When considering professional eBay Design…

Professional eBay design is an investment, and should not be taken up on this level by smaller sellers. Don’t make the mistake of investing in eBay design before your eBay business is even off the ground. You don’t need professional ebay design to start up an ebay business.

The listing design (ebay item template) is very important as it is the first impression your buyer will see. Buyers search for items on ebay more than they would search for your shop itself.

Great branding will make that listing stand out and memorable, but you need to make it for the right reasons. You need to make sure that your buyer has all the information needed to make the purchase. Your information has to be displayed for ease of navigation ( say, breaking up large amounts of text or specifications with bullet points etc) and also communicated to the buyer in their own language.

When you are drafting up an eBay design project make sure your professional ebay design company can consult with you on the features and functionality specific to your product type.

Plan the steps of your buyer as if making a purchase yourself and tailor the content so they see exactly what they expect to see. The stunning design should be enough attraction for the client in the first instance giving you the wow factor, but then you need to think on functionality and information.

Give the buyer all the information they need and they won’t hesitate! The visual aspect of a professional design is only touching the surface of what your design should do. eBay design needs function, and purpose.

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eBay Management and Marketworks

I have taken on a freelance eBay Managment, a mid range client who was with another management company and used ChannelAdvisor. Channeladvisor is not suitable for this client as they are not big enough, once they hit £30K the ChannelAdvisor fee makes sense.

So they still have 300 items, and with the $29.95 a month cost and 3% GMS fee from Marketworks is viable. On assurances that the stability has significantly improved since my last experience with Marketworks I advised the client to sign up.

Marketworks is still the most unnecessarily complex system, but luckily complexity does not phase me, just reliability of functions. Once set up I shall review the Marketworks system as it stands now as it is the only software localised in the UK (apart from eBay tools) that has the functionality to expand an eBay business by automation.

I have been in Berlin, and busy expanding my own future to blog of late but I will have some interesting blogs on persuasive writing and ebay education soon enough. I am currently in cahoots with a company called createyourtemplate.

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Marketplace meets social, meets blogs…BT tradespace!

Well Hairfreax is testing out BTtradespace

You can advertise 5 items for sale free when you sign up or more if you pay a tiered subscription fee. This system is simple to use and encompasses a blog, photo gallery, community, paypal payments, event promotions, product advertisement and much more. This system has embraced the social aspect of shopping with a rating system to compete with eBays feedback system.
I shall report on any conversions from this marketplace. I am also setting this up for one of my clients at work as she has a more conventional product which might work better on this marketplace than extravagant hair extensions!

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Wonders will never cease – ChannelAdvisor Aquires Marketworks

The two titans in the eBay auction management and e-commerce total solutions world collide:
ChannelAdvisor Acquires Marketworks Combination cements ChannelAdvisor as top e-commerce channel management solution provider..

The press release says:

Richmond, UK – September 12, 2007 – ChannelAdvisor, the leading provider of e-commerce channel management solutions, announced today it has acquired Marketworks, a leader in marketplace management software and services.

“Acquiring Marketworks solidifies our leadership position and reinforces our commitment to the marketplace segment,” says Scot Wingo, Chief Executive Officer of ChannelAdvisor. “We will continue to evaluate other opportunities in this and other e-commerce channel segments as they arise.”

“Marketworks is excited to join forces with ChannelAdvisor,” says Doug Hadaway, Chief Executive Officer of Marketworks. “This partnership will lead to great things for both company’s customers and partners.”

So as the two giants in the UK have become one they should become an enormous force for eBay traders in the UK. I hope to see a mid range eBay automation solution which sits under ChannelAdvisor Merchant, on a more Marketworks level of pricing with the fantastic functionality and reliability (and simplicity, Marketworks does crazy things to your vision) of ChannelAdvisor.

Stay tuned!

More news here: Channeladvisor buys Marketworks and on AuctionBytes

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Be your own eBay Strategist – DIY eBay

Once you have at least 30 days of eBay selling under your belt you can start thinking about selling smart!

– Use something like ‘Terapeak‘ to research each of your product types (this is something you should do really before you start selling properly) Terapeak can tell you the best selling times, the best categories and the average prices of the items sold in the last 30 days.

– Note your ‘seasonal’ changes, and predict the adjustments you will need to make, be it either price, product type or listing times. July and August are low ‘summer months’ and just before this time people will be buying holiday items. Seasonal changes do not just include, summer and Christmas. Events such as the World Cup and the Olympics will effect sales.

-Get down with the ebay fee break points

– Analyse your competition, note their trends, prices and listing times. Take a look at their usability, do they have a payment option you don’t take? Do they have a customer service number?

