My eBay Suspension At The Worst Possible Time

May 15, 2008 by · 15 Comments
Filed under: eBay Information 

Date: 29th April
Time: Lunch
Location: My Bedroom

Subject:

My suspension

Dear Mr Thompson,
It has come to our attention that you have committed a sin against the e of bay, we have no choice but to  discontinue our association with you for a minimum of 30 days, or 720 hours.

Complaining about this suspension before the 30 days are up would be futile.

Yours in service,
Roger eBay (Head of eBay)

Roger eBay

So the scene was set ladies and gentlemen, my eBay account had been suspended just as I was getting ready to re-launch my shop for the CD digital media revolution.

I was actually suspended for “Feedback Manipulation” which was very strange, the feedback and the item for sale that “breached” the rule received and listed before the digital ban came in place, but I was banned when the digital item ban came into play – confused? So am I!

The listing that caused the problem was associated with the EW portal delivery script that I sell. The script works with eBay, so I had a listing in my shop called the “EW Portal Demo Auction”. When someone purchased the item, the script would deliver a file to the customer. It was a great way of showing potential customers what the script could do, but unfortunately Roger eBay didn’t like it.

So now I’m banned from eBay until at least the 29th May – I’m a modern day Ronnie Kray. (A famous criminal here in the UK)

A modern day criminal

However, every cloud has a silver lining as they (who are these they’s we hear so much about?) say. My eBay suspension means I can’t list any of my new multimedia CD’s on there until my account is reinstated, so whilst it’s bad news for me, it’s great news for you!

On Monday I showed you my brand new Basic HTML Multimedia CD ROM designed to sell on your website and on eBay.

The only place you can get the CD from at present is from me, so if you act fast there will be virtually no competition on eBay for that item!

The price is still only $10 and shipping is only $2.50 no matter where abouts in the world you are located.

So get those listings up before my account is reinstated! You can check out the CD by clicking on the image below, and if you plan to resell it, you can download the sales page to use on your website, or on eBay by clicking here.

Basic HTML CD ROM

As always thanks for reading, and when you get your hands on the CD do let me know what you think about it!

Cheers,
Dan

My Take On The eBay Digital Item Restrictions

March 27, 2008 by · 33 Comments
Filed under: eBay Information 

My Take On The eBay Digital Item Restrictions

So, the end of the world is nigh, from March 31st eBay are to ban you from listing any digital item that is sent to the buyer in the form of a download link.

As you can imagine there has been an immense amount of backlash towards eBay from hundreds, if not thousands of eBay sellers and I’ve been lurking around taking in all sides of the coin. I also came across this on my travels which I couldn’t resist posting – full credit to “krazzykats” on the eBay forum who originally posted the image below:

eBay Dress Code

I’m not going to be giving you a rant on the rights and wrongs of the decision, but what I am going to do with you today is to show you how you can continue to sell your eBooks on eBay, and how it could open the door to an endless amount of new income streams and opportunities.

For my first piece of advice, I’m going to do something that I haven’t done before:

I’M DISAGREEING WITH JOHN THORNHILL!
(now imagine some spooky music has just been played)

I’d imagine that 99% of you will know who John is, but for those who don’t – John is the ultimate eBay eBook seller and to work within the new rules, John is advising you to ship the eBooks on a CD – which I agree with. What I don’t agree with is this comment on Johns blog he posted today: (Click here to see what i’m disagreeing with)

“First of all I know the automation side of things disappear, I know you can use fulfillment services but for me personally I wouldn’t do it. I need to be in full control of my eBay business.”

The first thing John mentions is that the automation side of things disappears, but I don’t agree, and here’s why.

It’s now (or will be on March 31st) illegal to send buyers any download link for the product they purchased via email, but it’s not illegal to use your digital delivery scripts to send notification to the buyer once they have paid – all it takes is a quick edit of the email template that gets sent out and you are in business.

How does something like this sound:

“Dear Bob Smith,

Many thanks for purchasing Dan’s Guide On Taming Shrews With Attitude Problems, your CD is currently making it’s way towards the comfy cardboard delivery sleeve and will be waiting for you on your door mat within the next 5 days.

