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Fri July 25 2014 06:46:07

Will You Offer Free Shipping on eBay after August 20th?

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
We are quickly approaching the August 20th deadline for the new order defects to come in place (on eBay).  

There has been a lot of talk everywhere on the site in a lot of different spots, but I for one would like to see one spot like replying to this letter where everyone can say what they are going to do after Aug 20th and how this will change their listing and business philosophy.  

For example, are you still going to feature free shipping if, as I understood it, we are no longer being tracked on that?  

I'm confused, scared and a lil nervous on what to expect.  But, don't worry, the eBay Fall seller updates are soon coming!
Just_AC

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Readers Comments

Will You Offer Free Shipping on eBay after August   Will You Offer Free Shipping on eBay after August

by: a_c_green This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 28 10:47:08 2014

My auctions are generally for small items of no more than 1-2 pounds in shipping weight (i.e. as packed). I offer Free Shipping on any item that will ship for 13.0 ounces or less, the limit for domestic First Class Parcel. Any items above that go as Priority, and buyer pays actual cost.

For International, I generally go with First Class International, buyer pays.

I don't plan to make any changes. My feeling about Free Shipping on small, lightweight items is that the buyer assumes you're shipping it for chump change anyway, so trying to hang another $5-$6 on as a Shipping charge makes you look slightly money-grubbing even when you're not. My opening price accounts for the Free Shipping label on those items, and if it gets bid higher than that, so much the better.

(From a buyer's perspective, I know I feel a little more free to bid higher on Free Shipping items, since I don't have that mental asterisk to account for, where I want to bid $X on something, but have to keep in mind that my payment will be worse than that because my final expense is actually going to be $X+Shipping. It's even more discouraging when I'm bidding on some flyweight piece, but the seller is still going to ding me a Shipping price that's more suited to mailing a brick.)

Will You Offer Free Shipping on eBay after August   Will You Offer Free Shipping on eBay after August

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Mon Jul 28 12:41:02 2014

I consider my shipping costs very reasonable, with a portion of actual ship cost often subsidized by my business.

About 1-1/2 years ago, approx. 50% of sellers in my category sample group I watch were offering Free Ship.  A current look at this  group in the same category I sell: 10 offer ''free'', 24 separate shipping, and 3 offer a mix of both. (two from the group have apparently disappeared from eBay).

I notice the same results in my buying activity -I find most of my purchases in my  particular category have separate shipping costs these days.  So it may well be a result of shipping cost increases, a category thing,  or depend on the number of other sellers (competitors) in that particular category offering it.

Will You Offer Free Shipping on eBay after August   Will You Offer Free Shipping on eBay after August

by: Linda This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 29 14:04:42 2014

@OP, you asked:
''but I for one would like to see one spot like replying to this letter where everyone can say what they are going to do after Aug 20th and how this will change their listing and business philosophy''

Well, over the last 2 months, 3 other sellers and I finally got fed up and decided to join forces and create our own ecommerce store. After looking at the financials and what was being spent in eBay fees, store fees, PayPal fees etc, there was more than enough money to start a website. At least then, with the monies saved in fees, we will be able to throw money at Google ad words and know we will be found 24/7 and not buried because of cASSINI or at the whim of playing hide and go seek with our items being visible. With the combined funding, the website will be launched in a couple days but already we are seeing some movement within just organic searches (and we haven't even started the ad words program yet!). With the combined inventory we will have a very well rounded selection of products.
The 4 of us are in survival mode as we all depended on ebay sales as part of our income. Since 2012 and cASSINI, all of our collective sales have tanked.

None of us are quite ready to give up ebay all together.  We will continue to sell on as more casual sellers rather than a professional business. After all that is how we all started out.

Time & Stress Management: Because most of us did auctions, we found ourselves working overtime to keep up every 7 days, rotating items, selling on multiple venues and literally burning out, just trying to keep sales up.

Its a sad situation when you get a sale and are afraid to complete it due to the bad buyer cult that eBay has encouraged. Or you hold your breath waiting for negative feedback, see nice feedback and then see your stars got slammed at the same time!

Top this off with the new Defect System and 2014 Spring Seller Update & 90 day holiday returns, it is just not worth the stress that each & every SMALL seller will have coming into the holiday season.

So by helping each other, we four sellers, with a combined experience of over 27 years, should be OK. We all used to be very proud to say we were eBay Powersellers, but now we will be proud to say we own our own ecommerce site.

