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silly postage costs

(44 Posts)
pamplem0usse Wed 22-May-13 17:44:17

Received an item today I was charged £3.50 postage for. They sent it for a £0.69 stamp in a reused carrier bag they are claiming cost £1.25. They say they'll refund me £1 which I still think is daylight robbery.
I've pointed out this is against ebay policy but they won't budge.
Wwyd? I'm inclined to just decline and leave negative feedback.

LoganMummy Wed 22-May-13 17:46:51

But surely you already knew how much postage you were being charged and you were happy to pay it?

Ilovemyrabbits Wed 22-May-13 17:53:26

I've just sold a few things on ebay and didn't realise how much the costs had gone up by. We ate into the small amount of profit we made and in once case, I paid more in postage than I was paid for the item and the postage! It happens and it'll teach me to increase my prices, but I confess that high postage costs put me off. I try to figure what's a reasonable amount for the item I'm bidding on and if it seems high, I don't bid. OR I'll bid what I want to pay for the item in total. That way, they can rip me off, as long as I get my 'bargain'.

If you don't like the postal costs, don't bid. If the item cost 69p to post, you must have known that £3.50 was a high charge???

whosiwhatsit Wed 22-May-13 17:57:39

Bid on the total amount. Given the high fees ebay charge a lot of sellers will try to bump up their profits by adding a bit onto the postage fee. I don't really blame them but if they add on too much they'll eventually be banned by ebay for low star ratings. If you don't want the item for the selling price plus the postage, don't bid.

fergoose Wed 22-May-13 18:22:55

i would leave neg and low stars - a seller shouldn't profit on p&p - it is against the rules and is classed as fee avoidance.

You presume if you are charged £3.50 that is what postage will cost - the rubbish about if you don't like it don't bid is utter crap, you trust the seller to quote the actual cost, not rip you off, which is what your seller has clearly done.

whosiwhatsit Wed 22-May-13 18:27:44

What difference could it possibly make to you whether the money goes to the seller or the post office? You know the price when you bid. No need to be nasty and vindictive about it. Leave low stars if you want but a neg is complete overkill.

bemybebe Wed 22-May-13 18:29:54

Not to defend this particular seller - I have no idea how well and tidy the item was packed in this case, but... it costs me 0.50 just to park to go to the local post office, surely I can include this in postage costs.

fergoose Wed 22-May-13 18:35:04

a private seller is not allowed to charge for parking, petrol, time, etc though.

A seller pays final value fees on the item price, not on the p&p price, so a seller who sells an item for couple of pounds and then way overcharges on postage is avoiding fees, which is not allowed.

I agree that sellers should not overcharge for postage. I recently won an auction a swimsuit. I did not know how much it was going to post, the seller did. I thought it might be up to £3 if the fabric was dense, underwired cups etc, small parcel rate. seller sent it large letter rate 2nd class and charged me £4.50. Cost her under a pound to post. Now if the postage had actually cost £3 and she'd charged £4.50, I'd have thought that a bit cheeky but let it go. But postage under £1 and she charges £4.50? That's just a rip off and deserves appropriate feedback/stars.

And it was in an inside out carrier bag so not even any packaging charges.

When I sell, I weigh everything and state actual postage.

I agree that sellers should not overcharge for postage. I recently won an auction a swimsuit. I did not know how much it was going to post, the seller did. I thought it might be up to £3 if the fabric was dense, underwired cups etc, small parcel rate. seller sent it large letter rate 2nd class and charged me £4.50. Cost her under a pound to post. Now if the postage had actually cost £3 and she'd charged £4.50, I'd have thought that a bit cheeky but let it go. But postage under £1 and she charges £4.50? That's just a rip off and deserves appropriate feedback/stars.

And it was in an inside out carrier bag so not even any packaging charges.

When I sell, I weigh everything and state actual postage.

pamplem0usse Wed 22-May-13 18:45:53

Actually I find it very difficult to work out how much an item will cost with the new postage structure unless I have an item in front of me. I was a bit shocked about the blatent profiteering as she told me she included the tine taken to post an item in her costings.
I think it's dishonest to over charge by that much, especially after refusing to refund the excess.

