eBay Sellers and Shipping

10/26/05 3:53 PM 0 Comments

So, if you've ever bought anything on eBay, then you probably are aware of the extreme a**-raping that goes on involving shipping prices. Many times the items you buy only cost half of what you pay to ship them. This is not because UPS or USPS has raised their prices. It's the new way sellers, who are already scalpers in a sense, rip you off.

Inflated shipping charges have become such an obstacle for eBay buyers that eBay has been sending out questionnaires asking buyers to rank shipping problems, including inflated shipping prices. While this sucks, and is unfair, it is only a small part of a bigger problem.

Sellers will tell you to pay to insure your items so they don't have to package them in any logical way. After they have inflated the shipping price, they expect you to pay the extra $1-5 to insure the package. This supposedly protects you from USPS damaging your package. What it actually does is give sellers the freedom to not give an f*** about how they package your items.

Take my most recent eBay purchase for example. I bought around $40 worth of items in a single auction, and over half of these items were ceramic. Because I didn't give the seller the extra bucks to insure the package, they packed it in the dumbest way I have ever seen. Each ceramic object was wrapped in a single sheet of newspaper, and then they threw some bags of air on top to fill the package.

Sure the package was marked fragile, but even if USPS handled it like a new born child, the odds were against it arriving without something broken. Of course when it did arrive one of the three most important items to me was broken.

So, here's some advice to jackass eBay sellers who are out to rip people off:
  1. If you inflate the shipping prices, that sh*t better be packaged as securely as a nuclear warhead. I paid $11.50 in shipping and got a lousy single sheet of newspaper around ceramics.
  2. The reason people don't buy insurance is because it's a scam. Sure, you might eventually get a few piddly dollars back from USPS, but what good does that do you after they have damaged your limited edition, hard-to-find collectible? I want the f-ing item, not an apology from the postmaster and a measly check 6 months down the road when they finally process my claim.
  3. If in doubt, package the items like they are going through a war zone. Ever heard of bubble wrap? It's only one of the most protective substances available for shipping items in the entire world. Hey, I bet you could buy 10 feet of it for around $3.00. That still leaves you enough money to get the damn items to me in one piece. Package the sh*t like you would want me to package it for you.
  4. Guess what? If you can't afford bubble wrap, you can recycle your old packaging materials. I know it a very risky concept - saving the environment and shipping costs- but it can be done. If you are a scalper who never buys anything and therefore never receives packaging materials, then you'll have to try sometihng else I guess. (BTW scalpers, I am saving a special entry just for you, so don't feel cheated by this one).
  5. Shipping is not part of how much you want to make off of the sale of an item. (Scalpers should especially remember this). It should be how much money it will take for a seller to get off their lazy a** and package an item correctly and get some other lazy a** to bring it to me.

So anyway, I hope you all have as wonderful an eBay experience as I always do. Also, to the person who inspired this entry, I hope a special level of HELL for people who torment collectors is your final shipping destination.


“If you don’t turn your life into a story, you just become a part of someone else’s story.” – The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents