TRADELOOP

Tradeloop's Member Blog And News: 2010

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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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Counterfeit Products: Three Members Banned From Tradeloop This Week

Tradeloop's Ethics Committee voted to ban three Tradeloop members after receiving member complaints and documentation about counterfeit products. All three companies are based in Shenzhen, China and, the complainant alleged, were "fabricating and selling" counterfeit SUN products. After investigating the complaints, the Ethics Committee voted to ban these three companies from Tradeloop:
  1. Gold Coast Technology - Case #5104
  2. ValuePlus International - Case #5102
  3. Evergreen International Trading Corporation Company Ltd. - Case #5103
All three cases were posted at the Tradeloop Ethics area. We encourage Tradeloop members to review the details of the cases as well as the discussion between the committee, complainants, and defendants at our Ethics blog. Members can also leave their own comments about the cases by clicking on the "Members" tab on the case details page.

Counterfeiting is a serious, worldwide problem that affects the value of the wholesale market and the bottom line of every legitimate dealer. We will not tolerate the sale of counterfeit material through Tradeloop Broadcasts and we encourage every Tradeloop member to exercise due diligence when working with unfamiliar dealers.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Deals

Tradeloop's new Broadcast layout shows you who you're dealing with - literally. Now you'll see a member's photo next to his/her Broadcast message - but only if they've uploaded their photo to Tradeloop. Have you? Your picture on Tradeloop makes your Broadcast stand out and increases your credibility with other members.

In studies of online reading patterns, most readers focused first on pictures with human faces. And, as much as people like the wide selection and immediacy of the Web, they also like to deal with "real" people. Your photo attached to your Broadcast will help call attention to your content and increase your interactions with other Tradeloop users.

Uploading a photo is quick and easy. Just visit your profile page and follow the instructions. Photo upload requirements:
  • File type: For best results, we recommend one of the following formats: JPEG, GIF, or PNG.
  • Image size: 85 x 85 pixels
  • File size: 100k
You can delete your photo and/or upload a new photo at any time. Modify your privacy settings to set rules for who can - and can't - view your profile picture.

Ok, so your picture on Tradeloop may not be worth a thousand deals - but even if it attracts just one new customer, well, that's time well spent!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Identity Theft, Counterfeiting, and Fraud: Notes From Tradeloop's Ethics Committee

During 2010, Tradeloop's all-volunteer Ethics Committee dealt with disputes about fraud, counterfeiting, identity theft, and more. Earlier this year, many cases and Fast Track Fraud Alerts involved identity theft. This fall, the Committee has worked on the difficult issue of counterfeit products.

And all year, the Ethics Committee heard complaints involving non-payment, failure to ship prepaid goods, poor quality products, and bounced checks. (Review the details of posted cases.) While a number of these cases did appear to involve fraud, other complaints were filed because of disagreements about the deal's original terms and conditions.

Tradeloop encourages all members to exercise due diligence before setting up a deal - particularly if you're approached by a non-member.
  • Purchase agreement: Spell out in detail shipping methods, payment terms, and product condition. You may even want to ask for photos of the product before completing the agreement.
  • Tradeloop member profile: Make sure the company address and contact information matches the profile information. Also look for warning flags we've added this year including: approval process information, status flags for banned & non-member companies, and warning notices on unverified accounts.
  • Payment methods and terms: Many members use wire transfers for payment, but check to make sure you're being asked to transfer funds to a verifiable bank account - not an untraceable store front wire transfer service.
While you're checking on other companies, advertise your own credibility and commitment to business ethics. Display Tradeloop's Ethics Seal on your Web site. It's a symbol of integrity that helps improve your conversion rates.

Learn more about the Tradeloop Ethics process, committee, and cases at the Ethics area of the Tradeloop Web site.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Warnings About Non-Members

We have many non-members searching at Tradeloop, so we've added another security feature to email messages. You'll see a warning if the person emailing you is a non-member.

When a non-member sends you an email using the email link on your Member Profile, the standard message now includes the text below:
Tradeloop NON-MEMBER
We made this change in response to a Tradeloop member's suggestion that we highlight when a sender is not a Tradeloop member. That notation adds credibility to email leads that do come from Tradeloop members and warns members to take additional precautions before setting up a deal with a non-member.

It's easy to check someone's membership status at Tradeloop. Just search for the company or individual's name at the Dealer Directory link. Membership status is listed directly under the company or individual's name. Non-validated listings also display a small warning icon:

warning Non-Member
Tradeloop Member


Are you sure the company you're dealing with is a Tradeloop member? Search the Dealer Directory and find out fast!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Set Your Own Tradeloop Start Page

What page would you like to see first when you log into Tradeloop? The Trading Floor? The Dealer Directory? You choose. All Tradeloop members can now customize their home pages.

Visit your Member Dashboard (Home) to select your start page. Custom home page options include:
  • My Account
  • Trading Floor
  • Dealer Directory
  • Broadcasts
  • Member Dashboard
The Member Dashboard also has a list of great tips to help increased the value of your Tradeloop membership. You'll find suggestions and tools to help:
All of these improvements were made in response to member requests and suggestions. Tell us what other features or changes would you like to see on Tradeloop!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

iPad Contest Extended - Make Ten Connections Before December 31

The response to our iPad contest has been extraordinary, so we've extended the deadline until December 31. Just make ten approved Connections before then and you're automatically entered into our drawing for a free iPad.

Many Tradeloop members are building their own private networks and there are a lot of open Connections requests. We want to enter every Tradeloop user into the drawing, so check your Connections page and respond to your invitations. Make at least ten Connections and you could be the winner on December 31.

