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Mon Sept 15 2014 08:18:25

How eBay Sellers May Be Overcharged for Fedex Packages

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I have found a problem with the shipping cost calculator for sellers printing Fedex labels on eBay. In many cases, the shipping cost estimator shows the buyer's address is a business address, but the seller later gets charged the higher residential delivery rate.

When printing Fedex shipping labels through eBay, the box showing whether the buyer's address is residential is sometimes checked, but often it is not. An eBay CSR told me the buyer specifies whether their delivery address is business or residential. Fedex charges about $3.25 more per package if the delivery is residential.

Often, the buyer chooses the cheapest shipping method, which is often Parcel Post or Parcel Select. When printing a shipping label, though, eBay sometimes shows Fedex shipping as cheaper than Parcel Post, so I may choose that to save a buck or two and so the buyer gets their package sooner.

If the eBay screen shows the delivery address is a business address, but it is actually a residential address, Fedex charges the residential delivery surcharge. Since I don't find out the actual Fedex shipping cost until I get my eBay seller invoice up to a month later, I don't know what the actual charge is until after the package has been delivered. I thought I was saving a little on shipping based on the eBay estimated Fedex shipping cost, but I end up paying more because it was a residential delivery address, though eBay showed it as a business address. This is misleading to the seller.

While $3.25 or so doesn't seem like a lot, it certainly eats into the already-thin profit margins on eBay sales. I'm not disputing the $3.25 additional charge for residential delivery, just the lack of transparency in displaying the actual shipping cost on the eBay shipping screen.

I might ship 40 to 50 packages a month that get this extra charge, so it can end up costing me an extra $150 or more per month in unexpected fees. Additionally, eBay may get a kickback from Fedex for the amount of shipping purchased through eBay, so that would provide further profit for eBay because of this misleading information.

Though eBay customer service claims it is the buyer that checks whether their delivery address is business or residential, as a buyer, I have never seen that option listed when I have purchased items on eBay.

I don't know if this is a simple oversight (or a "glitch"), or if eBay is intentionally misleading sellers into thinking the shipping cost is lower than it really is, and not showing the actual shipping cost to the seller for up to a month when the seller gets their next eBay seller invoice. This might be a buyer scam, too.

If the buyer actually does specify whether their shipping address is business or residential, some buyers may say it is a business address so they can get lower shipping costs on their purchases, then the seller gets billed the higher residential delivery cost after the item has been delivered.

EBay must already link to the Fedex web site to get the shipping cost based on the ship from and ship to addresses, along with the package size and weight. Also, from my experience printing Fedex shipping labels from their web site, Fedex knows if the address is a business or residential address. Why doesn't eBay get that bit of information from Fedex to display a more accurate shipping cost estimate to sellers when printing the shipping labels?

For the time being, I Google the address. The first few Google search results usually indicate if it is a business or residence. If not, Google Maps usually shows the building, and I can usually tell by the aerial or street view photo if it is a residence or business. I shouldn't have to go through that hassle, though, when Fedex already knows if an address is business or residential, but eBay doesn't pass that information along to the seller to give a more accurate shipping estimate.
Signed,
Anonymous




Comments (16) | Permalink

Readers Comments

How eBay Sellers May Be Overcharged for Fedex Pack   How eBay Sellers May Be Overcharged for Fedex Pack

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

Mon Sep 15 10:22:57 2014

I've been using Fedex for years with Ebay.  I would recommend getting an account WITH Fedex and using their website.  It's very easy.  The only drawback is that you have to enter the address and shipping info.  It's either do that or trust Ebay.  If you ship volume, you will get better pricing than Ebay gives you as well.

How eBay Sellers May Be Overcharged for Fedex Pack   How eBay Sellers May Be Overcharged for Fedex Pack

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

Mon Sep 15 15:15:13 2014

Ebay overcharging a seller?

Surely you jest!

Just the most recently reported ebay scam they call a "glitch" that generates stolen revenue for ebay.

The only question remaining is whether ebay is a larger criminal enterprise than the American, Sicilian, and Russian mafias combined.

How eBay Sellers May Be Overcharged for Fedex Pack   How eBay Sellers May Be Overcharged for Fedex Pack

by: AgendaSwallowsAll This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 15 21:29:49 2014

Essentially a repeat of an August 26th Letters to the Editor post unless I've missed something.

