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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Cyber Monday – The Start of the Festive Online Shopping and December Marketing

Cyber Monday (the 26th of November this year) is the ceremonial kick-off of the holiday on-line shopping season in the United States between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas. It is also close the the last pay day in time to shop for Christmas for most of us in the UK too. Over 700 million dollars was expected to be spent on this day.
Online spending is on the up:

$9.3 billion spent online from November 1 through 23, a record and 17 percent higher than the $8.1 billion spent online last year

Check out the post $700mm Cyber Monday? for more details.

If you have been following our marketing series, the last post Christmas Marketing – What to do in November. you would have been ready for the Christmas Crunch time between the 23rd of November and 16th December.

So what do you get up to in December?

Check, check and re check! You still have time to tweak your marketing strategies before the 16th of December! Do you have the last shipping date displayed for your target market? If you ship internationally make sure you distinguish between the posting dates.

From the 17th of December:

Ramp down your festive keywords and marketing to avoid wasted pay per click sales. Gather and analyse your data to outline the best method of increase your sales in the next festive season.

Celebrate your success, and forget about your failures until next year when you make moves to eradicate them!

Prepare stock and website for the sales. In the UK sales start on boxing day, so you will need to get moving implementing your strategy, boasting the best prices and driving the bargain ethos. Advertise NOW that your sales start boxing day, in pay per click and on your site. Email all your customers about the fantastic bargains to be had!

Repeat the main and successful steps from your Christmas marketing. top make sure you clear old and redundant stock ready for the trends of 2008!

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Redundancy and Back to online selling basics

Redundancy just before Christmas is not pleasant as the job market is not at its best, specially if you have had no warning.

As well as training to be an eBay education specialist I have secured consultancy and web development in the last few weeks of December to take me though to January.

In pure on-line entrepreneurial fashion I have been building up my web business ( practising what I preach) to its highest level yet and it continues to grow. Over the Christmas period I am going to be organising an eBay January Sale. I plan to make 900 with excess materials and stock hoarded over the years!

I shall also spend the time re-designing my ebay shop!

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Was eBay your first?

I am often asked how and when I started shopping on-line and also selling on-line.

I started shopping online in the summer of ’99 with Gothic Auctions which prompted signing up for paypal almost instantly as everything was in Dollars. My first purchase was from a Canadian seller.

By the winter I was actively selling on Gothic Auctions and a competitor Goth Auctionslater on in 2001, and set up my own very basic HTML e-commerce website in May 2000, making sales and taking orders via email with promotion on community based sites.

Both of these auction sites were community driven and the gothic community contributed to how the sites were run. eBay has strived to become what these sites had all along.

It was not long before I signed up and brought and sold a few things on eBay.com (before eBay.co.uk was born)

Unfortunately then the eBay boom started and I neglected these free auction sites as the dollar grew weaker with respect to the pound. I plan to relaunch the Hairfreax range back onto these community driven auction sites as I feel they have once again come into their own. They were the first social shopping sites, everyone knew everyone and who was buying what! When your products do reflect a specific culture you should not forget the smaller, community driven exposure you can get. I started out supplying the community with products, but now I provide shops and studios with my creations. They spawned an addiction to e-commerce.

Promoting my old favourites:

gothic auctions

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Webcopy – Write in PLAIN English

Webcopy carefully crafted in plain English can improve a readers comprehension. You want your customers to understand what you are telling them don’t you?
Here are a few guidelines to plain English:

1. Make the average sentence length 15 to 20 words.

2. Use words your customers are likely to understand. Try not to abbreviate or use extensive jargon.

3. Use only as many words as you need.

4. Prefer the active voice, unless there is a good reason for using the passive.

5. Use the clearest verbs to express your thoughts.

6. Use vertical lists to break up complicated text.

7. Reduce cross-references to the minimum.

8. Avoid sexist usage.

9. Put your points positively when you can.

10. Put accurate punctuation at the heart of your writing.

11. Plan before you write.

12. Organise your content in a way that helps readers to grasp the important information early and to navigate though the document easily.

In the case of terms and conditions, which most on-line sellers draft their own…..

Where there is doubt about the meaning of a term, the interpretation most favourable to the consumer shall prevail.

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