, or anything having to do with pigs, you may stand to make extra sales by mentioning Chinese New Year and the Year of the Pig in your titles or listings.
4. Winter Sports or Preparedness Goods
The holiday season may be over, but the winter sports season is just hitting its stride in January, so if you stock winter-oriented goods—whether along survival-and-preparedness lines or along outdoor sports lines, now is the time to foreground them.
Bang your listings into shape by showcasing cold weather and snow, either as a source of fun or as a source of risk that your goods can help to mitigate.
Sell anything that's winter-specific? Time to hold a winter-themed sale.
Consider having a winter fun sale to move more goods and really get shoppers in the mood as they view your listings.
5. New Year's Resolutions
Early winter is also the time to include language and promotional material relevant to New Year's resolutions if you carry goods that:
Encourage personal wellness
Encourage health or fitness
Encourage or are relevant to maintaining a healthy diet
Have to do with habit tracking, habit changing, or planning of any kind
Are designed to help with the cessation of particular bad habits or the development of particular good ones
January shoppers are looking for tools to help them achieve their resolutions for the new year.
Think of creative ways to bundle or to represent the idea of personal improvement and personal change, both in your listings and in your fulfillment. Seize the brief moment when shoppers are fully committed to making personal changes and use it to make sales that will help them to achieve these changes by showing that you're in their court to help.
It's Never the Off-Season
If none of the themes above quite works for you, take an hour to sit down and figure out what seasonal theme you can come up with that will match the goods that you sell. Then, act on it.
Remember, in e-commerce, it's never the "off season." Each new month just brings a new opportunity to show shoppers how and why your products remain relevant and desirable—so find out what yours is and update your listings, online inventory, and promotions to match!
Posted on January 08, 2019
Never let any season be your "off season" in e-commerce. Find a theme that will resonate with shoppers and your inventory. Here are five suggestions for January.
Operate an online store using BigCommerce? Many of our subscribers do. Why do sellers pay two different e-commerce platforms as they run their online business? Let's count the ways.
Here are five things inkFrog can help you to do to grow your BigCommerce business.
Manage your eBay sales from inside BigCommerce using the inkFrog Open app.
1. Get your products up for sale on eBay.
eBay is one of the world's largest online marketplaces and boasts hundreds of millions of active shoppers—a good many of which are eBay-first or eBay-only shoppers.
It's true that eBay is its own universe, with tools, workflows, and policies that don't always translate easily to other e-commerce venues, but with inkFrog, the path to eBay sales is a lot shorter. Get an inkFrog subscription and install the inkFrog Open app for BigCommerce to begin listing your eBay products to BigCommerce in minutes.
2. Match your BigCommerce store style on eBay.
Thanks to inkFrog's hundreds of point-click-edit designer templates, you can quickly match your BigCommerce store style in your eBay listings—even as you tweak your store with holiday and promotional decor.
This capability enables you to remove a huge amount of the legwork from maintaining an eBay selling presence, turning what might be hundreds or thousands of listing-by-listing clicks and saves into an operation where a single click updates hundreds of your eBay listings.
Synchronize your inventory and orders between BigCommerce and eBay using inkFrog.
3. Synchronize your listings and inventory levels with eBay.
More than just getting your listings live on eBay and enabling you to brand them visually to match your BigCommerce store with ease, inkFrog enables you to automate key selling tasks related inventory management.
With the inkFrog Open app for BigCommerce, you'll be able to configure synchronization between eBay and BigCommerce so that inventory levels stay up-to-date on both platforms, taking a key headache-inducing task out of your hands and automating it.
4. Make day-to-day operations on eBay easier to cope with.
inkFrog's better messaging tools, automated feedback tools, and eBay profile tools, many of the most irritating eBay tasks that might otherwise cause you to think twice about adding eBay as a channel are solved.
If you'd love to add all of the sales that eBay can bring without adding all of the extra labor that's typically associated with eBay, inkFrog is as close to a no-overhead eBay integration as you'll find in the BigCommerce world.
