Forum Replies Created
08/11/2020 at 3:15 am in reply to: Scavenger Life Episode 475: Spotting Problems, Solving Problems #80544
No need to feel sorry for PayPal. eBay has a market capitalization (share price x # shares outstanding) of $38.05 Billion while PayPal’s market capitalization is $226.82 Billion. Here’s another measure: eBay earned $746 Million of Net Income during March – June 2020 while PayPal’s Net Income for that same quarter was more than 2x ebay’s at $1.53 Billion. This is why activist investor Carl Icahn pressured eBay into spinning off PayPal as a separate entity to “unlock” the value. In other words, activist investors like Icahn and now Elliott Management are forcing eBay to part itself out because the sum of the value of PayPal, StubHub, eBay Classifieds, Magento, etc is more than the value of eBay as a whole.06/25/2020 at 12:26 am in reply to: The full 52-page FBI criminal complaint charging former eBay employees #78726
JasonK As I understand, when law enforcement contacted eBay’s legal department, it was those internal employees who put a stop to it by informing the Board of Directors. The BoD investigated and promptly fired the employees directly involved and let Devin resign.06/17/2020 at 12:31 pm in reply to: The full 52-page FBI criminal complaint charging former eBay employees #78517
Agreed! As I was reading the complaint, it seemed unbelievable that any billion $ valued company would have this level of criminal conspiracy. It’s such a good read, I was thinking people would pay for this engrossing entertainment and I briefly thought of creating an ebay listing for printed, bound copies of the PDF but immediately realized I’d almost certainly suffer consequences imposed by ebay security & corporate communications.
12/03/2019 at 11:31 am in reply to: Scavenger Life Episode 439: Missing Item Detective Work #71312
- This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by Paul.
I was listening to last week’s episode and planned to let you know this, but forgot until now…
InkFrog retains buyer email addresses indefinitely. Within InkFrog, just click Sold then Order ID.
As for GSP, I recall a long time ago, users had to opt into the program. For the new aebay accounts not being able to offer GSP (and not on Managed Payments) perhaps that’s all that’s needed is to opt in:
Go to Site Preferences in My eBay.
Beside Shipping Preferences, select Show.
Select Edit beside Offer the Global Shipping Program, and then Opt in / out.08/05/2019 at 5:15 am in reply to: Scavenger Life Episode 422: Ready for a Recession at Any Time #65882
Sounds like you were describing John, who still sells flags: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5sn-rRAxCba9WE1KjLoRAA
He is usually on Scott, the Bearded Picker’s YouTube channel: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/from-dead-broke-to-100000-in-cash-in-one-quick-and-simple-side-hustle-2019-06-1107/09/2018 at 6:22 pm in reply to: Scavenger Life Episode 368: Is Our Business an eBay Hack? #44958
Jay, here is ebay’s system status page: https://www.ebay.com/sts
Also, Premium and higher level stores DO provide listing templates: https://www.ebay.com/help/selling/ebay-tools/selling-templates?id=4097
I met Ryan an Alli of Ralliroots last weekend at reseller meetup they coordinated in Tampa. They are great people and yes, they could be models. They do an amazing volume of business, which I have never doubted. Just today I noticed that Terapeak changed and now allows searches by seller ID again. Ralliroots’ sales for past 12 months: $151,842 on just their public account (they have another that they don’t disclose). That’s in addition to their Amazon sales, mentoring and wholesale sales to other resellers. Wow! Impressive! I almost forgot, that doesn’t include YouTube revenue. There are viewers who routinely gift them $50, $100 and $200 via SuperChat during their live shows (YouTube keeps 30%).
05/21/2018 at 7:08 pm in reply to: Petition Against the Law before Congress on Internet Sales taxes #40586
- This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by Paul.
States are doing this because few people comply with their long-existing laws that require USE TAX to be self-assessed and remitted on purchases where sales tax was not collected. There is a line for this on virtually every state’s income tax return. It is impractical for states to enforce it, so they are trying to overturn the Supreme Court’s longstanding Quill ruling.
As a CPA, I feel there is nothing to fear if Quill is overturned because it would still be impractical for states to enforce home-based sellers’ compliance. Instead, they’ll work to make the payment processors and marketplaces collect, report and remit sales tax. The federal government already mandates that payment processors issue IRS Form 1099-K if, within the calendar year, the payee had 200 transactions exceeding a total of $20,000. eBay and PayPal don’t want to take on this extra burden and are spreading misinformation with their announcement. This is not a “new” tax at all. Consumers are already required to self-report and remit USE TAX when sales tax would have been collected if the seller had nexus with that state.
