The eBay UK Bulletin: Issue 17 – 14 September 2006
Topics in this issue:
1. eBay News: eBay.com training workshops
2. eBay 101: Pay less fees
3. How to sell fakes on eBay
4. Ask Molly: Unwanted overseas bidders
Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of The eBay UK Bulletin.
It’s official – it is now Halloween! Well, at least it is in the world of Mollybol. My eBay page has had a facelift, so please check it out and send me your feedback at: http://cgi3.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewUserPage&userid=mollybol In the same way that High Street shops change their decoration with the seasons, with a little HTML you can do the same (although I’m still not sure about the pumpkins…)
Have you ever wondered how fakes are sold on eBay? Keep reading to find out how the professionals do it; although be warned – they often end up with a criminal record! Plus, if saving money is of interest to you, check out my top five ‘fee savers’ (I can feel the eBay share price wavering already!)
[For details of this newsletter, please scroll down to the end.]
1. EBAY NEWS: EBAY.COM TRAINING WORKSHOPS
This week, I would like to borrow a little knowledge from eBay.com in the form of a number of online workshops, which can throw up some fantastic ideas. During September, eBay.com members will be running 20 workshops; the full calendar of events can be viewed at: http://pages.ebay.com/community/workshopcalendar/current.html#1 Topics vary from “finding the right seller tool”, to “listing template designs”.
The very first workshop – which was held on Tuesday 5 September – offered some great ideas about when to list your items. These workshops take the format of a real-time discussion and operate in the same way as the community notice-boards. Just work out the time difference, put on a large pot of coffee and pick up some international tips.
2. EBAY 101: PAY LESS FEES â?” TOP FIVE TIPS
Everybody hates paying fees; it means less money to spend on the nice things in life. eBay fees are no fun for sellers, but there are a few ways to reduce your costs – if you just work with the system. The eBay fee system works in two ways; an “insertion fee” when you place your auction and then a “final value fee” when the hammer falls. There is not much that can be done about FVFs, but a little thought at the outset could save you pounds.
Basic insertion fees are charged:
Â£0.01 – Â£0.99 (Â£0.15)
Â£1.00 – Â£4.99 (Â£0.20)
Â£5.00 – Â£14.99 (Â£0.35)
Â£15.00 – Â£29.99 (Â£0.75)
Â£30.00 – Â£99.99 (Â£1.50)
Â£100.00 or more (Â£2.00)
1) Use the above bands as a guide to starting prices. Do not start an auction at Â£15.00, as this will cost you an extra 40p to make one extra penny.
2) Multiple auctions use the same bands, based on the sum of the start prices. You can list two items at Â£7.49 for 35p, as the total falls below Â£14.99. Three items would cost 75p, so it may be better to run two auctions each with two items for a total cost of 70p.
3) Use the “re-list” option for unsold items; if it sells second time around, the insertion fee is refunded. You can change every aspect of the re-listed auction, so what didn’t sell as “2 kilos of Lego” may well sell as a “hot water bottle, slightly soiled” – you still get back your fee.
4) Re-list fee refunds do not work on multiple items listings. So, if your auctions had four items and none sold, you can not claim a second chance and get your insertion fee back.
5) Use the “Non-buying bidder” process to reclaim any fees when your buyer does not complete the trade. This is a good tip in itself, however you can also re-list that item for free if it sells the second time.
For more information on re-listing and claiming back fees, please see Chapter 6 of ‘The eBay Business Handbook’. Remember to e-mail me any eBay money saving ideas you may have, so I can share them with your fellow readers: email@example.com
3. HOW TO SELL FAKES ON EBAY
Internet fraud, forged paintings, international intrigue; it sounds like the plot for a good book – and it is! Every now and then a title comes along that captures the imagination; especially if it’s based around eBay.
“Fake, Forgery, Lies & eBay” by Kenneth Walton, is a true account of one man’s journey from an art-trading hobby on eBay, to a federal felony conviction. In a riveting narrative shaded with honesty and regret, Walton recounts the events that turned him from a low-profile lawyer, into an internet fraudster without a conscience. He provides a captivating commentary on the e-marketplace, the art world and human greed.
Whilst I do not recommend that you follow the examples in this book, it is certainly worth a read. You can pick up a discounted copy online for just Â£6.59:
4. ASK MOLLY: UNWANTED OVERSEAS BIDDERS
It sounds a little strange, but sometimes bidders are not welcome. This week’s question is from a UK based seller who does not want to sell outside of the UK.
In my auctions I have listed that I will only post to the UK, but a buyer from the USA has bid and won one of my auctions. I do not want to get into posting abroad – where do I stand?”
I also sold only to the UK in the early days; I still have nightmares about how much money I lost. There are a couple of things you can do. The first is to register for a refund of eBay fees via the “Unpaid Item Process”. See: http://pages.ebay.co.uk/help/tp/unpaid-item-process.html – there is an option concerning bids from other countries.
For future auctions, you can block bidders from those countries you do not want to trade with. Check out the “Buyer Requirements Preferences” at: http://pages.ebay.co.uk/services/buyandsell/biddermanagement.html Plus, you could always continue with the trade and sell your item. Check www.royalmail.com for shipping prices, add on a fee for handling and take your first steps into global sales.
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.
– END NOTE –
That’s all for this week, but before I sign off, a quick update from eBay member “beautifulgeorgie”. Last week, I featured an article on the use of sound within your auctions. He kindly e-mailed me with some extra advice:
“If people want to add sound to their auction, they may be able to use a mobile phone to record the sounds. Most modern mobiles have a voice recorder built in and most of them connect to a PC via bluetooth, or cable. This means they will be able to download their sounds and place them onto eBay.”
It’s a great idea. Too much for me though; my mobile phone is so old it only has 8 buttons…
Best wishes and happy eBaying!
Author of the bestselling title, ‘The eBay Business Handbook’ – available direct from the publishers: www.harriman-house.com/ebaybusiness