Because we do so many projects on different magazines I am an EBay Power seller. Besides being a Power seller we are Top Rated Seller. What does that mean it means we have an actually shipping center for product when you get down to it. Most EBay sellers are kitchen table types and will drop off your order on the way to the 7-11 to spend the money you just gave them. 20/20 had a special on man who shoplifted Toy-R-Us stores and sold on EBay. He was clearing over a million dollars a year. No business can compete with counterfeit or criminal activity in pricing. With Vape being targeted at the 20 – something crowd who has come to learn that Ebay and Amazon are the cheapest places to shop, why America no longer needs back alleys and cargo vans to buy stolen/counterfeit goods at almost retail prices.
Sadly the sellers on EBay/ Amazon are the bush league criminals stealing from their stores to resell merchandise. Last year Wal-Mart reported than more than 65% of their shoplifting was from employees. Vape is new and its official reported gross sales was around 10 billion last year. I say official because the 45,000 e-juice sellers on EBay are mostly Chinese vendors with localized storage centers.
One of the things we do as part of our articles is test sell through both across the counter and via the internet. Internet buyers have the ability to be absolutely rude in their judgment of the smallest of factors. They also have learned to lie when they want their way and that is the appeal to buying online for some. Since that is a reality of retail it gives us insight on what customers true impression of a product is since they have their own money invested.
These days companies get suckered into sending product to YouTube channels because a guy demonstrates millions of views. Research showed that most of the subscribers to popular channels were competitors getting ideas for their reviews or trying to find companies that would ship free product. Google put an auto viewer into YouTube and the number of views on a channel are accurate as viewers who watch superhero French fries on late night Swim Channel. More likely fell asleep watch family guy. If the guys has 2 million views and 120 comments then there is a problem. In our store we have a YouTube Looper which does falsify the views we use it on monitors during holidays to show the Muppets singing Christmas carols. Our store is probably responsible for over half-million views on that video. The point being that the appearance of popularity is not necessary just that. In my picture above this is the stats from the Ready Graph system we have on the site to all users to give us feedback. Every word of my statement is true but its not a full picture. Skyvapemagazine is just 3 months old and from our internal numbers if I am beating 50,000 websites they are a sorry 50,000 websites. My favorite stat over the past 20 years has been the “successful hit on favicon” When someone saves you to their desktop you have to download the picture from our website 77.9% of our visitors do this and THAT stat impresses us more than any other. Unless your impressed by our 15,000 hits each day… Yawn.
There is a point to this and its the hiding of information in plain site. Customers see 10k sellers and think there is nothing wrong. Fact of the matter is only the top 3 sellers on page listing are having any success. The fees are at such a point that you would do better with a loan shark as a partner. The race to the bottom to be $1 cheaper than the next guy and THAT will lead to success seams like a great deal for the consumer but it really only leads to finding those who do doing anything for a buck.
This isn’t the first time we have seen this tactic. 15 years ago this is Exactly how they crippled the firearm industry. Your legal product will not be allowed because a private person has decided it to be so. Meanwhile they will buy up the industry for pennies on the dollar and let THEIR holdings slip through the cracks. Google recently bought the largest online weapons website. So this anti”weapon” company has its hand in a 32 billion dollar industry and anything you search for that site is on the main page. Can you say a Free 7% of 32 billion? Getting paid 2.2 billion to hate something by the people you hate PRICELESS.
So how does the vape industry fight back, you can’t stop the collection of distributors and manufactures at discount prices when you show them huge sales online then pull the rug out right after they expand. RETAIL SPACE. Your best defense is an offense. Concentrate every promotion dollar on optimizing profits in retail space. Making your previous lawn and garden experts into solid businessman/woman. Focus on ways to reduce the cost of packaging, shipping and stocking and leave that profit with the retailers. Secure your square footage. Once you have a presence its easy to keep the product flowing.
DO NOT ALLOW THE CRACK SLIPPERS. Take a few hours a week and use the report button on eBay. Report the sellers for selling tobacco focus on the high volume sales that seem to keep slipping through selling 2000 items for below your cost. You know the math isn’t right that product is only there to destroy profits in the interim while they reduce the cost of their buy-in to the industry. Some vendors may need to file a complaint to their state for violation of RIGHT TO WORK LAWS. EBay’s policy is a violation of at least 15 state laws.
Manufactures organizations need to file a complaint to the FTC. Seems EBay has forgotten to inform their stock holders that they made a decision to throw away a Billion dollars in fees based on a political views of board members.