Topics in this issue:
1. eBay News: eBay sellers stage strike action
2. Tip: Auctionpix
3. UK postal rate change
4. Ask Molly: HTML codes for background and border
Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of The eBay UK Bulletin.
It’s been a hectic week in the UK. The sun has disappeared (again…), eBay sellers have been on strike and it’s now cheaper to send a 125gm parcel by airmail anywhere in Europe, than it is to send one First Class within the UK!
In this issue…continuing with my series of great websites for the eBay enthusiast, this week I take a look at ‘AuctionPix’ – ideal for hosting your eBay pictures and a lot more besides. Plus, I answer a reader’s question on how to change the style of your auction using HTML code. If you’re looking to jazz up your listings and entice more buyers, read on to find out more.
[For details of this newsletter, please scroll down to the end.]
1. EBAY NEWS: EBAY SELLERS STAGE STRIKE ACTION
Is it possible to have a secondary picket line in cyberspace? If so, how would you know if you’d crossed it? In a move reminiscent of the late seventies, eBay traders last week boycotted the site and went on strike. Protesting against recent price rises in fees for ‘shop sellers’, between 100 and 300 UK traders staged a mass ‘walk-out’. There were no mass gatherings or burning brassieres, but the feelings of shop sellers are obviously running high.
It does seem a little strange to vote for strike action when you work for yourself, although I understand that a point had to be made. This is not a busy time of the year for eBay sales, so maybe the fiscal loss was not that great. We all hate paying fees (none more so than me!) but temper this with one thought – where else can you sell with no direct fixed costs, to 200 million customers? Traditional auction houses can charge both buyers and sellers around 10% to dispose of goods – eBay charge me an average of 6%. With 15 million UK customers, there is no chance of a widespread boycott – eBay have all of the cards. There are other auction sites, but as yet they do not have mass appeal to buyers. My advice would be to grin and bear it, pay the fees and keep selling.
2. TIP: AUCTIONPIX
If a picture paints a 1,000 words, then why not have more of them in your eBay auctions? You can of course pay eBay for additional pictures, but before you part with your hard earned cash, check out this website I’ve come across: www.auctionpix.co.uk
I think the most appealing feature is its free image hosting. With the use of some simple HTML code, it is possible to load multiple pictures directly into your eBay auctions. The service offers a lot more besides the basic hosting service, including a selection of auction templates, thumbnail slide shows and 5 MB of web storage.
Founder, Eddie StClare, told the eBay UK Bulletin: “I started to sell on eBay and ran into a few ‘problem areas’ that needed to be addressed in order to succeed in our auctions. One of the main problems to tackle was that of getting our auction pictures onto the internet and learning some HTML to make our auctions more attractive. I realised that other eBay UK sellers must experience similar problems and so Auctionpix.co.uk was born!”
The most basic HTML code you will need is:
Try it out and please let me know how you get on. Remember, you can find all my favourite eBay-related websites in the ‘Useful Links’ section of www.ebaybulletin.co.uk
3. UK POSTAL RATE CHANGE
Well it was all change for the UK postal system on Monday and now letters and parcels are priced on both size and weight. How was it for you, a little confusing perhaps? I have now sent over 20 items using the revised rates. If you’re not familiar with it yet, the new system has three formats for internal UK post; letter, large letter and packet.
- Unless you sell postcards or something less than 5mm thick, you can forget all about letter rates
- The large letter rate only applies to items that are a maximum of 25mm thick, with a width of no more than 353mm and a length of no more than 250mm
- Packet rates apply to everything that cannot be squeezed through the 25mm gap
To make things just a little more interesting, large letter and packet formats are also tiered according to weight. Altering the way you pack your item could save you money (for example, I now send trading cards inside an A4 bubble bag instead of a box, which gives me a 38% saving on postage costs). The other interesting aspect of the changes is the increase in top tier for Second Class post – you can now send up to 1 kilo for £2.12 (it used to be 750 grams). This change may also alter the way you sell your items – I can now offer 33% more Lego for the same postage cost, reducing the number of parcels I have to send.
You can check out the full details on the Royal Mail website: www.royalmail.com
4. ASK MOLLY: HTML CODES FOR BACKGROUND AND BORDER
This week, a question from eBay seller “chairliftman”. It’s all about HTML codes that will save money on listing designer fees.
Great newsletter, keep up the sterling work. (Mollybol – This is always a good start!)
I want to add a coloured border and change the background colour of my auctions. Can you let me have the HTML codes to create a blue template with a black border? I will be able to paste it into the listings myself. The problem is, that I want to feature my shop pages down the left hand side of my listings and the template which I have now isn’t really condusive with this. Can you help?”
No problem at all – these codes should give you the colours you need. You can alter the width of the border by altering the ‘cellpadding’ number from 15 (less will show a smaller border and more than 15 makes a bigger border). If you decide on a different colour combination, just change either black or blue within the sets of ” “
The following codes need to be pasted into your description. Use the “Enter your own HTML” tab in section 2 of the standard “Sell Your Item” form: