Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue July 2 2019 19:58:31

Is Inflation Eroding eBay Shipping-Supplies Perk?

By: Ina Steiner

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Back in 2016, eBay softened the blow of a fee increase by offering Store owners a quarterly coupon that could be applied to purchases of eBay-branded shipping supplies. But if the cost of those supplies rise, the perk becomes effectively less valuable - you might even equate it to fee increase.

In 2016, Basic storeowners received a $25 coupon; Premium storeowners, a $50 coupon; and Anchor storeowners, a $75 coupon. Now it ranges between $0 (for a Starter store) and $150 (for an Anchor and an Enterprise store).

Last week, we noticed that a seller reported an increase in the cost of shipping supplies. However, eBay did not respond to our request for confirmation. (Please weigh in below if you've tracked how prices have changed over time.)

Sellers discussed the pros and cons of the perk - one seller wrote, "I wish the shipping coupon would get an inflation increase."

The perk to eBay Store subscribers can also vary depending on which supplies eBay offers through the store - and that changes over time. As a seller told us last year, "The coupon is not worth much if the selection of supplies is a poor fit for your business."

Some sellers liked the bundling of different-sized supplies. One seller said they had purchased an assortment of different-sized polymailers in a "Starter Kit" in December of 2017 (at a cost of $26.99), but noted that it hadn't been offered in a long time.

Today, a seller noted some positive changes in this thread on the eBay boards: "Looks like eBay shipping supplies has made some changes to the line and they have made some good changes to check out. They added a button to auto apply your coupon. Watch out on the changes as they have changed the design, sizes and seals."

There's also the issue of whether using eBay-branded supplies is desirable. Do they add a level of professionalism to your packaging, or do you feel eBay should be paying *you* to advertise its brand?

Let us know your current thinking on eBay shipping supplies and their cost and selection, and if you'd like to see any changes.



Comments (35) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

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This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Tue Jul 2 20:18:44 2019

eBay-branded shipping supplies,
is like the Post Office selling key chains and chotchkies.
eBay needs to be put back in the box.

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 2 20:58:25 2019

eBay pays for it all out of its advertising budget .... PLUS

Bascom Logistics is a front company for an eBay created shipping supplies company.

2017-04-10 Bascom Logistics Corp. aka Shenzhen Lingdong Packaging Materia

PACKING TAPE " NO SOLI"

Heres the bill of lading: https://panjiva.com/Bascom-Logistics-Corp/39489635


Date

2017-04-10
Shipper
Name
Shenzhen Lingdong Packaging Materia
Shipper Address
NO.2, STREET 8, JIANGJUNMAO,, WULIAN COMMUNITY,LONGGANG DISTRICT,, SHENZHEN 518000 CHINA
Consignee Name
Bascom Logistics Corp.
Consignee Address
61 SPIT BROOK ROAD, SUITE 407, NASHUA, NH 03060
Notify Party Name
Bascom Logistics Corp.
Notify Party Address
61 SPIT BROOK ROAD, SUITE 407, NASHUA, NH 03060
Weight
22500
Weight Unit
KG
Weight in KG
22500.0
Quantity
2844
Quantity Unit
CTN
Measure
64
Measure Unit
CM
Country of Origin
China
Details
22,500.0 kg
From port: Yantian, China
To port: Port of Long Beach, Long Beach, California
Place of Receipt
Yantian
Foreign Port of Lading
Yantian, China
U.S. Port of Unlading
Port of Long Beach, Long Beach, California
U.S. Destination Port
Port of Long Beach, Long Beach, California
Commodity
PACKING TAPE " NO SOLI"
Container
PCIU8191304
Marks Description
EBAY
Carrier Name
ORIENT EXPRESS CONTAINER CO LTD
Vessel Name
HAMBURG BRIDGE
Voyage Number
043E
Bill of Lading Number
OERT202701G01053
Master Bill of Lading Number
PABVSZEH70015900
Lloyd's Code
9395159
HTS Codes
HTS 3919.10


http://www.bascomlogistics.com/ - (website) of course goes no where ......


Foreign Qualification Initial Stock Value: Par Value Shares: 3,000 Value: $ 0.001 No Par Value Shares: 0 ----------------------------------------------------------------- Total

Another eBay shill game!

