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Original Post
Yes, I do understand the frustration and discust with ebay's mandating sellers to offer free shipping. This was the last straw in my haybarn called an ebay store. The fees made me reevaluate, but this was a low blow I simply did not need to deal with. The ebay sellers are already cutting their profit to near nil with the increase in fees. I do auctions there, but my store is closed.
I think I should point out that putting in listings that the buyer is responsible for items damaged or lost in the post is utterly pointless. I have had this disclaimer in my listings for a number of years, but the first point of call for the buyer if an item is lost in the post is to put in for an 'item not received' with Ebay followed with a claim to Paypal after. I have had only 2 or 3 people out of about a dozen missing items who have asked for my proof of posting to be forwarded for a claim. The only way Ebay/Paypal won't remove funds pretty much stright away to refund the bidder is if the seller has used a 'signed for' or courier service, which would cost even more for the already fund squeezed seller. I have started to add an option for winning bidders to take added insurance but so far NOT ONE PERSON has taken it up.
Beef up your terms of service to clearly state that the buyer assumes all responsibility for loss or damage to goods shipped free

Bad, bad advice - as eBays & Paypal's policy does NOT allow this to be enforced. You MUST use tracking otherwise the buyer will raise a dispute and win every time!

This applies even to off eBay sales if paid via Paypal.
And this is where all this "free shipping" runs into major problems.

1) We sell items with an average value of around AU$20. If we offer "free shipping", we have NO margin left at all. Which means that prices will have to be raised (by at least 25%), which annoys customers.

2) Free shipping can only be for the basic shipping method (or the cost of goods have to be raised even more). But uninsured/unregistered goods give us no proof of shipping, thus we fall foul of PayPal rules. So, should we offer "free shipping" and then insist on customers paying for registration? That's a recipe for customer complaints and negative feedback as buyers feel conned.

3) To avoid customer dissatisfaction, we'd have to ship uninregistered/uninsured, in which case we basically underwrite the insurance free of charge (as already said, if a claim is made, the seller loses automatically). So, the options are to charge an insurance fee and annoy buyers (= time to deal with complaints, loss of business due to negative feedback), or don't charge insurance fees and privately insure our shipments without getting paid for that insurance. Again, prices would have to rise to take that into consideration.

4) Not only is there a greater risk of loss/damage with uninsured/unregistered articles, there is also a much greater opportunity for dishonesty. It doesn't matter whether the buyer receives the goods or not, all he/she needs to do is *claim* that the article didn't arrive to get a full refund. That provides a great incentive for dishonesty amongst buyers. Got a bit carried away and bid too much in an auction? Claim you never received the goods, keep the goods and get a full refund as well...

5) It is easy to say (as a PayPal person told me) that it's cheap to get proof of shipment - they seem to go out from a US-centric viewpoint. But it isn't that cheap in many other parts of the world, and trying to make universal rules based on US conditions can only harm the community.

I can only hope this nonsense falls flat (like the attempted "PayPal only" payment scheme), so that things can continue on a proper fee-for-shipping basis.
I think that this is bad news and will hopefully make people close ebay selling accounts AS I HAVE DONE to take business else where "EBID IS WELL WORTH A LOOK".
Also your advice about not offering free insurance in the folorn hope that the customer will pay extra for a more expensive delivery won't happen in the real world!
I just simply see this stunt that ebay have pulled for what it really is!
A way for Ebay to net a lot more money in final value fees.
The Reality is it will make many items totally uneconomic to list.
I have listed many items myself with bidding starting at 99p plus postage of £1.99 with free personnal collection allowing local buyers to avoid postage costs altogether. this meant I could avoid paying extra listing fees and could cover my bare costs for should it go for only 99p which often such items would go for, now what will happen is if I list I will have to gamble a non refundable much increased listing fee for starting my bidding at say £3.50 in order to break even if anyone bids.
Gone! are my chances of local collection and getting paid cash to dodge Paypal fees.
Gone! is a whole lot more money in ebay LISTING fees for an unsold item!!!
OR IF I START IT AT 99p AND ONLY GET ONE BID! I GET SOMEWHERE AROUND 45p after paypal and ebay fees,
+£0.45 after paypal & ebay fees with a 99p sale
-£1.75 postage and packing costs
-£0.99 the cost of the torch
Now that ebay will be taking a combined rake of over 15% of the gross selling price after your payment has been received through Paypal (wholly owned by ebay!)Plus increased listing fees to cover yourself against taking a huge loss on an item that you may have pocketed about 30p on previously.
It makes what was items being sold such as led torches not worth listing, as you will know since the introduction of small packet and large letter post, a small torch that used to cost about 40p to post no costs over £1.40 to post within the UK. So add ebays rake on top of your postage cost and your cost of a padded envelope, that means postage that did cost you in stamps and packaging about £1.75 will now cost over £2 after ebay extra fees!!!!!!!
Is this supposed to be a sure thing? Having to offer free shipping? I sell low cost items generally at 99 cents plus 1.25 shipping. And checking around my shipping costs are really low as it is. This would be outrageous. They just want the extra final value fee they aren't getting on the shipping now.
Originally posted by leok:
Beef up your terms of service to clearly state that the buyer assumes all responsibility for loss or damage to goods shipped free

