Topics in this issue:
- eBay news – Maybe not a good idea
- Parcels, thought for the day
- Overseas courier – update
- Ask Molly – Who is the cheapest and best?
Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of The eBay UK Bulletin.
It was another first for Molly this week when a buyer bought a batch of Sylvanian Family furniture and then emailed making a lower offer!
The poor old Elves were thrown into confusion over this, I had to sit them down to explain that, stange as it may seem, not everybody in the real world understands how eBay works.
It’s another parcel-dominated bulletin this week and I can’t think of a better subject to debate. In fact, give me an uninterupted supply of ‘Dunkin’ Donuts’ coffee in the middle of TNT’s distributuion centre and I’d be in my element.
[For details of this newsletter, please scroll down to the end.]
1. EBAY NEWS – MAYBE NOT A GOOD IDEA
Some of the proposed changes due over the coming months are great, others are of no consequence and some, particularly this one, may end up costing me money!
It is all about making buyers pay immediately when they make a purchase. This option does of course already exist and some sellers prefer to use it, I am not a fan as many of my buyers order multiple items and I don’t really want to pay the additional PayPal flat fees of 20p each time.
Starting in May, buyers partaking in the test who click ‘Buy it now’ will be asked to pay immediately, otherwise the item will not be considered as ‘sold’. This only applies for items priced below £650 with a specified postage cost, and where PayPal is the only payment method offered.
The idea is to reduce cases of unpaid items and make sure your inventory continues to be available to others until the buyer pays. A quick totting up of a days’ sales suggests that PayPal will be around £3.00 better off from my sales, which is a very handy £1,000 per year in additional flat fees for them.
If your buyer uses the ‘shopping basket’ then they should be able to pay once for all items, but just how many buyers use this option is unknown.
For for details visit the eBay website.
2. PARCELS THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
As the new Royal Mail pricing and sizing policy settles down many readers have asked for advice on the best way through the complicated mess they have created; I will try to shed some light over the next few weeks as I finally get to grips with it.
Here’s the thought for the day:
Regarding Royal Mail parcel sizes, etc.
I was told just to ‘bung’ them all in the same bag as we had been doing. Nothing has changed on the online business account, apart from what the service is called and of course the prices.
This is for packetpost, so coupled with the reduction in minimum annual spend I would say most sellers would be at an advantage to sign up. “
General Stores Online – stores.ebay.co.uk/General-Stores-Online
3. OVERSEAS COURIER – UPDATE
You may recall in last week’s bulletin a plea from a reader looking to send parcels overseas for a modest fee (one that doesn’t require the use of a second mortgage). Here’s an idea:
In response to your reader asking about overseas couriers we use a site called Interparcel for the various one off mailings we need abroad (they are basically a broker for the major players) as the bigger companies demanded a certain volume per year for accounts.
I did get a few quotes and although £19.20 to send a lipstick to Belgium was a little steep, it could well work for you.
If you have tried the service please let me know how it was for you.
This also in from adam.bri – www.ebay.co.uk/sch/adam.bri/m.html
I found ‘transglobal express’ cheapest for getting the quote and then used ‘UPS Express Saver’ from their choice of quotes.
‘parcel2go’ also offer cheap quotes through a range of couriers. I think they both buy bulk slots, enabling discounted pricing.
Don’t get me wrong, it is still pricey, but that is due to the prices going on volumetric weight, but if the item is heavy it may work in your favour.
As an example from my last quote for UPS through transglobal, a 65cm x 45cm x 15cm parcel at 2.2kg worked out at £35, but I could have posted an item weighing up to 9kg and the same, or even slightly larger, size for the same price. (Going direct through UPS site would have been £90.)
One final thought directed at eBay on the subject of international parcels; why can’t we have an option for ‘zone 2′ delivery as these countries have a more expensive shipping cost? OK so most zone 2 parcels will go to Australia which can be separated in the postage section, but what if there is a sudden surge of interest from the Tokelau Islands? Rather than the complicated ‘rates tables’ which nobody understands, just one simple tick box for ‘Oceania’ would do it.
4. ASK MOLLY – WHO IS THE CHEAPEST AND BEST?
Just a simple question as I am new to sending parcels, who is the best and cheapest courier? I have looked and thought I have the one only to find other eBayers are offering to deliver for £1.00 or more less than I can, even with the same courier.
Many sellers will just charge a token towards postage costs and build the rest into the selling price, as even shifting £1.00 into the postage will save 10p or so in eBay fees. This also means that if a buyer buys two or more items then the seller won’t have to offer much of a discount as the postage recorded on the parcel will probably still be more than that charged.
There are loads of options and it depends on your mix of size and weight.
I believe the cheapest option for small parcels in the UK is to use Royal Mail 2nd class – £2.60 (less than 45cm x 35cm x 8cm or less than 15cm x 15cm x 15cm, which is a 6 inch square box in old money). If you can get a Business Account then PPI might work for you as small and medium parcels all go together at a single rate. If you have a lot of ‘medium parcels’ this is a cheaper option, I pay £2.21 per parcel.
If you don’t have a Royal Mail account then I would look at myHermes – up to one kilo collected from your door is £3.30, it is insured up to £25 for free and also tracked. I use this service for all parcels that I would send recorded with the Royal Mail. If you can drop at your local Parcel shop then prices are a little cheaper.
This debate will rumble on forever, but hopefully this will help a bit.
If you have a question about eBay or home working in general, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
My poor old camera finally died after only 10,000 pictures, the little conector for the USB lead gave up. A quick trip to PC World resulted in a model with 14 million pixels, 3 x zoom and a whole host of other great things for a mere £35. It is a shame that I have absolutely no interest in any of them; I bought it because it’s red.
Best wishes and happy eBaying,
– NEWSLETTER ADMIN –
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