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Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Who's Running Your Meetup Group?

I joined a Meetup.com group for eBay sellers. It was run by a dude from a company that we don't directly compete with, but some may think is a competitor. OK, no problem yet. He welcomed me in. Thanks!

Yesterday, I got a mailing through Meetup from him. It was sent to all of the members. It was his guide to "Getting Noticed" on eBay. OK, let's give that a read. Oh, it has his company URL on every page. Oh, it's the middle of holiday selling (mid-November), and most sellers don't have time to change their holiday selling strategies right now. Well, let's give it a read anyway.

Sweet holy Lord, I strongly disagreed with some of the advice in there. Most importantly, it was a document about getting noticed, and it said NOTHING about Item Specifics. Right now, Item Specifics are nearly THE most important strategy to use so that your items do well in search results.The fitment database would be the equivalent for Motors sellers.

However, the guide had plenty of room for examples of their design work. In general, I'm against their style of design as I feel it works against current technology as well as the way eBay shoppers approach a listing. But then again, if any other company took my approach or had my UX/UI background, I'd have a direct competitor in the eBay world, which I don't. :)

So to sum up, the eBay Sellers meetup group is run by a vendor who would probably like every member to hire him. He sent everybody a guide with incomplete and incorrect information. I emailed him about this, and his response mostly orbited around how people like the guide. My point was that they don't know what info is missing! He told me they worked hard on it. My take: not hard enough if it's missing Item Specifics. Does this guy NOT know about Item Specifics? And he's passing himself off as an eBay expert?

Oh look. I just noticed that his company is the sponsor of the group. So they're the sponsor AND they run it.

I wasn't comfy with the whole scene, and not because a few people might think we compete. I left the Meetup group. I can just imagine every meeting, this guy plugging his company or giving wrong advice, and I'll be there correcting him or rolling my eyes. Better to spend my time somewhere else. I have run Meetup groups, and I have always chosen to NOT run the group when I might be a vendor to other members. That's my choice. Won't be everybody's.

Who is running your Meetup group? Somebody with something to sell you? How do you feel about the "subtle" sell, where the company name just happens to keep popping up on everything you see related to that group?

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Fortunately I know all the people in our meetup group and they are sellers only. No outside commercial interests there. If there were I'd be out of there in a heartbeat.

Interesting comment from someone who was not at the meet-up. We are all in the promotion business, and one can't possibly cover every point in improving our listings and our business in one setting, or for that matter, one guide. Meet-ups are like smorgasbord, take what works and leave the rest.

I understand, and I hope people will take the best from that group. It's just not for me. :)

Debbie, I am perplexed that you would attack something that you were not a part of. You were a member in NAME only. Why put someone else down and what they are doing for a business. You know when we do that you are only trying to "prove" yourself. I am totally disappointed that you would try and knock any competition and be so rude to say the demeaning things that you have said. What kind of person are you anyway???? It seems you joined the group to do just that. You don't even live in the Bay area.
I do hope and pray that you will seriously consider this and rethink what you are saying, because what goes around comes back.

That's sweet that he sent you to write in my blog. :) And it's funny that it's ok to attack ME but it's not OK for me to say completely true things about him.

The kind of person I am is one who stands by what I say above. The guide had bad and incomplete information. The group is wrong for me. He and I don't compete. End of story.

I'm not sure praying is needed here, except for the people taking advice from the guide. They are missing a lot of important info that evidently this guy doesn't even know!

He's welcome to do whatever he wants in the name of his business. It doesn't match what I would do, so I do not want to be a part of his group.

By the way, exactly which thing I said above do you have a problem with? Which thing that I said was incorrect? I see you attacking me and defending him, but I don't see you disagreeing with anything I've stated.

I never said this was the Bay Area. What made you think that?

According to my blog, Sherry and Alan have the same last name and posted from the same IP address. So we have one very angry couple or brother-and-sister duo. :)

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