eBay sellers gouge on expedited delivery costs

I’ve become a great fan of Amazon Prime since I started using it, mainly because I no longer have to worry about what the shipping prices are so long as I click the “Prime Eligible” button.

eBay postage prices however still annoy me immensely. Take an item I purchased this evening – the seller is offering “Fast & Free” postage. I still have an issue with eBay describing anything up to three day’s delivery time as “fast”. Fast should be buying on a Sunday evening and receiving delivery on Tuesday. That aside however it’s the postage prices for alternative delivery methods which really rankle.

Shipping OptionsI have no idea how much the seller is paying his 48 hour courier. However it’s unlikely to be less than about £4.00. We all know that there’s no such thing as free postage so that £4 is included in the purchase price.

With £4 postage already being “charged”, how on earth can the seller have the gall to charge an additional £9.99 for Royal Mail Tracked 24 – an effective cost of £13.99. Even a seller only shipping a couple of thousand items per year can get Tracked 24 for around £5.50 and Royal Mail’s discount for downgrading to Tracked 48 is about 50p. Charging £9.99 is ridiculous.

Again the Special Delivery cost of £12.99 doesn’t appear to take into account the £4 postage that’s included in the item price. A more realistic price point would be £8.99.

Have you reviewed your postage prices recently? Are you massively overcharging for enhanced postage options? If you are there are two things that might happen. Buyers in a hurry for their items will simply shop elsewhere and you’ll miss out on the sale, or they’ll pay the price and then ding you with some harsh feedback or detailed seller ratings.

You might say my best option is simply to shop with another retailer… the problem is that I’ve got this Amazon Prime account and all the time that sellers are offering ridiculous expedited delivery charges on eBay that’s where I’m likely to head.

One day eBay will wake up to the fact that whilst the headline postage offered may be reasonably priced (or free), some sellers are still gouging on expedited delivery charges. If sellers don’t set more reasonable prices one day eBay may decide to make all costs mandatory which will probably upset everyone. It might stop me from shopping with Amazon Prime though!