2p Increase in Fuel Duty Spetember 2009

2p increase in Fuel Duty per Litre
2p increase in Fuel Duty per Litre

Just a quick reminder that the fuel duty goes up by 2p a litre from tomorrow the 1st of September. Remember to fill up your tanks today and save a few ££s.

Motorists will be affected with the rise in fuel duty from tomorrow despite petrol prices of 105p a litre. This measure was delayed from last year because of high oil prices. It will generate £1.3 million a day in additional revenue for the Treasury, according to the AA, and means that the taxman takes 65 per cent of the price of a litre of petrol.

There is an indepth article here from the times online about the implications for the economy and business.

How to sell on Ebay

ebay logoEbay has been around for a long time now but many people have never sold anything on the site.  There are a lot more rules and regulations on the site than there used to be but it can still be a great way to clear out your unwanted clutter and raise some money.

Over the years we have sold all sorts of things from baby clothes and toys, books and dvds.  My most unexpectedly profitable item was an old knitting pattern from my gran that sold for £30.00.  I also use ebay to buy bits and pieces that can be hard to find, there always seems to be someone selling it on ebay!  If you want to have a look at what we are selling today her is our ebay page.   We are registered as a business and buy things to sell so you never know what you may find.  We mainly use Ebay now as a clearance outlet for our discount maternity wear store so you may find a bargain!

Before you start I would recommend having a good look around the site and read the rules and regulations

Where can I get photos?

You will need to take some clear photos of the items you want to sell, the better the image the more likely some one is to buy it.  You should take pictures of any damage or scratches on the item so buyers know exactly what they are buying.  Before listing try searching on the site for similar items to see what prices they are selling for, how they are described and if it is actually worthwhile listing.  Don’t be tempted to borrow others photos or descriptions as this will get your listings pulled.

mini gymHow much does it cost to sell?

Ebay makes its money from charging you a fee when you sell.  If you list an item starting at 99p on an auction there are no upfront fees so there is nothing to lose – only your time!  If your item is valuable you may want to start the auction higher and you will then pay fees to list.  You will be charged a Final Value Fee depending upon the selling value.  You will also be charged a fee by paypal for receiving the payment.  This is a link to the Ebay Fees.

What should I sell?

Popular items include baby goods, clothes, computer games and DVDs all of which we tend to have lying around.   Be careful with larger items as you will need to have packaging for sending so start small.

What about Postage Costs? 

Make sure you weigh your item as well and get a print out of the Royal Mail postage guide  from here so you charge enough for postage.  Make sure you package any breakable items well.  If it is a larger item you may find a good price for parcel delivery here at Parcel 2 Go.  If it is very heavy or delicate you may be better stating collection only however this will reduce the number of people who can buy.

Can I make real money on ebay?

If you get the ebay bug you may decide that you want to try and make some real money on ebay.  Well this can be done but it is not as easy as it looks.  Firstly you must register as a business with ebay and the tax man if you buy any items to sell.  You need to find a niche market, preferably something you are interested in as you will be dealing with lots of questions and need to make sure you buy the right things.  You need to check out the competition and see what price they are selling for.  The most important question is – Is there any money to be made?  You must cover your costs, ebay fees, paypal fees etc.   If you decide to give it a try good luck but don’t give up the day job straight away!!

Do you use Freecycle?

I don’t know if you know about Freecycle or not but I can recommend it in these hard times. You can do your bit reusing your items and get something back in return – everyone wins!



Our local group tends to offer larger items and outdoor things along with a good selection of baby items.  We have offered lots of baby things that are not really suitable for the local charity shop such as little ride on cars and a baby seat.  In return we have received a swing and garage shelving.  Each group is different and it all depends on what people have to give away!

The worldwide Freecycle Network is made up of many individual groups across the globe. It’s a grassroots movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns.

Freecycle groups match people who have things they want to get rid of with people who can use them. Our goal is to keep usable items out of landfills. By using what we already have on this earth, we reduce consumerism, manufacture fewer goods, and lessen the impact on the earth. Another benefit of using Freecycle is that it encourages us to get rid of junk that we no longer need and promote community involvement in the process.

Why not have a look and see if there is a group in your area –  http://www.uk.freecycle.org/

Banana Muffins

This is a perfect recipe for using up those Bananas going black in the fruit bowl. We made some today as it was raining again and the girls were getting bored!  Really yummy straight out of the oven.  They are even better with the chocolate chips in them!

Makes 12 standard-size or 11 large muffins

10 oz (280 g) plain flour*
1 teaspoon (5 ml) baking powder
1 teaspoon (5 ml) bicarbonate of soda
¼ teaspoon (1.2 ml) salt
8-10 fl oz (240-290 ml) ripe banana purée (about 3 medium bananas)
4 oz (110 g) fine white granulated sugar
1 egg, beaten with a fork
3 fl oz (90 ml) milk or water
3 fl oz (90 ml) vegetable oil
2-3 oz (60-85 g) walnuts or plain chocolate chips (optional)


1. Prepare muffin tins. Preheat oven to 375-400°F (190-200°C) for a conventional oven, Gas Mark 5-6.
2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. (Add chocolate if using.)
3. In another bowl, mash bananas thoroughly with a potato masher until puréed. Stir in sugar, beaten egg, milk/water and oil. (Add walnuts if using.)
4. Pour all of wet mixture into dry. Stir lightly just until evenly combined and no dry flour is visible. Batter should have a fairly thick dropping consistency.
5. Spoon into tins. Bake about 20 minutes until tops are lightly browned and spring back when pressed gently. Enjoy!

* With self-raising flour, omit baking powder; do not alter bicarbonate of soda.

Note for North American users: 10 oz (280 g) plain flour = 2¼ cups British plain flour. When using “all-purpose flour”, substitute 1¾ cups. Adjust liquid if necessary. 4 oz sugar = ½ cup sugar.