AuctionBytes Blog
Covering auctions, collectibles and marketplace selling.

AuctionBytes Blog The AuctionBytes Blog has been giving a voice to online merchants since its launch in 2005. Named one of the world's top 30 blogs in 2008 by "Blogging Heroes." Weigh in with your thoughts on the joys and pitfalls of selling online.
Mon Nov 12 2007 21:52:05

eBay Shipping Glitch a Bad Buying Experience

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

A  problem with eBay's Shipping Calculator is making for a bad buyer experience, one that I experienced for myself yesterday. I was looking at a small item in an eBay Store that cost $19.95, and was put off when I saw the shipping was $27. I just happened to scroll down and look at the shipping matrix and discovered that $27 was how much it would cost to ship the item overnight.

The eBay shipping calculatordisplay at the bottom of the listing told me USPS Priority Mail would cost $10.75, and UPS Ground would cost $12.30. The glitch had initially made me think the shipping was 151 percent higher than the lowest-cost option available.

There's no way a typical shopper like me is going to pay $27 for overnight delivery for an item I don't need right away. I almost abandoned this listing before even reading the description!

I wrote about this problem on the AuctionBytes Blog on October 2nd (and got 19 comments), and in the AuctionBytes Newsflash newsletter on October 5th. (To be clear, the calculator knew my zip code, so that was not part of the problem.)

eBay knows how price-sensitive buyers are when it comes to shipping costs. This is a known problem (at least to the readers of AuctionBytes). We're now in the holiday shopping season. This problem desperately needs to be fixed.

Update 11/13/07: Some are posting that the seller needs to put the shipping delivery methods in the proper order. However, I just listed an item on eBay and used the Shipping Wizard, and it was simply a list of shipping delivery methods with check boxes. There was no way to put them in any particular order.

In my case, I checked the same three methods as the auction I used in the example: UPS Ground, USPS Priority Mail, and USPS Express Mail. Interestingly, the only option that appears in my listing is USPS Priority Mail. Another glitch? I'll try it again later and will report back. (Checking back in: I had listed the item as shipping in an envelope, so that was likely the reason the other shopping options did not display.)

Even if the problem was due to the seller not putting shipping methods in the correct order, this negatively affects everyone. From the buyer's point of view, it was a bad shopping experience. "Here's another eBay listing with excessive shipping," I thought. "Why go back to eBay the next time I want something?"

If it's a matter of the seller not putting the delivery methods in order by cheapest first, that is an eBay usability issue (as opposed to a glitch), and they should fix it.




Comments (14) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Shipping Glitch a Bad Buying Experience   eBay Shipping Glitch a Bad Buying Experience

by: JAV

Tue Nov 13 00:31:17 2007

eBay does a first service/first show in shipping.
Your seller listed Express Mail as the first option so that is how eBay displayed it.
If your seller had changed the order and listed Priority Mail first in SYI or TL it would have shown up first.

Your seller listed Express, UPS then PM.
They should have listed PM, UPS then Express to work properly.

eBay Shipping Glitch a Bad Buying Experience   eBay Shipping Glitch a Bad Buying Experience

by: beyondthetreeline

Tue Nov 13 00:37:38 2007

Not a glitch. The seller is just a dope for having listed Express as the first payment option. There are many sellers in the same boat, although its unclear why their cages haven't been rattled enough to bother to change it. Silly ...

eBay Shipping Glitch a Bad Buying Experience   eBay Shipping Glitch a Bad Buying Experience

by: CJ

Tue Nov 13 01:06:49 2007

I love sellers who put the highest shipping option first!

If I'm selling a competing product, it makes my price-with-shipping look so much better.

And if I'm planning to bid (with an auto-snipe of course), it reduces the competition: I always check and take into account the lowest shipping option but my competition doesn't always know to look beyond the first high-priced shipping option to see if low-priced shipping options are offered.

eBay Shipping Glitch a Bad Buying Experience   eBay Shipping Glitch a Bad Buying Experience

by: gene

Tue Nov 13 09:58:28 2007

I would like to know how many others try to ship ebay via PP only to see the message that the Ebay/PP link is not on. We turn it on but it doesn't stay on. PP has been promising a fix for 6 weeks.

eBay Shipping Glitch a Bad Buying Experience   eBay Shipping Glitch a Bad Buying Experience

by: ohexpress

Tue Nov 13 10:05:07 2007

I bought a camcorder that no one bid on, it had a $30 shipping charge, but when I saw the decription it was only $8.95 so I got a batgain as no one else would bid

eBay Shipping Glitch a Bad Buying Experience   eBay Shipping Glitch a Bad Buying Experience

by: dimes

Tue Nov 13 10:35:17 2007

Why doesn't eBay simply default to the lowest shipping price instead of making it incumbent on the seller to list the cheapest shipping method "first"?

