TRADELOOP

Tradeloop's Member Blog And News: May 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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Friday, May 28, 2010

Use Broadcast Filters to Customize Your Tradeloop Broadcast Digest

Tradeloop members can opt to receive Broadcast emails in real time, several times per day, or daily. Now, the new Broadcast filters give you even more control over your inbox. Create personalized filters and receive just the Broadcasts you want, when you want them.

Previously, members could subscribe to particular Broadcast lists and then specify when they'd receive emails sent to the entire list. You could receive messages real-time or in digest form every few hours or daily but you still received all messages sent to that particular list. Now, you can set individual filters that are targeted to your business needs and receive only the Broadcasts you need.

For instance:
  1. You have an immediate need for 10 Compaq motherboards. Create a Broadcast filter that sends you those WTS Broadcasts in real time.
  2. You're always interested in lots of used Dell desktops to refurbish and watch the market for good deals. Create a Broadcast filter that sends you those Broadcasts every 6 hours.
  3. Your company is looking for new business contacts in Europe who buy/sell used memory. Create a Broadcast filter that watches specifically for those items in that geographic area and receive the Broadcasts on your schedule.
What do you do when you've found those 10 motherboards from example #1? Either delete the filter or make it "inactive." You can set up as many filters as you need and turn them on and off as business conditions require.

Learn more about Broadcast filters here at the blog and learn how to create them at our Broadcast Filter FAQ page.

Members: Have you tried the new Broadcast filters? Do you like the new system?

Share your comments here at the member blog.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

New Broadcast Messages Provide More Information in an Easy-to-Read Format

With Tradeloop's new Broadcast email format it's easier to read messages on your mobile phone, scan your email inbox for a particular sender, access the message content - and more. We launched the new email format last week and are already getting feedback from Tradeloop members.

Important changes include:
  • Mobile phone accessibility: Broadcast emails now display in full size, making them easier to read on an iPhone or other mobile device.
  • Content on top: We eliminated the administrative information at the top of the message. Now, if your email reader uses a preview pane you can see the message content right at the top.
  • Broadcast filter name displays: The filter name displays at the top of the Broadcast so you can see exactly why you're receiving a particular Broadcast - such as "WTS Dell laptops in Europe." Learn more about Broadcast filters and how to set up your own custom filters.
  • See the sender name: Previously, all Broadcasts displayed the "From" address as "broadcast@tradeloop.com." Now, you see the actual sender's email address, making it easier for you to quickly scan your inbox and search for a particular sender.
  • Subject line now says "Tradeloop," followed by the rest of the subject. That's how you know it's a Tradeloop Broadcast message.
Note that you may want to adjust the filters in your email account. Some Tradeloop members had an email filter set up based on "broadcast@tradeloop.com" that sent Broadcast messages to a special folder. Now, instead of filtering based on sender, you may want to filter messages based on the "subject" line instead.

We've received comments and feedback already from some Tradeloop members. If you haven't commented yet, let us know what you think.

What do you think? Do you like the new message format or do you prefer the old format?

Share your opinions with our staff and with other Tradeloop members here at the member blog.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Tradeloop's Customer Service Staff Gets A Workout

Tradeloop Customer Service staffers slammed the door on a fraudulent trial membership application last week. After noticing some irregularities in the application, they did extra research that uncovered even more issues with the applicant.

When a prospective Tradeloop member wants to join the community, we check the basics first, including - but not limited to:
  • Is the phone number correct and in service?
  • Does the email address work and is it tied to the company URL?
  • Does the Web site list a street address and does it match the address given to us?
  • Is the credit card number valid?
There are a number of other items we check and verify, but we don't publicize those. If something looks odd, then a staffer contacts the applicant and asks for more documentation. In this particular case, Tradeloop contacted the applicant several times before rejecting the membership.

Member verification can be a time-consuming process and we take it seriously. Tradeloop's Business Development Manager, John Beanland, described the process this way:
"We go above and beyond for our customers. We have invested and continue to invest money and man hours to develop and maintain a strict validation and verification process. Using the tools we have developed and some intuition we were able to catch him and block him from the site."
Our system isn't perfect, but we work hard to keep fraudulent companies out of Tradeloop. Using the Fast Track Fraud Alert system and the Ethics Process, we can even warn the community about companies who aren't part of Tradeloop.

Thanks to our internal controls and the hard work of our Customer Service department, we're keeping Tradeloop a safe place to do business.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tradeloop's Search Function Faster & More Accurate

Tradeloop's new search function returns better results faster. You no longer have to enter a full part number to get relevant results and a search that used to take 10 seconds now returns results in milliseconds.

Previously, a Tradeloop search required a complete part number in order to return a result for that particular item. So for example, a search for RZ28-VA would return results, but if you searched RZ2 no results would appear. The new search is similar to Google's search function and is better for Tradeloop users because it provides more relevant results.

