Sunday, 28 September 2014

There's No Pleasing Some People

File this under those tiny but irritating things that really grip my shit.

Your humble host occasionally sells on eBay. Nothing pricey or specialist, just items we don't need or the result of clear-outs from the little Ps' bedrooms (the income from which they recycle to buy other stuff which will one day also end up on eBay, I expect). E.g., the last 5 items sold went for £10.50, £29.00, £4.99, £1.50 and £15.49.

In every listing, I ask postage which exactly matches the price charged to me of sending it according to the Royal Mail website, without any addition for the cost of jiffy bags, packaging or PayPal charges. The reason for this is that I balance my modest financial loss against the higher auction final value results I generally get.

So how the hell does this happen?

4.7 out of 5.0 for postage charges? And this is always the same, has been since the seller ratings system was first installed. The Royal Mail charge is clearly displayed on the package and exactly matches the amount I asked for. How can it possibly not be a 5.0 rating? Should it have been sent by carrier pigeon or me driving it there myself?

Some people really do expect the impossible of the world on a stick and a unicorn for Christmas, don't they?


Dioclese said...

I wonder which is the more greedy - eBay, PayPal or the Royal Mail. eBay have whacked their fees up and even charge commission on the postage which, as you say, you don't even get to keep. PayPal have always charged fees on the total including postage and the Royal Mail take the piss with their package sizes.

I mainly buy on eBay these days but there's no doubt they milk you for every penny,

I was forced to muse on this about a year ago, so nothing is new really.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Very true about the creep of their charges, but they've all but abandoned listing fees now, perhaps as a reaction to competitors like eBid. That's my choice though and something I can control.

But people who aren't happy about my asking for exactly what the post office charges. Well ...

P. Ondrin said...

In response to the latest bit of Ebay insanity, removal of the return postage from a seller account if the buyer doesn’t like the item, I sent them this:

Dear Ebay, or should I say, Oh Dear Ebay,
Changes to the ‘User agreement and Money Back Guarantee’ I need to question you on this.

1. Who are your customers?

2. Who do you think your customers are?

A clue to question 1 might be who pays your salary.

A clue to question 2 might be, not the answer to question 1!

When I go to Currys, for example, and buy a new washing machine do I take up any dispute with the shop landlord, or Currys themselves? If I opt for the landlord will he give me a full refund, and all of my incurred costs, and then charge Currys for it? I think not. But when Currys sell through Ebay (which they may well do, I don’t know) Ebay as little more than a landlord will now do this.
In reality, and probably after the first instance of their landlord attempting this, Currys would vacate the premises and find other accommodation. And so it is with Ebay. Why should any seller use a service that treats its customers, the ones that actually pay for this service, with utter contempt?
Ebay fell apart when it stopped sellers from leaving negative feedback for bad buyers. It has gone ever downhill since. Buyers no longer need to read the description - not as described and a full refund! Sellers are no longer know if a bid is genuine, or just a time waster with 100% positive feedback. Bad buyers will hit the buy it now button with no intention of buying, just for a laugh, no comeback on them whatsoever. You have the figures, check it out.
Do you wonder why you are having to offer so many free listings? I do and my theory is to encourage sellers, the sellers you have lost and will probably never see again - they’ve taken the Currys option.
So in conclusion, and if you have read this far without hitting delete, I offer this snippet of information:
You are neither the seller, nor the buyer. You just out rent space on a website. Get a grip of that and stop behaving like a Socialist Government.
425 positive sales since 2004, but only 5 in the last two years?????????????

Ebay is no longer a fair and open place to sell. It is a lesson to all on how to take a pretty good business model and destroy it.

And no, I didn’t get a reply to my comments.

SadButMadLad said...

Maybe worth looking at Gumtree?

JonathanBagley said...

You need to get a drone. Many people have now replaced part of their decking with a drone pad.

nisakiman said...

My wife makes inexpensive jewellery and sells it online through various sites, plus she sells jewellery findings which she buys in bulk and sells in small quantities to hobbyists. She uses PayPal to deal with the financial transactions, for which she pays commission.

A couple of weeks ago, she had an order for some bits for which the bill was €4.30, which she sent by normal mail, as recorded delivery would double the cost and make it uncompetitive. The same customer then placed a similar order for the same amount, €4.30, which was duly sent. The following week, PayPal contacted my wife to say the customer claimed she hadn't authorised the second payment, and had told her card company to stop the payment. PayPal wanted tracking numbers, which of course we didn't have, having sent the items by normal post. To add insult to injury, on top of losing the payment for the order, PayPal charged her an additional €16 'chargeback fee'.

For something she had no control over because she pays PayPal to deal with credit card payments.

Something stinks here. I'm about to fire a letter (email) off to PayPal telling them what I think of the situation, but like P. Ondrin, I don't anticipate any response apart from a standard unhelpful computer generated email.

Bucko The Moose said...

If you had doubled the postage cost, added it on to the item price and advertised 'free' postage, you wouldn't have this problem.

smofunking said...

If you offer free P&P, eBay will award you a default 5 stars for that particular category.

Most problems have originated from buyers making poor judgements and eBay feeling the need to hold their hand through every transaction, absolving the buyer of any responsibility whatsoever.

Mind you, some sellers can be pretty clueless, mainly the ones who claim no refunds for items lost in the post unless the buyer pays insurance. Try arguing with PayPal on that T&C.

Q46 said...

Suggestion: start charging Postage & Packing, that is an amount to cover the postage and whatever you think covers the cost of the Jiffy bag, etc and your time.

I believe your rating, paradoxically, will improve, because 'There's nowt so queer as folk'.

Because your clients are expressing dissatisfaction with postal charges, not the charge you make... but you are the one they can gripe at.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

If the responses from Gumtree are as flaky and unreliable as those we received via a couple of job ads we placed there, I'll pass.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

I think that's what eBay want as it ensures you pay 10% fees on all of it, they got very shirty years ago when sellers were putting up 1p auctions with the real price in the postage to avoid final value fees.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

A very good point. Royal Mail's charges have become unsupportable since April last year (IIRC). So much so that one of the recent ones mentioned above I sent with Hermes, it was almost a third of the price, took less than 24 hours to get to Scotland, and the courier came and collected it from Puddlecote Inc!

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Your second para explains why listing has become so laborious too. I've been a member there for long enough to remember when the feedback forum was only accessible via a tiny link at the very bottom of the page, but now it is one of the many steps buyers are led through when they 'win' (or purchase, really) something. Strangely enough, the percentages of buyers (and sellers) giving feedback has nosedived in the past year or two - of 15 recent items I sold, I've only had feedback for 4 of them.

SadButMadLad said...

Don't know about job ads, but we've done well using Gumtree in getting rid of stuff which would be difficult with eBay because of extortionate postage costs.

smofunking said...

Have you left feedback for the buyers yet? There are some who refuse to leave it before the seller does. In fact, judging by some comments I've read, they actually value feedback more than the item they've purchased.

There again, what can you expect when some people's heads are easily turned by brightly coloured stars and feedback comments are viewed as a living eulogy?

I've even read about one buyer who left negative feedback for a seller because the positive feedback comments they received contained less superlatives than the feedback they'd left for other buyers.