How eBay Sellers May Be Overcharged for Fedex Pack   How eBay Sellers May Be Overcharged for Fedex Pack

by: Cleverusername This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 15 22:25:46 2014

I discovered this several months ago, its totally deceptive.

How eBay Sellers May Be Overcharged for Fedex Pack   How eBay Sellers May Be Overcharged for Fedex Pack

by: ladyincleveland This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 15 22:57:02 2014

Best of my knowledge there is always an added charge from FedEx after the parcel is delivered...on my invoice. They have also changed to dimensional shipping so beware large packages are far more costly to ship than they were 6 months ago.

How eBay Sellers May Be Overcharged for Fedex Pack   How eBay Sellers May Be Overcharged for Fedex Pack

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

Mon Sep 15 23:06:12 2014

What actually surprises me is why anyone would use ebay for postage. Everyone, including their sellers seem to hate them so why give them more business. If I was shipping via Fedex I would do it directly through Fedex and the same with UPS. However, I only ship through USPS and I have endicia handle that for me. In about 10 years of using them, I have had to contend with ONE glitch and they fixed it ASAP, AND apologized and made it right. when was the last time ebay postage did that? Endicia doesn't cost much, certainly nowhere near $150 a month!

How eBay Sellers May Be Overcharged for Fedex Pack   How eBay Sellers May Be Overcharged for Fedex Pack

by: donald This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 16 00:05:03 2014

They clobber me big time last xams to the point that I promise myself to never use again. They got me for address correction, weight difference, size difference, fuel this fuel that. I mean my bott still hurts  

How eBay Sellers May Be Overcharged for Fedex Pack   How eBay Sellers May Be Overcharged for Fedex Pack

This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Tue Sep 16 00:36:57 2014

I rarely use FedEx for this reason. Same thing happened to me: overcharges, delayed billing reconciliation, and time wasted calling both eBay and FedEx Revenue Dept. Not only that, but FedEx charges to pick up as well (even though I live in a high-rise and they are here everyday). If I do decide to use FedEx, I write down the weight, dimensions and charge, and then reconcile it after they have billed my account. Royal pain in the ass.  

How eBay Sellers May Be Overcharged for Fedex Pack   How eBay Sellers May Be Overcharged for Fedex Pack

This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Tue Sep 16 00:38:42 2014

P.S. Is eBay down AGAIN? I can log into all web sites except eBay.

How eBay Sellers May Be Overcharged for Fedex Pack   How eBay Sellers May Be Overcharged for Fedex Pack

by: FormerEbayer This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 16 02:18:42 2014

Fedex also charges a residential fee even if it is a business address if they deem it to be a residential area.  Before shipping you can google the address and see if it is a residential.

Any info provided by Ebay should be just a guide.  You can get a free program Shiprush that is a tad more accurate.  Also, if you prompt a delivery as a Home Delivery as opposed to ground the package is only delivered T-sat and Fedex ground delivers M-F.  Thus you may end up losing one business day and the item is perceived as arriving later.

USPS parcel post or whatever they are calling seems to have increased its speed.

How eBay Sellers May Be Overcharged for Fedex Pack   How eBay Sellers May Be Overcharged for Fedex Pack

by: Maureen This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 16 06:21:25 2014

Residential/Commecial box is not the only money maker.  It's not very often but sometimes there are RURAL charges added to a Fed Ex charge also. It's best to get your own Fed Ex account and check the rates prior to the shipping label purchase.
I have found that if you are Listing Free Shipping for an over sized box, weigh the item, measure, and place the furthest zip code into Fed Ex rates check first so that you are covered. It's extremely helpful. Googling the address for residential is the first step. I agree.  

How eBay Sellers May Be Overcharged for Fedex Pack   How eBay Sellers May Be Overcharged for Fedex Pack

by: salesrep1 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 16 06:39:55 2014

U know on this one Ebay is not to blame there are other creatives . These were charges I fought with UPS and FedX for years about . They crush a box and the size now becomes over the 84 so its oversized so as of Jan dimensional takes place . For now the simplest way to ship on Ebay is through the USPS. They will continue to take buis away from FedX and UPS because of this.  

