The eBay UK Bulletin: Issue 166, 5th February 2010
Topics in this issue:
1. eBay News: Free postage ends
2. Sellers respond
3. Powerseller status for all
4. Ask Molly – What is the best size for my pictures?
Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of The eBay UK Bulletin
It is amazing how many emails can be generated just by including an article about buyer expectations. More on this later, but I must point out that I, like eBay, am just a venue; content does not always reflect my own opinions. I thought last week’s comments let sellers off lightly!
What a week for eBay news! Nothing happens for months and I struggle for any worthy news and then 20 things happen at once; designed to make eBay a better place for all of course!
Ok, that’s enough cynicism for one week, onto more amusing events – a question for a puppy raincoat:
Q – “hi could you tell me if this would fit a westie patsy”
A – “I don’t know how big is it?”
Compulsory free postage is to end (waits for distant cheer). More on this follows.
Free eBay listing upgrades are out there – ‘Ask Molly’ below sheds a little light on one you might have missed.
[For details of this newsletter, please scroll down to the end.]
1. EBAY NEWS: FREE POSTAGE ENDS
No sooner than I switched all my Hammer Horror fridge magnets out of ‘DVD, Film & TV > Film Memorabilia’ into ‘Home & Garden > Kitchen > Kitchen Accessories > Fridge Magnets’ to avoid the compulsory free postage requirement, the rules change again!
As of Monday eBay will replace the free postage nightmare with a ‘maximum allowed’ policy instead [Ed – another change to your book then]. There will still be those who need more postage allowance, for example a box set of DVDs will cost more than the £1.00 allowed, but it is a start.
Full details – http://sellerupdate.ebay.co.uk/april2010/free-shipping-replacement.html
These changes will impact on categories where free postage is currently in place; from 29th March a maximum limit for postage & packaging charges will apply to new listings at £4 for clothing and £6 for shoes. This is again not ideal as I know when the kids sell their jeans the total weight for 2 pairs is over a kilo and costs £4.41 parcel post (£4.10 Hermes).
However as I don’t personally sell any clothes and not many Timberland boots for that matter, I am quite happy with the new policy.
Full details – http://sellerupdate.ebay.co.uk/april2010/postage-limits.html
If you would like to air your thoughts in the bulletin – Mollybol@ebaybulletin.co.uk
2. SELLERS RESPOND
You may recall that last week’s bulletin featured an article which viewed eBay sellers from a buyer’s perspective; this week I have enough room to include two responses. You might well think that I include items to stimulate responses. I couldn’t possibility comment on that.
“I bet your ‘buyers letting off steam’ section annoyed a lot of us dedicated ebay sellers! None of their expectations were unreasonable but I suspect the majority of eBay sellers manage to meet them and you can pretty much guarantee that the sellers with “top rated” status will meet all those expectations.
But it is not just eBay sellers that sometimes fail to meet all these expectations. Some “proper” businesses still say allow 28 days for delivery (for goodness’ sake!) and 7-14 days is not unreasonable for delivery, whereas on eBay if you don’t dispatch within a couple of days you know your feedback stars will suffer.
Often you can order things online only to discover that they don’t actually have it in stock and need to source it before they can dispatch it. At least with eBay if your expectations aren’t met there is a simple and straightforward way to let everyone else know what problems you had.
I guess this particular buyer had a bad experience but they shouldn’t assume all of eBay is the same.”
“I don’t agree with the guy who wrote in with a list of things buyers expect. As a some-time seller myself I see no reason why I should display a business address (I am not a business. If you buy from a car boot sale the seller there does not tell you their address) nor why you shouldn’t use recycled packaging. I charge for packing even when I am re-using old materials because I had to pay for the packing originally when it was sent to me.
He has made me quite angry.”
As ever your thoughts are most welcome – Mollybol@ebaybulletin.co.uk
3. POWERSELLER STATUS FOR ALL**
Well, not quite, but the announcement this week on a lowered entry level into the PS programme will undoubtedly result in many more Powersellers from April onwards. If you do receive an email inviting you to register for the programme, it may not be a spoof, however please do check your eBay messages before responding.
The qualification criteria for Powersellers has always been difficult to work out, currently for Bronze it is to achieve a ‘minimum sales volume of £750 across a minimum average of four monthly listings’. From April this will become a ‘minimum UK & IE sales volume of £2,000 per 12 months’.
The £2,000 in 12 months will only include sales into the UK and Ireland; other international sales will not count towards the target.
All other Powerseller level entry requirements remain the same.
What can you look forward to? Well, the PS discussion board is certainly worth checking as there are some very experienced guys on this, the conversation sometimes gets a little raunchy but never oversteps the mark.
PS membership is to remain a stepping stone to discounts (5% for above standard) and ‘Top Rated Seller’ status with even more discounts. I still think it is a shame that you won’t be able to tell anybody about your achievement; however you can email me if you wish.
There will be a few other changes, including a minimum DSR score of 4.6 in each category and a new minimum performance level.
4. ASK MOLLY – WHAT IS THE BEST SIZE FOR MY PICTURES?**
Can you give me any advice on best photo size for eBay pics? I myself host my photos and it all seems a bit hit and miss as to whether an “enlarge” facility appears or not. Personally I find this invaluable when searching down a listing looking for something when buying and it does frustrate me when I can’t seem to get it right in my own listings.”
kiwiskeez – www.stores.ebay.co.uk/lady-jaynes-gift-emporium <>
The ‘enlarge’ (gallery plus) option is free in certain categories – as most of your items are in ‘Home & Garden’ they qualify. CDs, jewellery, toys etc are not free. The interesting thing about ‘Home & Garden’ is that all pictures are free, so you can load more into the picture section at the top of the page as well as into your description.
eBay have changed things again and the ‘enlarge’ option has now been replaced with a ’quick look’ clickable link for items found using search; items in shops still show ‘enlarge’. I am quite pleased with this as I often triggered ‘enlarge’ by mistake whilst browsing, who knows if this move will help sales.
As to picture size, I opt for 640 x 480 as this is a setting on my camera and I am fed up with adjusting them. This size just fits into an 800 by 600 computer screen without a scroll bar. Your description pictures are 300 x 325 which is maybe a little small as I couldn’t quite read the words on your jigsaw puzzle.
My kids however only sell clothes which have the free pictures option and so they don’t load into the description, they use 1200 by 1600 which is ideal for the main eBay pictures but would result in a scroll bar on smaller screens if used in the description.
For home and garden items I would go for the larger size pictures, not include them in the description and use all the free upgrade options. For your other listings try the 480 by 640.
If you have a question about eBay or home working in general, please send it to: firstname.lastname@example.org
– END NOTE –
That’s all for this week. Check out www.ebaybulletin.co.uk <> for the latest news from Molly HQ.
I did notice one small change announced this week aimed at shop items listed on the ‘good ‘til cancelled’ format. A listing which has made no sales in 16 months will be cancelled. That will be good bye to my size 6 Timberland boots then.
Sales continue to be slow which is bad for eating out, but very good for writing books. The 2010 edition of the eBay Business Handbook is now being edited by Suzanne and Craig (who also edits this bulletin) [Ed - But there is no need to let me know if you find any mistakes]. Hopefully they will turn my rather peculiar ramblings into an entertaining and educational tome. The good news is that it has grown by around 13,000 words, which will be no surprise to those who know me!
Best wishes and happy eBaying
Author of the bestselling title, ‘The eBay Business Handbook’ – available direct from the publishers: www.harriman-house.com/ebaybusiness <>>>>