Topics in this issue:
- eBay news – Shop price hike
- PayPal for free?
- The Royal Mail is so lucky!
- Quick tips from the front
- Ask Molly – Can my buyer pay automatically?
Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of The eBay UK Bulletin.
Disaster at HQ this week as Outlook Express finally gave up the ghost, it seems that anything over 140,000 emails in the inbox is too much. I have now had to fall back on to BT Yahoo Mail, which has got too many adverts and doesn’t show the full story when you hover over the title. I have learnt my lesson and will now clear out my mailbox every four years whether it needs it or not.
A great bulletin this week with details of how you can get one over on PayPal – if you have the patience. And it is all change again in the parcel delivery world.
[For admin details for this newsletter, please scroll down to the end.]
1. EBAY NEWS – SHOP PRICE HIKE
Well, they said it would happen on 13 June and they were right; shop subscription prices have gone up. A basic shop now costs £19.99 per month but you do get an allowance of 20 free listings; a saving of £2.00.
As the price of a shop has gone up by £5.00, eBay make a net increase of £3.00, which is probably why this change was implemented on time.
Featured shops fair a little worse with a price increase of £10 and only £3.00 worth of free listings.
Nothing can be done but at least you won’t be paying tax and NI on that £3.00 / £7.00 profit any more.
2. PAYPAL FOR FREE?
Entrenched bulletin readers not be surprised to learn that I spend many hours each week thinking about schemes to make or save money, which I can then in time bring to you. This week it is the turn of PayPal to fund my latte purchases for a month or two. It does get a little complicated but stick with it, I saved £610 in three months.
It all hinges on the incentive from PayPal for new business accounts that offers no transaction fees for 30 days.
As with every recipe you will need a list of ingredients, so here they are:
1) a spare bank account.
2) a spare e-mail address.
3) an existing PayPal account that is up and running.
Here’s the theory based on my own numbers.
Monthly Paypal deposits are around £20,000, which is approximately 2,000 transactions. The merchant rate for this throughput is 1.9% with a flat rate fee of 20p per transaction. One month’s PayPal fees are therefore £780.
On the face of it a month free of fees would save you this amount, however you cannot apply for the merchant rate for three months so any saving in month one would be almost cancelled out because of the standard 3.4% rate in months two and three.
The trick is to run with your new PayPal account for month one and then switch back to your established account, which will incur the standard 3.4% rate in month two but enjoy the merchant rate again in month three.
The PayPal fees then look like this:
- Month one – £0
- Month two – £1,080
- Month three – £780
- Total = £1,860
Running with your existing Paypal account for the three-month period, the fees would be:
- Month one – £780
- Month two – £780
- Month three – £780
- Total = £2,340
A handy saving of £480, Costa here we come.
P.s. things are a little better than this as I can temporarily use my main PayPal account for the toy shop during month one and as revenues will be over £1,500 the rate applied to the account in month two will be 2.9% instead of 3.4%.
With toy sales around £3,000 this equates to an additional saving of £130.
Looks like cake’s back on the menu boys!
Details of the PayPal offer here: PayPal Business Offer
If it works for you please let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org
3. THE ROYAL MAIL IS SO LUCKY!
As you know I love the Royal Mail to bits, so much so that I try to relieve the burden on their workforce whenever I can by moving business to other carriers.
From Monday the business transacted with the RM by HQ will increase but not due to any improvements they will make or the removal of any unworkable pricing policies. This time they will make money because Hermes has shot itself in the foot.
I understand from my contacts within Hermes that some companies were understating the weight of their parcels and sending one kilo+ items at the sub one kilo rate. Can you believe that this kind of thing really happens!?
To counter this, Hermes have decided to remove the sub one kilo rate as of Monday, which now makes their cheapest tier £4.20. This will carry free insurance up to £50, bringing it in line with RM, and the service is tracked. (I wonder if it would have been better for them to carry these parcels at reduced rates or to lose them altogether to RM.)
So, poor confused eBay traders out there, things have just become even more complicated as the Royal Mail once again offers the best value for money if your parcel is under 8cm thick or fits inside a 6″ square box, weighs less than a kilo and is sent second class recorded delivery (It is £3.70 for those not keeping up).
Of course RM only offers tracking once the parcel has been delivered – handy!
Should your parcel weigh more or be larger, have a higher value or contain certain items then you will need to do the maths.
Strangely, Hermes have also made the cost of using Parcelshops the same as having a courier collect from you. I am still trying to work this one out.
As an aside to this subject I also understand that the Royal Mail is considering changes to its recent pricing policy as it seems they lost business to the competition. Really, I do find that hard to believe, I wonder how many people sat round a table in committee to work that one out.
4. QUICK TIPS FROM THE FRONT
“Regarding package sizes I was given a tip by one of my postmasters and that is to write ‘Small Packet’ in the corner of the front of the package, this saves the postmaster time in looking it up and also helps in the sorting office if they want to query the postage charged. Totally unofficial but it might work.”
“Hi Mollybol. To help with the recent Royal Mail Sizing Changes – Royal Mail have produced a free template that they will post to you. Just 1 per business address. received mine today. The contact for any readers who want to order one is…
5. ASK MOLLY – CAN MY BUYER PAY AUTOMATICALLY?
I was wondering whether you or a friendly reader / Elf would be able to help with this query.
I have an international customer who buys regularly and I am wondering if it is possible to have an option for him to pay automatically with an international postage option?
Currently I have to send an invoice before he can pay as the domestic postage is only option available to him once auction has finished.”
Great question and the answer is that I don’t know. My overseas sales are few and far between at the moment as once you remove those countries with a poor history of postal service problems and those suffering from lack of money and triple dip recession economics there are not that many countries that I would want to ship to.
Therefore I would ask you the reader, is there a way of achieving this? Answers on a postcard [Ed - what's a postcard?]: email@example.com.
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 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.
A quick update to my good news of last time when I mistakenly said that you could now bulk edit all listings in one go. I was not actually correct:
“Dear M, You state at the bottom of your last bulletin that eBay have changed the bulk edit to all listings – that is unfortunately not true unless you have under 500 listings – I have over 1000 and therefore have to bulk edit three times – only 500 at a time. It takes an age to load and submit.”
Quite right, I got too excited too quickly which is often the way when you work alone in a dark, cold shed for 20 hours each day. I only have 240 or so listings so all mine were nice and easy.
Best wishes and happy eBaying,
– NEWSLETTER ADMIN –
The eBay UK Bulletin is an independent newsletter and is not approved or endorsed by eBay UK.
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