Topics in this issue:
- eBay / Amazon – thoughts.
- The eBay mobile app.
- Courier choice.
- Ask Molly – Do I still have to pay the fees?
Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of The eBay UK Bulletin.
I discovered almost by accident this week that the Royal Mail has introduced a ‘large letter’ rate for international shipments. The cost of sending a Lego figure into Europe has now dropped to £1.52. Not too much bubble wrap. If you sell Lego figures then check it out.
In this week’s bulletin not one but two requests for your help. Needed are your thoughts on Amazon trading and eBay fees relating to fraud. Read on for more on these.
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1. EBAY / AMAZON THOUGHTS
“Hi Molly, Just a quick question. Is it profitable to sell on Amazon alongside eBay and how easy is it to incorporate?”
Yes, I think it has to be. I am a bit odd in that I have enough turnover from eBay alone so never had to go down the Amazon route.
Many sellers use both sites and it seems to work very well. Amazon do have some special rules about what postage can be charged and the fee structure is different, but as an extra route to market it has to be worth a go.
I use Amazon occasionally to sell surplus books as I still see the site as predominately for books, but the Elves buy loads from Amazon, especially tech stuff that I don’t understand.
I am not sure to what extent the two sites can be incorporated, I think payment is still made by bank transfer, for example, but it has been a while since I sold anything.
If any readers wish to pass on their experiences please let me know at the usual address.
2. THE EBAY MOBILE APP
I would like to add to your email from Hazels-Homegrown about buyers reading item descriptions. If you use the app, the description does not show unless you click on the link to take you to the description. Therefore using more data. So reading the title and seeing a picture costs less in data usage and time waiting for it to load. Also on the app (its C…P really!!) you cannot input quantity and do not get the discounts available on Promotions Manager. So the app has so many downsides, yet eBay reckon more people are using it rather than the main site.
I have been talking to eBay about having the ‘Buy It Now’ button removed or having it as a choice for sellers to opt into. I think the basket facility is more appropriate for some purchases, i.e. I understand the need for BIN button on a bed… how many do you buy at once? But for party items, most people buy more that one quantity and usually a few items too, i.e. party bags, tableware and favours. My customers change their minds once they have committed, input wrong quantities as they continuously hit BIN button to get the right quantity. At least only having the basket they could confirm what they want to purchase before committing.
I don’t know how many people use Promotions Manager but I do to give postage discounts on free post items, e.g. crepe streamers have to go as a parcel, due to size and because of the weights of parcel I can post several under the one postage price. Therefore I offer promotion discounts to encourage my customer to buy more and save at the same time.”
3. COURIER CHOICE
You seem very keen on myHermes, are they paying you a back hander
They may be good for very small items, but for larger items I can’t fault UPS drop at store, booked via www.interparcel.com. Up to 18 kilos and 58 x 49 x 35cm with free £50 insurance for £7.79. Next day delivery to Scotland and Cornwall. Takes a lot of beating. myHermes usually take 4-5 days, sort their parcels in the rain and use previously inexperienced drivers who drop and throw parcels. I once parked opposite their premises and watched.
Funny you should say that, I used to get a 10% discount from myHermes when I had a pal in the marketing dept, and I was invited to race days, etc., but alas he moved on so nothing doing now.
I think the biggest parcel I send would just tip over the one kilo mark but most are sub 1 kilo (£2.78). Touch wood so far I have not had a problem, although saying that most items are toys and fairly tough so would survive a good kicking. I do like the ease of use to order the service and the tracking facility myHermes offers, but if it didn’t cost in I’d drop them straight away.
4. ASK MOLLY – DO I STILL HAVE TO PAY THE FEES?
I’m hoping you can help me.
My eBay account was hacked in January, as I haven’t been active on my account since 2012 I wasn’t aware of the problem until early February when I began receiving emails to my home account about goods purchased but not received.
I contacted eBay and advised them of the issue. I have done as they advised and forwarded all email to eBay spoof address, reviewed the personal details removing the Chinese characters that had been entered in my contact details including billing address and changed my password.
However, this had not ended the matter as I have now been billed for selling fees and eBay money return payment. I have lost count of the times I have contacted eBay departments, spending hours on the phone, been put through to wrong departments. I have even tried answering their emails with return emails advising that I would not be paying these invoices amounting to £129.79 and giving my reasons, but to no avail.
So to get to the main point of this email do you or any of your readers know of a telephone number or address where I can make contact with someone who can really help me and resolve this problem?”
Tricky, if the eBay customer support centre won’t write off the seller fees then it could be an uphill struggle. I am trying to determine a definite answer to this issue buts it seems they address each occurrence on an individual basis. If anybody reading this has a thought please let me know.
On a general note, protecting your account is the first line of defence. Check out the eBay safety centre for some pointers on the subject.
If you are a victim of online fraud be sure to report it to the police fraud website. It may not help you directly but may assist the authorities in the future.
If you have any experience of eBay or PayPal fraud please send it to me at the usual address and I’ll warn other readers in a future bulletin.
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 –
Check out Harriman Intelligence for the latest news from Molly HQ.
That’s it for a couple of weeks, Molly is off on hols and without any Elves for a change so cheaper lunches. I’ll keep an eye on eBay of course and open up the shops in good time for those early sales.
Please do keep your thoughts coming, I’ll slip away from the holiday and access e-mail when I can.
Author of the bestselling title, The eBay Business Handbook, available direct from the publisher Harriman House.
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