question about eBay

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by kamikat, Aug 17, 2007.

  1. kamikat

    kamikat Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,794
    Location:
    Maryland
    How do you feel about items that have low bidding price but high shipping costs? I have a set limit on a particular item that I'm looking for. I found it at a great price (ending very soon) but the shipping is $15. I found almost the exact same thing at a buy-it-now price that is about $5 more, but only $5 shipping. All totaled, they come out to about the same price. Would you go with the buy-it-now item? The high shipping makes me wonder.
     
  2. imoldfashioned

    imoldfashioned Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,980
    Location:
    USA
    If I were you I'd do the Buy It Now; I'm always suspicious of sellers who try to cadge extra funds with high shipping.
     
  3. Smyat

    Smyat One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    112
    Location:
    Northern California
    Since you're asking, I fall into the category of buyers that not only won't buy such goods, but often drop a note to such sharks to let them know I'm buying elsewhere because of their predatory shipping rates. (As a seller, I also make a point in my listings of very fair shipping terms, and have received some nice kudos from buyers for it.)

    Many seem to feel that nothing matters but the bottom-line cost, and maybe they're right. But there are SO many things wrong with overpriced shipping - it limits your guarantees against the seller, which are based on item cost, not shipping; it's often a ripoff buried in the fine print; and it's often part of some semi-scam on the seller's part - there are many who believe that shipping charges aren't taxable or some other dorky tinfoil-hat reason.

    It's very much your call - if the final price is good and the ramifications don't bother you - buy it! But I do think there are several issues of ethics that need to be considered, and "feeding the sharks" is never a good idea... in my very 'umble, lonesome opinion.
     
  4. ShortClara

    ShortClara One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,117
    Location:
    .
    It's called fee avoidance

    High shipping like that is called fee avoidance. We sellers pay fees on the amount for which an item is sold. If I sell the item for $15 and have a real shipping cost like $5, I pay a % on the $15. If the snake seller sells the item for $5 and has shipping fees of $15 then he only pays fees on the $5, and helps to put honest sellers out of business. Please don't buy from such a person. You can not only not buy from them, but report them for excessive shipping fees.
     
  5. Miss Neecerie

    Miss Neecerie I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,616
    Location:
    The land of Sinatra, Hoboken
    Housekeeping note

    Since this is not an exclusively 'ladies' ebay issue...moving it to obs bar..
     
  6. mikepara

    mikepara Practically Family

    Messages:
    562
    Location:
    Scottish Borders
    deliberate over charging of Postage costs is dishonest and is really theft and the sellers should be avoided at all costs.

    However it really gets my goat when as a seller: Sometimes the buyer pays for instance £3.50 S&H there's £1.75 worth of stamps a brand new card or bubble envelope worth 0.75p and tape, bubble wrap, transport, time etc nevermind the fact you've been hit with Paypal fees of £5.00, yet they moan that your ripping them off, as postage was only £1.75! .

    Nevermind the fact some guy in the US is getting a hat that cost £20.00 to post but you charged him £16.00 as your scales said that was what it weighed, but the post office disagreed. Think he's going to send me the £4.00? Hell no.

    Ah ignore me I'm peeved because there's been Postal industrial action over here with a 6 day backlog and yet thoughtless buyers have marked me down on the new 'anon' feedback star system for being a slow sender Grrrr
     
  7. kamikat

    kamikat Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,794
    Location:
    Maryland
    Thanks, everyone, for your comments. You've helped me make up my mind on this purchase and I will keep these things in mind for future purchases.
     
  8. Foofoogal

    Foofoogal Banned

    Messages:
    4,891
    Location:
    Vintage Land
    You may want to go to www.usps.com to figure out what something may cost.
     
  9. Mike in Seattle

    Mike in Seattle My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,027
    Location:
    Renton (Seattle), WA
    I always consider the total cost of the item (the item plus whatever added fees there are to get it to me). You can also ask the seller, if the item is of a reasonable size, to use the USPS flat-rate boxes (whatever you can fill the box with, be it feathers or lead, gets delivered for the flat-rate price) and see if they'll adjust their shipping. But as others have said, it can be a bit of a scam. They'll take a lower price on the item knowing they'll make it up in outlandish shipping charges.
     
  10. Twitch

    Twitch My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,133
    Location:
    City of the Angels
    Yeah it's easy to tell "average" and "reasonable" shipping costs with similar or identical items out there. When one seller states $8 vs $18 I won't bid on the seller who charges $18 to ship.

