Ebay Rant: Signature Confirmation on low-dollar items

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by bunnspecial, Jan 19, 2015.

  1. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    May 3, 2014
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    Kentucky
    #1
    Okay, I admit I'm ranting but I buy a LOT of parts on Ebay for my various PPC computer products.

    Paypal regulations require items with a final selling price of $250 or more are required to be shipped with signature confirmation. I know this well, as I sell watches on Ebay and have had to ship(and receive) many with signature confirmation.

    I can even understand why some sellers will use it on something in the $100+ range, particularly in a large box.

    Most of the stuff I buy is cheap, though, and also in a small enough box to fit in the mail box.

    Signature confirmation is a pain for me, as I'm usually at work when the mail comes. I have to take time out of my work day to go to the post office(~10 miles away from my house, in the opposite direction as work) and stand in line(10 minutes on a good day, an hour on a bad day) to get the package.

    Most recently, I bought a graphics card(Geforce 2MX). It was a $9 BIN with $6 shipping, or $15 total. The seller found it necessary to use signature confirmation, and I missed the delivery.

    That means that I'm going to have to, again, spend my lunch hour at some point this week going to get a $15 graphics card from the post office.

    Sorry to rant, this kind of stuff is just frustrating to me.
     
  2. ptdebate macrumors 6502

    ptdebate

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    #2
    Wow. That's annoying as heck. Wonder if they did it by mistake?
     
  3. cocacolakid macrumors 65816

    cocacolakid

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    Dec 18, 2010
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    Chicago
    #3
    Signature confirmation costs the seller an extra $2.50 or something like that, so I can't understand why they would upgrade to that on a $9 item.
     
  4. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #4
    I would ask the buyer why they did that.

    However, two possibilities I can think of offhand. One, the seller is inexperienced and as such could just be wanting to make sure the correct person gets the package.

    Or two, the seller has been burned by someone in the past claiming that they never received the package. Sure, tracking can say it's delivered, but I'll give you an example.

    Our mail is delivered to a cluster box. There are larger boxes in the cluster for packages and you get a key in your box to that larger box that has your package.

    If your mailman is less than honest (as we suspect ours is from time to time) who knows where your mail could go. Additionally, a few years back there was a group of people going around and breaking into cluster boxes by beating the crap out of them and then stealing all the mail and the packages.

    The seller doesn't know. He/she is in a different part of the country and if they get a dishonest buyer…well, that's why I say maybe the seller has been burned in the past.

    Just spinning scenarios here, not defending anyone.
     
  5. bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #5
    Fair enough, but here are two counterpoints:

    1. For items under $250, Ebay only requires delivery confirmation(which is free if you use their online shipping tools). As long as delivery confirmation shows delivery, the seller is covered

    2. If the seller is spending $2.50 for signature on every $10 item they send out, they'd be far ahead if they just stuck the $2.50 in a jar and dug into that for every non-delivery claim they receive(despite reports to the contrary, most Ebay buyers are honest). I've been using the "jar method" with insurance on low-dollar items for years, and my jar has enough in it to cover pretty much anything within reason I sell.
     
  6. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #6
    Well, I didn't say I had good points, LOL!

    I hear you. I've never had to do this so I can understand the frustration in having to go out of the way.

    As long as we are talking about eBay, my pet peeve - DHL Global Mail.

    Free shipping is great, but if they ship that route (and I know before hand) I will pay extra just to avoid this. Add one extra week for delivery if the seller uses this.
     
  7. cocacolakid macrumors 65816

    cocacolakid

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    Dec 18, 2010
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    Chicago
    #7
    I agree, DHL Global Mail is awful.

