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Post Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 5:09 pm 
 

Sea-to-sky-games wrote:The point here is that eBay's policy has nothing to do with protecting buyers. It has to do with maximizing profit.

eBay tries to put in harsh wording so that the expense of the buyer will be borne primarily through the bid price (where they get their money) and not through shipping fees (which they can't get their hands on).
But everyone knows it is impossible to determine whether are not these "added" fees somehow worked into the s/h are not reasonable.

In any event, the final cost of the good doesn't change, so buyers are indifferent. If s/h are low, then the bid price goes higher. If the s/h are high, the bid price goes lower. It's basic supply and demand.


Yes, they do get their hands on the shipping fees, with Paypal and the final selling price, not once but twice! Once, when you sell it and again when a buyer pays you. Which, by the way, makes eBay in violation of their own policy, reguardless if its one of their 'other' companies that they 'claim' they do not directly control.


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Post Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 5:25 pm 
 

I never suggested they could.  Try to pay attention, please.  You're missing some really high-quality stuff.  

I said that sellers aren't permitted to take undue advantage of buyers.  You certainly can and should charge reasonable shipping and handling fees.  Reasonable.  It's not an entirely subjective term, as you've implied.

We all know there is a distinction between the reasonable and the outrageous.  We don't agree on precisely where that line is drawn, but we all agree within about an order of magnitude.  A $100 s/h fee on a single module is outrageous.  A $10 one might be reasonable.  A $1 one is generous.  Therefore, a $100 s/h fee is taking undue advantage, whether explicitly stated in the auction or not.


I never disagreed with this. I apologize if I misconstrued your argument. However, it is hard to imagine that the general impression on this thread is not that sellers should be responsible for buyer mistakes (as indicated in a host of other posts).. hence my comment.

  


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Post Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 5:26 pm 
 

Yes, they do get their hands on the shipping fees, with Paypal and the final selling price, not once but twice! Once, when you sell it and again when a buyer pays you. Which, by the way, makes eBay in violation of their own policy, reguardless if its one of their 'other' companies that they 'claim' they do not directly control.


Word.

  


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Post Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 5:30 pm 
 

Clarkie seems to be summing it up well . . . in the REAL World sellers are frequently accountable for buyer mistakes.  If someone buys the wrong size outfit, tries it on, returns it to the store and asks for a refund . . . the store takes a loss.  Maybe they can restock it again and sell it for the same price . . . odds are not.  Plus they have to staff a person(s) to take returns and all sorts of other paperwork, expenses involved with it.


This accountability is voluntary.. and they do so to increase profits and stay competitive with other firms. [Yes they take occassional losses, but overall they make tons more by having a strong reputation as being easy on costumers].

There is certainly no law that states seller need to refund someone for buying something that doesn't fit et al.

You do see online sellers be accountable for mistakes ("oh, this item was in far worse shape than I thought").. but again, it is voluntary. It is not that they must, but in some cases it makes good business sense to do so.

I don't know any firm in the world (by my limited knowledge) that would refund the cost of buying something because they forgot to factor in the shipping and handling charge.

  


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Post Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 5:57 pm 
 

Sea-to-sky-games wrote:This accountability is voluntary.. and they do so to increase profits and stay competitive with other firms.

Well, sure.  By "seller" one usually means someone still in business, not someone that used to be in business but who had such horrible customer service that they went bankrupt.  ;)

Sea-to-sky-games wrote:I don't know any firm in the world (by my limited knowledge) that would refund the cost of buying something because they forgot to factor in the shipping and handling charge.

Nortel.  IBM.  Samsung.  Dell.  (Just naming firms I see on my desk, actually.)  Any sufficiently large and reputable firm has an "If you're not completely satisfied for any reason..." guarantee.  As well, most firms this large will invoice.  There's no refunding involved at all on such returns.

Smaller firms don't have the luxury of being so accomodating.  But the customer is always right -- even if they are stupid.  You shake your head, negotiate and come to an agreement, or you lose the sale and quite possibly the customer.

