The Buy Local Sell Global Game or Shopping For eBay Profits

The Shop for eBay Profits Game is best played while on vacation in a strange city, or even in unfamiliar parts of your own city – you can play with any amount of friends, and the activity makes great fodder for reality game show home videos. Here is how it works: Friends meet and shop somewhere they have never shopped before. Make it a special expedition. Print a map showing boundaries using an online service.

Each player buys one HERO ITEM, whatever catches their fancy, but it should be an item they think is rare and worth more money online. Its also important the item be purchased during that expedition, and the buyer save the receipt. At the end of the days shopping trip, each player is asked to describe their Hero Item, and why they believe it will sell for more money online.

The Shop for eBay Profits game is simple. The Hero Items are photographed and posted for sale under one generic account in a four day auction on eBay. Patience is rewarded. When all the auctions close, the player with the most successful return keeps all the monies and the other unsold items.

In the worst case scenario, its the player who lost the least, and if nothing sells then the player who bought the least expensive item wins. But it doesn’t have to be this way. I’ve played very exciting games where every Hero Item sold, and the secret is simple. When shopping for profit on eBay, which is a global market, buy one-of-a-kind pieces that are rare and valuable with specialty collectors in mind.

This game requires a local search service and an eBay account. When friends travel outside their area of comfort, they are usually overcome by the sudden urge to shop, and as the travel game coordinator, you can help them.

Do Not Shop in Tourist Traps! Use a local search service to select in advance the low rent shopping opportunities where it’s still possible to ‘shop for profits online’. When my wife and I stayed in Vancouver, I executed a local search from the Best Western Hotel at 718 Drake Street. I used Poynt on Microsoft® Windows Live Messenger or AIM® to navigate my group away from trendy tourist areas downtown and into more sensible mercantile venues where game winning bargains might be found. Complete with Microsoft® Virtual Earth scalable map interface, Poynt is a whole new way to look at neighborhoods and select better hunting grounds.

Powered by Yellowpages.ca for Canadian listings and Superpages.com® for American listings, Poynt is a very efficient geographic business data dispensary that yields accurate maps and easy-to-understand driving directions; its perfect graphic tool for the Shop-for-Profit on eBay game.

Use Smart Keywords in Local Search

There are certain keywords that veteran eBay shoppers now avoid; words like bargain and thrift, and discount have lost their original meaning, and now access a world of cheap Chinese imports and low end souvenirs. Also, on the other end of the spectrum, do not type the word vintage into Poynt in Canada for that word has come to mean premium high culture antiquities and over-priced ‘vintage’ used clothing. In Vancouver the word will generate results for vintage jewelry right beside the hotels first, and then in the heart of the commercial district at George and Granville St. This is a high rent, high traffic area and should be avoided by Shop-for-Profit gamers.

Shop in Older, Not-So-Glamorous Parts of Town

Use keywords like Second hand and used furniture to find real bargain centers. I search for used electronics because this inevitably points me to pawn shops and other places that accept used merchandise from desperate people at rock bottom prices. Salvation Army depots, Goodwill and Value Village are all great places to shop and you should look for these in the results. The secret here is to find the central donation store where the merchandise is collected to be distributed throughout the city. I know it sounds avaricious, and more than a little unfriendly, but this isn’t about charity, it’s about buying the perfect Hero Item and enjoying a spectacular return on your investment.

Get More Results, and even More Results

After selecting the appropriate keywords in Poynt, smart shoppers accept the invitation to view more results, and after that they get even more results – you literally see the big picture as the map zooms out to show the whole city. Put twenty or thirty points on the map and you will begin to see thrifty regions. This is how you shop for neighborhoods, and its how I uncovered the gold mine junk / pawn shops on West Hastings St at Cambie Street and Cordova St and Pender St, in what is commonly called Gastown. My best discovery was a store called Mintage located at 320 Cordova Street West Vancouver, BC.

The Shop-for-Profit eBay Game is a thrilling, real life Price is Right where players use new technology to leverage the difference between local and global markets.

