Machiavelli’s Relevance to the Euro Crisis

The Pros and Cons of FBA (Fulfilment by Amazon)
Amazon FBA programme is a great way to reach prime customer in the UK and beyond.  It is cheap to use with no long-term contracts and international in scope.  However, there are some quirks of the system which sometimes make it a challenge to manage.  Pros PAYG fulfilment house with benefits Unlike most fulfilment houses, […] Read more – ‘The Pros and Cons of FBA (Fulfilment by Amazon)’.
Introducing Vendlab
Give product data the love it deserves My new venture Vendlab.com helps suppliers and retailers create and manage amazing product data.  As an online retailer for many years I know the difficulties that many retailers have getting quality data from suppliers and turning this into something useable.  Our services include: For Suppliers: A fully managed […] Read more – ‘Introducing Vendlab’.
Coming up with new ideas.
I’m currently trying to come up with some new business ideas.  Hello Baby is increasingly able to stand on its own two feet which is freeing up my time to work on new projects.  So many choices and only one Trev – what should I do? Big idea Every day in the news we hear […] Read more – ‘Coming up with new ideas.’.
On Performance
I’ve just finished reading Better – A surgeons notes on Performance by Atul Gawande.  This book discusses how better measurement and uniform application of currently known techniques could have a transformative effect on patient outcomes. In Gawande’s view it is the application of knowledge and not knowledge of medicine itself which can often make the difference between […] Read more – ‘On Performance’.
The Tyranny of Feedback
Recently I have been drowning under a tsunami of negative feedback caused by an unwise move to a new international courier.  This feedback has closed down one account and is in danger of closing another.  This is my life they are ruining! This incident has made me reflect just how unbalanced online feedback systems are. […] Read more – ‘The Tyranny of Feedback’.
Tim Ferriss and multiplying parameters beyond necessity
Those of you who have had the pleasure of spending any quality time with me will probably have heard me mention the 4 hour work week by Tim Ferriss.  Like just about everyone, I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Mr Ferriss.  I think that (at least in his first book) about 50% […] Read more – ‘Tim Ferriss and multiplying parameters beyond necessity’.
Things to go in packages
I’ve been recently pondering things which we could put in our outgoing packages.  Here are my thoughts: Paper invoices Some people think these are a bit outmoded, but I am a fan of the paper invoice.  It gives the customer something to hold onto after the sale in case they need to contact us or send […] Read more – ‘Things to go in packages’.
Amazon repricing and the race to the bottom
Many Amazon sellers there days are using Amazon repricing, the practise of repricing offers so that they are the cheapest within max and min price limits.  What you sacrifice in margin you make up in volume, or so the theory goes. I have so far avoided this strategy (though I think we will succumb very soon) […] Read more – ‘Amazon repricing and the race to the bottom’.
7 top tips for your ecommerce FAQ page
7 top tips for your ecommerce FAQ page The FAQ page on your ecommerce hosting should be simple, straightforward and informative. Your customers should be able to find the question they need answered in a fast and efficient way. You can ensure they can do this by following these tips. 1. Get to the point. […] Read more – ‘7 top tips for your ecommerce FAQ page’.
SEO and Magical Thinking
Confession: I used to think I was pretty good as SEO.  My site was getting about 600-800 unique visitors from Google every day, we built links, we published content, traffic went up.  Easy-pesi. That was two years ago.  Yesterday my site got about 151 unique visitors from Google and nothing I do seems to ebb […] Read more – ‘SEO and Magical Thinking’.
Christoph Rieche on iwoca
Christoph Rieche is the CEO of iwoca, an innovate startup which provides working capital for online traders.  I bumped into him at Channel advisor catalyst and interviewed him about his business. Please tell us a bit your company.  How did you come up with the idea? iwoca is a financial startup lender dedicated to eBay […] Read more – ‘Christoph Rieche on iwoca’.
What is it with Amazon’s Design?
The more I look at the Amazon.co.uk website I more I get confused by its design.  I am not an usability expert, but the layout seems cluttered and I find the order they put the information confusing.  Presumably Amazon are not short of advice and expertise on how to build product pages which convert, so […] Read more – ‘What is it with Amazon’s Design?’.
My top tips for selling more stock online
Last year we managed more than to double our sales so I thought I would share some of the (frankly pretty basic) things that worked. Watch stock levels Pretty simple stuff really, but by having enough of the right products we saw an enormous uplift in sales.  For example we went from selling 3 bath […] Read more – ‘My top tips for selling more stock online’.
The law is an ass: Trading Standard’s Krazee rules for Online Retailers
I had a  visit from a trading standards officer the other day who had found some problems with the T&Cs on the Hello Baby website.  Along with some fairly sensible advice, some of the rules in the Distance selling regulations are just bizarre.  I’m not making this up! Sensible(ish) A customer has 7 days starting […] Read more – ‘The law is an ass: Trading Standard’s Krazee rules for Online Retailers’.
Amazon: Are we creating a monster?
This week’s excitement was Hello Baby‘s Amazon.fr account being suspended as our order defect rate slightly exceeded Amazon’s 1% ‘target’*.  We got a warning email (which contained no specific dates on when our account might be suspended) and then without so much as a by your leave, our account was suspended and I have no […] Read more – ‘Amazon: Are we creating a monster?’.
Startup Advice for the Online Retailer
No matter what the industry, the startup business manager has a long list of issues, task, and goals (both short and long-term) to keep in mind. It can make for a daunting job. With a small budget and likely with no sales teams, legal consuls, or contract management systems at his disposal, the manager must work […] Read more – ‘Startup Advice for the Online Retailer’.
Interview with Angela Thompson from Collectmyparcel.com
Sending items by courier is essential for online retailers, but companies with low volumes cannot access good prices.  Aggregators are one way to get better prices.  I caught up with Angela Thompson, Managing Director of collectmyparcel.com to find out more. Who are you! Put simply collectmyparcel.com is an internet-based parcel booking service. Customers can book […] Read more – ‘Interview with Angela Thompson from Collectmyparcel.com’.
How to find interns
We have been hosting European interns for the last few months and have found them a great asset to the business.  Here is a summary of what we have learned so far. UK vs. European interns We have had UK interns and we have had interns from the EU.  Sorry, fellow countrymen, but give me […] Read more – ‘How to find interns’.
The problem with being an entrepreneur
Following on from Matt Ogborne’s article on being an entrepreneur, I though I would give my own thoughts on the trials of entrepreneurship.  The benefits are well documented, but what are the pitfalls? Constant mild state of agitation with everything Entrepreneurs are by their very nature people who like to get things done and challenge the […] Read more – ‘The problem with being an entrepreneur’.
In praise of an early start
One of the interesting things which was said about Steve Jobs was that he wanted products to be perfect before launching them.  A worthy sentiment no doubt, but it made me realise that I have taken a rather different approach.  I have favoured starting small and using an iterative approach to developing a business.  This […] Read more – ‘In praise of an early start’.
Werner Herzog on dreams…..
I’ve recently been watching a lot of films by and about the German Film maker, Werner Herzog. He’s more than a bit krazee but I find him quite inspiring. Dreams can be a burden Burden of Dreams covers the filming of one of Herzog’s most famous films, Fizcarraldo.  The film was created under enormously difficult circumstances, […] Read more – ‘Werner Herzog on dreams…..’.
Machiavelli’s Relevance to the Euro Crisis
One of my favourite books is the Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli.  In case you haven’t read it, the Prince is a brilliant guide to how a leader should behave in order to hold and expand their power.  Whilst the book was written with the 16th Century Italian Prince in mind, its lessons are much more […] Read more – ‘Machiavelli’s Relevance to the Euro Crisis’.
The perils of international trade
At Hello Baby we have recently started selling on several international marketplaces (Amazon.fr and de, eBay.fr and de).  Overall this has been a success, though we almost got kicked off Amazon.fr the other day.  Here are my thoughts having gone through the process Increase sales without reducing prices Increasing our international exposure has allowed us […] Read more – ‘The perils of international trade’.
The future of the high street
The relationship between the online and off line retail is frequently uncomfortable.   As an online retailer I have witnessed a backlash recently against internet businesses with several brands refusing to deal with me.  This got me thinking about the future of retail and our high streets.  Here are my thoughts, in no particular order. […] Read more – ‘The future of the high street’.
Interview with Export your store
  Export your store is an interesting new service which allows eBay sellers to quickly load their inventory into the Amazon marketplace.  Being both an eBay and an Amazon seller I know only too well: uploading inventory on multiple platforms is a real pain selling on Amazon has a massive potential for sales.  At Hello […] Read more – ‘Interview with Export your store’.
In praise of Letraset
When I was sitting in a particularly tedious presentation the other day involving far too many PowerPoint slides, I found myself reminiscing about my father creating diagrams for presentations using Letraset and then photographing the diagrams to create slides.  This, as you might imagine, was a real pain and so presentations tended to have far […] Read more – ‘In praise of Letraset’.
What’s wrong with online only retailers FFS?
Despite the fact that it is now 2011 and the internet has been in full swing for over 10 years, you would not think so dealing with some suppliers.  I frequently come up against the following problems: “Sorry but we don’t sell to online only retailers” “Sorry but we don’t allow our products to be […] Read more – ‘What’s wrong with online only retailers FFS?’.
Why Keeping Cash is Like Reading a Print Newspaper
If you read the white pages from any online retailer’s marketing strategy, you will discover that people tend to do shopping online for convenience. Instead of hassling with crowds at the mall or stumbling through the Home Depot, people would rather look up detailed information about the products they are purchasing from independent third-party websites. This […] Read more – ‘Why Keeping Cash is Like Reading a Print Newspaper’.
Sorry I’ve been away….
Sorry, I’ve not been blogging for a while.  In the meantime I have been rather busy with moving house, moving my business and also written quite a lot for other people.  Here are some of the highlights: How to develop an iPhone app on a budget for Mashable Is Twitter any good for retailers – […] Read more – ‘Sorry I’ve been away….’.
Interview with Robert Matthams from Shiply
We all know that picking up, or delivering larger items on eBay can be a pain.  Shiply is a service which aims to make this process painless.  I caught with with Robert Matthams the CEO. Could you please tell us something about your business.  Who is it aimed at? Shiply has been likened to eBay […] Read more – ‘Interview with Robert Matthams from Shiply’.
My Manifesto is Published on Changethis
Finally, my manifesto is live on Changethis: http://changethis.com/manifesto/show/73.03.GreatIdea “Many entrepreneurs feel that they cannot start a business without a great idea. They believe it will be impossible to succeed without a completely new concept, as the market will already be cornered by established businesses. Only by venturing into uncharted territory can they achieve their dreams. […] Read more – ‘My Manifesto is Published on Changethis’.
All about Shoply – Interview with Liad Shababo
I recently caught up with the CEO of Shoply, Liad Shababo.  Shoply is an innovative ecommerce platform aimed at getting people selling online in the simpliest way.  Well Amen to that. Please tell us a bit about Shoply.  What’s it all about? Shoply is all about making it free, quick and easy for everybody to […] Read more – ‘All about Shoply – Interview with Liad Shababo’.
There seems to be an almost ever expanding number of shopping voucher sites around and so it is nice to come across one which is well constructed.  Shoppingvouchers.co.uk is an attractive, usable  site with a good range of frequently updated offers. Unlike many other voucher sites this site is that it offers free listings for […] Read more – ‘Shoppingvouchers.co.uk’.
MyHermes Give Away!
I have 5 myHermes deliveries to give away to some deserving soul. In the absence of any obvious selection method I will give away the deliveries to the person who comments with the funniest joke. Good luck! Read more – ‘MyHermes Give Away!’.
Link Building Strategies
I’ve been doing quite a lot of link building recently, what with building natural search traffic being a rather cost effective way of marketing.  Here are some strategies I have used: Flowers/Chocolate I’ve found sending flowers or chocolate to target directories to be a very effective way of getting listed fast.  Only really worth it […] Read more – ‘Link Building Strategies’.
