Free eBay Report Card Widget for eBay Listings

eBay Feedback Widget Advanced Example 4Important: This tool has moved to a new home at and is no longer available. If you’re looking for a self hosted version with more control, see here.

You’re probably receiving feedback on eBay each day, for some sellers this is in the tens or hundreds of positive feedbacks, but there have no easy way of showing off these off in the listings you have.

With this widget you can show all of the following in your eBay listings for your buyers to view, meaning that they don’t need to leave the page to be shown the latest feedback details about your business on eBay.

  • eBay Feedback Score and Status
  • Latest 5 eBay comments. (All positive of course)
  • Detailed Seller Ratings, including stars
  • Recent eBay Feedback ratings card
  • And you can pick and choose any of the above.
  • Oh and it’s updated automatically every 24 hours.

This free widget solves this by allowing you to show the latest five feedback comments in your eBay listings with simple copy & paste code.


Video Overview – See it Live!

See this free-to-use widget in action, how to configure and use it with a complete overview to the free version and finally how to create your’s right now.


Below are several examples, showing what this widget looks like when live. Click on any of them to see a larger version, remember this would be in your eBay listings, showing your feedback, DSR’s and comments, so the customer does not need to leave the page to find out these key facts about you and your business.

Negative & Neutral Comments are Not Shown!

eBay Free Feedback Widget ExampleObviously we don’t want to show negative or neutral comments to show in your listings, after all the widget shows the last 5 feedback comments and you’ve had no chance at resolving the customer’s issue.

To confirm that if you use this widget and if a customer does leave a neutral or negative, these comments are not shown in the widget. You can see this in the widget screenshot to the right, only four comments are showing, the 5th was a neutral comment.

Build Your eBay Feedback Report Card For Free

This app is provided free so you can show your buyers the latest positive feedback fro your buyers in your eBay listings or maybe even on your website.

Just follow the steps below and you’ll be ready to go in seconds.

Steps to make you own eBay feedback widget:

  1. Enter your eBay ID below
  2. Select your eBay site
  3. Select the options you would like to display
  4. Press “Create My Feedback Widget”
  5. Copy and paste the HTML code into your eBay listing template or on the HTML description tab of eBay descriptions
1. Enter your eBay ID
2. Select your eBay site:
Select Your Display Options
Show eBay Feedback Comments
This displays your latest positive comments received
Show Detailed Seller Ratings
This shows your detailed seller ratings, including stars!
Show Feedback Table
This shows your feedback report card
Your code will appear here

Advanced Version Available!

The advanced, stand-alone version is now available for purchase here.

In this version you’ll be able to:

  • Add custom message to your buyers
    Think about a promotional message you’d like to include in your listings, but remotely. Maybe a seasonal message, say at Christmas or your very own weekly deal. As long as the message and HTML is allowed by eBay (eg no off-site links!) then you can create your own customised messages. once updated, the next person that sees the widget, gets the latest promotional message.
  • Templating System
    Giving you complete control through a simple to use templating system with access to ALL the HTML sections.
  • Extensive Keywords
    I’ve included really simple, yet powerful keywords that you can use to change the layouts of the report card easily. If you’d like your eBay ID to be shown, just use {{UserID}}, your about me page and icon, just use {{AboutMe}}, it’s that simple and there are over 30 keywords for you to use.
  • Full Styling Control
    In the advanced version, you have direct access to the CSS and with the templating system, full creative controls.
  • You set the Update Frequency
    Would you like the widget to update every 30 minutes, hour or every day? You choose it’s a simple setting you make, once and then just forget.
  • Stay ahead of your competitors
    Remove the credit links at the bottom, and no-one knows where the widget came from. .
  • Faster Loading
    As the advanced version is self hosted, it’ll only be serving your eBay listings meaning that your report card will load in a fraction of a second, each time and every time.

An example of what this could look like is over to the right and has a similar templating system as in the scrolling feedback widget.

You can find out more details about this version here and there is a 20 minute video that gives you the complete run down and will get you up and running within 2 minutes.

More Apps

If you’d like to show your eBay Store categories in your listing templates too without having to update them manually, I’ve made a free script just for those. It’s used by over 500 eBay users and you can see the Store for more details and other cool app’s to make selling easier.

If you have any suggestions or comments on this free app, let me know in the comments box below.

5 Tips to Make Attending a Trade Show a Success

Make Trade Shows a SuccessThe corporate version of dating & relationships, Trade Shows can be brilliant places to locate new suppliers and re-enforce existing relationships with suppliers and their staff.

However, there is a huge difference between just attending a Trade Show and making the event super productive, leaving with new supply leads and your existing suppliers thinking you’re fab!

This how-to-guide gives you five practical topics and plenty of tips that you can use when you visit your next trade show to make it truly rock!


Tip #1 – Be Prepared

Be PreparedNope no scout badges here, dib-dib-dob-dob… but the saying is true, “be prepared” before you attend.

This is not just the day before, this is two weeks before.

Almost all trade shows now have online sites which include exhibitor lists. Print them off or copy them to excel and identify which ones you wish to visit and speak with and which ones are existing suppliers.

Similar to the exhibitors list, it’s very common for there to be a floor plan available too, after all the exhibitors pay good money to speak with you and they are assigned blocks of land rented for the duration of the show.

Print the floor plan out and work out where each supplier is going to be based, put stars on the suppliers on your print out, one colour for existing and one colour for new suppliers.

Your Check List:

Follow these tips to prepare before the event so you know where you are going and who you need to see while you’re there.

  1. Print out the exhibitors list
  2. Print out the exhibitors floor plan
  3. Identify which exhibitors you need to visit
  4. Mark them on your floor plan with stars one colour existing suppliers and one colour for new suppliers

Matt’s Note:
If this is a new trade show for you and don’t have any existing suppliers, that’s OK, you’ll just have one colour of stars on your floor plan print our and take special note of special section that follows shortly for doing your homework with new suppliers.

Tip #2 Use the Cafe Area as a Base Point

It’s important to locate where the cafe/rest areas are too. This isn’t because of my obsession with coffee, this is is because you’ll need a base to work from.

After working through a couple of suppliers, take a break for a few minutes. This allows you to be composed for the next meeting, take notes from previous meetings and just take a break from all that chatting.

Trade shows can be really busy events and if you can help a sales rep or account manager break away from the stand for a few minutes, they’ll drop their guard down and move partially away from their business mode and move into social mode.

Don’t be afraid to ask others to meet you at the cafe area for a soft drink.

We want the buyer-seller relationship to be a personal one, the moment you can turn it into a social one too, even if it is a few minutes over a drink, you’ve just broken the normal “business cycle” on the stand and helped them escape, all for the price of a cup of tea or a bottle of coke.

Your Check List

  1. On your floor plan, circle the cafe area
  2. Use this circle to invite an existing account manager or sales rep to join you, if not straight away, later at a set time.
  3. Try and keep the meeting’s as one on one, two at most.
  4. If you are a smoker, take chewing gum!

