back to article eBay: 'We will lower listing fees'

This morning, eBay's CEO-to-be told a roomful of obsessed internet auctioneers that he will soon charge them between 25 and 50 per cent less to list their items on the site's virtual marketplace. But he's not willing to kiss all those dollars goodbye. While charging less for listings, eBay plans to charge more when items are …


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  1. Nick Mallard
    Thumb Down


    What a spin - people are already in uproar about the fee's they charge - not only those, but the huge fortune they make through PayPal too.

    It's just a way to make more money yet making it sound like you'll be better off. I've a feedback of over 200 - and have never had a listing that hasn't sold. So, over 200 items that's $134 extra in the new charges (or the UK equivelent). That's a lot of money.

    Considering how many items are listed per second, and how many transactions PayPal deals with a second - they're raking in a fortune and people already aren't happy. Just see the recent reports in the national newspaper about PayPal, eBay's appearance (although for the wrong reasons) on Watchdog, and all the sites such as

    And all the time, eBay are touting all the "problems" as them protecting us.

    Perhaps they should all give it in and become MPs.

  2. Ed

    If eBay actually wants me to buy and sell on their site...

    ...they need to go further than reducing some fees. How about they clean up all of the scam artists, con jobs, and excess shipping fee sellers? How many times have you seen a $5 product with a shipping fee of $25+?

  3. Paul S
    Thumb Down

    Sure, that's great, but you failed to mention...

    That sellers will no longer be able to leave a negative feedback for buyers. They can pay you, take your item, then file a PayPal chargeback (which, by the way, you'll be forced to use PayPal until you've earned 100 feedbacks). So they end up with both your item and your money, then they can leave a negative feedback. What can you do as a seller? Post a postive feedback for the buyer!

    Epic fail, eBay. Epic.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    @ Ed

    "How many times have you seen a $5 product with a shipping fee of $25+?"

    Lots of times. What has the item been? Some expensive piece of quite-new technology? And you're honestly expecting the seller to offer it for $5? A lot of the time the low price and high postage are simply a way round local or international taxation. "What do you mean, I have to pay tax on items over $100 in value? It is only worth $5, even if I did pay $95 for postage."

    Postal costs aren't taxed. On eBay, shipping is almost always clarified on the auction, or otherwise by a quick query to the seller. Are you really so naïve (or so stupid) that you see a genuine, high-value item for such an incredibly low price and with a high postage, and this has actually NEVER occurred to you?

  5. Scott

    Getting rid of the gallery fee helps

    That's the little picture you see when you're just scanning a bunch of listings. I think it is $1, and you pretty much have to have that little picture or people won't click on your listing.

  6. Edward Pearson

    @Baloney && @If eBay actually wants me to buy and sell on their site...



    I know we live in a kind of Open Source e-Hippie era where everything should be free and that making money is somehow a bad thing, but wake up people, money is what really drives innovation.

    Paypal and eBay are both excellent services, and you've got a choice of paying very reasonable fees, or using one of the many free competitors. Good luck with finding one.

    @If eBay actually wants me to buy and sell on their site...:

    Lets get this out in the open right now, if you use Paypal correctly, and have two braincells to rub together its VERY easy to avoid being scammed.

    Even if you fall for a particularly clever scam, your Verified Paypal account will REFUND THE MONEY.

    What would you have eBay do? Run background checks on every seller? Demand to see a picture of the item with today's paper next to it? Have somebody pop round to verify the item really exists?

    Its all bollocks and people should realize that if you want cool services like eBay and Paypal, you have to pay for them.

  7. adnim


    only their stealing, like that of UK utility companies is legal. I have given up on Ebay. I always felt ripped off by them and Payal at the end of ANY sale. It's nice that I have a choice though. No such choice exists regarding water, electricity and gas supplies.

    A profit of some kind has to be made I accept this, what I don't except is extortion.

  8. John Stirling
    Paris Hilton

    shipping fees

    are just a way of getting around the selling fee. If I'm happy to pay £30 for something I don't care whether it's £30 and free shipping or £0.01 and £29.99 shipping. It's the same deal to me. If the seller gets more on the second deal because he gives less to Ebay then either he makes more profit, or if there is competition I get a cheaper price. The first I don't care about much, the second is cool.

    If on the other hand I'm the sort of numpty who doesn't check shipping costs before I make a bid then I shouldn't be allowed on the internet really should I?

    Paris - I bet she doesn't check shipping prices.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Ebay is out...

    Craiglist is in. I just sold most of what I own. I sold a guitar on ebay, it ended up costing me $80 to ship and probably another $15 to list (on a $300 sale). Craiglist costs nothing to post, and everything I sold went in less than a week, and since everything was local, you don't have the shipping overhead that you get with ebay. Even more importantly, both parties can be pretty sure they aren't gonna get screwed, because it is cash in hand, and you get to see the item up close.

