New P&P requirements in place from 30th Oct. 2008

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The latest update email from eBay UK includes a message at the bottom regarding postage charges.

Changes to our Excessive Postage & Packaging Charges Policy will come into effect on 30th October 2008. Excessive shipping costs are cited as a major reason for buyers spending less online. These changes will enable us to continue serving sellers with the largest volume of buyers on the web.

If you sell on eBay, read more here

The link is to the announcement board – information there doesn’t always apply to sellers on eBay UK.

eBay have introduced maximum postage and packing charges for books, DVDs, music and video games on Also sellers are required to specify the shipping costs up front on all listings.

The only recent UK announcements regarding shipping are the display changes.

It’s unclear if there’s a UK announcement to come, or if the emails have had US information appended in error. Either way eBay are keen to see competitive shipping costs so it would be no surprise to see maximum charges for the UK in the near future.

16 Responses

  1. I saw they were doing this on ebay germany and wondered how long until they rolled it out here.

    If the costs are as they are in america – $4 to send a record? I know it costs more than that to send a record, what about the packaging required? if theirs more than 1 record and you dont want to list it in the wholesale catogry its going to cost more than that.
    If as im sure as happened to people here the item goes “missing” in the post and you cant force the buyer to go with recorded delivery which would cost more money that you can actually charge.

    Im just waiting for ebay to “force” people to provide free postage so its included in the item cost so they can get their increased FVF.

    Of course it would all be in “customer interest” and providing a better “buying atmosphere to drive customers towards your clearly stated costs”

    Setting up a secondry selling website is looking more and more better each week or “ebay improvment”

  2. You raise a very good point. In the US the cheapest method is media mail which quite frankly is shockingly slow. Maximum postage costs with secondary options for “expedited” shipping is a crap idea – IMO buyers should be offered a premium service as the first option and shoddy service for those who wish to downgrade to seeing their product in a couple of weeks instead of a couple of days (and I don’t offer a downgrade option on the basis it’s not a great buyer experience).

    I firmly believe that the quicker you can get your item into the buyers hands the more potential problems it solves. Also your point of using trackable services.. they cost more but are essential for PayPal protection.

    If eBay really want everything to go second class or standard parcels it’s a great idea. If they want sellers to give a premium service with a premium next day delivery it ain’t quite as attractive.

  3. “These maximums apply to the first flat-rate shipping service” im hoping this apllies to sellers standard rate so i can put in the recorded/special delivery rates as applicable.

    I send everything recorded due to paypal protection, its caused me more problems not sending things recorded, they always went “missing”.

    If this all starts on the UK site, im going to include a statement saying that all items must be recorded, you cannot use the sellers standard rate if it forces me to sell postage via that, its against paypals terms and conditions not to send something over a set value online traceable so the two rules will act against each other.

    Its very reminicant of the paypal must be accepted as a payment thing, but in paypals terms and conditions it says you cannot do this for collection items, as your not covered as the buyer can turn around and say i never recived the item.

    I put on my listings about paypal not for collection only items and had them removed by ebay… so im going to have to come up with the similar wording i now use for that for the now recorded only.

  4. we used to trust buyers and send everything regular mail first class no tracking, not signed for, we added about 25p to the actual cost of postage to cover any lost items
    we did not have a lot go missing, and we always refunded without question if it did, things balanced out quite well
    it worked well for best part of 10 years
    buyers were happy, the shipping cost was less,
    we were happy ,less administration and time spent packing and addressing,

    though now because of postage and packing DSRs, and buyers being much more aggressive because of the lack of negative feeback.
    we now send everything signed for and tracked at actual cost,

    my point being
    whatever the buyers thinks ,they pay for whatever service they get somewhere down the line, dont matter how its presented

  5. Chris, my P&P DSR also increased from 4.8 to 4.9 after a couple of months of free P&P. I don’t think it’s the answer for everyone, but it’s certainly worth considering.

  6. A maximum postage charge may work for BIN items but not for auctions.

    I’ve always charged postage ‘at cost’, if I’m forced to use a flat rate stipulated by Ebay it will be very difficult for me to offer items such as books on an auction basis for fear of not covering my costs when the auction ends.

    Just another example of Ebay’s determination to get rid of the honest small/hobby seller.

  7. eBay is finally putting forth the shipping caps I’ve advocated for years. About the only thing eBay has done right lately. However this would be very bad for anything that’s very heavy and cheap (something I’ve always shied away from). I generally sell things under a pound that are “hand” sized.

    # 2 is absolutely right about media mail. I never offer it but if I did I certainly wouldn’t make it the default. I always put the option I would want myself at the top. But if you put the most expensive (Express in the US) doesn’t this negatively impact your ranking in sort by price? Express costs several times more for 1st or 2nd day delivery compared to a typical three or four day delivery time.

