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A Magento to eBay Extension

So, Magento to eBay extension. Now it’s a reality… I bet Magento users will be interested in this!

eBay has been a great platform for us, and so is Magento. Bringing them closer together is an interesting strategy, and for some of our websites, a Magento to eBay Extension would be great.

Being long time users of ChannelAdvisor software to manage our listings for mulitple accounts and countries, I think we have been able to make good use of our inventory and the few channels available to us in Australia.

Magento became our online store of choice about a year ago, and we have since become quite adept at Magento development.

And as times change, you naturally look at longer term solutions to problems, and we have started investigating a Magento to eBay connector that has recently been released. (more…)

A Quick Summary of PeSA 2009 in Sydney (+ some pics)

PeSA Sydney 2009 was a great event. A full attendee list of 300+ eBay sellers were there. Here is a brief summary of the event from my perspective. (for more info on the Professional eBay Sellers Alliance, click here).

Well, what a  great conference. PeSA conferences are usually a focused get together of like minded sellers, but this year the attitude that I received from sellers and attendees was just great, better than the year before I think.

My staff and I travelled up to man our sponsor booth (www.readytoship.com.au) and I had some PeSA responsbilities and a panel to MC as well. Sure was a busy few days but it was certainly worth it for us.

The ‘one on one’ sessions that some of the PeSA staff and I (and Jonathan Garris from Gothamcityonline.com) had with attendees were well received I think. It can be tough to really give out a lot of advice in 15 min, its a good challenge! (more…)

Want to grow your eBay business?

Want to grow your eBay business?

Then consider attending this years PeSA event in Sydney, called ‘Survive & Thrive’.

PeSA is the Professional eBay Sellers Alliance and the Australian arm is holding this year’s seller event in Sydney. Last years was a great success with hundreds otf attendees, and I think this years will be even bigger.

Tickets are $199 for attendance, and includes access to exhibitors to help you improve your business, and also speakers, workshops and more.

Last year I ran some one on one sessions with sellers (and I think we might do it this year too). It was great to meet smaller sellers looking to grow!

From the www.pesa-events.com.au site :

The agenda is taking shape and bookings are now open for the 2009 PeSA Summit.

Register to attend today and take advantage of our earlybird price of only $199 for the FULL two day Summit.

Check last year’s feedback if you want to know if this will be worthwhile to your business. And see what exhibitors you’ll be able to vist.

Ill be up there, exhibiting our ReadytoShip shipping automation product, so if you go to the event, be sure to say hello!

eBay 2.0. Or is it all too late?

It has been a little while since I read Scot Wingo’s blog, and he had a great post recently that I took the time to read and digest.

It was his own roadmap on how he thinks eBay should change in order to survive.

For those who don’t know, Scot is founder of ChannelAdvisor (software that we use in our ecommerce business). He has some great industry experience, knowledge and insight.

For eBay sellers and those interested in eBay, Amazon and the online retail space you might be interested in his ideas :

“Episode IV – A New Hope (for eBay) -or- How to Fix eBay? -or- Introducing eBay 2.0”

Shipping Automation and our solution – ReadytoShip

ReadytoShip Shipping AutomationEarly on, ‘back in the old days’, our staff manually copied and pasted addresses for customer orders into shipping software packages or (*gasp*) hand wrote labels.

This was all fine and dandy until we started selling more than about 5 – 10 items per day.

Firstly, shipping started to take too much time in our day and secondly, staff were complaining about the boring job of writing out shipping labels!

So we decided to automate and we developed some software that would automatically correct all of our Australian addresses and import all of our orders into eParcel for shipping. This saved us a lot of time every day and a lot of errors. Not to mention the reduced amount of time spent resending items that were returned because of incorrect address (you could be amazed at how many customers type in their address incorrectly).

We assumed that lots of other sellers had made some sort of effort to develop similar software as it worked well for us and enabled us to process 100 or more orders per day with only a few staff. We could prepare and print 200 address labels in minutes.

