The eBay UK Bulletin: Issue 59, 11th July 2007
Here is this weeks edition of the eBay Bulletin, to receive your own copy directly, just sign up at the top of this page.
Topics in this issue:
1. eBay News: In brief
2. eBay virtual store
3. Let off steam with Molly
4. Ask Molly: How does the best offer option help me?
Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of The eBay UK Bulletin
It has been another slow week at Molly HQ, I even found the time to tidy up the shed – a bit. I am also part way through the Q1 figures and hopefully should be able to give a comparison against last year in next week’s bulletin; the numbers are not quite as big this time round!
In this week’s bulletin, another eBay seller lets off steam. The cutting room floor is littered with the comments I couldn’t print. If you are looking for more eBay sales but with no stock or packing, read on for a slightly different idea.
[For details of this newsletter, please scroll down to the end.]
1. EBAY NEWS: IN BRIEF
10p LISTING DAY
Reduced fee listing days are getting more and more restrictive, yesterday saw one that was only for ‘auction’ format with a maximum 14.99 GBP start price. This results in a saving of 25p per listing max.
It could still be worth considering if you have several items to sell, but with the normal fee only 35p, you will probably have listed them by now anyway. I would love to see a BIN multiple item promotion, say 10p to offer as many items as you like within one listing, I guess the chances are slim though.
Full details of the promotion – http://pages.ebay.co.uk/sell/20070710pUnder15/
UK ROYAL MAIL POSTAGE STRIKE
The guys at the Royal Mail are on strike again from 7pm Thursday for 24 hours. This will of course delay parcels and any payments by cheque or postal order. Any delay should not be too great, but it would still be an idea to let your buyers know that their item will be a day or so late.
Just edit your “item dispatched template” in ‘Selling Manager Pro’ to save sending additional e-mails. Remember to restore it on Saturday.
2. EBAY VIRTUAL STORE
Regular readers of this bulletin will know that I am always on the lookout for new ways to ‘strike it rich’, boost my income and work fewer hours. This coupled with the fact that eBay sales are very slow, the next book is finished (Ed – in the shops soon) and I am
bored , led me to take a look at ‘BANS’
‘BANS’ is short for “Build A Niche Store” and is a way to make money from eBay without having any stock.
This concept of this idea is to build a website and populate it with live eBay auctions within the ‘niche’ market you want to address. The auctions are shown in real time and visitors to your site can click on any they deem to be of interest. As the site owner you will receive a commission if the visitor you passed through to eBay wins an auction or buys an item outright.
This is a way to make money that I am familiar with and have used for many years; the commissions do flow without a hitch. The big problem has always been building the website and attracting the visitors. ‘BANS’ goes some way to help and provides the software to build as many online stores as you wish.
Of course, there is a cost; around 120 US Dollars for the software and you will need some web hosting space to load your virtual stores onto, this costs around 9 US Dollars per month. I am now part way through my first store and seeing some returns already; although it is nowhere near finished.
The software comes with comprehensive installation instructions; too much for me, I paid an extra 25 US Dollars and had a great guy in the states build the site for me. I am now populating it with products, some content material and getting it onto as many search engines as possible.
Take a look, it may be just what you need –
3. WEIGHTED AGAINST THE SELLER
It is always good to get things off your chest, so here we go…
“Other sellers seem to be getting as fed up with eBay and PayPal as I am, due to their biased attitude in favour of the buyer. (Where would their profits come from if it wasn’t for us sellers??)
I sent a briefcase to the US, to the PayPal registered address of the buyer via Royal Mail International “Signed For”.
My store policies clearly state “delivery up to 15 working days”. 4 days after shipping the item, the buyer e-mails and says she is moving from the US to the UK in 2 days time.
They then opened a dispute via PayPal and within hours increased it to a claim. What do PayPal say?? – You guessed it – unless I have a tracking number they will get there $126.90 back. It cost 17.82 GBP to send via International Signed For and would have been about 35.00 GBP via Parcel-Force Global Priority.
We as sellers send items out in good faith and yet if anything does go amiss it’s always us that seem to loose out rather than the buyer.
If only there was a genuine rival to eBay!! Then our fees might reflect value for money.”
If you want to “let off steam”, just drop me a line, your comments can stay anonymous if you wish. email@example.com
4. ASK MOLLY: HOW DOES THE BEST OFFER OPTION HELP ME?
At this time of year, any sale is a welcome sale and it is certainly worth considering a reduced margin to maintain cashflow.I remember cashflow well; it happens a lot at Christmas and then stops!
Can you help me with some advice about ‘best offer’; I have seen other sellers use this, but I can imagine that all they get are offers well below the asking price if any at all. Is it really worth considering?”
The ‘Best Offer’ facility allows sellers to invite a best offer from potential buyers on fixed price ‘Buy It Now’ listings. This can be ideal if you are not really sure what your items are worth, but don’t have the time to run a traditional auction to find out. Using this option will allow interested bidders to make an offer, which you can accept or refuse.
Listing your item using the Best Offer feature lets buyers submit a price to you that they are prepared to pay. A clickable link is shown just beneath the ‘Buy It Now’ button on the listing page. Buyers who are serious about the item must give a little thought beforehand as the number of offers is limited depending upon which category the item is within. If only one offer is allowed, buyers will see this message. â?oMake this offer your Best Offer. You can only make 1 offer on this item. This tends to sort out the serious bidders.
If you find the offer acceptable, you can make the buyer the instant winner by accepting the offer. The buyer would then be notified that they have won, any other interested buyers who made offers will be notified that the auction has ended. From then on, you’d proceed the same way you would with any other completed eBay listing.
I find this feature a great help when selling a new line. The danger with a traditional fixed price sale is that you could list your item with too low a price and it sells quickly, now you can enter a higher price and see what response comes back from buyers.
If you have a question about eBay, please send it to:
firstname.lastname@example.org – I will reply personally to every e-mail I receive and remember, there are FREE copies of my book available for the best questions, tips, or stories.
– END NOTE –
That’s all for this week. Check out ‘Molly’s Diary’ each day at www.ebaybulletin.co.uk for the latest news from Molly HQ.
Remember to send me your latest spoof e-mails and I’ll post them onto the eBaybulletin website; it really does work:
I’m back into the world of virtual eBay stores, if you do want to check my first one, it’s at www.pokemontradingcards.org There is still some way to go, although I am actually enjoying it; beats packing up anyway.
Best wishes and happy eBaying!
Author of the bestselling title, ‘The eBay Business Handbook’ – available direct from the publishers: