Matthew is an eBay Expert & consultant with over 10 years of experience on eBay. Has worked for two eBay auction management companies and has helped hundreds of eBay based businesses sell on eBay, including his own for 3 years.

eBay Expert Having run his own business on eBay UK for 3 years, been featured on BBC News 24, BBC Radio 4 “In Business” with Peter Day and also featured in the Sunday Times.

eBay Top Rated SellerHosting the very first eBay PowerSellers meeting of its kind in the UK, attended by eBay, which then lead to the eBay university program. Then working for the USA auction management company (now owned by ChannelAdvisor) here in the UK and then later on another eBay listing software company, Matthew has probably seen more eBay based businesses outside the confines of eBay than anyone else in the UK.

Matthew takes a different approach to eBay and it really shows in the articles he writes. eBay is just a sales channel, admittedly a rather large one at that, but this should never be forgotten and he knows that its all to easy to become caught up in a whirl-wind of noise that is generated by selling on eBay and does his best to help keep your feet on the ground and focus at the job at hand, making more profit.

Its unlikely you’re going to ask Matthew something he does not already know about eBay, you can contact him on his dedicated Contact Matthew page.

Free Dynamic eBay Store Categories For eBay Listings

Important: 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.

If have been using this, then it will continue to be supported for you as I understand that it may not be possible for you to remove it from your listings easily. It’s been moved so it’s performance can be improved & extra features added in a more user-friendly way.

This is a cool little app that will show your eBay store categories easily and simply in your eBay listings without you needing to update them each time you change them.

What are Dynamic eBay Store Categories?

This really simple to use application will allow you to show your eBay store categories in your eBay listing template and style them as you desire.

This is normally paid addon to custom eBay listing template and eBay shop designs and can cost £99 or more to have it included in you custom design work.

As I found out recently, this could be the only reason why you would want to stop paying a monthly fee to a 3rd party design company just because you can’t carry your shop categories over when you leave and now you can!

The code that powers this application has been coded from scratch and directly integrated into the eBay API. The first time its run, it will take a few moments to process your eBay Store categories and then each view after, your eBay store categories load exceptionally quickly.

An Example

I’ve put an example together for you to see this in action in the link below. The example category tree is quite long, I chose this eBay ID on purpose so that you can see what it looks like over multiple levels and I will be adding the ability to just pick your top categories, level 2 categories or as in this example, all of them if you wish.

The eBay Shop categories widget will update every 24 hours automatically, if you add or remove categories from your eBay Shop then your live listings will reflect those changes within a day and you’ll never need to worry about “hard-coding” your eBay shop categories into your listing templates, to only then a few days or weeks later when you change your store categories again.

How to Create Your Dynamic eBay Store Categories

Creating your dynamic eBay store categories is dead easy to do.

Using the form below you can create a simple copy & paste line of code that you can use to show your eBay Store categories in your eBay listings and they dynamically update ever 24 hours. It’s really that simple.

If you’d like to style them to make them look pretty, I have included some custom styles lower down this page so that even if you know nothing about CSS, the sample styles will help you and it’s as easy as copy and paste and if you’re comfortable with CSS or maybe a web-designer then you’ll find the level of CSS class tags that have been included exceptionally versatile.

Steps to make your dynamic eBay categories:

  1. Enter your eBay ID into the form below
  2. Select your default eBay site
  3. Press “Create Categories”
  4. Copy and paste the HTML code into your eBay listing template
  5. Use your own CSS or one of the sample CSS styles below to make your categories look great

This Tool has Moved

This tool has moved to a new home at

Customising Your Dynamic eBay Shop Categories

This is a really simple job if you know CSS and don’t worry if you have no idea what CSS is, because I have included some copy and paste examples for you to use straight away.


If you have any custom colour requirements beyond these examples, please see this thread and I’ll update the style library for you.

Advanced Dynamic eBay Shop Categories CSS

This tool was built with designers in mind and each element that this app creates is completely controllable using standard CSS. I also elected to follow the DIV route rather than using unordered lists because they’re far easier to work with when we take multiple browsers into consideration.

If you’re new to designing templates for eBay Shops then the important tit-bit of information you need to know is that each shop category has its own ID number which looks like “2285466014”. The eBay shop categories are created in the users account here and while the users can change the sort ordering in eBay, in the public version of the dynamic eBay categories tool, the categories are sorted alphabetically.

CSS Tags

  • ID: eBayCategories
    This is the main container DIV for the dynamic eBay store categories
  • CLASS: MenuItem
    These are the top-level categories for the eBay store
  • CLASS: MenuSub1Item
  • CLASS: MenuSub2Item
    Each eBay store category has its own number/ID. Use this class to style specific eBay shop categories according to your design requirements

This tool is provided free of charge and all I ask for you to do in return is to press one of the social buttons above and/or let me know of your comments, suggestions or feedback you may have in the forums here.