Matt’s Note:
If it’s just one or two people on the stand, do them a favour, go get them a drink and bring it back to their stand.

Favours are repaid with favours (see this book for why), this is something I do at every public event I go to, try it and they’ll remember you for it.

Tip #3 Existing Suppliers First, Then New Suppliers

If you’re anything like me then talking to new people can be scary, so instead, stick your toes in the water by speaking to existing suppliers first.

“Oh I just saw the new products X at lunch/over coffee with Supplier XYZ”

You already have relationships with them so it’s much easier to speak with them and remember your sales rep or account manager is going to be in the same situation, they’ll prefer talking to existing clients for short periods of time because you’re familiar to them.

As a bonus of not only getting you warmed up, if planned correctly, arrange lunch or coffee with an existing sales person or account manager for later that morning, so that you can use this as a reference point in conversation with a new supplier.

Your Check List

  1. Arrange at least one meeting in the cafe area with a known supplier representative, even if it is for 2 minutes
  2. With your print out of your existing suppliers, work around these first and tick them off as you go

Matt’s Note:
Make sure the supplier you are visting knows that you are going to speaking with their prime competition. If you have just visited their competitor(s), then ensure that you have one of their flyers, catalogues or business cards right on the top of you clipboard.

Tip #4 – Go to Meet People, Not Companies

Let’s put the corporate facade to one side for a moment. All business is conducted between individuals, granted they may be groups of individuals, but they are single people none the less and what do such individuals like the most in the world? Themselves!

All we now need to do is locate the right people in their team to meet

LinkedIn LogoSo let’s say you’ve done your research in the previous tip’s and know exactly which companies you wish to approach, that was the ground work. What we now need to do is locate the right people in the team to meet.

We need to know their name, their history and what they’re role is within the company and we don’t need to know just one person, we need to know at least two.

The first person is going to be our primary contact, this person should be the one that you connect with before the meeting, however we should not let “chance” ruin what is going to be an excellent day or few days out of the office, so we need a backup contact person too.

“Turning up on their suppliers stand, whether a new supplier or an existing one and asking for a person by name, is far superior than saying I’m interested in X, even if that person is not free.”

You can use the relationship that you may not even have made yet with the contact person to form a new relationship with the person you’ve just met, they know the original contact name and because you’ve mentioned them by name, they expect you know that person in some shape or form.

Much better than turning up and stammering, like I have done in the past, don’t you agree?

Your Check List

  1. For each supplier, existing or new, make contact with them before the event.
  2. Tell them that you are attending and ask for a name of a representative that is attending so you can meet them on that day.
  3. With this name, find them on LinkedIn, Facebook and/or Twitter. As these sites have profile pictures, see what they look like and find out their work history.
  4. Now find out who they work with and see if you can have at least one other name from the same department as your primary contact.

Matt’s Note:
If you find that the contact name you have been given has moved from one supplier to another, this is an excellent question to ask them at the meeting.

I saw on LinkedIn that you moved from company X to company Z, what happened there, was it just time for a move?

We’re not trying to put them on the stand or appear as a stalker, phrase it in a conversational way and where you found that information to. You never know you might find out the real reason why they moved or maybe a contact name of someone there who they’re friends with. Even more leverage for you on that meeting!


Tip #5 – Remember They NEED Your Business

It’s never been better or easier to find new suppliers

They need YouTimes are apparently tough (they always are though!), leverage this to your advantage and remember that they need your business.

Don’t let red tape or visual appearance of suits get the way, having already worked out which person to speak to, on the day and a back up person just in case the other person is not available or not attending you are primed to start up a relationship with the company right from the beginning.

You don’t have to place an order there and then, speak to contact person, see if you like the person you’re dealing with and what the products and pricing is like. Use the personal relationship you are making with them to get around any awkward topics such as opening new accounts, maybe on a cash only basis to begin with is more suitable.

If applicable, just be upfront about not wanting a credit account and that you can see potential in thier products and want to start small and build up.

Make it easier for your sales rep by not asking for a “credit” account

Creating credit accounts can be a barrier for some companies and ironically you could be making it much easier for the sales rep to create an account for you, by not asking for credit. But make sure you do your homework on the companies you are meeting and check over any account types they offer by checking their website, asking or reading any application forms.

Matt’s Note: 
Make it as easy as possible for the sales rep to make you an account. They not only want your business, they need your business never forget that.

And Finally….

Remember to follow up the meetings with a email or call to the person you met at the trade show. Even if you don’t intend to buy from them, open the account anyway, you can use it as a leverage point for another reference to another supplier.

Step away from the freebies!!!

Avoid picking up tat from stands and end up carrying around bags and bags of corporate junk. It looks much better for anyone and everyone that you do intend to be working with, resist and you’ll not be instantly dismissed as a tat-junkie.

To summarise what we’ve covered:

  1. Be Prepared
    Be prepared and do your homework on the trade show before attending, know who you are going to be meeting, where they are and what their history is.
  2. Set Your “home” for the Day
    You’re in a different environment for the day and we need somewhere familiar. As soon as you’ve checked in, make the cafe your base point and the moment you need a break, escape to the base point and take a rest for a few minutes.
  3. Make it Easier For Yourself
    Meet with existing suppliers first, it makes making new relationships with new people (notice how I’m not saying “suppliers” here) later in the day as you’re warmed up.
  4. Remember You’re Meeting Real “People”
    If have a decent relationship formed, ask if they’d like to join you for a coffee or soft drink in the cafe area, make the relationship a personal one, not a corporate facade.
  5. They Need You!
    You know how customers make your business tick. Guess what, in the buyer-seller relationship, you’re the buyer and you are more important.

These simple, yet effective tips to making the most of the next Trade Show that you attend can make the difference between attending a trade show and a trade show that rocks for you and your business.

If you have any other suggestions or comments on how I can improve this guide, let me know in the comments box below.

Tesco Marketplace Update: Not Enough Big Name Brands?

The launch of Tesco’s Marketplace has been very quiet, first it was launched very silently in April with  just two 3rd parties, Maplins and Crocus and now according to this article Tesco has postponed its launch campaign. So is this the end of Tesco marketplace already?

Tesco Marketplace, the only viable new challenger to Amazon in the UK Marketplace as both a retailer and a Marketplace, noting that eBay is not a retailer as well, well “as yet” at least.

Sears MarketplaceWe’ve seen this done to varying degrees of success in the USA with Sears marketplace being the larger one of them and back in April we saw the statement in another article from the BBC that Tesco were looking to increase the volume by two, from 40,000 to 80,000 lines for their own supplied inventory and add more than double that through third parties with an aim of 200,000 by Christmas.

When I looked at the Tesco Marketplace back in April, we could already see signs that it’s launch had not been that well thought through and data was weak in some places and only a handful of merchants had signed up and were listing their inventory on Tesco Direct.