But not many sellers do this, so ReadytoShip was born.

What does it do, and how does it help online sellers?

(more…)

Magento Commerce online store performance

We have been using Magento Commerce for about 3 or 4 months now as a new online store platform for a few of our websites.

Magento is a new product, but already growing very quickly in users and features.

We are currently ChannelAdvisor customers and had been using the standard ChannelAdvisor store for some time. We took part in the beta test group for ChannelAdvisor premium stores (which look pretty good) but we have decided to use Magento Commerce instead.

Why did we do this? Well, there are a number of good reasons…
(more…)

Most Online Fraud Attempts Are Easy To Spot, But What About The Rest?

Courtesy of <a href=Most online fraud is pretty easy to spot. And it seems most of the perpetrators must either be stupid, ignorant, or maybe both.

If you run an online store selling anything remotely valuable for the black market (like electronics, car parts, expensive hobby items etc) then you have no doubt received fraudulent orders from Indonesia, Russia, or Ghana. Fraudulent orders from Indonesia and orders from Ghana are the most common for us.

They are often accompanied with a message like this :

Dear sirs, please attempt to ship my items the fastest, charge my credit card and get me the gifts as soon as possible they are urgent!

Thankyou,

John Port

Of course, these ones stand out. Along with the generic ‘hotmail’ email address and expensive items in the order they are the easy ones to pick.

But what about the fraudsters that aren’t as stupid? What about orders that don’t come from Ghana or Indonesia, for common items?

Over the past 9 years my business has seen lots of fraud attempts, some which has been quite clever. So how do you spot fraud and what tools are available to protect yourself?

(more…)

PeSA Australia Summit Wrap-up

Back on deck at work this morning, following up a few people that I met at the Pesa Summit over the last few days.

It was great to meet some readers of my blog, and talk to a lot of sellers. After my panel session on Business Automation my 15 min one on one blocks with sellers were booked out very quickly. I had lots of sellers ask advice on their websites, listings and business and it was great to see so much enthusiasm.

As Jonathon Garriss pointed out during one of the sessions, he doesnt know it all and neither do I. But it is great to chare experience and we always learn.

Every time I catch up with some of my peer sellers we always learn things too. You will never hear of Paul from DealsDirect.com.au visiting a conference like this and walking away saying he didn’t learn something to go back to his business and implement, for example. I learnt a lot too.

Day two of the summit had some great material. I was particularly fascinated by Tom O’Toole (of Beechworth Bakery fame). He is a very energetic and passionate speaker!

Other sessions included copywriting and headline skills which was very interesting. Direct marketing has a lot of common ground with eBay listings and advertisements. A lot to learn.

I also had a lot of people ask about our new product ReadytoShip which was great, and also got some great feedback on some other areas that sellers find frustrating and time consuming that we are working on fixing. But I will post more about that shortly!

ChannelAdvisor Acquires Another $20million In VC Funding

ChannelAdvisor announced that they have acquired another $20 million of VC funding from New Enterprise Associates. Also, they announced some staff reductions.

Pushing towards an IPO, the lay offs are an effort to control expense and move toward profitability.

Apparently around 45 people will be/have been laid off from headquarters with some more staff cuts expected at other international offices too (totalling about 70 of the current 350 employees).

This news comes shortly after the announcement of the purchase of RichFX for $3mil, and release of the new Premium Store product which should provide a much better online store presence for CA customers than their old store technology.

A more detailed article can be found here.

With $25mil in rev last year, Scot is shooting for profitability next year.

ChannelAdvisor Users: Your store of choice?

I know I have a few ChannelAdvisor customers reading my blog. This post is for you!

We are developing some automation tools for ChannelAdvisor customers, and to assist with a development roadmap I would LOVE some feedback on whether or not you use the ChannelAdvisor Store or another store altogether…

I put together a quick poll in the ChannelAdvisor Support forums, here is the link :

http://ssc.channeladvisor.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1418

Thanks for your vote!

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