It's easy to create your own dealer network:
  1. At the Dealer Directory, search for individuals you want to add to your Trusted Network.
  2. Go to the person's profile page and click on the "Add name to your Network" link.
  3. Type a short personal invitation at the "Request Connection" page.
  4. The Manage Connections link on your Tradeloop Account Home page displays the status of your network. It tells you who's Connected, who's invited you to join their networks, and lists the invitations you've sent.
This is your last chance! Send out your own Connections invitations and respond to the ones you receive. You could be the lucky Tradeloop member who celebrates the new year with a new iPad.

Learn more about the drawing at our official iPad Contest page.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Big Tradeloop "Thank You" To Our Members

This week, we're taking time to thank the many Tradeloop members who have contributed to the trading community in important ways. They've helped protect the community from fraud, encouraged new members to join, offered their suggestions to help us upgrade Tradeloop features, and more. For example:
  • Volunteer Ethics Committee members donate their time to investigate Ethics complaints and work with the parties involved to try and resolve the cases amicably. When that's not possible, they make the tough decisions to warn or even ban companies from Tradeloop.
  • Fast Track Fraud Alerts: Thanks to the Tradeloop members who suspected fraud and quickly brought it to our attention. Because of their diligence, we were able to warn the Tradeloop community about identity theft, fake companies, and other shady activities.
  • Refer a Friend members: They recommended Tradeloop to other wholesalers and helped grow the community, giving all members more trading options.
However, the biggest "thank you" of all goes to every Tradeloop member and registered user who took advantage of the new features we rolled out this year. Your comments and suggestions helped us add new services and upgrade existing ones. They range from new privacy options to social networking tools to the launch of the mobile version of the Tradeloop site.

But you deserve more than a simple thank you. We want to enter you into our November 30 drawing for a free iPad. Any Tradeloop user who makes 10 approved Connections before the deadline is automatically entered to win.

Learn more at our official iPad Contest page or go directly to the Dealer Directory and start making Connections.

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

iWant To Win An iPad - Don't You?

Time is running out to win a free iPad from Tradeloop. Any Tradeloop member or registered user who makes at least 10 approved Connections is automatically entered in the drawing. One lucky person will get an early present from Tradeloop.

Just entering the contest makes you a winner. You'll have a circle of trusted partners and your own private trading network. Tradeloop's Connections system allows you to:
There are no forms to fill out, no purchase necessary, and nothing to mail. Anyone with ten approved Connections is automatically entered in the drawing. Learn more at our official iPad Contest page or go directly to the Dealer Directory and start making Connections.

Do it today: there's not much time left!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Welcome Tradeloop's New Ethics Committee Members

Tradeloop's all-volunteer Ethics Committee has two new members: Marcia Young from Parallel Technology and Marc Drews from World Data Products, Inc. Many thanks to these members for their willingness to serve the trading community.

The Ethics Committee is a group of industry stalwarts who volunteer their time and work with Tradeloop staff to help resolve a wide variety of business disputes. Committee members are busy, but never bored: in just the past year, they've reviewed cases involving identity theft, fraud, counterfeiting, payment disputes, damaged shipments, and more.

Tradeloop's Ethics Committee is an indispensable part of our Ethics process. In every case, the Committee tries to guide all parties towards an amicable resolution and works to keep the process fair and transparent. See for yourself! Tradeloop members can review the details of posted cases at our Ethics blog.

We encourage every Tradeloop member to consider volunteering their time with the Committee. The membership requirements are straightforward. A prospective member must:
  • Be a Tradeloop member for at least a year.
  • Be in good standing with Tradeloop (e.g. active and paying members only).
  • Have no ethics complaints against them.
  • Pass a review by the current Ethics Committee.
We try to fill vacancies quickly because a full Committee can spread the work around more efficiently. To streamline the process, we maintain a waiting list of Tradeloop members who are willing to volunteer.

Would you like to serve on the Ethics Committee? There's no drawn-out application process - just contact Customer Service and ask to be added to the Ethics Committee waiting list.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Counterfeiting Allegations: One Reason We Banned a Tradeloop Member

Tradeloop's all-volunteer Ethics Committee closed Ethics Complaint #5089 last month and banned the defendant company - Sunrich Innovation, Ltd. The initial allegation was serious and deserved immediate attention: the complainant alleged that Sunrich was selling counterfeit HP equipment.

Surprisingly, that wasn't why the Ethics Committee voted to ban the company. Here's what happened.
  1. In August 2010, Tradeloop received reliable information that Sunrich Innovation Ltd. was selling counterfeit equipment and contacted the company about the Ethics complaint.
  2. Sunrich responded and denied the allegation.
  3. During its investigation, the Ethics Committee discussed the difficulty of proving allegations of counterfeiting and the best way to handle the issue in a way that's fair to everyone involved.
  4. Tradeloop contacted Sunrich and requested two business references within either the US or UK. Since the company had been trading with Tradeloop members, we asked Sunrich to make sure that the two customer references were also Tradeloop member companies.
  5. After a delay, Sunrich provided two references, but only one was a Tradeloop member and didn't respond to our request for the additional reference.
  6. The Ethics Committee voted to ban Sunrich from Tradeloop until they provide acceptable business references.
That's a long description of a simple process. We asked them for references. They didn't respond until their membership status was in jeopardy. They didn't respond completely. The Ethics Committee voted to ban them until they do.

Remember that the Ethics process is required for Tradeloop members. It's a condition of membership and we work to make the process as fair and transparent as possible. Members can view Ethics Committee questions and member responses for posted cases at the Tradeloop ethics blog.

