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Author Archives: Prabhat S

Amazon Strategies

Amazon Price Parity Policy – Can you work around this ?

Image – Last Drop of Ink

I stumbled in an article on “Amazon Price Parity Policy”  by LastDropofInk this morning. It was a good read and recommend you to go through comments section. You will find real juice there !

I am not surprised most sellers are going on with what has been dictated by their Godly Amazon and why not? At the end of the day if no has done anything with their tax issue, I very much doubt anything will be done against this policy. At the end of the day, you would not want to get suspended from one of the most popular sales channel that is helping you to buy bread and butter. Would you?

Suddenly I got the feeling of “ DICTATORSHIP” here without any option than saying “YES SIR”.

I am aware that quite a few experts have given various options however; it is waste of time and a BIG RISK not following their policy. If they have spent time on finding out your price in other sales channel they will certainly find this and suspend you. Then what?

Simply, say “YES SIR” and change your prices. This is very simple do by uploading product inventory file. One thing you could try with few hundred products – Try hike postage price. We all know Amazon Customers are affluent and they don’t mind paying bit extra. Additionally, Amazon Checkout process is setup in such a way that it does not highlight the postage price that often unlike any other checkout process and they have got popular One Click Checkout technology which enable quick checkout taking postage price into consideration.  You can change shipping for your experimental product with “Shipping Overrides” file. See what happens and do the same for the rest. Good luck and please comment your result in this post.

Amazon got a good e-Commerce technology and you got low price products. These TWO gives you optimum shopping experience to the buyers. One thing definitely happens with Amazon’s Price Parity – Sales Growth.

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How eBay and Amazon can help your business ?

With the general growth of the e-commerce industry, more and more entrepreneurs are moving only. Setting up a web-shop is quite a simple process and it’s never been easier to implement on-line payment systems. Unfortunately some on-line sellers get lost in a sea of competition with many struggling to market themselves.

Luckily on-line marketplaces with millions of users allow anyone to list products and can even be a useful marketing channel to drive traffic to their your own website. There are plenty of reasons why any business selling on their own website (or thinking about starting) should also be on eBay and Amazon.

First it’s easy to start out on eBay or Amazon so you can use these marketplaces to check demand for your product and investigate competition. That will save spending money building your own website only to find the business opportunity is not big enough.

If you find sufficient demand and establish a business model you can look to expand the business to your own website. On your eBay ‘about me’ page you can put links to your site and in time, with some persuasion, your most loyal customers will make purchases directly through you. This saves eBay or Amazon fees and can increase sales. Building a website can require a lot of cash up front but you will reap the rewards. You may want to consider making taking a short term business loan to help our in this period and having Amazon or eBay trading history can help you get the best deal.

If you’re new to the e-commerce industry selling on existing platforms is a good way to understand the world of selling on-line. It gets you familiar with on-line payment services and helps you to understand the way on-line buyers behave. This basic knowledge really comes in handy once your business begins to grow. 

Trading on eBay and Amazon is not always a bed of roses but it makes you visible to millions of buyers and can be a great way to start up and promote your business. 

This post is provided by iwoca , the first company in the UK to provide small business loans to eBay and Amazon sellers.

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Global Entrepreneurship Week: Grow Your Business with Multi-Channel Sales

Global Entrepreneurship Week: Grow Your Business with...

Are you struggling to sell in your shop? Do you want to grow your online sales? 

This is a right event for you!

Reputed sales channels like eBay, Amazon, PlayTrade and Pixmania are popular eCommerce platforms. These are the marketplaces where customers go because they are easy to use and secure. 

These enjoy high traffic that no other eCommerce sites do and you can take advantage of this simply by opening your store with as little as £14.99. Simply list your item and let them worry about selling. You can have your shop ready with a week and most importantly it will sell!

You can sell from Christmas Crackers to Chicken Pens online. So, come with an open mind and learn how you can grow you business online.  This seminar will enable you to make informed decision and move your business forward.

When –  13th November 2012      6:00 pm to  8:00 pm

Where  –  ICE – Britannia House –

                   Caerphilly Business Park –

                   CF83 3GG


Please book online or by telephone on 02920 140040.

Global Entrepreneurship Week: Grow Your Business with Multi-Channel Sales
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6 Important factors for your Mobile Success – Learn from Amazon

[slideshare id=14810001&w=530&h=400]

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eBay Strategies eCommerce

Grow your online Sales with eBay and Amazon Stores

Online retail sales increase by 14% last year to more than £50bn, according to a new report.[1] If your business is struggling to sell in your shop or if you want to grow your business this is the way forward. You will get new audience to your business.

Easy said than done! Not always true. It is not necessary to create your own online store when you are starting, as it brings complications of marketing along with huge cost which you really don’t want. Ideally, you want to sell online with as less cost as possible. A simple way to do this is to open your own eBay store or Amazon store. It is only £14.99 for eBay store and £28.75 for Amazon store. Simply list your product and let they will do the trick.

eBay and Amazon enjoys millions of unique visitors. Here’s a graph from Google Trends to show eBay and Amazon past 12moth traffic.

