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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.

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…)

Automate Australia Post Click and Send International labels

Australia Post has just released Click and Send, and new way to print out international labels and customs declaration forms.

Previously international shipments were a real pain because of the handwritten customs forms and separate labels that needed to be printed.

Now at least Click and Send can print these forms for you (see their tour here), but what about getting all of your orders into the Click and Send system?

ReadytoShip Shipping AutomationOur ReadytoShip shipping automation product already supports output to the Click and Send system allowing you to bulk import international orders from your website into Click and Send to produce printed labels and customs forms in only a few clicks. Awesome!

For more info (and demonstation video), visit our ReadytoShip website!

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?

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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.

My Best Tips For Improving Your eBay DSRs

If you are an eBay seller, Detailed Seller Ratings are going to become pretty important very soon.
eBay are introducing a raft of changes under new leadership including Finding changes (search), fee changes and more.

Detailed Seller Ratings are going to matter to you. If you haven’t been concerned about your ratings, and you take your business income on eBay seriously, then please read on as poor DSRs may have a real impact on your bottom line.

dsr.gifeBay plans to change the way products are displayed in search by using DSR ratings to weight search results. What does this mean? It means if you have low DSR ratings for your account, your items (even if they may appear more relevant based on the keywords in your titles ) may appear BELOW many of your competitors because of your DSR scores.

Also, eBay US sellers will now likely get volume discounts, and these discount rates on your fees are tiered against DSRs.

So, how you to improve your DSR ratings, to enable better item visibility in eBay and get some listing discounts? Here are my top tips for improving your DSR rating…
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DSRWatch : View Detailed Seller Ratings, In Detail!

Detailed Seller Ratings were brought in by eBay some time ago now to allow buyers to rate sellers in more detail.

These ratings are a vote out of 5 on the following topics:

  • Item as described
  • Communication
  • Shipping time
  • Shipping/Handling Charges

Now, ChannelAdvisor Labs have released a free tool called DSRWatch for you to look at Detailed Seller Ratings for any seller, and overall feedback score down to 2 decimal places, and get notifications too!

As you might know, I love states, so go to www.dsrwatch.com to try it out on anyone you like.

Do your product photos need ‘Bling!’?

Tamebay.com in conjunction with Bling! It are running a great little competition together.

Bling! It is a neat little image editor to help you get much more professional product photos for your online ads or eBay listings.

If you are eBay seller you know how important good product shots are. Taking a great product photo not only boost bids and sales, but helps you display items in a more accurate fashion (with better detail, colour etc).

Expensive products exist out there that can do amazing things with images. Adobe Photoshop is one (we use it every day) but for most sellers out there Photoshop is overkill.

Bling! It takes the most important features you need and puts them in one little package at a much cheaper price. You can remove backgrounds from your original photos, edit, add effects and more. Even as a large volume seller that has used professional products for years I am really quite impressed.

For a free trial, and a chance to win one of 20 copies of Bling! It, visit this link.

And anyone who enters gets their submission published with optional links back their eBay shop or website (love that Google PR!)

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