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Tue Oct 27 2009 16:50:46

eBay DSRs Hurt by USPS Media Mail Restrictions

By: Ina Steiner
Sponsored Link
To the Editor:
I've been a powerseller on e-bay for several years now. My one complaint with ebay are the dsr. I mainly sell paper items books and magazines. I have no problem with the books as they can go media mail. My problem is magazines and catalogs with ads can not go media rate its either priority or parcel. That IS where my dsrs suffer with shipping as customers want the lowest rates I would say 75% of sellers in the magazine and catalogs or comics for that matter misuse media mail.

How can I COMPETE against the sellers using media mail for those items. 1ST My items will sell for less and my dsrs suffer for shipping as my customers think I'm charging to much. I charge in many cases if not actual postal charges within .50 of it. The only dsrs that keep me off top seller is the shipping.

I guess I CAN DO LIKE they did in baseball one person uses steriod more follow suit. I believe if I HAD that mentality media mail would eventually be stopped as it is overly abused now. What are your feelings on this?
Have A Blessed Day,
John & Mary



Comments (28) | Permalink
Readers Comments

eBay DSRs Hurt by USPS Media Mail Restrictions   eBay DSRs Hurt by USPS Media Mail Restrictions
by: Loops
       
Tue Oct 27 18:52:11 2009
Great letter! If you don't use the roids your business suffers, your DSRs suffer and Ebay makes more money off you. Use the roids and you sellout your principles, eBay buyers love you and eBay still makes money.

Don't count on Ebay getting involved in postal business. It really sucks as you have to ask yourself if you can compete against a mail fraudster. There is really no way to report it either and be able to follow up on it.

I would like to what more people have to say on this issue, because it looks like one of those catch 22 deals.
eBay DSRs Hurt by USPS Media Mail Restrictions   eBay DSRs Hurt by USPS Media Mail Restrictions
by: JG
       
Tue Oct 27 23:30:23 2009
I have the exact same problem with misuse of Media Mail.  The shipping labels on Paypal used to go directly to media mail in the magazine category, but that has changed.  At first I didn't know the rule about ads, but now I do and choose to either do flat rate Priority if the magazine is small enough to fit the envelope.  I will tape it with clear tape in the corners and sides to protect it.  That works for most magazines and it's $4.80. The only other alternative is Parcel Post and if it's a heavy magazine, it's quite expensive and you have to add it to the listing price (and not sell it because of that!) I find that there are alot more magazines listed now for a lot lower price than there were just last year.  So it may not be worth it anymore to sell anything under $5 or $6, counting listing, eBay and Paypal fees.  Just not worth it.  I have ordered several magazines lately and have found that 3/4 of them came Media Mail, and the rest priority.  During one of the most recent trips to the post office, the clerk threatened me with inspecting my Media Mail package containing a thin hard cover book. These items are subject to inspection and I am not interested in a federal penalty, so pay my way the straight way. I feel like that's the only way to go.
eBay DSRs Hurt by USPS Media Mail Restrictions   eBay DSRs Hurt by USPS Media Mail Restrictions
by: Another Wronged Seller
       
Wed Oct 28 00:56:29 2009
''Catch 22'' or caught between a rock and a hard place?

Principled sellers who follow the law are NOT rewarded on ebay and are in fact punished.

Postal fraud or low DSR's?
Ebay sellers should have never been put in this situation. Being judged by such a grossly unfair DSR system that isn't even grounded in facts.

I luckily don't sell many books but I feel sorry for the sellers whose bread and butter is media.

DSR's need to be scrapped. They simply DON'T measure accurately the metrics that they are purported to represent.

I often offer both priority mail and parcel post as shipping options and either one can cost me low DSR'S.

As an east coast seller, buyers on the west coast more frequently choose parcel to save a few bucks since they are in the farthest zone. The result? More paypal disputes opened for non receipt and low shipping time DSR's!

Or they choose priority, and my shipping price DSR gets hit.

Damned if you do and damned if you don't!

Most buyers don't seem to understand why a seller located in the midwest will have a distinct advantage in both cheaper shipping AND faster transit times to both coasts. And consequently, better DSR scores in both cost and time.

