Helping you achieve your business aspirations. No BS. Real changes & fresh ideas that can take you to where you want to be, from someone who understands and has been there himself.

Sometimes trying to achieve your business goals can be clouded by the day to day operations or technical difficulties. Matthew can help you with mentoring or one-on-one business consulting. Matthew is extremely skilled in both eBay and Amazon marketplaces and has worked for two auction management companies.

Matthew has a Business Consultation page and you can contact him on his dedicated Contact Matthew page.

A Sensationalist Click-Bait Headline

2 hours ago I woke up and found that the article I wrote on Friday had received over 30,000 views, +400 likes, an untold number of shares, countless tweets and +40 LinkedIn comments. BUT…. I broke the rules.

What can YOU learn from the success of this article?

You’re likely to be a lot smarter than me, I only managed a D in GCSE English back at school and if I can do this, you can too.

I’ve broken down the sequence of events that happened on Friday for you below. Also I’ve scored them using a simple -1, 0 & +1 for where I believe I did the wrong things and crucially the right things.

Let’s do this. I only have 1 hour until my business partner wakes up and I’ll get pulled away other on other topics.

The article I wrote that got so much attention is here:

Let’s break the steps down into bite-sized pieces so you can follow along easily.

#1 I wrote & published it on a Friday (-1)

On a day I would class as not a good publishing day. At all!

A traditional rule broken there as normally we normally keep to Tuesdays & Thursdays for blog posts. I never envisaged that on Monday morning I would be waking up to the article going that went so wide, so quickly.

Maybe Friday is the new Tuesday?

#2 I did no more than what I normally do to share the article (-1)

A couple of tweets, posted it on the LastDropofInk site, Google Plus’ed it and that was it.

I didn’t tag anyone important in it and neither did I ask anyone to share it either.

Infact I was waiting to hear from a colleague from a news site to see if they wanted the article, I didn’t hear back from them in a timely fashion, so thought screw it, let’s pop it on LinkedIn

So ironically I did less than what I would have normally done on the sharing front.

#3 I did choose a great picture (+1)

Everyone can relate to animals. I remember watching a program a year or more back that said that it’s inbuilt into humans to like fluffy creatures.

So my choice of the picture of a puppy was a bit of a coo.

eBay Caught Napping by Amazon


I wonder what would have happened if I had chosen a kitten instead?

Note: I used a kitten for this article, let’s see what happens :) Oh and if you’re wondering where I got the pictures from, see for images you can use commercially with no link-backs/credits required.

#4 I wrote it because I wanted to (+1)

I don’t keep a writing schedule, I just wanted to write the article about the lack of customisation options for you as sellers on eBay and the launch of Amazon handmade, it made an excellent reference point.

The topic had been swirling around in my head all week, Friday morning I managed to get up early again (4am, yes I’m a morning person) and put it down on paper, well a Google doc at least.

#5 I wrote it in my language (+1)

If you have a read of the article [see here] you’ll notice I didn’t use any big words or try to be clever.

I wrote the article in my own style, and yes I use too many commas and never used a single semicolon.

Note: One of my personal pet hates is seeing semicolons being used outside of a programming language.

When I see one being used, that indicates to me that the person that wrote the article is a professional writer and may not (I stress the “may not” part here) be an expert in the topic I’m reading.

#6 I published it in more than one place (+1)

The article was published on my blog first, then on LinkedIn.

Something I’ve picked up recently, you can have exactly the same article published in more than one place, just make sure you link back to the article you published first.

At the bottom of the article you’ll see I added the line “This article was originally posted here.”

#7 I did not ask anyone to share it (0)

Maybe the article would have gone further if I asked people to share it with friends or colleagues that sell on eBay or Amazon?

Or maybe it just did well because I didn’t ask?

What do you think? Let me know in the comments section at the bottom.

Note: “What do you think?” This question is powerful as you’ll find out next.

#8 I did ask for comments (+1)

If you look in the latter part of the article, you see me pre-empt questions with questions:

  • “What’s your thoughts on this?”
  • “Should eBay allow customisable options for customers?”
  • “Have eBay been caught napping by Amazon?”

Ask questions, people will answer.

Everyone has an opinion, so help them along by pre-empting a couple of questions relating to the article.

#9 Reply to comments people left you (+1)

After spilling coffee everywhere when seeing over 30K views, I didn’t waste any further time mopping it up, I got typing.

