On this episode of The Seller Community Podcast from List Perfectly and Listing Party, Trish and Doug chat all about customer service for resellers. We’ve also got seller shoutouts, a tip from Trish, and seller news!
The Seller Community Podcast from List Perfectly is the e-commerce resource for the seller community across all platforms and a hub for information on growing your business. Find out more at thesellercommunitypodcast.com, leave a message or ask a question at anchor.fm/sellercommunitypodcast, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Doug: Before we get started, Trish was just saying, ladies and gentlemen, that she thinks we need a new theme song.
Trish: I think we do. It’s a new year. It’s a new thing. Let’s come up with something.
Doug: We’ve had that little rocker for four years. But maybe it’s, maybe what about something like talking it up! It’s the Trish and Doug talk show!
We all have to go watch.
Doug: Don’t interrupt me on my show, Trish.
Trish: You all have to go watch Saturday Night Live now. So you know what the hell Doug’s talking about.
Doug: It’s The Barry Gibb Talk Show. Talking about e-commerce. Talking about cross-listing. Talkin’ it up!
Trish: Oh, that was pretty good, Doug. I’m pretty impressed.
Doug: If you’d been on my The Snoop Dougie Show last week, I did a full-on, impromptu version of Alanis Morissette’s Ironic.
Trish: Do you know what I got for Christmas from my daughter this year?
Doug: Alanis Morissette’s CD?
Trish: No, Alanis Morissette tickets for July.
Doug: She’s very good.
Trish: I’ve seen her before. She was great.
So on that note, welcome to the seller community podcast from List Perfectly. This week we’re going to be chatting about my favorite subject, customer service for resellers. I think it’s really important. So we’re going to talk about that.
We’ll do Trish’s tip of the week or whatever we’re calling it. And seller news and shout-outs.
Customer Service for Resellers
Doug: Trish, so you’ve been doing this for how many years?
Trish: I have been a full-time reseller for eight years.
Doug: Okay, so that’s quite a bit of time. You started in the brick-and-mortar world.
Trish: Yep, I had a consignment store and I started selling when I owned that and then transitioned to just online.
Doug: I want to know, first off, How much is customer service in the brick-and-mortar world similar to customer service in the online selling world?
Trish: I think they’re completely different, to be quite honest with you. When you walk somewhere and somebody has a feel for you and they like you.
So even when something goes wrong, I could be like, Hey, I’m so happy! It was much easier to win them back faster, I always felt that online, I think online, the tone is really important. How you say something in an email. Snarkiness does not work at all. I don’t think it’s very hard to translate.
And so is sarcasm or joking. And so I think online, you just have to be a lot more strict with yourself and what you say and with your actions, I would much rather give somebody back their money. And keep them as a customer of the platform. I thought the same thing, basically when I had the store, it was much easier for me to get you to come back. So I was more willing to do what I got to do to get you to come back. And I feel the same way about online, but they’re just a little bit different.
Doug: Okay. So tell us a little bit about understanding your customers, and identifying your target customer base.
Trish: So I think that this is really important so that you can have a picture in your mind’s eye of who you’re talking to. I am a used clothing seller and I sell mostly everyday brands, mall brands, Walmart, and Target. Macy’s probably is my highest, the regular stuff that I sell. I do have some specialty stuff that’s a little bit different, those customers.
But just the everyday customer who buys for me, I think is a woman who is between 25 and 50 and I think she’s probably a mom. I think she probably works outside the home and I think she’s very budget conscious, but I also think she wants to get some of her time back. So it’s easy to have things sent to her home that have to go out to buy them. And I also think that she is worried about the earth. She’s a little bit of an environmentalist at heart. And so she likes the idea of the reuse, recycle, upcycle kind of thing. So that’s who I think my goal is, my core customer is.
And so when I am writing an email or a correspondence, that’s who I have in mind. And I came to that conclusion based on years of looking at who’s buying and my conversations with people and things like that.
Doug: So just to clarify, you said a woman, so it’s not just one customer you have, right?
Trish: No, it’s women. And I have some men. Men do not, I find, for my business, I do not have nearly as many male customers as I do female customers. For me, it’s probably 90/10.