Stand Alone PHP Version

Due to the feedback already received from the free version, there is now a premium standalone version available that you can host in your own web hosting and comes with more extensive controls, see here for the latest version.

Your Feedback!

This app has been coded from scratch, if you have any comments, suggestions or questions, I’d love to hear from you.

Please use the forums and I’ve created a forum thread especially for this application.

I Need Your Help – eBay Feedback Research


I need your help with a curious project I am working on.

I’m going to mine 250,000 eBay feedback comments and look for some common themes among them and see what can we learn from what’s been left so that we can make our businesses better.


Mining the Data

We take positive feedback as granted and tend to focus on only the bad side, well we would they are the ones that stick in our immediate memories.

But… what really makes buyers leave positive feedback? and crucially what can we learn by looking at a large number of feedback comments that have been left over a variety of businesses? Are there common themes, is one business excelling where another is not?

I’ve already worked out that I need to split them across users that have 3rd party software tools and ones that don’t and a good mix across different eBay categories to obtain a wide set of sample data and also no older than 6 months.

The reason why I’m curious about this project is because I’m really interested in what are the common comments left and from the sample set of data, is there such a thing as a “Perfect eBay Feedback Comment” using the top 10 or so words and if it has left in the sample set?

I’m also really curious how as a nation how polite we are using words such as “thank you” and “thanks” and what makes a buyer use emotional words like “love” and “excited”. How important delivery time is and what percentage references to “fast delivery”, “next day” and to try and apply some numbers to the words used such as “comms”, “communications” and what relationship there is between feedback comments left that use these terms for sellers that use and do not use advanced tools like CA or ESP and then to spin them against the keyword “service”.

What impact does free shipping have on feedback comments that are left, does item value change the tone of the feedback comments left and what, if any difference eTRS has between the common keywords for praise for sellers that have eTRS and sellers that do not.

Your Help

I’ve never seen this done publicly before and I’m going to build out a few theories beforehand and then test to see if they are true or not, but that’s where I need your help:

  • Is there a theme or comparison that I have not thought of above yet?
  • Is there a way of comparing the comment or the contents of the comment to another attribute like eTRS or similar that I have not thought of?
  • What do you think I’ll find?

Let me know in the comments box below:

Looking for BETA Testers – A Couple of eBay Related Widgets


I’ve been working on a couple of widgets for eBay and I’m wondering if you would be interested in using them to help me make them better before they’re released publicly.

There are a few of them as listed below and I’ll cover them in more detail:

  • Dynamic eBay Store Categories for eBay Listings
    (Now live here)
  • Dynamic Related Items Gallery
  • Terapeak Value Summaries
  • Single & Multi-variation data extraction for sales

If any of these grab your attention, the contact details are at the bottom of this article.


Dynamic eBay Store Categories

Update: This is now live see this article.

Having the eBay shop categories in your listings can be exceptionally important as part of an exit strategy to your listings. So I’ve build a dynamic categories widget that anyone can use.

What does this widget do?

This widget brings in your eBay shop categories into your eBay listing and updates every 24 hours.

A little background

eBay Shop Listing Frame

This widget has been bugging me for months and a few days ago I finally worked how it was done and wrote the code to create them for any account with an eBay Shop.

It’s fine if you have eSellerPro, a special keyword was added called “{{MenuCategoryList}}” that will bring through the eBay shop categories in your eBay listings from the template and allow you to format them (you also need to set some static information in maintenance > accounts for this to work properly).

But even that’s not the ideal solution as if you add or remove categories from your eBay Shop then you have to revise your live listings, which when you have thousands of listings can take hours to complete.

You could of course turn on the listing frame that eBay provides. This will do the same job, but it’s missing one key ability. The ability to style it as it’s outside the iframe that the listing description sits in. So that’s really only a temporary measure at best.

The part that has been bugging me is that not everyone has eSellerPro, even the keyword that they use is not ideal, plus as mentioned above the eBay listing frame is a viable alternative, but you just can’t style it using CSS and to have this as part of your eBay listing template can cost the best part of £100 from a couple of eBay design companies. Nice, but not worth £100 for that alone IMHO.

So now I’ve written a block of code that will give you the eBay shop categories dynamically, just add your eBay ID, paste into your eBay listing and it just works.

For advanced users, I’ve added ID and CLASS tags to the right sections of the category tree, you can style them however you like too. They’re cached overnight and if you add or remove categories, then they’ll be reflected the next day.

