According to a post on the PowerSeller board eBay are considering enabling surcharging* for different regions within the UK. This has long been an issue for sellers of heavy or large items which can’t be sent via Royal Mail. There’s a considerable cost difference with most couriers if you need to send to the furthest reaches of the UK or to off shore islands.
The downside is that buyer don’t generally like surcharges and in addition it reduces transparency of pricing. The price you see will no longer necessarily the price you pay and surcharging in a world where Detailed Seller Ratings and Buyer Protection Claims form part of Seller Performance measurements might not be the best option.
Whilst many buyers are aware from painful experience that it costs more to deliver to their address for many it comes as an unwelcome surprise. There are two options available for most sellers – either charge a flat rate across the UK for all destinations, or surcharge buyers when it costs you more.
eBay are asking which areas of the UK should be included if surcharges are introduced on the site, and the current list includes The Highlands and Islands of Scotland, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man and Isles of Scilly, British Forces Overseas and (a surprising one as few couriers surcharge for this destination) the Isle of Wight. The Channel Islands are also mentioned, but they’re not actually part of the United Kingdom and eBay currently treat them as an intenational destination for buyer blocks, although up until recently they were treated as part of the UK.
Would you like the option to surcharge for domestic deliveries based on Post Codes or would you prefer to have a flat rate across the whole of the UK? Will the fact that buyers can rank you with Detailed Seller Ratings affect your decision? Would you apply a surcharge for items which you deliver to some parts of the UK with free postage?
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