Topics in this issue:
- eBay news – Same-day dispatch.
- Royal Mail – confused again.
- Quick feedback question?
- Ask Molly – Is it better to be on top?
Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of The eBay UK Bulletin.
The new limited company has caused quite a few issues over the past few weeks: payroll, pensions and Elf & Safety (now the little ones have an employee number they are demanding set tea breaks, a 12-hour working day, toy play time and chocolate biscuits)! It wasn’t like this at BT, I can tell you.
In this bumper bulletin there’s an interesting update for dispatch times and another reader is frustrated by the Royal Mail. I kid you not!
[For admin details for this newsletter, please scroll down to the end.]
1. EBAY NEWS – SAME-DAY DISPATCH
It is now possible for sellers to display a same-day dispatch time on listings. You’ll also be able to specify a cut-off time by which purchases must be made to qualify for this option. This will be displayed on all listings for which you’ve selected the same-day dispatch option.
The default cut-off time will be 2pm, but you can change this if an earlier or later time is more suitable for you or your business.
I actually think this is a good thing, although to be on the safe side I won’t be offering it yet. Life at HQ is just a little too hectic to offer this service and next-day dispatch is enough for the TRS discounts.
To set your same-day dispatch time:
- Go to My eBay.
- Click the ‘Account’ tab and then click ‘Site Preferences’ on the left. It’s under ‘Postage and packaging preferences’.
- Enable Same working day dispatch with order cut-off time.
- Change the cut-off time for same working day dispatch to suit your business.
When listing your item, select ‘Same working day’ from the drop-down menu if you plan to offer dispatch on the same day.
All items selected for same day dispatch will have the same time shown – it is not possible to have different times for different items.
Depending on your choice of either before 2pm or after 2pm, eBay will set the expected delivery time. This is bound to cause problems by setting customer expectations too high.
2. ROYAL MAIL – CONFUSED AGAIN?
As you know I am not one to bang on and on about a subject, but in the case of the Royal Mail I will make an exception. This observation and warning just in from somer_books_and_collectables:
“We’re going into battle with another Royal Mail issue this afternoon. Our local Post Office charged my despatch manager (aka wife) the Medium Parcel rate for a small parcel. The chap behind the counter had obviously misunderstood his training and thought that anything that didn’t go through the large letter slot was a medium parcel.
“Whilst thinking the bill was a bit high, I didn’t notice until going through the receipts afterwards. Interestingly the receipt doesn’t say ‘Medium Parcel’ – just ‘parcel, First Class’ so you wouldn’t necessarily spot the overcharge from the description of the service purchased.
“The chance of getting a refund is pretty well non-existent but she’ll probably end up giving him a hard stare which (if he’s like me) should mean he doesn’t sleep for a week.”
Good advice, check those receipts guys and remember that if your parcel fits inside a 6″ square box then it is classed as a ‘small parcel’.
This can be illustrated superbly in the following picture of a parcel returned to HQ as the buyer refused to pay the excess charge. Molly did forget to affix stamps to it, so a charge for stamps was due and the associated £1.00 penalty. However, this size of box should never carry the charge stated.
Without any stamps the unpaid postage should be calculated at the cheapest option for the item, in this case £2.60 – representing a second class small parcel up to 1kg.
Show me to the wall and point to where I bang my head.
Please write to me with your postal experiences: firstname.lastname@example.org
3. QUICK FEEDBACK QUESTION
Just a quick question if I may about my feedback score. Currently I have a feedback score of 322 but over 12 months it is 355. Why the difference ?”
It is just a case of eBay only counting positive feedbacks from the same buyer within the same week as a single piece of feedback. So if a buyer trades five times in the same week and is happy they will leave 5fivepositive marks and the total for the year goes up five, but the feedback score only goes up by one. This is based on the sale date, not the date that the feedback is left.
4. ASK MOLLY – IS BETTER TO BE ON TOP?
I enjoy your humorous newsletters and they have helped me in setting up an eBay business.
When I enter a search for a specific item, on the left-hand side of the returned webpage there is a ‘Matching eBay Shop Section’ that gives the top sellers of a particular item. Is it advantageous to be in the top four of this section in terms of sales processed?”
Humorous! They are intended to be a work of serious literature!
OK, so you didn’t fall for that one, anybody who has read a copy of ‘The Business Handbook’ [Ed - 4th edition out in 2013 folks] knows that life here at HQ is a little lighthearted from time to time.
The simple answer to your question is yes, to be placed in the top four of matching shops is better than being further down the list. I am not convinced that very many buyers actually look over to the left and follow a shop link, but maybe buyers out there know different.
Your question does throw up a point of interest for shop owners everywhere and to illustrate the point just perform a search for an item that you stock. Now click on the ‘See all matching eBay shops’ link. The shop name will be shown along with the tag line of the shop. These initial few words should be used to entice buyers in – you will be surprised just how poor some are. Some shop owners waffle on and overstep the maximum number of characters, others don’t have any details at all.
Your message should be concise, inform buyers of your products, stress how reliable you are, how long you have been in business, etc. Avoid the classic: “Welcome to my eBay Shop. Please add me to your list of favourite sellers and come again. Thank you for your business,” which is pointless.
To update your tag line access ‘Manage my shop’ from ‘My eBay’ then click on ‘Display settings’ and you will see the ‘Shop description’ in the ‘Basic information’ section.
You can use up to 200 characters including spaces. Enjoy!
If you have a question about eBay or home working in general, please send it to email@example.com. 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 spotted a great improvement to eBay this week and nobody shouted about it. You can now edit all your active listings in one go whereas there used to be a maximum of 200 each time. This saves a lot of time and should avoid missing the odd one which moves pages just as you are amending the first lot.
Also, are you aware that Harriman House (I am not worthy) has a range of free eBooks for small businesses, and indeed on other fascinating business and economics topics? You can see the range and download from their website.
One last thing before I go – don’t forget that you need to act quickly to achieve the extra 5% discount on fees bribe; check last week’s bulletin for more details on this.
Best wishes and happy eBaying,
– 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.
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