The Last Drop of Ink Welcome to the blog of Matthew Ogborne. My love is eCommerce and helping Small & Medium Business Succeed Online with eBay & Amazon Mon, 16 Feb 2015 08:36:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 eCommerce in Plain English, that's out goal. Specialised in marketplace eCommerce, where the it's super easy for new businesses to start and product ideas to be tested. We aim to make selling on eBay and Amazon a cinch. Not forgetting other sales channels too, such as your own website, traditional retail, email marketing and a sprinkling of social too. Presented by Matthew Ogborne, Andy Hamilton & Dave Furness. Matthew Ogborne, Andy Hamilton & Dave Furness no Matthew Ogborne, Andy Hamilton & Dave Furness (Matthew Ogborne, Andy Hamilton & Dave Furness) No Jargon Allowed. Helping you and your business understand eCommerce in Plain English. The Last Drop of Ink Bristol, United Kingdom Weekly eBay Cross Border Trade Made Easy with Magento Fri, 14 Nov 2014 12:43:16 +0000 Howdy,

Selling internationally on eBay or Amazon for that matter is a no-brainer decision.

You can reuse your existing product data and business processes over & over again to reach more customers easily.

However when it comes to actually putting this into practice, it can get complicated quickly.

Everywhere else you’re told that you should go and do Europe . Getting tied up in a horrific language battle and opening the doors to a potential VAT nightmare, especially if you’re based in Europe as well is… nuts.

And the thing is, it doesn’t need to be that way at all.

Go Simple, Go English

I’m not suggesting for one moment you should overlook the other European countries. There is massive potential for you & your business in them.

However, they all speak different languages.

That makes customer services and translating your product data a nightmare.

In the recent video tutorial that myself & Dave put together, we explain exactly how you can skip this challenge and get started with cross border trade, the simple way. And that’s to go “English”

You can view the video guide here:

Note: There is software that can translate your listings into the different languages and on the different sites for you. These are great! But it’s certainly not the way I’d personally tackle this challenge.

CBT with Magento & M2EPro

eBay Cross Border Trade with Magento and M2E ProWe’ve just published a new course to show you how easy it is to expand your business internationally using Magento & M2EPro. AKA “The 3rd Generation”

And it really is simple to do in Magento.

Some of our courses on UnderstandingE are quite long, the reason for this is there is a lot to cover, especially if we need to keep things in simple step-by-step stages.

However when it came to showing you how to set up Magento & M2EPro to sell internationally on eBay, we covered the lot in under 3 hours. And that included a 36 minute tutorial on why you should “Go Simple, Go English”.

When we get to the tutorial where we put everything together, myself and Dave felt embarrassed.

Ignoring the basic steps to setup Magento for maximum control, the actual listing process is exactly the same for eBay, regardless if it’s a different eBay site where you’re listing locally to. So…. really easy to do.

If you would like to see how easy it is to sell internationally on eBay using Magento & M2EPro, you can either take the course on the UnderstandingE site here OR we also published this course on YouTube and you can watch the PlayList here.

And if you skip the 2nd tutorial, you can have the whole course completed and be up and running internationally on eBay with in a cup of coffee or two. It’s that quick!

The Simple Way

Selling internationally doesn’t need to be complicated.

Yes, later on once you’ve exhausted the potential in the English speaking sites such as,,, and of course the Amazon sites too, then think about going into Europe.

But for now, I dare you to exhaust these first :)


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Scale, it’s All About Perspective Wed, 29 Oct 2014 15:21:28 +0000 Howdy,

Have you noticed how some people seem to fail and others seem to be very, very successful at what they do?

The thing is, this isn’t by accident.

They look at the world differently and one of the key things that they look at differently is the perception of “scale”.

Scale on a Whole New Level

In the video below by Brian Greene, the famous theoretical physicist & string theorist he discusses an import factor when looking at the world around you.

We understand that most humans are several feet tall, that planes go fast and we walk quite slow from our “day to day” activities.

We only have one perspective of scale, we’re in the middle if you like. However, these are just a small fraction of the possibilities.

Press play on the video below, it’s only a few minutes long:


This starkly wakes us up to realise that scale is much more than what we see day to day, it can be as small as an atom or as large as a universe.

“We’re here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise why else even be here?”
Steve Jobs

Other people focus on what they see day to day and others… well they want to ding the universe.

I know which one I’d rather do, you?


Image Source: here

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The Responsive eBay Template Builder in Minutes Mon, 20 Oct 2014 12:00:11 +0000 Howdy,

The full-house webinar we held for the launch of the Responsive eBay Listing Template builder was really good fun and we were at the limit of what GoToWebinar could handle, if you were able to make the live event, thank you!

However if you were unable to make it live, instead of you watching the full hour long webinar, I’ve created you a 12 minute overview where you’ll see us:

  • Start from no template at all
  • Create a unique listing template where you’re in control
  • Download the template code
  • Revise a live eBay listing using M2EPro & Magento ( this could be any 3rd party software )
  • And then… go back and make changes to the layout, design, widgets and colour scheme remotely

Remember, eBay say that over 40% of transactions are now touched by mobile devices.

You can still get an edge before Christmas!

The 12 Minute Overview

The shorter version is below for you:

Where to Get Started

All the major software tools are supported ChannelAdvisor, Linnnworks, eSellerPro, M2ePro, ChannelGrabber, BrightPearl, TurboLister, Selling Manager, Ad-Lister, SellerExpress, Inkfrog, InkFrog Open, StoreFeeder etc…

You can started with your very own fully responsive eBay listing template here:

If you would like to know more about pricing this can be found here as you can get started for just £9.99 a month and there are 2 months free for annual subscriptions too.

You can try the unique responsive listing template builder out for 30 days with a no-questions-asked refund policy.

We both need happy customers right?!


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Amazon to Use Pass My Parcel for SAME DAY Deliveries in the UK Mon, 20 Oct 2014 04:47:27 +0000 Howdy,

You’ll have no doubt seen the news by now that Amazon have just scored a massive “one up” with same day deliveries.

Basically they’re hijacking the transport system that is used to deliver newspapers to newsagents.

This means that your customers will soon be able to order by 11:45 in the morning and have it in their hands by 4pm the same day.

That’s just sick.

However where is eBay in all of this?

We recently saw the pilot of the Argos Click & Collect “go large” to most business sellers on eBay UK in preparation for Christmas. Then in spring of 2015 this will be available to all. Which is great news.

I can see why lockers are well used, they’re convenient. Even Amazon have now said that they’ve seen the use of them double in the past year.

