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.

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.

How eSellerPro’s Channel Profile Can Help Your Business

One of eSellerPro’s core features is a function called a ‘Channel Profile’, in this article I’ll be covering the basics to what a ‘Channel Profile’ does and how it can help your business.

Multi-Channel selling is now an assumed practice for eCommerce businesses, unlocking the power to reach a much wider audience than you could ever have imagined, but sensibly. The Channel Profile feature in eSellerPro can enable you to achieve this.

I’ve put together a short video, where I describe the key benefits of using a channel profile and how it could help your business when dealing with multiple sales channels.

What is a Channel Profile?

The purpose of the channel profiler is to maximise the exposure of your inventory exposure across more than one channel, then once an update has happened to let the other channels know of that update to the stock level.

In eSellerPro you can create more than one channel profile (hence ‘profile’ in its name), which you can apply to more than one inventory record and each profile can have different attributes. I’ll cover these later on in this article, but for now the easiest way of explaining what a Channel Profile does is by using  an example.

Let’s say we have 10 of the same mugs in stock and we wish to sell them on:

  • One eBay account
  • Amazon
  • Our website.

For maximum market exposure, we’re going to use the channel profile to list ALL 10 of these mugs onto eBay, Amazon and also show them on our website too. A couple of hours later, a customer called Jane buys one from eBay.

We now only have 9 in stock and the channel profile will now update Amazon to 9 and the website also to 9. Then another customer, Jim buys from the website. Again the channel profile will update the other marketplaces, eBay & Amazon with the new stock level of 8.

The next morning a new delivery of these mugs arrive and we have 10 more, so we now have a stock level of 18 mugs. The Channel profile will now update each of the selling channels where the products are listed with the updated stock level.

In this basic example, we gain maximum market exposure for our products and keep each of the selling channels in-line with the latest stock levels. Neat eh?

The Negatives of Using A Channel Profile

I’m going to note here the negatives you might have already realised are minor in comparison to the positives of exposing your inventory across as many channels as possible. However you need to be aware of them.

In theory if you only have 10 in stock, then you only have 10 to sell. By exposing your inventory across just 3 platforms in the example above, you are actually exposing 30 items and again in theory if they all sold at the same time, you could go to a negative inventory count of 20 (that’s the 30 sold, minus the 10 you had in stock).

The Channel Profiler is a process that runs on eSellerPro’s servers and it does not update the marketplaces instantaneously, there is a time lag on eSellerPro’s side and with the marketplaces themselves. While I now don’t know the exact figures, a period of about 30 minutes would be about right for each passing of an eSellerPro account to make updates to the 3rd party platforms.

We also need to understand that eSellerPro is a 3rd party to the marketplaces and as such there are time delays in the communication to them. Again referencing the earlier example, the orders from eBay & Amazon are not picked up instantaneously, they’re scheduled. Plus we also need to account for time delays in the marketplaces themselves, Amazon orders are not immediate, they tend to sit for 15-30 minutes before being released and also you can only ask for order reports every 30 minutes or so.

So it’s perfectly possible for Jane and Jim to buy on two different marketplaces within a time window of say 10 minutes and eSellerPro is not capable of updating the other channel to let it know there is a deduction of the inventory level, if there was only one left, this could have caused an oversell or back order. Hardly ideal.

It should also be noted that in relation to eBay, eBay auctions and BIN listings of 10 days or less, are regarded as being committed to the eBay marketplaces, thus if you have 10 in stock and 2 of those are in two auctions, then eSellerPro sees an available stock count of 8 and will use this value to keep the platforms updated.

Note: You can use the true stock level of 10 called “Percentage of On-Hand”, however this is where you’re most likely to be caught out, as using this option I strongly advise you never to use this option (although there are situations where it does not matter, such as virtual or limitless stock).

Channel Profile Tolerances

The channel profile process also has “tolerances”, for items over a stock count of 20, there is no compelling reason to keep the selling platforms updated with the latest stock count for each change.

If we had 10,000 of those mugs in stock, then updating them every time we sold one would be silly and slow down the really important updates for other stock items which have much left. As such eSellerPro has different tolerances for different stock levels and they can be found in their Wiki.

A Simple Example of a Channel Profile

A really simple example of a channel profile is the first example, where we were listing all 10 of the mugs on the 3 platforms. In this example we are committing 100% of  the “Available stock” (10) to each of the channels.

An Advanced Example of a Channel Profile

There is likely to be situations where you don’t want to commit all your stock to all of the channels all of the time and this is where the ability to create multiple profiles comes in really handy.

For the first example, we would have named the channel profile something like “List 100% to eBay, Amazon and Our Website” (naming the profiles to what they do is again strongly suggested, it makes them “Matt proof”).

For this second example, we’re going to want to keep two of mugs in stock at all times, this is because they’re end of line and we want to keep safe just in case we get a return of breakage.

Similar to the previous example, we’re going to commit 100% of the “Available Stock” to platforms, but we’re going to add a number 2 to the column called “Min. Qty Avail”. By setting a value of 2 in this column, we’re saying list 100% of our stock, but when we get to our last 2, take them off all the platforms.

