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Advice On Overcharged Shipping

I'm in need of a little advice.

I recently purchased a pre-made fursuit partial from a seller (who I will not name at the moment). I was charged $35 to ship this within the US, and paid the amount in full straight away.

Now, the package has arrived and the amount stickered on the box is $10.74. It had delivery confirmation which is like...70 cents? The box was an old reused box, and the packing was just wadded up shopping bags. Clearly no money was spent on packaging at all.

I want to ask: is this fair or decent business practice? I find it very dishonest and scammy. Certainly I don't expect the price to be the exact total on the box but this is WAY over. I know the auction didn't end for as much as the seller would like, but I don't think that's any excuse either.

This isn't the only problem I've had with this seller either. I originally sent the full total right after receiving the shipping quote - the auction total plus the shipping, as asked for. The seller then replied to me "you forgot the Paypal fee. You owe me [about]$17, send that too". I was obviously taken aback as this was mentioned nowhere and it's against the Paypal ToS. It took a fair bit of arguing to have this Paypal fee dropped, even after a threat to "just include it in the shipping" (which would have bumped the shipping up a further $17!). Those quotes are paraphrased but very close to the originals, by the way.

At this point I really want to complain to the seller about this but I'd rather hear some opinions on it first - as well as what might be a good thing to say if I do raise the issue. Thanks!

Edit: I may as well add in that this person has been featured on A_B several times, including very recently. Sadly the recent post appeared after I had purchased and paid, and I hadn't seen the old tag, or I may have thought twice about buying. :/ I have now emailed them asking about the charges to see what answer they give me.
Artist's beware has moved!
Do NOT repost your old bewares. They are being archived.


( 51 comments — Leave a comment )
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(Deleted comment)
Oct. 27th, 2011 06:31 am (UTC)
hahaha idk, aint no way does a re-used box and grocery bags cost $20+
Oct. 26th, 2011 11:18 pm (UTC)
Overcharging by $10 or more is pushing it, I can understand and even include about $2-3 extra for larger items myself, since it takes more space, time, and effort to get to a post office, but over that, then it's just trying to cash in.

I think you're well in the right to complain about this to the seller, you paid them an extra $12+ dollars for nothing.
Oct. 27th, 2011 05:30 am (UTC)
Oh I have no problem with things being a bit over. I don't expect to pay the box value, since there's time and maybe gas involved (and packaging materials in some cases, just not this one). But yeah I felt this one was pushing that hugely.
Oct. 26th, 2011 11:21 pm (UTC)
I've accidentally over-quoted shipping before, particularly on large items or stuff shipping overseas... But I always refund if it's more than a few dollars.

Did they say that shipping would be a flat $30 in the auction, or did they look up your zip code and quote you that price?
Oct. 27th, 2011 05:32 am (UTC)
No, the auction didn't state a flat fee - I told her the zip code to get the shipping quote. I can imagine it having a handling fee but going $20+ over is way beyond that. :(
(no subject) - temrin - Oct. 31st, 2011 07:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 26th, 2011 11:21 pm (UTC)
Charging a paypal fee itself would have had me reporting them to paypal. You are running a business, deal with it.

But no, I do believe going over $10 or more is too much. I personally refund any overestimation if it goes beyond that amount.
Oct. 27th, 2011 12:48 am (UTC)
Agreeing with this 100%.

As for the shipping fees, I would contest them and ask for half the fees to be refunded, at least, especially since it appears they spent no money on proper packaging.
(no subject) - nnoitorah - Oct. 27th, 2011 05:35 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - duster - Oct. 27th, 2011 06:27 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nnoitorah - Oct. 27th, 2011 10:48 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - vellacraptor - Oct. 27th, 2011 11:42 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sigilgoat - Oct. 27th, 2011 01:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nnoitorah - Oct. 27th, 2011 04:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - venatorrooc - Oct. 28th, 2011 01:44 am (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 26th, 2011 11:26 pm (UTC)
I'd ask for at least $15 back - that's just outrageous. :/

