Solid Advice from 250,000 Feedback eBay Seller Bamford Trading

Bamford TradingIt’s fantastic to see John & Gill from Bamford Trading being featured on eBay’s SellerSphere this month. Both John & Gill have covered several key elements that should be considered when running a successful eBay business.

The original article is eBay focused however we should take note of the breadth of Bamford trading sales channels, as eBay is only one part of the multi-channel approach:

  • eBay
    As focused in the article, their eBay shop is here Bamford Trading
  • Amazon
    Amazon is also part of their sales channels, here.
  • Website
    Their website is at
  • Twitter
    While not “massive”, the Twitter account is up and running and branded towards the company here.
  • Facebook
    John & Gills dedicated Facebook page is here.

Below are the 3 video’s from the eBay article, there is some fantastic advice in them and I strongly suggest you take the 5 minutes each to watch them.

How to Sell Successfully on eBay

Tips for Successful eBay Selling

Bamford Trading eBay Case Study


Both Gill and John have included some solid advice in these video’s. What you’ll be seeing from me in the forthcoming weeks, is the expansion of this advice into focused articles that delve into these much, much deeper.

Also an interesting observation, out of the 5 featured sellers featured in eBay’s SellerSphere, I’ve either helped or worked with 4 out of the 5 so far.

Question: Do you believe that you’ll reach 250,000 feedback on eBay? Comment below!

How to Customise Your eBay Search Results (For Buyers & Power Users)

Basic eBay search results are fine for normal users to a point, however even for normal users customising the search & browse results on eBay pages will allow you to make a more informed decisions on the item before clicking through.

If you are using the search & browse results to conduct Market Research, then you’re definitely going to need some extra information so that you have a truer picture of what the results mean and will save clicking into lots & lots of items, just to get at the core details.

How to Customise Your eBay Search Results Video

I have put a video together to show you how you can customise your eBay search results and the differences it makes to the way the eBay listings are shown to you.

In the latter part of this article, I go through each setting individually and also provide configuration suggestions for both power users and settings for users on low bandwidth/slow internet connections.

Customised eBay Search Options

eBay allow you to change most aspects of the search results on eBay, after making a search for a keyword, in the top right there will be a link called “Customise View” after clicking this option, you are given a pop-up layer/panel in which you can configure different options for the eBay search results.

Its also worth noting that these options also apply to when you’re browsing categories too, not just search results.

Tip: If at any time you wish to reset the search options you have made back to the defaults, then at the bottom of the “Customise You Search” panel, there is a “Restore Defaults” option, I’ve included a screenshot of this below just in case.

How to restore the eBay search options back to the defaults


The formatting options allow you change several key data points that are returned in the search results, the biggest one to take note here of is the option to show the listing title on its own line. This is really handy when you’re including lots of extra data in the search/browse results.

Result Columns

While the eBay title must always be shown, you can configure other values to be shown, these include the items picture (if it has one), the number of bids (if an auction), the price, the time left and whether the seller accepts PayPal. You can also change the order in which these are shown using the up and down arrows.

Results Layout

You can change the way the items are displayed back to you, from the traditional list view where every item is in a single column, to a picture gallery view (which is really nice when searching as a buyer for fashion items) to a two column layout where you can see items side by side.

Reset eBay Customised eBay SearchTip: If you do choose to use the “Side-by-side view” or “Picture Gallery” the “customise view” link at the top right disappears. Don’t panic, if you press the button highlighted in the image to the right, it’ll take you back to the original layout and the customise view re-appears.

I’ve included screen shots of what the each these options outputs once set below:

Standard List View eBay Search Results

Standard List View of eBay Search Results

Picture Gallery eBay Search Results

Picture Gallery eBay Search Results

Side By Side eBay Search Results

side by side eBay search results

Time/Date Format

You’re able to change the time/date format of the time left on the listings from either 1d 6h 10m or to Nov-10 14:02

Item Title on its Own Row

This is a really helpful option to customise the search. By default, the listing title is “squashed up” and by setting the option allows the item title to have its own row. To best explain it I have taken a screen shot of the same item, but one has its own row and the other is the default.

Item Title on its Own Row

Show Postage Cost

Showing the postage cost is enabled by default. To make an informed decision on which items are valid results or not, I’d suggest you leave this option set.

Items Per Page

This is a very useful option, if you’re using the eBay search results to conduct Market Research, then just seeing 50 listings at a time means you have to scroll through lots of pages, however, set this to 200 and it cuts the page views by a quarter.

If you are on a very low bandwidth and you know your searches are always going to return a low number of results or don’t mind scrolling through lots of pages, you can set this to 25 per page and this will make the eBay results return a lot faster for you (as there 75% less listings to return for each page).

Tip: At the bottom of the search results, you are able to quickly change the number of search results being shown. A screen shot of these options are highlighted below:

Number of Results Per Page

Picture Size

Normal users of eBay (buyers) will be quite happy with the large option and also most power users will be too. You can change the image size of the gallery image of the listings in the customise search options, I only see this helpful if you are on a slow internet connection.