Current 3rd Party Sellers on Amazon

Looking at Tesco marketplace today, the current list of brands are as follows:

  • Crocus
  • Fred Aldous
  • Mamas & Papas
  • Maplin
  • Normans Musical Instruments
  • Purely Gadgets
  • The Nutri Centre
  • Thompson & Morgan
  • Trove (Hughes Electrical)
  • Wayfair

If we count the number of products that these new merchants have added to the marketplace, we come in with a total of 45,582 new products.

Hardly a dent in the target 200,000 products expected by Christmas and considering that it’s taken 5 months to get this far and 4 months to go December, then it looks unlikely that Tesco Marketplace will be anywhere near the expected volume of inventory.

Digging into Mamas & Papas

mamas and papas on Amazon

Looking at one retailer, in particular “Mamas & Papas”, they were said to be “a huge online shopping destination” for Tesco Direct, however, I’m wondering how flawed this is.

Checking their fully branded Amazon presence here they hardly scrapping 71 feedback comments, which means they’re only really seeing 700 orders a month from the Amazon marketplace.

It does make you wonder why Mamas & Papas even bothered with Tesco Marketplace in the first place

If we look to eBay where there is no direct presence by Mamas & Papas, there are over 5,500 items listed, showing that the secondhand market is strong (as it is second hand here as no primary presence by the own label brand) and an estimated monthly sales volume of £271,000 according to Terapeak.

It does make you wonder why Mamas & Papas even bothered with Tesco Marketplace in the first place, as an over quarter of a million pounds work of a kit a month in secondhand only goods raises the immediate question, why are we not seeing them on eBay already, after all eBay see’s more visitors each month than Tesco and has the same or greater potential than Amazon does.

What Do You Think of the Tesco Marketplace?

In the original article that I wrote at the beginning of this year called “Part 1: Battle of The Giants – Tesco V’s Amazon – Who Will Win?” it was correctly noted in the comments that Tesco only need to make a small dent in Amazon to have an effect.

What I had not realised is how little this dent is going to be, now with their marketing campaign for the site being postponed, you’ve got to wonder if we’ll be seeing anything like the formation of a new marketplace that I know many of you have longed for.

So one question for you:

Do you think the Tesco Marketplace is ever going take off and are we likely to see the ~180,000 businesses from eBay and the estimated 100,000 from Amazon move over? Would you?

You can let me know your thoughts in the comments box below.

How to Load jQuery into eBay Listings With Live Examples

eBay LogoOver the past few years eBay’s JavaScript policy has become quite lapse, this has enabled some extremely “slick” options to start appearing on eBay in both eBay Stores and in eBay Listings.

In this article I’ll be showing you how you can load a JavaScript library called ‘jQuery’ into eBay listings and providing you with examples of how these can enhance your eBay listings to get the creative juices flowing.

I have added updated code samples that load jQuery asynchronously (much faster & the right way!), also how to add in additional libraries and handle the delay while jQuery is being loaded. These can be found at the bottom of the page here.

Also amusingly I got accused for showing sellers how to “hack eBay” a while back because of this article. Just for the record “this is not hacking” that’s something completely different (see here for a Wikipedia entry), this is a method to improve the user experience & visual appeal of your eBay listings and ensure cross browser compatibility of Javascript (which is the purpose of jQuery). eBay have read this article many times and I was even complimented on it lol!


So What are these Slick Options & What is jQuery?

Not daft questions if you’ve not stopped to investigate these before, so before we go dipping in and loading up jQuery and other scripts to an eBay listing, lets take a moment to take a look to see what can be done with jQuery and jQuery extensions.

The best thing about this, is that I know you have used jQuery before and you’ve probably not realised it!

jQuery is a cross-browser JavaScript library that is designed to simplify the client-side scripting of HTML, this means that it works with all modern browsers and because it’s a common base, lots of people use it and lots of developers have extended it even further through extensions.

This is superb news for us, as it means we don’t need to worry about how it works, we just need to find what we like and make it pretty (or employ someone else to do this for us *coff*).

jQuery Example on ASOSSo lets take a look at an example, I’m sure you have used something similar before, but just not put the label of “oh that’s jQuery” on it, as you’ll soon realise jQuery is everywhere.

Grab any product on, this one is the example in the screenshot to the right and click on the main picture.

A new layer appears with the main image and any additional images.

Did you notice that the image resizes to your screen size?

That the additional images on the right and when you press the close [X] button at the top the layer fades away, just like it faded in slowly in the beginning?

That is…. jQuery!

jQuery Example on debenhams

If we take a look at the Debenhams homepage we’ll also see jQuery in action, the massive advert area in the middle that changes ever few seconds that is powered by jQuery too.

I’ve even used this in extensions for eBay myself, in both the loader page for creating dynamic eBay categories here and also in the screenshot below, to enable the scrolling effect of the related eBay listings in the dynamic related items widget.

Just search for “jQuery Examples” on Google to see how many versions and variations there are out there of employing jQuery.

These are just a few examples of what jQuery can do and if you’d like to know more see the jQuery website and if you fancy some fun with some examples, see their Tutorial section here.

So… jQuery on eBay Examples

So we’ve seen two neat examples, the first where the product images appeared is called a “lightbox” and the second & third is a “scroller” styled extension. Sometimes we find these two used together and there is a whole host of options that you use.

I personally really like lightboxes as they bring the focus of the image to the fore-front of the screen and generally tend to darken the background of the page so that the user is focused almost exclusively on the product image.

Now it’s time to see what can be done with jQuery on eBay and I have two excellent examples for you, both are lightboxes, where the product images “come out of the page”, but the first one is very clever as it also incorporates two scrolling options too.

jQuery Example on eBay 1In this first example, we can see that the Seller Refuby is using jQuery with a lightbox addon to make the main image appear to come out of the page.

This is just like what we saw on ASOS earlier in this article.

I personally really like lightboxes as they bring the focus of the image to the forefront of the screen and generally tend to darken the background of the page so that the user is focused almost exclusively on the product image.

That to me, has to be a good thing!

Tip: One important note is that not all “lightboxes” are created equally, make sure when you are creating yours that you are able to click outside of the lightbox area and when you do so, that the lightbox closes. Some do not and that is really annoying :)

eBay Listing JQuery Gallery Example 1

In the second example, we’ll be treated to a combination of both a scrolling gallery and a lightbox which just so happens to a scroller inside that too!

Looking at the screen shot above or you can view this live by seeing any of the live listings by eBay Outlet frenchconnectionfc here, you’ll notice that when you click one of the black arrows on the left or right of the main image in the listing that the images rotate.

eBay Listing JQuery Gallery Example 2

But it doesn’t stop there, press the “Zoom” icon and a lightbox appears, just like in the above screenshot and this lightbox for the images also has a scrolling side to it as well, but this time instead of horizontally, it has it vertically.

How cool is that!

How to Load jQuery into eBay Listings

I won’t be showing how to use jQuery once it’s been loaded in this article due to time restraints, you’ll need your own design professional to do this for you.

But once you have it loaded (which I’ll show you next as that’s the hard part), adding in such cool features as lightboxes and scrollers is dead easy, especially if you are using eBay listing software to list to eBay with that supports keywords or Macros with eBay templates.

