Archive for November, 2007
I have decided to become and eBay education specialist, I do miss my ‘eBay meets Business’ training days and would like to train up and be certified by eBay so I can go and convert hordes of budding entrepreneurs to the eBay way. eBay is a great way to start and online business, the marketplace is fast, furious and you soon know if your product is going to sell with minimal investment.
I am currently on ‘Garden leave’ so I have plenty of time to train up before the end of the year.
I am often asked how and when I started shopping on-line and also selling on-line.
I started shopping online in the summer of ’99 with Gothic Auctions which prompted signing up for paypal almost instantly as everything was in Dollars. My first purchase was from a Canadian seller.
By the winter I was actively selling on Gothic Auctions and a competitor Goth Auctionslater on in 2001, and set up my own very basic HTML e-commerce website in May 2000, making sales and taking orders via email with promotion on community based sites.
Both of these auction sites were community driven and the gothic community contributed to how the sites were run. eBay has strived to become what these sites had all along.
It was not long before I signed up and brought and sold a few things on eBay.com (before eBay.co.uk was born)
Unfortunately then the eBay boom started and I neglected these free auction sites as the dollar grew weaker with respect to the pound. I plan to relaunch the Hairfreax range back onto these community driven auction sites as I feel they have once again come into their own. They were the first social shopping sites, everyone knew everyone and who was buying what! When your products do reflect a specific culture you should not forget the smaller, community driven exposure you can get. I started out supplying the community with products, but now I provide shops and studios with my creations. They spawned an addiction to e-commerce.
Promoting my old favourites:
Not really knowing if the feature was out yet a friend of mine had a purchase Saturday (he sells designer bags, high ticket items) thought eBay but Paypal held the funds for investigation. He found it weird that there was not a username associated with the purchase but it was an eBay sale?! A little puzzled until I mentioned the new Guest buying this morning.
So, his first guest purchase is fraudulent, maybe? But Paypal have jumped to it and are investigating the funds. Full marks to paypal for being vigilant, but poor marks for not communicating why the funds where under investigation (possibly mentioning in an automated email that it was a guest purchase?) as the seller was left scratching his head.
I don’t know many sellers who can accept guest payments as they all use third party systems and excluded from the change(which is a good idea as integration with eBay API can be buggy at the best of times, and larger sellers who have the most to loose use automated systems to cope with volume) but I would be interested in hearing any tales of woes or joy on the subject.
According to the latest news eBay is now allowing ‘guest’ purchases on fixed price items on the eBay marketplace. The ‘Guest’ buyers will have to pay immediately in order to secure the purchase. So what happens with buyers from countries that you don’t ship too? Will the same restrictions apply? So many questions unanswered!
We’re launching Guest Buying, a new feature that we believe will help encourage more first purchases by new buyers. Guest Buying will also help sellers to increase the number of new eBayers who buy Fixed Price and Shop Inventory items.
Here’s how it works:
Guest buyers use Buy It Now to purchase eligible Fixed Price and Store Inventory items.
Guest buyers must complete their payment through PayPal before the item is theirs, similar to Immediate Payment. - but do they HAVE to be registered?
Your current PayPal settings will apply – if you require buyers to pay with a confirmed address, your Guest Buyers will need to do so as well.
Are my listings eligible for Guest Buying?
Your listings will be eligible to be purchased by Guest Buyers if you meet the following criteria:
1. You must have a premier/business PayPal account in order to accept credit card payments.
2. Postage and packaging costs must be specified on your listing.
3. You must qualify for the top tier of buyer protection of £500.
4. The item price must be less than £500.
5. You must use eBay’s checkout system. Third-party checkout will not be supported at this time. - oh dear for channeladvisor and Marketworks users, will these sales slip through the system causing heartache and accounting issues? Can you BAN guest buyers? **edit** Third party checkout users should be automatically excluded from the feature.
How about feedback? It could be a nightmare, we have enough trouble with REGISTERED users…
Can Guest Buyers leave feedback?
No – at least not until they register. eBay will encourage Guest Buyers to register once they make a purchase. Once they do, they’ll be able to use all the same features registered buyers do, such as Feedback, Buyer Protection and access to Customer Support.
We shall see if this new functionality, even though it will hopefully drive up the sales this festive season, will bring fraudulent heartbreak. Do the guest buyers have to be REGISTERED with paypal or can they just enter their genuine or fraudulent card details? eBay should know not to experiment with the festive season, why was this not released earlier or in the new year? I shall report on seller troubles or success once this feature is fully operational ( although, did you notice that no time scale was mentioned on the post? We can only assume immediate effect)
I know eBay want to take down the barriers to buying on eBay and in theory this could be a good move. On the negative side it could be Christmas calamity for eBay sellers!
