Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu Feb 14 2013 21:54:09

eBay Unpreparedness for USPS Changes Costs Sellers Money

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

eBay sellers are still dealing with the fallout from eBay's unpreparedness for USPS changes that took effect on January 27, 2013, and it is costing them time and money.

First, a recap of what changed: The USPS renamed Parcel Post to Standard Post and, as we explained last month, eBay changed active listings with Parcel Post to the new comparable replacement service, Parcel Select. However, eBay does not make Parcel Select available through its eBay Labels program - it won't be available until March.

A lot of people were caught off-guard the week after the USPS changes went into effect, and sellers are still dealing with it. This week, I received an email from a seller who said eBay undercharged one of her buyers by $5.21, which had to come out of her pocket. She spent over an hour on the phone with eBay customer service.

"eBay says that the (shipping) calculator shows a rate that 21% off. The customer service lady I spoke to said that I as a seller must adjust my listings to accommodate this problem by:

1) Editing my 1,000 plus listings to eliminate shipping by weight and changing all of them to a fixed price based on cost to California, then refund any overages to my customers that live in closer zones.

2) After the buyer purchases my item, send them a non eBay invoice with the additional postage costs (yeah, like that is going to go over well with the buyers)

3) End all listings and wait for eBay to accommodate the changes from the USPS parcel select service until "March" (no exact date offered, could be March 1st or March 31st)."


Sellers are also discussing it on the boards. "As one who never, ever uses ParcelPost/Standard Post/Parcel Select, the eBay glitch is not affecting me at all. But I agree that eBay should have programmed the correct rates for their mailing/shipping options. If they could not do so, then they should have disabled Parcel Select entirely - remove it as a choice."

Another seller wrote, "I am pissed. Ebay offered Parcel and then I find out that the PO doesn't! Cost me 20.00 extra to ship Priority."

Sellers also discussed the issue in another thread, with one seller writing, "eBay has totally messed this up. Not only will they not offer printing of Parcel Select labels until March, but the shipping calculator is showing Parcel Select prices even when it's left at the default setting that shows the retail (i.e., over the counter at the PO) prices for  Priority Mail and First Class packages."

It's not clear what is taking eBay so long to make Parcel Select available to sellers, but it's clear it's costing some small sellers big money.

Comments (42) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Unpreparedness for USPS Changes Costs Sellers Money   eBay Unpreparedness for USPS Changes Costs Sellers Money

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Fri Feb 15 18:34:11 2013

Years ago, in another world, I developed my own quite complex postage calculator in Excel; all I thereafter had to do to keep it up to date was copy the new postage tables into it, a mere clerical job. Unfortunately, those at eBafia that aren’t brain dead are only interested in maximising the number of their bonus shares, before the rusting old scow gets get so low in the water that they finally have to don their lifejackets …

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking ... http://bit.ly/11F2eas

Perminate Link for eBay Unpreparedness for USPS Changes Costs Sellers Money   eBay Unpreparedness for USPS Changes Costs Sellers Money

by: Ebay_roadkill This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 15 23:05:14 2013

Is it me, or is ebay becoming less & less professional by the day?
I can't imagine anyone else operating their business in this manner & still being in business.
Unfortunately, there are allot of buyers out there who are clueless, they don't pay attention to anything & aren't even aware of the changes put out by the USPS, they'll be the first ones to bitch about the cost of shipping, you watch.

Perminate Link for eBay Unpreparedness for USPS Changes Costs Sellers Money   eBay Unpreparedness for USPS Changes Costs Sellers Money

by: Ed This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 15 23:45:23 2013

@Roadkill   buyers out there who are clueless, they don't pay attention to anything & aren't even aware of the changes put out by the USPS, they'll be the first ones to bitch about the cost of shipping, you watch.

Buyer don't read listing and ebay don't care they give us no time to update listings. But buyer don't bitch they just give sellers 1 DSR and ebay say it's just an opinion.

Is this really a Sellers Problem!
ebay is going to cause the problem and then take you TRS away from you because shipping prices are not reasonable.
Three Cheers for eBay

Perminate Link for eBay Unpreparedness for USPS Changes Costs Sellers Money   eBay Unpreparedness for USPS Changes Costs Sellers Money

by: captain obvious This user has validated their user name.

Sat Feb 16 09:55:59 2013

Why should we be surprised at this? This is the norm for the "ebafia" . (Phillip should really trademark that term)
But unfortunately the outside world doesn't see this.  They are the darlings of the tech world and wallstreet. Their stock continues to climb and thats all people see. To cap it off, the online media, such as cnet, has what seems like a daily blog praising preypal and/or the ebafia.  

