Ebay selling question
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Post Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 2:18 pm 
 

Sea-to-sky-games wrote:I suspect eBay doesn't care one iota how you come up with your s/h fees so long as it does not give the appearence of fee avoidance.


Precisely.  eBay doesn't give a damn what you do unless it threatens to impact their bottom line (however minimally).  They're a for-profit business, and a veritable monopoly; if gouging buyers didn't hurt them at all, they'd actively encourage it.

  

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Post Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 2:28 pm 
 

Radovarl wrote:It's called "billable hours".  Your attorney can charge you for thinking about your case while sitting in traffic during his/her commute.  Usually they keep it to 15-minute increments.  


Yes, if you have hired an attorney and signed a contract with them to pay their charges then they can do what they want.  However, by placing a bid on Ebay, you are not signing on to pay their hourly wage.  Does the seller then have to provide proof to Ebay of their annual income to prove what their hourly wage is?

I think we've found ourselves another troll.

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Post Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 2:36 pm 
 

No, by bidding on something on eBay you're entering into a legally binding contract to pay the listed fees and your winning bid.  It's fairly straightforward, I think.  

What exactly do you mean by "another troll"?  I'm not even a seller, for one thing.  Why is it that some people here (bclarkie and you are the only ones I've encountered, to be fair) feel they need to be insulting when someone disagrees with them?

  


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Post Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 2:41 pm 
 

However, by placing a bid on Ebay, you are not signing on to pay their hourly wage.


By bidding on an item, do you not sign on to the conditions in the listing? I think bidding means automatically signing a contract [and eBay reminds you of this every time you bid on something].

If you don't wish to pay the listed s/h no one is forcing you to bid on the item.

Does the seller then have to provide proof to Ebay of their annual income to prove what their hourly wage is?


If eBay contacted you about your listing, then you might well have to.

But seriously, you are making a big deal out of a harmless comment. The point was that some could rightly justify charging say charging like $5-10 in handling, while others only charged $2. I'd LOVE to see eBay spend $100 (or whatever) hunting you down, demanding an explanation for why you are charging slightly more, and arguing about it. In fact, their nebulous policy language is, in my view, evidence that they would not. This is particularly true if your listing explicitly explained the reason for these unusual charges (very little time, long distance, etc.)

  

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Post Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 2:43 pm 
 

Sea-to-sky-games wrote:I do think if I honestly had to drive 10 hours (5 hours there and back) and explicitly noted this fact in my listing, I could probably -- and quite rightly so, in my opinion -- charge a lot of money for this endeavor.


Well 10 hours would be over $1000 for the lawyer - and not a very good one at that.

Sea-to-sky-games wrote:So $500 would probably not fly, but $100-$200 probably would be reasonable.


Ya right! What world do you live in?

Sea-to-sky-games wrote:Anyways, I suspect eBay doesn't care one iota how you come up with your s/h fees so long as it does not give the appearence of fee avoidance.


Actually Ebay does care about these things if anyone decides to report them.  You don't think that Ebay would look at your reasonable s/h fees and say the book only cost $10 but you are charging $200 to deliver it to the post office and say ya that's reasonable.  They would completely judge it as fee avoidance.


Last edited by Mars on Mon Apr 09, 2007 2:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 2:43 pm 
 

Sea-to-sky-games wrote:
I do think if I honestly had to drive 10 hours (5 hours there and back) and explicitly noted this fact in my listing, I could probably -- and quite rightly so, in my opinion -- charge a lot of money for this endeavor. Of course, the lawyer's time cost example doesn't really hold over such a long journey because it would be more economical just to go through the hassle of hiring someone to make the drive for you. So $500 would probably not fly, but $100-$200 probably would be reasonable. Anyways, I suspect eBay doesn't care one iota how you come up with your s/h fees so long as it does not give the appearence of fee avoidance.

