Topics in this issue:
- eBay news – Changes due again
- Boot sales are back
- Royal Mail prices to increase as usual
- Ask Molly – Should I re-brand?
Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of The eBay UK Bulletin.
Just back from a few days away. Molly is raring to go and with over 800 items now in the toy shop it is time to start selling.
In this week’s edition the sad news about postal price increases which nobody expected and a word to the wise as eBay are to hike final value fees in a raft of categories.
[For admin details for this newsletter, please scroll down to the end.]
1. EBAY NEWS – CHANGES DUE AGAIN
Loads of changes are on the horizon again and some of them are a little sneaky and could end up costing you money.
The changes do need some more attention but one which stands out is the increase of final value fees in some Home & Garden and Lifestyle categories from 10% to 11%:
One of these is “Dolls & Bears” and is in constant use in the Molly toy world. For Care Bears there is a choice of categories either:
Dolls & Bears > Bears > Care Bears
Toys & games > TV & Film Character toys > TV Characters > Care Bears
One will soon cost me 11% while the other remains at 10%. Now would be the time to check out any items you have in the list of categories affected and make changes as you see fit.
The situation is not so good if you have ‘multi-variation’ listings which have seen sales as it is not possible to change the main category after this point. This means all my electrical fuses will soon be costing me 11% because ‘DIY Materials’ is also on the list of categories which will see the increase. For new listings I will now be using Business Office & Industrial > Electrical & test equipment > Circuit Breakers (which is staying at 10%). Just one thing to watch out for – the feature ‘gallery plus’ is free in ‘DIY materials’ but costs £2.85 in the new category.
I would think that most sellers will try to relocate their items to avoid the increase in fees and with a large inventory this will take a lot of time and effort. I wonder if eBay have factored in the impact of all this work which will distract from selling and so reduce eBay fees payable – everybody loses.
More on the impending changes over the coming weeks.
2. BOOT SALES ARE BACK
It’s that time of year again when there is a point to getting up early at the weekend – money! It was a bit of a shock to the system I must admit but the Molly clan made it to the first of the grass-based boot sales and it was a corker.
The weather was set fair and the ground was very dry so the sellers turned out to tout their wares. Toy purchases included all the regular sellers – Warhammer, Lego, Knex, Care Bears, Meccano, etc. An electrician emptying his van provided a well-needed boost to the DIY business. All in all when processed and sold the haul should be worth close to £1,000, which is not bad for a brisk stroll in the sunshine.
If you are in need of stock or just a bit of exercise then pop down to your local boot sale, the bargains are still there to be had.
My top tips for a successful car boot sale:
- Avoid the burgers and sausage rolls. Bacon butties should be ok though.
- Take loads of change.
- Haggle – it is expected and usually succeeds. Don’t bother for a few pence but anything over a fiver is worth a punt – try to haggle enough off to pay for your lunch.
- Visit the stalls that arrive last, these will be the casual sellers which should yield the best bargains. Then work your way around the rest.
- Have an open mind and take a few risks.
3. ROYAL MAIL PRICES TO INCREASE AS USUAL
With a whole load of hungry shareholders it was only to be expected that the Royal Mail would raise it’s prices. Business rates are set to rise by around 5%.
“I was in the Post Office today and the staff mentioned the upcoming increase in RM prices. Not sure what to expect, but they seemed to think it would be bad! BUT they don’t have the new pricing leaflets yet and don’t expect to get them in for customers until AFTER 31 March.
“Obviously us eBayers need them in advance (something RM seem oblivious to).
“Have you any idea how we can obtain them prior to the event, so that we are not losing money during the initial week or so of the increases?”
Full details of the price increases can be found online.
These are the basic price increases for personal customers, business rates depend upon the services you use, check the website.
1st and 2nd Class mail
- 1st Class Letter will cost 62p
- 1st Class Large Letter (up to 100g) will cost 93p
- 2nd Class Letter will cost 53p
- 2nd Class Large Letter (up to 100g) will cost 73p
Small and Medium parcels
- 1st Class Small Parcels prices start from £3.20
- 2nd Class Small Parcels prices start from £2.80
- 1st Class Medium Parcels prices start from £5.65
- 2nd Class Medium Parcels prices start from £5.20
4. ASK MOLLY – SHOULD I RE-BRAND?
“I am currently reading your book – which I am finding very interesting and useful by the way!
“I have just read the section on usernames. I currently have an account on eBay which I have been using to buy and sell from. My current username is made up of letters and numbers. I take on your point about using numbers and wonder if I should change my username or start up a new account. I have a feedback score of over 300.
“Should I change my current username to something more professional and start up a new private account for my own use?”
Having a memorable name should help sales and a feedback score of 300 is a great starting point so I would turn your existing account into your business and change the name.
It does also make good sense to have a buying / personal account and starting from zero won’t be much of a problem.
You will need a second bank account and email address for an extra PayPal account and this will help split personal income away from your business.
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.
You may remember a few weeks ago I brought you the story of a guy who wanted to haggle £1.20 off a £3.00 charity auction because the book was not sent by recorded delivery. Well it rumbled on and on until eventually the buyer escalated the issue to eBay, still seeking a rebate.
– NEWSLETTER ADMIN –
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