eBay announces new eBay shop design

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ebayshops (or eBay stores as they’re known in the US). eBay shops haven’t changed significantly for many years and the face lift by brings the design more in line with the rest of eBay, which makes it less confusing to buyers when they land in an eBay shop.

Key enhancements are:

  • Improved in-store search ability and merchandise suggestions for misspellings and low results.
  • Improved look and feel in line with the rest of eBay
    – Enhanced promotion boxes with a new promotion box filmstrip.
    – Updated the eBay themes for professional-looking shops without any HTML knowledge needed

  • Improved buyer features
    – Ability for buyers to refine their search preferences
    – New 3 column Gallery View

  • Future flexibility – With this new version eBay can continue to build enhancements to eBay Stores quickly

eBay.com sellers can preview their eBay store in the new format and opt in if they like what they see. All users will be upgraded some time after the end of March, but expect to see the new shops starting to appear on the site as users opt in. Anyone opening a new eBay.com shop will automatically be opted in to the new shops experience.

One of the major changes eBay are addressing with the new eBay shops is to bring them into line with their Site Interference Policy. Up until now sellers have been able to heavily customise their eBay shop using .

eBay will also make some changes such as blocking the use of stores tags (e.g. {eBayStoresItemList}, {eBayStoresItemShowcase}, eBayStoresItem}, {eBayStoresItemDetail} and {eBayPromo}.) from the shop header.

If you have heavily customised your eBay shop you’ll need to preview it and make any changes needed to bring it into full compliance prior to opting in to the upgraded shops.

New format Frooition Shop
New format Frooition Shop
Many sellers use third party designers to create their eBay shop design and these too may need updating. Phillip Molloy, the MD of Frooition told us that they’ve been working closely with eBay for a number of months to ensure that are ready to upgrade their customers to take advantage of the changes. Frooition users should contact them when they wish to opt in to the new shops experience.
The changes to bring the rather dated eBay shops solution out of the 1990’s is long over due. Sellers will benefit from better merchandising of their products and with the new shops search buyers will find it easier to find the products their looking for.
It’s expected that similar changes will be announced in the UK, with sellers available to upgrade to the new shops experience in the near future.

167 Responses

  1. I wonder what Frooition will be charging for the “upgrade”? Sure to leave a rather bitter taste in the mouth of their customers.

  2. #2 From what I hear less than I spent up the pub last night for the majority of their customers. I’ll be paying with no quibbles and compared to what other companies like for instance Sage or MS Office upgrades it’s peanuts.

  3. Amazing though how quick some people are off the mark to scare-monger,
    I received emails yesterday from the US, telling me frooition wouldn’t work and would I like to move over to them,

    Hmmmm, let me think about that – no. Message deleted…

    There aren’t many companies who will stay late when major changes are afoot, but being able to get support at 6.30 in an evening is welcome. I have found the team very supportive, and, personally -I like Frooition, Its not the cheapest, but I like it, Subscription is due Feb,
    Its not a difficult choice- Thanks Froo

    Suz xx

  4. There are other ebay template sites out there…justtemplateit is one you might like to try. Starting to hear quite a few bad things about Frooition regarding support etc. Do a Google search, not hard to find quite a few upset customers.

  5. https://aswas.typepad.com/hall_of_fame/2009/01/frooition-truth-comes-out-upgrade-or-uninstall.html

    Frooition announces it themselves: upgrade your Frooition store to new Frooition Stores (and pay for the pleasure) OR uninstall your Frooition store.

    The unwritten bit is that those are your only two choices because all of their Stores are going to break.

    So if anybody heard about this a few days ago and thought it was a lie, it’s not a lie. You were told the truth, and now Frootion is (not) saying it themselves. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Who to hire if you’re looking for a new shop? I like us [aswas.com], but I’m biased. My suggestion is to pick a design company who puts in their contract that you own the work, you get the files, and if anything breaks because of an eBay rule that existed when the work was done, it’ll be fixed ASAP for free. Our contract says these things.


    (sorry if this comes up as a double post – I posted before, and it didn’t show up)

  6. #11 #12
    I asked Frooition to respond to your comments and they declined saying: “We don’t comment on competitors but what we can say is that we’re extremely excited about the new store experience and are concentrating our efforts on helping our customers understand the changes and help them through the process.

    Quite frankly that’s what it’s all about and to be honest disparaging comments and accusations about competitors isn’t a professional way to go about getting business.

    If you’re going to sell your service for goodness sake sell it on it’s own merits without running your competitors down.

    I’m sure eBay aren’t particularly thrilled that someone is trying to turn their launch of the new eBay shops into a chance to bad mouth their competitors and try to drum up some business through fear and uncertainty and it needs to stop ๐Ÿ™

    Like Frooition I’m extremely excited (well maybe not “extremely” ๐Ÿ˜€ ) about the new store experience and I’ll be happy to pay them to upgrade my shop when the changes come to the UK.

  7. So you are happy to pay for a shop design, pay an ongoing subscription & then pay again when your shop cease to function as it should?

    No wonder Frooition is excited this “upgrade” must seem like a late xmas gift?

  8. It’s really simple. My statement is that Frooition’s Stores are not compliant with eBay’s Site Interference rule, and were never compliant with eBay’s Site Interference rule. Frooition sold people these designs knowing they were not compliant with this rule. Under the new eBay Stores, Frooition’s Stores will all break unless and until they are fixed, redone, or removed.

    That is a statement of facts. If you want to say that’s attacking and disparaging and so on, then I think you’re missing the point. These are facts without emotion or anything else added in. The emotional part is, “And I don’t like that they’ve done that!” That’s an opinion. My opinion is also that a company claiming to be eBay experts should have done things differently or had something in place for when this crack-down happened. You can agree or disagree.

    You can pretend that’s disparaging and you can pretend I’m running a “competitor” down. You can pretend I’m lying, and you can pretend I’m a “scare mongerer,” which seems to be the phrase of choice. You can try to put the spotlight on me, but I’m just a whistle-blower. The spotlight shouldn’t be on me right now. The spotlight should be on the man behind the curtain who is not answering questions with answers but rather with marketing spin and sleight-of-hand.

    Hire us or don’t hire us. I don’t need this to pump up my company, and it’s not about drumming up business. We don’t compete with Frooition because you can’t get what they do from us, and you can’t get what we do from them. The people who love what we do hire us. The people who want something else hire someone else.

    I support anybody’s choice to hire whoever he or she likes. I just think that people should have complete sets of information for making that choice. You can disagree.

  9. I checked out my store design with the new look earlier and it looks nice, no changes required, praise the lord almighty ๐Ÿ˜† touch wood etc etc

  10. I think Frooition will provide this “upgrade” for free to existing customers and adjust pricing if need be for new customers.

    …At least that’s what I would expect from a professional company.

  11. @16
    I can confirm that there is a small charge for the upgrade. Quite frankly in the grand scheme of things it’s an amount that’s not even worth thinking about.

    I wouldn’t say I was “happy” about paying for the upgrade but I’m certainly not objecting. If I never upgraded software because there was a charge I’d still be running Windows 3.11 with a BT Internet provided IP stack. Thing is upgrades happen, sometimes you can choose whether to upgrade or stay on an older package, other times the older package simply won’t work.

    Windows 3.11 simply wouldn’t function in today’s world and my shop design won’t function in a couple of months without an upgrade either. *shrugs*

  12. May I also say that at least I go places and post as ME. I’m me. I’m not anonymous.

    But read my blog, and you’ll see an avid pro-Frooition, grumpy-about-me guy calling himself Dan posting blog comments against what I say the second my blog post goes live. He’s really paying attention!

    Dan, or whatever his real name is, works for Frooition.

    Lovely stuff, guys!

  13. I will willingly pay an upgrade fee when I opt in – Our frooition design is superb and frankly this nutty tart from over the pond is missing the point, frooition design us MUCH better than anything she has produced, our eBay shop (i do not list it hear because i do not want Aswas harrassing me any more than they already have) has gone from strength to strength since our involvement with Frooition.

    As far as I understand it it’s not Frooition who have done anything wrong – Our IT Director has analysed all Debbies statements and concluded that she is indeed scare mongering. eBay will be removing the old shop format, regardless of frooition’s coding, but frooition have had the foresight and determination to serve their clients, so much so that they have developed an upgraded store experience which transposes our existing design into the new eBay shop format – and that will do for us!

    eBay’s new stores will be good for us, Our relationship with frooition remains strong and I can assure any prospective client that they will deliver – we have 3 eBay shops here in the UK and Ireland and they thrive with the designs that frooition did. They assure me that new new stores will be even better – I have seen a preview of the new shops and they look every bit as good as the old ones and contain some really neat features in line with ebay’s features – we see this as extremely positive and applaud frooition for having such foresight and technical capability. Well done Frooition!

    Debbie, your comments about buyers being stupid on your site cannot ensure confidence in what you say – in fact we read your email to us with disgust – cheap scare tactics will not work with us, Aswas should be ashamed of you….

  14. If I had a company which was offering a service for eBay and it was claimed that the product I was offering was not compliant with eBayโ€™s Site interference rule I would certainly feel the need to clear this up.

