In the past year, I have learned many things about on-line selling and marketing. Most good, but some has been questionable. So here's the question: What makes YOU an expert.
I follow many blogs, forums, groups, pod-casts, and other media tools to learn how to market myself. I have joined social media sites, and gone to webinars, that have given me value for my business. I also have google alerts set up. Google alerts tell me whats happening around me, when I can not fit in to my schedule all the things I think I would find value in, so I can go to my alerts later when I do have the time, and read to my hearts content.
One of the alerts that come up is on forums. I have set mine up generically, so I sometimes get forums I do not read or follow. Remember here, I am looking for content in my business, ie, Antiques and collectibles. However I do get the odd piece in once and awhile so need more than just the antiques category's. So I do read some of the forums I would not normally turn to for research value.
A lot of the forums, I question, not because I think they may not be reputable, but I see comments come in to my alerts, fairly often when a person is basing thier expertise on a sellers, feedback or how much they may be selling the item for. Now personally, I have only sold on-line for a year, so my feedback is going to be lower than people who have done this for 10 years or more.
Here is just an example: I have some LLadro's listed in my store. My prices are market prices. However, I could conceivably list way below that if I paid way below that.... get the idea here? If I purchase a "lot" of ephemera at auction for re-sale, I can lower my price, based on what I paid. I want to make money, not have a store house full of items I can not sell because some may be to high priced, or for that matter to "low" priced and a potential customer believes it may be fake.
My point is there are many people out there who claim to be experts, but who are really only giving an opinion based on sellers feedback and price. This practice is arbitrary and can do damage to someone starting out, new to on-line, but has been in business, and has integrity and honesty in dealing with people.
Advice? Be careful who your giving "opinions" to. Talk to the person, find out who they are, find out their history and area of expertise before you possibly put someone out of business because you may not agree with pricing or feedback.
SO, what makes YOU an expert?