Anyways, this was a hypothetical to illustrate a point. I was just trying to remark that some people, given certain circumstances (such as a high leisure cost ) could charge more than your average joe, and in so doing cover their expenses while remaining faithful to eBay policies.


Sea-to-Sky . . . I really try not to get involved in these kind of things, but I feel obligated to say that my time is as valuable as anyone else's on the entire earth.  No more valuable . . . no less valuable.

To even hear that an attorney should somehow be entitled to charge higher handling fees because of their job simply sickens me . . .  

It is not true . . . perhaps an attorney (or other profession) might believe that their time was more valuable . . . but they would be wrong.

However, I think it is just you who support this kind of thinking . . .



Now, in the nicest possible way, let me say that I feel you consistently and deliberately are rude and purposely instigate divisive points of view.  I suspect that you are laughing over you keyboard even as you type.  Let me ask you in the least insulting way I can to please stop . . . it is not appreciated and no one here cares for it.

The next time you think it might be a good idea to espouse an economic or social commentary that you know will get the ire of the community, simply close your browser or point it towards a different URL.

I'm pretty sure I speak for just about everyone.

Stop it - and if you simply can not bring yourself to stop, then just go away.


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Post Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 2:51 pm 
 

Perhaps, you might want to take a look at Ebay's Excessive Shipping Charges Policy.  Here is the relevant section:

In addition to the final listing price, sellers are permitted to charge:

Actual Shipping cost: This is the actual cost (i.e. postage) for shipping the item.

Handling Fee: Actual packaging materials costs may be charged. A handling fee in addition to actual shipping cost may be charged if it is not excessive.

Insurance: ...
Tax: ...

Look at their examples in this section.  The first example basically says it is a violation of Ebay policy to charge $8 handling on a DVD!

Also note that your driving and hourly wages are not listed in the fees that you are allowed to charge!  So where do you propose that your excessive fees go?  They are not postage and are certainly not packaging materials.

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Post Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 2:53 pm 
 

Radovarl wrote:No, by bidding on something on eBay you're entering into a legally binding contract to pay the listed fees and your winning bid.  It's fairly straightforward, I think.  

What exactly do you mean by "another troll"?  I'm not even a seller, for one thing.  Why is it that some people here (bclarkie and you are the only ones I've encountered, to be fair) feel they need to be insulting when someone disagrees with them?


Conscientious sellers will not let posters go unchallenged who try to defend the indefensible.

Plain and simple, sellers who blatently overcharges on shipping have the potential to drive away potential customers for other sellers on eBay.

By taking the postion of "let the buyer beware" then you are condoning the actions of the unscrupulous, firmly placing yourself in their camp.


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Post Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 2:54 pm 
 

Radovarl wrote:What exactly do you mean by "another troll"?  I'm not even a seller, for one thing.  Why is it that some people here (bclarkie and you are the only ones I've encountered, to be fair) feel they need to be insulting when someone disagrees with them?


I apologize if you are offended but I am just stating some facts and my opinion as you have done so.

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Post Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 2:55 pm 
 

Actually Ebay does care about these things if anyone decides to report them.  You don't think that Ebay would look at your reasonable s/h fees and say the book only cost $10 but you are charging $200 to deliver it to the post office and say ya that's reasonable.  They would completely judge it as fee avoidance.


We'll have to agree to disagree. I firmly believe they would not because, if it costs me $200 to deliver the package, then eBay has no foundation to accuse me of fee avoidance.

And more importanly for the purposes of this thread and the original poster, even if you are right, then it would pay for me not to sell the item in the first place. Why would I charge someone $5 to ship something that costs me $200? List the fees that you think will cover your expenses and most likely they will be accomodated by eBay guidelines.

This whole argument you are making Mars is ridiculous. I'm sorry. I just don't see what you are talking about. Maybe pm me because this is really getting out of hand.

