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Thu Mar 27 2014 15:32:41

eBay Buyer Requests Combined Shipping: What Would You Do?

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I would love to hear how your readers would respond to a question I got from a potential bidder.

I will say for the record, that when someone e-mails me and "asks" if I can combine items or if I can use a flat rate box because they plan to buy a quantity of items, I always answer Yes. I tell them to just let me know when they are done shopping. What I can not tolerate is the arrogance of some buyers...and almost always they are sellers.

It's not the request to combine that has me p****d off, it's the attitude. I blocked her - but as she says in the e-mail, she has multiple ID's.

"Have to ask. Ebay shipping policy is clear on combined shipping but sometimes you get people that think they can add time, gas, or whatever to shipping costs and call it 'reasonable'

Do you follow ebay policy on shipping costs? Meaning only actual shipping costs paid can be charged to the customer and only actual handling costs...that is actual paid costs for packing materials can be charged to the customer.

I would like to bid on several items but I need to make sure first. If so, could you start flat rate medium box for me and holler 'full' when it's done.

You probably know this but paypal and ebay have cheaper flat rates then going into the p.o. or even usps.com. I have several accounts where I sell vintage toys, shoes and childrens clothes. I put in combined shipping "I follow ebay policy on all shipping and handling costs".  Never had a question yet. It's what ebay recommends to do; don't know why more folks don't.

Anyway hope you get this before the auctions closes."


Signed,
Denise




Comments (31) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Buyer Requests Combined Shipping: What Would   eBay Buyer Requests Combined Shipping: What Would

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Thu Mar 27 15:42:54 2014

That was more of a ''demand'' than a polite ''request''.

The tone wasn't very friendly, and it sounded as if it was a lecture from a know-it-all who was trying to school you in the ''proper'' way to do things.

Blocking that buyer was a smart move.

eBay Buyer Requests Combined Shipping: What Would   eBay Buyer Requests Combined Shipping: What Would

by: SparklyEyes7 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 27 19:26:53 2014

Actually, this "buyer" is wrong in her initial assertion.  Sellers can charge a reasonable handling charge.  Reasonable is in the eye of the beholder.

I charge for postage, price of box, packing material (peanuts or bubble wrap), label, tape, and eBay and PayPal fees on the shipping charge.

I sell breakable items and I want them to get there in one piece.

P.S.  You were smart to block that buyer.  

eBay Buyer Requests Combined Shipping: What Would   eBay Buyer Requests Combined Shipping: What Would

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

Fri Mar 28 00:23:47 2014

I love buyers who ask me to combine- glad to do it BUT...

It depends on how it is asked, for this buyer I would BLOCK in 1 microsecond.

All we have is the SENSE we get from buyers with these questions- They are doing us a FAVOR when they try to school us. We will lose sales but we WILL protect ourselves.

Sellers are independent and when BUYERS give us an easy Heads-Up like this, we use what they give us and we make a quick, and often wise, decision.

These buyers who are showing us "what they know" by schooling us are doing us a HUGE favor-LOL!

A FAVOR- add them to your BBL.

Thank you for your business, tee-hee-hee.

MH
PS: It is the ones who do NOT email us and "school" us that scare the hell out of me.

eBay Buyer Requests Combined Shipping: What Would   eBay Buyer Requests Combined Shipping: What Would

by: unknown This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 28 07:34:27 2014

I guess I'm the 'odd man out' cause I don't wait to be asked about combining shipping. I just do it cause that's what I would want done for my own orders. If someone is buying over a several day period, then I'd appreciate knowing so I can hold off shipping but - otherwise - nope, just automatic to combine and refund excess shipping.

You have me really curious as to the wording in your listing or your shipping cost or handling charge - something. That email sounds like a reaction to something - and that's what we're missing here.  

eBay Buyer Requests Combined Shipping: What Would   eBay Buyer Requests Combined Shipping: What Would

by: Donkey This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 28 08:56:36 2014

YOU HAVE A BUYER??!!!
Make the sale.  
Mine want reduced shipping and reduced price of the items when buying multiple items.

eBay Buyer Requests Combined Shipping: What Would   eBay Buyer Requests Combined Shipping: What Would

by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 28 12:03:38 2014

Really. Who the heck can afford to block every potential buyer with a question?

eBay Buyer Requests Combined Shipping: What Would   eBay Buyer Requests Combined Shipping: What Would

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Fri Mar 28 12:17:29 2014

----- ''Who the heck can afford to block every potential buyer with a question?''

