ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

eBay Postage Cowboys Cost Everyone Dearly

Updated on December 31, 2013

Ebay Fees Leaving Everyone Feeling the Pinch

eBay Postage and its Fees

Postage charges on eBay have always been a hot topic of conversation amongst buyers and sellers alike. Whilst the majority of sellers on eBay reflected their postal costs fairly on the auction website, the multinational company had been inundated for a long time with buyers who felt that some sellers were playing the system and charging extortionate and unfair postal prices.

Unlike Amazon, sellers on eBay have always been free to set their own postal charges and also decided which method of carriage they would use with options available for standard postal services as well as the often more expensive, courier services.

Final Value Fees

Some cash-hungry sellers had spotted a way of taking a bigger slice of profit by manipulating what they charged for postage on eBay. Previous to September 4th 2013, eBay charged a final fee on the total cost of the item sold, this fee is typically 10% of the value for private or individual sellers and between 5% and 11% for business sellers.

so for an item sold at £10 with £2 postage cost, the final fee to eBay was £1 (10% of the sale price). As the cost of postage was not subject to an eBay fee, greedy sellers were charging higher postal prices in order to make a bigger profit. Selling the same item at £8 but charging £4 for postage meant that the final value fee was this time only 80p leaving the seller with an extra 20p profit.

Post September 4th, eBay has closed this profit making loophole and now charges a final fee on the cost of postage, typically 10%. The £10 item with £2 postage charge now costs the seller £1.20 in a final value fee and thus eating into their profit a little further.

Everybody loses

Ebay commented that its new final value fee policy would help combat the problem of charging abnormally high postage in order to make a larger profit. They also stated that they aimed to, "...reward sellers who offer free or competitive postage, in line with customer expectations".

Except the new policy doesn't reward those fair seller, it in fact penalises them. The cost of selling on eBay has risen for them. They now have one of two choices, absorb the cost themselves and make less profit or pass on the cost to the consumer. In this day and age of economic downturn, there are few sellers who are likely to take the weight of the extra cost themselves.

Not only are sellers losing out having to pay higher fees on eBay but now consumers lose out as they are in most cases paying extra for their purchases.

Double Postage Commission

For a number of years it has been mandatory that eBay sellers offer Paypal as a means of payment for their buyers. Today, around 90% of all purchases made on eBay are completed using Paypal. It is also no secret that Paypal is owned by eBay.

Paypal has always charged commission (3.4% + 20p) on all money being paid through its system and so, this has included the money paid for the cost of postage. The earlier example of a £10 item and £2 postage would have resulted in Paypal charging Commission on the full £12. Sellers had to take into account when factoring in the cost of postage, that if they only charged the physical cost of mailing an item then they would in fact be making a loss on their postage costs.

Since the new fees were introduced in September, the postage paid on eBay is essentially being charged commission twice, once by eBay at 10% and then again by Paypal as a part of the total amount that is processed for the sale.

The eBay community forums are littered with buyers and sellers expressing their opinion on these charges. A site that used to deliver bargains seems increasingly to be providing a more costly experience for all.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)