Kidsonworks…more information

I have been working in the e-commerce sector since May 2000 starting with my own e-commerce business while I was a mere 20. My first major market was the USA. As a retailer I have sold personally from my own enterprise on eBay, Amazon and Website (I built the website myself) successfully but then in 2005 I switched my main career as a chemist to helping others sell online. It has been my passion and addiction ever since.

So what can I help you with?

eBay Design
Amazon Webstore Design and Integration
Shopping cart system design and integration (Magento/Vendio/Big Commerce etc)
Multichannel/Multi Marketplace Listing Strategy and Implementation
Marketing Advice, consultancy and implimentation
E-Business management

and anything else relating to e-business you can think of, but these are my key areas. However, I am open to your ideas and projects you may have.

You will see the content grow as well as showcases in the coming weeks and I will update this post with links.

Of course, ‘how much?’ is the key questions. Well my rates are simple and I base the work on the time the projects will take. All quotes are final, I will not add on ‘extras’ if something takes more time than I anticipated. That’s my fault, however new requests outside the original agreement will be quoted for and charged on an individual basis.

Rates for my time:

£25ph plus expenses if needed (If I need to travel to you or stay in a hotel etc) for consultancy, marketing, management and all other tasks that don’t include coding, development and high end integration.

£40ph for coding, development and high end integration which I normally conduct not on site. If I need to consult and plan a coding project with you the consultancy and development time will be charged at the lower rate.

I do discount for very large projects though which stretch over 6 weeks or more, or regular maintenance agreements.

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Going to Channeladvisor Catalyst? Need an eBay design? WIN ONE!

Oh yes, we are GIVING AWAY a full professional widshop eBay design with a years subscription worth up to £3300, which means it doesn’t matter if you have 500 listings or 10,000 the prize is the same (subscription price is based on volume)

All you need to do is spot us (Widshop by Createyourtemplate) during networking breaks (it is not hard, we have a massive dark blue stand with eBay designs all over it), speak to us and give us your business card. JUST for speaking to us there is sherbet, chocolates and haribo so it’s worth it just for that 🙂

Plus we are pretty nice and like talking about eBay!

The team this year is 4 strong, we have Mathias, Patrick, Larissa and myself. We are a true international company as you can speak to us in Spanish, Russian, German, English and maybe a bit of elementary Japanese and French too!

Of course, if you are really keen on languages and business you should visit our pals at Intercultural elements who always have a good supply of stroop waffles.


Here are two ‘sunny’ widshop eBay designs for you to look at:




*Competition only for Catalyst attendees who visit our booth and give us a business card. Terms and Conditions apply. Draw will be done at 4pm on the second day of the event by an independent party.

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10 Questions for Andy from Auction Software Review

I don’t think I have ever done an ‘interview style’ blog post so this is a first!

Auction Software Review has been around for as long as I can remember as a hub for neutral advice and discussion around eBay mostly, the tools, the third party services and industry news.

So I posed 10 questions to Andy and here they are:

1. From a start in Politics what drew you to online marketplaces?

I’ve had a strong interest in computing since childhood – I was programming in BASIC on the Commodore VIC-20 (with 3.5KB of RAM!) in the early 80s. It’s hard to believe we used to wait several minutes to load programs from cassette tapes while watching flickering lines on a portable TV. I graduated through the Commodore 64 and Amiga and finally onto Windows in the mid-90s. My Politics degree feels like it was a diversion from computing, rather than online marketplaces being a diversion from Politics!

Liz – gosh I remember being very proud of myself changing the screen colours on our vic-20, however I was 4 at the time!

2. What was your thinking when you first started Auction Software Review?

I discovered eBay and like many enjoyed selling every bit of halfway-valuable junk around the house. Even selling a few household items at a time is a chore, so I wondered how the big-volume sellers cope. I wanted a new programming project at that time and considered writing a tool for eBay sellers, but on discovering how much was already out there (in 2003!) decided there was more value in building a portal about the software already available, rather than jumping on the bandwagon with yet another tool.

3. The site has been around for a while, what do you think contributes to it’s success and longevity?

Software for online marketplaces can be a really confusing area, and I have seen few other sites try to tackle it. When I started ASR, even eBay didn’t have their own directory of compatible software. A few generalist ecommerce sites have put some effort into the area, but ASR has kept focused on software and I think developed a really rich coverage over the years that has helped it stand out all this time.

4. What are the future plans for Auction Software Review?

I recently updated the site to reflect the focus on all multi-seller marketplaces, not just eBay. I’ll continue to look at technology for selling on all marketplaces, and software for running your own web store where it includes integration features for one or more marketplace. Many sellers nowadays are quick to look beyond a single channel and want tools to bring all their selling together – which has several challenges!

5. What do you hope that users get out of Auction Software Review as a site?

I hope they expand their knowledge of software for online marketplaces, and can make a more informed choice about the right tools for them. Sellers’ needs are really varied, and potential providers numerous, so ASR can’t always make it easy – but I hope it’s a big help.

