To give a good counter-example, cino59, who was mentioned before and who I believe is a list member, was listing an all 531 Bertin. There is a $35 packing charge, but this was clearly and prominently stated. I emailed him for shipping cost and he estimated $45 plus the $35 for a total of $80. Pretty high, but OK, I factored this into my bid. I was the only bidder at a starting price of $170. So even with $80 in packing and handling, I bought a full 531 example of one of the high end French marques with top Spidel components for a delivered price of $250. I'm pretty damned happy with that. I think some potential buyers probably got pissed off at the $35 and lost sight of the final net cost. Moral is, consider the final net cost and don't fixate one one element. I have no problem with a seller's packing and handling fees as long of he honestly states them up front, as was the case here. You simply bid what you are willing to pay with due consideration of the stated fees.
> In regard to bike packing charges we were recently discussing, I really
> don't have a problem with such charges, if they are clearly stated up front.
> I'll simply adjust my bid to account for them. But I just discovered a more
> devious ploy that I do have a problem with. An eBay auction just ended for
> a Mavic starfish crank that went for $40 - seemingly a bargain despite a lot
> of toestrap rub. I was intending to bid, but happened to notice this
> auction had the recently introduced Calculated Shipping feature. I entered
> my zip code, and it calculated a whopping $24.75 shipping from Virginia to
> Texas for a crankset. However, a message said that this includes any
> packing and handling charges added by the seller. I hope the seller is not
> a list member, but even if he is, I have to say that to use Calculated
> Shipping in this manner is outright dishonest. eBay should ban hiding
> excessive handling fees in Calculated Shipping. If the seller is going to
> gouge $17 to $19 for packing, he should state that clearly in the main body
> of the auction.
> I hope the buyer checked the shipping before bidding and did not get a nasty
> surprise. If not, he would be completely within his rights to refuse to
> complete the transaction and to file a complaint of seller fruad with eBay.
> Jerry Moos
> Houston, TX