    Ebay sucks for all but high-value, low-weight, rare items with a niche demand (i.e. your original batman comic, or a vacuum tube for a 1932 victrola, etc). Penguin because it is cold here.

  10. JonRB

    Nu Labour?

    Sounds like they've taken a leaf from the current government. Effectively charge more, but using spin and sound-bites convince the divs that you're doing them a favour.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    @ alternative - free

    In the UK only (for now) try, free to advertise, free to buy, they make their money on traditional stuff like banner ads, and with about a million users they are big enough to be trusted.

  12. Neil Docherty

    eBay's problem isn't the fees it's the ratings

    I've bought and sold things on eBay and I wouldn't mind the fees being lower (obviously!) but my main problem with eBay is the feedback system. If I do everything quickly and correct but the other party cocks something up badly and I wish to leave neutral or negative feedback, I risk getting it back even though I've done nothing wrong. How often are people leaving positive just so they get it back??? The only thing I read in a user's feedback comments are the neutral and negative comments - I only wish there was an easy way to filter out all the positive ones.

    I've even seen some listings say things like feedback will only be left once feedback is received to protect my business which basically says, give me positive feedback otherwise I'll leave you negative feedback! Once payment is received a seller should leave feedback (I always do) and once the goods are received in satisfactory condition, the buyer should leave feedback. I accept problems can arise but 9/10 times the above would work.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    EBAY & PayPal, etc...

    The biggest rip-off is the PayPal stuff. They go for the "suck it out of your checking account" method first, and you have to go through a bunch of hoops to get them to use a credit card. Why? Well, the credit card people charge a percentage on the transaction (line PayPal does), which they have to absorb. The "suck direct" is on a per-transaction basis, and PayPal makes more $$$. You "pay" the same either way. So, if you want to earn those mileage points, ALWAYS go with the credit card, even though it is more clicks and PayPal raises a "but you aren't protected" flag (well, really I am through my credit card company!!).

    Of course, I earn a 1% rebate on credit card purchases as well!!

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Shipping Costs

    I quite agree. I've often paid high shipping charges, only in once case have I had it refunded as once the shipper found out the true cost he send me a refund which I wasn't expecting.

    Simple when I bid I take into account the shipping cost, so if its £1 postage and I am willing to pay £99 then if its £20 postage I will bid up to £80.

    Also since its clearly advertised the seller is breaking no laws nor defrauding anyone.

    Do you ask ebuyer, amazon and all the rest to prove what it actually cost to pose the item - no.

    Do you take into account the time taken to package the item safely, drive to the post office or couriers etc etc. If that takes 30 mins or so then surely a business is entitled to charge you.

    If you pick it up and remove all that hassle then there is no cost.

    Ebay have of course demonised such people with its new feedback system, selling it to punters as a way of saving them money when in reality its a way for ebay to make more money.

    At the end of the day you can always wait for someone with lower postage fees to list the item, you pays your money and takes your choice - get a life!

  15. Jbhoy
    Thumb Down

    The Neg Feedback being removed....

    "That sellers will no longer be able to leave a negative feedback for buyers".

    Problem i have noticed is that in the days gone by that you would sell something and the buyer would think "well he has done his bit with a prompt payment so ill leave him positive feedback and ship his goods" . Sadly now many are using it as a blackmail system to bully honest buyers into leaving them good feedback otherwise the buyers 100% feedback could be dented through no fault of their own . Sellers should NOT be saying "we leave feedback soon after you do" . The buyer could end up sending payment within 5 mins but complain after a months wait and get no response to emails,yet when he does the correct thing of leaving a neg rating the seller gives him one in return which is way out of order.

    Ok removing the sellers ability is a way of stopping it but its a little extreme! Easy way is that as soon as funds clear something is set up that the buyer cannot leave feedback until the seller has done.It would solve everything but i have no doubt jamie oliver will be turning up at Ebay hq very soon as hes heard the report about the headless chickens! ;-)

  16. Dave Driver

    PayPal are crooks

    @Edward Pearson - NO THEY WON'T REFUND. If you sell something in good faith and the buyer pays you by PayPal, they can file a report against you for no good reason and PayPal will take the money back from your account. Even if you have already withdrawn the money they will give you a negative balance and take legal action to recover the money from you. So you have lost your item, lost your money, and you may even lose your clean credit record.

    With PayPal it's seller beware, and they won't do anything to help you even if you're in the right.

  17. John Stag

    $5 product with a shipping fee of $25

    Assuming you can read, why is this a problem? You know the final price before buying...

    As for not being able to leave bad feedback for buyers, that's a brilliant idea. The occasional seller getting ripped off shouldn't be an excuse for all those sellers who say "I'll leave feedback after you do". A couple of times I've kept my mouth shut and left no feedback rather than have my 100% feedback wrecked by a moron seller who already took my money.

    IMHO it should go even further. eBay should give me automatic positive feedback if I pay via paypal within 24 hours of end-of-auction. Take the seller completely out of the loop.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Sure, that's great, but you failed to mention...

