Topics in this issue:
- eBay news – Delivery estimates
- Be careful what you ship
- What the Tyvek?
- Ask Molly – How can I sell more packing slips?
Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of The eBay UK Bulletin.
Almost there, just a few more days to go and sales are still very strong. So much so that on Tuesday I sent an empty box in error to a random address and received a cheque by return!
In this bulletin a great idea for packing those troublesome items and a possible solution for all your printing needs.
[For admin details for this newsletter, please scroll down to the end.]
1. EBAY NEWS – DELIVERY ESTIMATES
An interesting announcement this week from eBay concerning the delivery estimates that are placed on listings:
This ‘estimate’ of delivery has caused me untold grief this year with items being delivered much earlier than expected and buyers not being around to take delivery – nightmare. I can only hope that eBay are going to shorten the estimated delivery time and make life a lot easier for all.
2. BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU SHIP
“Hi Molly,After reading about the mention of Hermes in the latest bulletin, I thought I would enlighten your readers as to what cannot be sent.It might be easier to compile a list of what is actually allowed!”
3. WHAT THE TYVEK?
Here is a suggestion for your readers from across the pond.
I ship many physically small items. I can use a US “standard #10 business sized envelope” and “US first class” postage. So the total cost to ship is $0.48 ($0.02 for the envelope and $0.46 for the postage). A dirt cheap combination!
The problem is that the envelope is made of paper and for some of the heavier small items my customers tell me of some ripped or damaged envelopes or, in a few rare cases, the item has gone missing altogether. Not good. I could use bubble mailers but they are US$0.23 each. Worse still, the postage for a bubble mailer is US$1.70 minimum each. I needed to find another solution.
So I went looking for standard #10 business envelopes made of “Tyvek”, which is a product made by Dupont. Tyvek envelopes are the slick feeling, impossible to rip, envelopes that I am sure all your readers have felt. There are many brands of the stuff but “Tyvek” has become a proprietary eponym for the material. Tyvek-like material is most commonly used as “house wrap” on new homes to improve weather protection and energy efficiency.
While I can buy 500 paper envelopes for US$0.02 each, the cheapest I could find 500 Tyvek envelopes was US$0.30 each! This was a non-starter.
I ultimately found two other cheaper solutions;
Cheap – You can buy Tyvek CD sleeves (no window) on eBay for $0.08 each. Insert, fold and tape and you have a serviceable envelope. Or you put the CD sleeve into a standard paper envelope – so if the paper rips, the item is still safe.
Cheapest – DIY building supply stores sells rolls of Tyvek used for house wrap. A “small” roll (which is 1m wide by 30 meters long!) will cost US$40. If you have the time to hand make envelopes or sleeves, you can make 1000s of them for next to nothing each.
One common issue with the use of Tyvek envelopes is that you must use a label because you cannot print directly on Tyvek – is it simply too slick for an ink jet printer.”
So readers if you have been looking for that last-minute gift for the one you love, consider a gross of disc packaging sleeves. I know a few Elves who will be over the moon.
4. ASK MOLLY – HOW CAN I SELL MORE PACKING SLIPS?
I wonder if you could help.
I print high quality packing ‘with compliments’ slips among other things as you know.
My question is how can I reach more buyers and secure more sales?”
Great question Rich and one that is easily answered, just get a mention in my weekly newsletter and the orders will flood in.
OK, so there was a shortage of questions this week and I thought a plug for my favourite printer would be a good idea. Just for the record I don’t get any backhanders for mentioning them, I really do feel that the product and price is top notch.
Rich sends me 10,000 silky smooth A5 fliers in my colour scheme plugging the books and website for £84 delivered. I have just placed an order for 10,000 so do still believe that eBay will be around for a while yet.
If you need any printing just email Richard.
Please mention Molly, it won’t make me any money but gives me a sense of enormous well being.
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.
Here’s my thought for the day: Have you ever noticed that when an item is “lost in the post” and you have to issue a refund it is never the sale you took an offer on, but always a full-price item!
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.
You can find out more about me and read previous editions of this newsletter on the Harriman House Intelligence web