Topics in this issue:
- Molly HQ news – No more VAT.
- Reader’s rant – Returns policy – forget it!
- New postage charges.
- Ask Molly – Is this a scam?
Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of The eBay UK Bulletin.
The big news at HQ over the past week is the decision to withdraw from the world of VAT. I know that George was counting on my quarterly returns to meet his budget commitments but I’m afraid I can no longer oblige. More on this later in the bulletin.
Also in this week’s edition I have included a piece on the imminent price hike at Royal Mail and a reader’s thoughts on the returns policy. Time to put the kettle on.
[For admin details for this newsletter, please scroll down to the end.]
1. MOLLY HQ NEWS – NO MORE VAT
I did say way back in December that I was considering de-registering from VAT and now the deed has been done and I am no longer a member of that illustrious club.
Molly’s cosmetic turnover has been falling for a while, it is a very competitive marketplace and prices have dropped significantly over the past year, so even the flat rate vat of 8% was beginning to hurt.
As I am now restricted to a turnover of £80,000 pa I get to shut the shop for around a week each month. Given my advancing years this will make a nice change, I might even take up golf.
A reduced turnover means that the reduction in seller discounts from 15% to 10% will have less impact and I can also sell smaller value items in larger volumes to reduce spending on postage. Single items do sell quicker but as I can now hang on for the bigger sale savings can also be made on PayPal fees, bubble bags, and time.
I will see how things progress and of course let you know if all goes well.
If you would like to comment please feel free to let me know at the usual address.
2. READER’S RANT – RETURNS POLICY, FORGET IT!
Having just read your latest bulletin, I would say to the hat seller that there is no point worrying about the wording of his returns policy as nobody will read it anyway.
It seems to me that most eBay buyers shop by the picture alone and don’t even scroll down to the description, let alone any further. I shout “Read the **** description” most days before politely replying to a query that wouldn’t have been necessary if they had read the description.
I have even considered writing things in red block capitals but it will make no difference if people don’t actually scroll down. Instead I have a file of standard replies and I just copy and paste the appropriate one into the reply box.
I have also discovered that a significant number of people use an email address for their PayPal payments that they don’t otherwise look at so it’s best to use eBay’s messaging system for communication rather than emailing someone at their PaypPl email address.
Thanks for allowing me to let off steam.”
If you have completely given up writing descriptions please let me know at the usual address.
3. New postage charges
It is that time of year when the Royal Mail raise postage charges so it is also time to ensure you are getting the best value for your money.
You can find the full price guide for over the counter and stamps online. Business users will have to check their chosen method for up-to-date info.
One interesting fact which came to light during a Molly postal ‘drains up’ was that a standard parcel sent recorded using the Business OBA code of CRL costs £3.80 whereas a Hermes delivery costs £2.78 (parcel shop) and is tracked. If my standard CRL rate is £2.45 for normal delivery and the recorded option costs an additional £1.10 in the real world, why does it jump to £3.80 using OBA? Molly has switched all recorded parcels back to Hermes.
I am pleased to see that the Royal Mail is introducing a ‘large letter’ rate for international packets which makes quite a difference for items up to 100 grams, with smaller savings in other bands. I am not sending very many things overseas directly at the moment but if you do it is worth taking note of the new service.
As part of a major overhaul of Molly’s cosmetic business, items over 2.5cm in width are now being sent in multiples to cut down on postage costs. This is resulting in fewer sales but slightly higher margins and of course less packing – I still hate packing.
4. ASK MOLLY – IS THIS A SCAM?
I have received a note which purports to be from eBay stating that I have a return request. It looks very convincing, but I can find nothing in my returns folder.”
This is a section from the ‘returns request’ e-mail
One of your buyers has requested a return on an item you sold. Please visit your Returns Dashboard as soon as possible to resolve this issue.
It’s important to find a solution with your buyer within 8 days of the request being made. To ensure the quickest resolution and the best experience for your buyer, we recommend accepting the return.
In case you don’t know where to find details of any returns, the link is in your ‘My eBay’ down the left side in the ‘Selling’ section. Never click on a link within an e-mail. Check within your eBay account to see if you have an open return active and also check if the e-mail is in your messages folder.
eBay have experienced a number of glitches lately and it seems some rogue e-mails have been sent or delivered so late that they appear to be scams but in fact relate to an event in the distant past. The bottom line is to check, don’t click and you won’t go wrong.
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 will be cake all round at HQ soon as as the anniversary of Molly leaving full-time paid employment looms. It is almost a decade since that fateful day when my expense account was suspended and the company car was taken away.
Thankfully I froze my pension and can take it as cash in a few short years, thanks George.
Author of the bestselling title, The eBay Business Handbook, available direct from the publisher Harriman House.
– 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.
You can find out more about me and read previous editions of this newsletter on the Harriman House Intelligence website.