Great question, RCL! It certainly seems illogical to do so.

Those who do block those buyers are probably doing so based on previous experiences with similar buyers. (''Burn me once, shame on you... burn me twice, shame on me.)

Or, the seller blocks the buyer because she has a low tolerance for risk and an even lower tolerance for the consequences if things go wrong. (Paranoid? Or instinctively protective and smart?)

I see how this type of response could hurt a seller's bottom line, it's almost counter-intuitive. But at the same time, it's worth remembering that eBay has created such a HOSTILE environment, that many sellers don't want to deal with it.

Or they figure that ONE lost sale is better than DOZENS or HUNDREDS of unrealized sales because of lower placement in eBay's search results.

It's a shame that so many eBay sellers feel that they have no choice OTHER than to take these types of steps to protect their own interests.

eBay Buyer Requests Combined Shipping: What Would   eBay Buyer Requests Combined Shipping: What Would

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri Mar 28 12:37:12 2014

RCL says: "Really. Who the heck can afford to block every potential buyer with a question?"

I can.  But RCL, no one said that they are blocking every buyer who has a question.  They are simply blocking buyers who ask questions with a ton of attitude and condescension.

eBay Buyer Requests Combined Shipping: What Would   eBay Buyer Requests Combined Shipping: What Would

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Fri Mar 28 17:31:49 2014

What would I do?

Run. Screaming.


When I first heard of the ''Ban Bossy'' campaign, I thought it had something to do with PETA and cows.

With this type of email ''Ban Bossy'' can equate to ''Blocked Bidder''.

eBay Buyer Requests Combined Shipping: What Would   eBay Buyer Requests Combined Shipping: What Would

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

Fri Mar 28 19:00:18 2014

(Can't just give discounts here in the US to internationals because if it exceeds 4 lbs- gotta go priority- the cost more than TRIPLES).
MH

eBay Buyer Requests Combined Shipping: What Would   eBay Buyer Requests Combined Shipping: What Would

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

Fri Mar 28 19:39:30 2014

I love love LOVE buyers that give me tips on how to ship what boxes to use, or how to wrap things.  My favorite is the 'why don't you use a flat rate box' suggestion for an item that is twice the size of said flat rate box.  I do combine but as soon a buyer seems to demand ANYTHING, I tell them to move along.

eBay Buyer Requests Combined Shipping: What Would   eBay Buyer Requests Combined Shipping: What Would

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

Fri Mar 28 21:10:32 2014

These same PITAs wouldn't think of sending such an email or set of instructions anywhere but on ebay.

That's because ebay's bad business decisions and rotting business model now targets and caters to the lowest common denominator subset of buyers in the internet.

These buyers reflect the same set of values that ebay embraces -- lying, cheating, and stealing.

In some cases, it may even be necessary to end listings and hold them for a few weeks to avoid a multiple ID troublemaker from putting us out of business.

In many cases, I think experienced sellers can often smell problematic buyers before a possible sale and 'divert' them one way or another.

eBay Buyer Requests Combined Shipping: What Would   eBay Buyer Requests Combined Shipping: What Would

by: Denise This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 28 23:43:24 2014

@unknown...You aren't missing anything here. I will always combine. I did set up shipping "rules" with the cost per additional item  for any flat-rate items. For whatever reason ebay is not allowing automatic combining on a lot of listings. I went in to turbo-lister and even looked..the boxes are checked.

That wasn't her issue- she was interested in items that had weight based shipping- I enter the weight-ebay calculates the shipping. Before you even bother asking- I don't have a handling fee, I do not add ebays fees on. It has gotten extremely expensive to ship heavy items, that is why she wanted a flat rate box, she didn't just want combined- she lectured on what "actual" costs were, she told me it was cheaper to print the label on ebay- and said I was only allowed to charge what I actually pay for the label. She wanted to bid and I was now responsible for letting her know when she filled a medium flat rate box? I am not sitting at the computer 24/7,  so by the time I could "holler" she would have over bought and I would have to put it in to a Large box and absorb the cost because she specified Medium. My DSR's are just fine , above standard- not Top Rated because not all of my items are eligible for tracking.

