Open Source

The nerve of some people: Selling OpenOffice on eBay


Over the weekend I came across this listing on eBay. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Not only did someone have the nerve to sell digital copies of OpenOffice they were listing it as: Open Office Pro Ultimate Edition 2007 Microsoft Windows.

Of course I quickly reported the user to eBay. Why? The seller is clearly breaking the LGPL under which OpenOffice is protected.

Now I'm sure eBay has no idea how to proceed. Why do I think this? When reporting this issue, I basically had to select from standard drop-down lists the subject (and sub-subject and sub-sub-subject); there was never a Licensing violation option. in their list. You could report a user for selling fraudulent or pirated software - but the seller was not selling fraudulent or pirated copies of OpenOffice (in fact, is there a such thing?). No the seller was SELLING copies of OpenOffice which, in and of itself, is a violation. The seller was selling something which can not be sold. The seller was making money off of something he can not make money from.

How do you report this?

Well, judging from eBay's system of reporting, you don't. This needs to be addressed. I looked at the rules and regulations regarding digitally downloaded items and these are the only "rules" (taken from the eBay support page):

  • Any digitally delivered item may not be pornographic in nature.
  • The seller must be the owner of the underlying intellectual property, or authorized to distribute it by the intellectual property owner.
  • The seller’s item may not include software that harms the buyer’s machine (for example, a virus), uses it for malicious or unauthorized purposes (for example, sending spam e-mails or spreading a virus), or violates the buyer’s privacy (for example, spyware or cookies per the HTML and JavaScript policy).
  • To help verify the identity of sellers listing digital downloadable items, eBay requires that sellers are PayPal Verified.

So the only applicable rule is the second rule and the seller did NOT (nor will not) ever own the copy of OpenOffice he was selling.

I do hope that eBay takes action against the seller who is selling copies of OpenOffice for $3.33. It's an outrage! Not only because he is selling software protected from this sort of thing, he is selling it for $3.33!!!!

If I had to pay for OpenOffice, I would certainly pay more than $3.33!

Anyway, if you are a champion for open source software (as I am) you might consider also reporting the seller to eBay. Maybe action will be taken against him and, more important, eBay will add to their "rules" protection for open source software.

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

67 comments
cdevault80
cdevault80

The charge is for the service and cost of burning it on a cd and distributing it. It's not illegal.

cpt Nightrain
cpt Nightrain

I have also come across these Open Office ebay listings and ran into the same problems you have outlined when trying to report the seller - there is no proper category for the infringement. And as far as calling ebay goes - good luck! Their phone number is nearly impossible to find and, from what I've read, even if you do find it their agents are often rude and unaccommodating. It seems like ebay is going to hell lately as it's becoming flooded with scammers and crooks, posing as both sellers and buyers.

NotSoChiGuy
NotSoChiGuy

...George Romero or Max Brooks when you need them??

witchezpet
witchezpet

The $3.33 is a service charge, it's not for the 'program'.

jtnelson
jtnelson

It's always been OK to sell copies of free/open-source software. The LGPL itself says: "You may charge a fee for the physical act of transferring a copy, and you may at your option offer warranty protection in exchange for a fee." Richard Stallman has always made a point of saying that you can sell copies of Free Software. However, these guys on ebay may be violating a trademark by altering the name of the software suite. I'm not sure about that.

JackOfAllTech
JackOfAllTech

Doesn't the license say something about being allowed to charge for the media used to transport the software? Besides, what do you care? Who appointed you the RIAA of Open Source. If people don't have broadband and are willing to pay to have a CD mailed to them, what's the big deal?

ra.kish
ra.kish

This does not bother me as much as it does the writer. I have paid for software in the past that I knew that I could get for free from elsewhere. The fact is that you are paying for the convenience. You do not need to search for the item, or it comes ready packaged in a format that is convenient for you , ready to install easily. $3.33 is more like this type of payment. If this is breaking Open Source license rules, then pity Open Source. I would always prefer to pay a little for something where I knew that I had someone behind it, rather than nothing and have no support.

