The eBay UK Bulletin: Issue 212, 21st February 2011
Topics in this issue:
1. eBay 101 – Basic buying advice
2. USA shipping still a nightmare
3. Power seller index
4. Quick PayPal spoof
5. Ask Molly – Should I open a dispute case now?
Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of The eBay UK Bulletin.
Another historic milestone this week as Molly’s total sales passed the 46,000 mark. When you think of it, that’s a lot of envelopes.
As it was a free listing weekend on 12/13 February don’t forget to check auctions ending over the next few days. Given the large number of listings placed and only a limited demand there should be bargains in abundance as prices fail to reach expected levels.
The bulletin this week includes a little advice for buying on eBay.
Shipping to the US remains a problem, more on this below.
[For details of this newsletter, please scroll down to the end.]
1. EBAY 101 – BASIC BUYING ADVICE
No news of any worth this week so instead a quick look at a few basic buying tips as supplied by eBay themselves. It never hurts to be reminded.
- Watch out for under-priced items – if the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is [M - except my Timberland shoes which are great value].
- Be extra cautious with ‘Presale’ items (e.g. concert & event tickets) – check the seller’s feedback and selling history before purchasing and don’t leave feedback until you actually receive your purchase.
- Watch out for strange item descriptions – they’re often an indicator of a fraudulent listing. Common warning signs are:
a) Differences between the location of the item on the listing page and in the item description
b) The item description language differing from the language spoken in the seller’s country
c) The item description reading as if it’s been translated by an automated translator
- If you suspect a listing is fraudulent or inappropriate you should use the “Report this item” link at the bottom of every listing page
- Don’t buy prohibited items and always report these listings to eBay.
In addition to these wise words, also watch out for the seller who offers PayPal as a means of payment and then retracts this in the listing – this is not allowed. Be very wary of ‘cash on collection’ items as others will know you are carrying cash. Don’t meet in a supermarket car park at night!
Finally, be cautious about sellers who have a postage fee limited by eBay and then add a note in the description advising of a higher postage charge. This is not allowed. If you are a seller in the same market, report them and reduce your competition!
Prohibited items – http://pages.ebay.co.uk/help/policies/items-ov.html
Presale items – http://pages.ebay.co.uk/help/policies/pre-sale.html
2. USA SHIPPING STILL A NIGHTMARE
It was interesting to read in last week’s bulletin of the US shipping delays as I’d been watching the Royal Mail site but it gave no clues as to how long parcels might really be delayed.
I sent two identical parcels to the USA, one on December 31 to Utah and one on January 6 to New York and neither had arrived.
The New York guy asked for a refund, which I reluctantly gave last week. Got an email this morning to say it had arrived and he’ll pay me which is very honest of him (I’ll give him a discount for his troubles).
I make that about 41 days. I assume it must have gone by boat (possibly via the Panama Canal).
Still no word on the one shipped on December 31 but there is now hope that it did not get lost. This guy has agreed to hang on a bit longer which is great as it avoids another refund and the loss of the postage charge.
I hadn’t realised until I got the claim forms from the Post Office that you cannot get compensation for the actual postage when shipping abroad if you just use normal airmail, only if you pay for the extra insurance.”
speedy_mac – http://stores.ebay.co.uk/ilovethisstuffshop
The Royal Mail does have a list of events impacting shipping around the globe, although it is not the easiest page to find on their website.
The shipping timescale has not got any better this week, in fact it may be slightly worse. My sales to the US have decreased in number since adding my warning about delays, which is to be expected.
I have constructed a short web page – http://mollybol.50megs.com/111Pics/AACross/bannercross.html – which I will update as things change. Readers are welcome to link to it from listings in their shop front.
’International Signed for’ is the way to go, it costs £4.95 plus the postage so not viable for small items and you need to go to a Post Office to send – local depots don’t offer this service. I am more selective now with overseas shipping and to the US I include ISF on items over £50.
You were very lucky with the honest guy!
3. POWER SELLER INDEX
Regular readers will know of my love for new websites that might help boost profits. A new one has just been launched and although still in its infancy it makes interesting reading.
‘myHermes’ are sponsoring a newly launched website – http://www.powersellerindex.com <>> which has been designed to show the top individual sellers in nine of eBay’s most popular categories.
It is updated weekly so, for example, the top seller in the clothing, shoes & accessories category has completed 1,273 listings for the past seven days. The Index also calculates potential savings the sellers could have made had they used myHermes to send the eBay items rather than a competing delivery company.
The only thing to be wary of is that the stats are based on completed listings; the big boys of course keep restocking so their listings never actually end. The sales measured here represent one off items or lines that have run out.
Early days yet, I’ll keep readers updated on the development of the site.
4. QUICK PAYPAL SPOOF
Just time to squeeze in an extra item; a short yet succinct PayPal spoof
This e-mail has been sent to you by *PayPal Inc** *to inform you that we were unable to verify your account details. This might be due to either of the following reasons:
1. A recent change in your personal information. (eg: address, phone)
2. Submitting incorrect information during register process.
Due to this, to ensure that your banking service is not interrupted, we request you to confirm and update your information today by following the link below
If you have already confirmed your information then please disregard this message.
PayPal member services
If you see anything like this just hit the delete key unless of course your name actually is *‘**%RECIPIENTADDRESS%’.*
Please keep them coming – Mollybol@ebaybulletin.co.uk
5. ASK MOLLY – SHOULD I OPEN A DISPUTE CASE NOW?
I won an item on the 4th of February and was told it would be posted first class the next working day. I still have not received the item but the seller doesn’t want to refund me until she has claimed through Royal Mail.
Can she can do this or should I open an item not received case and get a refund that way?”
You didn’t actually say how long it has been since the item was posted, a week should be sufficient for domestic deliveries. The Royal Mail insists on 15 working days before a ‘lost’ claim can be filed.
I can understand the seller wanting to hang on as the item may just be held up in the system and some buyers may not advise the seller if it turns up after a refund has been made. If it is a large item then it may well be awaiting collection at your local depot, quite often a ‘sorry you were out’ card is not left, so make a quick visit to your local office and check.
It sounds as though you seller will be happy to make the refund at some point so the situation is not all bad. Hold on for a while before opening the case and stay in touch with the seller.
As an aside I always refund my buyer first and then maybe, eventually, claim from the PO. Admin is not my thing and usually I just write off lost items. This is not good business practice though.
If you have a question about eBay or home working in general, please send it to: email@example.com
– END NOTE –
That’s all for this week. Check out www.ebaybulletin.co.uk <> for the latest news from Molly HQ.
Calling all readers with a mechanical inclination. Molly has acquired a large number of pressure gauges, some dry and some filled with glycerine in a range of different bar & psi ratings. Although lovely things they don’t sit too well in the shop next to lipsticks and blusher.
If this is your thing and you would like more details, please drop me a line, maybe we can do a deal!
No bulletin next week as Molly HQ is undergoing a revamp, which means the Elves are cleaning and painting the shed and I will be drinking coffee somewhere warm – Starbucks!
Best wishes and happy eBaying
Author of the bestselling title, ‘The eBay Business Handbook’ – available direct from the publishers: www.harriman-house.com/ebaybusiness <>>>