The eBay UK Bulletin: Issue 232, 3rd November 2011
Topics in this issue:
1. eBay news – eBay mobile commerce to hit $5 billion
2. eBay seller of the week
3. This and that
4. Reader’s rant – feedback of course
5. Ask Molly – How can I greet my buyers?
Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of The eBay UK Bulletin.
Wow, I had forgotten what it is like to be busy and with baby Elf deserting me for university I need to work even harder, not even time for a coffee! OK, so I lied about the lack of coffee, but the rest is all true. Christmas has officially arrived.
It’s a bumper edition this week as I might find it tricky to put pen to paper on a regular basis over the coming weeks.
This week sees the introduction of a new bulletin section ‘eBay trader of the week’. This is dedicated to those sellers who help Molly when things go pear-shaped!
On a lighter note there is some more feedback on feedback, read on for the low down.
[For details of this newsletter, please scroll down to the end.]
1. EBAY NEWS – EBAY MOBILE COMMERCE TO HIT $5BILLION
No, no, no, not Molly’s turnover, I can’t even fly a ‘smartphone’. This is the prediction by eBay Inc and it’s no small number. I would like to think that I helped out but it’s Mrs Molly that buys, I just sell, sell, sell.
Angus McCarey, Retail Director for eBay UK, said:
“Mobile has fundamentally changed the way people shop and mobile sales on eBay are growing in triple digits. As mobile continues to blur the online and offline commerce environment, our focus is on enabling all commerce by helping consumers shop anytime, anywhere and with any device, and by helping retailers keep up with technological advancements.
“Retailers need to think about how to meet the demands of the connected consumer, who will soon expect a truly integrated shopping experience that flows from their phone, to the shop and to their Facebook profile.”
It’s interesting that Facebook cropped up in this statement as I recently cancelled my account, I was fed up with Anna commenting on my picture and adding graffiti to my wall.
Here’s a few mobile facts sent over by my good friends at Blue Rubicon, scroll down if you are in a hurry.
- Over 20 million people have now downloaded the core iPhone eBay app across the globe.
- eBay mobile users are visiting the mobile website 10-15 times a day.
- 300,000 new eBay shoppers made their first eBay purchase through the company’s mobile apps between January and May 2011.
- eBay mobile applications are available in more than 190 countries and eight languages.
- eBay mobile apps have been downloaded over 50 million times globally.
- Mobile shoppers on eBay.co.uk have bought more than 30 million items through iPhone and WAP since July 2008.
- There are up to 380,000 daily visits to eBay.co.uk via mobile apps, and more than 170,000 UK mobile shoppers spend over £30 with the eBay mobile app per week.
- In 2010, global eBay sales via a mobile device more than tripled, generating $2 billion in sales – up from $600m in 2009. This is set to more than double again in 2011 to over $5 billion.
- Globally an item is purchased every second using the eBay app.
2. EBAY SELLER OF THE WEEK
Regular readers will know that when I make a sale I do tend to get excited and forget some of the finer details such as confirming the right item is dispatched, small things like that.
Well, par for the course I recently sold a batch of Warhammer figures for £25 to ‘thetrolltrader’. This was obviously too cheap as they sold immediately, also purchased was a model of an ‘Imperial Guard Psyker’. So far so good!
A little later I sold ‘Commissar Yarrick’ but to my horror discovered he was not there, just the sneaky Psyker staring back at me. You must remember that these metals models all look the same and I had not had enough coffee so mixed them up.
Why is this seller awarded the converted title of ‘trader of the week’ I hear you ask? Well Louis at ‘thetrolltrader’ agreed to find the missing model which is no mean feat given the amount of inventory they carry and forward it on to my buyer covering the postage and packing costs.
A couple of things are worth noting from this adventure. First, I must get some better glasses and second just how much profit was left in the £25 batch of models I sold?
For all your Warhammer needs, check out ‘thetrolltrader’ – http://stores.ebay.co.uk/TheTrollTrader
3. THIS AND THAT
Did you notice all the uproar this week concerning the treatment of second class post by the Royal Mail? Sorting of second class mail posted on a Saturday is no longer delayed; instead all mail is sorted and shipped at the same time.
Sounds great as second class mail should arrive a little quicker, however if you pay the First Class premium but don’t get a premium service you could feel a little cheated. Also there may be a possibility that First Class mail is delayed if the total volume gets too much to handle. Given that this has been the case since July some users are a little upset.
As I have said in this bulletin many, many times, use the second class service for all packets into the UK as they will almost always be delivered the next day – except for Christmas when most mail takes almost a year to get there.
On the subject of the Royal Mail, (I love you really), here are the Christmas posting dates:
Tuesday 18th October – surface mail to USA – Oops [Ed - useful to know.]
