The eBay UK Bulletin: Issue 216, 1st April 2011
Topics in this issue:
1. eBay news – Global seller performance
2. Stock levels problem – solution
3. A pair of spoofs
4. Ask Molly – How can I quit my job?
Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of The eBay UK Bulletin.
My apologies for the lack of bulletin last week, I just lost track of time and missed a whole week somewhere!
Good news this week as the Elves finally qualify for Power seller status, bless! The bad news is that they cannot tell anybody about the ‘P’ word and will lose ‘above standard’ discounts next month anyway.
A quick update on my blog ‘ebaybulletin.co.uk’, it seems to have disappeared. Not exactly sure where it has gone, the technical guys are trying to find it – pesky blog!
This week sees an insight into global seller performance, read on if this lights your fire.
Also, not one, but two, PaPal spoofs to watch out for; it is almost too much excitement for one bulletin to bear!
[For details of this newsletter, please scroll down to the end.]
1. EBAY NEWS – GLOBAL SELLER PERFORMANCE
Do you follow your ‘seller performance stats? If so you will be fully aware of your performance in the UK/Ireland marketplace, along with Germany/Switzerland/Austria and the USA, these figures can be found in your seller dashboard. Prepare to be underwhelmed by more data as eBay introduce a fourth performance indicator.
Starting in May 2011, eBay are going to evaluate your global seller performance separately from your domestic activity. When you sell to buyers outside of the UK, you’ll need to meet global standards based on the detailed seller ratings you receive from all of your buyers.
The good news is that the global standards allow for the extra time and cost of cross-border P&P which should help keep scores higher.
Although a low global performance score will not impact on UK TRS discounts, a good score may well improve sales overseas.
eBay top-rated seller benefits will be available in Australia, Canada, France and Italy later in 2011. They’ll include:
- Promotion in search results
- inclusion of the eBay Top-rated seller badge in search result and item pages
I can only imagine that in time eBay will find a way to incorporate these new figures into the mix that evaluates ‘top rated seller’ discounts and I can’t see them becoming more generous.
On a lighter note as I have stopped selling to most of the world due to lost parcels and outrageous delivery times the new performance scores are not likely to have much impact.
Full details – http://sellerupdate.ebay.co.uk/may2011/new-international-performance-standards.html
2. STOCK LEVELS PROBLEM – SOLUTION
Ref: the person with a stock problem in ‘Ask Molly’ Bulletin 215.
Thought I’d send this through you as others might find it handy too.
One simple solution is Turbo Lister which is free to use – you can update stock levels (and other listing) much quicker than individual item changes with this website. If you are an eBay shop owner you can also take advantage of File Exchange which allows you to download all your listings into Excel for quick comparison against a stock spreadsheet. We use this to great effect for over 1000 listings. The only problem is it doesn’t support Variations which is a big hassle for us and why we’ve moved away from them, but for straight listings it’s very quick.
I have spreadsheets pre-formatted to compare against file exchange downloads which make use of the custom label field in listings and I’m quite happy to share them if anyone wants to drop me an e-mail.
3. A PAIR OF SPOOFS
Two spoofs for the price of one; if you see anything like these just hit the delete key.
Always read the bulletin with much interest. I have had a couple of e-mails from PayPal which I hope you can share with your readers.
Funnily enough they have both been sent to a very old e-mail address we used right at the beginning of when we signed up with eBay. But a warning to the not so wary!”
2SidebySide – http://shop.ebay.co.uk/2sidebyside/m.html?
Subject: You have changed your PayPal email address
Dear Paypal member,
You have added firstname.lastname@example.org as a new email address for your Paypal account.
If you did not authorize this change, check with family members and others who may have access to your account first. If you still feel that an unauthorized person has changed your email, submit the form attached to your email in order to keep your original email and restore your Paypal account.
If you are using Internet Explorer please allow ActiveX for scripts to perform all data transfers securely.
Thank you for using Paypal!
Please do not reply to this email.
