Topics in this issue:
1 eBay news – Money back guarantee
2 Hong Kong shipment screening
3 Reader’s Rant – Branded goods indirect ban
4 Ask Molly – Do you still keep pop?
Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of The eBay UK Bulletin.
Wow, what a busy few weeks, not much happening on eBay but other projects kept me from becoming bored. Finally buyers seem to be awakening from their slumber so now it’s eBay all the way to Christmas Day.
A little sad news from HQ as Molly’s Powerseller level slipped back to Gold, I must focus more on selling and stop being distracted by sparkly things.
In this exciting issue a great rant about suppliers and another dig at the Royal Mail, I just can’t help myself.
[For admin details for this newsletter, please scroll down to the end.]
1. EBAY NEWS – MONEY BACK GUARANTEE
A promise of your money back if anything goes wrong is a good idea but I do wonder if eBay’s new money back policy is overplaying the point that things go wrong often on eBay.
As a newbie buyer venturing into a world which has picked up some bad press over the years, would the numerous banners and headlines reassure them or scare them away?
As ever, email me with your thoughts, they are most welcome.
Along these lines is the introduction of the 14 day returns policy for all business sellers – the default period has now been changed from 7 days. I am ok with this change as I don’t really get many returns, loads of things never arrive but generally if they do then the customer is happy.
I do have some sympathy for sellers of used party frocks and prom dresses as I am sure some will be worn and then returned. One of the Elves is always bleeting on about this, I told them to just keep it next time.
Check out your legal requirements concerning returns on the eBay website.
2. HONG KONG SHIPMENT SCREENING
I spotted this warning from eBay concerning a purchase made from Hong Kong and with many of your readers buying for Christmas it may explain some slow deliveries.
“Recently the Hong Kong Post announced that all items posted by air are now subject to x-ray screening for regulated materials. This additional screening may cause delayed shipment due to no fault of the seller, so if you purchased an item from a seller in Hong Kong, please allow extra time for delivery – at least a week more than the seller’s stated delivery time.
Also note that items containing the regulated materials are being returned directly to sellers and not delivered to the buyer. These items may include:
- Items with lithium batteries such as video cameras, walkie talkies/2-way radios, GPS devices, radio-controlled toys, Bluetooth headsets, smartphones/mobiles, laptop computers, shavers, power drills, tablets and portable DVD players
- Liquid beauty products, including fragrances, colognes, lotions, and toner
- Items with “eliquids” such as electronic cigarettes and lighters
If you don’t receive your item after waiting the additional week, please contact your seller. If your item was returned to the seller, you should receive a refund. If you encounter any issue with a refund, you can file a case.
I think it is also worth mentioning that the Royal Mail appear to be screening outbound parcels for similar contents as I have been testing them with the odd perfume sample here and there and so far all have been destroyed. Thankfully they do let through Lego and Playmobil firemen.
3. READERS’S RANT – BRANDED GOODS INDIRECT BAN
I run a modest magic store on eBay. Looking for some special items to spice it up a bit, I approached the US company ‘Ellusionist’ who sell fantastic card tricks. Taking the lead from their website, I requested a wholesale account.
My request was declined as they said they do not allow their products to be sold on eBay. This despite the fact that hundreds of their products are already on eBay. I pointed this out and was then told that the minimum first order is $5000 plus a $7000 spend every quarter. But their own website states a first minimum order of $250. Clearly, this is a tad too much for a poor eBayer trying to improve their lot.
By imposing high barriers to entry into this market they are clearly encouraging anti-competitive practices. And what of the products already on eBay? Are they genuine or counterfeit?
I wonder if any more of your readers have experienced this type of practice and what can be done?”
This is quite a clever way of restricting the sale of items on ebay, the big toy companies I approached just turned me down flat. They can’t do much about it if you buy from a retail outlet and then resell on eBay but they will pick up on any small breech of the rules so be wary.
If you want to let of steam feel free to abuse me at the usual address.
4. ASK MOLLY – DO YOU STILL KEEP POP?
What are your thoughts on proof of postage? Is it worth asking and keeping it?
As far as I know there is not much you can do with it if a customer claims that an item hasn’t arrived.
Also how can you fill out Royal Mail’s claim form if you buy something at a car-boot? There is no way you can provide the item cost to you if you want compensation.”
I have given up keeping proofs now although I do still say that I do on my listings. The simple reason is that getting any compensation from the Royal Mail is almost impossible, they are by far the worst company I have ever dealt with in this area. A combination of the time taken to complete the form and the level of detail required just don’t make it viable; however from a Royal mail perspective it is a great policy and saves them a fortune.
As you have to provide proof of the purchase price paid a boot-sale purchase would not be covered.
As the Christmas period gathers pace the number of items ‘lost in the post’ (read stolen) will increase and there is very little that can be done and in my opinion an zero chance of ever being compensated.
I still record anything over £30 and so far all these have made it through, the smaller losses which amount to around ten items per week and growing I just have to absorb.
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.
I was wandering through a few stats late one night and realised that the automatic ‘pop up’ concerning ‘Premium Service qualifying’ listings had gone. Upon investigation I found it at the bottom of the seller performance page and to my horror 3 listings had the wrong dispatch time.
It is worth a quick check now and again just to be sure you are getting as much discount as possible. The lesson for me was be alert when listing an old item from months back; not always easy at 2am though.
Author of the bestselling title, The eBay Business Handbook – available direct from the publisher Harriman House.
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The eBay UK Bulletin is an independent newsletter and is not approved or endorsed by eBay UK.
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