jnovotny355
jnovotny355

Sorry to say, its shit, but this can be done while still maintaining all the rules of the LGPL license. Simply, You cant sell software published under the terms of LGPL, but You can charge for in this case "so called" consulting services. If someone buys only the information about the link for downloading the software, how is the seller breaking the licence? If the buyer is too lazy to find out the download link, he just pays the seller for finding it out a letting him know it. What exact term of the LGPL does this break?

taweili
taweili

Stallman used to sell GNU tape containing Emacs, GCC and other goodies for $300 a pop and wrote a manifesto on that being one way to fund open source. There is nothing wrong with this guy selling OpenOffce. He would only violate LGPL if he refused the buyers source codes.

lodestone
lodestone

Jack, I had the same reaction a couple years ago so I contacted the OpenOffice.org folks. Their response: Yup. We know. They're allowed to do that. --Allen

Quasar Kid
Quasar Kid

Open Source and free mean just that. I can do with it as I please. And there is not thing one you can do about it....

cjstrain
cjstrain

Unreal. I submitted a Seller Non-Performance complaint to eBay

randy.brinson
randy.brinson

Good crooks start with baby steps. Next we may see that seller peddling Enron stock, prime land near New Orleans, and who knows what else. Never truer: caveat emptor!

Dr_Zinj
Dr_Zinj

He's within his rights, and legal restrictions. Hopefully, eBay realizes this too and dumps your complaint in the round file. There's nothing wrong with bundling freeware/open source onto a disk, or collecting it on a download site, and charging for the value added in bundling and distribution. This is the same concept that our public libraries operate under.

toscal
toscal

You can actually sell for a small fee, to cover costs etc if you are distributing Open Office. Which is exactly what he is doing. You used to be able to sign up on the OO site as a distributor for their software which is what I did. Mind you I don't charge for the software as I supply it as part of a package when I supply new PCs

TechExec2
TechExec2

. [i]"...When we speak of free software, we are referring to freedom, not price. Our General Public Licenses are designed to make sure that you have the freedom to distribute copies of free software (and charge for this service if you wish)..."[/i] -- GNU General Public License v2 (1) [i]"...The seller must be the owner of the underlying intellectual property, or authorized to distribute it by the intellectual property owner..."[/i] -- eBay (2) Hey Jack... I appreciate your sentiment, but you're dead wrong here. What this guy is doing is completely within the GPL and within eBay rules. He's distributing open source software for a fee. There is nothing in the GPL that requires GPL'd software to be distributed for free. The fact that OpenOffice.org chooses to do it for free doesn't mean everyone else must do so. This is how the commercial Linux distros operate legally. And, since he explicitly has the right to distribute GPL'd software, he is within eBay's rules as well. In addition to being legal, he also stands on firm ethical ground. He IS providing a service. It's a SMALL service. It's a service that you or I don't value much. But, his customers DO value it. Their money paid and positive feedbacks on eBay prove it. It appears clear that his customers don't know much about open source. He's introducing them to it. So, in a way, he is advancing the cause of free software and he is part of the FOSS community. Finally, his small business has expenses to cover. So, it is proper and ethical that he charges for his services. His website and download bandwidth cost him. He pays eBay selling fees. He spends time putting up eBay ads. He spends time building and maintaining his website. He spends time handling each transaction with each eBay customer. Even if he is doing all of the work himself, his labors have a value and a business cost. And, he had better be doing accounting for his small business, filing tax returns, and paying his business income taxes. The GPL is about software freedom, not software for free. I suggest you leave this guy alone. ------------------------------------------ (1) General Public License v2 (GPL) http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/gpl-2.0.txt (2) Digitally Delivered Goods (eBay) http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/downloadable.html

LocoLobo
LocoLobo

Went to Ebay, searched for Open Office. In item 110164420431 there was the following note: Please Note: This CD-ROM contains Open Source software. This item is in full compliance with the GPL License agreement and we are authorized to distribute this disc and its contents. This CD can be freely installed on as many systems as you wish as long as the (GNU) General Public License is followed and agreed upon. This is not a boot limited, OEM, shareware, bootleg or trial version, CD-ROM does not come in a retail box as it contains Open Source software.

jdclyde
jdclyde

You can make money on packaging and shipping, but because it is a download with "five copies available", it is a clear violation. If it were burnt to a CD and mailed, he/she could do it. Did anyone report it to the OO website?

