Hello to all fellow ebayers and thank you for reading our cautionary tale.
Earlier this year we we logged in to our ebay account to pay our monthly listing fees, which are usually around £35, we got the shock of our lives to discover our bill was actually £1250!!
Several distraught fags later we discovered how this has happened:
We had listed our item, a video review of the Ford Mondeo, in the "Car" section as there is no appropriate section for our videos. We knew the listing fee was £6.00 and our video was being sold for £2.97 but as it was mainly a marketing excercise we decided to bite the bullet anyway. During the first listing, ebay crashed and we had to start again, this time the listing worked fine but when we checked our active items we discovered that the first listing had worked and now we had 2 active items! Oh well we thought, £6.00 wasted, but as it was too late to do anything about it we left it active. A few moments later we realised that we should have set the quantities from 100 rather than 1. Never mind we thought, just revise the adverts, which we did and quickly changed the quantities to 100, we almost set them at 1000 as our videos can theoretically be sold as many times as possible and I thank god we didn't!
We didn't see any warning when we upped the quantity from 1 to 100!
Unbeknown to us, in the car or motorbike section you get charged the same listing fee for each instance. So if your quantity is 100 you get charged SIX HUNDRED POUNDS, and if you accidentally put another nought on that you get charged SIX THOUSAND POUNDS!
Before we noticed our mistake we also tested our automated video delivery system which meant we bought 2 videos, we found out later that we got charged £15.00 for each sale, also known as a Final Value Fee. Don't forget that each video was being sold for £2.97. So far each sale for £2.97 had cost us £21.60!
Just imagine if we had set our quantity to 1000 and sold them all:
We would have been charged FORTY TWO THOUSAND POUNDS by Ebay.
It took us almost 3 months of constant worrying to sort the problem out with Ebay. For the first month they totally refused to admit there was a problem and told us to pay up. What was worse was that we couldn't speak to anyone in the flesh and all the responses seemed to be written by robots, there wasn't an ounce of humanity in their replies!
We still see to this day many non car or motorbike items listed accidentally in those sections, knowing that the poor sellers are not only going to be charged £6.00 for listing the items, but the a further £15.00 if there item sells, no matter what price it sells for.
EBAY SHOULD HAVE SOME SAFEGUARDS IN PLACE TO STOP THIS HAPPENING BUT THEY DON'T.
There are no warnings if you put an item in those sections with a Buy It Now price of £1.00 even though Ebay know they will charge £21.00 at the very least. That, in my opinion is very dishonest and a blatant abuse of their position. They always manage to have automated systems in place that can take your money, but never ones that protect you from being ripped off.
We freely admit that it was our mistake, the information telling you about the fees is out there if you look hard enough. What worries us is the ease of which we ran up an enormous bill, at which point it was too late, no '14 day cool off period' here!
We are fortunate we resolved the situation but we just wonder how many other people have fallen foul of this scam and had to pay up because they didn't have the time or persistance to chase Ebay?
If you have any similar experiences or wish to have your say on the Ebay/Paypal monopoly please contact us. We are making a short film on the subject due to be aired later on this year and need contributors.
Kind regards, thanks for looking and remember, if we don't look out for ourselves then who will?
Nick Hine and Darryl Kelbrick