Tradeloop's Member Blog And News: October 2009

About Tradeloop

My photo
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.

Promote Yourself

Does your company have a story that might interest our membership?

Let us know and you may see your name in print. We're looking for members to write case studies on. Contact us here.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Online Data Solutions, Inc.: A "Stocking Dealer" With Worldwide Reach and Small Town Service

Since 1996, Online Data Solutions, Inc. (ODS) has built relationships with a number of trusted partners worldwide. In 2000, the company began focusing on what was once a niche market: fiber channel products. ODS stocks products from Brocade, EMC, McData, NetApp, QLogic, Emulex, Finisar, and HP/CPQ, including SAN/FC switches, optical transceivers, HBAs, and storage equipment. They also offer component level repair on Dialogic, Brooktrout, NMS, Brocade, Emulex, QLogic, and McData boards, blades, HBAs, and switches. Over time, ODS has developed strong relationships with broker, leasing, service, and dealer companies around the globe.

The company is headquartered in New Hampshire and offers same-day shipment to both domestic and international customers. Crystal DeAngelo, Sales & Marketing Director at ODS, described a challenging marketplace where the company's inventory "constantly changes in size and market value." It's vital to have a reliable system of inventory management in order to give customers consistent pricing and delivery date information.
"Often we’re dealing with customers who need things yesterday, so it’s important that we maintain an inventory that’s visible and accessible. Whether it’s blind ship, drop ship, overnight, or pick-up, we’re ready and waiting when they call at ten minutes to 5 with the exact part they need."
Of course, that kind of service requires a steady supply of inventory from reputable suppliers. ODS has reliable sources for inventory, but DeAngelo said that Tradeloop is still a particularly valuable resource for buying and selling:
"Tradeloop is an incredibly helpful tool in this industry. It helps us form business relationships with dealers that we might not otherwise have ever found. We use it most often to broadcast our specials and excess inventory to our fellow dealers. Being backed by Tradeloop and the ASCDI’s ethics departments also gives customers the assurance that we are a reputable organization willing to adhere to a higher standard of practice. In an age of counterfeit parts and 3rd party inundation, it’s always helpful to know which companies you can count on."
Due to the worldwide economic slowdown, many IT departments are dealing with smaller budgets and are looking for ways to cut costs. Many depend on ODS for board repair, DeAngelo said. "ODS has been able to offer a sensible solution for bad and damaged parts. Instead of buying a part at retail price, they can have that part repaired for 1/3 the cost. We offer that affordable alternative in a time when everyone can afford to save some money."

ODS began doing business just as the Internet was changing from a closed, chat-room based tool into a global communication and economic force. Like other successful companies, ODS has adapted – effectively utilizing a Web site, online marketing sites, and other Web-based tools, DeAngelo noted. But still, the basic culture of the company has endured:
"Online Data Solutions has always been a hand-shake operation. Most of the companies that have remained through the years have rightfully evolved to utilize the World Wide Web to their advantage, but still you will find those old-schoolers making phone calls all day, and getting out there and shaking hands. That’s the kind of business relationship you can’t put a price on "
Another reason for the company's success and longevity is it commitment to customer service, DeAngelo stressed. "Over the years we have developed invaluable relationships with companies who know they can depend on us to stock, fairly price, quickly ship, and stand behind the product they need."

When a customer wants it, ODS usually has it in stock. DeAngelo emphasized the company's market presence as a "stocking distributor," not a broker.

"We don’t have to wait for anyone to make a deal. We can pull the product you need right from our shelf and ship it to you today. We are proud to serve as a dealer’s dealer. Whatever your requests, we’re happy to try to meet them on an as-needed basis."
Each month, we profile a Tradeloop member on our blog. Would your company like to be featured? Just contact Customer Service and ask to be placed on the waiting list.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Help Us Redesign Tradeloop's Broadcast System

We're about to redesign Tradeloop's Broadcast System and we'd like your input. We have a number of suggestions from members already, but we'd love to hear more about what Tradeloop members want and need from Broadcasts.

Some suggestions we've already received include:
  • Block User option that will allow you to block users who are spamming the Broadcast lists.
  • Keyword tagging - add any manufacturer name you want to your Broadcast.
  • Allow End Users to post simple WTS/WTB requests. But they still won't be able to access any wholesale pricing or dealer contact information!
  • Larger "Manufacturer" list to make it easier to target Broadcasts and generate more precise WTS/WTB Broadcasts.
  • Option to block specific users from searching a company's inventory list.
  • Ratings system
  • Better lead generation that makes it easier for dealers to sell to End Users.
Our staff members are already at work on some of these, but we'd like to hear more about what you like/dislike about the Broadcast system - and welcome all suggestions for new options and functions!

For instance, one of our most recent additions to the "Send a Broadcast" option was the ability to add a custom signature line to your Broadcast. That very popular change began with a suggestion from a Tradeloop member who wanted the ability to personalize his Broadcast messages.