Over 40 people took the time to leave their views, their views are importantand I’ve personally replied to all the comments worth replying to.

Even the one that suggested I had picked a “sensationalist click-bait headline” byAdam Elteto. I liked that line so I used it for this article. A massive hat-tip to Adam for this.

Oh and I also “liked” all the comments as well, everyone likes to be liked (and also replied to as well).

The article was about what I had noticed between eBay & Amazon. The direct comparison between the two was in many ways a LATE one.

Amazon Handmade was launched ages ago.

People call this “news-jacking”. But the fact here is that I was weeks late on the topic and it still got traction. Don’t worry about a topic being old, if you have any passion for it, it’s worth a stab at it.

Also a couple of other things that happened with this article:

  • I asked my assistant to check over the article for spelling mistakes (as were found again in the original draft for this article & I read it twice too!)
  • I asked my wife to check over the article to make sure it made sense to her (she’s not able to do that for this one, she’s on the school run right now)
  • The article was featured in 3 LinkedIn categories Retail & E-Commerce, Editor’s Picks, Technology. I have no idea how that process works. I don’t expect this one to be featured. I never expect anything. I just write and do what I feel passionately about.
  • I didn’t even spot the article taking off until the Monday following. Why? I was busy being passionate about other things (gutting a bedroom for my two girls so we can move houses).
  • Just as with this article, there are no more than two sentences joined together into a paragraph. It makes reading a lot easier, especially on mobile phones.

You can do this too!

Those are the 10 or so things I’ve learned this morning and as I was going through I rated them as:

  • -1, bad or I could have done more
  • 0, no comment
  • +1 I got something right

I scored a measly 5 out of 10.

Notice how many times I mention the word “Passion” in the final part of this article?

This is the one underlying factor that cannot be taught nor cannot be told. If you write with passion, anything can happen.

Taking that point for a few seconds, yes I did cheer when I saw the article had done so well (frankly I was shocked), however that lasted for a few seconds and I went into “share mode”.

I replied to all the comments, liked them and then wrote this article so that you could learn from what I had learnt during the process.

If you’ve picked just one thing from this additional article, I’m happy.

If I can break the rules, score myself as a “5 out of 10” and still get an article features in 3 categories on LinkedIn, +30,000 views and have got a D (which is pretty much a fail) in English, you can do this too.

So this leads me to one question for you:

What do you think I got right (or wrong) in the original article?

You can let me know in the comments box below.

As always, to your continued success,


99.9% Won’t Do This. What Will Happen to the 0.1%?


99.9% of you won’t follow what I’m about to share with you, so instead I’m going to share the story on why I think you should be in the 0.1% too.

Let’s set the scene.

We (thats myself & Dave) had got lost a couple of times on the streets of Bangkok, ok lots of times. If you’ve ever been to Bangkok, apparently Nana is where all the “adult” bars and we did happen to make a wrong turn down a street and quickly backed out as it wasn’t quite what we were expecting!

Jim from Moogento saved us as he had spotted us walking aimlessly from the rail platform above and caught up with us (I did hug Jim as we were soooooo lost!). We made our way to the right street to join in with our first DC meetup, which was on the topic of Amazon FBA.

Myself & Dave in the Airport

Myself & Dave in the Airport

The bar was absolutely rammed, at a guess I would say 60-70 of us had turned up for the first meet up of the week.

I quickly worked out, I was in a special place, with a special community and a special type of people.

No that wasn’t because we had inadvertently found ourselves in another adult area, but we were surrounded by loads & loads of fellow business owners, many of which had travelled similar distances as us just for this one week in Bangkok.

On the Friday we had opted for the extra day of masterminds. This is where a group of people, 7 including me sit around a table and we work through each of our challenges for 25 minutes.

The first 5 minutes is spent describing our business and the key challenge we need the help of the fellow entrepreneurs with. The rest of the time is dedicated to suggestions or delving deeper into the challenge(s).

I was the difficult one on the table (would you expect anything less?) as I already knew what we needed to be doing, I just wasn’t in a position that week to be able to action anything I needed to do.

Note: See the later blog post on this to give you an idea of what was done on the first proper day back from our journey.