Doug: And I’ve always loved male shoppers versus female shoppers. And I’m this way. It’s true. Like a lady shopper will buy a bunch of stuff, try it on, and return it.
We’ll buy something. This doesn’t fit, but I’ll wear it.
Trish: I agree with that. Male shoppers, I think, have a lot less returns than women do. I think that if you’re going to be somebody who is in the used clothing business, You have to be okay with returns. We don’t give you the opportunity to come in and try it on.
And people say I put measurements. I’m sorry. We can take all the measurements we want, but it might not fit right. It might not hang right. I might not like where the V goes. There were a million different things, even though if you give me measurements, that may not work for me. So for me, I think what you sell can depend on your customer service. I think If you’re a used clothing seller, returns are important, which is one thing why people like Poshmark returns are much harder to do.
Doug: Interestingly, you talked about the different sizing and measurements. Trish, I know that you know that I’m typically an XL.
Trish: I do know that.
Doug: But there are, there’s the, especially now, Trish, I’ve lost 10 pounds.
Trish: Hey now.
Doug: Thank you so much.
Trish: You’re welcome.
Doug: There’s the occasional large I can get into, so I’m very excited. I tried on a large t-shirt the other day, and stretched it out a little bit.
Trish: We all have done that.
Doug: I found some Hawaiian shirts. Did I tell you that when I was going through stuff?
Trish: But they were all different sizes.
Doug: Yeah, all different sizes. The smallest and the mediums are a no-go. But those larges did not fit. But the double XL fits like a large one typically would.
Trish: Oh, so are they vintage?
Trish: That’s the other thing that you need to think about when you’re doing customer service, sometimes there are vanity sizes. Do you know what that is? So like Chico’s, I’m a size two in Chico’s. Never been a size two in anything in my life. So the size two in Chico’s for them is a large, extra large. Okay. So like they just make up their own sizes because they want women to feel better about themselves. It’s called vanity sizing.
Some things have vanity sizing. So then you have to extrapolate that out into what it is into a normal size. But then there’s also vintage sizing where a vintage size could be something that is very, like a large, let’s say, but it really fits like now, like a small, okay.
Trish: You have to understand what your product is and you have to be realistic with yourself. This is one thing that I think sometimes resellers don’t do a very good job at. And I think one of the things that we do as a reseller is we expect everyone else to have the same information we do, right?
So you understand what vanity sizing is, you understand that vintage sizing may run very small. Even if we write, this is vanity sizing. My mother, God bless her, loves Chico’s. She has bought them for a long time. Still doesn’t understand their vanity sizing. Still don’t understand what size I am or what size she is.
And we’ll buy the wrong size all the time. And so for me, I think sometimes we just have to understand that people don’t have the same knowledge we have. And so we’ve got to give them a little grace for returns for things like that. And I think that depends on your category. If you sell hubcaps, maybe returns are never a thing.
If you sell games, maybe you never do them for certain reasons because people play them and then send them back or whatever. I think this is all category-specific, but knowing your category well is really the key to good customer service, I think.
Doug: There you go. And if anybody’s wondering, my vanity size is obviously Petite.
Doug: That’s the vintage vanity size for me, Trish.
Trish: Okay. Okay. Okay.
Here’s the thing. You’ll go somewhere to buy clothing and there’s lots of clothing that have the tags taken out and maybe the tag is there, just the size is gone. That is somebody who is not comfortable with what size clothing there says,
Doug: I’m no XL.
Trish: Exactly. How dare they?
Doug: Exactly. So you touched on this earlier in your little intro, you talked about communication and a couple of things there, but how important in the online world is listening?
Trish: Oh, extremely important. And also trying to really figure out what they’re saying to you, right? Like really listening to what they’re saying. And if they’re angry, just try to not let that bother you. Here’s one of the things that I think happens. Anybody who’s a reseller, we understand that eBay is all little sellers, right? A few big ones, but a lot of medium and little sellers who sell lots and lots of things. And we understand that as resellers, that’s a little bit of Amazon too. Amazon has some of their own stuff, but they also have sellers.
People who buy from Amazon and eBay do not understand that. Intellectually, they just think of it as a company. I bought it from eBay. Oh yeah. Yeah. I bought it from Amazon, right? They don’t understand that. I bought it from Douglas at eBay. They don’t understand. They bought it from Trish at eBay. They might really, cause the emails come, but they don’t when they get mad at the platform.
