eBay to make free P&P compulsory for DVDs

No primary category set

eBay UK will announce a raft of changes on Monday including compulsory free postage for DVDs.

From early next year there will be maximum postage rates set for media and mobile phone categories. Richard Ambrose from eBay stated that some of the maximum rates will be below actual cost and for DVDs they will insist sellers offer free post, although upgrade to priority services and overseas postage can still be charged.

Other changes to be announced will include:

Feedback Revision

Feedback Revision will be live on the site in about a weeks time. Sellers will be able to request buyers revise negative or neutral feedback upwards with a limit of 5 revisions per 1000 transactions, which is roughly the rate of negative feedbacks left across the whole site.

Identity Confirmation

eBay have already announced they’ll be protecting seller accounts by checking they are creating listings from the computer they habitually use. This is already turned on in TurboLister but will now roll out site wide by the end of October. If a seller tries to list from an alternative PC they’ll be required to confirm their identity before continuing which will prevent fraudsters from listing on hijacked accounts.

Annonymisation of emails

Similar to Australia eBay will begin to hide email addresses between eBay users until they have transacted. When buyers and sellers communicate eBay will create a temporary email address which can be replied to from email clients such as Outlook or webmail without the requirement to log into the eBay account.

This will be a great assistance for sellers trading on multiple eBay IDs to save time having to log into the relevant account just to answer a simple buyer enquiry.

Postage and Packing maximum charges

eBay will begin to set maximum postage costs from January, begining in the media and mobile phone categories with free post enforced for all DVD listings.

DSR transparency

eBay will increase visibility of DSRs to enable sellers to improve their businesses. Users will begin to see a breakdown of DSRs by category to establish if particular product lines are dragging their overall scores down and enable them to target areas for improvement.

By early 2009 great DSR transparency will appear in the Seller Dashboard, but will be available to developers through the API by the end of the year.

eBay Priorities

eBay are focusing on the three top reasons why buyers stop buying on eBay

  1. Losing money on eBay
  2. Getting a negative feedback
  3. High postage and packaging charges

They have already made progress by banning sellers from leaving negative or neutral feedback for buyers, in 2009 they will be focusing on buyer safety – it’s simply not acceptable for buyers to be able to lose money on the largest ecommerce site in the UK. This is why changes such as anonymous emails and seller identity confirmation are being introduced. If fraudsters are unable to list on the site or contact potential buyers there is no way they can take their money.

Postage and packing charges will be next target area for eBay in order to meet buyer objectives. Although maximum or free postage charges are being introduced in media and mobile phones first, don’t be surprised if they come to your category next.

123 Responses

  1. Well I’m damn glad I don’t sell DVDs any more. I really object to being told what to charge. I’m worried what they will do to CDs if media is first – after all it costs nearly twice as much to send a double CD in a “fat” case as it does to send an ordinary single CD.
    As a buyer of CDs I make my own mind up if the selller is charging too much p&p – on principle I just don’t buy from sellers who charge much more than I do. As I buyer I don’t need ebay to regulate postage costs for me.

    It’s just another way to get more money from FVF.

  2. Some good changes coming, Ebay seem to be listening to sllers a little more now (in terms of DSr’s etc). As far as P&P capping goes, I’m all for it overcharging on P&P allowed the high volume low cost sellers (ie. selling price 1p and £6 postage) to dominate and this should go some way to levelling that field a little..

  3. #3 That’s all very well, I don’t like to see 99p CDs with £6 postage either but often ebay go way too far, like some booksellers not being able to charge actual postage for a 99p hardback book. It just screws up the whole market.

  4. At this rate only eBay will be making money, sellers are basically getting shafted from all sides by eBay now ….and just think many of those sellers WERE also buyers
    Complete madness, eBay need to be looking more to HELP sellers not kill them off
    DSR’s are basically far too powerful and can get small sellers suspended for basically just doing what the listing says..Madness

    Jan 09 will be very interesting as almost every seller I know is shutting down from 26 Dec; they all say the same just not worth the stress or hastle anymore….The system is totally wrong

  5. I just had to chime in here on the Free P&P for DVD’s. I was hoping they would have made redundant those idiots that come up with these ideas.

    Shipping caps are all that is needed and they will soon find that buyers will no longer be able to find a deal on eBay UK for DVD’s.

    Amazon will love the new in-flux of DVD buyers. Prices for DVD’s on eBay UK will no longer be competitive.

  6. Sorry, but this is just ridiculous – DVDs cost nearly a pound to post and that is if they are just the one single disc without any heavy booklet, extra packaging and so on. I am nearly out of selling my old and watched DVDs, but this is unfair. I’m normally a supporter of eBay and have understood and accepted most of their changes in the last year or so (even the “sellers cannot leave negative feedback” one when I saw how it works in practice to eliminate NPBs quicker than before) but this is just ridiculous – and I’d like to ask them to reconsider!

  7. #6 Wouldn’t surprise me if many categories went free postage in the next year or so Randy.

    What was interesting is the changes were shared during a presentation at Small Business 2.0 and there were several DVD sellers in the room. One was obviously gobsmacked by the news.

    The other was much more relaxed and merely asked a question to clarify that they could still charge for upgrades to premium delivery services and for overseas customers – he already gives free post within the UK and is one of the largest UK sellers (well up the Nortica top 500 😉 ). Richard Ambrose answered “You won’t have to change anything, you’re already ahead of the curve”.