On our table there was 6 other people, a lady that ran a massive online community for Tarot cards, an English teacher, a chap who ran a marketing business to help dentists (Jake also gave one of the closing keynotes on the Sunday), a chap called Miles (more on him in a moment), he worked with his wife on “Angel books” and was as successful as Jake. Karsten, quite a character! A lady who was running a content marketing company and Neha who had just finished her first online course and aiming to sell 2000 of them to make a million.

Quite a mix I’m sure you’ll agree.

Note: I didn’t have the heart to point out that making a million and banking a million were two very different things. It’s why my personal target is £4,580,000.

Now… I did mention that chap called Miles.

Out of the hundreds of people I met that week, only two stood out to me and Miles was one of them.

For me that was like seeing a mirror image of myself, but a couple of years on. If I had ever needed confirmation that travelling over 7,000 miles, getting slowly poached by the heat in Manila, slowly baked in the heat in Bangkok and not seeing my family for two weeks, he was it.

So of course, I did focus heavily on what he was suggesting, how he acted and how he behaved around others.

In my head, monkey-see-monkey-do is very, very powerful. It’s something I try and instill my girls, by not being like everyone else around them and setting the levels of effort (not work) higher than they’ll ever see by anyone else, ever.

One of the things Miles mentioned was to watch two videos on YouTube (this is where we are getting to the 0.1%).

Watch two videos, “hey that’s easy” I thought, anyone can do that.

WTF is in them?

I had no idea, but what he did then elaborate on was to repeatedly watch them once in the morning and once before bed for a week.

Trying to explain what is in these videos wouldn’t do them justice, you have to “connect” with them.

And this is where…

99.9% of other people won’t bother watching them

99.9% of other people won’t like it

99.9% of other people won’t watch these once in the morning and once in the evening

99.9% of other people will stop after the first day because they forgot.

Don’t be be the the 99.9%, be the 0.1%.

We are special, you are special. You can do great things.

The Videos

There are two videos below. Watch Part 1, then immediately watch Part 2.

And remember 99.9% of other people won’t bother pressing play, won’t like, won’t watch it more than once or because they forgot. Be different be the 0.1%.

Part 1

Part 2

Are you the 0.1% too?

Are you? Let me know in the comments box below

To your continued success,


PS. Getting your assistant to download the videos and make them into a MP3 file gives you no excuses for not being able to listen in to this at anytime, in the car, on the train or tube, as you get up, as you go to sleep etc…

Half Way Around the World


It may have been a while since posting an update here, however don’t think for one second I’ve disappeared, as I’m sure many of you already know, I’ve been super busy.

As I’m writing this, I’m half way round the world I’m sat in a hotel in Makati, in the Philippines. After leaving early autumn behind in the UK two days ago, I can confirm it’s rather toasty on this side of the world at the moment, at 28C!

But what has brought me half way around the world?

Two reasons.

The first is that for the past two years for UnderstandingE I have been working with Dave to build out a team to help us expand our business.

Across two businesses I now have a team of 7 full time members of staff & 1 part time and it’s a perfect time for us to actually meet up with the people that have been helping us, several since the beginning, face to face.

I had no idea back then that I would ever be meeting any of our remote staff to face to face one day. I’m super excited to be here and have the opportunity to say “thank you” personally.

Note: Yes we might been using SCRUM as a business process that calls for daily sprint meetings, so the whole team meets up every work day, but even still this face to face thing is going to be rather odd! And if you’ve not heard of SCRUM before, see this 10 minute video.

And the second reason is….

We’re meeting up with around 100 fellow entrepreneurs next week for a week of masterminds and events in Bangkok, Thailand.

For the past few years I’ve been quite happy to just work from home and do everything remotely, however as the businesses have grown, things need to change, so being able to mix both of these events into one trip is a huge bonus for me.

How did I end up in the Philippines?

2015-10-06 14.49.01

For the rest of this article, I’m going to focus in on the events that have brought me to where I am sat today and what my goals are while I’m here.

If there is only one thing you can pick up & take away to help you & your business right now, that is to simply expand and build your team out.

A well defined, experienced team is critical to a businesses success.

A mistake I made first time around and I’ll never make again.

Learning from My Major Mistake

Back 10 years or so ago, I had pretty much the same attitude as I have today, it’s just been refined and made a lot easier for others to understand.

It can be boiled down to two key things:

#1 The point of view on everything: It can’t be that hard can it?
#2 The action event, “do it”. Everything is in the execution.

