Topics in this issue:
- eBay news – Site down yesterday.
- January with the Elves.
- OBA – special delivery code.
- Ask Molly – Should I mention vat at all?
Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of The eBay UK Bulletin.
HNY all. How did your shed stand up to the riggers of the Christmas rush? HQ did suffer a bit and needs a serious spring clean. It has also developed another leak in exactly the same place as last year, right next to the pile of cardboard boxes. I did try to stop the ingress by stuffing a young elf into the gap but alas elves are not that absorbent so I might have to spend some money.
This edition includes an insight into the workings of HQ during January along with an update regarding the OBA and a question concerning VAT – what a riot.
[For admin details for this newsletter, please scroll down to the end.]
1. EBAY NEWS – SITE DOWN YESTERDAY
There is not a lot of news about at the moment as you would expect, it is all very quiet.
Were you online on Thursday morning when eBay UK was unavailable? It has been a while since eBay went down and with over five items awaiting dispatch I did start to panic. The good news is that you can access most of your details via the eBay.com site and so all lipsticks were sent safely on their way.
There are some limitations with the US site but you can access addresses, mark as dispatched and generally keep an eye on proceedings. Worth remembering if problems occur again.
2. JANUARY WITH THE ELVES
Christmas seems a long time ago now and of course it was. Life is a lot more serene in January and the ‘awaiting dispatch’ list is a lot shorter. With the next pay day still a fortnight away I could be chilling for a while yet.
The elves are busy sorting through the remnants of the toys that didn’t sell or were never listed, even the lower value items that have been moved from shelf to shelf over the past year now get special attention. ‘Add-on’ toys are doing well: extra track for the train set, another bag of Lego to finish off the model house and even instruction booklets enabling the construction of another masterpiece. These are dark evenings with most kids inside, so I am just helping mum keep them entertained.
Price cuts and flash sales are the solution to keep sales ticking over. The ‘markdown manager’ has been a great help, even if the thought of a price reduction still brings me out in a cold sweat.
The DIY side of things is picking up with sales of electrical fuses particularly strong; it is always disappointing when you don’t get the gift you want and have to buy it yourself in January! Boiler spares are selling well, thankfully loads must have broken recently as they get hammered over the winter period. Here’s to an icy blast.
December saw the end of Q3 and so for me January is a month of accounts. The VAT return had to be submitted and income tax is due to be paid by the 31st. I have had the money ready for some time but just can’t bring myself to press the button.
The other big development in the world of Molly comes as it is now seven months since the cosmetics side of things became a limited company and I thought that I had better start on the accounts. I had a quick chat with my new accountant and he decided that it was time to move the accounts into the cloud (so that he can watch me more closely, I guess). We settled on, or rather he insisted on, Kashflow – accountants can be a little scary sometimes!
My time is now spent reconciling bank statements and entering expenses – heaven. The software does interact with PayPal so no more spreadsheets as it syncs up and brings in the sales figures. It is early days yet, but it does look ok so far.
Let me know what you think of Kashflow and if you have any tips please send them in.
3. OBA – SPECIAL DELIVERY CODE
It has been some time since I had to use the Royal Mail ‘Special Delivery’ and it is so rare that I just stick a few stamps on (well an Elf does). However, now I realise it is cheaper to use the OBA things might change.
“Just had to jump in on the OBA Special Delivery topic (Bulletin 295). It’s perfectly possible to use OBA for SD Guaranteed by 1 and 9 and with Saturday guarantee. They are usually found under service codes SD1 and SD9 I believe. (You may need to contact your account manager to get this added. There is no extra cost though and no minimum spend other than the standard OBA terms of agreement.)
“It’s also cheaper!! Your price of £6.95 for next day by 1 for a weight of 500g is £6.55 on OBA. They will send you a silver docket book for special deliveries and international signed for and airsure, along with rolls of labels for the extra services. Then it’s as easy as popping a label on the item, peeling off a couple of bar-codes for your docket book, placing the items in a separate sack with a special security seal, then presenting it to the depot and collecting a signature in your book. Job Done!!
“In theory you should also be able to hand these special sacks over at the post office, but good luck getting a signature as they insist that the labels aren’t valid unless they’ve scanned and charged for them! Many an argument has been had in the Co-Op, but parcels always get there next day.”
4. ASK MOLLY – SHOULD I MENTION VAT AT ALL?
“I wonder if you can help with my query please? I have been selling some of my products at craft fairs and occasionally on eBay as a business seller. I am considering opening a basic shop on eBay.
“As I am a Sole Trader in my 70s, I do not pay tax or insurance and would not wish to go down the voluntary VAT registration route as I am a little confused regarding invoicing.
“I pay VAT on anything I buy in. When it comes to compiling my Terms & Conditions for my shop would I quote VAT as included (as I pay it) but not add it on additionally when sending an invoice? Also what would the correct invoicing format be for a private customer as well as business to business?”
Great idea, a shop is a boon for admin and saves so much time.
No problem at all with the VAT, you just quote your sale price.
If you were VAT registered then it would include VAT, which a VAT registered customer of yours could possibly claim back. As you are not registered then the VAT element is just sort of lost, nobody pays VAT on the sale and nobody can claim it back. Of course any VAT paid on your purchases cannot be claimed back by you either.
As far as Ts & Cs are concerned I would just forget about VAT altogether.
The invoicing format would be the same for both private and business customers, one price, with no mention of VAT.
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.
Christmas Day was still eventful on eBay with several cosmetic sales but also eight assorted toys and a ‘Crabtree 63A Split Load RCCB’. [Ed - that's part of a fuse-board folks.] I did leave the packing until after dinner, I’m not an obsessive you know.
Author of the bestselling title, The eBay Business Handbook – available direct from the publisher Harriman House.
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