Also him/her asking for the Paypal fees is a kick in the teeth and if you were as cruel as I am you'd let them (Paypal) know about it.
Oct. 26th, 2011 11:32 pm (UTC)
Wow that is excessive. I'd certainly complain to them, and ask for the difference. I have a flat fee that usually winds up being a little more than what actual cost is but I buy new packing materials for each one, even if I reuse (good) boxes.
Oct. 26th, 2011 11:41 pm (UTC)
It's standard to overcharge a few dollars shipping to cover fees and such, but $20 over is way too much (*unless* the auction stated the shipping was $30 flat)

It's against PayPal's TOS to directly ask for fee coverage or to state that a price is included to cover fees. You could probably get them suspended for asking for that.
Oct. 27th, 2011 05:37 am (UTC)
Nope, the auction stated "Buyer pays shipping" - and I gave a zip code quote at the end of the auction.
(no subject) - marus_puppy - Oct. 27th, 2011 04:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nnoitorah - Oct. 27th, 2011 04:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - marus_puppy - Oct. 27th, 2011 05:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 26th, 2011 11:42 pm (UTC)
I always pay the pay-pal fees as a seller, it protects me.

Oct. 26th, 2011 11:46 pm (UTC)
$2 is not "WAY over", I don't really find it dishonest. I usually refund the difference if it's more than $2 over, otherwise I use whatever's extra to offset paypal fees and gas costs. There are a lot of "hidden charges" when it comes to selling and shipping, I almost always lose money on shipping tbh.

Now what is bad is they are outright charging for Paypal fees, which is against Paypal's ToS. The rules are weird in that you can charge for them as long as it isn't labeled as such- so if they just added it into the starting bid or shipping and handling, it wouldn't be against ToS at all.
I have taken offense to being asked to pay Paypal fees too, like you, it wasn't mentioned in the sales pitch at all and seemed a little underhanded. I refused and I don't blame you for doing the same.
Oct. 26th, 2011 11:48 pm (UTC)
Ack, disregard the first part, somehow I read it as the shipping charge being $13, not $35. Okay, that IS a huge amount of difference and it's well within your rights to ask for a refund of the difference, maybe leaving them $2 to help with fees on their end.

Sorry I didn't read it well enough!
Oct. 26th, 2011 11:59 pm (UTC)
Report them to Paypal with the messages where they demand that you pay the fees. Really, it may be why they overcharged you so much on shipping as well, then they tried to get double fees out of it.

Make a full beware if you'd like (I know I'd love to know who it is since if I were going to buy a fursuit, I'd probably opt for a premade rather than play the waiting game), but DEFINITELY report them to Paypal.

I'm sure losing their account will teach them not to be snarky and demanding with customers.
Oct. 27th, 2011 05:38 am (UTC)
This person has been featured on A_B several times, including recently. Sadly the recent ones were just after I purchased and paid - and I hadn't seen the old ones. If I can't get any resolution I will indeed post the beware with screencaps and such.
(no subject) - otherscape - Oct. 27th, 2011 08:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nnoitorah - Oct. 27th, 2011 09:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - otherscape - Oct. 28th, 2011 01:00 am (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 27th, 2011 12:53 am (UTC)
ask for $20 back, that's ridiculous
Oct. 27th, 2011 01:34 am (UTC)
I would be extremely annoyed and ask to be credited back. If they don't, then I would report them to Paypal for demanding the fees be paid by you.

I had this issue with a seller on eBay awhile back -- I purchased an 11x17 piece of original art, and he asked for $45 to ship it. I assumed that included insurance, awesome packaging, the whole nine yards, and paid it. When it arrived, it was simply sandwiched between two pieces of cardboard and taped together. This was a $500 piece of original comic art! I was floored, but happy it wasn't damaged. The shipping label said they had paid $7.20 for it.

I demanded to be reimbursed for the cost of shipping and the seller was extremely nasty to me and told me it wasn't going to happen. I opened a dispute with eBay/Paypal about it and was later told I was up shit creek because the $45 was listed in the auction and I agreed to pay it when I won the auction, whether the seller used all of that money towards shipping or not.

I left him negative feedback detailing the incident, and he left me "revenge" negative feedback in return.

From now on I have just questioned high shipping costs, and if the seller can't give me a reason for it other than "handling fees," I don't purchase/bid on the auction.
Oct. 27th, 2011 02:53 am (UTC)
AGHGHGH as an ebay seller this just pisses me off, whattttttt. The guy leaving you retaliatory feedback is part of the reasons why sellers can't leave negative or neutral feedback anymore (revenge feedback was common)! I was so pissed when I found out about that- what if you really, truly have a bad customer and people need to know? RARGH.

