eBay comments on Royal Mail price hikes

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Yesterday, Royal Mail hiked costs for business customers. Later in the month the cost of a first-class stamp will increase to 60p. As Tamebay has previously reported, Royal Mail costs will be rising acrosss the board.

eBay have sent us a comment on Royal Mail price increases. Here is the statement in full:

Angus McCarey, UK Retail Director for eBay, said:

“While we generally support Ofcom’s desire to give Royal Mail more commercial freedom and make the Universal Service Obligation more affordable, it is important that these new freedoms are used carefully.

Many of eBay’s 180,000 online SMEs are able to take advantage of discounted business rates from Royal Mail. But for those that can’t, these increases will represent an additional pressure on pricing.  eBay sellers are a big part of the solution to Royal Mail’s financial problems.  Royal Mail therefore cannot afford to take them for granted.  If sellers are having to pay more, they will want to see better services in return.  That means Royal Mail investing in its services to deliver cheaper tracking services, more convenient delivery options and a shorter queue at the Post Office.”

eBay are on the right track. Ecommerce SMEs are part of how Royal Mail can prosper in the future. Tamebay is sceptical that increased fees will do anything but drive eBay sellers elsewhere though. But yes, Royal Mail must improve its service as it increases the prices.

This is a surprisingly strong comment from eBay. Chris and I cannot recall a more strident view from eBay on Royal Mail in our eBay lifetimes. But it does it does raise a question.

If raised Royal Mail fees are bad for ecommerce, then surely increased eBay fees are detrimental too? It seems to me in the past few years, as a general trend, that eBay’s fees for insertion and also successful sales, have grown significantly. I couldn’t give an exact % increase because of the complex nature of eBay fees. But we all know they have increased across the board significantly since (say) 2006.

And so the question. eBay think that increased fees from Royal Mail should mean a better service.

We ask eBay: “How have your increased eBay fees improved the service to sellers in the past two years or so?”

I do hope our readers will help out too. If you sell on eBay, let us know your views: How has eBay’s service improved for you after various fee hikes? eBay has offered guidance to Royal Mail. But is eBay practicing what it preaches?

32 Responses

  1. My hobby-selling became a full-time eBay based business in January selling rare collectables mainly to overseas buyers.

    Generally the Royal Mail service is pretty good as long as you don’t use any form of “signed for” service (the posties can’t help themselves, I’ve had a number of packets stolen) and in all honesty I’m fairly relaxed about the increase which I will pass-on to my buyers.

    What I’m less relaxed about is the constant tinkering that eBay do all the time, it’s like the techies have to justify their existence.

    I’m very peeved at having reached Gold Power Seller status only to see my discount cut from 25% to 15%, and don’t get me started on the pointless feedback system, how can feedback be accurate for buyers if you can only leave a positive.

    I expect to give eBay around £10,000 in fees this year and I would like some acknowledgement that I am their CUSTOMER – if we have to bend-over backwards for our punters then I expect them to do the same.

    One final point while I’m here, Turbo Lister is the worst piece of software I have ever used – Ebay please sort it out!!!!!

  2. I lost faith in Ebay a long time ago…

    They are here to serve the big sellers now.

    Not that that has helped Ebay grow its profits in line with online growth (Amazon as a key example).

    Good question though Dan…

  3. 14 years 24/7 selling online ebay only.
    platinum powersellers on multiple ids TRS sellers on multiple IDs
    and we are still treat as fools and an irritation by customer support,
    the only improvement we have noticed in 14years is that now we can contact ebay support by telephone to be insulted and patronised

  4. it seems to us that if your a seller ebays attitude with a problem is deal with it its your fault for selling on ebay ,bugger off elsewhere if you dont like it ,dont expect any help from us

  5. “If sellers are having to pay more, they will want to see better services in return.” Wow, eBay really said that?

    That’s almost as hypocritical as their Tweet a few months ago that said that ‘customer service should be a companies’ biggest investment’ (paraphrased).

    I think eBay is a great place to sell, but when things go wrong, you’re largely on your own because in my experience they offer little support to sellers.

  6. eBay only have eBay’s interests in mind when they make statements such as those above. What is the betting that at some point eBay UK will charge final value fees on the soon to be much higher shipping costs?

    And they will dress this fee increase up as being a seller benefit.

    If ebay had said within their statement above that they were helping SME’s by gauranteeing no fee changes for the next 10 years then their statement be taken seriously and have some gravitas.

    As it is when ebay make their next round of fee increases the statement will be thrown back in their face.

    So they may live to regret making such statements.

  7. Ebay gets worse by the day, they are horrible to deal with. Combine them with Paypal, and you have a thouroughly unpleasent online experience.

  8. Basically it is no longer going to be viable to sell or buy lightweight items of up to say £5 in value that require packet rate shipping. And 99p starts for auctions of these type of items with the £3 or so shipping cost that will be requested/required will again be non starters and economically not viable for buyers or sellers.

