Posts Tagged ‘ebay’

The greatest eBay item of all time…?

March 27th, 2012 15 Comments By Andy Dawson

The title of the listing tells you everything you need to know – ‘Taxidermy: Wild Grey Super Squirrel’. Start the bidding at £14.99…

Screen Shot 2012 03 27 at 14.53.56 The greatest eBay item of all time...?

bitterwallet ebay logo 500x500 Deal Klaxon! Free £5 to spend at eBay (First 50,000) (Now expired!)Hola amigos! This post has nothing to do with consumer law or sweat stained leotards I am afraid. However…it does offer you a free £5 voucher to spend at eBay as long as you checkout with PayPal!

So, what are you waiting for? Get on over here to check out the HotUKDeals thread and buy yourself something that you would not have purchased if you had to part with some actual money. Feels good, doesn’t it.

Thanks to msesaver001 over at HotUKDeals.

**Deal is no more – 50,000 transactions has now been reached**

Got a spare $5,000 lying around? If so, the bad news is that you’ve just missed out on the chance to invest it in a unique historical artifact that has just been sold in that prestigious international auction house, eBay.

Take a closer look – it’s a three-year-old chicken McNugget that supposedly looks like George Washington.

615x330 ChickenNugget HERO 500x268 £5,000 for George Washington the chicken McNugget? Youd be mad not to

Rebekah Speight is the lucky lady who found the tasty miracle, storing it in her freezer until the time was right to try and flog it for as much cash as possible. Rebekah sold the McNugget as part of an attempt to raise $15,000 and send 50 children to summer church camp in Sioux City.

Her listing for the chewy artefact said: “By bidding on this rare President George Washington Chicken McNugget…not only will you have an opportunity to be the new owner of this rare find, but you will be investing in the lives of children.”

We’re almost in tears here, and we haven’t even had the privilege of smelling or licking it.


PayPal order destruction of WWII violin

January 4th, 2012 6 Comments By Mof Gimmers

PayPal, who made the shortlist in our Worst Companies of 2011, have been showing a wilful disregard for common sense again, this time getting someone to smash up a violin that survived WWII.

A vendor sold an old French violin to a buyer who disputed the label on the instrument. This isn’t uncommon in the violin market. However, instead of understanding what a label dispute means in the violin world, PayPal “made the buyer DESTROY the violin” as they deemed the violin to be “counterfeit”.

paypal smashed violin 499x310 PayPal order destruction of WWII violin

Is there such thing as a pretend violin? Either way, it appears that PayPal don’t have any problem with destroying instruments that have been “examined and authenticated by a top luthier prior to its sale.”

Of course, if you were a sneak, you could exploit PayPal’s system by buying a cheap, tatty violin, crying ‘fake’, smash it up at their behest and then make off with the expensive one complete with a refund. That’d invariably work with clothes and bags too, so well done PayPal.

Read the full story with correspondence and small print here.

Worst Company Of 2011 – the first quarter-finals

December 28th, 2011 3 Comments By Andy Dawson

wcb 2011 deal Worst Company Of 2011   the first quarter finalsFollowing your frenzied vote-casting, we’ve whittled our way down to the eight worst companies in the UK over the past year. They are (in no particular order) eBay, TalkTalk, Vodafone, Santander, Tesco, Yodel, BT and Groupon. Now it’s time for four more of them to be eliminated.

Here’s the first two quarter-final showdowns – first up we have nightmare courier firm Yodel paired with supermarket giants Tesco. Then comes the online auction fiasco that it eBay, coupled with diabolical daily deal vendors Groupon. You’ve got until the end of Thursday to make your decision, and the other two quarter-finals will be here later this afternoon.

Meanwhile, catch up with all the voting to date here.

Worst Company Of 2011 – two more to vote on

December 23rd, 2011 9 Comments By Andy Dawson

wcb 2011 deal Worst Company Of 2011   two more to vote onIt’s Worst Company Of The Year time again here at Bitterwallet and here’s your fifth vote-off in the first round of eight showdowns between the shabbiest companies that the country has to offer.

Ponder for a moment while you decide which you hate most out of BT and British Gas, in a battle between two former nationally-owned companies that were sold off and have constantly pissed you off over the past year.

After that comes the deadly duo that is eBay and Paypal, in the head-to-head that usually causes lots of controversy among certain elements of our readership. Have we pitted them against each other purely out of spite? We couldn’t possibly comment.

You’ve got until the end of Boxing Day to make your decision which of them will progress to the quarter-finals so don’t go making any rash decisions. Catch up with all the voting so far here…

ctree 200x300 One mans nasty eBay VAT surprise for ChristmasIt’s tempting, especially at this time of year, to turn to eBay for bargain presents or to make a quick buck. However, someone else also looks to eBay to make some easy money- and the taxman might even offer you a complimentary stay at Her Majesty’s pleasure.

