Why do sellers feel the need to try and rip off buyers in Northern Ireland. I'm getting fed up with being contacted after I've made my purchase saying that I have to pay extra to have my item posted to Northern Ireland. I've shipped items to the rest of the UK (yes Northern Ireland is part of the UK in case you had forgotten, it is officially "The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland") and seen little or no difference in posting to someone in Northern Ireland. I can understand and accept that if someone has offered "Free Postage" they may require something to help with the postage from time to time but someone asking a £22 surcharge when I've all ready payed £6.50 (£28.50 for postage!?!?) is a joke.
In the past I have just arranged for a courier to pick up my item (not any different than what the seller has had to do) and it has worked out a lot cheaper. The last time I did this the seller was asking £30 to post a £50 value item so I arranged for Parcelforce to collect the item from the seller and it cost me £12 for them to do this. If a seller finds out after the sale that a courier or royal mail is looking to charge more than they had expected then fair enough, why shouldn't we pay the difference, it's not the seller's fault in this case. What I take exception to is sellers who use Northern Ireland as an excuse to double or even tripple their postage costs, how come I can have an item delivered from the other side of the world (I've made purchases from the US, Japan and Hong Kong) using varying postage methods (sometimes couriers like DHL or UPS, sometimes the domestic postal service which is usually transfered to Parcelforce over here) and not only is the postage cost cheaper but the item also arrives quicker (I've had items arrive from the US in 1 week, from Japan in 2 days, the slowest from mainland UK was 3 weeks).
I'm not trying to tar all sellers with one brush here, yes there are some reasonable ones who make apologies for asking for a surcharge because their courier has quoted them more expensive than they thought. This guide is for all those who don't seem to care about customer service, only care about making money, and use someones location as an excuse to expand their profit.
Now the most extreme end of this wedge is the sellers who decide to discriminate against Northern Ireland completely and refuse to ship to here all together while the next seller along has no qualms about shipping here. How can a seller justify refusing to send items that do not come under any "Special Conditions" or are listed on any "Dangerous Substance" lists. When trying to purchase something like paint or laminating resins, which are classed as "Dangerous or Flamable Cargo" then they may have an excuse to exclude Northern Ireland (even if there are plenty of other sellers and websites that do ship these items to Northern Ireland on a daily basis). eBay is becomming less and less of a one-stop-shop for someone to pick up bargains and is becoming like a High Street Shopping Mall where sellers charge whatever they like, and offer little or no customer service, and take the opportunity to rip buyers off at every turn.
How would buyers over in the rest of the UK feel if anytime they found an item for sale from Northern Ireland they had to pay a ridiculous surcharge, sellers from here wouldn't sell anything.
The disreputable sellers feel like they have us over a barrel and that we have no choice but to pay their charges, well I've got news for them, we just go somewhere else, the internet has come on leaps and bounds and it's made it a lot easier to find items to be shipped to Northern Ireland, I'll just spend my money with someone more reasonable and to hell with their profits.
Surcharges to Northern Ireland
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3 April 2012
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