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  #81  
Old 12th February 2017, 10:06 AM
Megatran
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Rude behaviour from Buyer &/or Seller is never acceptable.

What I'm not clear on:
+ Was the shipping price listed at $45 at time of transaction?
+ Was the shipping price increased at anytime during or just before the transaction?
+ Prior to the transaction, was there any written agreement between the parties involved to repay any handling fees?
+ What was the outcome of the dispute when the matter was raised with ebay? i.e. the decision was in who's favour?
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  #82  
Old 12th February 2017, 03:51 PM
bowspearer bowspearer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Megatran View Post
What I'm not clear on:
+ Was the shipping price listed at $45 at time of transaction?
+ Was the shipping price increased at anytime during or just before the transaction?
+ Prior to the transaction, was there any written agreement between the parties involved to repay any handling fees?
+ What was the outcome of the dispute when the matter was raised with ebay? i.e. the decision was in who's favour?
While I appreciate where you're coming from Megatran, the problem with your questions, while they certainly are reasonable questions to ask, is that in isolation, they lack context and are therefore somewhat irrelevant.

That context only comes when each of those questions are looked at in the context of two other questions.

Those questions are:

+Is there any agreement which automatically overrules and overrides any agreement with a buyer and seller on eBay?

And:

+In the context of the above question, is the seller prohibited from charging excessive shipping fees?

The answer to both of those questions is yes.

Firstly, any time a seller lists an item, they agree to eBay's terms of use in doing so (from memory, quite literally in the form of ticking a check box). As such, any agreement that is made between a seller and a buyer is governed by eBay's terms of use for sellers, just as it is governed by eBay's terms of use for buyers. As such there is a reasonably and justifiable expectation of sellers that buyers will adhere to eBay's terms of use for buyers, just as that there is a reasonable and justifiable expectation of buyers that sellers will adhere to eBay's terms of use.

Those terms of use are clear and explicit here concerning excessive shipping:

Quote:
When using calculated shipping, make sure the calculated cost isn't higher than the actual shipping cost. If so, it's considered excessive shipping, which isn't allowed on eBay.
In other words, a seller could even theoretically charge $5,000 in shipping - just as long as the actually shipping costs were $5,000.

So with that in mind, let's go through each of those questions.

Quote:
+ Was the shipping price listed at $45 at time of transaction?
Yes, the listing did list shipping at $45, however the seller had agreed in the process of listing the item that they would refrain from charging excessive shipping charges. As such, there was a reasonable and justifiable expectation on my part, that the actual shipping costs themselves would be $45. As per their agreement with eBay, there was also a reasonable expectation on my part, which by listing the item, the seller had also agreed to, that as I wasn't being charged excessive shipping fees, that if the seller had overestimated shipping costs, that they should reimburse me any amount of the shipping fee I had paid which was in excess of the shipping costs. (As an aside, I have no problem with sellers initially overestimating shipping costs if they're trying to account for a worst case scenario. I just expect them to do the right thing if there is an overcharging.)

In short, the listed shipping cost of $45 is only valid so long as the actual shipping costs are approximately $45.

Quote:
+ Was the shipping price increased at anytime during or just before the transaction?
Not to my knowledge, but again, the shipping costs were in breach of eBay's terms of use the seller agreed to when they listed the item - at the very least as of the moment the seller posted the item and was aware that the actual shipping costs were nowhere near the price he had charged me. Either way, the shipping charge was in direct breach of the agreement he made with eBay when he listed the item and ultimately that is the overriding factor here.

Quote:
+ Prior to the transaction, was there any written agreement between the parties involved to repay any handling fees?
Again said written agreement is covered by eBay's prohibition on excessive shipping charges (which the seller agreed to when they listed the item) which places a reasonable obligation on the part of the seller and a reasonable expectation on the part of the buyer, that any excessive shipping charges would be refunded. To that end, there is also a reasonable expectation on the part of the buyer and a reasonable obligation on the part of the seller, that the seller will refund any overcharged amount when the buyer requests it - even if that is after the buyer has received an item (which is usually when an excessive shipping charge is discovered).

Quote:
+ What was the outcome of the dispute when the matter was raised with ebay? i.e. the decision was in who's favour?
As far as Paypal goes, they have no mechanisms in place for disputing excess shipping charges. As for eBay, I was told they were taking the matter seriously, but due to privacy reasons, they could not advise me of the outcome of the matter.
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  #83  
Old 12th February 2017, 05:55 PM
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You used to be able to report sellers for excessive shipping. That was removed some time ago. Charging excessive shipping doesn't matter anymore to eBay because they charge a final value fee on the item amount PLUS shipping. So because they get a slice of the shipping, the bigger the better. In the past they cared because the shipping was not included in that.

Personally I have some things to put forward on the matter. I hate sellers who rip you off will postage costs, but there are things you can do to prevent that.

- I assume the item arrived undamaged since you haven't mentioned otherwise. For something so expensive, I'd happy trade the $35 for the knowledge that it was not damaged and you dont have to fight for a partial/full refund. Also take note that even if he had used a courier with extra insurance, theres no actual guarantee it would arrive undamaged.

- My other point is looking on the auction page, the postage reads "$45 Standard Delivery - Registered." That means he is using stock standard Auspost to post it. If you use eBay a bit you should know this. Even from Perth something that size will not cost $45 to post*. Why would you agree to the purchase with that knowledge? You basically agreed to give him $45 to ship the item using regular post! Doesn't matter what it ended up costing, you agreed to pay the $45. Remember the same applies if a seller quotes $10 shipping, and it ends up being $25 - the seller has to cop the hit and pay that themselves, the buyer is not required to cough up more money after the fact.

*If in doubt you can always look it up yourself using a rough weight estimate on the Auspost website:
https://auspost.com.au/parcels-mail/...le-post-guides

- As an extension from that, for anything rare or expensive you should always cover your bases by asking the seller for an specific postage cost to your postcode or how he intends to ship it, that way if he says one thing (eg: will still cost $45 to you/ ill be using an overnight courier) and does another thing (eg: only costs $15/ uses regular auspost instead of the promised courier) you have that as evidence within ebay's messaging system, thus they can see you have been defrauded and can take action to recover your money. Right now all you have is the $10 of the shipping and the box, technically you can't actually prove to eBay that it didn't cost him $35 in handling. What if he lives 100km from the nearest post office? Fuel arguably becomes a handling expense (that is just a hypothetical).

- If you do some/all of the above, and it doesn't add up, don't buy it off them. If the price of the item is too good to let go in your eyes, then you make the gamble, but you're making that decision based off all the information you may have obtained.