How does Amazon know that customers want same-day availability?
Deliveries made to Amazon Lockers nationally have more than doubled in the last year, it revealed.

Source: Ina, eCommerceBytes

Coming back to eBay, it is almost exactly one year to the day that eBay purchased Shutl (see here) and since then we’ve seen ni-on nothing as business owners that use eBay in the UK.

The Writing is on the wall

3 years ago in an article titled “Foretelling The Future of Commerce In 10 Years Time” one of the predictions was for “Same day delivery will be available for £1.00″.

While it might not be costing £1.00 as same day delivery is only open to Amazon Prime subscribers that costs £79 per year, to be fair I wasn’t far off :)

*puts trumpet down*

Convenience always wins.

As a consumer I’m extremely unlikely to use an Argos locker, my nearest Argos store is miles away and for now, I’m moderately happy with next day deliveries (and just for the record, if it’s not here next day, as far as I’m concerned it’s late).

But what I really want and what your customers really want, is their order in their hands for gratification as soon as possible after making the purchase.

This is one of the major negatives of buying online, you don’t get your product instantly, same day is going to be amazing. Dare I say it… “a game changer”?

And the thing is customers are going to be receiving same day deliveries very shortly from Amazon and eBay is no where to be seen.

If you were your customer, where would you shop?

Makes you think doesn’t it.


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Meet Me @ eCommerce Expo – 1st & 2nd October – I’m Speaking Twice! Mon, 22 Sep 2014 09:31:17 +0000 Howdy,

Are you going to this years eCommerce Expo in London on the 1st & 2nd October?

If so come over & say howdy!

I’d love to shake hands and put your name to a face.

And… I’m Presenting Twice

Presenting at eCommerce ExpoTwice on the first day!

Just after lunch at 12:15 in the “Payment & Security Theatre” with WorldFirst and then in the afternoon with Alex Podopryhora, the MD of M2EPro at 16:00 in the “eCommerce & Omni-Channel Theatre”.

Personally I’m super excited about both of these talks.

With WorldFirst we had James on a Podcast a while back and absolutely hammered the chap on the numbers, for which he came back quickly and we basically cannot see how you cannot save money using them.

And secondly with M2EPro on the 3rd Generation of Multi Channel software.

Plus you’re going to see two highly contrasting presentation styles in the second talk.

Note: I only use images and there isn’t a bullet point in sight!

How do I find you Matt?

You’ll find me in one of 3 places.

  1. At the coffee bar in the middle
  2. On the WorldFirst stand, number
  3. Or with M2EPro on stand 180

Just tweet me at @MatthewOgborne if you can’t find me.

Looking forward to seeing you there,


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Responsive eBay Listing Template Webinar on Friday Wed, 17 Sep 2014 13:34:00 +0000 Responsive eBay Listing TemplatesHowdy,

We know how big “Mobile” is for eBay, they say that 40% of all transactions are now touched by customers using a mobile devices.

The thing is, the normal listing templates that you’re most likely using don’t look great on mobile phones or tablets.

Your customers need to pinch and swipe to zoom in just to read your descriptions.

And that’s not a good thing.

We want customers to to buy from you with as little fuss as possible.

For the past few months I’ve been working on a 100% responsive eBay listing template builder as part of WidgetChimp and it’s now ready.

You can now carry your brand across all your eBay listings easily, no matter what device they are using, a mobile, a table or a desktop.

Free Webinar Friday at 2pm UK Time

You can see this truly unique listing template builder Friday 19th Sept at 2pm UK time, click the link below to save your seat:

If you’re in Germany, it’s at 3PM, Eastern US 9AM, Western US 6am or 11PM in Brisbane, Australia.

There are only 1,000 places available for this webinar and you should register right now.

I’m not saying this for some marketing ploy, I’m saying this as I’ve just sent emails out and there are 323 registered already. It will fill up completely before Friday.

See it in Action

You may know me personally and know how I’m wired to do things.

I didn’t stop at just 100% responsive eBay listing templates. Watch the video below and see what you could be leveraging right now. And I’ll show you everything on Friday.

Any Questions?

If you’ve joined myself & Dave for any of the UnderstandingE webinars or the eBay promoted Webinar we did earlier this year, you know that I will personally answer any questions you may have.

Even if it takes me an entire bank holiday as it did with the eBay & Magento webinar.

If you have a question, you can ask live on the Webinar. I’ll personally do my utmost to answer them then and there for you.

Grab your seat here and you will want to join early as this one is going to be maxed out.





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The Ultimate Guide to Multi Channel Software Book Tue, 19 Aug 2014 06:49:39 +0000 The Ultimate Guide to MUlti Channel SoftwareHowdy,

I know that Multi Channel software can help you work smarter, save you time and help make your business grow.

However… Do you find Multi Channel Software confusing too?

One of the challenges that I have had and I’m sure you’ve struggled with over the past few years is working how which Multi Channel software is right for you and your business.

So I’ve written the Ultimate Guide to Multi Channel software especially for you.

If you already know myself & that any such book is going to be worth the read, click here to download your free +70 page copy.

If not, here’s an insight into the book you can currently download for free and have in your hands in seconds.

The Ultimate Guide to Multi Channel Software

Honeycomb-of-magento-ebay-and-amazonThe book is broken up into 12 chapters and first five chapters explain everything you need to know about Multi Channel software.

In chapter 1 you’ll learn:

  • What is Multi Channel software
  • The typical path that businesses follow to using software
  • The “Be Everywhere” strategy (more on this shortly)
  • What is the “Best” Multi Channel software
  • And how Multi Channel software can help your business

This entire book assumes no prior knowledge to Multi Channel software and I don’t stop at just an overview, you’ll also learn that:

  • You need a key, aka the Stock Number to keep stock levels in-sync
  • There are risks to being everywhere & that these can be reduced by using rules
  • An inventory management system can help you manage small & large numbers of products
  • Templates will great speed up the listing process and add “quality” for each and every listing
  • By combining orders into a single screen can help you process orders in bulk, saving you time
  • Couriers can be integrated and you can apply business rules to orders to change the delivery method

I’m keeping this brief as there are over 70 pages explaining how Multi Channel software can help you, how this software works and how it can help your business in 100% “Plain English”

Then together we’ll look at the different generations of Multi Channel software and I’ve included two simple to use tools that you can use for your business to help you work out which Multi Channel software is right for your business today and in a years time.

The Be Everywhere Strategy

In the previous book that I wrote on the “One Simple Rule to Sell More Online” we homed in on how your business is being seen by customers.

The “Be-Everywhere” strategy is the other side to this, this is being everywhere where your customers are when they’re in buying mode.