    "That sellers will no longer be able to leave a negative feedback for buyers."


    Couple that with the higher Final Value Fees and I'm seriously starting to loose insentive to sell anything on eBay ever again. I've been using eBay for over 8 years now, mostly as a buyer but also occasionally sell, and each time they alter any fundamental feature of the site they have this knack of screwing over the users, but this no negative feedback for buyers just takes the piss, big time.

    So how will sellers warn other sellers about fucktard buyers? they already took away the ability to get other members email addresses so your contact message isn't filtered by eBay.

    *holds head in hands*

  19. FrankR


    Another Paypal prob is that they freeze a sellers account at the slightest excuse - eg any trivial complaint or irregularity. This means you have to leave the money with them for many months until they "sort it out" during which time it is earning for them. Only way to avoid this is to keep the account empty but this means making lotsa small withdrawals & paying extra transaction costs to.........Paypal!

    On the other hand all banks are rogues & PP may be no worse than most, just dont swallow the "excellent services" baloney earlier in the thread - they seem excellent until you find their hand in your pocket.

  20. Simon Elavy
    Thumb Down

    Feedback sucks.

    After being scammed by a buyer I left negative feedback. Hoping to alert other people that this buyer is a scammer. However, the buyer left me negative feedback in response to mine - suggesting police were now involved. Consequently my little business crashed. Not only did I lose the product I was selling, I lost all costs involved and my business.

    It seems that even if you are scammed you should remain tight lipped about it. On no account act the good samaritan and alert others. The whole feedback system sucks.

  21. Luca
    Thumb Down

    @ Ed: S&H fees

    I'm one of those people that sell with high S&H fees and I plan to keep it that way. Why?

    Because if I sell a DVD that I bought for $15 for 1 penny plus $19.99 S&H fees I have to pay ebay the closing fess only on 1 penny. Note that they already charged me for insertion fees and for PayPal. At that point I made, maybe, a $2 profit, which is really nothing.

    If I have to post that same DVD for $17 plus $3 S&H I'm paying much more for insertion and closing fees at which point I make no profit so to make the same $2 I have to sell the DVD for $19.50 plus $3 S&H.

    In the first instance you pay $20, in the second you pay $22.50


    I have friends that got negative feedback for selling a DVD for $1 and $15 SH&, the same DVD that sells in store for $21.99 (Plus tax, often)

    If you're not happy with the price don't buy it on ebay and get it for more in the store. But if you are smart, you will look at the total price, you don't care about the S&H per se.

  22. Anonymous Coward


    The easy way to sort it out would be that neither party sees the feedback until both have been submited

  23. Trix
    Black Helicopters

    Oh please

    ONE negative feedback and your business collapses? Really? And what about the feedback disputes process?

    Personally, I find people with 100% positive feedback over scores of transactions suspicious in themselves. If people weren't so chicken about obvious numpties giving you a negative score because the parcel took 5 days to arrive rather than 3, it would work a lot better.

    My "fix" to the abuse that goes on is to require all feedback be given within 30 days, and it be *hidden* from all until both sets have been received. If there is less-than-positive feedback on either side, the resolution process kicks in and both sets may be withdrawn if both parties wish to do so.

  24. Larry Adams

    @ Anonymous Coward / Shipping Costs

    "Do you take into account the time taken to package the item safely, drive to the post office or couriers etc etc. If that takes 30 mins or so then surely a business is entitled to charge you."

    Don't know about non-US shippers, but the US Postal Service offers Click 'n Ship, which allows you to print a formatted address label including postage, and also offers free carrier pickup when your regular mail carrier delivers your mail. There are several million eBay and other shippers using it daily... they don't have to go to the post office, and all they need is an accurate scale, which they probably already have for those other carriers which charge for picking up their shipments. AND the USPS is probably cheaper for the little guys. Another bonus... with Click 'n Ship, you get FREE delivery confirmation and can add insurance up to $500.

    My coat please... the postie's jacket...

    Late Night Larry

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sellers should leave feedback first? No

    Payment is not the only part of the process that the buyer is doing. What if a buyer claims the product is not as advertised or trys to claim money back after they receive it? It may be your fault or it may be a scamming/abusive buyer that you need to rate. Also until a buyer gives feedback there is usually no way to tell that they have received the item and are happy with it.

    What would be nice is if both parties had to leave feedback before you could see what the other gave. This would reduce retalitory feedback but since they would be less worried about getting something in return there may be more unfair negatives going around.

  26. Nick Mallard

    Oh dear

    It's clear some of the moronic buyers are here!

    "IMHO it should go even further. eBay should give me automatic positive feedback if I pay via paypal within 24 hours of end-of-auction. Take the seller completely out of the loop." - Nice, John. So you pay via paypal within 24 hours, instantly, whenever. You then start a tirade in the messages against me saying the items haven't turned up instantly. You become an idiot and decide to start proceedings with PayPal who blindly side with you anyway and refund your money. Seller has posted the goods and is now left out of pocket and time. How is the seller to then warn people of the buyers moronicness? Feedback should be a 100% picture of the ENTIRE transaction from winning bid/purchase to delivery and any aftersales. From ALL parties.

    Ed Pearson - You fail to notice that eBay's practices are monopolistic. The fee's are not too bad currently, win some, lose some. It works alright. The paypal fees are a bit different though. The trouble is, they have no competition.

    I have personally already contacted the OFT with regards to anti-trust procedings and many others are/have done the same. It's not about any "open source e-hippie get everything for free" anything - it's about being fair to the end users. Ebay are by no means poor, racking in silly figures like £2000 a minute. That doesn't make anyone poor by any standards.

  27. Snail

    Ebay is a con

    As a regular ebay user im fully aware how much of a con it really is.

    Between listing fees, sold item fees, and paypal fees, ebay takes 10% of the cost of the item. And it really annoys me, because there isn't really a good alternative for either.

    I wouldn't mind so much if paypal actually helped. I've been done over by both buyers and sellers, and paypal has screwed me in both cases.

    Its got to the point, where i wont buy or sell anything worth more than about £10, as i have about a 5% chance of getting shafter :(

  28. Anonymous Coward

    @ "boo hoo, Paypal sucks" comments

    Not so. I've had one time when I bought a fake item from a seller who subsequently vanished - and PayPal did refund my money (well, the majority of it anyway). Just because you've had a bad experience doesn't mean everybody does. And although I agree with this feedback issue, I am still happy to say that almost all of the sellers I have used on eBay have been friendly, and efficient, and have left positive feedback straight after receiving payment. I have 100% positive and so do most of those sellers, and it seems to be accurate.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    As a seller i never leave feedback until after the buyer does, that way i know the buyer received the item and the deal is finished. I used to leave feedback when i sent the item, this changed when a buyer contacted me saying that he thought the price was too much (iirc it less than £4 including postage) and they wanted £3 back or they would leave negative feedback basically saying i was selling counterfeit goods, which would then kill the ebay account.

    tried to contact ebay, but kept getting the same generic emails. So in the interests of A Simple Life and being able to sell my unwanted tat through ebay in the future i refunded the entire sale.

    I suppose i could have contacted the police, but there wouldn't be a fine involved so they wouldn't be interested.

  30. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Ebay should tighten up the requirements

    Confirmed addresses only, negative feedback bidders should be banned, new bidders (those with no feedback) should be limited to bidding on items below a set value.

  31. Anonymous Coward

    e-bay shilling

    I have 100% e-bay feedback and have also had to post positive when I wanted to slate the pleb I'd bought from or who had bought from me. I also dont agree that shill bidding is wrong. If someone wants to buy an item and the price is worth it to them they will gladly pay. I used to use shilling when e-bay implemented the ludicrous pricing for items listed over £50.00 by listing items low knowing full well they were worth lots more to a collector or fan of a band or artiste etc. and shilling it up to a reasonable level (Not extortionate) you always get a fairly decent if not exact return on the true value and ceratinly never get into a position where an item worth £250.00 ends up going for 99p, it also keeps the listing fees low that you have to pay out hence the reason for doing it.

    E-bay needs a really good competitor/alternative with improved functionality and tools and whoever does so and keeps fees competitive and fair will become a multi millionaire.

    e-bay are merely a business who want to screw as much out of you as they can without having to provide good service that involves them doing any work and they certainly DONT take decent and honest sellers requirements into consideration when they have issues around dubious transactions, fraud or indeed paypal anomalies.

    So I'll continue to be honest in the items I list and sell and use every possible option open to me to make sure I don't over pay e-bay for using their services.

  32. Greg

    @Edward Pearson

    "I know we live in a kind of Open Source e-Hippie era where everything should be free and that making money is somehow a bad thing, but wake up people, money is what really drives innovation.

    Paypal and eBay are both excellent services, and you've got a choice of paying very reasonable fees, or using one of the many free competitors. Good luck with finding one."

    I guess you never had a single economics course in your life, much less worked in the field.

    First point is, economic theory has shown for three centuries that efficiency mandates marginal-cost pricing (if you don't understand, it's because you're ignorant, check wikipedia or other). That includes price of listing items on the net.

    Second point is, auctions are the best example in the world of network effect (once again, ignorance can be solved: check economy+"network effect"). This means that's ebay is an obivous natural monopoly (for "natural" before "monopoly, you're starting to know how to get the solution to your problem), and that as a consequence, emergence of any kind of competitor is amost utopian as long as ebay listens to the market and doesn't push it too far. Then it's free to still pushes it much further than it could in a free-market economy that allows competition (to understand why in this case it doesn't.....).

    In the end, it's obviously not making money that is a Bad Thing but making money out of a natural monopoly abusing its dominant position.

