Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sun Jan 26 2014 16:54:17

eBay Combined Shipping Is a Complicated Task

By: Ina Steiner

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It takes eBay seven screenshots to show sellers how to combine two or more orders from a single buyer for shipping in one parcel. For any online retailer, the fact it has to be done manually at all is unacceptable, never mind being a complicated task.

On top of that, after manually combining the orders, if the seller wishes to provide the buyer with a partial refund for combined shipping, eBay requires the seller to call to eBay Customer Support!

In a post meant to help sellers, eBay has succeeded in showing how un-automated many tasks are for its sellers.

The explanation applies to sellers who use eBay's postage printing service - "Whenever you select two or more sales for printing, you are automatically directed into the Bulk Shipping flow," eBay writes. "If there are orders that are for the same buyer, you will see an alert on the first page of the Bulk Shipping section stating: "You have some orders from the same buyer that can be combined.""

But many sellers use third-party postage providers - it's not clear what they should do if they wish to combine multiple orders from the same buyer.

In its recent post, eBay advised:

"You may consider offering any savings realized on combining two or more orders into one shipment back to the buyer as a partial refund through PayPal, but do note that currently the only way to receive a partial credit on the final value fees for partial refunds is to contact eBay Customer Support directly. For those sellers who do not charge for shipping (that is, those that include the price of shipping in the item cost) there is nothing more you need to do, as any savings in shipping costs can benefit the seller with no consequences from the buyer (since the buyer has no idea what the seller paid for shipping when the item offers free shipping)."



If you've got suggestions for your colleagues on how to simplify combined shipping, please let us know, and feel free to share constructive advice for eBay on how to automate the process.




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Combined Shipping Is a Complicated Task   eBay Combined Shipping Is a Complicated Task

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

Sun Jan 26 19:18:54 2014

Ho, Ho, Ho, it really is time for you to go ...

And, just for fun, another interesting video from eBay critic “NARU Messenger” on the 10-year-old eBay Motors (UK sampling) XSS Redirect Scam In Action!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ot-ZTyXuhKU

A major ongoing eBay scam, tens years old, apparently, and still eBay has not implemented a simple filtering of listings for this code to put a stop to it; not hard to see where eBay’s priorities don’t lay; best you insist on paying via “PreyPal” if you ever deal with one of these scammers—LOL …

Perminate Link for eBay Combined Shipping Is a Complicated Task   eBay Combined Shipping Is a Complicated Task

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

Sun Jan 26 20:11:42 2014

And the Steiners' reporter from a major media publication a few weeks ago wondered why ebay sellers and buyers are "angry?"

Unless ebay's incompetent coding affects ebay's bottom line, things seldom get "fixed on the fly" or any other time.

Fixing things costs money, and heaven forbid that money would be spent on anything that might result in fewer free shares of stock for the oligarchical sociopaths who run ebay.

Perminate Link for eBay Combined Shipping Is a Complicated Task   eBay Combined Shipping Is a Complicated Task

This user has validated their user name. by: Puck

Sun Jan 26 22:19:25 2014

Every eBay item combined shipping = combined payments and less 30¢'s for The Pal.

Management won't be in any rush to make it any easier.

Perminate Link for eBay Combined Shipping Is a Complicated Task   eBay Combined Shipping Is a Complicated Task

by: trader_chris This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 27 00:45:15 2014

I sell a lot of used goods on consignment that can vary in value. I simply list a disclaimer in the listing that said that I'm happy to combine shipping at the end of the auctions for the evening and to please wait for a combined invoice. All of my sales are usually finished in a two hour period, I promptly follow-up with combined invoices afterwards, and probably 80-90% of the payments roll in the next 2-3 days. Simple and efficient.

Perminate Link for eBay Combined Shipping Is a Complicated Task   eBay Combined Shipping Is a Complicated Task

by: bb6 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 27 00:48:20 2014

Most of my buyers on ebay buy multiple items. I have tried a bunch of different strategies. The one that works best is to post a note in your description telling the buyers to use the shopping cart when buying multiple items. If you set up your combined shipping correctly in the system then they should be able to add things to the cart and checkout with one combined shipping price. Most sellers don't bother to spend the time to set up the combined shipping from what I have seen. In this case there is a Request total from seller button at the top of the screen on the shopping cart page. Starting half way through last year for some and January 2014 for the rest of us, 'Buy it now'' now requires an immediate payment through paypal (Ebay went in behind the scenes and changed this even if you didn't want it. Checkout your listings under the payment section and you will see the box checked for immediately payment when using paypal). So the buyer has to use the shopping cart or you will be sending refunds like crazy. I had one guy hit the buy it now 30 times on 30 different items. Love the sales but what a big mess to clean up. Since then I posted a big note explaining how the checkout works for multiple payments in my descriptions and I haven't had any multiple payments.

