Tuesday, August 24

Postage Shmostage

You know what I mean. You know the score. And you know the scam.

Because we've all been done, haven't we?

I buy and sell with people overseas quite a lot, so I've learnt through (occasionally harsh) experience what this postage deal really is, both to and from Australia.

Now, I can look at an item and I'll pretty much know what the packed weight will be and so how much the postage will be. And all that stuff about delivery times and flat rates and sea mail. Blah blah.

So I'll send the seller a cheeky message, both asking for a postage quote and telling them how much it'll be. (This actually works a treat, believe it or not, and has saved me heaps).

But I was looking at this little lovely earlier tonight, and got really annoyed.

A signed Czech glass dress clip. Shocking photos, but then you don't need good photos to tell you that this is a beautiful piece.
And the postage? A mere 9 POUNDS from France to Australia. Hello!

How would you approach this one?

If there's something you really want to buy and you just know the postage is overpriced, would you query it? Or just not buy?

And if you queried it, how would you phrase it?

Whereas this fabulous 50s table - this particular style is one I've always wanted - can be sent to Australia from the UK for 50 pounds. Expensive postage, yes, but hey, it's a table.

Personally I think the seller deserves to charge a bit more on postage if they're willing to pack something like that for international travel.

Do you agree?


Josh Healy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Calamity Jem said...

Hi there,
I know that some eBay sellers charge high postage to offset the fees they have to pay & that some peeps, that start their auctions at 99p will generally have higher postage charges, just to cover their backs in case the item only realises its starting price.
It is a quandary, how do you approach a seller about their postage prices without them feeling as if you are accusing them of being a rip-off merchant?!
Your own approach is very good but if the price has already been established then perhaps a gentle haggling approach would work.
Firstly I'd personally try a little bit of disarming flattery; tell them how enamoured you are with their wares & in particular the item you are interested in & then ask if it is at all possible to get a small discount on the postage, maybe add that you'll keep your eyes on future items up for grabs too.
I generally only buy stuff from sellers in the UK & I get stuff that I buy on Tradera (Swedish eBay) sent to my folks house to keep until I go across.
There are thousands of lovely vintage frocks on eBay, especially from the US but I just can’t bring myself to shell out for the added postage, I’m very cost-conscious bordering on penny-pinching when it comes to stuff like that.
I love the table too, very cool but I for one wouldn’t fancy wrapping that up for despatch, I’d be so petrified it would break in transit, I’d insist on a lorry load of bubble wrap to swaddle it in…and as far as I know a lorry load of bubble wrap doesn’t come cheap ;)
Good luck with contacting the seller & I hope they are obliging.

1950's_atomic_ranch_house said...

If the shipping looks to be so outrageous it might be a mistake, I email and ask if it's an eBay mistake. Sellers always respond to that one. Not all say it's a mistake, tho.

Sometimes a low shipping convinces me to buy something I wouldn't usually get, since shipping is getting so expensive.

Oh and I LOVE those German plant stands! I drooled over a black and red one a couple months ago... But passed on it. I hope you get one!

Kitty said...

Oh are they German? I had no idea, thanks for that. Thats pprobably why I've never seen one here, d'oh!

Kitty said...

Jem, I've pretty much done what you've suggested anyway and am waiting for the seller to respond. I've been looking on tradera a bit lately, there's some good stuff there but it's literally the other end of the earth from me.. so the postage is worse again...

Straight Talking Mama! said...

I do hate rip off shipping costs. It just puts me off buying, I usually see astronomical costs quoted from US to UK, I know it's expensive but I also know what some stuff costs and it isn't $40 or whatever! I agree the shipping price for that plant stand is fab, I haven't managed to buy one yet as they usually go for a lot of money :o(

Cowbiscuits said...

Ive just bid on a jumper from over un america didnt look at the postage and its $12.50 to send to the uk sooo upset haha! xx

Vintage Vixen said...

Blimey, that sounds a lot. Is it being sent Signed For or something similar? I only tend to buy from UK sellers as once the postage costs are factored in it's often not worth my while.
If the seller is reluctant to reconsider the costs you'd be very welcome to use my address as a secondary posting address on Paypal and I'd forward it on. xxx

Helga! said...

Interesting.I find postage outrageous,full stop! I have to want it real bad,but as I have been on a credit card ban(self imposed)I haven't been thinking about it at all!

Ruby Rach said...

Kitty, I just nominated you for a blog award! I'm always jealous of your amazing vintage finds and hot mama style!

Blog award Part 1 and Part 2

Miss Emmi said...

Oh, I feel you on outrageous postage costs! I think a lot of sellers factor in some of their costs into the postage price rather than the item price because ebay takes a percentage of the final sale amount? Dodgy, I know.

Mrs Cleaver said...

I generally just don't bother with an item if i see it has outrageous postage listed for eg i skim over all the vintage cotton house dresses that have $37-40 U.S postage to Australia as i know very well i can get one posted for $12-14.If they don't have any postage listed i will ask & at the same time say "if it helps i have had a similar item sent from your area/country for x amount".