Shipping charges have always been a controversial topic for eBayers. Some eBayers have blatantly exploited the system to make money through shipping (on which they don’t have to pay fees to eBay), while selling the actual item at a very low cost, far below it’s true value.
Not only is this unfair to the buyer, but it essentially undermines the way eBay makes its money.
Of course, there are many eBayer’s who would support this sort of system – there have long been grumbles over the amount of money that eBay collects from sellers!
However, last month (June 2006), eBay decided to put a stop to overcharging on shipping once and for all by introducing a new Excessive Shipping Charges Policy.
Sellers must now charge reasonable shipping costs. Auctions or listings that don’t comply can, among other things, be cancelled, accounts can be suspended, and sellers can lose their powerseller status.
Rather dire consequences!>What makes this more controversial is that eBay will determine excessive shipping costs based on their own discretion and reporting from members. In other words, there is no fair system by which to judge a ‘reasonable’ shipping cost.
Already some sellers are complaining that their auctions have been pulled with what they believe are perfectly reasonable shipping costs.
It’s a complicated situation, especially for those selling items of a fragile nature that require a careful and time-consuming packing and a large amount of packing materials.
We’d be very interested to hear your opinion of this new policy – and whether it is affecting your ability to run a successful business on eBay .