Counterfeiting is taken seriously at Tradeloop. The Ethics Committee is discussing how to address allegations in a way that protects the rights of all parties involved. They welcome your comments and suggestions too! Please share your opinions here at the Tradeloop blog.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Please Congratulate These Longstanding Tradeloop Members

Please join us as as we congratulate these Tradeloop members who have been part of the trading community for 5 years or longer. Many have donated time to our all-volunteer Ethics Committee or provided other services to the community. All are valued members and we thank them for their commitment to Tradeloop.

November 1999
November 2000
November 2001
November 2002
November 2003
November 2004
November 2005
Do you have colleagues who haven't joined Tradeloop yet? Invite them to try out a 90-day membership through our "Refer a Friend" program. We'll give you a free month at Tradeloop for each person you refer who registers for a trial membership. Get started here.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Are You In the Drawing For A Free iPad?

There's still time to qualify to win a free iPad from Tradeloop. Just make ten approved Connections and you're automatically entered into the drawing. Our new Connections system lets you set up your own trusted network of dealers inside Tradeloop. Some features of the system include:
  • Privacy options: You decide how much information to share about your network.
  • Private Broadcasts: Send Broadasts just to your network or individual members inside your network.
  • Inventory search: Search the inventory of individual dealers in your Network.
Making Connections is easy:
  1. From the Dealer Directory, search for individuals you want to add to your Trusted Network.
  2. Go to the person's profile page and click on the "Add name to your Network" link.
  3. Type a short personal invitation at the "Request Connection" page.
  4. The Manage Connections link on your Tradeloop Account Home page displays the status of your network: who's Connected, who's invited you to join their networks, and invitations you've sent.
Learn more at our official iPad Contest page or go directly to the Dealer Directory and start making Connections.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Always Improving Security At Tradeloop

In addition to our rigorous membership verification procedures for new Tradeloop wholesale members, we've added an additional security step at the sub-account level. Members can create as many sub-accounts as they need, but each sub-account will have to be reviewed/approved by Tradeloop before that user can send Broadcasts.

Some Tradeloop members have contacted us recently because they were concerned about unapproved members sending out Broadcasts. They'd receive a Broadcast, click on the sender's profile, and see a warning that the user had not been approved.

Now, new sub-account users will receive a message telling them that their sub-account is awaiting approval. They'll be able to send Broadcasts as soon as that process is complete. This is part of our commitment to protect the integrity of member accounts. We also require that a company name change or user name changes be reviewed by Tradeloop staff before they're approved - even if it's just to correct a spelling error.

Fraud and identity theft are no laughing matter. They ruin reputations and destroy trust between dealers. At Tradeloop, we'll continue to maintain strict standards that protect individual accounts and the entire trading community.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Why Did We Approve That Tradeloop Member? See For Yourself.

Do you ever wonder why we approved a company? Now you can see for yourself, right on the Company Profile page. Members can review our notes, see what information we evaluated, and why we approved an account.

Look for the link in the System Stats section on the Company Profile page as shown here. Click on the link to view the company's "Membership Approval" page:

A transparent process helps members make informed business decisions, perform due diligence when dealing with new customers, suppliers, or set up a Trusted Network using our Connections system. At Tradeloop, we take fraud seriously - from account approval to complaint resolution with our Ethics Committee.

We tested this system first with our volunteer Ethics Committee and they responded with enthusiasm:
Youngin Kim, EJ Tech Solutions: "This will really help us squash fraud. I think every Tradeloop member should have access to the information."

Benjamin Ingwersen, Frontier Computer Corporation: "This will help us address scammer and counterfeit issues head on."

Mike Van Scoy, MSRC Co.: "With as much fraud as currently exists in the secondary market, this will help a lot. I'll definitely be checking other companies to see how they were approved."
Will you use this information when you're setting up deals? Check it out and share your opinion here at the Tradeloop member blog.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Picture Yourself on Tradeloop - Upload Your Photo Now



Have you ever wanted to see who's on Tradeloop? Not just their company name or contact information or Broadcasts, but a photo too? Now you can. Scroll through your Trusted Network to view user pictures and upload your own photo to your Tradeloop member profile to personalize your account with a photo of yourself.

See the photos to the right? These Tradeloop members have added a personal photo to their individual profiles. It's quick and easy. Just visit your profile page and follow the instructions to upload your photo.

Photo upload requirements:
  • File type: For best results, we recommend one of the following formats: JPEG, GIF, or PNG.
  • Image size: 85 x 85 pixels
  • File size: 100k
You can delete your photo and/or upload a new photo at any time. Modify your privacy settings to set rules for who can - and can't - view your profile picture.

This is a quick and easy way to personalize your Tradeloop account. Add your personal photo now.










Thursday, October 21, 2010

Parallel Technology: Providing Solutions and Making It Happen

Founded in 1998, Parallel Technology quickly became a leading supplier of new, used, and refurbished Sun equipment. The company is small – less than a dozen employees – and that's intentional. Parallel's business model can best be described as "lean and tight" and focused on the Sun market.

Company president, Ken Bush, stressed that during an interview with Tradeloop.
"We've found our niche and it works. If you need a part the next day and call our competitors at 3:30pm, there's a chance that the deal will get caught up in bureaucracy and a drawn-out approval process. That doesn't happen at Parallel. The person you talk with has the authority to make the deal and get your product shipped."
That's a critical service for Parallel's main customer base: maintenance companies that require 24/7, 365-day access to replacement inventory. The company's location in Torrance, CA, just a few minutes from the Los Angeles airport allows Parallel to easily accommodate emergency shipments. There are also regional stocking locations in Minnesota, Phoenix, and Atlanta.

