The eBay UK Bulletin: Issue 236, 21st December 2011
Topics in this issue:
1. eBay news – Ireland VAT increase
3. End of year thoughts
4. Lovely spoof
5. Ask Molly – Can I make a buyer leave feedback?
Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of ‘The eBay UK Bulletin’
That’s it for another year, just a case of ‘mopping up the gravy’ and then a welcome break. I will keep the shop open over the festive period as to live without a ‘ding, ding’ from the Blackberry every so often would be too weird!
Here are a couple of quick buyer questions to set the scene:
Item: Lancome – Black Glitter Cosmetic Make Up Vanity Case (30cm x 23cm x 12cm)
Question 1: Can you give me the length, width & depth please.
Question 2: Can you please tell me how deep this item is?
I have just been asked ‘how may plates per set’ in my ‘SET OF FOUR RAINBOW PLATES’ listing.”
Giverny Gifts – http://stores.ebay.co.uk/GivernyGifts?
It’s a bumper edition of the bulletin to end the year and my apologies go to all readers that I missed out.
Loads of rants and thoughts this week and to end the year on a high note I have included a copy of the latest health and safety directive issued from Molly HQ – enjoy!
[For details of this newsletter, please scroll down to the end.]
1. EBAY NEWS – IRELAND VAT INCREASE
VAT rates in Ireland are increasing on 1 January 2012 to 23% – Happy New Year everybody!
Business sellers on eBay are reminded to amend their listings to include the new rates.
Full details – http://pages.ebay.ie/help/vat-increase.html
I would like to thank you for trying to help with my SMALL problem I have with suspension from eBay. I am still no clearer even though I have phoned Ireland and everything I could think of.
I do know now though that there was a seller (unbeknownst to me) who sells the same items as myself, buying items from me leaving bad negative feedback (FAKE FAKE AVOID AVOID) and then I read on the community boards that his goes on all the time.
I didn’t believe it as in my naivety I thought we were all sellers together! I reported it and, well, it just goes to show that following p&p is not always the right thing to do.
I have closed my shop down as I see no point in giving eBay money for an empty shop, but am unsure what to do about my account as I still owe fees. It’s been frozen anyway and the money in it is just dwindling away as eBay seems to be dishing out money right left and centre every day I check it. I have been informed of nothing and now cannot even see what items were posted but I was unable to mark off as dispatched. I will now open my own web page and try my hand at selling directly.”
3. END OF YEAR THOUGHTS
I also think it’s high time eBay stopped this dispatch/delivery fiasco – I have been banging on about it for years. I simply could not send stuff out any quicker yet it has the lowest of all my DSRs at 4.88.
Perhaps eBay could turn their attention to those sellers who charge excessive postage or don’t put enough postage on the envelope as well. Often, in my experience, the two go hand in hand.
I frequently purchase items that have P&P at £2.50 or more and end up having to go to the sorting office to collect the package as the seller has put a 36p second class stamp on it and it’s a large letter, not a letter.
Ends up costing me nearly £5!
‘thanks 4 the memory andrew’ – http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Thanks-4-the-Memory-Andrew?
“Oh my goodness Mollybol! Why does selling on eBay need to be so stressful with regards to Delivery/Despatch
It is ludicrous that our businesses’ are in the hands of a handful of buyers (usually three) who rate our exemplary service on that of the carrier.
We close our shops to avoid damage to our account, we stop selling abroad to avoid damage to our account, we cross our fingers that each day we log onto eBay that carrier problems are few/none.
How can this benefit eBay if plenty of us close at Christmas for damage limitation and why on earth does eBay direct the buyer into a dispute rather than FORCE the buyer to contact us with their problem? No contact/No feedback/stars.
The buyer rating our service and impending restrictions/closure (and our livelihood/discounts/visibility) based on a third party is wrong ESPECIALLY when the buyer doesn’t contact us first (are we mind readers) eBay have set this monster in place.
I currently have a one and only neutral because Royal Mail has not delivered (I posted within 10 mins of order) and refunded in full as soon as I knew of this non-arrival. I also had a neutral feedback ages ago because I sent the item three times to a buyer who was using her landlady’s name and the post was getting redirected to the landlady! I also had a low star rating for communication as the buyer said I didn’t reply to her query (no message in my eBay and none in my email).
Three people is all it takes to wipe out my £50 monthly discount and, worse, my visibility – eBay has set the bar WAY too high.
I am actually fearful that my exemplary service will be in jeopardy this Christmas as I have one low for despatch, one neutral and I fear Royal Mail getting my items to the buyer in time for Christmas.
On top of everything else eBay have taken away the ability to bulk email our customers should problems arise (ash cloud, snow, anything,…).
I read on a daily basis on the Powerseller Board how stressful eBay selling is and it is evident that we all feel let down- super duper sellers who go WAY above what is required for customer service than any one of the outlets. Phew, I needed to get that off my chest.
My business should NOT be in the hands of three buyers (out of thousands of VERY happy customers)”
I am awaiting eBay’s ruling with interest on a customer who ordered an item that I no longer had in stock; they were promptly refunded.
The item was of course never shipped.
Three weeks later he is claiming it arrived in a damaged state!
I’ve requested he return it.
Can’t wait to see what arrives.”
‘rhodiekiwi’ – http://stores.ebay.co.uk/rhodiekiwi
4. LOVELY SPOOF
This great spoof arrived at HQ and if you know somebody called Sharon who is holidaying with her family in Spain right now; it might just catch you out.
I’m sorry for this odd request because it might get to you too urgent but it’s because of the situation of things right now,I’m stuck in Madrid,Spain with family right now, we came down here on vacation unfortunately we were mugged at the park of the hotel where we stayed,all cash,credit card and cell were stolen off us but luckily for us we still have our passports with us.