More info from eBay on Guest Buying.
Edited to add:
Payments must be made by credit card processed by PayPal. PayPal enables you to send payments quickly and securely online. Your credit card information will not be shared with the seller.
so fraudulent and stolen card can be used….
You can only purchase two items as a guest before you will be required to register as an eBay member.
So as a seller the maximum you will loose is £1000, but all transactions should be covered my paypal seller protection policy.
There are mixed views but a lot of scepticism about this feature on the blogoshere and in forums.
Webcopy carefully crafted in plain English can improve a readers comprehension. You want your customers to understand what you are telling them don’t you?
Here are a few guidelines to plain English:
1. Make the average sentence length 15 to 20 words.
2. Use words your customers are likely to understand. Try not to abbreviate or use extensive jargon.
3. Use only as many words as you need.
4. Prefer the active voice, unless there is a good reason for using the passive.
5. Use the clearest verbs to express your thoughts.
6. Use vertical lists to break up complicated text.
7. Reduce cross-references to the minimum.
8. Avoid sexist usage.
9. Put your points positively when you can.
10. Put accurate punctuation at the heart of your writing.
11. Plan before you write.
12. Organise your content in a way that helps readers to grasp the important information early and to navigate though the document easily.
In the case of terms and conditions, which most on-line sellers draft their own…..
Where there is doubt about the meaning of a term, the interpretation most favourable to the consumer shall prevail.
The theory has been around for a few years, but in my Amazon order this month I had a leaflet and card for 3V Vouchers
I implemented a payzone service on my Hairfreax Website a month ago with no takers as yet, but this system of a voucher visa card number taking the onus off the retailers to integrate with any system.
The user registers the card, and then it costs £3.50 to buy a voucher between £20 and £200. These prepaid vouchers can be used like a real visa card. You can not use these on gambling sites but you only need the cash and to be over 16. Great for the Maestro card generation (which I am apart of) where a Visa card means a credit card.
Payzones are everywhere, once I had registered my card I was given a list of 10 locations near my postcode, once of which is 4 minutes walk.
Could this solve a problem with the rising number of insolvent British people and bad credit, who can’t get or don’t want to get a Visa credit card? If you stuck with just your Maestro card and some retailers don’t take it (talking overseas really) will this bridge that gap allowing more people to buy online? If you are worried about credit card fraud, this could be a solution for you as fraudsters could only take what you had left on your card and not max you out to that new £7000 credit limit you forgot to reduce last month!
Wonder if Paypal would accept such vouchers?
You can pay for goods or services on eBay and PayPal by registering your 3V Vouchers on these sites. As every 3V Voucher has a unique 16-digit VISA number, you need to use the “Add Credit Card or Debit Card” screen to attach each new 3V Voucher to your account.
Whenever you register a new VISA number from your 3V Voucher with eBay or PayPal, a small amount (the equivalent of one US dollar) is deducted to verify that the VISA number is valid. Until this amount is refunded automatically to your 3V Voucher (between 7 to 10 days), the available balance on your voucher will be reduced by this amount and therefore not available to spend.
Like other merchants, eBay and PayPal will only accept one VISA number for each transaction so you need to ensure that the cost of anything you buy (including delivery and any other charges) is less than the amount of money on the 3V voucher you have attached to your eBay account.
When a 3V Cardholder uses the 3V Voucher for the purchase of goods or services, the purchase will be subject to the terms and conditions applied by the retailer of such goods and services, and/or by any payment service provider or processor, including, by way of example, any age restriction or additional charges which might apply in respect of such purchase. 3V Cardholders must carefully review the terms and conditions of the retailer, or payment service provider or processor before attempting to make a purchase, including any terms affecting the 3V Cardholders eligibility to do so.
What is the EXPUSE number – Expanded Use Number?
If you ask PayPal to verify your PayPal account, then PayPal will charge a small amount to the 3V Voucher you have registered with them. The narrative for this charge is a 4-digit EXPUSE number which will be displayed in the description field for that transaction in the transaction history for that Voucher.
To see the available balance and transaction history for any Voucher, click on ‘View transaction history’ on the left hand side of this page
Can I use 3V Vouchers to register as a seller on eBay?
No, you cannot use 3V Vouchers to register as a seller on eBay.
Is there a limit to the number of Vouchers I can add to my PayPal account?
Yes. PayPal limits the number of credit card numbers that can be assigned to any PayPal account to a maximum of 16 over the lifetime of an account. If you have assigned 16 3V Vouchers to your PayPal account, you will have to open a new PayPal account to continue using 3V Vouchers with PayPal.