So this isn’t social media marketing on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc… where your customers are in “social mode”, this is on eBay, on Amazon and on your own eCommerce website where your customer is in “buying mode“.

The math here is really simple:

More sales channels
= More eyeballs looking at your products
= A higher chance of selling
= More sales
= More profit

It helps you “be everywhere” your customers are and manage the processes in the background to help you work smarter each day.

Be there with them too.

Grow Your Business

I know that that Multi Channel software can appear confusing to begin. However Multi Channel software can help you and your business grow.

The Ultimate Guide to Multi Channel SoftwareIt’s a decision that I personally put off for several months and it cost me thousands. Ask anyone in this industry and they’ll tell you immediately that the businesses that employ the tools that you find in Multi Channel software will help you and your business grow.

With Multi Channel software you can:

  • Create better quality listings
  • Leverage templates to expediate the listing process
  • Open your business to cheaper resources, such as outsourcing
  • Sell on eBay, Sell on Amazon
  • Sell on your own website(s)
  • Manage orders from ALL your sales channels
  • Keep stock levels correct across them all
  • Work smarter each day

And I’m only scratching the surface here for everything you’re about to learn in your copy of this book.

Which Software is Right for You?

The simple to use tools in this book will help you work out the true cost of how much Multi Channel software is going to cost you.

You can compare one provider against the other and while it will take you a couple of weeks to fully leverage the tools you’ll find in Multi Channel software, it doesn’t need to be expensive anymore. You can start on a tiny budget of just £302 for an entire year (or £25.17, 31.36€, $42.09 USD or $45.07 AUD if worked out monthly).

I’ve also included a tool that you can use to compare the features by giving you all the questions you need the answers to and compare any 2nd Generation Multi Channel software this includes Linnworks, Seller Express, StoreFeeder, ChannelGrabber, BrightPearl, ChannelAdvisor, eSellerPro, Cascade, ChannelUnity, Seller Dynamics and the 3rd Generation too.

Download Your Copy Right Now

Use the form below to download your +70 page, Plain English guide to Multi Channel software

Enter your details to download the full book immediately:

You can start reading this book immediately and I’ll also email a copy over to as well so that you can read it at anytime you wish to.

I want your business to be a success too and I’ll be in touch a few days after you have downloaded the book to see how you’re getting on and including some extra tips & suggestions to accompany the book.

This really is the “Ultimate” guide to Multi Channel software, nothing like this has been written before and with that said,

To your success!

Matthew Ogborne
Author of The Ultimate Guide to Multi Channel Software

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Go the Extra Mile, It All Counts Thu, 14 Aug 2014 09:20:36 +0000 Howdy,

I’m a year older today, skype & Facebook has exploded with birthday wishes (many thanks by the way!).

Someone asked if I would be “taking it easy” and another asked if I would be “taking the day off”.

As a fellow entrepreneur & business owner like yourself, I feel compelled to clearly state:

Am I hell.

I got up an hour earlier to make more of a difference ( so that was 04:30 instead of 05:30 ).

In everything I personally do I aim to work and deliver 10 times more than anyone else, I do my utmost to lead by example and that includes on birthdays.

If you’re wondering what I’m up to, here are a couple of the things that I have done since September last year:

  1. The 3rd Generation of Multi Channel software was started in Sept 2013 over at
  2. I’ve helped build the largest online community for Magento & M2EPro users
  3. Between myself & Dave we’ve recorded over 250 “Plain English” video tutorials in 9 video courses
  4. We held a webinar promoted by eBay which we were joined by over 500 business owners like yourself to show you how easy it is to sell on eBay using Magento. And I personally answered every single one of your questions ( over 200 of them! )
  5. Published over 100 blog articles here
  6. Recorded 14 Podcasts which are available on iTunes & YouTube
  7. I’ve personally replied to over 2,600 questions from business owners like yourself in the forums and that’s not including the +1,500 comments made to the video tutorials.
  8. I’ve hired two full time members of staff and hit profitability a long, long time ago
  9. I went on holiday for a week and while other people would people would read a book or 3, I wrote a book. This is being published on Tamebay right now, see here for part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4 and on Friday part 5 and the book will be published on Kindle shortly. Update you can now download it here.
  10. And you’ll see me presenting not just one talk, but two at this years eCommerce Expo in London

I know that this may sound insane, however for any business owner out there, go the extra mile.

It all counts, even on birthdays.


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eBay Seller Updates – Autumn 2014 Tue, 12 Aug 2014 15:56:38 +0000 Howdy,

It’s the bi-annual update time again for eBay sellers, however this time around while there are some very cool things included, in many ways this is just a minor set of updates considering the epic changes that we’ve had in the past.

Normally this deeper insight to the changes eBay have released would have been out on the morning of the updates, however in the UK we had routing issues for the eBay UK site, so that warranted 8 simple tips for things to do instead of panicking, plus I’m doing my best to complete a book for Friday which you’ll have no doubt already seen chapters already on tamebay here and here.

If you’d like to discuss the latest eBay updates with myself, then you can join me live this evening at 8:30 BST in our weekly meetup: it’s free to join, just bring a cuppa.

Note: This is at 12:30 PM PDT ( Western USA ), 3:30 PM EDT ( Eastern USA ) and 05:30AM EST ( Canberra, Australia )

As always with these updates, pull your chair closer, grab a cuppa and let’s dig in.

New Reporting Tool – eBay Insights

I’ve put this first because I’m sincerely hoping this is actually going to be half decent for you.

Below are two screenshots, click them for larger versions and then look closely.

eBay Seller Insights Tool eBay Seller Insights Tool
Click for larger version Click for larger version

You’ll see that eBay now have the potential to mine the rest of eBay and suggest back to you changes to each individual listing on changes that you could make to increase sales.

In the screenshot on the right it’s no real surprise that price features twice as suggestions to increase gross revenue, however the lower two, well they’re interesting…

eBay appears to be picking up that you may be getting low of specific product and in the last example for the jacket eBay is telling us a specific stock number is out of stock and have attributed a value back to the list if you were to get this product back in stock.

The thing is while such suggestions are extremely useful, especially if you don’t have any reporting application or process in place to identify low stock levels or out of stock products, we’re missing one key thing, will you still make money out of the product if you were to decrease the price?

And that’s where the subtle link in the top right comes into play, see the link on the larger previews called “Export current view”?

What happens if you were able to export these suggestions and then cross reference to your inventory management system, then work out if it’s actually in your interests to lower the prices on the suggestions eBay have made based upon fact?

So for example in your inventory management system you’ll most likely have a cost attribute, if you know the cost of the item and have a formula say in excel to work out the eBay, PayPal and any additional costs for the products, you could then action what eBay is suggesting and know if it’s going to be a sound decision for you in the long run.

