eBay Germany introduce maximum shipping prices

No primary category set

eBay Germany are in 34 categories. Ranging between €5,00 and €8,00, a range of items are included in the new policy, from computer accessories, memory sticks and MP3 players, to silver-plated jewellery, some watches, and pearls. The categories have apparently been chosen because they have generally low DSRs for shipping prices, and the set prices are based on the average within the categories. The new rules come into effect from 15th June.

Many sellers are going to see this as a step too far by eBay. If buyers choose to purchase from a seller with a high shipping price listed, that is their choice; shipping prices are the one area where there shouldn’t be any surprises for buyers post-sale, so why would eBay interfere? In any case now, buyers who didn’t read the listing have the opportunity to mark the seller down on the DSRs anyway. The prices quoted will not cover insured shipping in many cases, nor will they take account that some items are heavier to ship than others: categories like Lamps & Lighting or Wholesale & Metalworking are likely to have a massive range of wildly differing items within them, and trying to standardise a shipping cost is a step too far into the Amazon.

Moreover, sellers who want to avoid the restrictions are likely just to list in a different category, so the whole thing seems rather pointless. Nevertheless, what’s done on one eBay is likely to spread, so expect to see this coming to other sites in the near future.

Vielen Dank to for the link.

21 Responses

  1. If Ebay are setting the Shipping prices and a seller lists in the correct category, the DSRs should be an automatic 5 for shipping & handling.

  2. Now that’s an interesting thought Keith!

    Only downside I can see is people that ship with a priority mail service are going to be disadvantaged, eg In computing there are a lot of buyers who are desperate for the goods and think that £6.40 Next Day Special Delivery for a replacement DVD drive is a bargain compared to a couple of quid for Second Class and maybe see the item in the middle of next week if they’re lucky.

    There’ll still be room for good and not so good charges, sadly some services will be just too expensive to be offered in the categories though 🙁

  3. I wonder if Ebay have some top retailers lined up to list in those categories.

  4. we are just going to get it over and done with once and for all,
    going to offer free shipping, free merchandise, cash back, you can borrow our dog, use our cars, our house comes free,
    free holidays ,, your mortage paid off, your debts settled. vets fees free banking, free medical care, your income tax paid,

  5. Sounds more and more like Amazon is the model for eBay – fixed delivery pricing, no buyer feedback – I don’t sell on Amazon, so if you do sell there, what other things are we likely to see being cloned?

  6. @Josordoni,

    There’s a world of difference between Amazon and eBay there always will be, for the simple reason amazon is a retailer who understands selling, pricing, etc. where as ebay is NOT a retailer, only a service provider and as such is clueless about many aspects of real world selling.

  7. give it a few months and eBay will be telling us how much we can sell things for, how much we can charge for p&p, and then just let paypal refund the buyer as said postage cost didnt allow for a tracked / insured service.

  8. I think it is obvious that ebay will copy amazon’s model with fixed shipping fees in all categories.Obviously the shipping fees system is gonna become more complicated than on amazon but since ebay are losing many sellers they need to get additional money from the existing sellers and this is only possible in two way: shipping fees must be included in the ebay price as far as possible and all sellers must use paypal to accept the payments.

    This will be the result: the prices on ebay will rise due to higher expenses and all bigger sellers are gonna offer the same merchandise much cheaper on the own websites and try to use ebay to get new customers to the websites.

  9. No longer the thin end of the wedge, this on top of other crazy ideas means we’re now at least half way along the damn wedge.

    How much longer before ebay disappears up it’s own ‘arris? Before long, they’ll dictate what you can sell, how you can sell it, what you can charge for it and what you can charge to post it. Therefore no point in actually searching through multiple listings, just BIN the first you see.

    Congratulations eBay – your staff’s ability to continually break and damage what was once a viable marketing mechanism WILL be your downfall and the clock is already ticking… in fact, I think the alarm will be ringing much sooner than many could ever imagine!

  10. Frankly its a superb idea.

    As a seller, I hate having to compete on item price only to “fiddle” the P&P to stay profitable. In this way prices will be more transparent to buyers, that will increase buyer confidence, that will be good for us all. The other thing is that it will be the same for out competitors, so no advantage can be gained. If they use 2nd class, then you will get more sales because for the same price our listing will ram home to the customer how quickly they will get the item.

    As a seasoned ebay buyer, I still occasionally get caught out by high P&P. So once again, I think this is a good idea.

    BTW it is possible to set shipping rates on amazon, providing you sell under the seller central platform.

  11. For all the sellers whooping at the thought of a level playing field for p&p in their categories there will be an equal amount of sellers rolling their eyes, cursing the 4 letters and tutting.
    Well done ebay for splitting the community yet again!

    Ebay seem to want to mould every seller into a defined shape, erasing individuality, personality and everything that makes it a unique, independent business. By pushing conformity too far, ebay is squeezing the lifeblood and original roots of the site out drop by painful drop.

  12. Richard on May 29th, 2008 12:26 pm

    where as ebay is NOT a retailer, only a service provider and as such is clueless

    Can’t argue with that.

  13. What’s next, selecting the font size sellers can use in their listings?

    If eBay’s urge to be a retailer burns that hotly, it should just purchase buy.com and be done with it.

  14. What about cross border sellers who ONLY charge actual postage? These actual postage costs are always much higher than domestic. I sell a lot on eBay.com. In every single listing I get a warning from eBay that they can cancel my listing because my shipping costs are too high! This is the message I get with every listing, like I am a crook or an idiot:

    “Attention Seller!

    We noticed your shipping cost looks high compared to other listings in your category with similar shipping services. .

    We’ve found that buyers are sensitive to shipping costs. Items with high shipping costs may be less likely to sell and may get less visibility in search results. Listings that violate the eBay Excessive Shipping Charges policy may be removed from the site.

    Please review your shipping costs and make changes if necessary. For help, click the Research rates link in the shipping section.”

  15. I agree with you, Mark. We are a cross-border seller that actually charges below our shipping & handling cost in order to keep up with eBay’s DSR requirements. Before we were just charging slightly below our costs, with this new requirement, that’s EUR 2+ more for eBay to collect in FVF (in the GPS category). 🙁

  16. The majority of German ebayers use bank transfers rather than paypal.
    Paypal still take a cut of the shipping costs when you recieve payment so don’t excpect this policy to be expanded into countries where paypal is the norm.

  17. The consequence of this mandatory s/h is that buyers do not get a variety of quality in service anymore.

    I now use the best packaging materials and the best carriers (neither is free) to prevent my rather rare wares (antique magazines) from getting damaged and are insured with the best, in case of loss or damage. I also offer the buyers a menu of payment options, which are often not free.

    If I cannot charge what I need to provide these top notch services, but have instead to adapt to the mediocrity of what the average seller offers, I will either have to drop all the quality services or go with the mediocre services and accumulate consequently a lot of negative feedback ratings from buyers who demand better, but obviously are not allowed to pay for it or want it for free.

    To Ebay and its buyers:

    You cannot have your cake and eat it too.

    The only thing you will achieve is a life of mediocrity….without me of course. I will not cater to what is tantamount to a mob scheme, a mafia typical extortion.

    Without the sanction of your victiim, the seller, whom you are trying to eat alive, you are nowhere, guys, and you’ll soon know how that feels.



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