How do they do it for the money?

  interzone55 18:49 PM 28 Jul 12

I've just purchased a small camera accessory from eBay.

The same item was available from about a dozen different companies.

Most of the sellers are UK based, and they're all charging £3.40, with free shipping.

Two of the sellers are from Hong Kong, one is charging £2.59, and the other is charging £1.59, both are offering free shipping.

The item weighs about 50g, and will probably fit in a small jiffy bag. If I send something that size to Hong Kong it would cost £3.30, but even if it only costs them £1 for shipping I can't imagine how they make any money considering the Ebay & Pay Pal fees

  Quickbeam 19:05 PM 28 Jul 12

Pile it high and flog it cheap.

  spuds 19:29 PM 28 Jul 12

I purchase quite a few items from Hong Kong, China etc via eBbay, and it make one wonder how they do it for the price, considering what a similar item in the UK would cost.

You might also notice that even though its Hong Kong/China stated, the item might come via a EU country. I have just received one such set of items from a German warehouse?.

  Condom 19:31 PM 28 Jul 12


Exactly what they do. Make a small profit and sell many compared to most in the UK who sell few and charge as much as they can.

  interzone55 19:45 PM 28 Jul 12

I can't see how they're making any profit at all.

Postage £1 say, Pay Pal fee 10p maybe for a large seller, eBay listing and transaction fees have got to be another 10p at least.

That leaves at the topside 40p to make this -

  Condom 20:00 PM 28 Jul 12

It might surprise you how cheaply something like this can be made for. If £100 trainers can be made for £5-£10 and £60 casual shirts for less than £5 it gives you some idea of the sort of mark-ups that are made. If you dig a little you might also be able to find some ideas about how little an iPhone or Ipad is made for when compared to its selling price.

  WhiteTruckMan 20:31 PM 28 Jul 12

I also dont think you realise just how cheap international shipping is these days. It probably cost more to collect the container it was in from the docks and drive it to a depot than it cost to ship it halfway round the world.


  lotvic 22:03 PM 28 Jul 12

alan14, hope you noticed this at bottom of the link you gave:

A.Import duties,taxes and charges are not included in the item price or shipping charges.These charges are the buyer's responsibility.

B.Please check with your country's customs office to determine what these additional costs will be prior to bidding/buying

If there is anything due that would bump price you pay up a bit.

  spuds 22:16 PM 28 Jul 12


Has I mentioned earlier, I have purchased many various items from these sources, and all arrive with the necessary custom's declaration, which places the item below the UK tax limits. Never yet been asked for extra payment, but I suppose there is always the first time?.

I have even purchased a number of the same items, and all have arrived individually packed, instead of one larger package. Usually arrive together or within a day or two of each package.

Perhaps worth a mention, that the delivery time can take anything from 7 days to over 21 days, even though the seller usually ships fairly fast. Usually 1/2 days after payment received.

  lotvic 22:32 PM 28 Jul 12

spuds, thanks for that info, I never thought about the UK tax limits. Have you got a link that would be useful for doing that?

  interzone55 22:49 PM 28 Jul 12


There'll be no duty to pay on an item costing £1.59

For the record I've actually bought from the UK based seller, I need it before next weekend, and the extra £1.81 is hardly worth bothering about


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