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Has Babz Media stopped trading?

By Dan Wilson October 7, 2015 - 7:50 pm

It would look like one of eBay’s most prolific sellers, Babz Media, has stopped selling. It has not been confirmed whether this is a temporary or permanent state of affairs. All our attempts to contact Babz Media in the past few days have been unsuccessful.

Here are the facts:

– On Monday we noted that their eBay and Amazon (bar a handful of Amazon FBA items) had been removed from sale.
– Babz’s social media accounts on Twitter and Facebook have been deleted.
– Our attempts to phone Babz have been unsuccessful for three days.

One concern we have is how such a closure could affect buyers. eBay have commented on the case: “We are in close contact with the seller and will make sure that no eBay buyers are left out of pocket. Anyone who has made a purchase that hasn’t been delivered will receive a full refund.”

Babz was included in WebRetailer’s top ten Worldwide eBay seller charts at number 2 in June. They received well over £1m positive feedback in the previous 12 months. So it’s fair to say Babz was doing serious volume on eBay.

We know that all sorts of rumours have been doing the rounds (some more credible than others) but so far noone has satisfied us with irrefutable evidence on what the situation is.

Please be mindful, if you comment, that a) peoples’ livelihoods have been affected here and some level of compassion is welcome and b) wild speculation, spreading rumours without basis is not useful. You are responsible for your own comments.

  • JT
    1 year ago

    How does a business like that just disappear?

  • ifellow
    1 year ago

    http://www.letsrecycle.com/news/latest-news/babz-media-fined-for-breaching-environmental-rules/

    maybe they simply couldnt be bothered to carry on after this.

  • Jez
    1 year ago
    • Simon Jones
      1 year ago

      That will explain why I have not received my tapes, taken my money but no contact at all have tried all ways of contacting them!!

    • Kenneth Gollop
      1 year ago

      I ordered some cdr’s on the 11/10/15 sent them emails and tried phoning no answer I have now made a claim through PayPal, looks like they are closed.

  • db
    1 year ago

    That fine is tiny for them – about a day’s sales.

    • ifellow
      1 year ago

      A days sales at 100% profit.

    • john
      1 year ago

      Some of that stuff babz sold was very low profit.

    • James
      1 year ago

      They were very big… I would say that was more like 5 hours sales.

  • JT
    1 year ago

    I just can’t see a £45k fine being the reason they take their whole £19m per year business offline unannounced. It’s very strange how it’s just happened.

  • Dean
    1 year ago

    Someone said on money supermarket “Babz Media Ltd is being investigated for fraud. Their accounts have been frozen by the courts so are unable to trade. This was instigated by Royal Mail. “

  • Toby
    1 year ago

    With over 8.6million feedbacks “Left for others” just on the Babz account [not counting their other ID’s] that is an awful loss for eBay & the customer base whom would also purchase from us & other sellers.

  • Gerry007
    1 year ago

    .
    There seems quite a bit here:

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?s=57162d2d6b91c390847c8e5ce9d37f33&p=69283050

    Looks like once the EA got their legal action in the whole pack of cards started to collapse.
    ‘Pile it high and sell it cheap’, works if you have all the expenses covered, which it appears Babz HAD NOT..

    Selling BATTERIES ONLINE AND WITH NO EA back up is a big no, no. The clean up cost are extensive.
    Babzmedia.com still appears to be active, but weather you get the goods or not is another thing (although any liquidator needs an outlet).

    Margins are poor for this type of businesss, making penny’s on items is the norm.
    Seems packaging sales (to B2B customers) seems bis for them
    Royal Mail, etc must have lost a bnundle, but if Babz were fiddling the daily parcel count out (As stated in the link) not sure why RM did not pull the plug sooner.

    Mailite A/000 @ £6.25 box all in , deliveried is not enough, just do the homework£6.25p – VAT = £5.20p, ebay/paypal fees about 0.80p(with luck!!), Very light but still Parcel post cannot be less than £2, so without the cost price we are down to nett @ £2.40p. – warehouse/staff cost.,and you are way down below cost price here… We have a reliable source @ under £3 a box, but there harddly anything in that, so maybe it is a profit thing….

    • MailLiteMaster
      1 year ago

      Viking used to give ‘certain customers’ a price of £2.50 net per box for A/000, then you could apply a buy 2 get 1 free offer using a hidden code. £1.66 per box. You’d deliberately order multiples of 88 boxes, getting 44 free, conveniently giving you a total of 132 boxes which was the pallet quantity. Oops!!!

    • Martin
      1 year ago

      Why can parcel post not be less than £2?

    • Gerry007
      1 year ago

      .
      Martin,
      Show me where and I’ll buy it….

  • Mark
    1 year ago

    Here’s hoping that if they have closed down, they haven’t impacted too many staff who were kind of relying on their wages in the run up to Xmas.

  • Sarah
    1 year ago
  • David
    1 year ago

    We we’re informed by one of our suppliers, who supplied Babz that they received an email on Monday 5th September confirming Babz had ceased trading, due to reasons not given at this time.

