Topics in this issue:
- eBay 101 – The big blue button.
- The big e-mail problem.
- eBay spoof
- Ask Molly – How can this improve things?
Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of The eBay UK Bulletin.
The school term has started, the streets are almost kid-free and thoughts start to drift towards Christmas. Inventory is the buzz word at HQ, getting as much stuff listed as possible, fingers crossed.
Loads in this week’s bulletin, including the blue button, a solution to sending e-mail address via messages and at last a half decent spoof. It is a riot here sometimes.
[For admin details for this newsletter, please scroll down to the end.]
1. EBAY 101 – THE BIG BLUE BUTTON
It never ceases to amaze me how complicated eBay seem to make the process of linking buyers and sellers together and now they appear to be attempting to disrupt that coupling.
As a buyer & seller on ebay I was alarmed to see a big blue button appear next to an item in my purchase history that I was about to leave feedback for.
I almost clicked on it by accident as it had actually replaced where the ‘leave feedback’ button normally is.
Now it’s one thing to make it easy for buyers to return items, but this seems to be positively dropping the idea in their heads. Even after leaving feedback it’s still there. What bonehead thought this up I wonder?
Have your readers any thoughts about this?”
I have not seen it myself as I’m not the buyer at HQ, there are plenty of Elves in my world to sort that out. The blue button does change its message, none of mine prompt a return but I can imagine how it might catch a buyer’s eye especially if it was an impulse purchase to begin with.
Any thoughts? Please let me know at the usual address.
2. THE BIG E-MAIL PROBLEM
Among the numerous personalised stickers that I sell, I offer photo options. It is a fairly simply concept, requiring the buyer to email me a photo to use. This particular buyer provided me with the personalised message and then asked me how he could get the photo to me. This is, of course, something that I clearly explain in my description. Those who don’t read the description can struggle with this. I have instructions in my FAQ section too but again many do not read this.
Anyway, eBay being eBay, it’s not possible to send a message using their messaging system with my email address in it so I have two choices to get around this.
1) I use the eBay messaging system to tell them that I can’t give them my email address but that they can find it in the description part of the listing (I quite like doing this as it points out that they should have read this in the first place). 2) I email them directly at the email address they used to pay with. This can be troublesome as a surprisingly large number of people use an email address for PayPal that they don’t use for anything else, or that they can’t even access anymore so they don’t see the message waiting for them.
On this occasion, several days went past and I didn’t receive the photo. As they were required for a specific event which has passed I await the buyer’s feedback. Another defect down, in my opinion to the inflexibility of the eBay messaging system.”
This is an interesting point, not one that occurs at Molly HQ very often but when it does I send a picture of my e-mail address as an attachment. Barring any errors whilst copying it the buyer should be able to communicate directly. Note to eBay, don’t worry, Molly is not in the habit of trading off-site.
The other interesting point of your note is the fact that many eBay users do use a different address for their PayPal payments and the one that appears at the top of the ‘sales record’ page may not reach your buyer. I use this address when booking a Hermes courier delivery, they send a dispatch e-mail which of course may not arrive but at least I try and some should get through.
3. EBAY SPOOF
It has been a while since I received a decent spoof so when this one popped up in the in-box I was quite pleased, I even replied thanking them for the input, not sure if they received the reply though.
M087 Notice : eBay Registration Suspension – Section 9
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,/U>
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
It is quite likely that I wouldn’t update my credit card details, I am not very good with detail, so it did cause me to check that I could still access eBay – not via the e-mail link I hasten to add.
As suspected it was just a spoof so off to the trash bin it goes. If you spot a spoof, please forward it to me and I will include it in a future bulletin.
4. ASK MOLLY – HOW CAN THIS IMPROVE THINGS?
I live in France and list on the UK eBay site. Until a week or so ago, all was well and I could change the product location to France or the UK (whichever was appropriate) and list the international shipping costs accordingly.
Then – disaster! eBay made changes and I had to change my postage options and cannot list the shipping for any country other than the UK via the ‘policy’ otherwise it won’t pick it up. It also requires an ‘additional item’ postage cost that seemingly cannot change on the policy despite using the ‘change the policy for this item only’ facility so irrespective of the actual postage cost, the ‘policy’ picks up the original additional cost which might not relate to the item being sold at all. It is a complete nightmare and such as waste of time.
I spent over 2 hours on the helpline with eBay whose solution for me was to list UK delivery prices and put any other country in my product description. This is not really satisfactory and I am tearing my hair out.
Do you know if anyone else has had this problem?
It is a new one to me, I only list on the UK site with items in the UK but I have seen on the discussion boards that this is an issue. So it is over to you dear reader again. For any thoughts you may have on this subject please let me know at the usual address.
I never cease to be amazed at how difficult eBay make it to sell something, no wonder their profits are down.
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.
I had cause to revisit B&Q this week and spotted that the last three electric showers had been reduced to £30 each (see last bulletin for more on this) and with 11 sold so far at £105 I snapped them up. Who said DIY was expensive?
As I right this missive an email arrives from eBay outlining more changes to the ‘seller standards’, a new returns process and a number of other changes. I’ll delve into these a bit more over coffee, but again I wonder at just how complex things are becoming.
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.