    Because frooition charges ars subscription I would expect that to cover this kind of event (“ongoing global updates”).

  15. #17 The small charge is ok, and as you say there is a bigger picture. I have used Frooition and their “product” is great, there support is perhaps a different matter.

    Have Frooition said that they will not charge for “new” customers, say ones that have only just gone live?

    If Dan does indeed work for Frooition, you cannot blame him for promoting his company…we all do it ๐Ÿ˜‰

  16. I never said buyers are stupid. Buyers aren’t stupid. My blog posts keep telling people that buyers are more and more savvy, and that sellers need to keep improving what they do to keep up with that savviness.

    The statements I made are true. But you’re wrong about something. eBay isn’t removing an old shop format. If that were true, everybody would have to rebuild or change their eBay Stores no matter who designed them.

    Our client’s eBay Stores don’t need to be changed at all. No “upgrades.” Nothing they have to pay for. Nothing they have to worry about. They are clicking OPT IN, and their Stores look the same and perfect.

    So the idea that eBay is throwing away an old format isn’t true. What I said is true, and no marketing spin is going to change that. You can call me any names you like. It doesn’t change that what you’re saying just isn’t true.

    I’m glad you are happy with your Frooition Shop, and I’m glad you see their “upgrade” exactly the way their PR wants you to see it. I hope you are one of those people getting the free upgrades. They’re going to charge some people and not others.

  17. Pete, I don’t blame him! In fact, he’s probably a nice guy just doing a job someone told him to do. But that job was to respond to my blog posts with stuff that’s anti-my company and pro-his company… while asking me to prove that his company have ever done any blog shilling or posted things against my company out in blogs.

    So it was more surreal than anything else. Like hey, this proves itself. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Jimbo, that’s a great point. If you’re paying an ongoing fee, and you expect it to cover maintenance and upgrades, why wouldn’t it cover this upgrade.

    These are all good questions.

  18. Agree with LFC, I was also disgusted to receive the email from aswas on Tuesday. Cheap attempt to scare people, and then attempt to make money off the back it.

  19. actually if you use frooition why would you have to pay for an upgrade just so their product worked?

    basically frooition “do” your ebay shop as far as I know

    why would anyone pay an extra fee just so they can do what they promised in the first place? Its hardly the customers fault that Frooitions software doesnt work and needs to change.

  20. We are a business, we make business decisions based on best of breed products – we use Channel Advisor, we use Frooition and between the two we have revolutionised our business over the last 12 months. Dabbie, i feel, is labouring a point that actually has nothing to do with her. We have looked at your company Aswas and decided you did not provide a service that we wanted. We wanted the best design possible and, as Chris rightly points out, upgrades sometimes cost money.

    I spoke with my account manager at frooition just now and he went through things with me, simply frooition will be charging a “nominal” sum to most of their clients – some will have to pay more if they have massive amounts of custom add-ons but essentially the cost will not be pro-hibitive. They are due to decide on pricing over the coming days so we’ll know more then – His advice was simple, don’t panic!

    This is opt-in at this stage anyway so there’s plenty of time if we want to keep our current format. We will, however, be upgrading as soon as the new shop experienced is released here in the UK – I’ve put our name down on the list for an immediate upgrade as soon as it’s available. What’s a few quid compared to the massive benefit frooition brings?

  21. #26 Did you ask your acount manager if “Frooitionโ€™s Stores are compliant with eBayโ€™s Site Interference rule”? Due diligence & all that ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Their old Stores aren’t, but I’m sure Froo will make sure their new Stores are. That seems to be the focus of the PR… new Stores are compliant!

  23. Chris I guess I wouldn’t have a problem paying for an ‘upgrade’ if I got my Frooition store for free but unlike you I made a significant investment less than a year ago. I also pay a subscription.

    So we have the option right off that investment remove our Frooition store or pay whatever Frooition demand for the upgrade.

    But it states on their website: “Frooition.com have some great news for their customers relating to eBay’s new store experience which is set to roll out from Jan 2009.”

    Great news!?

    With over a thousand customers being forced to pay a fee for an upgrade. It may be great news for Frooition but certainly not for their customers.

    I also agree with an earlier point made, their support is lousy, support tickets go un answered, problems don’t get resolved.

  24. I think what Debbie is missing isn’t that Frooition stores aren’t compliant. No one is contesting that they’ll be broken in the new stores.However also Frooition have never strictly broken the rules. In the past shop designers have pretty much had free rein to reskin all of the page bar the eBay header. eBay have also given implicit permission for companies to do this and in fact told sellers about Frooition. At eBay Universities in the UK eBay staff on official eBay presentations have held up Frooition shops as examples of just how flexible eBay shops are and just how far you can customise them if you wish to.

    Now eBay have chosen to CHANGE the rules. The FAQs read “We no longer support any customizations that conflict with our Site Interference Policy.” or in other words “Up until now we’ve supported customizations that conflict with our site interference policy”.

    eBay have explicitly and implicitly given their blessing to shop designs which they’ve now decided to block. That’s not a good enough reason for someone to stick the knife into their competitors.

  25. Chris said in post 30, “However also Frooition have never strictly broken the rules.”

    Yes they broke Site Interference. eBay choosing to not crack down on them until now doesn’t mean that rules weren’t broken.

    Chris also said, “Now eBay have chosen to CHANGE the rules. The FAQs read โ€œWe no longer support any customizations that conflict with our Site Interference Policy.โ€ ”

    The rule is the same. They didn’t change what Site Interference is or means. And eBay’s own wording there implies that these designs CONFLICT with this policy. As in not compliant.

    It’s illegal to run a red light. People do it. They could do it for 20 years and not get caught. When the police decide to put a cop or red light camera on that corner, all of a sudden, people will get caught. Running red lights for 20 years doesn’t make the running of the red light NOT illegal.

    Again, no emotion here. Just facts.


  26. So to summarize frooition’s store designs were non-compliant but they wish to charge their customers (who are already paying a subscription) a one off “upgrade” so as to make them compliant now that eBay intends to enforce the existing rule. Is this right?

  27. Are there any more rules that eBay have, that at some point in the future they might enforce…;-)

  28. Debbie – Our shops have worked perfectly for over 2 years, frooition’s support guys have always maintained the shop perfectly and we have never had a moment of trouble from eBay – our account manager at eBay loves our store, especially I suppose, since it increased our sales so much.

    Chris you are absolutely right, โ€œWe no longer support ” actually means we used to support, rule or no rule eBay have obviously supported what frooition do and I can see why, we sold so much more when we had the shop and template done. I personally will be happy to upgrade along with eBay and frooition.and don’t mind paying if it covers the development cost.

  29. #35 Pete, there actually are! Here are a few. I have no inside info here. These have been my predictions for a long time. Cracking down on Stores WAS on the predictions list, but now moves to the reality list. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    * Site Interference also applies to eBay listings. People who have written bad “global” code that overwrites things eBay put on the page might see more strong crack-down on that.

    * Live chat. I still see sellers who have live chat interfaces or links in their listings. This is against the rules.

    * Contact information in Store designs. This is not well known but it’s still a rule. The rule actually is that you cannot have contact information (phone, email, address) in the Store header, Store home page, or elsewhere in the design of your eBay Store. Now as UK sellers HAVE to list business contact info, eBay’s rule on that is that it needs to be no less than one click away from your Store… so that would be listing pages, About Me, or Custom Store pages.

    Now, if/when eBay enact the new View Item page and/or the new Active Content Strategy, these come with new rules, guidelines, and best practices on their own. We’re working on being compliant with those NOW in their anticipation, but I hear we’re the only ones. ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. #36 I think it’s important to remember that that site interference rule has been updated over time. It was worded originally for listings. There have never been guidelines for Shop home page design or policies specifically applied to them up until now.

    At the end of the day Debbie has an axe to grind against Frooition for her own reasons. That’s fine, I have companies I won’t deal with and don’t like too. The difference is I don’t publicly try to humiliate them in order to promote my own business.

  31. @ # 25

    why would anyone pay an extra fee just so they can do what they promised in the first place? Its hardly the customers fault that Frooitions software doesnt work and needs to change.

    It is kind of like why should I pay the postal service an extra fee for insurance? I’m paying them to deliver my package and if it doesn’t arrive they obviously didn’t do the job I paid for. Yet most people gladly pay the fee.

  32. Chris in my mind this is not about Debbie it is about Frooition. Debbie is not the one letting the paying customer down.

  33. #38 So you’re not trying to humiliate me, right Chris? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Chris, there is something I learned about business from watching magicians. The magician wants you to watch the hand he is waving around the stage, and not look at the hand in his pocket… or your pocket. And most people watch the hand waving around the stage. I watch the other hand.

    So while I am saying what I am saying, you just keep coming back to “emotional” points like I have an axe to grind with Frooition… or I’m this or I’m that. That’s the hand waving around in front of the audience. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Trying to shine the spotlight on me won’t change what is going on. Anybody who is paying attention to what Frooition is saying or not saying will know the truth. The end! You can all me that tart across the pond. You can call me axe-grinder. You can point fingers at me if you’d like.

    I think of myself as a consumer advocate, not an axe-grinder. I am out here telling people things they should know. Once they know, I’m happy. I just want people making informed decisions. And the idea that we’re going to pretend there were no broken rules here over the semantic debate over the word “support” makes me want to ask how you define “is.” ๐Ÿ™‚

    So Frooition looks a bit dodgy right now. So what? Why is a company supposedly that big and that wonderful afraid of ME? What power do I have that is SO scary that you and the usual people collecting money from Frooition sprung into action? What is SO scary about what I’m saying that I need to be portrayed as the bad guy… the “scare mongerer”? Why is Frooition posting comments in my blog as fake people pretending to be random Frooition supporters… as if they just can’t post as themselves?

    If Frooition has a problem, it’s not me. They have investors to answer to. They chose to build something non-compliant. They are choosing to charge some people (and not others) to fix their broken Stores. They are choosing to tell people bizarre and in some cases false things about this Stores situation. I’m not their problem.

    I didn’t do this to them. I didn’t make this happen. I don’t control this. I’m just a consumer advocate. I notice you’re not jumping on ANY of the other people posting the SAME sorts of sentiments and ideas that I’m posting. So why am I your target? What amazing power do I have that makes people SO worried about what I post on a blog? Why are people prank calling me from +44 phone numbers that show up on caller ID? Am I really this powerful? I didn’t think so, but maybe I should be honoured!

    My guess would be that Frooition don’t like my presentation of the truth when they are TRYING to get away with their marketing spin. If they just told the truth, I’d have NOTHING to say. I’d have NOTHING to point at. Most of the posts in this thread wouldn’t exist.

    So why put me in the spotlight? The spotlight should be on Frooition, their wonderful new eBay Stores, the interesting story surrounding the birth of those, and how they’re planning to keep happy clients happy. Right?

  34. Hi Bob, there does indeed seem to be some taking of sides here – Chris is right, Debbie is wrong, wrong to slate a company that really has benefitted so many of us, opinion is opinion and should not be stifled, I applaud frooition for not entering into this, I Choose not to state who I am in open forum because I had Debbie sending unsolicited emails as it is,

  35. so if i have got my head round this right

    currently frooition break ebay policy?

    ebay are now changing the layout and enforcing that previously ignored policy?

    frooition want to charge folk because their software used to break the rules but now it does not?

    they sound like a class act.

  36. I was under the illusion that Frooition were already preparing for these changes to the store front by way of updating the software that every Frooition user has to upgrade to (from Frooition Members to Frooition Pro). The monthly subscription for the shop and listing template was ยฃ9.95 (ยฃ7.00 if using a using a 3rd party listing tool with its own image hosting such as ChannelAdvisor or eSellerPro) it is now ยฃ17.25 per month (plus extra for image hosting).
    Almost double the money for the same service.

    Question – Is there a cost for the experience upgrade?

    Answer – Yes, this is an upgrade not a solution to a problem. We are providing many new features as well as reworking some graphics to fit in with the new storefront layout. The pricing will depend on your current layout and levels of custom work. Contact customer services at [email protected]

    How can they justify the excessive increase in subscription cost and then to ask for more for the upgrade?

    According to Frooition “There is a monthly fee of ยฃ9.95 which covers the running (Frooitionโ€™s global scripts) and ensures the sustainability of your eBay design work. This also allows us to not only keep up to date with eBayโ€™s latest updates/features but also means we can provide you with new functionality as part of our development roadmap.” This was introduced when CreativeBay changed to Frootion Members. So why is this any different when upgrading from Frootion Members to Frootion Pro?

    I think quite a few people are going to be unhappy with having to pay for something that should be part of the monthly subscription cost.

  37. @ # 42

    That’s the way it sounds but at the same time everybody seems to love them so much they don’t seem to care. In fact they seem to like the idea. At least that is what I’ve taken from this entire thread.

    Disclosure: I have no bias because I don’t use any templates or designs (probably should but I don’t). I prefer to use thorough, accurate descriptions and “mind tricks” to make sales rather than flashy graphics.

  38. To #43

    Froo did enter this. They spoke through Chris a few times in this topic. They speak through at least one blogger they pay. I saw them all over boards today including eBay and ChannelAdvisor plugging their “New Stores Experience” and responding to questions, concerns, and accusations.

    I’m still looking into this, but my blog got many posts today whose IP numbers went to a Frooition IP number. I’m not sure if those are ever wrong, but if they’re not wrong, then Froo staff were commenting in my blog as “regular people” and not Froo staff. I sent them to Typepad support, asking them to double-check if the IP numbers could possibly be wrong. But it seems nearly impossible that a wrong IP number assigned to a blog comment just happens to point to a Frooition server. That’s amazingly coincidental.

    Froo changed their website all day today. Every time I or somebody else said something about what’s going on with them, I noticed pages being updated. Messages got changed. Froo clients who were going to be charged for their Store to be fixed evidently bitched their way into getting it for free. Good for them. ๐Ÿ™‚

    It’s neat to watch the marketing machine Frooition have. It’s interesting to watch how involved Frooition HAVE been, yet you think they’ve stayed out of it. I guess they did it all through other people or behind the scenes, but they were doing a lot.

    I think that’s really interesting. I shall have to find minions to do my bidding for me in the future, and stop being so accessible and identifiable. ๐Ÿ™‚

  39. LFC what has Debbie said on this board that is wrong? That present frooition designs won’t work in the near future? That frooition designs don’t comply with the Site Interference Policy? That frooition want to charge their customers to correct the problem? That frooition are saying upgrade or uninstall? Let’s not shoot the messenger.

  40. Jimbo there is nothing wrong about the facts as you state them although it has to be remembered that eBay have given their blessing to advanced designs over a number of years and eBay themselves have promoted them to eBay sellers at various events as an option worth considering. Spinning it to “They broke the rules” isn’t the whole story, more that the rules are changing and don’t forget that some companies (Froo in particular) have worked with eBay for several months on the new shops solution but obviously couldn’t announce that until after eBay made their announcement.

    What is wrong is that Debbie has been using every avenue open to her to intimidate Frooition’s customers and bad mouth the company. This includes emails to hundreds of Frooitions customers as well as posts on her own website and numerous others.

    She hasn’t mentioned ANY of the other companies who provide advanced shop designs and that they also will have to upgrade all of their customers either for free or with a charge. It’s a personal grudge that she holds against Frooition driving her posts.

    Quite frankly if she wants to carry out personal crusades it’s none of my business but if she decides to move her vendetta onto TameBay rather than keeping it on her own site then I’ll comment.

    My advice – ignore Debbie’s spin. If you don’t have an advanced eBay shop design why are you worrying? If you do have an advanced eBay shop design contact your supplier cos you’re likely to need an upgrade at some point in the next three to four months.

  41. #43 โ€œeverybody seems to love them so much they donโ€™t seem to careโ€ โ€“ I donโ€™t think that is the case, it might be the impression given by the two Frooition cheerleaders Chris and LFC but certainly not my view. Letโ€™s look at the facts:

    Frooition charge around ยฃ795 +VAT for the eBay shop and template
    Subscription is ยฃ180 per year
    250mb Image Hosting Subscription is ยฃ180 per year

    Frooition shops broke site interference rules but eBay turned a blind eye, now they will enforce these rules

    Frooition shops will no longer work once the new eBay shops are rolled out.

    After less than a year of use we are being told we can either pay for an โ€˜upgradeโ€™ or uninstall our shop

    Frooition after sales support is close to nonexistent, support tickets take weeks to be responded to, usual reply is โ€˜weโ€™ll look into that and get back to youโ€™ , ticket is closed and that is the last you hear with issue not resolved.

    โ€œeBay design experts Frooition.com have some great news for their customers relating to eBay’s new store experience which is set to roll out from Jan 2009.โ€

    I think charging customers is a foolish business decision by Frooition, will generate bad feeling among its customers and further damage its reputation. Also to try and spin it as great news for their customers rubs salt in.

  42. Dirty tricks, scare mongering and a wholely negative approach is my problem with Debbie – I want to remain a frooition customer and no amount of bad mouthing from Aswas, No amount of spam emails from her will tempt us to work with her.

    I buy a car, I pay for servicing, then i part ex it for anopther some years later. The profiits we have seen from our eBay sales fully justify the upgrade cost with frooition, not to mention the new functionality.

    Debbie is no messenger, she is distracting us from our core business and we find it disgraceful that she has to attack our suppliers in this way. We are perfectly happy with frooition and are looking forward to seeing the results of their new development. Debbie needs to stop spamming us with her negative rhetoric, it;s no wonder her dsigns are “basic” if she spends that much time creating fear – I much prefer to work with the positive guys at frooition.

    As for th eupgrade cost – well we don’t even know what that will be yet but when it comes we believe it will be worth the few pounds…

  43. Chris. what is this personal grudge that Debbie has?

    Possibly some frooition members were pleased to have there eye’s opened to the situation (Bob?). If you feel that frooitions position is fair, well that is your opinion (all though in my opinion, your opinion has been compromised).

    The whole upgrade analogy is a joke (talk about spin).