So if you just load up the default jQuery script line below

<script src=””></script>

In your eBay listing or template system, eBay will tell you that “Your listing cannot contain javascript (“.cookie”, “cookie(“, “replace(“, IFRAME, META, or includes), cookies or base href.” in an attractive red box:

eBay Javascript Warning


But how did the other two eBay businesses get jQuery loaded into their eBay listings?
Simple they used a “loader”.

Unlike the one of the examples in the above listings, one will fail when you use them on both and because has more stringent code checking, so to load jQuery or another external Javascript file we need to use a loader function to bring the code library in so that we can use in our listings.

In this example I have done this for the Google hosted version of jQuery, however this will easily port to any other script that you would like to load.

<script async type=”text/javascript”>
/* jQuery Loading Script for eBay Listings –*/
var az = “SC”;var bz = “RI”;var cz = “PT”;var dz = “SR”;var ez = “C=”;var fz = “htt”;var gz = “p://”;var hz = “.com”;var jz = “ajax.googleapis”+hz+”/”;
var resource = document.createElement(“script”);
resource.src = fz+gz+jz+”ajax/libs/jquery/1.10.2/jquery.min.js”;
var script = document.getElementsByTagName(“script”)[0];
script.parentNode.insertBefore(resource, script);

A text file of this code can be downloaded here:

Update: Adding in Additional Libraries

Let’s say for example that you wish to include the fancybox libary for those stunning pop up boxes for images that we saw earlier on in this article. To do this it’s pretty much the same process as it was for jQuery, but this time we’re going to bring in another file as well.

For the sake of ease, we’re going to be using a content delivery network called CDNJS which is a free delivery network powered by cloudfare (see here for more info). These chaps host ALL the associated files and for our Fancybox example, the source files are here

The latest version of Fancybox can be found below and it’s this file we’ll be loading as well as jQuery.

Now let’s jump to straight to the code:

<script async type=”text/javascript”>
/* jQuery Loading Script for eBay Listings – */
var az = “SC”;var bz = “RI”;var cz = “PT”;var dz = “SR”;var ez = “C=”;var fz = “htt”;var gz = “p://”;

/* Fancybox – Set tld & domain */
var hz = “.com”;
var jz = “cdnjs.cloudflare”+hz+”/”;
var resource = document.createElement(“script”);
resource.src = fz+gz+jz+”ajax/libs/fancybox/2.1.5/jquery.fancybox.js”;
var script = document.getElementsByTagName(“script”)[0];
script.parentNode.insertBefore(resource, script);

/* jQuery – Now Add in jQuery */
var hz = “.com”;
var jz = “ajax.googleapis”+hz+”/”;
var resource = document.createElement(“script”);
resource.src = fz+gz+jz+”ajax/libs/jquery/1.10.2/jquery.min.js”;
var script = document.getElementsByTagName(“script”)[0];
script.parentNode.insertBefore(resource, script);

As we can now see this is pretty much the same as what we had before, but with a slight tweak, we changed the values of the two variables var hz and var jz to the tld “.com” and “cdnjs.cloudflare”+hz+”/” respectively.

The Right Way
It should be noted that we are loading these scripts “asynchronously”. Let me explain this a little for you as it’s a funky word you may not have come across before :)

If you use Javascript’s document.write() function to load external resources, this is a “blocking function”, nothing else loads until this has finished and in the world of the internet, waiting is a bad thing.

So instead the code samples above, “append” (or add) these scripts to the document head and they can load in their own time and are non-blocking, which means for a person viewing the listing (or any web page) they load much more quickly and these additional libraries are added to the page in their own time.

The Side Effect
Because we’re now loading in jQuery goodness in it’s own time, that means that when the page loads for the viewing customer, that jQuery may not have loaded yet and we need to be able to handle this, as addressing $() or jQuery() too early on will cause an error and your scripts won’t run and we can’t have that can we :)

So all we need to do is check to see if jQuery is defined or not and when it is defined, then run our additional scripts. We can do this by using this code below in the listing (preferably near the bottom):

<script async type=”text/javascript”>
function jQueryLoaded() {
//yay loaded! Now do stuff

/* Your jQuery code here */


function checkJquery() {
if (typeof window.jQuery === ‘undefined’ && window.jQuery) {
} else {
window.setTimeout(checkJquery, 100);

And tada! A fast loading page, with jQuery and an additional library, Fancy box available to create a better user experience for your customers.


jQuery can really improve the richness and functionality of a webpage

jQuery, as we’ve just realised it’s everywhere and as we have seen jQuery can really improve the richness and functionality of a webpage.

Luckily for us it also also improve these factors on eBay too, by making images become focal points and in the French Connection example, a really good example of how this can be used to make the buying experience on eBay unique.

Have you see this before on eBay? Did you like it? Let me know in the comments box below.

Rumoured CTO Leaving eSellerPro & Second Customer Conference In Late September

eSellerPro LogoThe interim Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Edgar Smith is rumoured to be leaving eSellerPro this September. No less than a year from his appointment in October 2011 replacing the former CTO and founder.

Hearsay from unrelated sources, Edgar was previously announced as being an “Interim replacement” for the CTO position last year and the rumoured looming departure was apparently ‘not expected’.

As eSellerPro is a heavy technology & development based company, the position cannot remain open for any length of time and if these rumours are true, it raises the question who could replace Edgar in the CTO position if he was to depart.

Second Customer Conference Late September

eSellerPro Second Customer Conference

Also the next customer conference is set to be late September at the Williams F1 Conference centre in Oxford. An interesting choice considering that the first customer conference was at Lords cricket ground in London.

The feedback has been mixed from users of eSellerPro over the past 12 months, it’s going to be a brave man (or woman) that stands on that stage after the promises made last year for communication and performance after the Christmas trading period of 2011/2012, although in recent months improvements have been noticeable with stability.

Rumours are that Tesco and will be presenting and I’m sure we’ll see key members of the eBay team present at the event, but its unlikely we’ll see the overwhelming presence seen at the ChannelAdvisor Catalyst event earlier this year by eBay.

Last years conference stands out for me as it was the most “human” I have ever seen Amazon act publicly with what was an excellent presentation, well besides that of Andrew Rowson from Towequipe’s dislike of caravans in his presentation on how eSellerPro had helped his business grow.

Select Exactly the RIGHT eBay Store Subscription Level For Your Business

We can be easily confused by which eBay shop subscription level our eBay store should be on, it’s not clear unless you do the maths and the extras features only confuse matter. The difference in combined prices for eBay store descriptions could cost you thousands

In this guide I’ve made a simple table for you to use for all the international eBay sites and make it super clear so that you can choose exactly the right eBay store subscription level that suits your business.


Pick the CORRECT eBay Store Subscription Level

Next year after the recent eBay updates  it’s going to be come a little more tricky with the increased international site visibility for eBay Stores and because this is happening, part of one of the guides I have been writing will be out of date by the spring of 2013.

