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Wed Nov 4 2020 20:41:02

eBay to Launch New 75-Cent Shipping Option

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay accidentally published information about a new shipping option it will roll out called eBay Standard Envelope that is suitable for ephemera. 

It's a solution sellers have been seeking when shipping lightweight items such as stamps and postcards, though eBay will restrict the categories for which it can be used (it will start with trading cards with a total value of under $20).

At 75 cents, it's more expensive than mailing an item with a First Class 55-cent stamp, but it offers tracking, which is required by eBay in order for sellers to receive certain protections when claims arise.

eBay described the option as "the lower cost way to ship small, lightweight items with tracking included."

"eBay standard envelope is more affordable than using USPS First Class Package Service. Plus, with integrated tracking and shipping protection it’s more secure than shipping with a stamp and can help improve your Seller Ratings."

eBay removed the page describing the new postal option on Wednesday afternoon after sellers inquired about it during the company's weekly chat session. A member of eBay's shipping team said it had inadvertently published that page too early in its excitement to get the refresh of the shipping section in Seller Center live. 

"Standard envelope is not quite ready yet," she wrote, "but we'll certainly be letting sellers know when it is! In the meantime, I apologize for my mistake and pull back on that spoiler alert."

The forthcoming eBay Standard Envelope service has quite a few restrictions. Once it rolls out, it will only be available to sellers shipping raw trading cards with a total value under $20, and sellers must purchase postage through eBay Labels. It also has restrictions around weight and envelope size and thickness:

Envelope requirements
- No smaller than 3.5” x 5”
- No larger than 6.125” x 11.5”
- No thicker than .25”
- Weighs up to 3 oz.

Category requirements
- Total trading card value less than $20
- Ship no more than 4 raw trading cards per envelope (or 2 trading cards with top loaders)
- No graded trading cards

Sellers will be able to drop off Standard Envelopes at regular USPS locations.* The eBay employee didn't say when the new option would become available to sellers, nor did she give any indication of a timeline for expanding eligible categories.

It's possible the USPS is planning to make the Standard Envelope option more widely available, though it could be testing it on eBay first. Let us know what you think.

*A USPS spokesperson told us on November 9th, "The eBay Standard Envelope is not a USPS product."

Comments (14) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay to Launch New 75-Cent Shipping Option   eBay to Launch New 75-Cent Shipping Option

This user has validated their user name. by: cfrphoto

Thu Nov 5 01:11:48 2020

I send inexpensive stamps and color slides by First Class mail in rigid envelopes originally designed for floppy disks. Postage stamps, purchased at a substantial discount to face, pay postage either 70 cents for one ounce or 85 cents for two ounces, expected to rise by five cents in January. With increased First-Class Package rates, the minimum value cutoff is about thirty dollars. Endicia printed postage has given way to using USPS #400 tracking labels and postage stamps to reduce a postage inventory buildup.

Aside from increased out-of-pocket costs, eBay labels would unleash an accounting nightmare in the PayPal transaction log. Is Managed Payment accounting up to conveniently capture shipping amounts paid to eBay?  Would eBay be willing to implement a separate postage account, like a turnpike toll tag account, refilled when necessary instead of cluttering the accounting system with pages of seventy cent transactions? Will eBay provide API support for third-party applications used by medium and high-volume sellers?

Is the eBay proposal a resurrection of a First-Class mail tracking experiment quietly conducted in the Washington, DC metro area a few years ago?

Perminate Link for eBay to Launch New 75-Cent Shipping Option   eBay to Launch New 75-Cent Shipping Option

by: leavingNY This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 5 03:27:24 2020

I for one would want this for the key chains I sell, but they are only allowing this for trading cards ? Thats discriminatory to say the least. I have been getting dinged on my shipping metrics and lying buyers for this for a while. I am going to remove the key chains and throw them away instead. Way too much of a hardship for me.If items qualify for this new option but we are not allowed to use it, this is bias in my opinion

Perminate Link for eBay to Launch New 75-Cent Shipping Option   eBay to Launch New 75-Cent Shipping Option

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 5 04:14:31 2020

@Leaving NY:  Read the report again.  It's being "phased in"....experimental at this point.

Perminate Link for eBay to Launch New 75-Cent Shipping Option   eBay to Launch New 75-Cent Shipping Option

by: Vigilant Eye On eBay This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 5 04:15:53 2020

If it is made available in other collectibles categories, the eBay Standard Envelope would be a wonderful option for sellers of lower priced photographs and slides.

