handling charge completely wrong
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Post Posted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 3:18 am 
 

ciao folks, i'm here back with a new problem with an ebay reseller well known...
as usual, for the time being, i wont disclose his name...
this is the story (shortly): i bought an item, a very very d&d light item (even lighter than the adventure modules!) and he sent me an invoice as usual... i paid without any problem... when i got the item, i checked, as usual, the postal charge with the S&H fee and i found out that he applied 6 USD as handling fee... the problem is that he used as material a normal yellow paper envelope and an used global priority cardboard bag (inside the envelope)... this got me angry and i wrote him in oder to have confirmation that it was the correct handling fee...
(ah, in the auction description, it is stated that domestic handling fee are 2 USD while overseas handling fees may be 3-6 USD without any further explanation)
to get it short: he replied me that the charge was correct because my country has the highest rate due to the hassles they have to face in shipping to italy!!! nothing else than this... the size, the weight, the packing materials, nothing, nothing, nothing... only the country of destination!
i wrote him back telling that i had no problems in leaving him a negativa feedback for this... he offered me 2 USD of refund (wow, with paypal charges, better not to receive them...)
the point is, beyond any concrete financial matter, that i'm in doubt whether to leave a neg.feedback regardless the proposal or not: i feel that this is a question of principle! if i get my 2 bucks back in my pocket, this wont change the fact that he'll apply in the future again this method... maybe someone will read my neg.feedback and he'll loose customers if behaving in this way...

what is your suggestion: to give him a neg.fb or to cash in my 2 bucks and leaving others being fcked  by him repeatedly????


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Post Posted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 4:54 am 
 

If he refunds you two dollars on your paypal payment, there will be no fee involved for you.  

He did say international handling fees of $3 - $6.  Of course, he charged you the highest amount, but he is refunding you $2.  He is holding up his end of the bargain (though it sounds like he didn't pack your items protectively).

Italy is slightly more difficult to ship to than other countries as Global Priority can't be used, therefore a seller needs to provide their own envelope.  Others have complained that the Italian postal system is unreliable, but I have NEVER had a problem with shipping to Italy (and I have sold more items to Italy than any other country besides the U.S.)

Aia, it boils down to this:  If you wanted an exact shipping quote, you should have emailed the seller.  If he says up to $6, then don't be surprised when it is $6 (and he is going to refund you a couple of dollars as well).  Perhaps you may want to leave him a NEG for not protecting the module with good packaging . . . though if it didn't incur damage because of this, then maybe not.


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Post Posted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 10:13 am 
 

Beyondthebreach wrote:If he refunds you two dollars on your paypal payment, there will be no fee involved for you.  

He did say international handling fees of $3 - $6.  Of course, he charged you the highest amount, but he is refunding you $2.  He is holding up his end of the bargain (though it sounds like he didn't pack your items protectively).

Italy is slightly more difficult to ship to than other countries as Global Priority can't be used, therefore a seller needs to provide their own envelope.  Others have complained that the Italian postal system is unreliable, but I have NEVER had a problem with shipping to Italy (and I have sold more items to Italy than any other country besides the U.S.)

Aia, it boils down to this:  If you wanted an exact shipping quote, you should have emailed the seller.  If he says up to $6, then don't be surprised when it is $6 (and he is going to refund you a couple of dollars as well).  Perhaps you may want to leave him a NEG for not protecting the module with good packaging . . . though if it didn't incur damage because of this, then maybe not.


I agree with BTB....I've fallen into the same trap, not asking exactly what shipping was and being unpleasantly surprised.  However, can't believe the guy didn't plunk down the $1 for the nice padded envelope and backing that would have more ably protected your item.  I never use those paper envelopes for anything, they are worthless...especially overseas.  But he did give you a partial refund which is better than most would have done.

Mike B.


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Post Posted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 12:03 pm 
 

The term, "handling fee" should be understood as meaning:

"I am making money off of shipping."

The listing of a "handling fee," separate from the shipping cost, should be good reason to think twice before you buy from that seller.  A "range" of handling costs should set off alarm bells in your head.

If a seller is trying to squeeze money out of me with a "handling fee," then what else is he going to do to get my money?

When a seller lists a "handling fee" you should always assume that the seller is trying to make money off of shipping and/or wants to find ways to get around both Ebay and the buyer's common sense.  

If a seller lists a possible range of prices you should always assume that you will pay the highest price.

If the seller does not post shipping rates, then you should always ask for a direct quote before bidding.

You should be wary of any seller who does not list shipping and you should absolutely refuse to deal with any seller who will not give a firm shipping quote...including a "handling fee."  