    What is the frooition subscription fee for?

  44. LFC How many emails have you received? I have been cold called by frooition. Is that not the same?

    Why are you letting Debbie distract you?

  45. Jimbo I agree there is too much focus on Debbie, nothing she says is untrue. But by talking about an alleged personal grudge it allows the Frooition cheerleaders to take the attention away from the real issues.

  46. Chris, if it would help you back off from some of the odd and untrue things you’re assigning me, here’s that list you wanted.

    Frooition claims to have done 1000+ eBay Stores, all in their “style” and using their “system.” This stat makes it look like they will have the most broken Stores though the rumour I hear is that they really only have 300-600 live ones at this time. eBay had shown me their Stores as examples of ones that’ll break the most/worst.

    We did 3 non-compliant Stores, but we told those clients AT THE TIME that they were non-compliant, and we’d charge them to change them back. I believe all 3 got changed yesterday, so we’re done. ๐Ÿ™‚ Funny enough, ours were so well-coded that they actually DON’T break in the new Stores preview. Still, if eBay is cracking down on Site Interference, we still have to remove that advanced CSS.

    aGenius did a couple of non-compliant designs but like us, mostly stuck to more standard Stores.

    I think Diztinct sticks mostly to compliant Stores. I can’t think of any of his that will break, but I don’t know all of his work.

    PixClinic… I am not that familiar with many of his Stores either, but I am under the impression that he is going to lose some of his trademark style because of the announcement. I’m not sure how many Stores will break.

    Launch Pad got into a few non-compliant Stores late in the game. I think they’ll have some to fix, but I don’t think it’s most of their customers. But they had plenty of nice and compliant Stores before they got into the Advanced coding. I warned them at eBay Live 08 not to get into it. Oh well! ๐Ÿ™‚

    TruSky seems to mostly have non-compliant Stores. I’m not that familiar with them, but I know they were focusing on the “Advanced Store” thing.

    JunctionQuest are nice guys who I think do more CA Stores than eBay work. I am not sure whether their Stores are compliant or not.

    I think the same for apanado.com… I think those are mostly non-compliant, even though I like their owners. ๐Ÿ™‚

    CreateMyStore.co.uk does a great job ripping off Frooition’s website. So they’re either Frooition under another name, or Froo doesn’t mind this at all (?). I think they were focusing on “advanced” Stores too.

    I think CreateMyTemplate was doing mostly or all compliant Stores, so I’d imagine they’re mostly fine.

    DesignYouSay I’d never heard of. I think they’re Australian. I’m not familiar with their Stores.

    Same for Molto Bella Designs. Hadn’t heard of them, not familiar with their Stores.

    Some of the eBay software guys do design… ChannelAdvisor, Auctiva, Kyozou, and Infopia off the top of my head. I tend to think of their work as bland for my tastes, so many of their Stores will probably be OK. But I have to say I’m not totally sure.

    Can’t speak for the rest of who’s in the eBay Store Design Directory.

    Then, you have piles of Froo copycats. Just Google these things, and you’ll see HEAPS of freelance job board postings where people are looking for these styles of design but only want to pay $50. So anybody who designed those might have created broken Stores.

    I’ve treated just about everybody on this list as a friend and colleague. There is enough pie out there for many designers to have plenty of business! We’d never heard of Frooition before they walked into our eBay Live 2007 booth and had some unfriendly and aggressive comments for my staff. So we could have been friends and colleagues, but they introduced themselves with bizarre and aggressive behaviour, and it’s degraded since. Anybody reading my blog would have been following that story since June 2007. I have no axe to grind, but I am sure am tired of being kicked. This week, I kicked back. Sorry some of you didn’t like that.

    I’m hoping my blog post today will say the rest, including my apology to anybody who hasn’t liked what I’ve had to say or how I said it.


  47. Hey Debbie there are a few that you missed off… I can think of another couple of prominent European players in that market that will definitely have to update their designs…. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I just think regardless of your relationship (or lack of as the case may be!) with competitors a much stronger marketing ploy would have been along the lines of “We’re thrilled that eBay have at last upgraded eBay shops/stores and we know some of you out there may be worried that yours may not be compatible with the new eBay format. As Was are pleased to announce that all of our clients designs are compatible and they can upgrade to the new store experience as soon as they’re ready to. If you’re interested in finding out how an As Was design can make the most of the new stores format, or want to refresh your existing As Was design to take full advantage of the new features, contact us at……”

    Sometimes less is more and one of the first lessons in professional sales that I was ever taught is that it’s never a good idea to run down the competition e.g.

    Q. What do you think of XYZ’s product and how does it compare to yours?
    A. Their’s is a great product for those it suits, but our product can do this and that and the other and that’s why I think it’s a great solution to fit your requirements.

    Nothing bad said about the competitor, just an instant sidestep back into why what I’m selling is good for the client. I know that’s how you normally sell – just surprised you let yourself get dragging into the mire this time.

    Hope to see you soon, but not sure when…. no eBay Live! this year! That’s really not good… that a tax free trip to the US off the calendar ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

  48. Hi, Chris. My time machine isn’t working, so it doesn’t help to say I should have done something else. We all know now I should have done something else. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have been waiting 2 yrs for eBay to crack down on this stuff, and the excitement of “I told you so” made me wild and a bit out of character.

    I think given what is going on right now, plenty of companies should have done a lot of things differently. We all made mistakes. ALL. I think everybody is squirming at least a little, all for different reasons.

    I have publicly apologised in my blog, and I am trying to decide if I should email the people who got my email to apologise. I don’t want to look worse, and it seems like emailing people who didn’t want your email to say “sorry about that other email” may not make things better. They may just want me to go away, which is their right!

    Any suggestions on whether or not you email people who didn’t want to hear from you to say sorry I emailed you? ๐Ÿ™‚

  49. #12 Chris you say Frooition will not respond to Debbie’s pointโ€™s maybe they will respond to the other contributors? Since you clearly have a good relationship with them being one of your biggest advertisers I’m sure you could get them to clear up all this uncertainty.

    #57 ยฃ100 for a basic shop upgrade with over 1000 shops not a bad little earner on top of the ยฃ180 annual subscription. Still think when there is no choice but have the upgrade or uninstall your shop it should be covered by the subscription. Maybe Frooition could clarify what the subscription actually covers. By accepting this compulsory upgrade a precedent is being set for Frooition to make charges every time some change is made or threaten us with our shop no longer working. I sure Frooition will claim there are enhancements but with the background of the gallery no longer allowed to be changed the shops will look even more alike.

  50. #58 Oh you know I’m just dying to say “Yes email them to say sorry I emailed them” because it would be so funny to hear people’s reactions….. please don’t make me be naughty ๐Ÿ˜€ Just don’t go there ๐Ÿ˜›

    #59 The link in #57 actually says “Its early days to attach a price. For basic stores ยฃ50-ยฃ100”, I’ll wait until I get an actual figure for my store but personally I’ve no problem with the lower end figure, it’s chicken feed out of turnover after all.

    Interesting question on the subscription though and a very good point, I’ll ask but it’s the weekend so don’t expect a fast answer ๐Ÿ˜›

    What I’d suggest though is that you don’t rely on what answers I get – if you’ve got an Advanced Shop Design from ANY designer contact them and ask about your specific circumstances. I honestly don’t know which may or may not have a solution lined up and which may or may not charge in your particular circumstances. Your contract may vary from other peoples depending when it was agreed or what you negotiated.

  51. Seriously, I don’t know what to do!

    Some people are saying email people and apologise.

    Some are saying don’t write to these people again!

    Seriously, what would you do if you made this error and were actually sorry!

  52. Do you know where i can preview my store with the new style ebay is introducing?

    I just had a Frooition store installed 2 weeks ago so im hoping i wont have to pay to ‘upgrade’.

  53. Hi Patty,


    That should work for ya. Unless Froo advised you when they took your money that your site design was in fact breaking eBay policy then I would express to them in the strongest terms your anger.

    Just because eBay turned a blind eye/didnt understand there own policies is not good enough, you bought a eBay shop/template design in good faith, if that product does not comply with eBay policy then it should changed for free, If I was a paying customer I would be disgusted.

  54. I find it hard to understand why frooition have not had the conviction to comment (directly) on this thread and address the points raised (compliance with the site interference policy, subscription, etc.) Perhaps they have taken the Fifth Amendment? They were happy enough to get the ball rolling (see post #1).

  55. Just fancy that…

    #50 – “Frooition charge ยฃ795+vat.”

    # 55 – “CreateMyStore.co.uk does a great job ripping off Frooitionโ€™s website. So theyโ€™re either Frooition under another name, or Froo doesnโ€™t mind this at all (?)”. I thought I’d have a look.

    Createmystore.co.uk charge ยฃ285, or ยฃ239 on a current offer.
    Now, go and check both company’s home pages. Amazingly similar. Then, look at their example sites. Amazingly similar.
    Then, go to the CreateMyStore client site, `Island Dreams`
    and it’s strangely “powered by Frooition”. But would have appeared to cost ยฃ510 less than if it had been bought from them.
    But their FAQ page has the following;
    “Are you in linked with Frooition?