Item Information

The item information settings allow both power users and normal users include four extra handy data points to show with each eBay listing, these are:

Item Number

For normal users, this won’t be of much use, however for power users conducting Market Research on eBay, being able to quickly note the item number will be very helpful.

Watch This Item Link

This option adds a “Watch This Item” link to each listing, this can be handy for all users, as you’ll be able to quickly add the listing to your watch list for observation.

Location: Distance

If you’re logged in, then eBay knows your postcode and for listings that have either a postcode entered or a city that eBay recognises set by the seller, then a distance to you is shown.

This is really handy when looking for products (or services) that are local to you, for example if you are looking for a car and would like to view it before buying, not only sorting by distance, but also showing how far away the item is can be very useful.

Location: Distance

Location: Country/Region

Again for both power users and normal buyers alike, knowing of the listing is in the UK or not can be very helpful. If the item is coming from the other side of the world, you can either allow for extra time for the item to arrive or choose a different item which is closer to you or from a local based seller.

Seller Information

The seller information is again very useful to both power users and normal buyers. If trust is an issue for you, then in these options you can show the sellers feedback count, which may influence your buying decision or whether you click into the listing for further information or not.

Shop Name & Seller User ID

I’ve combined these together as its only really power users that would want to know whom the seller is. Having these options set can allow you to quickly identify the same seller over multiple search results.

Seller Feedback

For buyers, this option can help you influence which items you look into further. For power users this can help you identify larger sellers that have large amounts of feedback and may be worth further investigation.

Advanced Options

I’m going to combine the options in this section into one section to cover them all in one go. You’re able to change the way the sorting options work for both searches and when browsing categories in this panel.

You can also set to automatically convert the prices to GBP (UK “£” pound sterling), as this option is set by default and also because the original price (for example in dollars (USD or $) is shown, leaving this set is normally advised.

Configuration for Power Users

For power users, I have included screen shots of the settings that I suggest you work from for each panel in the “customise your search” options. I have highlighted the set options, so that you can identify them quickly.



Item Information


Seller Information


Advanced Options



Configuration Low Bandwidth/Slow Connection Speed Users

If you are on a slow internet connection, then removing the details you don’t need and limiting what is show can really speed up your browsing activities. While these are suggestions, as I mentioned earlier in this article, you may find different result layouts better for different categories of products.

These settings are focused on showing you the extra information you need to limit the requirement to click through to the listing to find out more information, while limiting what we can in the results themselves.

Also if you always shop for items on eBay from local sellers, then you can set the defaults in the advanced options to save you filtering the sorting options manually each time.




Item Information


Seller Information

Customise Your Search Summary

eBay has allowed users to configure their search and browse results to their own requirements. As a buyer this can help save time by allowing them to scan through lots of listings very quickly and show the extra information they need to know to make informed decisions on which ones to look into further (and hopefully buy!).

For power users that are using the search & browse results to conduct Market Research, the extra options give you a wealth of extra information, cutting down research time and allowing you an more informed overview of what is happening for the search or browse results you’re being shown.

Did you know that this option existed? Even if you did, has the article & video above allowed you to browse eBay much faster? Let me know in the comments box below.

How To: Change a Private eBay Account to a Business eBay Account

I previously covered the difference Between a Private & a Business eBay Account in an earlier article here, however if you’ve already got an eBay account with decent (ie 100%) feedback already on the account then changing the account type and using this resource to help “bump” you up in reputation can be a shrewd move and only takes a few moments.

Also similarly, if you wish to turn account back to a private account, you can do so too on this page.


Steps to Change your eBay Account Type

  1. Go to
  2. Sign-in if  required to do so
  3. Select ‘Private Account’ or “Business Account” as applicable
  4. Press confirm

There may be other steps you may need to take, such as entering your business details, including a telephone number, linking your PayPal account and/or setting up direct debit information for paying fees.

Once you’ve gone through step 4 in this list, you’ll be taken through the steps you’ll need to complete the extra information in.

It’s really that easy.

Congratulations eBay Feedback Stars!

eBay feedback StarsWhen you reach the eBay feedback milestones, you’ll get an automated email with a congratulations award. But why wait? You can have them all now!

I still remember getting my first 10 eBay feedbacks, I also remember getting 100 feedback and then the 10,000 mark too.  I stopped at around 14,000, but numerous businesses I work with have cleared the 100,000 mark and you don’t just get PDF’s when you hit this level ;-)

10 to 5,000 Feedback

If these numbers are soo far away, why wait you can have them right now:

10,000+ Feedback

I couldn’t find the UK versions of the larger star awards, however here are the USA versions:

So do you ever think you’ll reach a shooting star? Maybe you already have, with the next star so far away, have you even considered the next one?

Do I need an eBay shop to list items on eBay?

Surprisingly a common question for new businesses starting out on eBay and the short answer is no, you don’t need to have an eBay shop to list items on eBay.

However there are a few scenarios that we should consider to answer this question fully and in this article I cover them.

The Private eBay Seller

If you are only selling the odd couple of personal items per month, then an eBay shop for you would be almost pointless and an expense you can easily avoid. While you are now allowed to open an eBay shop as a ‘private seller’, insertion fees for the 30 day listing format is 20p would probably mean you are verging on the ‘Semi-Professional seller’ covered in a few moments.