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Post Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 6:10 pm 
 

deimos3428 wrote:Nortel.  IBM.  Samsung.  Dell.  (Just naming firms I see on my desk, actually.)  Any sufficiently large and reputable firm has an "If you're not completely satisfied for any reason..." guarantee.  As well, most firms this large will invoice.  There's no refunding involved at all on such returns.

Smaller firms don't have the luxury of being so accomodating.  But the customer is always right -- even if they are stupid.  You shake your head, negotiate and come to an agreement, or you lose the sale and quite possibly the customer.


Heh, some real world applications coming into this theory driven conversation,  imagine that. :o

Just to add something else on to this "conversation" is the fact that although we do live in a capitalist based society and governement, we do not live under a system of pure capitalism, in case our new postered hasn't discovered this yet.  Therefore, all those pure capitalist theories that continually keep getting cited as reality suddenly come into question for those exact same reasons....


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Post Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 6:13 pm 
 

I think the biggest problem that you have with trying to prove this statement is to show that most buyers are intelligent enough to really take this into account for each auction they bid on.  If you are trying to say that every buyer will go and do comparative shopping on Ebay to find the actual cost of shipping for each particular item they are interested in and then determine what a going rate for that item is and finally bid accordingly based on these two numbers - then I think you are crazy!
This idealism really sounds like someone who has taken a couple of economics courses and learned to use a spreadsheet.  No offence but in the real world textbook models such as this just don't work.


I think I was only talking about were trends. The price will trend upward, when s/h are lowered. Will it be $1 for $1. Probably not.. least not immediately.

But over time, it seems people must take into account the added expenses they are incurring.. Otherwise they'd be figuring where they lost $4 or 5 from their wallet everyday.

And moreover, the seller isn't responsible either way. The buyer makes mistakes all the time -- and vice versa.. as I've attempted to show. If sellers wish to be responsible, fine. But the sentiment here is that they must be accountable.

Also why does everyone persist in calling me a newbie or just book smart? I have sold many thousands of dollars of goods on eBay -- in this very hobby -- over many years. I don't think you need a straw man to make an argument.

When you go into a store and buy something, do you expect to be charged extra fees such a couple of bucks to pay the cashier to take your money or the janitor to clean up the mess your shoes brought in, or for having someone help you?  How many times have you even left a tip for  these service people?  My guess would be NONE!  What I don't understand in your argument is why do you feel types of fees are legitimate in an Ebay auction?  They are clearly not fees related to shipping.


Actually this very thing occurs! When goods get stolen from a store, they raise their prices. When janitor expenses (cleaning) goes up, they raise their prices. This happens whenever costs are borne by the seller.. they always find ways to impose it on the buyer.

Now, this is not entirely analogous to eBay. For one, its auction based and expenses are graduated for insertion fees etc. Secondly, there is a 3rd party involved. Those "added s/h fees" -- for the sellers that use them -- are almost always meant to get around eBay policy. Thus in most cases, the end result is that buyers don't pay anything more than they did, but eBay picks up the tab.

Again, my only point was to the one poster who argued this practice should be banned. My response is that, if it could be (magically or by God), then buyers would not be affected.

  


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Post Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 6:16 pm 
 

Nortel.  IBM.  Samsung.  Dell.  (Just naming firms I see on my desk, actually.)  Any sufficiently large and reputable firm has an "If you're not completely satisfied for any reason..." guarantee.  As well, most firms this large will invoice.  There's no refunding involved at all on such returns.

Smaller firms don't have the luxury of being so accomodating.  But the customer is always right -- even if they are stupid.  You shake your head, negotiate and come to an agreement, or you lose the sale and quite possibly the customer.


Absolutely. I wasn't referring to "satisfaction or your money back" policies.. which of course can apply to anything.

But specific to the question at hand -- overlooking s/h costs -- you might find a couple mega sellers being able to do this, the vast majority would not. Hence my comment.

