Friday, January 9, 2009
eBay has always been a way to sell something for professional dealers making a living, to folks hoping to sell off some unwanted items cluttering up their garages, to guys like me hoping to be able to recoup a little cash spent on college books to defray the cost of more college books needing to be bought. Well after what I found out this morning, I can say that without a doubt in my mind, eBay is screwed up big time and not the seller/buyer friendly place it once had been.
I spent about 15 to 20 minutes putting a book up for sale. That included scanning the front cover for a pic to be included in an eBay listing, then signing onto eBay and listing the book. Well - I almost listed. I got all the way through to the last step or so and found that ow eBay requires you to put in an amount for postage. Mind you this needs to go into a separate little postage fees box and not just be placed in the item description as you once could have done. So I put in the amount for Priority Mail Flat Rate Shipping as per the exact U.S. Postal Service rate of $12.95. This for a college textbook weighing about 7 pounds. eBay rejected that amount and told me I could not put an amount of more than $4.00 into that box because that is what others have charged for similar items. Whom are they trying to kid? The USPS charges a flat rate of $12.95 for a certain type of priority mail and this is the box I checked off - flat rate priority mail! Yet, eBay only allows a seller to charge $4.00 for that shipping! Amazing.
I then went to eBay and searched for similar items. As I did the realization dawned on me that almost every seller was offering FREE shipping. It only took me a moment to realize why. They had all added the shipping costs to their lowest acceptable bid price. After all, you would have to be an idiot to sell and item to someone for a going price of, let's say, $50.00, then ship it for $4.00 when the actual shipping costs you $12.95. So what to do - well you offer it at a starting bid price of $63.00 with free shipping. I will do just that, and the item will sell though I think I will get less for it than I had wanted. When FAIR shipping prices were listed separately from the acceptable low bid price, people would look at the bid price and say, that is a good -price for the book. They expected shipping to be added on. Now even though I will offer free shipping, they will see my book offered at a higher price, not want to bid much higher, thereby leaving me to have to take the shipping from what I make on the selling price of the book instead of a separate fee. That is how people think from what I can see from online deals I have done before, and that sucks, and eBay sucks for having pulled this boner. Then again eBay does not care about the buyers or sellers, all eBay seems to care about is eBay from what I can tell.
Oh well, if anyone wants/needs a copy of Precalculus, 8th edition, by Sullivan, I will have it up for sale on eBay starting at $65 with free shipping including mandatory insurance and delivery notification.
All the best,