This is exactly why I have never bought anything from cougarrinard, who will not quote shipping prior to a sale.

My advice is to take your $2, leave the seller the most positive, glowing  feedback you've ever left and then consider the whole incident a learning experience.

Mark   8)


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Post Posted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 12:25 pm 
 

Remember . . . ripping people off with handling charges has been the way of things loooong before eBay came around.  All those crap pieces of multi-function kitchen gadgets usually have high shipping costs . . . everything does!  

Music collections, "Sounds of the 70's, Time-Life books, you name it!

 Money back guarantee!  (However, if you read the fine print, S&H is NOT refundable).

Back in the early 80's my Dad would mail order baseball cards all the time.  S&H rip offs were to be expected.  Hell, you even had to list 2nd and 3rd alternates in case what you wanted wasn't in stock!  You send the check for some item you see listed by name only and hope if arrives as promised (but maybe all Twenty items you wanted weren't on hand and you get the "alternates" instead. )

No buyer protection, no buyer recourse.  Maybe the seller would work with you, but your only defense was to only let him rip you off the one time!  Same with all those mail order comics . . .

If anything, things are a lot better these days then they used to be.  Most large companies have reasonable or discounted or free shipping since online business has become so commonplace.


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Post Posted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 12:57 pm 
 

I might not be in the majority, but I dont mind if the seller makes a couple bucks off of shipping, especially in an open bid forum where the item could get sniped for cheap.  I do however find it very distasteful when a shipper tries to hide the shipping fee.


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Post Posted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 2:20 pm 
 

MadMaligor wrote:I dont mind if the seller makes a couple bucks off of shipping, especially in an open bid forum where the item could get sniped for cheap.

I do!

If you want a specific price for an item, set a minimum bid, or a reserve bid, or make it a BIN only listing.   :evil:

Auctions do not favor the buyer, on average.  Most items of any real worth are bid sky high in the process.  Taking away the possibility of scoring something cheap, by allowing sellers to recover their prices on shipping/handling, defeats the purpose of holding an auction entirely.  That's as shady as it gets!

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Post Posted: Sat Dec 30, 2006 2:38 am 
 

deimos3428 wrote:Auctions do not favor the buyer, on average...


my feeling (and i'm not the only one, i can grant you!) is that the buyer is in the weaker position during the purchase, ever ever ever!
but in this case, we're at a strenght arm position for the seller has already lef this FB! (and this should always happens!)

but coming back to the specific case: maybe you misunderstood me...

referring to what paul wrote: even if i had asked the exact quote, how could i know what part of it is pure postal charge and what is fat for the seller? i dont know what kind of package is going to be used... i dont know what is the weight of the package...

based on my experience the best way to deal with is to mark for every auction the S&H cost and compare it with the plain value of the envelope once it has arrived... then you'll be able to get the REAL handling fee...

but what is wrong in this situation? well, the handling fee should be a cost that the seller is running to PREPARE the package, nothing else! in my case i had nothing more that a plain yellow paper envelope (it wasnt padded!!!) and a recycled global priority cardboard...

the question is: IS IT A ETHIC BEHAVIOUR, WHAT THE SELLER DID? is it fair asking money simply because you live in italy? why should the handling fee be affected by my address? what kind of hussles could you have in addition if compared to a domestic shipping or an UK delivery? ...well, afaik, you'd prepare the SAME envelope, go to the SAME post office, talk to the SAME clerk, pay with the SAME currency... wtf?!?! why should i pay more, at the end???

and, yes! the more time is passing the highest convinction i have to leave him a negative FB!


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Post Posted: Sun Dec 31, 2006 5:06 am 
 

Both eBay and PayPal are heavily biassed in favour of the buyer. They also favour US citizens over foriegners, offering US buyers and sellers extra priviliges and protection against forigners.

If you ask anyone on this board who makes their living as an honest eBay trader who is in the most vulnerable position on eBay, they will tell you that the seller is.

It is natural for everyone to think they are worst off, but until you've been at the receiving end of most different types of disputes, you can't really be objective.

I would say on the whole that the seller believed he was being honest and dutiful because he left feedback without waiting to find out if you were satisfied. As regards a £3 handling fee, I would say that if he declared the cost of shipping prior to you placing your bid then it is fair, and if he did not declair shipping at all, he is duty bound to be 'reasonable' about such expenses.

$6 is a sum of money most people don't really care about in online trade. Put it down to experience and move on. I've been buying on eBay for four years or more. The exageration of shipping by $6 is very common among people who do not ship internationally every week. If you live outside of the USA you need to learn to accept this. Foreign trade is a very minor part of a lot of US sellers businesses and something they take a guess at. It's the only economical choice.

