eBay UK set to limit postage charges?

No primary category set

In June, eBay Germany introduced maximum shipping prices in the 34 categories where they believed buyers were most likely to be overcharged on shipping. Now it seems that eBay UK may be considering similar steps. A post from Richard Ambrose on the (PS sign-in needed) asks:

P&P has always been a hot topic on eBay, and an issue for eBay buyers. Over the course of this year, excessive P&P has become the single biggest reason why buyers leave eBay or reduce their spending here – obviously neither you nor we want to see this continue.

In response, we’re considering a range of possible actions to eradicate excessive P&P on eBay, including imposing maximum or fixed P&P prices by category.

Over the course of the last few years, it’s also become more and more the norm in e-commerce for P&P to be free. We’re also considering how best to increase the availability of free P&P on eBay, including mandating it in some categories and rewarding sellers who offer it with better visibility and/ or lower fees.

Our main goal, as always, is to make eBay as attractive as possible to buyers for your and our benefit. However, obviously the type of changes we’re considering would have a very big impact on sellers in the short-term, so we wanted to hear your views on three questions:

– How would you like to see eBay combat excessive P&P?
– Would you like to see eBay encouraging free P&P? If so, how?
– What would you prefer us NOT to do in either of these two areas?

(I’ve copied the whole post in case of later disappearences.) Richard then goes on to clarify that this will apply to the basic domestic shipping options only.

eBay don’t know what they don’t know

The most common complaint against the policy, and it’s an entirely reasonable one, is how can eBay possibly know what shipping will cost for any particular item? I remember a listing of Chris’s, for five car hands-free kits; he was charging exact-cost £12 to deliver the 3kg parcel, but eBay pulled the listing twice for excessive P&P charges, because it was so far above the average for the category. Category averages are not always a relevent measure of reasonableness, and eBay have neither the staff nor the expertise to judge in this area. eBay Germany’s compulsory pricing will often not cover insured shipping, yet the policy affects jewellery sellers. This will be another quagmire of pulled listings, restricted accounts, and annoyed sellers with their livelihoods damaged. Dolphin salad, anyone?

Like several posters on the PS thread, I thought that detailed seller ratings were intended to combat excessive shipping. Sellers who overcharge will be marked down by their bidders, they’ll be disadvantaged in the search results, and therefore will be unlikely to sell much any more. They’ll either mend their scamming ways, or leave the site. So goes the logic.

Do buyers actually care?

If the DSRs haven’t achieved this, I can only come to one conclusion: that the DSRs in this area are not working as eBay think they should. Even sellers who offer free P&P frequently do not have 5 stars: I’ve done some experimenting recently with free P&P on some of my listings, but my P&P DSR for that account sits unmoving at 4.8.

There has been ample evidence that the postage DSR behaves differently to the other three scores: it is routinely lower for almost all sellers. Top sellers on eBay.com have scores for P&P on average around 0.15 lower than for item as described.

I’ve speculated before about why this is. I still think it’s because P&P fees are stated right there in the listing. They’re never a “nice surprise” for buyers, and therefore they’re more likely to be marked with a “good” 4 than an “outstanding” 5. My belief is that buyers are not as stupid as eBay think they are: they know that “free P&P” means it’s been paid for somewhere.

What buyers really want is not free, but fair P&P. I’d like, for example, to see the end of “standard shipping”, and for it to be compulsory for sellers to state what service will be used. Being charged £5 to post a t-shirt is excessive for second class, but quite reasonable for Special Delivery. Shouldn’t I get to know what my £5 will buy before I spend it?

And perhaps more than anything, buyers want combined shipping if they buy more than one item. If every item has P&P included in its listing price, then where’s the discount for multiple purchases? You alienate as many buyers as you please with free P&P.

Is free P&P normal?

There are arguments to be made for free P&P, and arguments to be made against it. The variables are many: not just what you sell, but how you sell it, where you sell it from, your routines, your buyers’ especial foibles all play a part. To charge or not to charge should be a decision sellers make for themselves.

But Richard says in his post – and he’s said it on several occasions before – that free postage is “becoming the norm” for ecommerce. Looking at things I’ve bought from the internet recently, I would say free P&P is most definitely not the norm.

[poll id=”2″]I’m prepared to be proved wrong on this point though, so I’d like to conduct a little poll. Amongst sellers who have websites (and therefore don’t have to consider eBay fees on those sales), do you charge for P&P, and under what circumstances?

And in the meantime, what do you think of Richard’s proposals? A great way to keep happy buyers coming back for more, or a step too far for eBay? Leave us a comment.

Thanks to Steve from Kingsbridge Karaoke for the heads-up.

111 Responses

  1. My website is still at the construction stage. But as an online buyer, the only items I can remember having free postage were ink cartridges. These were for a photo printer, so very lightweight. They also took ages to arrive, so the next ones came from Amazon, which does charge P&P.

  2. I think free P&P is a red herring, just like “interest free credit”, consumers are aware that they are getting charged for the shipping somehow. Even the mighty amazon must build the cost of shipping items in to there profit projections, so it will indirectly affect the end price the consumer pays.

    However I can see the advantage to a customer if we ALL have to offer free shipping on ebay (like happens on play.com) it will certainly make it easier for customers to avoid rip off P&P overcharging as sellers will struggle to hide this extra cost.

    If we were to go down the route of “fixed” pricing it needs to take into account the fact that some sellers habitually use better delivery services than others. It would seem unfair if one seller offered free 1st class, when another seller might undercut them and look more attractive to a buyer but only offer 2nd class. Therefor the fixed P&P rates should be based on category AND service, ie 24 hour, 48 hour, Special Delivery, 1st Class Recorded, signed for etc. That way the consumer can select if they want to pay slightly more for a faster delivery/dispatch time.

  3. Postage, like lunch, is never free.

    a) Like Chris, my website is under construction, but if I did include postage for the UK, (and I would advertise it as included, not free) international items would still have to charged for separately.

    b) if postage has to be included on eBay, are the fees going to be adjusted accordingly? Because at the moment, p&p is not added in for FVF calculations.

    c) Will this just be BIN/SIF or auction too? Will all auctions have to start with at the very least the postage cost? How will that affect a buyer’s view of a bargain.

    d) Is this one more step towards an Amazon like set price for each category?

    all seems very Big Brother (literary not TV) to me 🙁

  4. I really dont get the arguement about high P&P charges. Before a customer buys something it is printed on the screen right below the box they decide to bid in. It its too high move along to another seller.

    I would also like to see how EBay propose these new policies will work for sellers who dont live on the mainland UK as they quite often have to pay postage surcharges and higher fuel duty.

