Web developer issues seller policy advice

Colin Harris of Amble
Colin Harris of Amble

An Amble-based web developer is advising online retailers to reconsider how they use eBay as a sales outlet, after claiming his client’s business was negatively affected by new seller policies imposed by the site recently.

Colin Harris has issued the statement after dealing with Northumberland business owner Graham Ross, who founded professional curtain-making company Roomserve.co.uk

Colin says that Graham used eBay as his principal sales platform, selling excess stock to interior designers and amateur curtain makers.

It proved to be a successful strategy for more than a decade, with sales and inquiries received from around the world.

But Colin was advised that policies introduced by eBay towards the end of last year indicated that existing benefits, including higher-positioned listings and discounts on fees, would now be offered to those retailers who could offer same-day or one-day dispatch.

This appeared to impact on Graham’s business.

As Graham himself admits: “The very nature of the business, with material made to measure, means that we’re not always able to fulfil these terms and so I feel that we were penalised.”

Instead, Graham asked Colin to design a new e-commerce website which would allow his customers to trade directly with him, rather than through eBay.

He quickly found that although eBay remained the most effective way to maintain his online profile and support search engine optimisation activity, his regular eBay customers were in fact more than happy to communicate and purchase through the website instead, reducing Graham’s eBay fees significantly.

Colin said: “It’s a common misconception among start-ups and small businesses that selling purely through eBay saves on the cost of having a company’s own website professionally built.

“However, funding is often available for this very purpose and, as Graham demonstrates, it can help to reduce the amount of fees paid for listings on sites such as eBay.”

Colin Harris Website Development was founded in 2006.