    In other words there’s a least one highly successful UK seller already offering free domestic postage and competing against sellers that are still currently charging for postage.

    I’m not saying it’ll be easy for sellers to adjust their strategies, but that particular seller certainly proves it’s not impossible not only to compete against other venues, but to be successful on eBay whilst offering free post.

  8. This is major proof that DSR has failed, those who over charged on shipping are not being downrated. IMO, those buyers who cannot stand high shipping prices has already left. The rest of the buyers are smart enough to add shipping before buying.

  9. If one of the largest DVD sellers couldn’t absorb free p&p there isn’t much hope for anybody else.

  10. Why not bite the bullet and go for Free P&P for everything, would level the playing field, with option to charge extra for premium delivery and overseas P&P

  11. Personally I think eBay are moving in the right direction.

    As for the inclusive P&P pricing, we changed to this a few months ago and it has been very successful. Only thing is if everyone starts doing it we will loose our edge,


  12. eBay are focusing on the three top reasons why buyers stop buying on eBay

    Losing money on eBay
    Getting a negative feedback

    That’s also the reason a lot of sellers are leaving too. This lastest brainwave will just speed up the exodus of even more sellers.

  13. #8 Whilst it was interesting to note Steves(Retrowarez) lack of shock at the announcement, as a avid buyer myself of all things media, if I say pop along to Retrowarez and buy 6 DVD’s am I going to get shafted for 6 lots of P&P, nobody is going to blame the DVD boys for adding the P&P to the BIN price, is there going to be a facility for sellers to combine shipping? with the new system that would mean that the total BIN would have to be reduced at checkout meaning less FVF for eBay….I can’t see that happening.

  14. I can only shake my head in disbelief at those people who THINK these policies are good.

    Are they really that poor at decision making and salesmanship that they need and enjoy someone mandating policies for their business?

    If they think these ideas are useful to them, they certainly could have implemented these changes on their own listings WITHOUT ebay’s actions of dictating those policies to everyone.

    The rest of us are wise enough and knowledgable enough to know what works for our own businesses and do not need a dictator forcing policies on us, which we know are damaging to our to our businesses, finances and reputations.

    Oh well, it won’t matter once Meg Whitman & John Donahoe’s “Disruptive Innovation” scheme is complete. The majority of current sellers will be forced out, anyway.

    PLEASE, search the internet for the article at genuineseller.com titled, “eBay’s Disruptive Innovation, How’s that workin’ for ya?”.

    You can also search “Donahoe Legg Mason Capitol Management Thought Leader Forum” to read John Donahoe’s actual SEPTEMBER 2007 speech outlining the “ebay Disruptive Innovation”.

    At that time, Donahoe stated, “Today we’re dealing with phase two or phase three of disruptive innovation”.


    THAT report may very well be the MOST IMPORTANT reading you’ll ever do concerning your business and ebay!


  15. information at:




  16. I’m sitting here wondering, what next? How about ebay tell you what price you’re allowed to charge for products. Think it would never happen………

  17. What about the packaging element of p&p? Are sellers to pretend that comes free as well? Depending on the item, it can cost more than the stamp price to give it sufficient protection to arrive undamaged.

  18. #19, Perhaps eBay are going to make a deal with packaging sellers so they can offer free packing materials to sellers. 😆

  19. The combined shipping element worries me, at the moment I give substantial discounts for combined shipping (often better than stated on my listings), If I have to cover p&p in the item price then anyone buying more than one will definitely lose out – unless they buy from me directly, and cut out ebay of course.

  20. “Richard Ambrose from eBay stated that some of the minimum rates will be below actual cost ”

    no, he stated that some of the MAXIMUM rates will be below actual costs, i.e. the most you can charge will be below postage costs before adding in ancilliary costs.

    If they know that now, before they go live with the rates, why don’t they put the max rate up then, huh?

  21. I don’t think eBay are overly concerned who loses out, as long as eBay get extra FVFs. I’ve just been reading the LeggMason speech referred to by Jordan # 17. Among other gems is “We’ve had the disruption, now we must disrupt our own disruption.” I wish someone would give that man a dictionary and he could learn another word or two. It would be funny if it didn’t have such serious implications for so many businesses. No wonder the world is in such dire financial straits if he is an example of corporate business stragegies

  22. #20 Maybe eBay are going to bring out their own range of over priced packaging and make it compulsory to use it.

  23. Whirly @#15if I say pop along to Retrowarez and buy 6 DVD’s am I going to get shafted for 6 lots of P&P

    IIRC Steve has never offered combined postage so you would always have been shafted for 6 lots of P&P 😀

    This year on eBay it’s just been one thing after another. Do they have any concept of how much time we are all spending trying to keep up with these changes? I think they just need to calm down and let the site stabilse for a while. After all, how can they tell which of the changes are actually improving things when they are making so many changes!

  24. Just when you thought your business had survived ebay’s recent onslaught, along comes another way to shaft you …….


    Someone’s plan to infiltrate and kill ebay is working…..


  25. #15 if it was retrowarez that demonstrated the lack of shock in post #8, they don’t offer free postage at all. In fact they charge relatively heavily.