    This week ive actually increased my P&P charges on my main category from 19.99 to 23.99 to try and offset the increasing nonpayers and high fees. Fees have actually risen to close to 12% of our income which is far too high considering out average unit sale price is tumbling because of this rediculous best match. I was shocked when i logged into a computer that had never been on ebay before to find that my products were not showing under best match, in fact no UK products were showing under best match. Every single featured item was a buy it now sale and from either Hong Kong or the USA. Great lets not show UK customers the UK sellers.

    Perhaps ebay should get their own house in order before they go off on another half baked mission. 2008 has been a total disaster where ebay is concerned.

  5. O joy, now eBay are going to guess how much I should charge to send a large pallet to inverness, I can hardly bleeding wait lmao

    If it happens it will be a big Paris Hilton “Whateva” and I’ll just come up with a new plan to tackle it.

  6. It’s just ebay trying to take higher FVF when postage is included in the price. As usual it’s a con, the buyer doesn’t really benefit and the seller pays higher fees. The only winner is ebay.

  7. #4 Soon eBay will list our stuff for us Lynne, they control every other aspect of selling even though they are only a **Venue** they may as well bloody sell for me as well.

  8. I am preparing all my listings for the Autumn /Winter with free postage and paypal only, immediate payment, hopefully this will mean I will not have to redo them all later

    Did i read somewhere here that Ebay Germany highlights those listings that offer free postage, could this be done here,

    It would be interesting to analyse the Ebay data re buyer dissatisfaction with high postage costs, I would bet that a fairly high proportion would relate to overseas sellers, if this is the case then any unilateral action taken by Ebay UK would not overcome this issue

  9. Dave, yes; most sites push free P&P in various ways – .fr and .de at least have a flash at the top indicating free postage, and the nearer we get to the holidays, the more promotion of free shipping I’d expect to see.

  10. Wasn’t “retaliatory negative feedback” presented as “… the single biggest reason why buyers leave eBay or reduce their spending here .”?

  11. Also perhaps interesting, is how eBay define excessive shipping. Is it charging £10 for a first class stamp? No. Is it slapping all your eBay fees on top of the costs of the postage and packing? No. It is, according to a session at DevCon (and iirc later repeated at Live) one of two things:
    1) charging more than actual shipping costs, or
    2) having the shipping cost more than the item.

    Sellers of cheap heavy items and those who don’t get free packaging had better watch out.

  12. Ebay should not be deciding what sellers ask for shipping under any circumstances. Ebay is a venue. Sellers pay eBay fees. Ebay should stay out of sellers’ hair when it comes to postage and handling and let sellers run their businesses they way they see fit.

    Postage and handling fees are clearly stated in auctions. If one does not like those shipping and handling fees then DON’T BID. That is the simplest way to send a message to a seller who is overcharging.

    For the life of me I have never understood why anyone whines about the shipping price when it is clearly listed in the auction. If it is not clearly stated then shame on anyone who doesn’t ask up front.

    I myself do not bid on items if I am not comfortable with the shipping. However, if I get a $50.00 item for $5.99, I certainly don’t mind paying a little more for shipping.

  13. The only argument for ‘free’ p&p is that it is never free.
    It’s what 34 categories they are looking at.

    People (buyers) are not stupid or silly….particularly when you see listings say for .99p + £2.00p P&P, the another for £2.99p with free shipping.
    This can be seen all over, Amazon, ebay etc.

    Then, as mentioned here ebay also get the FVF on the P&P as well (higher & more fees). When paying with paypal they also get their cut, as paypal fees are charged on the amount received.

    Ebay etc’ has taken the route of indivigal sites for each country ie; .co.uk…..com….de etc. I would be fair that that country’s sellers are given top best match listings for that country.

  14. #14 I can sell a tube of silicone for £0.99p and make a profit on the silicone, the exact cost of shipping including an envelope is £1.94.

    eBay need to bugger off and let the sellers sell, if they are a venue then they should not be telling me what to charge.

    I have read this weeks announcements with pure astonishment, they (the eBay Board) do not live on the same planet as me, it’s truly pathetic.

    On that note I am going to bed, it pains me to have to say it but it looks like the best thing ever to have been invented has turned into a bulk purchase for pound stretcher. FFS JD WAKE UP.

  15. If eBay start defining postage for their categories, what am I supposed to do?
    I live in Ireland but have most of my listings on eBay UK as eBay Ireland is totally underused (no wonder with the appalling broadband structure outside the big centres in this country).
    If eBay start telling me how much postage to charge, it’ll cost me money to send stuff to the UK (my biggest market) as I have to pay international postage for the UK, the same as for the rest of Europe.
    For free P&P, I’d have to extensively “up” my starting prices to make sure that I don’t lose out even more. 🙁

  16. To be honest with you, I’m really worried. Are they trying to destroy eBay altogether? The amount of changes that have been happening over the last few months are all in favour of the buyer and none of them have really helped the seller.
    As some of you have pointed our, eBay is merely a “venue”. By selling on eBay, we haven’t joined a club, a secret society or become an employee of a multinational company. All of us, little or large, pay our eBay and PayPal fees and make sure that our listings are in line with eBay regulations. What more do they want from us? Blood?
    Will eBay end up with oodles of buyers but no decent sellers left? Will all the Power Sellers sell from their websites and the little guys and gals either go under or sell from eBid? Or will some clever people start an eBay alternative?
    All this stinks of bureaucracy and dictatorship and I’m getting very disillusioned with the whole thing. I used to enjoy selling on eBay and now I’m dreading the outcome of every sale, worrying about what punters might think of my items or postage charges or if they’ll blame me for Royal Mail’s slow delivery.

  17. “P&P has become the single biggest reason why buyers leave eBay”

    Oops I think the records scratched. Oh no last time it was retalitory feedback. Sorted that one out and there still leaving!!!

  18. Ebay won’t be able to make this work. If they do try to impliment this, sellers will leave in higher droves than after the feedback fiasco earlier this year.

    Yes we can judge the price of say CD’s as they all weigh the same. BUT there are many items that can be described as the same, but can differ wildly in weight.
    An example is an item that we sell. HINGES, yes simple hinges. many seller list as say ‘Brass hinges’ but they are Brass plated hinges & the difference in the different weights is the solid brass one’s are twice as heavy.

    What will ebay do about this?….

    Hopefully ebay are only going after the sellers that do take the wally out of some buyers, but if they start telling us what we can charge for P&P it will be the end of them.

    How can they tell what a particular seller’s costs are. YES they can estimate the postage, but Packing cost vary wildly from seller to seller. Not intentional in many cases.
    If, like us you are in the SEast & the minimum living wage is now said to be £7 + an hour, while up North it is less to live and a Northern seller might be able to pay £5.+ an hour.