My Econsultancy report is published!
I’m sorry that I’ve been a bit silent for a while.  Part of the reason is that I have written a report for Econsultancy on the wonderful world of eCommerce. The guide is about 100 pages long and is intended to be a summary of all the areas in which are required for selling online […] Read more – ‘My Econsultancy report is published!’.
Make Serious Money on eBay UK by Dan Wilson
I’d like to heartily recommend Make Serious Money on eBay Uk by Dan Wilson. This new updated edition not only has a comprehensive guide to selling on eBay as a business but also covers other vital areas such as Amazon marketplace, Google and setting up your own website. The perfect stocking filler? Read more – ‘Make Serious Money on eBay UK by Dan Wilson’.
Interview with Become UK
Shopping comparison engines are an increasingly important way for retailers to reach their customers and drive website traffic.  I recently caught up with Maricki from Become UK to talk about their offering and plans for the future. Tell us a bit about your company BecomeUK is a comparison shopping engine operated by Become, Inc. Become, […] Read more – ‘Interview with Become UK’.
Interview with Eric Nash from Stamps.com
— Tell us a bit about your company Stamps.com is a software-based program that allows you to print USPS-approved postage right from your computer.   You can print postage directly on to an envelope, shipping labels or even plain paper.    Stamps.com was the first PC Postage vendor licensed by the US Postal Service back […] Read more – ‘Interview with Eric Nash from Stamps.com’.
Mixed Uptake of Social Media Among Top Online Retailers
I’ve been doing some research into the social media uptake of major online retailers and usage is patchy to say the least.  Here is a list of the top online retailers in the UK taken from Hitwise.  If I have missed out any features, this is because they are hard to find!   Blog Twitter […] Read more – ‘Mixed Uptake of Social Media Among Top Online Retailers’.
Vote for My Manifesto
Gentle Readers, I would appreciate it if you could vote for my manifesto on Change this entitled The Fallacy of the Great Idea. Please follow this link: www.changethis.com/proposals/1754 Thanks Trevor Read more – ‘Vote for My Manifesto’.
Launching an iPhone App on the Cheap
At Hello Baby we have recently launched our own iPhone app, which has been extremely successful and I’d like to share how we did it. The Idea My 2 year old daughter loves my iPhone and so I got the idea to develop an app specially for toddlers.  Toddlers aren’t terribly sophisticated when it comes […] Read more – ‘Launching an iPhone App on the Cheap’.
5 Free Ways to Market Your Business
Times are hard and many businesses are to tightening their belts.  However, for savvy businesses, there are several highly effective marketing techniques which require no initial outlay apart from time and effort.  Use these leaner times to experiment an innovate. Learn Search Engine Optimisation Attracting search traffic from Google is undoubtedly the most cost effective […] Read more – ‘5 Free Ways to Market Your Business’.
The Fallacy of the Great Idea
Below is my manifesto proposal for Change this.  Please vote for it at www.changethis.com/proposals/1754 Many entrepreneurs feel that they cannot start a business without a great idea. Without one they believe it will be impossible to be successful as someone else will have cornered the market first. Only by venturing into uncharted territory can they […] Read more – ‘The Fallacy of the Great Idea’.
7 Tips for Entrepreneurs
Here, in no particular order, are some pearls of wisdom for your consideration: Beware of Marketing and Advertising Salesmen Everyday (at least until I turned my phone onto answer phone) I get around 10 sales people trying to sell advertising and marketing services of a dubious quality.  Be careful before investing in any kind of […] Read more – ‘7 Tips for Entrepreneurs’.
Interview with Carol Savage from MyDish.co.uk
Reading Free by Chris Anderson recently, I discovered that one of the first home computers was designed solely to organise receipes in the kitchen, as that was about the only task for which the engineers at Honeywell thought a computer might be useful.  To enter receipes required a working knowledge of Hex.  It is not […] Read more – ‘Interview with Carol Savage from MyDish.co.uk’.
Open Letter To Michelle Dewberry and the people of Chiconomise
Dear Michelle, Whilst aimlessly surfing the web the other day, I came across your new venture, chiconomise.  I have to confess I would have expected more from someone who made it through the gruelling self flagulation which is the apprentice.  The nation expected great things from you, Michelle, is chiconomise your magnum opus? On the positive […] Read more – ‘Open Letter To Michelle Dewberry and the people of Chiconomise’.
Online Credit Card Fraud – Know the Risks
Card payments, either directly or via eWallet services like PayPal, make up the vast majority of payments for goods online.  Consumers are well protected against fraud with the, however, merchants do not enjoy the same blanket level of protection and need to be careful when accepting online payments. Online payments funded by a card can […] Read more – ‘Online Credit Card Fraud – Know the Risks’.
Interview with Matt Rogers from Aroxo
If you have met Matt Rogers, you will know that he is a driven and dedicated individual with big ambitions for his start-up, Aroxo.  He is going to need all his determination to take on the big boys, Amazon and eBay in the marketplace business.  I was skeptical to begin with, but having met him, […] Read more – ‘Interview with Matt Rogers from Aroxo’.
Money saving ideas for Entrepreneurs (or anyone for that matter)
Let me let you into a secret, I’m a bit cheap.  Superman had Kryptonite, I have freebies.  In these times of recession, I thought I would share a few of my money saving ideas.  These are specific to business, but are applicable to just about anyone. Keep Rent Cheap My office is in the Truman […] Read more – ‘Money saving ideas for Entrepreneurs (or anyone for that matter)’.
Interview with Bastien Duclaux, CEO, Twenga
I am a big fan of Twenga.  I think it is great from a retailers POV as it is free, and great for customers as it has a huge range of products.  i managed to get a interview with the founder, Bastien Duclaux, where he gives some insights into Twenga and the furture of shopping comparison […] Read more – ‘Interview with Bastien Duclaux, CEO, Twenga’.
Why Brands should sell on eBay and Amazon
I recently had a bit of a run in with one of my suppliers, sleepytot.  They have decided to stop supplying companies who sell their products on eBay and Amazon or those that sell below the RRP.  I’m not sure if it is strictly speaking legal to constrain the channels which retailers use, or their […] Read more – ‘Why Brands should sell on eBay and Amazon’.
10 Lessons for life from Will Wynne of Arena Flowers
I am a great fan of The Fog of War,  a documentary where Robert McNamara (JFK’s Defence Secretary) gives 11 lessons from his long life.  I thought I would like to try and emulate this documentary in my own small way with a series of posts where people give their lessons for life.  My first […] Read more – ‘10 Lessons for life from Will Wynne of Arena Flowers’.
Interview with Paul Fisher from Niggle
In my adventures in online reputation I came across Niggle, a new way for businesses to get feedback from their customers.  As I didn’t give them many column inches before, I caught up with Paul Fisher to get the whole story. Could you give us some background on Niggle please.  How’s it going? Niggle’s primary […] Read more – ‘Interview with Paul Fisher from Niggle’.
Nudges and Credit Card Processing
I have recently finished reading Nudge by Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler.  The book suggest strategies for enabling humans to make decisions which are in their interest, such as giving up smoking or saving more, given human shortcomings.  The word humans here is important, as humans are lazy and have inbuilt reasoning biases.  They many not […] Read more – ‘Nudges and Credit Card Processing’.
In Praise of Toy Shop UK
In my experience very few directories have the potential to drive any kind of traffic and this includes services like Yell and Scoot. (In fact, rather embarrissingly I once bought an entry on Scoot.  The entry produced so little traffic (one hit per month) that I wrote to Michael Grade and got my money back). […] Read more – ‘In Praise of Toy Shop UK’.
Max Clifford in Raw Magazine
I recently received a copy of Raw Magazine which had a picture of Max Clifford on the cover.  Is it just me, but I found myself rather reluctant to open the cover of a magazine who had such a famously unpleasant character on the front.   The magazine is affiliated with million impossible, a rather […] Read more – ‘Max Clifford in Raw Magazine’.
Interview with Plebble – Consumer and Business Rating Service
Following on from my post on online reputation services, I have interviewed Will Paterson, founder of Plebble.  We talked about Plebble and the future of the online reputation business Please give us some background on your product and company  Plebble was co-founded by me and my brother James.  We launched Plebble.com in January 2008. Plebble.com […] Read more – ‘Interview with Plebble – Consumer and Business Rating Service’.
Promotionalcodes.org.uk reviewed
I want to give a quick plug for what I think is probably the best discount codes site on the market – www.promotionalcodes.org.uk. Unlike a lot of voucher sites out there promotional codes takes time to give each retailer a full profile and the site is really easy to navigate and has a simple effective […] Read more – ‘Promotionalcodes.org.uk reviewed’.
The New UK edition of Wired Magazine
In order to amuse myself whilst Mrs eBay, eCommerce, life was in mothercare in Stratford (I do wonder what people will think in 2012 when they come out of Stratford tube and are confronted by one of the most horrible shopping centres in London) I bought the launch edition of the UK version of Wired. […] Read more – ‘The New UK edition of Wired Magazine’.
Online Reputation Services Considered
I have come across several online reputation management systems recently, all of which seem to be missing a trick or two.  This is sad as one day these systems will be to web in general what feedback is to eBay (hmmmmm, perhaps that is damning with faint praise). There are a lot of products out […] Read more – ‘Online Reputation Services Considered’.
Typewriters make a comeback?
I have recently bought a typewriter (on eBay of course), to try out my new theory of mine.  I have opined before about letters being a successful medium for getting things done*.  To recap, I think that in this world of cheap electronic information, letters are rare and subsequently their impact is greater.  Also, a […] Read more – ‘Typewriters make a comeback?’.
Interview with George Bevis from Speed Sell
I recently went out for Lunch with George Bevis from SpeedSell.  As well as having some excellent food at the Pavillion in Victoria park, I got to know something about his exciting new business Please give us an outline of your service and some history SpeedSell is an online rag-and-bone business.  We give an instant […] Read more – ‘Interview with George Bevis from Speed Sell’.
Why I stopped using Skype
Skype’s new TV adverts can’t hid the fact the some aspects of their service are pretty shoddy.  As a man who like to do things cheaply, when I have been using skype-In to run my business phones.  This seemed like a pretty good solution to me, much cheaper than installing a conventional phone line. The […] Read more – ‘Why I stopped using Skype’.
Interview with Jamie Parkins from Vzaar
I recently caught up with Jamie Parkins from eBay and eCommerce video provider Vzaar. Read on for an update on their business and Jamie’s through on  the future. Could you give us some background for Vzaar? In April of 2007 founders Ken Moss and Ian Snead approached Adrian Sevitz an ex-eBay employee with an idea […] Read more – ‘Interview with Jamie Parkins from Vzaar’.
On the Irony of Online Marketing and Turning Your Phone Off
Recently i have been receiving an almost constant stream of cold calls from online marketing companies.  I think that there probably two reasons for this: Sales people frantically touting for business as sales plummet My websites building their online profile and coming to the attention of sales people The second point strikes me as slightly […] Read more – ‘On the Irony of Online Marketing and Turning Your Phone Off’.
Interview with Christian Braun of Toy Collector
Christian Braun, formally of Auctioning4u, has started a new online platform aimed specifically at toy collectors.  I caught up with Christian to talk about his new venture, toycollector.com.   What is your experience in online marketplaces?    In April 2003 I founded Auctioning4u which sold unwanted possessions or overstock on online marketplaces, pre-dominantly eBay. We have […] Read more – ‘Interview with Christian Braun of Toy Collector’.
How to tell when you are about to get made redundant
I was reading an article the other day about how to tell if you are going to be made redundant.  This is a field on which I am something of an authority so here are my golden tips Firstly, not having anything to do is a real danger signal.  This is a difficult situation to […] Read more – ‘How to tell when you are about to get made redundant’.
Pixplace and Channel Advisor – Oh Why Oh Why
Perhaps someone can help me out.  I am at a loss to understand why Pixmania with their marketplace pixplace agreed to an exclusive deal with Channeladvisor.  Surely this can only restrict the number of sellers through the system? Perhaps they are just a bit rubbish overall.  I have received two emails from them asking me […] Read more – ‘Pixplace and Channel Advisor – Oh Why Oh Why’.
Cool Iris and Visual Search – am I missing the point
I have been looking into visual search recently, and I have been disappointed with what I have found.  The observer last Sunday talked about some sites to watch, one of which was Cooliris.  This site offers a new cinematic way to discover the web, by browsing through the web’s images. Perhaps I am behind the […] Read more – ‘Cool Iris and Visual Search – am I missing the point’.
Interview with CMYPitch CEO Emmett Kilduff
I have done an interview with the Emmett Kilduff, CEO of CMYPitch, a website which allows small businesses to access funding, mentoring and advice.  I am interested in this idea as I know how hard it is for small businesses to get off the ground, especially regarding raising finance TPG: What is the elevator pitch […] Read more – ‘Interview with CMYPitch CEO Emmett Kilduff’.
Free Shopping Comparison Sites
I have been doing some investigation into shopping comparison sites and to my surprise, Google Product search is not the only one that is free.  A very unscientific survery of Google search results suggests that that these free shopping comparison sites appear in the natural search frequently, and so are worth exploring So, dear reader, […] Read more – ‘Free Shopping Comparison Sites’.
Voucher Sites Explored
I have been experimenting with submitting vouchers to voucher sites in order to drive traffic to Hello Baby. Most site it seems require the retailer to pay to be included.  These sites however do have a code submission form: retailmenot.com starvouchercodes.co.uk www.vouchercodes.com (submission via email) If you are feeling naughty voucher codes can also be posted […] Read more – ‘Voucher Sites Explored’.
Getting Images into Google Image Search
Google image search represents a opportunity to build traffic through Google and is especially relevant to online retailing companies. When using images on a site, follow the following best practise to maximise the potential for image search inclusion: Use descriptive alt and title attribute tags for each image  Caption images using adjacent text for context […] Read more – ‘Getting Images into Google Image Search’.
Listing items on Google Product Search
I have had several people ask me how to get items into the Google Product search listings, so here is a quick guide. What is Google Product Search Google product search is Google’s shopping comparison.  Like other shopping comparison engines such as Shopping.com and kelkoo it displays a list of products based on a text […] Read more – ‘Listing items on Google Product Search’.
eBay Don’t Reply to Letters – Shame on You
I have previously opined that the best way to get anything done in a world where electronic communication is cheap is to send a letter.  I  believe that the physical nature, and relative rarity of a letter means that it is less likely to get lost in the system.  Writing letters straight to the managing […] Read more – ‘eBay Don’t Reply to Letters – Shame on You’.
Video for Website and eBay product listing Experiments
Video is definiately a growth area in eCommerce. Not to be left behind we have been experimenting with video for the Hello Baby Online Baby shop. Here is the video uploaded to YouTube. I like the idea of uploading to YouTube because of the syndication potential. However the compression seems to have negatively affected the […] Read more – ‘Video for Website and eBay product listing Experiments’.
Make better Purchasing Decisions with Marketplace Data
Deciding what products to sell online can sometimes feel like a stab in the dark.  Sellers not only have to make strategic decisions about the categories of product they wish to stock but also have the time consuming task of selecting individual product to purchase from a almost endless selection.  Broad sweeping marketplace data, dealing […] Read more – ‘Make better Purchasing Decisions with Marketplace Data’.
Act on CO2 Search Campaign
Following on from my comments on The Orange I am campaign the other week, I was interested to see that Act on CO2, a government initiative is using the same tactic, but rather more successfully than Orange.  A search for Act on CO2 will bring up the governments ‘act on Co2’ microsite which presumably is […] Read more – ‘Act on CO2 Search Campaign’.
Thoughts on Amazon Seller Central
Hello Baby has been selling on Amazon through seller central for a few months now and I thought I would share some findings. Postage The postage functionality on seller central is limited as postage is set by rule and not on a per item basis.  Postage rules can be created in two ways By weight. […] Read more – ‘Thoughts on Amazon Seller Central’.
Writing a Search Engine Optimised Press Release
I have just written a press release for Vendlab and so I thought I would share some thoughts on writing press releases for SEO. Online press releases should follow the format of a traditional press release i.e. Title. This should be be short, less than 100 characters Summary. A synopsis of the story. Usually 2-3 […] Read more – ‘Writing a Search Engine Optimised Press Release’.
Launch of Vendlab – Internet Marketing Agency
(London, UK) Vendlab, an Internet marketing agency specialising in Search Engine Optimisation and Google Adwords was has been launched in East London, UK. Vendlab enables companies to harness the power of Internet marketing services such as Google, Amazon and eBay to promote their business and boost online sales. Arguably, the Internet is the greatest marketing […] Read more – ‘Launch of Vendlab – Internet Marketing Agency’.
Interview with Matt Aird from Bizwiki
Following on from my post on local search the other day, Matt Aird from Bizwiki has kindly agreed to be interviewed for this blog. EEL:  here do you see the local search marketplace going? MA:  Give it another decade, and I think you will find the vast majority of local search done online, by any […] Read more – ‘Interview with Matt Aird from Bizwiki’.
Social Media Integration
So you write a blog, have a facebook profile and a myspace page, but find it a bit of a drag to keep everything up to date.  Here are some ways of integrating various profile to cross promote and create content. Facebook Using the twitter app, facebook and twitter statuses can be synced. Use twitter […] Read more – ‘Social Media Integration’.
UK Local Search/Directory Sites
I have just been doing a spot of submission to some local search sites and thought I would share what I found.  Local search is clearly going to be big, but I really don’t think that anyone really has the killer offering yet.  I think that listing in local search is important for businesses for […] Read more – ‘UK Local Search/Directory Sites’.
Pixplace and PlayTrade – the future of marketplaces?
I have just been taking a look at Pixplace – the third party marketplace from Pixmania.  The site works on a very similar basis to amazon marketplace and playtrade with third party sellers selling their products alongside the website’s own products. In essence a marketplace = way of displaying products + visitors + payment mechanism.  […] Read more – ‘Pixplace and PlayTrade – the future of marketplaces?’.
Orange’s ‘I am’ campaign – SEO disaster!
Orange are running a campaign at the moment called ‘I am who I am because of everyone‘ where they invite people to search for the phrase ‘I am’ online. I imagined that they had done a lot of SEO on the phrase ‘I am’ to ensure the they had the top spot for this phrase […] Read more – ‘Orange’s ‘I am’ campaign – SEO disaster!’.
Choosing the Right eBay shop level with the new eBay fees
I have got the old spreadsheet out and worked out the number of listing which justify upgrading the shop level.  If you recall under the new fee system, sellers will get discounts on insertion fees based on their shop level.  There are: Basic shop (cost:  £14.99), IF = £0.2 Featured shop (cost:  £49.99) IF = […] Read more – ‘Choosing the Right eBay shop level with the new eBay fees’.
Thoughts on BT Tradespace
I have just been playing around with BT tradespace, something which I know Dan Wilson has been involved quite heavily with.  Why not visit the Vendlab Tradespace page. BT are onto a good idea with this offering, which has been around for a while now.  However they have missed, or at best are missing, the […] Read more – ‘Thoughts on BT Tradespace’.
Changes to Buy it now and Shops
Gosh it has been exciting day for eBay watchers.  eBay has made fundamental changes to the way in which fixed price are sold on the site.  The site is going to largely loose its time sensitive nature and the listing options simplified, with a single listing format replacing BIN and SIF. The End of Shop […] Read more – ‘Changes to Buy it now and Shops’.
On BidBoogie
I have just been playing around with Bidboogie as the nice PR people were kind enough to give me some free bids. BidBoogie is a penny auction site which is like a traditional auction except bids go up to 1p each time and it costs each time you place a bid.  In this way it […] Read more – ‘On BidBoogie’.
Vendlab open for Business
Traaa-tra-traaaaaa.  I would like to announce the launch of my ecommerce consulting company Vendlab.  We will be providing services in the following areas: Search engine optimisation Paid search Social Media Website Analytics Online marketplaces (eBay and Amazon) We are looking for online marketing specialists to help us deliver projects, so if you are willing and […] Read more – ‘Vendlab open for Business’.
Google Keyword tool includes traffic data
I noticed when using Google’s keyword tool the other day that they are now including actual traffic data. Previously only a relative indication of traffic volume was given. This is exciting for a number of reasons. Firstly, and more obviously, it helps when selecting keywords for the SEO and PPC campaigns. Secondly, I think that […] Read more – ‘Google Keyword tool includes traffic data’.
eBay, eCommerce, Life is Back
I have finally managed to upload my blog database and am ready to supply you with my insights into the eCommerce world. Thanks to everyone who helped me out, particulary Sam from Arena Flowers, Sue from Tamebay, Melvin and Anna. Read more – ‘eBay, eCommerce, Life is Back’.
Friendfeed – am I missing the point?
  I have been playing around with the next flavour of the month friendfeed.  For the uninitiated, friend feed allows users to aggregiate all the social media feeds into one place, see my friend feed here friendfeed.com/trevorginn. Friendfeed has the following difference to other aggregator sites (or certainly plaxo and facebook) The friend feed can […] Read more – ‘Friendfeed – am I missing the point?’.
Optimisting Postage/Shipping
After starting up my own eCommerce Business, Hello Baby, I have been somewhat forced into the exciting world of postage.  This I think is one of those things which no-one really writes about, so here are my thoughts on the most efficient way of getting things out the door. Using Mailing sacks Polythene mailing sacks […] Read more – ‘Optimisting Postage/Shipping’.
On Twitter
  I had never used twitter much until the last few days and I am getting quite into it.  I think it is a great tool for the following reasons: Communicating with friends and colleagues.  By using twitter, you can broadcast your activities to an interested audience, promoting activities such as blogging or speaking engagements. […] Read more – ‘On Twitter’.
Bring eBay Data into Excel
  Sales reporting is hugely important, but unfortunately can be rather time consuming. On eBay it is a real pain to analyse sales on a per item basis, as sales relating to each SKU are spread across multiple listings.  Sales data therefore requires analysing the sell through rate and average selling price of each product, […] Read more – ‘Bring eBay Data into Excel’.
Launching a Website
This post suggests initial steps to be taken when launching a site to ensure that the process of search engine indexing gets off to an early start.  These steps should be taken as soon as the domain has been purchased, whilst the site is in development. Step 1. Holding Page Google and the other major […] Read more – ‘Launching a Website’.
The Future of Publishing
I was interested to read today about a book called The Future of the Internet.  What interested me about this book was not the content of the book (which I am sure is excellent and I look forward to reading at a later date), but the way it was being being marketed.  The book can […] Read more – ‘The Future of Publishing’.
Musings on Changes to Feedback
Recently there have been some pretty major changes to the way in which feedback is left on eBay.  The most significant of these changes are as follows Sellers can no longer leave negative feedback for buyers Once left, feedback cannot be removed The Feedback % only refers to the last 12 months of activitity and […] Read more – ‘Musings on Changes to Feedback’.
Wikipedia gets the nod from Howard Davies – Director of LSE
  I was at the Hay Festival over the weekend and I noticed that during a lecture by Howard Davies, Director of the LSE, that he used Wikipedia as one of his sources. Now we all know that Wikipedia is a great source of knowledge, but I was surprised that such a prominent academic would […] Read more – ‘Wikipedia gets the nod from Howard Davies – Director of LSE’.