They don’t get mad at the person. And I think that resellers really have to understand that. Because they don’t think of us as little solo entrepreneurs. They think of us as a conglomerate, as the man. As a collective. And so for them, they’re angry. They think the man is trying to screw them or the man didn’t send them the right product or the man, whatever.
And I think that resellers would be better off if they understood that and didn’t take it personally and tried to build a buffer into your business model. I think that everyone would be better off if you built in a little buffer that would allow you to take a hit every once in a while. Pay somebody back their money and let them keep the item for a better sales experience.
Or have something sent back to you that you normally wouldn’t take returns on and resell because it’s a better sales experience for the person. That person will then stay on eBay. Hopefully, we buy from you in the future and we’ll continue to be part of our ecosystem. Whereas if we annoy them too much, they’ll be off the platform.
And we don’t want that. And that is something that I think that, and the snarky, the that, I don’t think that’s a good look.
Doug: Oh yeah, I know, I agree. I don’t think it’s a bad idea.
Trish: So when you’re in communication with somebody, I would be very factual and I would apologize, even when things are not your fault, and you don’t have to say, I’m sorry I did this, but you could say, I’m sorry you’re having a bad experience.
That doesn’t mean I take responsibility for it. That just means I am sorry that this sale isn’t going well for you. I’m sorry this isn’t what you expected. I’m sorry that you’re having a bad experience. Let’s see what we can do to get you to a place where at least you’re neutral. You’re back to neutral, if and the other thing is, I think that. You didn’t really ask this, but I’m going to say this about feedback. We have the opportunity. There’s always going to be somebody who you cannot please, right? No matter how nice you are, no matter how much money you give back, no matter whatever, there are some people who are just nasty
when you have those people leave, and they leave you feedback, and it’s bad feedback. Go in and reply to the feedback, but do it in a professional manner. Again, I always say, I have free returns for any reason, so that anybody who goes in can see. I have free returns for any reason. I am sorry that this sale was not up to your, whatever. Depending on what this, the thing is. I never try to be snarky, even when I want to be, because it’s there forever in black and white. So just think about things before you write them.
Doug: And those complaints or complaints or bad reviews, it’s also a customer service touch point and an opportunity to try and get them back.
Trish: Exactly. And also, I have had people who have left me bad feedback. I have gone in and said, I’m sorry, I have free returns for any reason, and then I go on whatever the specific is of that, and I’ve had people take it back.
They’ve said to me, you know what, I was angry. I’m going to take that off. They wouldn’t have taken off if I was snarky in my response, right?
Doug: Exactly. Yeah, we do see that out there.
Trish: Yeah. And the other thing I think you need to think about is that, as I said before, we want them to stay on the platform.
Doug: Yeah, it behooves us all if the platforms are successful. And then, what you’re talking about is getting this rapport going back and forth, being honest and transparent, you’re building trust with your customers.
Trish: Absolutely. Granted, my things are not very expensive, right? So for me to give you back your money and let you keep the item is really nonconsequential, right? 40 bucks, let’s say. For people who are selling very expensive items, then that comes into a different thing, right? Then you do have to go through channels. Sometimes when I maybe could call eBay and have eBay step in and help me figure out how to get a resolution, I don’t do it because it isn’t worth the money.
But when we’re talking about money that’s serious to you, whatever that dollar figure is, I’ve seen eBay allow me to keep the money and the people to keep the money when it isn’t either of our faults. I do think eBay sometimes gets a bad rap for customer service as in taking care of the seller, the reseller’s customer service.
And I’m not so sure it’s warranted. I do think that they try. I do think that they want to keep us happy and also the customers happy. Unfortunately, UPS, USPS, DHL, and everybody else are in the middle. So sometimes there’s not much they can do about it. You also want to make sure you’re buying insurance if you have something that’s expensive. You want to make sure you’re doing the extra protection if the money is a real consequence to you.
Doug: So let’s talk about how important product knowledge is in a customer service strategy.
Trish: So I think it’s really important because people will ask you questions and you want to be able to answer them honestly and accurately. You don’t want somebody to ask you a question and then they buy it and you send it to them and they’re like, no, this isn’t what it was supposed to be. So it’s not only having the knowledge, but it’s being able to explain the knowledge in a way so that I know you know what I’m saying.
So it’s also being able to make sure you and I are both seeing this thing the same way. So sometimes it does take a little bit more back and forth, sometimes it does take a little bit more time. And so sometimes for me, you’re like, is this really worth this $15 sale to make sure that, but you hope that eventually, that $15 sale, maybe they’ll come back the next time.
Doug: Exactly. All right. Tell us how you go the extra mile with your customers.
Trish: When I first started, I used to put a piece of jewelry, like a pair of earrings or whatever, something little in every bag that I did. I gave like a free gift. And I did that for a really long time. I don’t do that anymore.
If you are new, you can get your hands on something that’s very inexpensive, and it could be a sticker. It could be whatever. It doesn’t have to be something that kind of makes you stand out a little bit. That may be worth it to you. And it especially may be worth it on something like Poshmark where love notes are a thing and people expect special packaging and stuff.
So sometimes that can help you stand out. Now I just really, do two things that I do and I think that everyone should do. The first thing is I leave positive feedback for you the moment that you pay, ‘ cause for me, the only thing a customer is contractually obligated to do is to pay for the item they say they want.
So as soon as somebody pays for an item. I give you positive feedback and I think that should be ambiguous across the board waiting for you to give me feedback. So I will give you feedback. That was something we did 15 years ago, 20 years ago, when the feedback system on eBay, I’m speaking eBay right now is very different than it is now.
So for me. I immediately give feedback, and I also am very communicative if there’s anything wrong. If there’s a snowstorm in the Northeast if I have lost power, even though eBay says I’ll cover you. Because eBay is very good. If you have a snowstorm, if you have lost power, if there’s something specific in your area, call eBay, they will extend the shipping time for you so you are not getting framed.
But I also will write to them and say, just wanted you to know we have no power today, the post office is closed, I just want you to know your item won’t go out till tomorrow, you will see an updated shipping. But I go, so it’s not just from eBay, it’s from me also. And then if they leave me feedback and there are any issues, if it’s not positive feedback, sometimes I go in and answer positive feedback. I do not always.
If you’re a new seller, I would suggest going in and answering feedback every single time somebody leaves it for you. I don’t do that anymore. I have a lot of feedback, so I don’t really worry about it, but if anyone gives me neutral or negative feedback, I do go in and answer it and say, returns for any reason, and I try to because sometimes they will amend it.
Doug: Yeah, interesting. No, I know. Yeah, I think that’s good practice. You just touched on it. What are some of the interesting challenges to online customer service in our online reviews, and social media world? Tell us about that.
Trish: Something that pops into my mind, which isn’t even really what you asked, but it is a language barrier sometimes. A lot of these platforms, eBay, Mercari, and other ones you do sell overseas. And you can get into a conversation with somebody where English isn’t their first language. And sometimes there’s a barrier there, even though there is a translator built into the system. Sometimes it’s exactly hard to know what they’re asking or what they want, so that can be difficult.
Other than that, they’re upset. Don’t go toe to toe with them. Don’t take it personally. They don’t know you. So who cares what they think? Just try to de-escalate it. Because the de-escalation of that situation will serve you later. You don’t want to get into a brouhaha. Not worth it.
Doug: And then what about social media interaction?
Trish: So I am somebody who has very little social media interaction in my store. I know there are stores that have a big social media presence, and they’re usually very niche down, right? They sell a very specific item. I am a very large seller who has lots of different things and I am not niched down enough to really have that. So for me, I don’t really worry about that. I do know I have a really good friend of mine, Julie Brown, who sells tiki. So she does have Ohio Tiki Nuts and she puts the things she has on sale and different things like that. And I think Julie would say that her reputation in the tiki world is very important. And so you don’t exactly, basically what I just said, don’t get into it.
Doug: Because you don’t want to get cursed by an evil tiki.
Trish: Exactly. You don’t want that to happen. That would be the first thing. And the second thing is you don’t want to discourage anyone from buying from you. If they see that you’ve had a bad interaction with somebody who maybe somebody they like, maybe somebody they respect, or it’s maybe just they didn’t like the way you handled it because they don’t know everything that went on before. You said whatever you said out loud, to the masses.