A great unboxing and branding experience means a new source of shoppers for your BigCommerce store. (Image: © Syda Productions / Dreamstime)
5. Gain a new source of loyal shoppers.
No, you can't advertise or link to your BigCommerce store in your eBay listings (this is against eBay rules), but you absolutely can market your brand to shoppers when you fulfill eBay orders.
By carefully crafting your fulfillment experience, packaging, and in-box materials, you can turn eBay customers into your customers for future purchases directly from your BigCommerce store.
inkFrog Expands Your E-Commerce World
If you've been waiting for the right time to add eBay to your list of sales channels, don't wait any longer—you're leaving sales on the table.
With inkFrog in your toolbox, you'll be up and running on eBay rapidly, without adding countless hours of new tasks and marketplace maintenance to your daily workflow. There's no reason not to make the leap today!
Posted on January 08, 2019
Thinking of adding eBay as a sales channel to your BigCommerce business? You need inkFrog.
If you're not yet selling on Amazon, now may be a good time to start.
But Amazon has recently notified third-party sellers that it's reducing fees in a number of areas on its site, to incentivize third-party sellers to expand their Amazon offerings and add more inventory, which will increase selection for Amazon shoppers.
If it's been a while since you sold on Amazon, the new reductions in fees may be a good reason to return. (Image: © Ifeelstock / Dreamstime)
The changes are significant:
Most listing fees down to $0.30. For sellers in most Amazon categories, listing fees will come down to $0.30 from $1 (or from $2 in jewelry categories).
Baby, beauty, and health: Referral fees reduced to 8%. Referral fees for baby, beauty, and health items will come down to 8% for products costing less than $10, while products costing more than that will remain at 15%.
Furniture: Referral fees reduced to 10%. Furniture sales over $200 will see the referral fee for the portion of the sale beyond $200 reduced to 10% from 15%. The first $200 will still be assessed at 15%.
Jewelry: Referral fees also reduced to 5%. Jewelry sales over $250 will see the referral fee for the portion of the sale beyond $250 reduced to 5% from 20%. The first $250 will still be assessed at 20%.
Grocery and gourmet: Referral fees reduced to 8%. Referral fees for grocery and gourmet items will come down to 8% for products costing less than $15.00.
Take a look at those numbers again—fees are being reduced for affected sellers by double-digit percentages, and listing fees are once again low enough that many sellers will be able to enter the game even with lower sell-through rates.
Making Amazon Affordable Again
Amazon may be feeling a bit of heat both from a resurgent eBay marketplace and from an up-and-coming Walmart marketplace, and that's good for sellers.
These changes should help Amazon to accomplish exactly what they're hoping to accomplish—bringing independent and third-party sellers back around to the idea of selling on Amazon, and getting them to rush to list more Amazon inventory.
If you're an inkFrog user that has backed away from Amazon in favor of eBay or Shopify in recent months or years, now may be a good time to find your footing again on Amazon and generate some sales while fees are still low.
Posted on December 21, 2018
Amazon's fees have been creeping higher for years. Now, they're being slashed.
Everybody loves cake! So it's not surprising that people are selling cake decor on eBay - like Sydney Cake Art which sells cake decor on eBay Australia using inkFrog:
"I started selling on eBay approx 3 years ago and started using inkFrog earlier this year.
It is super easy and if I want to add bulk listings I can get all the listings on in minutes.
I can't wait until inkFrog integrates with the other AU platforms!"
- Gillian Sturevski
Sydney Cake Art has over 300 active eBay AU listing:
You can visit Sydney Cake Art:
Posted on December 20, 2018
Read what Sydney Cake Art has to say about selling on eBay with inkFrog
When it comes to success stories with inkFrog, a truly spectacular one comes from Direct Tool Source who uses inkFrog to easily synchronize their inventory from Shopify to eBay:
"The key notables for me using inkFrog for 2 years now was most noticeable in 2017 with a 2710% increase in sales and yet again with YTD a increase of 228% and on pace to hit a DTS Milestone of $750,000 yearly sales in 2018.
The ease of listing and tracking sales was a huge windfall for us and our small business of 2 making swift changes and allowing for quick reaction to changes in market trends."
- Joseph Kincade
Direct Tool Source sells thousands of automotive tools on Shopify and eBay:
You can visit Direct Tool Source here:
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