Topics in this issue:
- eBay 101 – Out of stock option – Selling Manager.
- Reader’s rant – too many items for sale.
- What a masterpiece.
- Ask Molly – Should I start from scratch?
Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of The eBay UK Bulletin.
Great news for all readers and the Elves at HQ as the 4th edition of The eBay Business Handbook is now available for pre-order. It is good news for the Elves as they have already eaten their way through last years royalties and are grumbling about being hungry. More later in the bulletin about how you can get your copy.
In this week’s bulletin, more on the ‘out of stock’ option, a super rant and a shameless plug for the new book.
[Ed. In fact I will add a plug here – there is 50% off of the new edition of the eBay Handbook, and all Harriman House books, from Friday 28th November until Monday 1 December. Visit the Harriman House website for details: www.harriman-house.com.]
[For admin details for this newsletter, please scroll down to the end.]
1. eBay 101 – OUT OF STOCK OPTION – SELLING MANAGER
A couple of weeks back I mentioned that I had signed up for the ‘out of stock’ option as it looked ideal for ‘multi-quantity’ listings that temporarily sell out. I am still on this bandwagon having 73 listings with zero stock just waiting to be replenished. My explanation as to the best way to track these listings fell a little short as it only applies to ‘Selling Manager Pro’.
One thing that concerned me in the last bulletin was the info you gave about good ’til cancelled listings.
I use this quite a lot for single items. Does this mean that eBay will continue to charge fees once the item is sold? I’ve tried following your advice, having turned on the option in account settings, but I do not have a status option showing for my active listings that I can see.”
Well spotted, only SMP has the status filter. For sellers who do not have SMP the only way I can see to check the number of listings which are ‘out of stock’ is to select ‘active’ listings and then sort by available quantity, lowest first. You may have to customise your ‘my eBay’ display to show the available quantity field.
Be aware that even single items are held in limbo and will re-list with zero quantity three times before eBay assumes that you won’t be restocking and will end the listing.
‘Out of stock’ items are not visible in search results but it seems watchers can still see them, judging by the number of questions I have received relating to zero quantity items.
I still think this is a good thing for certain types of business, it just needs a little managing.
Any thoughts? Please e-mail me at the usual address.
2. READER’s RANT – TOO MANY ITEMS FOR SALE
“Well I’m one of those that has gone from selling around six items a day at a decent profit margin, down to less than six a week.
I have now closed my shop, one reason is that decent quality used clothing is getting harder and harder to come by at a price I can make a profit from, especially due to ever increasing eBay / PayPal fees and postage costs.
A couple of weeks ago I received an offer for all business sellers to list up to 50,000 items free of charge. I know these offers come at difficult times to sell, especially in my line, but they lead to a massive amount of stuff being available for pennies.
I can’t help feeling that eBay are cutting their own throats as well as the throats of us the shop owners.”
This is a good point, I too have noticed the increased volume of toys on sale at the moment, leading to some lateral thinking regarding my shifting them. As the Australian guy said on ‘The Apprentice’: you don’t have to be a ‘Rocket Surgeon’ to work out that now is the time for toys and clothes so there will be a huge influx of casual sellers cashing in with only a few weeks to go.
eBay for me is about the long haul, so anything with too much competition gets listed at the price I want and it sits there until all the cheaper items have sold and I am competitive again. This works for most of my items but makes cash flow management a little more important.
3. WHAT A MASTERPIECE
Finally, I hear you mutter, the 4th edition of The eBay Business Handbook is finished and ready for pre-order. You can of course wrap up the e-mail confirmation note for your loved one as a Christmas gift and then Craig (esteemed editor of said tome) will personally send it out sometime towards the end of January. For electronic versions something clever happens, but it still arrives as if by magic.
This edition is fully revised and updated, has a super new look and is still of a reasonable thickness to act as a door stop or table leveller. With old 3rd edition copies now selling on eBay for anything upwards of £1.49 (free postage) it could represent a sound investment.
Check out the new look, take pity on the Elves and pre-order your copy now: The eBay Business Handbook 4th edition. If you order this or any other Harriman House book from Friday 28th November to Monday 1st December you will get 50% off the cover price.
4. SHOULD I START FROM SCRATCH
I really want to dip my toe so to speak in a small eBay business and see how it goes.
However, I don’t want to use my existing ID as I still need to purchase personal items and potential stock.
Can I have 2 ID’s (including my existing one) and if so, then when I start selling under my new (additional) ID, I will start off with zero feedback.
Surely not a great start for a new business?
Any tips to get around this?”
Yes, you can have several eBay IDs. I have 6 in regular use, one for selling cosmetics, another for Toys & DIY (I should really split these two now), one for secondhand clothes, one for ladies’ bags, a personal account and one for buying stock. It is a long time since I set up a new account but apart from the choice of name I remember it as a straightforward process.
There should be no issue starting with a new account if you are not asking your buyer to spend too much money. A seller with zero feedback selling a £500 watch might raise a few eyebrows but a bag of used Lego for a fiver should be fine.
You can boost your feedback score with a few low value purchases but I would be tempted to (possibly) rename your existing account, use this for selling and start buying with the new ID. There are a few restrictions that apply to new sellers so this should get round some of them.
Read more about Listing and selling allowances before you make your final decision.
If you have a question about eBay or home working in general, please send it to me at the usual address. I will reply personally to every email 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 Harriman Intelligence for the latest news from Molly HQ.
I was considering having a Mollybol ‘Black Friday’ event as everybody else seems to be joining in but I just couldn’t bring myself to hit the ‘Markdown Manager’ link. I did perspire a little, and my hand was shaking but I resisted and went for coffee instead, maybe next year.
Author of the bestselling title, The eBay Business Handbook, available direct from the publisher Harriman House.
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