Topics in this issue:
- eBay news – Projected seller standards
- Have your say
- Holiday settings
- Ask Molly – Will pop be enough?
Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of The eBay UK Bulletin.
Welcome also to the new tax year in the UK. An increased personal tax allowance is great news but it also heralds the start of the 2013 /14 accounts compilation. Molly started out with good intentions but things did stall a little so there’ll be quite a few late nights at HQ over the coming weeks.
In this bulletin, a few thoughts about holiday settings and a chance for you to have your say regarding eBay fees – should be interesting.
[For admin details for this newsletter, please scroll down to the end.]
1. EBAY NEWS – PROJECTED SELLER STANDARDS
The new seller standards are due in August and eBay are forewarning us of our projected status, you should have received an e-mail.
The forecast level is based on the March evaluation, for Molly this is 1.35% and if I understand the new criteria correctly I have to remain under 2% in order to qualify for TRS benefits. It is going to be close.
More information will be available on your seller dashboard from April 16th; I can’t wait.
2. Have your say
Here’s your chance folks to pass on some wisdom to fellow readers, any thoughts please send them to me at the usual address.
“I was wondering with all the eBay and PayPal Fees – listing fees, final value fees, shop fees and sneaky fees – is it not more advantageous to set up a website and use eBay as a marketing tool only?”
I know what you mean, there are so many hidden fees that it can be hard to work out the exact cost of selling on eBay. A dedicated website would certainly be a great second channel and it could be set up whilst still selling on eBay so not all eggs are in one basket, so to speak.
I think it depends to some extent on what you sell. If I am looking for an extra Lego brick then I go to ‘Bricklink’, not eBay, and for books I still go to Amazon. There are some great specialist sites on the web and if you have the right products then it could be the way to go.
With the kind of things I sell I do still believe that eBay is the easiest and, strange as it may sound, the cheapest. Currently I get a 15% discount on fees for being a TRS and as a result of being VAT registered on the cosmetic side of things I also don’t pay the 15% VAT levied on eBay fees. Flogging my toys wholesale trough a traditional auction would cost me 15% plus VAT. Of course PayPal fees also apply, but some form of money transfer fee would apply to most online businesses.
It is the simplicity and, if I want it, global reach which still pushes me down the eBay route. Although I do grumble about fees, if they were lower I would make more profit and pay more income tax and NI on that profit, so you just can’t win.
I do of course avoid any extras and make use of free upgrades such as having up to 12 pictures, which must help a sale or two. I have three basic shops each costing £20 per month so I make sure that I use up my free listing allowance of 200 items at 10p each, which covers the cost of the shop.
I am sure a reader or two will have an opinion, watch this space.
3. HOLIDAY SETTINGS
“I am in a quandary with regard to holiday settings! I am away for eight days soon with no internet access, this is the first lengthy holiday since opening an ebay shop about two years ago.
“I am a little apprehensive about keeping all my listings available to Buy It Now, then with the delay in dispatch, receiving several negative feedbacks. But if I make the listings unavailable, I then loose a big chunk of income.
“I am aware that I can notify buyers with the holiday settings and that I can send out of hours messages/emails. I have read some of the forums regarding this, with no definitive answer.”
You are quite right about the holiday settings and e-mails, all good things but of course many buyers won’t see them and any bad DSRs or feedback will now count as defects.
There is no definitive answer as everybody has their own opinion and cashflow needs, this is how I get round the problem:
- All of my listings have a hidden notice board built into the HTM. Usually this carries a message about postage or maybe a special offer but I can use it to add a ‘your item will be delayed’ message.
- I have a couple of eBay IDs which are not TRS and therefore I am not too concerned about DSRs or feedback here. These I leave open with all the normal holiday settings activated. Some cashflow results, which is most welcome.
- I shut the main shops a few days before I leave, this allows me to dispatch the late payers but of course no sales come in. As I usually have internet access I will relax the buying rules three days before I return so that fixed-price listings can be seen. With all the other shop settings are still in place, I am hoping that even if buyers don’t spot the delay notices that I will only be 2 days late with dispatch and this will be ok. Is it possible for somebody to alter your settings in this way whilst you are away?
- Upon my return I run snap one-day sales on my toys and DIY lines which helps with cash flow and holiday bills.
It is a tough call but think of all the packing you would have to do upon return if you left the shop open – I hate packing!
4. ASK MOLLY – WILL POP BE ENOUGH?
“I was doing my accounts for eBay and started thinking about postage. I take my parcels to the Post Office and get proof of postage on them. When I do my tax return are these enough evidence to show what I have paid for postage?”
It all depends on the type of proof of postage you get. If it is the printed slip from the counter that also shows the amount you paid then it will be fine. However if it is the little p.o.p. slip that holds ten addresses and you just write in the address which is stamped by the clerk then it won’t be enough. George needs to see what has actually been spent, which can be a problem sometimes. My accounts would look much better if they relaxed this rule a little.
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.
It has not been a great week for dealing with the general public with a neutral left for Molly:
“Not 100% sure of authenticity, so won’t buy again from here. Sorry.”
Now as I know that all my items are 100% genuine this lady is a bit of a loose cannon so to all my friends who sell in the cosmetic category alongside Molly this might be one for your blocked bidder list, lest you suffer the same fate.
Oh and to the lady concerned, don’t worry love, you’re blocked from all of Molly’s sites.
Author of the bestselling title, The eBay Business Handbook – available direct from the publisher Harriman House.
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