The company maintains a sizable inventory that includes parts specially requested by customers. Finding inventory isn't a problem, Bush said: "With the economy and recession, there's a lot of equipment out there and I can be selective and buy high quality product." Parallel takes quality seriously: its testing protocol includes a full load and overnight test on systems. Customers can request additional testing as well as changes to the standard 90-day warranty. The company's customer-driven focus allows Parallel to tailor a contract to meet individual customer requirements.

Parallel Technology's flexibility and responsiveness keeps customers loyal, Bush explained. "80% of customers have been with us from day one." But of course, new customers are always welcome and Parallel finds many of them at Tradeloop.
"Our customer base is Tradeloop's membership. That's the biggest plus for us because there's a lot of common ground. 98% of our market is wholesale dealer-to-dealer trading worldwide. That's who we connect with at Tradeloop."
Parallel's focus on Sun is an advantage in the industry, he added. "We're the Sun experts and that puts us a step ahead. Even our competitors' tech support staff call us when they get stuck."

Responsiveness and product knowledge is important in the wholesale industry and that's the basis of Parallel's business model.
"We stand behind our products, we test our products, and we have what we say we have. Our sales people are the decision makers in the company and customers don't have to wait for us to ask permission to set up a deal. We don't compete with each other: we're a team. We work fast and we get things done."
Does your company have a story to tell? Contact us at Tradeloop to volunteer to be featured in one of our company profile posts.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Buy & Sell With Just Your Trusted Network

Tradeloop's "Send a Broadcast" page is now easier to use. In response to member suggestions, we modified the page layout slightly to help you select your "Send" options.

When creating a Broadcast, you can either send it to particular subscriber lists or create your own private Broadcasts for members of your Network only. Select either option by clicking on the appropriate radio button:

When you select the "Send to My Network only" option, the keyword checkboxes disappear. That eliminates confusion about whether you need to select both "My Network" and further narrow the recipients by keyword. Here's how the page section looks when you select the "My Network" option:

If you decide to send your Broadcast to particular keyword lists instead, just select that radio button and the checkboxes reappear.

Do you have any comments or suggestions about this Tradeloop feature - or any other features? Share them with us and other members here at the blog.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

New Privacy Settings For Your Tradeloop Network

Tradeloop's new Connections system lets you create your own trusted network of dealers and now we've added additional privacy options. You control how much information is available about you and your network and decide who can see your member profile, your photo (if you've uploaded one), your network, and even your email address.

Visit your account's privacy settings page to edit/update these options. The privacy levels range from totally open (anyone can view your information) to completely hidden (nobody can see it). Select the privacy options that work best for you right now. You can change them whenever you want, as often as you want.

We encourage all Tradeloop members to form their own personal networks of trusted dealers and we're offering this incentive: a chance to win an iPad! Make at least 10 approved Connections and you're automatically entered to win.

Update your privacy options and start making Connections now.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Trustworthy Companies Use Tradeloop's Ethics Seal

Tradeloop's Ethics Seal is a trust mark that helps you improve conversions on your own Web site. Free to members, our Ethics Seal program shows customers that your company adheres to a strict code of ethics. Third-party trust marks make a difference: numerous independent studies have shown that they reassure shoppers about the reliability of e-commerce Web sites.

When you join Tradeloop's Ethics Seal program, you get to display the seal on your own Web site. Visitors who click on the seal are taken to a custom verification page on the Tradeloop site that identifies your company as a Tradeloop member, describes our member validation process, and outlines membership requirements. The page is all about your company; there's no Tradeloop sales pitch.

Improving conversions couldn't be easier. Sign up now!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Please Congratulate These Five-Year Members

Please join us as as we congratulate these Tradeloop members who have been part of the trading community for 5 years or longer. Many have donated time to our all-volunteer Ethics Committee or provided other services to the community. All are valued members and we thank them for their commitment to Tradeloop.

October 1997
October 1999
October 2000
October 2001
October 2002
October 2005
Do you have colleagues who haven't joined Tradeloop yet? Invite them to try out a 90-day membership through our "Refer a Friend" program. We'll give you a free month at Tradeloop for each person you refer who registers for a trial membership. Get started here.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Take Tradeloop's New Mobile Site For A Test Drive!

Easily access Tradeloop from your mobile phone or other handheld device with the new Mobile version of the site. This "lite" version gives you search capability and easy access to the three most popular areas of Tradeloop:Visit the Mobile site here or click on any of the links above to view a particular area.

Here's a screen shot of the mobile version of the Broadcast page. Note the minimalist, clean layout that saves bandwidth and downloads quickly. Each page contains a search box at the top to give you quick access to the information you need.

If you need access to the full Tradeloop site to update your company description, create Broadcast filters, or to access other features, no problem. Just click on the "Full Site" link at the bottom of each mobile version page.

Take the new mobile version for a test drive
and tell us what you think! Share your opinions and offer feedback here at the Tradeloop member blog.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Create A Private Broadcast List At Tradeloop

Send your Broadcasts to just your Trusted Network or even to individual dealers within your network with the new Broadcast option at Tradeloop. Use the "Send to My Network Only" option at the top of the "Send a Broadcast" page:


You can even send your Broadcast just to individuals in your Network. The Broadcast preview page lists all the members of your Network. Leave all boxes unchecked to send the Broadcast to your entire Network or click the checkbox to exclude one or more members.

For instance if your Broadcast is a WTB for a Dell part and some members of your Network only handle Compaq, you can check the boxes next to those names and exclude them from the Broadcast.

This new option is just one benefit of our new Connections system at Tradeloop. Have you started making Connections and creating your own trusted network of dealers? Now is the time to start: just ten approved Connections automatically enters you in our drawing for a free iPad!

