Sometimes you just have one of those weeks when everything happens at once don’t you? Well it’s been one of those weeks for me!

First up I’ve been busy writing a brand new home study course which covers my tried and tested strategy of selling your products on three platforms to ensure you are reaching every possible potential customer – that’s eBay, Amazon and your own website. This will be ready shortly and I’ll keep you updated as to when it will be released…

I’m also looking at launching a new mentorship programme later this year and will be meeting with my publishers next week to discuss this further so I’ll have updates on that shortly…

But that’s not all

On Wednesday I took part in a brilliant Q&A session over at The Wholesale Forums on the subject of branding your own products. We had great fun and it was good to chat with those who joined in – hopefully I will be doing this again sometime soon!

Then later that day I travelled up to Birmingham for the latest “UK Online Seller MeetUp” which was organized by Iwoca. It was a great turnout, I met some very interesting people and I picked up some really useful contacts and information that will help you sell online. I will of course be sharing these with you via over the coming weeks!

Phew! And finally, to top it all off, eBay released their Spring 2013 UK Seller Updates. Now I often anticipate these with much trepidation because I never know what they might have up their sleeves, but I was actually pleasantly surprised by what’s coming.

There’s quite a lot to go into so I won’t go through everything here but I thought I’d look at the key points with you today. (If you want to check all the updates in full click here: eBay Spring UK Seller Update)

What are the changes?

Well, as I said, I’m not going to go through them all here, but I’ve picked out the 3 main ones that I consider to be most important and they are:

You’ll get 12 free pictures in all your listings (from 1/8/13):

This is great news because it means that you can really show your products off in the best possible way. The more images you include in your listing the more likely you are to get a sale. People like to see what they are buying so when this change comes in, please make sure you utilize all 12 spaces!

Just as an aside, another reason why it’s so important to utilize these free picture slots is because many, many more buyers are now using their smartphones or other mobile devices to view products on eBay… and purchase. When they view on a mobile device they don’t immediately see your description – only your images – so you must make sure that you have excellent pictures to ensure a sale!

New Top Rated Seller Requirements: (from Autumn 2013)

This change stems from the fact that these days all buyers want superfast delivery of their orders. If you have a think about it, if you order something online today, you kind of expect it to arrive tomorrow don’t you? And if not tomorrow, then the day after at the latest.

You wouldn’t really want to wait much longer than that! With this in mind, eBay are now focusing on the service that you offer your customers and I believe they are right to do this. Good service is important to running a professional business.

So, this means that you’ll need to ensure that you work hard to keep your customer service levels up and your account in good standing to achieve the Top Rated Seller badge. It won’t all be about your DSR’s any more, you’ll also need to offer the following:

  • Give a minimum 14 day return period (eBay are going to introduce a new field)
  • Offer a free postage option
  • Offer a one day or same day dispatch option
  • Offer an Express Delivery option (with 24 hour delivery)

These may seem like high expectations, but don’t panic because you don’t have to meet the requirements for every one of your listings, its up to you to decide which listings you want to be promoted in this way. So basically you can be top rated on some of your products and not others – so if you have very small margins on some products and can’t afford to offer free postage or quick delivery these will simply not be your chosen top rated products.

Your account requirements will stay the same, with a minimum 12 months sales of £1000 required.

Plans to reduce the amount of unpaid Buy It Now and Best Offer Items: (from May)

This is excellent news. I’m sure you know how frustrating it is to have someone click Buy It Now and then literally ‘Not Buy It Now’! It’s a particular bugbear of mine and I can never understand why someone wouldn’t simply click Buy It Now and then pay immediately. After all they want it now, so why not pay!? But anyway, this will no longer be a problem as eBay will be introducing the following rule:

Buy It Now purchases are not ‘purchased’ until they are actually paid for. The item will remain in your inventory quantity until the payment is confirmed which means that if, for example, you only had one item left and a buyer clicks Buy It Now but doesn’t pay straight away, and then another buyer also hits Buy It Now and pays immediately, the second person would be the purchaser of the item rather than the first one.

This is a huge incentive for buyers to pay immediately and means that you will never, ever again have to open an unpaid item dispute on a Buy It Now listing! Hurrah!

Other updates will include:

Free exposure on Google using Product Identifiers (Available Now)

If you want eBay to pay to promote your products then it’s essential that you add your unique product identifiers to the sell your item form, in the form of UPC’s or EAN’s (barcodes).

eBay shop fee increases (from 13/6/13)

Prices will rise by £5 or £10 depending on which type of eBay shop you subscribe to.

Access to international delivery rates (Available Now)

This is also good news as the rates are very competitive especially considering Royal Mail’s price hike will be coming in early April.

You can read all about the other updates here

So there you have it. These updates will come into effect between now and the Autumn so you have plenty of time to be prepared. Now is the time to start making the changes required to your listings and decide which are your best products to concentrate on investing your time on!