    Absolutely not. We are in no way affiliated or part of frooition eBay Design. We do things completely different to those guy’s and have engineered our eBay Design Solutions in a completely different way”.

    Seems to me none of the companies involved in this shooting match have covered themselves in glory, but what’s going on here?

  56. #63 I think any response direct from Frooition would be seen as a defence. They feel (i guess) that they have nothing to defend.

    I fear that Frooition could be falling into the trap that Paypal have. By that I mean that on the whole Paypal provide a service that we would find it hard to do without, but most hate Paypal for the “if you don’t like the way we do business, get lost” attitude. And most would switch in a flash if there was a viable and equally popular alternative.

    Currently, Frooition are seen as the market leader with regards to eBay custom design but a flash in the pan is not enough to keep your customers. AFTER sales service makes an ordinary company a great company, and unfortunately Frooition fail on a cosmic scale with after sales service.

    I know Frooition are reading this thread, maybe laughing at some posts and maybe taking some posts more seriously. But Frooition, you really do have to stop developing NEW products and take stock of your existing customers needs and requirements.

    Don’t think Chris, that all of Frooitions customers receive the same level of service that you seem to get. Maybe if we ran a popular eBay themed blog site we would but we don’t.

    I have a number of websites, all of which were going to pushed onto your platform. That plan has now been put onto hold until the support problems are resolved.

  57. #61 Those that were annoyed the first time will in all likelihood doubly annoyed if you mail again and those that weren’t annoyed don’t need an apology. There’s no decision needed – in this instance doing nothing will upset less people than doing something ๐Ÿ˜€ Plus those that are *really* pissed are probably reading either your site, TameBay or another site and are following the story and have seen your apology anyway ๐Ÿ™‚

    #69 I’m aware I have two levels of service from Frooition – One is when I phone them as “Chris from TameBay”, however not all of their support staff and designers are aware who I am and opening a support ticket on their website doesn’t get priority – I’m aware of their normal support levels too.

  58. #66 I looked at CreateMyStore, I agree remarkably similar website and designs to Frooition and at under ยฃ300 less than half the price of Frooition. Shame they have only been around since July 2008 could have saved me a few hundred quid. Looks like a few Frooition staff / designers walked and set up on their own. I wonder if their support and treatment of customers is any better than Frooitions?

  59. #71 Personally I would never deal with a company that won’t give me their phone number before I spend my money.

    Shame really as they look fantastic, especially for the great prices they charge.

  60. #70 Thanks, Chris. Not going to email.

    I’m scheduled to be on the eBay and Beyond radio show this morning. I emailed and asked if he minded if before we got into the usual discussions, can I please make a statement and apology. He said yes.

    So I will apologise out loud on his radio show, and I hope people will hear it. I also still hope they’ll catch my blog post on what happens behind the scenes.

    Otherwise, I say everybody carry on! This discussion is going just fine! ๐Ÿ™‚

  61. And i thought it was just me getting no response from my frooition tickets.
    I have a new website but no instructions on how it works, I have spent weeks working out things for myself as it is near impossible to get any answers from them.
    Great product great ideas but please give us some after sales service for of ยฃยฃยฃยฃ
    That’s if anyone’s listening in ??

  62. Well, it would appear that createmystore.co.uk could be connected to Frooition. In the portfolio section on createmystore “island express” is a Frooition customer.

    I wonder if the domain owner Gareth, is the same Gareth that’s at Frooition. My first question would be why the massive price difference guys?

  63. #73 Debbie what exactly are you apologizing for & why are posting your schedule on here?

    #75 Why all this Sherlock Homes stuff? If you want to know who “CreateMyStore” is. You could just use the contact form on there website and ask ?

  64. #77 I assume you mean me? How do you know I haven’t? I thought this was a place to discuss stuff, my mistake I guess.

    Besides, as a business they have to display their address anyway, seeing as they are not I guess they want to keep it a secret for some reason?!?

  65. Pete I didn’t mean you I was refering to post #74 from Debbie ๐Ÿ™‚ Typed the wrong number!

  66. no worries…good on here though innit’ not as rough as Q&A and (so far) way less pictures of fluffy kittens than PS Forum…;-)

  67. #75 No Mike it’s not just you Frooition support tickets are a waste of time, if or when they finally reply nothing gets resolved. Maybe if we did get some after sales support I wouldn’t be so negative towards having to pay for a compulsory upgrade to keep our shop.

  68. #77 Jimbo, my apology is explained by my blog post. https://aswas.typepad.com/hall_of_fame/2009/01/nearly-everybody-is-right-.html

    I made the apology there and on a radio show this morning aimed at eBay sellers.

    The short version is that as a vendor in the industry, I have seen some bizarre tactics that companies use in the name of “competition.” I list some in my blog post. I had never done any of these, but I was seeing so many go on that I decided to try one this week. I mean hey, my clients get emailed all the time from other design companies trying to win them over. It seemed like “everybody’s doing it,” but that doesn’t mean it’s right to email someone who didn’t mark themselves as your potential client.

    I emailed some customers who were not mine about the eBay Stores announcement. Some thanked me for the info I gave them. Some were mad, and felt spammed. I didn’t want to be thought of as a spammer, or someone who took the low road, so I’m apologising to the people who got my email and felt spammed by it.

    I’m hoping that although I did something that wasn’t the best choice, people will know that I have the *insert word here* to come out, publicly admit my mistake, and apologise for it. Out of all the things I’ve seen other companies do to each other’s clients, I’ve certainly never seen any of them admit it and apologise. And they should. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I felt oddly that people wanted to hang me for this one mistake when I have seen so many companies do really awful things to each other and to “prospects” (that’s you!). I figured if you’re going to hang me for sending some unwanted emails, holy cats, you should realise that EVERY company out there has done things you might find dirty. I don’t want to hang alone. ๐Ÿ™‚ There are no perfect angels, but I at least wanted to stand out by admitting and apologising.

    So I’m putting myself back on the high road, and any company who wants to take the low road will make their own beds. People who know me in this industry tend to think of me as brutally honest, and my feeling was that if I’m going to be honest and call out what other companies are doing, the most honest thing I can do is call out what I’ve done.

    I hope that makes sense!

  69. #81 Bob.
    I must admit I thought I was told that as frooition added updates I would get them free as part of the subscription?
    Its a shame if they do charge as i will really start to feel a little disappointed with the overall service i have received since handing over the money.

  70. #83 This is from the FAQ on frooition’s website:

    “After Upfront fees are paid are there any additional ongoing costs?
    Yes, but you will receive 3 months free. There is then a ยฃ15.00 plus VAT monthly fee which will cover access to our software, design hosting (5gb bandwidth), script usage and ongoing global updates. You may also choose to take out 10mb product image hosting for ยฃ5.00 plus VAT per month.”

  71. A word of advice for anyone thinking of using http://WWW.CREATEMYSTORE.CO.UK / CREATEMYSTORE, simple really do not use them!
    The designs are ok, as you say very similar to Frooition. Although most designs look the same or similar they are ok. As for the customer service it’s nonexistent, there is none. It took 7 weeks for our site to be completed after 30+ emails complaining for the site to be started!
    Once they have taken your money they contact you at leisure usually 5 days later if youโ€™re lucky. They are supposed to provide a landline number for customer service (what a joke!) again nonexistent. The only way to contact is through email and it’s rarely answered as I said at their own leisure. They like to discuss store requirements by messenger, it’s very hard to describe the what you need from their design in this way. When I say they, I mean GARETH HUMES, the company or one man band shall i say is nothing more than GARETH HUMES working from his bedroom. The address is nonexistent, a fake. He has called his bedroom Creative House, how ‘Creative’ Gareth.
    Frooition charge a lot of money for shop design and I wish I had paid it rather than using createmystore. If you are a business selling on eBay you need support from the guys designing the shop, what if there is a problem, you canโ€™t list, html playing up, bad installation, you have no support and your business loses money, just like my business did.
    If you ring around the customers on their portfolio you and speak to the business owners they will also explain how bad they are, I wish I had done this before I paid rather than after!
    Ignore the fancy website, look elsewhere, you have been warned!

  72. All I’m left wondering when reading this thread and Chris’s comments, which to me look like Frooition spin, is whether Chris actually pays anything monthly for his shop from them because from where I’m sitting he looks like a bought man.
    Chris, your view should surely be objective and non-biased unless you’re going to come clean about what you get from a company you are commenting on which allows all of us to make a judgement as to how much credibility we should give your comments.
    At the moment I give them none because you look more like the Frooition PR machine than an objective blogger although that does make a change from the regular ebay PR machine.
    Frooition from what I’ve read does not look like a company I’d ever want to do business with. Amazing that when they were trying to plug their shop designs through this site by giving Chris and Sue free shop makeovers they were able to pop up at will and add replies to comments. Suddenly their silence is deafening. I wonder why…

  73. #87 I don’t pay monthly – I chose to make an annual payment and my renewal is not due until 01/08/2009. I pay nothing to Frooition for their hosting because I don’t use it – I use my own domain for hosting and pay an ISP for the privilege. Nothing to “come clean” about.

  74. #85 I would be interested to see your shop on eBay, would you be willing to post a link? Just be nice to see a real shop he has done and not something from the portfolio.

    As far as it being a one man band, that’s fine nothing wrong with that. So long as the work gets done to the standards you expect.

    Gareth will be reading this thread, so far I haven’t read anything that would put me off using him. I would like to see some real world contact details though.

    I also found that eBay message that he posted and chose to ignore it, it was over a year ago and we all start somewhere.

  75. #90
    Grow up, advertising on Tamebay costs ยฃ20 per month,you make it sound like Watergate !

  76. #91 The Frooition advert with the Tamebay endorsement costs ยฃ20 per month? How do you know that? At what price would it become not acceptable?

  77. #92 there is a section on advertising under ABOUT TAMEBAY, I was going to put an advert on for Samaritans, sounds like you need their number ๐Ÿ˜€

  78. I thought the ยฃ20 was for the rotating banner in the top corner rather than the side bar advert. But my point really was that the cost is neither here nor there.

  79. I pay ยฃ20 odd for the rotating advert top right, best money I ever spent…

    I keep bugging Sue about the side bar advert, I want it, but she doesnt return my calls ๐Ÿ˜†

    Then again even when I wasn’t paying for advertising she wouldn’t return my calls ๐Ÿ˜†

    I can see a pattern.

    God save the queen.

  80. Yes you are right, nothing wrong with it being a one man band, thatโ€™s fine nothing wrong with that. The problem is work does not get done in specified time and there is no customer support. Nothing. No response to emails! Lucky to get a response in 5 days!

    I hope Gareth is reading this, perhaps he will take notice. I hope he adds some comments to this post to explain the poor customer service. Iโ€™m sure he will come up with some great excuses.

    Do your homework first, call the clients in the portfolio have a chat and you will see exactly what I am talking about. Iโ€™m sure if he is reading this some of the clients will shortly be removed.

    So the fake address, no response to emails, poor customer service, Google Checkout now investigating, credit card company starting chargeback proceedings, no contact details or phone number, paying someone else to finish off his work and bad client reviews donโ€™t put you off???

    Someone posted earlier โ€œWhy all this Sherlock Homes stuffโ€, well now you know. There is no contact details and so many customers are trying to find a way of getting in contact with him. I have spoken to some of his clients and again between us we have searched the web trying to piece together some sort of contact details as he will not respond to emails if he does not want to.

    Gareth if you are reading this why not provide the telephone number as promised on the website, I do wonder if he is now too embarrassed to speak, not man enough to stand for his work. Or maybe he has nothing to stand up for???


  81. What a thread. Touched a sensitive point for lots of sellers.

    On the given that a Frooition site obviously presents a more professional image than a home-built one, what exactly is it that apparently makes their customers increase sales?
    Is it the 4 column layout, or is it the sheer number of products visible? Does that attract an add-on sale?
    After all, nobody searches for your shop itself, but finds you via a product search, so isn’t the product template the most important item – rather than a home page?
    On the basis that all Frooition sites are exactly the same in their page layout and easily identifiable, does it really follow that some of the more inventive page designers do a lesser selling job?
    There are endless un-designed Ebay stores out there that look like a Jackson Pollock car crash put together by a colour-blind baboon – but still with huge sales figures. On that basis, does it all really matter on Ebay?

  82. #98 I can’t speak for everyone, but what I can tell you is that when I choose a product and have it featured in my shop either as the star product on the top left, or the top five items on the right that sales of those products go up.

    The merchandising whether done by a Froo shop design or another advanced design *does* work and yes you’re right, it’s down to the sheer number of products visible.

  83. our ebaying is done by a
    baldy dwarf colour blind arthritic senile baboon with dyslexia

    and we are platinum powesellers ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜†

  84. #98 My theory is that the eBay Store is not the main place to spend your design dollar. That’s because of the natural process of the eBay shopper.

    Most eBay shoppers don’t start in someone’s shop. They know they want that mobile case, they come to eBay, they search for it, they get search results, they start picking items to check out. They can buy from you or refuse to buy from you without ever seeing your Store. That’s why I think spending most of your time or money on your eBay Store is not the best plan.

    That sale is made or broken on the listing page. You keep or lose their attention there. You show them well-worded policies or a disorganised ocean of text there. ๐Ÿ™‚ They decide they trust you or not. They decide this is the item they want or not. And they may ask a question or not, but our research showed that most shoppers who ask questions don’t come back. Why? Even if you answer the question quickly, they probably hit the back button, saw something else they liked, and bid or bought. You lost the sale.

    My feeling is that with how fast the eBay shopper is moving, and how visual people are, the same old layouts won’t work anymore. Design has evolved past columns. Even major US sites like Target, Walmart, and Office Max recently redid their site to REMOVE columns. Famous eBay seller Grapevine Hill recently redid his listings to REMOVE his columns. I’d think that if columns worked, he’d keep it. And we have always refused to design columns.

    That’s my opinion!

    I know it’s easier to do the cookie cutter thing. It’s cheaper and easier. But when I think about how much of people’s finances and livelihood revolve around your ability to make or break a sale, I guess I tend to think you guys deserve better! You may pay more for it, but you may benefit more from it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    But that is how an ugly Store or an overdesigned Store can keep selling. It’s not where the sale happens, so unless it’s really awful, it can be ignored!

  85. #103 I agree that the listing is likely to be the first place a buyer lands and where the effort needs to be spent, but with a couple of caveats.

    It’s totally the wrong place to design in T’s and C’s or “well worded policies”. These should be firmly relegated to the eBay provided boxes such as the Return Policy, Shipping, Sellers Payment Instructions, Domestic Handling Time etc.

    The sellers that have had the biggest compliance issues both in the UK, US and around the world are those who use the item description box to hold their trading terms.

    When eBay make a change (and they’ll make more) this is the one place where edits are painful (and will lose you any recent sales score you’ve built up). The “Item Description” area should be for the “Item Description” and nothing else. If you must the terms there must be those that will NEVER change.

    (And yes that’s one thing I don’t like about Frooition templates and when they did my auction template I made them remove the tabbed boxes you’ll see on most Frooition listings).

    My other pet hate is with shops with landing pages either with overly large headers or with a load of blurb about the seller. It might be pretty, it might even be interesting the first time I land on your shop, but quite frankly if I visit a second or third time it’s not because I want to read you’re diatribe it’s because I want to buy something (That’s if I’ve not hit the back button the first time I saw it).

    Show me the products and I might actually spend some money – save the rest for your about me page or custom shop pages.

  86. Chris, as this is my universe, I of course disagree. I think that clear policies are very important in a template.

    When we’ve re-worded, edited, and re-ordered clients’ policies, and built them into the template, many have reported fewer “stupid questions” and sales going up. Stupid questions being “when do you ship” when your listing says when you ship, that sort of thing. ๐Ÿ™‚

    If you leave these things to where eBay drops them, you run the risk of them not being noticed. Right now, they’re at the bottom of the page, and we know many people don’t like to scroll and read a lot. With the new View Item page that’s supposedly coming this year, they’re at the top, but in a tab. So you have to know that’s a tab and click it to see the shipping details, for example.

    What you say about being stuck when you have a global change is oddly enough the OPPOSITE of what I tell clients. If your template truly is a template, you will have a MUCH easier time updating than if you have no template or you have pre-combined your template and item into into one giant HTML blob.

    You (or we) update the template, load it back into software that understands templates as separate things, and then from there, anything you list freshly has the latest version of the template. Sure, you can take everything down and list it freshly if you need to. And yes, you’d lose Recent Sales, but let’s also remember that Recent Sales is a short window. It might be 4 days for your items, so it might not be the end of the world.

    You can also use Blackthorne, Inkfrog, or some other tools that have BULK EDIT features if you need to revise everything you have.

    Chris also said, “My other pet hate is with shops with landing pages either with overly large headers or with a load of blurb about the seller.”

    I think you just explained why we won’t design shops that look like what “certain other companies” ๐Ÿ™‚ do. I think that these shops are too busy – sensory overload – compared to what people are trying to experience and accomplish. And again, I theorise that eBay agrees. If they felt these shops were the best way to go, I doubt they would have formally outlawed that style of design last week.

  87. We too have fully paid (ยฃ385) for a full design, payment sent via google checkout on the 26th November. I’ve not seen any evidence of any work being done and I’m finding it very hard to get any kind of replys from Gareth or Chantelle! The portfolio looks good, I just want either a refund or the work done!

    Dom – Get Musical

  88. #105
    My problem is “anything you list freshly has the latest version of the template”, with 30 day listings and GTC along with recent sales which can be anything up to 60 days I never want to cancel a listing.

    You’re “When do I ship” type terms need never change. Things like payment methods however should NEVER in my opinion be in listings. That’s why so many sellers are still tearing their hair out over paper and cash payments.

    Description is just that – a description of the product. Anything else added into that part of the listing is asking for trouble next time eBay change something.

  89. #107, I agree that many policies don’t change. But right now, some clients had to take out paper payments. Some clients want the new language about international shipping in. Policies will change, and it’s best to be ready for how you’re going to deal with that.

