Topics in this issue:
- eBay news – A couple of snippets
- eBay spoof
- Score 3 & be blocked
- Ask Molly – How can I get a hidden noticeboard?
Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of The eBay UK Bulletin.
Wow, what a response to the blocked bidder (BB) article last week and many thanks to everybody who sent me their list, it shows just how high feelings are running on this topic. I did discuss briefly with Hh (esteemed publisher of this missive) about the possibility of running a national database of naughty buyers, but they mentioned something about lawsuits and being homeless so I guess we’ll have to park it for now. The other main problem is that a BB list can only hold 5,000 names and with your help I am now very close to that.
In this bulletin, a couple of (slightly) interesting eBay changes that might be of interest and a small HTML challenge for all you techies out there.
[For admin details for this newsletter, please scroll down to the end.]
1. EBAY NEWS – A COUPLE OF SNIPPETS
Free supersize pictures
It has been around for some time but the ‘supersize’ option for pictures is now free across all categories. This is great for my listings and is easy to activate, just click the box on the picture load page.
The problem is that a retro fix to existing listings is tricky as you have to upload a picture for the option to become available and your original pic may well have been deleted from your PC so replacement is not an option. Fear not, just load in any picture you have, checking the tick box as you go and then delete the extra picture, the supersize option stays.
Be wary though if you created your listing before the option was free as eBay seems to remember the fees that did apply and will still try to charge you.
Title and category changes to fixed-price listings
You will probably have seen the email outlining more flexibility with fixed-price listings. You can now edit a number of aspects of a fixed-price listing, even if the listing has a sale or pending Best Offer on it. You can now alter:
- Category (primary and secondary)
- Best Offer status
You could save some money by switching categories to a cheaper option. Visit eBay’s help pages to see all the current business seller FVF charges.
This was a problem before as any multiple variation listings with sales would have needed to be ended and re-listed, a mountain of work, but now I can swap a few around.
Take my listing for small ‘Polly pocket’ dolls from Disney playsets currently sitting in: Dolls & Bears > Dolls > Polly Pocket could now be legitimately relocated to Toys & Games > TV & Film Character Toys > Film & Disney Characters > Other Film & Disney Characters a saving of 1%. Big deal you might say, but it all helps in the long run.
I still cannot confirm if changes to the title or category have an impact on Best Match standing, this should become clearer in time.
2. EBAY SPOOF
A great spoof is doing the rounds and sent in by a couple of readers at almost exactly the same time, so many thanks to both.
“You may want to share this spoof with other bulletin readers, it could well catch you out.”
This spoof is titled “M900 Notice : eBay Registration Suspension – Section 9″ and of course the links don’t go to eBay but instead to a hosting site somewhere in Russia.
Don’t be fooled, just hit the delete key.
If you spot a spoof forward it to me at the usual address and I’ll spread the word.
3. SCORE 3 & BE BLOCKED
“Hi Mollybol,“just read your latest bulletin and you say that you block anyone who leaves you a low score rating of 3 or under and wondered how you know who has left the low score as in the past whenever i have received a low score it is difficult to determine who has left it as it is anonymous and they leave nice remarks as positive feedback but leave a low rating without any rhyme or reason. eBay advised me a while back when I queried this matter with them that it may take up to 72 hrs to show up on the DSR after feedback has been left so almost impossible to establish who it is as I may have received 10 or more in those 72hrs.”
It was part off an announcement made by eBay in March.
“Starting in late April, the detailed rating system will no longer be anonymous and you’ll also be able to see which transactions have low detailed seller ratings for item description and dispatch time.”
As of 30 April this information is still not available so I await with interest. The easiest way to check these details is to bring up your report accessed from your seller dashboard, the overview report might pop up but you can also find it by clicking on your notifications. Right at the top is a link to ‘download a report’, sign in and then click on the ‘expand’ link to see a quick snapshot.
4. ASK MOLLY – HOW CAN I GET A HIDDEN NOTICEBOARD?
“In a recent newsletter you mentioned that you had a ‘hidden notice board’ built into the HTML of all of your listings. I assume that this allows you to change the wording in that notice board / box on all your listings in bulk in one go?
“Having just gone from offering free P&P to adding P&P on to the price of our products I have just finished the laborious task of editing all 300 odd listings to take out the ‘Free Postage’ wording and add new postage info. 2 Days later I have finally finished that task! So reading your comment on the hidden notice board, I was intrigued to know whether this would solve future problems and how I would add something similar to my listings.”
Having some hidden space certainly helps, I have three spaces dotted about my cosmetic listings. At the moment the largest talks about using a secure delivery over £30 and the others warn buyers that we report all lost parcels to the police, which of course we don’t.
Now I cannot tell how much notice buyers pay to these so wouldn’t want to rely on them however during a recent ‘buy 3 and get a free gift’ promotion I used the banner to catch their eye and added a ‘click here’, the whole noticeboard is a hypetext link to an intermediate page where I can redirect the click as I see fit. At the moment it goes to the shop but it could easily be a special promotion page. Anyway during the promotion loads of buyers bought 3 items so somebody must have read it.
I am about to change the notification to something along the lines of “We welcome back any customer who leaves us 5 stars under the eBay feedback system as this helps us keep prices keen.” The inference being that if you don’t then you are not welcome back. As soon as the detailed DSR stats are available and I can identify those buyers who left low scores I will block them. I hope that the new banner message helps avoid some low scores.
If I get the time I also change the message displayed to reflect the seasons, just as a high street shop alters its decor you can add a theme; Christmas, Halloween, Easter, Mother’s day and so on. Does it work? Maybe.
Setting one up is not too bad but if this is your first venture into HTML then it will be daunting, but the good news is that one change will replace all the boards on your listings, active and ended.
It used to be possible with ‘Photobucket’ but that now seems not to work so you will need some web space. I use ’50Megs’ which costs around $40 US each year for more space than I’ll ever use. There are other providers out there and many are free, I am a bit rusty on the current market but if any readers know of a current host which offers a free service please let me know.
You will need to create the banner you want to display, I just use MS Paint for this, and then save it on to your webspace. I use either a .gif or .jpg format. Copy the web address of your picture and paste it into your item description page (in the HTML section), a little HTML needed here. Now your picture should appear and to get a new message all your need to do is replace the picture on your website, as the address remains the same the new picture / message will be loaded.
All this does mean a change to your item description, so another two days’ work, but that will be the hard work done.
If you fancy having a go, I would be happy to send over the HTML codes needed.
If any reader wants to try displaying a personalised banner / noticeboard but doesn’t have access to any webspace just drop me a line and I should be able to host it for you. Bear in mind though that I am not always about so changing it for a new message may take a few days.
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.
Party time at HQ as it is nine years to the day since I left full-time employment to try my hand at eBay, how time flies. Nine years without any guaranteed source of income seems a bit scary now when you think about it. However the Elves seem to have done ok, they look well fed and most have a roof over their heads.
The party was dampened slightly with the arrival of a reminder that corporation tax is now due for Mollybol. I am not too worried as George needs some cash to fix all the potholes in the roads; only too glad to help out guys.
Author of the bestselling title, The eBay Business Handbook – available direct from the publisher Harriman House.
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