eBay Strategies

Removing Active Content from existing eBay listings

This post is by Jonathan Pollard CEO & Co-founder of Codisto – a provider of Amazon & eBay integration and listings tools.  I met Jonathan Iain Jonathan at Birmingham Online Seller Meetupin 2016 at Birmingham Online Seller Meetup and we have been in touch since to discuss how we can work together. This post is just a start and I’d like to help Codisto tools reach more eBay sellers in the UK.

Marketplace Connect’ is a lightweight extension offering full integration for Magento, WooCommerce & Shopify.

Xpress Lister’ is a browser based tool offering bulk edit of existing listings and bulk creation of new listings from spreadsheets.

eBay’s new ‘Active Content’ for listings from June 2017 has been well reported. However, reports have generally focused on what Active Content is and recommendations of what to do for new future listings. Which leaves some important questions unanswered:

  • What about the thousands of sellers and millions of existing eBay listings containing Active Content?
  • How do sellers remove Active Content from existing listings to enable sales history to be retained?

Are personalised eBay sales templates a good thing?

Personalised eBay listing templates are a good thing for sellers. They allow sellers to stand out from the crowd and promote their brand. However, sellers have often created different forms of their templates over time leading to listings with inconsistent templates that all contain Active Content. Quite often we see the HTML contained in listings varying from product to product depending on when the products were first listed, sometimes stretching back several years.

The heart of the Active Content problem for existing listings is eBay’s ugly architecture.  To remove Active Content, the eBay template must be updated. The best way to architect a software solution that allows the updating of templates is to have separate ‘template’ and ‘product description’ elements (that is how we built Xpress Lister because it allows bulk updating of either templates and/or descriptions).

However, eBay’s architecture is such that the “ebay description” is a joint blob, containing BOTH the ‘written product description’ AND the template HTML (used to make the listing look good).   This means the HTML is intertwined with the ‘written product description’ and any Active Content is intertwined in the HTML – a messy ‘blob’.

Why is it difficult to remove Active Content from existing eBay listings?

For merchants to remove/replace active content from existing listings they must either:

  • Identify and replace the offending active content code intertwined in the HTML of the “ebay description” – possibly on many different templates across many products. This involves using the “Sell Your Item” flow, clicking “Revise listing”, scrolling to “Description”, switching out of ‘wyswig’ editor into html mode, copying that and pasting to a separate editor and picking through the HTML line by line!  Moreover, it has to be done listing by listing!  Very time consuming and a real struggle for many merchants; or
  • ‘Wipe the slate clean’ by removing the old templates and applying new active content compliant template to every listing.  However, there are two significant challenges here to this approach.  Namely:

#1 Applying the new template to every listing:

eBay doesn’t provide sellers with a suitable tool (Turbo Lister doesn’t include any template functionality).   3rd party template design services will provide Active Content compliant designs but they offer no means of distributing to the listings other than copy/paste listing by listing.  Furthermore, even if merchants are prepared to apply the new code listing by listing on eBay by copy/pasting on each individual listing, once it’s deployed the template code is ‘dumb’ or ‘orphaned’ – there is no way to make changes to the template later and have it automatically flow to every listing e.g. updating a logo or terms of sale – it’s a case of going listing by listing AGAIN!

#2 Having ‘clean’ product descriptions to apply a template to:

Unless merchants have ‘written product descriptions’ readily available elsewhere, the product description is only available on the existing eBay listings and is intertwined with the template HTML! This means sellers have to pick through the ‘ebay description’ blob one by one to retrieve their written product descriptions.

Are there any tools to help make existing listings Active Content compliant?   

Due to the reasons explained above, removing Active Content from existing listings to retain sales history is going to require a little effort.  If you have written product descriptions available on a spreadsheet it will save you some time as some 3rd party listing tools offer the ability to import and bulk update your existing listings with ‘clean’ descriptions and add an Active Content compliant template separately.  But it’s also possible to clean Active Content if your descriptions only exist on eBay listings and you can’t import from another source.

