I have been an eBay Seller (and buyer) for 7 years. It amazes me how some seller's get creative in ways to recoup their transaction fees from their customers. The most common and easily detected way of recouping fees is to over charge the customer for shipping and handling. Don't confuse those seller's who actually use premium shipping services to provide customer safety with those who charge for premium services and ship first class mail or flat rate. In most if not all instances the honest shipper will charge no more than the cost of shipping material, postage (priority mail, first class, ups, ect..) and in some cases a small percentage if a paid employee is involved in packaging the product. This should never be more than $1.00 - $2.00 per shipment or item. The shipper or eBay seller you should avoid often will have conflicting disclaimers through out their item description and then again under shipping charges. Look also, for any small print. Once you get burned and file a complaint, they will point to these areas as proof it was stated in their auction. The most common reason shippers will over charge is to cover the cost of eBay's and paypals transaction fees, and pass them on to you. If you have any questions about a sellers shipping and handling charges, ASK! If the seller doesn't respond, don't bid. I personally opt to use sellers (myself included) who use USPS priority mail. It is more expensive, but it is easily tracked when postage is purchased through paypal. In that way, the customer is assured the item has shipped and in case of a dishonest customer, PayPal has proof to protect the seller. Happy Bidding!
The question has been posed that it is common practice to pass along cost increases to the comsumer and that this should include eBay and paypal transaction fees. Although this is a fair assessment, the manner in which these increases are passed along is the subject of this guide. By circumventing eBay fees and disguising them as shipping and handling charges, the seller is not only being dishonest, the cost of there transaction fees end up being passed on to honest sellers. Please read my response to an email I received in regard to transaction fees.
"The argument you pose is true enough but what you need to consider is how these charges are being passed on. When conducting an auction, eBay and paypal charges should be figured into the asking price of the item being offered. In an auction setting, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Shipping and handling charges should be reserved for just that "shipping and handling" costs. Transaction fees are not part of shipping and handling. There are other auction sites where transaction fees are passed on to the bidder and not the seller. eBay is not one of those sites and this feature attracts more bidders. To circumvent this buy disguising transaction fees as shipping and handling is not only wrong, it is against eBay policy. When someone offers a $25.00 item for $.99 with a $24.99 shipping and handling charge, they are attempting to circumvent eBays fees which in turn is passed on to honest sellers in the form of increased transaction fees. Who is really paying the price for this. We are."