I learned that lesson the hard way too. I am in the Eastern time zone, so items that sell up to 3 AM my time have get to the post office by 5 PM that same day in order to get a timely acceptance scan. Although I strive to maintain my Top Rated Seller status, I’m no longer crestfallen if I lose it because the discounted USPS Commercial Plus save me a lot more than the petty 10% Final Value Fee discount. I pay $5/month for Fitshipper Labels, which provides anyone the same discounted USPS Commercial Plus rates Top Rated Sellers get and actually provides greater savings than anyone gets when buying labels from eBay: Cubic Rate Pricing. Eligible packages can be no larger than 1/2 a cubic foot. The price is based on the cubic size and distance, not the weight which is great for small, heavy items. Shippo and PirateShip offer the same for free, but their products are optimized for subscription box services that send large quantities of identical boxes. FitShipper is designed for eBay and I feel $5/mo is a bargain. It’s run by Joshua Newell, the guy behind FlipperTools.com, an excellent free resource.
- This reply was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by Paul. Reason: Added info about USPS Cubic Rate
It looks like you accepted a best offer of $100 after it remained unsold on 4/1/18 as listing 142307326328 and on 5/1/18 as listing 132564830030. I am able to find this because I pay $144/year for a Terapeak subscription. In my niche, it easily pays for itself because the 1 year of historical sales is often needed to evaluate the obscure government surplus items I sometimes can buy for ridiculously low prices if my competitors without Terapeak can’t find any similar items that have sold on eBay within the past 90 days.
It looks like you may be using the Out of Stock option in which a listing does not end when the quantity available reaches zero. Instead, they remain active until you manually end those listings. Active listings that have a quantity of Zero available do not appear in search results. This explains why others don’t see it in search results. After you manually end that listing, it will appear in search results of completed listings… unless you ticked the Private checkbox when creating the listing.
Some sellers use this functionality to prevent competitors from spying on their best selling replenishable products to identify those that they can source at wholesale and start the race to the bottom. I sometimes do that myself if I feel it wouldn’t be difficult for another seller to guess where I source certain items or when I have found a retail arbitrage item that I don’t other sellers or sometimes the retailer (Bose Outlet) to see that I’m flipping on eBay.
Buytikiselltiki, regarding your thoughts about eBay’s earnings, I think you are absolutely right! It seems that one of their most critical performance measures is Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV), which they are always touting. So if that is a significant driver of the stock price and the execs’ pay, the recent changes may primarily be designed to further increase GMV. I wouldn’t be surprised if GMV excludes returns and besides, eBay isn’t going to bear very much of the loss on return shipping, sellers will and that leads to seller increasing prices to offset postage losses… further increasing GMV and the stock price 😉
Looks like I guessed right. Wikipedia: “GMV or gross merchandise volume for e-commerce retail companies means sale price charged to the customer multiplied by the number of items sold. … It does not tell the net sales or actual amount of audited services as GMV does not include discounts, costs involved and returns of products.”
I am guessing Grif will not take kindly to me sharing this hypothesis with him on eBay Radio =) Based on my last call, he will probably ask if I am a CPA. Actually, yes, I am – ha! 🙂
- This reply was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by Paul. Reason: added link to press release touting GMV
- This reply was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by Paul. Reason: Quoted Wikipedia entry explaining the GMV is typically not reduced by returns
- This reply was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by Paul. Reason: Should I ask Grif?
- This reply was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by Paul.
Buytikiselltiki, even though I know it’s detrimental to my efforts to increase my sales, I too find it hard to skimp on any of the work needed to ensure my items are thoroughly tested, accurately described and competitively priced. The benefit is that I have 100% positive feedback, am TRS and am even somewhat surprised I rarely get returns. On those rare occasions I do, usually nobody is at fault (most recent was an item inside a sealed box had deteriorated due to age).
For the others that seem unjustified, in retrospect, there usually was a “tell” that hinted that they had unreasonable expectations (like the guy who was almost asking a notarized chain of custody and my cost for a $150 cellular hotspot device I was selling that had 4 weeks of service remaining that I had prepaid. It would be worth $30 less after it got returned later, which I avoided by selling it to someone else a few hours later. He bought it before I could reply, block him, and cancel the order. My intuition was right; he next sent me this, which I have ignored (there is nothing he can do other than leave negative feedback, which hasn’t happened): “Contacting you, first, before filing a dispute claim with Ebay’s Resolution Center, if a satisfactory conclusion to this matter is not reached, between us, pertaining to this matter.. Ebay’s Resolution Center will have access to all of the correspondence of messages that have sent and received between us to conclude their decision to who is at fault in this matter.. I did not cancel this order for a refund, as you stated to Ebay, as the reason, you did.. And I got a message from Ebay that substantiates that fact.. I have sent you several other messages prior to this one, also, without receiving your reply, regarding your cancellation of my order, that was already paid for thru Pay Pal, without my consent to do so.”