We upgraded the search function in response to customer feedback about the previous search. Members complained that it was sometimes both slow and ineffective. We asked one of those members, Richard Baldwin of IT-Recoup, to test the new search. He liked it:
"It provides much more detail for anyone that is looking for specific parts."
Do you agree? Check it out at Tradeloop's Trading Floor, then share your comments here at the member blog.


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Monday, May 17, 2010

Top Tradeloop Blog Discussions - Have You Shared Your Opinion?

Two Tradeloop blog posts this months generated a flurry of comment and discussion. Both were Member Discussion posts about inventory: the pros and cons of posting prices and the issue of "ghosting" inventory (posting items you don't actually have).

Here are some excerpts from the discussions:

Why don't members post prices?
  • "We normally do not post prices because our prices will change often.
    [...]

    if someone wants only a few it costs us a lot more per unit to cover the cost to process that with internal labor, packing, and admin work, however 1,000 units and that cost goes way down.


    We also have product all over the country so depending on where the customer is could have some bearing on the price as well."

  • "I have seen too many clients and vendors lately duped by brokers without capital or credit. Pricing and availability is so visible, they can make it appear they have it all!"

  • "Also, it would help if people post their target prices on WTBs, but this should be voluntary."
How should we handle members who post inventory they don't have?
  • "You're going to lose at least 25% of your members if you start doing anything like you are talking about. A broker usually is selling someone else's product or inventory and dealers do the same."

  • "I’m for a '3 strikes you're out' style of enforcement for something like this."

  • "Not every company has 'real-time' inventory so you will be losing a lot of business. We have an inventory of over 1000 line items and it changes by the minute."

  • "Create a tab for positive of negative marks ala ebay."

  • "There is a distinct line between advertising a 'list' for sale, or gathering 'bids.'

  • "...it will be difficult to enforce these situations, or even to have the capability and resources to investigate and identify the malicious situation."

  • "I would like to see Tradeloop investigate this issue further and implement some type of falsifying infraction. Help keep the businesses who mean business alive and quell the abilities of no name startup broker-only companies from gulping up so many of our valuable consumers."
The "ghosting" inventory post seems to be a hot button issue with many Tradeloop members. Please share your opinion on both issues with us and other Tradeloop members.

Why don't members post prices?
How should we handle members who post inventory they don't have?

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Best Broadcasting System Just Got Better

Get more control over your email inbox. Enhanced Broadcast filters - Tradeloop's newest system upgrade - save you time by delivering more relevant, targeted leads directly to your email on the schedule you select.

Tradeloop members can set their own filters to completely customize your digest - instead of wading through a list of all the Broadcasts. Use our new "mix and match" filter options to set your preferences based on:
  • Manufacturer
  • Geographic Region
  • Product Keywords (ie "Lexmark printer")
  • Want to Sell or Want to Buy
  • Broadcast Type
  • And more….
You can also tell the Broadcast system you're on vacation and set a return date. This stops Broadcast delivery to you until the morning of your return date. It doesn't affect your Tradeloop membership, parts lists, or any other option pertaining to your account.

We transferred everyone's existing Broadcast settings into the new system, so no member is required to make any changes. However, this new tool offers so much power and flexibility that we strongly recommend you try it out.

You can edit or delete your filters at any time. We even give you the option to make a filter "inactive." That's useful for specific items you need on a sporadic basis. You can receive Broadcasts only when you're actively watching the market for that item.

Learn more about the new Broadcast filters at the Broadcast Filter FAQ page.

Back in December, we asked members what they wanted from the Broadcast system. Well, here it is. Tell us what you think! Post your comments and suggestions here at Tradeloop's member blog.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Member Discussion: Some Tradeloop Members Don't Post Prices - Why?

Only Tradeloop members can view wholesale prices and search engines don't display wholesale prices from inventory lists. Even so, some Tradeloop members are reluctant to display prices when they upload inventory. Why?

It's an important issue for many buyers. We've had a number of new Tradeloop members express their frustration about the lack of pricing. They complain that some members don't want to display their "best price," but would rather haggle via phone or email. Buyers however, prefer to know the price in advance.

We want to remind all Tradeloop members about the benefits of posting prices:
  • Better search results position. Listings that have prices displayed are always listed before parts without prices – even for Premier members.
  • More reliable price history data to help you track demand and market changes.
  • Increased sales! Buyers are more likely to contact sellers who post prices.
Remember that retail members never have access to wholesale prices, so you can post prices without eroding the value of the market.
Buyers: Would you rather call and haggle over the price or are you less likely to call those sellers?

Sellers:
Do you post prices? Why or why not?
Share your comments with the Tradeloop community here at the member blog.