What should be in an eBay seller’s Survival Kit?

No primary category set

Last week, when the Royal Mail online systems went into meltdown and people couldn’t use SmartStamp, Chris and I reflected that it wasn’t that hard to unsettle an eBay business.

So we got out thinking caps on and started trying to work out what should be in an eBay Seller’s Survival Kit. Those essentials that will hopefully help when Mr Cock-Up comes by for a visit.

Here’s our first stab at it:

Mobile broadband dongle: In case your web connection goes down

At least one spare printer cartridge: It’s crazy to have to run out and get one when you run out.

A least a one week supply of stamps: And sound knowledge of who you would go to as a secondary courier too.

A spare computer: You can’t eBay without a pooter.

More than enough packaging: Natch.

Your passwords, or instructions on how to retrive them: If you fell under a bus, could someone else tick your business over for a few weeks if necessary?

A bottle of whisky (or gin, or vodka): Obviously.

What would you include?

28 Responses

  1. Duplicates of every mission critical piece of equipment. PC, Printer, Router, even mice and keyboards which have a habit of dying at the wrong time.

    Data backups too, is something often overlooked. No good having the data on a dead PC or even worse if the hard drive pops it’s clogs. Email, turbolister, web stuff, etc.

  2. In addition to the above…

    A back up camera and plenty of batteries.

    Back up transport arrangements if you are reliant on post office trips.

    Make sure you know how to tether your computer to a mobile phone.

    Cloud or iCloud data storage maybe?

  3. If you use OBA for your mail, make sure you understand how to use the emergency online docket, or have postage check books available for each service you use.

    Make sure you have plenty mailbags as this time of year they run out fast.

    Root out your PPI rubber stamps, handy if you run out of ppi printed labels or if you print your own and your printer is running low on ink/toner.

  4. Could I substitute A Bottle of Woods 100 proof Rum and a Bottle of Shrub for the whisky, gin or vodka.

  5. A 10000 GB connection to ebays servers.

    25 mig fighter jets for delivery to save my DSRs.

    55 F18 fighter jets for delivery to save my DSRs.

    5 Stealth fighter jets for delivery to save my DSRs. (for people who didn’t update their address before ordering)

  6. Slightly off topic.

    Anyone on Tamebay, that is based in the E-London region, who’s post used to go via the East London Mail Centre.


    How’s RM doing?…Are they loosing your Post Too?.

  7. Really enjoyed this post, see we can learn a lot from not-so-good situations.

    Also, a solar laptop charger might be a good addition to your kit 😉

  8. Off-site backup certainly. Critical files should be backed up as soon as changes to them are made. Keep multiple versions of the same file. Fire or theft can take your computer and your backup at once so use some online backup service or take a usb flash dongle with you. Don’t forget to keep a copy of the backup password somewhere off-site too. If it is destroyed you lose access to your backup.

  9. Thinking about December 2010 How about a Snow Plough/gritting lorry and 50 tons of road salt. Also snow boots and a full set of snow survival suit etc.

  10. Here’s what I would say is essential for eBay developers:

    1) Separate servers to handle separate tasks.

    2) Fully redundant servers for essential tasks and the front-end. No single point of failure should be allowed. This includes the hosting company itself.

    3) A reconciliation process for when eBay fails to provide the expected information.

    4) Alternate calls to the API in case one of them becomes glitched.

    5) 24×7 site monitoring to alert when something does go wrong.

    6) Security audits to keep your users safe.

  11. An external hard drive, with an auto backup feature set up.

    I managed to lose 4 years worth of files instantly by not having one (luckily a lot have previously been saved to CD’s). Needless to say I backup all my files everyday now.

  12. Yes you must do backups every day at least.
    And store them off site.
    Its like insurance you take it out in the hope that you never need it.
    But when it comes to computers you WILL do one day.


Royal Mail waive SmartStamp subscriptions as apology

Capgemini apologise with Royal Mail for website woes

Royal Mail Smartstamp problems continue to cause eBay seller headaches

ChannelX Guide...

Featured in this article from the ChannelX Guide – companies that can help you grow and manage your business.


Take a look through a selection of the latest articles on ChannelX

Wahaaj Shabbir - From sneakerhead to Head of Sneakers at eBay UK
20 May 2024

Register for Newsletter

Receive 5 newsletters per week

Gain access to all research

Be notified of upcoming events and webinars