    They also have to consider many other items, like manufacturers/importers that the exterior packing is OK and just need a label slapped on the exteriior.
    (applies to most electrical items, etc).

    Many people employee full time packer’s, taht’s not cheap nowdays, and even if you are quite (business wise) the wages have to be paid.
    So packing fees differ all over the place, how can they justify telling as seller what they can charge.

    Ebay have argued in recent Court cases that they are a venue. They want to be careful. as they appear to be acting as selling agents, which might not go down well next time someone drags them into Court.

    #15. whirly…pop a few tubes of silicone in the post to ebay HQ. tell them it’s for improved brain function and is applied through in the ears, & up the B** (the top & back of their legs) that should give them some food for thought….

  19. How many more hoops to jump through, how many more daft unworkable changes, how much more spin can I take, not a lot. It wouldn’t be the first time in recent weeks I’ve thought very seriously about quiting eBay totally.

    This one’s just another nail in their coffin.

  20. Just another policy to be implemented that hasn’t been properly thought through but with a veiled attempt to appear to be ‘listening to sellers’.

    By the way is it just me or do these new ‘policies’ come out on Fridays after the ebay staff have spent Thursday night getting p****d at the pub dreaming up new ways to screw their ‘venue’?

    PS. On free postage we offer exactly that on our own site on purchases over £12 and over £35 in our ebay shop. The cost isn’t hidden anywhere in the prices we charge. I’m baffled as to how everyone thinks postage charges are hidden in prices. When you spend over £14 at Amazon postage is free. Their prices are competitive with other retailers who charge postage so where is the cost hidden? (this is definitely not an endorsement of ebay’s ideas on postage by the way – just my 5p)

  21. I started offering ” free ” postage earlier this year. Ok its not free as such but it gives my buyers complete transparency for the purchase price of what they are paying for an item.

    The reason that I started this is that on more occassions than I now can remember. Sellers in the USA have tried to rip me off. My record being a charge of £141 for a shipment that should have cost £53. Yes some Americans think we are stupid over here. I can log onto USPS or Australia post and work out the approx cost for myself. And yes I spent hours tal;king to Ebay removing negative feed back when I refused to pay.

    It is a big problem out there in the wide world of the internet. Ebay I suspect no longer wants sheer volume but quality business sellers which its recent initiatives promote.

    I’m not totally pro Ebay, but without it could I do what I do ?

  22. You know what – I bought two items with free post on immediate payment a couple of days ago and they arrived yesterday.

    Seeing as it was free post why do I still have this vague feeling at the back of my mind that I was ripped off because they arrived in the same packet when I “paid” for free post for both of them?

    Am I irrational or do other buyers feel the same way that they should have got a “discount on free postage” because it was combined? (How stupid would it be for the seller to send the items separately to assuage my irrational thoughts about being overcharged? 😯 )

  23. Free shipping doesnt make a lot of sense because lets say I am selling a vectrex system. The shipping weight is say 24lbs. If the person is local the postage is less than 1/3rd the postage rate if he is on the other side of the country. There are some items I sell that it simply isnt worth sending them to the most distant postal zones but are worth enough for a profit sent locally.

    It also makes more of a hassle for bookkeeping. You would need a separate line in your accounting for the shipping for each item. It is much easier to charge actual shipping+handling and not have to make a ledger entry.


    If they really want to address the issue, they could just make it “illegal” on ebay to charge more than say 1/2 a pound or 10% of the shipping cost (whichever is higher) on any item saying that you MUST return any excess beyond those limits.

    At least when someone ships with paypal they will KNOW if someone is overcharged beyond those limits and when someone uses something else they could always use a dispute.

  24. ALl Ebay need to do is educate buyers.

    At the end of the day P&P costs are totally irrelevant as long as they are published for the biddder to see. If P&P was £10 and the buyer wanted to spend £40 on something then as long as they don’t bid more than £30 they will never pay more than their budget for that item and so on.

    While it is obvious that many buyers do not seem to posess the intelligence to work this out for themselves maybe it would be better for Ebay to take a pro-active stance over this rather than just go seller bashing once again.

    Of course the cynic in me tells me that Ebay just want to get FVFs on shipping costs & they are basically disguising these stealth fees by making them attractive to buyers in order for many Ebay buyers to say “what a good idea” & be ignorant to the fact that savvy sellers will just add the P&P charge + Ebay FVF% to the selling prices of their BIN listings which include P&P thereby playing straight into Ebay’s coffers .. er I mean hands.

  25. Chris
    the problem with immediate payment is that you cannot combine purchases, surely with all of their resources Ebay could fix this, for those that offer free postage some sort of discount could be set, eg buy 2 items get 2.5% off total spend

  26. Mixed feelings about this one. I had a tendency of selling in categories where all the other sellers dropped the prices and raised the S&H prices. The only way to sell anything was to follow suit (I went as far to do several experiments to prove this). After several years eBay did implement search based on “price + shipping” which helped the situation and I think this change would ultimately fix it if implemented correctly. I just don’t trust eBay on the implementation part.

    Another idea would be to force all sellers to offer free shipping for one method (not pickup) but allow them to charge shipping and handling for any “upgrade”. I’m aware of the loop holes.

  27. If ebay included the p&p in the final selling price on which they take their commissions as Amazon do sellers would have no incentive to inflate the p&p charges on which no fees are currently paid by the seller. ebay could remove the p&p DSR as it would become unnecessary for them police the p&p as they would not be losing revenue, the incentive for sellers to overcharge p&p would disappear over night.

  28. I live in France and sell on Ebay UK. My items are antique, vintage, rare, all different. I sell Worldwide.

    If they remove the “seller’s standard international charge” how am I going to indicate my postage prices at all? I don’t/can’t use Royal Mail.

    I am a small business and work hard to provide a high level of service. I couldn’t survive changes of this nature. I sell quite a few items to Japan and Australia, the postage is expensive but they think it is worth it. I often hold & combine large quantities to make shipping more economical. I couldn’t possibly factor any kind of ‘free’ postage in.

    Right now the recent changes have resulted in lots of my competitors giving up! A short term benefit for me as I am achieving slightly higher prices.

    However I know as a buyer that my regular searches are bringing up less and less items so I have to look elsewhere.

    My business is relatively new and I spent a long time planning it. Originally I would have been happy for it to be my only venue. Now I think I would be foolish not to be exploring other options.

  29. If they remove the “seller’s standard international charge” how am I going to indicate my postage prices at all?
    I would have the same problem. I still think it would be better for buyers to make the change.

    There are ways around it for people not selling on their local site. You could, for example, allow sellers to use the postal service settings from their local site on any site where they listed, so the services you would be using would be there. It would take the use of some imagination, and some planning, which I admit that eBay’s site changes frequently lack.