Dynamic Related Items Gallery

This also stems from a me seeing a piece of functionality a few weeks ago and putting it on my to-do list and actually getting around to coding this.

What does this do?

This will give you a scrolling related items widget that you can use in either your eBay shop or in your eBay listings and also control what is or what is not shown by shop category or keywords.

If you take a look at this eBay shop you’ll see that there are two pretty cool rotating widgets for “Best Sellers” and “New Arrivals”. A screen shot of this is below:

Related Items Widget

While best sellers and new arrivals are nice for an eBay shop, what would be much better is that such a widget would be better off in the eBay listing and that’s exactly the route I took.

I now have a dynamic related items widget that will accept:

  • No input for all the items in the shop,
  • Items from a specific eBay shop category
  • A specific keyword or set of keywords
  • Or a combination of both a shop category and keywords

Oh and they can be fully customised to your eBay shop/listing template design as shown by the live listing here and in the screen shot below:

Related Items eBay Widget

Terapeak Value Summaries

Terapeak is fab for mining one part of eBay which is sales related. But it has bugged me for months as I just can’t do the maths on the search results quick enough.

This is the first of two scripts that bend rules, hence you’ll need to read the disclaimer section further down when it comes to this and the eBay variations one below.

What does this do?

This will summarise the results page in less than a second for you and add it as summary line on the page. Thus saving you from trying to guestimate the results and give you accurate figures instantly.

I showed this to someone on Friday and they came back with an excellent suggestion (which I’ll add), which is that showing the totals and average sale price was fantastic, but they’d also like to know the market share of that keyword for each seller ID.

So next to eBay Seller ID, I’ll be adding percentage share that each Seller ID has for that specific search term. That’s exactly the reason why I’m sharing these to make them better!

A screenshot of this in action is below. Imagine you wanted to know what the total value of a specific search term(s) , the number of listings, bids, sold quantity as a total and a better idea of a ASP, you can now easily find out:

Terapeak Example

Single & Multi-Variation Data Extraction For Sales History

While we’re on the topic of Terapeak, Terapeak is excellent for working out relatively accurate sales figures for eBay listings, but the part where it falls down is that it does not report on the actual variations of a single or multi-variation listing.

That information is absolutely critical to making a buying decision based on sales history data.

Let me explain this to you with an example. I’ve made a search for “Maxi Dress” on eBay and found this item number now let’s assume that we are able to source this or a similar product.

eBay Sales History Example

eBay tells us that +1,000 of these have sold and that’s great. Terapeak will give us a total sales value for that listing, but what it does not tell us is what combinations they sell and in what velocity.

So to make an informed buying decision on the same or similar product, we need to know what has sold, in which variations, at what price and when. That kind of information can make the difference between potentially buying the wrong sizes, the wrong colours and making profit.

This will extract this for you to a CSV file, with each variation on a separate line and able to handle up to 4 variations and for a total of 100 sales. The limit of 100 sales is what is imposed by eBay from the sales history page. Buyer details are not extracted as they’re irrelevant.


The Terapeak script and the eBay extraction script both come with warnings as they both bend terms of service agreements and I’m writing this with two specific people in mind.

In both these instances a user can obtain this data by a basic copy/paste from the page and sorting it out in excel. Neither of these scripts make subsequent calls to other pages (ie: no extra page load because of their usage) and are either manipulating live data on a page or saving it in a well formatted manner for the purposes of bettering the users research activities. Also in both instances, neither are detectable as they are run client side :P

Your Feedback!

If any of these tickle your fancy, please contact me directly here and if you have any comments or suggestions on what I’ve covered above, I’d love to hear from you in the comments box below.

Two Week Update & eSellerPro to BigCommerce Integration

This post is a mainly about what I’ve been up to for the past two weeks,  but you’ll soon work out its mostly just for you :)

BigCommerceI’ve now completed the full integration of eSellerPro to the Big Commerce website platform and are on the home run of the bug finding & eyeing up further customisation to the account it’s running from.

If you’ve not heard of BigCommerce before it’s a fully hosted website solution which isn’t expensive (especially as its in USD). The more I’ve played with it, the more I like it, its straight forwards, can be designed with bespoke designs and guess what… it just works :)

Give it a whirl, here is a demo account I created which is open for the next 15 days.

With the error trapping I’ve added in the 6 hour coding bender on Saturday, if it does go tilt (which it will do sooner or later[you won’t hear that from normal developers]) it’ll be obvious where it has gone Pete-Tong and as much as I’d love to boast about a few of the ways I’ve tackled some interesting features, I’m not going to and I’m just saying its “slick”.

