> I really do not buy much on eBay anymore, usually only if I know the
> seller, or really really want the item. Recently I have bought two
> items, one from an eBay seller, another from a dealer in the UK. I
> asked for and was charged for insurance on both. Both items were
> shipped regular post. When I inquired of the sellers and asked for
> the excess postage fee back, their reply was that they self insure.
> Is this becoming a trend to avoid postage fees, make a bit of money on
> the side? As a buyer getting a regular posted item I guess I can
> claim I never got it and ask for my money back, so why other than pure
> profiteering would a seller do this?
> Dave P.
Dave, I no longer buy insurance for any item I ship for which the buyer paid
less than $20, yet any item under $20 is still sent to the buyer with no
risk to the buyer. I set up my auctions to say insurance included in the
shipping charge. Thus, once I have so stated, the item is shipped at no
risk to the buyer, and this is whether I pay the USPO an insurance fee or
not. I have, over the years, mailed probably 400, 500, 600 packages and
have never had one lost (my manager says to quit saying that because I push
my luck just by saying it). The extra money I save on shipping goes into
the profit column (or, very often, decreases the losses I took), and I have
no qualms about this because I am at risk (not the buyer) and, in my mind,
my risk justifies pocketing the extra $1.30.
I do not fully describe my policy in my auction description because I do
fear being taken advantage of by anyone who realizes they can have their
coin twice, or the coin and a refund. By stating in the auction that the
item is shipped insured, I have taken on the responsibilty of the buyer
receiving the item, period. In fact, I have some reservations about
posting and expounding on my policies here in rcc, for fear that there will
be a reader out there who will want to take advantage. OTOH, I know that
some will refuse to buy from me, not accepting my shipping policies.
I have followed many threads in rcc where many posters are troubled by this
self-insurance, and I do not understand their dismay. I normally charge $2
S&I for a raw coin that I anticipate will sell for less than $50. If the
coin sells for less than $20, I ship self insured and postage and envelope
cost me about .60 cents, and I pocket the $1.40. I am responsible for the
item getting to the customer. If the customer claims it never came (has yet
to happen to me), I will replace or refund. If this were to start
happening, and happen often enough that I was absorbing more costs than I
charge, I would change my policy.
I started this after the first few times I sold coins under $10 and felt
ridiculous giving the post office $1.30 to insure a $3, $4, or $5 item. For
awhile, I self insured any item under $10, and recently decided to change
the cut off line to $20. All the limit does is define the degree of risk
that I, as seller, am willing to take. Regardless of my limit, the seller
is not at risk. Were I to reduce my shipping charge to .75 and state
insurance was extra, then the buyer could opt to save money by accepting a
degree of risk, but I will not do that. Every item I ship is shipped
insured, even a $1 item, meaning to me that the buyer has no risk with
their purchase. Bill