Using Technology

We are selling 80-100 items per week on ebay Australia. 60 of those are our bestselling item, the balance is products we are listing in an effort to find another bestseller.

I got a call this week from Wendy at ebay who tells me we are in the top 3% of ebay sellers in June! Wow I was so flattered I forgot to ask if that was for Australia, by dollar value. I assumed that was the case.

The frustrating thing for us is how poorly ebay scales. We are doing roughly a dozen items per day and are buried in email and printouts. This is mostly to track everything and protect ourselves from fraud and chargebacks.

Most customers do not read the ads nor our emails explaining how the sale process goes. I could rant on that at length, but it is a fact of life. Therefore accept it and move on.

Similarly tardy or non-payers, buyers remorse is keenly felt on ebay. Again it’s part of the game.

So I spent the afternoon sitting with staff watching the process unfold. I haven’t got to the point of integrating the ebay data with our accounts system (MYOB). I am not looking forward to that at all.

Basically if we are to maintain our customer service attitude and make money I’ll either have to outsource the customer service to India (don’t laugh, it may come to that) or find/build a technology solution that grabs all the data and automates as much as possible.

There are commercial solutions out there. All that I’ve found cost a monthly flat fee or a percentage of the gross. None tempt me enough yet, especially as our margins are not so fat that we can afford to give away 2%-5% of gross sales. I’m hoping to integrate something into OSCommerce, our ecommerce package.

Wish me luck. I haven’t had too much success with open source solutions this year. They just seem that little bit too complicated or not quite ready for our business. I’ve used OSCommerce before as an online catalog without enabling the checkout and was happy with it at the time.

2 thoughts on “Using Technology”

  1. Your post made me think about an automated reply system. This seems
    to me like an area which Bayesian filtering could be applied, instead
    of having two corpii (spam & non-spam) have multiple buckets in which
    frequently asked questions are categorised. Soon enough the system
    will be able to describe for itself what each response should be.

    andy

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Using Technology

I was an early adopter of email. As spam becomes an immense problem, I am looking at technology solutions to keep the signal-to-noise ratio acceptable.

One way has been through clever spam filtering.

The other is to explore RSS. If any of you are using the RSS feed from this site, please let me know how you find it and what aggregator software you are using. I’m pretty sure RSS will become my only online “news” subscription service.

As I’m setting it up here at WealthEsteem HQ, I’ll explain it in the next post.

2 thoughts on “Using Technology”

  1. Pingback: The Rhyme of Sim'

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