Perminate Link for eBay to Launch New 75-Cent Shipping Option   eBay to Launch New 75-Cent Shipping Option

by: Paul W This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 5 05:01:24 2020

I'll wait for the USPS version, meanwhile shipping 100s of collectible stamps and postcards per month in rigid 1st class letters at 70¢ postage, with VERY rare claims of non-receipt.

Perminate Link for eBay to Launch New 75-Cent Shipping Option   eBay to Launch New 75-Cent Shipping Option

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 5 07:44:34 2020

@paul w
I agree with you. I'll wait. We ship 3 to 4 envelopes first class with a 55 cent stamp we purchased for 40 cents. Very rarely have a problem with no tracking. Not even sure if we would use usps special envelopes as they are going to make their money somewhere and we have 10's of thousands of envelopes.

Perminate Link for eBay to Launch New 75-Cent Shipping Option   eBay to Launch New 75-Cent Shipping Option

by: bb6 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 5 10:20:45 2020

I sell a TON of baseball cards in a year. This is good and bad. The Envelope requirements are fine but the requirements are a little off.  Can't ship more then 4 cards? Some cards are small, some big, some with gloss, some made of metal, some fake gold, some are thin as paper, and some have game used pieces of jersey or bats so the cards are thicker. Why does it matter exactly what is in the envelope compared to just saying it has to be 3 oz or less. Are they going to open up each package? Would a post office employee have any freakin clue about anything baseball card related or would they even care? The answer is NO.  Sellers should be able to ship anything under 3 oz. Feather, Post Card, Stamp, Paper, Pen, Key chains. I guess the question should be how could someone abuse under 3 oz?  

Almost every day of the week I drop off 1-2 postal bins of 6x10 bubble envelopes, which is anywhere from 40-90 packages. Some are from ebay and some from my website. Some have 1 card, some have 100 cards and many orders have somewhere in between. So if a buyers buys 1-4 cards it's going to be $.75, but if they buy 5 cards it will be the regular shipping price $2-4?  The ebay shopping cart is going to show this?  So instead of someone buying 40 cards with 1 transaction, are they now going to buy 10 orders of 4? (4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4). As @cfrphoto said it's going to be a nightmare in the transactions section for accounting. And to answer your question ebay won't separate it out. When I look up the transactions page it says in red letters something like "can not pull info you have too many transactions." So I have to download it all to excel sheets. I had an ebay rep laugh one time because they thought that message was weird. Welcome to my world!

4 raw cards or 2 in top loaders.
Who ships 4 raw cards not in cases? That's like saying you don't ship cds in cases, records in holders, comic books or any paper item without a cardboard backing, hats not in a box, figures or matchbox cars on card not in a box. Anyone that sells those items and ships them so the item doesn't get damaged or so the customer is not mad knows this.  Also not everyone uses top loaders for cases. There are many types of cases to ship cards in. Some heavier and some lighter then top loaders, but to not ship in cases is just ridiculous. Those are the clowns that find a box of cards in a storage locker, throws some on ebay, have now idea what they are doing and ship in plain white envelopes. Then the USPS machines eat the envelope, bend up the card and the buyer is pissed. I have talked to several post office employees, some work in the main hubs. They always say "AUGH Baseball cards. They always get stuck in the machine!!!"

Just for the record, if you shipped raw cards in say a team bag and used cardboard around it, you could ship way more then 4 cards under 3 oz. It's more in the 20 card range. And for top loaders you could ship about 4-7 under 3 oz. Depending on the amount of cardboard you used and the type/weight of the envelope.

Under $20.
That should be up to the seller. Every seller makes these decisions every day. Will it make it there first class or should I go priority or buy insurance. If I ship over $20 and it's lost I'm out the money. If I ship priority or add insurance and it's lost I have a sense of security.

No graded cards.
This makes sense because they are heavy.  

Sorry for the long post. Wanted to break it down.

Perminate Link for eBay to Launch New 75-Cent Shipping Option   eBay to Launch New 75-Cent Shipping Option

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 5 17:39:46 2020

LOL at bb6

I would think that ebay would limit it to 20.00 or 4 cards to help the small seller. Sounds like you want to ship a whole case of cards for 75 cents. We sell stickers. I wouldn't hardly think that they would want us to send a couple of hundred of them in the same envelope that is only 2 inches thick. Get real.

Perminate Link for eBay to Launch New 75-Cent Shipping Option   eBay to Launch New 75-Cent Shipping Option

This user has validated their user name. by: Lightning

Thu Nov 5 21:35:59 2020

''Sellers should be able to ship anything under 3 oz. Feather, Post Card, Stamp, Paper, Pen, Key chains. I guess the question should be how could someone abuse under 3 oz?''