TheChas
TheChas

PT Barnumn had it right. There is a sucker born every minute. I saw several offers of Open Office for $4.99 over the weekend. One even came out and stated that it was free software and you could download it for free. He was offering the download as a "service". There are lots of items listed on ebay that sell for many times what they are actually worth. The ebay phenomenon has actually created thriving collectors markets where none ever existed before. Just search on HP calculators or slide rules, and you will see items going for many times what they sold for new. And many times more than they are arguably worth. I have an HP calculator that I paid $25 for some 20 years ago. I saw one going for over $300 a couple of weeks ago. For the most part, I don't blame the sellers, but the buyers. People need to get a grip, and control their bidding. Chas

TheToonies
TheToonies

First point you should understand that OpenOffice.org is distributed under GNU License. Which clearly states that you are free to distribute any software under GNU without taking any permission from anyone. It already comes with a granted buitin permission to distribute it. the only thing you cannot do is that you cannot put your own restrictions on it. If you distribute it to someone, that someone has the right to redistribute it. You may or may not be aware that, you can also charge for the software you distribute. It is legal to charge a price. But even if you charge a price, the buyer may distribute it free of cost or may sell it for a lower or higher price. The only term remains intact is the GNU License, you cannot modify it even if your contribute in the development of the OpenOffice.org I hope this clarifies your doubt.

NaughtyMonkey
NaughtyMonkey

in this situation is he gained your money. He offers nothing above and beyond what you already could get for free other than not having to type the product name in a google box.

TheToonies
TheToonies

I Cannot see the problem Ok so this guy is selling "Open Source Software", as long as he follows the GPL. I take my hat off to him as he has to source, bundle, market and then distribute the item. He has every right to do this so, yeah he is making some money but not the amount that microsoft makes for roughly the same software.

IT cowgirl
IT cowgirl

Thank you for pointing out the obvious. The cost of bundling and additions is what he is charging for. Some people are too lazy or do not understand, or do not wish to take the time to obtain their own copy and burn it. So they buy it off Ebay.

Larry the Security Guy
Larry the Security Guy

Few people remember the days before downloading when shareware and freeware was sold by retailers. They didn't actually own the software, but people still bought copies. Were they breaking the law? No, because they weren't selling the software or license to use that software. What they sold was a disk, a label, a bit of ink, and their copying, printing and labeling service.

jmmarton
jmmarton

How do major Linux distros make money? Not by charging for the distribution of the software. They make money by providing support. This is quite clear when you look at Novell/SUSE and Red Hat. I also don't see what service he's providing. If I want to download OpenOffice I can easily do this by going to www.openoffice.org. I don't need this guy. If he were providing CDs of the software then perhaps he's providing a service to people with slow (e.g. dial-up) Internet connections. But as a digital download he is providing NO benefit and NO service. In addition, he is in fact being quite misleading. He's selling OpenOffice Professional 2007. Now we all now the point of that. People will see that and equate it with Microsoft Office Professional 2007. So let's face it, this isn't about someone trying to introduce open source software to people. It's about making misleading statements and charging for something that people can simply get for free by going straight to the source (no pun intended).

jlwallen
jlwallen

i have sent the ebay member a question. one simple question: does this software come complete with the source code? if the download does not come with the source code - then he is breaking the GPL. i don't mean to keep trying to dig into this but the man is making money from someone else' hard work. imagine if you had spent that amount of time working on a piece of software only to find it sold like this. but what this brings up is a problem with the GPL. i think those who work to create revisions of the GPL might want to revisit this type of issue. i am glad that OpenOffice is getting pushed, certainly, but in this manner? and here are a couple of questions: 1) why doesn't he offer the Linux version? 2) why doesn't he make not of the openoffice.org website? regardless...i get your point that the GPL is not officially being broken. IF, and only IF, he is supplying the buyers with the source code.