You’re better off escalating and eating a little humble pie, even if you are a hundred percent in the right. There you go. I just try to think of it as a bigger picture.
Doug: Anything else to add to our fabulous customer service and reselling discussion?
Trish: I just think you’ll be better off if you don’t take any of it personally.
Doug: And, and then, you gotta add to it as we always say, and it’s true, no matter how big a seller you are or how small, Trish is six figure, I’m one to three figures depending upon the month, but you still have to think about customer service.
People are going to reach out to you, even if you’re like, Oh, this is just a hobby, I’m getting rid of stuff. If somebody’s got a question, they’re going to reach out, and you want to be cool because you’re making money off of this. They’re giving you money and just being cool.
Trish: Just be cool. And also be proactive in the sense that if somebody reaches out to you and it’s after, let’s say you’re gone for the weekend and you don’t literally know the answer, right? This just happened. I was gone with my mom. to Texas and somebody asked a question and Liz and I were together so neither of us could go look at it. So I wrote to them and said, I would not be back until Sunday evening. I’m very sorry. I cannot answer this question for you until then. Now, did I have to do that? Friday night? No. Could I have said, we’re not open weekends on Monday and just let it go? Yes. But sometimes a little bit of sugar helps.
Doug: You went the extra mile. There you go. Yeah, that is true. Cool. Thank you.
Doug: Thanks for coming on the show, Trish, ladies and gentlemen. Supersale Trish, Reselling with Trish on the show, talking customer service in reselling.
Trish: And we’d love to hear your ideas and your thoughts. If you have another strategy, let us know. Maybe you can come on and talk about it. Maybe you think I’m completely wrong and snark is the way to go. Tell me, let’s go talk about it.
Doug: That would be lovely.
Trish: That would be fun.
Doug: All right. Let’s move over to seller shoutouts, Trish.
Trish: Okay. So this week we have a few people to talk about and let’s start with Molly, Libby, and Samantha, the ladies from Consignment Chat.
Doug: And they’re in the midst, Trish, of a Consignment Chats Challenge Winter Warm-up Listapalooza.
Trish: I just love a listapalooza.
Doug: I know. I love anything with the word palooza in it. And I think I had a conversation with them and I’m probably responsible for coining the term, Liz. So I’m gonna have to obviously reach out and get my cut.
Trish: Of course. We expect nothing less.
Doug: But this is cool. They had a cool launch. They’re supporting it with, Updates and videos, and what I thought was really interesting is you can be an online seller or a brick-and-mortar seller
Trish: I know which is really interesting because I don’t really think of those two things as being…
Doug: There’s some that are both, yeah some sellers that do that And started a few days ago with a goal of a thousand listings. And when I checked this morning, they’d beaten the goal and they’re at 1257 now.
Trish: Great. And they’re offering recognition and prizes, right?
Doug: That’s right. That’s right. I’m not sure what the prizes are, but yeah.
Trish: Maybe one of them can be the winner and can come on The Seller Community Podcast.
Doug: After their show. And so they also have a Facebook event. We’ll put the link in the show notes and they describe it as a fun, supportive, business-boosting, listing competition, Trish.
Trish: That is awesome. And I love all of them. Molly and Libby are adorable, but let me just say this, if you are somebody who does not perform at the level you think you should, maybe you’re somebody who is not getting as many listings done as you should.
Maybe you’re somebody who spends too much time doing your listings. You want to speak with Samantha. Because Samantha will put you into your place and tell you what you should be doing. And for some people, they really respond to that. So if you’re somebody who needs a little bit of tough love, Samantha’s your girl, man.
Doug: A little bit of push, a little bit of accountability. Yes, Samantha will call you out.
Trish: She’s awesome. So good.
Doug: Go check it out.
Doug: Do you want to shout out recent winners, Trish?
Trish: Of course. So far from the brick-and-mortar side, Cameron Lauzon, Ashley Motley, and Matthew Miles have won so far. And online, Nisha Drinkard. She is in Mastermind and adorable and I love her. Ashley Walker and Pam Arnold.
Doug: She wins, she literally wins everything she enters. This is no joke.
Trish: She is one of the luckiest people we have ever met, isn’t she, Doug?
Doug: Yeah, that’s right. That’s right. She is very lucky. Husband’s a magician. How lucky is that?
Trish: Close up. Close-up magician.
Doug: Close-up magician. Not far away. Molly from consignment chats was on the Snoop Dougie show last week. We had a lovely time. Libby came in. Samantha was ill. She couldn’t make it.
Trish: Yeah, so it was really fun. You guys, we really look forward to hearing about it, and yeah, great.
Doug: And Trish, another great fun contribution from the consignment chat ladies, long-time friends of the show. They’ve been on a bunch of times. We’ve been on their show, I’m sure, and again, but now Trish, we have some listing party news.
Trish: Yeah, so our listing party host challenge winner this week was Molly. Congratulations to her and thank you for co-hosting the Cup of Consignment party every Tuesday with Samantha, Molly and Libby. If you haven’t stopped by on a Tuesday morning, please do so you’ll get some motivation, and let me tell you if you need motivation. Samantha’s your girl. So go.
They’re very supportive and they can teach you about consignment or reselling that answers questions. So do yourself a favor and get over to that one. It’s really a great party.
Doug: Theresa pretty much runs Listing Party and thanks to everyone who stepped up and took the challenge to host a party and to those who attended, there’s always something to learn and we appreciate those who take the time to help and share their knowledge and experience with the community, but you can still host.
Trish: Absolutely. We’d love to have you. Do you have a tip or a trick that’s helped you on your reselling journey? Are you knowledgeable in a specific niche or industry? Maybe you just want to talk about something that has nothing to do with reselling. Maybe a list and chat. I think list and chat sounds fun.
Almost anyone can host a party if you belong to List Perfectly. Just pick a topic and schedule it. It’s right through listingparty.com and we would love to have you, if you would like somebody from List Perfectly to help. We’re more than happy to do that. Doug or I are more than happy to, Theresa. It’s really fun. The community loves it and there’s no experience required.
Doug: There you go. Yeah. Trish and I will hop in or some of the other LP team. But yeah, try it out. I think we’ve got some stuff coming where we’ve got some suggested topics that have been asked for that we’d love to have other faces, and other experts weigh in on. So keep an eye out for that in the List Perfectly group.
Trish: Yeah, we’d really love it. And if you are shy or you have just some ideas, feel free, always you’re more than welcome to reach out to either Doug or I.
Thanks to those that we have shouted out, hey, and listen, because we may shout you out soon, and you never know what we’re going to talk about.
Doug: All right, ladies and gentlemen, now it’s time for the newest segment, Trish Tips Seller Tips. Trish, do you have a tip for us this week, Trish?
Trish: I’m going to continue in my customer service vein right now. We already started with that. I just want to give you a few tips on this. So one of my tips is to have a document. with some standardized things that you can say over and over again, right? You can think about them now, some generic things.
Sorry, this item didn’t work for you. You can even put parentheses where you put in the item that, whatever. Maybe a couple of standardized things about shipping being late. Maybe some things about when somebody says it’s delivered and it’s not here. Maybe you have a few standardized lines about that so that you can easily just copy and paste them.
And it may take out some of the emotion for you, right? If you have these things already set, it takes out the emotion, and makes it much easier to just drop and paste them in and you’re not as worked up about it. But it also can help you save some time. Especially if you get these a lot and maybe you are somebody who doesn’t answer anything on Sundays or Saturdays.
Maybe you do truly take the weekend off. Have a standardized thing that says, I’m very sorry, we are not open on the weekend. We’re a small family business. We will get back to you Monday morning at 9 a.m. We look forward to helping you then. And then you just paste that in. And so then you’re not really thinking about it.
You’re not really working, but you’re still doing the, you’re still giving them excellent customer service. So my tip of the week. Tip of the podcast. Trish’s tips. Whatever it is, my tip is to have an open document that you can just put these in and add to it as you go along and think about them.
Make them straightforward, easy to understand, and without any emotion.
Doug: Yeah, and stuff will come up, you can update it one of mine is Dear sir or madame, how are you? I am fine.
Trish: Not good, don’t do that, ladies and gentlemen.