So that is our strategy and we are so optimistic and excited, none of us have felt this way for at least 2 years. Success, we hope so...Peace of mind? Absolutely! Stress? Always when you run your own business, but at least its our stress.

Will You Offer Free Shipping on eBay after August   Will You Offer Free Shipping on eBay after August

by: Toledo Maude This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 30 10:45:15 2014

Over the years, I have gone back and forth on shipping charges.  Is it better to offer low or free shipping and suck up the shipping costs?   Or as a very successful businessman told me, the shipping department is a profit center and has to pay it’s way.  He is now retired living in luxury in Europe for most of the year.

I like most buyers on the Internet look at the grand total of an item when deciding to make a purchase.  Looking at a “free shipping” item verses the same item with shipping charges, I go for whoever has the better deal.

Up until January of 2013, I decided which marketing approach is better.  But in January, 2013, when the Post Office raised domestic and international rates, my domestic and worldwide clientele shrank.

No longer will international buyers pay $30 for a collectable item and pay $30 in shipping.  Goodbye international business.  Halfway through the year and my once robust international business is down to zero.

Now my West Coast business is imperiled.  Shipping a 2 to 4 pound package to the West Coast by FedEx (the cheapest way to go) is $13 or more (Priority Mail is $25 to $35).  A 1.1 to two pound package sent via Priority Mail is easily $10.  

Last week, I finally sold a collectable item stuck in inventory since 2009.  “Pleased as punch” to get something for it.  My joy faded when the Post Office charged $12.50 for the 2 pound 4 ounce package to ship to the West Coast.  The beginning of the end...

At least on eBay, a seller has the option to list the actual shipping weight and charges.  Buyers who live close will pay less and more likely buy.  Buyers on the West Coast will assume that I am taking advantage of them and not buy.  

Or I can keep shipping charges low by adding partial shipping costs into the prices of each item.  Of course one has to add 10% extra to cover eBay’s share of the shipping charges.   In the end, this leaves me less competitive with other sellers.

Is the end of selling one pound or more items under $50 on the Internet in sight?  Sure sounds like it.

Will You Offer Free Shipping on eBay after August   Will You Offer Free Shipping on eBay after August

by: Justathought This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 30 12:36:50 2014

If you do any kind of completed search
you will find that MANY items are sold without free shipping. That in itself speaks volumes to me.

Will You Offer Free Shipping on eBay after August   Will You Offer Free Shipping on eBay after August

by: Justathought This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 30 12:40:07 2014

I have offered free shipping in the past (last year or so) & still couldn't find my item in a Cassini Search. I play by all their rules, But if the Good Lord didn't have my Back I wouldn't be able to pay my Bills, because Ebay is gonna do what Ebay wants to do.

Will You Offer Free Shipping on eBay after August   Will You Offer Free Shipping on eBay after August

by: Justathought This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 30 12:42:55 2014

Lately I prefer to use the ebay fee calculator to set all prices, including best offer prices, plus I add shipping charges so that I can determine the profit from each item easier & manage My business better.

Will You Offer Free Shipping on eBay after August   Will You Offer Free Shipping on eBay after August

by: JeepGirl This user has validated their user name.

Sat Aug 2 09:00:36 2014

Regarding the free shipping, is it correct that in many cases, someone making a USPS postal claim on an insured item damaged in transit would only be reimbursed for the purchase price of the item that was damaged, and not be refunded the shipping cost? But that same item sent free shipping the insurance claim would cover the entire transaction, since technically, the total purchase price represents the damaged item only? Example- I send a $10 item with $5 shipping, the item arrives damaged, I make a claim and get refunded just $10. But if that same item sent for $15 w/ free shipping arrives damaged wouldn't the reimbursement be $15? Is this logic true?  That seems like reason to offer free shipping, maybe not on little $2 or $3 items, but at least on breakables or large packages that are expensive to ship

Will You Offer Free Shipping on eBay after August   Will You Offer Free Shipping on eBay after August

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Sat Aug 2 10:32:19 2014

Jeepgirl - last time I made a claim USPS insurance reimbursed the actual shipping also.  If a seller charges more than actual shipping, that amount would not be reimbursed.

It has been awhile so this may have changed.


I do not use Shipcover insurance, but my understanding is that they do NOT reimburse shipping cost.

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