- This reply was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by Paul.
Thanks Ryanne, I was not aware of that subtle distinction. It appears that your understanding may be based on this: “Starting June 1, 2018, when you offer free returns, you’ll have greater control to manage your business, and you can decide to issue partial refunds to buyers. For example, if a buyer uses or damages an item and returns it, you can decide to issue a partial refund and we’ll take it from there.” The key phrase is “when you offer free returns” and what they did not explicitly state is that if you do NOT offer free returns, you will not be allowed to issue a partial refund. I will try to get to Grif to publicly confirm or refute that.
This statement from an eBay exec at a meeting at HQ seems to confirm Ryanne’s understanding: https://youtu.be/Tps1B_plazE?t=1h19m25s What he may have omitted is that you’re SOL if you don’t offer free returns. Elsewhere in that video, Grif explains that if sellers withhold a portion of the refund and the buyer escalates it, the buyer will be made whole by eBay using ebay’s funds and they will be monitoring that for abuse such as sellers repeatedly withholding a portion of refunds and advising buyers to open a case to get the rest of their refund paid by ebay.
I’m the caller. I feel that Grif revealed a little more about the real intent of the recent changes when he said: “ebay’s trying to get itself out of the return policy, uh, area where then, you know, a seller says I don’t want to take this back, what do I do? The simplification for returns that was announced a few months ago that starts this month is to make that process as easy for buyers and sellers and nearly every return incidence there’s less reasons for returns that a buyer can select, there’s less options for sellers who set up returns, which is as it should be.” Seems to me that the primary motive is to reduce ebay’s customer support labor cost related to returns.
As for the TV/VCR combo, discussed moments earlier, Grif said he wouldn’t pass judgement based on a buyer’s feedback: “I’m not going to trust feedback in this case because it is one side of the story.” He apparently misunderstood my earlier explanation that the buyer had received well over 50 positive feedback within the past 30 days. Obviously, that is an account being used to purchase/source items for resale or when coupled with the request to make the used item appear as new and omit the invoice, that is an account being used by a drop shipper. He said if the TV/VCR combo was actually shipped and an INAD case resulted because of the used condition of the TV, eBay would side with the seller because the listing said it was in used condition. Sure, but a drop shipper who sources well over 50 items a month on eBay is going to have learned that to prevail, all they need is a better excuse that eBay can’t independently verify such as a bogus claim that the speaker doesn’t work. The seller gets screwed and the ultimate buyer has no idea that the intermediary drop-shipper is lying to the original seller. I know Grif recognizes this and just doesn’t want to publicly admit this reality.
For those who don’t know, there is software that create listings on other marketplaces like Sears.com, Walmart.com, etc for merchandise that seller doesn’t possess. When an order comes in, they get their $3/hour virtual assistant (often based in the Philippines because of their excellent English skills and work ethic) to source that item on eBay with a message to the eBay seller stating it’s a gift and not include an invoice. The person acting as the intermediary pockets the difference in price between what they sold it for and what they paid you. They have ZERO risk because they hold no inventory and if the ultimate customer is unhappy, eBay is going to side with them and force the return and bear the shipping cost both ways. This is a bonanza for drop shippers, especially in light of eBay promotion of free returns. If you want to learn how this shady business is done, YouTube has plenty of people selling courses and software to get this done. Google Paul Lipsky, who reportedly nets $10k – $20k per month doing this using a team of $3/ hour virtual assistants while he works as an attorney at his day job.
I plan on calling in to Ebay Radio every Tuesday and Thursday to get relatively authoritative answers from Grif about anything there is uncertainty about. My list of upcoming questions include 1) Does a seller’s TRS status boost their items in search ranking? (I saw him offhandedly say no, it does not in a live event recorded by Reezy Resales, but I would like to him to say that again for more people to hear) and 2) Will Free returns on a given item cause it to rank higher in search results? and 3) Why are listings created on a mobile device not automatically mad mobile-friendly?
04/08/2018 at 11:40 am in reply to: Scavenger Life Episode 355: We Catch Up w/ Mark Tew, Not Your Dad’s CPA #37346
- This reply was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by Paul.
Great episode! I’m a full-time reseller and non-practicing CPA. Mark Tew is the only CPA I refer people to for help with taxes. He knows what he’s doing and graciously spends a lot of time answering tax questions in his free Facebook group: Accounting for Online Sellers His e-book Reseller Finance is a bargain at $11.99 and I consider it a must-have for all ebay resellers. This isn’t a paid endorsement; I bought and thoroughly read Mark’s book so that I could recommend it with confidence. I’m glad I don’t offer CPA service for resellers because I couldn’t compete with Mark’s prices – reselling is far more profitable and less stressful for me.