  30. I use Auctiva & it isn’t compatible with Ebay.fr. Photos are expensive on there.

    I don’t know what the problem is with the current system. if I send something to Australia it can take weeks, there isn’t a next day option. Sometimes for repeat buyers I send items by surface mail to save them money. often at their request & only to buyers who I trust not to do an INR or mark me down on delivery time. Sometimes I ask a visiting friend to post in the UK, sometimes they visit me! Its a personal service that I am proud of. How can Ebay improve on that?

    I quite often give details of the various options in my listing.

    I don’t fit their boxes & wouldn’t want to.

    I think Ebay is become quite fascist in its approach. I just had a look at my seller performance & it says “continue to exceed your buyer’s expectations” HOW? why don’t I just select random people & send them the stuff for free?

    If I order a book from Amazon I accept their P& P charges & a few days later a book arrives. Great! I don’t expect them to EXCEED my expectations, send me flowers or whatever.

    I used to work for a large organisation that was continually tinkering and producing bar charts & extra forms top fill in. I could go on, but you get the general idea. They produced a lot of paperwork & were very inefficient in a way that impacted badly on people’s lives. When I became self employed the last thing I expected was to be evaluated by a flawed system designed by some jumped up little…………………!

  31. It’s interesting the lengths sellers go to in order to explain postage costs to buyers. I’ve just received an item this morning and the part of the note enclosed concerning postage reads:

    “I sell items very low and postage cost high as indicated in the ad. I pay lower eBay charges which benefits both the buyer and the seller.”

    And this from a seller who undercharged me for postage by 13p, he’s certainly not gouging on postage costs but it’s a low value but relatively heavy product almost into the “having the shipping cost more than the item” category.

  32. Sorry, this is a totally off topic question: I registered for your forum yesterday but haven’t received a confirmation email which enables me to log on. And I can’t contact the Administratorsabout it without being logged on, so I’m literally stuck. Can someone please look into this? Registered as “Lunabu”. Thanks so much 🙂

  33. Lunabu, try now – I’ve activated your account. I *think* gmail may not like forum emails unfortunately.

  34. On my website I use Free Postage for UK. This is really the only way that most website customers can see the final price they will pay before going to checkout. Most other websites in my line were charging up to £4.95 an item for packets of around 250g and customers only get to see that just before they pay. Website is now taking around 5 times ebay.

  35. Some questions for Richard the pink (If he is reading of course).

    So what happened to negative feedback being the “single biggest reason why buyers leave eBay” ❓ (what will the reason for buyer exodus next month I wonder? Whatever it is, it’s the sellers fault and not ebay. It’s NEVER ebay’s fault 🙄 ).

    I was under the impression that the p&p DSR score was supposed to take ensure sellers were giving buyers fair p&p. Does this mean that it’s not working?

    AND, if ebay DO decide to implement this (crazy) idea, will this mean the p&p DSR will be removed? (if everyone is being made to charge the same as ebay say, it’s not needed).

  36. I agree with Ciel & Terre and other posters. Ebay has always said “SELL INTERNATIONALLY.”

    I sell from the USA on up to 10 foreign sites. But ebay does (virtually) nothing to help those sellers, who venture into the international waters. They especially do not help in the postage and handling area. There are never enough choices for postage. There’s not enough room in the payment info. box to adequately give foreign payment info. And in order to understand the selling laws of other countries, you just about have to be a lawyer AND read every language.

    And even if a seller is able to spell out the information in the description section, the buyers aren’t inclined to read that part or look THERE for payment and postage information.

  37. Further to pens.mini.me’s point: how about being able to specify international payments like we’re able to specify international shipping? e.g. if I’ll take domestic cheques but I won’t take dollar checks, I’d like US buyers to be able to see that.

  38. Absolutely Sue!

    Ultimately, eBay should be set up, so that when a buyer clicks on an eBay item, they see the information SPECIFIC for their country:

    •Payment Options
    •Shipping Costs
    •Handling Fees
    •Shipping Method
    •Shipping Duration
    •Combined Shipping Policies
    •Multiple item discounts
    •Customs Information
    •Returns and Exchange Policies
    •Contact Information

    Ebay are supposedly such great IT wizards. There is no reason why this is not possible. There are millions of websites on the WWW, for which the user can choose their home language, and see the price of products in their home currency.

    But obviously this part of the “Positive Buyer Experience” is not a high priority for eBay right now.

  39. What about trading assistants who sell for other people?

    Are they expected to eat the postage cost themselves. Will the people they are selling for expect to be charged outbound postage as well as a selling fee?

    I can’t imagine that will work at all.

    Keep them separate. Make them fair. Make them transparent.
    Micromanagement of the marketplace is a disaster. Didn’t we learn this lesson in the Communist USSR already?

  40. Free post and packaging is just the start.Have heard what is coming from an ex ebay employee,at first I simply didn’t think it was true but the times scales and new policies are spot on.A global deal with Fed ex so tracking is linked with paypal payment,so Fed ex only,paypal only.Shipping costs in FVF(Final Valuation Fees),Ebay only packaging for E-bay branding that the seller has to buy from E-bay,no auctions,seller only feedback,dumping specialist and niche categories,getting rid of small sellers and used tack.The list goes on and on.Good time to start a new website.

  41. #20 Gerry – NO CDs don’t all weigh the same!!! No disrespect to you but obviously you don’t sell CDs – how can ANYONE who doesn’t know a particular category decide what is fair postage?
    To show you what I mean, CDs are usually around 100 grs. A fat booklet can take it over that and a thin folded piece of paper instead of a booklet makes it under – and there is a postage cost change at 100 grs. What about double CDs? Those in a slim case are fine, the older (and often rarer) ones are too thick to go as “large letter” and have to go as “packet” which ups the postage from 78p to £1.45! (unless it goes overseas where it’s purely on weight…)
    Yes, what I am saying is that postage charges are now so complex that even if you THINK you know what the postage charge should be – unless you are familiar with the category – you probably don’t.
    So ebay will of course just mess everything up for all of us.

  42. That’s a good point KateUK.

    A poster on one of the eBay forums mentioned that sometimes he sells 2 or 3 things together on one auction. How could eBay possibly know how much that would weigh?

    That was another issue I hadn’t even previously thought about, and I’m sure eBay hasn’t either.

  43. Similarly, a subject close to my heart and to Kate’s, glass beads: things I currently sell as “a packet of glass beads” cost me between 65c and €6.00 to post. I wonder if eBay would like to deal in averages there?

  44. Among the items I am considering selling in the future are semi precious stones and crystals, which is another area where the items are all different shapes and sizes. Also the different types of stones weigh differently, even when they are of similar size. As KateUk says, you need to know the category to know what is reasonable, and I can’t see eBay getting a whole bunch of specialists in to make the decisons.

  45. The more I read through the reasons why flat rates category wide for p&p are unviable, the more I think this idea was plucked out of the air at the ebay Christmas party after several rounds of Champers 😆 What a joke (trouble is, it aint funny) 🙁

  46. #47
    Kate Uk. Of Course I accept all CD’s are not the same weight when including the case & packing.
    The example I was making was the CD itself. You see listings for CD’s only (particularly copies) where the P&P is so totally different.
    I buy some rare Cd’s in the states & usually specify ‘send CD & sleeve contents only’ as this saves on P&P (S&H).
    I then buy blank case for 10 for £1 in the local £ shop.

    Ebay should consider not allowing listings to go live if the P&P exceeds the selling price of the item (BIN).
    It is this type of seller that ebay should be after, where a seller charges high P&P and low prices. It is reasonable to assume the seller is making his profit from the P&P & not the item’s price.
    Obviously chris’s seller (above # 34) is more the exception than the norm.
    From Ebays point of view, they must conclude the seller is just trying to get out of paying FVFs.

    # 38 Krythy
    I was looking on Amazon the other day (spying on competitors prices & P&P). Many seller put a flat rate shipping costs for each order. This works for larger more expensive items, but sometimes an item for say, £1.00 with £4.95 P&p per order does seem off putting. The only way it works out Ok is if the buyer spends more &more to make it worth the P&P.
    But then if a buyer see’s something at £1, they will run like hell if the P&P is £4.95 per order.

    On the subject of when & who in ebay come’s up with these ideas (# 23 above) Quite sure ebay think about it on Thursdays, publish it on fridays, Give every seller a headache over their Weekends, then Monday they look at all the comments to see if it was a good idea or not.
    If there not to much outcry then they go ahead.

    The way ahead is NOT ‘one size fits all’

  47. Ebay should consider not allowing listings to go live if the P&P exceeds the selling price of the item (BIN).

    Well that would be all of my 99p and under listings gone then (a high proportion of total listings), given that I charge a flat rate of £1.00 for most items (however many the buyer purchases).

    Ebay should consider investing in more staff and pro-actively policing the site, including acting appropriately on reports, before wading in with another sledgehammer.

  48. #52 you say:

    “Ebay should consider not allowing listings to go live if the P&P exceeds the selling price of the item (BIN).”

    So you are saying that I shouldn’t be allowed to sell some of the not very popular CDs that I’m currently stuck with that I need to just get rid of – I have a load of double CDs in fat cases, that I’ll probably only get 99p for, but that will cost £1.45 (first class) or £1.24 (2nd class) to post?

    And the same for people selling books – books cost rather a lot to post in relation to the possible value. I’m sure there are many other examples people can come up with. (Whirly’s silicone as well).

    #49 Sue, yes I had certainly thought of beads, it must be a nightmare posting them. The weights vary tremendously. I have difficulty with jewellery as some of the little card boxes I use go as “large letter” and other slightly deeper boxes go as “Packet” rate.
    The whole thing is a badly thought out nightmare to cope with on top of the nightmare we have had since Royal Mail brought in their ridiculous pricing in proportion charges.

  49. it is yet another good idea from ebay that will probably turn into a disaster due to the way it is implemented

  50. Gerry #52: re. Amazon Marketplace pricing. Amazon themselves take a portion of the P&P price in fees, and also fix what sellers are allowed to charge:
    Moreover, combined shipping is not possible.

    I frequently buy from Amazon Marketplace book sellers, being charged £3.95 postage per book and sometimes just pence for the actual “item price”. Amazon make it much more difficult than eBay do to “browse seller’s other items” and there is little point in so doing because you will be paying the same postage fee on every item: I’ve seen more than one seller get negative feedback on there for this. How eBay have conditioned buyers 🙁

  51. I suppose my comments were bound to catch (ebays catagory) ‘dolphins’ in the remarks.

    #54 KateUk

    It was my intention to point out the people that charge low BIN & ‘VERY HIGH’ P&P. Not people that charge £1.20 etc P&P.
    It’s the sellers that do ie; .99p BIN & £4.99p P&P, when in fact it should probaly be £3.99p BIN & £1.99p P&P or similar.

    #53 Gill

    Again as above, but I felt you sort of got what I was saying. I totally agree with ebay policing the site more.
    But this is what happened with the feedback changes, Dolphins get caught up in the mess ebay’s fidddling causes.

    With the postal charges now in size & weight form, P&P charges are higher & the difference beteen each section ie; letter/Lge letter/packet is so tight that we all pay much more (and hence the buyer pays too).

    Ebay will end up making the proper sellers pay (along with the bad one’s hopefully) for a policy change like this. We are listing some Brass knobs shortly, and a difference of 2mm in size means an increase of 40p on P&P on the larger ones, but an increase in the price of only .22p so effectively the larger one is now cheaper thatn the smaller one (when P&P is included).

    #56 Sue.

    We’ve just registered with Amazon sellerscentral & can fix our own P&P charges.
    It ws this that I was referring to as here with FREE P&P as here;


    But the same item is here @ a far lower price.


    Shipping terms are PER Shipment, so you can add other items for a flat rate P&P as here;

    UK Mainland Street ETA 3 – 5 days
    per Item £0.00
    per Weight (kgs) £0.00
    per Shipment £4.95

    I’ve used these as samples & understand that Books etc, may be different.

  52. I’ve noticed another thing about postage charges:
    Someone may be selling in the UK to UK customers and charge reasonable postage rates for their items, but they may totally inflate their postage charges for buyers outside the UK.
    Example: a company sells a bottle of shampoo (500ml) for £4.95 and charges £3.50 postage. But the seller will charge £10 for this item to be shipped to Ireland or Europe which is totally inflated postage.
    Are eBay going to regulate these kind of rip-offs too?

  53. Lunabu, You may call this “rip-offs,” and I’m sure that there are some sellers who are overcharging. But keep in mind that cross border or overseas shipping can have associated expenses that a domestic transaction doesn’t have.

    1. Administrative costs are higher. It takes longer to make a listing which is open to overseas sellers, especially if the seller writes in a foreign language.
    2. Insurance will be higher.
    3. If the customer pays with PayPal, a tracking number must be used, which is very expensive.
    4. There are customs forms to fill out.
    5. There are usually money changing fees involved
    6. If an exchange or return is involved, this is more expensive.
    7. And this type of transaction is more risky. The incidence of fraud is higher. A small “Fraud and FUBAR” fee is included in my cross border and overseas shipping costs calculation.

  54. Set postage costs won’t work for the many US sellers who list directly on ebay UK. My shipping costs are going to be higher than someone shipping domestically. Fixed, standard postage would be the end of my listings there, as I couldn’t absorb the difference easily.

    And what about the international site visibility upgrade? How would that work?

  55. Perhaps I am getting a tad sensitive in my old age but the question put to us by Richard just gives me another reason to spend more and more time on my website, you can’t seem to plan more than a week ahead these days if you trade on eBay.

    How long do eBay think professional business men & women will put up with all these changes?

    Generally the feeling across the UK community at the moment is pretty bad, sellers have been beaten,kicked then kicked again this year, I think you need to give something back before you take away something else, free gallery, lower listing fee’s??

    How about making an announcement that will put a smile back on the faces of the sellers??

    Happy sellers are also happy buyers. Happy sellers will also provide better service.

    A community were most of the population feel they are getting screwed week in week out is not going to survive.

  56. I think a lot depends on the type and value of the products you offer. On eBay 30% of our products are inclusive of P+P and sell well, but these are low value products under £5.

    But we have experimented selling products with inclusive P+P over £5 and there has been less sales.

  57. Whirly – that pretty much sums up how I feel about trading on ebay these days.

    The majority of my time and effort these days goes into my other sales channels (and is paying off too!).

  58. Pens.mini.me, I don’t really know what you’re referring to in your reply to my “rip-off” comment.
    I do international trading all the time, mainly in Europe, and my admin costs are no higher than posting to Irish sellers. The postage is higher, of course, and if I want to send a package registered, that’s more expensive, but registered post costs more for domestic delivery as well. There are no customs forms to be filled out within Europe and for small articles to the US or Oz, only a small sticker is attached to the package. No big deal.
    I’m fairly familiar with postal charges including postal charges in the UK, and there’s no way a domestic uninsured package should be £3.50 and an international uninsured package to Europe should be £10. It might be a quid or 2 more at the most for this weight.
    And as to fraud, I wouldn’t think that the risk of fraud is higher when you trade internationally, unless you deal with certain high risk countries (you know the ones I mean).

  59. Lunabu,

    That is exactly the point of this article.

    I would be the first one to admit, that I do not know anything about your product(s) nor your eBay listings, nor the intricacies of mailing them.

    And there is no way that eBay can know these things either.

    I sell from the USA, directly on up to 10 different Ebays. Therefore I must keep track of payment and mailing options, etc. for all of these countries, and more (i.e. the countries who don’t have their own eBay.)

    I don’t think it is appropriate to go into details in a comment area like this, but please believe me when I say, that the seven points I mentioned above do directly impact my business. My listings are written in 4 languages. I usually have to communicate with my customers in a foreign language, which requires a lot more time. We have extensive customs forms to fill out in the USA. And not only have I been the victim of outright fraud (through Pay Pal), but also unavoidable problems, such as buyers who have the wrong address registered with Pay Pal.

    I think we can both agree that eBay can not know all of the factors involved in running each individual seller’s business, and that eBay should not try to micro-manage them.

    There are a lot of things that eBay could do to control the problems on their venue … such as the sellers, who sell a product for 99 cents or £0.99, and then charge $15.00 or £7.50 for p&p. Unfortunately their method of managing the venue lately has been to drop a bomb on the situation and then see what is left after the smoke clears.

  60. # 67 pens.mini.me

    Your last pargraph is what I was trying to point out @ 20 & 57 above

  61. Pens.mini.me, I agree with you 🙂 and yes, selling is a very individual thing depending on where you live, where you list and what and to whom you sell and eBay can’t possibly be the judge of that.

  62. Sue writes “I’d like, for example, to see the end of “standard shipping”, and for it to be compulsory for sellers to state what service will be used.”

    For this to work there need to be international options for users who are not in the homeland of the site. I have to use “Standard Shipping” for the forms on both the UK and US sites, but I do nominate “airmail shipping” in my item description, as there is no airmail for “domestic” services. I don’t like Ebay’s tendency to nominate a speed of shipping service on their forms either, as this is a minefield for foreign sellers.

    Kind Regards, Kevin

  63. we use standard shipping all the time
    we sell mainly by auction and start at 99p if its sells for 99p or little more it gets the basic shipping folks would think we were daft charging SD for a couple of quid item,
    if it sells for hundreds its gets special delivery or courier at no extra charge to the buyer
    so standard shipping does not always mean RIP OFF

  64. For me, selling collectables on eBay has always been a bit of a nightmare when it comes to P&P. If like me you use the auction system you do not really know what an item is going to finish at. Many a time I have had to swallow extra charges for international signed for insured services because the item has gone for more than expected and I have already had to put down a price! If I put down a choice of shipping options 9/10 times the buyer will pick the cheaper one and they are normally the first to start complaining when the item does not turn up :???:… If I start having to build shipping prices into the opening bids on my items it is going to be difficult to get the bidding going.
    As a buyer on eBay it does sometimes amaze me how much, many of the sellers actually charge for shipping, Most of the serious culprits are non business sellers who charge £10 for anything they deem “Heavy” which can be anything over 1kg! With Royal Mail parcels charging £4.20 up to 2kgs this is the type of seller that eBay needs to target.
    I do agree that it is just an extra slice of the pie for eBay’s coffers at the end of the day.

  65. too right if you put down a choice of shipping options the buyer takes the cheaper one not only that you get serious confusion and hassle from US customers the way ebay present checkout
    this is a recent email we received from a US buyer

    “Normally I don’t have forty million varieties of shipping staring me in
    the face either.No explanation for any of them so it is left up to the buyer
    to make the right choice or pin the tail on the right one and hope it all
    works out.It seems we are left in the dark to figure out which one is
    going to take a week or four weeks for arrival.This has been the most
    complicated transaction out of over 700 I have ever encountered and
    I have yet to pay.Oh well here I go in hopes there are no surprises when
    I checkout.

  66. plus many buyers dont know they can choose, and change options, they just pay the first total is presented to them by ebay and that is the cheapest option

  67. I refuse the cheapest option on behalf of my buyers. If it ain’t a signed for service they’re not offered it regardless of item value. I don’t want buyers selecting unsigned for just because it costs less as I know the service is less and more will “go missing”.

  68. #72 Simon, you will find that Royal Mail will only pay out what you have paid for the item, not what you get for it, so insure for that value. If it gets lost or damaged you will have to forfeit your profit.

  69. sorry chris in our experiance more goes missing if its signed for

    , signed for gets no different security treatment than regular mail other than it gets a signature,
    often folk are not in to sign, or the posties often dont bother leaving a card
    or if they do. the buyer often does not bother picking it up and international signed for is simply a tax on your paranoia,
    once it leaves the UK, its in the lap of the gods how its treated by other postal services

  70. I’ve the same experience of basic signed for as above, those red labels etc seem to act as a magnet for thieves. I send out thousands of small packets worldwide and it’s only a very small ftraction of a percent that go missing, when ythey do go missing it’s invariably the recorded delivery of (in certain overseas countries) the international signed for.

    In the uk Special delivery seems to be the exception, very fast and very reliable..


  71. #77 and 78 but at least you are more likely to get some sort of compensation from RM, and you will be protected from spurious claims through Paypal if you have signed for receipts.

  72. #72

    Our contract with Parcelforce gives a postage price in the UK for about £8.50 for parcels over 2kg.

    Add the cost of the packaging, VAT and Paypal Fees to that price and you are very quickly over £10.00.

    We have a DSR of 4.7 on postage and 90% of our items goes overseas, so using a £10 cut off point as a judgement, is dangerous.

    Special Delivery for a VAT registered seller for the heavier items is going to come in at £10+

    So again, £10 is perception.

    I would never personally send a valuable item through Standard Parcels, and that also is not an option for us as we have home collection anyway and this is not a service you can use as it is in fact a Parcelforce Service that is only available at the post office.

    I think this illustrates that Ebay can never gauge the true postage costs.

    How can they, they do not run a business selling antiques, they provide advertising and hosting for people that do.

    So I would urge and hope for caution before Ebay start deciding what postage shoud be.

    They need to work on visibility for the sellers in my opinion.

    Those that gouge on postage are easily seen and when I find them as a buyer, I do not buy, or if I do, I factor it into the cost.

    High postage costs seems more to do with ebay losing FVF’s than the buyer leaving the site.


  73. # 78 Allotment,

    And xpensive unfortunately.

    # 76 Josordoni

    Actually I think you are not right there. Max standard compo for Royal Mail is £30 (or close) for items lost or damaged.

    In the few occasions we have had to claim we have just included a copy of the listing & we got paid that amount.
    On one occasion something was part of an item, so we searched the www. found the item seperately and submitted that info as the replacement cost & we got that amount.

    What is REALLY scandalas is that the PO, after they have screwed up the delivery by either loosing or damaging it, REFUSE to re-imberse the postage. And if you replace the item you have to it pay again.
    This also apply’s to special delivery items.

  74. Gerry, if you have been paid out your profit on lost items, you have done very well. I’ve been dealing with Royal Mail claims for (gosh) more than ten years now, and they have always asked for proof of your purchase price, not your sale price.

  75. 79
    I am much more interested in the item being delivered with success than the possibility of claiming from Royal Mail,

    I can also honestly say I cant remember the last bogus claim from someone using paypal,

    plus I just dont have the interest, the inclinatio, or the time, to waste chasing Royal mail for compensation, delivery is what I pay for and need

  76. Such a decision can only further lead to the homogonisation of Ebay into a Deadly Dull Mall selling everything in boxes of all the same weight’
    The Collector’s market on Ebay, has actually halved,in a number of categories I regularly watch. Watch it go down a lot further

  77. The phrase that caught my eye was “.. We’re also considering how best to increase the availability of free P&P on eBay, including mandating it in some categories

    How will you as a seller deal with eBay mandating free P & P?

    Is that compatible with “only a venue”?

    What categories could you envision having free P & P mandated in?

    We are among the 25% responding on your poll who give free shipping on our website with purchases over a set amount.

    What I am seeing increasingly in the US is listings with the *free shipping* icon and in very small letters the words ‘on pickup only’.

  78. this only a venue thing is becoming dull too!

    I dont care what ebay claim they are
    as long as they sell my goods at a profit, they can be what they like ,and do as they like,
    if they say jump, I ask how high

  79. An ebay lawyer during the french trial used the word Facilitator to describe ebay.

    Excellent word I thought

    No wonder they lost.

  80. We all know exactly why it is happening, ebay have been itching to get their commission on the shipping element for ages.

    It is about time they started saying to the buyer, don’t forget that the postage label on the envelope will always be less than the amount you’ve paid for for shipping as we’ve (paypal) already taken an average of 3% out of it.

    And as pointed out already, the reason buyers were leaving was for retaliatory negs but now it suits ebay to claim it is high postage.

    I’ve never found buyers claim this is a big issue, even with ebay/paypal banging on about it all the time. The only person that has a real issue with it is ebay.

  81. #82 Sue.

    As said we have received the items ‘value’ and that’s what the PO claim (P58) says.

    But, usually we don’t bother for items of a £ or so, far to much time needed to fill in forms etc & as said above, Just deliver on the promise, put it in the box & forget it.

  82. It is interesting to see in the other tamebay blog, that the PO have confirmed that recorded delivery is to be a FULL track & trace service (at least for items posted at PO counter) this will be good for INR claims with Paypal etc.

  83. Quick one here…

    If your VAT registered, you have to charge VAT on uk posting.

    Won’t affect many of you I guess, but I HAVE to charge 17.5% on first class postage rates. If I’m competing with someone who is not VAT registered, they can charge the exact post office price whilst my price has to include VAT and hence be slightly uncompetitive…

    Hope ebay remember this one when drawing comparisons between postage rates 😉

    I read this as ebay want a % of postage. I charge everyone postage 100% of the time on my websites. None of the big players in any mail order industry (as far as I know) offer free postage, its nonsense and hoop jumping again. Its ebay wanting to reposition itself as amazonbay.

    Ps. two dolphins currently dead, warning issued on third. One of the two dead dolphins is lined up to receive a good seller discount according to the dashboard for being a power seller and meeting all 4 DSRs. The insanity of ebays system galls me. Ebays “cut and paste” customer services are a total waste of time with the situation, we get nowhere with them, despite splashing over £10k of fees a month. They won’t even call us back!

    The management are also nuts, they had a site full of golden geese, that laid lots of lovely golden eggs, and they’re feeding them differently, changing the temperature, prodding them, poking them, constantly moving them around, and kicking hundreds out. Not the best way to maximise golden egg production.


  84. #90 I’ll say it again then: you have been very lucky, that is not the way RM claims normally operate. Especially when the word “eBay” is involved.

  85. @91 Gerry I don’t think the status of recorded delivery is changing in anyway just the way it is procesed at Post Office counters (once it has been scanned it still goes in the sacks with 1st/2nd class).

  86. #90 We have just been fighting with RM through Postwatch to get the auctioneers commission refunded as well as the hammer price. There is a separate section now at RM for ebay items, as a business seller you are only entitled to the sum that you paid for the item – RM have amended their terms and conditions to make this clear.

