Tradeloop's Member Blog And News: July 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, 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.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Saved Search Email Alerts Easier To Identify

We've tweaked the Saved Search email function to make it easier to identify and scan Saved Search email alerts.

Previously, the "From" email address was Tradeloop Customer Service. We changed it to read "Tradeloop Saved Search." That makes the email's purpose more clear and also allows you to set up an email filter to route Saved Search alerts to a designated folder.

This is a small change, but most members say they welcome any tool that helps them manage their overloaded email inboxes. A 2008 New York Times article estimated that United States businesses lost $650 billion in productivity due to worker interruptions from email and other distractions. We can help with that problem! Use these Tradeloop member tools to manage your time more efficiently:
We frequently roll out new tools and features to make Tradeloop a more valuable business resource for members. Watch the member blog for new announcements!