This is the first time I’m publicly eluding to the fact that I’ve written API connectors from eSellerPro to 3rd parties and it’s not the first, more like the 4th now. I have CubeCartOpenCart & a web based EPOS solution next on my agenda for integration projects, oh and I have a sickly fast Magento integration.

Remember I’m aware the way and what data needs to flow between such tools and as I’m a perfectly capable coder in multiple languages, this is handy as I’m not BS’d by 3rd parties and also I’m realistic with timescales and what can and cannot be done.

If you’ve got a 3rd party integration requirement to eSellerPro/another provider or alternatively you’re interested in the eSellerPro to BigCommerce integration you can contact me here.

Internet Retailing Expo 2012

This year’s event was a weird one for me, I didn’t go to visit any stands, instead I attended to meet people and frankly if they didn’t know me already I didn’t pay them any attention. Instead, I got to speak to the cool people.

I did see one presentation though, it was the team from My1stWish & eSellerPro’s Eamonn, the recording is supposed to be released this week, I’ll pop it up as a post once it’s been made public.

After refusing to pay £34 to get home 2 hours earlier late on Thursday night, I grabbed a Sub & stacked up on more caffeine and there it hit me, the sickest idea I have had in years was conceived. I cannot believe it’s never been done before and you’ll facepalm when they see the finished product. I will be pushing for it to be released with a global free option for smaller businesses, more on this in the next few months.

Advanced eBay Listing Creation Tool Pending Upgrade

This one has been a programming nightmare for me, I didn’t know what was involved in getting this working until now & if I did I wouldn’t have started it.

The IF & IFNOT logic that powers the largest multichannel businesses is about to go mainstream and I’m only a few days away from adding it to the processing core of the advanced eBay listing builder.

If the IF & IFNOT logic testing is new to you, it’s a method to programmatically work with data to make the data you input such as images and bullet points show and hide if or if not they’re entered, which means you can break the listing data away from the template design that makes the listing look “pretty”.

An example is below, so that if {{Image1}} is blank it won’t bring through the image into the template.

[[IFNOT/{{Image1}}// <img src=”{{Image1}}” /> ]]

This is a basic example, as it’s normally better to load image URL’s into a JavaScript array, however, this will be available for ALL the data entry fields and I will be providing use-case examples shortly & support in the forums.

We’re due for some tutorials as well for the tool, the more people I talk to who cannot whose business does not warrant even the first stage tools, they need a tool like this to put the efficiency in their business for both data input and presentation.

I’ve not forgotten the integration into WordPress which will allow me to offer you some heavily customised features per user including customised listing templates, account defaults and… I now have the code finished for the killer feature that is missing from nearly ALL eBay listings which isn’t even a paid for addon by design companies and guess what it’s going to be… free. More on this as soon as the artwork is completed which will be under 2 weeks.


So a quiet two weeks for blogging, but I’m doing battle with a spoon, I can’t wait to explain what that means, maybe a video this week?

I’d like to thank those who have registered for the forums, if you haven’t yet, its free and you can register here and as you’ll see by the couple of recent threads, you’ll get quality replies back (amongst my gibberish :) ), see you there?

Advanced eBay Listing Creation Tool With Keywords

For a long time now that businesses that do not employ software tools that have keywords available to them are restricted by not being able to leverage them and simply their eBay listing process.

So I’ve created a simplified, yet advanced eBay listing generator that will allow you to use keywords in a standardised template that speed up your eBay listing process by enabling you to break your listing template away from the data you’re entering into it and use a simple tool to create eBay listings quickly.

If you’re not using 3rd party tools to list onto eBay then you may not have come across this concept before so I’ve included two extra sections to this article for you come up to speed with a way that will allow you to list more quickly & efficiently.

It also helps a few weeks back I created two videos in related articles that reverse engineer this process so that you can understand this process using a live eBay listing example and I’ve included the video’s in this article to help you.

What Are Keywords & Templates?

Instead of manually adding data such as item titles into each listing, in this process you create your template and leave a “keyword” behind such as {{Description}} where you would like your description to appear.

Then using the Advanced eBay Listing Creation Tool I’ve created, you just enter your description by itself, separate from the template and then press the huge button at the bottom and where you added the {{Description}}  keyword in your template, it’s replaced with your description.

Neat eh? This is exactly what larger businesses are using to list millions of items on to eBay each week, they’re separating their listing template from their data and using 3rd party tools to create those data rich listings.

So that’s exactly why I have made a simplified version for you to use that does not require the complexity or cost of using a 3rd party software tool.