We have previously wondered aloud about HMRC’s targeted campaign against eBay traders, and whether or not their methods are legitimate, the fact remains that if you are trading, you should be declaring your profits as income and paying income tax as appropriate. But what some traders may further overlook is the fact that if you make a large amount of sales, you may also be required to charge VAT.

The current turnover limit for VAT registration is £73,000,  so if you have made this amount of sales (no, not profit) in the last 12 months, or expect to cross this threshold in the next 30 days, you should register for VAT. This means you need to add 20% to the selling price of your goods and pay it over to HMRC. If you do not register, then your selling price will be assumed to be VAT inclusive and they will still want their money.

Take the case of a ‘stay-at-home’ father from Croydon who was found guilty of avoiding more than £420,000 in VAT.

Instead of declaring his electrical goods sales to the VATman and adding on the 20% VAT, he was able to undercut his rivals because he “did not realise he was obliged to pay VAT on the goods he sold”.

In 2007, he was informed by his accountant that he should have been charging VAT and that he owed approximately £67,000, but instead of paying up, he foolishly continued until he was caught in December 2010.

Prosecutor David Hewitt said “It wasn’t until 2007 that he realised he wasn’t paying it properly. At that point he was in too deep and he realised he was stuck. He did try it legitimately but he couldn’t make the system work because he couldn’t make enough money.”

Sentencing him to 20 months in prison, Judge Anthony Leonard QC said: “Being aware of your obligations to pay VAT you carried out a thoroughly dishonest scheme to avoid paying VAT. You avoided £429,000 of VAT and because you were able to offer the goods at prices below those a trader paying VAT could you have prevented honest tax paying traders competing with you.”

Of course, we must assume that the majority of eBay sellers are already aware of their VAT obligations and that they are correctly accounting for VAT. However, for the less fiscally aware, news of this case may mean that your bargain goods become 20% more expensive. Alternatively, once these sellers take account of seller fees, Paypal fees and VAT, they may decide not to bother after all.

bitterwallet ebay logo 300x300 eBay is here to reignite the ailing high street! Or somethingListen up! eBay is coming to the High Street! Eh? How does that work? We’re not sure, but we’ll try and explain it to you.

It’s all going to happen in the West End of London, and for five days only fron 1st December. It’ll be a ‘pop-up shop’, which to us translates as ‘easily smashed to bits’ but never mind. Oh, and there’ll be no tills either. Shoppers will pay with their smartphones, scanning one of those psychedelic QR codes that will take them to the payment section of eBay’s website.

Oh, and the shop won’t sell any actual stuff that you can walk away with on the day. There’ll be just 200 best-selling items in the ‘pop-up shop’ and if you purchase any of them, they’ll be delivered to your home in the normal way.

So, essentially, it’ll be a souped-up internet café. Which we suspect will be easily smashed up. Thanks eBay – we’ll see you THERE!

You’ve only got a few hours before this one has gone from eBay – it’s a Sinclair C5 that has been converted from a potential deathtrap into a beautiful modern-looking cot bed fit for your favourite kid. Although, as the seller points out, he made it himself so it doesn’t comply with any pesky safety standards…

Screen Shot 2011 11 15 at 11.06.22 The Bitterwallet Christmas Box: Gift 4 – the Sinclair C5 cot bed

Buy Newcastle United on eBay

October 11th, 2011 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

Want to buy the lettering from Newcastle United’s Park East Stand at the theatre of satire, St James’ Park? If the answer is a baffling ‘why aye’, then you’re in luck because the club is selling them off on eBay.

Newcastle United East Stand eBay 500x234 Buy Newcastle United on eBay

Why are they selling them off? Presumably to replace the letters with a gigantic advert for something. Probably Sports Direct. Magpies will love that  logo. It looks like they were right, although they have now got the chance to own the letters.

Each 6ft letter sis being flogged in the name of charity, which means you can do something worthwhile for once, while also getting the chance to spell out ‘Uncleaned Sew Tit’ or ‘Sweet Nun Dialect’ and there’s definitely a ‘C’, ‘N’, ‘U’ and a ‘T’ to play with.


Quick! Get your bids in!

September 29th, 2011 9 Comments By Andy Dawson

Erm…. why exactly?

Screen shot 2011 09 29 at 22.52.55 500x231 Quick! Get your bids in!

[via @juux]

Yesterday we brought you’s original homepage, and now, way back when it was known as AuctionWeb, here’s a screenshot of how eBay used to look almost 15 years ago. Much friendlier than it does today, eh readers? EH??

awhomepage The ancient world of The Internet. Part two: eBay, back in 1997

bitterwallet ebay logo 300x300 How to save 38% on cheap eBay Buy It Now purchasesHere’s a VERY CLEVER piece of trickery from HotUKDeals user ibiza that could save you some money when you’re buying Buy It Now stuff from eBay. Here’s what ibiza says….