From a buyer's standpoint, this sounds ridiculous.

eBay Shipping Glitch a Bad Buying Experience   eBay Shipping Glitch a Bad Buying Experience

by: Peter Leeflang - CEO Leeflang Archive Corp

Tue Nov 13 13:48:31 2007

Please get the facts straight.

This is no glitch, just a dumb seller not using his customization choices in the right order.

I have no interest in Ebay gaining control of the order my s/h gets displayes so I do not want them to automatically display lowest s/h. If they do, they would just mess it up.

eBay Shipping Glitch a Bad Buying Experience   eBay Shipping Glitch a Bad Buying Experience

by: Another Wronged Seller

Tue Nov 13 17:00:38 2007

This points to a very serious problem.

Buyer buys an item, pays for the highest shipping amount (which is the default displayed).

Then feels ripped off, and dings your stars or leaves a neg (or even a neutral) for you.

A series of these could get a seller restricted through no fault of his own. Particularly with the new emphasis on stars in SNP.

With the holiday shopping season upon us, ebay needs to fix ALL these glitches (and keep them fixed)

eBay Shipping Glitch a Bad Buying Experience   eBay Shipping Glitch a Bad Buying Experience

by: kris

Tue Nov 13 20:13:31 2007

Several have mentioned that it's the seller's error, not ebay's.

However, I just listed an item tonight, and I did put the cheapest shipping first. I did a search and sorted them by price just to see how mine stacked up to others. My auction showed the shipping as $44! I was shocked and wondered what the problem was. When I looked at my listing, Express mail (the third option) was $44. Priority was only $9.15 but the buyer wouldn't see that unless they clicked on my auction.

Like I said, I did pick priority mail as the first option, then UPS and express last. It shows up in that order on the auction page but not in the search with other items.

Apparently there is an ebay glitch after all.

eBay Shipping Glitch a Bad Buying Experience   eBay Shipping Glitch a Bad Buying Experience

by: DAJ

Tue Nov 13 22:00:47 2007

When filling out the ad where you get to select the shipping, ebay kinda pushes you into a 'get it now' by asking you to choose express/next day, etc so you can be a "fast shipper" which is supposed to look good. This is how you get into trouble as they push this fast concept & correct you if you want to be a fast shipper by making you go back into the form to re-select the faster shipping even tho you may also choose Priority or even First Class mail. The easiest way is to select ONE or Two shipping methods & announce in your ad copy that you also offer express or overnight. I ship mostly with DHL which they don't offer at all so I always say so in my ad copy. The seller's words are more important than most sellers think - plus I have even seen listings that announce in the title the item & priority. There are ways to get around this obviously & time is short...
DAJ

eBay Shipping Glitch a Bad Buying Experience   eBay Shipping Glitch a Bad Buying Experience

by: Shirley Vickers

Wed Nov 14 00:01:09 2007

I used for the first time the shipping calculater on Blackthorne Auction assistance-a drinking glass showed $11.00 shipping. Another two small 5" figuries came up $45, switched to flat rate shipping and it seems so much better. I know now I have to have an expert help me with Ebay so I can list and make money. Regards Shirley Vickers.

eBay Shipping Glitch a Bad Buying Experience   eBay Shipping Glitch a Bad Buying Experience

by: Carol Hearn

Wed Nov 14 20:57:27 2007

I could be wrong, but I believe this is a problem in connection with the Get It Fast feature, which requires (among other things) that a 1-day shipping option be entered.

When I ran into this ridiculous sale-killing problem, I quickly went back to flat rate shipping and dispensed with Get It Fast.

Get It Fast was supposed to help sellers make their listings stand out.  But for the 99.999999% of buyers who have no interest in paying for overnight shipping, the glitch clearly only discourages sales.

eBay Shipping Glitch a Bad Buying Experience   eBay Shipping Glitch a Bad Buying Experience

by: cw

Tue Nov 20 15:28:26 2007

Nope - it doesn't seem to be tied to the Get it Fast or 1-day handling time. When selecting a Free pickup 1st and overnight shipping second, the listing comes up with the Overnight Shipping price advertised. Can't figure out how to make it show the other way around.

So, it's not the sellers - it's something new that eBay has changed in the past few days. DEFINITELY prevents honest sellers from conveying factual and accurate default shipping information.

eBay Shipping Glitch a Bad Buying Experience   eBay Shipping Glitch a Bad Buying Experience

by: DROPNDEAL

Tue Dec 4 00:01:00 2007

The issue is not necessarily an ebay problem. There are instances where USPS Priority Mail and UPS is actually Cheaper than USPS Parcel Post! This is strictly the mail carrier and is based on certain postal codes and locations. You, I and fifty calculators will not be able to determine the madness that drives shipping charges.

Typically, the eBay calculator indicates the first option listed. This is true the majority of the time.
I test each listing with multiple zip codes to determine the least expensive method and sometimes revise my listings as a result.

The real gripe is to get special pricing from UPS/Paypal, then get a bill from UPS a few weeks later where they "adjusted" your shipping price and charged your credit card...



Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment using your AB Verify User Name, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.