An Introduction to Keywords & Templates By Example

In a two previous articles I reverse engineered both the eBay template being used and the data being used in that eBay template and I’ve included the video’s below for you to watch:

Reverse Engineering a Template Reverse Engineering the Data 

View on YouTube

View on YouTube

Keyword List:

To begin with I have created a common set of keywords for you to use, these are below.


  • {{Title}}
  • {{Description}}
  • {{Buttons}}
    This is a special keyword to create the buttons in your eBay listings for “Ask seller a question”, “Tell a friend”, “Watch this item” and “Add seller to favourites”. There is also another very special button I am working on and will be released once I’ve finished coding it.


  • {{Bullet1}}
  • {{Bullet2}}
  • {{Bullet3}}
  • {{Bullet4}}
  • {{Bullet5}}


  • {{Image1}}
  • {{Image2}}
  • {{Image3}}
  • {{Image4}}
  • {{Image5}}
  • And so on…
  • {{Image15}}

Future Additions

Now that I have got the tool beyond the proof of concept stage, I had to learn how JQuery & Ajax worked and also improve my PHP skills over the past two weeks, I’ll hand the project over to one of my developers and add in the additional keywords that I’d like to add.

Such as adding in your eBay shop link automatically, dynamic image galleries and wait for it…. logic testing (like in eSellerPro, see here for an example) so you can make eBay listings completely dynamic depending on what data you enter, plus CSV file exports for eBay File Exchange & Turbo Lister to make your eBay listing process as simple as possible!

While these are being developed, I’m going to work on integrating this listing generator more deeply into this site, so that as a registered user (free of course) you can set up a set of “default” options to make the listing process even faster for you and being supported in the multi-channel eCommerce forums I have also been developing.

eBay Listing Creation Tool

You can test the advanced eBay listing generator tool here.

Your Feedback

I know the current tool is basic currently (but it won’t stay like that for long), it has the potential to save you hours and help you create a standard listing process, so I have two questions for you:

  1. What do you make of the tool so far?
  2. Can you suggest any keywords that you’d like to see added?

Let me know in the comments box below

Work With Matt to Maximise Your eBay Shop For FREE

Last year I offered the opportunity for 5 businesses to work with me for free for two months, I was blown away by the response and it actually ended up being six and we had an excellent time with some outstanding results.

ebay Shops LogoThis time around I would like to extend another free invitation to you on the topic of eBay Shops for up to 5 businesses. Size does not matter, if you’re really small, just started or have been trading for years, I’d love to hear from you.

I have a couple of questions for you, if you are saying yes to any of them, the application form is at the bottom of this page & I’d love to hear from you.

  • Have you ever wondered how you can maximise your eBay shop to its full potential?
  • Maybe you set it up months ago and have it on your to-do list and would like to revisit it?
  • Would you find value in a personalised & group 101 session on maximising the potential of your eBay shop?
  • Are you about to hit the subscribe button and open your eBay shop for the very first time?
  • Do you have some free time in the evenings over the next two weeks to tackle these issues head on?

What Exactly I am Offering

I feel it really important to stress that I have no affiliations with any design company and will not try and sell you any products or services. I am solely interested in creating the best guide possible and I will be adding a video of the invitation just for you next week.

The invitation is to work with myself and the other selected businesses & individuals as a group to improve your the effectiveness & appearance eBay Shop. The course will span approximately three to four hours over a period two weeks in a schedule similar to the below:

  • Meeting 1 – Introductions & eBay Shop Discussion
    You’ll not be asked to complete any silly introduction games. We’ll meet as a group & introduce ourselves to each other, have a chit-chat, identify common issues, questions, and concerns and note them for action in the next two meetings.
  • Meeting 2 – One on One Time
    This is where we get to work together one-on-one and address any questions you may have around your eBay shop and work together to action them.
  • Meeting 3 – Strategy
    With the basics addresses, set up a guide for you to follow. Remember there is no magic bullet, just hard work on both our parts. I am working on a creating a guide for us to follow for this.
  • Meeting 4 – Final Call
    Meeting as a group again, to re-evaluate our progress as a group and to share our experiences.

Our time together will really be what you make of it, I’ll do my best to help you where ever I can in relation to your eBay Shop. The meetings will span two or so weeks and obviously you’ll need to be available to join in for the two group meetings and the two meetings directly with myself.

I will be asking you to complete a short questionnaire before we start, with questions like who you are, what your business does and how you currently feel about your eBay Shop. This will give us the base to work from and a reference point to come back to at the end of the course, where I’ll ask you to complete another short questionnaire.

The Purpose

Let’s be very clear here, I am writing a guide titled “The Ultimate Guide to eBay Shops” and would like several case studies to included.

