The eBay UK Bulletin: Issue 167, 12th February 2010
Topics in this issue:
1. eBay News: Odds & ends
2. Race with Mika, tea with Molly
3. Quick tip
4. Working 5 to 9
5. Ask Molly – How much should I buy?
Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of The eBay UK Bulletin
The requirement for free postage has finally breathed its last and disappeared, some technical problems caused a slight delay, but all sorted now. Actually I quite liked the idea!
Did you receive the ‘stop press’ bulletin update during the week? If so were you tempted by the driving experience or tea with yours truly? I have included an update on this in the bulletin just in case it means nothing to you.
In this edition a couple of smaller changes due in the near future.
Also this week an insight into a new book (not mine) which will hit the streets soon.
[For details of this newsletter, please scroll down to the end.]
1. EBAY NEWS: ODDS & ENDS
I covered most of the programmed changes last week; those I thought would have the most impact. There are a few other changes due to be implemented from April – no show stoppers, but worth noting.
i) New picture ‘watermarking’ options
If you have ever seen your picture on a listing that was not yours then you will welcome this new change. From April you will be able to add your user ID as a watermark (or the first 20 characters if you have a long name) to your eBay hosted pictures. The current default is a small camera icon, from April the default will change to ‘no icon’ but you will get these options
- No watermark
- Apply your user ID as a watermark
- Use the camera icon as a watermark
This change will only apply to photos that are uploaded via eBay Picture Services. Self-hosted images and those already being used in active listings, such as Good ‘Til Cancelled, will not be affected.
Full details – http://sellerupdate.ebay.co.uk/april2010/userid-watermarks.html
ii) Business seller information to be displayed on item pages.
Business sellers have always been required to display their details although you could use an ‘about me’ page for this. This is no longer allowed, the details must appear on the item page itself. It is not a huge problem and should be done now and forgotten.
Update your contact details via My eBay > Account > Site Preferences > Business seller preferences > Show Business Seller Information on the View Item page.
Private sellers do not have to include this information.
Full details – http://sellerupdate.ebay.co.uk/april2010/business-seller-information.html
2. RACE WITH MIKA, TEA WITH MOLLY
Just in case you didn’t spot the extra bulletin this week or have forgotten to bid I thought a quick refresher would be in order. If you have ever fancied taking afternoon tea with Molly, oh and a day out with some F1 racing chappy, then check out the charity auctions being sponsored by myHermes – http://shop.ebay.co.uk/myhermes_parcel_delivery/m.html
There are 5 auctions currently running – each includes a ‘hot lap’ with Mika Hakkinen, which I suspect will be quite fast! It’s all in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital and takes place on 24th February at Mercedes-Benz World located on the famous Brooklands site where James May built his Scalextric track.
I shall be on hand to offer moral support and strong coffee; who could resist such a day out.
The auctions are restricted to pre-approved buyers only. Email the seller to be placed on that pre-approved list; don’t leave it until the last minute.
3. QUICK TIP**
Now that no listings carry the requirement for free postage, it seems like a good time to mention an advantage of offering free postage.
When leaving feedback for an item which had free postage, the buyer is prompted to leave 5 stars in the P&P DSR category.
If low scores for this rating are dragging you down (as they are for me), switching a few listings to free P&P might improve things enough to qualify for TRS.
4. WORKING 5 TO 9**
If you are looking for that inspiration to start your own business or maybe just interested in other people that have made the move, then check out the latest book from my good friend Emma Jones – ‘Working 5 to 9’ which includes the story of an eBay trader. Well, I guess it would have to.
Emma delves into the working 5 to 9 trend and offers 50 ideas of businesses you can start in your spare time, complete with stories of successful 5 to 9′ers. There’s a simple and effective checklist of how to begin your business journey alongside advice on sales, marketing, technology, and how to maintain a social life whilst working 5 to 9!
The book is due for publication on 17th May and can be pre-ordered from Harriman House at http://www.harriman-house.com/pages/book.htm?BookCode=432310
5. ASK MOLLY – HOW MUCH SHOULD I BUY?**
I love your bulletins (Molly – this is always a good start) – and I’m hoping to start up my own eBay business this month.
Quick question – I have a limited fund for buying initial stock. Is it best to buy (from wholesalers) a few of a lot of items, or a lot of a few items? I want to start off fairly steadily and build up my business from a solid base.”
I would opt for several lines and a few of each to start with. There is a lot to be said for buying loads and getting a better price, but with restricted funds several lines should result in more sales.
Things are very slow at the moment as cash is short everywhere, but a variety should appeal to more buyers. A danger of buying too many of the same item is the risk that somebody else gets it cheaper than you and cuts prices to the bone.
This happened to me with a load of Boots brand lipsticks. They retail for around £9 and are still current stock so I should be ok with £4 each and bought 1,000, another seller is shifting them at 99p. Mine are still selling at £2.50 or so, but it is taking longer than I expected and the margin is smaller.
Turnover is also important, selling four things quickly that each make £10 might be better than one item that makes £40.00 and only sells every so often, it is the difference between jewellery shops and Tesco.
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.
Sales continue to be slow which suits me fine at the moment as I have the time to rummage through HQ and list all the small items that have been there for years. The revenue is not great, but these sales do make me smile when I consider how little value I placed on them.
The deal of the week has to be a Thomas train set bought on eBay – ‘collection only’ for £20.00. I was the only bidder and paid well under half what I had expected. All the various parts are now listed and should bring in £120.00 or so, just enough to buy a few driving lessons for Elf number 3!
Best wishes and happy eBaying
Author of the bestselling title, ‘The eBay Business Handbook’ – available direct from the publishers: www.harriman-house.com/ebaybusiness <>>>