This is not really a guide as such, more of a rant about sellers ripping people off on postage.
How many times have you felt miffed when you have paid, for example, £2.50 to a seller for postage for an item that you have won. You receive the item second class, in a re-used bag and it cost the price of a second class stamp to post it?
This sort of thing happens all the time to me, which is one of the many reasons I hate buying off ebay.
major fact - EBAY POLICY STATES - POSTAGE CHARGE IS FOR POSTAGE AND PACKING ONLY.
Bearing this fact in mind, sellers have stated to me that their postage charge includes their listing fees, their ebay fees from each sale, the paypal fees from each sale, their time to package items, the trip to the post office, their bus fare or petrol to get there, their shoe leather, etc the list goes on.
Lets look at these in more detail.
Listing fees - if you don't want to pay the fees, DO NOT LIST ITEMS ON EBAY.
Ebay fees from each sale - even though us sellers all complain about ebay taking their 6% (its about 5.9%) cut of each sale, its a lot better than selling items at a live auction. Real live auctions take a commission PLUS the seller has to deduct 17.5% tax from the money made from the sale. Also, in comparison to ebay the potential number of buyers is very limited and there is the fact that if you are not there on the day you miss out.
Paypal fees from each sale - yes, paypal take their 5% also. I was so anti-paypal at first, but now I use it for eveything. It saves the hassle of going into town to put cheques in, then waiting for them to clear, which is another trip into town to check if they have cleared, then there is the heat from the buyer asking where their item is. If you don't use paypal, you can just forget about trading with anyone outside the UK mainland, because it isn't worth the cost or the hassle to use other types of payment for international transactions.
Time to package items - packaging a few items will not take up a great deal of your time, it takes longer to list and prepare items for listing. If you have to package 50-100 items then obviously it is going to take an hour or two of your day. Its still your choice to list your items, you are not employed by ebay, why should you expect to be paid for packing your items that you listed?
Businesses can get away with employing people to pack their items for them, as that may come under the packaging costs, but then would you like it if you went into WHSmiths and the staff said they would have to charge you an extra 20 pence to physically put your items in a bag for you?
Bus fare and petrol to get to the post office? - I thought these sellers were joking when I read that one. If you aren't able to post your items without major cost to yourself - DON'T LIST THE ITEMS IN THE FIRST PLACE. Do a car boot instead, then its just one trip for everything. Try and get the bus fare and petrol cost out the people in charge of the car boot markets, there's nothing like a good joke at 7.a.m on Sunday morning.
Shoe Leather? - I thought you were charging people for your bus fare and petrol.
MY POST AND PACKAGING CHARGES
I mainly sell videos, DVDs, some games from time to time, Jewellery and few odd different things. With videos, DVDs and games, I have a set postage price for UK, Europe and International.
This is what I mainly sell, so I am aware of actual postage costs of these items. However, with videos the postage cost can vary a lot. This is due to the age of the tape, they don't make 'em like they used to, the size of the box that the video comes in and how long the video runs for. The set postage price covers all these things and packaging.
DVDs can also vary in postage cost. This depends on the quality of the case, some cases are slightly heavier than others, how many discs it is, if there is a booklet/collector cards/comic or not, if it has an outer slipcase or not, or whether it fits through the new size letter box resrtictions, etc.
Combined Postage cost
I always combine postage costs, I'll even make a special trip to the post office to have multiple items weighed for anybody who buys multiple items from me. When its 2 or 3 items, I can usually estimate what the cost will be, but if I don't know, I do go and find out.
I have had so many arguments about combining postage costs. Refusing to pay for items when the seller refuses to combine postage costs and wants to charge 4 times the actual postage cost gets you negatives. Learned that one the hard way.
Packing - I aim to use new bags and packaging for evey item, but sometimes I run out or the shop where I buy my bags from is out of stock, then I will re-use bags then, but I put extra packaging in. Packaging doesn't cost a lot, if you shop around you can find good packaging deals, especially on the jiffy bags.
I am reasonable when it comes to postage and packaging costs and overcharging. I think its okay to allow that bit extra to cover potential costs, but anything more than £1 over the actual costs is overcharging.
Finally, a note to all you sellers who like to rip people off on postage, you know who you are, I will leave negative feedback. I am not frightened of getting a negative feedback in return for stating the truth, as my feedback shows I have 5 negatives already. Isn't that the purpose of feedback to tell the truth about a transaction?
I will also claim back through paypal any excessive postage costs, but only as a last resort.
ALL ROYAL MAIL POSTAGE PRICES HAVE GONE UP AS OF 2nd APRIL 2007.
Recorded Delivery price has gone up to 70pence, but it covers up to a value of £34.