So for a few items per month, opening an eBay shop is not really required, unless you wish to upgrade your account and use the additional features of the eBay shop and the 30 days listing format.

The Semi-Professional Seller

If you are selling items continuously on eBay, then it may be prudent to open an eBay shop. There are many reasons for doing so and these reasons are covered in articles on this site, however a brief outline is below of the key features

  • Its your own, brand-able slice of eBay
  • Potentially cheaper to list on eBay
  • You can categorise your listings in a matter that makes sense to you and your customers
  • You can add a minimum of 5 custom pages to your eBay shop
  • Increase exposure on eBay
  • Put your listings on hold, if you are away
  • A “listing frame” for your listings
  • A single point of reference for all your live items
  • You can add & control cross-promotions
  • Newsletter list & email marketing tool

These are just a short list of the benefits of opening an eBay shop, the main benefit other than having your own slice of eBay is that you are able to use the Good Till Cancelled (known as GTC) listing format, which allows you to list items for much less than it would in 10 day listings.

3 Questions To Ask Yourself

The best questions to ask yourself if you are considering opening an eBay shop are these:

  1. Do I have lots and lots of items to list on to eBay (eg more than say 40 per month)?
  2. Do I have lots of stock of one or more items?
  3. Do I want the extra features included with the eBay shop?

The Professional Seller

If you are listing multiple items onto eBay every day, or every few days and possibly have multiples of stock, then opening an eBay shop would be a great choice and probably quite a cost effective one also.

The listing fees would be much less than listing items through auctions / fixed price listings for 10 days. For example the current ‘Basic’ eBay shop fee is £14.99 per month and owning your shop would allow you to list items for 30 days for 10p.

There are a three subscription levels to the eBay shop, briefly we’ve covered the basic eBay shop level above, however there is also a feature eBay shop for £49.99 per month, with listing fees for GTC listings at 5p each and the level above that called ‘Anchor’ is £349.99, however the listing fees are free for GTC listings.

Quick Note on eBay Fees

While in May 2011 eBay made steps towards simplifying the eBay fees structure, they can still be a little confusing and that’s why I’m covering the basics here.

We’ve mentioned some fees for the eBay shop and the fees for the GTC eBay listing format, however we have no covered the final value fees and there are incentives to upgrade your account to a business seller on eBay IF it meets your business requirements.

For one the “Final Value Fee” or known as FVF for business sellers are almost always less than it would be as private seller, along with some discounts for reaching certain criteria as a seller. These are too complex to cover here in this article, however you should be aware these are to be noted and investigated thoroughly.


There are advantages to both account types, personal and business. However to sell on eBay doesn’t require that you create an eBay shop, although there are advantages such as lower fees and owning your own slice of eBay to market customers too. It really depends if you are a professional seller or a part-time seller.

A question is, which eBay shop description level do you have? Comment below!

What is an eBay Listing Template?

In this article I’ll be covering what an eBay listing template is, examples of such listing templates in action and finally why you need one, even if its a really simple one.

What is an eBay Listing Template?

So what really is a eBay listing template then? In its shortest form, all it is is a template (think of a set of of guides or like drawing some pencil lines on a page) to help you layout your product or service information out in a consistent, informative manner for both yourself and your customers.

eBay listing templates can be exceptionally complex especially when you mix in logic testing keywords and multiple sets of  data. Some of the templates I’ve helped design have far surpassed anything that you’ll ever come across, (going on a slight tangent here, bear with me) I remember one template that I worked on that involved nested keywords in eSellerPro (an auction management tool) that had about 300 lines deep of logic tests and  that excluded the sub paragraphs that were being pulled in with even more keywords in them.

Quick & Simple Example

However on the flip side, they can be exceptionally basic, just a few place holders for the description, images and maybe a few common lines of text for shipping and postage.

I’ve made a really simple one below, even this would assist in easy listing creation:

Item Title Here

  • Major point 1 – Maybe condition?
  • Major point 2
  • Major point 3
  • Major point 4
  • Major point 5 – If you’re stuck for a 5th, why not mention you’re fast delivery or fantastic feedback?

Main description here

Postage Information
Enter text here about postage. You could include the odd paragraph here as well and just leave place holders for postage prices for example:
UK Shipping is £UKShippingHere and Europe is £EUShippingHere

Payment Information
Enter text here about payment, I’ve also included the paypal logo below as well to give you a hand.
We Accept PayPal

Returns Information
Include standard information here, but please don’t scare people away with 10 pages of T&C’s. Write it in plain english

My point is that eBay listing templates can with third party tools go to extremes, but they all do the same job no matter how simple or how complex, which is:

  1. Format information clearly buyers
  2. Format information easily for merchants/sellers to populate
  3. To speed up the listing process
  4. To (hopefully) allow making changes at a later date much easier

Note: We’ll be including complex examples soon and also we have it noted to include some more basic examples and maybe even a short HTML to help you with the basics.

Examples of eBay Listing Templates in Use

For these examples, I’m going to include examples of professionally designed eBay templates, mainly because these show the use of such templates to their best effect, but as noted above, eBay listing templates don’t need to be ultra complex or professionally designed to be a great benefit to you and your customers, its all about displaying information in a clean, well structured format.

