The eBay UK Bulletin: Issue 240, 3rd February 2012
Topics in this issue:
1. eBay 101 – Another top tip
2. Help needed with discounts
4. Selling limits
4. Ask Molly – When do I have to pay my fees?
Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of ‘The eBay UK Bulletin’.
It has been another busy week at Molly Towers, not only are the Elves running flat out to load inventory on to the new toy shop, but I also decided it was time to rebrand the cosmetics shop. We should all be able to sleep again in March. There are almost 450 items in the toy shop and the first month’s sales were £2,500; so far so good.
It’s an ‘Ask Molly’ week with no less than three Q&As and, for once, no PayPal spoofs to report on.
There is also just enough room for another eBay tip. It’s a bit tricky this one, but worth it in the long run.
[For details of this newsletter, please scroll down to the end.]
1. EBAY 101 – ANOTHER TOP TIP
You may recall in last week’s bulletin I included a quick tip about cutting your PayPal fees, well the response was so good…
“I had no idea about the fee reduction for sellers who have sales in excess of £1500 per month and as a result of your email and five minutes on PayPal my fees have now gone down from 3.4% to 2.4%. I reckon I will save about £70 plus each month. Well done and thank you.”
‘CS-Marketplace’ – http://stores.ebay.co.uk/cs-marketplace
“Thank you very much for your info on PayPal fees. I was not aware of this. I have just applied for the discount and PayPal have given me a new 1.9% rate, saving me about £170 a month. I have never subscribed to a newsletter that has saved me so much money for nothing.”
‘Charcon Creations’ – http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Charcon-Creations
“Thanks ever so much for pointing out the merchant fees info on PayPal in your bulletin. I think I know everything there is to know about selling on eBay and then your email pops up and I learn something new and genuinely useful.”
‘twomagpiesshop’ – http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Two-Magpies-Shop
…that this week I have included another from my soon to be published ‘top tips’ guide.
This one relates to the creation of a hidden notice board within your item descriptions which can be used for special offers and general announcements. If you fancy having a crack at creating one using this quick guide please let me know how you got on and where I can improve the instructions. [Ed – so you are now asking readers to write your books for you?].
You will need a web hosting account (for some reason this process will not work with ‘Photobucket’) which you can get for free. I use ‘freewebspace’ (don’t pay for a domain name, no need). You also need some very basic knowledge of HTML and Microsoft Paint or a similar program.
1) Decide how big you want your notice board to be. It is measured in pixels and I use a size of 380 by 98 which is approximately 4.5 inches x 1 inch. Check one of my listings and see what you think of that size.
2) Open a new file within Paint and resize the page to the dimensions you want. Save it to your desktop. Essentially this is just a small white page.
3) Load your blank white picture into your web hosting account and call it something like ‘noticeboard.jpg’
4) Log into your eBay account and create a new listing.
5) In the item description switch to the ‘HTML’ view.
6) Copy this HTML code onto the page img src=”” it needs to be included within brackets Copy the address of your noticeboard (right click and copy link location) and paste it between the quotation marks of the text in Step 6.
8) Switch back to the standard view and you will not see anything – scary.
9) Return to your small blank white page in Paint and fill the box with a colour; yellow is pretty good. Now add in your message (trial & error is needed here to get the best font size and colour scheme). Save the finished image to your desktop.
10) Load this new image into your web hosting account and then use the copy function, renaming your new picture with ‘noticeboard.jpg’
11) Check back with your listing and the new message will be shown.
If you want to remove your message altogether just load in another blank white page. Each time you ‘sell similar’ the code will be copied on to the new listing.
Comments (clean ones please) – Mollybol@ebaybulletin.co.uk
2. HELP NEEDED WITH DISCOUNTS
It’s that time again when I ask you the learned reader for advice on an eBay conundrum, this time the provision of buyer discounts when free postage is employed.
I have been selling stamps on eBay for five years now and wish to take my selling to a next level.
I will be selling identical mint British postage stamps on a multi buy it now listing, with free P&P, using different listings for different stamp values.
To gain an edge I would like to offer a band of discounts to buyers who buy more than one item. For example:
– buy 1 item for the price listed
– buy 2-10 items get 10% discount
– buy 11-20 items get 15% discount
Can I set something up automatically within the eBay listing or if I state in my listing ‘Wait for final bill before paying’ then can I adjust the invoice?”
If you offer free postage as standard then providing a discount is a little trickier as it is not possible to reduce an eBay invoice below the value of the actual items.
You could ask your buyers to hold off from paying whilst you send a money request directly from PayPal.
If they do pay the full amount, you could send back some of your buyer’s payment. In its simplest form this could be a partial PayPal refund on a manual basis – a little labour intensive but it would work.
Remember that your eBay fees are based on the selling price; they do not take into account any partial refunds you may make.
If there is a possibility of buyers purchasing more than one of the same stamp then you could use a ‘multi-variation listing’ and offer one stamp for say £5 and then two for £9.50 and so on, I do this for larger volumes of hand cream.
If anybody out there knows of another way to provide discounts under these circumstances, please let me know at the usual address.
3. SELLING LIMITS
My question/problem is: since eBay introduced selling limits or allowances are you aware of how long it may take for them to increase my selling allowance from 100 items a month?
I have 68 positive feedbacks and no neutral or negative, all my DSR ratings are above required and I am £150 and 16 days off being a power seller and top rated.
Do you happen to know what the likely increase in selling allowance will be as at the moment the 100 items is rather choking?”
I can understand why the selling limits were introduced, but they can get in the way of making some serious money.
It is certainly worth contacting eBay and asking for the limits to be raised; it is possible they will remove the limit altogether but you need to contact them.
The eBay word:
“When you list an item, you may see a message letting you know that you have met, or are close to, one of your monthly account allowances. If you can’t wait until the next month to continue listing, you can click the link in the message to ‘request higher selling allowances’. Some sellers may also find this link in the ‘All selling’ section of My eBay in the ‘Monthly allowances section’.”
If you have another established seller account this can help – let eBay know about it.
4. ASK MOLLY – WHEN DO I HAVE TO PAY MY FEES?
I’m considering importing goods into the UK for the first time. The value of the initial order will only be about £70 and so I understand from HMRC that I’ll be liable for import VAT at 20% plus possibly import duty which will determined by the classification of the items.
My questions are really around the logistics of the importation process. The supplier will be sending the goods by China airmail. So when they arrive at an airport in the UK, how is the VAT and import duty paid?”
You are quite right about the VAT and possibly the import duty as well as the VAT-free limit is lower than your order value.
You will probably need to fill in a form, the C88. You can get a copy from this HMRC page – http://customs.hmrc.gov.uk/channelsPortalWebApp/channelsPortalWebApp.portal?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=pageImport_Forms
I would be tempted to give the revenue guys a quick call just to confirm what is required – 0845 010 9000.
This is the official checklist:
1) Check which import duty applies.
Import duty is based on the type of goods you are importing, the country they originate from and their value.
HMRC’s Integrated Tariff sets out the classification of goods and the rates of duty in detail.
Your trade association or your import agent may be able to advise you.
2) Confirm what paperwork you require from the supplier for customs clearance.
This normally includes an invoice and a copy of the transport documents.
You may need proof of the origin of the goods to claim reduced import duty for goods from certain countries.
A valuation document is also normally required for imports above a set value.
3) Complete an import declaration.
You normally declare imports using the Single Administrative Document (SAD).
4) Pay VAT and duty to get the goods released.
You pay VAT at the normal UK rate for those goods when sold in the UK.
Regular importers can defer payment of VAT and duty by opening a deferment account with HMRC. You need to provide security and must agree to pay by direct debit.
5) Account for VAT.
HMRC will send you a C79 certificate showing the import VAT you have paid. You must keep this.
You can reclaim VAT on imports in the same way as you reclaim input tax on purchases of supplies within in the UK.
You cannot reclaim import duty.
If you can offer any practical advice or tips regarding importing into the UK, please let me know – Mollybol@ebaybulletin.co.uk
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 re-branding of the Mollybol shop is taking an age and it is so boring! Changing the background colour scheme to a more seductive pink was easy and even retaking all the gallery pictures is not too bad. The thing that caught me out was my hypertext links from listings into the shop.
Advertising your other items is a good idea and linking back into your shop is as good as any. Unfortunately I also decided to expand my shop categories. The existing links from my descriptions direct buyers to a particular shop category which has now gone – instead I need to link to a search within my shop. It is a subtle change but means amending 100+ listings. Another late night ahead for me.
Best wishes and happy eBaying
Author of the bestselling title, ‘The eBay Business Handbook’ – available direct from the publishers: www.harriman-house.com/ebaybusiness