You just put the item on your kitchen scales and open the royal mail website on the pricing info pages.

On the odd occasion that my scales are midway between one price band and the next, I charge the higher one but I refund the difference if the post office puts it in the lower band.

The charge is for postage. Anything else is just a deduction out of the selling price IMO.

bemybebe Wed 22-May-13 18:51:29

I know the seller is not allowed to charge for time, but is it true about the parking? I have never charged anyone over the stamp price, but I am interested. Any links to ebay terms you can post here please?

sarahtigh Thu 23-May-13 00:18:15

postage and packing is that cost of postage plus whichever of the following you use mail bag cardboard box bubble wrap polystyrene beads etc
my brief guide is that 30p extra would cover packing for any item of clothing

50p for any item needing small / medium box

70p for anything breakable in large box (over 30cm) ie needs bubble wrap and polystyrene beads etc

only large number of breakables ie a tea set would justify £2 due to quantity of bubble wrap etc

it can be difficult to judge whether something will slide through large letter slot at about £1 or whether will be a small parcel at £2.60 if you charge £3 expecting it to cost £2.60 and you manage to get if through large letter slot at 250g and it costs £ 1.10 you refund £1.50 via paypal when you get home with brief note " hi X a small refund for postage as managed to send as a letter not parcel regards Y"

as a private seller you can not charge for time/ petrol/ parking; a business seller can but is unlikely to as very few business sellers overcharge on postage

if you charge for petrol it makes your car a business vehicle which means you need business insurance etc

private sellers are presumed to be selling their own stuff and so dropping stuff at post office on school run shopping trip etc even if you are making a special trip and do nothing else but visit post office you can not charge for time as that makes it income (and therefore you are a business seller) which may be taxable and is certainly declarable

I check bid + postage price before i bid then include postage in my total price so stop when i've reached my max limit. I've bought 3 baby snowsuits this week and a lit flipping more dang ebay all 3.50/4 pound postage which is reasonable but saw a fair few at 6/7/8 pound and just didn't bid. I got all 3 snowsuits for around £6 each.

I'd be peed off at being ridiculously overcharged and 1.25 for a carrier bag is just confused

GemmaTeller Thu 23-May-13 09:24:23

I agree with everything sarahtigh says.

I also don't bid on any item charging a stupid amount for postage, even if price of the item + postage comes within my budget for that it item.

I just think it shows a really grabby attitude to charge double and triple the actual postage.

GemmaTeller Thu 23-May-13 09:24:45

** that item

Footface Thu 23-May-13 10:08:56

I think its really hard to judge postage, I estimated £6.50 the other day but was 100 grams heavier at the post office than my scales so cost me nearly double.

I can't pass this on, so now I'm going to increase the postage amount in the hope I don't end up out if pocket

Tryharder Thu 23-May-13 10:35:18

I agree. People are really taking the piss these days. I don't mind being charged £3.50 for something that will cost £2.60 to send as the 90p will cover their PayPal fees and the cost of the bag.

I just paid someone £3.99 for postage and it arrived in a tesco bag with a large letter stamp on. The item was OK and I can't be arsed to argue with her for a few quid but I left her one star for packaging and postage.

Tryharder Thu 23-May-13 10:36:43

Plus people are still insisting on using fucking Royal Mail for heavier items. Just bought a cost which cost £9 to post (which I paid). Why don't people use Collect Plus or Hermes?

EasterHoliday Thu 23-May-13 10:44:07

ah. Now I'm a rookie seller here, and I've been charging £3.50 to send recorded (registered? signed for at any rate) because that's what it costs just for the stamps. I would rather send recorded so that I can't get anyone mucking about saying they didn't receive something. Do you think it's better to send 2nd class not recorded and just go for cheapest postage?