You are buying a US product from a US seller using a US agent and a US bank. Don't you think it's worth paying the extra $6 to ensure you get the same service a US buyer would get? I do.


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Post Posted: Sun Dec 31, 2006 5:25 am 
 

Also, Aia, it seems that much of your anger stems from the fact that you feel he is discriminating against Italy.  As I mentioned, Italy is more difficult to ship to than other European countries.  For most of Europe, you can use FREE Global Priority supplies (boxes and envelopes), but for Italy you have to supply you own.

As Italy doesn't accept Global Priority, there is no flat rate envelopes, thus a seller has to calculate based on weight.  Several times, an auction is purchased from me by an Italian buyer and they pay right away.  Ebay can not distinguish Italy from the rest of "Worldwide" and the Italian seller uses the default Global Priority Rate.  However, if it is a hardcover manual that weighs a lot more than a module, I am out $3.00 in shipping fees!  Usually, I just cover it as it's too much bother for me to go back to the buyer and ask for another $3.00 to be sent.

In fact, I remember a fews months ago, I sent a shipping quote to you - however, your question must have come in from ebay Germany as that was the country tagged to the question.  I gave the Global Flat rate cost to ship, but when it turned out you were in Italy, it cost me another $2.50 to mail it to you.

Anyway, these are minor and inconsequential issues to me.  As I say - Italy has been great for my business over the years and I'm about as easy-going a seller as you'll find.  However, some sellers may feel Italy is be a bit more trouble to mail to.


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Post Posted: Sun Dec 31, 2006 11:17 am 
 

Don't forget about the exchange rate--don't think it has been favorable to US$ much lately . . .  8O  8O  :!:  :arrow:  
Might be another reason U.S. sellers may charge more for international shipping--GBP 3.00 may be too much to cover international shipping by calling it a "handling charge"--but when the exchange rate can move by as much as +/- US$0.25-0.30=GBP 1.00** (as an example) in the time between an auction ending, payment received, package mailed off, and the package arriving overseas at the foreign post office, one may NOT want to have to deal with them sending your package back for insufficient postage!

**(Oops--I meant to say "+/- US$0.25-0.30 versus GBP 1.00")

  


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Post Posted: Sun Dec 31, 2006 11:39 am 
 

Aia, thought about it a little bit and I agree with posts above in general. I think you should not leave neg.

Hey you Italians had the Olympics anyway, a memorable one with Pavarotti & Bocelli, and Italy winning one of my favorite winter events the 50k cross country.
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Post Posted: Sun Dec 31, 2006 3:37 pm 
 

I wouldn't leave a negative or a neutral if someone overcharged me by $6. That's going too far. I might be cautious about buying from him again and I might send an e-mail saying 'you chargem me X for handling', but getting into a disagreement for $6 is just not worth it. $6 is what? 15-20mins pay? I leave more than that as a tip at a retaurant. It's just going too far.

If you trade with someone and you feel you've lost out you should do the following...

1. Confront him directly via eBay and/or private e-mail. Be specific about your gievance and ask him to explain things from his point of view. Propose a solution that would leave you satisfied.

2. If you get no response, or you feel he is being unreasonable in maintaining his position, offer up his name and a description of events in the Shady Dealers section. This annonymous whinging is a waste of time. If you out someone in open forum in the appropriate thread (as opposed to starting a new one each time your purchase goes bad) then it gives the person an insentive to aire their opinion in public and hear the views of the group. That's what the community is for.

3. If you still get no satisfaction ask yourself "How much time am I willing to spend trying to recover my funds?", and then begin proceedings through PayPal or your Credit Card. For $6 IMHO you should just call it a loss and move on, but that's just me. I realise that $6 is a lot of money to some folks, but then they shouldn't be shopping for D&D if they were that hard up.

Finally, if they are one of the many known Shady deallers, coming online and cribbing about them is a waste of everyone's time. We all know the major dealers that screw people on shipping and exagerate the condition of their books. We've all had those discussions before and it would move things along much faster if you just said 'Mr X this', and we could say 'Yeah, read this thread here'.


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Post Posted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 4:13 pm 
 

When a seller lists a "handling fee" you should always assume that the seller is trying to make money off of shipping and/or wants to find ways to get around both Ebay and the buyer's common sense.  


I'm not sure this makes any sense. Let me explain:

If you value a book at 10$ (ie. your maximum willingness to pay), and shipping in $4, then you ought to bid up to $6 to get the book.

