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eBay Raises Shipping Caps in Media Categories

A seller wrote today to say eBay has raised its caps on shipping costs in the media categories. “Listing today and I just noticed that the flat shipping allowed in the magazines and books is showing up as $6 (it has been $4 in books and $5 in magazines). Have not tried the new shipping allowance, but also have seen nothing from eBay about it.”

Sellers of books, DVDs and the like are likely to welcome the flexibility to charge higher shipping charges, though they may question why eBay still has the policy in the media category at all.

eBay first instituted the policy in October 2008, telling sellers, “the dollar limits are fair, especially compared to what e-commerce competitors typically charge for shipping. With this move, we’re also ensuring that buyers encounter fewer excessive shipping charges, which is the number one reason they leave the site.”

Since then, eBay made a policy change that expanded its FVF commission fee to include shipping costs, a move intended to reduce the incidence of excessive shipping charges.

A comparison of shipping caps on the eBay website from now versus a cached version of the page we found from October 22nd shows the changes.

For example, Children’s Books, Cookbooks, Fiction Books and Textbooks all used to have a cap of $4. Now, Children’s Books and Fiction Books have a cap of $6, while Cookbooks has a cap of $5 and Textbooks has a cap of $7.

Likewise, eBay caps shipping charges at $6 in DVD & Blu-ray Discs, where before they were $3.

eBay advises sellers who are shipping a particularly large or heavy item in the Books, DVDs & Movies, Music, or Video Games category to use calculated shipping. “When you use calculated shipping, you can enter the actual size and weight of the item, including packing materials, to calculate the actual shipping cost. Make sure the calculated cost isn’t higher than the actual shipping cost or it will be considered excessive shipping.”

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
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). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.