ebay climbdown on free P&P

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ebay climbdown on free P&P

Post by tony ingram on Mon Feb 01, 2010 7:41 pm

Late last year, ebay announced a new policy: in answer to complaints from buyers about excessive postage costs, they had decided that all sellers offering items in media categories (including comics) must now offer free postage as their first option (as though any buyer was likely to take the second option!). This was a spectacularly unpopular change which effectively crippled many small sellers who had been listing items for free in the 99p category: unable to sell items for less than the cost of posting them, many simply quit, while others were forced to incorporate postage costs into the item price, meaning that a) the item now no longer qualified for free listing, b) the item price was now three times what it had been and was therefore extremely unattractive to buyers and c) quite coincidentally, it meant more money for ebay since they were now effectively taking 10% of the postage cost, meaning the seller ended up with a smaller profit! Strangely, this did not work out well. Sellers left in droves, and buyers weren't too happy either since the sellers could now no longer give them a postage discount on multiple items.

In late November, ebay announced a special Christmas promotion. Free insertion on all items in selected categories (namely, all the categories which now had free P&P) up to £4.99, until January 24th; almost two months! The formerly disenfranchised sellers came back since they had nothing to lose, and some sales were made. Things were looking up. Until Jan 24th when the promotion ended and the sellers went away again. ebay, meanwhile, had its worst Christmas ever.

On Jan 27th, three days after the free listings promotion had ended, ebay announced that it was being extended (eh?) until February 7th. And we all relisted the items we'd let lapse over the previous three days.

And then, this morning, ebay announced that while the free P&P policy had indeed been a success, some sellers apparently had reported that it negatively impacted their businesses (No! You're kidding?) so they're scrapping it. From February 8th. The day after the revived/extended free listings promotion ends.

The only difference is, sellers will now not be able to charge P&P above a maximum limit. On comics, it's £2.75 per item.

Which is about 75p more than most of us were charging to start with.


Way to go, ebay! Try thinking things through a bit more, next time...

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Re: ebay climbdown on free P&P

Post by alanultron5 on Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:40 pm

No wonder we've been in a `recession` Wink

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Re: ebay climbdown on free P&P

Post by MR X on Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:29 pm

sounds a real shambles to me...there was nothing wrong with the system the way it stood, and hopefully things will return to the original method.

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Re: ebay climbdown on free P&P

Post by tony ingram on Tue Feb 02, 2010 7:04 pm

alanultron5 wrote:No wonder we've been in a `recession` Wink
Much as I'd like to, I don't think we can blame that entirely on ebay... Wink

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Re: ebay climbdown on free P&P

Post by alanultron5 on Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:41 pm

Actually Tony! I blame everything that has ever gone wrong, since creation commenced on your Christian name namesake = Tony Blair! Very Happy Laughing Wink

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Re: ebay climbdown on free P&P

Post by tony ingram on Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:53 pm

alanultron5 wrote:Actually Tony! I blame everything that has ever gone wrong, since creation commenced on your Christian name namesake = Tony Blair! Very Happy Laughing Wink
Sounds reasonable to me. I'll go along with that.

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Re: ebay climbdown on free P&P

Post by Hourglass on Mon Feb 08, 2010 3:53 pm

If you think ebay are bastards you should see what google does. As some of you may be aware I run the price comparison site along with a friend of mine. At Xmas google just happened to change the rules regarding website listings. Price comparison sites got a lower rank EVEN if the name was relevant to the search (eg James Bond collectables) and you had a reasonable hit ratio. As a result our Xmas sales were practically none existent despite a site overall.

Funny how they reverted back AFTER xmas to the old rules. I wonder if the big companies bribed them to make the move so they would make the money and not the affiliate sites.

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Re: ebay climbdown on free P&P

Post by tony ingram on Mon Feb 08, 2010 4:55 pm

ebay have just had their worst Christmas since they began trading. I think that's your reason right there.

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Re: ebay climbdown on free P&P

Post by THEDRUNKENMASTERTWO on Wed May 12, 2010 11:30 pm

Well I gave up selling ages ago, partly because of this and getting p*sses of with Ebay

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Re: ebay climbdown on free P&P

Post by tony ingram on Thu May 13, 2010 8:44 am

THEDRUNKENMASTERTWO wrote:Well I gave up selling ages ago, partly because of this and getting p*sses of with Ebay
They've now announced that from June, private sellers will be able to list a maximum 100 items per month in the free 99p category. Any more than that, you'll get charged and may be asked to register as a business (which means you lose the right to list for free anyway). One thing after another...

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Re: ebay climbdown on free P&P

Post by Hourglass on Thu May 13, 2010 11:40 am

The comic book industry should just make its own version of Ebay

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Re: ebay climbdown on free P&P

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