6. If you had to be an e-commerce avenger who would you be? What is YOUR e-commerce super power?

Um, I’d be Captain e-commerce, a traditional technology soldier happy to fight in the trenches but also able to direct the troops. Yes, I realise that doesn’t make much sense… read into it what you will…

Liz – sorry for sucking you into my current ‘superhero’ e-commerce anecdotes world 🙂

7. What was the strangest thing you ever sold online?

I sold hundreds of CDs of vacuum cleaner noise several years ago. It’s great for getting cranky babies to sleep, and I received some fantastic feedback like “MIRACLE WORKER!” and “hope it works-if not posting the baby to you LOL!!” Someone contacted me very recently and asked if she could get another copy as her daughter still listened to it and was traumatised when the disc got scratched… I sent her an MP3!

Liz – A friend of mine had such a CD and I really thought it was bonkers…till I realised her kids will sleep through the housework and all kinds of random noises with no trouble!

8. Do you have any e-commerce ‘tales’ you tell at parties?

When ASR first started, it was called the “eBay Software Review” but I soon received a not-so-friendly email from eBay’s lawyers telling me to cease and desist!

Liz – unless you have had such a letter you don’t really live in this world…!

9. Who is your biggest influence when it comes to online marketplaces?

I don’t know if I have big influences, but have met some great people over the years (many never in the flesh) and am grateful for their support. For example, Gene Chandler of SpoonFeeder [eBay software that’s no longer around] was my first advertiser and helped me realise the site could generate some income.

10. If you ruled the e-commerce world, what would be the FIRST thing you would change?

I would make it so we don’t have to register to shop at any more websites!

Liz – Ug, yeah…there has to be a magic way this can be phased out!


Make sure you get yourself over to Auction Software Review and check out the directory and reviews of third parties. Why not review a company you have used or suggest a new one? If you have e-commerce questions or woes ask your fellow e-comrades as we all know sometimes being an eBay seller or selling online can be a lonely business!

Thank you Andy for this interview!

I would love to incorporate more interviews into this blog so drop me an email if you want to be featured. Normally I have to have known about you for a while, met you in person or used your software and LIKED it to interview you. I ask some sensible questions and some silly.

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Why you should sponsor Channeladvisor Catalyst…

I did think about writing what was learnt at CA catalyst this year, but as Tamebay do this already – I thought I would put my sponsor head on and detail for potential new sponsors why Createyourtemplate has bothered these past 3 years 🙂

1. The food – you are always fed ‘n’ watered well as a sponsor and attendee at Channeladvisor events. This year we had more time for the feeding process (which so happened to be in the room with all the sponsors) so as people eat they like to talk, so potential clients will wander round with their coffee chatting to other attendees and to the sponsors.

2. Other third party providers – Catalyst is always good to catch up with our fellow third party providers and competitors (Grrrrr…arrrrg) to see how they are fairing in business and exchange experiences.

In the Channeladvisor world the third party provider space is not that huge, so we all get to know one another. When you have a network of trusted service providers you can recommend to your existing clients, we all bounce off one another. Even companies who on the face of it are direct competitors, are not normally carbon copies of each other. They can offer and lend services so that the client gets what they need.

3. Other third party providers, that don’t sponsor also attend the event – I negotiated a nice deal and introduction to a newer marketplace (playtrade) that would suit the direction one of my clients is taking. He will be happy with this 🙂

4. Potential clients – it’s why us sponsors go really, to get business. The good thing with potential and current ChannelAdvisor clients is that they are pre qualified. When you are speaking to a potential they are interested in moving forward and contracting a company to make this happen.

5. Networking – Talking e-commerce with a few free alcoholic beverages in you is fun. You meet new friends and clients in a more relaxed atmosphere.

6. Ideas – potential clients are brimming with ideas, information and enthusiasm after all the seminars and speakers. They are in the MOOD, and ready to make waves with the help of us sponsors perhaps?

7. CA Staff – I spoke to lots of CA staff, to catch up with personally and to speak about clients. Lots of new introductions too. I had a demo of their new ‘salesforce’ offering which a client of mine wants us to integrate in his store and eBay design. I also got a pair of fresh eyes on a clients SearchAdvisor account because it is driving sales and traffic to a store designed by us. We want the store to be excellent in all things and we take conversion very seriously 🙂

Well that is what as a sponsor and eBay/E-commerce design company, CA catalyst means to me.

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Thank you for all your emails!

Thank you to the people that have email though in recent weeks – sorry I have been slow replying. I always read and reply to email’s personally and still love to hear your thoughts. I will blog about the following support topics as soon as I am able:

1. De-bunking the ChannelAdvisor Premium store set up process – a guide for those with little concentration.
2. Breaking down eBay’s changes for real people.
3. How to be the client in a web project (I like this one, no one ever tells the client what they need to do – and you are so important to the development process)


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REALLY excited about ChannelAdvisor catalyst this year!

It is coming up and at last count only 10 seats left – Frooition customers got a last minute £49 off the event to make sure all seats were full.

This year just feels very positive, the business is going well and I have worked with some great clients like in the last few months. They are experiencing their best ever eBay sales record and we hope the website which is promoted by searchadvisor (a channeladvisor search product) and soon a little marketing creative from CYT will match this.

But as always, with my head deep in XML/SQL files – I need to brush up on my oh so current eBay – a lot has changed this week it seems and I need to play catch up.

I have been doing a mix of projects, from SEO and programming to consultancy and design.

I shall be sitting in all the conferences this catalyst (or as many as I can) so my head will be full of blog-able information soon.

Speak then my e-commerce lovelies.

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