eBay cans free P&P requirement
Pleases some, infuriates others
eBay is canning the requirement for sellers to offer free postage and packing on certain items, after a long-running campaign by sellers.
Back in the day the oldest eBay scam was charging exorbitant rates for P&P. Last year eBay took action against this by introducing mandatory free shipping for some items.
But from 8 February this requirement will disappear - instead eBay is setting a maximum postage price for different categories. As is normal whenever eBay tweaks its T&Cs, this has pleased some sellers and outraged others.
Many forum posters are congratulating themselves on forcing a change out of eBay.
The current list of categories with maximum P&P charges is here.
Sellers cannot charge more than £2.75 for P&P, vintage mobile phones cannot cost more than £7 in P&P.
From March this will be extended to include clothes and shoes. ®
Charging excessive P&P was only scamming ebay, not the customer.
Surely nobody was so dumb as to fail to notice a £10 P&P charge on, say, a £1 USB stick and think they were getting it for a quid? However that £10 wasn't subject to ebay fees so it was just another way of sellers avoiding paying ebay fees. Obviously ebay didn't like this, and that's fair enough. If an item's retail value is, say, £10 and would cost £1 to post some sellers were putting the item up at £1 and charging £10 P&P. Most buyers were happy with this arrangement and were therefore complicit in this avoidance of fees.
I don't think, however, that imposing free P&P was fair. Ebay had in effect discovered a way of charging fees on P&P which isn't part of the deal that most sellers signed up for.
An upper limit on P&P seems a fair compromise. So (for once) fair play to both sides for coming to an arrangement that seems to satisfy the majority - because you're never going to satisfy everybody.
I hardly buy from ebay these days except for used stuff. While the asking price often looks cheap it will often come with a fairly hefty P&P charge that makes it more expensive than many of the big shops that don't charge P&P.
Although I'm happy to see the draconian Free P&P lifted, one scam with the exorbitant P&P was the fact that if you bought something that, for instance wasn't as described, the refund didn't include the P&P.
So for instance, if you bought a USB stick for £11 (£1 + £10 P&P) you would only get refunded £1 if the item wasn't as described etc. etc.
I don't get what the fuss is all about....
I list ALL my listings with P&P included. That way, the buyer knows exactly what he is going to pay, no messing about. Do I pay a fraction more in listing fees? I suppose so - but it's trivial compared to what I believe I've gained (especially on expensive items) where people have told me that they tend to bid on my item rather than another one because they know what they are paying.