We appreciate that these 5 days will be a tough wait for you. So in the meantime, how would you like to get your hands on 5 free eBooks as a thankyou for your custom:

www.elpassoblog.com/newsletter

We would love to deal with you again, we couldn’t have asked for a nicer customer!

Many Thanks,
Dan The Friendly eBay Seller”

With your CD’s taking around 5 days to arrive, there is a window of opportunity there waiting for you to use to your advantage. The email above is slightly tongue in cheek, but think about it, how many other sellers of physical goods can offer the buyer added bonuses that they can check out BEFORE they get there hands on the item they purchased.

You can use those 5 days to build up a relationship with the buyer, and that’s BEFORE they even receive the eBook they purchased from you, by the time it comes through their door in some cool looking cardboard sleeve they will already be loving your service as you’ve gone the extra mile and delivered something of added value to them that they weren’t expecting – can you imagine the sort of feedback you could receive if you put this into place?

Now more on the lovely cardboard sleeve…

John recommends that you do the burning, packaging and shipping of the CD yourself. Let’s look at the costs involved with that:

1.  Jiffy bags/CD wallets to post in
2.  Blank CD’s to burn the items on to
3.  Machine to print labels on the blank CD’s
4.  Ink for the CD labels
5.  A label printer for the addresses
6.  The price to ship the CD
7.  The endless queues at the post office!

This aint good for my back!

The above would give you total control over the shipping process, but how much time would all of that take if you were to do it day to day, and if you had a full time job as well, would you be able to find time for the daily trip to the post office?

Now let’s compare that with my solution –

Use an on-demand CD printing and shipping service!

I’ve used www.swiftcd.com in the past for a number of different projects, you simply upload the “Master” CD to them via their website, and then each time someone purchases your item, you just log onto the website, fill out the delivery form with the buyers name and address, and hey-presto, SwiftCD burn, print and ship your CD to the end user.

Not only will it take a lot less time than doing all of this yourself, I think that the end product would also look a lot more professional. Take a look at an example CD I had shipped by Swift:

A CD of mine for a project that has never seen the light of day

I also think that when you look at the cost of shipping and burning the CD’s yourself, SwiftCD could actually work out cheaper – especially if you are in the UK!

For the basic mailing package (which is all you’ll need), the cost of burning the CD and printing your artwork (or just a text label) on the CD is just $3.69, you then have the shipping costs which are currently $0.41 to a US address and $0.90 to a non-US address.

So in total you are looking at less than $5, or £2.50 per CD. When you work out how much it would cost you to do this manually, and the amount of time you would waste queueing at the post office is it really going to be cheaper to do it yourself?

I should also point out that the pricing mentioned above was correct at the time of writing, for an upto date pricing guide check out the links below:

CD Creation: http://www.swiftcd.com/FAQ/Pricing.htm
Shipping Prices: http://www.swiftcd.com/faq/shipping.html

I will also point out that any links in this post are NOT affiliate links, I have no affiliation with SwiftCD other than being a happy customer for a number of years. There are of course other companies out there and you may be able to find better deals if you dig around!

I’d love to hear your comments on what seems to be a very poignant subject to a lot of you.

As always thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed it,
Regards,
Dan

Ebay at Christmas – Be careful!

December 7, 2006 by · 6 Comments
Filed under: eBay Information 

Ebay at Christmas – Be careful!

Hi everyone, thanks for taking an interest in this weeks article. As we are approaching Christmas I thought it would be a good idea to identify a few possible eBay scams that you should be on the lookout for and why it may not be a good idea to do your Christmas shop on ebay.

Let’s start off with potential scams. The two that instantly spring to mind are the two new videogame consoles:

– Nintendo Wii
– Playstation 3

The Nintendo Wii

The Nintendo Wii is released in the UK tomorrow (8th December) and it’s sold out just about everywhere. To confirm this I phoned my local games shop this morning and they told me:

“We do have some in stock but they have all been pre-ordered by customers. I think you will find it very difficult to find any in stock now”

I am sure that you can already see the possible scam emerging here, an item with limited availability will almost always command a huge price on eBay – especially as the Wii is this years “must have” Christmas present. A quick search on ebay.co.uk shows the average price of a Wii console is around £300; that’s £180 more than the standard retail price, meaning a £180 profit for the seller on each console.