Learn more at our official iPad Contest page or go directly to the Dealer Directory and start making Connections.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Free iPad Is Going To A Tradeloop User. Could It Be You?

There's still time to win a free iPad from Tradeloop! Just make 10 approved Connections and get started creating your own Trusted Network of dealers within the Tradeloop community. That's all you have to do - no forms to fill out, no emails required, and no purchase necessary. When we draw for the iPad, anyone with 10 approved Connections is automatically entered to win.

Here's how:
  1. From the Dealer Directory, search for individuals or companies you'd like to add to your Trusted Network.
  2. Go to the person's profile page and click on the "Add name to your Network" link.
  3. That link takes you to the "Request Connection" page where you can type a short personal invitation.

  4. The Manage Connections link on your Tradeloop Account Home page displays the status of your network: who's Connected, who's invited you to join their networks, and invitations you've sent.
Learn more at our official iPad Contest page or go directly to the Dealer Directory and start making Connections.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Show Broadcasts From Just Your Trusted Network

Customize Tradeloop to show Broadcasts just from your Network and use the drill-down options to filter the results by message type, keywords, and geography. We've made it easy to search directly from the sidebar on the Broadcast page.

With just a few clicks, you can review all "Compaq WTS Broadcasts sent by your Trusted Network members in Europe" - or any other combination of search variables.

Here's a screenshot of the new side navigation bar on the Broadcast page.

My Network Only: Click on this link to view all Broadcasts from your Trusted Network. Then, use the options below to refine your search.

It's easy to start a new search: just click on the "Clear Filter" link at the top of the results lists.

We've made these search enhancements in response to Tradeloop member suggestions and comments. Tell us what you think about them here at the member blog.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

New Broadcast Keywords - Share Your Suggestions!

Look for two new keywords when you send your next Tradeloop Broadcast. "Apple" and "Processors" are now Broadcast list options you can subscribe to - or send to.

We've changed the Broadcast system so we can easily add new keywords and we'll be adding even more over time. But we'd like some member input first. What new keywords would you like to see?

Share your opinions and suggestions with us here at the Tradeloop member blog.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Please Congratulate These Five-Year Members

Please join us as as we congratulate these Tradeloop members who have been part of the trading community for 5 years or longer. Many have donated time to our all-volunteer Ethics Committee or provided other services to the community. All are valued members and we thank them for their commitment to Tradeloop.

September 1998
September 1999
September 2000
September 2001
September 2002
September 2003
September 2004
September 2005
Do you have colleagues who haven't joined Tradeloop yet? Invite them to try out a 90-day membership through our "Refer a Friend" program. We'll give you a free month at Tradeloop for each person you refer who registers for a trial membership. Get started here.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Broadcast Just To Your Trusted Network On Tradeloop

Use Tradeloop's new "Send to My Network" Broadcast option to send your Broadcasts to the entire Tradeloop community or just to the trusted network you built using Tradeloop's Connections system.

The new Broadcast option is at the top of the "Send a Broadcast" page. Select the "Send to My Network only" radio button or scroll down on the page to select relevant subscriber lists for your Broadcast. You can even manage your connections from the Broadcast page. Just click on the "My Network only" link to view your approved Connections and view pending Connections.

Here's a screen shot from the Broadcast page:

Note that when you send a Broadcast to just your network, the message is only visible to people in your network!

You can even send messages just to individual members of your network. Once you enter your Broadcast text and go to the "Preview Broadcast" page, you'll see a list of your network members. By default, the Broadcast goes to all your network members, but you can exclude one or more members by checking the "Exclude" checkbox next to their name.

Now is the time to be making connections within Tradeloop and expanding your dealer network. If you make 10 approved connections before October 1, you could win a free iPad (get more details about the contest and the system's privacy options).

The Connections system lets you build your own network of trusted dealers and even restrict your Broadcast messages to just your network. Start building your network today.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Modify Your Company Description to Add Rich Text & Formatting

A complete company description on Tradeloop increases your credibility with other dealers and your visibility to search engines. With the new Rich Text Formatting (RTF) option, you can now make your company decription more visually appealing as well.

The RTF options let you format your description using:
  • Bold text
  • Italics
  • Underlining
  • Ordered and unordered lists
  • Text colors
  • And more....
Here's how the new Company Description text box appears when you edit/update your Member Profile:

The RTF options let you format your description using:
  • Bold text
  • Italics
  • Underlining
  • Ordered and unordered lists
  • Text colors
  • And more....
Consider the display differences between these two profiles:
JJ Smith & Associates is a leading global supplier of refurbished equipment, off-lease IT hardware, and technical services. We're headquartered in Nashville, TN and specialize in products from leading OEMs including Sun, Cisco, HP, Nortel, Lucent, and EMC. We maintain an in-stock inventory averaging more than $20 million and offer same-day shipping on most orders. Contact us today for pricing and information or visit our Web site at JJSmithAndAssociatesEquipmentSales.com
This version is much easier to read with formatting added:
JJ Smith & Associates is a leading global supplier of refurbished equipment, off-lease IT hardware, and technical services. We're headquartered in Nashville, TN and specialize in products from leading OEMs including:
  • Sun
  • Cisco
  • HP
  • Nortel
  • Lucent
  • EMC.
We maintain an in-stock inventory averaging more than $20 million and offer free, same-day shipping on most orders. Contact us today for pricing and information or visit our Web site at JJSmithAndAssociatesEquipmentSales.com
Read more tips on how to create a good company description and then consider updating your company description information to make it more useful to other dealers and search engines. Edit your account information at your Edit Profiles page.