This works best on getting cheaper things from the Far East, and nothing you are hoping to see in a few days.

On eBay UK the minimum Buy It Now price is 99p. However, if you go to the address bar of your browser and change the “.uk” in the eBay address to “m” to get “…” you get the same search on the American site where the minimum Buy It Now price is 99c, which comes it at 61p when paid with Paypal. It also helps if you change where it’s searching to “worldwide” (this is near the bottom of the list of options at the left of the page – and its a little box you tick).

I used it for buying things for party bags and saved about a tenner dropping the cost to £20. I also got two Nokia USB chargers for our phones for $0.99 when for one on the UK site it was £0.99. Additionally – as the postage from the Far East is actually far less than the UK, often the postage is free. On the few things that arrived with normal stamps rather than a printed type frank – the postage was 2.5 Yaun – so less than a UK second class stamp for a slim letter. I think the fee charged by Paypal is just a not very good exchange rate – and I would doubt if its more than 1p or 2p more per £1 than a good exchange would give you (the no commission type). Here is the exchange rate I just paid there just now….

“PayPal Conversion Rate as of 24 Aug 2011: 1 British Pound = 1.59579 US Dollars”

To those of you expressing concerns about any tax or duty that may be due, they currently ignore everything under £18, although this will be dropping to £15 just before Christmas. So you would need to buy over twenty items and have them packed in the one envelope for it to attract any duty even then. But if there are thousands of small packages coming through – then no one is going to check – and I have not had mail opened buy customs for a few years now. The changes are likely to be aimed at and MyMemory who currently pay the UK directly on all imports over £18.

So there you go. Thanks ibiza!

PayPal Unwelcome 283x300 UK Paypal still deny *that* affair with HMRC, but let your details slip anyway

this is a genuine photo from Paypal's media library. Seriously.

You probably remember us reporting on HMRC claiming they could magically tie up people’s eBay usernames with their self assessment record a little while ago. We ponitifcated on the matter, as did you, and some suggested that it might be eBay-owned Paypal who was sharing the pillow talk with HMRC.

Now, new reports that Paypal in the US are sharing information with the IRS seemed to add further weight to speculations of a sordid little affair here in the UK.

In the US, owing to new IRS rules, PayPal has started asking users to provide a tax ID number, which is either a Social Security number, Individual Tax Identification Number or an Employer Identification Number. PayPal (US) will use this tax ID number to send tax Form 1099-K to you and the IRS when the payments you receive exceed both of these milestones in a calendar year:

> $20,000 in gross payment volume for goods and services
> 200 payments

Clearly most ‘normal’, non-trading PayPal users, will not breach theses limits, so Paypal will not need to report them to the IRS. But they’ll still need to enter their tax ID just in case. Hmmm.

So we asked Paypal UK about this. At first they were baffled, knowing nothing of the US, but when pressed we were given the following responses:

Paypal takes data protection seriously and would never volunteer account information, but they do work with law enforcement and will provide any information requested by law. They also confirmed that there are no plans to request self-assessment of other tax reference numbers from UK Paypal users.

So that’s good, right? Paypal only gives HMRC information when required to do so by law. Nothing shady going on here.

Er. Almost.

You see, back in 2008, some new rules were introduced in the Finance Act 2008, specifically Schedule 36. And Schedule 36 FA 2008 gives HMRC some fairly hefty powers to request information. The law states:

“An officer of Revenue and Customs may by notice in writing require a person

(a) to provide information, or

(b) to produce a document,

if the information or document is reasonably required by the officer for the purpose of checking the tax position of another person whose identity is known to the officer (the taxpayer).”

Strictly speaking HMRC should get consent from the taxpayer first (known as an informal request), but they don’t always have to. Their own manuals of best practice state the following:

“We may need extra information or to carry out an inspection in order to check a person’s tax position. The vast majority of people co-operate with our requests…However, we are not obliged to make an informal request. We may decide to use our legal powers straight away where we have good reason to believe it will be more effective or efficient to do so. For example, we might not make an informal request where there is a history of non-cooperation or where tax evasion is a feature of the case.

We might also not make an informal request to obtain information from third parties, even where a person is co-operating fully and tax evasion is not suspected. This may be because …there is no informal way of obtaining the information. For example, there may be confidentiality or Data Protection issues for the third party.”

So even if you have done nothing wrong, or are not suspected of doing anything wrong, HMRC can ‘formally request’ information on your Paypal account. And Paypal will tell them everything. Looks like the Mystery of the Taxman and the eBay seller is now solved.

Still, if you have nothing to hide, there’s no need to worry about huge invasions of privacy or anything is there?