    Things change, and the best things sellers can do is to think about how they’re going to deal with that. You don’t have to take listings down to bulk change them anymore. There are tools out there!

    See, by your thinking, listings should also have no design. eBay may change what’s allowed in coding and designs later this year, and by your logic, it sounds like nobody should have to change listings… so you might as well take your design out now! Well, I don’t agree, and eBay knows that good design drives sales, so let’s not go overboard.

    Also remember that because of the threat of bait and switch, eBay doesn’t want people putting in policies as graphics they can change any time. eBay doesn’t want people to be able to remote-control-change their policies since it opens the door to be bidding or buying under one set of policies, you change them remotely, and when I go to print out the listing after I’ve won, suddenly I’m under another set of policies, and eBay has no record of the listing being revised.

    So look out for this since eBay doesn’t want people doing it this way.

  90. In my mind the whole idea of a shop is to create a brand within eBay – I think the frooition shops do this very well. I haven’t seen any other company offering anything that can compete with frooition in this respect.

    If I’m buying a case for a mobile I really don’t see any need to read or even see terms and conditions (although I appreciate that as a seller there are legal obligations with regard to this). All I want is a short but sweet description (which should be delivered through an attractive and functional design). I will have a look at the feedback/DSR’s though – I think they normally give a fairly clear indication of what I can expect.

  91. #110 Quote “In my mind the whole idea of a shop is to create a brand within eBay – I think the frooition shops do this very well. I havenโ€™t seen any other company offering anything that can compete with frooition in this respect.”

    My my, I can send you a list of many companies who brand just as well or better than Frooition, depending on what you are after.

    Jimbo, you seem to be the pro Froo voice on this thread, it would be nice to see my ol’ Froosters defending their corner as they seem oddly quiet in this respect. Poke them will you?

  92. #111 Just about fell off my seat there. I guess you haven’t read my earlier posts! ๐Ÿ™‚

  93. #114 So which companies would you recommend for branding, within the context of an eBay shop (for a UK based business)?

  94. Oh yes, do it yourself!
    But in case you can’t be bothered, email me as it is taking the thread a little off topic and it needs to be kept to the new changes. Tell me your budget too so I can suggest who would fit into it. I should start charging for such advice!

  95. I wasn’t enquiring for myself. I was just interested in your opinion (as you had dismissed mine) ๐Ÿ™‚ .

    The trouble with “do it yourself” is that it normally looks like you have done it yourself. That’s why good graphic designers can charge so much.

  96. Eek, don’t do your Store yourself unless you’re great with Photosohp, HTML, possibly CSS, branding, marketing, and you know eBay rules!

    Sadly, some design companies don’t qualify there. ๐Ÿ™‚

    But I agree with where Liz is going. Budget is going to play into it a lot. However, I think you also have to consider how much it’s going to help. It ends up a math thing that’ll be different for each person. How many months of your typical profit would it take for Designer X to pay for itself? Designer Y? And what do these people offer other than design that might look at your biz more wholistically and be helpful? Is that likely to be worth the money? It’s math! ๐Ÿ™‚

    And I still say that it’s more important to get great template design and organisation than your Store. We have a case study where a seller was doing $3K/month. We did his template and he left his Store plain/default. He quickly went to $186K/month in sales.

    Obviously, that’s not everybody’s experience with us, but my point is that he was able to grow his sales solely because of template and strategy help without changing his eBay shop at all.

  97. Frooition say the listing template is unaffected. However if you opt for the new view item page currently in beta, the template is too wide and there are scroll bars for width and height with part of the third column cut off. Despite my screen being much wider it is leaving white space on each side.

  98. #121 We found that most of our templates will be OK, but since they announced that at eBay Live 2008, we started designing narrower in the anticipation of this new View Item page.

    #122 I think the eBay sandbox will let you preview that. I think some eBay item pages for your own item will let you preview it too.

    I think this also includes an iframe so that coding can’t screen scrape.

  99. At the top of the view item page it says:

    We’re changing eBay! See how we’re making a change for the better. Switch to the new version of this page

    You can click to opt in

  100. So does that mean that mean after forking out for the “Frooition Shop experience” customers will have to pay another pub night for the upgraded Frooition Template experience? Norf have you got the number of your Baboon? ๐Ÿ™‚

  101. Well I guess if as Frooition says “Our customers have unique custom advanced store design which means there isn’t one easy solution for all. It’s advanced design. Images have to be re-sized, html needs to be re-written.
    This isn’t clip-art! It’s complex and takes time to deliver the fantastic results which our customers enjoy. ”

    If they are resizing the graphics for the shop it should be easy enough to update the template!?

  102. #125 I can’t begin to guess how any particular design company will need to react to what eBay changes next.

    But I will say this.

    When eBay puts their Active Content Strategy in motion, it’s my opinion that Froo templates will be the most affected. I can’t say what eBay will do and when, but the plan announced in June 2008 was (among other things) to stop allowing JavaScript in listings and templates.

    That would make Froo’s current system no longer work. And I think after last week, it will be harder for them to pass off a new system as an optional upgrade. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I am concerned about this since changing a broken Shop is easier than updating hundreds of thousands of listings. But then again, with no real word from eBay on what they are changing and when, it’s hard for any design company to plan now for this. I only know what eBay announced last year, and I still assume it will happen this year in one form or another!

    I’m planning as best as I can for our clients’ templates. Clients love foresight! ๐Ÿ™‚ Compliance used to be our selling point. Now, I think it’s, “Hey, we planned for that last year.” ๐Ÿ™‚

  103. I’ve read this thread from top to bottom, it’s been great!

    Given the eBay changes, I’m glad I decided not to buy a Frooition design in November 08 but I applaud them for remaining silent and not getting involved in some of the comments posted above. This I guess is to be expected of a larger/professional company but it must be tempting when their competitors are acting unethically in an attempt to win business.

  104. #128 – I’ve been following this thread avidly too.
    I never imagined that Ebay Wars existed, I’m glad to have found Liz’s blog and loved Norf’s post #101.

    From an objective point, I’d never heard of Debbie’s company before and her designs mightn’t necessarily suit what I want to do, but her passion and knowledge certainly do come across. I wouldn’t have any problem with contacting her for a quote from what I’ve seen from her on here. I get the impression she’d listen and act. But you’re also right about other companies keeping silent. It’s the correct way to behave for them, particularly as they advertise on here.
    As for ethics – well, that’s a moot point. People paying a monthly fee could possibly see an extra conformity surcharge as unethical.I don’t know.
    But long may this topic run.
    I await the formation of Baboon Ebay Designs.There does seem to be a gap in the market.

  105. Andrew, before you decide Frooition is silent and a perfect schoolgirl, you should read this: https://aswas.typepad.com/hall_of_fame/2009/01/nearly-everybody-is-right-.html Every company you use has probably done at least one thing on my list in that blog post.

    Like I keep saying, we don’t compete with them. You can’t get what they do from us. You can’t get what we do from them. Our contracts read completely differently. We are each looking for different types of people when we hire. I think we’re looking for different types of customers… someone who wants to pay ยฃ300-800 for an automated system that gives everybody the same thing with a slightly different top bit and colour combo wasn’t looking for our more personal and more expensive approach to doing a lot of design and layout from scratch, plus consulting on business issues and strategies and not just designing.

    The two companies have nothing in common other than “we both offer services to eBay sellers.” No matter how they want to treat this, they are not my competitor.

    As for everything else, I said the truth. Evidently, if I had hired “Jimbo” to say it, that would have been fine, and people could pretend I were silent. But because I came out and said it myself, I’m all sorts of bad things. Don’t pretend they’re silent. They’re speaking through people on their payroll, all around the internet. I have the guts to come out and answer questions, receive thanks, or take abuse. I think that given the nature of this situation, they should be out there too… people have problems and concerns, and staying quiet may not be the best choice.

  106. #129 Thanks, Paul! I’m also happy to answer any questions people have for free. I just want sellers to get the help that they want, and if they don’t know the answer to a question, say a “can I do this on eBay” type of rules question, I’m here for everybody.

    Like my company’s designs or not, like my public persona or not, but it’ll be hard for you to find someone with more expertise than I have. I’m here for anybody with any question. Sellers need help, and I want to make sure they get it. I want to see everybody flourishing and making sales no matter what designer they’re using.

  107. The new template thingy cuts out some coloured border space both sides but its not all bad. For a basic Frooition design, all displays OK.

  108. “but itโ€™ll be hard for you to find someone with more expertise than I have” & modest with it ๐Ÿ˜†

  109. if yer selling what no one wants, at the wrong price ,no amount of web design or, supa dupa templates or
    self appointed expert advice, will make, a jot of difference,

  110. I’m claiming to have eBay expertise because I have eBay expertise. I’m offering to help because I like to help people. At eBay Live 2008, I gave the class on marketing on eBay. I gave the class on selling strategies that lower fees and make more sales. I gave the class on little-known eBay rules people should stop breaking. I wrote part of the test companies had to take to become Certified eBay Store designers.

