Topics in this issue:
- eBay news – Low DSRs? Find the culprit
- Don’t be too quick to refund.
- MVL – watch out
- Ask Molly – Can you help with technology?
Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of The eBay UK Bulletin.
At last the 4th edition of ‘The ebay Business Handbook’ is finished and with the typesetters. A lot of long nights and some serious coffee drinking went into this one and at around 81,000 words it should be great for propping up tables. I am sure Craig, esteemed editor of the tome, will advise when publication is due, just in time for Christmas is my bet.
In this bulletin a complicated way to identify buyers who leave you low DSR scores and a warning to all sellers using MVL.
[For admin details for this newsletter, please scroll down to the end.]
1. EBAY NEWS – LOW DSRs? FIND THE CULPRIT
Receiving low DSR scores is no fun and in the past you would not know who had left them for you. It was likely to be the guy who left you a poor feedback but not necessarily. Thankfully now you can be sure and block them from any further purchases.
eBay used to have the Transaction Defect Report pop up when you went to the seller dashboard, this has now gone but you can access it from this link: http://eshopping.promotw.com/globalsellerapp/view/uk. Expanding the report will show you the most recent defects. From here you can find the item number which caused the issue and track down the buyer.
All fairly straightforward so far but what about if you picked up a low score from a listing which had more then one purchase on that day, a little more tricky. The only way that I have found is to download a sales report from the ‘File Management centre’ which covers the sale date; don’t choose too long a period or you will be waiting for the report to arrive for what feels like an age.
When the report is available for download open it with Excel or similar and then use the ‘Transaction ID’ from the defect report to identify the buyer. Now you can block them and feel much better in yourself, you may also wish to leave a follow up to their feedback to warn other sellers.
One thing is for sure, you don’t want anything to do with them again.
Do you have a DSR tale of woe? If so send it to me at the usual address
2. DON’T BE TOO QUICK TO REFUND
“I’ve just read the latest eBay bulletin. I can totally understand the frustrations of your reader’s rant contributor as I know that it is almost impossible to contact eBay.
I did think, however, about his experience in the Resolution Centre. I find that when I go into a case brought against me there is a refund buyer option right at the top of the box and it looks like you have to click on that in order to continue.
However, below that, there are other options, such as send buyer a message, which you can also click on in order to move forward. I’m wondering if this was the case when he used it but that he didn’t notice it.
I don’t have many cases opened against me but some people seem to do it by accident whilst looking for a way to contact me about a problem. I usually find that contacting them with a message is all that is needed so that I can offer a replacement or apologise for missing something out of their parcel and saying I will send it on to them.”
Good point and if you don’t get many dispute cases then these options may not be that obvious. The buyer can direct eBay to suggest to the seller an outcome that they would prefer, this could be for a refund or for some tracking details. The refund option is last on my list especially if the item was only sent yesterday and they assume it is lost.
I would suggest responding with a holding e-mail as soon as possible and then follow up as required. Remember to block these buyers even if the problem is resolved, would you want them to open another dispute sometime in the future?
This question popped into Molly’s inbox:
“Hi, I have tried to purchase this item but I have been told that you are not accepting purchases from me. Would you mind letting me know what this is please?”
Upon investigation it transpired that a previous purchase was ‘lost’ in the post. Now it may not be the fault of the buyer, in fact I think for such a low value item they would not bother to clam it had not arrived, however there is obviously a problem somewhere in the system as items cannot be lost – they are stolen – and I certainly wouldn’t want to send another item into the same black hole.
3. MVL – WATCH OUT!
I am a bit concerned about this update as I am a big user of MVL and to have a listing pulled would cause me serious grief.
“Recently I was given a MC999 Policy Violation. It was for Offering Choices (the listing was for Pirate Party Items) – wasn’t sure what that was, so phoned CS. Was told I cannot list Pirate Tableware and Pirate Party Bag Fillers together. Got them to check my other MVL listings and told that banners and balloons together was OK and so was tableware. OK Was a little shocked as about 5 years ago, when MVL was added to Party items, I was told by the then CS that is was a good idea to put them into MVL. Also put all tableware into one listing as buyers could visit one listing and purchase exactly what they wanted without going in circles to choose, napkin, plates, tablecovers etc.
My listings have been very successful over the years. Until now!!! A colleague (we are friendly in the Party category!) had their tableware listings pulled for the same violation a few days later. They phoned CS and were told they could not list plates, napkins, etc., as they are not the same item. Not what I was told! So I phoned them again and was told, NO, tableware could not be put in same listing.
I have now pulled all but my birthday balloons MVL and am gradually relisting. The Offering Choices Policy is about avoiding eBay fees!! This won’t happen as I still have plenty of space in my Free listings on my shop. Why the sudden change in direction without any warning!! I have checked every eBay newsletter, etc., to find when this changed and there is nothing. According to CS it has been like that for a few years – not to any seller’s knowledge as if you look at party tableware you will see what I mean – including the shops with account managers, who still sell tableware in a MVL.
Just want to warn others and after being told this was my first violation and would not affect my account – sales are at an all time low. 1 sale in 15 hours yesterday. A few more just after that but when I think back to two years ago and had staff, etc., and worked full days, I am now packed and posted by 10am, with only me doing the work. Grrrr! Getting angrier by the day!!”
What would be considered a multi-variation listing?
Golf balls that are the same brand but available in different colours
A T-shirt available in different sizes and different colours
The same brand duvet that is available in different togs and different sizes
What wouldn’t be considered a multi-variation listing?
Golf balls that are different brands
T-shirts available in different styles (for example short/long sleeve) and made from different materials
A listing which includes duvets, pillows and bed sheets as the variations.
I am just waiting for the knock on the door as although I did tidy up my MVLs a while back I am sure eBay could interpret them as non-compliant. The brand issue is fair enough and easy to spot but could you have plastic train track in different lengths, would this be the equivalent of having a T shirt in different sizes and then what about curves or straights, this is probably not allowed?
The interesting thing is that if I were to have a listing pulled then I would probably sell in bulk rather than have dozens of similar listings. This would earn me a lot less and eBay would pick up less in fees. The MVL is a way of me enhancing my selling technique to bring in more money over time, if it was not a cheaper way of listing then I just wouldn’t do it.
For the whole story check out the eBay MVL pages
4. ASK MOLLY – CAN YOU HELP WITH TECHNOLOGY?
After such a long, long, long bulletin a quick question to end with:
“Can any of your readers advise how I can get my adverts to show on iPhone as well as computer and iPad Thanks?”
Regular readers will know that I am not a big user of technology, I still have a Nokia 3310 (somewhere), use a map and don’t even own a watch so not the best person to ask. There is of course lots of great stuff on eBay relating to mobile apps if it is an issue with viewing listings.
If anybody out there has some thoughts about this, please just let me know.
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.
It was a big day at Molly HQ as the time arrived to start sorting toys ready for Christmas. During the year I buy and buy at car boot sales but only have enough time to list the quick and easy items. After a few months the pile of items, particularly toys, becomes unwieldy and as the kids go back to school in five weeks they now have to be sorted and listed. Today it was the turn of ‘Happyland’ from the ELC and it filled the garden, the Elves are still out there somewhere in the dark.
Don’t waste these long balmy evenings, sort out your Christmas lines and be ready.
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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