A Requisite Metal in Global Market

Being a precious metal for over 5000 years, the demand for silver is increasing day by day. The first major source of silver found in Anatolia (now known as Turkey) dated back to 4000BC until these days. The metal had been crafted all over the world, although Armenia was privileged to develop silver by more sophisticated processing. In 1st century AD, the Laurium mines were the largest individual source of world’s silver production. These mines were producing about 1 million troy ounces a year located close to Athens. Because of Greek domination in mining silver, the Punic Wars brought in Rome rule. Hence, the exploitation of Spanish silver extended to other parts of Europe. Despite Spain dominated in silver the first 1000 years AD. However, the actual production took place in the period from 1000 – 1500 AD. This was as a result of increased in mining technology and major locations.

Yet again silver mining and production was exploited by Spain for the next 375 years because of establishment of colonies in South America (Bolivia and Peru) and Mexico. Up to 85% of the world silver production during those periods was credited to Bolivia, Peru and Mexico. Later on the production of silver increased because of entry of major players such as the United States and other countries. As a result of their initiatives, the world production by the 1870s leaped from 40 to 80 million troy ounces a year.

In the 20th century, the uphill expansion of technologies brought revolution in the global market as a result of that silver production climbed up to 190 million troy ounces a year. Hence, a number of mines were established in the United States, Australia, Canada, Europe and Central America. Much of the reformed technologies were established with the introduction of steam-assisted drilling, mining, mine dewatering, and improved haulage enhancing the ability to handle ore and increasing the of ores that contained silver. After sometime, the world acknowledged improvement in electro-refining techniques where silver can be easily separated by other base metals. Thus, it paved the way for increasing sources of silver.

At present, silver is being used in three specific areas such as traditional, industrial, and new technologies. In 2010, the estimated annual figures revealed that silver over 487 million ounces were utilized in industrial applications. Silver over 167 million ounces used in the jewellery market as well as 50 million ounces were used to produce silverware. The minting coins were produced by using silver over 10 million ounce. On an account of soaring demand, the prices on silver are rising like anything else. The statistics revealed that silver price will touch new highs in upcoming days.

TV Goes Global – The New Wave of Global Marketing

Internet video isn’t going away. In fact, it’s everywhere. An Advertising.com study whose results were announced a few weeks ago indicate that 66 percent of Americans watch streaming video at least once a week.

As a company, how can you capitalize on that audience–especially if you don’t have access to the technology to make it happen?

It turns out that you don’t have to. The answer may be a third-party video hosting site that can house your marketing campaigns and other brand-relevant programming. One such company that does this is Wi-Fi TV. Wi-Fi TV allows you to purchase your own global Internet TV channel and control the programming to suit your marketing goals.

Using video to reach your audience isn’t just technologically savvy, it creates a branding experience your customers will crave. Here are four reasons why featuring your content through a third-party video site can help your brand succeed.

1. It takes the responsibility off you and your staff to create content, host and support it. If you’re a small business, you simply don’t have the technological resources at your disposal that a third party does. While Wi-Fi TV doesn’t create content, it can refer you to companies that do. It then can host your content and provide the support necessary to make it a reliable resource. Wi-Fi TV also provides additional resources, such as online shopping carts, online chats and even online party rooms, which allow your customers to learn exclusive information about your business. As an added bonus in terms of content, you can also learn from the successes of other companies’ video campaigns, such as those of BloombergTV and Brigham Young University, right on the site.

2. You’ll boost your marketing efforts with a multimedia marketing campaign. Now more than ever, you’ll need to combine traditional marketing methods with multimedia ones in order to capture customers. With Wi-Fi TV, for instance, you would participate in a partnership with the company in marketing your channel, and the benefits would include everything from joint press releases that are electronically distributed to a self-named Wi-Fi TV station, a relevant URL and other marketing promotions and Web events that ensure traffic.

3. You’ll get traffic you won’t get on your own site. At a third-party site, you’ll have all the benefits of other video that’s drawing other customers–customers who could be your customers if they see your programming. Wi-Fi TV has lots of global channels where all types of users are visiting to find out about the companies that matter to them. The site has been attracting users for two years and has enough video available to draw and retain consistent viewers. You can also use these traffic opportunities to leverage advertising sales on your channel to defray the costs of ownership.

4. You can reach an audience with purchasing power. That aforementioned Advertising.com study determined that 56 percent of online video users are age 35 and older. By owning a global Internet channel, you can capture that audience–an audience with the money to spend on your products.

