A recent purchase had brought me into the debate again.
Basically, there are two sides to the argument:
SIDE ONE: You know what the shipping charges are before you place a bid. If you don't like the cost, don't bid. If you buy the item, don't whine.
SIDE TWO: Shipping charges are not a place for a seller to pad their profit. If they charge a high price, you should expect high service. If you don't get service that matches the cost, then complain away.
I'm with side two. If I pay $3 for shipping and the card comes in a 46 cent plain white envelope, I feel I've been ripped off. It doesn't matter if the card arrived safely or not, a $3 charge deserves $3 worth of service.
I've heard sellers complain about all the fees they have to pay to Ebay and Paypal with each sale. They say that the extra charge in shipping helps the cover those costs. But according to Ebay, sellers can't do that. Ebay has a very specific list of what can be included in shipping and handling charges. Fees are not on the list. The fees are the seller's responsibility through the sale price of the item, not mine through the shipping charges.
Here's my recent tale:
I purchased the 1987 Classic Baseball board game--I wanted the complete set of 100 cards. The shipping charge was $10.95. It seemed a little high, but putting a game in a box might get heavy, making the charge seem more reasonable.
Here's how the game came:
Pretty messed up.
I wasn't happy, mainly because the seller went the cheap route and that led to me getting a damaged item. Putting his address into a shipping calculator gave me a shipping price of $8.05--not even close to the $10.95 I was charged.
I decided to contact the seller. I told him that the shipping was overcharged, the packaging was flimsy, and that I should get a partial refund because of the overcharge and the damage. I also included pictures of each of the four corners.
The seller wasn't happy. He told me that he uses shrink wrapping all the time with no problems, the game was in good condition when it left his house, he would not give me a refund, and he was going to report me to Ebay. He also sent a second message that said the auction description said the box had a tear in one corner.
This was not going to go well. There were several messages back and forth. He asked me for an amount I was looking for, then said he wasn't going to refund me at all and was again going to report me to Ebay.
He said that he had never had a problem shipping games this way, and then I pointed out to him my problem and the problem another buyer had based on feedback given on December 11 ("Had all parts. $12 shipping for thin layer of shrink wrap? Box was damaged" -- almost the exact same situation as mine).
I told him to look at the pictures again, that they show all four corner. He said the thought they were all of the same corner.
He sang the sad song about Ebay and Paypal fees. I pointed out that he can't add those to the shipping charges--that an Ebay no-no. He didn't like hearing that.
We eventually settled on a refund amount.
None of this would have happened if he had put the game in a larger box for protection. The amount I paid for shipping would cover the cost of a six pound box. The game was a little under three pounds. If I had gotten $10.95 worth of service for the $10.95 I paid, the situation never would have happened.
I haven't left any feedback yet. I'm leaning towards a neutral. It wasn't a positive experience. I got the game, and a small refund, but I also got a damaged box. Plus he wasn't the easiest person to work with. I think future buyers need to know that.
Positive? Neutral? Negative? Let it go? Thoughts on Ebay shipping charges?