Before you complete the new Ebay feedback star rating (which I think is an excellent idea) for a seller please read this:
Please give consideration to genuine Ebayer's who try their best to offer the best service that they can to their customers with first class packaging and service. This includes sellers, like me who pride themselves on professional packing with quality materials which do not come cheap. It is only right that a buyer receives an item they have spent good money on in the same condition in which it was sold. This can not be acheived reasonably using rolled up bits of newspaper or old carrier bags stuffed around your new ming vase! Second hand bubblewrap is not as safe because inevitably the air is lost in a lot of bubbles, either from use, deterioration, or due to a loved ones fetish of 'popping'!
If you buy online from any large retailer, they will mostly have a shipping charge that includes packing materials and handling. They don't charge this because they can get away with it, but because the packing materials and handling do cost real money! For instance, 1 cubic foot (12" x 12" x 12") of quality polystyrene packing peanuts costs me £1.90 and one square metre of new bubblewrap costs between 25p and 32p. I openly pass this charge on to my buyers and state this in all of my listings, along with the fact that these materials can be re-used - so saving money in the future. There is also the option not to bid if you disagree with this charge. More times than I care to remember, I end up out of pocket due to my ambitious and anti postal worker packing paranoia. No offence to all of the good postal workers out there, but there are bad in all walks heh?
My advice would be to compare shipping costs amongst different buyers for similar items. Cheapest shipping does not necessarily mean the best service - does it include insurance? will it be packed correctly with the proper materials? has the seller charged too little?
If you like the look of a particular seller, but their shipping charges seem steep compared to others - don't just write them off - email them and ask why, or check out what service they offer compared to others. You may be pleasantly surprised by the answer you get, (I will often pack items inside two boxes with masses of poly chips between each layer). If you don't get a satisfactory answer then move on. Items listed with 'Sellers Standard Rate' should be investigated prior to bidding and not after. It never ceases to amaze me how many horses get lost because this particular stable door wasn't bolted! Sometimes a seller may have made a genuine mistake on their postal charges and could be grateful that you have brought it to their attention.
With my soap box blurb coming to a close, please just remember to look at what else you received with your prized latest acquisition - a decent box? loads of poly chips? loads of bubbles to pop - surely this pleasure alone is worth a few pence more?
If you found this review thought provoking or interesting please vote accordingly. If you are a disgruntled buyer, maybe I have enlightened you a little!