Have you tried the new formatting options? What do you think? Share your opinion here at the member blog.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Expand/Collapse Feature Added To Broadcast Page

The Broadcast page has a new option that allows you to quickly scan just the titles of Broadcasts or display all the content of each post. Use the "Show Full Text" checkbox to toggle the display on and off.

In the example image below, the checkbox and text are underlined in red:


Check the box to read the content of each Broadcast and uncheck the box to return to the default page display, which is a list of Broadcast titles.

The Broadcast section is one of the most active parts of Tradeloop: members are constantly posting both public and members only Broadcasts. Looking for a specific item? You can search the Broadcasts using the search box at the top of the page.

Remember though: we offer other tools and reports that also help you find the products you need quickly and easily:
We're continually upgrading the Tradeloop site and adding new features - often in response to suggestions from members. Share your ideas with us and other members here at the blog or contact Customer Service.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Use The Ethics Process - Not Broadcasts - To Resolve Disputes

Last week, we had several incidents where Tradeloop members used the Broadcast system to disparage other members. This is a serious violation of our terms of service, so we want to remind everyone about the procedures in place to help resolve disputes and alert the community to fraud: the Ethics process and Fast Track Fraud Alerts.

Tradeloop's Ethics process is governed by our all-volunteer Ethics committee. They're a group of industry veterans who work with the parties involved in a dispute to help resolve it amicably. When that's not possible, the committee may take actions ranging from issuing a warning to banning a company from Tradeloop.

Members are required to participate in the Ethics process as a condition of their Tradeloop membership. Our committee members and staffers work hard to keep the process fair, transparent, and speedy. Once cases are resolved, members can review the details of posted cases and offer their own comments at the Ethics blog.

Until a case is decided and posted though, we keep the information private to protect the privacy and reputations of those involved. That's why we can't allow members to bypass the Ethics committee and use the Broadcast system to distribute disparaging information: it's not fair to the other company involved.

Fast Track Fraud Alerts are used to quickly warn the community when we get information that someone may be trying to defraud members - such as a case of identity theft. That situation is quite different than a dispute between two members over contract terms or product quality. Members submit Fraud Alert requests, which are reviewed by the Ethics committee before a warning message is sent.

We encourage everyone to use the Fast Track Fraud Alert form if they suspect fraud and to use the Ethics process to get help resolving a business dispute with another dealer.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Changes to the "Send a Broadcast" Page

We've changed two settings on the "Send a Broadcast" page to make it easier to send a Broadcast message.

Previously, many Tradeloop members created custom Broadcast signatures and used them on every Broadcast - IF they remembered to check the "Use Signature" box. So a member suggested a small modification: "Why not use the signature by default and ask members to unclick the check box if they don't want to include it?"

So we did. Now, when you send a Broadcast, the system will remember your signature settings and use them as the default on your next Broadcast.

Members will see another change on that same page as well. Only Trial Members have to click the checkbox to agree to the Broadcast terms:
This broadcast is not intended to solicit employees from other Tradeloop members. This broadcast is not offensive, harmful, or disparaging to anyone in any way.
Tradeloop members have already agreed to these terms as a condition of membership, so asking them to agree over and over was redundant.

We get many ideas for new features and site improvements from the Tradeloop community, so please keep sharing your ideas and concerns with us. Contact Customer Service with your suggestion or post it here for discussion at the member blog.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Search Box Added to Member Dashboard

Last week, we asked Tradeloop members to comment on the new Member Dashboard and offer their comments and suggestions. You did and we've responded by adding a search box to the page.

One of our Pro members suggested the change, noting: "I want to be able to search for product. The search bar needs to be front and center." Here's the new layout:

All other functions on the page remain the same: you can complete your member profile, watch a training video, make Connections, and more. Are there other additions or modifications that you think would make the dashboard more useful? Please share your suggestions with us.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Let Search Engines Index Your Retail Inventory Listings

Use Tradeloop's End User program to expand your retail customer base and increase your company's visibility to online searchers. The program gives our wholesale dealers a way to market their products to end users at retail prices. With the End User program, you can post your retail stock lists for sale to end users and receive sales leads from public users.

As an added benefit, Google and other search engines index your retail inventory listings so they display in search results. This helps you promote your products to anyone searching the Internet - not just those searching at Tradeloop.

The End User program is available to all Tradeloop wholesale members and set-up is free. You only pay when a searcher clicks on your listing and visits your profile. Learn more about the End User program's options, features, and benefits:
Remember: end users can only search inventory that's listed as part of Tradeloop's End User program; they never see wholesale prices. The End User program is a way to market your products to end users and retail prices without eroding the value of your wholesale pricing. At the same time, it increases your company's online presence. What a deal!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Receive Tradeloop Broadcasts Via RSS Feeds

Most Tradeloop members subscribe to Broadcasts and have the information delivered to their email inboxes. Did you know that Tradeloop offers another option? RSS feeds. They're an easy way to quickly scroll through Broadcasts without opening your email client.

To subscribe to our Broadcast RSS feed, click on the Broadcast tab in the top navigation bar. The RSS feed links are in the left navigation bar. You can subscribe just to Public Broadcasts, Dealer Broadcasts, or all Tradeloop Broadcasts.

Click on the link for the Broadcasts you'd like to subscribe to and choose your RSS feed reader:

Note: if you aren't already using RSS feeds, you may have to install a plug-in for your browser or another application. Just search for "RSS feed readers" to find the one that works best for your needs.