{Source: Google Trends}

          This is what you need to take advantage. There is already brand awareness and trust on eBay and Amazon which you get instantly when you start your store. I very much doubt you will get this with your own store. Mobile shopping is another important thing you need to consider which increasing in the UK. 59% of UK consumers own a Smartphone and 19% of those have shopped online. Currently there are two most popular shopping apps, Amazon and eBay. With eBay and Amazon store your products are available to mobile shoppers with not additional cost. 

The message is – there is no harm in trying out these stores. We brought this message among 50 local businesses at Welsh Ice event recently. I am very much sure you business growth is waiting for you. Simply give it a go !

[slideshare id=14327898&w=514&h=422&sc=no]

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eBay Strategies

Is eCommerce going really Global?

I recently bought a pair of “Sink Drain Snake Brush” on eBay for £1.29. You must be thinking I am a crazy buying this online rather than going down to my local hardware store which has 100 years of family history. The thing is, like me there are thousands & probably millions now a days do not hesitate to buy anything online as long as  there is relevant delivery charges.

 I was expecting it to be delivered within 3 days as normally it does. However this one took a week! To my surprise the parcel came all the way from the manufacturing hub of the world, yes ! that’s right, China.

How can someone sell something for £1.29 and get it delivered abroad making profit. This is something that bewildered me.

We are really going global in terms of eCommerce!

We are aware that cross border trade is increasing in eBay to Europe, America and Australia. If a firm in China could do so why can’t small firm in the UK do it?  If you have not thought about it, perhaps it is time now for you to go Global. The platform is already there guys – eBay, Amazon and Play with a week setup time. Simply give it a go, you don’t lose anything but if it goes success you have found a new growing market. 


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Changes in Distance Selling Regulations coming 2013

We all love bargains. Don’t we? Currently quite a lot of people resorting to online shop hoping to find good deals.  Every high street now has online shops and it is now a common trend for a retailer to ask “Buy online and Collect FREE” in store. Do you like shopping online? Do you think it is hassle if something goes wrong? There are quite a few change coming next year which will strengthen consumer rights.

I get annoyed when I don’t tick the box and it is selected for me. I get more annoyed when I did not buy insurance with the product and it’s been bought for me! Pre-ticked boxes on the website to sign up newsletter or with hidden charges are going to be banned. Similarly retailers will be stopped from charging premium rates for help lines. Cancellation periods will go from seven working days to 14 days.

 The interesting one is that retailers will be made to deliver goods within a set date. This will necessitate making delivery process more efficient. I am thinking of a situation when on one is home to collect the parcel and the delivery driver left a card and parcel at local depot. Who is to blame for this delay in order delivery? I am sure courier won’t take the blame!

Retailers will have to refund for broken or cancelled orders with in 14 days which is 30 days currently.

These changes will come into effect only next June. There is plenty of time for retailers to plan the change. These changes are all good for consumers and hopefully increase confidence on online shopping.

Send us your thoughts!

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eBay Strategies

How to put less pressure on your customer support team after holidays?


Who does not like weekends, bank holidays and long Christmas break? However, the first day after break is manic. Apart from “millions” of orders to sort out you have got “zillions” customer queries. This normally quite a big chunk of the day! The annoying bit most of them doesn’t buy even after getting the responses. If you still don’t realise what I am talking about! Here it goes…

eBay has given facility that sellers can allow or disallow buyers to contact you before buying the product. Your will find this settings in – Your Account – Site preferences -Manage communications with buyers. Most of you must have not even realised this existed. If you have selected “Yes” to “Allow buyers to contact from active listings”, eBayers can contact you before buying the product. The idea is good that if there is any doubt about the product they can contact you and ask for more information and they might buy. This puts quite a lot of pressure on your customer support team with blast of queries about the product especially after breaks not letting them concentrate other parts of the business.

Now if you think, there should not be any questions regarding the product anyway. If there is, then you have not listed product appropriately. You should include all relevant product information in the product listing. There is no space limit and you can give as much information as necessary. The products listed in eBay, most of the time is already in the market and already seen by the buyers so, there is already awareness regarding the product. Your customers come to visit eBay only to find bargains. This is why “Allow buyers to contact from active listings” should be turned “OFF”.

If you are worried that your sales would drop down, do a week’s experiment and see the result. I bet you will be surprised!




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Planning for success…seven tips to ensure that you are making the most out of Q4

While others will be missing the summer, the winter months prove to be the most profitable for online sellers. Figures from eBay and Amazon’s past reports show that the fourth quarter of the year turns out to be the most money-making quarter for this group.

On top of the general growth encountered by sellers trading on Amazon and eBay, this season could get so exciting that sellers will have a good reason to do a little victory-lap around their laptop.

However, as with everything else, staying on top takes a lot of work and preparation. iwoca has gathered a few tips on how to get ahead.

