Posts Tagged eBay

Mobile Optimised Website for just €299 (ex VAT)

It may not come as a surprise to many, but the recent growth in mobile web browsing has increased at such a rate that it has taken many by surprise. One leading mobile web browser company, Opera, announced that there was huge growth in people using their mobile to access the web over the past year. In fact, Opera stated in their report that the increase was as much as 84.7% compared to the same period last year.

Opera Mini is just one browser used by owners of Smart phones so it doesn’t give a full picture as to the extent of mobile usage for web browsing, however, it does give a good indication of the trends of mobile users. Another interesting statistic from Opera’s report was that in December of this year, 7.4% of all US users of Opera accessed the Amazon.com website on their mobile phone.

This is clearly only a small indication of the change in user behaviour when it comes to browsing the Internet. Other web giant, eBay, announced that their mobile sales trebled to $2bn in 2010. Marks and Spencer also announced that visits to their website by mobile device users hit 1 million+ uniques per day in December. Back in October they announced that their mobile phone orders had hit 13,000 in just four months.

There is clearly an opportunity here for business to make sales or promote their business through mobile devices, but the problem is that most websites are not built to work with mobile phones.

In fairness to most mobile phones, they have decent web browsers that make navigating even the most non mobile friendly website easy enough to navigate, but is this really good enough? Shouldn’t it be easy for your potential customers to navigate your website at ease on their mobile device?

To help Irish businesses get a good mobile presence with their website, we’ve decided to do a special offer on the creation of Mobile Friendly Websites for a limited period only. For just €299+VAT we will create a mobile optimised version of your website (max 10 pages).

If you are interested in this offer please contact us at +353 1 2190223 or email info@2bscene.ie

Visit our mobile optimised website at m.2bscene.ie (or use the QR Code to the right with your mobile)

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Was 2010 the year for eCommerce? Will Irish retailers begin to smell the coffee?

Supermarket check out, London January 2005 Aut...
Image via Wikipedia

Over the Christmas you probably noticed a lot of retailers out on various news reports complaining about poor sales (as they like to at Christmas) and in most cases with great reason too. I personally still find it hard to believe how many of the retail outlets in Ireland are still in business. The double blow of the recession and the god awful snow that engulfed Ireland and the UK for nearly 3 weeks certainly didn’t do anything to help their falling sales. But, for many reasons, I just can’t bring myself to feeling 100% sorry for these retailers.

It’s not that I am a cynical and bitterly twisted man that makes me feel this way. And I am certainly not a hardcore socialist who would sticks two fingers up at all retailers and say “ha, you should have treated your staff better!”. No, I’m just someone who has worked in the Internet for over 10 years now and have seen so many Irish retailers ignore the great benefits a properly prepared online web strategy.

“Fail to prepare, prepare to fail” is the phrase mentioned by one Irish great that sticks out in my mind when I think of how Irish retailers have ignored such a valuable resource to their business.

In the UK, it’s been reported that 44% of their population upped their online spend this Christmas compared to 2009. The total amount spent online in the UK was £2.8bn !! Another interesting fact is that 86% of UK consumers logged on to the Internet on Christmas and St. Stephens day a 10% increase on the previous year. 62% of those consumers shopped for sale items over those two days!

John Lewis say that their online sales in the 5 weeks to January the first accounted for £500m. And I guess it’s no surprise that the leading retailers online (after Amazon & eBay) were Argos, Next and M&S.

When you see figures like this, it amazes me to think that Irish retail businesses still don’t take their online business serious enough.

Let’s take a list of Irish retailers and see how they compare with their UK counterparts…

Harvey Normanwww.harveynorman.ie
Although it appears to be sitting on an eCommerce system, namingly Magento – there is no option to buy online. Maybe they need the footfall to generate some cross sells – but there are other ways of getting people into the store – and not many people were venturing out in the snow! They don’t seem to have a UK site (if they are even there!)

Curryswww.currys.ie
Much the same as Harvey Norman – display lots of products, but don’t allow you to buy (from what I can see). You can buy online from their websites in the UK.

River Islandwww.riverisland.com
River Island have a nice website and you can purchase online – albeit in sterling and not 100% sure if you can get it delivered to Ireland (or pick up in store!)

Boots www.boots.ie
I don’t know about you, but if I could have bought items online through the Boots website I would have! Anyone who has ever tried to buy perfume through somewhere like Amazon knows that they simply won’t deliver to you. A golden opportunity for someone like Boots to make a few quid online. And can you imagine those great 3 for 2 offers… oh I wish… of course, you can do this online if you live in the UK.

Dunnes Storeswww.dunnesstores.ie
A great Irish brand with, it must be said, a visually appealing website – but no you can’t buy online. A place I would have definitely bought online over the Christmas period as I desperately searched for 2 turkeys for Christmas Dinners!!

I could easily go on and on but I won’t…

There are of course some exceptions to what appears to be the rule. You will find some retailers with decent enough websites, but by on large they just don’t exist.

As usual, it tends to be the smaller, lesser known retailers that appear to take their online presence more serious in Ireland – but even those are far and few between. When we have a country next door to us spending nearly £3bn online at Christmas it seems ridiculous that there aren’t more retailers taking a serious look at trying to grab a piece of this with a proper online marketing strategy.

