The eBay UK Bulletin: Issue 235, 9th December 2011
Topics in this issue:
1. eBay news – Check those invoices
2. Dispatch vs. delivery ongoing
3. Back to the future
4. Quick spoof
5. Ask Molly – Should I ship or not?
Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of ‘The eBay UK Bulletin’.
Christmas sales are still strong, but slowing, which is fine as I have become somewhat bored packing and wrapping. There is some good news as Molly’s feedback rating for postage has finally returned to 5.0 stars after a long uphill struggle.
Yesterday was a sad day at HQ as you will discover when you read on.
However, on a happier note read how a subscriber saved a few pounds following advice in this bulletin – it’s all part of the service.
[For details of this newsletter, please scroll down to the end.]
1. EBAY NEWS – CHECK THOSE INVOICES
Your last eBay bulletin referred specifically to the featured listing error.
I checked my fees and guess what… same error.
It is so easy to make and once it’s in your listing template it repeats.
The lady I spoke to needed a little more persuasion than yours but agreed with me in the end.
I’m going to pay fees weekly going forward and check carefully (something I am embarrassed to say I don’t often do).
Thank you so much for this extremely useful info.”
‘rhodiekiwi’ – http://stores.ebay.co.uk/rhodiekiwi
M – it’s my pleasure, as I learn so will I share.
I do think I have found out why this particular problem occurs. During the revision process you will need to click the continue button in order to move onto page 2 of the ‘sell your item’ form.
Some browsers take some time to load, Google Chrome seems to be the worst so there is a temptation to double click (or more) the continue button. Immediately under this button on page 2 is a tick box for the ‘featured listing’ option; if the page loads halfway through the frantic clicking this box will be checked.
A warning to Elves everywhere – calm down [Ed - it's only eBay]!
2. DISPATCH VS. DELIVERY ONGOING
You may recall that last week I included a reader’s comments regarding the ongoing debate over the speed of delivery impacting on feedback for dispatch.
Yesterday was a dark day at Molly HQ when the whole of the USA was blocked from all Molly’s eBay items across all IDs. This has nothing to do with guys in the US, we love America in fact one of the Elves is dating a delightful chap from Long Island – nice big house! No, this is the final straw regarding dispatch vs. delivery and the eBay feedback system.
An e-mail arrived at HQ:
“Important: Improve your seller performance to avoid limits on your account.”
Your seller performance is below standard under the eBay.com seller performance standards programme.
We’d like to help you improve your seller performance, so that you can continue to list at the same volume and avoid limits on your account.
Based on your ratings, we recommend that you focus on communicating promptly and professionally, and dispatching your items promptly and informing your buyers.”
I mentioned a while back that my TRS status had been removed in the US, now it has fallen below standard due to a handful of buyers marking me down for dispatch time. At HQ items are shipped the same day and often within the hour, so dispatch times are pretty good, and as eBay now send all the dispatch e-mails the buyers should be aware of the dispatch date. It is the bit in the middle that slows things down – the delivery.
Things are going to get worse in the run up to Christmas as this article in the Daily Mail suggests:
So I have now blocked any sales into the US to limit further damage to my stats. This will impact on my profits and reduce revenue to eBay but enough is enough.
Please make the distinction somewhere between feedback for dispatch and buyer comments on delivery times.
The other line in the e-mail was the suggestion that I should be ‘communicating promptly and professionally’ with my buyers which did annoy the Elves a little as Molly has 100% satisfaction in the communication category.
If this fiasco continues I can see Molly becoming a domestic only seller, not ideal for a UK in need of export revenue.
3. BACK TO THE FUTURE
I read with a little chuckle your story from a customer who left negative feedback because a one size only item was the wrong size. I think I have one that may give you a little chuckle too. I had an email through eBay about a week ago from a potential customer in America who asked if I would post to there as they really wanted the little soaps I was selling, I checked the Royal mail site and sent them a message saying it would cost £2.93 air mail from the UK to USA.
They then bought the item on a Sunday evening, I dispatched them on Monday at 11am and when I came back to the house to confirm they had been dispatched the seller had left me three words on the feedback “Very Slow Shipping”, thankfully they added them to a positive rating. Now given that I had just left the post office some five minutes prior to post the item I thought I’d better check if my DeLorean was still outside with Michael J Fox in it and the flux capacitor in full flow!
‘morebrands4less’ – http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Morebrands4less
4. QUICK SPOOF
Just space to slip in a quick PayPal spoof courtesy of ‘Greatvalue111’ – http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/Greatvalue111/m.html?
Subject: New PayPal personal message
Date: Sun, 27 Nov 2011 16:16:09 -0600
We recently have determined that different computers have logged into your account, and multiple passwords failures were present before the login. therefore your online account has been blocked.
To restore your Online account please download and fill the form attached to this e-mail.
Once opened, you will be provided with steps to restore your acces.
We appreciate your understanding as we work to ensure account safety.
Note: Only submit your information via this secure link.
Do not submit your information via email since this is not a secure way of sending sensitive data.
This spoof also contains an online form which when filled in should keep somebody in Nigeria smiling for quite a while.
5. ASK MOLLY – SHOULD I SHIP OR NOT?
I have a vintage cutlery set for sale on eBay and I have stated that I will only ship outside the UK ‘IN EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES’.
Someone from Sydney in Oz has asked if I would send it to them if they pay the shipping, my gut feeling is ‘no’ as they only joined yesterday with zero feedbacks.
I do not judge that as we all have to start somewhere but it is a long way if it turns out to be dodgy and it is a very valuable. I know in your book you say be very wary of these types of things.
Any advice is greatly appreciated.”
I would be tempted to leave well alone, things just don’t stack up, the buyer is outside of the UK, has zero feedbacks and joined yesterday. It may be that this is just the thing they have been waiting for all these years and they joined eBay just to buy your cutlery set however I would wait for a more established buyer in the UK.
It should be fine to post within the UK using an insured carrier, but quite heavy I should think.
Imagine how you would feel if it got lost in the post or the payment was reversed, it makes me shudder just thinking about it.
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 subject of insurance for eBay traders crops up from time to time in this bulletin as it can be quite hard to find. In response to this Molly has asked a clever reader in the world of business insurance to put together a proposal tailored towards eBay traders.
Although still very much on the drawing board I would like to canvas opinion from you the bulletin readers to see if such a policy combining home and business insurance in one policy would have any legs.
If this is something you might consider given all the usual caveats (especially price) please let me know – email@example.com if enough readers think it might work we will develop the idea further.
Best wishes and happy eBaying
Author of the bestselling title, ‘The eBay Business Handbook’ – available direct from the publishers: www.harriman-house.com/ebaybusiness