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Favorite Facebook Groups for Online Sellers

Pages where you can be social and learn about ecommerce, too

eBay may rightly claim that it offered the first social network for those in ecommerce. Its groups and discussion boards have been around for years, long before Twitter was a twinkle in anyone’s eye. But there’s no disputing that sites like Facebook have far surpassed eBay in terms of reach and the quality of the discussions.

Considering how many of us are on Facebook so much anyway (you know who you are), wouldn’t it be great if there were Facebook Groups you could easily check out while you were making your Facebook rounds? As you may have guessed, there are.

The eCommerce Group

The eCommerce Group, as we’ve mentioned before, is the most vibrant community of ecommerce merchants on Facebook. Now, we’re not saying that just because many of our friends are members. It’s because of the quality of the merchants who congregate there. You’ll find such longtime industry gurus as John Lawson (the group’s founder), Brandon Dupsky, Kirk Holbert, Anita Nelson and Karen Locker.

While there are other Facebook Groups of interest to readers of The Online Seller, we suggest you start with The eCommerce Group, if you’re not a member already. As Dupsky says, “It’s where the content and company is best.”

Questions there can cover any related topic from the mundane (any suggestions for companies that ship internationally besides FedEx or UPS?) to the timely (Is the hurricane impacting sales? Are your volumes down?). It’s also a great place to go for advice if you’re, say, redesigning your website. For example, Anthony Cicalese of we-got-the-beats posted the following:

Working on the new site design all day today with my limited skills—sometimes I like it, sometimes it looks a mess. Some fresh perspectives may help. Still on the to-do list: the ugly search button needs replacing. The header could use a little “pulling together,” but can’t quite put my finger on what’s off…

This is a genuine conversation of peers helping peers. You won’t find chatter about anything else but business, and that is why it is successful

Cicalese received more than 50 responses from his fellow group members, commenting on such things as:

  • Making the “Free Shipping in the U.S.” verbiage pop more
  • Adding social share buttons
  • Working in search engine optimization in category pages
  • The importance of keeping a blog very current

This is only a small sampling, but in reviewing the comments it’s clear that group members really spent some time looking at Cicalese’s site redesign, and were not in the least bit stingy with truly helpful advice. This advice went beyond mere suggestions to tips on how to actually implement the suggestions.

For more on this group, we spoke with its founder, Lawson.

Schepp: Why did you start The eCommerce Group?

Lawson: I started it as a place to chat with my friends about this business I love so much, ecommerce.

Schepp: When did you start the group?

Lawson: I started it about a year ago. But it was never public. This is not a public group. It was started when I invited 30 of my coolest friends. From that it has grown organically to the 1,100 we have today.

Schepp: It’s obviously successful. Why?

Lawson: Because it is not about me… This is one of the key reasons it is so successful, because it’s not a vanity project. It was a place for me to learn and share with others. This is a genuine conversation of peers helping peers. You won’t find chatter about anything else but business, and that is why it is successful. You can ask a business question, and you will be flooded with great thinkers, bloggers, merchants, CEOs and all sorts of people who have one thing in common: ecommerce!

Schepp: What are your plans for the future?

Lawson: I look at this as a big old “ecommerce social think tank” and, as such, I really see it staying relevant and ahead of the curve on ebusiness thinking. People don’t come in this group and wait for something interesting to pop up—they are actively posting great ideas, information and quality conversations 24/7. The sky is the limit; it is what they make of it. I was the inspiration in the beginning, but they inspire me every day now. That is priceless and timeless.

Groups are great for being able to ask questions and to interact with like-minded people

More Facebook Groups and pages for online sellers

Aside from Lawson’s group, here are some other Facebook Groups and pages you may want to explore:

  • eBay Selling Tips: Popular eBay educator Danna Crawford hosts this gathering of eBay sellers. There are plenty of timely tips here for eBayers of all stripes, including those with stores. Keep an eye open for the group’s video series.
  • The Danni App: Group leader Danni Ackerman is an eBay Education Specialist who has been selling on the site since 1998. The 800+ members of this group discuss eBay, Amazon, Etsy and related topics. Ackerman sees her place as follows: “I love John’s group for all the nuts and bolts and bigger picture of ecommerce. My group focuses on eBay more than anything, keeping each other motivated, problem solving and reaching out of comfort zones so our businesses grow.”
  •  ScanPower: This isn’t so much of a group as a website within Facebook where people who want to leverage Amazon’s Fulfillment by Amazon service go for pointers on how to speed “product submission.” More than one person mentioned this site, so if you use FBA, we suggest you check out this site.
  •  Thrifting with the Boys: Who could resist this one, based on its title alone? Bryan Goodman and Jason Smith’s emphasis here is on thrift store shopping, with an eye toward eBay reselling.
  •  The Online Seller: The Facebook home for readers of this newsletter, who are seeking the most current news and advice from the ecommerce world.

This brief survey focused on groups with a national or even international scope. There are also Facebook Groups for local sellers such as the Seacoast eBay Sellers Group, which is for people in the New Hampshire area.

Finally, several of the groups we mention here are “closed” groups, which require you to apply for membership (just click the Join Group) button, or to be recommended by a current member. Requiring that would-be members go through this simple process can help keep discussions on target.

“The most effective groups, I think, are the private and moderated groups,” Locker says. “They are not filled with spam and buy-my-stuff posts. Groups are great for being able to ask questions and to interact with like-minded people.”

Need ideas for marketing your business on Facebook? Read Innovative Facebook Marketing Techniques.

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About the author

Brad & Debra Schepp
Brad and Debra Schepp are the authors of 20 books, including eBay PowerSeller Secrets and The Official Success Guide: Insider Tips and Strategies for Sourcing Products from the World's Largest B2B Marketplace. Their most recent book is How to Find a Job on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Brad is also a literary agent for Waterside Productions. For further information, visit the couple's website, Opinions expressed here may not be shared by The Online Seller and/or its principals.

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