Again its clear this guy gave an inflated shipping cost to make a few extra bucks. I'm just pointing out to you some things to help prevent this from happening to you again. Hopefully eBay do the right thing and get you a partial refund.
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  #84  
Old 12th February 2017, 07:27 PM
bowspearer bowspearer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Borgeman View Post
- I assume the item arrived undamaged since you haven't mentioned otherwise. For something so expensive, I'd happy trade the $35 for the knowledge that it was not damaged and you dont have to fight for a partial/full refund. Also take note that even if he had used a courier with extra insurance, theres no actual guarantee it would arrive undamaged.
See, maybe it's just me, but I don't believe I should pay extra for sellers to go to the nth to pack things as best as they can. Those times when I've sold things, I've always gone out of my way to pack and pad stuff to the nth to ensure it gets to the other end with minimal damage and I've only every charged for materials I haven't been able to scrounge for to do it. So to me, the notion of having to pay extra to get a seller to essentially do their job, kind of seems absurd to me and it's the standard I hold myself to when I sell things.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Borgeman View Post
- My other point is looking on the auction page, the postage reads "$45 Standard Delivery - Registered." That means he is using stock standard Auspost to post it. If you use eBay a bit you should know this. Even from Perth something that size will not cost $45 to post*. Why would you agree to the purchase with that knowledge? You basically agreed to give him $45 to ship the item using regular post! Doesn't matter what it ended up costing, you agreed to pay the $45. Remember the same applies if a seller quotes $10 shipping, and it ends up being $25 - the seller has to cop the hit and pay that themselves, the buyer is not required to cough up more money after the fact.
If it was to Australia only, absolutely and I completely get where you're coming from here. The problem here is that if you look at the item description, it was listed as the seller posting worldwide, which would still be registered Australia Post these days - even if it's going by surface. As I understand it, Australia Post now give tracking on everything because of the amount of eBay parcels going through their system. $45 is certainly price gouging for Australia, but for somewhere like the US, it's certainly a reasonable ballpark. The dilemma in situations like this is whether what you're seeing is calculated shipping or whether it's a flat figure the seller has put out there to cover themselves; last I checked, eBay gave the option of stating either in a listing.
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  #85  
Old 12th February 2017, 08:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bowspearer View Post
See, maybe it's just me, but I don't believe I should pay extra for sellers to go to the nth to pack things as best as they can. Those times when I've sold things, I've always gone out of my way to pack and pad stuff to the nth to ensure it gets to the other end with minimal damage and I've only every charged for materials I haven't been able to scrounge for to do it. So to me, the notion of having to pay extra to get a seller to essentially do their job, kind of seems absurd to me and it's the standard I hold myself to when I sell things.
2 things here - firstly, if he is the type of person that buys all packing material new for every sale, that's totally his right and also is his right to include that as part of the shipping and handling (im sure some online stores do this). Secondly, I didn't mean to sound like you should accept the $35 as part of him doing his job, what I meant was that given this has all happened yet you still got the toy undamaged, I'd live with the "lost" $35 and be happy the toy arrived safely, especially since it is valuable.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bowspearer View Post
If it was to Australia only, absolutely and I completely get where you're coming from here. The problem here is that if you look at the item description, it was listed as the seller posting worldwide, which would still be registered Australia Post these days - even if it's going by surface. As I understand it, Australia Post now give tracking on everything because of the amount of eBay parcels going through their system. $45 is certainly price gouging for Australia, but for somewhere like the US, it's certainly a reasonable ballpark. The dilemma in situations like this is whether what you're seeing is calculated shipping or whether it's a flat figure the seller has put out there to cover themselves; last I checked, eBay gave the option of stating either in a listing.
You're right about Auspost, tracking is standard on all parcels now.

The postage changes depending on where the prospective buyer is viewing the item. If I look the item up on ebay.com (no '.au'), and choose any other country for a shipping estimate, I get the following:

AU $65.00 United States AusPost Registered Post International Parcel

Both numbers are obviously numbers he added himself. It's no dilemma though - if it stays the same no matter what postcode you put into the calculator, its his own flat figure. Yes the $45 is gouging, but if you knew that why did you buy it? The fact remains is that they were the stated postage amounts and you chose to make the purchase. I'm just saying do some research in future to ensure you are properly satisfied with any/all postage charges, especially if the numbers seem high to begin with.


This actually reminds me of something from a couple years back - I wanted to buy a single birthday/greeting card from the webstore of Explosm.net
The postage quoted was around USD$40, to send a card in an envelope!
I queried it and asked if there was a cheaper alternaitve, and was told there was some recent changes to their shipping, and that "at this moment we don't really have another way of getting things out to you."
Now unless you use some International overnight express letter service (and they wouldn't), it does not cost $40 to send an envelope. I did not proceed with the transaction, because I knew that it would cost them much less (on my e-mail reply to them, I researched it to be $12) to post me an envelope, and could not justify the quoted shipping in any way. That logic kind of applies here.
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  #86  
Old 12th February 2017, 09:30 PM
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If I saw an auction for something that size and postage at $45, I'd assume it was next day delivery. If I paid that and they sent it regular post then I'd query it for sure, if they responded like that I'd neg them straight away.