Tryharder Thu 23-May-13 13:27:25

The official advice is to send recorded. I personally don't bother for cheaper items (I.e. most of my items). But obviously if you don't, you have to suck up the loss and refund if the buyer claims non receipt. In 4 years of selling, it's happened to me about 4 times.

If someone sends recorded I don't mind paying for that, as long as they are charging the rate for recorded postage and not banging an extra £3.50 on top.

I still use royal mail as the post office is a 10 min walk away, or I drive past it anywhere I go anywhere. I don't want to wait in for a collection and I don't want to leave my parcel at one of the 'pick up posts' at some corner shop across town.

WHen I'm buying I'd rather sellers used royal mail and I will pay the extra for a heavy item for it to just be taken back to the sorting office at the town centre 2 miles away with tons of free parking, and I can go and pick it up on a Saturday morning or up till 9 on a Wednesday evening. If you miss a courier its a FAFF having to ring those automated lines to get a new day for them to deliver and wait in, or drive 15 miles (yes 15 miles for the furthest yet and about 5 miles for the closest) to get to where they took the parcel back to.

Royal mail is not perfect, and sometimes not the cheapest, but for me its really really convenient.

Emilythornesbff Thu 23-May-13 18:08:12

I find it very confusing.
Just listed my first few items.
Are the eBay postage cost estimates any good?
I couldn't see an option for "recorded delivery" on the drop down list.
Is it called something else?

I offered free p&c and hope that the price covers my expenses.

Emilythornesbff Thu 23-May-13 18:08:43

P&P grin

sarahtigh Thu 23-May-13 18:08:59

if you choose to send recorded it must only be the £1.10 extra ebay expressly forbid adding any surcharge to insurance signed for so if your regular second class charge is £3 ( ie £2.60 for postage and 40p for packing ) your 2nd class signed for must be £4.10 you can not charge 4.20 to allow for extra fees

if you have a problem with postal staff saying it is not a small parcel when it is ( like another thread when some work said it must go through with space all round ) just say oh if its too big for small parcel i'll just take it home and send by courier there is no benefit to PO to charge medium parcel as they are paid per parcel, it just needs to go through slot without being forced

if selling clothes make sure you squeeze air out of bags so they are flat

sarahtigh Thu 23-May-13 18:11:08

it is called signed for or confirmed signature on delivery tracking insured upto £50

guaranteed is what used to be special delivery and is the only suitable service for coins notes tickets or vouches or more than £50 in value

Emilythornesbff Thu 23-May-13 18:13:29

Oh, thank you.

DiscoDonkey Thu 23-May-13 22:03:20

If you go on the Royal Mail website you can order a free sizing template so you can use it to see if your letters fit into the standard, large letter slot or small parcel slot. If you use that and weigh your items there's no reason to lose out on postage costs.

piprabbit Thu 23-May-13 22:10:33

I was especially impressed by the ebay seller who sent a laptop via Royal Mail wrapped in nothing but a black bin bag.
It was smashed in transit. The seller seemed surprised, but I reckon he was just a lazy bugger.

Order a template. Put item on kitchen scales. Go to royal mail website and see how much it will cost to post. I really can't understand why so many people find it hard to work out the postage.

bemybebe Mon 27-May-13 12:17:26

Sorry for a late follow up posting but still nobody linked to a ebay requirement that I must not include the cost of parking into my p&p charge. What I found though is this guideline to rating 'How reasonable were the postage and packaging charges?':

"Remember that sellers may charge for the cost of the actual packaging materials, along with a reasonable dispatch fee to cover the seller's time and direct costs associated with postage"

fergoose Mon 27-May-13 12:22:15

yes - they can if they are a business, but as Sarahtigh stated, not if they are a private seller.

bemybebe Mon 27-May-13 12:27:43

fergoose, but where is it stated?