Are you already using RSS to receive Broadcast information? Share your opinions here at the member blog.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Learn More About Your Account Status With the Member Dashboard

Tradeloop's "Member Dashboard" is a new tool that helps you get maximum value from your membership. Each time you log into your Tradeloop account, you'll see your personalized Member Dashboard automatically. It displays your account status at a glance:
Here's a screen shot:


There's even a short training video to help new members learn about Tradeloop. Long-time members might enjoy it too. The video describes many of our tools and options that help you manage your account, watch the market, and connect with other buyers and sellers. It's a quick reminder about features that are automatically included with your Tradeloop membership.

Are there any additional features you'd like to see on this page? Please send your comments (good or bad!) to Customer Service or share them here at the member blog.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Better Search Results In Tradeloop's Dealer Directory

We've enhanced the search function for Tradeloop's Dealer Directory to increase the usability and accuracy of search results. Now when you search, the dealer's phone number and email address displays in the results list. Members can now contact each other directly from the search results instead of having to navigate to the company profile to find that information.

In another change, the new search function ignores special characters in company names when displaying results. Previously, if you were searching for "X-Y-Z Company," you had to enter the company name with the dashes. But now, searches on "XYZ" will return results for "X-Y-Z Company" - and any other dealers that match that search term.

The directory also has an advanced search function, that allows you to search by member information, geographic region, and/or company specialty in a single click.

Both search enhancements improve Tradeloop's new Connections system as well; the Dealer Directory is the primary way to find other dealers to connect with. Have you created your own dealer network within Tradeloop yet? Remember that any member with 10 approved Connections by October 1, 2010 is automatically entered to win a new iPad.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Celebrating Tradeloop Member Anniversaries for July

This week, we're kicking off a regular monthly feature that highlights Tradeloop members who have been part of the trading community for 5 years or longer. We considered calling them "Trusted Users" or "Trusted Members," but our stringent membership verification procedures mean that all Tradeloop members are "trusted." Instead, we'll celebrate and honor our longtime members once a year during the month they joined Tradeloop.

And here they are!

July 1998July 1999
July 2000
July 2001
July 2002
July 2004
July 2005
Congratulations to all these Tradeloop members and thank you for being part of the community.

Do you have colleagues who haven't joined Tradeloop yet? Invite them to try out a 90-day membership through our "Refer a Friend" program. We'll give you a free month at Tradeloop for each person you refer who registers for a trial membership. Get started here.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

New Inventory Search Option: Search the Inventory List of Individual Dealers

A new Trading Floor search option gives you more flexibility: search on inventory posted by all dealers or on inventory posted by a particular dealer. If you're using the Connections system to set up your own trusted network of dealers within Tradeloop, this is a way to quickly check the inventory of those dealers first. If they don't have what you need, you can broaden your search to the entire Tradeloop community with just one click.

Here's how it works:
  • Go to the user profile or company profile of the dealer/company you want to search.
  • Click on the inventory total link

  • You'll be taken to the Trading Floor where you'll see the dealer's complete inventory list. Use the search box to find a particular item.
  • Toggle between the dealer's inventory listings and all dealer listings using the radio buttons next to the search box:

Learn more about Trading Floor search functions and/or how to create your own dealer network with our Connections system. Remember that we're offering a chance to win an iPad: just add 10 new approved Connections to your trading network before October 1, 2010 and you're automatically entered to win.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Upload Unlimited Inventory With A Standard Membership

Tradeloop's Trading Floor is more than a list of parts for sale. Use the information contained in the Trading Floor database to make pricing decisions, see who is searching on your inventory, and see a list of the most popular searches. All Tradeloop standard members can upload an unlimited number of parts and offer them for sale at Tradeloop.

Uploading is easy. You can either enter parts individually (which works for a small number of items) or upload a list of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of parts using a comma-delimited (.csv) file. Complete instructions for uploading are at the Tradeloop Web site.

We encourage all Tradeloop members to upload their inventory lists and use the Trading Floor to locate items and research the wholesale market.
  • Tradeloop's Search History reports use the Trading Floor information to determine the most popular searches and tell you who has been searching on your listings.
  • The Price History reports help you track price fluctuations over time. You can see the high, low, and average wholesale prices for individual part numbers. To view a parts price history, go to the Trading Floor, enter the part number, and click on the part number link to see a price history report on that item.

Remember, Tradeloop Standard members can upload an unlimited number of inventory items to the Trading Floor. We've recently updated the search results display to prevent end users from seeing any portion of dealer-only results. Learn more about how to upload your inventory list or contact us at Tradeloop for help.

Monday, July 19, 2010

New Privacy Options For Tradeloop Connections System

Tradeloop members use our new Connections system to create their own dealer networks within Tradeloop. The system is similar to LinkedIn, but offers more security because it's limited to the Tradeloop community. And now, we've added additional privacy options that let members decide how much information (if any) to share about their networks.

We updated the system at the suggestion of a Tradeloop member who told us that he would rather not share the identities of the members in his network. At Tradeloop, member privacy is one of our main priorities, so we created these new privacy options:
Privacy Settings can be adjusted to allow users to:
  1. Make their Tradeloop Connections Networks visible to (or hide from) the public.
  2. Make their Tradeloop Connections Network visible to (or hide from) members.
  3. Make their Tradeloop Connections Network only visible to other people in their Tradeloop Connections Network.
  4. Make their Tradeloop Connections Network totally private
Visit Profile Settings to adjust Network Privacy Settings.
You decide how much information to share about your Network. Just visit your Account Profile to adjust your privacy settings.

We encourage all Tradeloop members to form their own personal networks of trusted dealers and we're offering this incentive: a chance to win an iPad! Make at least 10 approved Connections before October 1, 2010 and you're automatically entered to win.