Perminate Link for eBay Unpreparedness for USPS Changes Costs Sellers Money   eBay Unpreparedness for USPS Changes Costs Sellers Money

This user has validated their user name. by: WOODJUNGLE! ON EBAY

Sat Feb 16 15:10:59 2013

I never used the rate calculator. Never well unless they force me to. I charge flat rate shipping.  When rates go up, its sort of like  a built in discount on items that haven't sold. If people close to me bitch about shipping being too high, I will lower it.  If you have soley been using USPS Parcel in the past,  you probably  should be shipping FEDEX or UPS ground for a lot of those items anyway. Its cheaper in many cases.  

Perminate Link for eBay Unpreparedness for USPS Changes Costs Sellers Money   eBay Unpreparedness for USPS Changes Costs Sellers Money

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Sat Feb 16 15:24:29 2013

@captainobvious

Not to nitpick, but I invented the word ebafia some time ago as well as the slogan that may have helped defeat former ebafia CEO, Meg Whitman: Neg Meg

Perminate Link for eBay Unpreparedness for USPS Changes Costs Sellers Money   eBay Unpreparedness for USPS Changes Costs Sellers Money

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Sat Feb 16 16:33:49 2013

True, it was Ming who coined the term "ebafia"; at the same time I acknowlege Patricia for first applying the term "Dead man walking" to eBafia ...

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking ... http://bit.ly/11F2eas

Perminate Link for eBay Unpreparedness for USPS Changes Costs Sellers Money   eBay Unpreparedness for USPS Changes Costs Sellers Money

by: AgendaSwallowsAll This user has validated their user name.

Sat Feb 16 17:06:44 2013

In some instances the USPS wasn't even prepared for their own changes.  

Perminate Link for eBay Unpreparedness for USPS Changes Costs Sellers Money   eBay Unpreparedness for USPS Changes Costs Sellers Money

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Sat Feb 16 18:45:00 2013

Look gang, now that eBay has abandoned their policy of not profiting from shipping and since they have started charging a Final Value Fee on shipping costs, the company has absolutely no motivation what so ever to see to it that their software charges buyers the correct amount for shipping.

When you wonder why ebay is unwilling to fix their inaccurate shipping calculator, ask yourself a few simple questions.

1) How much in additional fees will eBay collect when they inflate buyers shipping costs?

2) Does eBay have any motivation to fix a "glitch" that generates additional profits?  Remember, ebay is not rated with DSR scores for shipping costs, it is sellers who have to take the hit when savvy buyers know they have been overcharged.

eBay will be the first to tell you that if you do not agree with the rates charged by the shipping calculator, simply include shipping costs in the selling price and be done with it.

eBay has no interest in fixing the glitch prone shipping calculator as the defect is used to encourage sellers to offer free shipping and inflate eBay's GMV by including shipping costs in the selling price.

eBay is not too lazy to fix the calculator. They are not incompetent when it comes to programming. The simple fact is they have no desire to fix the glitch prone shipping calculator because they increase their profits for as long as the glitch continues.

Perminate Link for eBay Unpreparedness for USPS Changes Costs Sellers Money   eBay Unpreparedness for USPS Changes Costs Sellers Money

This user has validated their user name. by: WOODJUNGLE! ON EBAY

Sat Feb 16 19:13:27 2013

I send the following letter out on all purchases.  Something you may want to consider:

Thank you for your purchase.  You will be receiving tracking information shortly if you have not already.  In case you didn’t know,  Ebay  skims  11%  OFF THE TOP of the shipping charges.  This puts more upward pressure on the already constantly rising, costs of shipping. This action is both immoral and unethical, and quite frankly, it should be a illegal: to take a cut of a service related to the sale where no profit is being made is wrong.   We ask you to please take this  into consideration when leaving feedback for shipping charges  and PLEASE do not take it out on our ratings as our feedback and DSRs are crucial to our business.

Thanks again from WOOD JUNGLE and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns.

Perminate Link for eBay Unpreparedness for USPS Changes Costs Sellers Money   eBay Unpreparedness for USPS Changes Costs Sellers Money

by: captain obvious This user has validated their user name.

Sat Feb 16 21:10:49 2013

I apologize.  I give the credit to ming. I just love the term though, its so perfect. I appreciate both your and phillips view on things, and i usually agree with both of you. I have witnessed the law according to ebay myself, and know exactly how they operate.

