August 30, 2014, 10:23:57 AM

Author Topic: Biggest edmika launch in years-but also big eBay listing challenges  (Read 1685 times)

ontarian

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I'm about to launch a $99 US dollar kit with free worldwide shipping to convert to EOS close to 50 of some of the best FL/FD/FDn manual focus Canon lenses ever made.

The problem I am dealing with is that up until now I have sold all my edmika adapter kits on eBay.  Many have been stand alone listings but one has been a single listing with 12 lens types requiring the buyer to contact me with what specific lens they want converted.  The trouble with this is that about a quarter of my buyers forget to contact me to let me know which lens they have.  This is a real pain for my production and shipping system as I often have to send several messages before I get a reply if at all sometimes.

I don't want to have to 50+ different eBay listings, mostly because many of the more obscure ones (like the excellent but nearly unknown 85/2.8 soft focus or the 20-35/3.5L or the 85/1.2 Aspherical) would never show up very high on the eBay search algorithm.  What I have seen some of my competitors (and copycats) do is just live with a single listing and deal with the customer chasing problems.  This ensures that that their listing stays high on the hit list because of the relatively high sales volumes.

What I really need is a multi-variation listing which would allow me to ensure my customers select the appropriate lens on checkout.  The problem is only eBay Australia allows multi-variation listings in the Camera category/subcategories.  If I list in crafts category which allows MVar Listings on eBay Canada, when people search FD to EF adapters, eBay search prompts them to click on these terms in the camera adapters category (so my craft category listings would be missed for those clicking the suggested search term).

I've been asking eBay Canada to include the Camera category in multi-variation listings for over a year but customer service has been a brick wall.  eBay today represents a 2003 user interface, zero customer service, illogical listing rules, no real seller protections and unfortunately for the type of product I develop and sell still the only game in town where my buyers go first. To top it off I get ever rising fees (they own paypal too so combined they collectively take more from me than even the Canadian Government does in corporate taxes).  I just spent another hour on the phone with eBay Canada getting the run around with lots of feigned empathy but no answers and being repeatedly put on hold until I hang up in frustration.

I'm seriously looking at finally including a storefront on edmika.com or trying Amazon out but I'm afraid I'd be losing a lot of buyers who look for that kind of product on eBay first.  I know for many obscure things eBay personally is my first stop as well.

Any good selling direction suggestions from the canonrumors crowd?

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tolusina

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Re: Biggest edmika launch in years-but also big eBay listing challenges
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2014, 10:11:45 PM »
At edmika.com, build a comprehensive and easily browsed listing of all of your products, link each specific product's page to the appropriate ebay listing.
Use lots of keywords.
 
Try this, I just did. On the ebay home page, enter ed mika as the search term. You should be real disappointed with the results.
I couldn't find your ebay listings until I searched for "canon lens conversions", found one listing, clicked through on that product page to 'see other items' and/or 'visit store'.
Even knowing in advance pretty much what to look for, your ebay store was work to find.
 
Seriously Ed, you have established for yourself a reputation of positive note, that reputation is linked as much to your name as it is to your work.
Compare searching ebay and google for Ed Mika to the same searches for Gary Fong, another Canadian photo gear entrepreneur to get an idea of what I'm meaning to say.

Obviously your on-line presence wont scale the same as Fong's as your products are even more niche market than his, still, your current presence seems to demonstrate a bit of a lack of a sense of self worth and I think you are selling yourself short.

Hike up your pants, comb your hair, glue a smile on your face, look at the marvelous work you do, get out there and start promoting your products and yourself like you deserve.
 
The World will be a poorer, sadder place when brilliance and craft like yours fades away, please, do yourself and the world better than what's currently at http://edmika.com.
 
 
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tolusina

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Re: Biggest edmika launch in years-but also big eBay listing challenges
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2014, 10:39:06 PM »
More thoughts.........
 
On http://www.edmika.com, I just clicked through your 'on the net' links to the following

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ontarian/
 
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/viewprofile.php?Action=viewprofile&username=Ed+Mika
 
http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=4045
 
There is almost no clue at all there that ontarian is Ed Mika, absolutely no mention or connection to lens conversions.
Seems to me that among regular viewers of those three sites are a significant percentage of the exact group you want to market to.
 
Oh, read that bit above "comb your hair" as "brush your beard".
Immediately edit your FM and CR profile pages to include your name, and, if and as forum rules allow, link to edmika.com and/or your ebay store.

Fix that flickr start page, smells like spilled beer, I can almost hear a jukebox. That's not the image to present if making and selling conversions is your goal.
Move those bar photos off to their own sub section, and only use the best of those.

Flickr start page should show a few, crisp, clear examples of your product, perhaps an environmental/industrial portrait of yourself at the mill with safety glasses on and brass chips flying.
 
 
 
 
 
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ontarian

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Re: Biggest edmika launch in years-but also big eBay listing challenges
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2014, 11:09:18 PM »
Thanks for the figurative kick in the butt.  A few explanation points;

I haven't been shouting from the rooftops because I honestly felt I had nothing to shout about yet.  That moment has nearly come though.  I've been pretty much ignoring my commercial internet presence for a few years now apart from making it a habit of replying to each and every direct email message.  Some would consider selling 100+K a year of adapters from a startup garage shop to be more than ok but this has just been a warm up, a steep learning curve.  I've been extremely busy developing and redeveloping (and redeveloping) solutions I can stand 100% behind on top of the whole keeping my real job and managing to staying married thing.  What I've finally got now is something I'm getting ready to shout about quite loudly.

Secondly, all those bar shots you refer to on my flickr photostream were taken with various FD mount lenses.  I'm a big fan of available light shooting and I've been mixing business with pleasure at my local pub here in Collingwood Ontario Canada.  A big criticism I've heard repeatedly is I've focused too much on the pictures of the gear instead of pictures by the gear.  The Molly Blooms flickr set http://www.flickr.com/photos/ontarian/sets/72157638917740504/ has been shot exclusively with FDn24mm/1.4L, FL55mm/1.2, FD55mm/1.2 Aspherical, FDn85mm/1.2L, FD85mm/1.2 Aspherical and FDn200mm/1.8L lenses all converted to EOS by my kits.  I plan to start reviewing in good descriptive and practical real use detail the entire Canon manual focus lens arsenal and this is kind of my start. 





ontarian

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Re: Biggest edmika launch in years-but also big eBay listing challenges
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2014, 11:11:18 PM »
Also, the key to finding me on eBay is not searching Ed Mika but rather edmika.  My company name is the combination of my middle and last names (My first name is hard to pronounce, my parents are Czech).

mrzero

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Re: Biggest edmika launch in years-but also big eBay listing challenges
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2014, 10:38:48 AM »
If I list in crafts category which allows MVar Listings on eBay Canada, when people search FD to EF adapters, eBay search prompts them to click on these terms in the camera adapters category (so my craft category listings would be missed for those clicking the suggested search term).

For what it's worth, I always restrict my searches to the photography section.  If you listed in crafts, I would never see it in an ebay search.  But I know your name, even though I've never bought an adapter (yours or anyone elses).  Even if the more obscure adapters don't show up high in the search algorithms, you really only need somebody to see one or two in the general searches for them to realize that you're selling something completely different from the rest of the pack.
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Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Biggest edmika launch in years-but also big eBay listing challenges
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2014, 01:50:42 PM »
Ed, I'd suggest hiring a SEO expert to help you setup marketing.  I'd also setup a website.
 
You need a catchy name, a logo, and advertising.  Utube videos of how to use a product are very popular, for example. 
 
I have a online store that uses a company in California called Zoovy.  You can list your products, take credit cards, and have it record sales in quickbooks, print invoices and shipping labels.
 
They also interface with several 3rd party sellers, so you use one piece of software to sell thru Amazon, Newegg, Sears, and others. 
 
I would not overlook just sending a batch to Amazon to sell for you.  Amazon Prime shipping is extremely popular, and you won't have to deal with across the border issues or collecting money.  They give free 2 day shipping anywhere in the continental US and that's a big sales incentive.
 
Try to get DPR to review a product, provide them with a sample, the advertising value is worth far more than the sample.  Same with some of the other Photo Web sites.  But first, work on a catchy name and a logo.
Perhaps Craig would run a contest for submitting names.  Think ahead, and don't limit your product to FD-EOS.
Some name that has a web site available with the same name is ideal.  Then copyrite it so it isn't stolen.
 
for example, fdtoeos.com is available, but fd2eos is taken.
Some companies just make up a new word that has the advantage of having a website available.
kinda goofy, but lensadaptersrus is available.  - You get the idea.
 

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Re: Biggest edmika launch in years-but also big eBay listing challenges
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2014, 01:50:42 PM »