This is a serious problem eBay refuse to acknowledge or admit as an error, please review this guide at the bottom to help this get seen by more people, if you have opened this guide before, new solution added to bottom.!!
If you sell overseas, you need to be aware that selling anything using the ebay postage calculator in the selling template (so the postage rate displays in the search results and on the listing) could be massively over quoting to overseas buyers, and you won't know, as only the overseas buyers see the rate applicable from their country displayed in your listing. (i.e in Australia, the rate shoes OZ postal rate, if logging on in say USA the rate displays supposedly the correct rate to the USA from OZ post.
Here Is the Problem.When telling ebay selling template how much your product weighs in the International Postage section of the template, the weight ranges are-
2-3kg and so on...
BUT Australia Post quotes a different rate for EVERY 250 GRAMS within those ranges, EG
Here is the resultYou list an item weighing , say 1200 gm, so you key in the weight range up to 2kg in the selling template,( INTERNATIONAL POSTAGE SECTION)
The ebay calculator displays to all overseas countries the post rate for 2KG, because its weight range is 1-2kg, because 1200 grams then links to Australia Post rates for 2KG
I had some items in various weight categories with similar problems, (EG instead of displaying for 1200gm as $40.50 for UK Air Mail, it actually displays to buyers in UK as $62.85 Air Mail (as at 4/3/09)
Guess what, your average overseas buyer passes straight over your page as he scoffs at your 'quoted' post charge, and you lose a sale...
or they email you, as they did me, asking if I am serious about the EXCESSIVE POSTAGE I am quoting!!! (Unless they quote the figure they see, you are still none the wiser, happened to me....)
When someone finally told me the amount of postage they saw, in their country for my item, it alerted me to the problem, and I worked out what was going wrong (let me see, ebay has a policy about charging excessive postage, and have a star rating for your buyers to judge you by as well.....hmmm thanks ebay!!)
SO, if selling anything overseas that weighs between the following weight ranges, you WILL be displaying the wrong OVER QUOTED postage rate, you wouldn't have known it necessarily but may have less bids or sales because of it.
500-750gm (displays 750-1kg rate)
1000-1750 gm (displays the1.75- 2kg rate)
2000-2750 gm (displays the 2.75-3 kg rate)
etc for every item between 1-750 grams heavier than an even kilo, will display the rate for the next highest Kilo postage rate.
HERE'S WHAT TO DO UNTIL ITS FIXED (I suspect this guide will be relevant for some time as ebay have not indicated to me that they are going to change calculator, they actually don't think its their error or even, in fact, that there is a problem at all!!)
NEW SOLUTION 21st May 2010 When selecting a weight category, ignore the listed categories, and select 'Custom' this then opens a new addition with 2 fill in boxes in which you key in the total Kilo's and total grams (Packed) and this will then (I am pretty sure) link to the CORRECT weight category on the OZ post calculator. I am pretty sure the eBay UNhelp pages have no reference to this detail, we are all just supposed to 'KNOW' how it all works. Yes people must get paid to write the help pages, they just forget to leave out all the USEFUL info...... or indeed just change the weight categories to match OZ post.....
When listing anything for overseas sale, that falls into the final weight categories noted above, that deliver error weights, DO NOT USE THE POSTAGE CALCULATOR TO DISPLAY POSTAGE IN SEARCH LISTING RESULTS.
Select in the International postage section of listing template, FLAT RATE POSTAGE, THEN CHOOSE YOUR PREFERED DESTINATIONS,
Then describe postal costs in body text of item description, I usually use broad quotes as OZ post is the same in different world regions eg
Europe (inc UK) $x
Asia (inc China, Japan )$x etc
So there you go! SCARY? If you wondered why, when including international calculated postage in listings, with an item falling in the ERROR weight ranges quoted above, you weren't getting the sales, or the questions about postage you couldn't understand why.
To check if what I am saying is true, set up or look at an old listing with the wrong weight ranges as mentioned, then go to end of listing and view postage rates via the pull down menu to all available zones you selected. Select a far off land, choose update, then put your seatbelt on, as you view the result, then compare to the correct result in the genuine Australia Post calculator (on their site),calculated postage. The one on the ebay results is what your POTENTIAL buyers see on the search!!!
As a final comment ebay promote that you use this postage calculator to reduce the risk of excessive postage quotes as their policy explicitly forbids profiting on postage.
GO and look at the POSTAGE CENTRE on pull down menu under 'SELLING' and you will see what I mean .
Do go and have a look at how ACCURATE the post calculator is described, promoting you use it so as you don't quote excessive postage!!!. but sorry folks, I don't use it anymore (for the ERROR weight ranges), only the correctly linked weights,(0-250, 250-500, 750-1000, 1750-2000, 2750-3000 etc,) because of the inaccurate quotes, and worse, INVOICES it was issuing to my clients, and refunds I was continuously instigating thru Paypal. Since realising the error and acting accordingly, my star rating has climbed steadily back to 4.8 for postage costs, (as of time of writing)
Can't get ebay or most other people to grasp what I'm waffling on about, but I have told ACCC, they were very interested.... If you understand what I am saying, its misleading information on behalf of you know who
perhaps you could join the chorus to make them think its worthy of action,
20/3/09 new solution!! added
A reader of this page alerted me to listing on eBay through Auctiva, and I have now done this, they get right what eBay don't even know is wrong!!, you key in the exact weight of your package and the automatic calculator, links to the correct weight categories at OZ Post, problem solved!!. Auctiva is a free stand alone third party lister for ebay, fantastic free templates,(Listing designer) and as an added bonus the listing fees (For Me as I generally list with 6 supersize photos), is down to 25% of what ebay were charging me!!!! Bouquets to Auctiva, Brick Bats to eBay!!!
28/5/09 CAUTION, Auctiva will start charging for their listing services from 1st JULY 2009, but fortunately varying price plans are available, I chose the 10USD per month plan, which considering their accurate post calculator, great free templates, free supersize and scheduling well worth the $10 plan I chose as my ebay monthly fees have dropped by more than $50AUD per month since using their services.
Please review my guide to see if we can get this seen by more people.