Topics in this issue:
- eBay news – Password reset spoofs
- And the moral is…
- Selecting that special line
- Ask Molly – Could we all work together?
Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of The eBay UK Bulletin.
Molly is a little weary after a visit to the accountant, this tax business can be a real bore. I took all my papers in a lovely new, tax-deductible, file and had a figure in mind which I didn’t mind paying. It seems there is more to it than this and I await with much excitement the final verdict.
In this bulletin, a timely warning about phishing e-mails and another warning to clear payment before dispatch.
[For admin details for this newsletter, please scroll down to the end.]
1. EBAY NEWS – PASSWORD RESET SPOOFS
We all know about the recent problems eBay had with cyber hackers breaking into their systems and the subsequent request for all users to change passwords but do be aware of a related spoof which might just catch you out.
Sorry for my late answer but i had some problems since the recent eBay change parsword enforcement. Today i was able to pay for 2 items. The 3rd one will be paid tomorrow morning. Please provide the price with shipping included to WC2H 7LA for the 3rd item.
Item Number: 30158203212
On the face of it a simple ruse to get you to sign into a spoof website but the mention of the recent problems lends some creditability to the note. The item number is of course a link to a fake website and the item number does not exist.
With regard to the password issue it does make sense to change it on a regular basis, once every ten years seems to be the standard around here.
2. AND THE MORAL IS…
First of all the moral of my story is to check and double check every order every time!!
I currently own Dilliway-Antiques on eBay which from September will become my full-time employment after 30 years of service in the military and law enforcement. I am currently still employed and sometimes have to work away, so have to manage my orders and customers very carefully.
In the middle of a very busy period, I received an email from a buyer called tip_sar asking for a best offer on some silver plate goblets, the entire cost of the transaction is £22.00.
I happily agreed the offer, and upon returning home I packaged her parcel along with a load of others and went through my usual routine at the post office. A day or so later I received an email from tip_sar asking if she could come and collect the goblets from my home address. Confused, I went back to eBay and saw that on this particular sale, she was sent my old address from a few years ago (she lives about three miles from there). I immediately emailed her back to tell her that I had moved about 350 miles away, and that, by accident, had already posted the items to her, so would appreciate payment by cheque or eBay, and, no surprise here, didn’t get a reply.
I waited a week and heard nothing, so politely emailed her a gentle reminder… nothing!
After a couple of more polite emails, I requested that she either return the items or pay-up. Ah! I got a response which basically stated the she didn’t know what I was talking about, blah blah.
So, tip_sar now has a nice little set of vintage silver-plated goblets in a very sweet box, I have got egg on my face and have learned a big lesson.
The annoying thing is, she has a feedback rating of only 30, and 16 of those (at the time of writing) are all to do with time wasting, non-payer, avoid this buyer, etc.”
A warning to us all. I notice that the buyer has now been removed from eBay but it still hurts. I’ll send an Elf round to your shop and you can kick them from time to time, it does make one feel better.
On the subject of bidders who deserve being blocked take time out and block kget2, a lovely buyer who leaves neutrals with comments such as:
‘Accurate description & Fast delivery.’ and ‘Accurate description.’
Poor old Molly picked up two from them recently. Does this buyer really expect to be welcomed back into my shop in the future? It does make you wonder. To all my friendly competitors out there, please add them to your list, it would make me feel better.
3. SELECTING THAT SPECIAL LINE
I am thinking about becoming a seller on eBay and looking for the perfect item / category to sell to.
We have just ended a business venture where we had some special items made and the manufacturer decided to sell them themselves so we have ended that venture due to breach of contract and being unable to match their prices. The good news is we are getting a refund for all our stock so have some money to buy stock with. Any suggestions?
I am looking for items with a decent profit on each item that will sell well and consistently.”
Tricky, I always advise that you should sell something that you understand, I started with toys as we have three Elves, as they are all girls I drifted into make up and now know more about mascaras than any man really should. I have an interest in property which led in turn to a business selling electrical and plumbing items often to mean landlords who want to match the kit they already have to save buying new.
Two of the Elves love clothes and buy designer labels from boot sales and sell them on for pocket money. They show no interest in taking over my electric fuse business.
Every category on eBay is hotly contested with established sellers, finding a niche is hard. I have settled on three brands of make up appealing to different age groups and combine skin care with cosmetics. By keeping this narrow field I can manage around 200 listings easily and sell on price. Some of my competitors have huge levels of stock across all brands but this is not for me.
It is the trash to cash market that I want to concentrate on today as I have been watching the current TV show ‘Del Boys and Dealers’. I am not convinced that any of these guys will find the pot of gold but there is always a chance. Trading in rubbish is nothing new, I have been doing it for 25 years, it could be an option as the competition on eBay may not be as fierce.
My toy business is mainly good brands and collectibles sourced from car boot sales, small ads and from ebay. This is a more labour-intensive business but the margins are much higher such as bag of ‘Pippa dolls’ bought for £1 on Monday, two of which sold for £170 on Wednesday.
Another idea which I stumbled upon is ink cartridges, although these do go out of date they still work and people want them. I pick them up at boot sales and from eBay and pay no more than 50p each. In the last three months I have sold 48 for £547, it won’t set the world alight but shows how money can be made from the most obscure things.
Being selective is key, taking a chance on lower-value items but really sticking to what you know. Storage was touched on in the show and it is important – get yourself a shed or evict the kids, or both.
The summer months are the time to buy, cash runs low and your house will resemble a warehouse but if you can’t find the line you really want to sell this could be an interim option to get the ball rolling. You don’t have to get up early and traipse round a field, there are plenty of resell opportunities on eBay.
Finding that elusive line that nobody else has spotted is hard but it can be a good excuse for some serious shopping.
4. ASK MOLLY – COULD WE ALL WORK TOGETHER?
Just been reading the latest bulletin, and had a thought on the continuing problem of Item Not Received claims. What would your readers think of leaving feedback (or following up to previous feedback left) with the simple comment of ‘item reported lost in post – buyer refunded’ or ‘sorry you did not receive item – refund sent’.
This would flag up problems to other sellers, and would expose any patterns of claims. Any thoughts?”
It is a good idea and I do see these kind of comments from time to time.
It should be ok as long as the actual words used are positive as eBay have a problem with a positive feedback containing negative overtones.
Something along the lines of your second thought “Prompt payment sorry you did not receive item – refund sent’. I haven’t counted the characters to check that it will actually fit but the gist is sound.
My feedback is automatic upon receipt of a positive being left so I am not always able to tailor my responses.
Over to you readers, would this work, do you do something along these lines already? Please let me know.
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.
Good news for all fans of ‘The eBay business handbook‘ as the 4th edition has passed its first edit. OK, so there is a lot of red pen and with a current marking of 4/10 there is some work to do but it could well become a reality.
I have sent an e-mail to eBay asking them not to make any changes for a few weeks so that I can get up to date. I am not hopeful.
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 website.