Bad, bad advice - as eBays & Paypal's policy does NOT allow this to be enforced. You MUST use tracking otherwise the buyer will raise a dispute and win every time!

This applies even to off eBay sales if paid via Paypal.'ve nailed it on the head. Sellers are responsible for delivery of the item. If it's lost or damaged, the seller takes full responsibility.

Auctiva giving bad/misinformed advise is just as bad as ebay forcing policies on it's sellers. You guys are the "solution" therefore your staff should've KNOWN this important fact. It has never changed in the 10+ years I've been on ebay.
Auctiva news letters seem to sound more and more like Ebay every day. It seems the writers of the news letters are very misinformed..or are they simply trying like ebay to gloss over information making sellers seem stupid. Well Auctiva old time sellers are a lot smarter then they used to be ..We have been screwed over repeately for the last two years..and we have learned how we are fed information taht sounds good upfront but is not the fine print in the contract so to speak. It would be nice is we were told the truth with easy to read and understand fine print information from both Ebay, Paypal and yes now Auctiva. Dishonesty has become such an easy tool to use in the E-commerce world but in the end it has made selling online a scary place to do business.
Auctiva if you are going to send out news letters with advice at least get your information correct or don't bother because as you can see from all the post we are educated now we know the rules and we know Ebay doesn't want regular sellers of this and that items they want huge businesses that sell the same things over and over and they are doing what ever they can to run off the small time sellers. But in the end it will be ebay who loses because dishonest businesses sooner or later fall ... Take a look at the economy and all the companies out of business why would ebay be any different.. it will all fall apart eventually ..sad that such a great idea had to become such a bad business adventure...Free shipping is as one poster above said all about money in Ebay & Paypal's pocket. Anf Forcing sellers to use it will also force sellers to stop selling on ebay because we can't afford to offer free shipping and make any profit at all no matter what we sell.
the reason ebay would do this is obviously because they know sellers would be forced to increase their starting prices if they have to eat the cost of shipping resulting in paying a higher listing fee to ebay. just because an item is light and inexpensive to ship does not mean it is no big deal to ship for free. most of my items cost $3 a piece to ship. multiply that by 300 items a month and that adds up.
There is an old saying "there is no free lunch" and the same is true with free shipping. There is no free shipping. The only way any eBay seller can offer free shipping is to raise prices to not only include the shipping but also the increased final value fees. If they do not do this they can kiss their business good-bye. Let's take something really simple like a book. Too many sellers offer books for less than $3 (most are $1). Shipping for a standard book is $2.53, if you do not use delivery confirmation. If you do, and you better, then shipping is $2.96. There is absolutely no way a seller can sell a book for less than $3 and not lose money with free shipping.

Let's talk about how the customer gets the short end. Most sellers offer combined shipping. That goes away with free shipping. As an example let's use a book again. Suppose the book is priced at $3 plus shipping of $4 (currently eBay's maximum). With free shipping that same book is now $7. eBay's final value fee is based on the $7 so it is now .84 rather than .36 (based on 12% commission rate). Suppose a buyer decides to buy 2 books. With free shipping the cost to the buyer is $14 and eBay's fee is 1.68. Without free shipping and a combined shipping policy that charges $1 for each additional book the buyer would pay $6 plus $5 shipping for a total of $11 thus saving $3. Of course eBay's FVF would only be .72.