Starting my first business that used to use eBay & Amazon to sell online, I learnt a lot of things and I also equally made a lot of mistakes.

Waking up in a tent in Paignton at breaking point, deciding, “I’m out” was not a nice experience. Don’t get me wrong, in the previous 3 years I had broken down a lot of barriers and I didn’t stop learning from the day I started, however now in hindsight I had made one epic mistake.

That was simply, not hiring enough staff, fast enough.

You may have heard this being called “superhero-syndrome” (control-freak is another), the belief that you can do anything and everything yourself. And boy did I have that!

The reality is that you have to do everything when the business starts. You know all the hats we end up wearing that you never signed up for, you just do whatever it takes to make the business work.

However the trick I missed was that once you have the ball rolling, you should immediately back fill tasks with a role for someone else to replicate the task for you.

I wish I was able to meet the me 10 years ago and point him in the right direction. It’s a mistake that I made and I do my best to share publicly so others can learn from it too. I sincerely hope you take the nudge on this.

When starting UnderstandingE two years ago (yes! UnderstandingE is now two years old as we started it in Sept 2013), one of the conditions when working with Dave was that we had to hire into the team as quickly as sensible.

That team today now consists of a video editor, content editor, an assistant and my wife whom helps out part time. The other heads are for the support & development of WidgetChimp.

Note: These are ALL full time members of staff. As far as I am concerned (and perhaps you should be too), is that when it comes to staff you’re either IN or OUT. For me that means no part time members of staff. Well with one exception, my wife is also in the UE team, but that’s a topic for another day.

The Team Tomorrow

Looking to the future, the team “tomorrow” is about to double in size.

We have realised that to go from where we are today, to where we want to be, we need to start working on increasing the team and back filling tasks that we’re currently doing ourselves, but could be done better by someone else.

Taking a moment to think about a similar scenario that you’ll find easy to understand, think about Sir Richard Branson, how many companies does he run? (If you don’t know of him, it’s lots! Virgin Media, Atlantic, Bank, Cars and so on).

Then ask yourself, does he have the ability to manage all of these business concerns by himself?

Of course not.

Simply, as a human he has exactly the same constraints that you and I have. 60 minutes in an hour,  24 hours in a day and 7 hours in a week.

Something has to budge!

Tomorrow an online community manager will be joining the UnderstandingE team and we have several new positions that we’re advertising for at the moment. Hopefully we’ll be able to conduct a couple of interviews while we’re here!

For UnderstandingE there are 2 key things that myself & Dave need to focus on, #1 the continued success of the business and #2 the parts we physically cannot or do not want to give to anyone else.

For us #2 is simply the creation of the course & tutorials that we create, these in our minds must feature myself & Dave, however everything else, that could be easily covered by a well defined role for someone else to look after for us.

Also an interesting dynamic, which you can hear myself & Dave discuss in our recent Podcast on UnderstandingE here is that we’re also putting into place “project managers” too.

This is to assist us with both the current concern, UnderstandingE and for me personally WidgetChimp as well, but also while we’re out here in the Philippines we’re also looking to start another business, a design & development agency.

I have to go now, one of my team is meeting me for breakfast in the hotel at 07:00.

I’ve been up since 04:20 this morning as I am so excited to be meeting him. I have some good news for him, he’s receiving a promotion and the best thing of all, he has no idea!

I’ll be posting another update in a couple of days, also look out for a new Podcast on the UnderstandingE site here in a day or so. We’re keeping track of our movements & experiences while here the best we can.

As always, to your continued success,


PS. The LastDropoInk site has had a design revamp (far from being finished) and we’re now running on https too. What to you think of it? Let me know in the comments box below.

eBay Cross Border Trade Made Easy with Magento


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 :)


Scale, it’s All About Perspective


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

The Responsive eBay Template Builder in Minutes


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?!


Amazon to Use Pass My Parcel for SAME DAY Deliveries in the UK


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.


Meet Me @ eCommerce Expo – 1st & 2nd October – I’m Speaking Twice!


Are you going to this year’s 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,


Responsive eBay Listing Template Webinar on Friday

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 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.





The Ultimate Guide to Multi Channel Software Book

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 expedite 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

eBay Seller Updates – Autumn 2014


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 our side 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 determines 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,