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Why I no longer sell Momo steering wheels and other items on ebay

ebay charges horrendous fees

But that’s not the only reason. ebay is making it increasingly unattractive for sellers to sell on ebay. For example, if you sell something to another country, ebay will charge you extra, although you don’t even have any influence on it, at least not directly. ebay charges commissions on the shipping cost, even though they have nothing to do with it, except to enrich themselves. I’ll give an example.

As Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you for purchases made through links in this post.

A few weeks ago I sold a very rare Momo horn button to an operetta country called Colombia on ebay, which is more known for other things, but not necessarily for lovers of classic cars and accessories. ebay charged a sales commission of 12.9% for the sale, plus an international fee of 4.5% and a $0.35 base fee. And finally, sales taxes of 6% on the total. Incidentally, on everything, on the sales price plus shipping cost. Now comes the calculation. The horn button sold for $400, calculated shipping cost of $50.

So ebay deducts $83.37. Don’t get me wrong, ebay should of course make money from it. The bay area is quite expensive. But the bill isn’t over yet. Shipping was $49.89, which I have to subtract from the rest to see what I’m left with. So the bottom line is $316.74. If I now consider the entire deduction as a commission, which I should do, then we are talking about 20.81%. Quite a lot. But it’s getting even better. The buyer states that he did not receive the horn button.

If that were the case, it would be unfortunate indeed. Especially because it was a very rare piece. On the other hand, I could request a compensation from the shipping company and everyone would be happy. The buyer would get his money, I have mine and the horn button would probably remain lost or decorate the car of a corrupt Colombian.

But that’s not the case either, everyone can see it, but nobody cares, especially ebay. At the time the buyer stated that they had not received the item, the tracking showed that the package had just arrived in Colombia and had to go through customs. Usual procedure, even if it took longer than I would expect. It didn’t matter to ebay, they just noticed that the item hadn’t reached the buyer yet. So they refunded the buyer the purchase price plus shipping cost, which they took from my credit card. The commission was not refunded as the item was successfully sold. Connections are probably too complex for ebay.

I appealed against this decision, saying that the package was on its way, that I had no influence on how fast the shipping process is during Corona an other shit and that my money, the commission and the item were taken away from me. ebay rejected the objection. The package has meanwhile arrived in Bogota, but could not be delivered because the buyer did not want to or could not pay the customs. So it will be stored and the buyer should come and pay the customs duty which he hasn’t done yet. I contacted ebay again but the case is closed. Thank you ebay.

To recap. I lost the horn button worth $400, paid $50 shipping and to ebay $83. If the buyer picks up the delivery now and pays a bit of customs duty, I don’t even have the option of getting money back from the shipping service provider. As I said, the case is closed for ebay.

UPDATE: buyer payed customs, picked up the item. I got in touch with ebay, they can see the tracking and replied back to me:

“I understand the situation you’re coming from especially that you’ve done your part in shipping the item and this is your hard earned money. This is not the experience we’d want you to have. My name is (blank) and I am happy to provide you your next step to get your money back. I went over the details and as I see the case has been closed on (date) which is already past 30 days to file an appeal. While it is true that tracking shows delivered, however the case is no longer eligible for an appeal. (why not? awesome, thanks ebay). No worries, since the buyer already got the item, we highly suggest that you communicate with your buyer via eBay messages to make arrangements. An open and friendly communication is an effective way to resolve issues between trading partners. (really?) I know, this is not the answer you are hoping for but I hope I was able to clarify everything. Moving forward, I recommend to ship sold items to a more trusted carrier (UPS???). Thank you for your utmost understanding and for choosing eBay as your business partner.” (haha, good one, not anymore)

Of course I did get in touch with the buyer, but never got a reply. 

Stacked Momo Horn Button

rare stacked Momo logo horn button

early chrome ring Alpina Horn Button - back

back of the rare piece

ebay ignores rules that they created themselves

Another sale, another story, which meant a lot of shipping and commissions for me, and I ended up getting back a box with a Cleveland phone book. Thanks ebay. This time a steering wheel, quite rare, quite expensive. I packaged it nicely as always, sent it via UPS and got a message from ebay the day it was delivered. The buyer stated that the steering wheel was not as described. False photos, the steering wheel would be fake and not a real Momo. Not true, but that’s another topic. He attached photos that clearly show the authenticity.

I have declined a return stating that all items are clearly marked with ALL SALES ARE FINAL, NO RETURNS, NO REFUNDS. And the respective settings are made. ebay doesn’t care. They create a return label at my expense, have the buyer ship the steering wheel back, and all charges are deducted from my credit card. And the commission is non-refundable.

Days later, I receive a package from UPS, which feels strange. My neighbor is a lawyer, I called him in to be on the safe side. And he could attest unequivocally that it’s a Cleveland phone book. Thanks, I haven’t had it yet. And as always, ebay sees the return has been completed. Case closed. Thanks ebay.

Would you like a small calculation? The $1100 steering wheel is gone, I paid $157 commission to ebay, $47 shipping and $59 for the return label. End of the story, I will no longer sell steering wheels or other items on ebay – but everywhere else. That’s it. 

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nice Ferrari Testarossa steering wheel

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including button, now gone as well

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