How Hippy Motors go about selling on-line when they know very little about the technical stuff.
Some of you may have noticed that Angela & Matt at Hippy Motors are not very good at computer stuff but they have run a website on-line now for over 15 years. Many of Hippy Motors customers are creatives and could be selling things on-line as well. This blog tells you their secret and gives a glimpse at their experience.
In the early 2000's no one was selling flower car stickers on Ebay before Hippy Motors started. Selling on Ebay then was so much easier and cheaper than it is today but Angela & Matt still wanted there own website (although few people then knew why) because, back then, shopping on-line was rather insignificant.
Their friend, Stephen, constructed a website and Hippy Motors was born. The site was very clunky and difficult to update (Stephen had to do the updating) and they needed to add more designs faster than they could. A customer suggested they look at e-commerce platforms, something they had never heard of because e-commerce platforms had only just started out.
E-commerce platforms are providers of templates for websites that are designed for selling on-line as opposed to just information based sites. They 'host' the sites, keep them secure and take a lot of responsibility away. They give you an easy interface to add and sell your products just like Ebay do. They also ensure you conform with the latest legislation which does change frequently. All you need to do is market your site and get people to find you (that’s not easy to do well).
So if you have something you create yourself and you want to sell using your own website direct like Hippy Motors do then checkout ‘Shopwired’ an e-commerce platform Hippy Motors use. They are UK based, easy to use and manage. They have helped Hippy Motors out a lot over the last few months getting their new site up and running so they can’t recommend them enough. So just click here to check out Shopwired to see if they can help you sell directly and maybe you’ll be working in your pyjamas like Angela.
So what about selling on Ebay and Amazon, why not just sell through them? Why don't Hippy Motors recommend that? If you want to know the Hippy Motors experience then read on.
Their are many disadvantages with selling on Ebay; one big one is the cost. Selling on Ebay is very expensive. You are charged to list, charged for a shop, charged when you sell, charged for Paypal transactions, forced to add post into the cost of the product...too many charges. The second, possibly more important than cost for Hippy Motors, is how restrictive Ebay is as a means of selling. For what Hippy Motors offer, a lot of customisation options, it does not work at all well.
What about selling on Amazon? If you love Amazon don’t carry on reading as it’s not good.
Hippy Motors did sell on Amazon for a short while and it was difficult getting started. One thing you need to do is register your ‘brand’ so Hippy Motors, as a brand, was registered on Amazon. Then the counterfeit Hippy Motors goods started. It seemed any Tom, Dick or Harry who wanted to sell lousy decals on Amazon listed there stuff as 'Hippy Motors' with no checks or concern by Amazon.
It took over three months and many angry exchanges to get Amazon to reluctantly remove the Hippy Motors brand and stop the counterfeit goods. Now, every now and then, you’ll see copied Hippy Motors designs and name used on Amazon. It is NOT anything to do with Hippy Motors and if you see ‘Hippy Motors’ on Amazon please write to Amazon to let them know.
The source of ‘Hippy Motors’ name and designs on Amazon come from a racket in China that predominantly sell their copied junk through Alibaba but are now starting to sell via Amazon. Getting copied stuff removed on Amazon is difficult but getting Alibaba to remove copyrighted material is impossible for most people. As soon as you log in to their legal side it is in Chinese and, as it’s image based, unable to be automatically translated.
The worrying thing is if they are allowing counterfeit Hippy Motors goods to be sold then surely you cannot trust them for anything. So, in our opinion, just avoid Amazon – for anything. They are wealthy enough, they would not miss your custom.
If you can get around the marketing side, so you can sell direct without Ebay or Amazon, you should. Life is easier in your pyjamas.