Now for the bad news on this new feature, it’s only available to Anchor shop owners.

eBay’s reasoning for this is because the bigger sellers are the ones that are most likely to abuse this the most, so that when they obtain feedback from the bigger sellers and then action those suggestions, when they open it up to other businesses that have basic or feature shop subscriptions it’ll be more robust and hopefully have more features included.

So if you have an anchor store subscription, look out for this right now.

Click & Collect Goes Sitewide

eBay Click & Collect Example LabeleBay’s Click & Collect service with Argos has done really, really well and we know this because eBay are now rolling this out to almost all businesses on eBay UK.

This means you’ll be able to join the ranks of the limited few that had access to this in the pilot program and open your doors to the buyers that want to buy on the tube, train, in the car on holiday etc.. and then collect at a time that suits them.

So what does this really mean for you?

In short joining in with Click & Collect is simple, what happens on any orders that you receive where the buyer has selected the C&C option is that the delivery address will look like the address over to the right.

So instead of the buyers address we have an Argos store and the part in yellow is extremely important.

This is what Argos uses to determine who the order belongs to, if you miss this out then they’ll have no idea who the package received belongs to :(

There are a couple conditions that you need to meet to be able to offer Click & Collect on eBay, the first is that the listing must sport Fast & Free and that you use one of 5 couriers, Royal Mail, Parcelforce, UPS, DPD or Yodel, the item must weigh under 20Kg and the parcel can’t exceed 120cm or on it’s second side 76cm.

Managed returns is now being forced upon us ( we knew about this from the eBay spring update here ), is this is a good thing?

If we look at eBay as a whole yes it is. However we both know it will take us all some time to adjust to the new process and if you’re in the group of eBay sellers that have been elected in for this, you’re going to be starting before Christmas ( they’ll notify you via email ) and the sellers that missed it, will be picked up next year.

Seeing that 96% of the UK population live within 10 miles of an Argos store, this could be quite a win for you and if you’d like to know more about Click & Collect and also managed returns, there was a webinar with eBay a week or two ago and we covered this on the UnderstandingE site here:

Oh and if you were wondering, if the buyer does not collect the order within a week, the order will be shipped back to you free of charge. So don’t forget a returns label!

Extended Returns for Christmas

ReturnseBay are keen again this year to extend the returns window for orders to include hassle free returns for unwanted presents.

So from September you’re going to be able to extend any returns window available to buyers until January the 31st 2015.

And the good news is eBay have done this the right way! You can set this option on a per listing basis and if you’re using any Multi Channel software, look out for updates for you to be able to do this.

And that seems like perfect timing to note that over on Tamebay there is a 5 part series that is being published each day this week on what Multi Channel software is, the chapter that is being released on Thursday will be about templates, using such templates will allow you change the settings with ease.

So if you are using decent Multi Channel software, this should be relatively easy for you to update listings with this new option if desired.

Selling Car Parts & Accessories on eBay?

We all know that the parts & accessories category has been the last category to adopt the changes around duplicate listings and in this update you’re not going to like this update as this is where eBay kick-in and start enforcing a limit of 5 duplicate listings on eBay.

The full list of affected eBay categories is here and with the increase in compatibilities we saw in the last update, in theory you should be able to cover almost all compatible cars over 5 listings as eBay upped the limit to a more sensible figure earlier this year.

Selling Manager & Turbo Lister Gets New Features

There are now bulk editing tools available and several new features that have been added to Turbo Lister and Selling Manager.

I haven’t personally used Selling Manager for years ( because just you, we’ve all been using 3rd Multi Channel software ), however not to dismiss SMP or TurboLister, they work great for smaller eBay businesses and this is the first major update I’ve seen in a long, long time.

The new features include:

  • Draft listings
  • The ability to create new listings in bulk using an import file
  • A quick editing pane
  • A copy function for existing listings
  • An export tool

Below is the video from eBay regarding the tool changes:

Ewww Category & Item Specific Changes

We all hate these updates as it means that if you don’t take notice of them now, before you know it you’ll have listings in the “other” category on eBay.

As always it’s a matter of perspective here, let other sellers find out too late that there has been updates, and for yourself, work these updates in now and take advantage of them because your competitors might not do so and you’ll have gained an easy advantage over them.

The full list of changes can be found using the link below.

Note: If you’re using Magento & M2EPro, we created a video tutorial on how to update the eBay categories in Magento. It’s the click of a button and the video tutorial is here

eBay Global Shipping Programme

This is what I would class as being aimed at smaller businesses on eBay.

The businesses that are unable to negotiate decent international shipping rates but want to test the waters to see what fruits international selling could bring them.

Basically eBay will do the international fulfilment for you. So what this means is that if you’re selling a product with £2.99 shipping, a customer from abroad can buy the product at the  full price plus shipping and then pay eBay extra to have the order shipped to them in their country.

As far as you’re concerned as the seller, you were paid in full for the UK shipping price and you then despatch the order to a UK distribution hub, this order is then sent on using eBay’s courier service to the buyer.

This on face value sounds like a really good idea ( for which it is, it’s enabling a massive amount of listings to be effectively delivered within the EU ), however there is one whopping great big flaw.

What if the customer wishes to return the item?

The seller is then left to tackle the returns process with customer and sending an item back from say Germany isn’t going to be cheap. Plus still no help with international trade in Plain English from any of the marketplaces, as a seller you’re just left to figure this out yourself.

So while definitely a step in the right direction and a hat-tip to eBay to being able to work a process out like this and actually delivering it, we’re only being given part of the process that as a business owner we need.

Fee Changes

Yep there are fee changes in this update, but nothing that will be a surprise to you from the earlier eBay updates and they only affect optional upgrades.

So that’s Gallery Plus ( don’t panic, if it was free in your category it is still free! ), Adding BIN to auctions, adding in a subtitle and the listing designer have all gone up in price.

All I’m going to say here is “phew”.

New Seller Standards & Seller Protection

And that leaves us with the last major topics, seller standards and seller protection.

In the call with eBay prior to the updates, they were really keen to make the point that they really are batting for ourside when it comes to seller protection.

Remember that “Report a Bad Buyer” option that was introduced?

They really are using you feedback on buyers to help clean up the community and you’ll hear words like “large-scale automatic detection systems” being used. While rouge buyers will be a fact of any community, with your help their numbers are going down and you may have noticed some new messaging on your seller dashboard if you’ve been affected by a naughty one.

eBay have put together a snazzy video which I’ve included below for you. Before you hit play, note the number of video’s have included in this update, I’ll be commenting on this shortly.


Buyers are going to be required to post any post-sale questions via their My eBay purchase history, keeping this firmly within eBay. You want this to be in eBay so it’s trackable as that new seller dashboard and standards they’ve set you, it’ll help eBay to easily track the communications in the background.

Cancelled transactions won’t be classed as a defect if the buyer has requested this from you, however if you didn’t have the stock, yes you’ll still receive a defect from eBay on this.

The feedback policy is now being removed and being labeled up as a defect policy, basically it’s the same thing, but is now taking into account the defects.If any of these conditions are met, then it’s happy days!

  • Your buyer doesn’t pay for their item.
  • An eBay Money Back Guarantee or PayPal Buyer Protection case is ruled in your favour.
  • The defect was a direct result of an eBay site issue or programme error.
  • If eBay determine your buyer’s activity violates our buyer practices policy ( this is what we mentioned a few moments ago about eBay protecting you in the background ).
  • If eBay or PayPal instruct you to hold a delivery or if eBay cancels a transaction.
  • If the defect was because of systemic problems such as carrier delays, items stuck in customs, or power outages due to extreme weather conditions.

And in Summary

It’s fantastic to see that the Argos Click & Collect programme has been successful and is being rolled out to everyone else.

There are some criteria you need to meet for this and I know this won’t suit everyone, especially around the free shipping requirement. If you’re in on the first wave of eBay sellers that have this available to you, then it may be worth giving this a whirl and see how many orders you do gain from C&C, after all they’ll be easy to spot as the delivery address will be for an Argos store.

The extended returns policy that is available in September, if you’re selling seasonal products, such as toys, this could be quite a coo for you to gain early sales as we all know that the second that the kids go back to school, the mums will be in Christmas shopping mode.

If you’re a parts seller, the limitations on duplicates are going to hurt and no one likes category & item specifics updates, however if you jump on these as soon as you can, you can gain an edge over everyone else before they realise. Again the link to the category changes is here.

For me personally in the Spring update we had the new eBay shops as the “Cool Feature” ( see here for the video introduction to these ), in this update if you’ve got an anchor store, the eBay Insights tool could be quite a win for you.  get pressing that download button in the top right and see how you can marry up the eBay suggestions to your cost values and pop a process in place to see if you can leverage these suggestions for your listings.

Have any questions?

And finally, if you’d like to join myself and other business owners just like you, join me live this evening at 8:30 BST in our weekly meetup at it’s free to join, just bring a cuppa.

See you there,


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The Easy Way of Selling Internationally Tue, 08 Jul 2014 10:49:51 +0000 Howdy,

This article is all about helping you sell internationally.

Included is an interview with eBay, success stories such as that of Nigel Matthews from Games Quest, together we tackle the question “Why even go International anyway?” and included practical advice on how you can leverage the world of international selling too.

I know I’ve been a little quiet over here for the past few months, the reason why is simple. I’ve been extremely busy somewhere else ( over here! ) and have produced over 150 video tutorials, written over 250 articles, held countless live events and build a community of several thousand business owners just like you in just over 6 months.

Anyway, back onto todays topic, selling internationally.

You’ll need to bookmark this article, it’s laden with “Plain English” tips, suggestions and interviews and it’s doubtful you’ll eat them all in one sitting.

Pull your chair closer and at make sure your cuppa is at least lukewarm.

As always the best place is to start the beginning. And we need to ask the question:

Why Sell Internationally?

profitLet’s ignore all the fluff and marketing junk you’ve probably read.

The single most important reason why you should start immediately to sell internationally falls down to one single reason.


Your sole motivation for expanding internationally is profit.

Let’s pause for a moment and work out what this means.

If you sell in more marketplaces, in more countries and more people see your products, you have more chances of selling your products, thus you make more sales which equals… Yep you guessed it, more profit.

There is also another side to this, which is a spin off to profit.

We don’t go too far for this either, the other reason is profitability.

Thinking about this logically.

If it takes you 15 minutes to create a product for selling on to eBay, how long does it take you to create the same product for say Amazon?

It won’t be the full 15 minutes, in fact if you’ve got decent processes into place (and decent listing software, which we touch on later on), then listing into multiple marketplaces should be a minute fraction of the time it takes to create the original product record.

Profit is always key and the first reason, for me personally it’s the reusing of your existing product data that you already have for better profitability.

You’ll have spent a large amount of effort writing and building your inventory records and by reusing them over and over, in new marketplaces or aboard, you’ll be working smarter rather than harder and as a seasoned reader of LDOI you’ll know that data is the lifeblood of your business ( published in 2011, even more relevant today ).

For the next two or so sections, we’re going to be a little eBay heavy.

There is a reason for this, eBay do a better job at marketing than Amazon, thus it’s easier to use them as a reference.

Video Overview

Myself and Dave over at have put a video together on this article if you prefer to listen in, instead :)

Hit play below to listen in:

Low Hanging Fruit

Low Hanging FruitYou don’t need to hire me at £240 hr for me to tell you immediately that the lowest hanging fruit for the vast majority of eBay businesses is the adequate population of eBay item specifics ( see note #1 ).

The thing with eBay item specifics is that the majority of other businesses can’t be bothered to complete these fields out adequately

An oversight on their part, not yours. You now know how this is really important and worth the effort and normally the biggest win for you & your business ( see note #2 ).

The other thing with Item Specifics is that they generally port really well to the other eBay sites.

Yes you’ll need to put some spelling mistakes in for certain words if expanding onto or ( or vice-versa lol ) but generally they port like-for-like.

Remember this point, “like for like”.

And the same for the eBay category structures too.

Over the past few years, eBay have pretty much done away with local category support for the different international sites and the painful changes that you’ll have gone through over the past few years, today comes in really handy.

With the recent updates to the eBay categories in June 2014 the last major part of the category mess on eBay is pretty much cleared up now with eBay France, Italy & Spain receiving massive category changes.

So that point to remember “like for like”?

This almost completely applies to the category and item specifics structure across the eBay EU sites, Australia and to a degree as well.


  1. Yes that does make me the most expensive Marketplace eCommerce consultant globally. There’s a reason for that ;)
  2. If you’d like to know about all the major factors for eBay’s Best Match in “Plain English”, then you’ll want to watch the eBay Best Match 101 video myself & Dave created for you back in March 2014.

Time for a Success Story?

We released a Podcast interview with Nigel Matthews from Gamesquest last November.

You’ll hear first hand how Nigel started his online business from car boot sales and has been selling on eBay for over 10 years now.

