Topics in this issue:
- eBay news – Excessive express delivery charges.
- PayPal – another reason not to like them.
- Reader’s rant – poor buyer experience.
- Ask Molly – How can I set a postage rate for New Zealand?
Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of The eBay UK Bulletin.
That’s it for the year then, sales fell off a cliff on Tuesday morning and two of the Elves were let go straightaway, got to manage costs you know.
All in all not a bad year, it won’t be exotic climes next year but Hayling Island is certainly on the cards [Ed - pop into our office in east Hants on the way past, Molly.].
In this festive edition my thoughts on the new eBay postage costs clampdown and as if you really needed one, a reason not to love PayPal quite as much as you do.
[For admin details for this newsletter, please scroll down to the end.]
1. EBAY NEWS – EXCESSIVE EXPRESS DELIVERY CHARGES
eBay have finally realised that sellers are over-inflating the cost of express delivery because they don’t want to offer the service but need to in order to qualify for TRS discounts. When you step back and look at this with fresh eyes you realise what a pathetic set up it all is.
Anyway this is the latest announcement from eBay, it’s all change again:
“We always encourage sellers to charge fair and reasonable postage and packaging (P&P) fees for their items, including items offering Express delivery.
“Please check your postage and packaging costs for Express delivery and revise them if they are excessive. Listings that continue to promote what we consider to be excessive P&P costs may be blocked.”
Is £20 for an express delivery excessive? eBay would probably think that it is so a reduction is in order. Thankfully I can use the ‘bulk edit’ function for Molly’s postage costs as all items are all the same with just free, first and express options, it is a lot more tricky with overseas rates and different prices for thicker items.
However, what is a fair price? Using a next day by 1pm service the price is £6.95 but of course this does not include and extra costs of handling the item. It can’t just be placed into the letter box, it has to have the correct paperwork and for me it means an earlier trip to the depot. Let’s settle on and extra £4.00.
Unless I have missed something it is not possible to use the OBA for ‘Special Deliveries’ so it is good old fashioned stamps, which are more expensive and bad for cashflow.
The other consideration is the cost of charging an extra £11.00. eBay now want fees in the region of £1.10 and PayPal will take around 40p, so you now have to make it £12.50 and then eBay / Paypal take a bigger cut and so it goes on.
I am going to reduce the charge to £15 and see how things go.
2. PAYPAL – ANOTHER REASON NOT TO LIKE THEM
“Hello Mollybol,I thought your readers might be interested in the email copied below which we received today from PayPal about a chargeback. It would have been cheaper to just refund the monies, rather than bother finding all details required to help our case. The chargeback was for a mere 99p yet we have been hit with a £14 charge for processing the chargeback. The chargeback was made 25 days after we posted the item, what can we do, we are now out of pocket by £14.99 + cost of postage and cost of item and labour to package. I feel we are being hit by more and more charges that are not our fault. What happened to seller protection!!! This did not go through eBay but PayPal, so we obviously have no protection.As you can tell I am not a happy bunny!!!”
On 5 December 2013 one of your buyers filed a chargeback with their credit card company claiming that they did not make this purchase.
We carefully reviewed this case and unfortunately, we cannot dispute the chargeback your buyer filed with their credit card company. As a result, we have debited the full disputed amount of £0.99 GBP from your PayPal account.
Additionally, a £14.00 GBP fee has also been debited from your account to cover chargeback processing costs. This is a fee we incur from the credit card company and is passed along to you at a reduced rate.
I completely understand how you feel especially as we all send so much into the PayPal coffers. This is one reason why I dislike PayPal as a company, sure their systems are great and there isn’t really any alternative, but as a company I am not a fan.
Following my experience of this I cut all ties with PayPal and no longer complete any surveys, fill in questionnaires or advise in any way.
