This is my personal guide to gauging Post and Packing charges on ebay listings.
I have written this from my experience as a seller on ebay.
Post and Packaging charges vary widely from listing to listing, even for items which are identical to each other.
This can be for many reasons, the main one being whether the seller can get discounted postage prices (by using a franking machine, sending large volumes of items, reclaiming VAT etc) or if they are having to pay the full price for delivery services.
In my experience (selling on behalf of a charity) I can get no discount on postal charges, and with accepting returned items for exchange I have to charge the full postal fees back to the buyer.
For example the majority of my listings have a P+P charge of £1.78. This is broken down as follows:
£1.63 postal fee (2nd Class Standard packet weighing no more than 0.5kg)
£0.09 mailing bag
£0.02 'Documents Enclosed' wallet for address/packing note
£0.04 paper and printing of packing slip and address label
When thinking about whether the P+P charges are reasonable it is worth thinking about the packaging costs (the postal charges are fairly easy to work out) and then decide how much you would charge if you were selling the item.
It is clear on some listings that the P+P charges are created to reduce the ebay fees paid - my recommendation for these listings is to report them and then avoid them for two reasons:
1 - if you have to return the item for a replacement you may be charged the P+P fee again so you are paying unreasonable fees twice
2 - they are avoiding paying ebay fees, the knock-on effect being that ebay raise their fees for other sellers to compensate
Finally if the P+P charges seem to be unreasonable then don't buy it. If it is the only listing you can find for the item then ask the seller for a break down of the charges... most sellers are willing to be open and honest about their charging, if they aren't then make your own mind up as to their reliability as a seller.
Post and Packaging Charges
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8 January 2009
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