Doug: Alright Thank you, Trish. An excellent seller tip. Excellent, Trish tip. And Trish will be back for more tips next week.
Trish: Yes, I will.
Doug: All right, Trish. You know that I do Hate to get serious, but sometimes we do have to do it. So we’re moving on. We’re moving on to the seller news and not all news is always good. Sometimes there’s bad news. Sometimes there’s sad news, but this happened. And I think we should touch base on it. Talk about it. Obviously, we’re big fans of eBay. eBay just did the biggest round of layoffs in years. 1000 people globally, across the world. And it’s a sad thing.
And it was a bummer for me when I saw it because I got laid off four years ago, almost to the day. And I checked in with some friends. I don’t think there was anybody I knew, but there were some teams I knew people on that got affected.
Trish: Yeah. And Doug, what do you attribute it to?
Doug: I think a couple of things. I’ve seen some people say that they’re letting go of underworkers or lazy people. I don’t think that’s what it is, I think they’re strategic. They do have some big teams, but I don’t think that’s a good way to put it.
I was laid off. I didn’t think I was lazy.
Doug: I was asked this the other night when I was on the Slim Flippers podcast, Trish, and I think there are a lot of tech layoffs in general. I think a lot of companies had to hire up and ramp up for the pandemic because online sales went through the roof and I think that’s part of it. I think they always have to get leaner. There’s a lot of competition. And I think that is part of it. Paul Apollonia actually put out a really good video four minutes and 44 seconds on his YouTube channel where he talks about this. And I think he hit the nail on the head. It’s yeah, the economy, everything the last few years has been messed up because of COVID.
The world basically shut down. I remember going out one morning, we had to forage out for something and it was like a wasteland, no cars, no people. And then, and that was right when I got laid off from eBay. And right away I had a lot of hits. I had like multiple interviews and four jobs literally lined up and then everything shut down and they closed out these jobs and it took me a few months to really get into something.
But I think that’s part of it too. But I will also say, and that’s the thing is. I love eBay. We did break up, eBay calls, which she can call, late at night after that night out
Trish: For a nice little booty call.
Doug: The e-commerce call. And I think too, they do have some opportunities that they need to lean into that they move slowly on. I still think live sales are big. I think live auctions are going to be big. I’ve seen some sellers talk about that. They’re the OG auction site. I think they really need to make the eBay lives happen. I think they’ve been moving out slowly. Whatnot has had an incredible year that really stands out, obviously, Posh Lives and a lot of stuff is going live.
There’s a lot of sellers doing their own live stuff. And you’ll still see a lot of sellers that will have the ability to go live, that ability works for them to sell stuff.
Trish: Yeah. And it’s an interesting thing. I think of eBay as a massive ship, like a tanker. And I think of List Perfectly just as a comparison as like a very mobile yacht, we can move into places and we are very maneuverable. I think that Whatnot is in that same vein. It’s small enough that it can move and change and do things. And eBay is a very large, very old organization, comparatively. And they can’t stop on a dime. They can’t move very quickly. They can’t change with the times as easily.
And so I think some of this is just a byproduct of how big they are and how much they have to do. And so for me, while I think it is very sad, that they laid off 9 percent of their workforce, that was the number, right? 9%. It isn’t surprising because things change and those departments that maybe were very large and very needed, during the pandemic, pre-pandemic, whatever, now may be smaller and maybe we’re going to start looking at other areas that they will, get bigger.
I do not personally think this has anything to do with the health of eBay at all. I think eBay is a very healthy platform. I, it is still the biggest in the reseller game. It is still the big dog. If you’re not on eBay, I know probably anyone who’s heard us has heard me say this before. If you’re not on eBay, you should be, you want to look at eBay. eBay is the dog, the big dog. And I think this is not in any way indicative of that.
Doug: Yeah. And I think, across the board, selling is still a viable option. You have to diversify. You have to always be able to adapt. If you’re going to sell online, you have to be on eBay. But there are a ton of other options out there as well. And then, there have been some surprising layoffs recently, like Sports Illustrated. Los Angeles Times. They’re more in the media side of things. I do think that may have some to do with the rise of AI which is one of my favorite topics, but it’s a tool and it depends on how you use it.