Choosing a Domain Name
What is a Domain? Each website on the world wide web has an address know as URL or Universal Resource Locator e.g. http://www.trevorginn.com.  This is the address which is typed into a web browser to access a particular website.  A URL consists of two parts.  The first, http://www. determines this is a webpage which must […] Read more – ‘Choosing a Domain Name’.
Excel Formula for Calculating eBay Listing and Final Value Fees
Excel is very much the battle axe of the information age. White shirted warriors slog it out across the battle field of cells and pivot tables. Anyway I am getting overexcited.  Here is formulas for calculating eBay final value and listing fees Listing fee =IF(D3<0.99, 0.1, IF(D3<4.99,0.15,IF(D3<14.99,0.25,IF(D3<29.99,0.5, IF(D3<99.99,1.30)))))/E3 Where D3 is the eBay starting or […] Read more – ‘Excel Formula for Calculating eBay Listing and Final Value Fees’.
New marketplaces – Wigex and Fiddel
Two new marketplaces have come to my attention, one of which might even have legs.   Wigix is a new marketplace which aims to work like a stock market matching buyers and sellers.  As a seller you state a price you are willing to sell at and this is displayed to buyers who are looking […] Read more – ‘New marketplaces – Wigex and Fiddel’.
Launch of Hello Baby Network – a Social Network for Parents
  Alongside my new online baby shop, I have launched a networks for parents called Hello Baby Network. The site is run using ning.com, a service which allows people to build their own social networks.  The idea is to provide a build a social network around the shop allowing customer to meet people with similar […] Read more – ‘Launch of Hello Baby Network – a Social Network for Parents’.
eBay Strike 1st May – Groan
There has been news in several of the dailys including The Times about an eBay strike on 1st May.  The main issues seem to be as follows: Changes to feedback.  In the future sellers will not be able to leave negative feedback for buyers End of level playing field.  eBay is going to start giving […] Read more – ‘eBay Strike 1st May – Groan’.
Lack of metrics for eBay Cross promotion rules
eBay cross promotion rules are one of those features which it is easy to ignore. These rules define the items which are shown in the cross promotional box underneath each listing, showing other products which the seller has for sale. eBay does not make it obvious how to change these rules and I suspect that […] Read more – ‘Lack of metrics for eBay Cross promotion rules’.
Setting up Outlook for 4 hour Workweek
I have recently been thinking about how best to set up my email thought outlook having read the 4 hour workweek.  In the book Timothy Ferriss suggest answering your emails only twice a day, which I think is a great idea, the problem is that I want to be able to send emails more requently […] Read more – ‘Setting up Outlook for 4 hour Workweek’.
Trevor’s Productivity Tips No. 000001
Today I changed my brower homepage from the BBC to Google. I reckon that every time that I see the BBC site I have to read at least one story.  Estimated time saving:  15 minutes per day x 20 working days = approx 0.5 days month Read more – ‘Trevor’s Productivity Tips No. 000001’.
Hello Baby eBay Listings
I (well not me personally), have created an listing template for my new eBay business, Hello Baby.  I thought I would go through my design rationale and invite comments:   Features: Two column design.  Although I think the proponents of three column listing and shop designs such as Frooition do an excellent job for a […] Read more – ‘Hello Baby eBay Listings’.
eBay, eCommerce. Life Hacked
Anyone who reads my blog regularly might have noticed that it was briefly taken over by a turkish hacker. Mr Hacker, Ha, Ha, very funny, please don’t do it again.  Thanks to Sam from Arena Flowers for letting me know   Read more – ‘eBay, eCommerce. Life Hacked’.
Running a business without Microsoft
Leading from my last post about using skype to run phones, it seems to me as if these days business infrastructure can be almost entirely run on open source or free products.  I am quite tempted to give these options a go, but I do use a lot of software and services which are only […] Read more – ‘Running a business without Microsoft’.
Best Self Help Books including Getting Things Done, 4 hour workweek and others
I am a bit of a sucker for self help books and so I thought that I would share my favourites in case anyone is looking for a bit of enlightenment.   Most of these books are about time management as I interested in ways of working smarter.  I reckon with a self help book if […] Read more – ‘Best Self Help Books including Getting Things Done, 4 hour workweek and others’.
Running your business on Skype
  I am just setting up a business (well two actually) and I have decided to manage the phones using skype, dispensing with landlines altogether.  I may live to regret this, but I thought I would share my reasons. Alongside computer to computer calls, Skype also has a feature called a Skype-In number where users […] Read more – ‘Running your business on Skype’.
Terapeak 5.0 Beta preview
  I have been given a sneek preview of the new launch of terapeak (thanks!).  Looks pretty nifty.  Here are my top picks of the new features.  Hot Searches.  This enables sellers to find the top searched keywords for particular categories and more importantly sub categories.  Great to writing titles Hot Sellers.  I think that […] Read more – ‘Terapeak 5.0 Beta preview’.
Top UK eBay Sellers
According to the new version of Terapeak (using their Hot sellers search) the top sellers on eBay UK in the month 19th Feb-19th March were: emilyandlily   £1,633,888.71 jean_sale  £1,039,357.00 willen_trading  £850,601.64 e_cell  £761,431.59 digital-rev  £703,445.96 clearancebargains-uk  £682,354.21 bestpricetrading  £650,414.52 digigood  £630,071.55 harbour48  £558,300.46 palicomp  £512,576.86 containerclearancecompany  £492,448.36 ebestdeal4u  £475,756.51 online4babyltd  £469,223.01 schuhstore  £442,139.73 mybesteshop  £436,266.85 […] Read more – ‘Top UK eBay Sellers’.
eCommerce Wish List
Whilst particularly annoyed by Adwords the other day, I got thinking about things I would like to change about the major eCommerce platforms. eBay User access levels.  eBay was never originally created with businesses in mind and so, unlike most business systems, there is no function to limit the access of some users to certain […] Read more – ‘eCommerce Wish List’.
Message from PWC, Administrators of Clockworx
We understand that there are a relatively small number of faulty/not as described disputes opened on Paypal for items bought after 31st Jan 08. Customers should not return such goods to Clockworx premises as they are now closed and we will not be able to recover items sent to those premises after 28 February 2008. […] Read more – ‘Message from PWC, Administrators of Clockworx’.
Lots2- a useful collection service
  In the past there have been several occaisions when I have purchased collection only items on eBay and then had the pain of organising a collection.  I am please therefore find a company which offers a solution to this problem – lots2.   Lots2 enables sellers to offer a delivery option for large items […] Read more – ‘Lots2- a useful collection service’.
eDirectory – Is it any good?
   I was recently asked by a client whether they should sell thorough eDirectory.  eDirectory is a fixed price marketplace which sells across a range of different categories ranging from electronics to flowers.  The system is similar to Amazon marketplace in that seller submits details of their products and the whole selling process takes place […] Read more – ‘eDirectory – Is it any good?’.
Promoting eBay listings from your website: A mistake
I have noticed that several businesses promote their eBay listings prominently from their websites.  For example:     I suspect that the reasons for doing this are two fold.  Drive traffic to the eBay listing and thereby get more sales Save on eBay listings fees by an getting affiliate payment for driving traffic from the […] Read more – ‘Promoting eBay listings from your website: A mistake’.
Christian Braun on Clockworx going into administration
Today ClockWorx Ltd. (best known under one of its trading names Auctioning4u) has gone into administration. I was the company’s co-founder and CEO over the last five years. There is a lot of discussion of franchised versus company owned – I believe that discussion to be beside the point; the real question is if one […] Read more – ‘Christian Braun on Clockworx going into administration’.
Auctioning4u/Clockworx RIP
Yesterday, Clockworx, the company previously trading as Auctioning4u called in the administrators.  It is a sad end to the dream of building a nationwide chain of eBay drop shops.  It also, I feel, sounds the death knell for the idea that a large company can be built from franchaising drop shops.  The stand alone shop […] Read more – ‘Auctioning4u/Clockworx RIP’.
eBay’s recent changes
Gosh its been an exciting few days in the world of eBay watching.  The site has made some pretty radical changes to how their fee structure works.  Interesting, all very interesting The end of the level playing field (in the UK at least) eBay has done two things to the way their fees are structured […] Read more – ‘eBay’s recent changes’.
My Column in eBayAdvisor Magazine
I have had my first article published in a national publication.  All my own work but I didn’t come up with the title!   Text: People love eBay.  In the UK it accounts for 11% of all internet surfing and the average eBay member spends 2 hours on the site every month.  Worldwide the company […] Read more – ‘My Column in eBayAdvisor Magazine’.
Personal Media Optimisation
My friend and fellow blogger Ian Crocrombe, has hit on an interesting idea with the concept of Personal Media Optimisation.  Social  Media Optimisation is a bit of a buzz word these days but what about people doing it on a personal level? Optimising your online profile is the next logical step on from doing an […] Read more – ‘Personal Media Optimisation’.
Trends for 2008
In no particular order, here are some things which I think are going to going places in 2008   Etsy is a marketplace (fixed price items only) for handmade items. The site is aimed at sole traders and collectives making and selling their own items.  Resellers are not allowed (defined as anyone selling items they […] Read more – ‘Trends for 2008’.
Wikinomics vs. The Cult of the Amateur
vs. I have just finished reading two very interesting, both totally opposed books on the Web 2.0, citizen journalism and mass online collaboration.  The cult of the Amateur is by Andrew Keen, an Internet entrepreneur who has decided that far from being a force for good, the internet is in fact having a very negative […] Read more – ‘Wikinomics vs. The Cult of the Amateur’.
eBay throws light on the resale of gift vouchers
There is an interesting article on the BBC website today about how data from eBay has been used to evalulate the actual value of gift vouchers.  There is a vibrant secondary voucher for high street gift vouchers on eBay and research by Jennifer Pate has shown that these vouchers sell for approximately 20% below face […] Read more – ‘eBay throws light on the resale of gift vouchers’.
Auctionair – Snotty Sealed bid auction site
  I have just come across Auctionair – a sealed bid auction site which seems to deal in charity auctions and luxury products. Auction air use two types of auctions: High bid auctions.  This is sealed bid auction where the highest bidder wins.  The sealed bid nature of the auction means that the individual bidders […] Read more – ‘Auctionair – Snotty Sealed bid auction site’.
The current state of eBay in 402 words
For years eBay could do no wrong.  It has a virtual monopoly in the online auction marketplace, a sector worth $55 billion worldwide, and has built an impressive customer base of 233 million members in 37 countries. Recently, however, some of the shine has come off the company.  Sellers have been complaining of high fees, […] Read more – ‘The current state of eBay in 402 words’.
Offering alternative payment methods boost conversion rates
I read an interesting article in the ecommerceguide.com about how offering alterative methods of payment such as cash and cheques can boost conversion. Nearly 40 percent of offline purchases are made with checks or cash, and so it makes sense to still offer these at the checkout, either on eBay or your own website.  And […] Read more – ‘Offering alternative payment methods boost conversion rates’.
Interesting Podcast from the Times Online
  I listened to an interesting podcast on the times online today about the low vs high starting price debate. In the podcast Robert Caldiani draws on the work of Gillian Ku to draw conclusions about the best times to have a low and high starting price auction. Interestingly, he also looks at the wider […] Read more – ‘Interesting Podcast from the Times Online’.
eBay, eCommerce, Life reviewed in the Independent Guide to eBay 2008
Fame at last. eBay, ecommerce life has been reviewed in the Independent guide to eBay 2008.  I particularly like the bit about ‘the author’s clear expertise’ and ‘engaging and accessible style’. The guide is actually rather good and has some very comprehensive lists of tools and a lot of very sensible advice and good guides.  […] Read more – ‘eBay, eCommerce, Life reviewed in the Independent Guide to eBay 2008’.
Video on eBay, a good idea yes, a good business model, no
I am 100% sure that the use of online video in product listings both on an off eBay is going to skyrocket over the next few years with more sellers using online video to provide more information to sellers about their products, creating a richer online buying experience.  However, I am less sure about the […] Read more – ‘Video on eBay, a good idea yes, a good business model, no’.