  • Terry
    1 year ago

    First company to be guilty of all three Environmental offences.

  • Rob
    1 year ago

    Looking at their closed items, they have this message on eBay:

    “This seller is currently away until 31 Oct, 2015, and isn’t processing orders at this time”

  • Stevie H
    1 year ago

    “Babz was included in WebRetailer’s top ten Worldwide eBay seller charts at number 2 in June. They received well over £1m positive feedback in the previous 12 months. So it’s fair to say Babz was doing serious volume on eBay.”

    Actually they were number one because Bargain-Bonanzaa at number 5 was also them.

    • Jez
      1 year ago

      Selling the same products under two ebay accounts? I thought this was against ebays rules?

  • Kieran
    1 year ago

    It would not surprise me if they were avoiding other things such as VAT whilst trading, they were selling things at very low margins as far as i could tell, which is generally a risky strategy, i would not miss them but i hope that not too many people are now out of work if they have dissapeared.

    • Stevie H
      1 year ago

      The thing is the pricing structure of this company will have forced 100’s if not 1000’s of other small ebay sellers to shut up shop so they have already affected livelihoods.

  • 1 year ago

    Maybe it’s an Icarus situation. If you fly to close to the sun……?

  • 1 year ago

    We like to think we’re savvy with our margins, and our nett profit only makes up around 2.5% of our annual turnover, so I can imagine Babz might kill their margins a lot to try and get more sales.
    So £19m turnover might sound great, but a £45k fine, plus a lot of legal fees might be a massive killer for them.

    • Ryan Kett
      1 year ago

      The paid themselves about £400k in dividends in their last reported financial year, plus £200k+ in retained profit, so unlikely that a £45k fine would have killed them off. I mean, if it were for the sake of a few ten thousand even their suppliers would loan them that to retain their business.

      Something far more significant appears to have happened. We’ve all seen the speculation, just need to await the news. All I will say is that it would come as no great surprise to me if the rumours were found to be true.

  • Joe
    1 year ago

    Dan, what makes you think they’d tell you anything? If my business was in trouble, the last thing I’d be doing would be answering questions to strangers who blog about stuff.

  • steve
    1 year ago

    Long time coming. This firm sent just about everything by recorded delivery and the correct postage cost would have been greater than the wholesale value of the product. Their demise my impact positively on other sellers through a more level playing field.

  • Adrian
    1 year ago

    Their alternative seller IDs “bargain-bonanza” listings have vanished also.

  • 1 year ago

    I once ordered a pack of staples from them for 99p with free shipping, It was definitely in the small packet size and I couldn’t see anyway that they could make profit on that unless they declared that packet as a large letter or not declared it at all. Clearly Royal Mail has cottoned on, if the reports of mail fraud and police raids on other websites are true.

    Although I benefited from the cheap boxes that babz media sold , I feel no sympathy for them whatsoever, eBay observed these sorts of sellers offering free shipping and then told us we should all offer free shipping or forced us to pay 10% more for final value fees. Well, now we have an idea how they offered that free shipping.

    Welldone Royal Mail , and here’s to higher prices and profits for the downtrodden eBay/Amazon seller.

  • Janice
    1 year ago

    I’m not going to make any comment on the speculation surrounding Babz. I firmly believe you are innocent until proven guilty. I will however make two observations. The new 2D voluntary barcodes that Royal Mail have introduced will eventually become compulsory, this way Royal Mail will know exactly how many items you are sending. Also, in the ebay category where I sell, all the ridiculously priced items (£2.50 for a 1 kilo item) have disappeared overnight, has the speculation around babz scared a few sellers off? I feel eBay will become a more even playing field for the honest sellers in the months to come.

    • Sarah
      1 year ago

      Good post Janice .
      I kept my ebay selling account open just in case things did change ,I will be watching carefully over the next few weeks .

  • paddy
    1 year ago

    Their website still appears to be taking orders…..

  • Derek Duval
    1 year ago

    Good riddance, I despise those pile it high sell it cheap idiot sellers who make working on Ebay a daily struggle…

  • Blacklabel
    1 year ago

    I met Babz (from Babz Media) at the eBay conference, he was one of the speakers. I was quite impressed with what they have achieved, he confirmed that they were turning over £25m and more importantly suppling businesses were making them more money than Ebay.

    They had a dedicated eBay manager who looks after their account.

    Not quite sure what to say as i was about to place an order on Monday worth £1K

    • Nancy
      1 year ago

      I am in the same boat… I need the Mason Jars in bulk!