  


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Post Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 6:19 pm 
 

Just to add something else on to this "conversation" is the fact that although we do live in a capitalist based society and governement, we do not live under a system of pure capitalism, in case our new postered hasn't discovered this yet.  Therefore, all those pure capitalist theories that continually keep getting cited as reality suddenly come into question for those exact same reasons....


When the Soviet Union existed, the fundamental law of demand applied. Price goes up, people buy less. If price is kept artificially low (or free), lineups and shortages occur.

I respectfully think you are conflating economic systems with economic theory. The latter, I'd argue, is a fairly decent way (not the only way) to understand human behavior.. regardless of environment.

  

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Post Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 6:21 pm 
 

Sea-to-sky-games wrote:
This accountability is voluntary.. and they do so to increase profits and stay competitive with other firms. [Yes they take occassional losses, but overall they make tons more by having a strong reputation as being easy on costumers].

There is certainly no law that states seller need to refund someone for buying something that doesn't fit et al.

You do see online sellers be accountable for mistakes ("oh, this item was in far worse shape than I thought").. but again, it is voluntary. It is not that they must, but in some cases it makes good business sense to do so.

I don't know any firm in the world (by my limited knowledge) that would refund the cost of buying something because they forgot to factor in the shipping and handling charge.


As a buyer, I'm more intelligent than most I guess....I ALWAYS figure in the shipping/handling charges into my bidding.  STS is right....the lower the shipping/handling fees, the higher I will bid.  Conversely, the less money the seller will make!  Because a lot of scumbags count on buyer ignorance to jack up shipping.
  I'm on the fence about this.  I know when I'm a BUYER I pay close attention, yet when I'm a SELLER I know some buyers of my items have little clue and sometimes pay little attention to my very exact pricing structure.  For example, it very explicitly states the shipping price per item on every single item in my store.....yet I still get buyers that complain "Hey, you are charging $5 shipping, a priority envelope is only $4.05, I know I already bought the item and entered into a contract with you, but how about if I just send $4.05 shipping instead?"    Well, ok, they don't complain in exactly those words, butyou get the picture.  Honestly, I would rather not even make the sale than have people like this buy my items.  
  When the shipping/handling charges are EXPLICITLY STATED in the description I have little sympathy for any buyer, from the greenest newbie to the most grizzled of veteran ebayers.  When you go to a restaurant, and the prices are written in bold type on the menu, you do NOT get to haggle with the waiter/owner over the price because of the reason "I didn't really read the menu, I just wanted to eat the lobster because the picture was pretty and I was hungry."  The buyer MUST bear a large measure of responsibility....unfortunately, as a nation (the US) we are turning into a bunch of "Hey, no one is responsible, it's nobody's fault, everyone is a winner, etc" weinies.  This is why children are growing up today totally divorced from their bad decisions (driving drunk, blowing off school, etc) and grow up to be irresponsible, idiotic adults who feel they are not to blame for anything and should never be punished.  If an ADULT can't be held accountable to read a FRIKKEN DESCRIPTION before they buy something, I wish them all the misery they can handle.    Look, when I was younger, you screwed up, you accepted the consequences.  Sure I made some stupid bids on overpriced crap when I first got on Ebay....guess what, I paid for the stuff and learned my lesson, and moved on.  As a seller, I have done my job of supplying the buyer with all the information they need to complete a sale at my ebay store; if they can't do THEIR job and read a few paragraphs, I have no sympathy.
  Ok, just to blow your minds, I'm going to reverse field:  As a seller, there is also a responsibility to not cheat the buyer's expectaions, to make a newbies first few buys as painless and as enjoyable a situation as possible.  Why?  Because newbies don't always pay attention. Also, they can become good, loyal customers if you let them.  There have been many times when someone has goofed up when buying from me, I've eaten the difference on many a shipping mistake or taken a return from someone who inadvertandly bought the wrong item. Just recently, a buyer from Australia misunderstood the shipping on a set of books, and only paypal'd me half the money.....it was TWICE what they thought.  They were mad at themselves (nice at least they didn't blame me!!!) and we worked it out, I ended up forgoing any fees or further payment and shipped at flat cost (and lost a few bucks) to make the experience more enjoyable for the buyer so their first experience on Ebay wouldn't be a kick in the chops and a neg.
 I've worked retail.  The adage "The customer is always right" is horseshit.  You realize that when the day after Christmas at the music store groups of people walk in clutching garbage bags full of dozens of HEAVILY used cds saying they just got them the day before and want their money back or THEY'RE GOING TO CALL THE COMPANY AND GET YOU FIRED!!! (yawn).  On the other hand, I would do everything to the limits of my authority to help out music buyers who were truly needing help, clueless, or at least appeared to be very interested in music and had made a mistake.  The same goes for my business now.  The quickest way to get a block, neg and a kick in the nads is to bow up to me and act bad ass. That's why I work for myself...I can tell you to go eff yourself and not worry about my bottom line or have to answer to some pansy ass manager that is afraid of offending anyone no matter how asinine they are.  The quickest way to get everything worked out in your favor is to admit you made a mistake, ask what can I do to help you out, and admit your lack of knowledge or the fact you didn't fully read the description of my items and that's what led to the problem.
 So I guess what I'm talking about is that there has to be an assumption (whether true or not) that the buyer is not a total knothead and at least takes the time to read instructions/descriptions before buying on ebay, and an assumption the seller is not such a piece of crap he's willing to take advantage of inexperienced buyers by doing stuff like not listing shipping/handling charges in his item descriptions.  Likewise, the seller has to at least accept some measure of responsiblity for not misrepresenting his shipping/handling.  
 In the long run, I think the marketplace, as in most capitalistic endeavors, sorts itself out.  Well, you say, what about a certain Kitty that has been getting away with highway robbery for many years and seems to be quite successful?  IMO, this Pussy...cat....has cost himself untold thousands of dollars over that time from members of this forum who refuse to deal with him, to buyers of his items who had a horrible experience and wont' deal with him, to anyone savvy enough to peruse his feedback page and see the train wreck he's got going on there and read between the lines.  Thus, the buyer of used D&D may instead amble over to my page, or BTB's, or BCs, and money that could have been Cougies is now in our pockets.  The buyer is free to not buy from me and instead purchase from Coug is he wishes, and more power to him for that decision (although it has a much larger chance of ending in disaster for said buyer....)

