Topics in this issue:
- eBay 101 – Category upheaval.
- PayPal – logged out?
- One for your blocked bidder list.
- Ask Molly: How much do they pay?
Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of The eBay UK Bulletin.
At last it seems that buyers are turning to eBay for their Christmas presents as activity at HQ has almost doubled. Smoke detectors are particularly popular as they can be for either boys or girls.
In this edition a quick overview on PayPal security and a heads up on the recent category changes which might account for your poor sales.
[For admin details for this newsletter, please scroll down to the end.]
1. EBAY 101 – CATEGORY UPHEAVAL
Have you noticed your sales tailing off recently but can’t work out why? Well you may have fallen foul of the recent change to search results which now predicts which category your item will be in and shows results in that category only.
This one caught Molly out in several different markets primarily due to lazy listing and not selecting the right category to begin with. When search results are displayed from ‘all categories’ it doesn’t really matter but now in some cases eBay will predict where the item should be and alter the displayed results accordingly.
Check this out for yourself by searching for your own items. You may think that just putting the item into the relevant category would cure the problem but if eBay decide that they will display results from a different category then it may still not appear.
The solution is to search for the item before listing, see which category eBay expect to see it in and then proceed accordingly.
This has proved to be a big headache at HQ with many hours lost changing categories and in the run up to Christmas the Elves should be adding new items, not going over old ground.
Any thoughts on this then please let me know at the usual address.
2. PAYPAL – LOGGED OUT?
An interesting e-mail arrived at HQ this week from tortchyboy concerning the somewhat controversial habit of staying logged into PayPal whilst making several purchases. I have this option activated as I tend to order all my Hermes parcels at the same time but pay and print labels as I go. However, this is not necessarily a good thing.
You can check your own position on this and turn off the option if you wish by following the steps below:
- Log in to your PayPal account (not via an e-mail link).
- Go to Profile.
- Click Security.
- Click Stay logged in for faster purchases.
- Click Log Out Everywhere.
If you use a ‘shared’ device or have a tendency to leave your desk or tablet unattended then switch it off.
There are quite a few PayPal spoofs doing the rounds at the moment so I thought that now would be a good time to revisit some security points using paypal’s own words.
PayPal Will Always:
- Address customers by their first and last name or business name of their PayPal account
PayPal Will Never:
- Send an email to: “Undisclosed Recipients” or more than one email address
- Ask you to download a form or file to resolve an issue.
- Ask in an email to verify an account using Personal Information such as Name, Date of Birth, Driver’s License, or Address.
- Ask in an email to verify an account using Bank Account Information such as Bank Name, Routing Number, or Bank Account PIN Number
- Ask in an email to verify an account using Credit Card Information such as Credit Card Number or Type, Expiration Date, ATM PIN Number, or CVV2 Security Code.
- Ask for your full credit card number without displaying the type of card and the last two digits.
- Ask you for your full bank account number without displaying your bank name, type of account (Checking/Savings) and the last two digits.
- Ask you for your security question answers without displaying each security question you created
- Ask you to ship an item, pay a shipping fee, send a Western Union Money Transfer, or provide a tracking number before the payment received is available in your transaction history.
Any time you receive an email about changes to your PayPal account, the safest way to confirm the email’s validity is to log in to your PayPal account where any of the activity reported in the email will be available to view.
Please keep your thoughts on spoof e-mails coming.
3. ONE FOR YOUR BLOCKED BIDDER LIST
Regular readers will know that I do love my ‘blocked bidder list’ with additions being made on a regular basis. My current pet hate is those guys who make a £2 offer on a £30 item – straight onto the BBL they go, although I leave the offer open as it might attract a better offer from somebody else.
This warning and nomination for inclusion arrived at HQ:
If you have some time to spare, do just take a glance at this eBay member’s feedback – myrskylehto – left for others. They seem to delight in being abusive and negative. As I was on the receiving end some time ago, I reported them to eBay – who made no response.”
I’ve since moved on, and put it behind me, but you might want to warn others to look out for this character.”
Thanks for the warning. This poor guy is so unlucky to have so many trades go wrong when they only buy a handful of items each year.
4. ASK MOLLY – HOW MUCH DO THEY PAY?
I’ve just been glancing down my feedback and have come across one from a buyer in Spain who used eBay’s global postal service when they bought from me.
Although it is positive feedback, it does say in the comments that the postage was very expensive.
What I find weird is that I have no idea what they were charged for international postage or at what point in the transaction they became aware of the additional postage charge. All I’m aware of is that they paid me the usual going rate as if it were a UK buyer, in which postage is advertised as free.
International sales are not a huge part of my businesses but it does make me feel uneasy that the cost of the postage and the communication with the seller about it is taken out of my hands and yet they can still leave me feedback regarding that aspect of the service.
Is there are way of finding out the shipping amount they will pay?”
You can check what the global shipping programme will charge: go to the item and the ‘postage and payments’ tab. Change country to…. and click get rates. Scroll back up a bit and the ‘International Priority Shipping’ will be shown.
Quite how they arrive at this figure I am not sure as it doesn’t seem to relate to the weight of the item.
If your overseas buyer purchases more then one item you will not be able to offer a postage discount under the GSP. However you can get round this by amending the second item slightly, removing the GSP and entering your own shipping costs. When your buyer purchases you will now be able to send an invoice, remove the shipping charge and put the second item in the same box as the first.
Your buyer will have to pay twice which is a pain but you do get a second trade.
eBay probably have mixed feelings about this cheat as on one hand they lose out on a second shipping fee but on the other they pick up fees from the second sale which may not have taken place but for the cheaper shipping.
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.
Time does seem to be running away at the moment with hardly a spare moment to grab a coffee. I will try to get bulletins to you over the next few weeks in between packing smoke detectors.
Just one final thought concerning the change of PayPal address in a listing. I have noticed this annoying glitch when changing the PayPal ID for smaller value items for which I use a ‘micro’ account.
After making all the changes I get to the PayPal part, change the address and the whole browser drops out. Quite why I am not sure, the simple answer is to continue with the old ID, submit and then revise to change the address.
If you have this problem please let eBay know and hopefully if enough people complain about it they will get it sorted.
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.
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