eBay drop controversial free P&P rules

9 February 2010

As of yesterday, and following a sustained campaign by sellers, eBay has once again adjusted its rules over P&P. In the past, hiking up postage fees was a sneaky way for sellers to earn extra cash but eBay turned that trick on its head last year, making certain items P&P-free.

Naturally, this enraged sellers who found themselves forced to increase their starting bid prices to include the cost of P&P, which in turn meant that a larger chunk of their earnings went to eBay as Final Value Fees. Grim.

Still following this? If not, here’s a picture of a kestrel for you to stare at for a minute or two.

Kestrel

So anyway, hordes of angry eBay sellers have been kicking right off over the rule changes for the past few months until yesterday, when eBay altered their P&P rules, making things kind of like how they were before.

As well as scrapping the free P&P rules, the widely-hated online trading site has implemented a new list of categories that have maximum charges for postage and packing, in an attempt to put an end to blatant profiteering, although we expect that hundreds of ways to get around this have already been dreamt up.

Humans – scum aren’t we? And eBay – them too.

TOPICS:   Economy

32 comments

  • Ceri
    "in an attempt to put an end to blatant profiteering"... that they don't get a slice of. if anything get rid of ther 10% final valuation fee! Hate you ebay!!!
  • Twitcher
    Nice Kestrel...
  • Matt
    ooooo a kestral!
  • The B.
    But, why don't people just look at the sodding postage fees? If anything this will cause more confusion as the idiots who have got used to postage being included will now moan that it's not any more. Bring back QXL, actually don't.
  • Fella-Tio
    yesterday?? last week more like! BW last weeks news today!
  • Gadget 4.
    @Ceri Don't get me wrong, I hate eBay as much as the next person but why shouldn't they charge a final valuation fee? They aren't a charity, they are a business and if they facilitate the sale of lots of items allowing people to make money then why shouldn't they charge for this? If people don't like it then they can try gumtree or anywhere else, but the point is eBay is more convenient, reaches a wider audience, and results in a higher level of profit for the seller so people use it. People moan about the final valuation fee and eBay's greed, but it sounds like people just want to have their cake and eat it (and yes, that is a ridiculouse saying but you know what I mean!).
  • TVDBP
    People like cake?
  • Rolly
    It would be nice if ebay did what Amazon do and tell you upfront exactly how much they're taking when you list an item.
  • Ceri
    @Gadget 4free! I have no problem paying a final valuation fee. What I object to is that there used to be an incremental fee based on the category and price. This now only applies to “business” customers while personal customer get shafted with a flat 10% + Paypal + insertion fee. Ususally people who don't moan about the final valuation fee are buyer not sellers.
  • Ceri
    @Rolly Totally agree.. eBay don't explain the final valuation fee unless you go looking for it.
  • House, M.
    £7 to deliver an ink cartridge but £2.75 to deliver a book?
  • James N.
    1) 10% final value fee is stupid. 5% is more than enough to turn a profit into the gazillions. 2) enforcing free p&p is stupid for several reasons. firstly, the seller has to included the price of p&p in the item price.. this leads to ebay claiming 10% of that additional postage cost that is now part of the item cost. that's daylight robbery! secondly, ebay also now enforces (at least in certain categories) that you offer paypal as a method of payment... an additional 6% for them. last but not least, lets not forget the listing fee on top. so take this scenario that i was faced with... i buy item at £20 (aiming to sell for £30 and make a £10 profit). a) i list the item at £32 buy it now (£2 p&p), at a cost of 40p b) ebay want £3.20 final value fee (20p of which should be going to the post office so add another 20p) c) the guy sends £32, of which paypal (aka ebay) take £1.92 Total cost: £5.72 to sell, profit = £4.28 bottom line.. ebay made more on the sale than i did.
  • SimbaK2K
    @House, M.D. Your little HP 45 ink cartridge might cost £1.39 to post, but those big HP laser cartridges can can very big and heavy. You'd struggle to post them out for £7 to be honest.
  • LLLLL
    Problem with ebay is that it has got too big for itself, it needs to remember its a serve us, not us serve them, they have become dictorial and greedy. It has alienated its core users, people are now finding other outlets, look at friends reunited for example, it got just like that, go restrictive and greedy, People moved to facebook, its evolution and i suspect the ebay revolution has started
  • Nobby