jlwallen
jlwallen

I have asked the OpenOffice users list about the issues you posed. You may very well be correct in that the user is operating correctly under the GPL. however, the GPL does not allow the member to change the name of the software. The ebay member is listing the software under the name Open Office Pro Ultimate Edition 2007 Microsoft Windows. Correct me if i'm wrong, but there is no Ultimate Edition of Open Office.

jlwallen
jlwallen

the OO mailing list. i'm not sure if the OO team took any action. i have yet to hear back from ebay.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

The Buyer Needs to Be Ware of what they offer. At real Auctions I've seen items sell for many times their real value new so why is it that people should think that Electronic Auctions would be any different? Actually some Electronic Auctions that I've had to sit in on have done exactly the same thing with heavy machinery the selling price has been way over the top of what any normal person would pay for something. It seems that some people just decide that they want something and then just have to get it no matter what is involved or how much too much they pay for it. Col

jdclyde
jdclyde

There are lots of sites that charge for drivers and utilities that are "free", if you know how to find them. As for HP Calculators, it is the graphing ones that START about $120 (my twins needed one each :0 ) My sisters boyfriend makes a lot of money on ebay. He goes to the dollar store, buys crap and posts in on-line. Someone buys it for $2 plus $5 shipping "and handling". Cost about a buck to send, so a $5 profit. The shipping is where he makes the money. He also sells Evercrack characters, gold, and other items, and amazingly, people pay for it.

edantes
edantes

Isn't OpenOffice is distributed under GPL? Selling is legal, but ... My interpretation is that the people selling OOO should have some kind of notice pointing to OpenOffice.org site. Section 5 of the license says: # a) The work must carry prominent notices stating that you modified it, and giving a relevant date. # b) The work must carry prominent notices stating that it is released under this License and any conditions added under section 7. This requirement modifies the requirement in section 4 to ?keep intact all notices?. IMHO, trying to disguise the origin of the software is a violation of the license. Just look at these shysters' website and tell me. I am sure there are a few license violations and other petty crimes there: http://www-openoffice.com/

Derek Schauland
Derek Schauland

Sometimes it is funny all of the free things that people will do E-bay. OO.org is a free download, yet some people want to pay someone for it... I wonder how many of the same people try to get free MP3s on the Internet?

jmmarton
jmmarton

He's not bundling or adding anything. Not only that, he's making misleading statements such as changing the name of OpenOffice to reflect the naming of Microsoft Office. He also claims that it's "100% compatible with Microsoft Office" yet anyone who has used OOo knows at times it doesn't always open M$ Office documents correctly. This person is providing no bundle. This person is adding no value. This person is simply attempting to prey upon people who want M$ Office but can't afford it and who also don't already know about OpenOffice.

gan
gan

Still what a gimmick. This is not a burned copy. It is a "Digital Download". I guess providing the link, and adds are enough. I am just not that low. Here are words from this E-bay sellers own mouth. " Can I sell and otherwise distribute OpenOffice.org? Yes. Our license, the LGPL, allows anyone to sell and otherwise distribute OpenOffice.org binaries (executable installation sets; the application people can use), provided that the source is always made available to all, either by link (to www.openoffice.org/) or by inclusion. If you are interested in selling CDROMs of OpenOffice.org or distributing it via OEM computers, please visit the CDROM and OEM projects. - ezstreetsoftware" end quote.......