Ebay removes discounts, visiblity and judges SNP based on these highly inaccurate DSR'S.

If the system can't be accurate, yet penalizes sellers based on faulty information, it should be scrapped.

eBay DSRs Hurt by USPS Media Mail Restrictions   eBay DSRs Hurt by USPS Media Mail Restrictions
by: eBuyer Feedback
       
Wed Oct 28 01:37:49 2009
This reminds me of the whole ''should I mark 'gift' on customs'' dilemma.  If you don't buyers can give you a negative (yes, I'm aware of that one exclusion but it doesn't matter) or low DSRs due to customs fees.  And if you do then you might go to federal prison.  Either way you lose your business and eBay makes money.
eBay DSRs Hurt by USPS Media Mail Restrictions   eBay DSRs Hurt by USPS Media Mail Restrictions
by: Steve
       
Wed Oct 28 02:11:03 2009
If you feel it impacts your business, do what your competitors do. Otherwise you will have the smug satisfaction of having followed the rules when your business goes bankrupt. What are you, the postal police? Send it media mail and get off your high horse ;)
eBay DSRs Hurt by USPS Media Mail Restrictions   eBay DSRs Hurt by USPS Media Mail Restrictions
by: huh?
       
Wed Oct 28 05:52:23 2009
SEND IT all MEDIA MAIL. What is your problem?
eBay DSRs Hurt by USPS Media Mail Restrictions   eBay DSRs Hurt by USPS Media Mail Restrictions
by: Faith
       
Wed Oct 28 09:12:35 2009
John and Mary,  it would probably be best to find something else to sell in addition to your mags.  How about fancy book marks, reading lights, magnifying glasses or other items that relate to reading?  You need something to sell that would offset the price of your shipping?   There is a balance there somewhere if you do a little looking around.  I would not scrap my values for a sale anywhere or at any time.  You are trying to be honest and that is very commendable... I feel good Christian character & value is always rewarded!  Blessings and Best of Luck in Your Search.  BD
eBay DSRs Hurt by USPS Media Mail Restrictions   eBay DSRs Hurt by USPS Media Mail Restrictions
by: B
       
Wed Oct 28 09:16:47 2009
The USPS criteria for Media Mail are very clear.  What is lacking is knowledge on the part of buyers who are leaving low scores, and on the part of sellers abusing the service.  
With enough abuse the problem will eventually solve itself - the USPS will do away with Media Mail and we will all pay more  
eBay DSRs Hurt by USPS Media Mail Restrictions   eBay DSRs Hurt by USPS Media Mail Restrictions
by: bigdoug
       
Wed Oct 28 09:21:51 2009
I Agree that this is a catch 22. I disagree with some of the readers telling you to cheat the post office..i have been in business for over 30 years and have always played by the rules..i think you should put in your listing that you use honest shipping cost and not to bid if you think it is to high.
eBay DSRs Hurt by USPS Media Mail Restrictions   eBay DSRs Hurt by USPS Media Mail Restrictions
by: Postal inspector
       
Wed Oct 28 09:35:19 2009
Oh sure....go ahead and ship items media mail that do not qualify......make my day!! We love Ebayers who do that. We will inspect about every 3rd madia mail package. Do you really want to lose your mailing privileges, not to mention a heffty fine and possible jail time. You are talking FEDERAL CRIME!! This is not just some little local slap on the hand thing. So @ Steve and HUH......hope you are mailing out of my post office....sooner or later we will get you!
eBay DSRs Hurt by USPS Media Mail Restrictions   eBay DSRs Hurt by USPS Media Mail Restrictions
by: Lisa
       
Wed Oct 28 09:57:49 2009
It seems like you really haven't explored your mailing options.  There are several options available to you such as Standard Mail Regular, Bound Printed Matter, etc., that could save you a great deal.  You may need to pay an annual rate, but it would pay for itself in just a few months if you ship that much.  This is the P.O.s Price List effective July '09.  http://pe.usps.com/cpim/ftp/manuals/dmm300/Notice123.pdf  You should go to your post office and discuss this with your postmaster.  It looks like you could save a lot of money with Standard Regular.  It might also benefit you to put a huge disclaimer in your listings that to save buyers money, you ship via whatever method you use which *can* cause delays of up to ___ days.  If they want the item sooner, please select an expedited service and state the fee.  Good luck
eBay DSRs Hurt by USPS Media Mail Restrictions   eBay DSRs Hurt by USPS Media Mail Restrictions
by: Joe
       
Wed Oct 28 10:16:33 2009


USPS Doesn't care, their dying to get every shipment they can.

eBay DSRs Hurt by USPS Media Mail Restrictions   eBay DSRs Hurt by USPS Media Mail Restrictions
by: Gene
       
Wed Oct 28 12:48:40 2009
TO the Postal Inspector:  And what is the basis for not allowing media rate for out-of date magizines for which the advertisements are interesting but no longer valid?  

I was shipping full annual sets of magazines from the 1960's and was told that they do not qualify under the media rules.  This is absurd, they are reference material not magazines anymore.
eBay DSRs Hurt by USPS Media Mail Restrictions   eBay DSRs Hurt by USPS Media Mail Restrictions
by: Bob C
       
Wed Oct 28 13:14:54 2009
Hey Mr postal inspector,

You are a scammer. If you are true, than you wont be a govt employee long. Why, we ask polite questions and try to get a good anser to help us out with each other. What you did was issue threats using a line of communication and your IP can be traced back to where you are using the PC. That is a federal felony as well as your state. You talk about federal crime. We all here are trying to figuire out the lowest cost but a quality service. Nobody here is bent on committing crimes, but you are and you did. Whay dont you go talk to the real postal inspector and tell him what you did. OH, did I mention that impersonating a govt employee is also a felony. Grow up. If you want to join the discussion and help with or suggest ideas,please by almeans. But otherwise get lost. All of us here are trying to make a living.
eBay DSRs Hurt by USPS Media Mail Restrictions   eBay DSRs Hurt by USPS Media Mail Restrictions
by: puet haluke
       
Wed Oct 28 13:47:05 2009
I wrestled with this whole media mail business for...a short time. I sell comics and magazines and graphic novels. Mostly older, out-of-print books. I ship 1st class, priority mail, and in about 40% of the cases, it goes media mail if it's a packet of 10 or more.

When I first looked into the rules about use of media mail, it was very confusing, so I went to my local postmaster and asked him if comic books were 'ok' for media mail. He said sure, why not?

I took a long box of comic books, packed and sealed to the post office, and put it on the scale--the clerk said--why don't you ship these media mail? OK, like I'm going to argue with saving that much cash?

Point here is simple--yes, there are plenty of folks who abuse media mail, but I'm thinking that folks who ship lamps, stereo equipment, telephones, baggage, knick-knacks are doing the real abuse. Me? Comic books and graphic novels? Skirting the edge, certainly, but I'll say this--I don't particularly care or am concerned.

Have I had items returned for being improperly used media mail? Yes...I think it happened ONCE about a year ago.

Using media mail, to me, to ship items that MAY or MAY NOT qualify by a thread of interpretation, isn't much different than failing to report money made from the garage sales you might have 2-3x a year (anything over $600)...everybody does it. Jaywalking can get you a moving violation. Teenagers under 18 riding a bike without a helmet risk a citation. Lying to your wife that her ass does NOT look fat in those jeans is dishonest, but we all take these risks or similar ones every day and we're none the worse for the wear.

The guy who talked about a 'high horse' had it right, I think.
eBay DSRs Hurt by USPS Media Mail Restrictions   eBay DSRs Hurt by USPS Media Mail Restrictions
by: Carol
       
Wed Oct 28 14:30:37 2009
When the Post Office went to the permit requirement for Bound Printed Matter I tried to get a permit and was told I could not get one unless I was a publisher or distributor of huge quantities of magazines and that it was not meant for Ebay magazine sellers.

Part of the problem is also, at the local Post Office level, clerks and Postmasters are telling their clients it is OK. However, when it gets to the receiver it may have been opened along the way and bumped up to Priority with Postage Due. You may not even hear from your buyer ... they may just leave you OK feedback and ding all your DSR stars.