If the seller charges $2 for S/H on top of that, then you ought to bid up to $4 for the book.

To think that buyers don't incorporate the full cost when making a bid/purchase of a product is competely disingenuous.

  

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Post Posted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 4:29 pm 
 

The problem with this in most cases is that some charging a large handling fee does not disclose that fact.  So when you ask for a shipping quote you do not know how much is handling and how much is shipping.

If all of this is disclosed and the handling fee is high then chances are I would not even bid on the auction.  Sellers who charge a large handling fee do so to cover their costs of listing on Ebay and to cover any paypal charges, time to scan images and write the listing, etc.  These costs are not postage handling fees and should be priced into the auction starting price.

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Post Posted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 7:08 pm 
 

These costs are not postage handling fees and should [not] be priced into the auction starting price.


This is an interesting point. However, if this occurred at all, and suppose God then decided this could no longer be done, what would happen to the number of items on eBay? What would happen to the prices?

Supply of goods would go down, prices would go up. Are buyers better off?

  


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Post Posted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 7:16 pm 
 

Sea-to-sky-games wrote:
This is an interesting point. However, if this occurred at all, and suppose God then decided this could no longer be done, what would happen to the number of items on eBay? What would happen to the prices?

Supply of goods would go down, prices would go up. Are buyers better off?


I am not exactly sure what God has to with handling fees?  Are you here just to troll this forum or something? Remind me never to buy from you as I am pretty sure that you will do everything in your power to screw out my eyeballs along the way while doing it.

  


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Post Posted: Sat Jan 06, 2007 9:58 pm 
 

Sea-to-sky-games wrote:suppose [Waukeen]* then decided this could no longer be done, what would happen to the number of items on eBay? What would happen to the prices?

Supply of goods would go down, prices would go up. Are buyers better off?
Even if that economic theory applied so simply, the answer to your question is "yes".  They would be far better off.  Here's why:

Buyers would know up front the exact cost of an item.  The seller could not take advantage of the appearance of low up front pricing.  Therefore, auctions would not lure as many bidders -- many of whom are overenthusiastic.  BIN prices wouldn't be hit quite so enthusiastically, either.  Waukeen* would be favoring the buyer, indeed!

That being said, sellers would be better off, as well.  Customers that suffer sticker shock tend not to be repeat customers, if they have other options.

Furthermore, if sellers decided to quit eBay, they'd have to dump their stock locally for whatever they can get, or hold onto it for a rainy day and incur storage fees.  They don't want to throw it out if they can help it -- that's an outright loss.  The local buyers will eventually resell it, and most of it will go back onto eBay.  So the market won't decline quite as rapidly as you've portrayed it.

*The names of the deities may have been changed to protect the innocent.

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Post Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2007 3:40 pm 
 

That being said, sellers would be better off, as well.  Customers that suffer sticker shock tend not to be repeat customers, if they have other options.

Furthermore, if sellers decided to quit eBay, they'd have to dump their stock locally for whatever they can get, or hold onto it for a rainy day and incur storage fees.  They don't want to throw it out if they can help it -- that's an outright loss.  The local buyers will eventually resell it, and most of it will go back onto eBay.  So the market won't decline quite as rapidly as you've portrayed it.


Frankly this all makes sense, but completely misses what I was trying to show.

On the margin, if it doesn't become profitable to sell something online, then online sellers don't purchase it in the first place. While that does mean that a local buyer may be better off if he is lucky to find it himself, surely online buyers are worse off because that is one less item they can bid for. On net, buyers are not better off. Once marginal online sellers have left the market, the remainder would be better off because they would score a heck of a lot more for their products.

Either way, I fail to see why firms should not include other costs into their handling fees. If buyers don't like this, or suspect this is a general practice, they have the option of not buying from them.

  


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Post Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2007 3:45 pm 
 

Buyers would know up front the exact cost of an item.  The seller could not take advantage of the appearance of low up front pricing.  Therefore, auctions would not lure as many bidders -- many of whom are overenthusiastic.  BIN prices wouldn't be hit quite so enthusiastically, either.


When the opening price is $10, and the s/h is $5, then the exact cost of an item is $15. I think people that can't perform basic arithmetic should probably return to pre-school before they start bidding on things online. And even the mathematical illiterate would gradually pick up on things: "hey, i bid $10 and paid $15 to get it.. how did that happen?"

I'm not talking about people who slap fees on a sale afterwards with no warning (and I don't see the big deal, after all the buyer would be within his rights to then retract his commitment to buy), but the common practice of posting s/h on items.


Last edited by Sea-to-sky-games on Mon Jan 08, 2007 3:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  
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