  87. eBay should just auction the P&P. Here is a £10 item, how much are you willing to pay for P&P? Bidding starts at a pence. The buyer who pays the most for P&P gets the item.

    Of course I’m joking but that solution is as good eBay’s.

    Buyers think P&P is high, but are they willing to give up their great eBay deals for lower P&P? Not likely.

  88. #93 Sue.

    I have to accept your experiences & see further down other ebay sellers appear to support what you say.
    I have not had to claim for over a year now, so maybe it has change since then?.

    I have just looked at the P58 claim form & it does now have an ebay tick box, somthing I do not recall previously. However it still refers to what is required to claim for an ebay item ( at the foot of the 2nd page) it says what you have to submit with the claim. These are the same items I produced &they paid what the listing said.

    PO form P58;


    It also says 2006 current version!!!.

    #94 Jimbo.

    I only read this forum posted by Chris Dawson today 5th August 2008, see it here;


    # 95 Josordoni

    Bit confuse with what you say. Auctioneers comission?, are you referring to FVF or is that a seperate non ebay auction. Usually when you buy at an ‘ordinary’ auction you receive a bill for the lot #, commision & VAT. So the item cost you what it says at the bottom of the bill. In this case royal mail might argue that that price is not the value, but the price you paid for bid for the item is what it is worth.

    I suppose what is the diffrence between ebay, amazon, ebid or any other mail order Co (distant seller organisation). Will the post office amend the claim form to state these other selling venues. I suppose currently if you sell on ebid/amazon, then NO special restictions apply if an item is lost or damaged by the PO.

  89. #92 Not only is charging VAT on postage a reason why VAT registered sellers HAVE by law to charge more than the rack rate (and for Royal Mail and ParcelForce they can’t reclaim any VAT as RM and PF don’t charge VAT), but it also puts VAT reg sellers at an automatic disadvantage on the P&P charge DSR 😥

  90. # 98. Chris Dawson.

    Im a bit rusty on the current VAT rules, but surely Royal Mail services are Zero rated, and thus, should be charged at that throughout there life. ie; #92 should be charging Zero rated VAT on the postal cost part of his P&P.

    Having said this, I saw a well known online stationary retailer selling books of stamps & they appear to charge VAT as usual.
    BUT if I go to a local shop (non PO) & buy stamps, they only charge the face value of the stamps, even though they are VAT registered.

    This all appears quiet confusing??

  91. #99 The Royal Mail and ParcelForce don’t collect VAT on their services. However a VAT registered seller charging for a VATable product has to collect VAT on postage at the same rate as that on the goods being sold.

    So result is collect 17.5% for the tax man and nothing to recoup because you didn’t pay any VAT on the service in the first place to offset on your VAT return.

  92. Has it ever occued to ebay that the whole issue of high postage was a spin off of ebay charging fees on the item value cost only. This then led to a sellers’ culture of fees avoidance high P&P rates and in fact some great deals for buyers. We now charge a lot more overall since lowering our P&P after threats from ebay.

    Consequently ebay has a vested interest in lowering P&P to get more revenue from sellers. Why not admit this is the reason for trying to lower P&P?

    Most buyers factor P&P into any purchasing decision and look at overall cost. It is patently obvious ebay factor in their own interest when it comes to deciding what puts buyers off returning to the site and on this occasion it is said to be P&P charges.

    What next?

  93. The biggest problem with P&P is like all types of service is depends on who you use and what volume you send out.For example carrier and parcelforce rates for a single item are incredibly expensive but have to be paid.Whereas regular high volume senders are on less than 50% of the standard tariff.
    So my 1 off cost me £14.99 carriage, same product sold by a regular user might cost £5.99 through the same carrier.The irony is that the person who can get the reduced carriage can then slightly over inflate the carriage ( to save on fees) and still undercut me making it look like im the one ripping people off!
    I’ve also had problems trying to send rolls of bubble wrap………many people use parcelforce but when I ring them they say you can’t send rolls!
    Lets not even go into the fact that most post offices are shut and to send a small packet can now take a couple of quid in fuel and a 20 minutes queue.
    Ebay has got it very wrong again!!!

  94. Ok…got that out of my system…A lot of comments here but ive scanned through them and…….
    As I said volume plays a huge part in delivery cost so how about something that only appears to be briefly mentioned.
    Ebay post!!!
    Ebay get a decent volume related discount with a big national and or the royal mail and EVERYONE pays the same postage rates.All you have to do to qualify is have an Ebay sticker on your parcel ( produced free by ebay using some of their massive profits).
    1kg,2kg,5kg,10kg,25kg. then a kilo rate and pallet rates, Uk offshore etc. All services recorded track n trace
    The seller then has two options they offer ebay rates or buyer collects.
    It sounds very simple to me and if ebay spent more time trying to solve problems instead of alienating sellers maybe things would be better.

  95. 103
    why should ebay worry or do anything about postal rates

    the Royal Mails are already in place and available

  96. Hi 104

    The royal mail is very limited in its weights and most regular sellers can already obtain rates from other nationals that are much lower than RM’s like for like.
    I would love to just use RM’s rates to my customers but if I said it was delivery £9.00 / 4kg they just woudn’t pay it and would probably complain to ebay!

  97. we cant find anyone anywhere that can even come close to Royal mail
    for weights under 2k
    though thats not my point
    ebay can set a reasonable maximum for postage as things stand now without spending time and effort negotiating postage rates

  98. I certainly don’t want to have to use whoever ebay has negotiated a cut price service with, and as north says theres no need.

    Ebay have a massive amount of data to work out the average postage charge in each category, just have that as a max price, it will still be far higher than the real Royal Mail price.

    personally I charge the royal mail price and not a penny more, its cheaper than any carrier for under 2kg and the postage label shows the buyer you have been transparent with the postage costs. I know I am far cheaper on postage than my competitors so any limit is no threat to me.

  99. I just sold my Playstation 3 on eBay yesterday and it sold for the buy it now price, “great” i thought, eBay would only let me put the post price as £14 when i was making the ad, but when it came to sending it yesterday it came to £30.30, more than double what i was allowed to charge for, plus then i was charged £9 odd by PayPal, all in all i lost nearly £25.

    I think eBay in this instance is very much in the wrong, if people keep the reciepts for the postage and send them on to eBay they should be able to be reimbursed for the difference, its a bit disgusting that eBay dont allow you to put the real price of postage and have to lose even more money when all we’re trying to do is make money. I’ll be seeing if i can claim the £15 back from them somehow, but probably to no avail!

  100. Hi Kurtis, you’d be better off using PayPal postage through eBay with ParcelForce at around a tenner. Alternatively once you get above 2kg in weight there are loads of 3rd party courier companies offering better rates than going through the Post Office.



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