BStartup up show round up
Thanks for everyone who came to see me speak at the Bstartup show. The seminar was surprisingly popular  – see photo of the queue below   If you want the slides from the presentation click here  Read more – ‘BStartup up show round up’.
Clear Offset – Offset your carbon footprint
  I would like to do a quick plug for my friend’s company clear-offset.com.  Clear is a one-stop shop to help you tackle climate change. Measure your carbon footprint, get advice on how to reduce it, and then find out how offsetting can create further reductions elsewhere. Clear only uses Certified Emission Reduction certificates (CERs) […] Read more – ‘Clear Offset – Offset your carbon footprint’.
eBay Launches Community Courts
  eBay.co.uk is trialing a new innovation to deal with negative feedback disputes.  Disputing parties will be able to submit their feedback to a jury of 100 ebayers, who will decided whether or not the feedback was fair.  To get feedback overturned 70% or more of the jurers will have to vote in favour of […] Read more – ‘eBay Launches Community Courts’.
eBay Business startup checklist
Preparation To the uninitiated, eBay can seem a bit complex and in order to get the best out of the marketplace for your business it is important to understand how eBay works and gain some experience selling products.  I have seen several businesses give up selling on eBay as they did not put the time […] Read more – ‘eBay Business startup checklist’.
I am presenting at Bstartup
  Try to control yourselves but I will be presenting at Business Startup 2007 on Friday at 2.45.  The presentation is called "How to be an eBay Entrepreneur".  See you there. Read more – ‘I am presenting at Bstartup’.
eBay.com vs eBay.co.uk Affiliate revenues
Michelle from eSellerStreet recently pointed out to me that the affiliate payments differ widely between the US and the UK.   USA Revenue Share Tiers    Total Revenue ($)  % of Revenue $0 – $99.99  50.00% $100 – $4,999.99  55.00% $5,000 – $199,999.99  60.00% $200,000 – $699,999.99  65.00% $700,000 – $2,999,999.99 70.00% $3,000,000 +  75.00% […] Read more – ‘eBay.com vs eBay.co.uk Affiliate revenues’.
eBay Neighbourhoods – a Missed Opportunity
I have to say that I am rather dissappointed with eBay’s new neighborhood offering.  It seems to simply be an amalgam of components which already exist within eBay, as opposed to a genuine development.  An eBay Neighborhood consists of the following: Discussion boards Blogs Reviews and guides And of course associated items and members.  What […] Read more – ‘eBay Neighbourhoods – a Missed Opportunity’.
GetitNext – good eBay searching site
  I have just been alerted to the launch of an new eBay searching site – getitnext.   This site has rather nice functionality, allowing users to refine their seaches using tag clouds and selecting categories from a graphical category tree. The application also allows buyers to find hot items within a particular category i.e. […] Read more – ‘GetitNext – good eBay searching site’.
New eBay listing Tool – Auctomatic
  I have just been invited to the beta of Auctomatic, a new eBay listing tool.  On the face of it I am not sure why its creators thought that there was a requirement in the marketplace for a sub-Seller Manager Pro offering.  The product offers the same kind of inventory features as SMP, but […] Read more – ‘New eBay listing Tool – Auctomatic’.
Detailed Seller Rating Revealed
The other day eBay revealed detailed of the average rating being left on the eBay detailed seller ratings.   The detailed seller rating were supposed to enable sellers to give a fuller picture of the service that they received, and reward those that gave a truely excellent service.  Here are the results:   Bottom 10% […] Read more – ‘Detailed Seller Rating Revealed’.
eBay Research Software
I have been doing a lot of research into product to sell on eBay of recent and here is a review of the products which I have been using. eBay tools can be broadly divided into two sorts, those that go through the eBay API and those that scrape eBay results through the login.  Software […] Read more – ‘eBay Research Software’.
15 Ways to Avoid Fraud on eBay
Fraud is a growing problem on eBay.  The golden rule here is to apply common sense.  However, some of the tactics used can be pretty convencing, especially to the novice user.  REMEMBER: IF SOMETHING SEEMS TO GOOD TO BE TRUE IT PROBABLY IS!  I would also recommend a visit to eBay’s safety centre 1 Don’t […] Read more – ‘15 Ways to Avoid Fraud on eBay’.
How to get your blog indexed on Technorati
  Sometimes the old ways are the best.  I registered this blog on Technorati about a year ago but they never seemed to register my new posts, despite the fact I was pinging their server.  I tried emailing but got no reply.  The ‘top’ blog search engine clearly was not interested in what I had […] Read more – ‘How to get your blog indexed on Technorati’.
Review of eBay Q&A by Robert Pugh
I have just read eBay Q&A by Robert Pugh, author of the eBay Business Handbook.  Robert compiled this list of topics from questions which were posed through his blog and newsletter the eBay bulletin.   As opposed to most beginner level books on eBay, this book does not go through a step by step guide […] Read more – ‘Review of eBay Q&A by Robert Pugh’.
ChannelAdvisor takes over Marketworks
  To my enormous surprise ChannelAdvisor has taken over Marketworks.  I find this surprising as in my experience, people from Channeladvisor have had nothing good to say about marketworks.  But then, that is probably true for all competitors. As I understand it, the volume of GMV which was managed by the two companies is about […] Read more – ‘ChannelAdvisor takes over Marketworks’.
Review of How to have a Baby on eBay
The nice people at Harriman house have given me a copy of How to have a Baby on eBay: Your One Stop Shopping Guide to Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond by Wiz Wharton. This book is an interesting combination of shopping guide (the full range of baby stuff from monitors to pushchairs) and a guide to […] Read more – ‘Review of How to have a Baby on eBay’.
Review of “The eBay Business Handbook” by Robert Pugh
I have just read The eBay Business Handbook by Robert Pugh.  This book is a good introduction to starting a business on eBay and is ideal for someone who knows absolutely nothing about eBay.  The book provides a step by step guide to selling on eBay from setting up an account through to completing the […] Read more – ‘Review of “The eBay Business Handbook” by Robert Pugh’.
Determinants of Final Prices in eBay Auctions
I have just read two studies which look into the factors effecting final prices in eBay Auctions.  Ryan Praskievicz studies the prices for 30GB iPods for his study The Determinants of Final Bid Price in eBay Auctions and Lucking-Reiley et al use coins in their study, Pennies from  eBay.  The main findings of the reports […] Read more – ‘Determinants of Final Prices in eBay Auctions’.
The effects of hiding postage costs
I have been reading a paper by Tanjim Hossain and John Morgan entitled Shorouded Attributes and Information suppression: Evidence from field experiments which makes some interesting points about how to treat postage charges on eBay.  Their study looked at how differences in display of postage costs can effect the final price of the auction.  They […] Read more – ‘The effects of hiding postage costs’.
Loss of Stumbleupon traffic
??????? I am not sure what have been happening with Stumbleupon recently.  I have been using it advertiser service to drive traffic to this here blog ($0.05 a click seemed like quite a good deal, and I feel that surely someone must want to read what I have to say!).  However in the last week […] Read more – ‘Loss of Stumbleupon traffic’.
eCrater – Free online Marketplace
Reading  Randy Smythes blog today I cam across eCrater, a free online marketplace and ecommerce shopfront provider. Initiall sceptical, I was actually pretty impressed with it, especially considering it is free.  The product has the following functionality: Shopfront with its own URL Shop search product listings (quite a rigid format – but that might be […] Read more – ‘eCrater – Free online Marketplace’.
Timing of Online Auctions
Some new research by Uri Simonsohn entitled Excess Entry into High Demand Markets – Evidence from the Timing of Online Auctions, throws some light on that difficult issue – when to end your auctions.  Competition neglect is the effect of people choosing actions which would maximise their profits in the absence of competition.  In other […] Read more – ‘Timing of Online Auctions’.
Swapping sites – Why bother?
    On my travels around the internet I have come across several swapping websites.  A new one called youSwop has been launched recently.  Other sites are listed here. Considering the development of money is one of the greatest events in the history of mankind, enabling goods and people to travel freely, I cannot help […] Read more – ‘Swapping sites – Why bother?’.
eSellerPro supporting PlayTrade
  eSellerPro has become the first software provider to support Play.com‘s playtrade platform.  Playtrade allows third party items to be sold alongside Play.com’s own products, in a very similar way to the Amazon marketplace. I have no data on how effective Playtrade is as a marketplace.  However with low commission rates (about 10% – no […] Read more – ‘eSellerPro supporting PlayTrade’.
eBay Facebook App
  eBay has just launched a facebook Application called eBay Marketplace .  This is hot on the heals of their eBay to go application for listing products on blogs and other websites. This is clearly a no brainer for eBay as Facebook and other social media sites are expanding so rapidly.  The marketplace place app […] Read more – ‘eBay Facebook App’.
Money supermarket vs. the rest
  On the tube the other day I noticed an advert for MoneySupermarket.com which was comparing it with other insurance comparison sites.  This seemed to me a new development in the comparison engine market, comparison of the comparison sites, perhaps someone will produce a meta-shopping comparison site.  This ad showed that they got their customers […] Read more – ‘Money supermarket vs. the rest’.
Second rotation and other remarketing services
  Second Rotation has been launched recently as a way for consumers to sell on their electronic items for cash.  This is an interesting development in the drop-shop model which uses the fact that for some categories (mainly electronics) eBay is a liquid market with steady (ish) marketprices.  Based on a number of criteria (condition, […] Read more – ‘Second rotation and other remarketing services’.
How to Use Facebook to Promote your Business and Blog
It would be difficult not to notice the staggering growth of Facebook over the last few months.  Facebook now has 31 million members across the globe and its growth has been so large that some people are talking of it as the new Microsoft. Where there are members there is the potential to acquire customers, […] Read more – ‘How to Use Facebook to Promote your Business and Blog’.
Interview with SpaceTime CEO and creator Eddie Bakhash
  Following my review of Spacetime, a new 3D search tool for eBay and other marketplaces, I have interviewed the CEO, Eddie Bakhash, who has been kind enough to fill us in with some background and developments with his product. Where do you see SpaceTime fitting into the browser market? SpaceTime is a next generation […] Read more – ‘Interview with SpaceTime CEO and creator Eddie Bakhash’.
PriceFad – Price trends for consumer items
  PriceFad is a site which allows consumers to view the price behaviour I find this site interesting as it show graphically the behaviour of commodities over time (in this case consumer goods).  Although this is for new items (I presume as it does not give info on its data sources), you can infer that […] Read more – ‘PriceFad – Price trends for consumer items’.
eBay Q2 results
On July 18th eBay posted their second quarter results.  Here is a snapshot: Marketplaces net revenues totaled a record $1.29 billion in Q2-07, a growth rate of 26% over the $1.03 billion reported in Q2-06.  eBay’s users posted a total of 559 million listings in Q2-07, 6% lower than the 596 million listings posted in […] Read more – ‘eBay Q2 results’.
Comments on TechCrunch eBay Post
I came across a post on Techcrunch today about selling on eBay which was based on an article in Christian Science Monitor.  Most of the research which is mentioned is covered in posts on this blog, and so I thought I would link to them to make it easy to people to read what I […] Read more – ‘Comments on TechCrunch eBay Post’.
Anchor Stores – are they worth it?
    I have always wondered if Anchor Stores were worth the extra £270 a month over featured stores. To recap, the advantages of a Anchor store over a featured store are: More emails – 5000 vs 2500 More custom pages – 15 vs 10 (but who is ever going to use that many) Logo […] Read more – ‘Anchor Stores – are they worth it?’.