The Broadcast system is one of the most valuable parts of your Tradeloop membership because it helps you locate dealers who have an immediate need to buy/sell particular products. The Broadcast system upgrade will be a major project through the end of the year, so please send in your suggestions! Contact us by email, phone, Live Chat, or just comment here at the blog.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Use the Dealer Directory to Search for Dealers by Continent, Country, or City

Looking for a reseller in Tauranga City, New Zealand or Wroclaw, Poland? What about Montevideo, Uruguay or Winnipeg, Canada? It's easy to find them using Tradeloop's Dealer Directory. You can search by country and city and/or filter results by company name, business specialty, primary business, and more.

Use the drop down search boxes to search by country and city. Filter your results further by searching on a particular company name, person's name, phone number, or postal code. Still too many search results? Tradeloop's search options give you even more choices.

Just select one of the other search options on the page. For instance, here's how to find a recycling/disposal company in Texas:
  • Select United States in the country drop down box.
  • Select Texas in the State box.
  • Refine the search even more (if needed) and limit the search to a particular city in Texas.
  • Page down to the "Browse by Primary Business" section and select "Recycling/Disposal."
The Dealer Directory search gives you a number of mix-and-match options:
  • Browse Alphabetically
  • Browse by Geography
  • Browse by Specialty
  • Browse by Primary Business
  • Browse by Manufacturer
Tradeloop's Dealer Directory is a quick and easy way to find the a dealer who has what you're looking for - or who sells what you need to buy.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Search History Upgrade Adds "End Users" To Search Filter

Tradeloop's search tools help members monitor and research the market. You can see who's searching on your inventory, the most popular searches, most recent searches, and more.Our latest upgrade gives you yet another option: members can see who was searching and limit the results to dealers, registered end-users, or public searchers.

See how easy it is to use. The Search History text link is located underneath the main menu. It takes you to the main Search History page. Select one of the four options. The filters appear at the top of the results page:

This new option lets you customize your search to match your business objectives. Members who only operate in the wholesale market can filter out results from end user searches. Other members who do both wholesale and retail can quickly generate separate reports for each market.

Learn more about the Search History function and how to use Saved Search. They're both valuable features that help you quickly locate buyers and sellers on Tradeloop. Use Search History to see what both wholesale and retail buyers are looking for and let the Saved Search report help you find what you need!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Price Your Parts For More Sales and Better Search Results Position

What's the best way to increase your sales and grow your customer base at Tradeloop? It's simple: just price your products when you upload your parts lists. Priced parts appear at the top of the Trading Floor search results; the pricing information contributes data to the Price History database; and - most important for sellers - buyers are more likely to contact sellers who list their prices.

A top listing in the Trading Floor search results page helps grab buyers' attention and draw them to your parts. Listings that have prices displayed are always listed before parts without prices – even for Premier members. Search results on the Trading Floor are displayed in this order:
  1. Pro member results with prices
  2. Regular member results with prices
  3. Pro member results without prices
  4. Regular member results without prices
Some searches return hundreds of results. A busy customer is most likely to scan the top few, find a price he likes, and make a purchase. Pricing your parts helps boost your search position and encourages a buyer to contact you first.

Pricing parts also increases the reliability of the price history charts. Traders use these helpful research tools to track pricing trends and monitor price changes in the market. More pricing data makes the information stored in the database more reliable and valuable to traders.

Finally, buyers are more inclined to contact sellers who display prices. We've had several new members complain about the lack of pricing for some items. They report that dealers won't advertise their "best price" online: they want would-be customers to call and haggle instead.

That's frustrating to a busy customer who needs to complete a deal quickly and move on to the next critical task that's on his desk.

Some sellers are reluctant to display any pricing because they're worried about eroding the wholesale market. But remember: only Tradeloop members can view wholesale pricing information!

Tradeloop is committed to protecting the integrity of the wholesale market:
Adding prices to your wholesale parts lists doesn't reveal anything to retail users. But it does encourage other Tradeloop buyers to contact you first when they need to buy.

Tradeloop is a wholesale trading community organized to give dealers a safe place to do business, exchange information, and find reliable buyers and sellers in an online market. We protect your pricing and contact information by limiting access to other Tradeloop members only.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Ethically Speaking - October 2009

During September, non-Tradeloop member,, was banned from the Tradeloop trading community (Case #5042). The complainant charged that Nautilusnet agreed to purchase equipment but then reneged on the deal. The Ethics Committee couldn't examine the facts of the case because Nautilusnet failed to respond to the complaint.

Participation in the Ethics process is a requirement for all Tradeloop members. Companies that fail to respond to an Ethics complaints can and will be banned from the community.

One pending Ethics complaint was closed with no action taken because the complainant failed to provide enough information to go forward with the complaint.

The Ethics Committee is currently reviewing and voting on a dispute between two Tradeloop members over a shipment of laptop computers. Two new complaints were filed during September. Both cases involve payment disputes with Tradeloop members filing complaints against non-members.

In fact, the majority of Ethics complaints at Tradeloop are filed by Tradeloop members against non-members. We encourage you to contact your fellow Tradeloop members first when buying and selling. We constantly update our member verification and fraud prevention techniques because making Tradeloop a safe place to do business is a top priority.

Learn more about the Tradeloop Ethics process and pending complaints at our Ethics blog.