    @Rolly It would be nice if ebay did what Amazon do and tell you upfront exactly how much they’re taking when you list an item. How do they know what the item will sell for if it is an auction. At amazon, you list at a fixed price, so it is easy for them to tell you exactly what the fee will be. Of course, if you list BIN, then you can work it out. They say their will be fees to pay, and a link to click on, every time you list an item, so they are not hard to find. Amazon fees are larger than ebay's, and often their P&P prices are wildly out too (I sold a text book a few days ago, their postage allowance = £2.75, actual cost £8.97). It would actually be better if they forced free P&P, so at least the buyer sees the total price (as they do if they are buying direct from amazon) rather than having to add on postage.
  • Arnie
    Go to view, lowest priced items including p&p. Job done.
  • Gunn
    As an occassional seller Ebay isn't worth the effort most of the time, the fees are overly complicated and take too much to make a modest profit for yourself.
  • Bob
    Stamps are not free. If this wasn't true, ebay would be spot on. But it ain't and they aren't.
  • Rob
    Bring back yahoo auctions, that was free for buyers and sellers if I remember correctly.
  • Exit, b.
    I've stopped selling completely on Ebay. They only allow sellers to charge a maximum of £2.95 postage when selling a book. So if you're selling something just that little bit weightier than a standard hardback, you end up losing money on the postage. Plus the fact that paypal is now practically mandatory on all their listings, which means that you end up paying even more to Ebay just to get your money.
  • Junkyard
    Purdy chickan!
  • ParisGirl111
    It would be nice if eBay realized that on top of their listing fee and final auction fee, sellers also usually have to pay a paypal fee. Let's not forget we also have to buy packaging, tape, and pay gas to drive the stuff to the post office. Amazon is more cost effective and they show you right up front what you are going to get when it's all said and done. I think an Ebay calculator on each listing would be awesome!
  • Jim
    eBay's story: Capitalism without competition is tyranny.
  • Bob
    I wish somebody else would set up an auction site. Ebay have a monopoly. About time Google set one up.
  • Ok
    Yes... I am going to feel sorry for those people that sell items that can be found in any shops for over inflated prices and still rip people off on the P+P Same as the amazon marketplace crooks!
  • wombat
    @Ok Sellers are entitled to ask whatever price they want - you don't HAVE to buy online - if it's so much cheaper in the local shop why don't you buy it there?
  • sdp
    Check out www.ebid.co.uk for a decent and very cheap alternative to ebay. Unfortunately they have such a monopoly they'll be hard to topple.
  • Nobby
    > Bring back yahoo auctions, that was free for buyers and sellers if I remember correctly. They were bought out ... by eBay.
  • dunfyboy
    I sold a load of PS3 games on fleabay last year and had to list them with free postage. After paying for postage, packaging, ebay fees and paypal fees it was hardly worth it. I also sold my 360 plus games and postage was limited to £14, which is what it cost, but I had to pay for bubble wrap and packaging. I'll think twice before I'll sell on there again, even though they appear to have taken their head out their arse slightly over postage fees.
  • Ok
    @ Wombat Since when ebay is the only place that you can get items from the internet? Yes nobody who is not an idiot bother with ebay anymore because they don't have the old garage sale feeling anymore.
  • eBay D.
    [...] here to read the rest: eBay drop controversial free P&P rules | BitterWallet [...]
  • Chris
    Hi, all Ebay has done is find yet another way to line its pockets, I sell leather jackets, no way can I post for 4 pounds, BUT If I put the added postage on the item, Ebay gets get more of a slice, so I could send second class and not tracked, BUT then I get the hassle and if it gets 'lost' I have to refund.........YES There are other sites EBID is a great one, BUT until people actually USE this site it isnt going to compete. I have feedback on Epay (NOT mis spelt) of above 20000, so I do know the site well, and it is SO clear that they ONLY want the big retailers, and this is yet another way of getting us smaller businesses off, Which I am very happy to do IF people would stop saying things like " Ebid and any other site is OK but there is no traffice" there wont be until we all move, so any Ebay sellers just add a few items to Ebid, do not expect a rush and instant big sales but the more of us that do, the more the buyers will follow and as Ebay grew some 10 years ago so can Ebid, my Ebid store is VintageClothing, no gaps, go have a look, I wont even bother telling you my Epay site.

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