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Post Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 6:31 pm 
 

Sea-to-sky-games wrote:
When the Soviet Union existed, the fundamental law of demand applied. Price goes up, people buy less. If price is kept artificially low (or free), lineups and shortages occur.

I respectfully think you are conflating economic systems with economic theory. The latter, I'd argue, is a fairly decent way (not the only way) to understand human behavior.. regardless of environment.


I am fairly certain that you just proved my entire point here in your attempt to say that I was wrong again.  We do not live under economic theories, we live under economic systems.  The further away from a pure capitalistic system we are, the less applicable theories that you continually cite here based on pure capitalism become.  Since we do not live under a purely capitalistic society those exact same theories of pure capitalism that you continuosly cite here to prove your are right are become less relevant based on that fact alone.


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Post Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 6:33 pm 
 

Can we all just agree that BadMike summed that up perfectly?  If I were to guess he's also a little bit drunk, but that's not an insult coming from a Canuck.  :)

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Post Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 6:35 pm 
 

Can we all just agree that BadMike summed that up perfectly?  If I were to guess he's also a little bit drunk


Yes.. and yes, that wouldn't be surprising  :D

  


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Post Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 6:40 pm 
 

We do not live under economic theories, we live under economic systems.  The further away from a pure capitalistic system we are, the less applicable theories that you continually cite here based on pure capitalism become.  Since we do not live under a purely capitalistic society those exact same theories of pure capitalism that you continuosly cite here to prove your are right are become less relevant based on that fact alone.


In the Soviet Union you had shortages of everything and long lineups.. and this was precisely because the goods were free. People would buy more than prices were ultra low.

Just as in the US, when we imposed price controls on gas in the 70s, you had to weight around the block to buy some.

