what this blog is all about...

Do you sell stuff on-line? Interested in it? Well, this blog might be for you. Don't expect lots of news stories or other stuff you can easily get. I want to give you the ugly side...the practical, the-stuff-they-don't-warn-you-about side of on-line retailing for the small seller.

I've been selling on-line for about 9 years. And I'm happy to share some of my experience and knowledge with anyone who has the patience to trudge their way through my random ramblings!

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Monday, July 6, 2009

On-line detritus

Well, wagglepop is officially dead. But still available for sale for a staggering $40,000.

Anyone have $40k they don't want to throw down the garbage disposal but still want to permanently say good bye to, give the former wagglepop owner(s) a call. I'm sure they'll be glad to hear from you.

And it seems that there may be two other ebay wanna-be sites that are biting the dust, or at least scooting up to the table...

tazbar: This statement has so far brought up huge cries of "Who?" from people. Yes, tazbar, one of the great unknown ebay slayers looks like it's going down for the count. And what a count! About 44,000 items listed (compare that to ebay's 28 MILLION!). It's officially lights out on July 16th.

plunderhere: Again...another "Who?". And with good reason. About 50,000 items listed. Will not be missed.

What do these two have in common? Hmmm....well...

ZERO name recognition. Forget the big ad campaigns. They don't work. What does work is word of mouth, from both buyers AND sellers. None of either equals our "who?" response.

Support. OK, this should say "lack of support". Both got dinged by former sellers for their extreme lack of help and support for sellers. Funny, I heard the same thing about wagglepop.

The "not the chicken NOR the egg" syndrome. "OK, what the hell does that mean, Rich?" Simple: these kinds of sites always get the question: what makes the site successful, lots of items listed, or lots of sellers buying? The answer is simple. Neither. Or both. Both factors have to grow together, and in parallel increments for the site to make it. These sites had neither the listings nor the buyers. Hence, no word-of-mouth ad structure. Hence, no more site.

Money. Actually, none. No buyers and no sellers is the way these sites start, but eventually both sides of the equation have to build. Otherwise, no revenue. If you build a site like these, you either need to:

1. burn through money like bras in the 60s before you see a single cent of profit


2. LOOK like you're spending cash like you have a dozen VC's in your back pocket

...lest people start to suspect you aren't gonna make it.

They did neither. They always looked like amateurs.

So...again...I ask...who's next?

Check out my next post.

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