Having been a member of ebay for a few years now I've taken part in a lot of transactions so I like to think I can estimate postage costs pretty well. I have had the misfortune of dealing with a few sellers who don't really know exactly how much to charge so they just take a guess. I've seen all sorts of prices for postage on here, some have underestimated (I once bought something from a seller who paid a LOT more postage than they'd estimated - they hadn't been using ebay long so I sent them the difference! Yes I know some people wouldn't have done but I do like to think that I am honest) and some have overestimated by a LOT!
I was browsing one day and noticed a skirt I really liked...cheap starting price but postage was £7.65...I wasn't really sure why as it was a linen type material so really light. I read the sellers whole listing to find out if there was any indication as to why (The seller could have lived in a very remote area with no post office - so could have to drive to another village or arrange collection etc). I didn't find anything so I asked the seller. The response that came back was rather short but to the point, It was stated that packaging for the item would cost £3.60 and the rest was for 1st class postage and if I wasn't happy then I wasn't to bid. This was a fair comment and I accepted it.
It does annoy me sometimes that a seller misjudges postage and packaging...and I know there are some people out there who do make extra money on their postage. I have always found that by working out p&p costs beforehand, so they are reasonable and as accurate as possible, actually encourages more buyers!
An Example of Costs:
- DVD: 60p-75p (1st Class)
- CD: 60p-75p (1st Class)
- Lightweight Top: 40p-50p (2nd Class)
- Skirt (Depending on weight): £1-£1.75 (2nd Class)
- Trousers(Depending on weight): £1.25-£1.75 (2nd Class)
- Jeans(Depending on weight): £2.45-£3.20 (1st Class)
It is worth remembering that a small amount for packaging needs to be added - Read Below!
When I started out on ebay, everytime I had an item to post I would buy padded envelopes...this was quite costly and as I was just starting out on ebay I was sometimes actually losing out on money due to inaccuracy. As I started selling more I started buying in bulk on ebay. I now use blue mailing bags - This is a personal choice - Each seller has their own way to package. As I buy in bulk, my packaging costs are relatively small and I pass this saving onto my buyers. As a personal choice I usually buy labels with my name and address on to act as return labels, these are very cheap and I ALWAYS buy from the same person. Although technically I could make them myself or infact just use a normal label and write my address on. I don't add this to the p&p cost as this is my own personal choice and for my own piece of mind should the parcel go missing!
- Try to be as accurate as possible with the weight of your item.
- If possible buy your packaging in bulk, this saving can be passed onto your buyer!
- If asked a question about your postage - BE HONEST! - Don't try and fob your buyer off with unjustified high costs (I've been there and it's not nice!).
- ALWAYS state in your listing of Payment Instructions if there are any special conditions (e.g. You live in a remote area hence postage cost)
- If possible fill out a Certificate of Posting before you go to the Post Office - Not only does it save valuable time (No writing on receipts while you're there!) but it's also a better proof of postage should a problem ever arise.
- Only sell items in a condition that you would be happy to buy yourself - It's just common courtesy.
- Treat your buyers as you would expect your sellers to treat you :o)
Thanks for taking the time to read this :o)