Blog Tips pt 3 – Building Traffic to your Blog
Part 1 – Customising your blog Part 2 – Monitizing your blog Part 3 – Building traffic to your blog Getting traffic to any websites, blogs included, is difficult and requires dedication and hard work. Competition for eyeballs is fierce and to get traffic you need to take every opportunity to optimise you blog and […] Read more – ‘Blog Tips pt 3 – Building Traffic to your Blog’.
Buying Traffic from StumbleUpon
I covered in a previous post that listing my blog posts in StumbleUpon produced a massive spike in my web traffic. Now I didn’t realise until this morning that StumbleUpon actually sells traffic.  You can purchase stumbles at $0.05 (£0.024) per click.  In terms of qualification you get to choose the category you want traffic […] Read more – ‘Buying Traffic from StumbleUpon’.
Analysing Websites
I have some across some interesting information recently about analysing the traffic going to competitor websites. Firstly, Andrew Girdwood wrote an interesting post on the eConsultancy website on the matter – Andrew is head of Search at Big Mouth Media, a leading SEO company so probably know what he is talking abou. Secondly, was just […] Read more – ‘Analysing Websites’.
Using Social Bookmarking sites to boost traffic
Social bookmarking sites are increasingly being used by people to record what they find online and share this with their friends.I have been very impressed with the results I have got from submitting my blog to social bookmarking sites like Stumbleupon, Del.icio.us and Digg.  Submitting my pages to these sites produced a definite peak in […] Read more – ‘Using Social Bookmarking sites to boost traffic’.
eBay India starts a shopping cart
  eBay India has incorporated a shopping cart into its site.  This will allow sellers to add items into a ecommerce style shopping basket from multiple sellers and pay for these all at once.  This is a great improvement on the current situation where items have to be selected and bought at the same time, […] Read more – ‘eBay India starts a shopping cart’.
Google Launches Search Query Performance report
  Google has launched a search query performance report, which allows advertisers to see the actual search queries which triggered their ads.  It is about time that they introduced this feature as it will prove very useful for improving the relevancy of keywords, especially for businesses who cannot easily measure the ROI on their adwords […] Read more – ‘Google Launches Search Query Performance report’.
Local Classified – eBay launches Kijiji
There have been some interesting new products launched in the local ads space.  Up to now the main players have been Craigs list (25% owned by eBay) and Gumtree (owned by eBay – not in the US).  However eBay has now launched Kijiji in the US which looks like a Gumtree 2.0.   Kijiji has […] Read more – ‘Local Classified – eBay launches Kijiji’.
gumshoo – ebay searching app
Gumshoo is a new eBay search application. It’s main difference the with ordinary eBay search is that shows typos results along side the eBay results. I don’t like it as it has none of the fuctionality of eBay’s advanced search, so I don’t really see the benefit over searching through eBay….call me old fashioned clipped […] Read more – ‘gumshoo – ebay searching app’.
Spacetime – a 3D eBay search application
  I have been asked to review spacetime – a new web application which allows 3D search of eBay, Google, amazon, YouTube Yahoo! and Flickr all from one visual browser. the application allows you to scroll through entire screens, or just the item images.  Here is an example:   Now although I think that we […] Read more – ‘Spacetime – a 3D eBay search application’.
eBay Cheap Listing day
    I am probably a bit late in announcing this but there is an eBay cheap listing day tommorrow. It would be interesting to know whether these actually work for sellers. There is some evidence to show that prices are much lower on cheap listing days as there is much more competition.  They are […] Read more – ‘eBay Cheap Listing day’.
Blog Tips pt 2. – Monitizing your blog
Part 1 – Customising your blog Part 3 – Building traffic to your blog   There has been quite a bit written on this and so I won’t pretend that this is a comprehensive list, just a profile of the methods which I have been using.  The revenue which you can gain from these methods […] Read more – ‘Blog Tips pt 2. – Monitizing your blog’.
eBay store Design – Does it help?
There was some interesting information contained in the newsletter from Aswas.  Debbit Levitt states that some sellers found that custom designs reduced the amount of traffic driven to their products. We had a few sellers tell us that they had their custom eBay Store home pages "professionally" designed, but that when they checked their Traffic […] Read more – ‘eBay store Design – Does it help?’.
Blogging Tips – Part 1 – Customising your blog
I have been doing quite a lot of work on my blog recently and I wanted to share some of what I have learned.  This post will be in three parts Part 1 – Customising your blogs Part 2 – Monitizing your blog Part 3 – Promoting your blog Blogging platforms I use WordPress.   […] Read more – ‘Blogging Tips – Part 1 – Customising your blog’.
Vzaar – embedded videos for eBay
I have just learned about a new service called Vzaar which is specifically designed for eBay sellers to embed videos in their listings This service differs from the likes of Youtube as it is intergrated with eBay’s API enabling user to easily integrate the videos into their listings without playing around with the code. I […] Read more – ‘Vzaar – embedded videos for eBay’.
eBay firefox extension
    eBay and firebox have just launched an eBay firefox extension.  At a quick glance this has a lot of the features of the eBay toolbar, but is more integrated into the browser.  My browser now has a rather neat button on the main menu and i can launch a sidebar to get more […] Read more – ‘eBay firefox extension’.
eBay and Squidoo
  I have recently noticed that more and more eBay sellers are using Squidoo to promote their items and so I have decided to reassess Squidoo as a way of driving traffic to eBay and other transactional websites. Quite a few eBay sellers seem to be using Squidoo to promote their products.  These seem to […] Read more – ‘eBay and Squidoo’.
MyThings and iTaggit – Creating an new asset class
On reading techcrunch the other day I came across two new website which help people catalogue and value their valuables Mythings.com is a site which allows users to enter details of their assets to create an online portfolio.  Items can be included in the database, with tags and pictures. Once listed users are able to […] Read more – ‘MyThings and iTaggit – Creating an new asset class’.
eBay Vs Google – The Stats
These has been much excitement and speculation in the blogosphere regarding the spat between eBay and google Background Google scheduled a Checkout Freedom Party in Boston during eBay Live conference to pressure eBay into accepting Google’s checkout payment solution. eBay temporarily stopped buying Google keywords. Rumbled, Google canceled the party. Dropping the ads revealed some […] Read more – ‘eBay Vs Google – The Stats’.
eBay seller get fined $475K for Shill bidding
A jewellery company in the US who were shill bidding on a massive scale has been fined $475K. Ezra Dweck and employees of his company, EMH Group, placed more than 232,000 such bids worth some $US5 million over about a one-year period. Full story here I find this pretty hard to believe!  At auctioning4u if […] Read more – ‘eBay seller get fined $475K for Shill bidding’.
Bebo overtakes eBay as the most searched term
Hitwise has reported that searches for Bebo, the social networking site, has overtaken eBay. see the press releases here Except for one week in September 2006, the term "ebay" has topped the list as the highest volume search term in the UK. However, Bebo again became the #1 most searched for term in the UK for […] Read more – ‘Bebo overtakes eBay as the most searched term’.
BuySafe eBay Data
I came across some interesting information from BuySave on Steve Woda’s blog and though I would make some comments.  In general the figures reinforce the notion that eBay is a very competitive marketplace and demonstrate the importance of selling through multiple channels.    BuySafe analysed the sales data from their top sellers which produced the following […] Read more – ‘BuySafe eBay Data’.
New eBay Books
I have just finished reading two "new" books on eBay ("new" as they are second editions).  Both provide a good introduction to selling on eBay and touch on other topics such as multi channel online marketing. Make Serious Money on eBay UK    Dan Wilson was until recently the community manager for eBay UK, giving […] Read more – ‘New eBay Books’.
eBay and the Social Networks
With the rise of the social networks such as MySpace and Facebook, it is no surprise that there is a growing number of widgets to help sellers advertise.  Lets take a look at a few of them Cooqy Cooqy offers 3 different widgets, a seller showcase for smallers sellers (shown above), a seller shopfront for […] Read more – ‘eBay and the Social Networks’.
Free eBay Research from TeraPeak
  Terapeak are now offering 30 days of free eBay data as a taster to their full service.  This does not include the UK which is a bit annoying, but lets face it, Blighty’s day passed in about 1945. Read more – ‘Free eBay Research from TeraPeak’.
**Shiney** New Blog
If anyone actually reads this blog, they will realise that I haven’t been writing much recently.  Fear not! I have not been idle, but rearranging things a bit.  I have added a few new page to add a bit of quality content Recommended reads – a list of my favourite books, eBay and otherwise eBay […] Read more – ‘**Shiney** New Blog’.
Beyond eBay – Selling on Multiple channels
Many online traders start by selling on eBay as it provides sellers and a straight forward system for listing items and accepting payment. However, eBay is only one of a number of sales channels available for your products on the internet.  Selling through sites such as Amazon and Kelkoo as well as your own website […] Read more – ‘Beyond eBay – Selling on Multiple channels’.
Arena flowers blog
  My good chums at arena flowers have just launched a blog – check it out –  http://www.arenaflowers.com/blog/ Read more – ‘Arena flowers blog’.
The New Google Analytics – ChannelAdvisor webinar
It’s James Scott from ChannelAdvisor here (again!) with my second ‘guest post’ on Trevor’s blog. The reason for this one is to let you all know about an interesting webinar we’ll be hosting on Friday, with guest presenter Phil Walford from Google. A couple of weeks ago, Google relaunched Google Analytics – the online (free) analytics […] Read more – ‘The New Google Analytics – ChannelAdvisor webinar’.
eBay listing types and their uses
Here is a brief summary of the listing formats and eBay marketplaces and for what they are useful.eBay marketplaces. eBay can be divided into three marketplaces. eBay core listings (www.eBay.co.uk). These are the eBay auction and fixed price listings accessible from the eBay search eBay shop. (http://stores.ebay.co.uk) An eBay shop displays all the items you […] Read more – ‘eBay listing types and their uses’.
Interview at AuctionCUT
I have been interviewed by the leading eBay forum AuctionCUT about the eBay Trading Assistant program. What opportunities does the eBay TA program offer for eBay sellers? eBay’s Trading Assistant (TA) program enables sellers to use their knowledge of eBay to profit from selling items on behalf of people and businesses who do not have […] Read more – ‘Interview at AuctionCUT’.
Places I have visited
Not that impressive I know but I would like to add that I have been to San Marino and I have the passport stamp to prove it. I have also been to Sark which is the last feudal state in Europe. Read more – ‘Places I have visited’.
eBay Statistics Sources
I recently received a request from a student for sources of data on eBay’s sales figures.  As any eBay watcher will know, these are rather difficult to obtain.  Here are the sources which I have found most useful: eBay press releases and company info  eBay investor presentations    eBay shop totals  Bear sterns analyst report […] Read more – ‘eBay Statistics Sources’.
IMRG – international eretailers
clipped from www.imrg.org IMRG represents a collaborative community with a common vision: to maximise the commercial potential of electronic shopping – from online, telephone and mobile commerce, to digital TV, home shopping and interactive kiosk applications. IMRG members comprise hundreds of enterprises operating throughout the industry: retailers, who sell products and services direct, and suppliers […] Read more – ‘IMRG – international eretailers’.
Google Checkout UK webinar from ChannelAdvisor & Google – today at 2pm!
Hi – James Scott from ChannelAdvisor UK here. Many thanks to Trevor for letting me ‘guest blog’ this afternoon! Just wanted to let you all know that we’re hosting a free Google Checkout UK webinar at 2pm this afternoon. If you’re an online retailer and are considering accepting this new checkout option, please feel free […] Read more – ‘Google Checkout UK webinar from ChannelAdvisor & Google – today at 2pm!’.
iSold-it is dead – Long Live Auctioning4u
  Hot on the heels of iSold-it US announcing that they were not going to be taking on any more franchisees, iSold-it UK is shutting up shop.  Is this the death knell for the concept of stand alone drop-off shops in the UK?  At Auctioning4u we have always maintained that the only way to make […] Read more – ‘iSold-it is dead – Long Live Auctioning4u’.
eSellerStreet now available for the UK
eSellerStreet has now been launched for the UK market. I think that this is an excellent piece of software for researching eBay sales and it  has proved particularly useful to us in the following areas: Analysing competitors.  eSellerStreet gives a snapshot of sales stats for an eBay ID.  This is not somethings which is available […] Read more – ‘eSellerStreet now available for the UK’.