And how his business has embraced selling internationally to grow a £1.5M multichannel business. Also Nigel includes one amazing tip for you, an outlook on sales calls and you never know you might also save 12.5% on your overseas courier bill too.

You can listen to the Podcast here on UnderstandingE or over on itunes over here  ( published in Nov 2013 ).

Interview with eBay

ebay_international-growth-online-reatil_ukWhile you can read the full interview, my commentary, tips & suggestions over here, in a recent interview with eBay, Hannah Hardiman explained that…

Sellers who list directly on our international sites generate up to 8 time more revenue per listing.


With an Anchor Shop subscription, you can list for free on most of our international sites.


By listing in the local language, you increase the visibility of your listings.


By using a tracked postal service or electronic delivery confirmation, you and your buyer have visibility around order status and delivery date.

Hannah also includes some tips around language translation, this is covered in it’s own section shortly as I have some simple, inexpensive tips for you when it comes to the translation of listings and crucially the easy wins on where you should get started with first when selling internationally.

The one that should immediately stick in your mind in the interview with Hannah is “Sellers who list directly on our international sites generate up to 8 time more revenue per listing.”.


Because that equals more profit.

And now for a little bit of Amazon

Amazon-Seller-RatingsAs noted above, eBay have been mopping up the category & item specifics mess for the past couple of years, which means when it comes to your time for expanding, you should find the majority of them like-for-like across the eBay sites.

When it comes to Amazon, if you’re selling anything mainstream then the likelihood is extremely high that you’ll find your inventory already on Amazon.

And that’s really important to know, because Amazon works quite differently to eBay, with ebay you generally need to make a unique listing each time you list a product regardless of the country, where as on Amazon you only need one magical thing.


The moment you have an ASIN for a matching product on Amazon, then life is sweeeeeet!

As listing to Amazon is a whole lot easier, infact 5 data points easier.

Assuming you have a selling account etc.. All you need to sell on Amazon if your product already exists is:

  1. An ASIN ( see Note #1 below )
  2. A price ( eg 99.99€ )
  3. A quantity (eg 12)
  4. A stock number ( Amazon calls this a “Merchant SKU” )
  5. And finally a condition ( New, Used etc… )

So if your products are already on any of the Amazon sites ( UK, US, Spain, Italy, Germany, France, Japan and Canada if you’re media only ) then you’re laughing because selling there is 5 data fields in a spreadsheet and it’s almost “job done”.

And if Not?

If your products are not on any of the sites or only some of them where you want to sell to, then you’re going to need some to so some extra work to create your inventory on to those sites.

Yes I know this means that you’ll need to put some effort into to create the listings, however a couple of key points:

  1. At no point did I say this was going to be easy-peasy
  2. If anyone tells you it is easy-peasy, they’re talking custard
  3. It’s a massive opportunity for you

The opportunity part is where your attention should be.


If you create the product listing on Amazon for one of the sites, Amazon see you as being the original creator.

And why would that be important?

I’m sure you’ve seen inaccurate listings on Amazon.

As a rule of thumb, if Amazon sees you as the original creator of a listing, this means that is some plank updates the listing with junk ( inaccurate descriptions, images etc… ) , your changes will overwrite theres.

There are other topics worth noting for Amazon, such as repricing, the European Fulfilment network and getting a better deal with currency conversions, but those can wait until later in the “Considerations, tips & tools”  section at the end of this article.


  1. Or an ISBN for books, an EAN, UPC or GTIN for other products that matches an existing product on Amazon. And yes I have a video tutorial on all these terms for you that was recorded in Jan 2012 when I had more hair and no lapel microphone :)

How About Another International Success Story?

Afternoon Tea with UnderstandingE - 2 Seller Interviews Included! 13th May 2014While you’re reading this, fire up this interview with Richard & Yaniv.

I’m sure you’ll like Richard and Yaniv as much as I do, they’re entrepreneurs just like you.

Richard runs a US based business selling into Europe & Russia and yep you guessed it, making more profit. Yaniv, a similar story in reverse.

And yes that is just one of the weekly “happy hours” which we run live every week on Tuesdays for entrepreneurs just like you that are either selling on the marketplaces already, looking to grow or just want to hangout with fellow business owners just like you.

The Reach of eBay & Amazon

If you’ve taken the time to listen to any of the interviews above, then you’ll know that the reach of Amazon and eBay is massive and that’s a key point to note.

eBay & Amazon have lots of eyeballs looking at their sites ( and I mean lots! ) .

eBay’s first quarters growth were in basically in double digit growth for merchant sales ( see here ) and Amazon well, they’re just being Amazon who also sport squillions of page views by wanting buyers every single day just like eBay.

These sites are not social sites like Facebook & Twitter where conversion is really hard ( see this Podcast titled Social Marketing is a Waste of Time for more info ) where others are sharing stories about cheese sandwiches or that Katy Perry has tweeted a dancy minnie-mouse breakdancing.

They’re there for a reason.

People are visiting the marketplaces with a sole purpose of shopping.

And this is one the easiest win for you and your business.

If you’ve already got your products listed onto to say eBay, then porting them to the other sites is actually the most natural thing to do and probably one of easiest wins for your business because you’re not having to learn a brand new website (moving to Amazon for example or Amazon to eBay) or Adwords or affiliate networks.

We noted earlier that eBay item specifics and categories are generally a like-for-like match across the international sites, so you won’t be starting from scratch each time, you’ve already done the bulk of the hard work in the first listing you made.

And for Amazon, well, if your products are already listed internationally, you only need 5 data fields and you’re set.

A Quick Recap

To quickly recap where we are so far:

  • We’ve learnt that profit is the main reason you should be expanding internationally
  • Profitability is next because you’ll be working smarter with what you already have
  • The reach of the marketplaces is nuts and the easiest way to expand
  • A lady called Hannah at eBay says you should be expecting “8 times more revenue per listing”
  • We’ve seen some success stories from Richard, Yaniv & Nigel
  • We also noted that at no point we said this was going to be easy and if someone tells you that, they’re talking custard
  • And if you’re selling on Amazon, chances are your products are already there and if not, this is still “Happy Days”

Next up we tackle the language barrier head on and as you’ll find out, it’s not really a barrier at all to begin with.

language-barrierThe Language Barrier

Seriously. Have you tried learning a new language lately?

It’s not something you’re going to learn overnight, it takes years to perfect.

So why even bother shooting yourself in the foot trying to deal with one or multiple languages?

Would it not be better to “cut your teeth” on another two English speaking nations first and when that’s bedded in, then move onto the more tricky options?

