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Making money on eBay for Dummies is now on sale…

Making Money on eBay for Dummies Book 1742169775It feels a little strange to finally see my book in the wild (yes, Making money on eBay for Dummies is now on sale!). I first spotted it online at Booktopia for pre-order. Wierd feeling!

It was a long time in the making, and should be on shelves of bookstores in early December.

So if you are looking for a guide to get started selling on eBay, a gift for a friend, or you want to grow your existing ebay business, then why not buy Making Money on eBay for Dummies. I will sign every copy that I send out, so these copies will be a little better than copies on the bookstores! And it will help me buy a few beers to make up for the long hours at the computer writing it!

I am hoping it sells well, because I really would like to write a little more, and contribute a little back to the online seller community after learning so much over the years.

Online Retailer 2009 in Sydney – the State of Online Retail in Australia

I just got back from Online Retailer in Sydney. It was the first event of it’s type in Australia, attracting over 2500 attendees and a good number of exhibitors.

I had opportunity to talk to many of the attendees, catch up with many other online retailers and also interviewed people like Armand , VP of Global Sales at Verisign and Jeff and Bobby Beaver, founders of www.zazzle.com.

What I really wanted to find out was the level of interest in online retailer from some of the bigger bricks and mortar retailers (did they attend?), and the opinions form exhibitors as to the mix of attendees there.

What I discovered was interesting,  and exciting for the industry.

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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…)

eBay Australia Pricing Changes – a Positive Move!

eBay this morning released some news regarding their upcoming pricing chances.  In summary, no changes will be made to auction fees but store fees and insertion/final value fees will change.

Also, store listings will again appear in core search (mixed in with auction listings) using Bestmatch, eBay’s search algorithm in use in various ways around the world.

eBay’s pricing change information is here : Changes to stores and search on eBay.com.au

and they have a nice section for sellers on what is changing, and how to change with it here : The Big News

Also, PeSA Australia released a statement about these changes this morning, and I have included it below :

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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 Australia to Allow Feedback Revision

eBay has announced a new feedback revision process to launch in the week commencing 13th October.

This has been sorely needed since they banned feedback removal a while ago, especially when there had only been some miscommunication with a customer for example, and the seller was able to provide them a satisfactory sale at the end of the day.

What will this mean? Not a great deal. You will only be able to change .5% of your feedback. Why limit it?

From eBay’s news annoucenement :

A number of changes were made to the feedback system on eBay this year, including the removal of the Mutual Feedback Withdrawal tool. Many sellers felt this left them with little option to have feedback revised or cancelled when they had rectified an issue.

This new Feedback revision tool provides sellers with an opportunity to send a Feedback revision request to a buyer.

Sellers will be able to use the Feedback revision tool if they feel a buyer should now be satisfied with the transaction (i.e. an issue was resolved) or if they believe a buyer may have accidently left incorrect Feedback in the first place.

While the Feedback revision process is initiated by a seller, buyers have the option to accept or decline a request. Only one request can be made per transaction and sellers will have a limited number or requests available within a 12 month period. We suggest that sellers get agreement from a buyer to change their Feedback before initiating the process.

Coupled with this, eBay is introducing a ‘Resolution’ centre (note the change from the ‘Dispute’ terminology – a smart move).

Lets hope that they Resolution Centre is somehow tied into the negative feedback process to help resolve issues first, rather than letting the current ‘shoot from the hip customers’ leave feedback first…

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!

PeSA Australia Summit Day 1

I just got home from the PeSA Australia summit, Navigating Success for Change.

A good turnout with close to 300 signups,s to the Flemington staff were kept busy with coffee and snacks during breaks.

Keynote this morning was from Jonathan Garriss (of Gotham City Online) who has flown in from the US and talked about current opportunity in eCommerce. He had some interesting facts to get everyone motivated and keep things in perspective. eCommerce is growing at 15% pa, traditional commerce is +/-3% pa.

There is a massive and more importantly growing marketplace to find opportunity in.

The ‘Navigating Change for Success’ tagline for the event was followed up with some discussion on change and opportunity. Jonathon is always a good speaker, with some great sites, technology and processes in his business that give him some good credibility.

Some of us more experienced eBay sellers also got the chance to spend some one on one time with sellers and talk about their ebay listings, stores and strategies which was interesting. I had quite a range of sellers talk to me today, from very small turnover sellers to quite large ones.

The attitude today was very positive. Simon Smith did ask that no one yell at him, and it sounds like he got his wish.

The 2 panels today were Business Automation (with Your truly, John from JJ entertainment, and Anthony of AuctionBlox), and the Top Seller panel (with Shaun from Selby Acoustics, Shayne from i-soldit.com.au and Jonathon of Dinosaur Deals).

I love the chance to talk to sellers about their business. It seems that there are som many sellers out there wanting to grow that perhaps don’t even know what parts of their businesses can be improved with better tools and processes.

I think the panels were the highlight from today, based on feedback that I got. It is a great opportunity for sellers to ask questions to people who have travelled the road before them. Jonathon, Shayne and Shaun did a great job talking about some of their own businesses, challenges and strategies and answering questions.

Some brief highlights of the day

  • Simon Smith did state that they had a ‘deep regret’ about how the Paypal changes were implemented.
  • Effectively a promise that eBay Australia management would be far more active in discussing potential upcoming changes in Australia (with sellersand buyers) that are already occurring in eBay US
  • One on one sessions. Great chance to talk to sellers looking for some advice. Jonathon Garriss had quite a crowd (but he loves it:) !
  • Simon announces today that the interstitial prior to leaving a neg (advising buyers that sellers can’t leave retaliatory feedback) was being removed today.
  • Great networking opportunities with lots of other likeminded sellers.

A big day. Definitely time for some sleep.

One of the biggest eBay sellers in Oz gone bust?

Some news this morning that eBay seller ebusiness supplies (eBay account, website) is now NARU on eBay, not answering customer emails and seems to have stopped trading.

This article from The Age sheds a little more light on the situation.

These guys have been in business for many years now and moved a lot of stock. Like a few of the big sellers (perhaps many) they based their business model on preselling stock arriving from suppliers. When doing this you obviously run the risk of inability to supply if there is a supplier issue, incorrect goods arriving etc etc.

It probably also meant that their cashflow was operating the business, as if they had plenty of capital they may not need to run their business using the ‘pre sale’ method. I never saw them advertise the fact they were pre selling items, maybe they should have been more upfront if there were.

And, according to some discussion around the place, it seems that e-business supplies might have been pre selling items that hadn’t even left China.

In any case, it’s not a pleasant thing to happen to buyers who may be left out of pocket. The better news is that PayPal have come to the rescue and will apaprently reimburse customers who paid using PayPal. Not bad!

eBay Australia Backs Down on PayPal Push

eBay.com.au released a statement yesterday notifying of their intent to withdraw its notification to the ACCC regarding the removal of other payment options from the eBay.com.au website.

This didn’t come as a big surprise.

Going to court over the matter would indeed have been a long and painful process, not to mention the amount of stress and anxiety it would cause eBay’s poor old PR team in Australia. The lesser of two evils was to withdraw the notification. Good move. They should now make some more publicly satisfying changes to try and get some goodwill back!

PayPal still remains a compulsory payment option at this stage. No doubt this will still cause some animated discussion. In fact, one website has already questioned the validity of the PayPal requirement in relation to the ACCC notice

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