Real Life MMD: Should I refund the postage cost?



  • cabbageboy
    cabbageboy Posts: 37 Forumite
    So, as a buyer you are bidding, or 'buy it now' on a item that presumably is fairly heafty, as it's going to cost 5 pounds to deliver..

    You can SEE how far away it is even before you buy it, so surely if you're that bothered, and you see it's 2 miles down the road from you, you might chose the 'collect in person' option, or if it's not available, contact the seller and ask if it's ok for you to collect it from them, thus avoiding the postage cost!!!

    It's not rocket science guys - you can always reach out to a seller, rather than hiding behind the Ebay machine!! - ASK if you want to collect it instead - or if you don't have the capability to do so, ASK again to see if the seller would deliver it to you, and AGREE a price for doing so.

    You honestly can't buy an item, accepting the postage cost when you press the 'commit to buy' button and then whinge afterwards about how it got to you! - if it arrived on a golden coach, pulled by 12 gleaming white horses, wrapped in gold paper, tied in a red ribbon, would you still complain?!? ;)
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  • In this case I think it depends on several things:

    A. What delivery service was listed on the listing, as if it said 1st class recorded etc then that's what the buyer should expect and a refund should be made. But if it said delivery by courier (other) then maybe the seller is justified.

    B. No mention of size of item sold and whether it actually justified a £5 delivery charge or whether the seller was overcharging anyway, as overcharging on postage is rife on eBay as I've brought many items that have been in the £5 postage range and it's turned up with a 1st class stamp on it. Also it's an eBay charges avoidance scam as eBay does not charge final sale price commission on the postage charge portion.

    On the face of it with what info has been provided I would say the seller should of made a partial refund originally when they chose to personally deliver rather than seeing it as a way of making an extra fiver out if the sale.

    I've been selling on eBay for the last 7 years and only charge actual postage costs plus packing costs for all my items and I automatically refund customers who buy multiple items from me without them having to ask.
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  • peter_the_piper
    peter_the_piper Posts: 30,268 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    MSE_Lee wrote: »
    Should I refund the postage cost?

    I sold an item on eBay and charged £5 P&P. The buyer's address was just 2 miles from me, so I jumped in the car and delivered it in person. I then received an email from the buyer asking for a postage refund. I pointed out he'd had a better service & the cost to me had been the same (petrol). He disagreed and left bad feedback that he had been 'ripped off' on postage. Should I refund him?
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    I can't see what good refunding anything would do, they have left a neg.and they are not going to change it. Block them and move on. "Remember that no good turn ever goes unpunished"
    I'd rather be an Optimist and be proved wrong than a Pessimist and be proved right.
  • No you shouldn't refund the postage the person bid knowing how much the postage was, and the fact that you then delivered it by hand isn't really your problem, as long as they haven't got paypal involved. As they have already given you bad feed back you have a choice you can either refund part of the delivery charge and get them to change their feedback or chalk it up to experience.
    Depending what the item was and how heavy I would not have paid £5 for delivery.
  • Doooford
    Doooford Posts: 471 Forumite
    Seems fair enough. I agree that the buyer should have got in touch if they wanteed any other kind of service.
    I would love someone to deliver an item immediately.
    Basically, I value my eBay/complaining time at £20p/h. So assuming that there was a 10 minute round trip to deliver this, so there's £3.33 to start. Bang driving costs on top and the buyer has a more than fair deal.

    Maybe ask if you can pick the item back up so that you can post it to them :mad:
  • trigirl1979
    trigirl1979 Posts: 356 Forumite
    are you not meant to state in your listing how you deliver the item? IE Royal mail etc. if you havn't used the way stated you should partial refund. I would be annoyed if it was me.
  • sazzakins
    sazzakins Posts: 27 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    If I were the buyer, I would leave neg feeback too.

    1) He didn't check this would be OK to deliver in person AND keep the £5 before-hand.
    2) £5 for a 4 mile round trip? Does he think the buyer is stupid?
    3) If it's only 2 miles away, he should have given the buyer the option of collect in person for free.

    I'm an ebay seller and always refund any difference in delivery charges. I resent people charging inflated postal charges to make some extra cash, unless the asking price is accordingly reduced. Lumping the cost as postage rather than item price avoids seller fees. Negative feeback can always be deleted and positive left instead.
  • Rupert_Bear
    Rupert_Bear Posts: 1,303 Forumite
    edited 30 March 2011 at 8:59AM
    MrsWassire wrote: »
    What car do you drive that costs you £5 for a 4-mile round trip? That's about 1 mile per litre! Assuming your car is not as inefficient is that then yes I think you're being cheeky and should refund £3 of it.

    Certainly not. They got a great service and if it was delivered by taxi it would have cost alot more than £5.00. If anyone is being cheeky it is you.
  • cathy1969
    cathy1969 Posts: 10 Forumite
    emidee wrote: »
    Aside from whether you should have kept the £5 for postage or not, you've now left yourself wide open to the buyer claiming that he never recieved the item.

    If he decided to pursue an 'item not recieved' claim through eBay then you wouldn't have a leg to stand on, as you have no proof of delivery.

    Paypal (if he used that) would give him ALL his cash back no matter what you have to say, leaving you with no item and no money.

    I lost £300 that way once! :mad:

    ALWAYS get proof of delivery, through Royal Mail or a courier - or have the buyer pay cash on collection; it's the only way to protect yourself!

    Even if you get a certificate of posting Paypal wont accept it as proof, they only accept trackable post ie recorded or special as proof of posting!
  • You ought to have got the buyer to agree to this action before you hopped into your car. I recommend a partial refund of say £2 to £3, if this really was just around the corner, since you did not really have to spend this on the travel. I guess you also saved on packaging and going to the post office. Also, if you are declaring your trading to Customs and Revenue (as you should unless you are a small operator) you can now claim 45p/mile on car travel = £1.80p. In this way, you can negotiate (up to 5/year) negative feedback withdrawal with ebay and your buyer.
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