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Mon Oct 13 2008 10:16:49

Should eBay Force Sellers to Offer Free Shipping?

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay UK will require sellers to offer free shipping & handling for domestic deliveries of all DVDs beginning in January 2009. According to eBay, "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."

We'd like to know what you think of the new policy, as a seller and as a buyer. Do high S&H costs turn you off? If so, does it discourage you from shopping on eBay (or in a particular category), or do you simply factor in S&H costs when evaluating items for sale?

Is eBay better qualified than sellers to decide if it makes good business sense to offer free shipping? Is it any different from Amazon.com's policy of setting shipping reimbursement rates?

eBay.com began imposing maximum S&H charges in the media category in the U.S. this month - how is it going for media sellers - we'd like to hear from you. (And any opinions as to whether eBay will roll out S&H caps to other categories?)

Take the AuctionBytes survey on eBay's S&H policies.

 




Comments (173) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Should eBay Force Sellers to Offer Free Shipping?   Should eBay Force Sellers to Offer Free Shipping?

by: eBay is Scum

Mon Oct 13 10:37:20 2008

wow. that would never fly here. the postal rates are going up AGAIN in may & supplies cost are always a factor. ebay should PAY the seller for the shipping & handling charges since there is now no profit margin.

Should eBay Force Sellers to Offer Free Shipping?   Should eBay Force Sellers to Offer Free Shipping?

by: RicRoe

Mon Oct 13 10:39:43 2008

The last time I went to the Post Office to send a package I asked about the free shipping.... I was told, as expected, there is no such thing as free shipping, does not exist, no way, ain't happening, despite what eBay may say.

So the obvious motive behind eBays insistence that DVD's be listed in the UK with free shipping is both simple and obvious.

eBay wants to assure themselves of additional profits. Surprise!!!

This is not about customer satisfaction, or earning higher DSR ratings for sellers.

This is only about one thing, eBay being able to earn Final Value fees on shipping charges that are required to be rolled into the selling price.

DVD's typically sell at lower prices than many other items do, and eBay is not happy with the revenue they take on so many transcations with so little volume.

eBay should just come out with a policy announcement... '' Effective immediately, eBay will no longer allow listings of any item with a sale price of under $7.00''

There is no end to the greed.

Should eBay Force Sellers to Offer Free Shipping?   Should eBay Force Sellers to Offer Free Shipping?

by: dimes

Mon Oct 13 10:40:03 2008

In exchange for what, no fees?

Oh wait, you mean sellers should offer free shipping out of the goodness of their hearts?

What exactly is it they're smoking over at eBay?

Should eBay Force Sellers to Offer Free Shipping?   Should eBay Force Sellers to Offer Free Shipping?

by: S & H cost

Mon Oct 13 11:01:42 2008

Most people that have never sold on Ebay don't realize the cost in materials associated with shipping such as tape,bubble rap/packaging material,boxes,and ebay tells you to ship free is a total insult.When I use to buy something on ebay I would always put myself in the sellers shoes.He has a cost to recover,which is going to mean higher starting price.If S/H was really ridicous I would just not buy.That simple.But everyone wants something for nothing.Who is ebay to tell you the cost.I use to sell books alot,ship mostly media mail to keep cost down.Heavy hardback books are high on postage and have to be wrapped secure, or the risk of damage is great.Last thing,when did ebay became S/H experts.I thought that was the post offices business.

Should eBay Force Sellers to Offer Free Shipping?   Should eBay Force Sellers to Offer Free Shipping?

by: Henrietta

Mon Oct 13 11:03:39 2008

Sellers have a choice and increasingly they are exercising that choice, right off eBay. Sellers who feel eBay is their only option, or eBay is working for them have perfect freedom of choice to stay. As Auntie May likes to say "First you make your bed then you get to lie in it."

Saying eBay has the numbers on buyers may be correct but when those buyers can't find your items and don't think they need to pay the agreed price for them but are entitled to negotiate after the fact, then those numbers do not mean much.

As a buyer I look at the total cost of an item, that includes getting it safely from the seller to me. If I decide I want that movie and $10 is what I am willing to pay for it I really don't care if you are charging me $3 for the movie and $7 for shipping or vice versa.

Telling me 'buy another one and I'll ship it for free' might make me willing to look at what else you have but if you don't have what I want at the right price including S&H I am not buying anything. Simple.

I have not bought anything on eBay since May and have no plans to do so. I do check prices on eBay, when I can find what I am looking for. Most of my Christmas shopping this year for the grandbabies has been on Amazon for new kids books & music and Bonanzle.com for the fun stuff. I 'find it' is a lot easier to buy there,

Should eBay Force Sellers to Offer Free Shipping?   Should eBay Force Sellers to Offer Free Shipping?

by: republican voting democratic

Mon Oct 13 11:20:11 2008

NO NO NO

But I do think that they should charge a fvf on the total auction including shipping. In doing that there wouldn't be a big problem with shipping. Then the azzhole that charges 0.99 for the auction and 20.00 for  shipping would be paying his fair share. That is the jerk ebay needs to get rid of.

Should eBay Force Sellers to Offer Free Shipping?   Should eBay Force Sellers to Offer Free Shipping?

by: E-bayer

Mon Oct 13 11:27:15 2008

It's a joke to think eBay is looking out for the buyers well being asking sellers to offer free shipping.All there looking for is a BIGGER CUT.

Should eBay Force Sellers to Offer Free Shipping?   Should eBay Force Sellers to Offer Free Shipping?

by: les

Mon Oct 13 11:27:35 2008

Absolutely NOT.  When I buy, I look at the total cost, including shipping.  I am savvy enough to guesstimate what s& h should be for an item, and can place a bid or make a purchase based on whether I think the s&H is reasonable.
If free shipping is required, a lot of sellers, including me, will leave the site.  Many of the rest will ship by cheaper means, and skimp on packaging in an attempt to shore up the already too small margins.  Result - slower delivery time, more breakage and many more unhappy buyers.

It would be an extremely bad move on eBay's part. Voluntary free shipping - ok.  Mandatory - no way.

Should eBay Force Sellers to Offer Free Shipping?   Should eBay Force Sellers to Offer Free Shipping?

by: Gary

Mon Oct 13 11:33:32 2008

HAHAHA free shipping! Donahue is FREE of brain cells. Bezos must be LHAO!

Should eBay Force Sellers to Offer Free Shipping?   Should eBay Force Sellers to Offer Free Shipping?

by: Jim

Mon Oct 13 11:35:18 2008

They are doing this for two reasons: one, to get rid of the jerks who sell for a DVD for $.99 and charge $15 shipping to game the system; and two, to get their cut of the shipping price as well as the product price.  As a seller, I'll just factor this in to my listing prices and deal with it.  I choose not to spend my time b*tching, but rather adapting my business to the constantly-changing conditions.  And I love hearing about the sellers who are packing up and leaving - that's more buyers for me.  My ebay business has been fine.

Should eBay Force Sellers to Offer Free Shipping?   Should eBay Force Sellers to Offer Free Shipping?

by: Angela

Mon Oct 13 11:35:28 2008

I believe eBay wants to charge FVF's on S&H and this is just their round-a-bout way of doing it.  Ebay needs to just go ahead and start charging sellers FVF's for the shipping charges and get it over with!  I bet then, they would care less what sellers charged for shipping.

Should eBay Force Sellers to Offer Free Shipping?   Should eBay Force Sellers to Offer Free Shipping?

by: kw

Mon Oct 13 11:38:04 2008

I'm a seller and if I asked my suppliers to ship inventory for free they would laugh in my face.  The post office is not a charitable organization, and ebay doesn't pay for packing supplies, nor provide any service associated with preparing packages for shipment.  So why does ebay think they should collect FVFs on any part of the transaction involving shipping?  Heck, they can't even program the shipping calculator to function accurately!

Should eBay Force Sellers to Offer Free Shipping?   Should eBay Force Sellers to Offer Free Shipping?

This user has validated their user name. by: Bill

Mon Oct 13 11:38:09 2008

I would like to remind you all about the eBid Auction site...  How about supporting them and abandoning eBay...

Should eBay Force Sellers to Offer Free Shipping?   Should eBay Force Sellers to Offer Free Shipping?

by: Goto Ebiddotcom

Mon Oct 13 11:39:07 2008

The reason Ebay is going FREE SHIPPING is to advertise theirs is the only site that is 100% FREE SHIPPING to the Buyer. Boy, if you all fall into that trap, instead of seeking other venues, you deserve to pay the extra fees and costs of doing business with the jerk offs over there at Ebay.

Should eBay Force Sellers to Offer Free Shipping?   Should eBay Force Sellers to Offer Free Shipping?

by: Gypsy

Mon Oct 13 11:40:00 2008

eBay is INSANE for doing this to UK Sellers & even more so for even thinking of forcing U.S. Sellers to do the same. Like many other Buyers, if postage is that is way too high & it is obvious that unscrupulous Sellers are out to gouge Buyers, I do not buy from those Sellers.  I am very well aware of what certain items cost & am a very educated consumer when it comes to estimating item costs & value as well as S&H fees. As primarily a Seller, myself, I do my best to keep S&H as reasonable as possible.  In fact, 99% of the time, I'm lucky if I even clear $1.00 on S&H.  

Not only are postage fees due to go up again in May & will continue to do so on a yearly basis, my costs of shipping materials are also costly. And I do not skimp when it comes to packing items with care for shipping, whether it is domestic or international.  

eBay continues to take & take from Sellers by continuosly raising fees, imposing inane rules upon us, it is no wonder that they are handing out pink slips left & right.

And now that eBay has also imposed their idiotic rules of no longer allowing Sellers to chose Media Mail, when I have Buyers that purchase items that are normally meant to be sent by Media Mail, as long as I do not have to pay out of my own pocket, I will ship Media Mail & refund the difference whenever possible.

Free S&H should be soley VOLUNTARY & up to Sellers' Discretion Only.  Mandatory S&H is UNREASONABLE, OUT OF THE QUESTION & just plain stinks!

Should eBay Force Sellers to Offer Free Shipping?   Should eBay Force Sellers to Offer Free Shipping?

by: Synonymous

Mon Oct 13 11:41:02 2008

I sell a lot of small collectables, and I offer greatly reduced rates on combined shipping.  If eBay forced sellers to offer "free" shipping, then I'd have to up the price of each item by its cost to ship.  In other words, I'd no longer be able to offer combined shipping, and the buyer would pay more.

Should eBay Force Sellers to Offer Free Shipping?   Should eBay Force Sellers to Offer Free Shipping?

by: Jay

Mon Oct 13 11:46:10 2008

eBay is the orginal gang that could not shoot straight. Another bullet to [their own] groin.

Nothing is free.  Thus the shipping must be added to the starting price. HOWEVER, since one can mail 2 or 3 DVDs (and many other things) for the same (or nearly the same) cost as one, this means that it reduces the incentive for buyers to buy multiple items from the same seller because the buyer will pay a whole shipping cost on EACH of multiple items. And the seller will have to pay eBay commissions on those shipping costs.

Just as importantly, it makes single-DVD purchases LOOK much less competitive and more like physical store prices.  And it may make multiple-DVD purchases MORE COSTLY than physical store prices since there is no way to combine/reduce shipping costs since the shipping cost is built into each item.

In the physical world, this is equivalent to insisting that customers DRIVE ON SEPARATE TRIP to the DVD store FOR EACH DVD THEY WANT TO BUY.  

What absurdity!

Somebody has GOT to start or find a commonsense replacement for eBay!

Should eBay Force Sellers to Offer Free Shipping?   Should eBay Force Sellers to Offer Free Shipping?

by: Paul

Mon Oct 13 11:49:22 2008

Free shipping simply means S&H is built into the price.  The problem is, if I want five items, I would have to pay the full amount of S&H five times.  Sellers will object to offering a discount when shipping is already ''free'', even though every buyer knows that it is not.

Should eBay Force Sellers to Offer Free Shipping?   Should eBay Force Sellers to Offer Free Shipping?

by: S/h

Mon Oct 13 11:50:12 2008

@ JIM. People don't b*tch for no reason. We are so happy for you and your business,and to say your glad others are packing and leaving just shows who you are.

Should eBay Force Sellers to Offer Free Shipping?   Should eBay Force Sellers to Offer Free Shipping?

by: lw

Mon Oct 13 11:51:08 2008

Sure! As long as EBAY PAYS FOR IT instead of the buyer! If they are saying it is going to help business on eBay, then let eBay put their money - not mine - where their mouth is!

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