eBay UK to review Postage Caps

By Chris Dawson March 4, 2013 - 11:01 am

Parcel FeateBay have today that in light of the Royal Mail price changes they will be reviewing in certain categories on the site.

Postage caps set the maximum post and packaging costs that can be charged on eBay and in some cases sellers have found that due to their circumstances they’re forced to subsidise carriage. Sellers who have to charge VAT are often the most affected as it makes their postage costs 20% more expensive than the rates which Royal Mail advertise.

Which of your products are impossible to ship within the current postage caps? Which products will be most affected by the new 8cm thickness which pushes them parcels up to 1kg in weight from the £3.00 small parcel rate into the medium parcel £5.65 rate.

Whist higher volume sellers will be able to access Royal Mail 24/48 or Royal Mail Tracked products, consumers who are selling their winter coats will still want to post them and charge the actual postage, if it’s over 2kg it could cost £15.10 to post from April, more than double the current £7.00 eBay postage cap.

Whilst there are alternatives such as Collect Plus and myHermes many consumer simply won’t be aware of these options and if they’re stung at the Post Office with the new Royal Mail charges from the 2nd of April they may start to think twice about selling on eBay.

  • Gary
    8 years ago

    A lot of small volume sellers will think twice before selling on ebay. And a lot of buyers looking for bargains will be put off by postal charges of £15 or £20 and the final prices realised will plummet.

    Apart from media type items (and clothes?) there are not many products that are offered on ebay that when packaged will be less than 80mm in depth. And then what do you do with multiple purchases?

    This could have a serious impact on FVFs in certain catagories where items generally are over 2kg and over 80mm thick.

    There is always Gumtree of course and local collection and this may be a popular solution.

  • Gary
    8 years ago

    As a seller of pre-owned stuff I will certainly be reviewing the range of products I take onboard to offer to the public and there are certain products that will only be viable if the sellers are prepared to accept far lower offers for their collections of these products (like 50% less as a minimum). This has already happened with books.

  • Gary
    8 years ago

    How are ebays negotiations to get low cost shipping going? Surely any shipping caps would be linked to this rather than being influenced by Royal Mail.

    This is a cart before the horse situation isn’t it?

  • Jimbo
    8 years ago

    If I remember correctly there has been one slight rise in FBA costs in the last couple of years, which wasn’t nearly as dramatic as Royal Mails last price hike. I imagine Amazon and possibly other fulfillment services will become more and more attractive as Royal Mail’s pricing structures become more and more fluid and opaque.

  • 8 years ago

    The majority of the kids shoes that I dispatch are in boxes that are 8.2cm in the shortest length.
    When I first saw the small / medium package details I thought I was doomed. It was only when I looked deeper and re-read certain aspects of the RM pdf did I realise that with my existing PacketPost contract I would be posting by RM 24 or RM 48 – with no stupid size restriction.
    Now my competitors don’t have an RM account (yet). If they cannot provide evidence of volume or (if I have read this correctly) can only get to the local post office instead of the sorting office, then perhaps they are going to be hung out to dry by these changes.
    I like to do better than my competitors and take market share wherever possible but it would be a little sad if they fell by the wayside just because I had a postage advantage.

    • Jimbo
      8 years ago

      The size restrictions are still there.

    • 8 years ago

      My understanding is that OBA customers with less than 1000 items per year will be restricted to 1st and 2nd class posting with the stupid (in my view) new size restrictions of a SMALL PARCEL needing to be less than 8cm at it’s shortest length (not including the 16cm cube anomaly).

      For those who post more than 1000 items per year then the aforementioned 1st and 2nd class is replaced by RM24 and RM48. There are of course size restrictions but after large letters, the next step up in size is just called a PARCEL (no splitting in to SMALL or MEDIUM).
      The size restriction for a RM24 or RM48 PARCEL (currently called a PACKET) is Length: over 353mm OR
      Width: over 250mm OR
      Thickness: over 25mm

      up to:
      Length: 610mm
      Width: 460mm
      Height: 460mm

      Of course with the Royal Mail information being as clear as mud I could have misunderstood something but I do believe that the NEW size restrictions to not apply to RM24 and RM28 customers (those sending over 1000 pieces a year). Only to those OBA customers sending less than 1000 pieces per annum who still have to send using 1st and 2nd class.
      Please enlighten me if I have misunderstood something.

    • Jimbo
      8 years ago

      Okay, I’m with you now. I thought you meant that they had abolished the stupid old size restrictions with RM24 or RM48.
      I didn’t realize that the had actually added another new size restriction to 1st/2nd class. It would be great, in my opinion, if size restrictions only came in after a certain weight eg 100 grams.

      Thanks for clarifying.

  • Gerry007
    8 years ago

    Stupid question probably, but do ‘The Post office’ charge VAT [or will they after 1st April] to the general public on packets posted….?

    • elvis
      8 years ago

      RM do not charge vat to the general public in post offices. However, businesses that use contract services are charged vat.

    • 8 years ago

      Actually Royal Mail do charge the general public VAT in the Post Office for Special Delivery 9.00am

  • 8 years ago

    Well without any announcement Ebay have updated the postage caps which is good news. This was effective 14th March 2013.
    However I need to warn sellers of the following:
    Some categories within “Clothing” upto 14.03.13 did not come under the postage cap limits.
    One example of this was items listed in “Vintage Clothing” where in the past we were able to list items with no postage cap.
    Suddenly yesterday all my items which were up for GTC renewal were suddenly removed (not renewed) as the postage caps are now in effect for items listed in vintage clothing as follows:
    Shoes and coats are now limited to GBP 10.50 postage
    All other clothing is limited to GBP 7.00 postage.
    Sellers who have items in the Clothing–> vintage clothing category be aware of this and urgently check your listings as if you had listed items with postage costs over GBP 7.00 (GBP 10.50 for shoes and coats) your items will be removed by ebay on the next GTC renewal date.
    This has happened with no news from Ebay (as is often the case) I persnally had to update over 80 listings so please be aware of this

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