iwoca’s Online Seller Meetups gain in popularity

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iwoca MeetupTuesday I traveled to Manchester to attend iwoca’s Online Seller Meetup at the Red Lion Pub in Didsbury. It was well attended with around 50 online sellers gathering to share experiences, views and industry trends over a couple of beers. The Online Seller Meetups have been initiated by iwoca, who provide small business loans to eBay and Amazon sellers.

iwoca invited Jane Bell to talk about eBay Best Match, Ian Walker of 3PLogistics to discuss fulfilment, and myself to give an overview of upcoming changes affecting eBay and Amazon sellers. If you’re interested in finance for your business then the Meetups are also a great chance to meet the guys from iwoca.

iwoca have created a great opportunity for online sellers to gather in relaxed spaces offering them the opportunity to meet other sellers and share experiences with industry specialists. This is something that’s been missing from the industry for several years since eBay cancelled the eBay University program. Since May last year the number of Online Seller Meetups have continually increased and they are now hosting meetups every month around the country.

I have attended several of iwoca’s Online Seller Meetups over the last few months and received a huge amount of positive feedback, with sellers travelling from all around the country to participate. There have also been numerous requests for iwoca to host Meetups in even more locations so watch this space!
Manchester Meetup

Why do iwoca sponsor the Meetups?

Online selling is an exciting and fast growing industry but it can be a lonely business at times. The opportunity to share thoughts, knowledge and concerns with like-minded people is not as easy as when you’re working in an office, but can be essential when you want to develop your business further. So far, most sellers have been looking online for these resources and while the internet offers many great opportunities for this, the face to face communication has been lacking for the online community.

“The whole purpose of iwoca’s business is to help online retailers grow and develop their businesses”, iwoca founder Christoph Rieche explained, when I asked why they invest so much time in organising the Meetups (and financial support too – iwoca are not shy when it comes to buying a round of drinks!). “But finance should be accompanied by other elements in order for these sellers to make the most of their business”, Christoph added, iwoca are giving sellers the opportunity to grow their business with guest experts on hand to talk through the issues online retailers face and give free advice.

Future Meetup Dates

13th February – London

The next Online Seller Meetup is scheduled for the 13th of February in Hammersmith, London (Next week, put the date in your diary!). Fedor Dzjuba of Linnworks and Karl Ciz of Frooition have been invited to present. Get there early as London is always a well attended Meetup.

If you’re driving park after 5.30pm in Mall Road and you’ll only pay for an hour’s parking, it’s free from 6.30pm onwards but fills up quickly once you don’t have to pay!

20th March – Birmingham (Internet Retailing Expo)

On the 20th of March the Online Seller Meetup Group visits Birmingham. The Birmingham event is a great networking opportunity for everybody who is attending the Internet Retailing Expo, which takes place on the same day so book a hotel and plan to stay the night!

iwoca’s initiative is a great example how a young company can make wise use of it’s marketing budget to create real value for the entire community. All events are free of charge and you can sign up on the Online Seller Meetup Group website.

52 Responses

  1. If they are meeting over a couple of Beers. Try looking around the Meeting. I could not see one with a drink in their hand and I also could not see one with a drink(ie a Pint) on the table in front of them.

    In my experience almost unheard of for a gathering such as this not to have at least one person taking a drink in any photo and apart from a few empty bottles hardly a glass to be seen and that glass also appeared to be empty.

  2. Thanks Christoph & Lisa from iwoca for organising this event. Personally I found the event a thoroughly enjoyable and useful evening out with some idea sharing ,food , drinks and some excellent presentations.

    There were certainly plenty of questions raised by the attendees both during and after the presentations.

