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Rip off eBay P&P charge

Posted on Thursday 15th August 2013

I wasn’t planning to write this article before cos I have already written something similar twice previously under my eBay account, but after a recent purchase on eBay, I just cannot help myself express the issue once more and further.

I bought 4 British coins from a seller called clare.d.manchester few days ago. The seller advertised each coin had a £1.79 P&P charge and within this charge the seller agreed to post the coin by recorded signed for delivery. This seller is like many other sellers who did not think or expect the same buyer would buy more than 1 item, so the seller did not offer an option for a combined P&P.

Anyway, the seller charged me £3.29 to post 4 coins together to one address by recorded signed for delivery. I received the post today and I was not happy for being ripped off on the P&P. The postage for these coins was £1.70. The coins were stuck on a piece of cardboard which came from a cereal box. Then the whole lot was put inside a plain DL envelope. After I opened the post and see how the coins were posted to me, I just thought ‘have I missed something here?’.

It doesn’t need a degree knowledge to discover I got ripped off by this seller here.

First of all, the seller advertised £1.79 P&P for a single coin. The coin itself weighs no more than 15g. So if I purchased one coin only from this seller, I would pay £1.79 towards to the P&P. The seller would have to pay £1.70 (1st class)/£1.60 (2nd class) for the postage, and this postage covers anything up to 100g. It works out the remaining 9p/19p would be the packing fee.

So now, I bought 4 coins and the total weight is less than 50g. I know it straight away the seller would need to pay exactly the same postage as for a single coin. In the same theory, I expected the seller would use the same packing for 4 coins as for a single coin. Basically the seller could have charged me £1.79 P&P for the 4 coins.

I didn’t argue or question the seller about the £3.29 P&P charge, cos I wanted to see how this seller posted the coins to me first. So now I see the coins were posted to me in a plain DL envelope, without a doubt, there is no way the packing that the seller did should cost me £1.59. And to this seller, this £1.59 is well enough to cover her eBay commission fee and PayPal fee. I really don’t think this is right at all!

Like it says on the tin, postage and packing should only be the postage (stamps or courier rate) and the packing (material protects the item for transiting). Some people argue the packing cost should also include the handling fee, transportation fee, etc.. But if that is the case, where can a seller stop charging the packing fee? Cos the seller can say they need to drive to a stationery shop especially to get some packing material, then drive back home to pack the item, and finally drive down to a post office which is 10 miles away. Should I be expected to pay £10 or £20 to cover the seller’s transportation fee?

If the seller thinks and believes there will be a £20 transportation fee, then they should add it to the cost of their item, but not the P&P!!! And further more, sellers know it well that eBay and PayPal don’t charge any fees on P&P, so it seems that it is another nice and easy way for sellers to make some extra profit on a sale. It is just wrong, wrong, wrong!

Going back to my recent purchase with these 4 coins, I have not raised the issue with the seller, cos I know I will not get any refunds on the P&P from the seller, but what I have done here is to leave the seller a very low rating on postage charge. Hopefully that should make some affects to her trading on eBay in the future.

How I see the whole thing is, I am not asking for a silly cost or a discount from my sellers on the P&P, but I also don’t like to get ripped off by my sellers on P&P too. The best thing to do is to charge (to sellers) and get charged (to buyers) exact or close to exact postage and packing cost. Then there is nothing to argue!