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    eBay, where’s the education?

    By DBL | July 4, 2010

    Since the demise of the eBay University in 2007, there hasn’t been an ‘official’ eBay run course to learn even the basics of eBay selling.

    Education Specialists trained by eBay, those originally trained to lecture at the eBay University and put on their own courses, were given ‘death by powerpoint’ materials that were primarily for the US site but gave information on the general basics of eBay selling just the same.

    The materials were not updated on a regular basis and did not include UK/EU laws or incorporate the many eBay changes each year, eBay Education Specialists had to use their own unauthorised presentations instead, many of which were also lacking the correct information of eBay changes. The eBay Education Specialist scheme ended in April this year but many are still doing their own classes but are no longer endorsed by eBay.

    On Anorak’s visits to eBay for Business clients around the country, it’s apparent that the very basics of eBay selling are not known and many say there just isn’t anywhere to learn the basics.

    eBay, to give a buyer an excellent buyer experience you need to provide excellent sellers, bring back the eBay University!

    The learning curve for sellers is now one of being penalised by the unhappy or disgruntled buyer via the Detailed Seller Ratings (DSR), although a good way forward to weed out the bad sellers it can also seriously affect a business by one or two disgruntled buyers. Sellers need support BEFORE this.

    What help is available?

    The extensive eBay help section, (this must include Louise the ebay interactive help agent bless her) this has improved over the years with FAQ, links to more information on policies, selling tips etc but it is sometimes hard to find what you want.

    eBay also present at business events such as Small Business 2.0 Exhibition in London, 1 day costs £10, Channel Advisor Catalyst also in London, 2 days, costs from £249 and Channel Advisor Insite in major UK cities including Birmingham, Manchester and London 1 day costs £49.

    These offer a great opportunity to meet and network with eBay staff and discuss problems with other eBayers. The London events also include other eCommerce giants such as Google University,  Amazon,  Microsoft, Enterprise Nation and the like.

    The events above are invaluable but could never replace the eBay University with lectures on different aspects and levels of eBay selling and the opportunity to ask specific questions to the people who know the strong networking and social aspects bringing together a whole day of lectures specifically for eBay. The last hour of the day of the eBay University was a Q&A session with top Powersellers. This used to be 1 day costing £49.

    There are various Businesslink and eBusiness club courses around the country, usually free and some good presentations and information here for the absolute beginner. My personal experience on one of these was a  powerpoint presentation compiled by a top Powerseller with lots of experience in selling but read by an SEO expert. Fine for information purposes until the Q&A session which (the one I went to) gave the incorrect information to audience questions. This may not be typical of all of these.

    Books. One book I can wholeheartedly recommend is How to make serious money on eBay UK written by my colleague Dan Wilson an ex eBay employee and eCommerce and Social Media expert. The 2009 version gives correct tried and tested factual information on eBay selling.

    Trading Assistants are eBay registered sellers who sell your goods for you and take a percentage for taking the hard work away.  For this service I can recommend another colleague David from Stuff U Sell you can see his eBay Shop here.

    What does Anorak do?

    I like to support my business clients from day one, starting with the eBay listing basics tailored to their product and then guide them through each stage of shop set up, eBay Best Match (SEO) optimisation with plenty of additional and immediate support along the way, recommending various eBay and third party tools and solutions as required. Each individual business is unique and their experience of eBay is unique.

    I do provide a one to one ‘class’ but no powerpoint presentations, this can be in person or via a web link using remote screen sharing software. Looking at the eBay UK site live and with a live listing of one of your own items rather than written instructions.

    What is needed?

    Come on eBay, let’s have some official correct help and support for new and existing eBay private and business sellers.  Regional eBay Universities run by eBay in conjunction with Business Link (or their replacements) get rid of the bad information and get rich quick schemes that promote a bad buyer experience.

    Have you any experience of a good eBay course or any experiences of the bad ones, would you attend something out on by eBay?

    Topics: Anorak Selling Tips, General Observations | No Comments »