  26. This is lunacy and the start of a very bad slope that will spread across ebay with more and more item category’s that will be next.

  27. Just been to small business 2.0, thought most of it was very useful. Have not really delved into the forum or blog scene until now despite having sold high volume on ebay for about 5 years. The overwhelming theme of the day was blogging so here I am.

    My initial impression of this site and most comments made at the event today is that people just seem to be looking for an outlet to vent frustrations and have a moan if things are not going their way.

    Whilst I also feel that the recent ebay changes to best match and DSR prior to that will negatively affect my business, and the prospect of further policy changes over p and p will create more work without any likely hood of any increased benefit, I do think that what is lacking from most of you is the celebration of what a great place ebay is to trade.

    We should embrace the changes and new challenge they present as an opportunity to demonstrate our strength over our competition. It will be the most dynamic and flexible businesses that reap the rewards that change brings. Moaning is not an option, the world will continue to change and most changes are and will contimue to be unexpected.

    So in that vain can we have more topics and push discussions towards new solutions and strategies. For me at least that would make this site worth revisiting rather than righting it off as just another group of yesterdays top sellers moaning about how its not as good as in the old days.

  28. I was under the impression that USPS provide packing boxes for USA customers. Maybe J-D’oh thinks it’s the same in the UK…… talk about knowing your customers. Does he know his own arse from his elbow?

  29. I was at Small Business 2.0.

    Quite clever of eBay to pre-announce (spin) this controversial step.

    Somewhat takes the heat away from the formal announcement next week.

  30. i dont sell in the dvd category, but just out of courtsey, what is the p&p costs on amazon, play, etc for DVD’s???

  31. What a good day at SmallBusines2.0.
    Thanks to Dan,Sue and Chris, for the invites.I really enjoyed it,

    I think they are all still in the pub……………

  32. And so eBay continues to encourage the notion that it’s a bargain basement site for cheapskates thinking they’re saving a few bucks.

    I’m doing a trial at the moment – free postage on all my eBay listings, ‘cos eBayAU is offering 50% of FVFs for items with free post. Of course it’s not really ‘free’, I’ve just added what I usually charge to the price of the item. Sales are …. okay, but this month on my own site where I do charge postage I’ve sold 3 times more than I have on eBay.

  33. Despite some apologists for eBay trying to ‘make the best of it’ the plain facts are that this change (like so many recently) has less to do with improving the so called ‘buyer experience’ and a lot more to do with eBay improving their margins at the expense of sellers. This is all about FVF ‘gouging’ and I am most certainly not sanguine about the huge increases seen in these fees recently unlike some around here.
    Make no mistake – after the Christmas season is over the 1Q/2Q results from eBay will be a bloodbath as the bonkers ‘Bainites’ at the top lead the company over the cliff edge whilst still chanting about ‘disruptive innovation’. It will not make for a happy ending – make your survival plans now for a multi-channel future which may (or may not) include eBay as their buyer traffic and conversion rates fall whilst sellers desert in droves and sales plummet.

  34. Re: combined shipping,

    You could try including in your ads:-

    “Buying several from us on ebay ? Use ‘Ask Seller a
    Question’ for postal discount details”

    and take the opportunity to transact off ebay. Or whatever.

  35. These constant changes are getting more than annoying. I just want a platform that I can shove my stock onto, then work hard at customer support, packing, sourcing new products, etc….I’m swimming against the tide on eBay ❗

  36. Just surprised it is taking so long to roll out free postage accross the board, although I suppose they wanted to get all the recent changes settled in.
    I will be happy when the whole site is P&P inclusive.
    No valid reason for not being and it puts everyone, Chinese overchargers included, on an even keel.
    For fixed price it is a no brainer. For auctions, well you can start the auction at a price to include the postage charge or take a risk.
    Ebay should give a little back, either in listing charges or commission to take account of the extra they would make on the postage inclusive element.

  37. Whilst I am a great fan of ‘Free P&P’ ( (It has been very rewarding for me) – I do realise you need VOLUME SALES to make it work, and need to keep your prices competetive, its no good offereing free P&P if all you have done is load the BIN price by the P&P cost.

    I feel for those sellers who haven’t got the volume sales who have to use a free P&P model

  38. @ # 15

    Combined shipping doesn’t help eBay. eBay just made 1600 jobs redundant. By forcing free shipping they no longer have to develop a way to combine shipping for their immediate payment required listings. Brilliant, really.

  39. Whilst in one mode I actually agree with eBay putting some postage “controls” in….especially for all the Chinese sellers who list at 1p with £40.00 postage…
    Perhaps they should support UK sellers by dealing with all the Chinese Postage Over Chargers and Counterfeit item sellers…might just do eBay’s negative image some good if they actually enforced their Terms of Trading in these areas…but I know I am living in Wonderland to expect eBay to do anything about their fellow Over Chargers & Counterfeiter (making policy’s you don’t enforce same as Counterfeit in my book)