sarahtigh Mon 27-May-13 16:33:00

if you charge for your time whether it is wrapping ebay parcels babysitting cardmaking dog walking it is income and therefore you will have to fill in a tax return even if it is only £100 a year all income is declarable unless declared by your employer under PAYE and as such maybe taxable

a private seller is deemed to be selling their own unwanted goods therefore their time has no cost not to wrap, post travel etc, so the only thing they can add is things that must of necessity be purchased ie new packing materials,

travel can not be claimed unless and even for a business the travel would have to be solely business related not part of a shopping trip/ doctors appointment school run etc

bemybebe your quote refers to businesses

bemybebe Mon 27-May-13 16:39:52

I am talking about parking charges and where does it say that my quote refers to businesses? I am not trying to be awkward, just not sure on what basis you think parking cost isn't allowed.

Charging for time/skill is income so have no problem with that.

bemybebe Mon 27-May-13 16:40:46

A link to a proper source would be very helpful.

sarahtigh Mon 27-May-13 16:52:18

it is perhaps more business/ HMRC rules any charge relating to a car whether petrol, ware and tear or parking makes your car use business rather than personal use and therefore you would have to insure it as a business use because normally insurance states personal social pleasure and travel to and from a place of work ( because even as a business you can't claim business mileage on your commute therefore it is not business mileage)

I tend to stick with what is the law rather than ebay policy, most of the time they agree but not always

ebay policies do not always make it quite plain what is their policy and what is the law especially regarding distance selling regulations they do not make it plain that they do not apply to any item sold in auction format whether the seller is a business or not; so legally if an auction the sellers terms apply

DSR only apply to BIN and second chance offers

bemybebe Tue 28-May-13 22:06:37

thank you very much sarahtigh, as I said I don't charge over the stamp price myself, but just wanted to clarify that it is not against the ebay rules to do so... which it looks like it is ok

sarahtigh Wed 29-May-13 09:31:15

while ebay can have rules and policies that go beyond the law ( like 14 day return when law is 7though that is changing but not until much later than ebay is changing)

it can not have policies that are not according to law so if HRMC says something is not allowable unless a business it is not allowable regardless of what ebay or anyone else says so although you do not charge anything other than stamp I would suggest that charging for petrol / parking is not permissable for private sellers

bemybebe Wed 29-May-13 10:59:46

is there a link to hmrc site then? do they really say that someone privately selling an item cannot charge for parking/bus ticket as part of the postage cost? hmm, they i should start listing things with decent reserve and not at 99p

bemybebe Wed 29-May-13 11:00:17

not "they" ... "then I should start..."

Gingefringe Mon 03-Jun-13 16:19:32

I generally send most items 2nd class recorded (£3.70 for small parcel) and charge postage of £3.95.
I have found recently that some sellers seem to be bumping up their prices because of the RM increases (ie charging for small parcels when the item is posted as a large letter as happened to the OP)
When you bid for an item you've really no idea how it's going to be packaged and assume that the seller isn't making a massive profit on the postage.
OP should leave low stars in feedback but leave a positive with a comment such as 'nice item but postage rather excessive' or such like - this is what I normally do.

sarahtigh Tue 04-Jun-13 19:29:25

if not a business an expense according to HMRC has to be exclusively necessarily and only for that purpose, ( and some other things too) ie it is impossible to use for something else as you could easily use you parking ticket/ bus fare/petrol to accomplish other things in same journey it is not claimable

in fact a business can only claim petrol/ parking if it is entirely business ( ie not dropped off on way to or from work however they can charge for their time

other examples are you are expected to wear white shirt and black trousers for work not claimable as not an item which could be determined as exclusively for that purpose while a t shirt emblazoned with company name could

so because parking bus tickets etc would not be deemed exclusive tey can not be claimed it is part of everyday life just like if you had to make special trip because you forgot to get milk, selling your unwanted stuff is considered an everyday activity like shopping, medical appointments etc

a padded envelope could be seen as exclusively and necessary for that parcel whenever it is posted or if it is picked up from door by courier or you take it in your car, your trip to post office may be only to post the parcel but you can not necessarily say that as it would be assumed you would post on your way to do shopping collect your pension school run etc

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