In the world of criminal conduct the rule is to follow the money. In the case of free shipping the money goes to eBay and the cost is paid by the buyer and the seller. Only eBay benefits. Now in all fairness I want eBay to make money but I would prefer they do above the line and not hide price increases. Why not simply base the final value fee on the total transaction price like PayPal does.

Free shipping may work on high priced items that have a very low shipping cost but it will still be the seller who pays and in many cases the buyer will pay more.

Here is my final point in order to keep this brief. eBay seems to want to be more like Amazon, although I have no idea why, since eBay has absolutely nothing to sell other than services to sellers. Third party sellers on Amazon are a small part of Amazon's revenue but more importantly, Amazon's free shipping option does not apply with third party seller purchases.

eBay if you read this you need to come to your senses and stop pushing free shipping. Educate our buyers on why free shipping is not to their benefit. If you have sellers abusing shipping charges deal with them individually - but be sure they are abusing it and that it is not unique to their products.

If anything I have written is wrong I would love to hear from someone regarding this post.
I enjoyed selling on ebay for 7 years but gave up over a year ago due to their unreasonable policies. Being forced to offer free postage on certain items just confirms that I have done the right thing by moving over to selling on where lots of disgruntled ebayers are now moving to.
All my listings state that I am not responsible for loss or damage. I use pay pal multi order shipping to ship my items and that is my proof of shipping. To date after 6 years I have only had one claim and they had purchased insurance which when they contacted me I told them they would need to contact the U.S.P.S. to get reimbursed for the damaged items. This has worked for me. DJ
I stopped selling on eBay due to their fees. You have to appreciate that it is my item that I am selling, I am one plying my time puting a listing, taking photos, uploading, answering questions, packing, posting and queing up at the post office. So if eBay can't appreciate the hard work the sellers do and it keeps increasings its share fees, then I am sorry, but I can't be bothered with eBay.

And any money I received in my paypal account from selling, usually goes back into buying items on eBay....

When they offered free listing items below 99p it was a step in the right direction and it brought me back to eBay. Because I was selling items and I was on the site more often e.g. checking how the bidding was going and in turn I was also on the site bidding on items....

Now eBay are forcing people to offer Free Shipping, I have stopped listing items on eBay!

Forcing Free Shipping on an iPod is not an issue because you know it is will sell for a good price.

But what about other type of items?. Such as those that are 1-bid win items e.g. hard to find items, for which there are only a handful of buyers..... In a sense eBay is going a disservice to buyers who are looking for hard to find items, because people like me who have the odd hard to find items, will simply not bother to list!

So ebay will end up with listings of 'main stream' quick selling items...
All this is, is another ploy for Ebay to take more money from buyers. With making buyers offer free shipping it raises the final value in which Ebay gets to collect a % of.. To me it really makes E-bay look like a snake in the grass. I dont know about the UK, but i can see some lawsuits in the USA for charging a fee to use a United State Postal service. Id be one of the first to file!
I haven't sold on FEEPAY in about a year.
Still waiting for someone to comeout as the clear winner.
Ebay screwed their customers (the sellers) to the point where people have taken their business elsewere. All FEEPAY is interested in is keeping their share price up.
I can't remember EVER hearing of anyone getting real help from FEEPAY.
It is so sad to see someone run a good business into the ground at the expense of others. I think Ebay is owned by North Korea's Kim Jong Yu.
I want to sell again but am waiting until someone shows as the clear leader. One thing is for sure. It WON'T be Ebay. You can only milk a dead cow for so long before the milk goes sour.
Originally posted by Collectable dolls @ Groovycart:
I enjoyed selling on ebay for 7 years but gave up over a year ago due to their unreasonable policies. Being forced to offer free postage on certain items just confirms that I have done the right thing by moving over to selling on where lots of disgruntled ebayers are now moving to.

It might work for dolls but I can't remember seeing so many snide copies of designer-wear, this side of Bangkok

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