Topics in this issue:
1. eBay 101 – Turbo listing on free weekends
2. The Taxman cometh
3. myHermes – brace yourself
4. Ask Molly – Where can I go now?
Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of The eBay UK Bulletin.
I think the leak in the shed has finally been cured as there seems to be less mould and the Elves are not coughing as much. Now all I have to do is dry out all the wet boxes.
More good news, the taxman is due to make an inspection in a few weeks time. Find out why this is good news later in the bulletin.
Also this week, another change of postage strategy as the Royal Mail price increase looms closer.
For details of this newsletter, please scroll down to the end.
1. EBAY 101 – TURBO LISTING ON FREE WEEKENDS
I do have a couple of questions about listings that hopefully you can help me with:
When you re-list, if you tick all the items you want to re-list at once you get a screen that shows how much the listing fees are, even though it’s a free listing weekend. The only way round this seems to be to re-list each item one at a time, is there another way to speed this process up?
Secondly, can you turbo list on free listing weekends?”
Great questions and the simple answer is that I can’t remember. It has been so long since I was able to take advantage of a free listing weekend; in fact I am not even sure if they were around when I had a private seller account; I am getting very old you know.
So readers over to you; are you having problems using Turbo Lister? Have you found a way around the bulk free listing problem? Please send your replies directly to me (Mollybol@ebaybulletin.co.uk) and I’ll steal your thoughts for the next edition of the Business Handbook (Ed – of which I am still awaiting the first draft!).
You didn’t mention if your items are using the ‘auction format’ or ‘fixed price’; you can have 100 free auctions each month, with a few restrictions of course (pages.ebay.co.uk/help/sell/insertion-fee.html). The next free listing weekend for private sellers is in a weeks time (pages.ebay.co.uk/promos/0IF_110319/index.html).
2. THE TAXMAN COMETH
Actually the ‘Taxlady’ cometh – equally as scary though.
It’s all go at HQ with sales of cosmetics back to normal levels, a new VAT limit set allowing a significantly higher turnover, buying trips just getting underway and HMRC want to come and audit my second-hand toy business!
Molly has hit the criteria warranting a ‘Business Records Check’; as soon as you mention that all your purchases are in cash the alarm bells ring and an audit is hastily arranged.
This is not a huge problem as Molly happens to be a qualified Accountant and, although a little rusty, the book-keeping side of things is ok. The good news is that this check focuses on book-keeping procedures and uses recent trading figures. This has forced me into completing my accounts for the current tax year in record time; I have never been so up to date with the figures!
Over the past few days I have fallen in love with the ‘sales history log’ from PayPal. You can find these under the ‘History’ tab on the main PayPal page, click on ‘Download History’. I prefer the ‘comma delimited; all activity’ option and also include ‘Shopping Cart details’. This sucks all the data into a spreadsheet format.
I have been struggling to reconcile the eBay sales reports of late as they are not great for identifying postage, non-payers or refunds whereas a comprehensive PayPal sales report does away with the need to identify non payers and refunds are taken into account.
At the simplest level, eBay sales equal the net amount in your PayPal report, plus the fees you paid. Watch out for e-cheques as PayPal adds them in twice, should they clear ok.
Life is made that much easier if you don’t have any personal sales to account for. This year I sold a dozen of my own items through this account – I was just too lazy to set up a new process. It does complicate things, so I am now on the case and will set up another ID for personal sales.
I’ll update in due course how things go.
Had a ‘records check’ yourself? Let me know – Mollybol@ebaybulletin.co.uk
3. MYHERMES – BRACE YOURSELF
As I mentioned last week there are big changes coming in the world of Royal Mail packet delivery and I have been pondering this over a coffee or two.
Sub 25mm items (large letters) remain as they are now, but the removal of the 750gm packet rate will make sending larger items more expensive – £2.60 up to one kilo second class. It is now time to sell in larger quantities, passing on a saving for bulk purchase but incorporating the extra postage charges.
I have noticed this in the world of cosmetics where most sellers now sell two or more tubes instead of singles. It is a risky strategy as some buyers may not have the purse for an increased ticket price, but there is no point in selling at an overall loss.
Things get a little more complicated as the value of many parcels would increase. I tend to send items recorded if the value is £30 plus. The cost of this service will now be £3.70.
Now some readers love myHermes and others don’t; I can only speak from personal experience and I love them. These guys offer a collection service up to one kilo, insured up to £25 and tracked for £3.24. They are also open to a deal if you send lots of packets. I am just about to start sending all packets with a value of £30 with myHermes; delivery times are akin to second class delivery and the risk of a ‘missing parcel’ is greatly reduced.
The added bonus is that I can take business away from the Royal Mail, who still refuse to compensate me for lost parcels dating back to last November.
4. ASK MOLLY – WHERE CAN I GO NOW?
Can you or your readers help?
I run an eBay store called John’s Magic Shop (stores.ebay.co.uk/Johns-Hobbies-and-Magic-Shop). It was covered by an insurance policy provided by Insurantz.com. This company has been taken over by Thistle Insurance Services, who no longer by provide cover for online businesses.
Can anyone recommend an alternative and what the monthly premiums are?”
Insurance was very topical a while back; I published a few ideas from readers in bulletin number 270 (see the back issues at intel.harriman-house.com).
It did get a bit boring towards the end but if anybody has found the insurer of their dreams, please do let me know and I’ll try to get on a commission referral scheme with them.
As an aside, you will be pleased to know that I have finally added all back issues of this bulletin to the website. If you are looking for something to replace ‘Dancing on Ice’ these could help you wile away the hours.
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.
That’s all for this week. Check out intel.harriman-house.com for the latest news from Molly HQ.
There were some very excited Elves at HQ this week as the year’s first delivery of 2,000 bubble bags arrived. It was getting a bit silly sending out a lipstick in a JL1, so the 00s were well received.
I always scan the site for cheap packaging deals, but seem to return the same seller each time (stores.ebay.co.uk/EasiPack). Might be worth a look.
Best wishes and happy eBaying,
Author of the bestselling title, ‘The eBay Business Handbook’ – available direct from the publishers: www.harriman-house.com/ebaybusiness