Topics in this issue:
- eBay 101 – Product identifiers.
- Deleting old listings.
- eBay spoof e-mail.
- Ask Molly – Is it really worth chasing seller discounts?
Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of The eBay UK Bulletin.
A great day at HQ as the accounts were delivered to the accountant on time and with all bank accounts reconciled. Obviously there will be something else wrong but at least I am over the first hurdle.
In the bulletin this week, a little more on ‘product identifiers’ and my thoughts about the reduced seller discounts.
[For admin details for this newsletter, please scroll down to the end.]
1. EBAY 101 – PRODUCT IDENTIFIERS
As the 29 June deadline for inclusion of product identifiers looms large I thought it would be a blast to start getting to grips with some of the terminology.
This new ruling is for business sellers who have branded items or items which carry a manufacturer’s identifier code.
The option to include a bar code has been around for a while although little used at HQ as it takes so long to type in the number and Molly’s eyes are not what they were to read the small print. This will now become mandatory for all applicable items.
The eBay blurb:
Product identifiers are unique codes typically found on labels or barcodes. They help retailers keep track of and manage their stock.
Some common examples are:
- Brand: This is to specify that the item was made by a particular manufacturer.
- Global Trade Item Number (GTIN): This is a bar code assigned to most retail products. It includes European Article Number (EAN) and International Standard Book Number (ISBN).
- Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): A random number that, in combination with the brand, uniquely identifies a product. Manufacturers use these numbers to manage their product inventory and product lines.
This is fine with cosmetics but not so easy on a bag of used Lego, thankfully there will be a ‘not applicable’ option and eBay will highlight the fields that need to be completed.
On the positive side the use of bar codes does make it more likely that you will pick up custom from external search engines. A bit of a pain to begin with but rewarding in the longer term – probably.
For the full story check the eBay help page
2. DELETING OLD LISTINGS
Having a little time on my hands I decided to tidy up some of my older listings and revise / remove those without any recent sales.
eBay do have a sort option in ‘Selling manager Pro’ which shows those listings without a sale in the last 16 months: Select the ‘without a recent sale’ option from the ‘status’ menu – so far so good.
The next challenge was to overcome the glitch which for some unknown reason was stopping me from deleting unwanted listings, just a never ending loop asking for sign in confirmation – I wish I hadn’t started this job.
If you too are struggling with this loop then clearing your cookies could be the answer or alternatively use this address and enter the item number at the end:
I did have 26 of these, 23 are now destined for the boot sale pile and the remaining three have revised prices. Some good news though as eBay have abandoned their plans to charge an extra 10p per listing for items unsold after 18 months, so I have saved 30p.
If these remaining listings still have no sales in a few months then the only remaining option is to cancel and re-list – must clear out my cookies first though.
3. EBAY SPOOF E-MAIL
I have seen this spoof e-mail before but it seems to be doing the rounds again and is worth highlighting. This one is good as it includes both your eBay ID and registered email address.
I have copied most of the pertinent points below, if you see anything along these lines just delete and forget. If you have been suspended from eBay you would soon find out when you tried to log in. Never log in of course via a link in an e-mail.
eBay sent this message to mollybol (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Your registered name is included to show this message originated from eBay.
A2554 Notice : eBay Registration Suspension – Section 9 – mollybol
We are writing to alert you that your eBay account has been suspended, because your credit/debit card company declined eBay’s attempt to verify your registration information that we have on file.
Per the User Agreement, Section 9, we may immediately issue a warning, temporarily suspend, indefinitely suspend or terminate your membership and refuse to provide our services to you if we believe that your actions may cause financial loss or legal liability for you, our users or us.
To remove any limitations, you are required to confirm your eBay registration by following the link below :
Click here to confirm your registration
Due to the suspension of this account, please be advised you are prohibited from using eBay in any way until you confirm your registration.
Please note that this will also affect the ability to sell or bid on items.
This includes registering a new account.
eBay Safeharbor Department SD5
If you spot a spoof e-mail please send it to me at the usual address
4. ASK MOLLY – IS IT REALLY WORTH CHASING SELLER DISCOUNTS?
I notice that my seller discounts have dropped to 10%.
Is really worth all the hassle for what is a vastly reduced discount rate?”
I too spotted this change and although it was expected it was still a sad day at HQ.
There is of course no quick answer to what is a short question as every seller will have their own view and will place their own value on the discount.
This reduction will cost me around £1,000 per year – ouch – but the discount still equates to a saving of £2,000 and so is most welcome. The criteria for the discount are:
- same-day or 1-day dispatch time
- a 14-day-or-better returns policy
- a free delivery option
- an express delivery option.
These I can meet with very little effort and my feedback / stars are holding up with a defect rate of 0.36% (almost all for items not received) so I will accept the 10% discount for as long as eBay continue to pay it.
Looking to the future and life without PayPal I wonder if eBay profits will allow any discount at all. Would I alter my selling technique if there were no discount? Probably not, so I expect the downward trend to continue.
My opinion is that you should offer great service, try to manage your defect rate and if you happen to qualify for a discount then it’s coffees all round, but don’t rely on discounts in the future.
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.
Not much joy so far at the local car boot sales. I had hoped that by now the shed would be bulging at the seems with stock, especially toys salted away for Christmas. Alas there doesn’t seem to be the choice this year.
A few good items have found their way into HQ but overall not as good as last year. If you are a booter how are you faring?
Author of the bestselling title, The eBay Business Handbook, available direct from the publisher Harriman House.
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