Tradeloop's Member Blog And News: January 2009

About Tradeloop

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We are the largest B2B marketplace for computer brokers, computer leasing companies, used computer wholesalers, third party maintainers and self-maintainers, who trade wholesale computer lots of used & surplus computers, bulk electronics, and hard-to-find used computer parts.

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Friday, January 30, 2009

Easier Parts List Management For Your Company

Any full access user can edit or update parts lists for any user in your company. Previously, users within the same company could view other users' inventory, but couldn't edit their lists.

This change should simplify parts management for Tradeloop members who have an administrative person manage the parts lists for salespeople. It's also a useful feature in other situations:

· One user leaves the company.
· A user transfers some of his products to another user.
· When account assignments change between users in a company.
· A user is tired of getting calls or emails about a particular part or product that's no longer available.

To use this new feature, go to your "My Account" tab. Directly under the "Parts and More" column on the right, there's a drop-down box that lists all your company's users. Click on the link for their parts detail, and you can add/edit/delete parts from there.

Note that this option is limited to full users; "Read Only" users don't have the authority to modify any account.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A "Smarter" Tradeloop Login Page

We've made the Tradeloop login page "smarter," and login easier for members who keep multiple browser tabs open. Now, if you have ten browser tabs open to different Tradeloop pages, you only have to log into one tab. Refresh the pages in the other tabs, and they'll automatically know you're logged in.

Previously, the login information didn't carry over between tabs. So if you had ten tabs open and logged into one, you would have to log in nine more times – once for each tab.

Most Tradeloop members won't notice this small change – but those who open multiple tabs certainly will. Our technical staff is constantly upgrading the site to add new features and increase the usability of every aspect of the site.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

New Option to Hide Broadcast Messages

We've given our Customer Support staff the ability to hide a member's Broadcast messages upon the member's request.

As a security measure, we don't allow members to hide their own Broadcasts. That's to keep someone from sending out a Broadcast message that's fraudulent in some way (such as counterfeit parts), and then hiding the message on the Tradeloop site. Even though the original Broadcast wouldn't be accessible, members would still receive the email message, and the sender could set up deals based on that.

When a member asks to have his Broadcast messages hidden, Customer Support will ask for a reason and check for signs of fraud before hiding any messages. We rarely encounter those. Usually a member wants to hide a Broadcast to keep it from being indexed by Google and other search engines. He may still be getting calls about parts he's already sold or Broadcasts sent out by someone who's left the company. By hiding the Broadcasts, we can keep them out of Google.

Although it would be less work for our staff if members could hide their own Broadcasts, we think it's important to include this quick verification step. It's part of continuing effort to serve members and keep Tradeloop a safe place to do business.

Friday, January 16, 2009

New Option to Separate "Want to Sell" From "Want to Buy" Broadcast Messages

A Tradeloop member recently contacted us with an idea for a new feature. He wanted an easy way to separate "Want to Buy" Broadcasts from "Want to Sell" messages. We thought it was a great idea, and got to work.

The option is now available on the Broadcast page. Combine it with other filter options, and quickly find the information you need.

For instance, if you specialize in Cisco, you might want to check to see who in Europe has a purchase order in hand and is looking to buy Cisco equipment. Just select those filter options, and you have the answer in less than a minute. No more paging through lists of "want to sells" mixed in with "want to buys."

To view this new option, go to the Broadcast page, and look for the "Filter By Type" sort option at the bottom of the left-hand column. Select one of the three filters:

1. WTS: Want to Sell
2. WTB-PO: Want to Buy – Have Purchase Order
3. WTB_P&A: Want to Buy – Need Price & Availability

You can further refine your search by selecting an option from the "Filter by List" and "Filter by Geography" options. When you're finished with a particular search, just click on the "Clear Filter" link at the top of the page.

