Sunday, February 06, 2005

A definition and a few places to do some reading about online selling.

The definition of the word venue as it relates to online sellers.

Venue - Venues are the places where you sell your items (on and offline). When you are selling on multiple sites it is good to have an all encompassing term for them. Offline venues include flea markets, swap meets and antique malls just to name a few.

Places to get good information about how to sell items online.

1. The first place to look for information is the venue that you are selling on. Every web site that allows online selling has some type of information for new users. Look at all help files and other information typically titled "Getting Started" and other orientating information. eBay for example has some very good orientation information for both buyers and sellers.

2. Read the forum sections. Just as most venues have orientation material, most also have forums. Many sellers and buyers never visit the forums, this is a shame because forums are an excellent source of information. I can not make a more enthusiastic recommendation that you do something than that you read the forums. You don't have to post on them, but reading them is a good place to get information and clarification. If you have questions, they can often be answered by the forums.

While the online sites all have detailed instructions on how to operate and use their sites, sometimes this information is outdated, poorly written and worse just not there. The forums are a great place to get this information and get immediate answers to your questions.

3. Find an independent forum that provides information for a particular venue that has no ties to the venues PR machine. Not that PR is bad, it is often times just not objective. And that is what you need to make good decisions. This is the next level of information gathering. The forums of one venue or another have people who are devoted to doing things in a certain way. But when you get members of different venues together, I think you get true best practices.

But we all know there is more than one way to skin a cat.

You can learn these other ways buy reading forums that are independent. Here are a couple;

FAS - Free Auction Scripts Auction Forum - eBay Reduces Auction Fees, Promises Improved Customer Support

And there are others. I don't want to focus on any particular one in this post, I will present and review others in a later post. But I will say that so much information can be found on these sites that it is worth your time to read them if you are an online seller.

4. And finally, you have to read. Read and read some more. For many this may seem like a condescending thing to say. "Of course you have to read!" But please understand that I am trying to make the point that the rapid changes in the online selling world require constantly updateing your understanding of how the various sites work, of trends in the selling world, and of many other features of online selling that I will attempt to explore in this blog.

Here is a good article that I found on one of the forums that I frequent.

What's Your Plan? A Little Strategy Goes a Long Way By Steve Windhaus

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