Auctioning4u eBay Blog and MyWorld Page
Auctioning4u has now created a Myworld Page and an eBay based Blog!  check them out! http://myworld.ebay.co.uk/auctioning4u http://blogs.ebay.co.uk/auctioning4u     Read more – ‘Auctioning4u eBay Blog and MyWorld Page’.
ChannelAdvisor Catalyst Event 18th-19th April
  ChannelAdvisor are having their annual ‘Catalyst’ online retailler summit this year on the 18/19th April in the rather splendid surroundings of Number One Whitehall Place in central London.  I went along to the event last year which was very informative and so I would recommend taking the time.  Here are some other reasons to […] Read more – ‘ChannelAdvisor Catalyst Event 18th-19th April’.
Using reviews to drive traffic to your listings
 Steve Wilson, one of the most successful review and guide writers on eBay, is interviewed in the auction forum, auction cut http://www.auctioncut.com/6-question-interview-steve-wilson-t477.html He finds that his guides generate 15-20% of the visits to his storefront, which is pretty impressive.    Read more – ‘Using reviews to drive traffic to your listings’.
Online Auction Study reveals listing tips
 A 2003 study entitled Doing their bidding:  An empirical examination of factors that affect a buyers utility in internet auctions, Kaufmann et al (2003) has revealed some interesting if fairly common sense, findings about eBay auctions.  Kaufmann et al investigated 55,000 bids over a 3 year period.  By choosing the focus their attention on coin, a category […] Read more – ‘Online Auction Study reveals listing tips’.
eBay Store number continue to rise
Despite the rise in eBay fees last summer, eBay shop numbers have continued to rise.  The following charts show that total eBay shops have risen by 10% since the price increase.  eBay.co.uk shows a small drop around the price increase and a more major drop around december/January.       eBay.com and total shop numbers […] Read more – ‘eBay Store number continue to rise’.
eBay resorts to keyword Spam!
I noticed this text at the bottom of an eBay category list page earlier   More Info About Jewellery & WatchesLooking for a unique piece of jewellery for that special occasion? Maybe you need a wrist watch or some men’s jewellery? Or perhaps you’re about to pick out a diamond ring? eBay.co.uk has a wide […] Read more – ‘eBay resorts to keyword Spam!’.
Sunday Times ‘Exposes’ Shill Bidding
I am a little behind the times, but my mother has just given me the Sundays times article about Shill bidding .  Quite frankly this was about as much of a revelation as the Observer ‘exposing’ that, shock, horror, authors write reviews for their books on Amazon. In my formative eBay years, I confess to […] Read more – ‘Sunday Times ‘Exposes’ Shill Bidding’.
14 Ways to reduce your eBay & PayPal Fees
One of the top complaints against eBay is the level of fees. It is therefore surprising that many large eBay sellers make unnecessary and easily avoidable payments to eBay. This article lists 14 easy-to-implement ways to reduce eBay fees and improve the profitability of your eBay business. Strategies for all eBay Sellers These fee-saving strategies […] Read more – ‘14 Ways to reduce your eBay & PayPal Fees’.
TNS Infratest Research heralds the coming of auction culture
Some recent research from TNS Infratest Research for eBay Germany shows that auction culture is creeping up on us. 11% of Germans that are online consider what an item that they are thinking of buying could be sold for later on 37% think it a good idea to sell old products to then upgrade 54% […] Read more – ‘TNS Infratest Research heralds the coming of auction culture’.
Big Businesses are small fry on eBay
I have been quoted today in an article by econsultancy about big brand selling on eBay. See the econsultancy blog post Take up of the eBay channel by the big brands has been slow and most of those who are selling have not embraced the channel. Here some figures regarding sales from some large brands […] Read more – ‘Big Businesses are small fry on eBay’.
Bear Stearns eBay Analyst report
I have managed to get my hands on the Investment bank Bear Stearns report on eBay.  I makes pretty interesting reading and I will try and summarise the most interesting parts The report shows the despite the negative publicity which eBay received last year, the platform is going from strength to strength Global Quarter to […] Read more – ‘Bear Stearns eBay Analyst report’.
eBay Feedback 2.0
so what is Feedback 2.0 and what do I think of it What is it? The major changes are as follows Detailed Seller Ratings allow buyers to rate transactions based on item description, communication, delivery time, and postage & packaging charges. Item title and price.  The item title and item price to the new Feedback Profile […] Read more – ‘eBay Feedback 2.0’.
eBay Markdown Manager
eBay is launching a rather interesting feature called the markdown manager.  This will allow eBayers to display markdowns on prices. For more information see http://pages.ebay.com/storefronts/markdownmanager.html Read more – ‘eBay Markdown Manager’.
List of Ping Services for Blogs
Wants your blog to be picked up the the blog search directories? By sending blog search engines and directories a ‘ping’ telling them that you have written a new post, you stand a better chance of being found. Here is a list of ping services to submit your blog to: http://rpc.icerocket.com:10080/ http://xping.pubsub.com/ping http://blogsearch.google.com/ping/ http://ping.weblogalot.com/rpc.php http://rpc.weblogs.com/RPC2 […] Read more – ‘List of Ping Services for Blogs’.
eSeller Street – Good eBay Statistics Application
eSellerStreet is an eBay research tool with a difference – you only pay per search (a very reasonable $0.35).  This is very useful for those occaisional searches you wish to do which don’t require a full subscription.  Looking at the functionality, the product will be most useful for the following tasks: Getting the eBay vitals […] Read more – ‘eSeller Street – Good eBay Statistics Application’.
Auction Watch for Google Desktop
I have just discovered a rather neat application for Google Desktop – auction watch.  This gadget will allow you to monitor eBay auctions from your desktop without having to log into eBay.  It will also notify you a user defined number of minutes before an auction is about to close so that you can put […] Read more – ‘Auction Watch for Google Desktop’.
Bargain hunters paradise lost – eBay is not always the cheapest
I found an interesting paper called Buying, Bidding, Playing or Competing? Value Assessment and Decision Dynamics in Online Auctions by ariely et al (2003). In this paper, the writers tracked 500 auctions for CDs, books and films and for each auction, spent a maximum of 10 minutes trying to find a better deal that the […] Read more – ‘Bargain hunters paradise lost – eBay is not always the cheapest’.
eBay traffic analysis from compete.com
I found an interesting post the other day on the compete.com blog giving some interesting stat about eBay site visits. Compete runs a service similar to Alexa where they track the behaviour of their online community. This way they can analyse the behaviour of their members regarding eBay’s website. The data is interesting but it […] Read more – ‘eBay traffic analysis from compete.com’.
The Bidder’s Curse – Overbidding on eBay
A new paper entitled The Bidders Curse by Hanh Lee and Ulrike Malendier throws some interesting light on the practise of overbidding. Overbidding occurs when the final price of an auction is higher than the price for which the item is available for Buy it Now (BIN). Here are the salient facts from the paper: […] Read more – ‘The Bidder’s Curse – Overbidding on eBay’.
Last minute bids on eBay: A comparison with Amazon Auctions
Most keen eBayers have probably been beaten by a last minute bid or used sniping software to gain a bidding advantage, but how common is the practise? A paper entitled Last Minute Bidding and the Rules for Ending Second Price Auctions: Evidence from eBay and Amazon Auctions by Alvin Roth et al (2002), published in […] Read more – ‘Last minute bids on eBay: A comparison with Amazon Auctions’.
eBay Vs the rest (Tasbar, CQout, QXL)
New auction sites pop up all the time and with recent price rises on eBay, many powersellers have been grumbling about moving to other sites. But are they any good? The data below would seem to suggest caution. Auctioning4u handbag Trial We tried selling idential designer handbags across several leading auction sites. Over the last […] Read more – ‘eBay Vs the rest (Tasbar, CQout, QXL)’.
Musings on Google Adwords Professional Exam
I recently passed my Google Adwords professional exam and so I though that I would share some knowledge of the exam, as there does not seem to be that much out on there on the web. In general the exam was quite straight forward, apart from a few rather odd questions. For example, how does […] Read more – ‘Musings on Google Adwords Professional Exam’.
Brief Guide to Search Engine Optimisation
Consumers are increasingly turning to search engines such as Google and Yahoo as a convenient and quick way of finding products and services. Fifty percent of online purchases start with an online search and the market is growing by 30% per year representing a huge opportunity to drive traffic to your website, increase sales and […] Read more – ‘Brief Guide to Search Engine Optimisation’.
Writing a Good eBay Listing
An eBay listing is an advert for your item and so should be clear and comprehensive. In general the more information that you give to buyers, the less questions you will be asked and the more bids you will receive. Quality listings reassure buyers that they are dealing with a reputable seller, and lead to […] Read more – ‘Writing a Good eBay Listing’.
I will presenting at the business startup fair at Olympia this coming Friday at stand 394 at 3.30 until 5p.m. I will be talking about the benefits of selling on eBay and how to set up an eBay business. See the bstartup website for more details of how to get there. The slides for the […] Read more – ‘’.
Starting Low and Ending High in eBay Auctions
It is the often said that £0.99 no reserve auction are the best way to encourage bids and lead to higher prices. In fact Auctioning4u lists most of its items using this pricing strategy. However up to now this theory was more anecdotal than based on actual data. A recent paper by Gillian Ku of […] Read more – ‘Starting Low and Ending High in eBay Auctions’.
ChannelAdvisor Blog
ChannelAdvisor have started a blog – http://blog.channeladvisor.com/ . Those chaps at ChannelAdvisor know their stuff and so I am sure that it will be full of good ecommerce advise and alerts. Also see Scott Wingo’s blog Read more – ‘ChannelAdvisor Blog’.
SEO for eBay – Auction Bytes Article
This article recently appeared in auctionbytes newsletter. Despite 50% of online purchases being researched via a search engine, most eBay sellers ignore the potential of search engines to drive traffic to their listings. By optimizing your eBay presence your products could improve their rankings in the search results on major search engines and boost your […] Read more – ‘SEO for eBay – Auction Bytes Article’.
eBay and the Long Tail
I have just read the book The Long Tail but Chris Anderson. This is one of the few truly interesting business books which I have read in the last year (see also Futureshop). The concept of the long tail is that the increased choice and access to information heralded by the Internet has enabled consumers […] Read more – ‘eBay and the Long Tail’.
What is the trouble with eBay? Comments on Steve Woda’s article
Following all the changes to eBay pricing of late, many commentators and sellers have been predicting the downfall of eBay. One of the more interesting articles is by Steve Woda from BuySafe – a US company which provides bonded security against sellers going bust. Similarly to the bond scheme in the travel industry, BuySAFE provides […] Read more – ‘What is the trouble with eBay? Comments on Steve Woda’s article’.
Comments on Glacier DVD interview on Auctionbytes
I would like to pull some points out of the glacier DVD interview on auctionbytes which was a very interesting article on the factors which brought down the largest eBay seller. Spread your risk. The importance of having a multi channel sales strategy. Glacier DVD limited themselves mainly to eBay which they now admit was […] Read more – ‘Comments on Glacier DVD interview on Auctionbytes’.
More Nigerian eBay scams
I was looking for a Samsung D600 the other day and I was rather surprised to find that a large number of them seemed to be selling for several thousand pounds. After my initial surprise I delved in a bit deeper and apparently this is another scam originating from the internet cafes of West Africa. […] Read more – ‘More Nigerian eBay scams’.
eBay Launches DoorOne
eBay has launched a new shopping comparison site in the UK and several other countries called doorOne. This move is apparently because they do not own the Shopping.com URL in all the countries in which they operate, and it will enable them to experiment with new features. Read more – ‘eBay Launches DoorOne’.
