Topics in this issue:
- eBay 101 – Business Policies.
- Reader’s rant – Managed Returns.
- Did you know….
- Ask Molly – Should the GSP shipping rate override all others?
Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of The eBay UK Bulletin.
Sales dropped through the floor on Wednesday and still have not recovered. This is great news regarding all the chores that needed doing but not good for cashflow. I have checked out the competition but my prices are keen so no explanation for the downturn. Thankfully payday is a little earlier in February.
In this week’s bulletin, an explanation of ‘Business Polices’, something you may not even know you have, and a little more on the GSP postage rates.
[For admin details for this newsletter, please scroll down to the end.]
1. EBAY 101 – BUSINESS POLICIES
This is an interesting process which you may have activated on your eBay account. I think that eBay thought it would make life easier, I am not so sure.
I spend most of my time on eBay using a business account set up as a shop. Occasionally, I use another account to sell second-hand stuff from my house. Because this is just a personal account, I accept that it has a different format when listing things to sell on it in comparison to my shop. However, recently, I have been selling a lot of stuff on eBay and have used up my 20 free listings so I decided to use my husband’s account to do some more selling. Previously he had only ever used his account for buying stuff.
Anyway, my husband’s account has a much more user friendly selling format in comparison to the one I get on my personal account when I sell stuff. I have to wade through complicated stuff such as having to select a “payment policy”, a “postage policy” and a “returns policy”. In contrast, when using my husband’s account, eBay suggests a suitable postage rate, based on what other people sold similar items for, and even suggests a suitable starting bid based on similar items.
I previously thought that everyone’s selling experience on eBay would be the same so I am surprised to discover this difference. I would love to have this nice friendly interface on my account so I was wondering if you knew what causes it and if there is any way to change the settings?”
It is all to do with an eBay umbrella process called Business Policies, the good news is that you can opt out and swap back to the good old way of doing things.
You can opt out by clicking the ‘opt out’ link in the upper right corner of the ‘Manage your business policies’ page:
My eBay > Account > Business policies.
If you opt out, the payment, postage and returns details in your current and scheduled listings won’t be affected.
Be wary though as once I opted out I couldn’t find the link to opt back in, even if I had wanted to.
eBay are threatening that in the future, all sellers will have to use business policies as standard listing practice.
I must admit that I am not a big fan of this approach, let’s hope they never enforce it on us.
If you know where the link is to opt back in please let me know at the usual address.
2. READERS RANT – MANAGED RETURNS
“This policy is a disaster!
I had a CD player returned as the buyer claimed it skipped. I innocently accepted the return and paid the postage. On inspection it was fine and I suspect he had it positioned on the same surface as his speaker and the problem was vibration.
I asked eBay on chat what to do and the rep advised me that I didn’t have to refund the buyer. However the payment was frozen on PayPal and eBay refunded the buyer in full, meaning that I was out of pocket for delivery there and back.
Despite having the chat transcript eBay denied my appeal.
Consequently I will refuse all return claims from now on and insist that the buyer pays return postage, as stated in my returns policy.”
I agree and also accept very few returns directly through the ‘managed returns’ process unless the item is faulty.
This often saves me the return postage and sometimes if the buyer has to pay the return charge they don’t bother, especially for lower priced items over 25mm in thickness.
3. DID YOU KNOW…..
That the ‘Distance Selling Regulations’ were replaced last year with ‘Consumer Contracts Regulations’?
One change which you might not have spotted is that you now only have to refund the basic outbound delivery rate if an item is returned.
You still need to refund the value of the item and the original outbound delivery cost, but now only up to the cheapest standard delivery you offer.
This means is that if a buyer chooses to upgrade to a more expensive delivery option and then they decide to return the goods, you DON’T have to refund the full amount.
If you sell a product for £8 with a £3.80 shipping cost and you also offer 1st class delivery for an additional £1.00 and your customer decides to pay extra for that but then wants to return the order, you only have to refund £11.80 (i.e. £8 plus the standard shipping cost of £3.80).
4. ASK MOLLY – SHOULD THE GSP RATE OVERRIDE ALL OTHERS?
I’m trying to combine the gsp (Global Shipping Program) with listings whilst also offering the option of international rates for countries not covered by gsp. I assumed ticking the box for additional postage options for countries not covered by gsp & setting a worldwide flat rate would do this, but it seems to then remove the gsp option.
For example, on one of my listings to Australia GSP is cheaper for the customer. If I then add the additional international option, and save the form (obviously still ticking the box to use gsp) then when I look at the listing the gsp price is gone & replaced with the higher worldwide option I’ve set despite gsp being cheaper.
Have you come across this? I’ve done various searches on eBay Help & Google, but can’t find any mention of the subject.”
Yes, I have been tinkering with my postage rates for some time. You are right if you add in a direct rate it will override the GSP even if that is cheaper. If you apply a worldwide rate then the GSP will be removed totally.
The solution, which is a bit painful, is to pick and choose up to four countries or zones for which your direct rate is cheaper. This will then be selected by eBay whether it be higher or lower than the GSP rate, but will leave the GSP charge in place for all other counties / zones.
The system offers little flexibility at the moment with only Asia, N & S America, Europe and Greece able to be selected from the direct country selection. For Asia, N & S America and Europe you would also need to amend your ‘excluded postage locations’ form to pick ‘n’ mix the countries you want to trade with.
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.
Policy change at HQ this week as the number of stolen parcels reaches an all-time high. Molly will now record every package with a value of £25 and over, previously £30.
It is becoming a real problem, especially with turnover at such a low level. The loss of a £25 item wipes out the profit on quite a few other sales and of course you know my thoughts about claiming back from the Royal Mail – painful and unlikely to succeed.
One has to ponder why with so many going missing that only a fraction ever get returned to HQ, maybe they roll off the table and hide underneath in a dark corner.
Author of the bestselling title, The eBay Business Handbook, available direct from the publisher Harriman House.
– NEWSLETTER ADMIN –
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