Pro’s and Con’s of offering choice…

This year I am attending an Anime/Manga convention called Kitacon as a vendor. What am I doing? Well, in a nut shell kimono dressing and also promoting Hairfreax to cosplayers.

So we (a group of 5 kimono dressers and photographers) will offer 3 types of kimono dressing on the day, however we are offering specialist dress up Geisha, Samurai and Wedding/Formal as a booked only venture so we can manage what we need to task on the days and the time needed.

Ideally, we would like to offer Geisha Cosplay/Henshin for people that turn up but the equipment and time needed is manic. One half of the group believes choice is best, the other believe we should keep it simples. So pre booking more complicated kitsuke (kimono dressing) is the half way house.

Everyone wants choice, but sometimes you just can not hold all the stock and options needed. However, restricting what you sell offer can impede your growth as a business, especially if your competitor stocks the whole range of something.

Customers are impatient, so making them wait on pre-orders/special orders increases the chance of charge backs! Grrrrr…is the word.

Personally I would use seasonality when thinking of stock a little more and maybe get in a few different pieces to suit the season/trend in order to grow and complete.

So for our first event we will be using forums and facebook to get advanced bookings for the event on the more complicated dress ups by providing a photo book portfolio and price list prior to the event.

I will let you know how online promotion works for an offline event 🙂

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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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Web Development and Customer Trust

There are far too many web development and design horror stories – and many of my clients have had serious trust issues with a previous developer. Re-cultivating this trust can be difficult, even for the most dedicated and well thought of web developer.

The world of eBay design has had its ups and downs, eBay designers springing up out of nowhere and disappearing just as fast. Customers were hard pushed to see the quality difference between two developers in a basement and a seasoned team of 20. The situation is slowly improving and clients are beginning to understand why they were comparing apples to bananas.

Keeping the client out of the development process destroys trust and clients should not be treated as intruders on development.

The best way to deliver a successful web project is to use more inclusion techniques with your clients, don’t let things be a big secret.

Clients have the right to:

  1. An overall plan.
  2. To  make changes (and be told what is reasonable and what is not)
  3. To get value
  4. To see progress
  5. To be informed.

This will break down walls between the customer and developer and build trust.

Using this as a selling point is crucial, even in your quotes – breaking down the elements into bite sized chunks will let the client know exactly what they are getting and consequently the developer/designer the project is passed onto.

*Client bill of rights based on XP programming methodologies.

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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Well, next year involves quite a big change for me – real office space and a design partner so I hope 2010 is as eventful for everyone. I will pimp my case studies here as well as keeping it real with my musings on eBay, e-commerce and e-life in general.

In fact next year I will have more time to devote to my crafty projects and this blog so you will be hearing more from me next year than the one just past.

Hairfreax – new site and restricting handmade hairpiece catalogue. Adding handmade rockabilly Yukata and Kanzashi, as well as funky obi and Japanese/Anime inspired fashion.

Hairfreax eBay – just a few pre-made hairpeices

Keirotech will be partnering with Createyourtemplate and be absorbed into CYT UK – eBay Design, Web Design inc ASPDNSF design, Flash programming, brick to bytes – on-line business integration and business consultancy. New site/info to come.

See you in 2010!

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Open Source Consulting Reviews and Support

OK, well this idea might not work, but I am opening the floor for such a thing. The web is all about user generated content and interactivity so lets see if we can make this blog responsive to your needs and questions.

So I am adding two new ‘sides’ to the blog as such.


Just so you know what I am harking on about, this is where you can email me your reviews of any web related shop, service, software and it will be posted on this blog un-edited for all to see. People read this blog and sometimes the people who are responsible for said services. So they can sit back and smile to themselves for a job well done or jump too if they haven’t.
The only catch is your eBay shop/website will have to be included in the review. This is so said companies can address any issues with you and to avoid anonymous rants.

Reviews are so important to readers as it helps with customer confidence and also to avoid pitfalls in their own e-commerce adventures.


Have a question or quandary? Not quite sure what decision to make? We have done this on and off since the inception of the blog, but if you are stuck or confuzzled about something e-commerce, drop me a line and support will be blogged.

Ask about anything e-commerce related. Humour/comedy is permitted.

*Please note this is not a invitation for free consultancy, you can try your luck but as I am in charge I will select the questions and reviews (probably group the reviews) that appear.

Please email me:


and lets start sorting out the e-commerce world and make it accessible to all.

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