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Mon June 20 2022 21:13:55

eBay Buyer Pays Extra Due to Handling of Combined Shipping

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I just purchased movie 2 stills from a seller (that ended on the same day) from a seller who listed he is glad to combine shipping. 

I have bought many stills on eBay over many years and would never consider buying them unless the seller offered combined shipping especially since stills literally don't cost one penny more to combine and almost no effort. Most sellers charge nothing for 2nd one , others maybe 50 cents. 

This seller says he will simply refund the extra $8.00 for the 2nd still because it is "easier"????. 

I do not think he wants to rip me off and I am sure he will do the refund, but I will pay nearly 10% tax and he will pay nearly 15% eBay fees on the extra $8.00. 

I don't plan on buying anything more from the guy but this just seems really stupid. Has anyone ever heard of anything like this?
Lily

Comments (19) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Pays Extra Due to Handling of Combined   eBay Buyer Pays Extra Due to Handling of Combined

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 21 03:44:30 2022

The seller may likely not know ‘how’ to send an adjusted invoice, but more likely may be relying on an ‘instant payment’ that while curtailing unpaid item ‘sales’, also prevents being able to send one for combined shipping cases.  Any refund to the buyer should include the appropriate tax, as any invoice adjustment would of course.  

This is eBay’s “stupid” to own though.  Sellers have been making “noise” about this for years, as it could be attainable with a wee bit of that ‘AI’ they boast simply devoted to recognizing a multi-purchase event.  Imagine that.  Everybody getting due e-refunds promptly as a matter of standard practice instead of the ‘collector’ skimming interest off unearned fees at the very least.

But they won’t.  They don’t really care that it might leave the kind of bad aftertaste to a transaction like described, because it’s the seller that either eats that fee (and any wrath), or withholds it from any ‘refund’ (increasing wrath).  Ethically, the former would apply here, but that’s not the point.  The point is, eBay does make it more difficult to do anything that might diminish their reach into somebody’s purse.  

And that anytime something seems ‘stupid’ about an eBay transaction process, it might be worth looking for any way possible eBay might have to monetize it as an explanation.  Stupid is as stupid does, Ms Lily.  

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Pays Extra Due to Handling of Combined   eBay Buyer Pays Extra Due to Handling of Combined

by: Shanna This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 22 11:19:20 2022

Ebay makes it very hard to set up listings that might be bought together. When setting up the weight, you need to include the packaging weight. So when 2 are bought, eBay thinks the packaging is doubled. It not intuitive, and there is no way they can explain that to the $2/day programmers to fix.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Pays Extra Due to Handling of Combined   eBay Buyer Pays Extra Due to Handling of Combined

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Wed Jun 22 12:58:33 2022

@Lily (the OP) - I have read over your letter several times, and I'm not sure what you are concerned about. You bought two stills from a collector, which were originally $8 each. You don't mention the shipping amount the seller charged you for each one, but I'm guessing they were mailed in a photo mailer, which should weigh no more than 4 ounces, so perhaps the seller charged a flat rate of $4.50 per still? So if the seller refunded you the $8 on the second still, and kept the flat rate of postage, you, in essence, would be paying slightly over half of what you were originally charged for the second still. Have I got that right? You were always going to have to pay tax on the purchase, so that shouldn't figure in your calculations. To me it sounds like you got a bargain as the seller could have just as easily refunded the postage for the second still for less profit to him.  

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Pays Extra Due to Handling of Combined   eBay Buyer Pays Extra Due to Handling of Combined

by: smallstuff This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 23 00:22:02 2022

I'm confused about the statement that this approach costs the seller and the buyer extra fees.  When I issue a refund, the buyer gets the refund plus the tax or even the VAT on the refunded amount.  I get my fees on the refunded amount back also.  I just checked a recent refund of excess postage on a transaction involving VAT.  eBay handled it correctly - the buyer got the full refund plus the VAT on the refund.  I received the fees (normal and international) on the refund.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Pays Extra Due to Handling of Combined   eBay Buyer Pays Extra Due to Handling of Combined

This user has validated their user name. by: Lightning

Thu Jun 23 00:47:40 2022

@smallstuff
Agree on your interpretation.  The tax on the refund will also be credited to the buyer.  The fees on the refund will go back to the seller.  No harm done.  It appears that the buyer is unaware of how it works, and the seller unaware of how to just fix the problem entirely by sending a combined invoice.  Unless there is a problem sending the combined invoice, which I have never experienced, some have it seems.

@iheartjacksparrow
The $8 you are referencing is, I believe, the shipping charged for each listing by that seller.  He is telling the buyer to pay for the whole thing, both $8 shipping amounts, and he will refund one of the shipping amounts.  We are never told in the OP post what the stills sold for.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Pays Extra Due to Handling of Combined   eBay Buyer Pays Extra Due to Handling of Combined

This user has validated their user name. by: Lightning

Thu Jun 23 00:54:10 2022

''Most sellers charge nothing for 2nd one , others maybe 50 cents.''

So the buyer would be ok if being charged 50 cents for the second item, but the seller is charging $0.00.  Buyer is miffed about having to pay the 80 cents tax (if it actually happens).  Wow, that 30 cent difference is a tough pill to swallow.  

Seems I remember 30 cents being a focus of an uproar recently.  Now where was that?....oh, yeah.  Those pesky transaction fees.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Pays Extra Due to Handling of Combined   eBay Buyer Pays Extra Due to Handling of Combined

This user has validated their user name. by: Lightning

Thu Jun 23 00:59:14 2022

@Shanna
You don't have to do everything by weight.  You can have fixed price shipping on a sector of your items, if it seems to be feasible to ship that way.  These lightweight items certainly could fit that.  You just make a shipping rule on ebay that it qualifies for fixed price shipping, and they can order a bunch and pay one shipping fee.  

Certainly for this type of item, $8 should cover a handful of movie stills.  And if they buy a whole pile and it costs a bit more to ship, who cares?  You have a large bulk sale and should be happy to contribute something toward your good fortune.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Pays Extra Due to Handling of Combined   eBay Buyer Pays Extra Due to Handling of Combined

by: Gumball This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 23 03:05:54 2022

My experience as a seller is Ebay's shopping cart will not combine shipping and often will not allow a buyer to contact the seller. I think the Seller did well to offer you an $8.00 refund. Taxes are always on the full amount. Here again Seller has no authority over taxes or fees. If you are angry, write a complaint to Ebay about their fees and collection of taxes, not the Seller.  

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Pays Extra Due to Handling of Combined   eBay Buyer Pays Extra Due to Handling of Combined

by: ADINA72 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 23 08:28:26 2022

If you fill out the calculated shipping rules and/or the flat rate shipping rules under "Manage Shipping Settings", it makes it a little more accurate when combining shipping.  You will need to allow combined payments and shipping for this to work. Most sellers have been told to make sure they have immediate payments checked, so it makes combining shipping automatically impossible to do correctly, so issuing a partial refund afterwards is the only way to fix this problem.  Since eBay is now refunding fees from partial refunds, it's not a big deal, but I prefer to get it right from the beginning.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Pays Extra Due to Handling of Combined   eBay Buyer Pays Extra Due to Handling of Combined

by: Supplierofcrafts This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 23 08:48:40 2022

Were these purchased in 2 transactions or one?  I don't sell on Ebay so I'm not familiar with their shipping, but I will say I have never purchased 2 separate transactions from a website and had them combine postage for me automatically.  I just ordered some tools from a popular website then decided I needed one more thing.  I'm paying shipping on both orders and they will be shipped separately.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Pays Extra Due to Handling of Combined   eBay Buyer Pays Extra Due to Handling of Combined

by: Jono77 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 23 09:09:22 2022

This buyer is not complaining about the seller. They are complaining about eBay's useless system that should combine multiple purchases into one invoice with 1 combined postage cost.

The reason eBay doesn't like multiple purchases with one postage cost is because they like to get the transaction fee on every item which is completely counterproductive since it puts people off buying multiple items.

A child of 5 could work this out but the eBay think tank doesn't seem to understand that it's better for everybody including eBay if buyers buy multiple items and only pay one fairly priced postage cost.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Pays Extra Due to Handling of Combined   eBay Buyer Pays Extra Due to Handling of Combined

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Thu Jun 23 12:09:13 2022

@Lightning - If the seller is charging $8 for shipping one 8"x10" still, that is a huge rip off (unless the buyer is in a foreign country or the seller is adding insurance to each sale). I used to sell stills at movie conventions back in the early 1980s, and I would imagine they don't even weight one ounce. I wish Lily would give us more details.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Pays Extra Due to Handling of Combined   eBay Buyer Pays Extra Due to Handling of Combined

This user has validated their user name. by: Lightning

Fri Jun 24 15:06:10 2022

@iheartjacksparrow
Yes, definitely could use more info, and that would help us determine if we are even correctly understanding the situation.  At $8, it does sound on the high side for shipping.  But again, we have nothing to work with as far as specifics.  Maybe the shipping amount includes the cost of high end box mailers instead of flats.  Maybe Priority shipping instead of 1st class.  Some variables to this equation.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Pays Extra Due to Handling of Combined   eBay Buyer Pays Extra Due to Handling of Combined

by: lilycarver This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jun 25 02:54:16 2022

My apologies for not responding earlier, I am the buyer in question. What ended up happening is the seller charged me $16 ( $8 each for two separate auctions) though he listed ''combined shipping'' then AFTER the auction price, $16 shipping AND tax he ''refunded'' $8 so I was paying nearly 10% ( in NYS) for the extra $8. I have never had this happen before. I buy stills all the time in separate auctions from the same seller and the seller simply gives me a combined price, usually just the cost of shipping one since again there is rarely any additional postage ( most stills are sent priority and that was the case here) and very little effort to add additional ones. What makes these more frustrating is that the seller is also paying eBay fees on the extra $8. It gets worse if I want to buy more from him (which i do) as he will say charge $32 for 4 stills, ''refund'' $24 and am again out 10% tax on the ''refund''. It just seems that the seller does not understand how to do a standard eBay combined shipping. One thing I should mention is that I was waiting for my ''combined'' invoice and when it did not come, I tried to contact the seller using the original listing re ''combined shipping'' questions and got a automatic eBay response ''seller does not offer combined shipping'' which makes no sense as it was IN THE LISTING. I was able to contact the seller directly which is when they said they would invoice me and ''refund'' the extra $8

Again I buy stills from MANY eBay sellers and the shipping is always combined to a single fee , no need to charge per still and ''refund'' which both of us paying a lot more.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Pays Extra Due to Handling of Combined   eBay Buyer Pays Extra Due to Handling of Combined

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jun 25 11:37:52 2022

The response (thanks b 2 Lily) seems to indicate suspicions that the seller is clueless about what constitutes ‘proper’ combined shipping while maneuvering around eBay’s potholes.  No surprise any potential repeat buyer might be turned off by it, especially if upsizing the order needlessly ‘ties up’ even more buyer funds.  The question of ship cost value may also be open here too.

At the very least, the seller also owes that excess ‘tax’ collected as part of any refund.  As eBay does to the seller’s account, along with any fees collected on the refunded amount.  If seller is ‘withholding’ it because eBay is, well, that’s a problem.

An interesting eBay ‘peculiarity’; if the tax isn’t also refunded, you may have a SNAD claim for eBay to (ahem) ‘judge’.  

And in a perfect world, someone could hand this seller a copy of the eBay shipping landline map.  Hopefully, a current edition, cuz’, ya know, they keep moving them around.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Pays Extra Due to Handling of Combined   eBay Buyer Pays Extra Due to Handling of Combined

by: lilycarver This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jun 25 12:07:38 2022

I do think the seller does not understand how to do a proper combined shipping invoice. I pointed this out when contacted him. I have not sold in over 20 years so I am not certain he is being charged the eBay fee on the extra shipping because the $8 is removed from the final amount but I am being charged the tax, Here is how it worked out. ( sorry this is the best I can do as cutting and pasting the ebay  ''order into)
2 items
   $72.00

Shipping
   $16.00

Tax
   $7.10

Discount
   -$8.00

Order total
   $87.10

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Pays Extra Due to Handling of Combined   eBay Buyer Pays Extra Due to Handling of Combined

by: railady This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jun 25 12:45:29 2022

@supplierofcrafts - Indeed, once they are ordered and paid for, SEPARATE purchases are shipped separately on many websites (although I'm increasingly seeing the ability to cancel my order(s) within say a half hour - which would let me redo everything into one shipment).  

I sell online, and the venue I use posts paid-for and not paid-for items in a list of Orders.  Any number of times, I get multiple items paid for separately -- and yes, the system generates postage and tax for each -- but as the shop owner I can easily combine all the orders into one shipment and adjust the actual shipping cost; a refund is easy to send. (Tax is adjusted automatically based on my changes, because as a ''marketplace facilitator,'' the venue is responsible for that.)

eBay DOES allow sellers to combine ship items into one package but I know there are complications especially with the ''Instant Payment'' requirement (which demands immediate payment that includes tax and shipping). It sounds like Seller may have used that in this case. I have never used IP  so please forgive if I'm wrong, but it seems to cause a lot of aggravation because it involves ''undoing'' things - messy and complicated. If Seller did use IP, then in fact giving up $8.00 MAY be worth the aggravation.

As an eBay seller I have NEVER had trouble doing combined shipping but I never use IP. Buyers making more than one purchase usually wait for an invoice; won auctions come out in a list of unpaid ''Orders'' in my Seller Hub. eBay groups each buyer's purchases together and I send one invoice for all items with one shipping cost (that I can adjust if I need to).  

Ebay could make it easier for sellers if they would be clearer in places.  One is the Invoices -- how about a ''Send REVISED invoice'' ...?  since an ''invoice'' has already been sent...?   Just one of a whole bunch of what would be helpful improvements for sellers.  

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Pays Extra Due to Handling of Combined   eBay Buyer Pays Extra Due to Handling of Combined

by: railady This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jun 25 12:57:50 2022

@lilycarver - Virtually all eBay sellers have no control over the amount billed for sales tax. Ebay has taken over that function, since the Wayfair decision required them to start collecting and remitting it. The refund from seller should have triggered a recalculation of the tax you were billed, as long as seller refunded it through your eBay purchase.

From your post it appears your purchase and shipping was $80.00 (2 items, $72 plus shipping $8.00).  The sales tax amount ($7.10) is just under 9% of $80.00.  (Is your sales tax a 9% rate?)  eBay bases the amount of sales tax they bill you on your zip code, and it sounds like your state considers shipping a taxable service, on which sales tax is collected.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Pays Extra Due to Handling of Combined   eBay Buyer Pays Extra Due to Handling of Combined

by: lilycarver This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jun 25 13:00:40 2022

FYI these were auctions not "buy it now" so instant payment was not required.
I actually had to ask the seller for an invoice with the "combined" shipping after a few days when i did not receive it.



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