Gestapo Given New Tools
To say the least, the policy is vague. "Reasonable" handling fees are still acceptable as is charging for packaging materials and other costs assosiated with getting item in a box safely secured. On top of "reasonable" handling and packaging costs, users must add exact shipping. Anyone with any common sense knows that there are many costs and variable associated with shipping an item, which include - but are not limited to - wages for employees to package, costs of professional shipping services, postage, delivery confirmation, tracking, insurance, cost of boxes, cost of tape, cost of packing material, cost of labels, cost of ink, cost of gas (in some cases) to take packages to drop off location or post office, cost of online shipping service provider, etc.
Now, for eBay exec's to implement a new policy that affects every single seller, you'd think they'd have a well thought out method of determining what exactly "excessive" shipping price would be, right? Of course not, just like any other eBay rule, it is vague, short-sighted, skewed to the advantage of the buyer....BUT, it will add "VIBRANCY" to the site. Lots of exciting new things will take place, like yet one more what smaller players can compete with larger ones and vice versa. Now, the sellers who were gouging shipping to keep their prices low, can still compete by turning in other sellers for excessive shipping.
So what will it do to actually positively affect the site? Well, according the exec's, it will turn potential buyers into actual buyers. One study said that something like 65% of online shoppers ended up not purchasing items because of the high shipping prices. This study also stated the 45% of online sellers polled reported actually losing money on shipping to appease shoppers. (I will pause while you ponder that one) OK, the study did not say that the 65% did not buy elsewhere, only that it was a deterant to purchasing an item. So we can assume that at least a portion of that 65% purchased elsewhere where shipping was more reasonable. What the numbers of this study and eBay exec's new policy states is that it matters less what the "customers" (the sellers) of eBay want or need, and matters more what the "buyers" (customers of the eBay sellers) want.
Once again eBay has catered to the "buyer" and, to be politically correct, "shit" on the sellers. I know, there is always the argument that shipping added to item price equals total price, and that buyers should add those two numbers to see if it is below what they want to pay. If it is, then wahooo! If not, look elsewhere. Seems simple, but if eBay has shown us one thing, it is that many of buyers are stupid and lack common sense - and eBay will do everything they can to protect these buyers from themselves.