The eBay UK Bulletin: Issue 245, 9th March 2012
Topics in this issue:
1. eBay news – Final value fees up in Technology
2. Reader’s rant – VERO
3. Molly and the VAT man
4. Ask Molly – How do I get Photobucket?
Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of The eBay UK Bulletin.
Well it had to happen and this week Molly registered for VAT. Many thanks for all your thoughts on VAT over the past week, strangely there were not any ‘funny’ ones, but several to get me thinking. There’s more on this later in the bulletin.
More also on the recent changes due in May. And guess what? A fees increase.
Watch out for ‘VERO’ or you could be in trouble, read on for more on this.
[For details of this newsletter, please scroll down to the end.]
1. EBAY NEWS – FINAL VALUE FEES UP IN TECHNOLOGY
This increase was of course announced last week but as I ran out of space, here it is again.
For all sellers in the ‘Technology’ category selling Computing, Consumer electronics, Photography, Mobile & home phones or the Video games sub-category, but excluding the actual games, fees are on the rise.
The final value fee has been 3% for some time, which was always a nice surprise on the rare occasions I drifted into the category for a sale or two. Well it is now on the rise to 5%. Now if you sell in the clothes category where the FVF is 12% then 5% is the stuff of dreams, however it does represent an increase in excess of 60%. It hasn’t gone down too well on the shop floor.
Just been reading the latest eBay bulletin, Business Seller News Spring 2012 … horrified to say the least.
The discount for top rated sellers is being cut, for me (Bronze level) it will be halved, but also the final fees will increase from 3% to 5% as I sell IT items.
So the profits for eBay will definitely increase from May 2012, whilst prices to Joe Public will no doubt be increased to maintain sellers’ profit margins – so who wins? eBay again!”
‘PG Computer Components’ – http://stores.ebay.co.uk/PG-Computer-Components
Any further comments are most welcome – Mollybol@ebaybulletin.co.uk
2. READER’S RANT – VERO
For the second time in the space of three months I have innocently fallen foul of the VERO rights programme, through trademark issues.
The first time was due to selling “Keep Calm and Carry On” items – don’t do it on eBay folks or you’ll fall foul of Mark Coop. His campaign has received a fair amount of publicity so I guess most sellers may be aware of it now.
On Wednesday, after a long evening getting to grips with Amazon listings, just as I was about to switch off and go to bed, eBay sent me another VERO email, telling me 71 (yes, 71!) of my listings, most of them best sellers, had been reported for breaching trademark law. The trademark in question was “Shabby Chic”. Yes, that well-known phrase in popular use since the 1980s is trademarked.
If you’ve never experienced VERO before, it’s not much fun. Your listings disappear. If you’ve not got templates held somewhere, they’re pretty much lost and need to be created from scratch. Nightmare!
So, be warned. If like me you’ve used the descriptive phrase shabby chic in any of your listings, change it. The two words can be used separately and will have pretty similar results in search results.
Incidentally, the owner of the trademark doesn’t sell anything like the items I’m selling; in fact I doubt they even trade on eBay. You may wonder what the benefit? Well their website now has top ranking in a Google search, no doubt due to all the disgruntled eBayers taking a look at it!”
Pinkfizzzz – http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Pink-Fizz-Handmade-Beaded-Jewellery
If you are new to VERO, check out the eBay help page http://pages.ebay.co.uk/help/tp/programs-vero-ov.html
3. MOLLY AND THE VAT MAN
VAT can be quite a problem for online traders as postage charges are added to sales values even if you don’t make any profit from them; the net result is that your turnover goes up and may bump against the VAT registration threshold.
This happened at HQ and my response was to shut up shop, reduce sales and drink more tea. However it was all getting a bit boring so the decision was made to register for VAT and move sales up to the next level.
Interesting things so far:
The ‘flat rate scheme’ seems like a good idea from an admin perspective as there is no need to record so many figures; you just give Mr Osborne a percentage of your turnover. This figure for the cosmetics industry is 8% (less a discount of 1% for the first year).
Ouch, so far not so good, especially as I can’t increase prices and remain competitive. eBay do help out though by removing the 15% VAT usually added to your invoice. This will of course improve profitability by reducing costs (slightly), but at the same time increase your income tax burden.
The flat rate VAT payment is deducted from the turnover figure, thus reducing sales and gross profit; this will reduce net profit and your income tax bill. It’s all a bit of a mixed bag so far.
On the plus side the brakes are now off and with no limit on turnover Molly has embarked on a sales drive using a new ‘free gift’ offer which is going very well. You can check this on one of the listings – http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/310384620597. Also the use of ‘loss leader’ auctions has started to lure in a few extra sales. An aggressive pricing policy and new lines should all result in turnover doubling this year.
I’ll keep you informed about the VAT situation.
4. ASK MOLLY – HOW DO I GET PHOTOBUCKET?
Could you let me know how I go about getting/using Photobucket?
Does this mean that I would be able to put as many pictures as I want (within reason) on the listing itself?”
‘reedyfc12’ – http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/reedyfc12/m.html
The Photobucket site is great, just Google them and sign up for free.
You can then upload pictures in the usual way to the PB account.
In your eBay listings set-up switch to HTML view at the description stage and type in this HTML code
In your PB account copy the second box under the picture (which includes an address for it) and paste this text in-between the “” in the HTML code you inserted on eBay. If you now switch back to standard view your picture will be there.
With a little experimentation you will be able to place it where you want in the listing.
You can have as many pictures as you wish of any size, all for free.
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.
Now as you know I have sold a few strange things on eBay over the years, but a chicken nugget for $5,000 knocks them all out of the ball park.
When you actually start to look into this a bit deeper, try a Google images search for ‘George Washington Nugget’ – you will see what big business this is. For all readers looking for new stock lines I can offer no better advice than to eat more fast food, but check every piece first!
Best wishes and happy eBaying,
Author of the bestselling title, ‘The eBay Business Handbook’ – available direct from the publishers: www.harriman-house.com/ebaybusiness
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