    It would be great to see these events at more locations nationwide

  3. I am a from Bolton were anything free is taken swiftly and kindly and I can assure you that there was plenty of Sol, Desperados, Bulmers, Peroni, White wine, Red wine, Coke, J2’s, Water, Chicken wings, Potato wedges, a selection of onion rings, deep fried vegetable, cheese and tomato pizza the list goes on. The reason why people in the picture are transfixed is because and believe it or not the event was one of the best events I have ever attended and I have held senior posts within blue chip companies and travelled the world. No one was trying to sell you anything or ram something down your neck that you did not want it was all relevant and informative with a little information as to what changes to expect in the next 12 months within the platforms that we all sell on to keep us at the forefront where “we will be making our living by actually selling in 12 months’ time appose to those who did not attend”. I also hold a Master’s in business management and I don’t know or claim to know everything but what do you know get in to a room with over 50+ people in similar positions as myself and the amount of tip n tricks that I have picked up from 50+ brains have just saved me tens of thousands of pound each year moving my business forward and all in my back pocket by attending one “free” night – bargain. Couple all the above with a few free beers plus the food and I have gained some new “like minded savvy business friends” not just locally but UK wide who are only too happy to help and give free advice, people would pay networking groups a fortune or give their right arm for those kind of contacts which all came – you guessed it “for free”. So a big thanks again to Christoph & Lisa, keep up the good work and keep these meetings going, and to Chris, Jane & Ian for the presentations well done all!!! See you at the next event.

  4. I attended this meeting in manchester ,
    for the very first time.
    in the past I have attended many ebay hosted meetings in birmingham .
    and had an ebay advisor once to help me achieve top rated status.
    this meeting in manchester , was the shortest, most informative and helpful
    I have had the pleasure to attend.
    and guess what I found the time while still running my full time buisness and if you wish to be very successful you will also need help eventually.
    no person can ever be truly succesfull on their own and think they have all the answers.
    all the best to tamebay and the guest speakers especially jane bell .
    keep up the good work.
    see you all next time.

  5. lets be honest most people attend these meeetings because they are not succesful they are looking for help, , thats not me, I could do with a few extra back bedrooms though lol

  6. I’m a Titanium Powerseller and I attend as many of these as I can get along to. I always learn something useful.

    Very grateful to Christoph and iwoca for reviving the format and think it’s a highly worthwhile event to get along to.

  7. Are these meetings about how to improve your selling techniques or about how to expand your business?

    There is a clear distinction between the two. I don’t need advice on how to improve my selling techniques to maximise sales (and frankly nearly all of the stuff I have seen in this area is recycled. Basically there is absolutely nothing new that can be said and I am selective with the techniques available. The techniques suitable for my niche area may not be suitable for other sales areas. You have to pick and choose what is right for you) but I may need a lesson on how to expand my business if I have any ambitions in that direction. The fact is I personally don’t have any ambitions in that direction but let us not put off those that do have ambitions who may want to attend.

  8. Well said Chris Dawson, I haven’t been to one of these but would if given a chance, i am not arrogant enough to think I know it all, it seems to be the order of the day for people to be so negative about things, if it’s not for you then that’s totally fine, it’s your decision but don’t belittle anyone who does go, we all have a right to our opinion, just respect other peoples.

  9. I fail to see not wishing to attend an event designed as a sales pitch the main aim of being to sell you finance, makes you arrogant?

  10. I fail to see why not attending an event gives you the right to insult people and businesses who were there and have given good comments about it.

    How do you know there was a sales pitch when you weren’t even in the room?

    What planet are you on?

    Is this some kind of joke?


  11. Good and well valid point DBL I can honestly say that as a new ebay & amazon business (trading 11 months) that IWOCA, Chris, Jane or Ian did not actively tout for any business, there was attendees who seemed to be touting for “Certain cost benefit business” when you spoke to them but that is normal when attending a networking event – who wouldn’t want to gain more business (you would not be business minded if you didn’t!! no matter how big your company is). So for the organisers not to be rushing you in to any unwanted goods or services becomes a breath of fresh air to me and that is why these meetings work and are successful. However if you are so successful “Puddleglums” as you claim to be, why are you not retired and on your private yacht moored in Monaco not giving a monkeys what us mere mortals do at the bottom of the pile, or why are you looking at Tamebay – a platform to help improve multi-channel sales, business practise, latest channel legislations, cost saving benefits etc etc if you have found the formula and the answers to multi-channel selling? I suppose your name is Branson, Sugar or Gates though…….

  12. Generally to meetup with my friends and have a chat about all things, obviously the Manchester one had the additional reason of the presentation on Best Match Search.

    I sat and chatted with you over drinks at CA Insite in London too.

    Why do you go?


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