Thursday, February 26, 2009

Being Independent Is Overrated

Sometimes I see a trend among eBay sellers...

Let's say our eBay seller is named Bob. Bob has a job, but he hates his job. So he quits, and decides to sell on eBay because he can be his own boss and have tons of freedom. All is fine and well in the world...

...except, Bob still has a chip on his shoulder. Bob still has the chip on his shoulder that makes him suspicious and a little paranoid about anybody trying to be his boss, or take away his freedom.

So when eBay makes a change with its policies, which they absolutely have the right to do...Bob freaks out a little bit. Bob thinks, "well I don't need eBay - I'm INDEPENDENT!"

Here's the thing - people in the eBay world need to depend on each other even MORE than the real brick and motor world. In a "regular" job you have colleagues all around, there is interdependence. The average eBay seller like Bob may be a one person operation.

Being independent is fine in the face of true tyranny, but it's a last resort. Take our Founding Fathers, for example. All those guys tried and tried and tried to reconcile with King George - the Declaration of Independence was the last resort.

And then, once we did have Independence...the Founders found that things were a little TOO Independent - it took a couple of Constitutional Conventions before they got the balance right.

Selling on eBay is great and gives the Bobs of the world freedom and so many opportunities, but Bob should remember that following a path to complete independence leads to a desert isle.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Motor Oil and Tulip Seeds

I recently saw a question on a discussion board where the person asked: "I have one eBay store where I sell three completely different kinds of products. Does it make sense to switch to three different stores so my customers won't think it's weird that I sell unrelated items under one store site?"

I think this is a very good question. If this applies to you, let me ask you a question:

What do you think would be a better use of your time - the work it would take to keep three different stores separate (3 accounts, 3 sets of inventory, 3 everything) or instead, spend that extra time on one store, marketing one store, listing inventory into one store....

Just throwing this out there - Wal-Mart does pretty well selling everything under one roof.

I understand the counter argument about really defining a niche - but I wonder if it might not be possible to focus on a niche, or two, or three, from within one store.

Even if you have one store that sells motor oil and tulip seeds - it's a little weird - but if you spend the time on great marketing, great free content, great everything about motor oil and tulip seeds - I think buyers will be ok with it.

In other words - I think you're better off having one store that does multiple niches really well than you are having three stores that are weak. Of course, the simplest thing of all is to have one store that dominates one niche. But nothing wrong with having one store that dominates a couple, at least in my opinion.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

If a Blog Falls in a Forest...

If a blog falls in a forest, but nobody is around to hear it, does it make a noise?

I've blogged plenty before - but this is a new blog! I'm starting from scratch. It's sort of hard to know where to start a blog from scratch - which leads me to one conclusion - I must just start it.

I start this new blog, the Evenger Blog - as the world's first cyber superhero - The Evenger!