    However i do have concerns ….many rural Post Offices closing, cost of postage and packaging, Royal Mails new size guides re parcels are going to make it impossible for many decent sellers to keep going or for a really fair postage system to be put in place…..Historically its only the large volume sellers that can afford loss leader that can cope and make a living under such pressure. I wonder when eBay are going to realize it’s the Sellers not the Buyers that are eBay’s Customers…I rent a shop from eBay, I rent a high street shop from my landlord…who does not tell me how to deal with my customers…he actually sends me a nice note of thanks when I pay my rent ( take note eBay).
    In summary eBay why not try looking after your tenants the Sellers…not interfere with their business….With the power of your databases its easy to see where the problem Sellers lie. Start cleaning up the Chinese and Nigerian Mess, Business Sellers who deliberately do not comply with regulations,etc ,etc, etc…..DEAL with them ,stop harassing honest hardworking sellers ,or ,in the alternative eBay you better buy a big warehouse and start thinking up some user ID’s ….cause you won’t have any decent sellers …
    Finally eBay if you need some help with user ID’s for your new business I can help …I am sure several other eBay Sellers would be happy to help….we might just overcharge you for our service and take a couple of weeks to think about it, we may not even get back to you…but that won’t worry you eBay its on a par with your service standards

  40. Well I sell DVDs on ebay as a full-time trader. I currently charge just under £2 postage. When I have to change to free postage, it just means I’ll have to add the £2 postage onto the buy it now price, plus an extra 20p to cover the extra fvf.

    In other words, to keep my profit margins the same, My customers will be charged 20p more than before.

    i.e. current price: £2.99+1.99 = Total customer pays is £4.98

    New Price: £5.18+Free p&p = Total Customer Pays is £5.18

    I’ll basically be charging an extra 20p just to line ebays pockets. 20p may not sound much but if I didnt add the extra 20p to my cost, it would soon add up. If I sold 50 DVDs in a day and took the 20p hit my self, it would cost me £10 a day. This is something I definately cannot afford as things are tight enough as it is. Losing £300 a month to ebay is something I am not prepared to do. It wouldn’t be finanically viable anyway.

  41. Sorry, me again!

    If ebay are really doing this (free p&p on DVD’s) for the buyer experience and not to benefit from additional fvf, then they should credit DVD sellers the 20p back on each DVD they sell.

    I say 20p as this is roughly the extra ebay will be making, from the current average p&p price for a DVD.

    Also, will large boxsets and complete series collections also have to be free p&p?

  42. #37 Not only do you need to have volume sales to make this kind of thing work (which I don’t) but I sell second hand items which is a totally different market to new items and completely different profit margins. I don’t buy from a wholeslaer, choose what I will buy and get wholesale discounts for a certain level of sales. I can’t research the market before I buy stuff to sell. I just have to buy the items and take a chance that they will sell. Some items I have to take a loss on just to get rid of them, Some I get stuck with. Other, rare, collectible stuff might make me a good profit. But mostly my profit margins are tiny (if you include the stuff I get stuck with). People won’t tolerate paying the same price for second hand items (even in top condition) as they will for new stuff, unless you can’t buy it any other way.

    So it’s a completely different market, and I can’t work in the same way as people selling new items, as the margins aren’t the same.

    I’m already unsure if I will be able to carry on selling on ebay next year, at the moment with the new much higher fee structure my listings are down by about a third (actually my jewellery listings are the same right now so my CDs are down by a lot more than a third – probably about half) and I’m expecting much higher invoices from ebay, although I am selling well in may prove to be not worth the effort. If my margins go any lower I’ll be forced off the site.

    And second hand CDs aren’t really something you can sell from your own website (not for the amount of time I can put into it as I work full time) so I’ll be out of business.

  43. ~42 kate
    Can you not just sell the dross as a job lot and only sell the collectibles individually

  44. #36 I will be happy when the whole site is P&P inclusive.
    No valid reason for not being and it puts everyone, Chinese overchargers included, on an even keel.
    For fixed price it is a no brainer.

    Obviously I have no brains then 😐
    The majority of my customers purchase more than one item from me. In fact for categories like the low value craft sector, where the 20p PayPal fee really bites into the profit of a single item, combined purchases are essential to a good overall profit margin.

    Setting a max P&P I can cope with, free P&P will mean that my eBay listings will be decimated, as for me it won’t be worth listing anything under say a fiver.

    Free P&P kills off combined purchases and will totally destroy many vibrant sections of eBay.

    However it apparent from the recent changes that eBay either don’t want those of us any more or have no understanding of our categories and niche markets.

  45. So when I roll up to the Post Office counter next year to post DVDs, I can tell the nice lady that eBay sent me so UK postage is free 😉

    I believe this is simply a cunning plan to spin off all DVD sales to Amazon.co.uk where sellers at least get paid for P&P. The eBay execs promoting this “lose money fast” scheme have been offered new jobs at Amazon UK along with hefty bonuses for decimating eBay UK’s media sales. If there is a winner in this latest move it’ll be Amazon and their customers. eBay UK will likely see even fewer DVDs sold on their site, and the higher FVFs and PayPal fees will not offset the lower sales as sellers defect to other sites. Larger media sellers will likely push sales to their own websites.

  46. Here we have another good idea that may well be a disaster if implemented without some thought.

    If they spread this with a carte blanche and no care to the categories it is brought into it will be a disaster for some sellers.

    If they have the sense to keep to the worst offending categories it may turn out to be a change for the better.

    Given ebays track record for caring for their sellers, I would be very worried if I relied on multiple sales to make my money.

    Perhaps one way to avoid such a debacle would be to bring in the US choice listing policy is certain categories to give some sellers a better avenue for multiple sales from one listing.

  47. #42 – Whilst these changes are aimed at the volume seller its the Hobby Auctioneer who will suffer, as has been the case with most of the changes implemented this year.

    It’s all part of Donahue’s plan to ” turn Ebay from an unruly flea market to a strip mall by 2010″

    It’s rumoured that Pierre Omidyar (Ebay founder) is considering setting up a new auction site based on the original Ebay standards and values.
    If true it can’t come soon enough for me.

  48. As a DVD seller I cant say I am bothered about the announcement apart from the joyful task of to amend all our listings/


  49. Many sellers who use auctions will lose out twice. It will be a minefield to decide at what level to start an auction. Then if the items are different shapes and sizes, which makes it impossible to buy packaging in any bulk, they have to pretend that expense doesn’t exist either.

  50. Just had a thought about DSRs. There should be an automatic 5 stars entered by the system for any sale of DVDs, and any category with a limit imposed.

  51. More carrot and less use of the stick please eBay.

    Am I not right in thinking that on .com there is an incentive for sellers to list inclusive of P&P, double discount on FVF? And I think this idea was also mentioned for the UK by a pink on the PS board?

    Does anyone know if this is in fact going to be implemented on co.uk,, it would make perfect sense.


  52. Just so glad I left eBay and their effing bureaucracy behind. Doing some listings on eBid and am working on my own website at the moment. Damn shame about eBay cos I used to love it!:(

  53. “It’s all part of Donahue’s plan to ” turn Ebay from an unruly flea market to a strip mall by 2010?

    It’s rumoured that Pierre Omidyar (Ebay founder) is considering setting up a new auction site based on the original Ebay standards and values.
    If true it can’t come soon enough for me.”

    What made ebay great was the fact that it was a place where you could find rare and collectible stuff that you couldn’t find anywhere else. If that goes then the buyers can go anywhere, makes no difference, they will only find what’s available averywhere else anyway.

    I wish that Pierre Omidyar *would* set up a new site, but it’s probably just wishful thinking.

  54. #43 I sling the dross in a box marked £1 each and take it to craft fairs/school fetes. Gets rid of it eventually without the hassle of ebay.

  55. Get real people!
    This is all about eBay stripping ever more from your gross margins – pure and simple.
    By forcing free P&P on all categories and making Paypal mandatory sometime next year they will gouge even greater money from YOUR business.
    Any part incentives they offer (reduced listing fees, token reduction in FVFs) are just there to sweeten the bitter medicine as they walk off with our money (and profit).
    The biggest eBay powersellers and soon to join big merchants who are volume kiddies will find a way to survive and make a margin – the rest of us will simply get royally stuffed.
    If your into small to medium volumes or specialist DVD areas you are in serious trouble over the medium term in sustaining a profitable business when your discretion over P&P fees is removed.
    The barmy ‘Bainites’ at the top simply don’t get the key fact that eBay is NOT a category shopping mall like Amazon and that it’s diversity and difference is what makes it attractive to both buyers and sellers alike.

  56. In my category I list individual items with genuine p&p costs from <100g LL to 2Kg plus parcels. So, any attempt to impose a flat rate would be ridiculous.

    On the small, low value, light items I can offer great p&p discounts that make my items attractive for customers to buy from me via eBay and have perfectly fine p&p DSR to prove it.

    I have already had to warn my buyers that after December (when my current 90 day SIF listings end) any <99p items will have to be purchased outside eBay. If they bring in capped or compulsory FREE p&p it will mean most of my business being diverted to website as the prices without combined p&p discounts would compare so unfavourably with off-eBay websites.

    So, I won’t be paying higher fvf to eBay, I’ll be paying none & will no longer need my featured shop either.

  57. “If I want a DVD, I go to Play.com … free P&P … :wink:”

    Its their as a cost, ebay dvd’s are norm cheaper + you get rare’s

    This is all about ebay profit. from FVF

  58. Afternoon.

    For the record, I am the DVD seller who Chris describes as ‘gobsmacked’ by the news, and yes I was surpised. I asked what I considered to be two relevant questions, after which DrSteve added his question regarding overseas postage.

    With all due respect to Steve, his main DrSteveW ID charges a minimum of £2.00 domestic P&P on his listings, so his ‘ahead of the curve’ approach will still need to change, as will us all in DVD, and he is not yet proving that free P&P can be a winning strategy on Ebay.

    Chris please research before publishing such statements.


  59. #60 This may be the case but I was trying to put accross the idea that free P&P attracts buyers even if they are cheaper on ebay.

    If you don’t get a sale, ebay don’t get ANY FVF’s.

  60. If I could easily edit all my listings to offer free postage, without effecting my search standing, I would do it today. Not that I want to but I think I will need to if I wish to continue selling successfully on eBay.

    Mandatory free postage in some categories will end up having a knock on effect on the DSR’s of all sellers + customer expectation.

    The problem at present is that editing a price upwards has an impact on search standing (an eBay rep has told me that there will be a way to get around this, put in place) & that there are no decent bulk editing tools.

    aka Jimbo

  61. If p&p are going to be free, how can there be a DSR for p&p? The buyer cannot make a judgement when they don’t know what they have paid for it.

