Topics in this issue:
1. eBay News: eBay events during the World Cup
2. Sending money via Paypal with no eBay item number
3. Tip Of The Week: Why have two identities?
4. Trade Of The Week: Vintage Fisher Price dolls house
5. eBay School: The importance of item titles
6. Traders’ Tales: ‘All this for just £2.99!’
Welcome to this week’s eBay UK Bulletin and welcome also to any new readers who join us for the first time. Has a week really gone by already? My days are beginning to blur together – must drink more coffee. If you’re new to the newsletter: this weekly update is compiled for eBayers across the world, and contains a mix of gossip,tips and some weird stuff as well.
1. EBAY NEWS: EBAY EVENTS DURING THE WORLD CUP
The football season is almost upon us and for eBay it might prove a little difficult to attract as many visitors as normal. In an attempt to keep buyers on the site, they will be running a number of events, including-
A) Global Instant Win – a virtual sticker collecting game with instant win prizes including cash, Skype minutes and PDAs
B) The eBay Penalty Shoot Out
C) eBay sponsors the Trinidad & Tobago team!
More details will be announced in the coming days.
Whether you are a football fan or not, the World Cup will undoubtedly have an impact on sales as many buyers will be away from their computers during the games and for some time after they finish, I should think. The World Cup, coupled with a traditional lull in sales at this time of year, may well persuade many sellers to take a holiday and resume mid-July. I shall be reducing my auctions to only a couple a night and will avoid matches where I can.
2. SENDING MONEY VIA PAYPAL WITH NO EBAY ITEM NUMBER
There may come a time when you will need to send money, or have your buyer send you money, via Paypal without an eBay reference number. The most common use I have found is when buyers don’t pay enough postage (does this ever happen to you?) and I need them to send extra cash directly to my account. Without an eBay item number it can sometimes be a bit of a challenge.
However, it is possible to send money directly from one Paypal account to another and the easiest method I have found is as follows:
1) Ask your buyer to open their Paypal account in the usual way.
2) Click the second main tab, titled ‘send money’.
3) Fill in details, firstly your e-mail address, then
4) The amount in figures, then
5) Select the currency from the pull down menu.
6) For ‘Category of purchase’ select ‘Goods other’ from the pull down menu.
7) Add in a note to identify what the money is for and click ‘continue’.
Remember that you will be charged the flat fee of 20 pence in addition to a percentage of the total monetary value, so for a few extra pence, it might not be worth the hassle. (Ref: www.paypal.com).
3. TIP OF THE WEEK: WHY HAVE TWO IDENTITIES?
Buying on eBay can be a great way to increase your stock holdings, it doesn’t cost anything for petrol and the Royal Mail will deliver your purchases directly to your door. Choosing the right item to buy is often a mixture of luck and good research. I will expand on what to look for when buying on eBay in a later edition of this newsletter.
However, if you do use eBay as a source of stock, consider having another eBay ID solely for buying. More than one ID is permitted, although you will need another email address. The process is straightforward: start at the Registration Page, the link can be found from the Site Map and complete the form.
There are two good reasons to have a separate ID for buying:
i) The first is a matter of privacy. How often have you been looking at a particular item and clicked on the feedback of the buyer or seller and then worked down their recent trades – just being nosey to see what they have been doing? Do you really want your competitors checking your profit margins by looking at your purchases and then your sales? Do you really want them to see how you buy your stock?
ii) Secondly, consider the poor seller that you have just traded with; they have parted with their treasured collection of ‘stuffed animals’ or ‘Haynes motor manuals’ for a fraction of their value. Although they should have taken a better picture or listed them in the right category, it still is a bit upsetting for them to see the same item, listed correctly in the right category with multiple payment options and offered with worldwide delivery, sell for a huge profit. This can be particularly awkward if they have not yet left you feedback for the purchase – ouch!
4. TRADE OF THE WEEK – VINTAGE FISHER PRICE DOLLS HOUSE
This week it is not so much a great trade as a great way of selling. Many thanks to cully222 for this super example, check them out at:
The auction was for a vintage Fisher Price dolls house from 1969. It came furnished with many original features: a garage, drive and even some sitting tenants. Check out the actual description at:
cully222 says: “I love this way of selling; and with 202 hits it was always going to reach a good price. How do I know that this was a good price? Well, the week after I also sold a very similar house with even more furniture and the same decor, but without the comprehensive description – it sold for £14.00.”
This is a very good example of selling the experience as opposed to the item, and – in this case – one that sold for twice as much as mine (hangs head in shame).
