extra charge for paypal

Ok, so I just bought something on Ebay (a new stylus for my Handspring Visor). For this auction, the seller says to add 25 cents if you use PayPal–“To charge by PayPal: add .25¢ for costs (less than the cost of a postage stamp for other payment methods).” What the hell is this about? What gives them the right to get a cut of the money I save by not buying a stamp? Ok, I knew up front that this was the case. It’s not like this was sprung on me after I bid. After losing on like two dozen of these items, I just wanted one and a lousy quarter isn’t a big deal (quarter or no I still got a good price). The principle of it all is annoying though.

Maybe the bigger issue is this–do you know why I went on eBay to buy one of these things? Because the only way Handspring sells them in stores is at $15.99 for a pack of five of them! Hello, I only need one, damnit!

I was going to reply but everything I would have said, you already said yourself.

Don’t like the seller’s stipulations? Don’t bid.

PayPal is now charging the sellers a percentage. Some sellers are passing the charges on to the buyers. While I’m not too fond of this, I can understand their reasoning. Brick and mortar stores that don’t take charge cards generally have prices that are a bit lower than stores that DO take cards.

And I have to say, for the record, that I am finding eBay to be a dangerous addiction. So many things that I want…

I have learned my lesson on Paypal. They are just insurance. If you get screwed, then you get your money back.
I was one of the suckers who got screwed through gametek.com when I tried to buy a PS2. People who paid with Paypal got their money refunded ASAP.

For the whole official horror story, go here:


Here is the part that applies to me:

They have to pay out if someone is scamming, so they need ot get teir money from somewhere.

I did not know about the paypal surcharge. That’s good to know. Still, I think they’d be better off offering a DISCOUNT if one chose to use a cheaper method, instead of a surcharge. It’s just more palatable.

The point is, there is a cost to doing business, even on ebay. You can’t pass EVERY cost on to the buyer in the form of surcharges. That’s what your profit is supposed to cover. Ebay sellers do not seem to understand the principle of setting a minimum selling price at a level that gives profit to cover costs like overhead. I bought something a few weeks ago for which $4 shipping was charged. Shipping, the seller said, not shipping and handling. So I assumed that they’d be sending it priority mail, and didn’t mind the expense.

Until it arrived on my doorstep. It arrives in a cheap plain brown envelope, no padding, having cost $.76 in regular postage. I asked the seller why I was overcharged, and she said that the extra $$ helped her cover things like running to the post office, cost of advertising brochures, envelopes, etc.

Um, hello? Cover that in your SELLING price, you nitwit. Or at the very fucking least, give your so-called
“shipping charges” a more inclusive label. It’s people like this that makes others shy away from ebay. Sure, you could complain with negative feedback, but they might retaliate. It’s not worth it.


I have sold a pretty fair amount of stuff (mainly books and CDs) on ebay. I am halfway guilty of what you accuse. For CDs, I plainly state that it will be $2.50 for shipping AND handling. postage is either 98¢ or $1.18 (depending on the jewel case)for a first class shipping. When I put a minimum bid on these auctions, they don’t get nearly as many bids. Call it stupidity on the buyer’s part, but people will bid infinitely more on a $1 CD that has $4 s/h than they will on the same CD that is $4 with $1 shipping. So I’m going to list them in the way that results in more buyers. Now, if I were getting $12 or $14 per CD I sold, I would willingly suck up postage/packing costs out of my profit. But, when you put CDs with starting bids of $2 (and many times they don’t go any higher than that), I’m going to make sure that the $2 I get for the bid is all profit.

However, I think we probably agree partially – I would expect that people are going to be pissed if I didn’t include the “and handling” in my description of costs.


In one of the ebay chat rooms, a participant is reporting that ebay says this is not okay by ebay standards. Just like sellers can’t say “Add 4% if you use a credit card.” They’re not supposed to pass costs on to you. Maybe see if they have something about it in Q & A? Point the seller there, and await that $.25 refund! :slight_smile: