Topics in this issue:
- eBay 101 – Fees up, discounts down.
- Reader’s rant – Here we go again.
- Did you know…
- Ask Molly – How can I get back into the swing of selling?
Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of The eBay UK Bulletin.
Good news for all fans of the car boot sale (swap meet) as the season kicks off again this weekend and the weather is set to be fine. The Elves are ready to go with their flasks and pockets full of change. The early starts will come as a bit of a shock though.
This week in your no 1 bulletin a few ideas on getting back into the selling mood and bad news for many business sellers.
[For admin details for this newsletter, please scroll down to the end.]
1. EBAY NEWS – FEES UP, DISCOUNTS DOWN
The big news this week has to be the imminent changes to business seller fees and no, they are not being reduced in order to stimulate increased sales. Instead final value fees ares set to increase with fees in all categories being affected and in a real blow to Molly’s finances the discount for sellers offering ‘premium service’ will drop from 15% to 10%.
There are of course still advantages to maintaining high levels of service: increased search rankings, customer confidence, etc., but the loss of that 5% will cost HQ dearly.
You can check out the full details at your leisure.
There are a couple of minor changes, one of which is to penalise listings which have not seen sales for the past 18 months. This is an attempt to clear away out-of-date listings and is not a bad idea.
You can check which listings are likely to incur the extra fee by viewing your active items and those without sales in the last 16 months will have an eBay flag on them. Selling Manager Pro users can sort these using the ‘status’ pull-down menu. Time for a quick sale methinks.
If you have any thoughts on these fee increases please share them with me at the usual address.
2. READERS RANT – HERE WE GO AGAIN
If ever there was a topic which gets the blood up towards boiling point then it is returns. Great for me, loads of copy.
Just wanted to vent my frustration about returns.
I have been selling ladies formal hats (wedding hats) for about ten months which is going pretty well. What does annoy me is the return process. I haven’t had many returns but do get the odd few which I expect.
Most people will email direct and request a return if necessary which I am happy to accept. There are the obvious pitfalls with hats for special occasions. They don’t always fit and getting the colour match right is not always easy.
What does annoy me is when people use the return request procedure and then although there is no fault with the item, other than not matching their outfit, they tick the box saying it doesn’t match the listing!! How is that fair? I then get charged for the return postage which is automatically charged to my account and it affects my DSRs.
Do I need to explain my return policy in more detail in my listings?”
If you feel the need to vent your anger please feel free to abuse me at the usual address.
3. DID YOU KNOW…..
…that I am getting so much good feedback about this section that I shall keep it in for another week at least. So, did you know…
that eBay is about to include Finland, Poland and Israel in the Global Shipping Programme. I am now, after a cautious start, a big fan of this scheme and look forward to more countries being added. For more on the GSP check out the eBay blurb.
Did you also know that eBay have tinkered with the way sales can be structured. Using the ‘Markdown Manager’ shop items can be reduced for a set period of time – a sale.
It used to be possible with a basic shop to run several sales each with 200 items included which would get around the maximum items allowed in a single sale. This has now been subtly changed as per the eBay note below:
The number of listings you can change in one day is 250 for Basic Shops, 2,500 for Featured Shops and 5,000 for Anchor Shops. Changes include scheduling, editing or adding listings to a sale.
You can only discount items up to a maximum of 50% of their full price during a sale. This is a bit annoying when trying to shift really old stock in this lean period of the year.
4. ASK MOLLY – HOW CAN I GET BACK INTO THE SWING OF SELLING?
Back when you were selling Lego parts, I bought some lots from you. Several years ago I must say. Anyway, funnily enough I asked you for some tips back then on how to get sales going. I think that it was even before you started writing on the subject. You gave us some tips and we started selling under a different username. Things were going okay but then circumstances changed and there was no time.
Well, things have changed again and facing hard times due to a period of ill health, I’m looking at the options with getting back into selling as my main or only source of income. I see several positives with this and I must say between me and you, I am finding it difficult to return to my old job. Whilst looking around, I’ve just come across your blog.
What advice could you give to a born-again eBayer with no experience of selling for at least a couple of years, just a bit too much experience at buying?”
How strange that after all these years we meet again, did you leave me positive feedback, I hope so. I do still sell Lego but under a different ID, not too much to be had nowadays it has to be said.
My first thought about re-starting a selling career would be to make a big pot of coffee, give some thought as to what you want to sell and then research eBay to see if there is a profit to be had. Most product lines already have established sellers so it won’t be an easy thing to break into a market but that is not to say it is impossible.
I would get back into the swing of things by clearing out all the unwanted stuff that you bought via eBay over the past few years. As a rule of thumb if you have not used it for a year then get it sold. This should help you navigate around the site and also provide some good working capital. If you are of a certain mindset then the humble car boot sale season kicks off this weekend. I still attend these on Saturday and Sunday mornings looking for toys and DIY items. Although there does seem to be more competition at these events, especially from antique experts ‘putting their money where their mouth is’, it is still possible to pick up a few bargains.
Perhaps one other thing I might do is read through a few back issues of the eBay bulletin, they are stored online and now and again have an interesting article hidden amongst all the bad jokes and boring stuff. To find the back issues just Google ‘the ebay bulletin’ and follow the links. There are now 32 pages of back issues, a great cure for insomnia. We can’t find edition one but the second bulletin went out in May 2006, ah the memories come flooding back.
If you have a question about eBay or home working in general, please send it to me at the usual address. I will reply personally to every email 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 Harriman Intelligence for the latest news from Molly HQ.
Molly has been a little preoccupied with other projects and didn’t realise that the feedback score has nudged its way past the 57,000 mark. Always a good reason to celebrate with a coffee or two.
Author of the bestselling title, The eBay Business Handbook, available direct from the publisher Harriman House.
– NEWSLETTER ADMIN –
The eBay UK Bulletin is an independent newsletter and is not approved or endorsed by eBay UK.
This weekly bulletin covers any topic associated with eBay. If there is anything you would like to see here, just email me.
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