    Bonus for you cos' I don't expect you'll solve your ignorance problem by yourself:

    Assume a second that we authoritarily put all of the items for sale and all of the buyer/seller accounts on with a rather crappy service and the new ebay fees (while ebay would retain the former, cheaper ones).

    What do you think would happen? Would people flock to eBay, an empty site where you can find no buyer for your goods and no sellers if you want to buy something?

    People would stick to that other site, not because it's better, not even because it's remotely good, but because the OTHER people are there, and the most precious ressource for an auction site is the people, not the site.

    Hence, it proves that quality and innovation has nothing to do with eBay's current success. Any other site that would have the market share would just kill ebay like ebay kills everything else because it has the market share.

    It just had the critical mass to become a de facto monopoly, and you don't have a choice to go to a competitor because you'd be almost alone there.

    That's a classic "winner takes it all, and then can suck big time afterwards without losing anything"

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Excessive postage

    One issue is the postage costs may not be refunded in the event of a dispute. If you by a £100 widget that you pay £1 with £99 shipping on it, if it's faulty the seller will refund the price, £1, but not the shipping. Thats fine if it was a very heavy £1 item but not if they were just using excessive postage to get a set price.

    I don't think they make money on postal fee's which is probably why people use this way of pushing prices up.

    Ebay needs to deal with this, it's one of the main reasons I don't use Ebay as much as I used to do, especially from far eastern sellers who appear and dissapear almost overnight.

  34. Martin H Watson

    Postage cheats

    eBay MUST do something about sellers who profit from excess postage charges, AND avoid paying eBay their percentage. I tried to buy a USB hub, 99p plus £2.99 p&p, so I thought I might as well buy two. Postage went up to £5.98, despite the text saying 'combine to save postage.'

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    I'm No Apologist, But...

    It's Weds a.m. and I just got the full eBay announcement (by Bill Cobb and Jim Ambach) in the mail. There's a lot more to the package of changes than was reported here.

    They're targetting pseudo-powersellers, shipping fee bandits and the retaliatory feedback issue amongst other things. It's the biggest single raft of changes I've seen in two years on eBay.

    See the overview page at

    And I'm not an apologist for eBay. A lot of this stuff is way overdue.

  36. Anonymous Coward

    Feed backs suck

    I remember buying a product on ebay, paid within 20 minutes. Product didn't arrive, seller refused to answer any emails. So after 5 weeks of waiting and 3 weeks of emails I gave the relevant feedback.

    After this I got a torrent of abuse via email informing me that if i didn't remove the feedback he would give me negative feedback.

    So i'm without the product, out of pocket, being threatened... did I roll over... hell no, I responded to his feedback informing all that this guy was a con artist.

    When ebay get rid of these idiots, then i might use them again.

  37. Fogcat

    @John Stag

    Assuming you can read, why is this a problem? You know the final price before buying...

    It's not a "problem" as such it's just that if I sort the list of results from a search by price to see who's doing the best deal it doesn't take the postage into account.

    It's annoying rather than a problem. Even more annoying when the postage is a "see item description"

  38. F Cage

    @ Neil Docherty

    There is a way to filter out the positives. Try

  39. Neil Docherty

    @ Shipping Costs AC

    "Also since its clearly advertised the seller is breaking no laws nor defrauding anyone"

    Actually, they are on three counts.

    Firstly, if the item is coming in from abroad then a false customs declaration is illegal and potentially HMRC lose out on tax. Secondly, eBay don't charge fees on the postage price so eBay is losing money (at least that was the case the last time I read the relevant part of their T&Cs). I'll admit, probably not many tears shed so far...

    Finally, the buyers rights are affected if the seller is a business as they are bound by the distant selling regulations (if UK based of course) and if you get an item and decide to return it under these rights, the company has to refund the original purchase price but not postage. If the postage is subsidising the item, they are still making a profit and you don't get as much money back as you should be entitled to.

  40. Chris Glen-Smith

    Feedback syatem

    I've had retaliation neg feedback from a seller accusing me of no prior communication which was untrue.

    The better way to run a feedback system would be to be only signal the other party that feedback has been left but not count it or reveal what sort until they leave feedback, that would avoid the retaliation feedback situation.

    Maybe also impose the need to post evidence (email copies etc) with negative feedback.

  41. Joe Blogs

    @john stag

    Well, the first problem that springs to mind is: I but something from a sell for £100, split as £1 for the item and £99 for postage. If the item then fails and I send it back for a refund, sellers says, OK, I'll refund you the £1, but not the postage costs.

    Secondly, e-bay is being defrauded from fees it should be collecting. Maybe the fees are too high, maybe you are under the impression that e-ays gets too much money anyway, if that's the case don't use e-bay, but if you do use it you should stick to the rules.

    My £0.02 worth (paypal not accepted).

