From The Editor

by Craig Stark

#100, 30 July 2007

How are your eBay Stores sales? For that matter, do you have an eBay Store? Depending on how you go about it, it may or may not involve more work than, say, maintaining an Amazon Marketplace presence, and sales could be great or not, depending on who you ask. For some time now, I've maintained several eBay Stores, and I've tried just about every approach I can think of to optimize sales in one or the other of them. One of my stores, you may recall, is minimalist in the extreme - no images, no lengthy descriptions, etc., - and yet it outperforms all of the other venues its inventory is listed on by a wide margin. Still, I'm not kidding myself here. One of the major factors that it does so well is that I populate it with uncommon, in-demand books, the type that interest eBay buyers (many of whom are collectors). Competition from other booksellers is slight at best, so there's at least a somewhat less compelling reason to build more labor into it. However, if I had more time, there's no question in my mind that it would do even better.

This brings me to Kent Johnson, who is here today to discuss optimizing your eBay Store. What makes his approach interesting - and different from most - is that he looks at this from the perspective of somebody who has had significant experience building websites. Think about this: Your store's pages, though hosted on eBay, behave just the same as any website, and it would stand to reason that strategies for driving traffic to your store and realizing sales would often be identical to those used to optimize any website. Anyway, I'm sure you'll find some approaches in his article that you haven't used before and will likely benefit from.

Next up is Associate Editor Pamela Palmer with a new column - Bookselling Business. Today she offers us some smart money-making tips for booksellers, including strategies for earning interest on the money you've earned from book sales and heretofore has been piling up in your accounts ... right?

Finally, another new feature at BookThink - QMR Book of the Week. Those of you who subscribe to BookThink's Quarterly Market Report of Common, Profitable Books will already be familiar with some of this content - namely, titles, publication data, and brief commentaries on reasonably common books that typically sell for $30 and up online (100 different each quarter). The weekly column, however, which will feature a sample title from QMR, will also include expanded commentary that will attempt to explain why the featured title has the value it does. Those of us who have been in the bookselling business for years realize all too well that understanding why one book has value many times applies to other books as well. The purpose of this column is to help you begin to think along these lines. Please note that this will be published in the email version of the BookThinker only and will not appear on the website. If you're not yet a subscriber to our free weekly newsletter, the BookThinker, get on board here.

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