This mailbox is not monitored and you will not receive a response.
The attachment actually has the cheek to ask for your Paypal ID and password, if this was not enough it goes on to ask for your Credit/Debit Card Profile and even the Card Verification Number!
Subject: Dear valued PayPal Customer,
Due to a policy update we need to verify your PayPal account.
Please download the attached file , open it using your browser ,fill in the required information and click update .
Should you decide you do not wish to accept the verification process you can notify us before 27/03/2011 to close your account immediately without incurring any additional charges.
We do hope, however, that you continue to use PayPal and enjoy the following benefits:
When you pay with PayPal your financial details are never shared with sellers or retailers, so you?e more protected against fraud.
You don? have to type in your card details each time you pay, so you can check out faster online. You can also get eBay items delivered more quickly, as you can pay the seller instantly.
PayPal is the preferred web payment method in the world because it? a smarter, savvier way to pay online in just a few clicks. All you need is your email address and a password.
As with the first spoof this one also asks you to fill out all your personal details and send it to them, cheeky!
Please keep the spoofs coming – Mollybol@ebaybulletin.co.uk
4. ASK MOLLY – HOW CAN I QUIT MY JOB?
It has been a while since I received a question about finding stock so I thought why not – for old time’s sake.
I’ve just bought your book – interesting reading so far. Myself, I am a security guard always doing weird shifts with 12 hrs a day. I have always wanted to pack it in but cannot as there are no jobs about.
I have always wanted to sell full time on eBay either as a second income or to eventually move full time, but what would you recommend to me to start selling? I do sell stuff from home but I need more stock ideas.
Would drop shipping be a good idea or buying stock wholesale, and where is the best to get stock from?”
Glad the book is of interest, don’t forget to sign up for the weekly bulletin. There are technical problems at the moment, but it should be working again soon.
The great thing about eBay is that almost anything will sell; the problem is that most items are already being sold. The system rewards established sellers so breaking into a market can be tricky. Finding a niche is the key.
Drop shippers can work very well although I am not a fan. Call me old fashioned but I like to feel the quality of an item [Ed - steady Molly]. Again, you need to research exactly what you want to sell before placing an order.
Building up a good reputation is the key thing, not only the product but customer service as well. It can still be done as demonstrated by the Elves who have just reached 1800 feedbacks and become power-sellers. They sell what they understand which is designer fashion clothes mainly from boot sales and charity shops. They appear to be doing very well as I can never find one of them to write any envelopes.
I am an opportunist as you will know from the book and have somehow managed to turn over just below the VAT threshold in two main businesses – cosmetics and toys. This is enough for me, with most of the money being earned in four months (September to December). I still sell used items bought from boot sales and have found some great suppliers of new goods at these events, although you do have to sift through a lot of rubbish to find a gem.
I would advocate that you choose a line that you know and have experience of. For me toys was a natural line having lots of kids and as they are all girls the cosmetics just followed along as the next big thing.
However, my humble beginnings were at the local car boot sale, buying and selling a multitude of things but learning all the time.
Perhaps the most important thing is to start selling something, anything, just to get out there and begin the journey.
If you have a question about eBay or home working in general, please send it to: email@example.com – 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 www.ebaybulletin.co.uk for the latest news from Molly HQ.
Postage rates jump on Monday so don’t forget to stock up with 1st and 2nd class stamps as they will be worth more next week. If you do stamp your own parcels make sure you use up all the normal denomination stamps – avoid using the more valuable ones. Finally, make an extra post run tomorrow and ship as much as you can. It will cost you more on Monday.
It is the end of the tax year on 5 April so get ready for the annual stock take. I find that the easiest way to record my inventory is to run an ‘active listings’ report just after midnight on 6 April. Hopefully I will have checked listed inventory against actual available stock by then. Where are the Elves when you need them?
Best wishes and happy eBaying
Author of the bestselling title, ‘The eBay Business Handbook’ – available direct from the publishers: www.harriman-house.com/ebaybusiness