    I stopped shipping internationally after 10 years because a couple of years ago I saw a huge spike in non-delivered complaints. It actually was running close to 30% of my international shipments. The problem was eBay forces buyers to have only a 45 day window to open a complaint. International shipments frequently take longer than 45 days to arrive, especially if it is stopped in customs for inspection. Couple that with no actual tracking unless the buyer paid for International Priority Mail, which now starts around $45 for a small package, and there is no proof an item was or wasn't delivered. I used eBay's new global shipping service for a short while but kept running into issues where buyers from countries not in that program would get through, despite setting my preferences up to not allow them. Ebay also has changed so many things in the last couple of years it is extremely frustrating, from being penalized if too many people click on your auction but do not buy or bid, to their mysterious search engine, Cassini, they put in place, to suddenly wanting all kinds of non-crucial keywords in auction titles that people do not actually use to search, to penalizing sellers for buyer ratings under 5 stars, to penalizing if you do not ship 90% of your items within 24 hours, etc. It's extremely frustrating to be a seller who depends on eBay to make a living these days, but there are no real options. Amazon stinks for most items.
     
  8. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #8
    Wow. Not having ever really been a seller I wasn't aware of any of this. That's got to make it very frustrating.

    My main issue with DHL Global Mail though (and also the services that FedEx/UPS provides is the delays involved.

    All threee of those carriers realized that they could partner with the Postal Service and provide a cost-effective, but profitable service to sellers.

    Your domestic package is low cost to ship or free because the seller hands off to one of these services. Your package goes through their system but in a separate part of it designed specifically for these packages and ends up in a local hub that is close to a post office. Then it's handed off to USPS for final delivery.

    In the case of DHL Global Mail, they will wait until the have enough packages stacked up before they hand off to the USPS. If that means your package sits for a week while DHL collects enough packages – well, you got free delivery, right?

    It's just highly irritating when you check your tracking (if you get a tracking number at all) and see your package sitting there in your city not moving.
     
  9. cocacolakid macrumors 65816

    cocacolakid

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    Chicago
    #9
    My problem with DHL is as a buyer, I've never shipped with them. I'm in an apartment building. All of the other services, UPS/Fedex/even USPS all have tracking and will buzz my apartment so I know they are here. DHL often gets into our locked apt building and then just throws the package in the lobby, or in the front area where anyone can grab it. They never buzz. I've had very expensive things delivered by them and been more than a little po'd about how they conduct themselves. Nothing like leaving something expensive sitting out in the open in an apt building for anyone to take.

    I didn't know about the waiting until they have enough packages. I too try to avoid them if I notice it says the seller uses that method.
     
  10. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2014
    #10
    Selling via PayPal is always a disaster waiting to happen. All it takes is one dishonest buyer who says he didn't get his package and you're screwed. PayPal will always side with the buyer and mistrust the seller, so signature confirmation is really the only protection the seller has. It's a royal pain if you miss the delivery, especially for a cheap item, but I understand why eBay sellers do it.
     
  11. weckart macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #11
    I bought some software from a US seller who shipped as part of the Global Shipping program. The item was a couple of dollars, shipping was twice that and, despite its being way below any customs threshold, the additional 'processing fee' added $14 on top. For nothing.
     
  12. eyoungren, Jan 20, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2015

    eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #12
    I think I should try and re-explain what I was meaning by DHL Global Mail here.

    Yes, DHL and FedEx and UPS are international shippers. But in this context I was speaking to local domestic delivery.

    The United States Postal Service has partnered with these companies for package shipping. These carriers have specific divisions devoted to shipping these packages and it has nothing to do with their normal package business.

    The seller gives your package to DHL or FedEX or UPS with a USPS label on it. Then the carrier, through it's own system (but separate from the normal packages) routes your package to the city of destination. This is where things diverge.

    DHL, FedEx and UPS then take your package and they drop it off at the USPS Post Office. The USPS sorts your package and it is a USPS mailman that puts your package in your mailbox or on your doorstep. Not DHL, not FedEx and not UPS. The USPS.

    This partnership allows the carriers to deliver to you and provide a cheap service that gives you the buyer a much reduced shipping cost and for the USPS allows the postal service to take advantage of the carriers logistics system.

    The cost to you the customer ends up being in time, because packages delivered by the USPS through partnership with the carriers takes more time to deliver. The carriers do not in any way feel obligated to put any kind of rush on your package through their system.

