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RoofTop Antiques Meets Antiques Roadshow Part II

June 29, 2015 5 Comments

If you read our last blog post, you know that we took a trip to Omaha this past weekend for Antiques Roadshow. If you didn’t read the post (you can still find it here!), I discussed the items we were planning on bringing and gave a bit of the background story for each.

We headed to Nebraska on Friday. Our hotel was located in downtown Omaha, less than a mile from the CenturyLink Center where the Roadshow would be held the next day.

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RoofTop Antiques Meets Antiques Roadshow

June 24, 2015 4 Comments

Antique Roadshow Tickets

Every year for the past few years, our entire RoofTop Antiques crew has signed up in an attempt to obtain tickets to the Antiques Roadshow tour. If you aren’t aware of how it all works, the Roadshow has an application process at the beginning of every year. You apply for tickets to the tour stop in the city nearest you, and pray that you are one of the randomly selected ticket recipients. If you are chosen to attend the event, you will receive two tickets. This year, my dad and I were both randomly selected! We ended up with a total of 4 tickets to the tour stop in Omaha, Nebraska on June 27th.

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Making Connections

May 27, 2015 2 Comments

My blog posts thus far have outlined our struggles as eBay sellers and our desire to increase our sales and even expand beyond the eCommerce giant (read more about that here and here). Another important part of our movement as a business involved reaching out to other sellers, both those in the eBay world and those elsewhere. We sought other sellers like ourselves to obtain information, advice and support. The process of networking has helped us to realize that we are not alone in our struggles. It has also given us the opportunity expand our thought process with information that others were able to provide, and share our own in return. 

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Expanding Our Reach Beyond eBay - The Plan, Part 2

May 14, 2015 4 Comments

In my last blog post (read it here), I discussed our desire as a small business to improve our presence in the eCommerce world and, as a result, increase our sales. Our first step toward improvement was geared specifically toward improving our presence on eBay. For us, the only logical next move was to expand our reach...but where?

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Positioning for More than Survival - The Plan, Part 1

April 29, 2015

How to Improve and Boost your eBay Listings for Optimal SEO and Sales

One of my favorite thinkers is Roy Williams, “The Wizard of Ads”. Every Monday, Williams formulates a newsletter called the Monday Morning Memo, designed to enlighten and encourage its readers. In a recent memo (read the full piece here) the following comment was made:

There’s a big difference between the way things ought to be and the way things really are. If you moan about how things ought to be, you’re a whiner. And the only
people who like whiners are other whiners. But if you work to make things better, you’re an activist. If you fling yourself headlong into making things better, you’re a revolutionary.

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Is eBay's Cassini Search Engine Stuck in Orbit?

April 24, 2015 29 Comments

Is eBay's Cassini Stuck in Orbit? eBay's new search engine is slowing sales for sellers
When I last wrote, I discussed the roll-out of eBay’s new search engine, Cassini (read more here). This ground-up rebuild was designed to be far more intuitive than the original (and very literal) Voyager search engine that it would replace.

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Is eBay's Cassini Really the "Best Match"?

April 21, 2015 2 Comments

eBay Search Engine Cassini SEO

For many years, we were involved in a surface relationship with eBay. For us, it was a great place to sell stuff. We weren't involved in eBay politics or the policies behind the scenes, because we simply didn't need to be. We listed our products and they sold. Easy peasy. It wasn't until out sales began to plummet (see more here) that we began to dig into the depths of the eBay marketplace.

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Breaking Up is Hard to Do - eBay's Split from PayPal

March 31, 2015

It had been hot topic for debate for quite some time: eBay investors, led by majority stockholder Carl Icahn, sought to break the connection holding eBay and PayPal together. Initially, this transition was strongly resisted by eBay board members and executives. The push was fueled by investors who were interested in investing solely in PayPal, the more profitable of the two entities. In September, 2014, eBay relented, announcing that the division would occur some time in the second half of 2015.

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Fixing the Defects in eBay's Defect System - Part 5 in a Multi-Part Series

March 23, 2015 2 Comments

Fixing the defects in eBay's defect system - Why are my eBay sales down?
By fall of 2014, things were not looking good for eBay. The spring security breach (read more about this here) and Google algorithm slap (read more about that here) had done major damage to the eBay Marketplace. Additionally, serious competition was making its way onto the eCommerce playing field (more about that here). 

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eBay Alternatives - Part 4 in a Multi-Part Series

March 21, 2015 2 Comments

As our company reviewed the events of 2014 that impacted eBay, we found ourselves digging deeper into the behind the scenes workings of the eBay Marketplace itself. For years, our only association with eBay was as a platform to sell our product. Beyond that, we didn’t give it a second thought. We had already learned of the impact of the security breach and the Google algorithm change, but there was so much more to information to sift through. As we sifted, we found the third major event that may very well have impacted our sales - the opening of a new marketplace, designed with small to medium sellers in mind. The name of the site was 11 Main. Another eBay wanna be has come to town...right? Not quite. For this story to be told correctly, we have to go back eleven years to 2004.

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Google Takes Aim - Part 3 in a Multi-Part Series

March 20, 2015 4 Comments

In my last blog entry, I discussed the fact that eBay was infiltrated by hackers in early 2014. I related that event to our experience as a company in 2014 - as top sellers in the eBay Marketplace, we were experiencing a consistent downward trend in sales for the first time ever.  

Our ongoing research led us to a second discovery regarding big changes in the eBay world. This turn of events required us to gain understanding in an area that we previously knew very little about: SEO, or search engine optimization. I tend to avoid topics that involve any combination of computer science and mathematical algorithms. Any knowledge that I have on this topic is non-technical and just barely scrapes the surface of understanding. Basically, Google has developed a formula and built it into their search engine. That formula determines which web pages are given priority in any search results. Google manipulates their formula to affect the results of any search based on a pre-determined set of criteria. Every change to the formula creates winners and losers - some pages will appear higher in search results, while others will appear lower. How does this relate to our eBay sales?

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eBay Takes a Hit - Part 2 in a Multi-Part Series

March 10, 2015

Why are My eBay Sales Down? eBay hackers infiltrate system in February or March 2014
In my last blog entry, I shared a bit about our experience as a company in 2014.  As top sellers in the eBay Marketplace, we were experiencing a consistent downward trend in sales for the first time ever.  Our research into the possible causes of this issue revealed a series of events that occurred behind the scenes at eBay during 2014. We believe that these events heavily contributed to our business woes.

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