The eBay UK Bulletin: Issue 218, 4th May 2011
Topics in this issue:
1. eBay news – USA postage delays resolved
2. Reader’s rant – the cheek of it
3. Business account? Reader’s thoughts
4. Ask Molly – Should I pay the postage?
Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of The eBay UK Bulletin.
You may recall that I mentioned the recent promotion to Power-seller for the Elves; well it transpires that they went straight in at the silver level – I am so proud even if they do keep nicking my bubble wrap and stamps!
Sales hit a very low level last week as many sellers started to undercut my prices. If you are suffering then it might be time to check the competition and adjust accordingly. The hot weather doesn’t help either. Is it too early to hope for snow?
In the bulletin this week some good news if you ship to the USA and a reader’s rant that has to be read to be believed.
[For details of this newsletter, please scroll down to the end.]
1. EBAY NEWS – USA POSTAGE DELAYS RESOLVED
Although not specific to eBay there is some good news for all sellers trading with the USA. It appears that the huge delays due to increased security measures have been reduced. You may recall I mentioned this a few weeks back and you may have linked to my info web page.
This is the latest from the Royal mail:
Update 18th April 2011:
”Further to the recent increased security measures for items carried on passenger airlines to the USA, Royal Mail has continued to work with relevant airlines and deploy a range of contingency measures and routes to get as much mail to the States as quickly as possible.
We are pleased to confirm that the vast majority of mail has now reverted back to being flown to the USA.
All items, including personal and business letters and packets, should now be delivered to the US as per the usual timescales for the chosen service. The only mail that may still experience a delay of a couple of extra days is the very low volume of mail that is unable to be sorted by our machines: these are typically round, rolled shaped or cubed items that require additional manual sorting. We are continuing to explore alternative solutions for these items, to return them to normal transit times as soon as possible.”
I have noticed that parcels are arriving in the US in good time again. I removed my large warning message from my item pages and sales picked up almost immediately.
2. READER’S RANT – THE CHEEK OF IT
I purchased your book a while ago and have found it interesting reading and enjoy reading your weekly email full of useful tips. I would like to share with you a recent experience, just to let off steam really.
I sell on eBay (I have only been selling in earnest for about four to five months). Through my shop and I sell beauty products, primarily Origins, but also some Lancome, Estee Lauder and Clarins when I can get them at a good price!
I have today had a dispute case opened against me with the following comment:
“I have received the item, with first class delivery but items weren’t sealed, seller was explain in his description, items are original, when i using the item after 5 days my skin changes, now i have a skin problem i spoke with doctor, the only answer which I received from my DR the fact of my skin changing because of those cream which weren’t original. I need full amount of my money back. I also did complain from this seller and he/she will receiving letter from my solicitors.”
I have had no communication from the buyer prior to receiving this and the items were new. unopened. untested products. For Clarins 15ml pots that were not sealed my listing stated they were testers and I made no mention of seals either way.
I responded to say that I will happily refund if the products are returned to me.
The buyer emailed me the following day saying that she could not return the products as “she had used them all up” and this is why she had a skin problem! It was very tempting to say “no product no refund” but I really couldn’t be doing with the additional hassle so I did refund and block her just like you would have done. It made me feel better at the time but it was unnecessary hassle.
I guess this is just one of the joys when dealing with the public!”
daveandanita7602 – http://stores.ebay.co.uk/mileoakemporium
M – I have never had anybody use up the entire product and then ask for a refund. I must remember this trick when I next go out for a meal.
3. BUSINESS ACCOUNT? READER’S THOUGHTS
You may recall in the last bulletin a question about the right time to become a business seller. It did stimulate quite a few responses which is always good for me as I have loads of material already typed. Here is just one thought on the subject:
All the best sales books or self-made man books and autobiographies will say is that if you constantly analyse the situation then it’s never a good time to set up a business, but if you go out and just do it then who knows you may end up owning an island in the Caribbean and a space craft.
Of course in your (made up?) example the seller is already a business in the eyes of HMRC as they are buying to sell so the answer should be you are already a business seller and should register as such. Anyway all costs of fees and postage can be covered in sales prices or offset against tax as expenses so being a business is usually a good idea.”
M – I agree with the above, I have always gone with my first feelings. I buy almost anything if it feels right and sometimes spend longer choosing from the lunch menu than buying stock, although this is not a strategy I would necessarily recommend!
You are right about the reader already being a business but you would be amazed how many people think that selling the odd item for profit doesn’t count. It is actually a true story, I get so many that I don’t have to make them up. You should read some of the ones that I don’t include!
4. ASK MOLLY – SHOULD I PAY THE POSTAGE?
I just stumbled upon your email address whilst looking on the eBay UK bulletin.
Just a quick question if you have a minute: I’ve bought something on ebay.co.uk from the USA for $5, which is all fine. But no postage rate was stated. They invoiced me the $5 and I paid. Now they are asking for an additional $4 for postage. What should I do? I have already refused saying that it wasn’t stated on the listing but they haven’t got back to me. Am I obliged to pay?”
markpuma3 – http://shop.ebay.co.uk/markpuma3/m.html?
It sounds as though your seller just forgot to add the postage which is most strange; usually I would expect them to include it on the first invoice even if it wasn’t mentioned in the listing.
I think that if the item is of value to you I would just pay it, at about £3 it might not be worth the hassle. The likelihood is that they will just not send the item which may or may not matter to you.
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.
Cosmetic sales have suffered of late as I mentioned earlier so it is time to dig out all the toys and get listing, after all it is only four months until the Christmas rush starts (hopefully).
Selling a few toys now will help cash flow which is always a concern during the buying season. In a new and exciting development Molly is embarking on a new eBay venture. This time the target market is DIY materials; I will run a few lines through the ‘Mollybol shop’ and if all goes well break them away into their own ID.
Over the years I have built up knowledge of the DIY world, I hate doing the jobs but understand the prices of materials, particularly plumbing, so when items crop up I will buy and see how things go. I’ll report back in a few weeks.
Best wishes and happy eBaying
Author of the bestselling title, ‘The eBay Business Handbook’ – available direct from the publishers: www.harriman-house.com/ebaybusiness