This is my second guide. I hope other ebay sellers like me can relate to this and maybe also ebay buyers can understand a bit more of the pressures and stresses ebay sellers have when trying to make an honest living..
Recently we have had a spate of postal strike by Royal Mail and this has caused me and my customers no end of problems and complaints which i as a seller am very worried by.
I posted over 100 items during the period of 1st to 9th of october and these items have been delayed by an incredible 3 weeks. They have only just started showing up after the 27th! Now i have several gripes here....
1) i understand why royal mail are doing this and sympatise with their cause but i also feel that post should be dealt with in date order. i have posted hundreds of items after this date and they all arrived in a couple of days. Surely Royal Mail should deal with my post that is delayed first before dealing with new post, but obviously not. My items have been sat at a back of a warehouse somewhere for 3 weeks, whilst i the seller have been trying to liase with Royal Mail and my understandably unhappy customers.
2) Paypal Protects the customer but never the seller and it is us sellers who earn Paypal money through using them! Surely we need better service as we are the income providers. I pay over £1000 a month in paypal commisions for what?? An awful service! I can understand my byers have been unhappy with the delays but likewise it isn't my fault. When i am contacting royal mail they fob me off saying that its "in the system" and track and trace doesn't even show up until the items posted anyway, so really what is the point of it!?. i pass this info onto my customers and the majority of fair ebayers support me. I dont have a feedback score of nearly 4000 for no reason, so why would i con just a few customers? and i think the fact that i try my best to reply to emails within 48 hours shows that i have nothing to hide otherwise i'd simply ignore the messages. However the occasional buyer has been aggressive and unhappy, which i understand as there are some dodgy people in the ebay community who rip people off, however please can buyers look at it from the sellers point of view which is the following...
If we file a claim with royal mail it takes 6 weeks for us to get refunded for royal mails loss, and that only happens when they have contacted the buyer to ask them to confirm that the goods haven't arrived. However because of the lame way paypal protects the seller, a buyer can escalate a claim to Paypal and get their money back very easily as paypal ALWAYS sides with the buyer. So in order to stop this from happening i have had to send replacement items out (at extra cost to me) and then file the claim and hope Royal Mail refund me.. However a lot of buyers get the form through the post asking them to sign to say they didn't receive the original item and return in the freepost envelope, but as the buyer has now got their product a lot of them can be bothered to send off this form, so royal mail void my claim as they determine that its been sent. This leaves me out of pocket AGAIN. Now i dont mind doing this in rare occassions as most ebayers have good will and can be relied on, but with the postage problems of late, items obviously aren't lost but delayed, ebayers are filing claims and asking for replacement, but if i sent a replacement and the original item does turn up (which it is likely to do as its delayed not lost) then do you think the majority of people will send it back to me at extra cost to them?? of course not, they effectively have 2 items for the price of 1, and then if i try to claim by royal mail they void it as they say its been delivered and its my problem not theres, so can you see buyers that i the seller has no protection and am in a very difficult position.
After this ramble all i ask is this.....
Look at a sellers feedback score, the bigger it is then generally the better they are, thats simply the way ebay works. If an item is lost or delayed, contact the seller and get them to respond.
If they dont respond after a reasonable time (48 hours) then maybe you should escalate a claim. But if they do contact you and stay in contact with you like i do to my customers, please be patient and undertsand the predicament that we the sellers are in. We are all hostages to Royal Mail, as there is no other cheap alternative to send items. if we used couriers then we would have increase our costs which would make items more expensive to you, so we are trapped.
If an ebayer is genuine he or she will do their upmost to help you and the problem but they need to be given a chance
tha nks for reading this and i hope it may bring a bit more understanding into the ebay community. Maybe Paypal and eBay who are costing me £2000 between them could come up with some alternative to protect everyone???