You can use Xpress Lister to remove Active Content for free by following our guide here


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Amazon Sellers London: THE BIG LAUNCH!

Amazon sellers meetup

Meetups are always a good thing and there is another Amazon Sellers London meet up on 6th, June in London. There will be 3 of the world’s leading Amazon experts speaking.Get yourself booked in to hear these experts speak and there is also opportunity to meet other Amazon sellers. Register here >>

Speakers Include

Will Tjernlund (USA). The original multi-million dollar FBA wizard. Went from $1 million to $6 million on Amazon in only 12 months.

Danny McMillan (UK). Host of private label webinar series Seller Sessions and international speaker on Amazon selling.

Joshua Price (UK). Amazon suspensions consultant with eCommerce Geek. Other consultants come to him for help with their toughest cases!


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Sell on Mail Shop

Sell on Mail Shop

Online sellers are constantly looking for new channels to sell. Many of clients I work with sell on deal sites like Wowcher apart from eBay and Amazon. And Mail Shop is additional channel that retailers can consider.  I was talking with Richard, account manager, at Mail Shop few weeks ago and it looks like promising platform. Find more information below and get in touch to setup your account.

Introduction to Mailshop

On Tuesday 4th October 2016 Mail Shop was relaunched as an online marketplace with selection from 26 merchants covering Home and Garden categories. To date our focus has been to build credible selection securing brands such as Le Creuset, LSA International and Sophie Conran for Portmeirion. Mail Shop was born from a constant drive to innovate and improve the customer experience when readers shop with us. The result is a beautifully simple, inspirational and easy to use shopping destination which reassures users. We expanded into Health and Fitness in February with strong sales since launch.

Who’s our customer?

As a leading news brand we reach more than 25 million readers across print and digital each month.

  •  49% of UK Adult population with 76% like to shop online. We have over 1 million MyMail loyalty programme members with 96% saying they would purchase goods with us.
  • In addition we also have the most engaged consumers of any British newspaper with 65% engagement five days a week and 40% engagement seven days a week.
  •  With this in mind we are well placed to offer the customer a best in class shopping experience. A 3rd of our readers are under 55 years old with 49% still working. In addition 15% have children living with them.
  • Overall our audience is broad which provides opportunities for different types of Sellers on the platform.

Our current proposition

Our site is powered by Demandware with Merchantry used as our Seller platform. It allows Sellers to build and sell a catalogue of products. Merchantry access is granted to all new Sellers and is used to set up products, manage and maintain catalogues and to process orders, returns and refunds. Sellers are responsible for drop shipping products directly to customers. We will continue to focus on growing our selection within Home and Garden throughout 2017 with a number of opportunities in areas where we’re currently under-represented.


What are the benefits of selling on Mail Shop?

Selling with Mail Shop provides a number of benefits to new Sellers.

  • An incremental sales channel allows sellers to tap into the Daily Mail’s huge customer base which generates tens of millions of unique customer per month.
  • Low risk with no setup fees and no lock in.
  • Unlimited SKU count allows Sellers to list as many products as they wish for a fixed commission rate.
  • Technical Integration support given to all new Sellers both pre and post go live. Account management resource allocated in order to focus on strategic growth of Seller on Mail Shop.
  • Ad space and Supplements gives Sellers regular offline print triggering opportunities via Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday.
  • Greater opportunity for more differentiated/exclusive merchants (merchants specifically targeting the over 50’s) which is limited with all other UK marketplaces.
  • A controlled seller recruitment process means Mail Shop is selective with the Sellers that are recruited to the platform. This results in higher quality listings, the right products that the Mail customer is searching for and greater revenue opportunities for those listed on site.

Commission Rates

All sellers are charged commission on each sale which varies by category. Payment for the previous week’s sales is transferred each Monday.