1. Be best friends with your suppliers. Staying on good terms with your supplier is always a good idea, especially when you’re moving towards a busy season. When you’re busy, that usually means that your supplier is busy as well and what that means is that it’s good to be on top of your supplier’s list of favourite people.


 2. As they say, pictures are worth a thousand words. Make sure that your listings look professional, by taking some strong pictures of your products.


3. Describe your products well. Top the pictures off with a great written copy that will entice your customers.


 4. Stick to your delivery times. When you provide your delivery estimates make sure they’re actually accurate. Especially around the holidays your customers will want to know that they can trust that your deliveries arrive on time. Please don’t wait until the holidays to prove this!


5. Top up on your stock levels. There’s no worse feeling that running out of stock when you know you could have sold more. If you have a feeling this might happen it’s probably a good idea to start exploring what options you have to gain external funding for your business.


6. Keep your customers happy. Although this one is an oldie, it will always be goodie. Remember to maintain your high feedback score. Just remember that this is what customers actually look at and if it’s low you may risk losing out on business.


7. Social is the way forward. Many successful eBay sellers have started investing a lot of their time in social media. If you’re not on board yet we advise you to get started. The social media platforms are great ways to engage with your customers and increase your presence in the online space.

iwoca is the first company in the UK to provide small business loans to eBay and Amazon sellers.

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eBay Strategies eCommerce

Getting sales on eBay is easy job. The question is how you can get incremental sales ?

It is easy to get sale on eBay when you have a right price of a product. The challenge is to increase sales on a long run. How can you grow? There is there tough competition out there. There are loads of companies who sell same type of products. How can you have competitive advantage? We will be discussing some of the factors that worth’s considering.

 . customer service

Customer service is one of the greatest keys to your business success. It can literally make or break you.[1]  Keeping happy customers brings you repeat sales and increases your audience. eBay CEO Meg Whitman says – “you see that we’re spending less than $10 to acquire new customer. The reason is that we are being driven by word of mouth.”[2] Better customer service creates loyalty and they in turn refer others to your shop. Loyal customers take over the function of advertising and sales – for free!

You will have some complaints from you customer. If they ever contact, you have a good opportunity to hear their say and solve the problem. Only few complain and the rest just quietly go away. Another worrying bit, a dissatisfied customer will tell 7-10 people about the problem and bad service. So you don’t want many dissatisfied customers. You would want to keep them happy and many times even if it is at your loss. Trust me; it pays to keep customers happy in a long run.

Better customer service brings repeat sales and increases your audience reach by word of mouth.

. price comparison

Consumer buying decision process starts with need recognition, information search, and evaluation of alternatives, purchase decision, and post-purchase behaviour.[3] Consumers carry out price comparison of an item they need in second state, information search. With everything on click of a mouse this does not take long online. So, it is important to have right price.

The best way to go forward on this is to compare other sellers’ prices on both eBay & Amazon. You can tweak the price by pennies which give better sales opportunity. Bear in mind that you must compare prices periodically as they change. If you don’t you are left out!


. promotions

Roger Hyslop wrote that what he learns in the 1960s still applies: “The use of a sales promotion stimulates consumer excitement, retail reaction and wholesale reward.”[4] 

Few popular sales promotions are:

  1. Buy One Get One Free
  2. Free Gifts for orders over £50
  3. Vouchers/Coupons
  4. Competitions
  5. Free Limited Time Delivery

These promotions give reason for your eBay customers to return to your shop. We are well aware that all of these promotions cannot be implemented in your eBay store however; you can use them to promote your own store.  Remember promotions are means of influencing customer behaviour and should be part of long term business strategy.5

. delivery time

Online Shopping Customer Experience Study by comScore[5] suggests that delivery time is ranked top influencing factor for online shopping and 43% expect to see availability of 2-3 day delivery.

You can update your listings on eBay with various shipping options so that you don’t lose your visitor conversion. You are just giving buyers what they want! You must have noticed that eBay search results highlights “express delivery available” during product search which prompts user to visit the listing. Adding multiple shipping option means you don’t lose our in this important aspect of online selling.


. feedback

 eBay feedback must be one of the factor buyers look out before making purchase decision. It quickens the decision making process and creates quick conversions. One research[6] suggests the established identity fared better compared to that of new seller. So you must continue providing better service to your customers. You will get odd number of negative feedback. Don’t worry! Simply reply back and acknowledge if there is any error from your side.  One or two negative feedbacks for our new sellers does not affect buyers’ willingness-to-pay.

These are few of many factors you must consider in order get incremental sales on eBay. Most importantly these must be part of your. The competition is tough, so don’t just list your products and expect sale to happen.

What is your experience/thoughts?


[2] Frederick F, Reichheld & Phil Schefter: E-loyalty: Your secret weapon on the web
[3] Philip Kotler & Gary Armstrong – Principles of Marketing, (P 177-181)
[4] Roddy Mullin: Sales Promotion
[5] Online Shopping Customer Experience Study: comScore
[6] The value of reputation on eBay: A controlled experiment


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