– Take a look at your traffic reports on eBay (you will need to sign up for it, through your manage my shop section in ebay), when is your traffic greatest? Do you have any international traffic? What listing times would be best for international ebay users?

– Take a look at your ebay shop and listings. Is there extra functionality or information you could add? What about an FAQ page?

– Take a look at the extra promotional bits and bobs that come with your eBay shop. Have you enabled your ‘listing feeds’ or used the newsletter function?

– Sort out the bad listings from the good listings. Take a look what has sold and what has not in the last 30 days. Move the not to good items (under 10% sell through rate) into your eBay shop and keep the good sellers on the core marketplace in fixed price or auction listings.

This is a basic listing strategy:

Low throughput items: 0-10% success rate. Run a trial listing in your eBay shop for 30days. Test the item from time to time, to see if the sales increase in eBay or if you notice increased sales on the marketplace as a whole.

Medium throughput items: 10-50% success rate. Keep 90 days auctions in your eBay shop. Place on 7 day normal auctions, once a day, 5 days a week (missing out Fri. and Sat.) Key finishing time 7-11pm

Most Popular Items: 50-75% Success rate. Think about putting these items on TWICE a day, 5 days a week on 7 day normal auction listings. Trial some Fixed price listings for a Friday and Saturday finish. You can mix auctions and fixed price listings as you see fit, they will cost the same. Key Finishing times 7pm then 11pm

Super Sellers! 75%+ Success rate. Normal auctions 5 days a week but finishing 3 times a day. Key times 9.30am, 7pm and 11pm, keep an eye on these times, as times will vary according to market. Think about your international customers, finishing at 1am UK time catches the US customers at 9pm etc.

Utilise the low cost listings offered in your eBay Shop.Make sure ALL your stock in your ebay shop, and keep a check on your success rate. Do not use the Auction Buy It Now feature. It costs more to list an item under these conditions than in an ordinary auction OR fixed price listing. If you have a declining item, withdraw it from eBay. The product may have not yet finished its life cycle and may become popular again.

Every week, do a snapshot report of how your items are doing. When you deal in volume it is hard to keep track. Every month, create a detailed report for more ruthless analysis. Save every penny you can on listing fees, final value fees on eBay can not be changed.

Take note of how your items are selling:

  • To whom and where?
  • For what price?
  • What day/time?
  • What format?

Review this data on a regular basis to keep your strategy relevant. Markets change and it’s the flexibility you need to keep ahead of the game.

Reducing your eBay fees:

So you can see that a 90 day shop listing for the bulk of your items is the cheapest way to sell on eBay, if you want to avoid the basic auction format.
Auctions and Fixed price listing appear better in the searches so it’s best to have a healthy mixture:
50% on a 90 day Shop Listing
25% Fixed Price 7 Day Listing
25% on a 10 day auction finishing on a Tuesday/Thursday or Sunday evening, at a slightly reduced price, increase the velocity by adding a second auction in the morning maybe?

I always recommend starting with 7 day listings for the core marketplace. But you might find that 3 day listings increase your selling velocity once you are more established on the marketplace or have a limited range of products.

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Play.com – Playtrade Marketplace

Every morning I sign for a package from play.com for one of the guys in the office. Play have taken their lead from Amazon and launched Playtrade:

PlayTrade is the new way to make money selling your DVDs, CDs, Books, Games and more to the millions of customers who shop at Play.com. As a PlayTrade seller, your products will appear for sale on the Play.com web site, giving you the benefits that only the UK’s largest entertainment online retailer can offer. We do all the advertising and merchandising, credit card processing and first-line customer care. All you need to do is decide on your price and send the products to the customers promptly.

Whether you have one or one million things to sell, listing them for sale at Play.com couldn’t be simpler. Our step-by-step guidelines will ensure that your products appear on the site within a matter of minutes, and the next time a customer comes to buy that item, they are given the option to buy it from you. We then process their order on your behalf and let you know where to send the product. Once you have sent it out, we pass the proceeds on to you.

Sifting though the news I came across the article eSellerPro plugs into PlayTrade. It seems the first third party system to do so. Go eSellerPro for being on the ball with new integrations!

What has eSellerPro got to say about themselves?

eSellerPro is a complete business management system that integrates the whole online sales process, simplifying and automating tasks such as inventory management, product listing and scheduling, sales order processing, payment and dispatch, customer communications and accounts posting, saving you time and money and leaving you free to concentrate on growing your business.

I happened on this news by chance and I fear it will be lost in the rubble as they don’t have a blog! Shame on you.

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