3. READER’S RANT – POOR BUYER EXPERIENCE
“Hi Mollybol,“As you know, I mainly use eBay for selling my personalised stickers under the name of Hazels-Homegrown2. I generally find that if a case gets opened against me I will either choose to refund the buyer or eBay will take the buyer’s side and refund them anyway so I have always felt the eBay’s dispute team are biased towards the buyer. However, recently I had a bad experience as a buyer and the dispute team found in the seller’s favour.“I had bought a Nintendo DS game for my daughter. I’m always a bit suspicious of things like that but this looked like it was coming from a company rather than a personal seller and it was only £4.49 including free postage. Anyway, when it arrived, it didn’t work, coming up with an error message about not being able to find stored data, suggesting it was previously owned, and now broken. So I contacted the seller and asked if there was any way to fix the error message. I didn’t receive a personal message, rather just an automatically generated form about how to send an item back for a refund. This included a bit about the buyer having to pay the return postage, which made me cross as the thing didn’t work and I didn’t think I should have to pay to send it back. However, the return address they supplied was a freepost address so I was pleased about that. I put it all back into the packaging, printing out the address label and popped it into the nearest post box. Then, a couple of weeks later I contacted the seller to ask for a refund now that I had returned the item – no response. Another week went past and I decided to open a dispute against the seller. But, eBay asked for my tracking info – which of course I didn’t have as it had been a free-post address and I had just stuck it in the post box. eBay told me that the seller had said that they had not received the item back and because I couldn’t provide tracking info they closed the case. They said that I may wish to contact the seller again and try to work it out but as I have never received a personal response from them I don’t think this will get me anywhere.“So I’m left feeling cross. If a customer complains to me about a problem with their sticker order I don’t even ask for them to return the item and just replace or refund as the amount is so low it’s not worth risking negative feedback for. I’m glad this seller offered a freepost return but if it is a service that doesn’t generate tracking info then should this even be allowed? If I had chosen a tracked postage form of return, it would have cost me more in postage than the original item and the item was sold defective. Surely defective item returns should be the responsibility of the seller not the buyer. What really made me cross was the email sent to me by eBay at first when they said that they would investigate the case. It included “helpful” suggestions about how to avoid similar situations in the future and suggested that I read the listing more carefully in the future! Clearly eBay think that somehow buying a defective game was my fault for not reading the listing thoroughly!”
4. ASK MOLLY – HOW CAN I SET A POSTAGE RATE FOR NEW ZEALAND?
“The reason for my writing is a query about selling to New Zealand. The problem I have encountered is on eBay when clicking on which countries that I send to in order to list the postal costs there isn’t a little tick box for New Zealand whereas there is for Australia, Japan, Asia, etc.
This brings up problems – when a customer from New Zealand wishes to bid on a Buy It Now item it states that ‘no postal costs have been listed, please contact seller for details’. However, when the customer contacts me the only way that I can facilitate a sale is by altering the original listing to just one worldwide price! By doing this it obviously looks like a high price for anyone wanting to buy from Europe or USA, etc., whilst the sale to New Zealand goes through.”
Your problem could be solved by using the recently introduced ‘postage rates tables’. They are a little complicated at first glance but do allow you to enter different rates for the countries you ship to.
You can access the tables thus:
Go to My eBay and click the Account tab.
Click Site Preferences on the left side of the page.
Click Show to see the Postage and packaging preferences section.
Click Edit next to the option to Use postage rate tables.
Select Item, Weight or Surcharge from the drop-down menu, then enter your postage rates for each region.
Once you’re finished, click Apply.
To incorporate the rate tables within a listing
In the Give buyers P&P details section of the listing form, click Add or remove options at the top of the section.
Scroll down and tick the box next to Use postage rate tables, then click Save.
Tick the boxes next to Apply domestic postage rate table, and/or Apply international postage rate table.
There is a whole bunch of options so put the coffee on first. I am not a user of the rate tables as very few of my items go overseas. Let me know how you get on.
If you have a question about eBay or home working in general, please send it to me at the usual address. I will reply personally to every email I receive and, remember, there are FREE copies of my book available for the best questions, tips or stories.
– END NOTE –
That’s all for this week. Check out Harriman Intelligence for the latest news from Molly HQ.
All that remains for me to do is to wish all readers a Merry Christmas and more importantly a prosperous New Year. Remember to keep all the packing from your presents and open as few as possible as this keeps the resale value high.
I shall be keeping the toy shop open on the big day as it always amazes me what will sell, I won’t actually be packing anything up on the 25th, that’s what one has Elves for.
Author of the bestselling title, The eBay Business Handbook – available direct from the publisher Harriman House.
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