If you have bought or sold something described along these lines,please let me know and I will include it in a future edition.
5. EBAY SCHOOL: THE IMPORTANCE OF ITEM TITLES
The title of your auction is the single most important element of the whole eBay listing, as 75% of buyers find items using the search engine. Getting the titles right is essential. The title space has 55 characters and the trick is to include as many key search words within this limited space to drive as many potential buyers to your auctions. Nobody searches for words like ‘Wow’, ‘cute’, ‘Fantastic’, ‘LOOK’ and so on – so don’t waste valuable space. Give your title a little more thought and choose the right words.
Once you have compiled the best title within the space, take a moment out and check the spelling. [Searching for miss-spelt words is a great way to find a bargain - I'll explain this in more detail another day]. If your spelling is so bad, you may not even get a visitor. Here are some of my best (or worst) titles:
’35mm Camra, Great Condition As New’ – this didn’t get many bids (but did sell to a lover of real ale!)
‘Discworld novel by Teryy Ratchett’ – not many hits for this auction, maybe the author is not that popular.
’500 piece jigsaw of the Royal Family TV Show’ – This didn’t even get a hit. (Note: should be ‘Royle’)
‘Lego Yoys, Large Assortment of Assorted Pieces’ – Not much good if you are looking for toys.
‘Thomas The Tank Engine & Fiends’ – that should scare the youngsters.
Have you made any errors with auction titles that you are prepared to admit to? Please send them in and I will compile the ‘top ten worst auction titles’ with a prize for the winner (a 500 piece Royle Family jigsaw looks favourite at the moment).
6. TRADERS’ TALE – ‘ALL THIS FOR JUST £2.99′
In ‘Traders’ Tales’, I relay some of the more unusual things that happen to eBay traders. This week, a trader’s tale of despair sent in by ‘Cloversmum’ (check them out at
http://feedback.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewFeedback&userid=cloversmum), which just goes to prove that sometimes you wonder why you bother at all.
The story begins with a small ‘My Little Pony’ toy. You know the kind of thing, cute horse with a long tail, which unfortunately turns out to be a model that is not very popular, selling to a bidder in America for the maiden bid of just 99p and postage cost of £2. After a week and no payment, a polite email was sent enquiring if all was well. The reply came back (the spelling has not been altered):
Very recently, I purchased a number of items off of ebay. Recently, though, I have been going through some financial difficulties. I’m not saying I can’t pay, simply that, while many of you reqiure payment soon after, I’m not going to be able to have or send the money until Monday. Also – and this is very important – I CANNOT USE PAYPAL. If your auction requires paypal payment, I cannot pay. I can send the money, but paypal ceased to be an option as of last night. I’m terribly, terribly sorry. I feel awful about standing you up on your payment.”
No worries, this is only a 99p pony. We can wait. The poor guy has obviously got some problems, apart from bad grammar and spelling.
Another week goes by and the pony has settled back in when the next correspondence arrives:
“I’m EXTREMLY sorry for this inconvenience. If you would rather put the item back up for auction, I would understand completly, and not hold any grudges. But if it is still possible to recieve the item if I send the money Monday, please contact me, and I will get it to you as soon as is possible.”
At this point Cloversmum is beginning to think that the sale might not actually go through. The pony does not seem too bothered. Then, another email from the buyer – perhaps they are sending the money but, then again, perhaps not:
“I’m very sorry about the delay, I really did intend on sending out the money on Monday but I got in a car accident and was in the hospital until this afternoon, and I am now absolutly swamped with paperwork from my insurence companies, but I promise to you I will either send out the money by this Saterday or I’ll revoke my purchse… I really feel horrible leaving sellers hanging like this.If possible, I’ll send some extra to make up for lost time. Thank very much, and my deepest apologies.”
This buyer’s eBay career ended soon after, with a feedback rating of -2.
We don’t know what happened to the pony, did it sell in the end?
Have you had a similar experience that made you pull your hair out, if so, please send it in, it will cheer me up at the very least.
If your buyer thinks your item was so good that they leave feedback like ‘Great eBayer, Fast Delivery, well packed – will buy from again’ then why don’t they!
That’s all we have time for this week, but I will be back next week with some more tips for better sales, the latest news and maybe we’ll find out where the pony ended up.
If there is anything you would like to see in the newsletter,please just email me and I’ll try to include it. You can read previous copies of the newsletter at www.ebaybulletin.co.uk.
Best wishes and happy eBaying