These are all cases of the law of supply and demand working perfectly. I don't think I've used other theories.. but if so, what other "theories" have I used that don't apply?

  


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Post Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 6:48 pm 
 

Sea-to-sky-games wrote:
In the Soviet Union you had shortages of everything and long lineups.. and this was precisely because the goods were free. People would buy more than prices were ultra low.

Just as in the US, when we imposed price controls on gas in the 70s, you had to weight around the block to buy some.

These are all cases of the law of supply and demand working perfectly. I don't think I've used other theories.. but if so, what other "theories" have I used that don't apply?


In case no one told you this, the theory of supply and demand is a pure capitalistic theory.  This country however is not a purely capitalistic one with govermental control on a multitude of things from pricing of items, to safety and secrurity requirements on businesses, to wellfare for the poor, to interest rates set by the fed, to the stock market trading and disclosures as insider trading forbidance.  Under a system of pure capitalism this things will not be regualted one bit, as it all fair game. Fortuantely, we have these things in place to prevent people from taking advantage of others. Thats said, because of these factors the theory behind supply and demand are not as applicable because of these controls in place.  :?


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Post Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 6:52 pm 
 

Thats said, because of these factors the theory behind supply and demand are not as applicable because of these controls in place.


No worries. We have just 100% different understanding of what constitutes the theory of supply and demand.

All I've ventured is that people are price sensitive. Simple as that. That won't change wherever you are, or whatever system you are in.

  


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Post Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 6:58 pm 
 

Sea-to-sky-games wrote:
No worries. We have just 100% different understanding of what constitutes the theory of supply and demand.

All I've ventured is that people are price sensitive. Simple as that. That won't change wherever you are, or whatever system you are in.




Well, unless your idea of the theory differs substantially from this one:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supply_and_demand

then maybe we should just agree to disagree.


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Post Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 7:03 pm 
 

deimos3428 wrote:Can we all just agree that BadMike summed that up perfectly?  If I were to guess he's also a little bit drunk, but that's not an insult coming from a Canuck.  :)


Hey, that was the ONE time...not adverse to the grape or hops, mind you, just that I tend to indulge only on the weekends when the local sports franchises make such activities mandatory.... :wink:

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

bclarkie wrote:
In case no one told you this, the theory of supply and demand is a pure capitalistic theory.  This country however is not a purely capitalistic one with govermental control on a multitude of things from pricing of items, to safety and secrurity requirements on businesses, to wellfare for the poor, to interest rates set by the fed, to the stock market trading and disclosures as insider trading forbidance.  Under a system of pure capitalism this things will not be regualted one bit, as it all fair game. Fortuantely, we have these things in place to prevent people from taking advantage of others. Thats said, because of these factors the theory behind supply and demand are not as applicable because of these controls in place.  :?


I have to interject that it's nice to have this discussion on the forum going full bore...beats the inevitable "B1 is loads better than B2", "3rd Edition was created by Satan", and "Cougar sucks balls" tidbits that tend to clog up the threads. Not that I'm opposed to any of them, mind you, just nice to have a little intellectual variety....

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Post Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 7:06 pm 
 

I think you misunderstand what I have said or are just don't have an intelligent response.  I have not said anything about the sticker price on an item.  Only fees that you pay when you go to cash out.  What you are saying in your response

Sea-to-sky-games wrote:Actually this very thing occurs! When goods get stolen from a store, they raise their prices. When janitor expenses (cleaning) goes up, they raise their prices. This happens whenever costs are borne by the seller.. they always find ways to impose it on the buyer.


is that you have actually been to a store, picked up an item off the shelf and gone to pay.  At this point they add new fees onto your bill for janitor expenses, stolen item expenses?  I'm sorry but again in the real world this just doesn't happen.  These extra fees get incorporated into the sticker price - the cost of doing business is incorporated into the sticker price.  What I am saying is that there is no place for these fees to be added in any other place in any consumer based business so why should it be there on Ebay?  

Your attempt to twist around the point I have made seems to further prove that you do not have any coherent response to this.

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