  62. #61 Ah thanks for that Sean, it wasn’t the impression I got from the Q&A between Steve and Richard – I should have checked 😯

    Thanks for the correction 🙂

  63. Personally I think that free postage on DVD’s will lower DSR’s for Dispatch Time, most sellers will send their DVD’s out by second class post to keep costs down resulting in frustrated buyers.

    Its all very well saying we can charge more for priority services but we known that buyers will almost always choose the cheapest service and still expect priority delivery.

  64. No doubt there will be sellers using required insurance who will put some or all of the postage cost onto the insurance instead of the item cost

  65. There is NO such thing as Free postage.Its a cost element that has to be paid somewhere.

    Bookselling is already in a parlous state on Ebay.A hardback book can virtually be any weight,especially e-mailing overseas. How can you factor in £10.00 postage into a £10 hardback with Free or Minimal posting costs.

    As some one said on the Ebay Books Board,another nail in the coffin of Ebay bookselling . That Coffin must be well and truly closed by this,

  66. #68: I’m curious to know how you are e-mailing a hardback book ?

    ‘How can you factor in £10.00 postage into a £10 hardback with Free or Minimal posting costs.’

    Simple, the £10 pound book becomes a £20 book.

  67. A cap on p&p is all that is required here (similar to Amazon). Unfortunately free p&p in the DVD sector is eventually going to be brought in across the board. However, feebay are not interested in our moaning, they are just counting the extra fvfs. We will just have to learn to adapt or leave ❗

  68. It’s all very well saying adapt or leave, but I know that I get a lot of customers who buy several CDs in one go (anything from 2 – 10) because I give them a good deal on combined postage. If I have to include that in my selling price, I’ll lose those kind of sales. And those kind of sales help to keep my business viable.

  69. Ebay just want round pegs to fit their round holed business model. The square pegs have already chiselled off enough trying to fit in.
    It’s not the actual change that’s the problem for me, it’s the fact that it’s yet ANOTHER change. Can’t it just be left alone for a while?

  70. #72 Please don’t think i’m in favour of free p&p it’s just that like most other policies that feebay bring in, it’s probably here to stay.

    Could you not add a line to your listing something like ‘we offer great discounts on multiple purchases, please email for details’. You could then point them to your own website if you have one or provide a discount on your inclusive price (combined cost including built in p&p)? What do you think?

  71. @ # 76

    I don’t think you can promote your site like that. And eBay doesn’t want you disclosing your emails to your buyers and have gone as far as telling people to take them out of their auctions (and retracting that) and filtering out email addresses in emails sent through eBay Australia.

  72. Re: #8

    QUOTE: “I’m not saying it’ll be easy for sellers to adjust their strategies, but that particular seller certainly proves it’s not impossible not only to compete against other venues, but to be successful on eBay whilst offering free post.”

    Leaving aside the later correction, this also assumes that a high volume Nortica Top 500 seller is paying the same price for their stock as the much smaller sellers. Anyone who is paying full wholesale price, and is offering shipping at cost, now actually has to either factor in extra FVF’s into their listing price, or reduce their own profit margin to compensate Ebay’s increased profit margin, if they wish to sell the item for the same total price. Do you think that “Losing money on eBay” could also become a reason for sellers to stop selling on Ebay, or is that unimportant?

    Anyone who is able to access liquidation stock for pennies on the pound is who will really benefit from this type of policy, but the Ebay model has always favoured them as far as retail type stock goes.


  73. Making free P&P compulsory has only one reason: more money for eBay. Sellers are forced to pay way more Final Value Fees over their sales. Because: they must pay FVF over the included P&P!

    So this is nothing more than raising eBay fees AGAIN!

    On eBay.com I pay 50%-70% more in total fees selling in the fixed price format since eBay “changed” those fees a month or so ago.

    It starts with DVDs. Eventually (sooner than later) this will become compulsory for ALL ITEMS.

  74. I’ve sussed it out. JD actually works for Amazon and he is halfway through project “self destruct”. Apparently he is ahead of target and under budget.

  75. *sigh* another day, another change… do ebay ever give sellers more than a two week break between their “new ideas”?!

  76. Ebay have announced – Maximum limits on P&P costs for select categories



    Antiquarian & Collectable

    Audio Books

    Children’s Books

    Collections & Lots


    Educational/ Textbooks

    Fiction Books


    Modern Maps & Atlases

    Non-Fiction Books

    DVDs & Movies

    Maximum Postage and Packaging Charge

    Accessories/ Storage

    Free delivery

    Film Memorabilia

    Other Film Formats

    TV Memorabilia

    Videos: VHS


    Maximum Postage and Packaging Charge




    Music Memorabilia

    Other Music Formats

    Accessories/ Storage

    Video Games

    Maximum Postage and Packaging Charge



    Consoles & Systems


    Vintage & Retro Gaming

    Internet Game Accessories

    Merchandise/ Books

    Other Video Games

    Mobile and Home Phones

    Maximum Postage and Packaging Charge

    Bluetooth Accessories

    Home Phones

    Mobile Phones

    Mobile Phones with Contract

    Mobile Phone Accessories

    Mobile Phone Batteries

    Mobile Phone Cases & Pouches

    Mobile Phone Chargers

    Mobile Phone Data Cables

    Mobile Phone Fascias

    Multimedia Cards/ Memory


    Ringtones, Logos & Software

    Sim Cards

    Vintage Phones

    Other Phones

  77. Actually now that the maximums have been set, I don’t think it looks too bad, even the free p&p for DVDs. As a small or part-time seller I might be expected to argue (and there have been some problems with particularly heavy books recently) but there is nothing there that will particularly hurt me.