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by: justchangecarriers This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 3 01:09:45 2019

I'm way more annoyed at my coupon not covering the sales tax. So I have to spend money to use my coupon. Why cant I just apply the coupon to the sales tax?  

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by: Paul W This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 3 01:32:05 2019

I use eBay branded mailers and tape all the time.  Don't all eBay sellers want eBay to be on the minds of potential buyers?  
Non-ebay-seller commenters on this board need not reply to this since your comments would be irrelevant.

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by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 3 01:46:38 2019

How much impact can ebay branded supplies really have? Who sees them?
The carriers. After they've seen the 1st 50, I'm sure they become oblivious to the package and much less to what's in it.
They become like the All State car thief commercial. After you've seen it 10 times, it becomes background noise.

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by: BargainzBabylon This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 3 02:09:42 2019

Some people would complain if they were hanged with a new rope. FREE supplies - I'm fine with that.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Wed Jul 3 02:31:10 2019

I like eBay’s polymailers and use them for every sale utilizing first class postage. No complaints here.

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by: Bookseller1234 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 3 04:39:44 2019

UK sellers haven't received their coupons this month yet.
I'd like to see more recyclable packaging under the scheme. Their bubble mailers are marked as 100% recyclable but there aren't many facilities that accept them for recycling.
It's not going to look good for eBay when their branding turns up on plastic litter or in third world waste dumps.

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by: Slowest Learner This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 3 05:15:36 2019

the ebay branded tape sucks.  It's too thin and doesn't hold.  The adhesive is weak and peals off cardboard.  I have to go completely around boxes twice over.  And I'm talking about those small ebay boxes.  I learned my lesson when I first started using the ebay tape and the boxes were arriving to customers opened and empty, seems the tape broke or peeled open and the contents of the boxes fell out.  Bottom line, tape is worthless IMO

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by: 227272 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 3 06:55:37 2019

@Slowest Learner:

Ditto on the worthless tape, and kudos to you for managing to use it at all — I can't even get mine off the roll without it tearing!

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by: GotToGetOut This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 3 07:30:59 2019

I agree about that tape -- junk.  I continue to buy my tape at Costco.  

Plus, by the time I get to place my order, most of the items are not available.  I like square boxes for china and they are rarely still available.   Last time there were 19 choices.   The one thing I do like is the boxes are relative light weight but strong enough so it does often save on postage if I can keep the weight just under the next pound increment.   Not a plus for very heavy packages.

I can get free boxes at the recycling center where I go regularly so the boxes are not that great of a perk to me.  I'd rather have 50% of what they say it's worth in a discount on store fees.  

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by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 3 07:39:02 2019

We take all those so called free supplies and sell them on Ebay. Great seller. Never use any of them as they are nothing but a package with a STEAL ME SIGN ON THEM.

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by: Truk This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 3 08:22:01 2019

We sell industrial parts the shipping supplies that come with our anchor store subscription are not very useful as they are substandard materials compared to what we already use the rating on the boxes does not compare to the rating on the boxes we purchase locally the boxes ebay supplies are not as heavy as the rating stamped on them

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by: wellspring This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 3 08:27:53 2019

If only the free shipping supplies were “true to size.” The ebay poly mailers dimensions are “short” when compared to other brands, making them useless for some items I sell. Size matters and as usual, ebay doesn’t measure up.
I’d wish they were “blank” without the ebay advertising so I could use them for other venues. I really prefer plain boxes and packages rather than advertising to porch thieves, “Look at me, I’m over here, pick me...”

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by: HappyOne This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 3 10:36:46 2019

When I had an Ebay store each quarter after getting an order of most sizes available I purchased the 6x4x4 size. I bought these instead of letting my coupon expire unused. This size was/is perfect for many of my 1st Class Mail sales. Unfortunately my Ebay sales did not warrant paying for store. My stockpile of 6x4x4 has dwindle; used with tape over Ebay log for Etsy sales. Currently Ebay’s coupon seller offers 25 of these at $17.74 with free shipping; Staples offer same size (maybe a bit better quality) 25 for $11.79 free store pickup or free home delivery with minimum total purchase $49.99. But NO Ebay’s now Black logo.