We could of course just set this value of 2, to just one platform, so that when we get to our last 2 items, we take it off Amazon, but leave the 2 on eBay and the website. I did say that this was ‘neat’ :)

Further Examples

The abilities of the channel profile doesn’t stop at just listing 100% of items onto marketplaces and keeping their stock levels in-tow and basic stock control. You can also configure a channel profile to use these cool features:

  • Percentage based listing, not just 100%, maybe only 50% to eBay and 100% to Amazon & the website.
  • Force set inventory levels onto one or more marketplaces, that never go out of stock
  • Force set inventory levels onto one or more marketplaces that are removed when the available quantity drops below a specific level
  • Using a “Cost Formula”, dynamically calculable your selling prices for each channel and also the minimum and maximum prices for Amazon & accounts.
  • Cap the number of listed items on a platform to a maximum number
  • And there are some funky things you can do with sequences and stocked sub skus of products that 99.9% of the people reading this wouldn’t ever use.

It should also be noted that if you have the WebXML interface enabled for up to 10 external channels, the channel profile can also apply inventory update rules to these too and via the new eSellerPro API, the status of the SKU can be checked to see if its been set to list on several of the ‘channels’ in the channel profile.

My eSellerPro Channel Profile Tips

Here are a collection of tips that you may find useful:

  1. Never edit the default profile
    Think of this profile as a off switch, keep it set to manual and use this profile to take items off all the platforms and for new records that are not ready to be listed yet.
  2. Keep calculations to a minimum
    The more you ask for a channel profile to do, the long it will take and the slower it will run. Where ever possible, keep calculations for prices to external tools lke excel or PHP before entering into eSellerPro.
  3. Never use product specific channel profiles
    If you create product specific channel profiles, you’re missing one of the huge benefits of eSellerPro ‘profiles’. If you do have an exception product that needs its own rules, just create another profile and name it accordingly. Then ALL your profiles are in one place and easy to administer.
  4. Name the channel profiles sensibly
    If the profile is listing 100% to eBay, Amazon and the Website, name it that. In the bulk update tool, in the inventory record and in the import/export system you only see the names of the profile, thus name them clearly in relation to what they actually do.
  5. Think through each channel profile thoroughly before creating it
    Take a few moments to write down what you want the profile to do, then once written, use this to guide you to the configuration of the profile.
  6. Use ‘Bulk Update’
    You can use the bulk update tool to update as many records as you would like, remember that naming them clearly will make this task a cinch.
  7. Import/Export with care
    Don’t forget you can import a channel profile name as part of the custom import/export sheets. But use this with care, as you can enable products to be listed from an import sheet, this may not be desired straight away and may cause other issues, especially if you are loading new products and images need to be collected from a 3rd party before listing, the listing may go live and be incomplete!

The Channel Profile Summary

Using a channel profile is not without its risks, as you can in theory oversell heavily if the products which have been assigned a channel profile are in ultra high demand, accounting for the lags of the platforms themselves and giving eSellerPro enough time to react (although in reality this is quite rare, I can only remember of two instances in 3 years of this happening).

Sensible configuration of your channel profiles for different velocity products is key and also keeping them as straight forward and aptly named is strongly advised.

The examples in this article are quite basic, however if you consider you may have thousands of inventory records, numerous eBay accounts more than one Amazon Seller Central account (yes this is possible), multiple websites and maybe 3rd part integrations to other selling platforms, being able to expose your entire inventory across ALL possible channels and keep them updated when items sell and stock deliveries are made, makes the “Channel Profiles” in eSellerPro one of the core parts of the entire system.

Try doing all that manually. You’ll have no hair left like me!

Your Feedback

Do you use the Channel Profile in your eSellerPro account, is this something you could or couldn’t live without? Let me know in the comments box below.

Reverse Engineering The Data From an eBay Listing Part 2

Welcome to the second part of a 2 part series in this final part I’ll be looking at the data that is posted into the template to show you how easy it is to create a fantastic eBay listing, but with minimal data.

In the first part here, I worked out what the probable layout of the eBay listing template that was used, introduced you to keywords and pointed out that eBay templates don’t have to be a single template, they can be made up of lots of smaller templates, that once combined form the the final finished eBay listing.

So let’s have a look at the ‘data’ used behind an eBay listing.

Reverse Engineering the Data From an eBay Listing Video

To make this as easy as possible for you, I’ve put together a video to explain how this works and where I have pulled the data from and I have attached the excel spreadsheet that I created from this video later on in this article.

While you’re watching this video, keep in mind how ‘light’ or ‘easy’ the listing data is when you look at it in its purest of forms.

Data File

The Excel file that was created during the video is here and includes the formulas that were explained to create the price saving value & percentage.

What Have We Covered?

While it may appear that large eBay sellers spend a lot of time ‘listing’ items to eBay, they’re actually not. They’re in fact spending time on quality data to create eBay listings through listing tools that allow the use of one or more templates to create the finished listings that we see everywhere on eBay.

When you break down the actual data requirements for a product (a fashion item in this example) then the amount of data is actually very, very low. What makes it look great is the way the data is formatted through the listing template and most larger sellers are clever to recycle data that is needed for item specifics, into the eBay listing too. What looks complex, is actually very easy to do.

In this two part series, I have shown you how an eBay template could work, what the elements are and in this final part what the data behind the actual listing could look like before its been sent to eBay. My question is, did you expect for it to be this straight forwards? Let me know in the comments box below: