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Thu Oct 23 2008 11:02:50

Sellers Gaming eBay's New Shipping and Handling Caps

By: Ina Steiner

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An email from a seller today claims many international and some US sellers are getting around eBay's policy that restricts Shipping & Handling caps in the media category.

"I'm noticing a disturbing new trend. Sellers are violating eBay's new shipping caps in media categories on a widespread basis, but they're doing it in a very very bad way. They are listing the maximum allowed shipping charge in the listing, but then in the description itself they list the actual shipping charge."

He pointed to a listing that had "US $4.00 Expedited Flat Rate Shipping Service" in the Shipping field, but included a notice at the top of the item description page that said the shipping to US buyers would be the same as for Europe ($14).

Note that AuctionBytes published the results of a survey on the topic of eBay's S&H policies this week.

 

 




Comments (18) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Sellers Gaming eBay's New Shipping and Handling Caps   Sellers Gaming eBay's New Shipping and Handling Caps

by: Steve

Thu Oct 23 14:56:28 2008

This isn't the sellers problem, I believe it's ebays.  I'm sort of having the same issue,  I want to list items for 'FREE SHIPPING', however many of my buyers are International.  What to do?  As for this particular example, it's a bad one.  I don't expect this seller to ship from Korea to the US for $4.  International sales, should not apply in relation to the shipping caps, imo.

Sellers Gaming eBay's New Shipping and Handling Caps   Sellers Gaming eBay's New Shipping and Handling Caps

by: tula

Thu Oct 23 18:36:50 2008

I can understand why they want shipping caps, but I wonder why they can't set up different ones for international vs. domestic sales?

Sellers Gaming eBay's New Shipping and Handling Caps   Sellers Gaming eBay's New Shipping and Handling Caps

by: Noneya

Thu Oct 23 19:12:11 2008

Once more Ebay tries for a one size fits all solution for a variety of sellers in a variety of situations. Personally feel bad for the seller, the seller has to choose to come off like a sleaze doing a bait n switch on shipping OR simply not ship to his market. Unfortunately some buyers may take advantage of the situation and apply for a refund.

It really needs to be up to the BUYER to decide if shipping is too high. I can figure out for myself if I want to pay the shipping charges or not, if not, I'm sure I can find a cheaper seller.

However, I guess we do need to take the NEW Ebay Buyer into consideration. This morning I was asked if I could make the shipping cheaper on a unique vintage  table.
A table with FREE SHIPPING.
I blocked the shopper as they obviously didn't read the description, wanted the item for less than I'm interested in selling it (not an OBO item) for and imho this is a ''problem sale'' in the making.

Ina,
How about a Comment Blog on ''Why I blocked this buyer before they even bid''
Might give us all a giggle.

Sellers Gaming eBay's New Shipping and Handling Caps   Sellers Gaming eBay's New Shipping and Handling Caps

by: The Graduate

Thu Oct 23 19:31:26 2008

@tula
Thu Oct 23 18:36:50 2008
''I can understand why they want shipping caps, but I wonder why they can't set up different ones for international vs. domestic sales? ''

Because that would require some thought, planning, and expense for the benefit of eBay's sellers.  And eBay really doesn't care about the seller experience right now.

Sellers Gaming eBay's New Shipping and Handling Caps   Sellers Gaming eBay's New Shipping and Handling Caps

by: fruity

Thu Oct 23 23:45:23 2008

it's not just the media categories. the int'l clothing sellers are gaming it too. and what is even more concerning is, if you report those sellers, because they are registered in a different country, it will not go to the US T&S to investigate. You can verify that by the next time you report one of the listings, you will get an automated form email from that country in their language with a link to their policy, not the US policy

Sellers Gaming eBay's New Shipping and Handling Caps   Sellers Gaming eBay's New Shipping and Handling Caps

by: Skrabichewski

Thu Oct 23 23:58:23 2008

I just moved all my books to different categories. I sell heavy and expensive coffee table books and there is no way I can ship them for anywhere around $4 since the packaging alone costs me close to $2 and some books are over 10LBs!

Sellers Gaming eBay's New Shipping and Handling Caps   Sellers Gaming eBay's New Shipping and Handling Caps

by: Ed

Fri Oct 24 01:32:41 2008

Hi Ina

I blogged similar news this week too, including a recommendation that sellers ''think outside of the category'' as Skrabichewski has done above.
http://www.buildaskill.com/blog/2008/10/22/uk-adopts-wartime
-mentality-keep-foreigners-out/

The
Korean example you give in your post is exactly the type of example I have been talking and posting about since eBay first introduced mention of capped or compulsorily ''free'' shipping, on the German site, at the start of the year.

You know, for a bunch of MBAs and Business Consultants, the current eBay executives seem to have near-zero grasp of the real world, and an even worse one of geographic realities.

It kind of makes you wonder if during their university gap-year they went home to Mommy and played teddy bear picnics, instead of getting out and about in other countries?

Ed

Sellers Gaming eBay's New Shipping and Handling Caps   Sellers Gaming eBay's New Shipping and Handling Caps

by: tula

Fri Oct 24 02:34:22 2008

@Ed:
Those execs have secretaries to do their mailing for them, so they have no concept of shipping expenses.  They ought to spend a few days with a seller who ships a large variety of items all over the world. Then they might actually get a clue.

Sellers Gaming eBay's New Shipping and Handling Caps   Sellers Gaming eBay's New Shipping and Handling Caps

by: Brenda

Fri Oct 24 06:53:39 2008

I'm sorry, Ina, but I don't think it's "gaming" if someone is just trying to state to a customer what the actual cost of shipping from their country is.  I have no problems with paying a seller actual shipping plus a reasonable handling fee.  Just because eBay proclaims that books must be shipped for $4.00 maximum doesn't mean the USPS and commercial carriers will bow to their royal whim.  Are there sellers on eBay who have gouged on shipping?  Certainly.  Am I an adult who can read a listing and add up the costs and decide that I will/will not bid based on those total costs without eBay holding my little hand?  Absolutely.  It's total nanny state there these days.

The only "gaming" involved is eBay's.  We all know that this policy was intended to force sellers to make up the shipping difference in their opening price, so that eBay would get more from the FVF.  Any claims of intending to improve the buyer experience are more of their hypocritical bleating.

Sellers Gaming eBay's New Shipping and Handling Caps   Sellers Gaming eBay's New Shipping and Handling Caps

by: laura

Fri Oct 24 09:48:08 2008

@tula
---I wonder why they can't set up different ones for international vs. domestic sales---

I know, it get a little frustrating that ebay won't develop the functionality of the site and just requires sellers to take all responsibility in ebay's black and white world.

Why can't I state free shipping in the US and calculate or flat rate it internationally? Is ebay that out of touch, that don't know how expensive shipping internationally is?

Sellers Gaming eBay's New Shipping and Handling Caps   Sellers Gaming eBay's New Shipping and Handling Caps

by: Lisa in Utah

Fri Oct 24 14:53:14 2008

WHAT BRENDA SAID!!!

Sellers Gaming eBay's New Shipping and Handling Caps   Sellers Gaming eBay's New Shipping and Handling Caps

by: Brad

Fri Oct 24 21:48:06 2008

this is bullshit man!
USPS charges me $4.75 for priority shipping yet paypal will only let me charge $4?  Is this even legal?  Will someone please create some competition for ebay!  

Sellers Gaming eBay's New Shipping and Handling Caps   Sellers Gaming eBay's New Shipping and Handling Caps

by:

Fri Oct 24 22:00:35 2008

Why any of ebays day by day meddling is even taken seriously, is beyond me! Why anyone would consider shipping free or losing money is also puzzling. Giving credence to eBays arrogance and illegalities seems fruitless. A mass boycott or
exodus seems more logical. If everyone licks their boots the bar will go higher and higher. We know Donahoe needs a brain transplant, but what about us?
 

Sellers Gaming eBay's New Shipping and Handling Caps   Sellers Gaming eBay's New Shipping and Handling Caps

by: Just Askin'

Sat Oct 25 13:29:49 2008

Are the shipping caps worldwide, on all eBay sites, or just on the US (.com) site?  I had thought the shipping caps were just for US sellers, ie, anyone posting on the .com site.  Which would make more sense... if eBay wants to keep foriegn sellers from posting on the .com site, that is.

Sellers Gaming eBay's New Shipping and Handling Caps   Sellers Gaming eBay's New Shipping and Handling Caps

by: Space Station Video Games

Sun Nov 9 22:42:48 2008

The problem with a cap on flat rate shipping is that different shipping services have different rates.  It shouldn't cost $14 shipping for a video game, but with a low profit margin on media items and Ebay & Paypal fees, either you can increase the actual cost above MSRP or charge more for shipping.  For example a video game cost 59.99.   I purchase it for 51.93.  My supplier ships UPS for 6.00.  I can only charge 4.00 under Ebays policy.  So I'm losing 2.00 right there.  Ebay takes 5.85 and Paypal takes 2.16.  Profit margin is actually now a loss at -1.95.  So I raise the cost to 64.99 which is a turnoff because in the store you can get it for 59.99.

Sellers Gaming eBay's New Shipping and Handling Caps   Sellers Gaming eBay's New Shipping and Handling Caps

by: Mike T

Sat Dec 6 19:24:46 2008

As a seller, I don't mind having a cap for shipping cost, but MAKE IT HIGHER!! 4 bucks isn't really much room to ship anything. Sellers are obligated to make sure that products are delivered in proper condition to protect their own reputation and return rate, which means the shipping options are usually more expensive than first class mail or parcel post. Plus, one size really doesn't fit all.  You can't have the same shipping cap for shipping a movie DVD and for shipping a DVD Boxset. I recently sold a Wii Fit game with a balance board. That thing weighs 10 pounds. Yet Ebay treat it a Video Game and cap me at $4.00. ($6.00 if I make it a game accessory). Even parcel post is going to cost me more than $10. I don't want to use "Calculated Cost" because that really turns a lot of buyers away simply because it makes it hard for buyer to compair among sellers.

Sellers Gaming eBay's New Shipping and Handling Caps   Sellers Gaming eBay's New Shipping and Handling Caps

by: 4-sillylittlegems

Sat Dec 6 20:08:02 2008

Shop Bonanzle & blujay. Don't feed the Monster!!

Sellers Gaming eBay's New Shipping and Handling Caps   Sellers Gaming eBay's New Shipping and Handling Caps

by: texas skeeterella

Sat Dec 6 22:57:12 2008

Ina, a bigger problem is the ratbags offering free shipping in big letters with the bullet & subtitle, but clicking their auction, one finds the so called free shipping which makes for better placement in worst match only applies to buy it now sales at a higher price. The example you give is a seller merely trying to get what it actually costs to ship the item, even if Ebay can't figure it out. I stopped selling media the day the cap went into place and will never list one more item in the categories where I used to sell all the time if I have to eat shipping along with the other fees from Greedebay



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