Recently I purchased a bag from the US for $12, postage was to be worked out after the sale. I was expecting it to be around $15-$20 US. Seller sent me an invoice for $70. I just said I wasn't paying that much so we cancelled the sale. However if it was a G1 MISB item, I be happy to pay that just to get it to me!

Based on this sellers auction listings and suspicious auctions when the same items were listed at $1.00 I just wouldn't buy from them.
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  #87  
Old 12th February 2017, 10:12 PM
Megatran
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It sounds as though people are making assumptions with the shipping cost. The most common being whack in box & pay for shipping from Point A to Point B.

There's the cost associated with maintaining a vehicle to transport the consignment to Point A (most commonly a Post Office). Borgeman touched on this. A 10km trip, at $0.76 per km, adds $7.60.

There's the high cost of running a contaminant-free room for packing the consignment. Decontamination chamber for removing contaminants from body, utensils & items to be shipped. Positive pressure flow, ULPA (Ultra Low Particulate Air) filter, temperature contol, lighting, contamination suit & respirator. Autoclave to sterilise equipment. Some people just don't realise (or appreciate) what is involved in the process. It magically arrives at Point B in an immaculate condition.
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  #88  
Old 12th February 2017, 10:47 PM
bowspearer bowspearer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Borgeman View Post
2 things here - firstly, if he is the type of person that buys all packing material new for every sale, that's totally his right and also is his right to include that as part of the shipping and handling (im sure some online stores do this).
Even so, from the amount of bubblewrap used in the sale, you're not talking about more than $5 extra in handling costs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Borgeman View Post
what I meant was that given this has all happened yet you still got the toy undamaged, I'd live with the "lost" $35 and be happy the toy arrived safely, especially since it is valuable.
If it wasn't an eBay sale or was a sale on some venue which didn't explicitly have as part of their terms of use, then fair enough. My issue is an ethical one - namely that when the seller listed that item, part of that action was an agreement to refrain from charging excessive shipping charges; they didn't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megatran View Post
It sounds as though people are making assumptions with the shipping cost. The most common being whack in box & pay for shipping from Point A to Point B.
It's more a case of some of us not looking at customer service as something to squeeze as much money out of customers as possible with and finding the actions and attitudes of those who do to be a complete anathema to us.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megatran View Post
There's the cost associated with maintaining a vehicle to transport the consignment to Point A (most commonly a Post Office). Borgeman touched on this. A 10km trip, at $0.76 per km, adds $7.60.
That argument only really applies if you're talking about remote rural locations where there is a significant distance between a seller's residence and their post office. In this case we're talking about a seller in Perth, meaning that it would be a ludicrous situation for a post office to be something like 10km away from the seller's residence.

However even if, for the sake of argument, you say that the seller had to travel 10km in a round trip to reach their post office and had to spend $5 on bubblewrap, you're still talking about only adding under $13 to the that $10, which still leaves $22 which cannot be accounted for by your argument and Borgeman's argument - almost 100% more than the expenses your arguments potentially raise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megatran View Post
There's the high cost of running a contaminant-free room for packing the consignment. Decontamination chamber for removing contaminants from body, utensils & items to be shipped. Positive pressure flow, ULPA (Ultra Low Particulate Air) filter, temperature contol, lighting, contamination suit & respirator. Autoclave to sterilise equipment.
Aren't you making assumptions about the setup the person does or does not have here? We're not talking about a 70,000+ feedback seller here or a professional business here; we're talking about a seller with 210 feedback including his feedback as a buyer. What reason would there be to even remotely suggest that the seller in question has said setup. Secondly, shouldn't the seller be factoring those costs into the cost of the item rather than the cost of shipping?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megatran View Post
Some people just don't realise (or appreciate) what is involved in the process. It magically arrives at Point B in an immaculate condition.
Alternately, aren't you overestimating it by coming up with convoluted scenarios which don't even apply to such a low volume seller, such as assuming that then must be using a contaminant free room for packing consignments when there is absolutely nothing to suggest that this is even remotely the case here?

