February 10, 2012

Ebay and Paypal ranting

eBay and Paypal are really starting to screw over eBay sellers. The fees associated with using their services are becoming more and more astronomical. Excuse my ranting here, but I need to vent and those of you selling on eBay need to know what these people are doing (if you haven't figured it out already). Click on photo or 'track listing' to read more...

I recently listed 123 records on ebay and out of those, 45 sold. Most of the records I listed were not all that rare or in great conditions, so I listed them at low prices. Around $1.99-$6.99, I think I might have listed one record that was over $10. Anyway, after all these records were sold and shipped, I got around to calculating my profits and man did I get hit...

It seems eBay has now introduced not only a fee for the final value of a sale, but also a fee for the shipping prices you charge?? I can understand you take a percentage of someone's profits for allowing them to use your site as a means to sell items, but shipping costs too? That's just obnoxious. From what I've read, eBay does this to 'avoid people from overcharging on shipping.' eBay limits the amount you can charge for media mail shipping to $4, is this not a solution to that problem? They also say this is a way to 'encourage sellers to offer free shipping in their auctions.' First of all, offering low starting bids is what gets people interest in your items. Shipping costs are almost expected with eBay auctions, so it can be easy for buyers to overlook the fact that free shipping is even being offered. This also creates a mess when you offer shipping to various countries with varying shipping costs.

The amount of money Paypal charges for using their services is ridiculous as well. I'm not sure if they were always charging so much for transactions, but it seems like their fees are also getting increasingly higher. Let me show you all an example of how one of my sales went...

I list a record for $1.99, and it sells to a guy in Europe which is $15.20 to ship.

eBay fees: 
Final Value Fee: $.20
Final Value Fee on Shipping: $.36

Paypal Fee:
International transfer: $1.16

Total Fees: $1.72

Put the gun down. This leaves me with $.28 profit. eBay and Paypal step in and take nearly 75% of my earnings. How about I just give away the records? I charged too little for shipping on one of my International sales accidentally, and ended up doing just that. I have to package these records, schlep down to the post office, wait on ridiculous lines, fill out custom forms, all for a measly $.28.

You see, when people send you money through Paypal using a credit or debit transfer, Paypal charges you a percentage. For a payment of less than $20, you are charged about $.50 for US transfers, and double that for International transfers. If you receive a Paypal payment from a Paypal balance, the transfer is free. Great, but seemingly no one ever has money in their Paypal account. 9 times out of 10 Paypal pulls the money from their bank account and charges you a fee for it.

Now I either have to give up on eBay altogether, figure out some magical way to offset these fees, charge additional fees (which will cause buyer complaints), or completely cut off my International bidders (which account for a large portion of my eBay business). It's just ridiculous. Feel free to jump in and add your two cents..

What's funny is someone went out of their way to create a website dedicated to ripping on eBay, it's called

Also this week I got to deal with one of these buyers who wants to go back and forth arguing, giving me a headache over some slight damage to the back cover (not even the record condition) on a record he paid $4 for, disputing my VG+ grade and claiming it is VG. (Yeah, excuse me for not specifically detailing the exact defects on a record I list for $2, because the VG+ does not give you a good enough idea of what kind of shape it's in). Sellers, you know these guys, he's never happy with a standard refund. First he wants to keep the record and get half his money back, then he wants you to refund him before mailing the records back so he 'has money to ship it back to you.' Of course, this falls under what eBay considers 'feedback extortion,' so after this joker bombs me with negative feedback I have to jump around menu screens to find out how to handle it, file claims and wait for the results. Awesome.


  1. Discogs can be a great alternative. Lack the excitement of the auction (you set the price), but much more seller-friendly.

    It is growing in popularity, and I have been moving my better pieces to the site.

    And yeah, f-Ebay.

  2. I've seen people selling records there but never really considered using it. I'll have to look into that, thanks for recommending.

  3. Yea I feel you on this shit man I was selling some records on ebay a few years ago and everything was fine, then the fee's went up, and then up again, and up again and about a month ago I finally deleted my paypal account all together and said fuck it. It's really a fucking monopoly they're running. Ebay owns Paypal so its basically a scheme to charge you twice...

    I've used Discogs also and it's much better, but the problem with that is you can see other people selling the exact same item and in order to sell you have to have the better quality at a lower price...

    I find my ebay items moved much much faster and at the time that was a good thing, but now with all these crazy fee's I'm done with it. Less hassle to just keep the record.

    The sad thing is Ebay and Paypal make billions of dollars in profit each year, so why do they have to nickle and dime the people who made them so profitable in the first place... if anything these fee's should be lowered not raised...

  4. I actually thought I would be saving money this time selling because of the free promotion they had allowing you to list items for free, not even realizing how they screw you over on the final values.

    It seems pointless now to try to sell anything on eBay that isn't worth at least $20-$30 as you will be taxed nearly 75% of your profits. I'm gonna have to look into discogs or amazon or something else, which means learning and signing up for a completely new system, headache. In this economy it's ridiculous for eBay to do this type of shit.

  5. Also I got screwed over by this ebay buyer with his negative feedback. My feedback rating went from 100% to 94%. After spending nearly an hour on the phone with eBay customer support, these people say there is nothing they can do to have the feedback removed.

    Even after seeing the messages where this guy is cursing at me, demanding partial refunds and demanding a return of his money before returning the records, all of which go against eBay policy, they still can't help me because he 'did not directly indicate that he would leave negative feedback if I did not comply with his demands.' Even after I offer a refund to remedy the situation, I'm still subject to these spiteful, negative remarks.

  6. Yeah man, the ebay/paypal connection is classic American corporate fuckery. It's a microcosm of one way the US has been fucking over it's regular people on the regular but lately increasing rapidly.

    Anyways, I just was gonna say the exact thing these other guys are... go to discogs you're better off. I've been selling there for a while. I would only go to ebay if i had a bunch of expensive in demand pieces cause you can end up with the auction going up to over triple what you would expect or more. And on ebay you can also throw in some not so rare records with the rare ones and you usually will get more for them.

    So yeah, ebay sucks the cack, discogs is better, imo. Unless, like i said, if you got more pieces like them Mytee G Poetic and Ill Distracxion records that are still on my want list, lol.

  7. yeah if the fees are substantially less I'll probably end up going there.

  8. and I kind of regret selling off those two pieces you mentioned, even though they were second copies I still wish I kept them for juggles lol, oh well.

  9. best thing to do is start using discogs or sell the records through your site directly. i sold only one record on ebay and will never ever sell any records on ebay again. they charged a fee but the money was never cleared by paypal. so i had to contact the buyer who was cool and sent the money again...

  10. I always assume people are too paranoid to buy records directly from me, without the secure feeling of using eBay, but you're probably right, I should sell just try to sell them here directly.

  11. Thanks to everyone sympathizing/empathizing with this eBay thing, and for all the suggestions and feedback.

  12. you can send me your sales list anytime ;)