Topics in this issue:
- eBay news – Not much happening.
- Update on those dreaded tax charges?
- They think they have it tough.
- Ask Molly – Where did my box go?
Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of The eBay UK Bulletin.
It’s payday so HQ is set for the weekend rush with all Elves fuelled and ready to go. My only fear is that for every 100 parcels I send out at least four will be ‘lost’ somewhere in the system.
I did receive an email this week asking why I don’t concentrate more on eBay issues and less on frivolous distractions. The simple answer is that in January hardly anything happens and what does is just so boring. Also my mind wanders in the wee hours which is usually when this bulletin is compiled.
In this week’s bulletin an idea or two to counter the admin charges related to imported goods and an anonymous letter concerning the treatment of Elves. I knew I was too soft on them.
[For admin details for this newsletter, please scroll down to the end.]
1. EBAY NEWS – NOT MUCH HAPPENING
I wonder if eBay knows just how much trade has been lost due to the introduction of the fees on postage costs. I also wonder if PayPal have seen the writing on the wall and are seeking to split – they have their own adverts on telly with a very small reference to eBay. It would be interesting to see where eBay go if they lose their profit centre.
On the subject of fees this note is representative of many received at HQ this week, I chose a short one as I know what is coming later.
“I just want to echo your thoughts re: the ‘International promotion’. I too have received the email from eBay asking me why I haven’t signed up. My reasons are very much the same. I like the way eBay ask you a question but don’t give you the opportunity to answer it, except for predefined answers, which then make it look as though you are less than competent.
“The 10% surcharge on shipping has effectively killed off our overseas trade.
“How I wish ebid would get their act together!”
2. UPDATE ON THOSE DREADED TAX CHARGES?
Many thanks to all readers who sent in ideas relating to the issue of admin charges relating to imported goods.
Some of the suggestions were a little on the risky side with quite a few suggesting that a quick note to the supplier asking for the value to be stated as no more than $25 would do the trick. I cannot condone this as it sounds a bit like tax avoidance to me and I cannot believe that anybody would actually do it.
Here’s a more legal solution:
“I’ve only a partial answer to the issue of administration charges, as I also import my goods from China using Fedex. I’ve registered an account with Fedex and added my credit card details, and Fedex now automatically charge the import tax directly to my credit card, with no additional admin fee.”
Need a Fedex account? This could be the place to start: Fedex.
3. THEY THINK THEY HAVE IT TOUGH!
I’ll say nothing, this note in from F.A.Gin.
“I read with alarm the complaints about how you treat you elves as I think you do a splendid job with them and I was thinking of contacting you to ask if you had any plans to write a ‘How to Manage Your eBay Elves Guide’ as your next book.
“I have a couple of elves myself but recently I’ve been having trouble with one of them. Until lately they have been too small to be of any use in my eBay business and I have found that housing them and feeding them was becoming a bit of a burden.
“However, my efforts have paid off as the endless food they consume means that they have now grown and one of them is big enough to be put to work. Before Christmas I tried her out with the rather more straightforward system of using Music Magpie to get some cash for old DVDs and CDs.
“This turned out to be a good starting point and earned my elf £11.80. But then, for reasons best known to the big man, Father Christmas saw fit to give a tablet to this elf. It turns out that elves have a natural talent for using this kind of technology and my elf soon saw the need to download apps onto the tablet. Some of these are free and others need to be paid for. I pointed out that I already give shelter and food and that if she wanted apps she would have to use her hard-earned cash for it. Needless to say, it didn’t take long before her Magpie cash was spent so I suggested now was the time she should learn how to use eBay.
“This proved a useful idea as she set about finding items to sell and cleared some shelves of unwanted books ready to be listed. However, it was me who ended up taking all the photos, working out the postage and listing them on eBay. Still, they did sell for a healthy £30. But then it turned out that my elf would rather play on her tablet than package parcels. I pointed out that I hadn’t charged for the time it had taken to list on eBay or taken the eBay fees out of her earnings but I would take a packaging fee out of her earnings if I had to pack the items too.
“I’m pleased to say this kind of tough talk seemed to work on my particular elf and she pulled her finger out and got the books packed. So, I feel like I’m part way on the road to developing a self-financing elf but I would certainly welcome your thoughts on general elf training techniques.”
M – sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind.
“We lived for three months in a paper bag in a septic tank. We used to have to get up at six in the morning, clean the paper bag, eat a crust of stale bread, go to work down t’ mill, fourteen hours a day, week-in week-out, for sixpence a week.
Try and tell the young people of today that… they won’t believe you!”
4. ASK MOLLY – WHERE DID MY BOX GO?
“I am trying to import from the USA an item that is not available here. The first box was sent USPS and disappeared for a month then re-emerged, having been opened, but no duty, VAT or handling charge.
“Is there a set pattern as to how these things work?”
Based on the comments from several readers over the past couple of weeks the whole process does seem a bit hit and miss. Quite why your box was ‘lost’ for a month is a mystery but at least you didn’t have to pay any duty.
There are two ways to import items into the UK, the first is for personal consumption and the second is as a business for resale. It is quite a topic so I will quickly sum up the easiest option now and maybe in the coming weeks try to bring you a more in-depth review.
I have ignored Excise duty as it applies to tobacco and perfume.
If you’re ordering or buying goods from outside the EU, any Customs Duty must be paid by the recipient once the goods have arrived in the UK but before the goods are delivered.
If you’re ordering or buying goods from outside the EU, import VAT must be paid by the recipient once the goods have arrived in the UK but before the goods are delivered.
In addition as we know, there may be a handling fee to pay to the carrier.
Goods for personal consumption
If you order goods other from a country outside the EU then you:
- may have to pay Customs Duty on goods with a value that exceeds £135
- will have to pay import VAT on goods with a value that exceeds £15. Customs Duty is waived if the amount of duty calculated is £9 or under.
If the item is marked as a ‘gift’ import VAT is payable if the value of that gift exceeds £36.
For commercial imports the world is a little more complicated.
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.
There is a big party looming at HQ as Molly’s feedback score is slowly approaching 50,000, less than 200 to go. The main thing is of course the new colour star which makes it all worthwhile somehow.
At this contemplative time I did also take a look at my lifetime transactions (My eBay > dashboard > right at the bottom of page). So far just over 67,000 sales so quite a few buyers don’t leave any feedback. I was also interested to see the value of sales so far; I wonder where that all went.
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