  


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Post Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 2:57 pm 
 

For any interested observers who might be following along here, I have a piece of simple advice: ignore all talk of lawyers, billable hours, driving distances, and other nonsense. It is all complete drivel, most of which is being vomited out by our resident troll, serving only to confuse what is really a pretty simple equation:

eBay sellers can choose to add a handling fee if they wish. In doing so, they might be trying to offset various costs (eBay fees, mailing supplies, perhaps even a long drive to the post office). However, in doing so, they run the risk of losing bids to alert buyers who might feel they can get the same item elsewhere with no handling fee attached. Like I said: pretty simple.

There is no "right" or easy answer to the question of handling. In fact, just at this site alone, we have sellers who range across the entire spectrum: some never charge any sort of handling, some always do, and some (like me) approach it on a case-by-case basis.

Common sense should also prevail. A detailed, woe-is-me, blow-by-blow description of why you're asking your buyers for extra money — and, yes, I'm thinking of Tonya — is a complete turn-off; adding a quick line about "$1 handling fee" has the same end result with much less potential of losing bids.

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Post Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 3:03 pm 
 

Now, in the nicest possible way, let me say that I feel you consistently and deliberately are rude and purposely instigate divisive points of view.  I suspect that you are laughing over you keyboard even as you type.  Let me ask you in the least insulting way I can to please stop . . . it is not appreciated and no one here cares for it.

The next time you think it might be a good idea to espouse an economic or social commentary that you know will get the ire of the community, simply close your browser or point it towards a different URL.

I'm pretty sure I speak for just about everyone.

Stop it - and if you simply can not bring yourself to stop, then just go away.


Ultimately, no one should be listing something on eBay that makes them lose money. What you are essentially arguing is that they should lose money if it doesn't pass a few Acaeum member's seal of approval. I find that divisive, mean-spirited, and rude.

You guys are just crazy. I said charge something reasonable.. and within that context reasonable covers material cost and "handling charges". What the hell are handling charges? In my view, these account for some of the cost of actually delivering the package. Does this mean people charge their full hourly rate, the precise amount gas consumed, discounted wear and tear on the car..  in so doing.. well, probably not. But that's not the point, and I guess some of you totally missed it.

  

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Post Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 3:04 pm 
 

Sea-to-sky-games wrote:This whole argument you are making Mars is ridiculous. I'm sorry. I just don't see what you are talking about. Maybe pm me because this is really getting out of hand.


What?  My argument is ridiculous?  I just don't understand how some people's minds work.  Cost such as what you feel you want to make as an hourly wage or for what you want to charge to drive somewhere are your fixed costs of doing business.  As is clearly stated by Ebay, THESE ARE NOT VALID HANDLING FEES!  If you have these special circumstances that you want to be paid for, you need to place these into the cost of the item in your starting bid.

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Post Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 3:11 pm 
 

Sea-to-sky-games wrote:I firmly believe they would not because, if it costs me $200 to deliver the package, then eBay has no foundation to accuse me of fee avoidance.

It's pretty rare that I am rendered speechless, but ... my God, my mouth is still hanging open at the utter absurdity of that sentence.

In what possible situation are you imagining that it could cost someone $200 in extra money to mail a package? Especially considering that the USPS will pick up any package at any address in this country ... wait for it ... FOR FREE!

+++++

StS, I have a direct question for you: given that you seem to fashion yourself on expert on economics, human nature, and psychology ... and given that you clearly think you have this eBay thing figured out ... what, exactly, is your eBay user ID? I'd love to take a look at your listing policies, feedback, etc. If you don't want to post it here, you could always go bump this thread here:

viewtopic.php?t=5415&start=0

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Post Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 3:13 pm 
 

Sea-to-sky-games wrote:Ultimately, no one should be listing something on eBay that makes them lose money.


People lose money on Ebay everyday.  They buy an item for one price from a store then decide to sell it on Ebay for less money.

Sea-to-sky-games wrote:What you are essentially arguing is that they should lose money if it doesn't pass a few Acaeum member's seal of approval. I find that divisive, mean-spirited, and rude.