We’ve been to the embassy and the Police here but they’re not helping issues at all. Now, our passport is in the custody of the hotel management pending when we make payment. I am sorry if i am inconveniencing you, but i have only very few people to run to now. i will be indeed very grateful if i can get a loan of €2,250 EUR from you. this will enable me to sort our hotel bills and get a flight back home. I will really appreciate whatever you can afford in assisting me with. I promise to refund it in full as soon as I return. let me know if you can be of any assistance. Please, let me know soonest.
Thanks so much.
It makes a nice change from the usual PayPal spoofs; we all enjoyed this one at HQ.
5. ASK MOLLY – CAN I MAKE A BUYER LEAVE FEEDBACK?
I would like to ask you what to do if I don’t receive a feedback from buyer after two months.
I know that after one month eBay will send buyer a reminder, but what to do if it doesn’t help?
Also, what should I do if I receive negative feedback and the buyer doesn’t want to revise it? How can I complain so it can be removed?”
Unfortunately there is no obligation on a buyer to leave feedback at all. I have now sold almost 60,000 things and the feedback is 34,000 so around 40% of buyers don’t leave it.
If you do receive a negative you can ask the buyer to revise their feedback, there is a form to fill in which can be found from a link on this page – http://pages.ebay.co.uk/help/feedback/revision-request.html
I don’t always use the system to revise feedback, I will contact the buyer and ask what went wrong as it might just be a simple refund, if they can be placated then I ask them to revise if they don’t come back with more details about the problem then I just forget it. Saying that, I revised a neutral this week as it was for something I thought could not be faulty and it was in fact just a mistake.
If the buyer does not want to revise and the feedback does not breach eBay guidelines – http://pages.ebay.co.uk/help/policies/inappropriate-feedback-comments.html there is not very much you can do.
If you do receive a bad feedback you can of course respond. It is best to be professional and factual in this response, I used to be very restrained but have slipped into bad practice lately, I just can’t help myself. I mean why would anybody keep something they are not happy with and not ask for a refund?
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.
And that’s it for another year too. Time to put the elves on short time and lock up the shed for a day or so. There is just time for this (slightly modified) important health & safety message sent in by Simon – http://www.sbarker.co.uk/. Wise words indeed.
Elf Directives for the Festive Season
Any Elf travelling by sleigh this year is reminded to ‘buckle up’ before commencing the journey as a repeat of last year’s chimney incident could well invalidate personal injury insurance cover.
Leaving a sleigh unattended with its keys inside on cold mornings whilst trying to defrost windscreens can result in the insurance being invalidated – if stolen this will leave YOU with the financial burden of replacing the sleigh.
Elves planning to dash through the snow in a one horse open sleigh, going over the fields and laughing all the way, are advised that a Risk Assessment will be required addressing the safety of an open sleigh for members of the public. This assessment must also consider whether it is appropriate to use only one horse for such a venture, particularly where there are multiple passengers.
Please note that permission must also be obtained in writing from landowners before their fields may be entered.
To avoid offending those not participating in celebrations, we would request that laughter is moderate only and not loud enough to be considered a noise nuisance.
Ear plugs are compulsory for all carolers and audiences as Noise Regulations require the management of risk to Elves and to the general public.
Christmas lanterns will of course require electrical (portable appliance testing) PAT tests before caroling can commence.
Elves are banned from snowball fights this year unless they can obtain full written liability disclaimers from all participants.
Additionally hardhats, goggles, respirators and chest protectors must be worn at all times. No more than three snowballs should be carried at once and all Elves must complete relevant Kinetic Lifting Technique training conforming to ‘The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992’ before commencing.
Snow Ball fight procedural checklist:
1) Stand close to the snowball and centre yourself over it with your feet shoulder width apart.
2) Tighten your abdominal muscles.
3) Keeping your back straight, bend your knees and squat down to the floor.
4) Get a good grasp on the snowball with both hands.
5) Keeping the ball close to your body use your leg muscles to stand up lifting the snowball/s off the floor.
6) Your back should remain straight throughout lifting, using only the muscles in the legs to lift the ball.
7) Do not twist your body when moving. Instead take small steps with your feet turning until you are in the correct position to throw.
Benches, stools and orthopaedic chairs are now available for collection by any Elves or shepherds planning, or required, to watch their flocks by night. Whilst provision has also been made for remote monitoring of flocks by CCTV cameras from a centrally heated shepherd observation corner of HQ, all users of this facility must familiarise themselves with escape routes and are reminded that an emergency response plan must be submitted to account for any known risks to flocks or watchers.
Following last year’s well publicised case, all Elves are advised that Equal Opportunities legislation prohibits any comment with regard to the redness of any part of Mr. R. Reindeer. Further to this, exclusion of Mr R Reindeer from any reindeer games will be considered discriminatory and disciplinary action will be taken against those found guilty of this offence.
Decking the halls with boughs of holly will not be allowed this year due to the increased risk of personal injury from Wood dust and sap. A ‘Control of Substances Hazardous to Health’ (COSHH) assessment has been scheduled for later in the year.
Finally, whilst it is acknowledged that gift bearing is a common practice in various parts of the world, particularly the Orient, everyone is reminded that the bearing of gifts is subject to Hospitality Guidelines and the Bribery Act and therefore all gifts must be registered.
This applies regardless of the individual, even royal personages. It is particularly noted that direct gifts of currency or gold are specifically precluded, while caution is advised regarding other common gifts such as aromatic resins that may evoke allergic reactions.
Best wishes and Happy Christmas
Author of the bestselling title, ‘The eBay Business Handbook’ – available direct from the publishers: www.harriman-house.com/ebaybusiness