Example 1


uniq-clothing Template (click the image for super sized image)

In this example, we’ve got a whole host of template things going on. I’ll break these down for you.Firstly the entire outer shell is one big template, for example the logo, the top navigation, the sides and the content areas. If we focus on the sections that change, such as the images, the seller has loaded these images into a back end tool and then the gallery is auto created by the template, placing the first image as a large one and the extra images as smaller images down the side.The listing title “UNIQ P2-J Long Womens MAXI/ Boho/Hippie Summer DRESS” is also included as a keyword (see our other articles for what this means) to bring it through automatically when the item is listed.

Moving down to the item description, this is probably included from one of two places in the backend system, but the output is the same, they’ve entered the description in a description box (of some form) and its being spilled out into the listing where its being told to in the template. A similar process is happening for the lower tabs for sizing, brands, payment, delivery and returns, but instead of them being entered manually each time, they’re most likely hard coded (sorry this is a term I use, it means “written by hand”) into the template, so that they don’t need to keep writing it over and over. Just like the basic example I included above.

They’ve also got a related items box in this listing too, I know how you can do this and I’ll be including the steps to do this in a later article (try searching for “related items” in the search box on the right.

While I’ve picked a pretty complex template to begin with, this only amplifies that the seller would never have been able to achieve such a quality of presentation without the use of an eBay template.

Example 2


funkydivaltd eBay Template (Click for super-sized version)

While I personally dislike white text on a black background and excessive use of CAPSLOCK (and flash for that matter), they’ve done themselves a huge favour by using a template.They’re able to include the product information in very easily and are saving themselves a huge amount of time and even with my personal gripes with the template, it gives a uniform layout across all their listings and have a few bonuses to boot, such as the lack of requirement to include the repetitive information for shipping, about us, size guides and returns information, plus including some useful links to their other aspects and a basic cross selling module to the right for categories or products they also stock.

Example 3

cliphair-ltd-ebay-template eBay Template (Click for super-sized version)

While not as visually appealing as the previous two examples, if you look closely at the contents, they’re using a layout to format their information much more clearly than just a few lines of text.For example the opening two paragraphs are common across their listings and adds brand awareness to the listing. I actually quite like the “We Promise” section and reassures the buyer viewing the listing. If you look further down the listing you’ll see a couple of tables included, these are fantastic for showing product specifics and even further down the shipping table, while not ‘visually pretty’, does a good job at formatting the shipping information.


eBay listing templates don’t need to be ultra complex, even though I’ve hinted that some (if not all) of the largest sellers on eBay use complex versions, even if you’re selling just a few items, a simple template like the one I’ve included, will enable you to list faster, not miss out on key information for your listings, provide the information in a clear format for your buyers and crucially make your life a lot simpler, if you need to update the listings at a later date.

How to: Add a YouTube Video to Listings Using eSellerPro

Adding video content, especially video content that you’ve made for your business on a product or service to eBay listings easily done and I covered this in an earlier article “Add a Youtube Video to your eBay Listings in 5 Steps“, however when using 3rd party tools, the actual listing template is normally separated from the description.

In this How-to guide I’ll be showing you how to automatically add a YouTube video to your eBay listings in a scalable, structured manner, which once completed is as simple as pasting in the YouTube video ID and the rest takes care of itself using eSellerPro.

Note: For this article I’m using the example product video I made for an earlier article, this is definitely not a good example of a great product/service video but it’ll suit the needs of this article. If you’ve not seen it, it’s quite funny and you can watch it here.

Before We Start

eSellerProI’m making the assumption that you are using eSellerPro as your back office tool, that you have a YouTube account and that you understand a little HTML. The rest I’ll take you through step by step.

Also in the example video being used, the dimensions are 960 wide by 576, this probably will not suit most and you’ll need to alter these both. However for completeness, at the very end instructions on how to complete a fully customisable version is included. If you cannot see any of the sections mentioned in this article in your eSellerPro account, contact their support and ask for them to be enabled.

A “YouTubeID” is referenced several times in this article, this is the string of text you see in the URL when viewing YouTube video’s. For example, the example product video used is “” and the YouTubeID is part after the = sign, namely “zDSwAuApbwc“.

Using eSellerPro Custom Fields

To make this as scalable as possible, we need to leverage customfields in eSellerPro, I’m not going to cover what these are here, just that we’re going to create a custom fields group and a custom field to place the YouTube video ID.

To do this we need to follow these steps:

  1. Open eSellerPro
  2. Go to the Maintenance section on the left bar
  3. Locate the “Custom fields” section and double click on it
  4. Press the new record icon at the top and name the customfields group “Video” (the first box labelled “Group Name”)
  5. We now need to add an edit box called “YouTubeID”, enter “YouTubeID” into both “Field Name” and “Display Name” and press the “Add Field” button

Create the Holding Paragraph

If we were to put the logic code we create in the next step in every template we use, this would cause unnecessary overheads and possible headaches later on when if want to update the layout operation of the video player & associated code. So to make this as easy as possible, we’re going to now use another part of eSellerPro called paragraphs to create a container for the video code & associated logic.