Next Steps

Once commercials are agreed Sellers need to complete the following steps in order to list products on Mail Shop. The onboarding process should take 2-4 weeks. All product uploads are reviewed by the Seller Recruitment team before being pushed to the Mail Shop storefront.

You can get in touch here Telephone:  0203 615 2145    Email:  richard.bunt@mailnewspapers.co.uk


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BQool Repricing Central VS Amazon Automate Pricing

BQool VS Amazon

If you have been an Amazon seller for a long time, you might already noticed that there is numerous repricing software on the market for Amazon sellers. Even Amazon itself has launched its own repricing system called Automate Pricing during the spring of 2016. Although the service is completely free, it’s not equipped with robust features for sellers and thus, failed to meet some sellers’ expectations. If you are looking for an Amazon repricer now and would like to know the difference between BQool Repricing Central and Amazon Automate Repricing, this article highlights the main advantages BQool Repricing has over Amazon Automate Repricing.

Basically, BQool Repricing and Amazon Automate Pricing both follow rule-based repricing, and allow exclusion of competitors by number of feedback ratings. BQool’s Repricing Central plans above $25 per month reprice every 15 minutes and plans above $100 per month reprice as fast as every 5 minutes, while Automate Pricing reprice every 15 minutes to one hour depending on the rule.

However, there are several differences between BQool Repricing and Amazon Automate Pricing. Here is a comparison:


Pricing strategy is an important part of running a business. How a user sets up their repricing rules to change prices also has a great impact on sales, sales volume, and competitiveness. Sellers should carefully consider all available features when choosing a suitable repricer for their business. Though Amazon’s repricer is free of charge to all professional seller accounts, BQool’s affordable repricer is packed with helpful features and data that give you a distinct advantage over competitors.

BQool is a SaaS company offering great software solutions that help Amazon merchants resolve daily business challenges. The BQool suite so far consists of Repricing, Feedback, and Review Central. To learn more about BQool, please visit https://www.bqool.com/

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Amazon Amazon Strategies

Buy Box and Product Differentiation on Amazon

Amazon is now a very crowded marketplace compared to 10 years ago when I first started selling. Sellers are now finding it tough to rank on best match search result and it is the same with winning the buy box. The Buy box is simply a top prominent “buy now” button. Losing this position may mean no sales at all. This post will talk about how to win a buy box and how product differentiation is a good way forward.

Amazon has set out many criteria to win the buy box position and out of many – Fulfilment By Amazon, Price and Feedback percentage are the main ones in my experience.

Fulfilment By Amazon (FBA)   

How to win Buy box - Daytodayebay


  • In this example, the product sold by Amazon wins the buy box even if there are other cheaper products.
  • Tip: Trial FBA if you are competing with other Amazon sellers



Buy Box Winning Strategies - Daytodayebay

  • Lowest price seller wins buy box in this example
  • Tip: Monitor your price and amend as necessary. It is always good to generate sales volume with less profit than no sales at all


Manual price update is possible with less SKU but if you have a high number of items automated solutions like eprice can help.  It connects with all your Amazon accounts, follows your pricing rules and automatically changes prices keeping you competitive all the time.

Feedback Percentage  


  • Seller with high feedback % wins the buy box
  • Tip: Ensure your performance level is up to standard. It is always best to avoid bad feedback even if this means a loss. This is simply because bad feedback impacts on your overall account.

So how to avoid Buy Box Competition

Private Labels

We have seen the rise of “Amazon Private Labels”.  They are simply a copy of original products the “Aldi” way and production is now possible in smaller batches by reaching out to Chinese manufacturers via Alibaba or Global sources. Private labels now play a very significant role in creating sustainable businesses with Amazon.

What we are seeing here is successful three-way relationships between Amazon, brand owners and factories and this is only going to get stronger.

