Topics in this issue:
- eBay news – This and that
- Hidden noticeboards
- Royal Mail parcel sizes
- Ask Molly – Do I really have to refund the postage?
Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of The eBay UK Bulletin.
I must say that so far this is a most unusual Christmas period, it is hard work! In past years sales took care of themselves and it was just a case of keeping up with orders, this time round sales are a little more scarce. It could be the economy in general, a lack of money or a vast amount of stuff now on the site, either way I am having to run sales just to keep up with my targets.
This week sees a great work around for hidden noticeboards and a refresher concerning the refund of postage costs.
[For admin details for this newsletter, please scroll down to the end.]
1. EBAY NEWS – THIS AND THAT
Have you noticed that the search criteria you enter now reverts back to ‘best match’ when you enter a second item?
When listing a new line I need to know what the competition are selling and at what price so I amend the search to ‘BIN only’ and ‘Price + P and P Lowest First’ as this is the market I want to address. Now for some reason when I change the search, the results default back to ‘Best match’ showing all items including auctions.
It is not the end of the world, but a bit of a pain none the less.
I noticed an e-mail from eBay this week which stated that 54,000 buyer accounts had been suspended due to a breach of eBay policy. This is indeed good news as there is no doubt in my mind that selling on eBay is not quite the walk in the park it was a few years ago.
It did start me thinking that now might be a good time to refresh ourselves as to what exactly the seller protection team can help with. So, if you didn’t get the e-mail or filed it away for future reference check out the details now.
2. HIDDEN NOTICEBOARDS
Regular readers will know how much I appreciate interesting articles sent into me at HQ as they can go straight into the bulletin and save me loads of typing, especially at this time of year when I should be listing Lego.
This is just the kind of thing I love. It is all about ‘hidden noticeboards’ and also provides me the opportunity to plug my Kindle book – great value at just 63p!
“I have been reading your Kindle book eBay Selling Success. Great stuff.
I decided to implement your Notice Board concept. Photobucket and other like tools do not work because you cannot replace an image, you can only delete and add. Therefore the image’s URL changes when you do an “update”. Not good.
I tried using www.freewebspace.com for hosting but it seems they don’t host for free.
I found that Drop Box works great for Notice Board images by using its Public Folder feature. NOTE: You may have to enable Public Folders in your Drop Box account to make this work. Any file you put into your public folder is accessible via a somewhat simple URL.
If you add another file, the only thing that changes in this URL is the name of the file at the very end. If you replace a file, the URL stays the same. So when you update a file for your Notice Board, just drag and drop on to the old version in Drop Box and away you go.
To create the images I use PowerPoint. It is a very nice tool with lots of easy to use graphical features. After creating your image, save the file in the normal way and then choose “Save As” to save the file as a GIF (better than JPG). If you have multiple slides in your PowerPoint, each slide will become a separate image. PowerPoint is a good source for all images that can easily be edited. Pure images in Paint are more difficult to edit.
Regarding multiple Notice Board images – I went through and updated my eBay listings to include URLs to four different Notice Board images. I only am using two images now, but I wanted to plan for the future. For now the two unused images are a simple line which acts as an unobtrusive placeholder.”
There you go readers – simple, actually it is easy and can be a great help. I still use ’50Megs’ for my hosting; my price plan costs around £60 per year and has everything I could ever need.
3. ROYAL MAIL PARCEL SIZES
Thankfully using the Royal Mail OBA PPI account I am insulated from the very confusing sizing policy for parcels, using the CRL code they all go out as packets at a single flat rate.
Some of the Elves however don’t have this luxury and have been bleating on at me about the consequences of using the wrong size box. So just for them and any readers who need some guidance, here is a video on the Royal Mail website which helps no end.
Simple, I can’t see what all the fuss is about!
As ever your thoughts are most welcome at the usual address.
4. ASK MOLLY – DO I REALLY HAVE TO REFUND THE POSTAGE?
We have started selling on eBay recently after reading your books, which were of great help.
If you can help us with one of our queries, we would really appreciate it.
Our query is as follows. We sell shoes and the shipping costs for one shoe is £5.99. When giving a refund to a customer for instance, is it common practice to refund the whole amount? i.e: the cost of the shoes + the postage costs, or is it appropriate to just refund the cost of the shoes excluding postage charges?”
Glad the books were of interest, Edition 4 should be published next year, I have just finished the first draft again. eBay is changing so fast at the moment that I’m on version 36 of that first draft.
Unfortunately you have to refund the cost of the item and the initial postage. This is not an eBay ruling but it is law under the ‘Distance Selling Regulations’ as follows:
“The retailer must refund the full amount including the delivery costs as soon as possible after the consumer cancels, and in any case within 30 days at the latest. You cannot insist on the
goods being received by you before you make a refund.”
The logic is sound as I remember an old perfume scam from years back where the scent was free but with a £6.99 handling and postage charge. Without this ruling you would get nothing back for an outlay of £6.99.
Any return postage costs could be paid by either party, this should be laid out in your returns policy but the initial costs have to be refunded.
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.
A quick word of warning before I go which is aimed at all sellers who reuse any packing materials they can find. Trying to find a large enough box for a Happyland train set I settled on an empty bubble bag box which was to hand.
My mistake was not to remove the original address label from the box before dispatch, three days later a super train set arrived back at Molly HQ after a jolly time in the Royal Mail network. The Elves enjoyed a quick play – they love opening parcels – before it was dispatched again, thankfully only £2.20 using PPI. I blamed the late delivery on the PO, sorry guys.
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 web