Ebay UK Wii prices

Ebay US Wii Prices

Although there are a lot of genuine sellers on there you should be cautious about buying from eBay. As the console isn’t released until tomorrow people are selling consoles that they don’t even own yet. They are banking on getting one on the release day and this is by no means a certainty for them. Before you buy a Wii on eBay it may be a good idea to get the seller to post a picture of the actual console they are selling, maybe get them to include a little note on a postcard in the pic so you can make sure it is genuine.

The Playstation 3

Another scam to watch out for is the Playstation 3 eBay scam. The Playstation 3 isn’t released in the UK until March 2007 but this hasn’t stopped people selling Japanese PS3 consoles on eBay.

Ebay have tried to put a stop to this by banning all PS3 sales before March 2007, however this hasn’t stopped the eBay sellers listing them for almost double their retail value:

Ebay UK PS3 Prices

Ebay US PS3 Prices

Remember that no matter how tempting it may seem to buy “little Jonny” a PS3 for Christmas, the consoles ARE NOT region free. Which means that if “little Jonny”gets a japanese PS3 from eBay, he won’t be able to play PAL UK games on the console!

So remember, always do your research on the seller BEFORE making a big purchase on eBay. Check their feedback and ask for proof that they actually have the item that they are selling in their possession.

Ebay for Christmas?

Finally I will be having a quick look at why it might not be a good idea to buy your Christmas presents from eBay.

Buying presents from eBay is not nearly as reliable as buying from your local store, or even Amazon. You have no guarantee that the presents you ordered will show up in time for the big day, so if you are planning on having a big Christmas shop make sure that you order in good time to guarantee delivery of your item.

Have a very happy holiday season!

Thanks for reading my Christmas newsletter. This will be my last newsletter before the big day so I would like to thank all of you for reading this, and my other newsletters throughout 2006. Please have a very happy holiday season and a prosperous 2007!

Merry Christmas,

Santa!

Regards,

Dan

P.S. Comments as always are more than welcome 🙂

Wake Up Blind eBay Members!

August 31, 2006 by · 17 Comments
Filed under: eBay Information 

Wake Up Blind eBay Members!

This week’s newsletter was prompted by an email I received yesterday from one of my subscribers. Apologies to you but I have lost your email but I seem to remember your name was Heidi? – Maybe next week’s newsletter could be about managing emails so you don’t lose them 😉

Anyway, Heidi sent me an email asking why so many eBayers fail to read listings. Heidi has been having a lot of problems from eBayers purchasing e-Books from her eBay store but then complaining because they thought they were buying a hardback book. Even though Heidi’s listing stated the item was an e-Book several times it seems like the eBayers overlook this information…. but why? Are they blind?

Blind

Probably not, but they do have what I call “Selective Reading” – Meaning they only read what they want to read! When they look at Heidi’s listing they initially think they are purchasing a hardback book so their mind has already processed that bit of information. The buyer doesn’t want to read that their beloved hard-back book is actually an e-Book, that’s where the selective reading part comes in. The buyer’s brain already knows they want a hardback book, not an e-Book so even though the information is there on the page, the brain will choose to ignore it.

Don’t believe me? – Try this example (Some of you may have already seen this last week)

Count every ” F” in the following text:

FINISHED FILES ARE THE RE
SULT OF YEARS OF SCIENTI
FIC STUDY COMBINED WITH
THE EXPERIENCE OF YEARS…

(SEE BELOW)

HOW MANY ?

WRONG, THERE ARE 6 — no joke.
READ IT AGAIN !
Really, go Back and Try to find the 6 F’s before you scroll down.

The brain cannot process “OF”.

And I believe the same can be said for the “Blind eBayers”, as frustrating as they are, I don’t think they can do anything about it. There brain chooses which information to pass onto them and which to withhold. Unfortunately for us eBay sellers it seems that the “Blind eBayers” are here to stay.

How can we combat the problem?

I don’t know, do we have any psychologists reading? If so please tell us what we can put in our listings to prevent this problem!

Likewise if you have any suggestions on how to stop this problem please leave a comment. My own personal opinion is to have a massive red headline that says:

“Warning Blind eBayers – Please don’t listen to your brain, read the listing in full!”

Or alternatively you could just send them to this article 😉

Until next week,
Dan

A new type of eBay Scam that could bankrupt your business!

August 10, 2006 by · 12 Comments
Filed under: eBay Information 

A new type of eBay Scam that could bankrupt your business!

Hello everyone and welcome to this weeks newsletter. This week I will be continuing
with my eBay theme and to be more precise, the eBay scam theme! I`ll just give
you a bit of background information first, last week I managed to accumulate
over £1,000 in eBay fee’s. None of these fee’s were genuine and were all
related to a new type of eBay scam that I became a victim of. Read on to hear
the full story.

Last Thursday (3rd August) at around 5pm UK time I started receiving a large
amount of emails from eBay saying that one of my shop items had been sold. Great
I thought….but not so, the emails kept coming and coming so I quickly went
to the eBay item in question to take a closer look.

To my surprise around 50 of the items – priced at £44.99 each had all
been “bought” by the same bidder with 0 feedback. I quickly knew something
wasn’t as it should be so I blocked the bidder from bidding on any of my items.
That stopped the buying…..for now.

I logged off and then came back online the next morning, I loaded up my mail
client to find 375 unread mail messages from eBay, all saying that the shop
inventory item had been sold. The scammer had created another eBay account and
was doing the exact same thing, as this was going on I was in bed asleep so
I couldn’t block them from buying my listings.

/ / / / – – – / / / /
Auction SOS has now sold out of all but 1 of the bonuses at the time of writing.
Thanks to everyone that purchased, you helped to make the launch a huge success.
I am sure you liked your unadvertised bonus as well 😉
/ / / / – – – / / / /

I logged into my eBay and look what it showed:

If only!

This scam buyer had racked up over £20,000 in sale to my eBay account,
but obviously none of these items had been paid for BUT what happens about my
eBay fees? This is what happened to my eBay fees:

My fees

As you can see from the screen above, (or not as the case may be!) this scam buyer had managed to accumulate
over £1,200 in eBay fee’s to my account. I don’t have £1,200 in
my paypal account so I don’t know what would have happened if eBay decided to
charge me the fee’s. I guess I would have my eBay account suspended for avoiding
the fee’s, even though they were accumulated from fraudulent transactions?

The good news is that eBay have looked into the case and have banned all members
in question, they have also credited all fee’s to my account so no harm done
in the end. Plus it gave me something to write about in this weeks newsletter
😉

I should probably say these scammers should remain anonymous but screw them,
they deserve all they get. Take a look at the bidders list and I’m sure that
you will be able to see for yourself the damage this sort of scam can cause:

http://offer.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewBidsLogin&item=9520445880

If you have ever encountered a scam such as this, or any other scam involving
an eBayer that you would like me to cover then please leave a comment or get
in touch with me. I would be happy to cover your case. Remember that you can
also report all bad ebayers
and ebay scams on
one of my other websites – www.auction-arses.com

How would you go about combating this scam, to be honest I have no idea! I
can’t think of an obvious way to avoid this type of thing, if you have any suggestions
as always please feel free to leave a comment.

I’m now going to go slightly off topic but I know a lot of you are parents
so you will be interested in this information. Pat Graham, a keen newsletter
subscriber has put together some free reports on drug addiction in children.
These reports aim to give parents information about the problems and facts related
to drug addiction in children, it’s a serious problem that any of us may have
to deal with in the future so I’m sure these reports will give us some great
information. You can open the free reports in your browser by clicking on the
links, or to save to your PC right click on the link and select “Save target
as”:

Marijuana:
Some Facts Parents Need To Know

Five Popular
Drugs

Salvia
Divinorum – Nature’s Legal Hallucinogen

The Marlboro
Man and Me

The Truth
About Steroids

I’m sure Pat would love to hear your comments so as always feel free to leave
your thoughts on this weeks newsletter and/or Pat’s free reports!

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