    And that is why this annoys me.

    Ex: I currently am waiting on two cords to be delivered to me. The seller took advantage of DHL Global Mail. Attached you can see that DHL Global Mail has handed off to the USPS. And the USPS is showing that my package is still with DHL Global Mail.
     

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  13. weckart macrumors 68040

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    #13
    I came home to this today. I blame bunnspecial for jinxing my delivieries.
     

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  14. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #14
    I've got a friend in Birmingham that has an intense hatred for the Royal Mail.

    I suspect whatever you are waiting for is being "tested" by someone at the Royal Mail before you take delivery! :D
     
  15. weckart macrumors 68040

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    Nov 7, 2004
    #15
    I am in N. Birmingham but it is only an old version of iWork for my collection I suspect, so Royal Mail Birmingham must be extremely short on jollies if someone is playing with that.
     
  16. cocacolakid macrumors 65816

    cocacolakid

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    Dec 18, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago
    #16
    eBay probably doesn't do a good job of informing international buyers how the global shipping program works and why the postage/fees are so high.

    The seller ships the package to eBay, for me, that's a processing center in Kentucky. I believe they had plans to open more than one processing center. I offer free U.S. shipping but if a seller charges for U.S. shipping, the international buyer is going to have to pay for that leg of the shipping, plus the cost of shipping internationally, PLUS the cost of duty or taxes their own country levels on imports. That is how eBay gets packages to international buyers so quickly, they make the buyers pay the full duty up front so the item can skip being flagged for customs inspections and delayed. In my experience, probably only 10% of items are stopped and inspected by customs. Often the other 90% of packages are not forced to pay a customs import duty or VAT. This increases the cost for 90% of the buyers, even more so if the U.S. seller charges shipping just to send the item to eBay's U.S. processing center.

    Overall it's a good program but it does drive the price up significantly for international buyers. It also kills sales of lower priced items because of how expensive the international shipping/duty fees are. Very few people will buy a $10 or less item and pay $20-60 in shipping and fees unless that item is just not available in their country.
     
  17. weckart macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #17
    I understand how it works and it almost evens out the cost of having to pay customs on receipt ($14 processing fee vs £8 Royal Mail customs handling fee) however, on low value items (approx $25) there is neither any customs nor import VAT due so the processing fee is just gravy for the intermediary. It will kill any international interest in lower value items. I learnt my lesson especially as the full cost only became apparent after you press BIN, so it is too late to back out.
     
  18. bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #18
    Interesting...

    I was in the NKY area the other day(picking up an Apple Cinema Display from Craigslist), and passed by a very large warehouse that said "Ebay" on the side of it.

    The warehouse was right off I-75, and would probably have an address of either Richwood, KY or Union, KY(I would guess).

    I'm guessing that-based on your comments-that's probably the fabled "Ebay Global Shipping Center."

    By the way, most of my sales are for lightweight, high dollar items. I found after enrolling in this program, my international bids went to almost zero(which in turn affected my ending prices). I de-enrolled myself, as it's not that much trouble to ship small items internationally(I just have to take them into the PO and hand them over the counter rather than dropping them in a blue box as I usually do) and it's not that expensive either. Since going back to shipping internationally the way I used to and in turn bringing my shipping prices back to reasonable levels($10-15 for people in most of the countries I ship to) I've seen my international traffic pick back up again dramatically. I'm certainly not going to complain about that!

    As to the original issue-I made it to the post office this afternoon, and, as usual, the line was out the door. Fortunately, there was an additional lady working in the lobby who was doing nothing but take care of package pick-ups, so I ended up only having to wait about 10 minutes. Still, I would rather not have gone to that post office.
     
  19. cocacolakid macrumors 65816

    cocacolakid

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    Chicago
    #19
    I mostly sell t-shirts, and while my sales did drop after I stopped shipping internationally, it was small and the item not received claims were just killing me. My margins are small, I can't afford to eat so many sales plus the cost of shipping.