    I’d rather claim eBay expertise and be able to show it than to claim eBay expertise and sell people designs that broke eBay rules.

  111. what I cant work out is, if experts are so expert, why dont they just do it rather than try and sell how to do it

  112. Which is why I’m offering to help for free.

    I’m always worried about all those infomercials, seminars, and scams that are out there! People should Google these systems and people!

  113. .#135
    ..er, wasn’t she offering answers to Ebay queries for free? (see # 130).
    Seemed more than fair to me.

  114. #139 Thanks, Paul.

    Yes, free. As in no charge. As in I don’t expect anybody who doesn’t want to hire my company to hire my company. As in free. As in you’re welcome. ๐Ÿ™‚

    My Wednesday live internet radio show starts at noon eastern USA time (half hour from now). If anybody wants to call in, chat room in, or ask a question, the help is free.


  115. Is it just the way I’m reading it:

    “Instead of re-skinning the eBay store we are now creating you an improved custom eBay store page that incorporates new exciting features such as flash based custom boxes and future widgets.”

    And then under ‘New features’

    “Traditional eBay layout for store searches and category pages”

    So the way I read it, our new ‘upgraded’ Frooition shop design will only show on a shop landing page but once a category is clicked or search made the bog standard new eBay shop will show not our custom designed shop.

    Please clarify Frooition

  116. #141

    So let me get this right. You don’t know me. You haven’t worked with my company. You haven’t received free help from me. You have never asked me a question or come to me for help with your eBay business. Who you are is only known to Chris because he’ll get your IP number.

    But you’re comfy publicly stating that any help I give is just a baited hook to rope you into paying my company for something. Given that that is false, are you SURE you are comfy publicly publishing that? I’m going to suggest not posting things that are false or designed to make my business look bad.

    Did you catch my radio show? All free advice and answers. So give evidence of your claim, or back off!

    Want to see a baited hook? https://aswas.typepad.com/hall_of_fame/2009/01/promising-an-80-sales-increase.html

  117. …and here’s me going on a SEO seminar this week – it’s a free one, too.
    If I see anyone carrying a tin of maggots, I’m out of there.
    (Particularly if it’s part of the lunch).

  118. #143 Debbie why all this self promotion and why are you charging on the As Was website (Custom eBay Strategy Report) when in fact you are willing to do this for free? Or are the kind of questions you are willing to answer more like “who would you recommend for a custom eBay logo?

    #142 Well spotted. Don’t expect an answer thou – frooition are maintaining a “professional” silence ๐Ÿ˜† .

  119. #145 Hi, Jimbo. Why come out and say something nice about what we do? Because it feels better than continuing to point at other companies who aren’t us. And with some of the bizarre things posted here, I tend to be the kind of person who keeps trying to defend herself. You can remind me when it’s hopeless. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Our custom strategy report is something we do charge for because we put hours and hours into looking at what you’re doing, looking at what competitors are doing, and coming up with personal suggestions. So it’s not like we have a tool that spits this out, and we sell it for hundreds. It’s hours of manual work done by a real eBay expert (whose qualifications I won’t go into since you guys don’t seem to like to hear about those ๐Ÿ™‚ ), and so we do charge for that!

    What don’t we charge for? Ask me any question you have. I’ll let you know if you’re getting into strategy report realm! But the types of questions I’m happy to answer for free include:

    * Recommendations… who should you use for software, tools, etc…

    * Business pain points… what to do about shipping issues, bad DSRs

    * Design issues… I’m happy to look at a design and give an opinion if you want it! ๐Ÿ™‚

    * eBay rules… old rules, new rules, coming rule changes. It can all be very confusing, and people often don’t understand what the changes are or what to do about them.

    * General strategy questions. I may not be able to get to deeply know your business for free, but I’m happy to answer questions about eBay listing strategies and best practices.

    * Web 2.0 stuff… which techniques and technologies may help, and how to use them.

    That’s off the top of my head but there are probably more I’m happy to cover.

    #142 I think Frooition should make a public statement about that answer. You don’t want to hear it from me. ๐Ÿ™‚

  120. If it is true that only the shop landing page has the Frooition design not category pages or shop search results or ME page. I don’t see a bright future ahead for Advanced eBay Shop Designers. The unique branding that a custom designed shop used to bring is drastically diluted making it a much harder sell for designers.

  121. erm 143 I think you are over reacting some what , I was referring to free offers etc to business in general,

    but if the cap fits wear it

  122. #143

    You really do think you are something! Your posts on this topic have been irritating never mind arrogant. I suggest that if your so called free advice is not bait to “catch bigger fish” then itโ€™s simply used to boost your ebay ego! There is little, that is more annoying than someone that is full of themselves .

    I donโ€™t know about anybody else, but when i see somebody claim to be an expert, and harp on about how much they know and how great they are, it does little to impress me. I have never in my life identified an expert from their own self claims!

    A bit of advice. Stop going on about how fantastic you are and stop the continuous digs at competitors. Unfortunately, when you have a dig at a competitor, whether its fact or no fact, it will be more often than not be disregarded. Letโ€™s be honest, your hardly going to praise a competitor.

    Regarding frooition, i feel like they should upgrade shops that have been built in the last 6 months, or at the very least 3 months for free! If i bought a television and it stopped working shortly after getting it i would expect it to be repaired!

  123. “The Sale of Goods Act 979, amended in 1994, say that when you buy goods from a trader they must fit the description, be of satisfactory quality – which includes lasting a reasonable length of time – and be fit for their purpose.

    Does that apply to online software?

  124. I thought it was only on the eBay discussion boards would people take the time to attack someone who shows up and offers free help. It’s amazing that I’m the bad guy for pointing at some truths relating to a company I don’t compete against, but it’s OK for you to “dig” at me. Insults, assumptions about my business, etc… are evidently all OK for you guys though I’ve said nothing of the sort about any of you. I guess it’s the magic of being anonymous.

    #151, you must have missed the internet radio interview I gave on Saturday where I listed Frooition among other companies as major eBay designers who know about eBay’s new Stores rules, and are ready to help their clients get their Stores fixed. So your idea that I can’t say anything nice about “a competitor” isn’t accurate. I named them and it was nice. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’m here for anybody who wants the help. Contact me privately. At least give me the chance to prove that your assumptions are wrong.

    Good luck to all of you. Based on the changes eBay’s planning for this year, you’ll all need it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  125. A lot of posts since last time! Great reading again.

    Debbie, I think it’s great you give free advice but as #141 put it (bluntly), there is the reward of increased awareness and being increasingly seen as an authority on a subject directly linked to the services you offer. This isn’t a bad thing, it’s a win win strategy for all and I would do the same.

    I was intrigued, so went to the Aswas site and you do seem to provide a more consultative approach service where Frooition appear more technically focused. As a buyer, I do however see you as a competitor of Frooition for the simple reason that you both offer ebay store/listing design. After reading some posts on the Aswas blog, I think you’re of the same opinion ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Looking forward to seeing how this all plays out folkes!

  126. Debbie

    After reading through this thread and looking up your store, it leaves me wondering why you would claim not to be in competition with frooition! Admittedly being cheeky, the only conclusion i can come to is that you are not in competition with frootion because youโ€™re not even in there league. Lets call a spade a spade, your designs are know were near as good as there’s but yet your prices are so high!

    I then see all this consultant services you offer claiming to improve sales, DSRs etc. yet i have yet to see anywhere that says that you are a very successful power seller with great profits, a high turnover and impeccable feedback and DSR’s! Maybe you do have these credentials, if you do please let us know! Without these credentials i canโ€™t see how anyone would what advice on these issues from you!

  127. #155 “know where”? I think you mean “nowhere” don’t you? Or did you mean “no wear”? Because I don’t ‘know where’ you’re going…but I’ll try and understand… ๐Ÿ™‚
    And then there’s the “there league” and “good as there’s” so I assume you mean “their league” and “good as theirs”… and finally…
    “would what advice” I assume should read “would want advice” but what do I know – I only speak English…

  128. Debbie, i mean “Rowldo” if your not prepared to answer the points then why post a message at all. I never claimed to be an english grammar expert unlike some other people who claim to be experts in certian things! In fact i have no problem with my grammar, i understand what i’m saying, i’m pretty sure everyone else understands. I usually use the number ‘2’ instead of ‘two’ and sometimes i even use ‘2’ instead of ‘to ‘! Shock Shock Horror, I’ll be sure to use spell check next time just to please you!

    Are you going 2 answer the points?

  129. Jimbo/Whirly/others:
    I’d turned the edit function off because it wasn’t working properly… it’s now back on. If it *looks* like your comment has had all the spaces replaced with “%20”, please don’t panic; just hit refresh and it will be okay.

  130. I saw this posted on eBay Business Selling Board:

    “This is a quote from an email I received from frooition today.:

    “We are currently in litigation with createmystore for breach of copyright. Our service is quite different as it includes software that will enable you to list to eBay as well as just design.””

  131. I am another person who will say DO NOT USE CreateMyStoreUK. Paid in early December and the design still hasn’t been installed. I have been sent a draft version but now Gareth seems to have disappeared again. Planning my next move now…..will be an interesting one.


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