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Mon Mar 24 2008 13:58:44

eBay Requires Sellers to Specify Shipping Costs

By: Ina Steiner

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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.)

I have a question in to eBay asking when the eBay shipping calculator will support major carriers like FedEx. (I double-checked eBay's help files, and sure enough, the calculator is limited to certain USPS and UPS services.)

If you are a seller who doesn't ship via USPS or UPS and if you don't use flat-rate shipping, what do you plan on doing if the calculator doesn't support your method of shipping?

 




Comments (44) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Requires Sellers to Specify Shipping Costs   eBay Requires Sellers to Specify Shipping Costs

by: Allison

Mon Mar 24 14:18:01 2008

Our shipper of choice is DHL, which is, of course, not supported by ebay's shipping calculator.  We've always used the UPS daily rates with the calculator, which is more or less in the ballpark.  UPS is generally a bit higher than our contract rates with DHL, rarely lower.  The daily rate calculator does not appear to be able to calculate "remote location" charges anyway, so its a matter of hoping our shipping collected at the end of the month is equal to our shipping costs.

Since ebay insists on this crazy lowball "exact postage" method of charging for shipping, I can't see any good method of attaching shipping calculators for the different shipping services and the various rate schedules sellers have.

eBay Requires Sellers to Specify Shipping Costs   eBay Requires Sellers to Specify Shipping Costs

This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly

Mon Mar 24 15:23:59 2008

In the linked eBay announcement they mention the new Priority Mail box.

''The new Large Flat Rate box is now included in the eBay Shipping calculator, and we expect to incorporate it into our PayPal shipping labels solution later in the summer. ''

Excuse me - it's March. They knew about this for at least a week. eBay/PayPay doesn't have a crack tech in India or Where-everstan who can write an app for this?

Let's figure July 24, for ''late Summer''... April, May, June, July... 4 MONTHS.

We're talking weight in a box, folks, not a mission to Mars. What's the process, one o' them high-flautin' spreadsheet gizmos?

And this is the cutting edge company that people are FORCED to utilize?

Ed Gadfly

http://www.squidoo.com/vilebay

eBay Requires Sellers to Specify Shipping Costs   eBay Requires Sellers to Specify Shipping Costs

by: KM

Mon Mar 24 15:32:23 2008

OK, so they now require exact shipping costs in listings. What's the problem? I've been placing either exact flat rate shipping cost or using the shipping calculator for USPS/UPS for years. I don't see this as a big issue.

The ONLY thing that bothers me is when you read the ''candy coated'' announcement from Kristina Klausen, again it's always about the ''buyer''. I like this: ''Expensive shipping is a reason some buyers leave eBay''. That's rich, I mean really. Is a buyer THAT STUPID that he wouldn't seek out the same item from a different seller that had lower shipping. Is a buyer THAT STUPID that if he buys a cell phone headset for 1 cent with $15 postage that he still can't see he's getting a bargain and the seller is trying to cheat the FVF system? eBay must think buyers are as stupid as they think sellers are.

Anyone shopped mail order lately? Did you pay a ''Handling charge''? Did you pay $12 for UPS shipping on an item that weighed less than a pound? I'll sure ALL of you have. It's BUSINESS.

WHY is the new Large Flat Rate box included in the eBay Shipping calculator, but you won't incorporate it into the PayPal shipping labels solution until later in the summer? Are the programmers over there at Paypal slowpoke idiots? This package size was announced MONTHS before it went live. Why can't it be fully integrated and ready NOW? How are we supposed to use it if we can't post it? Hey Paypal, there are postage increases coming in May. Will you be ready for those by October?

It's not this policy change that upsets me, it's the arrogance of the announcement and how it's written.

eBay Requires Sellers to Specify Shipping Costs   eBay Requires Sellers to Specify Shipping Costs

by: Beady Eye Guy

Mon Mar 24 16:01:30 2008

If they take away my right to charge handling, I will close shop for sure.

THIS will be the last straw.

eBay Requires Sellers to Specify Shipping Costs   eBay Requires Sellers to Specify Shipping Costs

by: mindelec

Mon Mar 24 19:35:48 2008

"If they take away my right to charge handling, I will close shop for sure."

go back and read it again, they are doing nothing of the sort.  they are requiring whatever you charge to be put in the listing.

eBay Requires Sellers to Specify Shipping Costs   eBay Requires Sellers to Specify Shipping Costs

by: Richard

Mon Mar 24 23:24:40 2008

eBay, as always, is forgetting that the foreigners it enticed are listing on eBay.com.  What use are the USPS and UPS calculators when you are shipping from anywhere in Europe, or even as close as Canada?  Canadian postage for parcels is calculated from Canadian zones to US zones.  Going «flat rate» is tricky: all those overcharged will complain and bring down your DSR while you certainly cannot undercharge everyone without going broke.  Everyone who runs a real business knows these basic  facts; eBay is a virtual business that can afford to ignore reality.  Can it really afford that in the long run?

Has there really beeen a change at the top, or is the new man a Meg-clone?

eBay Requires Sellers to Specify Shipping Costs   eBay Requires Sellers to Specify Shipping Costs

by: joyce

Mon Mar 24 23:31:02 2008

Now ebay wants exact shipping charges. Are they going to pay someone to pack and weigh my items, figure the insurance  before the item sold? And then will they pay for that person to come back here and unpack the item, re tag it and put it back in stock if it doesn't sell? I sell one of a kind items of different sizes, weights and values. If I have to do exact shipping before the item is sold I will simply leave ebay.                                                                                                                  

eBay Requires Sellers to Specify Shipping Costs   eBay Requires Sellers to Specify Shipping Costs

by: richard

Mon Mar 24 23:31:23 2008

hi I am a 10 year seller from Canada.  I sell vintage and odd books and mags.

None of which are  the same size and weight, none of which can be shipped by the same service, AND none of which ships surface for the same price , when it comes to international destinations.

Sell through rate on my listings has always been between 10 to 20% of my listings, but that was alright, but now I will have to weight EVERYTHING before I list?

No way. This adds HOURS to my work load every week.


Factor in this, that not a single one of my US customers when told knew that the US $ is worth 60% less than 5 years ago, and theyre suprised it buys them less when shopping here. I already see much less traffic from US customers, and now this will simply drive more of them away, as all they will notice , is that it cost over 13$ to ship one book and they will think ' hey I can get a book shipped in the US for 3$ media mail.

eBay Requires Sellers to Specify Shipping Costs   eBay Requires Sellers to Specify Shipping Costs

by: Hildreth Clouse

Mon Mar 24 23:42:41 2008

Oh yeah we got a big 1 cent sale tomorrow if we list 99 cents or under. Now everyone be sure to list the exact shipping cost on that one!!!!

eBay Requires Sellers to Specify Shipping Costs   eBay Requires Sellers to Specify Shipping Costs

by: richard

Mon Mar 24 23:45:23 2008

hi I am a 10 year seller from Canada.  I sell vintage and odd books and mags.

None of which are  the same size and weight, none of which can be shipped by the same service, AND none of which ships surface for the same price , when it comes to international destinations.

Sell through rate on my listings has always been between 10 to 20% of my listings, but that was alright, but now I will have to weight EVERYTHING before I list?

No way. This adds HOURS to my work load every week.

Additionaly : Postes Canada has an option for light packets, which can only be shipped if they are THIN.. so now I will also have to measure  *ALL* my books?

and what about combining -- woah -- is there a calculator for this ?


Factor in this, that not a single one of my US customers when told knew that the US $ is worth 60% less than 5 years ago, and they're suprised it buys them less when shopping here.

I already see much less traffic from US customers, and now this will simply drive more of them away, as all they will notice, and it only takes one time,  is that it can cost over 13$ to ship one thick book to a USA address and they will think ' hey I can get a book shipped in the US for 3$ media mail... so they simply will stop shopping outside the US.. even if my own case most books ship for about 8.50.



Richard

eBay Requires Sellers to Specify Shipping Costs   eBay Requires Sellers to Specify Shipping Costs

by: richard

Mon Mar 24 23:54:02 2008

'Expensive shipping is a reason some buyers leave eBay''.

