Topics in this issue:
1. eBay News: Buyer sued for leaving negative feedback
2. Royal Mail: Pricing in proportion – winners and losers
3. eBay 101: Current eBay payment methods
4. Ask Molly: Can I charge more for PayPal payments?
Welcome to this week’s edition of The eBay UK Bulletin. It’s still hot in the UK – if only I could sell ice cream on eBay, I’d make a fortune!
[For details of this newsletter please scroll down to the end.]
1. EBAY NEWS: BUYER SUED FOR LEAVING NEGATIVE FEEDBACK
It sounds crazy, but it’s true. An eBay Powerseller in the USA sued a buyer for leaving negative feedback. Having purchased a nutritional supplement and found it was not to their liking, the buyer asked for a refund. When the seller refused, the buyer left the following negative feedback:
“Beware! — Don’t buy Purple Monavie Gel Packs — they taste awful.”
The seller replied:
“We Shipped Factory-Sealed Product FAST. We Are Not Responsible for YOUR Taste.”
The seller also threatened to sue for defamation. The buyer, believing that nobody could be sued for leaving negative feedback on eBay, told the seller to “Go ahead and sue”. They did! Although the case was later dismissed by a court in Virginia, it IS possible to be sued for leaving feedback on eBay.
2. ROYAL MAIL: PRICING IN PROPORTION – WINNERS AND LOSERS
Last week I mentioned the new Royal Mail pricing system which is due to be introduced on 21st August 2006 – but who exactly will be the winners and who will have to pay more?
Most eBay sellers will be particularly interested in the revised pricing for the packet rate as this is likely to be the service most widely used. The Royal Mail have this to say about packets:
“Packets can include VHS cassettes, books, some magazines and catalogues, parts and samples, foodstuffs, prints and posters in cylindrical packaging. Packets will be any item longer than 353mm or wider than 250mm or thicker than 25mm or heavier than 750g.”
Right, that’s clear enough, but what about the cost?
First class (old prices)
First class (new prices)
The postage on packets over 500g will reduce, below 500g, you can expect to pay more.
Second class (old prices)
Second class (new prices)
The most interesting thing about the new second class pricing is the extension to 1kg, which can now be sent for the same price as 750g in the past. It is the smaller weight packets that will cost more.
It is still very new, but the one thing that strikes me is the potential now to offer larger quantities of product and charge the same for postage. For example, when selling a loose product such as Lego, I can now sell in batches of 750g instead of 500g with the same postage costs. I should now be able to move more Lego in fewer auctions, which saves on listing fees and packing costs.
Tip: Send all your packets by second class post – they will arrive at the same time.
3. EBAY 101: CURRENT EBAY PAYMENT METHODS
Getting paid for your item has never been so complicated – and it seems to be getting worse. So to clarify the situation as to what you can and cannot accept, below is the current list.
Permitted on eBay (sellers may offer to accept):
– credit cards including Mastercard/Visa/Amex
– debit cards
– bank electronic payments online
– bank-to-bank transfers (often known as bank wire transfers or bank cash transfers)
– COD (cash on delivery)
– cash for in-person transactions
– personal cheques
– postal orders
– bankers drafts
– certified cheques
– other negotiable instruments
Payment Services permitted on eBay:
Allpay.net, Bidpay, Canadian Tire Money, cash2india, CertaPay, Checkfree.com, hyperwallet.com, Moneybookers.com, Nochex.com, Ozpay.biz, Paymate.com.au, Propay.com, XOOM
Not permitted on eBay (sellers may not solicit buyers to):
mail cash, or ask buyers to send cash through instant money transfer such as Western Union or Moneygram, “topping off” of a seller’s pre-paid credit or debit card
Payment Services not permitted on eBay:
AlertPay.com, anypay.com, AuctionChex.com, Billpay.ie, ecount.com, cardserviceinternational.com, CCAvenue, ecount, e-gold, eHotPay.com, ePassporte.com, EuroGiro, FastCash.com, Google Checkout, gcash, GearPay, Goldmoney.com, graphcard.com, greenzap.com, ikobo.com, Liberty Dollars, Moneygram.com, neteller.com, Netpay.com, Payko.com, paychest.com, payingfast.com, paypay, Postepay, Qchex.com, rupay.com, sendmoneyorder.com, stamps, Stormpay, wmtransfer.com, xcoin.com.
Take some time to review your payment options and remember that the more options you offer, the more bids you are likely to receive.
4. ASK MOLLY: CAN I CHARGE MORE FOR PAYPAL PAYMENTS?
This week a question concerning excess charges for accepting payments by PayPal.
I usually charge an extra fee when people wish to pay me via PayPal. I recently had a buyer pay me via PayPal without paying the fee, they are refusing to pay the extra 59p. The buyer states that I should have included the fee in the original invoice (but I never sent an original invoice!) and that any additional fees are against eBay rules.
What should I do? I have had loads of other people forgetting to pay the additional PayPal fee.
I’m afraid your buyer is right. eBay stopped sellers from charging extra for PayPal payments about 2 years ago. I used to offer a discount on postage for buyers who did NOT pay me this way. If eBay notice that you are charging extra for PayPal, they will send you an official warning. eBay state that there should be no hidden charges which are dependant upon the form of payment taken – although as they own PayPal, anything which entices buyers to pay in a different way is not good for their bottom line.
It is fair to incorporate your costs into the postage costs for your item; these would include all the direct costs, bags, boxes and so on, but could also include an element for labour costs, petrol, and queuing time at Post Offices etc.
Striking the right balance is tricky, too little and your profits will be eroded, too much and you will deter buyers and may receive adverse feedback.
Tip: Check the postage costs of your competitors, how do they compare and does the postage cost impact on the final auction prices.
[In 'Ask Molly' I answer questions from eBay members about any aspects of buying, selling or just general interest. If you have a question connected with eBay, please email me and I will include it in a later edition.]
Q: How many eBay Powersellers does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Who cares, what you need is a longer-lasting economy bulb – check out my auctions for great BIN prices.
That’s all for this week, it’s back to the beach for me. With all the hot weather currently being enjoyed in the UK, eBay prices are not at their best, so it’s time for a holiday.
Best wishes and happy eBaying
Author of the bestselling ‘The eBay Business Handbook’ available direct from the publishers at:
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