And now Ebay is rewarding the magazine sellers using Media Mail even more by giving them pretty badges and telling buyers they are the cream of the crop. I recently had one of my repeat buyers ask me why I could not send magazines Medial Mail because all the Top Rated Sellers were doing it so it must be OK. What should I have told them? They thought I was not being truthful with them.

Media Mail will be used and abused until it goes the way of Bound Printed Matter and will require a permit and TONS of paperwork for each item.

Currently I am actually taking a LOSS on my postage just to try to stay even with all the magazine sellers misusing Media Mail.

Ebay knows this is wrong ... they just don't know what to do about it.
eBay DSRs Hurt by USPS Media Mail Restrictions   eBay DSRs Hurt by USPS Media Mail Restrictions
by: Carol
       
Wed Oct 28 14:33:41 2009
I asked about Media Mail and magazines on one of the Ebay workshops recently, and this was the reply that I received from the Ebay employee running the workshop:

Post 33 – I sent your comments to Rich M. on our shipping team, and this is his response – “Sellers that ship magazines via media mail put their packages at risk of being inspected by the postal service, and if found in violation can be returned to sender or arrive postage due. There are instances where sellers do not know they are in violation, so eBay has begun more messaging to sellers in categories outside of books, music, movies. When a seller lists an item using media mail not in a standard media category, we give a warning at the top of the page where we reiterate USPS’s policy on media mail usage. “
eBay DSRs Hurt by USPS Media Mail Restrictions   eBay DSRs Hurt by USPS Media Mail Restrictions
by: RicRoe
       
Wed Oct 28 15:31:41 2009
Have you thought about placing an explanation in your listings and enclosing a note to your buyers with each effected order?

Sometimes, the extra information provided in the listing will offset negative customer reaction to higher postage costs.

A note similar to this included in every shipment might help you avoid the lower stars for shipping cost.

To Our Valued Buyers,

Thank you for your purchase, we appreciate your business.

There is much confusion on eBay with regard to shipping cost for magazines, specifically with regard to use of low cost Media Mail Service.

USPS regulations state:''Media Mail can not contain advertising except for incidental announcements of books. ''

This means that magazines can not be shipped using Media Mail despite the fact some sellers do.

If your magazine order was sent Media Mail, inspected and found in violation of the advertising exclusion, USPS would end up charging YOU, our buyer for the difference in postage, and might well prosecute us for the violation as well.

Your order would be delayed for days while the inspection was made, and possibly damaged in the process.

In order to avoid delays, damage, possible postage due costs, and potential mail fraud charges in the event a Media Mail package is opened and inspected, we choose to ship magazines by First Class Mail or in the case of multiple purchases, Priority Mail.

While other sellers will not hesitate to ship magazine orders Media Mail and taking the chance that YOU might be charged for the difference in the event of inspection, we choose not to take that risk on your behalf.

First Class or Priority Mail offers faster delivery timing without the risk our buyers might be surprised with an order that takes longer to be delivered and then arrives postage due.

We hope you value our concern for you - our customer despite the additional postage cost involved to comply with postal regulations.

Thank you again for your purchase. We value you as a customer and appreciate your business.

Best Regards,

{SELLER NAME}

You are already receiving lower DSR scores for playing by the rules.

You have nothing to lose by informing the buyer of Postal Regulations in your listings, and including a note in your shipments.  

Try the note for a month or so and see if your scores improve, an extra sheet of paper is a low cost way to possibly elevate your ratings while not violating postal service regulations.

Good Luck!!!!

eBay DSRs Hurt by USPS Media Mail Restrictions   eBay DSRs Hurt by USPS Media Mail Restrictions
by: JG
       
Wed Oct 28 16:20:08 2009
Hey, Steve and Huh -- the next thing you're going to tell me is that you turn eBay Priority Mail boxes inside out and ship Parcel Post in them! Horrors!
eBay DSRs Hurt by USPS Media Mail Restrictions   eBay DSRs Hurt by USPS Media Mail Restrictions
by: JG
       
Wed Oct 28 16:20:11 2009
Hey, Steve and Huh -- the next thing you're going to tell me is that you turn eBay Priority Mail boxes inside out and ship Parcel Post in them! Horrors!
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