hobbyDB & Fees; We listened to you

When we set out to make hobbyDB’s marketplace the most awesome place to buy and sell collectibles on the net, we thought a lot about the fee structure. We wanted this to be fair to everybody and we thought that a good way to do that would be to charge selling fees on the cost of the item and the shipping charges. Our reasoning was that we’ve seen what happens on other sites when you find items that have a super-low price, get excited, then get to the checkout and find crazy-high shipping charges. (Because the wily seller knows they will only be getting charged fees on the selling price, so they keep that low and jack up the shipping prices to make more money.)

Got one of these to sell? Now it will cost you less to put it up for sale on hobbyDB!

Got one of these to sell? Now it will cost you less to put it up for sale on hobbyDB!

Since then, however, we’ve heard from a lot of you who don’t like this idea and don’t think it’s fair – and the number of you who dislike the policy outweigh those who think it’s good. So we’re changing things.

From now on, we’ll be charging 7% on the sale price only (not on the sale price + shipping as we did before) plus actual PayPal fees on the total cost of the transaction (ie sale price + shipping) because that’s what we get charged by PayPal.

Don’t worry, however, that our commitment to keeping shipping prices reasonable is going to stop. We’ll be exploring alternative ways of making sure shipping rates stay fair. We’re currently tossing around a number of ideas including adding a flag that lets users alert us when a seller is indulging in “shipping gouging”.

Here’s a handy quick-guide to all things fee-related on hobbyDB;

What are the fees? Where do I find the details? You can find detailed answers to these question in our Help section. In a nutshell, we charge 7% of the final cost of the item, plus any PayPal fees on the total cost of the transaction including shipping. There is no listing fee to put your item up for sale, so if your item does not sell, you pay nothing.

PayPal Fees? What’s that? PayPal charges a small fee for every transaction that goes through through their site. The good news is that over time, hobbyDB will get a discount on these fees, so we then pay lower rates than individual users would. We’ll pass those savings on to you.  We charge only the actual costs PayPal charges us and we don’t mark them up.

Don’t I have to pay PayPal fees twice then?  As we pay you out of what PayPal calls “Balance”, you are not getting charged a fee on funds received from us.

Do you charge a fee on shipping? We initially charged fees on the shipping, but have now discontinued doing so.

Is there a limit on fees I pay on a sale? On hobbyDB, you will never pay over $100 commission. So if you have an item that sells for above around $1425 ($1428.85, to be exact), you never pay more than $100. There is more information here.

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