To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Select “Inventory/Listing” from the left menu
  2. Select “Paragraph Builder” from the left menu (you may need to scroll down to locate this)
  3. Press the new record icon at the top
  4. Give the paragraph the name “YouTube”
  5. At the bottom, tick the box called “HTML Only” so that the editor is disabled

The Logic to Sshow/Hide the Video

Now that we’ve prepared the customfields and the paragraph, we need the code to show the video player in the listing. In a previous article called “How To: Add a Youtube Video to your eBay Listings in 5 Steps” it was noted that IFRAMES are not allowed on eBay listings and we need to use the older method that is allowed to show YouTube video content on your eBay listings.

The code for this, looks like:


This is fine for a single listing, however we’re building a more flexible version so you don’t need to post this each time.

Firstly we replace the YouTube ID with the custom field, so it reads as:


However, we don’t want to show the video player when there is no video to be shown, so to do this we use the IFNOT keyword, to show/hide the entire video player if there is or is not a YouTubeID present in the customfield.

This now becomes:



And it’s this code that we now enter into the paragraph we created earlier.

Adding the Paragraph to your eBay Template(s)

Instead of pasting this code into each template, we’re going to leverage the paragraph feature in eSellerPro to make this as simple as copy/paste.

If you now follow these steps:

  1. Select “Inventory/Listing” from the left menu
  2. Click on eBay templates
  3. Select the template you wish to add the video content to
  4. go to the “description” tab
  5. Ensure that the “HTML Only” box is checked
  6. Place this code “{{Insert:YouTube}}” where you would like the video appear if it’s been set
  7. Repeat as necessary for other templates you may have.

Note: Its actual placement will vary from template to template, if you’re unsure either experimentalist or ask someone that is comfortable with HTML to help you.

Enter an ID to an Inventory Record

To be able to test that this works, we need to add a YouTube ID of a video to the custom fields of an inventory record.

  1. Pick any inventory record (inventory/Listing > Inventory Details)
  2. Go to the custom fields tab.
  3. Select “Video”  from the drop down box
  4. Enter your YouTubeID (or enter “zDSwAuApbwc” for the sake of example) into the edit box called “YouTubeID”
  5. Now go back to the “eBay Auction” or “eBay Inventory” tabs and press the preview button on the right
  6. You should now have a video in your listing template

Advanced eSellerPro Video Template

If you had not changed the size (width and height) as used in the example snippets above, then you will have seen a massive video in your listing. If you are using just one template setting the width/height once in the HTML will be fine, however if you have multiple templates and some need to be bigger than others, you can evolve this a little further by adding two more custom fields called “Height” & “Width” to your customfields “Video” group we created earlier.

Then using the following code, you are able to specify the width/height as you desire AND have a catch width of 960 and a height of 576 if they’re not set (you probably need to alter these to fit in your template)




Adding video can be easy with a few simple logic tests and the right set-up, also because the YouTubeID’s are in a custom field, they can be imported against using excel or CSV sheets and of course if the inventory record has no YouTubeID set, its not going to show with the advanced versions.

Now go and try this in your eSellerPro account and let me know how you got on by posting a comment below (or if you get stuck, leave a comment and I’ll point you in the right direction).

How To: Add a Youtube Video to your eBay Listings in 5 Steps

Video is an exceptionally powerful tool that can be used to allow a buyer to interact with the product before they’ve purchased it. Also making video can be great fun as you’ll see in the example video I used for this guide.

Using video also allows the seller to show that they are an expert in the product area and reassure customers that they know a lot about the product, so that when they buy the item, they know they’re dealing with the expert and reassured that if something goes wrong, that the seller is likely to be there for them.

In this article I’ll be covering the 5 steps simple you need to follow, to add video to your eBay listings and a few tips along the way.

Example Video

Grabbing the nearest item on my desk, which was some insulation tape. I put a quick video together to make a product review. Its only 36 seconds long and I still laugh at it now.

Before we continue, as far as inventory creation goes, using video should be one of the last tools you use to increase sales & conversion. Unless you are already making video for other sales channels or have access to good quality video’s that are provided by the manufacturer, video creation can be slow and as I’m sure you’ve seen from the video’s here, take a while to master.

eBay Policies

There are some explicit rules from eBay on what you cannot do in video content, I’ll summarise them below:

  1. No promotion of websites outside of eBay
  2. No adult content
  3. No naughty software that could harm a clients machine
  4. Video can only be from a small number of providers. The only really two worth noting, YouTube and Vzaar
  5. You must be the owner of the underlying rights, including intellectual property rights, or be authorised to distribute it by the owners of such rights
  6. No violation of any of the other rules (eg, asking for Western Union)

I do suggest that you read the eBay links policy (see lower section on “Using Videos”) and also the Adding Video to Your Listing from eBay, however its lacking, hence this step by step guide. The short version is to use YouTube and a little common sense.

Considerations When Making Video

While I’m not going to cover the how to make video content here (as you can tell from my example, I need to do work on certain aspects, lol), there are some pointers and questions that you might find useful when making video for both eBay and your other channels.