Do you have an idea for a new feature that would improve the site or make your job easier? Let us know! Our technical staff is working constantly to improve Tradeloop, and we welcome your suggestions. Just contact Customer Support.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

New Context-Sensitive Help System Launched

Our site-wide help system makes it easier to manage your account. Now, if you have a problem logging into the Tradeloop Web site, our context-sensitive help pages will explain the problem and give exact instructions on how to fix it.

Previously, members got a generic page that asked them to call Customer Service. Of course, our staffers are always happy to help, but with this new system, you don't have to call us to find out what the problem is.

Here are two sample situations where you might have a problem logging into Tradeloop:

Your company's master user marked your account as inactive. You'll get an explanation of why you can't log in and instructions on how to correct the problem. In this case, you'd have to contact the Master User.

You used a free email address like Hotmail when you registered. For security reasons, we require more identifying information, so you would have to contact Customer Service to provide it.

The new system gives specific information and instructions about how to resolve problems. It also increases site security by keeping unauthorized users out of the site.

Anonymous Search Option Protects Member Privacy

Tradeloop offers several valuable market research tools, including a search history tool and list of popular searches. We also supply sellers with reports that list who's searching on their parts. That's information that helps them estimate market supply and demand and set pricing.

However, we realize that many buyers prefer to search anonymously, so we offer that option to Tradeloop members. Protect the privacy of your searches by selecting the "My Account" tab and turning on the Anonymous Search function in the Sitewide Settings section. Then, your Tradeloop searches will carry the notation "Name withheld by member request."

If you choose not to search anonymously, other Tradeloop members will be able to see what part numbers you're searching for and when you searched. Note that this option is a member-only benefit that's not available to registered users. Anonymous search allows members to protect their competitive advantage as they research the market.

Friday, January 9, 2009

How the Tradeloop Ethics Process Works: A new step-by-step guide

We've added a new section to the Tradeloop Ethics area that clearly describes (in non-legal terminology) how the Tradeloop Ethics process works. The new page explains how complaints will be filed and processed by the Ethics Committee.

In 2008, we launched the new blog-based method for dispute resolution that's unique in our industry. Almost immediately, we saw positive results from the new system:
  • Greater communication between the parties to the dispute and the Ethics Committee.
  • Enhanced opportunities for mediation of disputes.
  • A substantial decrease in the amount of time needed to gather information and vote on cases.
The blog made the Ethics system more transparent for all Tradeloop members. Our new, comprehensive guide to the Ethics process is part of our continuing effort to educate members about the process and make Tradeloop a safe and secure place to do business.

Visit our new "How the Ethics Process Works" page or learn more about other recent changes and upgrades to the Tradeloop Ethics process:

Information Systems Service - Refurbished servers, mainframe, & networking equipment

Since 1999, Information Systems Service, Inc. has provided refurbished computer hardware to a number of leading Canadian companies, individual users, and dealers in the United States. Based in Stouffville, Ontario, the company sources hard to find products and specializes in IBM, SGI, HP, Compaq, Dell, DEC, Sun, and Cisco products.

Sales Manager, Jim Clarke, who also manages day-to-day operations, began the company as a one-person business, and has managed its steady growth. He attributes the company's success to the strong relationships he's developed with customers.
"I have some large customers who have been happy with our service over the years. They're the foundation of our business and also a great source of referrals. When your current customers are sending you new customers, well, you know that you're doing something right."
Most of Clarke's customers are Canadian companies or individuals. Information Systems Service also sells directly to end users in Canada. In the United States, Clarke only sells to dealers, although he buys much of his inventory from the United States.
"We use Tradeloop to locate product to refurbish. Probably 90% of it comes from the United States, and I find much of that on Tradeloop. We also sell on Tradeloop. I have a lot of equipment available and get lots of calls from dealers in the United States."
Of course, Clarke explains, finding the equipment is only part of the job. Information Systems Service tests all equipment when it arrives and before it ships out the door. Other services include same day shipping for in-stock items and phone support for customers who have questions about their purchases.

The company is committed to quality, Clarke promises: "Everything we sell comes with a warranty. If we can't fix it, you get your money back."

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