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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 1894 - October 13, 2008 - ISSN 1539-5065    1 of 3

eBay UK Forces DVD Sellers to Offer Free Shipping

By Ina Steiner
October 13, 2008

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Beginning January 27, 2009, eBay UK will require sellers to offer free shipping & handling for domestic deliveries of all DVDs. The requirement is part of a new policy in which all sellers will need to specify domestic Postage and Packaging (P&P) charges.

eBay UK will impose maximum charges for domestic S&H in media, games and phones categories. In a FAQs section about the policy, eBay stated the reason for requiring free S&H for DVDs: "DVDs are an extremely competitive category in the UK with online retailers increasingly offering free delivery. We believe this is the market price for P&P for a DVD in the UK."

eBay.com imposed maximum S&H charges in the media category in the U.S. this month, and eBay Australia will impose limits on flat-rate on domestic S&H for the following categories early next month: Books Fiction, Literature AU $6; Books Non-Fiction AU $6; Comic books AU $5; CDs AU $5; and DVDs AU $8. But of the three sites, the UK is the only one requiring free S&H for any product category.

eBay UK said S&H costs are not required for items listed in the following categories: Cars, Parts and Vehicles; Businesses for Sale; Residential Property, Containers & Pre-Fab Buildings; and Local Services. It also said that items in all categories that are extremely heavy or bulky and require a courier for delivery could be exempted from the policy.

eBay UK also announced a new dispute console and feedback revision policy (previously announced on eBay.com) and announced it would anonymize email addresses in correspondence between shoppers and sellers until a transaction took place. "Email addresses sent through the system (i.e. Ask Seller a Question, Reply to Question and Contact eBay Member links on the site) will be made anonymous in emails sent before a sale takes place. Sellers will also now be able to respond directly to all customer emails from their own email client (eg: Outlook, Hotmail, Gmail) by simply replying to the email without using the yellow Respond button."

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About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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