  1. How exactly is the video going to make the interaction with the product better for the customer
  2. Plan the video before hand, even if its three bullet points and discuss these
  3. You don’t have to be in the video, there is nothing wrong with recording your hands while you interact with the product
  4. Keep it short
  5. Explain what the video is about within 5 seconds
  6. Show the product, not you
  7. Show benefits, not features
  8. If possible, include product close ups. If you have a camera that does not have zoom, most video editing software allows you to add pictures and you can voice over them

Hmmmm…. this needs a video & an article on this topic alone….

How To Embed Video in eBay Listings

This video shows you how to embed video in your listings. After you’ve watched this video, continue with the rest of the article as we have the process of adding video to your eBay listings broken down into 5 easy to follow stages.


How to Add a Youtube Video to your eBay Listings in 5 Steps

The following 5 steps will guide you through the stages to adding video to your eBay listings.

Step 1 – Upload the Video

In this example, I’ve made a review of some insulation tape (Yes its REALLY bad, but its a video and serves its purpose for this example.)

  1. Go to
  2. Either drag and drop your video or press the “Upload Video” button
  3. While the video is uploading, complete the extra information like the title and tags

Step 2 – Get the Code

Once the video has been uploaded, view the video on Youtube. Then follow these steps:

  1. Press the “Share” button
  2. Press the “Embed” button
  3. Un-check “Show suggested videos when the video finishes” the option
  4. If available, check the “Play in HD” option
  5. Ensure that “Use old embed code” is checked as this will not work on eBay otherwise.
  6. Specify a size, as mentioned in the video, larger than 1000 is not recommended.
  7. Now in the box above, highlight and copy the HTML

Step 3 – Enter into eBay Listing

In the video, I’m using the eBay “Sell Your Item” (SYI) form and using the code from the previous step, in the description tab, press the HTML tab and enter the code where you would like the video to be shown in the listing. Once located, right click and paste the copied code into the listing.

Tip: When you are writing the description and know where you would like the video to be placed, write VIDEO in the place where you’d like it and then searching for it in the HTML tab is easy. if you flick back to the normal view and don’t see the video, this is normal. You’ll see it in step 4.

Step 4 – Check the Preview

Always before confirming the listing, use the preview to ensure that the video is where you expect the video to be and that its actually working.

Step 5 – Confirm

Once you’ve previewed the listing, save the changes and the listing is now live.


You should now be able to add a YouTube video to your eBay listings, there are a few areas you could trip-up on, however adding video content to an eBay listing is really quick and very easily done as shown in the video or by following the steps above.

Soo… Have you used Video in your eBay listings before? Was it as easy as the above and what were the results like? Comments in the box below!

A Couple Of New eBay Stores I Didn’t Know Of

In this article, I’m sharing some observations of several of the larger eBay trading names and hight street names. It’s quite brief I know, but I will be releasing an interesting chart in the next few weeks and this will help add an extra dimension to it.


Previously Known High Street Names

HiTec had launched properly on eBay and have amounted over a thousand feedback, their eBay shop is here

Theentertainertoyshop had a storming Christmas on eBay, well over a quarter of a million pounds worth of kit sold in December and easily 15,000 lines sold. While not the most attractive of listing deployments, you can’t knock the sales volume.

ASDA haven’t yet surfaced, the previous eBay shop that was sent in has now closed, although I did find them quite quickly here. I’m sure they’ll make an appearance soon enough in the next few weeks (if they’ve got this far, there must be some external factor holding them back).

New To Channel /Me

This is definitely a month of new eBay stores that I didn’t know were up and running, some have a huge amount fo feedback and there is a general theme too, they’re mostly being run off a company called RedStar.

Adams is a new one on me this month and they’ve turned up on the radar with +600 feedback, so they’ve obviously been around for a while. Judging by the artwork, this has been developed by an in-house team, you can view their eBay shop here They’ve not had a bad month with sales in the region of £3,000 for December.

HughesDirect is also a new one to me too. They appear to be using Velocity, which also relatively new to me as well. I only know of a tiny number of merchants using it.

Another new one on me is Deamon Tweeks Direct. I’d not say they’re covering massive volumes with just over a hundred sales this month, but its a name I recognised and they’ve got themselves to +6000 feedback so far and are like HughesDirect using Redstar.

HelpDeskit may not appear to be a brand name (to me anyway, correct me if I’m wrong), but its sporting an enterprise based eBay shop, which makes me wonder that while they may not be classed as an outlet per-say, they’re definitely at the upper end of eBay’s account manage scale, which is surprising as their sales for December are below £100K.

General Imaging have appeared under the Hut-Group banner, no feedback yet, but it looks like everything is almost in place for trading.


It appears Henleys have had an interesting Christmas period, sales have dropped right off and the ID is attracting an unhealthy amount of neutrals & negatives. It sat on 7 negs & 7 neuts for 163 positives currently. Knowing that negatives attract negatives, I’m sure we’ll be seeing another 10 land on this account in the next 10 days or so.


As I said quite brief and this article will make more sense at the end of the month.


3% of Sales Coming from the EU? Say Hello to the EU VAT Bomb

If your business has been happily taking orders from around the EU and even if this is as low as 3% to one EU country hot-spot for a £1M turn over business, then you could be sat on an awkward issue regarding VAT.

