July 9, 2014 by Andrew Minalto - 11 Comments

DSR Update: Consumer Contracts Regulations

dsr-updateA little while ago I wrote an article on DSRs and The Legal Responsibilities of an eBay Seller, because I just came across too many listings on eBay that simply didn’t follow UK law in regards to selling online.

If you missed that post, you can check it out here: WARNING: Distance Selling Regulations on eBay!

But as most of you should be aware, the Distance Selling Regulations were replaced in June this year, and the new Consumer Contracts Regulations came into effect.

The Consumer Contracts Regulations applies to all purchases made online and basically just implements the Consumer Rights Directive of UK law.

But enough of all this regulations and directives talk – the most important question, and I’m sure all you actually want to know, is – how do these changes affect us when selling online?

And that’s exactly what I’m going to go over today.

Firstly let’s cover the new rules in regards to the service you provide:

You must deliver any goods purchased within 30 calendar days, unless the buyer expressly agrees otherwise.

So this first point shouldn’t be a problem for anyone as I really hope all orders are delivered well before 30 days! If an item is out of stock and you are waiting for a new delivery before fulfilling orders then make sure this is made 100% clear. Personally, I would suggest removing that item from sale until you get new stock in because, as we all know, most eBay buyers don’t read much information at all and you’ll end up with a lot of negative feedback for late delivery. (more…)

July 7, 2014 by Andrew Minalto - 5 Comments

Hotmail should be BANNED!

hotmail-bannedSeriously, someone should take down Hotmail for good. Or should I say Outlook as Microsoft’s Hotmail to Outlook takeover was completed last year? Either way, if you’re a business person, you should be warned that using a Hotmail/Outlook email addresses can possibly harm your business.

How?

By filtering legitimate emails as SPAM and automatically placing them in the junk mail folder by default.

I see this happen almost every day when my customers don’t get sign-up emails, support replies, payment notifications and other important information. This creates a lot of frustration for them and me of course as I can never be 100% sure that my email has reached the recipient if their email ends in @hotmail.com

Imagine a situation where you run an eBay business or an online shop and use a hotmail email address – chances are you won’t receive many of your customers’ emails as they’ll simply be placed in your junk folder.

People who are aware of this do of course check their junk mail folder every few days as they know that chances are they will find there some genuine emails along with the usual pharmacy spam stuff. But the majority of Hotmail users aren’t aware of this so they miss important emails on a regular basis.

So if you’re in business and use a free Hotmail/Outlook email address, I would seriously recommend you switch to a more reliable free solution, like Gmail, or better yet; do it the right way and get your own domain name with a personalised email address (which you can of course still link to Gmail). (more…)

July 2, 2014 by Andrew Minalto - 7 Comments

Let’s pack some Orders!

order-processingPackaging – it’s something so simple and self-explanatory, right? Just quickly pack up your item and post it off, there’s nothing more to it…

Unfortunately it’s not quite that simple, as always with eBay the devil is in the details and if you want to be a truly great seller, packaging is just another thing that you have to consider very carefully.

And just so that there’s no confusion, I’m talking mainly about the packaging you use to post an item, not the product or retail packaging.

Okay, so to get started, let’s first cover the most common packaging materials available and go over which you should generally use for different products.

Cardboard Boxes

cardboard-boxesComing in nearly every shape and size imaginable, regular old cardboard boxes are probably the most commonly used packaging material for eCommerce and eBay sellers.

Cardboard boxes are ideal for heavy items (like books) or fragile items (glassware etc.) that need extra protection during shipping.

One of the best things about cardboard boxes is the variety of types and sizes available – which means they can be used for almost any item. Need to send bottles in the post? That’s fine, you can get cardboard boxes made specifically for that purpose with dividers to hold each bottle and stop them from breaking in transit:

http://www.davpack.co.uk/blog/vintage-boxes/

http://www.davpack.co.uk/blog/vintage-boxes/

Have an eCommerce store in the golf niche? Again, not a problem; there are a variety of cardboard boxes made for shipping golf clubs:

http://www.packingboxes.co.uk/golf-set-boxes-x-3-pack/

http://www.packingboxes.co.uk/golf-set-boxes-x-3-pack/

There are also both single-wall and double-wall cardboard boxes, with double-wall obviously offering more protection but being slightly larger and heavier. (more…)