    The problem with calling eBay “feebay” is that none of the competitors which attempt to undercut eBay can manage to provide as much space or as much traffic or protection as eBay can with its revenues. If it is making a profit, then so are we – and what we feel angry about is the company that offers us the opportunity to make a profit making profits itself. Which, if you think about it, is nonsense.

    There are sites out there which offer something for nothing – and you get what you pay for there.

  78. im gonna leave too…this is too much for me the fact that we cant tell people that buyers are not paying or mess us around is bad enough now we cant charge for postage …postage is not free so why should it be to ebay buyers….listing fees on ebay cost enough anyway without losing postage costs too???,i have been trading on ebay full time for 3 years and im leaving in january and i wont be coming back anytime soon…EFF ebay all day

  79. So the maximium postage allowed for a piece of Film Memorabilia is £4? Have I read that right?

    So, for example, a signed and glass encased piece of memorabilia say from Jurassic Park (for example a piece of the animatronic dinosaur!) can’t cost more than £4 to ship?

    Have I really read that right? I’m aghast.

  80. Not only are some of the maximums highly unrealistic but the DSRs are going to punish sellers even further. If a seller charges the maximum in the category, even though it represents a loss, there will be nothing to stop a buyer marking the sellers p&p DSR down because they have charged the maximum.

  81. My guess is this,,

    They announce now but delay until after xmas, the reason is to much money at stake for eBay in FVF’s in the run upto xmas, but they want to set the tone for the future, after all you DVD guys should be hitting peek sales around about now, eBay know full well you won’t leave just yet.

    After xmas your DVD cats will be flooded with another 500,000 dvd’s from Vat exempt sellers who have told eBay they will list on co.uk on the basis that it’s done the way they want it. Small DVD sellers will be completely shafted come Feb.

  82. #89 There is an exemption option (which will be heavily monitored to make sure it’s not abused) for “Courier: heavy and bulky items”, that will allow a postage cost higher than the limit.

    I wouldn’t recommend it for borderline cases as eBay will “make sure that those that are over the limit differ from the assumptions that we used to establish the maximum postage costs”. If your item isn’t significantly different to the norm for the category it’s probably not worth attempting an exemption.

  83. £2 for a CD isn’t too bad – I don’t charge more than that even for the double CDs in fat cases – not sure though about boxed sets though – I have sold 4 CD boxed sets in the past which would cost (today) £1.94 to post – that’s without the cost of packaging. Are we able to charge more for boxed sets? It doesn’t say. Also will they put these maximums up in april when all the postage rates increase? The increases this year were quite hefty.

    I can see where other cats will have problems – how can they set maximums for accessories/storage when you don’t even know what those items are or how heavy they are? And £4 for music memorabilia? that could be a bit of a minefield.

  84. #91 Whirly I was actually wondering if one or more of the big DVD sellers had told ebay that they would list their stock if certain conditions were met…

  85. #93 The requirements of Paypal & tracking would force the price up though.
    And as Chris says #92 there is an exeption for bulky & heavy items, although I don’t think a box set of CDs would count.

  86. I suppose the “workaround” for a 4 CD boxed set would be to specify 2nd class postage (£1.63) rather than first class as the first option.

  87. This is a stupid idea. Your now going to see an otherwise $8 DVD cost $11. If somebody decides to buy 10 DVD’s they are going to pay an extra $27!

    Not only that but you are going to see less Priority mail and more media mail and parcel post shipping which is going to lead to higher DSR’s on S&H charges but lower DSR’s on shipping time.

    eBay should raise the minimum DSR’s from 4.3 to a 4.8, that way sellers will have no choice but to ship Priority the same day.

    btw: I don’t see eBay lowering fees in the media category to compensate for the rising costs of media sellers.

    I have a feeling by 2010 not only are sellers going to be required to do free shipping, but they are also going to be required to give the item itself away for free

  88. Are all the execs at eBay on drugs? Free Delivery on DVD’s and that’s only the start. It’s not buyer or seller satisfaction they want it’s MONEY £££$$$$ This will increase the FVF and once they have computed the figures and weighed up the people who stop selling on eBay, the numbers will still be in eBay’s favour.Then they will slowly increase free delivery across numerous products, and then were all doomed.Now this is announced I cant see them changing their minds, can you ?

  89. Des: eBay’s figures will always work in eBay’s favour; how else would you expect them to be? This one’s predictable, and it’s not something that eBay are going to be argued out of, so go with it, figure out how to work it to your advantage. 😉

  90. Simple point, if ebay force postage into selling prices etc, they will simply increase the cut they take from selling fee, at moment postage costs do not get charged in selling price, only reason ebay are doing this is so sellers have to build postage into there selling price and thus in turn increase selling fee thus in turn line the pockets of ebay further, as it is now as abuyer you can look at postage and make a choice to buy or not at that price, complaining about postage costs after on DSR etc is a load of rubbish, you can see postage costs before you bid, this change is not to protect buyers but to INCREASE THE MONEY EBAY TAKE OFF SELLERS!