It’s not going to be of those crappy half-cut affairs, its really going to be the de-facto-standard for setting up and leveraging the eBay Shop as a sales platform.  The guide is going to have my name and face attached to it, so obviously I have a strong desire that it’s of the highest standards as possible, after all, it’s going to be directly representing myself & abilities.

The guide will be given away free on this site and my aim is that there will be zero advertising included, any tools or applications included will be free or based upon merit, not paid inclusion.

Restrictions & Terms

There are a couple of restrictions and terms, they’re pretty straight forwards, but need saying:

  • UK, USA & AU businesses welcome!
    The invitation is only open to companies and individuals that have UK, USA or AU based eBay Shops
  • Its not a replacement for bespoke design requirements
    This is not a replacement for bespoke custom design services. I will help if I genuinely can, however the design element is only one part of the eBay shop setup.
  • Sorry no REALLY big businesses
    This invitation is not open to businesses that are either enterprise or strategic eBay accounts
    (If you have no idea what these are, it doesn’t apply to you)
  • No need if you’re an existing client of Matt’s
    Existing customers of mine need not apply, we’ll work through this as a matter of course.
  • Good Spoken English
    You must speak excellent English and have access to a computer that has a stable Internet connection and a headset/microphone or access to a phone line.
  • 4 Hours Total
    We could talk for hours on the eBay shop, so a sensible limit is 4 hours total, this includes group time as well.
  • Be available in the evenings 
    You need to be available in the evening around 19:00 GMT on weekdays (this is 14:00 EST)
  • You’re OK with this being used commercially
    You’re happy with your eBay shop being used in such a guide, both front end and backend views being included (obviously no financial information) and agree to sign a waiver to any rights to the included content that may be used commercially (this is just to cover my rear as I intend to create a specific version for the Kindle).

I am a Design Company That creates Designs for eBay Businesses & Would Like to get Involved

This part is just for design companies.

I understand that you may be interested in being featured in such a guide, however, my primary concern with this is that I do not wish for the guide to be biased in any shape or form. I will be including numerous examples and if your work is of mentionable “merit”, then it will be naturally included.

However, I do have one requirement that you may be able to help me with and that is the cover of the guide. The guide is being created in Word in A4 landscape and may be ported to In Design for the final stage before publication. If you feel that you will be able to assist me in creating the cover that such a guide deserves, then use the application form below.

Closing Date

The closing date for this opportunity is:

Friday 16th March at 17:00 GMT

I will work through the applications on that weekend. If the response is anything like the opportunity last years attracted, this will take me some time to work my way through them.

However I will reply to you personally and please don’t take personally if you’re not selected, remember the final guide will be given away on this site and you will be able to benefit even if you’re not selected.

Application Form

I’d done my best to keep it as simple as possible and there is an edit box where you can add any extra information you feel is important. I’ll ensure that the five businesses that are selected are from non-competing product areas, so that we can keep the barriers of competition as low as possible.

As we’ll be using GoToMeeting to host the calls & screen sharing where required, at no point will I need your login details to any account and please do not include these as they’re not needed. You will not be added to any mailing list and I will reply personally to each application.

[contact-form-7 id=”4245″ title=”eBay Shops Form”]

Looking Forward to Working With You!

I’m really looking forward to working with you, if you have any comments or suggestions on how to maximise your eBay Shop then I’d love to hear from you and let me know in the comments box below.


Do you keep seeing scroll bars on your eBay listings?

Update: There is a workable “Work around” in this article.

When viewing an eBay item, sometimes the description area which is now being placed in a IFRAME tag doesn’t render in the browser page correctly, causing your listing details to only be 200-300 pixels tall and a scroll bar appears on the right hand side.

This seems to happen to both FireFox and Chrome quite regularly for me (probably in Internet Explorer, but I never use it) and to visually explain what I’m referring to a screen shot is below, note the scroll bar on the right hand side:

ebay listing scroll bars

To try and combat this all you need to do is add an style to your style sheet. If you have no idea what a style sheet is, just copy/paste the code below at the very top of your listing in the HTML view and save the changes.

<style type="text/css">
#EBdescription {
     min-height: 4000px; !Important;

This will force your description to be a minimum of 4000 pixels tall. If this is too long for the majority of your listings, try 3000px, then 2000px and inversely if its not tall enough increase this value.

Its not perfect but will at least tell the majority of modern browsers that the height needs to be at least this value and extend the iframe downwards to limit the scrolling.

Have you see this before on your or another listing? Let me know in the comments box below.

A Changing eBay – eBay UK Launches TV Campaign

eBay is launching a new TV campaign tonight on 3 channels, seeing as I tend not to watch TV at all (have you seen, you can preview the advert on YouTube and I’ve popped it below for you.