The Celtic Tiger as we know was really good for Ireland, but the current lack of interest in making a serious online effort to generate business is an indication of how well we actually had it. “Ah sure I don’t need to sell to online, sure there’s plenty of business already….”

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LuzernTech Continue to Get Away With It

It’s been six months since I posted my first article about LuzernTech, the “Online Supplier of Refurbished Equipment”. I wrote about my experience when buying a DVD player from them, through the auction site eBay.

After contacting the National Consumer Agency, I finally got a full refund. However, they still appear to be causing a lot of people, a lot of heartache. Just take a look at their negative feedback for the last 6 months, it’s clear that they are still pulling the wool over a lot of peoples eyes.

Apart from the apparent lack of communication from them, the same issue that I had seems to have arisen a number of times yet again. The issue? Well in a nutshell, they refused to refund me the delivery cost of the item even though what they sent me was broken. This is obviously illegal, yet they get away with it because not many people seem to know their rights.

Another nasty tactic they seem to use a lot is that if one of their “auction items” sell for too low a price, they seem to send you out either a broken one or tell you that they don’t have any in stock. This is clearly a breach of the terms of usage on eBay.

It seems that neither the National Consumer Agency or eBay really care what this company are doing. For the NDA, they’re probably too small to be concerned about. For eBay, they are probably making a nice few bob from them.

So the only way things will change it seems is if people stand up and stop buying from them. Let’s face it, it would be a great service if what they say they offered was true. You can see this from the positive feedback from the lucky ones….

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eBay: we protect the seller, buyers can go to hell

eBay Inc.

Now that the LuzernTech saga is all over, I want to draw attention to eBay and how I found them to be completely biased towards protecting sellers on their famous auction site.

If you’ve been keeping up with my LuzernTech saga you will know I had serious issues with them and their illegal activities. But one thing that got to me most was what LuzernTech wrote about me on eBay in response to the negative feedback I gave them.

When I gave feedback on eBay about LuzernTech, I didn’t hold back. I went straight for the jugular. “Absolute scammers – delivered broken, refused repair, no postage refund”, was what I said. Yes maybe I went a bit far, but I really wanted people to be aware of what this crowd were up to and in the 200 characters that you are allowed to write, that’s really hard to do. The only way to get this message across was to be strong and to the point.

eBay give the seller the opportunity to respond to the feedback from a buyer, here’s what LuzernTech said: “Customer given a returns number for a replacement wanted a refund”. This was a complete and blatant lie and in my past posts you’ll see the evidence.

Now here’s where eBay protects the seller… We as the consumer/buyer do not have an opportunity to respond to this feedback within the PayPal site. So in effect, the sellers are being completely protected here. The seller can just put in a comment fobbing off the disgruntled buyer as simply someone who likes to complain. They can fill eBay with lies to make themselves look like reasonable businesses just trying to make a living, but unfortunately have some moany customers from time to time.

So as a consumer, we could read these responses to negative comments and think “hey, they’re not actually bad at all, sure your man is complaining about nothing”. Instantly, an intelligent seller can turn a negative comment into a positive one. This does nothing to protect the consumer, it only protects the seller.

I do however agree that feedback should be limited. You could imagine how my respsonses would have went on and on with LuzernTech! :)

However, there should at least be a way for a consumer to complain about a response from the seller and if untrue, to have it removed.

“You can” I hear you say, well yes you can complain about it, which I did, but the response from eBay are to say least, pityful. In a nutshell, it does not breach their “Feedback Abuse Policy”, so they won’t do anything about it.

I also should note that eBay have recently put a ban on negative feedback on buyers from sellers. However, what is classed as negative? I certainly feel the feedback I received was negative, yet eBay didn’t see it that way.

So it’s clear from my point of view that eBay care little about the consumer and protect the seller entirely in cases like this. I believe the protection should be on the side of the consumer mainly. I know that sellers need to be protected too, but they should at least investigate allegations like this and do something about it so that the bad guys are rooted out.

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LuzernTech just get worse…

As per my last post, I’ve been trying to get a full refund from LuzernTech for the damaged product they sent me.

I got an email back today:

Hi,
apologies ,we do not have repair service and we have received the item
from the supplier as ready to send.
Anfortunately because of insufficient stock we do not have the item for
the replacement ,
regarding to this circumstancess we have issued the refund .
Please accept our apology ,our terms & conditions stated as we do not
refund the postage cost and original freight cost.

Let’s ignore for a second the terrible response in terms of grammar and spelling from a supposedly “one of Europe’s leading eSolution providers in the area of consumer electronic asset recovery and disposition” – straight from the homepage of their website www.luzernsolutions.com.

I’m going to go straight to the “we have received the item from the supplier as ready to send”. On their eBay store however, they say:

“Important point to note
The items have been tested and are 100% functional. However, they may have minor cosmetic blemishes e.g. small marks or scratches normally associated with brief usage.”

So who exactly tests these items then?? If they are taking them and just sending them on, how can they say that the products are 100% functional??

The next point to note is this:

“we do not have repair service”

Funny they should say that when on their website they have the following statement:

“If a defect does occur during the period of the warranty, you should immediately notify the parties listed below. At the sellers option, the product will be repaired or replaced.”

So that’s a lie too then yeah?

 

Anyway, I just hope their potential customers and clients recognise what a shoddy operation they run.

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