Archive for the ‘eBay’ Category

Has Your Designer Ever Listed To eBay?

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Oh, Twitter. Your public nature makes things like this so easy. About 2 weeks ago, a guy who works for a company who claims to compete against us tweeted something in his personal Twitter account. It’s fun what you can find when searching Twitter for “list* first eBay” to see who’s starting out.

In case the graphic isn’t coming up, he’s tweeting that he JUST listed his first item on eBay ever… which even he found “surprising” since he has been designing Stores for eBay for 4 years now.

Ugh.

It’s amazing what natural As Was selling points I stumble upon. I remember years ago when I was surprised that I had to actually tell potential clients that unlike other companies, we KNOW eBay rules. We follow them! You’re not going to end up in trouble with eBay, and watch your items suffer in Best Match, because we designed something that got you in trouble. I also try to explain to people that we’re consultants. We’re here to understand their whole business, and help where we can, especially in listing strategy. Giving you a design makes no sense if you’re not going to use the right eBay strategies to get it seen and found in search!

The next selling point was that our design and other work isn’t sent to Eastern Europe. Not sent to Asia. Not being done in Israel, India, China, or the Phillippines. And nobody on my staff is a “junior.” I didn’t think those were selling points until I found out what other companies were doing. And then, yes, we’re offering something better than that!

Then it was that we didn’t get cracked down on in January 2009 for breaking eBay Store design rules. While other companies had to take down or change hundreds and hundreds of eBay Stores, we had never designed eBay Stores outside of the rules. So our clients didn’t have anything to change. Selling point!

Evidently now, I also need to tell potential customers that we’re better than other design companies they may be considering because my staff are former and current eBay sellers. They actually know eBay rather well! This is also an important point for people who are considering using Elance, oDesk, or other “find a random person” systems for eBay design. Have they ever listed on eBay? Do they know the rules? Will they fix their work if eBay finds it’s against the rules?

At this point, potential clients are coming to me having Googled these companies who you might call competitors, though I know we don’t really compete. I refuse to do what they do, how they do it, as it doesn’t match my standards. They don’t offer what we do, and certainly not how we do it. But sure, you could hire them instead of us. The real question would be… knowing the above, and Googling everybody to see the word on the street, why would you want to hire anybody else?! :)


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As Was Templates Work in eBay Mobile

Monday, May 9th, 2011

I’m often asked if As Was templates work in eBay mobile versions. There are two main ways to access eBay from your mobile phone. One is to go to eBay from your mobile browser, which will push you to a mobile-friendly website version of eBay. The other is to shop eBay from your phone’s app. For example, I use Android, so this would be the Android app.

Let’s start with a sample As Was template. We did this one YEARS ago… probably 2007. So how does it hold up in a new, mobile world? Click to enlarge to see the original, which is a screen shot from a regular computer screen.

For mobile web, eBay is stripping out all design, and just reading text information. That means your As Was template will be gone, but all the wording in it will be there. A screen shot from my Android phone (Dolphin browser, not the native Android browser) looks like this (click to enlarge):

The picture that eBay knew was “picture 1″ was there. All the policies that were fed to eBay were there. And then eBay stripped out any design and most of the HTML to show just this text. You’ll recognise that it’s the description text as well as text it pulled from our policy sections.

How about the phone apps? When I pulled this item up in the Official Android eBay Application, it looked just like the web. Full template. Nothing stripped. In fact, the links worked. I clicked on her item picture, and got a window with just the item picture.

So the templates look and work fine. We write clean, hand-coded HTML. So it’s always a shame when the template is stripped out :), but at least you know that the main info will still show up.


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Fixing eBay’s “Pogosticking” Problem

Monday, April 18th, 2011

An eBay staffer I heard speak at an event recently discussed a problem eBay is seeing that they call “pogosticking.” This is where a shopper bounces between search results and items, but spends a microscopic amount of time on an item before hitting the back button.

My blog post in my Brass Flowers blog explains the problem, and my suggested solution for it. I suggest you head over there since I’m curious what you’ll think of my proposed solution.

http://brassflowers.com/solution-for-ebays-pogosticking-problem/


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Why eBay Is Charging Final Value Fees on Shipping and Handling

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

I don’t have inside info on this. But I have an opinion, and many of you are asking about it. eBay recently announced that it would soon charge sellers the final value fee (aka FVF aka eBay’s commission on your sale) on not just the sale price, but also what you’re charging for shipping and handling. Why would eBay do this? Here is my best theory…

It’s about the shopping cart they’re working on. People will be able to buy from multiple people, and then have ONE checkout from one shopping cart.

If I put 3 things in a cart, some of those sellers might charge for shipping, some might have free shipping. That may be confusing to the shopper… Amazon doesn’t do that. J Crew doesn’t do that. Why am I being charged for shipping? Then, you have another potential issue. Someone has read a listing where it very clearly said FREE SHIPPING. They now assume FREE SHIPPING, and when they drop someone else’s item in the cart, and it’s NOT free shipping, they may get confused and feel lied to. Hey, that said free shipping, why am I paying for shipping?

I think eBay figured, “Aw crap, we tried getting sellers to lower shipping. We tried getting them to make it free. We gave them preferred placement in search results if they made it free, and some still didn’t make it free. Well, now we’ll really push them by saying hey, you’ll pay fees on it either way, so make it free.” The real message is: make it free so that the shopping cart is easier for shoppers.

eBay clearly is NOT taking into consideration the other problems like now you have to deal with sales tax on a higher number. Additionally, if someone makes a return, they expect 100% of their money back rather than JUST the purchase price. So we are working with our clients on rewording return policies to indicate a “restocking fee” since you can’t say you’re keeping money for shipping. Shipping was FREE!

So sellers, reword your return policy so that people understand that if they return it, they will not get 100% of their purchase price back, unless you are OK doing that and eating the shipping.


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