The eBay UK Bulletin: Issue 213, 7th March 2011
Topics in this issue:
1. eBay news – Checkout update
2. Molly’s seller report
3. PayPal spoof
4. Ask Molly – What payment options should I accept?
Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of The eBay UK Bulletin.
Sales are steady and just about where I want them as I continue to enjoy my holiday season. However, for all car boot sale fans it is time to dig out the wellies, hat & gloves and head for your local field as most are starting up again this weekend. Molly might wander down for a bacon roll and a poke about. If you are in the Colchester, Chelmsford or Southend areas give me a wave as I pass by.
This week you can catch up on a few ‘Molly stats’ and if you use a third party to provide your eBay checkout services, read item 1 below.
[For details of this newsletter, please scroll down to the end.]
1. EBAY NEWS – CHECKOUT UPDATE
My quarterly seller report hit the doormat this week, more on this later. One of the lead articles was all about the new ‘eBay shopping basket’. This has been proposed for some time but as the deadline is fast approaching I felt it worthy of a mention.
eBay is to standardise the ‘checkout experience’ for all buyers so if you currently use the services of a third party to complete this task expect a few sleepless nights.
As of 30th June (subject to any date slippage) eBay Checkout will be the only checkout process for buyers on eBay. I can understand this as a standard process should result in a better experience and as I only use the eBay system there is no extra work for me to do.
This change will only impact your selling process if you’re working with companies that act as service providers for eCommerce solutions and offer so called ‘third party checkout’ as one of their services to you. The change will not affect any of the inventory management and listing features that sellers currently use through that provider and eBay says it will continue to work closely with them to support these.
eBay has briefed third-party providers on this change and will be able to work with sellers to move their listings onto eBay Checkout on time. You may want to contact your provider’s account representative to determine the next steps you need to take.
Tests of the new checkout appear to have gone well with two interesting findings.
1) Fewer unpaid items were reported using the new system.
2) Buyers bought more using the new ‘shopping basket’.
Top tips to get the most out of the new process:
1) Offer combined postage options to your buyers.
2) Offer more than one postage option.
3) Offer multi-quantity and longer duration on fixed-price inventory.
I’ll provide further updates when they become available.
2. MOLLY’S SELLER REPORT
My quarterly seller report arrived addressed to Ms Molly Bol, it is a strange life I lead. Anyway in the absence of any real news from HQ I thought you’d appreciate a quick run down of the highlights to accompany your coffee break.
Transactions for the last three months of 2010 totalled 3,070, with 83% sent to the UK, 11% sold into Europe and only 6% worldwide. The low percentage of worldwide sales did come as a surprise, I thought it was higher. The most interesting stat on the report is that for the last quarter Molly was ranked 5,463 on eBay.co.uk and 319th in my main category of ‘Health & Beauty’.
Average DSR scores for the period were constant at 4.9 across the board, no change on the year; I even picked up two 5.0s in December. I did collect a few low scores in DSR ratings, 14 in total, but none for P&P charges so the free postage strategy is working – you have to go back to September to find a low P&P rating on one of my transactions.
All in all not a bad report, conclusion – “Molly tries hard but should pay more attention to the detail – could do better”.
3. PAYPAL SPOOF
This PayPal spoof comes with an attachment and the e-mail content tries to entice you into opening it – don’t!
Most spoof e-mails include a link which will whisk you off to a fake site, so it makes a change to see something different.
Subject: Confirm your identity
February 24, 2011:Valued PayPaI Member, We have reasons to believe that your account was accessed by a third party. Because protecting the security of your account is our primary concern, we have limited access to sensitive PayPal account features. We understand that this may be an inconvenience but please understand that this temporary limitation is for your protection.
OPEN AND COMPLETE THE FORM ATTACHED IN THIS MESSAGE TO REGAIN ACCESS TO YOUR ACCOUNT.
Thank you for your time and understanding, PayPal Resolution Center.
No virus found in this message.
Checked by AVG – www.avg.com <>
Version: 10.0.1204 / Virus Database: 1435/3471 – Release Date: 02/27/11
Never sign into PayPal, eBay or your bank account via a link in an e-mail, it could end in tears.
Please keep them coming – Mollybol@ebaybulletin.co.uk
4. ASK MOLLY – What payment options should I accept?
I have a quick question on methods of payment available from international buyers.
If they don’t have PayPal how can they pay for an item?
I don’t have visa facilities and I don’t want to give out any of my bank details for them to transfer the money. This scares me a little because I don’t know how secure it is.
Your advice would be much appreciated.”
Bank transfer is actually a great payment method and you need only provide bank sort code and account number, which is on all your cheques and debit cards anyway. For international transactions these numbers are called a ‘bic’ and ‘iban’. They can be found on your bank statement.
You may well find that your bank will process international cheques up to a certain value (Halifax is £30) for no fee. So you could take a personal cheque in dollars or euro and present it at your bank. Ask them first just to be sure.
To be honest most eBayers have PaPpal and most buyers outside of the UK would prefer this option. It is almost worth insisting on PayPal as the number of other methods used is very low. I probably have around six a year.
If you have a question about eBay or home working in general, please send it to: firstname.lastname@example.org
– END NOTE –
That’s all for this week. Check out www.ebaybulletin.co.uk <> for the latest news from Molly HQ.
Things have slowed down a bit at HQ and the shed is looking quite tidy, still covered in dust but more shelf space can be seen. The start of the boot sale season is most welcome as this source of stock still forms the mainstay of my Christmas sales. I am not keen on the early starts but look upon it as a long walk in the country once a week making a nice little profit along the way.
If you are of a similar mindset and have picked up a bargain or two, please let me know, I might start up a ‘bootsale corner’ to share success stories.
Best wishes and happy eBaying
Author of the bestselling title, ‘The eBay Business Handbook’ – available direct from the publishers: www.harriman-house.com/ebaybusiness <>>>>