Buyers to be reminded of free P&P / international sales

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From the end of October buyers will be reminded of free postage and packing, or if a sale was international at the point of leaving feedback.

The Postage and Packing DSR is the lowest for most sellers, and the hardest to improve, so it’s a welcome move to have free shipping highlighted.

International transactions naturally take longer to arrive than domestic transactions and although the despatch DSR should be related to how long it takes the sellers to ship, more often than not it equates to how long the product took to arrive.

eBay say the reminders are aimed to “increase the accuracy of buyer Feedback and help to ensure sellers who sell internationally or who offer free postage & packaging receive appropriate DSRs“. Sellers have long complained that free postage doesn’t translate to five stars and that international transactions get lower DSRs on average than for domestic sales. Hopefully this change will address the balance and boost DSRs for those sellers affected.

15 Responses

  1. Ebay would be doing sellers a much bigger favour if they altered the wording of grades of the DSR star ratings

  2. “Free” P&P = more cost for the buyer, and more revenue for eBay. No skin of my nose, as I have already chosen to use this listing model and it works OK for me.

    Of course they are keen to point Free P&P out, but I somehow doubt the intention is entirely altrusic towards the seller…

    Interesting thread on the PS Board from a P&P Pink – already admitting that they know that combined postage will be an issue, and a clumsy workaround is suggested.

  3. #1 I totally agree North – talking to RichardThePink at SO2.0 I suggested 4 should be “OK, no problems but no great shakes” and 5 could be “brilliant! Everything I wanted.”

    He gave me a very strange look.

  4. I think the problem with this is even if the postage was at cost, sellers will be more likely to be marked down because it wasn’t free.

    Buyer may think 5 star is for free p&p therefore a 4 is correct

    A good psychological nudge from ebay to sellers to offer free p&p.

  5. #5 eBay will only display a message reminding the seller offered free post *if* the seller actually did. Same with international transactions so no real issues for sellers that don’t. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. @ # 6

    I think what # 5 is saying is that they’ll see that message about one of their sellers so they’ll then decide from that point forward that only free shipping is worth 5 stars.

    So basically this is going to force more sellers to offer free shipping or they’ll be suspended. Personally I have no issue with that since I’ve always thought eBay should get a FVF on postage and I hate being forced to compete on shipping & handling charges.

    This is a good change but it doesn’t go far enough and I’m sure people have been complaining about this for over a year.

  7. Sounds like they are fiddling with something fundamentally broken.

    If they just charged FVF on postage, none of this would be relevant…

    Free postage would go.

    Postage and Packing charges DSR’s would go.

    Postage gouging would go…

    People could still set realistic postage.

    All of this in the place of one simple policy change.


  8. Hi, a couple of points

    1. P&P DSR has cost elements which are (within reason) fixed – The cost of the stamp, the labour and packaging materials and where applicable, VAT. All dependant upon the size of the pack and quality of the packaging.

    The only real variables are the speed of dispatch and care taken in the packing of the items.

    2. Punters generally don’t ask us” when will you send my item”? but do ask “when will I receive my item?” Again, a variable which is out of my control.

    So I would suggest the P&P Cost DSR be changed to “Quality of packaging & Speed of dispatch”.

  9. #7 Not quite, there’s still some interesting scams that can be pulled with postage price, even if it was subject to FVF.

    Rigging best match results – currently it’s on price, not including P&P. That’s a disincentiviser to reasonable postage costs.

    International best match is even worse – by having a competitive price and reasonable domestic postage (because for example you’re in the US selling in $) you’ll sell well. When you decide to ship internationally to those schmucks overseas you know it’s a darn hot price and you decide you want to make some additional profit, so you load up your International postage to take advantage of those overseas fools that’ll pay stupidly high charges.

    Now when that “schmuck” receives your item and realises that the $40 postage you charged equates to a $22.50 stamp why shouldn’t they ding your DSRs?

    It’s a tactic that’s being used though, and a way of taking advantage of the price differences between territories to gouge an increase in profits whilst maximizing best match rankings (from domestic sales) on sites you’ve never sold to but are willing to ship to. If you pick up a few sales you’ll make silly money compared to domestic sales, but it’s a really poor experience for the unwary buyer ๐Ÿ™

  10. #10

    I cannot see that as justification Chris.

    It must be such a small percentage of sellers, that the benefits and simplicity of a system where the opportunity to stop P&P gouging, would far outweigh the odd seller.

    If the item was that rare, the seller could just put the cost in the price, they would not have to fix it to the postage.

    Look at what we have at the moment:

    Ebay setting postage prices, when they do not understand the variables.
    DVD sellers no longer able to give a discount on multiple items.
    DSR’s that are irrelavent to a transaction affecting the search placement of a seller.
    Ebay deciding when an item is too large for their “postage”.
    Ebay asking “buyers” what they think a reasonable postage charge is.

    Does Ebay realise that I have to by law add VAT to the postage cost.

    If Ebay are now telling me that I cannot do that, are they not breaking the law?

    The list goes on and on.

    A simple system of FVF on total price (reduce the rate by 1% so Ebay are not Fee Gouging) and we have removed all of the above problems.


  11. There isn’t really a point discussing this. ebay have done it as we all know, for extra FVF.
    But they have dressed it up as getting free postage. Buyers know that they haven’t really got postage (unless they’re pretty dumb) so they don’t give a top mark, because to them, all you’ve done is incorparate the costs in to your selling price, so a 4 is more than enough for a DSR.

    So you give ebay what they want, FVF on postage but that isn’t what the customer wants, so despite doing what ebay want, you still don’t get your 5 stars. ebay could make a 5 star automatic on free postage but they don’t and quite frankly, my own personal opinion is that they don’t want every powerseller hitting their monthly discount on fees.

    You’re all trying to come up with logical solutions for an illogical problem, which is why it is giving you a headache.

  12. I have never understood anyone that moans about P&P charges after receiving an item. As a buyer i can see what the seller is charging to post me my “stuff”, I either pay him or shop elsewhere.

    I couldn’t give a hoot what it actually costs the seller. If he makes ยฃ20 on shipping then so what. If you don’t want to pay it…don’t. Simple really.

  13. We have a dispatch star of 4.9 on another id
    and 75% of sales at least are to the USA , Canada, Australia

    we clearly state on our listing and on every email ,it can take 3 weeks airmail
    [only the odd one does]

  14. Well i am your international buyer from Greece , and i know all your games, at every packet that the shipping price is over 2$ than the agreement,
    the seller takes one or two stars on shipping .

    I do not believe that “free called shipping ” will add anything as potential customers.

    All that i know are that we ALL are in financial CRISIS, and what counts are the honesty.

    I never buy again , from the same seller that took advantage of me at the shipping cost.

    I do understand as simple buyer that eBAY , had start to interfere allot in the search option … I made the mistake , to register at eBAY motors, and as first option i see only American sellers.
    Since this summer, USPS made the overseas shipping , non tolerable for the many in Europe …. in other words your buyers from Europe, WAS part of your marketing area.

    China , holds the game for now , with almost low, shipping rates.

    I have end up , to shop from and , because there the eBAY system shows finally European listings , with logical shipping cost.
    And about shopping electronics , China is the player .

    So…. conclusion
    eBAY had mess up everything by heavily interfere in the market ,
    i had to search for hours finding one listing called as opportunity .
    The eBAY – Paypal system , needs some hard competition as opponent,
    they do play the game alone , and step-on sellers and buyers .

    Cheers my American sellers . ๐Ÿ™‚


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