The eBay UK Bulletin: Issue 111, 25th September 2008
Topics in this issue:
1. eBay News: Change impact
2. eBay shops – my thoughts so far
3. Just a thought
4. Ask Molly: How can I raise my limit?
Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of The eBay UK Bulletin
It has been another busy few days at Molly HQ and the big news is the opening of ‘The Mollybol Shop’. Perhaps not the most imaginative of names, but you should see the shortlist of logos!
Anybody would think that eBay was undergoing a major change; I can’t see what all the fuss is about and I am sure there is more to come. I have been asked how the new pricing policy can actually save money; ‘Ask Molly’ below gives an insight as to how it will impact on my bottom line.
Shops, shops, shops; that is all I have been thinking about lately, read all about progress so far, it is a mixed bag!
[For details of this newsletter, please scroll down to the end.]
1. EBAY NEWS: CHANGE IMPACT
The big news of the week has to be the refinement of the pricing structure and the changes to eBay shops. For some this will be good news and for others it will mean the end of their eBay shop experience.
eBay shop items listed in what was known as ‘Shop inventory format’ incurred a higher final value fee than those items listed as ‘buy it now’, so the new flat rate of 9.9% FVF won’t have too much impact. The main increase will be the listing fee which will rise from 3p to 20p (basic shop) for a 30 day period. For those items which sell quickly this increase shouldn’t make that much difference, however for unique items such as stamps, coins & books, it could be very costly as they might be in a shop for months. Many of these specialist shops are now shutting and the sellers moving to other web-sites, this is a shame as the appeal of eBay has always been the weird and wonderful things that can be found.
Another change which will impact on all sellers who use fixed price BIN is the removal of the international visibility charge. This must be good news for overseas sales, but now your item will be competing with all the items that were previously in the old shop format – the search results in the US will be clogged with UK items.
The only saving grace I can see for non shop owners is that with the roll out of the new search system to all users, nobody will be able to find anything they are looking for, no matter who is selling it!
New price changes – http://pages.ebay.co.uk/pricechange08/
2. EBAY SHOPS – MY THOUGHTS SO FAR
I have been a long time deliberating the opening of an eBay shop, but now I have taken the plunge and ‘The Mollybol Shop’ is now a reality. I am still designing the layout and as selling always takes priority it is running behind schedule. I have opted for the basic shop for now, this should cost in with 75 BIN listings per month, 200 listings are needed to benefit from a featured shop.
I must admit that the process of opening a shop was very easy with a basic layout up and running in a few minutes. I deliberately opened it a few days early so that I would be ready for the 25th – missed that then! I am a little disappointed that the design only allows for 4 promotion boxes on the shop front page, it does leave the left side looking a little sparse. To address this I have been messing about with the HTML and have created a new promotion area which can be as long as you wish and give the appearance of being separate info boxes, it should look good when finished.
Shop categories are great for navigation and as each item can go into two, additional categories such as ‘stocking fillers under £5′ seem like a no-brainer. I believe that the option to include 30 categories on the left side of every listing may be removed, so to counter this I have redesigned my listing template to include 8 generic category links which will stay no matter what policy eBay decide to adopt.
If you have any tips for us novice shop owners, please e-mail them in to me, always willing to learn new tricks – Mollybol@ebaybulletin.co.uk
3. PAYPAL SPOOF
This spoof arrived in my in-box again during the week; I noticed it particularly as they are no spelling errors! If you do see this one, just delete it and if in any doubt, e-mail me, I’ll be in my eBay shop checking the inventory.
Dear PayPal Customer,
As part of our security measures, we regularly screen activity in the PayPal system.
We recently noticed the following issue on your account:
Your bank has contacted us regarding some attempts of charges from your credit card via the Paypal system. We have reasons to believe that you changed your registration information or that someone else has unauthorized access to your Paypal account Due to recent activity, including possible unauthorized payments placed on your account, we will require a second confirmation of your identity with us in order to allow us to investigate this matter further. Your account is not suspended, but if in 48 hours after you receive this message your account is not confirmed we reserve the right to suspend your Paypal registration. If you received this notice and you are not the authorized account holder, please be aware that it is in violation of Paypal policy to represent oneself as another Paypal user. Such action may also be in violation of local, national, and/or international law.
Paypal is committed to assist law enforcement with any inquires related to attempts to misappropriate personal information with the intent to commit fraud or theft. Information will be provided at the request of law enforcement agencies to ensure that perpetrators are prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
To confirm your identity with us click here:
Case ID Number: PP-791-951-730
After responding to the message, we ask that you allow at least 72 hours for the case to be investigated. Emailing us before that time will result in delays. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause you and we would like to thank you for your cooperation as we review this matter.
PayPal Account Review Department
eBay and Paypal NEVER ask you to log in via a link in an e-mail. Please keep them coming Mollybol@ebaybulletin.co.uk
4. ASK MOLLY: HOW CAN I SAVE MONEY WITH A SHOP?
Change can bad news for some and welcomed by others, Branston making baked beans for example – very nice; prawn cocktail crisps – disaster. So it is with the new eBay prices, some sellers will benefit and some won’t.
This question arrived at HQ from ‘llantwitdarbs’ – http://shop.ebay.co.uk/merchant/llantwitdarbs
You mentioned in a recent newsletter that Ebay’s price changes
would actually save you money and you may open a shop.
With so many people complaining about the new pricing could you please
explain this? Again thanks for your time and advice in the past.”
The new BIN pricing lends itself to multiple listings, 5 bottles of perfume at £30 each would have cost £1.90 to list, with my new shop this will drop to 20p. The FVF will rise to 9.9%, but at least 20% will be refunded to business registered sellers.
With 100 BIN listings running, most with multiple items, the shop costs in and also offers the ‘good ’til cancelled’ option which will help my inventory management no end. The shop listings will also now appear higher up in search results so more sales should result.
A big saving under the new pricing is the free gallery which is great news.
I don’t use any of the other listing upgrades, so no worries about them. The removal of the international visibility charge of up to 15p per listing will also save me money on around half my listings.
I currently have around a 60% unsold item ratio, all those listing fees lost!
I will now pay £20 a month for my 100 listings; these yield sales of
approx £3,000, costing £300 in FVFs, but attract a 25% refund of £75. Total
eBay fees should be £245.
Under the old scheme, my listing fees for the same 100 listings and £3,000
sales would have been £190 listing & £168 FVFs (after refund) – £358.
Allowing for fluctuations, bad maths, lower sale prices etc, I should be
around £50 per month better off, plus the free gallery.
My other IDs which sell single items, will be worse off, I will have to
monitor them and see how best to trade. Auctions might be a better bet with a
smaller FVF and cheaper listing fee for cheaper items.
If you have a question about eBay, 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.
– END NOTE –
That’s all for this week. Check out ‘Molly’s Diary’ each day at www.ebaybulletin.co.uk for the latest news from Molly HQ.
Daughter number 2 is now safely installed at University and her bedroom is full of stock. There are open boxes everywhere and packing materials all over the floor – the room has never been so tidy!
The remaining Elves are working flat out to keep up with the packing and this will only get worse as I start to list items on auction. These listings should act as a draw and lead buyers into the shop, well that’s the theory anyway. With turnover now at a level expected in November, they could be working well into the night.
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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