I have been trading on eBay for years, and have always had a little icon next to my user id Silver2treasure to say that I am a good seller that has a good trading record. The actual icon and name has changed over the years, from a Silver Powerseller, to a Top Rated Seller, and to get one of these icons next to your name you have to adhere to various selling requirements, which I have always met. But now eBay have done away with this and have put into place on individual items an icon to show that the seller offers what is now called a “Premium Service”, which means that a seller offers free economy postage and also an Express postage at an additional charge to the customer (in addition to other eBay requirements) for items sent within the UK. It is however only the change in this postage charge that is the crazy part.
Over the past, eBay have requested that sellers should offer free postage and packing, which I have always done, even before eBay requested it, and with my more valuable items always being sent by what is classed as “Express Delivery”, which again is free of charge to my customers. However, to qualify for this new icon you have to offer free economy postage and packaging but a seller can now also offer “Express Delivery” but can charge a customer extra for this service.
I have at the moment 187 items on eBay, but 67 of my lower value items on which I offer free economy postage, as it is not cost effective to offer a more expensive express delivery on these items, as I do not build in postage costs into the price of my items. I can however add this express delivery option at an additional cost to my customers, who no-one in their right mind would pay for on a lower value item, and especially on items where the additional postage cost would cost as much as the item.
If a customer particularly wanted an item quickly (where on a couple of occasions they have in the past), they have contacted me to ask if this could be done, and that they were willing to pay any extra postage cost to have it the next day, I have done it – EASY, but 99.9% are happy with the free economy postage.
I do get a new logo on my items that I offer express service which is free of charge, but then so do other sellers who offer an express service at a cost to the customer – this does not make sense. Surely other sellers who offer the Express Service free of charge should get a different logo, to the ones who offer it at a cost.
Unless you offer 2 options, one free and one fast option – at a cost you get no icon. So on 67 of my items where I just offer one “free” economy option, these items have no new logo against them. Customers will no longer get a full picture of the whole persona of the Trader just the service on individual items. As a result as I do not offer all my items with the express delivery option, I will not be eligible for any of the sellers’ discounts.
I did have a lengthy discussion with a Customer Service Rep yesterday 24/9/2013, who said that ebay are making sure that they are competing with other online retailers, and making sure that the customer has a choice. but I have to say that I do not know of many online traders who offer free postage.
I have thought more about this, and of course eBay want sellers to offer an express delivery option and to make a charge for this service, as eBay now add the cost of postage to the final value fee that sellers have to pay (10%). This new fee structure of adding the postage cost came into effect in September 2013, so sellers like myself who offer free postage, are not enabling eBay to take any more fees from us. As the Customer Service Rep said, customers require a choice, but then again this is only to line eBay’s pocket!!!!
Therefore sellers on eBay like myself who offer free postage whether it be economy or particularly express should stand out from the rest, which clearly they will not now do in the future.
Just one other little observation, the new yellow Premium Service logo is very similar to the Nectar points logo shown in eBay listings.