One thing I never understand with ebay is that they put the new changes in the announcements but only sellers read them. Buyers don't read announcements. They don't care. They want an item, they search, find what they want and buy it. Most of the time they don't even read the sellers description. So why on earth is it so hard to have a pop up announcement to buyers the 1st time they log in to ebay after a new rule or change is put in place. Say something like ''When clicking the buy it now button you will now be required to pay right away. Please use the add to cart button when buying multiple items from a seller so that you can receive the best combined shipping price available.'' Is that really that hard? All buyers will see it because they will have to click the X to get it off the screen.  

Perminate Link for eBay Combined Shipping Is a Complicated Task   eBay Combined Shipping Is a Complicated Task

by: bb6 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 27 00:51:36 2014

I forgot to mention this on the last post. Get a stamps.com account and you won't have to deal with the issue of combining orders using the ebay labels system. I have a stamps.com and a shiprush account and it couldn't be easier combining orders.  

Perminate Link for eBay Combined Shipping Is a Complicated Task   eBay Combined Shipping Is a Complicated Task

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 27 10:06:09 2014

I don't think it is that complicated for ebay to fix.
They will not bother because they make more money this way.  It's all about the bottom line.
When we sold on ebay, we always stated wait till invoice is sent, otherwise you pay more for shipping on multiple items.

Perminate Link for eBay Combined Shipping Is a Complicated Task   eBay Combined Shipping Is a Complicated Task

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Mon Jan 27 10:50:45 2014

eBay states: "You may consider offering any savings realized on combining two or more orders into one shipment back to the buyer as a partial refund through PayPal, but do note that currently the only way to receive a partial credit on the final value fees for partial refunds is to contact eBay Customer Support directly. "

Here we are again, another carrot and longer stick to get sellers to offer free shipping.

Now that eBay profits when sellers do not include shipping in the selling price of their item, eBay devises a system that creates pain points for those sellers to receive fair treatment with regard to those fees when they combine shipping.

eBay's motivation here is obvious... eBay does not want to make it easy for sellers to obtain credits for multiple item purchases sold with combined shipping. Instead, eBay intentionally devises a process designed to inconvenience sellers in the hopes that those effected will simply avoid the process there by allowing eBay to retain their ill-gotten gains.

eBay wonders why they can not grow sales yet they continue to erect roadblock after roadblock in order to squeeze every last dime ( earned or not earned) out of their sellers. These processes serve to drive up costs to buyers which discourages buyers from completing purchases on eBay.

Shamefully, the MBA's running eBay without benefit of any long term buying or selling experience remain oblivious to the obvious fact that their corporate greed is holding the marketplace back.


Perminate Link for eBay Combined Shipping Is a Complicated Task   eBay Combined Shipping Is a Complicated Task

by: sickandtired This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 27 13:09:44 2014

I'm glad for users who find that adding items to a cart or setting up multiple item shipping discount formulas works, but that does not mean it will work for every seller.

It will not work for me for over 90% of my transactions.  A perfectly simple solution - although simple is something ebay seems incapable of grasping - is to have a simple check box for the seller on the listing page.  

Enable the feature if you want to allow buyers to add to cart or proceed to pay if seller has multiple item shipping discounts set up.

Disable feature if seller needs to calculate postage for multiple item shipments.  Buyer would get a notice thanking them for their purchases and telling them to wait for the invoice. They would not be able to pay except from the seller's generated invoice.

I also have the blah blah blah in my listings about waiting for my invoice if making multiple purchases but the majority of buyers don't read that - go ahead and pay and I have a mess to clean up.

Really burns me having to pay ebay's charge on the multiple shipping costs so now I only refund the overcharge less ebay's cut.

Perminate Link for eBay Combined Shipping Is a Complicated Task   eBay Combined Shipping Is a Complicated Task

by: Mitty This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 27 13:11:48 2014

I was one of the longtime sellers (15 years and 10000 plus transactions, 99.6 POSITIVE 4.8/4.9 STAR RATINGS) purged from ebay in October. At least 3 low stars (ones and twos)came from this exact problem. It was so difficult to combine shipping it caused me to get a few shipping charge/time dings for absolutely no reason other then ebay trying to make a few extra bucks. Do we all really think they couldn't have a better way of doing this for sellers? I blame this as one of the many problems at ebay that killed a perfectly viable business like mine. This and things like sellers accidently opening cases when trying to ask questions, auto 5 stars not working etc. None of this matters to the once you hit the GUARDRAIL. And of course ULTIMATELY THE LAST THING - ebay wants you to sell global but will not count those transactions against for your seller proformance standards in the US. What sense does that make, if I put my stuff up for auction worldwide, I have no control who buys it. Why should I be punished by not looking at it as part of my performance? Everything was sold in ther US and taxed as income. I'd love to see Ina tackle that one!

Perminate Link for eBay Combined Shipping Is a Complicated Task   eBay Combined Shipping Is a Complicated Task

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

Mon Jan 27 14:11:51 2014

Theft by design.
MH
(They have absolutely NO INTENTION to change this- if anything they will make us go through MORE SCREENS to dissuade us from getting the credit- WE KNOW THIS, they are THIEVES and MANIPULATORS).



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