Topics in this issue:
- eBay news – Free listing for private sellers
- Help feed an Elf
- Royal Mail Christmas posting dates
- Ask Molly – How can I dropship through eBay?
Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of The eBay UK Bulletin.
It has been a better week all round with strong sales across all eBay shops and with Black Friday, Cyber Monday and payday all happening this weekend I could be in for a couple of late nights.
In this week’s edition a few thoughts on my sales strategy for December and a plea for help from a hungry Elf.
[For admin details for this newsletter, please scroll down to the end.]
1. EBAY NEWS – FREE LISTING FOR PRIVATE SELLERS
Here’s a good incentive if you need to raise a little cash for the Christmas season. I circulated it to all the Elves, with mixed response, as you will read later.
“Until midnight on Sunday 1st December, private sellers who list up to 100 auction-style listing(s) at a starting price of £1.00 or more in an eligible category on eBay.co.uk, will not pay an insertion fee.”
It is also a good time to formulate a strategy for the last few selling weeks. These are my thoughts:
Firstly, I now sell hardly anything outside of the UK, certainly no cosmetics. The thinking behind this is based on past experience when parcels have been delayed, sometimes for weeks, particularly down under. Quite rightly the buyer soon asks where the item is and eventually I have to refund. If the item does arrive the buyer may not let you know.
For higher value items I now add ‘immediate payment required’. It is getting too late to wait eight days and then relist. Day to day items of which I have lots do not need this restriction.
All my items now have a faster delivery option. Most needed a ‘next day’ service in order to qualify for TRS discounts but if you add a ‘First Class’ option and you could generate some extra cash. We all know that all post will be delayed but there is something reassuring to pay a nominal excess to get a First Class delivery and your buyers will do this.
Even with the impact of eBay and PayPal fees and possibly VAT you should still be up if you pitch the amount correctly.
2. HELP FEED AN ELF
If you have been racking your brains for that special last-minute present then I would direct you to the eBay site of a Molly Elf. This particular Elf is not a big eBayer but has decided to sell a collection of ‘Build A Bears’ in a variety of colours and dressed to thrill.
I am very interested to see how many sales are made as if it goes well I can then cut their wages [Ed - again].
Please do feel to make an offer – somethingsnappy
3. ROYAL MAIL CHRISTMAS POSTING DATES
Time is running out so plan ahead.
International Surface Mail – Too late
International Airmail including Airsure and International Signed For
Wednesday 4 December – Asia, Far East (including Japan), New Zealand
Thursday 5 December – Australia
Friday 6 December – Africa, Caribbean, Central & South America, Middle East
Monday 9 December – Cyprus, Eastern Europe
Tuesday 10 December – Canada, France, Greece, Poland
Friday 13 December – USA
Saturday 14 December – Western Europe (excluding France, Greece, Poland)
UK Inland Services
Wednesday 18 December – 2nd Class and Royal Mail Signed For
Friday 20 December – 1st Class and Royal Mail Signed For
Monday 23 December – Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed
4. ASK MOLLY – HOW CAN I DROPSHIP THROUGH EBAY?
My name is Fernando and I am from Spain, I have read your books, I find that I’m trying to do DROPSHIPPING in my country Spain and leave me locked accounts, I have been asked the following:
Document signed and sealed with the original supplier confirming agreement and therefore we ensure that the product is in stock and what the buyer will receive. I buy on amazon and talked to them and say they can not give me such a document.
If you have any suggestions or could help me I would appreciate.
Tricky, I have not heard of this issue before with eBay but if they require this guarantee and you don’t deal directly with the manufacturer then obtaining this document is not possible.
I have a couple of regular buyers who ask me to ship directly to their customers and not to include any packing slips, they are using me to dropship. This is the same as buying from a trusted seller on Amazon and must go on all the time. I can’t imagine how eBay would be able to police such a policy.
If anybody has a view on this subject, please let me know, is it a requirement when signing up as a new seller or maybe something only in Spain?
Dropshipping is a huge subject worth a book on its own, it works for some sellers but can be a nightmare for others. I am not keen as you know, I like to handle all my make-up [Ed - ?].
If you do opt for Dropshipping here are a few things to consider:
- How many suppliers will you include in your inventory? Consider the situation where a buyer selects items sourced from different manufacturers as part of the same order; they will be delivered separately, probably at different times and with varying standards of packaging. This could lead to confusion resulting in more admin, which nobody wants.
- Double check that your supplier is the actual manufacturer and not just another link in the chain. Two many links in the supply chain causes delays and you will have to front the customer backlash.
- Finally, avoid any company that wants an up-front fee from you. If the business model is for the mutual benefit of both parties, why would there be a charge!
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.
I did notice a few stats in the toy shop whilst partaking of a coffee or two and noticed that in the last month I have sold 105 Thomas the Tank Engine related items, totalling £626. All these items were from car boot sales in the summer, still a great place to go shopping.
I also sold 229 electrical fuses, with a value of £1,129, so it just goes to show that it is still possible to find that special gift for the one you love.
Author of the bestselling title, The eBay Business Handbook – available direct from the publisher Harriman House.
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