tr.p.keller
tr.p.keller

Yes, this guy is not doing anything wrong. The GPL is widely misunderstood, and you are allowed to sell software that is licenced under it. What the GPL (and LGPL) stops you doing is denying other people access to the source code that you used to build your distribution/application, because that would stop other people from (a) reading the source code to inform themselves about how the software functions, and (b) modifying and redistributing it. If you make a derivative application that includes GPL'ed code, the GPL also applies to your code. You do not have to include the source code with your application, but if you don't, you have to include a written offer to supply the source code at no more than what it costs you to distribute it (i.e. you can charge for your costs in supplying someone with the source code, but you can't make a profit from it). If you really believe that a violation of the GPL has happened here, visit http://www.gpl-violations.org/ (there are mailing lists for discussion) - this would be more effective than hassling ebay. For more information about Open Source issues, see http://www.opensource.org

TechExec2
TechExec2

. [b][i]"...How do major Linux distros make money? Not by charging for the distribution of the software. They make money by providing support. This is quite clear when you look at Novell/SUSE and Red Hat..."[/i][/b] I never said they didn't make money by selling support. My point was that commercial Linux distros often grant access to their commercial binary download only to paying subscribers. In other words, payment is required in order to download. Both this guy on eBay, and the commercial distros, are requiring payment in order to download the binary. And, both are "legal" for the same reason: The GPL does not require anyone to distribute GPL'd software for free. [b][i]"...I also don't see what service he's providing. If I want to download OpenOffice I can easily do this by going to www.openoffice.org. I don't need this guy. If he were providing CDs of the software then perhaps he's providing a service to people with slow (e.g. dial-up) Internet connections. But as a digital download he is providing NO benefit and NO service..."[/i][/b] You don't value his service. I don't value his service. But, 136 customers who bought from him on eBay, and gave him glowing positive feedback, clearly do. He often got lots of glowing praise for how great the software was and what great service he gave. For those people, he IS providing a valued service. The fact that you and I both know we can download the software for a better price ($0.00) doesn't change that at all. Not everyone is "l33t", you know! :^0 [b][i]"...So let's face it, this isn't about someone trying to introduce open source software to people. It's about making misleading statements and charging for something that people can simply get for free by going straight to the source (no pun intended)..."[/i][/b] Now we're getting somewhere. The REAL objection many people have here is that he is a "sales slime". :^0 The open source aspect is really irrelevant (especially since what he is doing is permitted by the GPL). Every salesman does not tell his customers where they can get a better deal, right? That is all that is going on here. He's a "sales slime". :^0 I generally agree. It is highly likely his small business is driven by profit motive only (very small profit at that). But, this could be his way of spreading open source to Windows users. We really don't know all that is inside his head. Because about 50% of eBay buyers leave feedback, his 136 unique positive feedbacks project to nearly 300 [u]Windows[/u] people to whom he has sold open source software. They clearly did not know much or anything about OSS and were quite happy with this introduction! That is a notable accomplishment regardless of how unimpressed you or I may be with his sales. How many Windows users have you or I literally "sold" into being open source software users? This guy: 300 in 3 months. This guy on eBay is a salesman. And, he is doing a great job. He's selling a free product for real money. He could probably sell ice to Eskimos! :^0

Saurondor
Saurondor

as long as he doesn't modify it. If he built his own version of Open Office then he'd have to make that code available. But if he's just distributing and existing version and that version has its source code available somewhere then there is no breach.

TechExec2
TechExec2

. [b][i]"...if the download does not come with the source code - then he is breaking the GPL..."[/i][/b] You keep making up your own rules. :^0 This is yet another half true statement. Three strikes! You're Out! :^0 Read the GPL. [b][i]"...i don't mean to keep trying to dig into this but the man is making money from someone else' hard work..."[/i][/b] Yes you do! ;-) It is completely legal and proper for him to make money from distributing GPL'd software. Read the GPL and you'll see. Red Hat, Novell, Xandros, and Linspire have built their business on doing exactly that. This guy has been distributing open source software titles for a fee for about 3 months. In that short time, he's gotten 136 positive feedbacks. Generally, about half of buyers give feedback. So, in a very short time, this guy has turned nearly 300 [u]Windows[/u] people on to open source software. How many Windows users did you convert to open source in the last 3 months? This guy should be commended for what he has done, not condemned.

