Topics in this issue:
- eBay 101 – GSP – A few thoughts.
- Readers rant – Impatient buyers.
- VAT missing on invoice.
- Ask Molly – Is £10k pa possible?
Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of The eBay UK Bulletin.
Still not much happening at Molly HQ, the Elves have almost finished the last tin of chocolates and those odd shaped biscuits that nobody wanted. On the eBay front, turnover is about the same as January last year as we wait for payday to arrive.
In this issue a few thoughts on the ‘Global Shipping Program’ and how to exploit it and another word of caution about getting rich quick.
[For admin details for this newsletter, please scroll down to the end.]
1. EBAY 101 – GSP – A FEW THOUGHTS
With quite a few sales being made via the ‘Global Shipping Program’ I am beginning to find my way around the process and have spotted a couple of opportunities which you may wish to exploit.
But first my experience with an undelivered parcel in Belgium. This has so far been my only problem with deliveries overseas. If you have an issue like this just access the sales record and you should see a tracking number like this: ‘Multiple carriers Tracking #: UPBAA000760048070158′. This means that your item was received at South Normanton and shipped out of the UK.
Click on that reference number and you should see a page with another reference number: “This post has been transferred to WNDirect for delivery to the final destination # 3SAURR6067015″. Click on this new number and you will be able to see where your parcel is. In my case it was, and probably still is, awaiting collection somewhere in Belgium.
You may be able to use the GSP to sell items overseas that you would not be able to send directly. An example could be nail varnish which I cannot ship outside of the UK but can send domestically using a special label. I would imagine that quite a lot of nail varnish is made outside of the UK so there must be a way of bringing it into the country, maybe shipped by sea. The GSP may well have this license or arrangement so if you can get it to Derbyshire then they can ship it onwards.
None of my nail varnishes are competitively priced for overseas buyers to want them anyway, but the theory should be sound, if you have any thoughts on this, please let me know.
One thing you can do with the GSP is make additional sales to a buyer and entice them with no additional shipping charges. As long as they make one purchase with the GSP you can sell further items and include them in the same package. Ensure that you remove the GSP option from the second item, add in a direct shipping charge to dissuade other buyers and then remove it at the invoice stage.
Found a wrinkle in the system? Please let me know at the usual address.
2. READERS RANT – IMPATIENT BUYERS
“It was nice to read in your bulletin that eBay does sometimes remove negative feedback. I notice too that they send me an email every now and then to tell me how they have been protecting me this month by doing things such as blocking “where is my item” type requests that are too early and adjusting my star ratings.
You can tell I read these emails thoroughly! Anyway, I received a negative feedback over the Christmas period from a woman whose item never arrived in the post. When she first told me that she hadn’t received her order, I redid it for her and sent it again. A while later she contacted me to say it still hadn’t arrived so I figured there wasn’t much point sending another if it wasn’t getting through to her.
Instead, I asked her to check with her family and neighbours to see if it had been delivered without her knowing and to check at her local office to see if she had any parcels that needed collecting.
She said she would do this and then promptly went on to eBay and left me negative feedback. Clearly I was annoyed by this so went into the link on eBay about getting feedback removed. ‘Because the customer is an idiot’ isn’t one of the options to select for why the feedback should be removed so I found one that was nearly appropriate and explained my tale like I have here.
Several weeks on and the feedback is still there so obviously nothing is going to be done about it. So, next time I shall try the online chat thing and see if that has a better outcome.”
I trust this buyer is now on your blocked bidder list.
I never send a replacement item if one is stolen en route. I say stolen because they don’t get lost, they do not slip behind a cupboard or roll under a table, somebody pockets them. If one of my items is ‘lost’ (I still have a dozen or so each week that go this way) then I refund as required and block the buyer. If they pinched it then I don’t want to deal with them again and if there is a problem somewhere in the system then I don’t want to send another item into the same black hole.
However, I must temper this with the fact that I am a little odd in that I have enough customers and can afford to lose a few along the way.
3. VAT MISSING ON INVOICE
I have just checked my January invoice for a minor eBay ID and can find no mention of VAT anywhere. On the face of it my fees have gone down by the equivalent of the 15% VAT rate in Luxembourg.
Whilst I am very pleased with this I cannot believe that George will let this go.
How are your fees?
4. ASK MOLLY – IS £10K pa POSSIBLE?
I have only bought and sold a few things on eBay (feedback is a grand total of 22). I would really like to earn a living from an eBay business. I am in the jewellery trade and have been all my working life, so it is all I know, so ideally I’m thinking of selling men’s watches and possibly cufflinks and ties.
I have your book and you mention eSources. I looked at them to try to do some research and now they keep emailing me offering websites for life and a guaranteed income of at least £10,000.
I would appreciate your thoughts on this, is it for real?”
Good question, I do like eSources, but as with all things you must be a little wary. If it was that easy to make £10k pa then everybody would be doing it. There is no doubt that it can be done, even with all the hurdles that an eBay seller must overcome. But it takes hard work, especially in the beginning.
The jewellery sector does seem very competitive, it is not a place I often frequent but just searching for ‘mens cuff links’ brings up 97,000 active listings, so it won’t be an easy task to take on the established sellers. There are quite a few ideas and tips in the book and of course back issues of ‘the eBay bulletin’ might help.
I would certainly give it a go as you risk only a few pounds in fees and your time. As in all sectors there are niches which can be developed and with all your experience you should be able to spot one or two. In my own world I spotted a need for retro electrical fuses for the installation of solar panels, showers and split lighting circuits, this evolved into a very nice business selling old circuit breakers, they sell all year round and provide a steady income.
Back to the promise of £10k pa, I would ignore that, focus on your own abilities, start in a small way and remember my motto is ‘get rich slowly’.
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.
I received a great PayPal spoof e-mail this week suggesting that I had sent a payment of £423.38 to ‘PENGUIN UNITED KINGDOM PTY LTD.’
Now don’t get me wrong I love penguins and they are one of my favourite charities so the note struck a chord but I wonder just what kind of hit rate they were expecting with this particular topic. Surely a spoof along the lines of ‘you sent money to Amazon’ or ‘British Gas’ might hook a few more readers.
The scammers do seem to be clutching at straws but to be sure I am just off to check my penguin contribution account in case there is a discrepancy.
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.