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by: Mamak This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 3 10:56:04 2019

I'll take free stuff anytime anyday and if I don't need it I'll sell it.  Problem is these are not free, they are overpriced and are just part of  the package we pay more and more for every month.  I do like the product.  I use my coupon and always end up paying a few bucks more  because if you don't use the full 50.00 credit all at once it is gone. So depending on what I get it costs me 10-15 4 times a year and that is much less tan going out and buying them.  I would never buy from them otherwise because all of the products are way overpriced and could be purchased minus the eBay logo for much less. I did message them about a larger padded mailer for shipping shoes and they responded within minutes to let me know they would look into it for me.  If you want other sizes or assortments write them a message and perhaps they will respond to customer demands.    

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by: JohnGermaine This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 3 11:11:28 2019

Always remember that they can take away anything they want at any time. Their prime motivation is making money for the stockholders and the CEO bonus.

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by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 3 11:34:52 2019

Used to be ok since it covered nice bundles but now with having yo pay them extra i dont do it. I dont give ebay money unless im forced to

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by: kilogirl78 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 3 15:06:33 2019

I figured they "gave us the coupons" so we wouldn't complain about the huge increase in stores and they would erode the value of it in the upcoming years.  I'm curious who actually owns Bascom and which executive's wife's brother he is.  

March 2017: 50 x 12" x 6" x 6" boxes = $25.68
July 2019  :  50 x 12" x 6" x 6" boxes = $29.78

13% increase which probably is partly caused by the increased shipping costs and the increased tariffs from China.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Lightning

Wed Jul 3 15:29:41 2019

First of all, the coupon/voucher is not a PERK.  It is a refund of our OWN MONEY, and not even in real money.  You have to spend it in the ''Company Store''.

Here's what happened.  Amazon started sending stuff in marked boxes, and eBay thought they should, too.  But they have no stuff of their own to ship, and how would they fund it?  EBay realized the people who actually do the shipping (the work) are the store owners.  Knowing sellers would not buy eBay branded supplies on their own, they concocted this evil, devious plan to MAKE us buy them.  They raised the Store Subscriptions by 50% (50%!!!), and then ''gave'' us SOME of that back to use for branded shipping supplies.  Overpriced branded shipping supplies.  How generous.

Why overpriced?  Because we are paying for the branding, which ALWAYS costs more than just plain unmarked tape, boxes, etc.  We are paying for EBAY'S branding, not our own.  They should be paying US for marketing THEIR company.  

As an example of overpricing, I can get very good quality packing tape for under a dollar per roll.  That's a FULL roll of 110 yds., not the short roll of eBay non-sticking crappy tape at 75 yards.  I get 43 inches of tape for one penny.  With eBay tape, it is 21 inches for the same penny (if you buy 36 rolls, otherwise more!).  Half the tape, and it's poor quality on top of that.  

And it's like that with envelopes, boxes, you name it.  Everything is inflated, and not just due to the branding.  They can charge whatever they want.  What are you going to do about it??  With the massive quantities that are coming from Bascom, they should be the CHEAPEST on the net.  They have many thousands of captive customers, a monopoly of sorts, and STILL other companies beat the pants off them without that advantage.  It all comes right out of your pocket, Mr. or Mrs. eBay Store Owner.

I use the coupon/voucher and buy tape or envelopes, and SELL them for close to what the coupon value is.  Then I take SOME of that money, about half, and buy my cheaper generic supplies.  Then I put the other half in my pocket.  I'm making the best of a terrible situation, a situation that eBay forced on me.  And you.

And Bascom has been charging sales tax across the board.  There is no tax in my state (yet), but Bascom charged me the past 2 quarters.  Where does that money go??  And as pointed out by someone else in an earlier post, you can't use your voucher to pay the tax amount.  Didn't use the entire voucher at one time?  Too bad, that's gone.  It's a ripoff from every direction possible.

As far as inflation, 200 Airjacket envelopes 9x13'' on 10/11/16 =$63.10
Today it's $71.60, which is a 13.47% increase over just under 3 years.  I'm shocked it's that low.  Oh, don't forget the tax now, too.

So when someone says ''I really like the FREE COUPON PERK I get with my store subscription.'', I just shake my head.  Another clueless victim.

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