Don't get caught out by Postage charges.
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3 November 2010
It is very easy to be looking through eBay, see an unbelievable bargain and before you know it you are in checkout. Stop. Take another look at the total price you are paying, including the postage and packing charge. It may not be as cheap as you think. Did you know some less than scrupulous sellers will use the postage charge to fool buyers into thinking that they are getting a bargain, after all how many buyers actually know how much it costs to send packages through the post? Well, here's an idea. A pair of earrings in a small padded envelope, the envelope at most will cost twenty five pence, first class postage a further sixty six pence, total cost to the seller, ninety one pence. So a seller charging less than this figure is good, about a pound, that's okay too. But two pounds, or even four pounds, that is not good. What is worse is when you start buying multiple items, some companies will let you save a staggering 10 pence off the postage for the second pair of earrings that you buy, well the cost of sending out two pairs of earrings is...wait for it...exactly the same as sending out one pair of earrings, ditto for three pairs and even four pairs of earrings. Before you commit yourself to buying anything on eBay, compare the cost with other similar items, the easiest way to do this is to sort items on the ebay page using the drop down box near to the top of the page and select "Price & P+P: Lowest first" as opposed to "Price: Lowest first", and never leave it on "Best Match". I just did a search for "4gb SD memory cards", on Best Match once I got past the featured items the first option was £4.97 with a staggering £2.99 p&p. If you are interested an SD card with a little bit of bubble wrap will fit in a standard envelope and be sent at the cost of a letter (41p). Price lowest first gave a few at a penny with postage at £1.80 (or similar). Using the Price and P&P settings left us with a whole range of cards at 99 pence and FREE postage. If there is nothing to compare with why not use eBay's Postage Centre to check how much you should be paying. This can be found at http://pages.ebay.co.uk/postagecentre/index.html. Think about the size and weight of what you are buying and how much protection it will need, if your item is less than 2.5cm thick then the chances are it can be posted as a large letter. The most the actual postage could be within the UK for this sort of package is £1.87, and you can get A4 padded envelopes from high street shops for approximately 25 pence each. One last thing for you to ponder, one of the reasons that sellers do this is to avoid paying eBay the correct fees. If they are happy to rip off the company that gives them the chance to sell in the first place, what else are they prepared to do to you, their customer.
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