  8. As put forward on this forum, there is no such thing as free lunch so reduced shipping charges tend to make for a higher item price, ebay want to drive down the cost of shipping and also promote ‘free shipping’. Call me cynical (or anything else you like, I’m thick skinned) but as ebay fees are based on the price net shipping it is obviously in ebays interest to have more of the total cost in the actual item. Of course they dress it up as a benefit to the ‘buyer experience’.
    I am still a trifle puzzled that you can be marked down on DSRs for a part of the transaction pre-agreed before the purchase. If the customer wasn’t happy with the overall cost then they would not buy.
    Shipping costs should be transparent and there is a good counter argument that some sellers take the proverbial eg 0.99p + £20.00 shipping etc, ebay should deal with this minority and not penalise the majority.
    I am dismayed that overall cost including shipping is not factored into BM as this plays into the hands of the minority mentioned above.
    We also use shipping to ensure that the pitfalls of non uk orders are covered. The cost of the shipping will be higher than cost to allow for perceived risk.

  9. I sell a lot of heavy items that cost a lot to ship and package, the costs were the costs that it costs to ship.

    Laser printers and heavy bulky IT equipment arnt cheap.

    My DSR for postage was at 4.5 or their abouts wheras everything else was at 4.7 and higher. I cant escape the fact that the items i send do cost a lot to send them and thus at one point where i was selling a lot of these it went to 4.34 and i was lowered in search standings.

    I have had to counteract this by selling a lot of very cheap ( i actually make no money from any of these sale, yet have to go and post and spend time doing it to increase my DSR for postage alone) its now up to 4.65 and rising but will always get marked down due to the heavy bulky items.

    My point being, if ebay does introduce a cap, then postage DSRs should not be in existance.

    Im now off to post some worthless items that i am selling and making no money from.

  10. “I have had to counteract this by selling a lot of very cheap ( i actually make no money from any of these sale, yet have to go and post and spend time doing it to increase my DSR for postage alone)”

    Me to.

    “Im now off to post some worthless items that i am selling and making no money from.”

    Join the club. It sucks doesn’t it.

    I will be listing another 100 tubes of silicone later,, to enhance the buyer experience of course….

  11. We apologise for any confusion regarding changes to the Excessive Postage and Packaging policy.

    Whilst we encourage all sellers to continue seeking ways to offer best value P&P costs, there is no change happening to the Postage and Packaging policy on October 30th or at any other point this year.

    Elisabeth for the eBay Team

  12. @ # 10 & 11

    I know you guys are pretty much forced to sell the cheap items but I kind of wonder if eBay will ever consider that feedback manipulation. I know eBay has a low opinion of cheap items and recently got rid of all digital items claiming they were used for feedback manipulation. They do suspend sellers who have multiple accounts that rotate items for DSR purposes so it seems like it would be only a matter of time.

  13. # 13

    Its not feedback manipulation, its “providing the buyer with excellent service for all round improved buying experience and driving customers towards my other listings to generate better sales/profits for ebay”

    and as #12 says “we encourage all sellers to continue seeking ways to offer best value P&P costs”

    Im doing exactly that.

    I sell the items, make no money from it, ebay/paypal makes money from it.

    I sell it for what i pay for the items + what ebay/paypal takes from me on fees and royal mail/packaging costs. So i worked out all the above and i sell it for exactly that and sometimes i might make 1p after all outgoings…

    Ebay ended all items that were below 99p in the buy it nows and made it so that it had to be a physical delivery as feedback manipulation what you are talking about was with ebooks and other digitaly delivered items.

    The items i sell are real goods that i post out and sell through my one and only business account.

  14. @ # 14

    I understand what you are saying and I’m in no way accusing you of doing anything unethical. I know eBay has forced sellers like yourselves into this situation with their policies. What I’m saying though is that you are selling items with only feedback in mind. What makes you think that eBay isn’t going to decide one day that this is their definition of feedback manipulation?

  15. #15

    i see your point if that was the only reason, the reason i do the sales is i took the business model from supermarkets and big department stores of a “loss leader” ie example a supermarket would sell a can of beans for 5p that they couldnt be making any money on. But when your in the store your more likely to go in and buy more than just a can of beans. I use the sales to attract people looking into my shop and have noticed a rise in sales from multiple purchases using the cheap and combining it with the more expensive.

    I also saw a lot of gold an platinum powersellers doing exactly the same thing, though after working out their costs they are actually losing money in doing their sales, they were even running them as featured listings. I applied the same logic to my own business but i do make a profit, given it may be 1p, but its still profit.

    Better sales, increasing feeback and more return customers is the reason i am doing it.


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