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Wed Dec 28 2005 09:33:11

Will Higher Postage Impact eBay Sellers?

By: Ina Steiner

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Typically buyers pay for postage when making eBay purchases. Exactly how sensitive are buyers to higher postage costs is not certain, but with US postage rates increasing on January 8, it's of concern to sellers.

For example, a 2-pound package sent Priority Mail currently costs $3.95 to zone 1; in 2 weeks, it will cost $4.20. The same package going to zone 8 currently costs $5.75; in 2 weeks, it will cost $6.05. (I used Window Book's Postal Business Companion to compare rates.)

With gas and home-heating prices higher, will consumers be more cost-conscious than ever? This could actually work in eBay sellers' favor if people come to the site looking for bargains. And shoppers might even compare the cost of postage to the cost of driving to the mall!

Whatever the result of increased postage costs, it's a good time for sellers to take a serious look at shipping practices and see if there are ways to trim costs or switch to a cheaper delivery method.

Comments (3) | Permalink

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by: Big Bob

Fri Dec 30 10:21:59 2005

I will have no problem paying for the higher shipping cost BUT I refuse to buy from any seller that over chargers for shipping and you can see it every day. I don't mind a extra buck or two, but a Flat Rate Shipping of $25.00 to send a $5.00 item is what I call being Gouged BIG TIME

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by: Nancy

Fri Dec 30 11:00:26 2005

I don't think it will have much effect although sellers need to be careful about inflating postage to the point that buyers refuse to buy from them.

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by: byronebyronian

Tue Jan 3 14:08:28 2006

I am a seller and will do my best to swallow this.  I keep my shipping and handling costs to around $1.80 of the actual ship price.  So if I am shipping a 5 ounce widget first class, I charge $3.29 .  $1.42 actual shipping (w/tracking) and $1.87 for handling costs.  With ebay fees being what they are and Paypal fees even worse, it's tough to maintain a fair margin.

I will do my best to not pass this onto my customers, but at some point, it's tough to not do it when my margins continue to shrink.  I wish Ebay was more proactive with listing fees.  If they want more on the backend of the sale, fine...but this ridiculousness of charging absurd amounts of money to list items has to stop.

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