This was another one of those ‘ah-ha moments’, although quickly followed with ‘wtf’ and ‘omg’ that’s going to be fun. In this article I do my best (as I’m not an accountant) to bring this topic into plain English.

This is certainly an issue that hasn’t been highlighted to businesses from either Amazon or eBay to my knowledge and is quite concerning eBay has been in such a push for Cross Board Trade (CBT) in recent months with statements that it fuels half a billion export boom and pushing the international site visibility upgrades and featuring eBay UK listings on the EU sites.


Firstly lets clear a few points:

  • #1 I’m not an accountant
  • #2 I’m not a VAT expert
  • #3 I’ll never be #1 or #2.
  • #4 If you are #1 or #2 or have experience of this topic with your business, then fell free to comment and I’ll amend this article accordingly as needed.

That said let’s dig in and take a look a potentially nasty issue for medium to larger eCommerce businesses, because its really easy to go past the VAT limits, as they’re sooo low!

The UK VAT System

Starting from the beginning, VAT in the UK is pretty much a given. At around £73K of gross turnover or if expected to exceed this, a business is pretty much required to register to become a VAT tax collector and give the HMRC 20% of sales (and to be able to claim back the VAT on purchases and on expenses). This may not be technically correct, as there are deviants of this, but that’s the crux of it for most product based businesses.

So if you exceed or ‘expect to’ exceed ~ £73,000 of sales in one year, you normally need to register for VAT in the UK. Relatively straight forward so far. Yay!

The EU VAT Thresholds

Now this is where it can get nasty. As that expectation to exceed the threshold in the UK, also applies to business delivering products from the UK into the EU member states (called distant selling), but these states don’t all have such high thresholds when compared to the UK. In fact some of them are really low at around £30,000!

Let’s say you’ve been happily running a £1M p/a business that uses the marketplaces and also a couple of other sales channels. As you’ve been processing your orders from the UK, in most circumstances you’ve also bee taking orders from a wide variety of countries outside of the UK too.

The shocking reality is that if as little as 3% of these orders have come from one of the EU countries such as Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Malta, Portugal or Sweden. You have an issue

Each of these countries have a VAT threshold of €35,000 (approximately £30K), when you hit this threshold then apparently you’re then required to register for VAT in those countries locally.

VAT Thresholds For European Countries (Sept 2011)

Doing some homework prior to writing this article, I found this document on the European Commissions website under Taxation & Customs Union. The middle section shows the thresholds for each of the member states in this document and I’ve extracted this to form the table below and highlighted the thresholds in bold.

Member State Threshold for application of the special scheme for distance selling
Belgium €35.000
Bulgaria 70.000 BGN (€35.791)
Czech Republic 1.140.000 CZ (€46.570)
Denmark 280.000 DKK (€37.557 )
Germany €100.000
Estonia €35.151 
Ireland €35.000
Greece €35.000
Spain €35.000
France €100.000
Italy €35.000
Cyprus €35.000
Latvia 24.000 LVL (€34.052)
Lithuania 125.000 LTL (€36.203)
Luxembourg €100.000
Hungary 8.800.000 HUF (€32.257)
Malta €35.000
Netherlands €100.000
Austria €35.000
Poland 160.000 PLN (€40.293)
Portugal €35.000
Romania 118.000 RON (€28.012)
Slovenia €35.000
Slovakia €35.000
Finland €35.000
Sweden 320.000 SEK (€36.232)
United Kingdom 70.000 GBP (€81.843)

Even with the approximation that €35,000 is £30,000, for a £1M p/a business, this is only 3% of sales and actually very easy to achieve by sheer accident into one or more of these countries.

It’s reassuring to know that the more likely culprits to top the £30K limit such as Germany, France & Italy have a much higher threshold of €100,000 or approximately £83,000, although in some circumstances, this could also be easily achieved without a second thought.


The aim of this article was purely to highlight and bring this topic into a ‘plain English’ format. I hope I have done that successfully.

If you even suspect that you’re likely to approach these figures to any of the countries above in your trading year, then please consult expert advice, such as from your accountant.

PS: If anyone knows how this applies to Amazon FBA items that are held in say France or Germany, I’d love to hear from you and please post a comment in the comments section below.

Urgent: Dealing Amazon Pending Orders


Firstly apologies, I’ve know about Amazon’s pending orders for a long time now and they can be dangerous. I should have considered their impact at this time of the year earlier. I never suggest anything as ‘urgent’ that I cover here, but this is the exception…

What Are Amazon Pending Orders?

Amazon pending orders, are orders that have one or more issues with either the customer or the payment for the order. This means that there is an order that has been taken by Amazon, but not yet been made available for download and/or processing.

Taking a direct extract from the Amazon help system, pending orders are explained below:

Orders in pending status indicate an issue with the customer’s payment method. Those orders are not in a shippable status, and should not be shipped, even if the buyer contacts you directly. Pending orders will not have confirm and cancel buttons in Manage Orders, and they will not appear in either the Order Report or the Unshipped Orders Report.