IB aka Idiot Buyers think shipping is expensive because everywhere you look on ebay, you see FREE SHIPPING FREE SHIPPING FREE SHIPPING,  so of course, for them any s/h beyond zero cents is expensive.

Richard

eBay Requires Sellers to Specify Shipping Costs   eBay Requires Sellers to Specify Shipping Costs

by: Henrietta

Tue Mar 25 00:36:08 2008

Last item I listed was a big fat hardback home dec book. Weighed over 1.5# packed. I got a notice from eBay saying Buyers don't like paying excessive shipping and my declared shipping $5.95 for Priority to the USA and International Air to Canada was considered high compared to similar items. This would affect its placement in best match. Sure enough not one single view.

eBay Requires Sellers to Specify Shipping Costs   eBay Requires Sellers to Specify Shipping Costs

by: Henrietta

Tue Mar 25 00:43:26 2008

@ Richard

There is a wonderful Canadian based venue www.Loudfrog.com. Totally free at present no IF, with 1% FVF proposed sometime in the future. The nicest group of sellers you could ever wish for and traffic is building, slowly but building.

The other place I am happy is eCrater.com, again totally free. Superb google visibility. No html is permitted in listings which some people find a turnoff. What the hay! Price is right, I simply copied and pasted from my Feebay listings and deleted all the piles of garbage I had to have on FeeBay to protect myself.

Three big bombs today, doya think some folks are beginning to see the writing on the wall?

eBay Requires Sellers to Specify Shipping Costs   eBay Requires Sellers to Specify Shipping Costs

by: Saler Paul

Tue Mar 25 01:34:42 2008

It must be true - eBay does NOT want to continue being the biggest online auction, bar none...

They are tightening the screws on SELLERS (who, after all, do all the HEAVY work, while buyers win by getting bargains or rare items, and eBay gets rich) on every front, but I will TRY to limit myself to addressing THIS note of oncoming doom...

I live in Miami, FL, the extreme SE of the continental U.S., and so shipping costs vary considerably to various States. And, I pack items professionally (myself) using mostly new materials. I buy them wholesale, in bulk, so prices are cheap - but there is still a wide difference between packing a piece of costume jewelry, a big heavy piece of audio equipment, or a delicate Lladro figurine. (Oh, yeah, ''my'' category?? I don't have ''a'' category, I use nearly ALL of them.)

Now, my goal in figuring shipping cost is to charge each buyer what it REALLY DOES cost to get their item safely to them. For this reason (well, and others, too), I only rarely list shipping cost, such as for small, light items (under 1 pound). I sell very FEW items like that.

Though all the propaganda tells buyers that a seller who doesn't list shipping cost is out to GET them, that is the OPPOSITE of the TRUTH, in my case. If I HAVE to list a shipping cost for every item, those prices will be based on my cost to WASHINGTON STATE, with a HIGH GUESS as to what the cost of packing materials will be, and a HIGH GUESS of the packaged shipping weight. So, unless the buyer actually IS in Washington (or other locations in that zone), they will be paying MORE than what I would charge them if allowed to figure the EXACT cost to where THEY are - which of course, I don't know until auction ENDS...

My feedback speaks - by its silence on the subject - of the fact that I do NOT gouge on shipping. Yet this policy will put me in a lose-lose position: undercharge for shipping, thereby lowering the profit I am barely subsisting on now; or overcharge and scare bidders away. (Even ACTUAL charges can be a bit scary sometimes, but I have no control over CARRIERS' rates.)

And while we're on the subject of trying to ESTIMATE shipping costs - what about all my TIME that will be WASTED coming up with estimates for items that MAY NOT EVEN SELL?!

I've been selling full time (literally - it's more like having TWO full time jobs) on eBay for 9+ years; business grew and improved (i.e. sales & profits) for the first 5 or 6 years, but has been declining for at least the past 3. Though I am always getting better at what *I* do, as a result of other factors to this game, I am barely scraping by. And eBay and PayPal continue to make every part of it harder and more time- and money-consuming.

I'm JUST ABOUT GONE! And I really think that is what eBay wants - they don't want to be the world's biggest and best auction/flea market venue - they want to be just another MALL.

