The price of postage for some items on ebay leaves me bemused. £20.50 GBP and upwards sometimes for a necklace! I paid £8.00 GBP postage on a CD once, when it arrived the actual cost was 90p!
eBay don't take a cut on postage and this is a way for many dishonest sellers to maximise their profits. The biggest perpetrators of this scam are Asian sellers. This is not a racist comment, it is a statistical fact. Sellers from China and Hong Kong sell items for as little as 1p with £10.00+ shipping. Furthermore, Asian sellers are most likely to escape penalty for their postage scams because they know Asian stamps confuse buyers.
eBay take excessive postage costs very seriously. If you report blameworthy sellers, eBay will take action.
Excessive postage charges do more than just take money away from ebay - I don't really support ebay and paypal's pricing structures because I think they are excessive, but that doesn't mean that dishonest sellers should have the right to circumvent their fees at the expense of legitimate sellers (those whom are following the rules).
Some people believe that if the buyer agrees to the posted shipping price (by bidding) then he agrees to pay it, regardless of how big it is. I do not believe this. Some buyers observe the large shipping cost and understandably assume the item is being shipped by special delivery. Then when the item arrives with a simple 40p stamp, they realise they have been ripped off, and by then, it is too late.
Also, and this is very important, you won't be protected in the same way if anything goes wrong with the transaction. If you buy an item for 99p and pay £50 in shipping + £20 compulsory insurance and you never receive the item, ebay or paypal will give you back your 99p.
I believe that £1 for packaging and 50p for handling is the maximum a seller should charge on top of the EXACT postage costs. Any more than this and the seller is committing fee avoidance and excessive postage.
You would think that they would have a better automated way to clean up the crazy ratios between purchase price and shipping price. It is easy, right? Think about it...
Have the code in there for checking if the shipping price exceeds the purchase price by, say 1000%, then run them through a separate, longer, uglier, human-checked process that screens their item before letting them post it. If they get too many bogus submissions, cancel the account. Eventually, the bad guys will get the hint and drop their shipping costs back down.
Always factor in the postage for your max bid then decide if it is still a good deal. Would you be better of buying in item in a store?
The S/H cost shows up in 3 locations.
1: In the search results.
2: In the item listing.
3: On the bid confirmation screen.
If postage is not stated in the auction, always email the seller enquiring about the costs BEFORE you bid.
Report any sellers you observe abusing eBay policy using this form
I hope my information has helped you to find better bargains on eBay. Happy shopping! :)