    This will hit ebay where it hurts and they know it hence the statement.

  9. And then you have the 30% increase in overseas airmail costs and the hike to £6 for international signed for.

    eBay UK have been making a big thing of late of the export led sales boom.

    Well sadly (and I am not happy at all about this as I am an export winner) it is about to come to a grinding halt!

  10. The real question is “post massive shipping costs rise” what if anything can ebay do to help sellers of lightweight low value bulky items and those who sell internationally to maintain their level of sales?

  11. so if ebay are serious about helping sellers why dont they ofset the impact of postage increase by raising the percentage ON POSTAGE DSRs or even removing them altogether for all not just those with free shipping[Sic]

  12. When eBay forced the 10% fee on us we reduced our monthly spend by 50%.

    We will be doing the same now with the Royal Mail, only by 80%.

  13. If sellers are having to pay more, they will want to see better services in return

    Did an Ebay executive really say that! I thought it was April the 3rd not the 1st

  14. Blow the 30% rise, what about Packet prices for 100g 2nd class ?
    within UK up 65% from £1.33 to £2.20 .
    Europe up 81% from £1.49 to £2.70
    World up 59% from £2.07 to £3.30
    How can a Regulator have passed that ?
    Come on Paypal, don’t apply fees to our shipping costs, which will surely reduce overseas bidding.

  15. Ebay seem totally oblivious to how the vast majority of their customers view them as a company.

    The only time they ever do anything, is when it involves negative media pressure.

    Most long standing sellers know this and have diversified in some way or another.

    Ebay should have been the World Wide Hub for small business, indeed once it was heading that way.

    But now it wants to be AmaOverEbayShoppingmall.

    They lost their true identity a long time ago and if anybody knows who they are now, please let me know…

  16. In my opinion “tracking services” are a giant white elephant. The service Royal Mail offer was/is good. The level of price rise is outrageous. The timing incredibly poor.

  17. I would gladly pay more ebay fees if they got rid of the daft best not match search and went back to a search that just searched for what you wanted thats it – no bells and whistles – just a very good basic search

  18. The pot calla the kettle black! Or whatever the saying is. They are both as bad as each other.. But royal mail have treated us more like a real business than eBay. eBay simple treat us as an agent or franchise. With stupid targets and challenges for little reward.

    When eBay put up there prices, does any one from royal mail comment?

  19. Does this now mean the chinese sellers who pay zero listing fees less fvf fees, and seem to be well promoted in search now be the dominant force? For smaller items they do 1.99 inC delivery. A uk seller can’t even post for 1.99

  20. As a small business we now have no savings on post with Royal Mail all the benefit of PPI has gone.

    royal mails new set up of a packet from 0 to 750 grams one flat price is a god send to the Chinese.

    they have £1.49p free post items on ebay in our category.

    Sellers from China sell items on ebay for £1.49 free post.
    I can get them wholesale at $1.24 in lots of 500 units and then i need to pay shipping and import duty.

    Item cost $1.24

    the cost of
    Import Duty.
    Ebay fees.
    Paypal Fees
    And shipping now to buyer in the UK £2.92

    I think Royal Mail will be bought by the Chinese now or maybe that was the plan.

    News for 2015
    Chinese have monopoly on all online sales after buying Royal Mail, Ebay and paypal
    say the directors of Amazon and DHL Jui Sung lee and Mai Wang. lol

  21. Here is some info relating to my business. It does not include the most recent rise in Royal Mail prices or the coming rise in ebay fees.

    At the end of 2006 Ebay took approx 6%of my sales and Royal Mail took approx 6.5%

    Last month Ebay took approx 5.8% of my sales and Royal Mail took approx 9.5%.

    My sales have gone up 5 fold in that period which is what has caused the ebay fees to come down a bit.

  22. Typical !
    Pointing the finger at someone else (RM) eBay ,, follow your own advice and give YOUR customers a better service then perhaps you could preach to RM
    Royal mail get it incredibly wrong also ,its not us that cost them money , its the “last mile post” ,the banks building societies , water gas and others who contract out the delivery of their mail to the lowest quote who then give it BACK to RM to deliver it AT A LOSS.
    I’m by no means a big fish , I am TRS but only a silver PS but I;ve been doing it 9 years and 40% of my trade goes overseas – at a rough calculation (and remember Im only a one man outfit that never exceeded the 400 items in a month hurdle) Ive spent 40k at the post office helping you stay afloat these last few years , and your response is to shaft me and others like me as we are an easy target.
    Soon global trade will be down by 50 % and without that profit slice topping up my account it may not be viable for me to carry on trading on this scale

  23. Ebays customer support and service to sellers is frankly appalling. Its a like it or lump it kind of attitude..

    But i reckon thats the kind of support provided on all Marketplaces.

    Amazon is bloody ridiculous when it comes to looking after their own customers (but we’re expected to provide 24/7 support).

    The very cheek of it…


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