Happy Saling??? Not so much, anymore... Saler Paul

eBay Requires Sellers to Specify Shipping Costs   eBay Requires Sellers to Specify Shipping Costs

by: BenF

Tue Mar 25 02:02:17 2008

If both UPS and USPS use Zone charges to calculate final destination charges, in addition to options for insurance, delivery confirmation etc, how can eBay expect sellers to give exact charges in the intial listing.  Knock Knock Knock  Is Anybody Home????

eBay Requires Sellers to Specify Shipping Costs   eBay Requires Sellers to Specify Shipping Costs

by: Pat

Tue Mar 25 08:05:37 2008

Once again ebay is proving that they can figure out another way to shoot themselves in the foot AND screw users at the same time!  Buyers will pay more for shipping, sellers will lose sales and no one will be happy.

I'm a Canadian seller (almost 10 years) and I know I can't compete with postal rates within the US. Anything more than 2.2 pounds has to be calculated by the zone it is going to in the US. Listing  on .com will no longer be an option because the rate calculator will be useless for me.  I have experimented with listing on .ca with the weight and dimensions entered and have found the postage given is often totally out of whack.

Face it, we are damned no matter what we do. I can only be positive about the size and weight of a small amount of what I sell before I list it. I have lots of large, fragile items (pottery, glass, dishes, antiques etc) and there isn't time to find the exact box the item would mail in if it were sold before I even list it!

To protect myself, I'll have to estimate  on the high side. That has the potential of having buyers not even open the auction so explaining that the postage will be no more than that amount and likely less will do no good.

Ebay doesn't really want variety - it wants tens of thousands of cookie cutter sellers offering multiples of the same new items that all fit into nice standard size boxes or envelopes - if I only sold a few items over and over this would be no problem. Offering a wide variety of unique items is a killer.

Ebay is tightening the noose even more - they want absolute control of every aspect of our business. This is not a venue - it is turning into a cell. I agree with having guidelines as to what is allowable to list - beyond that they should butt out of our business. Let the buyer decide who they want to do business with.

eBay Requires Sellers to Specify Shipping Costs   eBay Requires Sellers to Specify Shipping Costs

by: Larry Vorpagel

Tue Mar 25 08:42:14 2008

I can't believe that I have seen no one mention the fact that Ebay's UPS calculator is outdated.  UPS no longer has OS1 or OS2.  They calculate shipping by cubic feet now.  The thing that ticks me off is that Ebay is a multi billion dollar company and everything they do would have put a normal company out of business years ago

eBay Requires Sellers to Specify Shipping Costs   eBay Requires Sellers to Specify Shipping Costs

by: J

Tue Mar 25 10:18:54 2008

Larry, I have been in contact with UPS about this problem, and they're aware that eBay's calculator is flawed, but they claim they have ''no power'' to force eBay to fix it. UPS was very concerned that this was not working properly.

I've also been in touch with eBay about this since last November, and continually get bullshit ''thank you'' replies, but no fix.

I do find however that if you do select oversized package it calculates a correct amount (based on UPS's own online calculator). My workaround has been to put a notice in my listings that the UPS calculator may give an incorrect price and the buyer should either contact me for an accurate quote or be prepared to have the value at the end of auction adjusted up or down.

But remember, this is the company that has already put in support for the large USPS flat rate box into the shipping calculator, but you can't print postage labels for it though Paypal until late summer. Nothing surprises me anymore. I wonder what today's new policy change will be.

eBay Requires Sellers to Specify Shipping Costs   eBay Requires Sellers to Specify Shipping Costs

by: Rhea Trosper

Tue Mar 25 11:49:31 2008

sellers will have to build handling costs (tape, box, bubble wrap, etc) into item cost - thereby giving eBay a larger cut of the final value fee.

It's NOT about the good of the buyer or seller - just more of our hard earned money for greedbay

eBay Requires Sellers to Specify Shipping Costs   eBay Requires Sellers to Specify Shipping Costs

by: J

Tue Mar 25 13:56:42 2008

I said: ''Nothing surprises me anymore. I wonder what today's new policy change will be.''

I spoke too soon. Now it's Bye bye digital delivery sellers.

Man, it just don't end.

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