Opinions Sought

09:33:00 MoonDoggie 9 Comments

This post was inspired by 1950s Atomic Ranch House's venting post.

I bid on two matching vintage tea towels the other day (sold separately by the same seller) and happened to win both of them. Postage was £1.75 each. As I had won both of them, I emailed the seller and politely enquired (the morning after bidding ended) whether they would combine postage. They said they would send a combined postage invoice and, to paraphrase, basically hurry up and pay because they were going on holiday in a few days.

Trippy Tea Towels
The second invoice was exactly the same as the original! So I figured that must have been their answer (saying no by resending the original invoice) and paid up because I figured I knew what the postage was when I bid.

But when the items arrived together - a small parcel wrapped in brown paper - I saw the postage had only cost them 81 pence... for both tea towels! I had paid £3.50 for postage - more than the items cost combined.  I'm a bit miffed.
What kind of feedback should I leave? I've never left negative feedback before but feel that this seller wasn't very friendly and that the difference in postage costs and charges was substantial (That's US $5.60 for $1.20 worth of postage).  The tea towels came promptly but as they were folded quite small, the money didn't get spent on the brown paper packaging.
I'd like to know people's thoughts.


  1. No feedback re: the postage could result in other people being ripped off.
    On trade me when can give 3 ratings for feedback, when I had the same situation happen to me I gave the moderate ( neither happy or unhappy) and stated it arrived promptly, and the product was great but you were dissapointed that you paid....for postage and it only cost............., this has seen me recieve refunds before.

  2. Well that sucks...

    I bought a small lamp finial. Postage WAS shown at $10.50 US ($6.62 BPS) which I thought was high for such a small item. But... I wanted it. Turns out it was $4.50 to send. Seller made $6 profit on shipping.

    So I gave them a poor rating on the 1-5 stars possible shipping cost. Gave them 1 star.

    In your case: Did the seller say they combine shipping anywhere in their auction? If not, you unfortunately can't assume they will.

    BUT you certainly CAN give them honest feedback: A neutral for sure, maybe a neg if you feel like it stating: "Would not combine shipping on small items. Cost excessive."

    Then ding them where you rate them by stars and give them a 1 star. I think sellers who get too many low star ratings for excessive s/h get booted off eBay. =)

  3. Or you can TRY emailing and asking for a bit of refund on the shipping, but it's been my experience, sellers, or at least the one's I try to email, generally get rude about it.

    Not all of them! The one who undercharged me for s/h so it arrived money owing which I had to pay, reimbursed me for that, and when I discovered the lamp was broken as well, she refunded completely. A class act.

  4. Thankyou Rosina Lee - I forgot about the star rating for various aspects and I like the mentioning of positives aspects as well.

    1950s - They didn't mention anything about combining and I was fully prepared for them to say no but what irks me is that they didn't even say yes or no - just resent the same invoice.

    It's the unfriendliness of the situation that put my nose out of joint (combined with the ridiculous postage charge). I didn't want to give them a positive when I didn't FEEl positive but I wasn't sure if I was just making a mountain out of a mole hill.

    I think I might neutral them and star rate them accordingly.

  5. I agree we Atomic Ranch, you can always try to email the seller and see if you can't get a bit of your money back....

    If not leave feedback, negative or neutral, and explain why....

    Also not sure, but I know EBAY has really been cracking down on over priced shipping, so it might not hurt to turn them into ebay too

    But I'd take that as a last action

  6. Definitely let the sellers know how you feel. If they do not refund you the difference, tell them you will not recommend them to everyone you know. What have you got to lose? You certainly won't buy from them again.

  7. As a FREQUENT buyer and occasional seller on ebay, my best advice is to first email the seller and ask WHY they didn't combine shipping when you'd asked them to, or even give you any reply or explanation, and would they please refund the extra postage. There is NO reason for anyone to make money off of postage. That's not what it's for!

    Then, if they refuse to refund the difference or are otherwise contrary, use the buyer feedback for the purpose intended...to let other buyers know about your experience with the seller.

    It's right to give the seller a chance to make things right. But, if they don't care, then it's not your job to protect them!

    I always bend over backward to give great customer service because I care about my customers, as well as to NOT get poor ratings, whether on ebay or etsy.

  8. I despise overcharging for shipping. I'd email them about it.

  9. Thanks for opinions everyone.

    I'm not after a refund as I feel like I did agree to the cost when I bid. I guess it was more about the principle of the thing.

    I can be a bit shy about these things and thought it was brave of me to ask if the postage could be combined in the first place. I don't think I'll be emailing again. Partly because I'm a wuss, partly because I feel like I'd already given them the opportunity with my first email.

    I'm definitely going to give low star feedback for the reasonable postage and communication sections. Still debating whether to give a positive or neutral rating...