TechExec2
TechExec2

. Sorry. You're still incorrect here. I don't see anything illegal about what he is doing. The GPL does not say anything about the names given to the software. You can distribute GPL'd software for a fee using any legal name you wish. It can be the original name chosen by the author(s) or something else. Some Linux distributions rename open source applications. I don't like it when I see it, but it's legal. By "legal name", I'm referring to a name that does not infringe on a trademark owned by someone else for example. This guy could not call his $3.99 office suite "Microsoft Office Open Edition" for example. Microsoft would come down on him like a ton of bricks. This has nothing to do with the license. It is trademark law that empowers Microsoft to force him to stop using the name "Microsoft Office". First a demand letter. Then a lawsuit. Another example: It is completely legal and within the GPL to download Red Hat's Linux and redistribute it. But, you cannot call it "Red Hat Linux" because Red Hat owns the trademark on "Red Hat" and prohibits you from doing so. This is exactly what Oracle is doing. Oracle Linux is Red Hat Linux under Oracle's name. Oracle is a weasel! :^0 "Team OpenOffice.org e.V." (1) owns a trademark on the name "OpenOffice.org" and the logo. Both are registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office (2). "Team OpenOffice.org e.V." could place restrictions on the use of the "OpenOffice.org" name if they choose. They could not allow anyone to use the name and logo, or everyone, or somewhere inbetween these extremes. But, it's up to them to hire the attorneys, send the legal demand letters, and file the lawsuits. The title of this guy's eBay auction was "Open Office Pro Ultimate Edition 2007 Microsoft Windows". I expect he chose that title so his auction would appear in search results of people looking for Microsoft Office 2007 Pro or Ultimate editions. He wasn't trying to rename the product. He refers to it by several variations of "OpenOffice" inside the ad, but not by the name in the auction title. This guy may be an enterprising weasel, but what he's doing is legal, just like when Red Hat or Xandros redistributes OpenOffice.org for a fee. P.S. If you want to feel better about it: He's helping to promote open source and take sales away from Microsoft. And, at $3.99 per copy, after all expenses, he's probably making about 50 cents per hour in his tiny business. Nothing to write home about really... :^0 ----------------------------------------- (1) Team OpenOffice.org e.V. is a German legal entity. The "e.V." stands for "eingetragener Verein" which means "registered association". (2) Registered trademark numbers belonging to "Team OpenOffice.org e.V." 3063339 "OpenOffice.org" 3287409 The logo

jdclyde
jdclyde

It makes me wonder if maybe this ISN'T being sponsored by OO as a way to get it out there? All the feedback sounds like an ad to me.

jdclyde
jdclyde

I was out hunting with a bud of mine a few years back. When we got back to the cars, we started talking to some other hunters (see anything conversations). One of them LOVED my buds shotgun and gave him $300 on the spot for it. It was two years old. He went out and bought a new one for $250 (same as he paid for the other one) and spent the $50 on shells. [i] This was before they started requiring a background check for longarms.

Shellbot
Shellbot

your not susposed to make money from the shipping. you are meant to make a "reasonable" charge for the handling of the package..(cost of packaging, time and petrol to go to the post office) It seems a lot of people are at this though..I can see it clearly when I'm looking at auctions on EBay. For example, 2 seperate sellers, in the same area, selling a t-shirt. One charging 4$ p&h , the other charging 10$..WTF?? Guess who gets my business..if people are stupid enough to buy free stuff or pay a fortune in shipping..then what the heck..

housemusc
housemusc

Thank you TechExec2 for being the ONLY person to clarify and actually read the GNU rules. To those that think this guy is ripping people off by selling seomthing that can be downloaded for free - then you all should pay to advertise OpenOffice online. This intelligent ebay seller is taking his time to "advertise" OO and asks for a very small fee in return. Obviously, those that buy from him have never heard of OO or know very little about it, otherwise they wouldnt be buying it from him. Do any of you know how much his profit actually is when ebay's fees and his upload server and internet service(which is upgraded for higher up speed) fees are subtracted? TechExec2 is probably correct, only about $.50. And to those that say he changed the name of what he is selling - you obviously have no clue how to sell on ebay. The first line is for "Item Description", not solely for Item Name. Example, someone is selling their Ford Mustang; their 1st line says,"hot, fast, red 99 modded Mustang". We can all agree that he is not selling something called a "99 modded Mustang".

