Topics in this issue:
- eBay news – An extra 5% for TRS
- What ‘best offer’ was accepted?
- Are you appealing?
- Ask Molly – Is my letter too big?
Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of The eBay UK Bulletin.
It has now been eight years since Molly left the rat race, although sometimes I do feel that drinking coffee day in day out, packing lipsticks into bubble bags and playing with toys is a bit like still being on a treadmill.
It was hugs and kisses at HQ this week as Molly’s feedback score crept past 44,000. The big five-0 should be around Christmas. The elves and I celebrated with a few days away, which is why this bulletin is a tad on the late side.
In this week’s edition there is a quick and easy way to save a few pounds and a question for you, the reader, regarding foreign letters [Ed - not necessarily French].
[For admin details for this newsletter, please scroll down to the end.]
1. EBAY NEWS – AN EXTRA 5% DISCOUNT FOR TRS
It is not very often that the opportunity arises to save a few pounds on eBay fees, but with a small change to your listings you could be a lot better off.
In advance of the change due later this year when Top Rated Sellers will need to offer a 14-day returns policy, one-day dispatch, a free postage option and an express delivery option, eBay have decided to bribe us to get ready early.
I am very pleased that they have as the additional 5% on offer should equate into a saving of around £150 during the two months that the promotion is due to run.
As Molly already offers free postage, one-day dispatch and a 14-day returns policy it was only the express postage option which stood in the way – easy.
You can add this option through the bulk edit tool. Just hover your cursor over the ‘Activity’ tab in ‘My eBay’ and click ‘sell’. Scroll down to ‘Active selling’ and highlight all active listings on the page, it could be up to 200. Click ‘Edit’. Highlight all your listings on the next page and click ‘Edit’. Now click on the ‘P&P domestic’ link to enter your new postage option.
This next stage needs a little thought as you cannot just add a new option – you need to re-enter your preferred postage options and then the new one. This caused a little confusion at HQ as ‘Free postage’ was replaced with a £20 charge for about 10 minutes. I did wonder why nothing sold.
My postage options are now:
1st choice: 2nd class recorded delivery – free
2nd choice for those items under an inch: 1st class – 90p
3rd choice: next day delivery by 1pm – £20
I don’t really want to send anything by ‘Special Delivery’ as the queues are too long and I have to drive to the Post Office, a charge of £20 should put everybody off but it stills qualifies for the extra 5% discount. Job done.
Visit eBay for more information on the extra discount.
2. WHAT BEST OFFER WAS ACCEPTED?
Regular readers will know how I am always going on about research when looking to sell something new on eBay. The ‘completed listings’ search is great for those items which have ended and the ‘active search’ should throw up the fixed-price listings which have not yet ended but from which sales have been made. The tricky one is when a ‘best offer’ has been taken.
For some unknown reason eBay now block this price, so although we can see the original asking price and that it did indeed sell, the actual price is not shown. Thankfully there is a way around this problem thanks to my good friends at Watchcount.com.
For items that sold within the past one to two months, just paste the eBay listing number into the ‘keywords’ box on the homepage, then hit the search button. There’ll be a “Sold For” entry that either shows the final selling price, or there’ll be a link to eBay that shows it there.
Another handy tool and it’s absolutely free!
3. ARE YOU APPEALING?
I suspect that I am not alone in seeing a huge increase in the number of cases opened in the eBay resolution centre. I do still find it a little rude that buyers don’t email first with their concerns but I guess that is the way the world is turning.
A delightful buyer bought a small Lancome lip gloss tube [Ed - it's really a girl thing] and then complained that it was a different colour from the one she already had. I have no idea why this should be but I don’t have the time to debate the issue so ask for it to be returned.
The said item did eventually come back to me, minus the original box. For the record the colour is absolutely fine, so I am not quite sure what the point was unless it was a clever scam to rob me of a box. I duly respond asking for the box as I needed to return the item, but alas the box had been thrown away. I was then at a loss as I needed the box but did not need another case to be found in the buyer’s favour.
Before I could respond the case was escalated to eBay customer support and, surprise, surprise, it was found against me.
Now here’s the good part. When a case is found in the buyer’s favour an ‘appeal this decision’ link appears in the resolution centre, which I duly clicked. I wrote:
I am a little bewildered as to why this case was found for the buyer when they returned the item without the original box. Our returns policy says “All we ask is that it remains unused and in the condition in which it was sent”.
We need the box to return it to our supplier. Would a dept store accept a return without the original box?”
“Customer Support has granted your appeal and issued you a courtesy credit to your PayPal account.”
The moral of this story is if you are in the right or feel you are then hit that ‘Appeal’ link, because sometimes it works.
P.s. although I cannot sell the item or return it to my supplier, I am up on the deal so an Elf had an early Christmas present and a donation was made to the Essex Air Ambulance. They didn’t actually want the gloss!
4. ASK MOLLY – IS MY LETTER TOO BIG?
Many thanks for your work on the very informative newsletter and book – they’ve both been of great use over the past few years.
Quick question, re: Royal Mail.
If I put a postcard that I’ve sold into a standard sized envelope (albeit cardboard backed) and it weighs less than 100g and meets all the size criteria for ‘a letter’, does the fact that it contains sold goods actually mean it’s a ‘packet’ and not a letter?
In the UK and Europe I don’t think this is a problem (i.e. my understanding is that it’s a ‘letter’, irrespective of the contents, just so long as it meets the size requirements).
However, if sending outside Europe with the obligatory customs form attached would it still be a letter or would the presence of saleable goods plus a customs form automatically mean the item is now a ‘packet’.
I’ve been trying to resolve this with Royal Mail and our local Post Office for some time now without success and continue to receive conflicting advice (after talking to six people three say “letter” and three say “packet” so I’m no better off).
Great question, one that did crop up in the bulletin some time ago and I don’t think it was resolved even then. As you say it is now only an issue up to the 100 gram mark as letters are treated as packets over this weight.
I am not surprised that RM employees don’t know the answer as we have seen in recent weeks there is a serious lack of training being provided to staff and they are in an impossible position.
I have trawled through the Royal Mail website and of course the answer is either not there or buried so deep that nobody can ever find it. For my own part I don’t use the letter service overseas as everything is packet sized.
So, dear reader it is over to you. Do you send letters outside of Europe and if so do you get the cheaper letter rate? Please let me know – email@example.com
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.
It is good to be back at HQ again after a short break away but I suspect I have missed quite a few emails. If you have sent in a note or question and are wondering where the reply is then it is more than possible that I have lost it. Please do send in again and I will endeavour to respond as soon as possible.
Best wishes and happy eBaying,
– NEWSLETTER ADMIN –
The eBay UK Bulletin is an independent newsletter and is not approved or endorsed by eBay UK.
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