Perminate Link for eBay Unpreparedness for USPS Changes Costs Sellers Money   eBay Unpreparedness for USPS Changes Costs Sellers Money

by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Sat Feb 16 22:30:56 2013

I claim ''ebain''.
Mass Howler :-)

Perminate Link for eBay Unpreparedness for USPS Changes Costs Sellers Money   eBay Unpreparedness for USPS Changes Costs Sellers Money

by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.

Sat Feb 16 23:20:38 2013

Worrying that you might be overcharging on shipping is a waste of time.  The problem is that things are too cheap on ebay, including shipping.

You should charge enough for shipping that you can afford to be accountable for the performance of the shipping company.  If your shipping is too cheap you cannot afford to take that responsibility.

Ship with FedEx or UPS and use full end to end tracking.  Then you will be able to be accountable.

If you ship with the USPS and they are late you can't do anything at all. You are still responsible however, and the buyer will DSR and FB you for the performance of USPS.  So just use better shipping and charge for it.

Make sure you make enough on the shipping to pay for your time and trouble.  You don't want to work for free do you? Of course not!

So if it takes you 10 minutes to address the package, ship it and pay the bill then charge 10/60 or 1/6 of an hour of your time at $80 an hour.   About $13 or $14 added to the cost of shipping less the ebay skim.

So if the shipping costs you $12 and ebay takes 10+%, charge $14 plus the $13 for your time, so that should cost a customer $27 for shipping.  

Now you have a real business and can afford to be responsible. This is exactly what you must do to be profitable.    

Heh.  

Perminate Link for eBay Unpreparedness for USPS Changes Costs Sellers Money   eBay Unpreparedness for USPS Changes Costs Sellers Money

by: Megless The Maniacal This user has validated their user name.

Sun Feb 17 09:48:48 2013

I prefer the call that place ''FleaBay''.

Rather self explanitory.

WRT shipping...the screwed it up BIG TIME.

The fact that USPS ''Flats'' are not being offered from their labels for International Shipments speaks volumes that their only interest CONTIUNES to be THEIR bottom as ''Flats'' cost 50% of the new rates...essentially what we were paying BEFORE when they were available.

I am very happy to stand on line at the P.O. recouping that cost and knowing FleaBay has not gotten a piece of that thru their scam deal with Pitney.

Perminate Link for eBay Unpreparedness for USPS Changes Costs Sellers Money   eBay Unpreparedness for USPS Changes Costs Sellers Money

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Feb 18 09:00:57 2013

RCL states: (I DO factor the additional cost into new listings.)

RCL, this statement does nothing but lend credibility to what I said.  There is no such think as free shipping.  It's like playing the shell game.  You just moved the shipping cost to "fool" the seller.

Perminate Link for eBay Unpreparedness for USPS Changes Costs Sellers Money   eBay Unpreparedness for USPS Changes Costs Sellers Money

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Feb 18 09:06:49 2013

Ming, ever thought about opening a web store called ebafia?  It is clear that you coined that term, why not take advantage of it somehow?

Perminate Link for eBay Unpreparedness for USPS Changes Costs Sellers Money   eBay Unpreparedness for USPS Changes Costs Sellers Money

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 18 13:20:13 2013

Good ole Ebay....always reliable on the fritz!  LOL

Perminate Link for eBay Unpreparedness for USPS Changes Costs Sellers Money   eBay Unpreparedness for USPS Changes Costs Sellers Money

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 18 13:21:43 2013

Thanks for the acknowledgement Phillip

Perminate Link for eBay Unpreparedness for USPS Changes Costs Sellers Money   eBay Unpreparedness for USPS Changes Costs Sellers Money

by: mjr55 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 18 13:51:47 2013

I don't get why Ebay can't have all of this stuff uploaded automatically (prices, shipping options, etc).....Endicia does and it takes a 2 minute update from them whenever prices change.  

Perminate Link for eBay Unpreparedness for USPS Changes Costs Sellers Money   eBay Unpreparedness for USPS Changes Costs Sellers Money

This user has validated their user name. by: Tula

Mon Feb 18 15:13:25 2013

@Ric: Don't forget that ebay's recent User Agreement changes say that they aren't responsible for the effects any problems or glitches. Nice of them to provide us the quality service we're paying for, eh?

Click to view more comments
1 2 3  [Next Page]


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.