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Postage etc

    Nothing annoys me more than excessive P&P charged on an item. I sell items on eBay that in P&P cost less than others of the exact same item charge. I report those who are charging excessive P&P. Why? Because if people continue to get away with it, it becomes de rigeur.

    I've gotten kudos from customers for charging a minimum in P&P and them getting good value. I weigh my parcels and do accurate postage (plus the packaging and materials). I don't see why people have to be greedy and rip people off on P&P.

    On overseas items (like from China or Hong Kong), the postage can be accurate, even if it does look excessive (like a £20 postage charge for a £5 item), because when it arrives and you calculate the HK$ or Yuan charge back it often matches within reason. But when it starts hitting the £40 level they take the mickey.

  43. jeffrey
    Thumb Down

    Sellers should be able to leave neutral comments

    I both buy and sell, have a 100% record even after leaving 4 negative feedbacks for buyer not paying/ seller not sending. Sellers should be allowed to leave neutral feedback under the normal course of things (in case the buyer is very slow or unreasonable), or negative feedback if they win an unpaid item dispute. I think it might have been better if a seller leaving negative feedback won't show up in the buyers feedback score, (or number list at the top) but would still have the red button and comment in the list of their feedbacks. I have lost count of the times I have wanted to put negative feedback but didn't to protect my feedback score.

  44. Cosmo

    eBay is horribly broken

    I usually buy reasonably low-cost stuff on eBay which isn't too much of a problem, but I wanted to sell my old Sony Ericsson k750i just before Christmas to raise a bit of cash. I had to watch the last hour of my auction like a hawk, as I had no less than 3 hijacked accounts bidding stupid money on the phone - either for kicks or to send to Nigeria presumably... Yes I may have eventually cancelled all the bids and done a second chance offer, but it was so much hassle. Until I can be sure that eBay can stop these fraudsters messing up auctions, I won't be selling any high value stuff again.

    As for those defending deliberately high P&P charges... well. I don't buy from sellers like you. As people have previously pointed out, I don't want to get refunded £1 of a £29 item if something goes wrong with it.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Postal costs aren't taxed."

    For the UK they are !!

    I bought sa couple of servers from the US. Shipped on a 3 day FedEx deal which obviously cost more.

    I had to pay import duty on the item and all the shipping costs, nut even just the bit from when it arrived in the UK.

    I had a bit of a discussion with the HMRC (tax office) about this saying it was like me arriving at an airport and going through the red channel. For them to ask what class of travel I arrived on Club/Cattle as this would set the rate of duty I paid.

    But the lady didn't understand my angle, stating that the rules !!

    Having a high postage cost and the silling price low, the seller is actually getting around final listing fees as well !!


  46. Steven Williams

    eBay changes are stupid

    Some of the changes are stupid. I am an ebay user with over 11,000 purchases and sales spread over 5 accounts. I used to be a proper power seller until eBay relaxed the rules and I decided to hide my powerseller status as it means nothing anymore. After all you can easily create your own powerseller accounts for less that £5.00 a month if you know how.

    I give negative feedbacks to buyers who do not pay. I give neutral feedback to stupid buyers who complain at the most trivial things or take ages to pay. I don't normally give positive feedback until I receive it as the sale is not completed until the customer is happy with the item. Why should I give a positive when the sale is not competed. Only after the dealings are concluded do I give a +ve.

    The new fee system will hit me when implemented in the UK. I always use galary as things never sell for decent money without it and removing the fee for this is a great idea. But the hiked selling percentages will hit me quite hard over the year when added up. Paypal always sides with the buyer even when given overwhelming evedence that the seller is in the right. But we still let them give us a hard rear ending by charging us for the privilege.

    As far as postage goes eBay rules state that you can charge more than the postage will actually be to cover packaging, transportation and time as long as it is reasonable and clearly stated and defined up front. It an item (USB Hub mentioned above) is sold by an occasional seller they will have to buy a jiffy bag, bubble wrap etc. it all costs money unless purcased in bulk. I know some people abuse the system and I myself add a minimum of £1.25 to all postage costs just to cover the eBay and paypal fees.

    At the end of the day if the item costs £0.50 and the postage is £2.50 and you are willing to pay £3.00 for the item then what is the problem? No matter how it's broken down it costs the same to the buyer.

    Oh! As for people being ripped off on ebay. If it's worth a lot of money and you don't have verified contact details prior to paying the money then you have to be completly stupid and deserve to loose.

    ebay has it's ups and downs, good and bad points. Live with them and you'll aways be a winner.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @EBAY & PayPal, etc...

    "The biggest rip-off is the PayPal stuff. They go for the "suck it out of your checking account" method first,"

    Remove you bank details from the PayPal system as a payment option. It still leaves them there for withdrawls.

    I have been using my paypal account for many years without verification against my card. For some reason about 2 months ago, my card was frozen/account until I added my account.

    Thinking it was phishing or something I called. It was real and they required me to set up a direct debit and verift my back account. This I did and once it was verified I removed the bank details. Account is still verified but without the direct payment 'feature'


  48. Anonymous Coward

    @Ebay should tighten up the requirements

    @Giles Jones

    "Confirmed addresses only"

    Yes I agree. Why should anyone be able to hid behind a hotmail style email address and not have to enter their address.

    I had a deal that went wrong, without an address for the seller and he was running through a Hotmail address.

    Tried to claim through PayPal and they wanted a Police report before they would proceed with the claim. The Police wouldn't do a report without the full sellers details, which PayPal couldn't give to me as it's covered by 'Data protection'

    hence I lost my claim !!

    Hang on, have I not 'entered a legally binding contract' with the seller as it tells you when you bid ? Is not part of that contract, knowing who you are dealing with ?

  49. Greg

    @Simon Elavy: eBay new policy is precisely the solution to your problem

    Several of you fail to analyse the change and see the consequences. You are thinking about tomorrow's principles based on today's behaviour, behaviour based on today's principles.

    (no, I'm in no way an eBay fan see my commetn above, in fact I hate monopolies abusing their dominant position but that's not the point)

    Currently, both give feedbacks. If you leave a negative feedback, be it to buyer or seller, you'll also get a negative feedback and you're screwed. See Simon Elavy.

    The new policy removes half of the problem: a fraudulent seller can no longer threaten you with negative feedback he would leave you if you denounce their scam. The opposite is still possible.

    Half of the way done.

    Now that half of the way actually has consequences for the other half: for starters, it's the biggest half of the way. Sellers are often professionals and so are trusted. Trusted enough that they can require payment to be made before giving the item.

    On the opposite, the massive fraud problems with ebay come from hacking of trustworthy accounts by scammers. Not from buyers not paying fool sellers who send before receiving the money.

    Now with that new policy, what happens? Well, because a seller has no power at all to give a negative feedback, it becomes almost instantly totally accepted that a seller will ALWAYS receive full paiement before delivering anything.

    This is anyway what already occurs in most cases.

    Second half of the problem solved: seller can't be scammed, hence he doesn't need the ability to give a negative feedback.

    Though eBay should get a trial for abuse of dominant position, on that one, they're actually doing the right thing.

    And Simon, had that policy already been in place, you would never even had had the problem.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @ Lucia

    The main problem for me is if you list somthing for $1 and $20 shipping, when you get the item if it's faulty all you get refunded is $1, I've had this happen to me a few times and I won't buy anything now thats low value with high shipping.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    scams in both directions

    How do the rule changes affect the feckless sods who claim never to have received your item and get their money back through paypal without you having any say in it?

  52. A J Stiles
    Thumb Down

    PayPal sucks

    I only ever use old-fashioned postal orders when paying for goods bought on eBay, because postal orders are much, much more secure -- both for the buyer and the seller.

    First of all, there is no need for the recipient of a postal order to positively identify themself to the sender -- it can always be made out to "CASH". The sender does not have to know the recipient's real name, nor even an alias under which the recipient may have opened a bank account (which in itself is getting harder and harder to do these days, as this control-freak government seek to pry ever deeper into our lives and use big business to do their dirty work for them -- but that's a separate issue).

    Secondly, there is no information on a postal order which allows the recipient to positively identify the sender -- so long as it was paid for in cash, it cannot be traced back any further than the Post Office where it was sold. In all probability this will be a busy Post Office in a city with hundreds of customers passing through every hour, now the government have closed so many of the local sub-Post Offices where the sub-postmistress knew everybody's name.

    Yes, the Post Office will sting you a few pence in the pound for a postal order. But this is a small price to pay for being able to perform a transaction in such a way that neither party need positively identify themself to the other. Contrast that with PayPal, where somebody always knows not only who both parties are, but what they were buying and when.

    About shill bidding: It's ultimately self-regulating. If as a seller you get greedy and push up the price higher than anybody is genuinely willing to pay, you end up winning your own item back -- which puts you out of pocket due to listing and final value fees. If as a buyer you think that an item is too expensive, the proper course of action is to leave it alone and wait for another to come along. Remember, at every stage of the process you enter the MAXIMUM you are prepared to pay, and bids are placed incrementally up to this amount.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why PayPal seems cheap

    PayPal seems cheap and efficient because they've gone a long way to cut costs. They have removed one of the most expensive parts of any service package: consumer protection.

    It's equivalent to the low-cost airlines who will leave you stranded in a foreign country at 11pm without a bed for the night or any idea of how your going to get home. And just like those airlines, it's not always down to outside influences (snow, fog, pilots arrested for being drunk-in-charge of an aircraft), but sometimes just because they feel like it (too many spare seats -- flight cancelled).

    Sadly, we're all too thick to realise that old adage "you get what you pay for."

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @scams in both directions

    "How do the rule changes affect the feckless sods who claim never to have received your item and get their money back through paypal without you having any say in it?"

    I've had a number if instances over the years, where items have not turned up and I have had to claim.

    The thing that I can't understand is that everyone always cailms it was sent but can't provide shipping details, either proff of posting or recorded number etc... You are given these when you post it if using the post office.

    Another thing that irratates me is when an item will be sent recorded and the final value is withing the covered value for recorded, yet you have to pay a compulsary insurance fee.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @By A J Stiles

    "I only ever use old-fashioned postal orders .............. it can always be made out to "CASH". "

    If you make it out to cash and don't cross it, it is the same as sending real cash, hence no security at all. the seller could claim you didn't post it to him and you have no way of tracing it. You should always have a name and cross the PO.

  56. Anonymous Coward

    NOT the item you are looking for.

    I hate searching and finding items with "NOT" in the title.

    Sometimes when ebaying late at night and after a few drinks I normally ask the 'NOT' sell a question.


    'I was going to ask a question about the .........item , but I see you are NOT selling that. Therefor this is NOT a question.'

    If they are wasting my time seeding my searches and clogging up the eBay search engine for that matter, I'm going to waste their time reading my NOT question !!

  57. Matt

    Worse on

    Amazon Marketplace charge an £0.86 completion fee and an utterly ridiculous 17.25% closing fee atop that for things sold there!!

    Also their P&P allowance is painfully small, and frequently isn't sufficient to cover materials and recorded delivery. AND their feedback system sucks, because customers often don't leave feedback and sellers frequently don't get the credit they deserve.

    Anyway, I digress. I myself have no problem with "inflated" postage fees on eBay. They're presented up front for all to see, even before you view an item detail. I think sellers are entitled to recoup some of the obscene eBay and PayPal fees in their shipping costs. Why should sellers be forced to negate what little they have made on the sale, or in instances be forced to make a loss, while eBay rakes in yet more and more cash?

    Google Auctions, anyone?

  58. Dale

    Monumental piss take....

    RE: "...they need to go further than reducing some fees. How about they clean up all of the scam artists, con jobs, and excess shipping fee sellers? How many times have you seen a $5 product with a shipping fee of $25+?"

    That is not a scam, its actually a way of stopping paying EBay so much money per sale.

    Isn't this monumental piss take an ideal opportunity for some alternative sites to undercut ebay?

  59. Joe Blogs

    NOT the item....

    simply add '-not' into your search and these will no longer appear

  60. A J Stiles
    Black Helicopters


    It all depends on who you want your details to be secure from.

    Sometimes it's better for your money and the item to go missing altogether (nobody ever spends more on eBay than they could afford to lose, right?) than for anybody to be able to work out who was sending what to whom.

  61. Mark Hartman

    Re: eBay's problem isn't the fees it's the ratings

    Everyone should scroll back to the top of the page and read comment #12 by Neil Docherty: BINGO!

    ebay's new feedback policy is a step in the wrong direction. The idea should be feedback transparency, not seller protection.

  62. Paul
    Boffin anyone? - do they still allow to copy your ebay rating to your ebid rating?

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: Shipping Costs AC

    "Also since its clearly advertised the seller is breaking no laws nor defrauding anyone"

    "Actually, they are on three counts."

    "Firstly, if the item is coming in from abroad then a false customs declaration is illegal and potentially HMRC lose out on tax. Secondly, eBay don't charge fees on the postage price so eBay is losing money (at least that was the case the last time I read the relevant part of their T&Cs). I'll admit, probably not many tears shed so far..."

    The HMRC issue is a totally different matter to what we were talking about.

    Ebay losing out because of it is not breaking any law. If you can show me the law on the statue books fine but I'm not aware of any and like tax avoidance is not illegal, evasion is. There is a big difference.

    "Finally, the buyers rights are affected if the seller is a business as they are bound by the distant selling regulations (if UK based of course) and if you get an item and decide to return it under these rights, the company has to refund the original purchase price but not postage. If the postage is subsidising the item, they are still making a profit and you don't get as much money back as you should be entitled to."

    Again there is no law broken if the postage cost is listed, you have accepted the terms of the sale, the price of the item and the costs the seller has decided to charge.

    So no laws (apart from possibly the HMRC issue) are being broken, it might not be fair play in your eyes. As I said you have the choice to take it or leave it no one is making you buy the item, its not as though its a monopoly so take your business elsewhere in the good tradition of free trade. I really don't see the issue here. If I see an item listed which is too expensive I don't buy it, whether that cost be in the item price, the postage cost or the fact that the seller can't prove it works and won't offer any DOA warranty or 100's of other reasons I will decide whether or not to bid.

    The only valid comment I've seen is the one to returning an item when I can see there is an issue.

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reason upping the postage is a PAIN IN THE ARSE

    When you click to show prices in ascending/descending order and you then have to scan the whole list of however many items are returned in the search then work out for most "how much is the starting price plus the weird postage".

    Either get it to fck or have a third column called "Total price" which you can click and see the REAL cheapest prices.

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