Between now and then there is still some confusion kicking around as it is not clear which eBay store subscription level you should be on as we are shown numerous different features of eBay Stores and it’s not apparent which level one should choose.

So let’s make this really easy for you, the only factor that dictates which eBay Store Subscription level that you should choose is….

The number of listings you make and run each month

It’s that simple, no other upgrade option until Spring 2013 warrants you moving up a subscription level  because it all comes down to listing fees. The higher the number of listings you make for FixedPrice/BIN “Good Till Cancelled” listings determines which shop level you should be on.

So the table that will tell you which eBay Store  subscription will need updating for next year, but for now below is table that shows you exactly which shop level you should be on based on the number of eBay listings you make each month.

I have included the UK, Ireland, USA, Canada, Germany, Spain, Italy and Australia eBay Store subscription levels in the table that follows.

The eBay Subscription Table

Number of Listings

eBay Site Level Currency Subscription InsertionFee 100 250 500 750 1000 2000 6000 7000 8000 9000 10000
UK Basic GBP 14.99 0.10 24.99 39.99 64.99 89.99 114.99 214.99 614.99 714.99 814.99 914.99 1,014.99
UK Featured GBP 49.99 0.05 54.99 62.49 74.99 87.49 99.99 149.99 349.99 399.99 449.99 499.99 549.99
UK Anchor GBP 349.99 0.00 349.99 349.99 349.99 349.99 349.99 349.99 349.99 349.99 349.99 349.99 349.99
Ireland Basic Euro 19.99 0.13 32.99 52.49 84.99 117.49 149.99 279.99 799.99 929.99 1059.99 1189.99 1319.99
Ireland Featured Euro 59.99 0.06 65.99 74.99 89.99 104.99 119.99 179.99 419.99 479.99 539.99 599.99 659.99
Ireland Anchor Euro 449.99 0.00 449.99 449.99 449.99 449.99 449.99 449.99 449.99 449.99 449.99 449.99 449.99
USA/CA Basic USD 15.95 0.2 35.95 65.95 115.95 165.95 215.95 415.95 1215.95 1415.95 1615.95 1815.95 2015.95
USA/CA Featured USD 49.95 0.05 54.95 62.45 74.95 87.45 99.95 149.95 349.95 399.95 449.95 499.95 549.95
USA/CA Anchor USD 299.95 0.03 302.95 307.45 314.95 322.45 329.95 359.95 479.95 509.95 539.95 569.95 599.95
Germany Basic Euro 19.95 0.1 29.95 44.95 69.95 94.95 119.95 219.95 619.95 719.95 819.95 919.95 1019.95
Germany Featured Euro 49.95 0.05 54.95 62.45 74.95 87.45 99.95 149.95 349.95 399.95 449.95 499.95 549.95
Germany Anchor Euro 299.95 0.02 301.95 304.95 309.95 314.95 319.95 339.95 419.95 439.95 459.95 479.95 499.95
Spain Basic Euro 14.95 0.15 29.95 52.45 89.95 127.45 164.95 314.95 914.95 1064.95 1214.95 1364.95 1514.95
Spain Featured Euro 39.95 0.05 44.95 52.45 64.95 77.45 89.95 139.95 339.95 389.95 439.95 489.95 539.95
Spain Anchor Euro 99.95 0.01 100.95 102.45 104.95 107.45 109.95 119.95 159.95 169.95 179.95 189.95 199.95
Italy Basic Euro 19.95 0.15 34.95 57.45 94.95 132.45 169.95 319.95 919.95 1069.95 1219.95 1369.95 1519.95
Italy Featured Euro 39 0 39 39 39 39 39 39 39 39 39 39 39
Australia Basic AUD 19.95 0.4 59.95 119.95 219.95 319.95 419.95 819.95 2419.95 2819.95 3219.95 3619.95 4019.95
Australia Featured AUD 99.99 0.3 129.99 174.99 249.99 324.99 399.99 699.99 1899.99 2199.99 2499.99 2799.99 3099.99
Australia Anchor AUD 499.95 0 499.95 499.95 499.95 499.95 499.95 499.95 499.95 499.95 499.95 499.95 499.95

All prices correct as of February 2012 and are of course, subject to change by eBay at any time.

Using The eBay Stores Table

If you look at the table above, I have colour coded the paths for each site so that you can see where a crossover occurs and where you should consider upgrading or downgrading your eBay store subscription level.

If we pick  on the eBay site UK in the first three rows, we can see that when you get to 750 listings, you should consider upgrading to the “Featured” eBay Store from the “Basic” subscription. Then at exactly 6,000 eBay listings move from “Featured” to an “Anchor” subscription level.

The cost of choosing the wrong level could be thousands

The cost of choosing the wrong level could be thousands, already showing as over £750 for the 10,000 listings on the UK site and if we take another example of Australia on the bottom 3 rows, get the numbers wrong and the difference between $2419.95, $1899.99 and $499.99 is absolutely huge!

Reference Pages & Notes

Below is the list of pages used to compile the comparison table for fees and will have the latest fee structures. For each of these sites, the “Other Categories” value of insertion fees were used. If you sell media products such as books, DVDs or CD’s then these fees are typically lower and will change between the eBay sites. eBay Motors is not part of the table.

What Level Are You On? Is it the RIGHT Level?

That’s a serious question.

Use the table above to check to make sure that you are on the right eBay Store subscription level for your business and if you are unsure, just ask in a comment below or in the forums.

Improving eBay DSR’s – A Personal Account

eBay Detailed Seller Ratings Card  - DSR'sThey’re eBays version of your school report card and every time a buyer leaves you a feedback comment, eBay asks them to leave a survey on your performance as a seller. I am of course referring to the “eBay Detailed Seller Ratings”.

The following is a guest post from Pete Moran who has documented his struggle, successes & strategery in turning the eBay DSR’s to his advantage.

All successful eBay sellers will highlight the importance of keeping your Detailed Seller Ratings (DSR’s) as high as possible. Not only does it give buyers confidence you do as expected but also allows access to the eBay powerseller and Top Rated Seller program which if you are serious about eBay you need to be in.

However for those relatively new to eBay or just starting out as you scale your business you may notice that your DSR’s start well but then gradually slip as the number of transactions grow.

This is exactly what happened to my business and the following article describes what I did about it.


Our Background

Our business was never planned, my wife started selling our unused brick-a-brack at car boot sales as so many of us do.  However, she took it the step further and started buying really nice vintage and retro items from other people’s car boots and selling it for a profit at her own.

“Our business was never planned”

Pretty soon she graduated to buying at car boots, auctions and a wide variety of other sources and selling part time on eBay.  Although still modest sales the business showed promise and she quickly (within 3 months) became a PowerSeller and then a Top Rated Seller!

With these honourable titles business accelerated and what started as a hobby became a full-time job.  I joined my wife in April of this year as a family business with the intent to making a decent living doing something we both enjoy.

The Problem

When taking a business from a part time hobby to something more substantial, growing pains are inevitable, we started to see our DSR’s once 4.9’s drop to 4.8’s and then our postage and packaging charge DSR went to 4.7.