jlkirkjr
jlkirkjr

"When we speak of free software, we are referring to freedom, not price. Our General Public Licenses are designed to make sure that you have the freedom to distribute copies of free software (and charge for them if you wish), that you receive source code or can get it if you want it, that you can change the software or use pieces of it in new free programs, and that you know you can do these things." THAT's in the SECOND paragraph of the freakin PREAMBLE. He is 100% within his rights to sell it for a million dollars if he wants and not to include the source. He just has to include the GPL and provide source code IF THE CUSTOMER ASKS FOR IT.

Shellbot
Shellbot

good idea..however..would you fancy carrying packages in your luggage for someone else , unless you could guarentee exactly whats in it??? "honestly Mr Customs Guy, they told me it was just a t-shirt..how was i to know it was really herion???" :) Not for all the money in the world....

Larry the Security Guy
Larry the Security Guy

$50 to ship from the U.S. to Australia doesn't seem that odd if they're using someone like DHL or FedEx. USPS will ship a one-pound box for between US$10 and US$37 My company makes occasional "inter-office" mailings from the U.S. to India, and we pay $47 with DHL, and sometimes customs holds up the shipment for several days. If one of our employees is making the trip, we have them pack the mailing and take it with them. Saves money and time. I don't use ebay, but I wonder if anyone rents space in their luggage? I mean, if they have to make the trip anyway, might as well try to make a couple bucks in the process.

Shellbot
Shellbot

thats pretty bad allright :) Curious, are they using post or courier? I've seen that happen before. Some companies only use courier and it gets pretty expensive! oh yes..Hello :) congratulations on your firt post :) (whats taken you so long??)

douge80
douge80

First time posting so hello, The biggest rip off is the MCP store from microsoft they are selling retractable key chains for about $3.59 USD which is about $4.20 AUD. the Shipping & Handling to aust for one unit is $49.71 USD which is $58.10 AUD so its not just ebay and sellers its big companies like microsoft that are rip offs. ps. not sure about the true prices but you get the picture.

Shellbot
Shellbot

i've been reading other threads and I'm thinking maybe you could get some camera gear on ebay..."those" pics could be worth a lot of money ]:) I buy a few bits for kid on ebay..generally in the US or Canada, and get them shipped directly to her..handy enough, got some great stuff for her..plus a lot of dirt cheap books and stuff..I've been lucky enough to only have had positive experiences

jdclyde
jdclyde

B-) [i]I am just too much of a gentleman to say on WHO![/i] I have also seen the wide range in shipping. I have only bought one thing off of ebay, and I went with the shop that "looked" reputable, AND had the lower shipping. I NEEDED the part, so I just did the "buy now" option though, so have never really got anything by bidding for it.

Shellbot
Shellbot

i know JD..i put a high value on my time as well..but there comes a point in time where there's a cut off on that. On one hand, if people are stupid enough to pay 2$ for a keychain, and then pay 50 for shipping..then they deserve to get f*cked.. Two ways to look at it..if yer simply cleaning out yer house and getting rid of stuff..then charge a few bucks for it..if you are selling high volume..then open a ebay shop and the volume of sales even outs costs because instead of going to the post office for one item, you are going for 10 items.. Its no skin off my back as i don't do business with people who charge way over and beyond for shipping.. Bring it on JD ]:) :)

jdclyde
jdclyde

What is your time worth? I know I NEVER do any work for less than $20/hr. If it takes me 30 minutes to go to the post office, get this processed and sent out, and then return home, my handling costs would be $10 for my time and $50 to drive the half mile to the post office.... :0

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