A Changing eBay

It’s interesting that the stance is towards “what you want” and leveraging the sheer volume of listings (not product’s) on eBay, which is around 30 million. Also judging by the programmes this advert is attached to, Location, Location, Location, The Mentalist and Criminal Minds is focused towards women, but features a man and more men (7) than women (4) in the advert.

I’m not converse with this type of marketing, but I do wonder why verbal no mention of the fashion outlet was included, although this might be subliminal due to the amount of product eye candy for the women’s department.

Also, take note on the wording from Alex Von Schirmeister, VP of Marketing for Europe:

“In the past few years, eBay has changed. It’s now a destination to buy the latest laptops and smartphones, high street fashion, even brand new car parts. We want to say to people that love shopping, and like to have a wide choice and great prices, ‘come and take another look at eBay’.  The selection people will find on eBay is truly unique.  The new retail merchandise is there alongside vintage, hard-to-find and second-hand items which we know our customers love to browse and shop too.”

You can’t disagree that eBay has changed in the past few years, mostly for the better, but for as much as I and the businesses I work with gain from the new style, I personally like using eBay for both fixed price items, but also the auction format that now only accounts for 39% of total sales.

Where else would I have got a Kodak Zi8 camera, as new, with a case and remote control for under £100?

Your Thoughts

Ultimately you’re funding the campaign, what do you make of the new advert? Money well spent?

Any marketers out there that would like to comment on the adverts contents either publically or privately or do you have any inclination on the demographics this advert is aimed at?

Let me know in the comments box below.

Will You be at the ChannelAdvisor Catalyst 2012 Event?

ChannelAdvisor Catalyst 2012

Catalyst Register 2012It’s getting closer! I was pretty much veto’d from attending the Catalyst event for the best part of 5 years due to working for competitors, I had always recommended others to go and the feedback was always really positive.

So last year I broke my Catalyst virginity and attended the ChannelAdvisor event at the Park Plaza Riverside hotel in London and I’m really looking forward to attending this years event. Its also a special time for me as I’m getting married to my partner of 12 years a few days after, so if you’re attending and would like to meet up for a beer afterwards, let me know!

I’m also looking forward to meeting David Spitz again and also the new Managing Director of EMEA Seamus.
(I wonder if he has the same dancing skills as James?)

Chris from Tamebay has a special voucher for the event, giving you a £80 discount, use the code “tamebay2012” when registering.


This year we have an interesting line up of speakers including:

*coff* they’re all links to LinkedIn profiles ;-)

The event is spread over two days, Monday 28th and Tuesday 29th May. The agendas are below:

Monday, 28 May, 2012

9:00 AM  –  10:00 AM
Registration Open
Location: Foyer Area
10:00 AM  –  10:45 AM

1 – International Expansion: Breaking down borders

2 – Becoming Social- Tips on using Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and YouTube to generate leads

3 – The Evolving Customer

10:45 AM  –  11:30 AM

1 – Putting the changes in Comparison Shopping to work for you

2 – Time to get mobile- Making your business mobile friendly

3 – Back-Office Integration: How to simplify your processes

11:30 AM  –  12:00 PM
Networking Break

Exhibition Open

Strategy & Support Booths Open

12:00 PM  –  1:00 PM

1 – Creating an engaging and user-friendly website that converts

2 – Whats hot and whats not – Channel Trends

3 – How to succeed and make more money online

1:00 PM  –  2:00 PM
Networking Lunch

Exhibition Open

Strategy & Support Booths Open

2:45 PM  –  3:30 PM

1 – Our path to success” One company’s insight into their business.

2 – How Retailers Can Succeed Independently with Daily Deal and Flash Sale Campaigns

3 – eBay Best Practices, things to ensure that you do, things to ensure that you don’t do.

3:30 PM  –  4:00 PM
Networking Break

Exhibition Open

Strategy & Support Booths Open

4:00 PM  –  4:45 PM

1 – Online Marketing Strategy- Tips, Tools and Techniques

2- Leveraging CRM to Streamline and Grow your eCommerce Business

3 – Trading online – Making Payments simple

4:45 PM  –  5:30 PM
1 – Becoming a Top Rated Seller on eBay2 – How to win the Buy Box3 – TBA
5:30 PM  –  10:00 PM
Catalyst Drinks Party
In The Sky Bar

Tuesday, 29th May

8:00 AM  –  5:00 PM
Registration/Info Desk Open
8:00 AM  –  9:00 AM
Networking Refreshments
9:00 AM  –  9:45 AM
Scot Wingo – CEO, ChannelAdvisor
9:45 AM  –  10:30 AM
The Changing Face of the Global Retail Landscape – Panel Discussion
10:30 AM  –  11:00 AM
Networking Break
11:00 AM  –  12:00 PM
Miriam Lahage, Global Head of Fashion Brand, eBay
12:00 PM  –  1:00 PM
Jacqueline Gold, Chief Executive of Ann Summers and Knickerbox
1:00 PM  –  2:00 PM
Networking Lunch
2:00 PM  –  2:45 PM
Amazon Keynote
2:45 PM  –  3:15 PM
Interview with Peter Briffett, MD, LivingSocial UK, Ireland & Netherlands
3:15 PM  –  3:45 PM
Taking Retail Mobile – Panel Discussion
3:45 PM  –  4:15 PM
Networking Break


Strategy & Support Booths Open

4:15 PM  –  5:00 PM
Gavin Sathianathan, Head of Commerce Partnerships, Facebook
5:00 PM  –  5:30 PM
Practical tips to immediately apply to your business
5:30 PM  –  7:00 PM
Drinks & Networking Reception

Are You Attending?

So will I be seeing you there this year? Let me know in the comments box below.

eBay’s SellerSphere Featured Seller BamfordTrading Out-takes Video

John & Gill from BamfordTrading passed on solid advice in their recent article that was featured by eBay SellerSphere in January, you can see the article and the three videos they included in the full article here.

However… Those polished videos were not without a few slips and with John & Gills permission here are the out-takes.

Your Feedback

I’m also working on persuading John add more video content, you can do me a huge favour by subscribing to BamFordTrading’s YouTube channel.

Let us know what you think of the video in the comments box below :)

Do I Need an eBay Shop Design to Sell on eBay?

The short answer to this question is no, you do not need an eBay shop design to sell on eBay.

While having you eBay shop custom designed by a third party design company may look fantastic and most are able to offer features and functions that are not found in the basic eBay shop structure, it is not a requirement that you have your eBay shop themed or custom designed.

This article is quite brief, I’m just making the point that you can easily use one of the standard templates that eBay provides for your eBay shop and I will be covering the entire eBay shop in great detail in the forthcoming weeks.


You can theme the eBay shop yourself

While I’m not going to cover the fine detail of the eBay shop here, you are able to change many aspects of your eBay shop very easily using the tools that eBay provide to you.

For example, you can pick from approximately 30 pre-built themes and advanced, more customisable themes are available.

Example Standard Themes

A couple of examples are shown below:

Selecting a Standard Theme

Selecting the one of choose is really easy and you can pick your standard eBay shop design in eBay here:

While these are not specifically tailored to your business and branding, these themes are perfectly acceptable, can be enabled in seconds and included free on your subscription level.

Advanced Themes

There are five advanced themes provided by eBay that allow you to have more control over the elements of the eBay shop without needing to know any CSS or HTML, or if you are comfortable in making design changes, these themes, especially the ‘Custom header Only’ theme easily allow the insertion of HTML & CSS to extend the eBay shop design further.

Paid-for Themes

There are many design companies out there offering eBay shop designs for various prices and at various standards. I recently covered the eBay listing templates in a two part series here and here and also an interview with DZine-Hub whose business is focused towards eBay Shop and eBay listing template creation.


As I mentioned in the beginning, this article is quite brief, just to answer this question specifically as its been asked too many times now. So… No, you don’t need an eBay shop design to sell on eBay.

One of the basic designs will be fine for the interim and while the designs offered are not all equal in what you can do with them, you can easily save yourself several hundred pounds of outlay and focus on shifting product first.

I will be covering the entire eBay shop in minute detail in the forthcoming weeks. If you’d like to be notified when its released, use the subscribe box below to be notified.

What if the prices for everything were the same?


This whole price parity issue with Amazon over the past few days as got me thinking. What if the prices for everything were the same?

Let’s imagine for a few minutes what would happen if we say, all governed by a communist government worldwide and one of the parts of the establishment was that for all products, the prices had to be the same.If Prices Were the Same?

I mean everything, from a can of coke to a Plasma TV. If it’s exactly the same product it has to be exactly the same price set by a third party, no if’s, no but’s and you go to jail if you break the rules. (The jail part is harsh, but I’m just making the point).

Now before you start picking holes, unbranded goods would fall into categories, for example, a printed T-Shirt, regardless of design or material would be a fixed price. All broken or refurbished goods have to be scrapped. Every single product is categorised and has its own fixed price, regardless of country of origin or point of sale and cross-border trade was not allowed.

How Would You Differentiate Your Business?

Humouring me for a few moments, that everything businesses product has to be sold at the same price as their competitors.

What would you do to to compete in a marketplace where everything was equal as far as pricing is concerned?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments box below.