With more and more people here in the UK having to use food banks in order to be able to continue feeding their families, it is time for politicians to take a look at themselves, and start to make a difference.
One food bank alone has this week said that for the year 2012 - 2013 they expect to feed 280,000 people - up from 129,000 people in 2011 - 2012.
With this in mind, the British National Party - the do-ers of politics - are encouraging members and supporters to sell their unwanted items on selling sites such as Ebay in order to help our food aid programme.
Below is a step by step guide to get started:
1)Set up an eBay account (www.ebay.co.uk)
2) Link it to a Paypal account (www.paypal.co.uk)
3) You may be given a limited-seller account when you start a new account. To change this, click the “request higher selling allowance” link and follow the instructions. EBay will write to you via snail mail to confirm your address: follow instructions in the letter to increase your selling allowance.
4) Every month you may list 100 items for 99p or less with no up-front fees. Note that both eBay and Paypal take a percentage of your final prices, so it is important to budget for these fees.
5) Various times a month - usually at the weekend - there will be a promotion on, where you can list 100 items for £1 or more with no up-front fees.
Use this opportunity to list your higher-value items and start them at a realistic price, rather than run the risk of listing them at 99p and selling them at 99p if they are worth £5, for example.
6) Check how much your postage will be! Kitchen scales and the Royal Mail website are your best friends for this. As a guide, if your item, for example a shirt, will go as a package at £2.20, you must remember to add on your fees and packing cost.
So although the postage will only be £2.20, the amount that you will charge your buyer will be between £3 or £4. Be aware, though, that higher postage costs will deter some bidders; and that eBay has fixed postage costs for various items.
Remember also that postage for parcels is due to rise in April – so keep this in mind, and make sure you don’t under-price your postage!
7) Get proof of postage from the post office (this is a receipt with the address either printed or written on by the post office assistant) and keep this safe so that you can claim from Royal Mail if your item goes missing. Remember that if an item is worth more than £45 it must be posted “signed for” (£3.15 for a packet) or else you may get no refund from the Royal Mail if they lose your item.
8) Be honest! If your item is incorrectly described, you run the risk of negative feedback and having to pay a refund for the item.
9) Post your items in a timely manner once they have been paid for. If you are going to be late posting an item, message your buyer and explain this to them.
10) If an item is bulky or heavy, consider either using a courier (www.parcel2go.com) or offering it for local pick-up only. (Always take care when arranging to meet someone or if you have someone come to your home to collect an item.)
11) Be seasonal! For instance, there is little demand for Christmas decorations in February so these are unlikely to sell for much. Keep them and start selling them in October or November to optimize selling cost.
12) Learn the lingo, and use it in your title and descriptions. BNIB = Brand New In Box. BNWT = Brand New With Tags. BNWOT = Brand New Without Tags. EUC = Excellent Used Condition. Use as many keywords as possible, and always include brand name, sizes, measurements, weight etc., as appropriate.
There are of course alternatives to eBay, these include, but are not limited to, car-boot sales, Musicmagpie, Amazon, eBid and Facebook local selling sites. It is worth trying a number of ways to sell your items, after all, the more money raised this way, the more money your local good cause has - no bad thing!