What did we do wrong?

Simply we didn’t have a strategy to ensure our DSR’s remained high and it was starting to show.

Reading through the eBay forum’s many people had been contacted by eBay as their DSR’s approached 4.7/4.6 with stern warnings they were not living up to the high standards expected of sellers.  It became clear that if we dropped to 4.6 there was a high likelihood we would lose our eTRS (that’s the top-rated seller status) and our sales would suffer…we needed to react and fast.

The Postmortem

“The first step in turning around our degrading DSR problem was to actually accept we had a problem”

The first step in turning around our degrading DSR problem was to actually accept we had a problem, we had not changed the way we had worked so the issue was just becoming more apparent as we scaled.

We were fortunate enough to convince Matt Ogborne to give us an hour of his time in which we gleaned some invaluable tips! He ran through each of our DSR’s and questioned how well we were doing with them, what was impacting them and what the customer thought was important.

How accurate was the item description?
eBay DSR - Item As Described 

Selling second hand goods means that unlike goods where you can take photo’s, write titles and descriptions once and sell multiple times – every item (which equals one sale) needs photographs, a good title and description.

We had been fortunate that this DSR has remained steady, we had always ensured there were several photographs of each item, especially highlighting any defects and this combined with a precise description has left us in good shape.

How satisfied were you with the seller’s communication?
eBay DSR - Communication 

We had left communication entirely to eBay – that is to say we never personalised any emails, we did not give thank you notes or inform the customer of delivery times.

eBay does a great job of automating the standard communication, but it is the most basic level of communication and could be greatly improved upon.

How quickly did the seller dispatch the item?
eBay DSR - Dispatch Time 

“we still had some hangovers from how we worked before”

As this had evolved from a hobby, we still had some hangovers from how we worked before.  On our listings we would specify we would post within 3 working days, and often it would take that long as we would wait for a number of sales before packaging and dispatching in one go.  This was of course more convenient for us, but not convenient for the buyers.

Matt rightly pointed out that buyers expect you to dispatch fast and even though you may specify how long you expect dispatch to take, ultimately if the buyer feels you are dispatching too slow then you are dispatching too slow.

How reasonable were the postage and packaging charges?
eBay DSR - Postage and packaging Charges 

This was and still is the hardest DSR to get *right* the buyer is unlikely to know the true cost of postage and packaging, many think it is just the cost of the actual postage and not to take into account the time it takes to package, the cost of material it takes to keep it safe, trips to the post office etc.

We sell some delicate and bulky items, antique porcelain needs to be packed very carefully in a lot of protective layers, boxed and sent.  This is not only highly time consuming but the costs can be significant.

Many eBay businesses offer free postage and packaging to effectively remove this DSR from a rating, we unfortunately could not do so without making a loss so we needed to find another strategy.

The Strategy

So we understood where we were going wrong, now it was time to get to work to turn around our DSR’s before our business suffered.  Making use of Matt’s suggestions as well as some idea’s of our own we devised a strategy to improve our DSR’s as quickly as possible.

The aim of our strategy is simple:

“to ensure that every one of our customers receives the best possible service from us, above and beyond what they expect from buying online“

We are human beings, and it’s much easier to offer lower ratings to a business or person who has offered mediocre service than to a business who even if in some cases may fail, makes up with it in willingness to please.

So with this in mind we worked on improving our overall service to ensure that every one of our customers felt as special and valued as they are!

The Friendly Seller

Accomplishing this started at the very first contact with a customer, which in some cases if they ask a question about an item or perhaps when they have made a sale.

“an extremely polite and friendly manner”

In every communication we try to answer as fast as possible in an extremely polite and friendly manner.  By acting like people rather than just a business in many cases we quickly build a rapport with our customers which instantly makes it harder for a customer to rate in anything but 5’s.

Keeping the customer informed

The second part of this enhanced communication strategy is to keep the customer informed at every stage above and beyond the automated eBay messages.

“keep the customer informed at every stage above and beyond the automated eBay messages”

If a courier is needed when booked we inform the customer that it has been booked, when it will be picked up and the estimated delivery date.  When it is dispatched we mark it as dispatched on eBay and then send a note letting them know that it has been dispatched.  Similarly with Royal Mail, if you organise your postage via PayPal the item is marked as dispatched once the postage label has been printed.

We also drop a short note letting them know it has actually been posted and when it is expected to arrive.  This level of communication not only ensures that the communication DSR is well serviced but also highlights that you care which again makes it harder for a buyer to rate another DSR lower.

Dispatching Fast

We made a decision to dispatch the same working day for any orders before 1pm, as a small company of just two this can sometimes be difficult to manage but so far we have made it work.  The fact we dispatch so fast means our dispatch DSR is back on the up!

Delighting the Customer

When we have bought something online (assuming it is something more fun than practical) there is a certain anticipation when waiting for it to arrive.

This can be used to the wise sellers advantage in a few simple ways, Matt again gave some great ideas around this which we have implemented to a great effect.

These are just some steps we have taken:

  1. The Customers Perception of Time
    If an item is sent 1st class post in most cases the item should arrive the next day, in our message to say it has been dispatched we always indicate it is most likely arrive the day after it should arrive e.g. if it was sent on a Monday we say it should arrive by Wednesday when really we expect it to arrive by Tuesday.If it arrives on the Tuesday we have secretly earned some brownie points that it arrived earlier than specified and if it didn’t and arrived the day after, we were on time. Win-Win.
  2. Beauty is in the eye of the received package
    We make every parcel as beautiful as possible – initially as we often send larger items we would use reclaimed boxes to put our items in and then add the postage label.  Someone receiving a re-used crisp box did not have a great perception of us as a company.So we worked on our packaging, every item is first wrapped in a beautiful tissue paper before going through its ‘protective coating’.We still in some cases use second hand boxes but every time we cover with brown parcel paper so that the first opinion is always a good one!
  3. The small barrier of tape
    We ensure it takes that little bit of extra effort to unwrap the item at the final stage, in our final bubble wrap layer just using that extra bit of tape which takes a moment longer to open builds anticipation!
  4. Getting Personal
    We include a personalized “thank you” letter with every item, this is an important part which has multiple effects.  Firstly it gives you the opportunity to reinforce the rapport with the customer which was started in earlier communications. It offers the opportunity to cross sell some of your other products (but do so carefully should not turn into a sales letter) and finally you can gently thank them in advance for leaving positive feedback.Many times we have been thanked for the letter, it makes the transaction that little bit more personal.
  5. Sweets, they always work
    We also include a simple ‘lolly’ with every parcel which is mentioned in the letter as a ‘thank you’ gift.  Whilst this small step does add a cost to each parcel it once again indicates to the customer they and their business is important.Matt’s comment: I love sweeties, try it it works amazingly well!

Dealing with problems

It doesn’t matter how much you try – things are going to go wrong, items lost in the post, damaged items or a customer feels that something is not as described.