Here are the rough sizes of the marketplaces going from largest on the left to the smallest on the right:

United States & Canada > Germany > United Kingdom > The other EU Sites > Australia

Or when it comes to languages:

English > German > English > Multiple languages > English

Hey wait, English is in there 3 times… This can be simplified even further:

Easy > Hard > Easy > Really Hard > Easy

So now given these simplified choices, which ones would you pick?

I know which ones I’d pick :)

Hold that thought we need to deviate for a few moments for the other thing that is lacking everywhere else, the software to do this.

Going International The Right Way

I’m putting off the considerations of currency conversions, shipping etc… until later, so for right now these things are assumed.

The moment you decide you want to list internationally the right way things change.

When I say “the right way“, what I mean by this is not the lame “International site visibility” paid option on eBay, that’s as much use as a chocolate teapot.

Instead what I mean is the setting up and use of software that allows you to share information across multiple inventory records so that you can list internationally with localised data, keep stock levels true and lessen the amount of work that you need to complete to list locally onto each eBay site (the proper way of selling internationally).

This does mean that you’ll need to look at multi channel software that can do this. As this varies greatly between 2nd Generation software providers, I’m going to be focusing on the 3rd Generation using Magento & M2EPro as a reference point.

Let’s say you’re selling sunglasses and you have a product called SUNNIES.

SunglassesThese sunnies will have the at least the following details:

  1. A stock number
  2. A listing title
  3. A stock level
  4. A description
  5. A category
  6. Item Specifics
  7. Images
  8. A cost price
  9. An ideal selling price

One of these details is in bold and there is a very good reason for this.

If you’re going to be selling internationally long term, you ideally need software that can cross-link the stock levels for a product such as out sunglasses, so that you can create a duplicate inventory record and keep your stock levels true.

Also in whatever tool you’re using you’ll ideally want the software to be working in such a fashion as it inherits from the original product.

selling internationally on ebay using MagentoSo for example, in Magento if you were to create a new store view and called it “eBay US”, the product Magento by default inherits all the original information about that product in the new store view.

But crucially you can change that information for the “eBay US” store view as required.

You might not have come across this way of working before, so I’ve included a screenshot over to the right.

Click the image for the larger view.

  • The box that I’ve highlighted in Red is in grey because Magento is using the original product details for that field
  • The box that I’ve highlighted in Green has had the option to override the original product details with updated information just for that store view.

What’s also going on in the background is that if you have 12 in stock for the SUNNIES product, this stock level is available for use on multiple marketplaces.

This is why using basic software that can’t help you list internationally properly is being brought up now as a consideration. So that rules out the likes of Selling Manager, Turbo Lister and some 2nd Generation multichannel software tools too.

To help here are 4 questions you should either ask or investigate with your current software provider:

  1. Can I reuse the same product record more than once to sell internationally?
  2. If I make a change to that product do my variations of it inherit the changes where desired?
  3. Does this keep the stock levels correct if selling on multiple sites and multiple sales channels?
  4. How are different currencies handled, for listing and sales orders? Can you have different prices for different marketplaces?

The Easy Way

The Easy Way of Selling Internationally Earlier I mentioned the low hanging fruit for most businesses, when it comes to selling internationally the low hanging fruit should now be super clear to you.

It’s called “English”.

And thinking back to the language barrier section above, it would be nuts to consider trying to learn a new language and get ourselves into an awkward situation unnecessarily when we have two super easy options available to us.

And also thinking back to our sunglasses, if you consider the effort in translating all these details to say German, that would be a lot of work.

For the sunglasses we would need to translate all the details and the only thing that would remain untouched is the images and stock levels.

Sounds like wayyyy too much work for you right now, especially if you’re just starting out and need to learn how to handle multiple inventory records in your multichannel software ( or find out if your current software can or cannot do this for you properly, hence the four questions earlier to get you on track. We need to know about this early on so it doesn’t become a limiting factor later when you do move on to other languages ).

And the easier way to get started?

Go Simple, Go English

So that means you ignore the hype about Germany and the other EU sites because those require large amounts of effort on your part.

I’m not saying don’t do other language based sites, what I am saying is that you’d be better off starting off on English speaking sites first, err because they are in English…

And then once you’ve got the software and processes in place, then move onto the tricker options.

So that basically means you should consider one or all 4 of the following options first:

  • eBay Canada
  • eBay Australia

Update: As I was kindly reminded on last nights “Happy Hour”, we must also not forget too as English is their main language.

They all speak English and for the American & Canadian sites, you only need to put a few spelling mistakes in to be spot on ( eg Color = Color or in reverse Color = Colour to the UK & AU sites ).

This means that customer service will be easier, listing will be easier, there is no need for new invoices or infact any major change to support other native speaking English counties to your business.

See the “Easy Way”!

And Now for the Other Considerations, Tips & Suggestions

Now that together we’ve worked out that causing ourselves greif early on with language translations would be nuts considering there are at least 3 options waiting for you in English, it’s time that we take note of other considerations around selling internationally.

These aren’t in any particular order and if I miss anything, do let me know in the comments section at the bottom and I’ll update this section accordingly.

robot1Automated Translation Tools

Let’s make my view on automation tools like Webinterpret very clear from the beginning.

Webinterpret is a brilliant tool for you to easily see if there is a demand for your products on other eBay & Amazon sites.

Notice how I’ve phrased that, “to easily see if there is demand“.

The moment that you have confirmed that there is demand and it’s working for you, do it properly.

As with anything the better way, in this case selling internationally in different languages, is harder and most likely more expensive. But if done correctly you would be expecting to gain more results and that impacts the bottom line in more profit.

So should you consider using such a tool?

Hell yea!

But once you see where the demand is, take it in house, build a process around it, a team of outsourcers or a dedicated company like Intercultural Elements if possible and do it the right way, which means no machine translations and to use human translations.

Think about that, you’ve been writing your product descriptions etc… in your native language, why would you not do the same for international sites?

Note: You can meet the team over at Intercultural Elements in a Podcast we recorded earlier this year here. Scott & Anja really do know their stuff and if you’re looking to expand into Germany, they should be #1 on your contact list ( because they do it properly… ).

While on the topic of automation tools, a personal suggestion that is better than Google Translate is to use use Bing Translator. The results tend to be more accurate and if you’re using their developers API for automatic translations, the costs are much lower in comparison.


We covered how to research the marketplaces in April in a Premium webinar where we looked at how you can easily investigate the marketplaces for ideas and suggestions on what you should be looking at to sell.

As that content is locked down to paid members over at UnderstandingE, here is a brief overview of your options:

  • Look at using eBay’s completed items search option
  • Research the performing eBay listings for your categories on alternative sites
  • Note and investigate those sellers further
  • Consider using tools such as Terapeak to research factual information on sales

Use a Content Delivery Network

This is primarily aimed at businesses that are using Magento & M2EPro.

