I don’t have inside info on this. But I have an opinion, and many of you are asking about it. eBay recently announced that it would soon charge sellers the final value fee (aka FVF aka eBay’s commission on your sale) on not just the sale price, but also what you’re charging for shipping and handling. Why would eBay do this? Here is my best theory…
It’s about the shopping cart they’re working on. People will be able to buy from multiple people, and then have ONE checkout from one shopping cart.
If I put 3 things in a cart, some of those sellers might charge for shipping, some might have free shipping. That may be confusing to the shopper… Amazon doesn’t do that. J Crew doesn’t do that. Why am I being charged for shipping? Then, you have another potential issue. Someone has read a listing where it very clearly said FREE SHIPPING. They now assume FREE SHIPPING, and when they drop someone else’s item in the cart, and it’s NOT free shipping, they may get confused and feel lied to. Hey, that said free shipping, why am I paying for shipping?
I think eBay figured, “Aw crap, we tried getting sellers to lower shipping. We tried getting them to make it free. We gave them preferred placement in search results if they made it free, and some still didn’t make it free. Well, now we’ll really push them by saying hey, you’ll pay fees on it either way, so make it free.” The real message is: make it free so that the shopping cart is easier for shoppers.
eBay clearly is NOT taking into consideration the other problems like now you have to deal with sales tax on a higher number. Additionally, if someone makes a return, they expect 100% of their money back rather than JUST the purchase price. So we are working with our clients on rewording return policies to indicate a “restocking fee” since you can’t say you’re keeping money for shipping. Shipping was FREE!
So sellers, reword your return policy so that people understand that if they return it, they will not get 100% of their purchase price back, unless you are OK doing that and eating the shipping.