Some Benefits To Owning Your Own Global Internet TV Station include:

1) Ability to place as little or as much programming you want, sequenced in any way you want, on a Wi-Fi TV Station that can be seen locally, nationally and globally by anyone with a high-speed Internet connection.

2) Ability to stand out in any given area by having your own Wi-Fi TV Station, to provide information, instruction, sales data, entertainment, shows, of any kind you wish.

3) All that is required to create programming is an inexpensive video camera, anything from a very simple one camera recording to a more elaborate production will work fine for delivery over the Internet.

4) Ability to sell advertisements on the Wi-Fi TV Stations, or to sell your own products, or to attract customers to your brick and mortar business, or to attract members or subscribers, or to promote what you have to offer.

5) Ability to present your viewpoint in any way that you wish, with freedom of speech.

6) First Wi-Fi TV Stations in any Wi-Fi TV category become the “default” Stations for that category, meaning additional clout and viewership.

7) Ability to create a following or cater to your audience in a way that no magazine, newsletter or traditional means of communication can.

8) Wi-Fi TV Live Chat will enable viewers to discuss your programs online visible by all viewers.

9) Ability to place links to products you have for sale from the Wi-Fi TV product listings on the pages where your Wi-Fi TV Station is accessible.

10) Ability to schedule special events, fundraisers and other special shows.

11) Wi-Fi TV Stations can be viewed on PCs, laptops, cellphones, TV screens, and big screen TVs, anywhere a in the world a high-speed Internet connection is present.

12) You get to choose up to six Wi-Fi TV categories or countries (and in one category, if you are the first Station paid for in that category, you become the default Station)

13) Your Wi-Fi TV Station plays for FREE for anyone in the world who signs up to Wi- Fi TV (and there is no cost for membership)

14) You get to have up to six ON DEMAND videos online in addition to the Wi-Fi TV Station, and you can change these (so, for example, a real estate agent can have different property videos which the user can click on and view without waiting for them to come up on the Station). These on-demand videos will appear on one category page of your choice.

15) And much more

As Internet video usage grows, your company will grow right along with it. With joint press releases, you can inform your customers they can access your business online at any time. You’ll find your business reaching new heights.

A Wi-FI TV station costs a one time fee of $25,000 and an annual maintenance fee of $5,000. Your business will be targeting new customers in new markets, which will offset the price of state-of-the-art technology.

Think Global, Act Now: Nine Steps to an International Marketing Strategy

As technology breaks down geographic and cultural communication barriers, even small businesses can often tap into the global marketplace. If you think your business is too small to pursue international business opportunities, think again. Get a jump on those opportunities by following the 9 steps outlined below.

Research
Unless you spend excessive amounts of time in foreign countries or soak up knowledge like a Jeopardy Champion, you’re probably not able to make an informed decision about a global strategy without doing your homework first. Start with the low-hanging fruit: talk to your coworkers, peers, family and friends. Find out what you can about countries and markets with the greatest potential. Read relevant print and Web publications voraciously (I prefer eMarketer, Economist, Wall Street Journal and Yahoo! for general business and market research). Compile information about various opportunities and determine which markets have the greatest overall potential (in case you’ve been hiding in a cave, here’s an emerging and growth market cheat sheet for you: China, India, South America, Russia and The Middle East).

Build
Most small to medium-sized businesses do not have the resources on staff to undertake a global market strategy. Assuming there are sufficient opportunities abroad, it’s time to determine how to develop appropriate resources (i.e. in-country sales and support, logistics and fulfillment). In the build vs. buy decision, many companies prefer to minimize financial risk by partnering with companies that have extensive experience within the target market to provide those resources. While partnering minimizes risk, there are drawbacks, such as lack of direct management oversight. Those negatives can be alleviated by hiring employees who have the education, experience and native language skills relevant to your target market. International students are excellent resources: they are educated, affordable, multi-lingual and usually have some relevant work experience. The potential downside is that you’ll probably have to navigate through a bushel of red tape in order to secure work visas.

Assess
As you’re formulating partnerships or hiring strategies, it’s critical to thoroughly assess current products and services for viability in foreign markets. The offering(s) must be intuitive and scalable. If the offering is not intuitive, that is, easily applicable to the target markets (i.e. there is no apparent need) you will fail. If the offering is not scalable (i.e. it can’t be produced and delivered to the target markets profitably) you will fail. The new team should lead the assessment phase and outline a strategy to build or leverage existing infrastructure.

Modify
Once the offering is fine-tuned and ready for market, your sales collateral must be modified. Even if the global partner or new team has native speaking skills, there are reasons to hire professional translation and localization services (e.g. ViaLanguage) to that ensure all cultural nuances are dealt with appropriately. The goal is to ensure that your sales documentation demonstrates that you feel your target market’s pain – and that you are able to offer a relevant solution.

Partner
While your core business and marketing team may already be in place, there are a variety of reasons to explore additional partnerships. Companies specializing in marketing, logistics and customer service are excellent additions to the growing team. Partners within the target market may have relationships with your potential customers that can be leveraged for business development. For instance, we’ve partnered with a homeland security and business consultancy, Eminent Logic, to help penetrate into the Middle Eastern markets. In return, we introduce them to local companies we know that can further their business objectives.

Network
Alternative business development strategies include attending, sponsoring, and participating in industry networking events and conferences. Look into joining industry associations that have a footprint in your target markets, or that are native to the target market. Web-based networking groups (e.g. LinkedIn) can also help expand your network.

Market
Now that you’ve built out your infrastructure, trained and deployed a team, and modified your offering and marketing collateral, you’re ready to turn on the fire hose. Two of the most effective forms of outreach are search engine and email marketing. Internet access is everywhere, which means everyone has access to search engines and email. The best way to build a house list of potential customers in your target market is to optimize your international Web site for search engines and offer visitors an incentive to provide their email address. Once you’ve got their permission to contact them regularly, build a relationship and convert site visitors and email subscribers into customers.

Travel
Over time, cold leads will become hot, and those hot leads will want face-to-face meetings. Its decision time: are you ready to invest in a global travel expense account? If so, be prepared to reel in the business, as most of the world works on a handshake and face time is critical. Turn your business trips into tax-deductible vacations and see the world while you’re at it.

Review
On a quarterly basis, it’s very helpful to take a close look at your progress. Assess the effectiveness of your process, strategies and tactics and determine if you’re on the right track. If not, look for ways to fine-tune by breaking down the entire process. If you’ve seen success thus far, understand what is working well for you and decide whether or not you want to scale further. When that is the case, just start over at the research phase and begin searching for your next market opportunity.

Following these 9 steps will put you on the fast track toward a global marketing strategy. As Darwin once said, adapt or die

Using Global Marketing Research to Create Business Insights

The business world is constantly changing and anyone interested in getting the most out of their company needs to be able to adapt quickly. Many business owners find it difficult to keep up with new technology and what they miss most is the ability to change direction in order to get the most sales from their audience. Marketing strategies need to be regularly updated in order to ensure that their impact does not diminish. In this atmosphere of pressure, reliable global marketing research is essential.

Doing research on a global scale is essential if you want to obtain the marketing insights you need to operate your business on an international platform. Different cultures require different types of marketing, so by performing effective marketing research you can learn how to adapt your marketing strategy to the demands of an international business. Good and accurate research will furnish you with reasonable global marketing insights which will allow you to create new methods of promoting your business to people from different cultures. Without these insights, which research provides for you, any marketing strategy could be misinterpreted or a financial waste of your business’s investment cash.

Marketing insights can teach you important factors about your potential clients elsewhere in the world. When you have set up a small online business, it is easy to forget that your country is not the center of the universe and that other people may have different expectations to your own. For example, simple global marketing insights such as the fact that some Asian countries view reduced items as being tainted or near to an expiration date, while in the US it is standard practice to promote an item by offering a certain amount off the sale price. If you were to try and promote your business in China, for example, by reducing the price, you could lose sales or make people uncertain about your products.

Vital global marketing insights like these have to be fully understood in order to ensure that you effectively promote your business throughout the world. Mistakes like these are easy to make but very difficult to rectify, so you can find yourself losing business unless you take the time to research your audience thoroughly. By giving yourself an insight into the business traditions of a culture, you can set your marketing strategy with those traditions in mind. Performing accurate research will help you to stay ahead of your competition in the global marketplace.