    I have to say though that at least for me, eBay has changed so many policies and how their search engine works, along with all kinds of penalties that I described earlier, that my sales have dropped like a rock the last year+. I have stellar ratings too, 5 stars across the board, ship out 95% or more of items within 24 hours, follow all their rules, give refunds if people are not pleased, etc. I know a few other full time eBay sellers who ship things like belts and collectibles and they have had big drops in sales too.

    Buyers also do not realize that eBay and Paypal charge commission on shipping fees, and then eBay puts limits on what you can charge for shipping in many categories. So you're always losing money on shipping, at least if you are in those categories. And if you do not offer free shipping you also get penalized in the search results. They make it very hard to make a living, at least for small sellers.
     
  20. Gjwilly macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #20
    eBay raised their threshold for requiring signatures to $750 and PayPal sent out an update last May saying that they would be following suit.
    https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/ua/archive-policies-full

    Interesting that they had different thresholds for as long as they did.
    Makes me wonder what defines a PayPal seller.
    Is selling on eBay but taking payments through PayPal enough to qualify you as a PayPal seller (thus forcing you to respect PayPal's threshold) or do you have to have an actual store front with PayPal as one of your listed payment methods?

    I would expect that simply selling on eBay would mean you're liable only for respecting eBay's threshold.
     
  21. cocacolakid macrumors 65816

    cocacolakid

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    Dec 18, 2010
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    Chicago
    #21
    eBay tried to make sellers offer 3 month return policies for this past holiday season instead of 1 month. Then Paypal sent out an email saying their new permanent policy is 1 year, so if an item is not as described, the buyer can get their money back a year later.

    From my own experience as a buyer, Paypal's policies take precedence over eBay's. If an eBay seller says no returns, Paypal still forces them to take a return. So does eBay with their buyer protection policy, but even before eBay had that policy Paypal would supersede eBay's own policies on returns.

    Paypal is great for buyers but awful for sellers, even honest sellers. All it takes is one dishonest buyer to get your Paypal account frozen during a dispute, which destroys your eBay business. I sold a 20th Anniversary Macintosh a few years ago in October. The buyer waited until the end of November and then did a chargeback with American Express, which is the card he used to pay Paypal. Paypal sided with me (I had many more pictures plus video of the Mac fully working), but Amex was in control of the money. I had my account frozen until I deposited another $1100 (the price the Mac sold for) so I could continue to sell on eBay during the dispute. The buyer never once contacted me. He just did a chargeback. I had to threaten to sue him and have him arrested for theft just to get him to respond and 3 months later he finally sent the Mac back, damaged. I ended up eating $700, plus eBay/Paypal fees and shipping, because the Mac was damaged and I only got $400 for it.
     
  22. 128keaton macrumors 68020

    128keaton

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    Jan 13, 2013
    #22
    Holy hell! That is AWFUL!

    As for 'not received' I only mark that if the tracking is marked as delivered and it isn't here. I ordered a box of Jaffa cakes from the UK and they took a month, well worth the wait :D.
     
  23. weckart macrumors 68040

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    Nov 7, 2004
    #23
    That is disgusting. I would have sued. Even if it left me further out of pocket.
     
  24. vlark macrumors member

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    Mar 13, 2014
    #24
    Here in the states, I usually ask sellers to ship things via UPS or FedEx. If signatures are required, I have them shipped to my local UPS Store or FedEx/Kinko's branch.

    If the seller won't ship to the UPS Store or FedEx Store, I have them ship it to my home address and then have it redirected to the store en route. Both UPS and FedEx offer free accounts that allow you to track and redirect packaged and even send you email notifications of where packages are in their systems and when they arrive for pick-up.

    Most UPS and FedEx Stores are open well into the evening, so it's easy to pick up -- all you have to do is show a photo ID, but I always bring a printout of the email with the tracking number from the seller.

    Of course, this requires you to have a UPS store or FedEx nearby. I live in a mid-sized city in the Midwest and there are 3 Fed Ex stores and 2 UPS stores that are within 5 miles of my route home from work.
     
  25. Kv70 macrumors newbie

    Kv70

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    #25
     

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