Tuesday, June 27, 2006

eBay Cracks Down On The Excessive

This has been a long time coming:

At eBay Live! Bill Cobb announced that, as of June 19th, eBay is taking a much stronger stand against excessive Shipping & Handling charges.

In addition to stepping up enforcement against egregious violations, we have made some clarifications to our Excessive Shipping & Handling policy. The changes outline the types of charges sellers may pass on to the buyer in the form of shipping and handling. They also provide guidelines that sellers can use to make sure their listings are in compliance with the policy. Simply stated, sellers can feel confident they are in compliance by charging actual shipping fees plus actual costs for packaging materials.

Our Community has told us – and our research confirms -- excessive shipping prices drive buyers from our site. This hurts the entire marketplace. These unfair charges also un-level the playing field, allowing some sellers to hide their costs in the shipping charges to manipulate their priority in search. In the coming months, we will be proactively looking for listings that are in violation of our policy, and we'll be following up on member reports. Please know that it will take some time to clean up the marketplace, but your help and cooperation, we can regain buyer trust and re-level the playing field for the vast majority of honest sellers.

Thank you to those of you who have been reporting examples of excessive shipping that you see on our site. It is only through working together that we will make an impact on this issue.

If you would like to read further about this policy, please visit the Excessive Shipping Charges Policy page.

"...excessive shipping prices drive buyers from our site."

Many have said this is a simple matter of reading a shipper's policy and if they charge excessive shipping rates don't buy from them. Excessive shipping also drives sellers away because the buyers that buy these low priced items with ridiculous shipping charges have bad experiences and stay away from eBay, thus ... drying up the market of potential buyers for sellers. Buyers are also pavlov-ed into thinking that shipping charges must be high for a small item and some choose not to even look for small items on eBay.

This is my second MOST hated thing about eBay in general. First and foremost is how negative feedback is handled. More on that another time.

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