Comments on Auctionbyte eBay Survey
Auction bytes have recently conducted a survey of eBay sellers. The survey produces some interesting, but contradictory results General Malase. eBay sellers who took part in the survey said that only 38% (rising to 33% for top sellers) thought that they would be selling on eBay in 6 months time. It is clear from the […] Read more – ‘Comments on Auctionbyte eBay Survey’.
The benefits of being an expert – Increasing your sales through eBay guides and Squidoo
eBay sellers want to drive traffic to their listings and make sales and everyone wants to be loved! Some new developments on the web and eBay may enable eBay sellers to combine these two aspirations. eBay has recently launched its reviews and guides section allowing its members to write articles about subjects of their choice. […] Read more – ‘The benefits of being an expert – Increasing your sales through eBay guides and Squidoo’.
Hitwise data shows that eBay is 8th Most popular website
Data released by Hitwise has shows that eBay is the 8th most popular website based on US Internet usage for August, 2006, ranked by market share of visits across all Hitwise. industries. 1. www.myspace.com 4.9% 2. mail.yahoo.com 4.6% 3. www.yahoo.com 4.24% 4. www.google.com 3.88% 5. mail.myspace.com 2.46% 6. www.hotmail.com 2.32% 7. www.msn.com 1.91% 8. www.ebay.com […] Read more – ‘Hitwise data shows that eBay is 8th Most popular website’.
Direct Debit Fraud on eBay
I recently had a problem with eBay where someone used my bank account details to set up a direct debit, presumably hoping I would not notice. For about the first time in my entire life there was enough money in my bank account to cover that £1000 which was withdrawn I used to put my […] Read more – ‘Direct Debit Fraud on eBay’.
EBay, Ecommerce, life on Squidoo
I have just started a Squidoo lens all about eBay and ecommerce http://www.squidoo.com/eBay-ecommerce-life/ I am a bit new to this squidoo lark and so not really sure where it will go – any comments welcome Read more – ‘EBay, Ecommerce, life on Squidoo’.
How to write good policies and terms and conditions for eBay
Writing policies is a difficult thing. You want to protect yourself incase something goes wrong, but at the same time you don’t want to put people off buying your stuff. I follow these three golden rules Don’t be anal. It really does not look good if you write really harsh things in CAPITALS like I […] Read more – ‘How to write good policies and terms and conditions for eBay’.
7 Ways to boost your eBay Sales
So you’ve registered on eBay and listed some items, you may even have opened an eBay shop. The problem is none of eBay’s 200 Million registered users are buying from you! We have all heard people say “You can sell anything on eBay” which leads to the impression that making money on eBay is easy. […] Read more – ‘7 Ways to boost your eBay Sales’.
Opening an eBay shop and choosing your subscription level
eBay has three levels of shop, Basic, featured and Anchor. This post considers the benefits of an eBay shop and compares the different packages. Reasons to get an eBay Shop An eBay shop is a very cost effective way of having an online store with an integrated payment solution (PayPal) and (semi) guaranteed traffic. It […] Read more – ‘Opening an eBay shop and choosing your subscription level’.
This Week’s Tunes – Bob Dylan and the Guillemots
As this blog is also about life in general I thought I ought to make some cultural commentry. This week I have been listening to the latest Bob Dylan album, Modern Times. Those of you who know me well will know that I am a huge Dylan fan. The man is the only genius of […] Read more – ‘This Week’s Tunes – Bob Dylan and the Guillemots’.
Trading standards guidelines for eBay
Here is a summary of the trading standards guidelines for businssess selling on auction sites. eBay is a great way for businesses to get selling on the internet quickly and effectively. Remember that you are covered by the same standards as other businesses. The full standards can be found at on the trading standards website […] Read more – ‘Trading standards guidelines for eBay’.
eBay Shop Counts for UK, USA and Australia
Listmystore.com has created complied statistics for the number of eBay stores around the world http://listmystore.com/ebay_store_counts.htm I am not sure how they calculated this figure but it tallies well with my own calculations: No. eBay shops in the world (Q2 financial results) = 541,000 % of eBay seller in the UK = 12M/203M = 6% Total […] Read more – ‘eBay Shop Counts for UK, USA and Australia’.
links for 2006-09-04
Internet Marketing Research Blog Brought To You By Marketing Experiments (tags: blog marketing experiments) The Escape – Hampshire Designers and Web Marketing Agency (tags: escape marketing web design) Irishwonder’s Black Hat SEO Blog (tags: irishwonder seo blog) Stuntdubl – Search Engine Marketing Consultant – Gettin’ Hit by Traffic…Not Cars (tags: SEO Blog) Marketing With MySpace.com […] Read more – ‘links for 2006-09-04’.
Marketing your Business on MySpace
Following the auctionbytes articles on promoting eBay auctions through MySpace this post investigates the benefits for eBay sellers and businesses in general in having a presence on MySpace. eBay businesses are businesses like any other and should be marketing their products through all appropriate channels. Nothing which I have to say on MySpace is eBay […] Read more – ‘Marketing your Business on MySpace’.
Must Read eBay Books
I have created an Amazon list of the best eBay related books. Click here to see the list Read more – ‘Must Read eBay Books’.
eBay HTML and Javascript Restrictions
I have been doing some investigation into the restrictions on programming on the eBay platform. Here is a list of restrictions on the use of HTML and Javascript on eBay HTML or JavaScript used to drop or read a cookie on any eBay page HTML or JavaScript that redirects the user from eBay to another […] Read more – ‘eBay HTML and Javascript Restrictions’.
Interview with e-consultancy
One does not like to blow ones own trumpet but I have recently been interviewed by the leading e-commerce consultancy e-consultancy. Here is a transcript of the interview: —————————————————————— What were the key reasons for the launch of Auctioning4u? How does the service work? Buying an item on eBay takes minutes but selling can take […] Read more – ‘Interview with e-consultancy’.
Search Engine Optimsation For eBay
Search engine optimisation for eBay has two purposes. Ensuring that your product for sale on eBay are found by the major search engines Promoting your brand through eBay. This article covers the ways in which eBay can be optimised for search engine inclusion Optimisting eBay Item Description Copy As with any webpage, keywords in the […] Read more – ‘Search Engine Optimsation For eBay’.
Blogging Tools
Having just read the Micropersuasion blog regarding the 10 best blogging hacks, I thought that I would give my opinion on the best ones: Automatically posting Links from Delicious If you click on the settings link on delicious , there is an option to automatically post the links which you have saved that day to […] Read more – ‘Blogging Tools’.
Optimising Google Maps Entries in the UK
I have recently placed our companies on Google Maps and I have made some interesting observations on how to optimise this service Optimising Keywords It would seem on Google Maps that their is no limit to how long the company name can be. It is therefore possible to add keywords to the title which will […] Read more – ‘Optimising Google Maps Entries in the UK’.
Auctioning4u appears on the BBC!
See Auctioning4u (www.auctioning4u.co.uk) in glorious technicolour! Click here to see the video clip Read more – ‘Auctioning4u appears on the BBC!’.
Why use a Trading Assistant to Sell on eBay UK?
Selling on eBay is a great way of getting money for your stuff. However it can be a time consuming process. Buying on eBay may take 8 minutes but selling on eBay can take hours. Trading assistants do all the work for you. They list your items on eBay, usually for a commission of the […] Read more – ‘Why use a Trading Assistant to Sell on eBay UK?’.
eBay Sellers Threaten Strike
In reaction to eBay shop price hike, some eBay sellers are going on strike tomorrow to show their feelings to eBay. The guardian has picked up the story: “Auction site eBay, that stalwart of the online world, may be about to suffer a classic ailment of traditional business: a strike. It is not its staff […] Read more – ‘eBay Sellers Threaten Strike’.
How to Write an eBay About Me Page
Your “About Me” page is the first place buyers go when they want to find out more about an eBay seller. Is is also a great opportunity to drive sales and cross-sell products. It is a free billboard where you can showcase your entire line of products and make a strong first impression.Here are some […] Read more – ‘How to Write an eBay About Me Page’.
eBay’s Rules Explained
Ever wondered what exactly the listing rules are on eBay? I found this useful summary the other day! Links Policy Overview The eBay item page can only be used to describe, promote and facilitate the sale of the listed item. Save any references of your non-eBay web site, off-eBay sales or other businesses for your […] Read more – ‘eBay’s Rules Explained’.
How to avoid eBay scams
eBay is not always the cheapest place to make a purchase. Sometimes sellers are trying their luck and so always check prices first on a shopping comparison engine like Kelkoo, Shopping.com and Pricerunner. Don’t buy information only products Some sellers try to sell lists or links to information which is usually available elsewhere for free. […] Read more – ‘How to avoid eBay scams’.
eBay Statistics
eBay.co.uk hit the 15 million customer milestone in May 2006* eBay.co.uk has achieved the ten million live listings landmark, meaning there are more than ten million items for sale on the site at any one time* Every third internet user visits eBay.co.uk at least once a month (Nielsen / Netratings, April 2006) eBay.co.uk has over […] Read more – ‘eBay Statistics’.
Coping with eBay’s Shop Inventory Price Changes
Keeping up with eBay changes is becoming a full time job and you could be forgive for thinking that eBay has lost its way. It was only a few months ago that they decided to include their store listings in their core search. However, recently this has all been reversed and the store final value […] Read more – ‘Coping with eBay’s Shop Inventory Price Changes’.
The eBay Evening Fallacy and the effect of feedback on Selling Price
A new paper by Oliver Gurtler and Christian Grund entitled The Effect of Reputation on Selling Prices in Auctions has produced some interesting results about one of the fundamental pillars of eBay – the feedback system, and about one of the fundamental assumptions – it is better to list in the evening. The effect of […] Read more – ‘The eBay Evening Fallacy and the effect of feedback on Selling Price’.
7 Ways to Boost your eBay Sales
We have all heard people say “You can sell anything on eBay” which leads to the impression that making money on eBay is easy. Unfortunately nothing in life is ever straight forward and building sales on eBay takes planning, time and a certain amount of trial and error. Optimising your eBay Presence Many sellers do […] Read more – ‘7 Ways to Boost your eBay Sales’.
Futureshop – A Bright Future for Drop Shops Everywhere?
The future is bright according the Mr Nissenoff, author of Futureshop. In years to come we will all have those nice things which we always wanted. Women will dress in designer clothes, men will have (almost) the latest gadgets and we will all be richer. So, how is this socio-economic miracle going to happen and […] Read more – ‘Futureshop – A Bright Future for Drop Shops Everywhere?’.
Review of eBay Strategies by Scott Wingo
eBay strategies is a book aimed at the advanced eBay seller and makes no excuses for assuming comprehensive knowledge of the working of eBay such as the feedback and listing formats. Like all advanced books about eBay, this book has to tread the line between targeted eBay advice (useful) and basic business advice (less useful). […] Read more – ‘Review of eBay Strategies by Scott Wingo’.
Book Review – How to Turn eBay Data into Dollars by Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is the editor of one of the best sites about online auctions – Auctionbytes.com. This, her first book on eBay How to turn eBay Data into Dollars, is a combination of advice on data analysis, software reviews and advanced eBay strategies. The book is in a good guide on how to collect and […] Read more – ‘Book Review – How to Turn eBay Data into Dollars by Ina Steiner’.
A Very Brief Guide to Search Engine Optimisation
Recently I been singing the virtues of search engine optimisation to anyone who will listen. To help explain matters I have written a short intro to the subject to explain the basic concepts Introduction Online search is growing massively with users increasingly relying on the main search engines, Google, Yahoo and MSN to find information […] Read more – ‘A Very Brief Guide to Search Engine Optimisation’.