Have you used the Connections system? Share your experience here at Tradeloop's member blog.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Make Connections at Tradeloop & Win a Free iPad.

On October 1, 2010, one lucky Tradeloop user will win an iPad. That person could be you. Just make 10 approved connections Tradeloop iPad contestin our new Connections system and you'll be automatically entered to win.

The rules are simple: all you need to do is build your personal dealer network through the Connections system (learn more about how it works):
  1. Each user must get ten approved connections.
  2. One of our amazing users will win a free revolutionary iPad.
  3. Non-Members are eligible to make connections and receive Broadcast and Search Tradeloop with no monthly fee.
The Connections system allows you to form your own personal network of trusted dealers and find new business opportunities. With our new privacy options, you decide how much information to share about your Network. You can make your entire Connections Network visible to the public, to other Tradeloop members only, to other people in your Network, or even make it totally private. Visit your Account Profile to adjust your privacy settings.

Remember, you have to make 10 approved connections before October 1st and you'll be automatically entered to win the iPad. Don't wait until the last minute; start building your Network today.

See official rules for eligibility and more information.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Veteran Group Technology: Specializing in discounted, refurbished Cisco equipment

Founded in 2007, Veteran Group Technology, LLC (VGT) has grown quickly into a one-stop shop for companies seeking budget prices for high-quality new and refurbished networking equipment. The company specializes in Cisco, Sun, and Brocade networking hardware, supplying a number of Fortune 500 companies, governments, and educational institutions worldwide. With its staff of certified technicians, large inventory, and free shipping, VGT promises high quality, superb service, and low prices.

With years of experience in the IT industry, company president Frederick Franks understands the challenges facing IT departments. He founded VGT, a service-disabled veteran-owned small business, to provide products and services to companies forced to cut their IT budgets – even as the demands on the staff and equipment increase.
"With the economy the way it is, our customers are looking for good deals and that's what we offer. We've seen a big increase in requests for quote and sales. Our pricing is 50-60% lower than retail and that's really attractive to companies with budget cutbacks."
Customers also appreciate the wide selection of hardware, Franks explained. VGT specializes in Cisco and Sun networking equipment, but also offers products from HP, Juniper, Dell, and other OEMs. Other services include hardware maintenance and IT services such as network monitoring and security.

With such product diversity and a challenging economic environment, Franks is always looking for high quality used equipment to buy and new customers to sell it to. He says that VGT's Tradeloop membership has given the company a boost in the worldwide market:
"I use Tradeloop mainly to sell products through the Broadcast system. It's by far the best interface of any competing services. It's user-friendly, easy to understand, and the customer support is great. I've been invited to join other trading networks, but I'm not looking to go anywhere else."
When new customers purchase VGT products, Franks noted, the quality products and personal service keep them coming back. "We offer a one-year warranty on all refurbished equipment and a 90-day cash back option on used products." But customers rarely return products due to defects. "We have six Cisco-certified technicians on staff and we test and check refurbished and used products."

Franks said that quality is critical to the company's success because companies depend on their networks for sales, communication, and other critical business operations.
"When customers buy from Veteran Group Technology, they know that customers come first with us. We offer first-class service, free shipping on most products, and we have a knowledgeable staff that helps customers before and after the sale."
Does your company have a story to tell? Contact us at Tradeloop if you'd like to be featured on our member blog.

Friday, July 9, 2010

How Should We Screen & Approve New Tradeloop Members?

As we continue to refine and revise our Tradeloop member validation procedures, we'd like input from community members. What would you like to see in terms of validation of new members and how should we determine qualifications for membership?

Here's a brief description of what we already look for and/or require when a company applies for membership. Note that there are more checkpoints, but we keep them confidential to thwart fraudulent companies.
  • Check their IP address.
  • Verify email address and phone number.
  • Search for public listings and compare the addresses listed there with the information provided to us.
  • Search for public complaints against the company.
If some of the information isn't correct or seems suspicious, then Tradeloop's customer support staff will contact the prospective member and ask for additional information, such as industry references or other documentation.

It's a time-consuming process, but worth the effort to help stop fraud.

We also encourage Tradeloop members to do their own due diligence and visit a member's company profile before agreeing to a deal. The profiles display how long they have been members and it shows a message if they are non-members or if their information has not been verified.

We're always updating and strengthening our anti-fraud procedures at Tradeloop and we'd like member input on this important topic:

What do you think should be required of new members?
  • Bank references
  • Trade references
  • Other documentation to establish identity
Anything else? Tell us what you think here at the member blog.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

New Searchbox Increases Usability at Tradeloop's Web Site

We've updated the search boxes at Tradeloop to make the search function easier to use and understand. The most noticeable change is that the search boxes are more prominent - displayed at the top of the home page, Broadcast page, Trading Floor, Ethics Case list, and other areas. They also offer helpful tips about search terms and keywords.

For instance, here's the Home page search box. It's the same as the Trading Floor search and reminds you that you can search on a number of different options:


The Broadcast search box invites you to enter either the Broadcast Subject or a term found in the body of the Broadcast message, whether it's a generic term like "laptop" or a specific part number.

And we recently added a search function to the posted Ethics cases. Because this is a relatively new feature, we've included some tooltips to help users understand the search function. Just click on the small blue dot with the question mark for an explanation of different search options:


The Tradeloop Dealer Directory also has a new search box with text to remind you that it's possible to search by company name, individual names, phone numbers, and many more keyword combinations.

We encourage you to visit the Tradeloop Web site and try the new search boxes. Do you think they're more useful and easy to understand? Are there some features and options that you think could benefit from additional tooltips? Let us know! Leave your comments and suggestions here at the member blog.