No, that is not what is being said.  What is being said is that if you have all of these high costs, you are required by Ebay to put them into the starting price of your auction.  There are certain things you are allowed to charge for shipping and handling.  Gas and hourly wage are not included in this list.

Sea-to-sky-games wrote:You guys are just crazy. I said charge something reasonable.. and within that context reasonable covers material cost and "handling charges".


Read the Policy!  Don't try and interpret it to what you want it to say.  Just read the policy!  "Actual packaging materials".  Your gas is NOT a packaging material, your time is NOT a packaging material, your hourly wage is NOT a packaging material!

Sea-to-sky-games wrote:What the hell are handling charges? In my view, these account for some of the cost of actually delivering the package. Does this mean people charge their full hourly rate, the precise amount gas consumed, discounted wear and tear on the car..  in so doing.. well, probably not. But that's not the point, and I guess some of you totally missed it.


I don't think we missed it.  I think you have completely miss it. NONE OF THESE FEES ARE ALLOWED BY EBAY!  Does it help if I put things in capitals?  Read the examples.  Charging $8 more than the actual postage cost is a violation!

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Post Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 3:14 pm 
 

As is clearly stated by Ebay, THESE ARE NOT VALID HANDLING FEES!


Certainly not the way I read it. The examples of violation of eBay policy do not suggest this in any way, nor do any of the other comments in that section.

You must be referring to the Acaeum's eBay policies, not eBay's policies.

  


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Post Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 3:15 pm 
 

Here's what I do.  It's also what anyone that isn't running a full-time business should do.

1.  Estimate the total cost of shipping the item to the most-distant buyer.  I allow international bidders, so for me, that's Australia.  (You can specify multiple locations if you're up to the task, but if you're new, just assume the package is going as far away as possible.  If you're new, you should probably just ship domestically until you get the hang of it.)

2.  Include in the stated shipping the cost of the envelope/box, bus fare, postage, tape, cappucino, 50 cents for the homeless guy on the corner at the post office who holds the door open expectedly, and whatever else you have to do to get the item in the post.  (If you don't think cappucino is appropriate, you've never seen me in the morning.)

3.  Charge whatever you said you would charge.  This is the simple part.

4.  Refund as required; "suck it up" as required.  If the actual cost is significantly less than expected, go to step 5a.  If it's significantly more, go to step 5b.

5a.  Refund the difference between what you actually spent and were actually paid.  I was kidding about the bus fare, by the way.  Buy a metropass, your customers will thank you in the long run.

5b. You were listening in step 2, weren't you?  You remembered to pad the bill, right?  Now skip the coffee, skip the bus, and shuffle your pathetic non-caffienated butt to the post office.  Say sorry to the homeless guy on the way by.  

6.  Post the item promptly.

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Post Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 3:17 pm 
 

In what possible situation are you imagining that it could cost someone $200 in extra money to mail a package? Especially considering that the USPS will pick up any package at any address in this country ... wait for it ... FOR FREE!


The example was a hypothetical to illustrate a point. I'm sorry if I didn't repeat it's hypothetical nature in every single paragraph in all my responses.

  


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Post Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 3:25 pm 
 

"Hypothetical" does not mean the same thing as "ridiculous," Troll-Boy.

+++++

Still waiting on your eBay ID, by the way. I mean, it's a fair question, don't you think? Given that you post your rants on every thread here that involves eBay in any way, I'd love to see all this expertise in action.

So ... what's your user ID?

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Post Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 3:31 pm 
 

Mars wrote:
I apologize if you are offended but I am just stating some facts and my opinion as you have done so.


I'm not offended, I just don't understand why these debates (or whatever you'd like to call them) become so personal.  I don't know anyone here all that well, but why not just argue in a civil fashion, without everyone's talk of trolls and such?  I wouldn't mind being involved in these discussions, but the way you guys seem to operate I just feel like staying away.

  
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