Honestly wondering if you're coming into this discussion with an axe to grind.
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  #89  
Old 12th February 2017, 10:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Megatran View Post
There's the high cost of running a contaminant-free room for packing the consignment. Decontamination chamber for removing contaminants from body, utensils & items to be shipped. Positive pressure flow, ULPA (Ultra Low Particulate Air) filter, temperature contol, lighting, contamination suit & respirator. Autoclave to sterilise equipment. Some people just don't realise (or appreciate) what is involved in the process. It magically arrives at Point B in an immaculate condition.
It's at this point I realised Megatran was taking the piss
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  #90  
Old 12th February 2017, 11:11 PM
bowspearer bowspearer is offline
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One other thing, it hasn't helped that the seller in question has shown themselves to belligerent, arrogant, rude and utterly contemptuous.

Case in point, when the item was a day off the tail end of eBay's ETA, I messaged the seller to find out what was happening. I got a message back saying it was really late due to them working, public holidays and "blah blah blah" (their exact words) and that they'd get me the tracking number.

3 days pass, radio silence - no message from him, no automated message from eBsy with a tracking number update to the item). I didn't see the point in checking back if there was nothing to indicate there was new information there (again, when I sell something, I get the buyer the tracking info within 24 hours - on eBay that's both as a message and as an update to the listing info).

After the three days had passed, I sent him another message, saying that I wasn't happy and that if I didn't have the tracking info in the next 3 days, I'd be filing a Paypal dispute. Their response was to have a go at me for not checking on the eBay listing tracking info. When I responded that there was no reason for me to check it as there was no notification from eBay, the seller tried to flip it around on me by claiming that eBay ALWAYS sends out notification emails. I double-checked both my spam folders and inbox in case I somehow missed it - it wasn't there.

I messaged the seller back saying "They didn't this time (I've just doublechecked my inbox and checked my spam folder on the off-chance it somehow wound up there - no notification email is there). Just goes to show that you can't count on eBay not to make glitches."

Their response:

"That's eBay's job. Not mine "

In fact, when I raised the matter with them, I said:

"I just got the item and while I'm happy with it, I'm not at all happy about the $35 "handling charge" According to the box, the postage costs were $7.60, while Australia Post lists the cost of a Bx2 mailing box at $2.40. That's a total of $10. I'm happy for you to take a $5 handling charge, but $35 is obscene and I expect the other $30 to be refunded to me in the next 24 hours. I'm very annoyed that I had to raise this with you rather than you doing the ethical thing and bouncing me back the excess when you became aware of it."

For starters, this whole situation would have been avoided had they been upfront about the discrepancy to begin with and honoured the agreement they made with eBay - raising the excess with me and bouncing back what they didn't need to cover the shipping.

Secondly, even though in the wake of everything, I was annoyed, both by him not being upfront with everything and his appalling attitude from the previous night, I was still showing a willingness to accept whatever reasonable handling charges the seller needed to cover (such as things like mileage). He could easily have turned around and said that the actual total costs included X,Y and Z and that the figure was a bit higher than it looked.

He instead chose to carry on with the same attitude which has clearly alienated not only myself, but others here as well.

I'll contrast that with another situation where eBay's rules didn't even apply. I was buying a few figures off a great guy called Boogdoc on Action-figures.ca when I noticed that there was a significant discrepancy between the shipping costs and what I'd paid for shipping. I raised it with him, he brought up mileage (he lives a fair way out from a post office), we factored that into the postage costs and he bounced me the excess.

As much as some might want to make this about buyers not understanding hidden shipping costs, the issue here is a dodgy seller whose attitude and ethics are utterly abysmal and who thinks nothing of openly rorting buyers on shipping.
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