Product Bundles 


Another way to avoid buy box competition is grouping products. If you are selling brands readily available to anyone else, it is good practice to include one of your brands in a bundle. This prevents any one else to list on your ASIN.

Create Product Bundles on Amazon - Daytodayebay


  • Tip: Include your own brand to prevent others from selling

With the rise of Amazon sellers everyone is doing their best to win the buy box and differentiate their products. The above examples hopefully act as reminder. If you have any more questions, please do get in touch.

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Amazon Amazon Strategies

Subscribe & Save for FBA sellers

Amazon Subscribe and Save Store

Amazon Subscribe & Save option is now available to FBA sellers in the UK who meet the requirements. This program was introduced in 2007 in the US allowing consumers to get their favourite consumables delivered regularly in exchange of at least 5% discount each order. * Beware Amazon price changes regularly and subscribe and save may no start saving you pounds.

What sellers need to know?

  • Subscribe & Save automatically gets Buy Box so, it is absolutely critical to win the buy box.

Amazon Subscribe and Save Buyers View

  • This is generally very successful marketing strategy which encourages repeat buys
  • You products are visible in Subscribe and Save page increasing visibility

Amazon Subscribe and Save Store

  • To be eligible your store needs to have good performance level with feedback rating of 4.7 or higher

Amazon Subscribe and Save Feedback Eligibility

Find out more about this programme and enrol, take a look at this Amazon help page >>

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Grow your business with Certified Refurbished on Amazon

certified by amazon
We are seeing more and more refurbished products on Amazon. These includes laptops, phones, tablets to kitchen appliances and office equipment.  They come with certification from Amazon giving  extra layer of security to buyers.  To be part of this, a seller has to meet Amazon’s strict performance standard and should follow following strict guidelines:
  • Products sold  look and work like new

  • Refurbishment process includes diagnostic test, replacement of any defective parts, a thorough cleaning and inspection process, and repackaging where applicable

  • All relevant accessories as expected for a new product should be included and it should give  1-year limited warranty
I had quick look in Laptop category to see the level of month sales and they are quite impressive. Checkout Amazon’s page for more details
Grow your business with Certified Refurbished on Amazon
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Buyer Opt Out Email and What You Should Do

Amazon’s Opt-Out of Buyer-Seller Messaging

Lately many Amazon sellers have received messages regarding the opt out messages from Amazon indicating: “We were unable to deliver the message you sent for order xxxxxxxxxx ……”. BQool has investigated, and here is the information that we would like to share.

Why did I receive an email from Amazon saying my message could not be delivered?

Amazon is now allowing buyers to opt out of receiving unsolicited messages from sellers. If you send an email to a buyer who has opted out, Amazon will block the message and send you a bounceback email with instructions for how you can still message the buyer if it is critical to completing the order.   

How do buyers opt out of messages from sellers?   

In buyer accounts, Amazon has provided settings of Email Preferences in Communication Preferences Centre. If buyers select the option of “Do not send me any marketing email for now” here, they will unsubscribe from Amazon’s marketing emails. Please note that this means buyers will not receive “Amazon marketing communications”. You should still respond to inquiries in which buyers contacted you first. Buyers can’t opt out of those. If your response is blocked, make sure that you are responding to the original message thread and that the original message is included in your reply.  

What does that mean for buyers to opt out of messages from sellers?  

This means that buyers will only receive emails with information critical to completing the order, such as product customization questions, delivery scheduling, and issue with a shipping address. Sellers can no longer send messages which are not critical to completing the order such as: shipment confirmations, product manuals, out of stock notifications, and feedback or product review requests. The new rule does not apply to messages regarding handmade, wine, or custom orders. Please note that Amazon has warned sellers that “repeated violation of this policy may result in enforcement actions or lose selling privileges”.

How do I send messages that are critical to completing the order if my message was blocked?

