The eBay UK Bulletin: Issue 82, 19 December 2007
Topics in this issue:
1. eBay News: Pre-Christmas fee reduction
2. Mutual agreement spoof
3. Things to do list
4. Ask Molly: What should I consider before starting an eBay business?
Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of The eBay UK Bulletin.
Just before I start, a quick message for Steve and your question about bank transfer instead of PayPal. I cannot get an e-mail through to you, have you another address?
It’s all over for another year, time to kick back and count the money – which won’t take too long. I have not yet completed the final tally, see list of things to do below, but it looks as though the elves will be employed well into the new year, no 3 months off this time.
This is the last bulletin for a couple of weeks. They should resume Wednesday 9th January 2008, maybe a week earlier if the Editor has recovered from the Harriman House Christmas party by then! (Ed – make that the 9th, hiccup!)
Another spoof arrived at Molly HQ, full details below – it appears that ’tis the season to be cheeky. Plus, if you think that now is the time for a rest, think again and check out my ‘things to do’ list – it’s getting longer by the day. Sigh…
[For details of this newsletter, please scroll down to the end.]
1. EBAY NEWS: PRE-CHRISTMAS FEE REDUCTION
It is very quiet in the world of eBay at the moment, not much news about. I was going to bring you details of the auction for missing computer discs full of names, addresses and NI numbers…but eBay pulled that one. So I thought I would end the year with a couple of interesting sites that just help pass the time – they are loosely eBay related:
http://www.noradsanta.org/en/home.htm – This is where my elves work during the off season.
http://www.virtual-bubblewrap.com/popnow.shtml – For all lovers of bubble wrap, this is the site for you (my best time is 45 minutes!)
And if you were wondering what the hot items were this year, forget Nintendo Wii or Transformer toys, these were just some of the sellers on eBay:
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=160186300947 – Become a Baron or Baroness of Sealand, Â£28.99
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=270195300448 – Knitted Nativity figures, Â£19.99
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=150188178916 – Christmas costume for your horse, Â£17.00
2. MUTUAL AGREEMENT SPOOF
There is another interesting spoof doing the rounds again, this time connected with a mutual agreement to end a transaction. The whole purpose of this one is to entice you to click on a link within the e-mail to find out more. Your first thought will be that you had not even bid on a 2000 BMW 3-Series 323, they must be mistaken. However once you sign-in to check the details, the scammer will have your log-in details.
We are contacting you about the following item: 2000 BMW 3-Series 323 (#160187942991)
The seller, purplestarshines tells us you have mutually agreed not to complete the transaction (either because you returned or are returning the item for a refund, or because there was a misunderstanding) and has requested a credit for their eBay fees.
Please respond by 14-Dec-2007 so eBay knows whether you have made this agreement.
Please note: You and the seller will still be able to leave feedback for each other regarding this transaction.
Details for item number: 160187942991
Item URL: http://cgi.ebay.com/xx/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=160187942991
End date: Friday, 10 Dec, 2007 18:50:54 GMT
Dispute URL: http://feedback.ebay.com/xx/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewDisputeConsole&DisputeType=1
Date dispute was opened: Sunday, 12 Dec, 2007 08:03:03 GMT
I guess that if you had recently bid on a 2000 BMW 3-Series 323, this would seem even more plausible. I wonder why they don’t quote the best selling DVD or computer game?
Please keep the spoofs coming!
3. THINGS TO DO LIST
The trouble with selling non-stop for 3 months without much of a break, is that the jobs do tend to pile up. Now is the time to put away the sticky tape and start on the hard work. Here is my list so far:
1) Catch up with e-mails. My apologies for all those unanswered e-mails; I try and respond to urgent ones as they arrive, some however get lost amongst almost 200 per day and will take some finding. I will respond to them all…eventually.
2) Tidy up the shed. I cannot believe how much mess Elves can make in just a few short weeks. I, on the other hand, never make any mess at all and always put my empty tape rolls and biscuit wrappers in the bin! On a serious note, it is only 3 months until the annual stock take so while the shelves are empty (almost), make a start and reorder things.
3) Do the accounts. It would be embarrassing to say just how far behind I am with my book-keeping; I start to worry when I have 6 bulldog clips full of receipts. In previous years it has been more important to keep on top of this chore to know when to stop selling and maximise the tax position or avoid VAT. I suspect these won’t be such an issue this year, but they still need to be done – groan!
4) Obtain more stock. Q1 is always tricky for a toy seller, so I have been experimenting with some new lines. I have had some success with high end power tool accessories, drill bits, saw blades and will build on this over the next few weeks. Hopefully the post-Christmas DIY season will yield a good profit.
5) Develop my virtual stores. My virtual eBay niche stores (http://mollybol.nichestore.hop.clickbank.net/) have been neglected recently and need some new content to increase the number of hits. Revenues from these stores have been steady, but not growing, so now is the time to breathe new life into them.
I am sure that this list will grow and grow…
4. ASK MOLLY: WHAT SHOULD I CONSIDER BEFORE STARTING AN EBAY BUSINESS?
I have a full time job, and sell a little on eBay for holiday money. I am considering building my hobby into a small business; what sort of things should I think about before deciding either way?”
Here are my top five things to consider before taking the plunge:
1) How big do you want to be? Is it going to be full-time or part-time operation? How many hours can you devote to this activity? Are you thinking about changing careers further down the line and making eBay your main occupation?
2) How much will it cost? You will undoubtedly need some capital to buy stock, maybe premises or storage space. You will also need a certain amount of packing materials in advance of your first sale. Do you have the money for the venture you have in mind?
3) What are you going to sell? Is there actually a gap in the market for your intended products; what competition exists? Are the items seasonal in their appeal or ‘flavour of the month’? Can you sustain sales over a longer period of time?
4) Will it actually be worth your while? Run through some figures and work out the likely sales, gross and net profit you think you can make. Remember to factor in all operating costs; including purchasing, administration, selling, payment processing and shipping expenses.
5) How will you sell? Do you intend to be a high volume seller taking a small margin or make fewer sales with a higher return on each one? Consider the pros and cons of traditional auctions versus fixed price sales.
Well it ended up with more than a top five, but you know what I mean!
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 year. Check out ‘Molly’s Diary’ each day at www.ebaybulletin.co.uk for the latest news from Molly HQ.
On behalf of myself, the Elves and two stupid dogs, may I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a profitable New Year. Remember to keep all of your packaging on the big day; It will add around 20% to the value when the time comes to sell it.
Best wishes and happy eBaying!
Author of the bestselling title, ‘The eBay Business Handbook’ – available direct from the publishers: www.harriman-house.com/ebaybusiness
And the newly published, ‘eBay Q&A’ – buy online today: www.harriman-house.com/ebayexpert
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