That guy was a dick though- original art packaged like that? Wow. $45 to ship it and that shit should've been in a fucking cryogenic capsule or some shit.

As a seller, I charge actual costs for shipping- usually flat rate (love those!) so it's explanatory. Usually, though, I offer free or cheaper shipping and just end up taking a hit on it. :/

As a buyer, I won't bid on something with ridiculous shipping costs- if it's not going in a flat rate box and you want extra for handling beyond what I feel is reasonable, you're crazy and I'm not gonna be the sucker that buys your shit, lol.
Oct. 27th, 2011 02:50 am (UTC)
Woooooow. That's ridiculous.

As a person who sells on a personal level (artwork and the like to furries) and also sells on ebay on a quasi-professional level, my shipping is NEVER over-the-top like that. Oh my god.

For example, if I'm shipping you a 19 pound item, and a flat rate box costs 15.90 (approximate, it's late & I can't remember exactly), I'm going to probably charge you $17. The postage itself is like $16 and that extra $1 is to cover any of my materials (shipping label, or gas to the post office, or whatever).

I had someone buy a lot of books from me one time and the shipping to his location was HALF of what the estimator told him it'd be... so I refunded him the half. It wouldn'tve been fair for me to keep it, I felt, and it was his money.

If the person packaged your stuff awesome and used all these great peanuts and bubble wrappy things and made sure it was neat-o and wasn't gonna be busted and bought a new box, okay, I get it (which is what I would have done tbh, had it been shipped from me), though the excess (within reason) still should've been refunded above and beyond the costs and a reasonable amount kept for gas/time/whatever (can you tell I lose my ass on shipping a lot? lol)... but keeping that much? that's just cheating you and is bad business practice.

As for the paypal thing, I agree with everyone else on the whole A) you're doing business through paypal, eat the fees like a good seller (I do, and hate it, but it's the price you pay for the service), and B) that you should report it to paypal. That right there- uncool, and paypal specifically forbids that sort of behavior.
Oct. 27th, 2011 03:30 am (UTC)
If stated in the auction that the fees were as such, you are sadly SOL.

If they did not post the shipping price, and later quoted that, then you should either:
1) Inquire the reason the shipping was so high
a) If they claim it was the shipping price and transport and shipping materials, ask to see a receipt.
b) Claim it was PP fees, screenshot that mother f-er just in case you need it and can't find it later.
2) Either request the difference to be refunded to you.
3) If they don't co-operate, beat around the bush or get snarky as hell, open a paypal dispute with all the information you have, as well as the screenshot paypal fee charging admittance.
4)Wait until they respond, or don't if you feel you might not get a response from them, and escalate the dispute.
5) Let us know how it went, and if the behavior of the seller is less then appropriate, edit your post to include their name and a link to the items/documented BS they may have you running.
6) Most of all, good luck and in the future, always ask for a shipping quote and do your research!
Oct. 27th, 2011 12:16 pm (UTC)
The auction stated that "buyer pays shipping" (literally just that) and after the auction ended I provided zip code details for a quote. When I was quoted I also wasn't quoted what services would come with it (didn't think on this at the time) so I just assumed it was that high because it was large and/or heavy and/or had expensive insurance. Or something. I just trusted the quote, which I guess is my bad.

I have now written back to them asking why the shipping was so high and quoting what's on the box. I know they cannot claim it was the Paypal fees - they adamantly wanted to charge me the Paypal fees as well as this $35 shipping. I'll see what they respond before thinking what to do next. Thanks for the advice!
(no subject) - crssafox - Oct. 27th, 2011 01:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sigilgoat - Oct. 27th, 2011 01:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - stormslegacy - Oct. 27th, 2011 02:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - celestinaketzia - Oct. 27th, 2011 02:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 27th, 2011 04:22 am (UTC)
agree with what others said....

I've been undercharged for shipping a purchased good from the US to come to Australia...and personally I'd feel horrible if the seller had to cover it...I've always asked if it costs anymore to let me know and I will pay it.

But that is just WAY over kill and you SHOULD be refunded...

Paypal fees? Well they should be paying those not you.
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