Monday 5th December – Airmail to Australia, New Zealand, Middle East, South America etc.
Friday 9th December Eastern Europe, USA and Canada
Monday 12th December – Western Europe including Hull
Wednesday 14th December – Standard parcels
Saturday 17th – Second class (yeah right!)
Tuesday 20th – First class and second class in the same sacks
Wednesday 21st – Parcelforce 48
Thursday 22nd – Parcelforce 24
Thursday 22nd – Special delivery
Friday 23rd – SP with Saturday guarantee
Saturday 24th – Santa
The new title length is 80 characters and I would plead with all sellers to use as many as possible. However, ensure all your key info is at the front of the title.
Although all 80 characters are included in the search results only 55 are actually shown on the results page and buyers may miss your USP. Colour, size, volume, quantity etc. are probably more important than the actual item name as this is likely to have been typed in already.
This question arrived at HQ
“I am just interested to know why you are selling samples? They are free from all cosmetic counters so why are you making people pay?”
Oh dear, the capitalist ethos has passed you by, which may be no bad thing in the long run.
Of course I don’t make people pay for samples, I just put them on eBay and people buy them. I am not proud of myself and often can’t sleep at night. [Ed - Karl Marx rolls in his grave.]
4. READERS RANT – FEEDBACK OF COURSE
Molly here, is it OK if I have a rant over feedback for a change? I know I’m not usually one to complain but I did get a couple of corkers this week which I would love to share with the readers.
The first negative was for a pair of ‘Timberland Boots’, size 6 – £10 (I hate selling shoes).
“The shoes is too heavy. Slippery from in side, not fit properly, Cause fracture”
“One has to ask why you wore shoes that didn’t fit and not return for a refund!”
Would you really keep a pair of shoes that didn’t fit and not return them? Would an established trader really go to war over a £10 pair of shoes?
The second classic is a neutral for a 30ml tube of wrinkle cream, 40 of which had already sold:
“fast delivery thank u”
I asked the buyer what went wrong, the reply:
“It did state the size i know but i assumed i wld b gettin more”
It is not just me, it seems that feedback and the stars ratings are still food for thought.
I have to agree with last week’s Reader’s rant about eBay feedback and eBay’s lack of commitment to sort unfair feedback out. Of course they know that Top Seller ratings may topple and they then gain increased revenue from the discount fees not being applicable.
We are about to lose our Top Rated Seller status as we set the eBay holiday settings for ten days which states that there will be a delay in shipping on our eBay items.
Many buyers completely ignored it and purchased products expecting their deliveries within a few days. Consequently we received a number of 1 and 2 stars for delivery time and we will be losing our TRS status and the fee discounts.
We sent an email to eBay, which promises a reply within three days… we are still waiting for a reply more than three days later. Are we surprised?”
As ever your thoughts are most welcome – Mollybol@ebaybulletin.co.uk
5. ASK MOLLY – HOW CAN I GREET MY BUYERS?
I would like to find out about a greeting to buyers which is sometimes seen in the body of the item description a bit at the top that says something like ‘welcome to my item
How do I capture
‘fastslingshot’ – http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/fastslingshot/m.html?
The salutation at the top of the description is a shop function.
Go into ‘manage my shop’ from ‘My eBay’.
On the left side in the ‘marketing tools’ section select ‘listing frame’. In the ‘Customise your Shop listing header’ select ‘Add a personalised message for buyers’.
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.
Watch out eBay, Amazon are prowling around poaching your sellers. No, I don’t mean boiling them in hot water, although thinking about it. [Ed - eggcellent gag.] I mean tempting them away with the promise of a happy life elsewhere.
The ‘red carpet’ scheme is aimed at sellers with 400 plus lines, how flattering.
“Amazon will provide free listing support, review for early ‘Buy Box’ eligibility and six months’ account management to ensure that sellers receive the right amount of support to get off to a good start as an Amazon merchant.”
Sounds great. Unfortunately Amazon have chosen the worst possible time to woo new customers. All sellers with 400 plus lines are tearing their hair out trying to list, sell, pack and ship products at the moment. I took my call whilst sorting six bags of Lego, taking delivery of cardboard boxes, sending e-mails, listing new lines, feeding the dog and drinking tea (for a change).
The interesting thing is that the caller said Amazon would match the overall costs levied by eBay; this would be a neat trick as they don’t know my discount levels or PayPal Merchant costs. Maybe in the New Year guys, but don’t spend the commission just yet.
Best wishes and happy eBaying
Author of the bestselling title, ‘The eBay Business Handbook’ – available direct from the publishers: www.harriman-house.com/ebaybusiness