Battle of the Marketplaces Update

This weeks update to the Battle of the Marketplaces post.

The most visited UK shopping sites.

This week I’ve added a further metric which simply shows the total of the two giants. The purpose is just to show if they together are growing market share or if any of the others are taking it. This week all the others are staying where that were in the pecking order so no changes.



The Shopper ‘Spring’

After updating the ‘Battle of the Marketplaces’ post I began to wonder if there is a ‘Shopper ‘Spring’.

It’s a small sample but Amazons share of shopping visits does seem to be going down over the past few weeks. What can we take from this? A number of people have commented recently that buyers are tiring of large corporates generally – take Tesco for example – the supermarket giant is seeing falls in market share too.

Are buyers at last feeling that corporate greed deserves buyer strikes? eBay after all is still made up of many thousands of smaller sellers despite the rise of the ‘outlets’.

Lets hope that small independents get the benefit of any ‘shopper spring’


Battle of the Marketplaces

Update 18/05

Amazon on the up? After coming down from over 9% in February to under 8% last week have taken a slight upturn. Keep watching.

Let the battle commence

Ever wondered which marketplace has the most users? Which one is gaining share and which losing it.

Wonder no more, here is the definitive chart to be updated each week  with the latest scores.

Information courtesy of Retail Week/Hitwise.

What’s in a Title?

Quite a lot.

Humans use it to find your products.

Search engines use it to index stuff and therefore in helping them decide which results to present to searchers (know as SERP’s – Search Engine Results Pages).

So titles are important. Very.

Lets have a look.

So you are searching for a Torque Wrench. There are currently 2,034 listings for Torque Wrenches on eBay.

How are you going to get seen?

You could go for lowest price.

(Not a great plan if you want to make at least some profit).

Don’t get me wrong price is important – very important but by being the cheapest you could make less per sale selling 10 than if you only sold 1 at the right price. That’s 10 times less packing and 10 times less work. (we will revisit this in some detail on the forthcoming post on pricing).

Back to the point…

Or you could start with a great title.

Lots of buyers faced with 2,034 results will narrow it down. By Category and by Keywords.

Look carefully and eBay suggest both to you.

Just under the search bar is a little line of ‘Related Searches’. eBay is showing you the ones it thinks are popular

Related searches: snap on torque wrench, torque wrench 3 8, torque wrench 1 2, norbar torque wrench, torque wrench 1 4, britool torque wrench

So start there if your product is one of these use them in the title.

Notice there are no 3/8″ in there. Just 3 8. So if you are short of characters (you get 80 in eBay) then drop the “.

The default search in eBay is ‘Best Match’.

They are showing you essentially the most popular choices. So use that too – have a good look at the titles being presented to you.

Google Keywords

Have a look at the Free keywords tool at

This incredible tool can give you a lot of valuable information. Try it.

Check for both popularity and competition.

The keywords can be used in your description too to help with Optimisation.

So my new title?

‘Draper 34487 3000 1/2″ Square Drive Beam Torque Wrench 0 – 21Kg/’

(Website 65 chracters as Google likes to keep it under 70 characters)

‘New Draper 1/2″ Square Drive Beam Type Torque Wrench 0 – 21Kg/M 150Lb-Ft Sq Dv’

(eBay – 78 characters, no need to use the model number as eBay picks this up from the item specifics)

Lets see how this new listing does and how we can improve it over the coming weeks.

now we have deliberately gone in low on price? and in fact we won’t make anything on the first few sales. Why – well we do need to get some fast results. To win in the Best Match race we must have the following:

Recent Sales
Free Postage
Top Rated Seller Status

Here is an eBay search for this item – notice we didn’t need the manufacturers part number in the title.

How would you improve the listing?



Well it didn’t take long. The listing was 8 hours old and had had 23 page views and hey presto our first sale. We are now 4th in the best match results for this product.

Improving your websites perfomance Part 1

Bamford Trading Logo

The on-line retailing planet has been spinning for several years now but the pace of change is not slowing.

If anything it’s speeding up.

So we thought it could be a good plan to document our journey. In particular we are currently working hard to improve our website performance. And it is hard.


To us this means attracting more potential customers and then converting them to buyers.

Specifically – we do well on eBay but – being frank – that business belongs to them and not us and so we need to boost sales on our own business websites. Online retailing is hard so we may as well put all that effort into our own long term success.

Now many agencies will tell you they can improve your sites performance and no doubt some can but our plan here is to document just what we are doing and whether or not it works.

We have asked an agency to help us. And we have read a lot of great books on the subject.

The site name? We currently have 2! Bamford Trading and Sanding Belt Sales