How eBay Sellers May Be Overcharged for Fedex Pack   How eBay Sellers May Be Overcharged for Fedex Pack

by: HardWorkingSeller This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 16 09:00:39 2014

As mentioned above the solution is to use the free ShipRush for FedEx application to print your labels.  You just hit F8 to verify the address (which is automatically populated from eBay) and the FedEx API will tell you if they regard the address as business ore residential.

It also prints on 4x6 thermal labels which is a massive timesaver.

I would still recommend checking your FedEx bill just to make sure that the quoted rate is what they actually bill you for as variations can arise.

ShipRush will help you get a discount from FedEx with no volume commitment.  I find that their discounts are a tad better at the low end of the weight scale and eBay's better at the heavy end, but YMMV.

I also recommend ShipRush for USPS because of their support of thermal label printers, but you may need to pay for a stamps.com account and you may not get the commercial plus rates that eBay gets (just the regular commercial rates), so you would need to decide if the workflow gains outweigh the costs when it comes to USPS shipments.

How eBay Sellers May Be Overcharged for Fedex Pack   How eBay Sellers May Be Overcharged for Fedex Pack

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

Tue Sep 16 09:37:37 2014

Only recently, have I used eBay to process an order to use FedEx as a carrier.  But I have learned when I see low rates to the West Coast, I look at the box under the buyer’s name and address for “residential address”.  

If unsure business or residential, I go to Google and search on the buyer’s address, and then look at the street photos.  House or commercial building?  Mostly, it is a house with a surcharge.

Which brings to mind another eBay DEFECT.  How eBay charges my account for the FedEx deliveries.

Daily (I mean 7 days a week), I reconcile my daily eBay charges to eBay’s total.

For months, I would see my balance jump up 12 to 14 bucks a day with no corresponding charge in my eBay account.  With but one or two FedEx deliveries a month, I could “plug” in the FedEx charge to come within a few cents of what eBay was showing.  

Not showing the FedEx detail charges in my daily charges, is at best poor accounting on eBay’s part.  Or the sobs are trying to suck up more of my money.  

In August, I found out what was “at worst”.  With 4 or 5 FedEx deliveries and charges for the month, I could no longer reconcile the daily charges to eBay’s total.

The month ended with 20% of my eBay was unaccounted for.  And, And, And, no one in eBay America to explain the difference.  

I will no longer use eBay to ship via FedEx.  I have a FedEx account which does not give me as high a discount as eBay, but I will not stand for eBay’s shoddy bookkeeping.  Or give eBay an opportunity to squeeze more money out of me with their shoddy bookkeeping.  

How eBay Sellers May Be Overcharged for Fedex Pack   How eBay Sellers May Be Overcharged for Fedex Pack

by: Tornad0sRul This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 16 09:56:48 2014

Lately I have noticed that EBay's shipping rates for Fed Ex are cheaper than Fed Ex's website.  I have been going back and forth between EBay and the Fed Ex website checking the rates and this has been fairly consistent.

Also, when you print the label on the actual Fed Ex website, there is an option right below the address field where you must select "perform detailed address check" and once you click on that you will see whether or not it is a residential or business, and Fed Ex automatically check the appropriate box below indicating that it is a "residential" or "business" delivery.

The biggest problem that I noticed with EBay's Fed Ex and Fed Ex's actual website is that when using EBay to print a Fed Ex shipping label you cannot select for it to be picked up by Fed Ex. Sometimes when the box is very large I will pay the extra couple of bucks to have a Fed Ex truck come and pick up the package.  That is not an option when you print the label on EBay but it is an option when you print the label on the Fed Ex website.

Otherwise, overall Fed Ex is always cheaper to ship large packages than Parcel Select or even UPS.

How eBay Sellers May Be Overcharged for Fedex Pack   How eBay Sellers May Be Overcharged for Fedex Pack

by: Tornad0sRul This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 16 10:03:10 2014

Just to clarify, I do have my business account linked to the Fed Ex website so I do get the business discount from Fed Ex on their actual website.  Even so, the Fed Ex rates listed on EBay are often cheaper for some reason.

I now use the Fed Ex website ONLY when I want the package picked up by Fed Ex, simply because that isn't an option on EBay.



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