You only have 1/4'' of thickness to work with, as has been standard for First Class standard mail for like....forever.  Got a 1/4'' thick key chain, or pen?  Not likely, especially after adding the envelope or bubble pack.  It has to be under 1/4'' to be machinable.

''So instead of someone buying 40 cards with 1 transaction, are they now going to buy 10 orders of 4? (4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4).''

There is no incentive to do that, so you are imagining problems that can't or won't exist.  It makes absolutely no sense.  If they buy 10 orders of 4, they are going to pay 75 cents per, or $7.50 in shipping.  You can probably ship 40 cards for $4 or less.  What fool would opt to pay more and get a pile of packages?

''you could ship way more then 4 cards under 3 oz. It's more in the 20 card range.''

And still be under 1/4'' thick??  I don't think so.  You're free to ship 20 cards that are under 3 ounces.  It just won't be 75 cents, nor should it be.  Use the First Class Package Service, pay your $2.50.

''Under $20.
That should be up to the seller. Every seller makes these decisions every day. Will it make it there first class or should I go priority or buy insurance. If I ship over $20 and it's lost I'm out the money. If I ship priority or add insurance and it's lost I have a sense of security.''

This is totally irrelevant to the cost of the service.  If you need to insure it because it's worth a lot, go for it.  Has no bearing on any of this.

===================
This is a new, proposed service that would solve the tracking problem, needing to spend way up unnecessarily to get the tracking.  Or even higher to change the service to Priority to get the tracking.  It can help some sellers, and to varying degrees.  If it fits for you, use it when available.  If it doesn't, ignore it.  

EBay finally attempts to do something constructive and gets bashed before the pie is even out of the oven.  I'm sure some are already figuring out ways to abuse the service to their advantage should it become live.  Don't complain....use your brain.

Perminate Link for eBay to Launch New 75-Cent Shipping Option   eBay to Launch New 75-Cent Shipping Option

by: bb6 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 9 12:21:40 2020

@FeelingFroggy I don't want to ship a whole case of cards. What I will do is find out the perimeters and use it to my advantage. If the width is X inches and the weight is Y oz. I will find out what my max amount of cards is to ship up to the limit.

@Lightning  My point is it shouldn't just be baseball cards. It should be anything flat and light. I'm not imagining problems. You apparently don't sell cards and know the lay of the land with shipping them and people wanting combined shipping etc. so I'm not going to get into an argument with you about this. And for the next thing you said see message I sent to @feelingfroggy. Under $20 is irrelevant? Not when its their stipulation to sending an item. It shouldn't matter the price of the item. Maybe you should read what I typed and use your brain. Don't be such an ass! Not everyone has to have your opinion.

Perminate Link for eBay to Launch New 75-Cent Shipping Option   eBay to Launch New 75-Cent Shipping Option

by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 9 20:44:54 2020

I see that all of you CARD sellers are sophisticated, but I am surprised to hear/read that you ALL seem to be ignoring that First Class PACKAGE rate is VERY reasonable compared to Flat Rate Padded Priority Mail or SMALL flat rate Priority BOX.
It has USPS TRACKING

Perminate Link for eBay to Launch New 75-Cent Shipping Option   eBay to Launch New 75-Cent Shipping Option

This user has validated their user name. by: Lightning

Tue Nov 10 18:15:19 2020

@bb6
I read what you typed, and it was a pile of horsecr@p.  Half of the conditions you stated were completely wrong.  And that's NOT an opinion.  You're just wrong on your facts.  And then you take those wrong facts and make crazy extrapolations and conjecture as to what will happen.  Just ridiculous.  I realize you can't put coherent thoughts together, but that doesn't mean we have to be subjected to the bs you type.

Perminate Link for eBay to Launch New 75-Cent Shipping Option   eBay to Launch New 75-Cent Shipping Option

This user has validated their user name. by: Lightning

Tue Nov 10 18:21:03 2020

@angryllama
First Class Package works great for cards, if the quantity is correct for that type of package.  People use that a lot.  Priority works well, too, again depending on what is being shipped and its weight.  Single cards, or just a few cards, present a distinct challenge, as many times the postage is a big % of the total sale.

Perminate Link for eBay to Launch New 75-Cent Shipping Option   eBay to Launch New 75-Cent Shipping Option

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Fri Nov 13 15:27:48 2020

Sounds good to me, that will open a whole new door for me selling.

I have a small mountain of trading cards and paper collectables that are in the $5-10 range



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