  91. #100 love your work, Sue.

    I don’t know if this is the right place to post this, but here goes….

    eBay AU have also just announced capped postage rates for Books, CDs and DVDs. Not a huge surprise given the similar changes on other eBay sites. But what is really, really getting up my nose is that not one word has been posted by an eBay pink on the Books, Music and Movie board. One pink has made a few posts on the PS Board ( but of course not every book, CD and DVD seller is a PS) and a few on the Round Table, but I would have thought that common courtesy would suggest that a pink at least visit the dedicated board and deal with the questions there.

    Another nail in eBay’s coffin. All those listing fees I’m currently paying are going to buy me a lot of Google adwords

  92. …….an interesting thought!

    Policy states that :

    ‘In all categories, items which are extremely heavy or bulky and require a specific courier for delivery can be exempted. Sellers should select the option “Courier : Heavy and bulky items” instead of “Flat: same cost to all buyers” in the drop-down menu below the Domestic postage label. We’ll be monitoring this to ensure proper usage of the option.’

    So, IF you have a Business Post account – which is a courier as it aint Royal Mail, then in theory you can charge P&P for a single DVD – yes or no ?

    (Yes – Business Post handles the equivalent of 1st/2nd class mail also)

  93. @ Eddie – no. The item you’re sending by the heavy/bulky method has to be significantly larger than the category average used to calculate the maximums. It’s such an obvious loophole, you can bet eBay (and your competitors) will be watching it like a hawk.

  94. Worst. Policy. Ever.

    At least so far… lord know’s I thought previous ones were bad, I’d hate to see what they top this with.

  95. “I’d hate to see what they top this with.”

    I am sure they will express there utter contempt for us again before the end of the year,,, I mean we just sell the stuff what do we know about postage & packaging costs…that $20 odd billion ? that gets traded each year by us is all down to pot luck, we are all idiots obviously.

  96. Did #32’s question about the postage allowance amazon give you for DVD’s get answered?

    I have begun the process of starting a listing (to see their FVF is 86p + 17.25%), so need to compare this with listing fee + FVF + saved paypal fees, but can’t see the allowance they give you for postage. Thanks

  97. This policy doesn’t go far enough!
    I will only shop on ebay when everything is free. 🙂

  98. #32 & 110

    Re DVD p&p….Play.Com is free p&p. Amazon you get to keep £1.08 towards p&p out of the £1.24 charged to the buyer.

    Strangely, video games are £1.70 out of the £1.99 p&p charge.

  99. If you do the simple maths any DVD seller with a brain will now include the extra FVF in the total, so all DVD’s sold on eBay next year by sellers with a brain will be more expensive for buyers….

    Not sure I understand the logic ?

  100. #114 That’s exactly the point I have been trying to make to people at Ebay but to no avail.

    My delivered price will go UP on all of my DVD’s in order for me to maintain the same profit margin.

    DVD’s on Ebay will be less competitive compared to non Ebay online outlets.

    How does that help either us or Ebay?

    Lowering the FVF for DVD’s will help to make the change more revenue neutral and will keep us competitive, while at the same time eliminating the overcharging on P&P by bad sellers by putting everyone on a level playing field.

    The response I have had from Ebay is that every seller I currently compete with on Ebay will have the same increases to bear so I should not worry.

    FFS! I KNOW! But i’m more concerned about continuing to compete with people outside of Ebay. It’s as if Ebay support refuse to acknowledge that Ebay buyers shop anywhere else and that there is no retail world outside of Ebay.

    So frustrating.


  101. #115 Rebalancing the FVF makes sense – Average (total off the top of my head guess) cost for DVD say £10-£15, average postage say £1.00-£2.00, 10% reduction on FVF for free shipping would cover the postage element in most cases and seems more than reasonable.

  102. Putting up prices just as we enter a recession and just after xmas when people have less money than ever is not something you will find being taught at University,, but you guys won’t have any choice….

    perhaps eBay don’t understand the logic behind “January Sales” when woolies,play,buy,amazon & co all start there sales you guys will be putting up prices…

  103. #117 dunno Whirly, January is often my better month compared to December – all that Christmas money burning a hole in people’s pockets.

  104. 118 Thats not my point.

    eBay is going to force professional sellers to sell DVD’s at a higher price at a time when companies typically offer a bargain, if buyers have some xmas money left to spend in these difficult times they are going to be looking for the cheapest option I would imagine which probably won’t be eBay.

    There will be some pin money sellers who either won’t understand or won’t care so bargains will still exist, but sellers with any brain will see this move as a fee hike. You can dress it up anyway you want eBay, the fact is DVD sellers will pay you more in fee’s and the cost of a DVD will go up accordingly….

    which leads me onto my best guess that early next year a diamond seller will pop up in the UK market who will trade VAT free and slaughter the competition.

  105. It seems to me the only loser in this is the buyer. Any seller worth their salt is going to include the P&P and the increase in fees in the price of the item.

    The mind boggles at what mathmatical formulas sellers will have to use to try and work out a combined P&P rate so that they don’t lose out on the fees element.

  106. Interesting how amazon have reduced the spending threshold for free delivery from £15 down to £5. So for those selling cheap DVD’s will feel obliged to reduce their prices or customers will go to amazon directly


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