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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 1754 - March 25, 2008 - ISSN 1539-5065    3 of 5

eBay Requires Specified Shipping, Factors It into Best Match

By Ina Steiner
March 25, 2008

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eBay posted an update about shipping policies and features on its Announcement Board on Monday. Beginning this week, eBay will begin requiring that all new sellers who are listing for the first time specify their shipping costs using the Shipping Details section. A few months from now, specified shipping costs will become a requirement for most listings on eBay, including listings from third-party listing tools. (Exemptions will apply to certain categories like Vehicles, or services such as Freight.)

eBay's shipping calculator supports only certain USPS and UPS services. eBay spokesperson Usher Lieberman said, "For sellers who prefer to use shipping services or carriers not included in eBay's calculator, they can specify "Standard Flat Rate Service", "Expedited Flat Rate Service", "Overnight Flat Rate" or "Other (see description)" in their listing and set a flat rate cost. This is something many sellers do already." However, FedEx and DHL are not flat-rate services, so sellers who use such major carriers are forced to either select flat-rate shipping or select UPS (http://pages.ebay.com/help/sell/shipping-options.html).

eBay also said Best Match would begin taking into consideration how the shipping cost for an item compares to other items in the same sub-category, and also whether the shipping price is specified. "Items with shipping costs significantly above the average cost for other items in the same sub-category may receive less exposure," according to the announcement.

One seller writing on eBay's discussion boards about the policy said, "items in the same sub-category can still be very, very different and have very different packing needs, and shipping weight. This stuff is ridiculous and best of all - will punish the larger size and fragile items of each subcategory. Not for gouging, but just for being big and delicate" (http://forums.ebay.com/db2/thread.jspa?threadID=1000671785).

eBay said the new USPS Priority Mail Large Flat Rate box is now included in the eBay Shipping calculator, but sellers on the AuctionBytes Blog wondered why the new box won't be incorporated into the PayPal shipping labels solution until later in the summer.

Comment on the AuctionBytes Blog:


About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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