Saturday, May 3, 2008

Wagglepop or Wagglepoop?

Yesterday Andrew Pittino, Wagglepop.com Director of Business Development, made the announcement Wagglepop sellers have been awaiting for months. Seller store fees will increase from $9.95 with the existing SmartSell Pro Package replaced by "SmartSell Enterprise Package" at $29.95 a month. The only difference would appear to be that any Enterprise sales are commission free, a savings of between 2% - 3%. A seller would need to have GSV over $1200.00 per month to see any savings. Upgrading is not optional, sellers wishing to remain on Wagglepop will pay the new rates.

The real news

In the coming weeks we will be introducing Wagglepop Marketplace Marketshare. Marketshare has the sole purpose of "completing" the Wagglepop Marketplace by offering, direct through Wagglepop LLC via dropshipment and other agreements, the items and products that we do not currently offer within the Marketplace through lack of population from the online selling community. Basically, we will be "in the trenches" with our existing Marketplace Merchants attempting to fulfill the wants and needs of our shoppers. We owe the very best experience possible to those that consider and visit Wagglepop, and what the online selling community has not provided we will provide ourselves through a variety of methods.
As per existing policy, we are proud to state that we do not and will not accept outside advertising within Wagglepop for competing items and products as on eBay. Our Marketplace Merchants have earned and deserve that protection from outside competition - the Wagglepop Marketplace is for Wagglepop Merchants' items and products, and the items and products from Marketshare.
When people come to Wagglepop looking for something - we want them to find and buy it - and Marketshare will help to build that.


Wagglepop has a nice clean interface, very similar superficially to eBay. When I decided to write about the site a search of stores showed 299 total of which 13 are Showcase stores and 28 Featured. These numbers do seem to fluctuate. Stores are listed in order by numbers of listings which vary from 2 to 3067. Charts at Power Sellers Unite show 85,352 listings, no traffic figures are available. Wagglepop does no promotion. Wagglepop has a devoted band of boosters among sellers.

As I was browsing the site I had difficulty with the search, I was unable to bring up stores even by exact name. A search for 'teacup' (my not so secret addiction,) brought a total of 11 items including some astoundingly priced $40 + S&H Fiesta Ware.

Wagglepop has an interesting history, for background this ecommerce-guide.com article from 2005 is a must read as is this Appscout.com article earlier this year. Full disclosure: I signed up in 2005 and again this time around although never listed anything.

Dissent is absolutely prohibited.
A Board participation clarification issued last November is breathtaking. It seems that correcting wrong information is also forbidden, I saw two posts pulled, one of which said that Revolution Money Exchange is backed by a bank in Brookings SD not 'It's a bank out of ID' The second censored (deleted) post said that this statement
Also, Google checkout will soon become a viable option. The only problem there is that you have to have a minimum in $10 to use it. If you don't sell small items, then that isn't a problem. But if you are like us, and sell small, lower-priced items, then you'd have to force a minimum purchase requirement on your customers. That will again reflect more on the seller than the payment portal.
is not only incorrect it is a direct violation of Google Checkout Seller TOS as stated in Section 2.4 Prohibited Actions.


Closing a store results in total banishment from the site. You may not return even as a buyer. The following quote is Andrew Pittino's response to a long-time seller who asked if she would be able to keep her feedback and remain as a buyer if she closed her store:
wagglepopCC2 03 May 2008 17:56
I think it would be a mistake (and unfair) to rework convention in the name of making leaving the Wagglepop Marketplace an easy transition.

Part of the benefit of dedication to the Marketplace is that the feedback earned is kept as an ongoing part of that dedication.

If a seller chooses to leave the Marketplace by closing their SmartSell account, they also leave behind the Feedback Score associated with the account. Dedicated long term sellers will and should benefit from an ongoing seller feedback score as part of their "permanent" record.

I think that is highly appropriate and reflective of what we see as a common sense dynamic. AP


Finally some quotes from former sellers.

....I wondered why all the posts about the change were positive. They must be pulling all the posts from those of us that are leaving, to sway public opinion.
....They say they locked my account due to non payment for the last three months...HELLO, I only owed this month and it's not due till the 10th. What a bunch of scam artists over there. I have to say, I find WP WORSE than eBay, and that says a LOT. What a toxic environment. So glad to be gone. Good luck getting money from me WP. I'm done.
.... Several have said that they cannot afford that kind of increase. Two are single mothers. Andrew just spits his this is good for the sellers crap and if you open 5 stores, you'll get 5 times the sales. Last time I checked, 5 x 0 = 0....


1:57pm 5/3/2008 - 225 Stores found
3.00pm 5/8/2008 - 216 Stores found
10.00am 7/23/2008 - 83 Stores found





Next post . . . The Level Playing Field! . . . Y'all come back and be sure to click VICTORIOUSLY on any interesting links in the sidebar!

3 comments:

gasmanswife said...

WP was a total waste of time for me. Traffic is non-existent, they refuse to help advertise, and sales were zero as well. After making us all wait for the announcements, they tripled store fees and removed FVF. Well, if you aren't selling anything, as I wasn't, it's just not worth it. Every single post I made was pulled, and I got banned from the boards for 90 days just for saying I couldn't do the increase and would be closing my store. The warning:

Hello,

Posts about closure are not allowed on the community boards. The WP boards and policies are very much unlike eBay.

Please read the Board Participation Policy and all clarifications in full before posting on the Community boards.

Thanks!

Chris
WP Customer Care

The slap:

Hello,

Your recent activities on the Community boards are in violation of the Board Participation Policy.

As of today, 5/2/08 your posting priveleges are suspended for 90 days.

Any further posting in violation of this sanction will be considered a violation of the User Agreement and is grounds for termination.

Chris
WP Customer Care

cc: ap
refer
suspend 90

Then, they wouldn't close my store upon my request, so I hit the boards again, and asked why they were able to take the time to follow me around and censor my statements on the board, but couldn't be bothered closing my store. They finally terminated my account, claiming non-payment, which was a complete falsehood.

Definitely a toxic environment and I have say, I find it worse than eBay.

I am very happy to be gone. You can find EPM Stone Supply on Loud Frog..better prices, no seller fees, and a much more open community with no censorship.

Phil said...

I was witness to the censorship of those posts. I myself, had two posts pull with my concerns with Wagglepop's poor search results.

Anything with a single digit, as with clothing or shoe sizes, will not come up in a specific search. Only double digits will successfully be searchable leaving those sizes under 10 coming up with multiple items a buyer must wade through.

A search of size 4 jeans brings up 139 items for which only a handful are actually size 4. A search of size 10 jeans however, brings up a search of 9 items of which 9 are size 10.

I will also be closing my store shortly since I sell clothing for men, women and children that most will not be searchable.

Wagglepop's customer care are aware of these problems and have stated that they will not be correcting the search problem.

Boycott Ebay said...

It seems pretty clear that Ray Romeo's huge ego hasn't gotten any smaller. What a farce.

Waggleflop sellers should try BuyItSellIt. It's the nearest thing to your own ecommerce site that you will find. You can have a free store or host your own domain with them for a small fee. Easy-up and you are on your way.

You have to promote it, of course, but you are promoting your own store, not one which benefits either WP or Ebay more than it does you.

BTW, this is not spam. I have no affiliation with BISI except as a satisfied seller who would like to see other sellers find their way to a legitimate ecommerce option.