The eBay UK Bulletin: Issue 219, 18th May 2011
Topics in this issue:
1. eBay news – BMW selling direct via eBay
2. Where are the latest issues?
3. Ask seller a question
4. How can I alter ‘item location’?
5. Ask Molly – Should I have two accounts?
Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of The eBay UK Bulletin.
Wow, what a busy week. Sorting out the new DIY section of the shop is taking forever. I have managed to list around 60 lines and already made 34 sales totalling £671. There’s still a long way to go and finding the time to expand the inventory is tricky, but Alan Sugar would be proud of me [Ed - I think you'd be hearing those two famous words at the end of episode one].
Great news if you are a BMW driver, check out the news item below.
Have you had any interesting questions lately? I’ve included a couple which might make you smile.
[For details of this newsletter, please scroll down to the end.]
1. EBAY NEWS – BMW SELLING DIRECT VIA EBAY
As you know I am in the process of setting up a new venture on eBay. I’m not alone as BMW have opted for the same route to market. OK so their graphics are more sophisticated than mine, but apart from that we are very similar.
Here’s the press release sent in from those nice people at Racepoint PR
“BMW will start selling parts and accessories direct to owners for the first time, thanks to a new partnership with eBay, the leading online retailer. ‘BMW Direct’, now live on eBay.co.uk, will satisfy the growing demand from motor enthusiasts for purchasing original parts online.
Previously, BMW owners wanting to pick up Genuine Parts have had to place their order via one of the many dealerships. With its new store on eBay, as well as merchandise BMW fans will be able to buy genuine BMW parts and accessories such as brake discs and car care products direct from the car-maker.
This is BMW’s first venture into e-commerce and will allow the car-maker to reach those customers not accustomed to visiting a BMW dealer regularly.
BMW, the first car-maker to open a store on eBay UK, joins over 100 other well-known fashion and home brands already selling new and fixed price goods direct to their customers via eBay’s UK site. Motor parts and accessories is one of the most popular categories among eBay’s 96 million active users worldwide.
All items sold through BMW Direct are offered from stock with free postage and packaging and are covered by a full two-year BMW warranty. BMW UK will handle the shop front of BMW Direct with the processing of orders being handled by BMW Park Lane in London.
Carl Sanderson, General Manager Aftersales Development, said: “As a premium car manufacturer, we are always interested in understanding customer preferences when it comes to buying products. We recognise that there are customers who wish to buy BMW products but do not necessarily want to travel to a BMW dealer to make a purchase.
“As such we see eBay as the perfect solution for them. By embracing this modern retailing approach, we believe we can engage with and satisfy a number of additional customers through what is a new retail channel for BMW.”
Angus McCarey, UK Retail Director of eBay, said: “eBay UK is home to over 100 leading brands [M - including Mollybol] who realise the added value an eBay shop brings, whether they are already selling online or not. There are over 600,000 searches for BMW every month on eBay and BMW will now be able to access this existing, yet untapped customer base, while increasing its reach to the millions of other consumers who buy and sell on the site.”
To see what is on offer at BMW Direct visit http://stores.ebay.co.uk/BMW-Direct-Store?
M – Currently BMW have 640 feedbacks, mainly for lower value items. However they do have a couple of poor comments concerning delivery, this could be the area to watch. (That will be £50 for the consultancy advice, please send funds via PayPal to ‘molly’.)
2. WHERE ARE THE LATEST ISSUES?
Just subscribed to your weekly newsletter on the website.
How do I get to your latest edition? I can see from the links on the side that there is an edition 219 which I’m assuming is the latest one.
When I load the bulletin up it goes to edition 211?’
I am not the world’s best at updating the website, the latest issues are sitting in my tray waiting to be uploaded. I will try to manage this a bit better but when there is a choice between selling and admin… well you can guess what suffers.
3. ASK SELLER A QUESTION
I love questions from potential buyers, especially those asking if I can combine items and reduce postage. These two arrived this week, it does make you smile:
“Hiya before i make a offer i was wondering what the lowest offer you would accept ? THANKS”
This question is for a £6.99 teddy bear:
“Could you maybe put the price down to £3.00 ? I know it is alot to go down by but I would really love to purchase this item.”
Please send in your questions and make us all smile – Mollybol@ebaybulletin.co.uk
4. HOW CAN I ALTER ‘ITEM LOCATION’?
What’s this I hear you ask, an extra ‘Ask Molly’ question? Well, yes but this one is included as it is from an old buddy at BT who is still working hard to secure my pension.
“Hi Bob, Hope you’re keeping well. I called your old mobile number but you’ve obviously changed it … being the celeb you are now!!
Just had a question about changing the location shown for an item being listed. I have a friend who lives in London but is selling house contents in Dorset. Clearly he has a better chance of selling big items to local people but if his location shows as London they won’t find him in a local search. I’m sure it’s simple but just can’t find how it’s done. Hope you can help.”
To be honest I don’t even turn my mobile on anymore. Mrs Mollybol uses the Blackberry for business and just shouts out the sales to me.
Item location is an option during the listing process, an expandable box just under international postage. There are three options: country, postcode and city. Just use the ‘sell similar’ option for the next listing and the details will remain.
To modify existing listings use the ‘bulk edit tool’. Go to ‘my eBay’ and hover over the ‘activity’ tab, then select ‘sell’. In the ‘active selling’ section (towards the bottom of page) select the listings you want to change and then click ‘edit’. A new page will load showing your listings. It will take some time to load if you are selling several items. Select them all and click ‘edit’, choose ‘item location’ and make changes.
Keep working hard!
5. ASK MOLLY – SHOULD I HAVE TWO ACCOUNTS?
I read in your book that you sell some personal items through your shop and remove them when doing the accounts.
Is that the best way or would it be better to set up another account for personal stuff?
I am just starting so at the moment I mix but wondered if this would become a problem.”
It is certainly easier to have a separate account for personal items and I have moved towards this as standard; the main reason is that I am now selling more of my own things.
There are some advantages to using a business account – if you are a ‘Top Rated seller’ there will be a discount on the final value fee.
It gets a bit complicated as the personal fees have to be removed from your business costs which will mean getting the calculator out.
Trading through a business account does pose an interesting question as you would be benefiting from the business with a reduction on fees. On the other hand your personal sales would boost turnover which may result in the business hitting the next discount tier and obtaining higher discount levels. I am not exactly sure how this would be viewed by the taxman.
The most important thing is to keep full records of all your business trading; the finer points can be addressed later if required.
If you have a question about eBay or home working in general, please send it to: firstname.lastname@example.org – 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.
The new fee pricing is in place and it is a bit of a mixed bag for me. I do like the 10p listing fee for ‘basic’ shop owners; this has given me around £25 per month in savings against a ‘featured’ shop. On the other hand an increased FVF for the clothing category is not good as the Elves are still heavily subsidised by yours truly.
The removal of the tiered final value fee structure does not really impact on me as my average sale price is too low to be affected. It is a sneaky little increase that made me smile and relates to the FVF charged on a £9.99 item which used to be 99p; it has now increased to £1.00 in some cases. It’s only a penny but it all helps!
Best wishes and happy eBaying.
Author of the bestselling title, ‘The eBay Business Handbook’ – available direct from the publishers: www.harriman-house.com/ebaybusiness