postage and packaging charges

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Postage and packing seems to be such a hot topic around ebay, with so many people complaining about excessive postage and packing charges ... and in a lot of cases quite rightly so!

There are quite a number of sellers out there profiting from postage and packing charges, and they do this for many reasons, including those listed below:

  • To make up for a poor selling price on an auction style listing
  • To try and get around the fees charged by Ebay
  • To try and make their item look a lot cheaper than others, and persuade you to buy it

And that is to name just three of the many reasons!

So yes, if you are paying £1.49 for a newly released brand new and sealed DVD, and £10.00 for the postage and packing of the DVD, you are being charged excessive postage and packing, and should really avoid sellers who do this, not to mention reflect the excessive postage and packing costs in your feedback and star ratings that you give to the seller if you do decide to buy from them

HOWEVER .... there are also a lot of buyers out there who seem to be complaining about excessive postage and packing costs when a seller charges anything more than 20p above the cost of the postage stamps!  And that is just as unfair!

Postage and packing is exactly that ... postage AND PACKING!  Jiffy bags, bubble wrap, wrapping paper, peanuts, tape, labels etc do not come free of charge, and sellers do have to recover the costs of these.  And Ebay's own policy supports that by stating:

Sellers may charge reasonable postage and packaging charges to cover the costs of posting, packaging and handling the items they are selling

SO, before you give a seller a low star rating for their postage and packing costs, just think about the following:

1.   There is a cost attached to ALL the packaging that is used to send an item safely to a buyer .... that goes for wrapping paper, jiffy bags, peanuts, bubble wrap, tape, mailing labels, printing inks and everything else a seller might need to use.  You can easily see what has been used to package your item, and should be able to judge the quality of the packaging materials.

2.   Where some sellers might use very cheap packaging materials, others might want to be sure that your item arrives in the same condition it left in, and may use higher quality packaging materials, which do cost more money.  Quite often, a seller will use ebay to buy their packaging materials, so a nosey at their feedback might give you some information on how much they are paying for their packaging materials

3.   The more volume a seller sells, the cheaper they will be able to get their postage costs and packaging materials.  High volume sellers can enjoy discounts with mailing companies to reduce the cost of the stamps, and can also buy large quantities of packaging materials, enjoying reduced costs for buying such large quantites.  Small volume sellers may not be able to compete quite so easily as they will have to pay full price for their stamps, and cannot buy packaging in big enough quantities to enjoy such discounts

4.   Sellers who are VAT registered, HAVE NO CHOICE but to charge VAT on postage and packaging ... its the law as it is classed as a service.  The seller does not benefit from this extra cost, its the government who get that money!

5.   Some sellers may have to travel a fair distance to their 'local' post office to despatch your purchase.  Thankfully I am not one of them, as I live close to my local post office, but not everyone does, and if a seller has to make a 5 mile round trip, just to post your purchase out to you, they can incorporate the cost of that in their postage and packaging charges

6.   Postal prices do go up!  The Royal Mail have just increased their prices this month.  What you paid to post a package out three years ago, may be nothing like what you would pay to send the same package out today!

The vast majority of sellers on Ebay, are honest folk who try to provide a really good service to their customers.  And we feel a certain pride when the effort we put in is reflected in the stars that customers give us in their feedback ratings. 

For high volume sellers, those stars can represent discounts of Ebay fees, and allow these sellers to offer their items cheaper to customers

And for both high volume and low volume sellers, those stars can be the difference between their items showing up in the searches along with everyone else, and their items coming at the bottom of all the searches.

So, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE take all the above into consideration BEFORE you mark a seller down on their postage and packaging charges just because they have added £1 to the cost of the stamps to cover the packaging costs

And finally, no this is not sour grapes because I have received low stars ..... I average 4.8 on my postage and packaging stars .... its a genuine attempt to give buyers some food for thought

I hope you have found this useful, and if so please be sure to vote yes
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