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The Revere Ware name still pulls people in

I’ve always wondered by our Google advertising cost per click continues to go up over time.  We are the only ones that sell Revere Ware replacement parts, so you would think there isn’t much competition.  But while Revere Ware is no longer sold, the brand still does hold cache at seems, as plenty of large retailers draw people in with the Revere Ware name.  Take this search result for Bed Bath & Beyond:

When you actually go to the page, this is what you see.

None of that is Revere Ware of course.  But perhaps enough people still show interest in the brand that retailers like Bed Bath & Beyond know that some people will come to see if there is actually any for sale, and perhaps end up buying something else.

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revereware.org eBay auction categorizer is even better

If you aren’t familiar with our revereware.org site, it takes all the Revere Ware listings from eBay organizes them into categories and sorts items by size. 

We recently made some improvements to better handle the larger and larger number of listings for Revere Ware on eBay carried there.  It wasn’t too long ago that the total number of Revere Ware items on eBay surpassed 10,000 listings, and now it is almost at 13,000!

If your technically curious, the problem we ran into is that eBay only allows up to 100 pages of listings to be downloaded by their programming interface, and a maximum of 100 items per page, meaning, it was cutting us off at 10,000 items.  We had to break the search into smaller parts, by price, to be able to run two overall queries and get all the items listed.

Not ones to slouch, we also fixed a bug that didn’t show the correct number of items in some categories, and remove more of those annoying listings that list our parts from Amazon.com on eBay but at a higher price.

So enjoy!

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Funny eBay drop-ship listings

I got my dose of humor this morning finding a couple of listings for our parts on eBay.  If you aren’t familiar with drop-shipping arbitrage, it is the practice where people take items for sale off Amazon.com, for example, and list it on eBay for a higher price.  When someone places on order on eBay, they simply execute an order on Amazon.com for the item, thus, getting Amazon.com to “drop-ship” the order for them.

We don’t like the practice at all and have tried reporting these sellers to eBay, as this is a violation of eBay’s policies.  It inflates the price to the buyer, the buyer has no possibility of getting support from us, and we believe the practice results in a higher number of returns that affect our standing with Amazon.com.

Other than that, they are great! 🙂

The first thing I found humorous about the two listings is that they cut off the full title of the product, which makes them rather confusing:

To top that, they chose to replace the actual description with these very interesting one liners.

Trade gasket?  Venerate?

I’m not sure what fusing two sets actually does.

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Old style pan / skillet handles available on eBay

If you are looking for the older style pan and skillet handles used on early pans made between 1939 and 1947 or so, there are a bunch of what appears to be the large or x-large size on eBay right now (auctions one, two, three, and four).

Here is a good view of the difference between the new handles (top two) and the old style handles (bottom two) for which we don’t make replacements.

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Whoops, Amazon did it again

Once again we seem to have run afoul of Amazon.com and they removed both of our listings for pot handles, vintage and more modern variety.  These were our top-selling items there, with many hundreds selling every month.

The problem this time is the high return rate; we seem to average between 7-10% of these products being returned, which apparently is too high for Amazon.com.  We’ve had our listings suspended a number of times for the same issue; this time they opted to remove one of the listings, for the single screw pot handle, permanently.

With every previous suspension, we’ve tweaked our listings to try and make it less likely people will buy them just to try them on an item we specifically say it won’t work on.  For some reason, our listing now has reverted to the initial version from quite a few years ago, loosing all of these edits.

The problem with selling on Amazon.com is that they make it extremely hard to get any good information from the customers as to what is wrong.  Here are the comments we got along with returns in February (the few that actually gave us a comment).

  • Big
  • It is not broke, it is not compatible with my pot
  • Product was not what I was expecting and I do not want them.
  • will not fit on my stock pot
  • Par de mango para macetas (which translates to “Pair of potting handles”)

Not very helpful.  And the Fulfillment by Amazon take-it-or-leave-it no questions asked return policy precludes us from having a conversation with customers before a return is authorized, to determine whether there is actually a real problem, with either the product itself, or the products somehow getting damaged through the fulfillment process.  To make things worse, they appear to be returning damaged items back to inventory, such that they get shipped to another customer and rack up yet another return.  Here is just a few returns they processed.

Disposition Customer Return Reason Status
Customer Damaged Product damaged or defective prior to shipping Unit returned to inventory
Customer Damaged Item is defective Unit returned to inventory
Customer Damaged Product is not as described on website Unit returned to inventory

In dispute of the listing removal, we sent Amazon.com a three page brief on everything that was wrong with their service from a sellers perspective.  Ultimately, it was the fact that they appear to be putting defective or damaged items back into inventory that seems to have convinced them to allows us to relist the product.

I seriously doubt there is anything wrong with our actual product; we sell about half as many on our own website as we do on Amazon.com, and rarely ever receive a complaint about these handles not working.  I suspect that when customers have to pay for shipping, and return shipping is not free, people tend to actually do  some due diligence before buying, which probably avoids 99% of the potential issues.

I love the convenience of buying from a business like Amazon.com, but with all the problems from a buyers perspective and a sellers perspective, that I see every day/week/month, I have real concerns about continuing to use Amazon.com as either a buyer or seller.

Like Google, Amazon.com seems impossible to replace.  But complacency has felled many past giants.  Along those lines, for several months now I’ve been participating in a alpha test of a new search engine.  With almost no exceptions, I haven’t needed Google search since I started.  If Google can be replaced for search, it isn’t that hard to believe that an alternative to Amazon.com, for both buyers and sellers, might come along.  Here’s hoping.

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