Topics in this issue:
1. eBay 101 – Buying feedback
2. Luxury brands, if only
3. Royal Mail Parcels
4. Ask Molly – Why don’t you sell internationally?
Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of The eBay UK Bulletin.
Hurray, it’s 1 March and Molly is back. Thanks to restrictive VAT rules in the UK poor old Molly had to virtually shut up shop for two months.
The good news is that almost all other outstanding projects were finished during this time so the focus is very much on eBay.
In this bulletin some advice on how to buy feedback and boost your score, also the Royal Mail are set to cut prices. Hang on there, I was reading the wrong section. Royal mail to raise prices. Yes, that’s it.
For details of this newsletter, please scroll down to the end.
1. EBAY 101 – BUYING FEEDBACK
I sell mainly low-value items on eBay through my shop on a buy it now for 0.99p + 60p p&p.
My eBay selling manager is set up to give automatic feed back upon payment.
I am getting a lot of sales from buyers with very low eBay feedback albeit I am giving them 100%.
I guess I am being used for them to get feedback for a low cost purchase.
Whilst I am getting positive feedback in return from most and indeed getting their feedback before I even send their purchases out.
I would also point out that some of the purchases I am sending out are coming back either gone away or not known at this address.
I make a very little on these sales so don’t mind doing them but am I open to any kind of scam.”
This has been happening for years, in the good old days when there was no 99p minimum sellers used to ‘sell’ nothing for a penny just to boost their feedback and that of the buyer. It will carry on as a higher feedback score is good for all sellers, be they honest or dishonest.
I can’t see you being exposed to a scam in any way, just one of those odd things about the site and how it works.
Feedback manipulation policy – http://pages.ebay.co.uk/help/policies/feedback-manipulation.html
2. LUXURY BRANDS, IF ONLY
With reference to the champagne part of your last bulletin the other reason may be the ban on selling anything from the French company LVMH. It seems that if you list anything from this company with worldwide postage (which of course would then include France) you get the snotty-gram from eBay. If you just list for sale in the UK you’re okay.”
‘Supporttechservices’ – http://myworld.ebay.co.uk/supporttechservices
This is quite an interesting point, not one I am directly involved with as I don’t come into contact with many items from LVMH (Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton) but the whole issue surrounding copyright and intellectual property is a worry.
Following on from my recent run in with L’Oreal which I contested and won a small, hollow, victory it does bring home how vulnerable sellers are to the whims of a large company. In readiness for the new selling season I am heavily stocked and would be somewhat troubled if Estee Lauder placed a ban on eBay sales of its products. The lesson is not to take the future for granted and manage stock levels.
Back to LVMH, their portfolio does make interesting reading as it includes Benefit makeup, Givenchy, Kenzo, Guerlain – http://www.lvmh.com/the-group/lvmh-companies-and-brands. If you have a stack of these brands and are looking to sell them, beware.
Check out the full list of companies with a policy on ebay – http://pages.ebay.co.uk/vero/participants.html
Regarding the champagne, still available I understand.
3. ROYAL MAIL PARCELS
Let’s start with the good news, domestic letter rates are not changing. The world of parcels is being changed; some win and some lose.
As of 2 April there will be three options for domestic parcels: ‘Guaranteed’, ‘Tracked’, and ‘Standard’. The first two replace the old ‘Special Delivery’ and ‘Recorded Delivery’, fairly straightforward. It is the standard option is being changed.
The first thing to note is the weight bracket of ‘up to 750 grams’ is being removed, the entry level is now one kilo and below. Just to make things more interesting there are to be two different size of parcels, small and medium.
Small Parcel; size up to:
Length – 45cm
Width – 35cm
Depth – 8cm
There are a few exemptions:
The following items are also priced as Small Parcels:
Parcels that measure up to and including:
- Length: 16cm
- Width: 16cm
- Depth: 16cm
Roll or cylinder shaped parcels that measure up to and including:
- Length: 45cm
- Diameter: 8cm
Roll or cylinder shaped parcels larger than these sizes can be posted as Medium Parcels up to and including 90cm in length and up to and including 104cm (length plus twice the diameter).
Medium parcel; size up to:
- Length: 61cm
- Width: 46cm
- Depth: 46cm
Second class small parcel is £2.60 up to 1 kilo and £5.60 up to 2 kilos.
Second class medium parcel starts at £5.20 rising to £27.70 for 20 kilos.
Interesting point here: a 15 kilo medium parcel with Royal Mail will cost £27.70; a 15 kilo parcel collected by myHermes will cost £9.60 and be tracked and insured up to £25.
It will take a while to work out all the detail but on the face of it we will lose on parcels under 750 grams and save money on parcels between 750 grams and one kilo. Small parcels under one kilo will now switch back to the Royal Mail as my Hermes is currently £3.30.
I still have to work my way through the PPI rates but I suspect sending lightweight items over 25mm will become less cost effective (again) and so grouping of products into larger volumes will be the order of the day.
4. ASK MOLLY – WHY DON’T YOU SELL INTERNATIONALLY?
I am wondering why you do not offer international shipping, did it go wrong?
As in your book you prefer the international market.
Is this because of the high price of International signed for? Currently it is over £8 to £9, which what forced me to go for normal Airmail shipping.”
There are two reasons why I no longer offer international shipping from my main account. The first was the number of losses was creeping up and as items were not insured I had to absorb the loss.
The main reason however is that I am restricted to a level of turnover by my VAT scheme. This has just increased as I enter my second year but I can still achieve this without having to sell overseas.
If I did make a sale outside of the UK and charged shipping then I would have to pay VAT on that shipping income as it is treated as part of the turnover figure.
The ‘ISF’ charge would make a big difference to turnover and of course there would be even more VAT to pay if I were to charge the higher shipping charge.
Things may change in the future but for now I’m UK only.
If you have a question about eBay or home working in general, please send it to: firstname.lastname@example.org – I will reply personally to every e-mail I receive and remember, there are FREE copies of my book available for the best questions, tips, or stories.
That’s all for this week. Check out www.ebaybulletin.co.uk for the latest news from Molly HQ.
Whilst browsing around for a few plumbing spares I chanced upon this listing for pipe and fittings. It is a reminder to all about the importance of sppeelling correctly.
Mind you the listing received 4 bids and sold for £75, could it have been more?
“john guest speed fit elbows tees strates and pipe 15mm”
Best wishes and happy eBaying
Author of the bestselling title, ‘The eBay Business Handbook’ – available direct from the publishers: www.harriman-house.com/ebaybusiness
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