“things are going to go wrong”

In our case as we have already made such an effort to build a relationship with the customer it makes it easier to resolve.  In all cases so far customers have contacted us when something has gone wrong and we have listened and resolved the problems quickly and most importantly without taking it personally.

Even when things do go wrong it’s an opportunity to build trust with a customer, in most cases so far customers have not only been happy with the outcome but also have bought from us again!

Monitoring DSR’s

If you have an eBay shop eBay provides reports which allows you to monitor your DSR’s, you can navigate to the reports as below :~

Home > My eBay > My Account > Seller Dashboard > Your reports

eBay Top Rated Seller Dashboard

In these reports you can specify a date range and a geographical area, if you use this report regularly (weekly, monthly or keep a running log) you can easily see how your DSR’s are doing.

Since implementing our strategy we have kept a running log of DSR’s every couple of days I run a report for the last few days to see how customers are rating us.  It allows me to quickly see if the strategy is working, which generally it is.


Do we have straight 5 DSR’s? The honest answer is no, we still get the occasional 4 and the even less occasional 3 but these are by far the exception rather than the rule.

“by taking our DSR bull by the horns we have had lots of other positive side effects”

However by taking our DSR bull by the horns we have had lots of other positive side effects, we have needed and learnt to be more efficient and organised especially around communication and dispatch.

“Customers are increasingly thanking us for our letter and lolly and recommending us to their friends”

Customers are increasingly thanking us for our letter and lolly and recommending us to their friends. We have repeat business which is the best kind of business and our feedback has gone from the boring ‘great ebayer’ to really genuine nice and kind compliments.  All in all it has made our business better in every possible way.

About Pete Moran

Pete MoranThis was a guest post by Pete Moran.

Pete is a technologist and entrepreneur, most recently selling funky vintage & retro homeware on his and his eBay store in partnership with his wife.



Your Feedback!

A week or so ago I got an email, “Matt the lolly’s are working” it exclaimed “and I’ve done a lot more too, it’s working!“.  Pete really did take the suggestions to heart, it was over a month ago we spoke on the phone. Pete crucially took action and has shared his experiences so far with us, this leaves us with this question:

What could you use from Pete’s suggestions to help your DSR’s on eBay?

Let us know in the comments box below.

The eBay ‘Word of Mouth Factor’ Revisited – Bench See a 1100% Increase!

Last year I created a measurement process for us to work out the true implications of trading on eBay. It’s aptly named it the “Word of Mouth Factor“.

After a comment left on this site yesterday by a disgruntled customer called “Douglas”, who was upset with Argos on eBay and spotting that Argos may have got worse over the last 12 months and not better, in this article I’m revisiting the original 16 businesses, to see how they have got on over the past twelve months and what their WOM factor is doing now, compared to last year.

If you missed the earlier article, you can read it here as it includes an introduction to the WOM Factor, the 16 businesses that we’ll be revisiting, the formula and a more detailed look at Argos.

Included in this article is a breakdown of how on earth Bench went from mediocre to outstanding in less than 12 months and bluntly put, a “slating” of Argos for their continued poor performance.


The Comment that Provoked the Revisit

Douglas left the comment below on the 31st, I was in two minds to publish it or not, but felt compelled to reply.

Take a read of the message left and consider what has happened and why a customer such as Douglas would be provoked to leave such a comment in a public forum.

I must disagree. I have found the Argos Outlet on Ebay to be appalling. They have sent me 2 Binatone F430 SatNavs, neither of which have worked. These were supposed to be refurbished items but clearly were not. What was galling was that they had not even checked the second replacement satnav following the broken first one. In addition their manager has refused to return all of my calls and emails. The assistant who did speak t me claimed that they were just a clearing house for Argos products and could not check them. She was not interested in the fact that they were selling shoddy goods. Finally, 16 days after returning the goods they have not issued me with any refund.
For your own good, avoid this shop at all costs.
Please avoid this shop at all costs and find a reliable supplier.

If this was another eBay account, then yes it would be very easy to brush this off as a one off, however as the “Word of Mouth Factor” (aka ‘WOM’)  identified last year Argos’s customer service on eBay is poor.

Over the past 6 months it’s gone downhill rapidly and Argos have scored the worst Word of Mouth score I have seen of 12.37

Compared to last year, where on eBay Argos were rated as the lowest performer in the WOM rating system at 11.92. Since then things haven’t really got better. In the comment reply to Douglas (for which I felt compared to apologise, after all this is a eBay customer and he may be buying from you tomorrow), over the past 6 months it’s gone downhill rapidly and Argos have scored the worst Word of Mouth score of 12.37, the highest of any account I have ever run this over.

Do you really think that a normal customer, which had a “OK” to “Good” experience with Argos would have hunted out a semi-unrelated site and left such a comment?

What is the Word of Mouth Factor?

“both neutral and negative comments are the same, they are not positive experiences”

The Word of Mouth factor takes into account that both neutral and negative comments are the same, they are not positive experiences with the eBay business and carry a much heavier weighting that a positive experience.

We are programmed to have a perversion to loss, if we loose something we miss it greatly, but if we gain something instead, for me it feel that I need around 5-10 times more positive events to outweigh the negative, loss experience (I explained this a little better in the previous article with kittens).

Because we’re dealing with eBay, the eBay platform makes it very transparent through feedback how to calculate what a business’ Word of Mouth factor is.  From the previous article, the average Word of Mouth factor was 5.81, I’m curious to see how this changes with the updated data.

How to Calculate Your Word of Mouth Factor

Before we dive in and look at how the businesses are now doing, we need to quickly revisit the formula being used. It’s dead easy to use and we can see the negative and neutral comments are combined and as they have a much higher loss associated to them, they are multiplied by 10.

I’ve put this below and takes a few seconds in a calculator. Luckily me, for the 16 below I used excel :)


How to Calculate “The WOM Factor”

Note: Try this out on your eBay account and let me know what your WOM Factor is in the comments box below.

The Updated Data Table

This table includes last years data for the WOM Factors and the differences between them (we’ll be analysing these next).

eBay WOM Factor 2012 Table

eBay WOM Factor 2012 Table

Analysing the New Data for the WOM Factors

analysis_of_dataBefore we dig in and make comparisons to last year, it should be noted that it is no surprised that a few of these accounts are now in a dormant state.

Glamorousoutlet is the biggest one to do so and have gone from in excess of 25,000 transactions in a 12 month period to pretty much nothing, aqua spot has almost gone too from 1000 transactions to 30. So these are going to be ignored.

Also “tennis-deals-2008”, after a little investigation is now called intheframetrading.

What to look for
What we’re looking for in the above data table is a positive value for the percentages on the right column, this shows that there has been a decrease in the WOM Factor of that business from last year. The lower the WOM factor the better, this means that the number of positive experiences far outweigh the number of negative experiences.

The biggest difference by a zillion miles is Bench.

The biggest difference by a zillion miles is Bench. Bench have gone from a below average WOM rating of 6.58 to an unbelievable 0.55, which is an 1103.5% increase in performance in the space of a year. Something drastic has happened with that businesses and I’ll be looking at this in a separate section.