However if you’re using a 2nd Generation multichannel software product, ask if they are using a CDN for your images and if you have a website with them, that your website and static files are using a CDN too.

There are many benefits to using and CDN, such as to lessen the burden on your web hosting, better SEO, faster page load times. Plus they’re super cheap now, we’re talking less than $10 a month with MaxCDN.

And crucially if you’re using the #media_gallery# keyword in your eBay listing templates in M2EPro, the images will be served from your CDN, which means that they’ll load faster for eBay customers across the globe AND not massively impact any bandwidth limitations you may have.

Here is a video tutorial that covers what a CDN is, how they work ( with pretty pictures ), what the benefits are and how to set one up within a few minutes in Magento.

Note: This is just one of those 150 video tutorials I mentioned back at the beginning. See here for the others.


Delivery of Orders & Couriers

Just like orders in your native country, when someone buys from you, you need to deliver the order to them.

This is a challenge that only really you can answer for your business ( because you could be selling anything from a tea-cosey to a juggernaught ).

It will be a fine line between speed of delivery, trackability and ultimately cost ( because that affects profitability ).

Here are some tips for you:

  • See what other businesses are offering for international orders
  • Try the courier you’re most used to first
  • Ring and speak to other potential couriers for international deliveries
  • Don’t be afraid to move couriers if needed

And my final tip is:

The grief of lost parcels probably takes up 80% of your customer service time, sometimes paying more is actually going to save you money long term

WordFirst PodcastCurrency Conversions

As you’re going to be listing locally on to the foreign sites, you’re going to be listing in their local currency.

My favourite tool for simple currency conversions is a website called and also a couple of notes here are:

  • Factor in a good 5-10% to allow for fluctuations
  • Don’t think it’s a “set and forget thing”, you’ll need to set a reminder say in a months time to see if they conversions need updating
  • Make sure you’re making money after the marketplaces and payment processors (eg PayPal) have taken their cut

And while we’re on the topic of currencies, I absolutely hammered Jason from WorldFirst with all the dumb questions about their service a couple of days back so you don’t have to.

The devil is in the detail of PayPal charging you ~4% or Amazon ~3% on currency conversions. This is a hidden cost to you selling internationally.

Basically transferring 2,000€ you could save an extra £30 compared to PayPal, 200,000€ is something like £3,000 saved. Huge amounts of cash that is potentially being lost in translation, err conversion :)

You can listen into the Interview with Jason from WorldFirst here Saving Money on Cross Border Trade with World First. Top marks to Jason, he withstood me hammering numbers at him within instant, accurate answers, they know their stuff.

Oh and one by-product of using WorldFirst, they are able to provide you with a bank account in the local country where you’re selling. This can be a hurdle with the international marketplaces and one less thing for you to worry about.

VAT & Tax

I’m steering well clear of this one as I’m not an accountant nor an expert in this area.

Basically go careful and read this article and consult with a qualified professional ( which may not be your accountant, see Scott & Anya from Intercultural Elements for help in Europe ).

Fulfilment By Amazon - FBAConsider Amazon FBA

Fulfilment By Amazon might be a coo-for-you as they do all the grunt work for you just like in the UK.

So you’re sending just a handful of larger packages to Amazon’s fulfillment centres and they’ll do the rest for you.

One of those things is customer service and a point that you don’t see mentioned that often is that say you’re selling on Amazon Germany, you must reply to any customer service questions in German.

If you’re using FBA for Amazon sales, they do that part for you. Result!

Be wary of Amazon EFN

I’ve put this in bold because if you don’t work out the numbers right from the beginning, Amazon’s European Fulfilment Network may sound attractive, but it can be very expensive and you could end up paying your customers to buy from you.

Check their rates out here for the UK:

Amazon Repricing

While on the topic of Amazon, what about repricing?

While Shmuli from Feedvisor that would argue that my simple Amazon repricing rule is too basic, it does work. However to do that properly you will need repricing software to leverage this.

Check if your current provider can support repricing for all the Amazon sites and also consider that your pricing calculations could need to factor in extra values or different upper and lower price limits so that you still make money.


And finally outsourcing.

This topic is worth of an entire course, which I hasten to add we will be covering as a dedicated course over at UnderstandingE later this year because there is definitely a right way and wrong way of approaching this.

However in the interim, think as the globe as being your potential source of new members of staff.

You can pick up qualified staff, at much lower costs to your business if you do your homework and treat the process as you would do if recruiting someone for your office.

If this sounds like something you’re a little wary of but want to explore this further, then speak to Carlo from Tell him Matt from LastDropOfInk sent you and you’ll get preferential rates.

newleafAnd In Summary

We’ve covered a lot of ground here because the whole topic of cross border is sometimes blurry and there is a lot of fluff and nonsense being kicked around ( pointless whitepapers *coff* ).

Why on earth would you want to bog yourself down so early on with language translation issues for product data and customer service?

The one thing I hope you walk away with from reading this article is go for the easy options first, the low hanging fruit of the English speaking countries.

The key reason for you to expand into international marketplaces is make more money.

No other reason, it’s not bragging rights, it’s not to keep an account manager happy, it’s profit and profitability.

Moving to other eBay sites isn’t as hard as it sounds, we found that eBay has been preparing for this for years and most categories & item specifics are like-for-like matches.

For Amazon, if you’re selling mainstream products, the likelihood is that your products are already on the international Amazon sites, so only 5 things are needed ( the ASIN, Price, Quantity, You SKU and a Condition ) and if they’re not, then that’s still happy days as you can become the creator of the new listings there.

And in both cases to do this properly, a primary concern is that you have multichannel software in place that can support you and your business in this expansion and that it doesn’t cost the planet to do so.

So you reuse your product descriptions, titles etc… wherever possible and with as less fuss as possible too ( hence the 4 questions to ask your current 2nd Generation provider earlier ).

Remember it’s all about the product data, if you have good product data you can do anything, “quality in equals quality out”.

We also heard from a couple of cool chaps too, Nigel from the podcast last November, Richard & Yaniv too and the one thing that you didn’t hear them say, “Its Easy” and the reason for that is because it’s not.

So start off small, start with the easier path first and then expand steadily as your business can.

This is the longer way of selling internationally, however I want your business to be a success and to do that means that you have to do things the right way.

And with that said, I wish you all the best,

Go grow your business the right way,


PS. If you’ve found this article helpful, help me by pressing one of the share buttons below, I’d really appreciate that little vote of support :)

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