Postage & Payments

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An area that often causes confusion on ebay is postage and payments. In my experience I have found that acceptable postage and payment times vary greatly between sellers. Often sellers will indicate in item listing any specific time frames that payment is required by. It is important to be realistic and abide by these time frames. Most sellers on ebay are not large organizations or multimillionaires, and sell items because they are trying to make an income. It is only fair when committing to purchase an item, that you complete the transaction within an appropriate time frame.

Payment methods often affect the time frame within which the payment will be recieved. Bank transfers can take up to 3 working days to show in the sellers account. This does not include public holidays and weekends. So be sure to allow for clearance times when sending your payment. It is also courteous to let the seller know that payment has been sent, either by marking item as payment sent on your ebay summary, or, by sending a quick message to the seller. Paypal payments are usually instant, But, an echeque sent through Paypal can take up to 5 working days to clear into the sellers account. Money orders also, require postage time, and the seller may be unable to get to a post office to cash it right away, again, allow for appropriate times here.

Postage times also cause much confusion. Sellers often indicate approximate postage times after cleared payment, but, remember, sellers are human and things happen that may change this. When paying by Paypal, be considerate of the seller. many people do not have access to ready cash to cover postage costs for buyers all the time. When a buyer has paid via Paypal the seller often has to withdraw the money from Paypal to their own bank account in order to access the money. This takes up to 5 working days also. So in the instance that a buyer pays via echeque which takes 5 working days to clear, and the seller needs to transfer the funds to their account, which also takes up to 5 working days, it could be 10 working days before the funds are available to the seller. Now, lets imagine the seller is unable to get to the post office for a day or two, and add on Australia Post delivery times. That in itself could mean a fortnight until you recieve your item. It is always a good idea to check with the seller when they will be posting your item, as in the above example, the delay in postage is out of the sellers hands, and it would be unfair to leave negative marks for postage times.

Prepaid satchels are available at the post office and are an easy way to post smaller items such as clothing. They come in two sizes, with a 500gram maximum weight satchel costing $5.30 and the larger satchel, which holds up to 3kg being $9.00. Check with the seller. If they are using prepaid satchels, perhaps you can fit another item into the satchel without incurring additional postage costs for multiple purchases. Remember though, that prepaid standard satchels are not able to be tracked once posted, so the seller will be unable to advise you on postage progress, other than to tell you what date item was posted. express postage satchels and registered post are available at additional costs, and these can be tracked. If you require this method of post, check with the seller prior to bidding. But, bear in mind, that express post means, the item will be delivered overnight once posted. This does not always mean you will get your item overnight, the seller may be unable to get to a post office for a few days.

Many buyers contact the seller if there are any delays in recieving their items once posted. If using a prepaid satchel, or standard post methods, the seller has no way of knowing where your parcel is, and when you will get it. Australia Post use their own systems once parcels are lodged at a post office, and these are beyond the sellers control. generally though, parcels arrive safely, and within a reasonable timeframe. It is rare for parcels to go missing completely, so if you are waiting for a parcel which seems to be taking a while to get there, be patient. Check at the post office. I have had instances where the delivery man just forgot to leave a card, and my item was sitting at the post office waiting to be picked up. Certain times are very busy at Australia Post, for example, Christmas time and Easter time.

Lastly, let the seller know via feedback or a quick message, that your item has arrived. Sellers do care what happens to items once they are posted, and informing the seller that item has been recieved, and that you are happy with your item (hopefully) is part of completing the transaction.


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