Tradeloop's Member Blog And News: March 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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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Search History – New Market Research Tool Launched

Tradeloop's new Search History report page is a valuable market research tool. The versatile options help you find just the information you need - when you need it! Mix and match the sort options to see all searches by dealers on your inventory within the past 7 days, all searches by public users within the past hour, or any other combination that makes sense for your search.

The Search History reports are easy to find: access them from the Trading Floor page. The Search History text link is located underneath the main menu, and it takes you to the main Search History page that contains four report options:

1. Top searches on Tradeloop: The top five part number searches are displayed. Click on the part number to see which Tradeloop members have inventory. Click on the "who searched" link to see a report listing the date, search term, searcher's identity, and the number of results the search returned.

Alternatively, from the main Search History page, you can click on "Full Report" to see a list of the top 100 searches on Tradeloop.

2. Recent searches on Tradeloop: The five most recent searches are displayed, along with the identity of the searcher, and the number of results returned by the search. Clicking on the "Full Report" option gives you a list of recent searches by date, search term, searcher, and number of results returned.

3. Top searches on your company's parts. Uses the same format as the top searches on Tradeloop report, but only for parts in your company's inventory list.

4. Recent searches on your company's parts. The same format as the recent searches on Tradeloop report, but it returns results only for parts in your company's inventory list.

Each report contains a number of sort options and date ranges. For instance, you can limit the results to "Dealers only," "Public only," or "Dealers and Public" searchers. Date ranges are all searches within 7 days, 1 day, or one hour.

The new reports benefit both buyers and sellers by making it easier to match buyers looking for particular items with with sellers who have inventory. Dealers can monitor the market, see who's searching on their parts, and accurately price inventory based on supply and demand.

Get up-to-date information about searches matching your inventory by setting your email preferences to receive search reports hourly, every three hours, or daily. Just go to your Account page, click on "Email Preferences," select the "Matching Inventory" report and select your preference. You'll immediately begin to receive email reports. You can stop the emails at any time just by unclicking the check box.

We encourage all members to visit the Search History page and become familiar with the search functions and options. We think you'll be amazed by the amount of helpful market information contained in these simple, easy-to-understand reports.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Big Blue Products: Authorized Remarketing Distributor of HP and Compaq Products

Big Blue Products is a leading supplier and authorized remarketing distributor of HP and Compaq computer parts and equipment to dealers, maintenance companies, large end-users and self-maintainers worldwide. Founded in 1984 by Jeff and Marie Alnwick, the company is based in Huntington Station, New York. With over $25 million of in-stock inventory and a support staff of HP-certified technicians, Big Blue Products offers value, experience, and quality.

With the phrase "Big Blue," in its name, some customers are surprised to learn that Big Blue Products sells HP and Compaq products only – not IBM. Company president, Jeff Alnwick, admits that the name now "is a complete misonmer," although during the 1980's the company did focus on IBM. In fact, the Alnwicks fought IBM in court over the name, winning the right to keep "Big Blue Products" in 1989. "No way we were going to change it after that!" Alnwick says.

"Big" is also an adjective that describes the company's inventory, Alnwick notes. "We have about 250,000 parts in stock with a market price of $25 million." Much of that product carries an HP warranty – generally one year. "If it doesn't have a warranty, it's checked by an HP-trained, Big Blue technician, and then carries our standard 30-day warranty. Our failure rate is just six tenths of one percent."

The significant partnership that Big Blue Products developed with HP and Compaq led Alnwick to obtain numerous HP certifications. Big Blue is one of only 10 "HP Authorized Parts Resellers" in the United States and one of only 3 "HP Authorized Remarketing Distributors." That last designation is the most recent certification – and quite an important one because it opens many new marketing options, explains Alnwick.

"Our ability to sell HP-warrantied parts was the impetus for Big Blue's return to Tradeloop. I'm the only distributor in the US who is authorized by HP to sell HP-warrantied parts or Big Blue warrantied parts. I looked at Tradeloop and saw that Compaq and HP account for about 60% of parts bought and sold, so we're a perfect fit. I can provide parts from my inventory, and the customer knows it's a legitimate purchase in the eyes of HP."

Alnwick also plans to expand his customer base using the Tradeloop End User program. "That has a two-pronged attraction. I can present the same inventory in two different modes in two different marketplaces. We've only sold to resellers before, but the End User program gives us a new marketplace."

Alnwick expects that end users will be particularly interested in HP "Renew" products and systems. These products are refurbished to "like-new" specifications and carry an HP warranty. "They offer a great value to end users because buyers get "like new" quality at a lower price."

This search for value in the marketplace has made Big Blue Products a surprising beneficiary of the struggling economy, notes Alnwick. Customers are demanding more value for their money. "They aren't as interested in buying the latest and greatest products. Now, the focus is on repair or refurbished products that are like new, but have a lower cost."

Taking nothing for granted though, Alnwick says that Big Blue Products will continue to focus on its core business goals:

"Our philosophy has always been to keep product in stock and stand behind it. We ship 75% of orders within 24 hours and only ship from our own warehouse. People know our product is going to work and are willing to pay for quality. We don't even do that much advertising; customers just find us – like a beehive to a bear."

Note: Tradeloop publishes member company profiles on a monthly basis. Would your company like to be featured? Contact us!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Alert Members to Fraud the "Fast Track" Way

Tradeloop's "Fast Track Fraud Alert System" is designed to help members alert the community to fraudulent dealers. Using this system, we can quickly notify members of possible fraud without sidestepping the Ethics Process.

Here's how the system works:
  1. The Broadcast form contains an option to send a Fast Track Fraud Alert Broadcast. Click on the link and provide the information. Include as much specific information as possible about your concern. That help the Ethics Committee make its decision.
  2. The Broadcast message goes immediately to the Ethics Committee for review.
  3. If the Ethics Committee agrees that there's a possibility of fraud, then Tradeloop will broadcast a message to the membership that the account in question is under review.
  4. The complainant proceeds with filing an Ethics Complaint.
Note that a Fast Track Fraud Alert doesn't go directly to the membership. It's important to have an outside party review the allegation first. That helps ensure due process because the review is designed to weed out frivolous or malicious complaints.

We only use the Fast Track system in cases where fraud is alleged. Fraud involves activities that can lead to criminal prosecution - like using stolen credit cards, selling stolen merchandise, or identity theft. All other complaints - like disputes over shipping charges or payment terms - should be handled through the Ethics Complaint process.

The Fast Track system isn't a substitute for the Ethics process; it's merely a way to quickly alert the membership to possible fraud while the formal Ethics complaint is under evaluation.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Broadcast Digests More Mobile Phone Friendly

We've modified the format of Broadcast digest emails to make them more readable on mobile phones, including iPhones. This change gives members better access to Tradeloop information from anywhere they have a mobile phone connection.

Have you signed up to receive Broadcast digests? Members can elect to receive information about all activity on Tradeloop in a short digest form. Digests are sent via email either hourly, every 3 hours, every 6 hours, or daily.

Some members prefer to subscribe to Broadcasts that pertain to specific vendors or products. You can even filter those Broadcasts by geographic area.

Manage your digest and Broadcast preferences from your member account page. The "Email Center" link allows you set your email preferences, filter spam, and chose which digests or Broadcast messages you'd like to receive.