Reading what you said in your post- you combine after the purchase by sending a refund, so the wording in your listings doesn't indicate to buyers how much shipping will be  and you don't "automatically" combine, you are sending refunds.

@RCL- I don't block all potential buyers that "ask" a question. I actually don't get that many questions, listings are pretty straight forward.

@Annie- Not paranoid, I was burned by a competitor a while back, this e-mail had the scent of sulfur!  





eBay Buyer Requests Combined Shipping: What Would   eBay Buyer Requests Combined Shipping: What Would

by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.

Sat Mar 29 00:57:40 2014

I have a hair trigger, anyone who seems like trouble will get blocked immediately. I just don't need that business, or that trouble.

eBay Buyer Requests Combined Shipping: What Would   eBay Buyer Requests Combined Shipping: What Would

by: Gina This user has validated their user name.

Sun Mar 30 23:01:40 2014

Why block this ''buyer''?
Do you want to welcome more of her whiny-assed, idiotic, preaching emails?  
I tend to get windy when sending emailed questions to sellers...and invariably they don't take it well, they take it as a sign of aggression.  STICK TO THE FACTS, all will be well!

eBay Buyer Requests Combined Shipping: What Would   eBay Buyer Requests Combined Shipping: What Would

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Sun Mar 30 23:55:38 2014

Um yeah---block at once!

It has nothing to do with the general run of buyers asking a questions;  it has to do with screaming alarms going off in your head when you read something like this!  

Run!!!!!!!

eBay Buyer Requests Combined Shipping: What Would   eBay Buyer Requests Combined Shipping: What Would

by: DonC This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Mar 31 01:24:33 2014

This is an Ebay policy I have never heard of. As far as I know you can charge about anything you want for shipping.  

If I can save a customer a few bucks by combining I do it without being asked.

I had a similar potential buyer as you described. He had apparently seen one of the "If it fits it ships" USPS flat rate commercials. He insisted that I use flat rate to ship a pair of motorcycle saddlebags which  required an 6 cubic foot box. Happily he just went away and I didn't hear from him again.    

eBay Buyer Requests Combined Shipping: What Would   eBay Buyer Requests Combined Shipping: What Would

by: bb6 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 31 01:49:36 2014

I already have my combined shipping rates set up so they automatically get combined shipping. I also state the combined discounts in the listings so I don't have to answer so many one off questions. This person sounds like a pain in the @ss, but the professional thing to do is to send them a response with how you ship or how you combine. Say something like the shipping price really depends on how many items you purchase. x amount of items is y shipping price, etc etc. If they don't like it then say I'm sorry I won't be able to offer shipping at that price. No need to be mean to the buyer even if they are a pain in the @ss. If they drag it on to several messages lecturing you, then I would block them. You can always ignore their messages too. Chances are they are not going to use another screen name to buy from you unless you p!ss them off. The buyer is just trying to get the best price possible.

@WOODJUNGLE! ON EBAY
I had some bobbleheads for sale awhile back. I had a guy message me saying he has been collecting bobbleheads for so many years and my shipping was high. Wanted to know why I couldn't ship them in a small flat rate box for $5. He has had many shipped to him that way.  My thoughts were Oh Really! -_-
Do you want it in 1000 pieces? I can ship it that way if you want me too. Let me grab my hammer. Haha Unreal.

eBay Buyer Requests Combined Shipping: What Would   eBay Buyer Requests Combined Shipping: What Would

by: Ebay's Slow Death This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 31 02:25:45 2014

I have wondered lately why Buyers don't realize that Sellers (with lots of feedback) honestly, really do know their business, postage rates, and how to pack items well.

In fact, I'm always joking to my husband that I know more about postage and shipping than the staff at our local Post Office.  

eBay Buyer Requests Combined Shipping: What Would   eBay Buyer Requests Combined Shipping: What Would

by: feline This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 31 02:33:39 2014

Users with multiple ids can be reported as malicious bidders if they bid again on your items after you have blocked them

In one of the pages of blurb refering to shipping its suggests that exact postage is charged but far as I know there is no actual rule stating that exact costs must be charges

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