Let’s now look at the rest of the eBay accounts in terms of their performance.

The Performers

We can see when we detail them below, we have had some excellent efforts over the past twelve months:

  • Argos down 7.8% to 11.06, but still very high and almost double the average WOM score.
  • online4babyltd down 39.6% from average to a well below average 3.93 WOM score.
  • babzeeonline down 27.5% to below average 5.55
  • intheframetrading scoring the second lowest WOM factor of 1.88 and down 51.1%
  • little-devils-direct also just below average, now down 29.1% to 5.01
  • flyingplaneman storming down 71.1% to 4.17

The Losers

On the flip side, we have had some gains, which is not good as this means that buyers are experiencing a poorer performance from the businesses in question, when compared to last year.

  • jpe_enterprises had a huge jump of 54.8%, but for 4 negatives that’s a little harsh as they’re only turning over ~200 transactions in a year
  • loco_gadgets has had a rough ride and has now exceed Argos’s poor level last year at a WOM factor of 12.47, double the average.
  • benthamltd has seen an increase from a slightly above WOM score last year of 6.24 to 9.73, that’s a 35.28% decrease in performance.

The Non Movers

bessy0302 has stayed pretty much the same last year with an superb score of 2.22, only slightly up on last years 2.03, as the total transactions for the year are around 6500, only the removal of 1 feedback would bring this back to where they were previously, the same goes for poshtotz-store from 3.19 to 3.22

That Special Note on Bench_Outlet

What the hell caused Bench, worthy of no notes at all last year to drop from what was a below average rating of 6.58 to an almost floored rating of 0.55 in the space of twelve months?

bench_outlet Redesigned By Pentagon Interactive

Updated eBay Shop Design

At some point in the past 12 months, Bench took on a complete redesign from Pentagon-Interactive as I’m pretty sure that they had a different design the last time I checked.

If you look closely at the Bench_Outlet eBay account, you’ll see that their eBay shop has received a complete redesign by pentagon and incorporates a search widget by Sovoia.

bench_outlet Sovoia search widget

The Sovoia search widget while custom designed for user and comes with it’s unique back-end system to control what is shown. While it does command a premium price, it really is a premium feature and you’ll find similar widgets on many of the brand name eBay shops such as Littlewoods, SuperDry and the original store we put it on a couple of years ago, Office shoes.

bench_outlet - eBay Listing Template Layout

Bench_Outlet – eBay Listing Template Layout

Their listing template has also received the same experience.

Consistent branding from the eBay shop redesign, the Sovoia search widget and a very clean structure for the product data layout, which makles the product details very clear and easy to read.

The image gallery is taking up a good 70% of the page width.

I’d personally have made the main image a little bit bigger, currently it’s 480 pixels wide, 550-600pixels would have been better and the thumbnails (the smaller images on the right) about half their size.

On the topic of images if we stop and consider their impact for a few moments, buyers cannot pick up and try the product on, so having superb images and an array of images allows the customer to almost touch the item and understand how it looks from all angles.

Clothing is a nightmare when it comes to sizes and that’s why we’re seeing a good third of the page dedicated to size tables which are clear to read.

Even a performing eBay account always has room for improvement

A comment here shows that even a performing eBay account always has room for improvement, it would have been very easy to show or hide the other genders size table, after all this is a Men’s hoody, the Women’s sizing is irrelevant. This is possible in ChannelAdvisor through different templates or even Javascript to hide the section based upon category or a custom attribute or just maybe they have not considered this.

there is a “boat load” of opportunity being left on the table

If you start to dig around the listed items, you’ll see that for the vast majority of the items listed, item specifics are nothing more than just Brand, Condition and Style.

eBay Outlet Company logo in Search eBay Results

While the brand “Bench” gives the account a huge boost, along with the Bench Logo that eBay outlet Stores have shown next to their items in the search results,  considering that I can name at least 10 other important item specifics for the fashion category off the top of my head (Main Colour, Exact Colour, Length, Sleeve Type, Pattern, Fit, Multipack, Garment Care, Neck Line, Material, Exact Material, that’s 10 I’ll stop now) there is a “boat load” of opportunity being left on the table.

Their sales data from Terapeak indicates that in the last two months that the bench_outlet account has cleared ~£210,000 of kit and almost 11,000 transactions, up on a similar date range a year before  of £175,000 of kit and just over 9,000 transactions.

To cover +5,000 transactions per month, for which Bench_outlet are doing on average 5,800 transactions each month now, generally needs either massive external exposure, which Bench as a brand has or sustained internal exposure by eBay through daily or weekly deals.

Bench has obviously had the support of both and frankly would not be manageable without a back-end system that is up for the job for processing soo many orders and product data into the eBay.

In this case it’s ChannelAdvisor and while I did hope to begin with that this another Pentagon-Interactive success story through managed services, the redesign that was done for them has obviously played a key role in the success of Bench, combined with the back-end processing from ChannelAdvisor.

Bench actually value their brand and are leveraging eBay to almost it’s full potential.

At the time of publishing this article, it’s not known if Bench_Outlet were using ChannelAdvisor 12-18 months ago, the oldest record I have is 8 months ago and they were using them.

You have to agree that is a whopping improvement in customer services management and when compared to Argos (who get a complete slating in a few moments) Bench actually value their brand and are leveraging eBay to almost it’s full potential. Something dramatically changed at Bench about a year ago and who ever started it, needs a beer (and of course the team that made it happen).


In the comment that provoked the revisit to the WOM factor a year later from it being first published, Douglas detailed a very poor experience with Argos and confirms my original point of the WOM factor, that the “word of mouth” experience passed is most likely to be passed when the experience is bad, not good.

As pointed out in the reply, if the service had been “OK” or even “excellent”, do you think that Douglas would have taken the time to post that comment here? Nope, I don’t think so either and that is exactly why the Word of Mouth factor is soo important.

Argos, while clearing a lot of kit on eBay, some £5.2 million over the past 90 days, may be doing their business more harm than good when we take into account their continued poor performance in relation to customer services.

With a consistent “double the average” WOM score for both years at 11.92 and 11.06 in this sample group, the likelihood of negative comments and reviews such as Douglas’s is at least twice as much as every other business in the original sample group.

Devaluing a brand name, does that have to be the cost of trading on eBay?

That’s a very serious question, one I hope, for all our sakes Argos might consider and from the other examples, especially that of Bench’s, thankfully the answer is no, this does not need to be the cost of trading on eBay.

Your Feedback

All eBay accounts are your potential customers, the likelihood that a customer that sees an Argos item is going to see one of your items is very high considering the exposure they receive on eBay and for exactly that reason…

I personally dislike the idea that of a company such as Argos pissing off thousands upon thousands of eBay buyers each year.

And yes it is thousands with over 5,400 in the past 12 months that have left neutral or negative feedbacks on the account and the worst performing outlet feedback score that I know off, when clearly shown by Bench, that it does not have to be this way.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments box below.