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Ebay Shipping Costs

Organist

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Aug 29, 2010
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Hi,

Question for you Ebay vets. How do the sellers determining shipping prices? Sometimes shipping is what I expect it to be, sometimes quite a bit more. But, when I see one seller ship USPS economy for something like 10 bucks, and another ship the same thing from the same area via USPS economy for like 60 bucks, I have to wonder. Do some of these guys overcharge for shipping and pocket the difference, or is there some deep, dark mystery to postal shipping prices that I'm missing. I've passed things up on the basis of the shipping cost along, purchasing something comparable later at a significant;y reduced shipping price, or even free!

Thanks,
Mike
 

kologha

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Dec 11, 2011
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I've always been under the impression that they inflate the shipping price and pocket the difference. Shipping stuff over to South Africa can be very very expensive so I always avoid (if possible) the expensive shippers!
 

Bruce Alexander

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Feb 22, 2010
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Hello Mike,

Seller's can estimate costs using eBay's Shipping Calculator. The estimated box dimensions and weight is entered and the Carrier options the Seller wants to offer are selected. The shopper should then get a pretty close estimate as to what their shipping costs will be based on their Zip Code. The Seller has the option to add a charge in addition to the Calculator's figures. This may be for materials, insurance, signature confirmation or whatever the Seller wants to add to the Carrier's cost. eBay and PayPal still charge fees on funds collected for shipping so there's no economic advantage to padding shipping costs. Doing so makes the Seller's price less competitive.

Some Sellers will charge a Flat Rate to all Buyers...probably shipping via Flat Rate USPS Priority Mail.

In my opinion, "Free Shipping" is usually a come-on. One or another someone is paying for shipping and handling.

Also, cutting corners to save money on shipping can often be foolish when buying a fragile item this way.

You just have to ask the Seller questions and make an informed decision. If they are providing a superior service packing and shipping a fragile item, it may be worth it to pay a little more. If they can't justify their shipping charges, they may just be trying to pad their bottom line.

In any case, it's all the same to eBay, PayPal and the Carrier.

Bruce
 

etmb61

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Oct 25, 2010
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Hi,

Question for you Ebay vets. How do the sellers determining shipping prices? Sometimes shipping is what I expect it to be, sometimes quite a bit more. But, when I see one seller ship USPS economy for something like 10 bucks, and another ship the same thing from the same area via USPS economy for like 60 bucks, I have to wonder. Do some of these guys overcharge for shipping and pocket the difference, or is there some deep, dark mystery to postal shipping prices that I'm missing. I've passed things up on the basis of the shipping cost along, purchasing something comparable later at a significant;y reduced shipping price, or even free!

Thanks,
Mike
Hi Mike,

The best way to answer that question is to ask the seller of the item you are interested in how they figure their charges. When I sell I always figure the package dimensions before I list and let the postage calculator do the rest. I really like it when an overseas seller charges big bucks for expedited shipping and the item sits the Customs warehouse for a month.

Eric
 

novicetimekeeper

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Jul 26, 2015
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I don't know about the US version but the UK cost calculator just has weird options that are usually wrong.

I calculate the shipping costs using parcel2go and put that on. If I get it substantially wrong I either take a hit or refund some.
 

shutterbug

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Oct 19, 2005
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You really have to look at shipping before bidding! And I always hate it when I get a package I paid double the price that's printed on the postage!
 

MartinM

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Jun 24, 2011
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I don't mind paying what I feel is a reasonable amount more than the materials and shipper cost. The ones I have an issue with are the folks that say they [Insert specious claim about their location or summach] and can't use ebay's shipping guestimate.
They then proceed to charge a huge fee and, almost invariably, the item arrives in a flimsy box with what appears to be some of their old recycled paper/mail and/or plastic bags, etc.
 
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Weight Driven

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May 24, 2004
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Shipping with eBay's shipping calculator has always been a problem, especially with large packages. When I ship sell large items I usually put a disclaimer that the shipping cost will usually be high and I will reimburse any difference. If the buyer emails me their zip code I can usually find a better price.
 

bruce linde

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Nov 13, 2011
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when i'm selling a clock i don't want to get bit by underestimating shipping costs so i measure the item, add two inches on all sides for padding and box, and the add another 2 inches on all sides for second box and padding... and only then visit eBay shipping estimator... and even then tend to round up a couple of bucks.

for reference, it costs about $90 to ship a ST #2 safely...
 

shutterbug

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If I'm shipping, I usually take pictures, etc and then box up the item before it goes to auction. Then I can weigh it and measure it and have the shipping costs ready to insert in the description.
 

bruce linde

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If I'm shipping, I usually take pictures, etc and then box up the item before it goes to auction. Then I can weigh it and measure it and have the shipping costs ready to insert in the description.

forgot to mention that i take tons of photos to prove 1) safe packing and 2) prevent stealing/swapping parts or buyers saying 'not as described', etc. eBay protects buyers, sellers have to expressly say "returns accepted, return shipping is the responsibility of the buyer' otherwise buyers can complain, get refunded AND keep the item!!!! seller beware! :cool:
 

Raymond Rice

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Feb 14, 2011
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I have found that evilbays shipping calculator will occasionally come up with a wildly inflated postage estimate. I always caution in my ads that "If the estimate doesn't seem correct, please contact me." I always return any excess postage (over one dollar) to the buyers paypal account. I have sold 1000's of items on evilbay with nary a single "negative". A few years ago I shipped a clock (double boxed) to Kalifornia and the buyer gave me the sole "neutral" I have ever received. He complained that it "cost $35 to ship, and it came in a Lowes box!) Oh, well.
Ray Rice
 

Bruce Alexander

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Feb 22, 2010
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Whoa! You shipped cross-country for $35 and the Buyer complained that it came in a Lowes box? Ha! I've had clocks come to me in grocery store produce boxes which were probably "saved" from the compactor. :eek:

Actually, Banana shipping cartons are quite sturdy as they bruise so easily...well...maybe not if they're really green.

I won't ding the Seller unless the item is damaged and they give me grief about it. I probably won't roll the dice with that Seller again though.
 

clocks4u

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Sep 2, 2000
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What I have found is a lot of buyers expect it for free or very cheap. Sorry, shipping is expensive. A kitchen/parlor sized clock packed in a 28x16x12 box shipped from Portland Oregon across the county is about 45.00. That doesn't include the cost of the box, packing material and any labor involved. I have given up selling moderate to lower price clocks as the shipping cuts into what buyers will pay. Same with buying clocks. I always ask for a quote and bid/offer accordingly. I was interested in a couple clocks at a recent east coast auction. I called the shipping company they recommend. My quote was double what I expected. No surprise, as the use a retail shipper. Needless to say, I didn't bid.
 
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Bruce Barnes

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Mar 20, 2004
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I agree with Clocks4u,by the time you consider the shipping cost, whether by the seller or otherwise, it is incumbent upon ones self to evaluate the clock and it's value to you considering the ancillary costs.
The same holds true with Auction Houses, considering the hammer price, the "vig", the tax and then in house or outhouse shipping (pun intended) it had better have an appeal that would override the costs.
Living in California, we are at the other end of the good auction houses and their territory so only small items are somewhat cost effective in their total consideration at least for me.
Bruce