    I won't buy anything from people who only take money orders either. It ruins the whole concept of seamless online purchasing/selling.
     
  11. Edward

    Edward Bartender

    Messages:
    21,794
    Location:
    London, UK
    Like others, I always consider the shipping cost in relation to the item cost. The reason i buy anything online if it is available in a "real" shop is always gonig to be to save money, so I want to be sure I'm really doing that. Back in the days when Amazon still charged for shipping in the UK, I always used to make sure that I was saving enough - sometimes if you only wanted one book, you'd save less against the bricks and mortar store price than the postage would cost. (Now all you have to do is spend the minimum for free postage, it's a much simpler calculation. :) ). I'll never understand the folks who get caught up in bidding for stuff on eBay - the most run of the mill stuff that there are a thousand of on there - and end up bidding a an item up to almost the mew price - same as or more by the time postage is paid. Bizarre.

    In terms of disproportionate shipping charges, the first I saw of this was in cheap musical instruments shipping from China - most commonly counterfeit electric guitars bearing the Fender and Gibson trade marks. As others have noted it is a scam - both fee avoidance, plus if the buyer decides the item is substandard and wishes to return, only the small price paid for the item is recoverable - not the high shipping fee. I have myself paid more to ship occasional items than the items cost by far, though that was down to some very lucky bargains on several items, including a really nice pair of retro styled Pepe sneakers which I won for an English penny.
     
  12. BeBopBaby

    BeBopBaby One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,176
    Location:
    The Rust Belt
    I agree with Clara. Also they are preying on people who may not read the entire auction listing carefully. They are hoping that a buyer will see the BIN price and not check the shipping cost before they purchase an item. The buyer thinks they are getting deal, and by the time they finish the BIN and see the invoice with the high shipping cost on it, it is too late to go back.

    Either way, the sellers are being shady and I personally refuse to deal with these types of sellers.
     
  13. Matt Noir

    Matt Noir One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    134
    Location:
    Wichita, Kansas
    I saw a seller who sells XBox 360 video game consoles - they retail in the stores for $399 - the seller had them for $149 with a $249 shipping and handling charge. I bet there were more than a few unsuspecting people that didn't notice that and got sucked in to those auctions.
     
  14. Kishtu

    Kishtu Practically Family

    Messages:
    559
    Location:
    Truro, UK
    Just a quick defence of (some) UK sellers' prices - since the postal service did some really stupid things with the way mail is priced, it's no longer entirely based on the weight of an article.

    (You probably already know this, but no one's mentioned it....)

    For instance, I can sell a collar which weighs, what, 50g? if that? Which you would think would go quite nicely with a first class stamp on it - but NO! because it's a collar and it has to be folded to get it into an envelope, it's too thick to send with an "ordinary" first class stamp on it, and has to go up to the next rung of postage costs.... so the same weight of object, depending how it's packed, can cost anything between 34p and £1.09 to send.

    It's madness, I tell you! madness!
     
  15. Undertow

    Undertow My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,127
    Location:
    Des Moines, IA, US
    I see it often and I don't approve. I will not buy an item that I believe has excessive shipping cost. I also am more concerned about the overall price, but I WILL NOT pay $15 shipping and $1 for a pencil w/ free DVD included (you catch my drift).
     
  16. Edward

    Edward Bartender

    Messages:
    21,794
    Location:
    London, UK
    Yes, I think this was a huge mistake of the Post Office. I do wonder how many people are inconvenienced now when due to the confusion of it all, some folks inadvertently post with insufficient postage. A coupel of years ago I received a letter that was sent with postage that was 5p less than it should have been. Not only did i have to go to the Post Office and pick it up during their opening hours, and pay the 5p... I also had to pay a "handling charge" of £1. Sometimes I wonder are they deliberately running the postal system into the ground to create an excuse for privatisation?
     
  17. TheKitschGoth

    TheKitschGoth A-List Customer

    Messages:
    407
    Location:
    Brighton, UK
    What's more annoying is that best (and almost only) to figure out how much postage you need is to go to a post office. So much for making life easier.

    Although, all credit to my local sorting office, I got sent a card on my birthday where there hadn't been enough postage paid, and they wouldn't let me pay the handling charge as it was my birthday.
     

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