      Stress Galore… over the last two weeks I have turned every and any link I could find from similar jars,,, NONE

      I really hope we can at least get information as this is affecting my business too

  • John S
    1 year ago

    Can’t personally see anything wrong with their business model; buy low, squeeze suppliers, sell low and fast stock turnover. Their margin after tax (around 3-4 %) and stock turnover (around 9-10) is very similar to a business like say Tescos.
    However where it can possibly all go wrong is if corners are cut to achieve the numbers (e.g. the environmental problem).
    Think third party service providers should allocate a highly retail and business experienced account manager to de-risk any problems. Crawl all over the business to understand it fully and protect your revenue stream, not to mention any publicity fall-out from problems. Maybe they did, ultimatley it is down to the business directors to operate within the law, but providing a platform for the business to carry out its activities also comes with some responsibility (if you want to keep collecting the fat pile of money every month).

    • Derek Duval
      1 year ago

      Utter drival…I detest that business model and pis* my pants when it ultimately crashes down on them. In the mean time I will sit her making a handsome 200% markup on everything I sell on Ebay.

    • Sarah
      1 year ago

      Ditto
      I also LOL when I see sellers saying look at my feedback I am a great seller ,yes of course you are ,feedback pays the bills & pays you a salary .(I don’t think so )

      Lesson NO 1
      Turnover is vanity, profit is sanity but cash is reality.

      Most seller don’t have any cash , they either owe it to the bank or its all tied up in stock .

      PS I am not bitter honest .
      I love working in the real world again x

    • John S
      1 year ago

      I guess they were laughing too when they took their £380k in dividends last year (until it’s gone wrong).

    • Derek Duval
      1 year ago

      Aint laughing now are they smart as*

    • John S
      1 year ago

      Not sure I understand your question. I agree with you (apart from the last part of your comment), thats what I said above isnt it?

  • Hereford FC fan
    1 year ago

    How do they make money out of this item at 99p. They have sold over 10,300 of them. Based on the last 100 units sold only 4 customers bought more than 1 unit.

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/iPhone-4-4S-FRONT-AND-BACK-SCREEN-PROTECTOR-GUARD-LCD-FULL-BODY-COVER-PROTECT-/380601685250

    Inc VAT 99p
    VAT 16.5p
    Ebay fees 9p
    Paypal fees 21p
    Leaves 52.5p

    Then the following need to be paid for.
    Packaging
    Postage
    Packing/warehouse wages
    Items ‘lost’ in the post.
    Cost of product

    They can’t be making a profit surely?

    • BillyPeants
      1 year ago

      They could make profit. It’s at letter postage, and they are probably using a micropayments account for the cheap listings so only a £0.05 PayPal transaction fee. Also if it lowers the average weight of the letters or large letters down then other products would have a higher margin. In their accounts the gross margin was 9% so I believe they could achieve that on a 99p item.

      I hope they come back, everybody deserves a third chance (medbat 1st and then Babz 2nd). Looks like they registered a new company so assuming all the stuff about about them being raided etc is lies, they should be able to turn their eBay and Amazon listings live again without much damage done.

    • Hereford FC fan
      1 year ago

      How do they get paypal payments for 5p? I would like to see if I can get that price.

      They are also selling items which are large letter size for 99p.

    • Simon M
      1 year ago

      PayPal Micro account fees = 5p per transaction, plus 5% of the transaction.

      https://www.paypal.com/uk/webapps/mpp/micropayments

      S.

    • Richard
      1 year ago

      The hope being that while looking they’ll buy something else too, I know I have in the past when buying cheap mail-lites thought let’s have a look what else they have in. I know I’ve often made multiple purchases from them and other similar ebay sellers. Just in front of me on the desk there’s batteries, blu-tack, paper clips, pen pot holder, USB drives, wall-planner, and all sorts of stuff that come from eBay.

  • 1 year ago

    Hereford FC,
    Anyone who has traded for a long time understands how this business model works,it’s actually a very old system,profits are not that relevant,cash coming in quickly is vital….hence why they sell at loss making prices.
    Steve

    • Gary
      1 year ago

      Using this “profit is not that relevant” business model how long does the average business trade for?

      I’ve recently had my “Congratulations you have been selling on ebay for 14 years” email from ebay. As you can tell I prefer the “profit is relevant” business model!

      Truth is ebay don’t actually care if you make a profit as long as they get their cut of turnover. Yesterdays bankrupt is tomorrows start up as far as ebay are concerned.

  • A
    1 year ago

    Its a shame really – I have dealt with them in the past and always had a very good service. However its hard to feel sympathy for them – lets remember these types of enormous High Volume:Low Margin sellers may well be one of the reasons that thousands of small independent sellers have been unable to compete, and if they are anything like myself, stopped selling their low price items altogether.

  • Jonathan Powell
    1 year ago

    Meeja was quick to report Babz as ‘ebay millionaires’ but slow to report that Babz seems to have vanished.

    The authors on twitter included @stephjourno1 and @juliarampenMM

    No response from them….

  • mick
    1 year ago

    purchast.asteam.mop july12 .returned.on.oct ist.because.it.failed.to.work.second.time.we.used.it.have.tryed.to.contact.them.for.over.a.month.no.luck.yet.perhaps.thay.have.finised.trading

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