Amazon still allows sellers to send critical messages via Buyer Seller Messaging. To do so, click the buyer’s name on the Manage Orders page and you will be lead to Buyer-Seller Messaging. Then select “Additional Information Required” as your subject, write your message, and click “Send”. Please note that you can only choose “Additional Information Required” here as other subjects will cause the message being bounced back again if the buyer opted out.  

How can I identify buyers who have opted out?  

Currently the only way to identify buyers is from the bounceback email. So far this information is not available through Seller Central or Amazon’s API. BQool will keep monitoring this issue and will keep you posted as we learn more.  

I’m using a feedback service and how can I prevent sending emails to these buyers from it?  

If you are using an Amazon feedback service such as BQool’s Feedback Central, there should be a setting that allows you to add buyers who have chosen to opt out into a blacklist. Once they are on the blacklist, the feedback system will block all emails to these buyers.    

We hope the above information is helpful. If you have any questions or comments with regards to this issue, please don’t hesitate to contact BQool.

BQool is a SaaS company offering great software solutions that help Amazon merchants resolve daily business challenges. They strive to create products that will increase Amazon sellers’ feedback rating, product reviews and sales. Each feature is designed to make your job easier and save time.

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eBay Strategies

Terapeak’s New Sellers Tab


Terapeak recently introduced Product Research 2.0 function which is another way to learn more about competition. Before recent changes we used to be able to see top seller’s ID, a powerful tool for many sellers. This post is all about my observations on new research function

The *New* Sellers Tab

Terapeak New Sellers Tab- Daytodayebay


I searched for “organic coffee beans” using Product Research 2.0 and screenshot above shows the information I get that matched my search:

  • Anonymous sellers

With new policy seller’s  IDs are hidden which used be powerful tool for competitive analysis before.   

Here’s a comment on recent Tamebay article:   

“After 6 years of a terapeak subscription, I have just cancelled because of this. It was all I used it for. Is another company going to fill void? Could someone post a link?”     

  • Number of items sold

Historical number of items sold helps to decide whether the product I am looking for actually worth investing.   

  • Average transaction price

Average price helps me decide a price point and perhaps helps making that sourcing decision.    

  • Average shipping cost

Shipping cost is going towards “0” and it is now acceptable practice to include postage on item price. In this particular example there are some sellers with £4.00 shipping charge on average.    

  • % of Listings with free shipping

Over 90% of listings with free delivery, this is suggesting me to adapt  free shipping. 

  • Total Transaction value

This gives me total value of sales to help me decide if my venture is worth any penny.    

All in all, this is certainly a helpful tool for new sellers to measure competition. The sortable list allows to correlate item sold, average price, shipping and total sales. E.g. sorting by number of total item sales shows how many items were sold corresponding to the average price.

Other interesting result   

Many sellers I work with like to keep track of few of their competitors. E.g. If you are in a “Small Kitchen Appliance” category, you’d like to keep track on Andrew James brand. They are one of the top sellers and they sell on most marketplaces including Tesco. We can track their performance with new sellers tab.

The screenshot below shows all we discussed above just based on my search query “Andrew James”. I can see their sales, item sold and price on a particular product category

Terapeak - Competitor Research - Daytodayebay

To see a good result use filters like below to avoid auctions or private resellers.

Terapeak Competitor Research 2 Daytodayebay

Another interesting addition to the recent changes is the ability to search with EAN. The screen shot below shows how to use filter to get result.

This screenshot below shows information we already discussed with the time frame but only based on EAN. Given that EAN is correctly entered on listings, the results will tell me information on exact product I am looking for. This is fantastic !

Terapeak Product Research EAN - Daytodayebay

I hope you found these information useful. Let me know your thoughts.

Here at DaytodayeBay, we use research tools like Terapeak to provide marketplace consultancy on eBay. We have also written a  sort case study of how we have made improvements on one of the eBay accounts we worked in the past.

We have worked with sellers on various categories and helped them develop and optimise their business. I’d love to help you,  please get in touch.

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