But AI is here. Some people thought it was a fad, a flash in the pan. It’s not, it’s here to stay. And I think you just have to learn how to use it and you have to learn how to adapt, especially in media, especially in marketing. And that has some influence in some of these tech layoffs too.
But also it’s like you always say, you always put it really well. There’s a low barrier to entry in online selling. Anybody can do it, especially if you’re passionate about something. There are so many people willing to teach you how to do it. So many resources out there. So many sellers like Trish who have been doing it for years.
And just a ton of sellers out there that are willing to help on social media, not like it used to be when you first started online. So you had to figure out everything yourself and take a picture…
Trish: and you could find somebody who you would have to watch so much, YouTube to figure out exactly where you should be. It was, it’s much different now. And people like the BOSS Facebook group or Katy and Vikki’s YouTube show. They do a live. You can go in and ask a specific question. Same with the BOSS group. Same with List Perfectly’s own group and you do not have to be a List Perfectly member to be in our Facebook group, please, whether you use List Perfectly or not, please come in and join the group.
It’s a great group. You can ask questions. We will answer because we are by and large reselling experts, right? As a company, a lot of us sell and also the people who started it at Clara and Amanda were resellers. So we have a lot of reselling experience. And so come in, ask the questions we want to help you.
Doug: And on listingparty.com, thesellercommunitypodcast.com, thesellercommunityblog.com, and just a lot of free resources from List Perfectly. And again, like Trish said, we’re doing this because we love it. We love the community and I say this all the time, but everybody at List Perfectly uses List Perfectly. We all sell at some level or another. I don’t know, Trish, that I am a 1 to 3-figure reseller.
Trish: Doug, I really cannot wait till you say to me, Trish, I’m a 3 to 5-figure seller. Yes, it could happen this year, Trish. I’m going to sell all the Trish-signed photos that I had her not put my name on. So there’s, the Trishettes out there, the Trish fans.
Doug: I know this was a serious topic, but best of luck to people who got laid off. I was devastated when I was laid off by eBay and I understood it was a business decision, but closed doors always open new ones and I am where I am for a reason.
Doug: Harassing Trish each day.
Trish: That is very true. No, but it is true. And it’s also one of those things, you have to look at what you’ve gained also, the knowledge that you’ve gained the people that you know, reach out to your resources, figure out who can maybe point you in a new direction. The networking availability and the things that have changed in the last 20 years with the Internet and social media and being able to stay in touch with people that before would have been very difficult. You wouldn’t have had that. Think about the networking and, my best of luck to them also it’s a terrible thing.
Doug: And, to those eBayers, if you’re listening or former eBayers reach out, I’ve been there, reach out to me on LinkedIn. I know a lot of sellers. I know a lot of people in e-commerce. If there’s some connection I can help you make, happy to do that. Thank you pretty much every job I’ve gotten has been based on a connection or knowing, including this one.
Trish: Including this one. No, it’s true though. And you have a knowledge base, and the reselling world is big and way more vast than it was even five years ago. It is growing and things are happening. And so maybe you weren’t a reseller before. Maybe you should now look into it. We want to help.
Doug: Good opportunity. Good opportunity. All right. Trish, we will have more news next week. Maybe happier news. You never know.
Trish: Hey, it can always be worse.
Doug: I guess so. I guess so.
Trish: But thank you, Doug. It was fun.
Doug: Yes. Thank you so much. And my favorite phrase, that’s all the news that fits this week.
Trish: That’s all the news that fits this week?
Doug: You know what that’s from?
Doug: All the news that fits. That’s the tagline for Rolling Stone Magazine.
Trish: Huh, I don’t, I don’t think I ever knew that.
Doug: There you go, you learn something new every day.
Trish: I learn something new every day. And I guess, I have to admit, I learn something new from you almost every day.
Doug: Thank you so much. It’s trivial knowledge that you probably don’t need, but…
Trish: But I like it. Thanks, everybody. Please reach out if you have any questions, concerns, or thoughts, you have any ideas, we’d love to hear them.
Doug: Thanks. And thesellercommunitypodcast.com has that contact form on there. Hit us up in the group, or you can email us at email@example.com.
Trish: Thank you for joining us on The Seller Community Podcast from List Perfectly. You can find us at thesellercommunitypodcast.com.
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