Once an order is in a shippable status, the confirm and cancel buttons will appear in Manage Orders and the order will appear in both the Order Report and the Unshipped Orders Report. At that point, the order should be shipped and the shipment confirmed in Manage Orders or with a feed.

Note that Amazon assumes the risk of buyer non-payment for every order in your Unshipped Orders Reports or that has confirm and cancel buttons in Manage Orders. Of course, just as now, there may be circumstances where payment may later need to be refunded, for example when the buyer does not receive the order, or it is not as described.

Why Are Amazon Pending Orders Dangerous?

Using the Amazon help explanation of pending orders, I’ve highlighted the key points above “orders are not in a shippable status” and “will not appear in either the Order Report or the Unshipped Orders Report“. To clarify such orders are dangerous because:

  • They’re sat in a different queue
  • Stock may or may not be allocated to such orders
  • They don’t appear in the standard (or any) reports that can be exported

Pending orders are both a liability & risk to the business. Such orders can sit in this status for weeks sometimes, however at this time when there is a higher velocity of sales than normal the low risk of these turn into a serious risk.

Stock can be locked in Amazon orders and 3rd parties may not know of them, thus keeping the stock available on other channels and open the business to higher chances of overselling. The orders are not shown in the order reports and any system, whether it’s the sellers own or a 3rd party can overlook these and not account for them in the current stock levels.

The Scale of Amazon Pending Orders

Now this is curious, I checked on four Amazon Seller Central accounts this morning, roughly their account types were like this:

Average Order Value Order Velocity
Very High (over £150) Medium
Medium (below £50) High
Medium  (below £30) Medium
Very Low (below £10) High

Now my logic beforehand would have indicated that both the “very high value” and the “high order velocity” for the “very low” orders would have been the two accounts that displayed issues with pending orders.

However I was wrong, both these accounts had very few pending orders (one had 3 and the other 11). It was both medium order value accounts with moderate to high volumes of sales that had the most number of pending orders, one account had over 150 of them and the other was over 50.

However they ALL had pending orders, some were showing back to late November and the numbers differed from account to account (they’re four unrelated accounts in four different product verticals).

How Do You Locate Pending Orders?

Locating Amazon pending orders is relatively straight forwards, there are several paths and I have also included a direct link to them as well:

  • After logging in to your Seller Central account, on the right column, scroll down to the section called “Your Orders (Amazon.ext)”, under the section called “Seller Fulfilled” there is a line for pending orders and the count is a link
  • From the top menu, hover on “Orders” and select “Manage Orders”, then click on “Advanced search” and select a date range (I’d suggest 365 days for the first time) and set the “Order Status” drop down box to “Pending” and hit search
  • A direct link to the last 180 days of Amazon pending orders is here and if you want to search for less or longer change the value of the “preSelectedRange” attribute

How To Handle Pending Orders?

Firstly the good news…

3rd parties such as eSellerPro, ChannelAdvisor & Linnworks use Amazon’s newer API called MWS (Marketplace Web Services).

Why is this important? Included in the calls is the ability to locate and account for pending orders. This allows them (3rd parties) to allocate stock lines that are held in pending orders so that they’re not allocated for sale on other sales channels (like eBay or websites for example). If you’re using either of these then you have nothing to worry about.

This is of course assuming that you have setup MWS with these platforms. If there is any doubt at all, contact them immediately.

Now the bad news…

If you are using the order reports from Amazon to process your orders either manually, through a 3rd party or through AMTU (Amazon Merchant Transport Utility) then you are likely to have a potential issue.

The ability to integrate to MWS is there but requires time & a developer, this is ruled out. The same goes for integrating to any of the fore-mentioned 3rd party platforms. So you’re stuck in a limbo period.

Also this only affects merchants that either use a virtual business model or are also selling the same products on other platforms/marketplaces. If you only sell on Amazon and work in a stocked business model, then you can ignore this completely.

Dealing With Pending Orders Manually

However if your business does sell its product ranges elsewhere or uses parts of a virtual product model, then I suggest the following:

  1. Check the pending orders 2-3 times per day, once in the morning, then around lunch and once in the evening (this depends upon the velocity of your orders and the amount of pending orders you’re seeing)
  2. You can copy/paste the pending orders list to excel (it doesn’t paste that well, but its workable)
  3. Take a few minutes to highlight new pending orders that have appeared and allocate stock levels accordingly.
  4. Track orders exiting to real orders and orders that are removed

A 5th option which may or may not be an option for your business (and I suggest you do so, because of the complicated risk factors with Amazon as we need to allow as much lea-way for returns and cancelled orders post Christmas) is that you actually order the products in the pending orders and allocate them to one side.


Amazon pending orders can be tricky, especially if your business is not using the MWS API or a 3rd party that uses this to communicate with Amazon & have that part dealt with effectively.

Stock can be allocated without the ability to let other selling channels know and this opens your business to a risk of overselling and the “fun” that stems from cancelled orders.

If you’ve not read this article yet (there is a video too), I cover some core essentials on how Amazon reacts to marketplace sellers. You never cross Amazon because if it was a human, it would be a woman and she is a ………

If there is only one takeaway from this article, go check your Amazon orders right now for pending ones, be aware of them and you can do this via this link.