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Sat Sept 26 2015 23:41:38

Amazon Treats Sellers Unfairly over Shipping Costs

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I am writing to express my business's feelings about how Amazon has not updated the standard shipping amounts for basic sellers.

As a basic seller I cannot determine the shipping costs this is determined by Amazon but has not been updated to reflect the increased costs that UPS and FedEx charge both due to weight and shipping dimensions. Both companies went to DIM pricing in the 9 months and has caused a greater spread between what we are reimbursed and what it costs us to ship. For medium to large item the amount shown in shipping is maybe 60% of our actual cost
 
Also, Amazon does not take into account shipping what the common carriers consider to be a hazardous product such as batteries and CO2 tanks. These items also require a physical signature which costs more.
 
Finally, Amazon takes a portion of what a buyer pays us to ship the item so even if the shipping amount shown to the buyer, is our actual cost, we still lose.
 
I would like to see Amazon update how much the default shipping amount to better reflect the current conditions both by package weight and the size of the package as well as any "hazardous" cargo being shipped. 
 
Also, Amazon gives buyers two speeds of service to pick with regards to the package delivery. I would like the option to remove the slower speed setting for some items. Many buyers become annoyed when they pick the slower term setting and ask why it is not there in 3 days.
 
Recently I shipped an item where the buyer paid 4.49 for shipping and it cost me 28.30. 
 
Thanks,
Happy Poor Shipper

Note from the Editor: We recently asked readers to weigh in on the issue of how Amazon (and eBay) deal with shipping, take a look in "Should eBay and Amazon Take a Piece of Sellers' Shipping Costs?" - link to blog post.

Another note from the Editor: I have changed the title of this blog post, my apologies for using a word that is hurtful to people.




Comments (21) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Amazon Gypps Sellers for Shipping Costs   Amazon Gypps Sellers for Shipping Costs

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Sun Sep 27 08:42:18 2015

Another example of how these ecommerce behemoths rip off their sellers.

eCrater, eCrater, eCrater

Amazon Gypps Sellers for Shipping Costs   Amazon Gypps Sellers for Shipping Costs

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Sun Sep 27 13:29:38 2015

How can any marketplace justify taking a portion of what a seller charges for shipping, especially Amazon where the seller has no say in what the shipping amount is? Since sellers aren't "selling" postage, they aren't getting any benefit from the marketplaces.

And believe in what Rexford writes: eCrater, eCrater, eCrater. Less stress, no micro-management, no forced returns, no prohibition of payment methods other than PayPal, no... I could go on and on about what is mandatory for sellers on other marketplaces that aren't required on eCrater.

Amazon Gypps Sellers for Shipping Costs   Amazon Gypps Sellers for Shipping Costs

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

Sun Sep 27 14:39:47 2015

As long as these ultra greedy venues see an avenue to steal from sellers, it will continue.

They really don't care if you lose money on shipping or not as long as they get theirs.

It's ALL about their profitability, not yours.

They do rip off things like this to make their marketplace more attractive to shoppers by offering 'low' shipping costs that they don't have to pay and then steal a portion from the seller.

These days about the only thing that distinguishes Amazon from ebafia is that Amazon generally provides better trained, more reasonable customer service.

Amazon Gypps Sellers for Shipping Costs   Amazon Gypps Sellers for Shipping Costs

by: ruthie This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 28 00:20:52 2015

"Gypps" ...really?  

Amazon Gypps Sellers for Shipping Costs   Amazon Gypps Sellers for Shipping Costs

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 28 03:09:59 2015

Yeah--"gypps"  or however you spell it--is still pretty---well--not really a nice thing to say;  it denigrates a group of people who have an unfairly applied reputation for not being honest.

Hows about we sub in a different word that  is NOT slanted and biased?

Like---:"Rips Off"  "Steals From"  "Unfair practices";  Unjust Enrichment"  --for starters???

And no matter WHAT you call it--it is WRONG for any of these "venues" --looking at YOU ebay!!!!--to STEAL the postage costs or a % of them from their customers to enrich them selves and cut into the profit margins of said sellers.

ebay hides it under the guise of "keeping people from using it to keep final value fees from ebays pockets"  when in fact they could FIX that easily;  they CHOOSE not to to keep that do-re-me rolling on in while sellers SUBSIDIZE every package we ship.  

Wrong--wrong--wrong.    

Amazon Gypps Sellers for Shipping Costs   Amazon Gypps Sellers for Shipping Costs

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 28 06:55:10 2015

Recently I shipped an item where the buyer paid 4.49 for shipping and it cost me 28.30.
^^

Curious, what is the seller shipping and what service are they using?  If the spread is that large, it's time for the seller to quit AMZ and go it alone.

Amazon Gypps Sellers for Shipping Costs   Amazon Gypps Sellers for Shipping Costs

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 28 06:56:08 2015

Ecrater?  Not impressed.  This whole year I have sold 3 items. And I've been on their site from the beginning, but have never sold more than 10 items a year.

Amazon Gypps Sellers for Shipping Costs   Amazon Gypps Sellers for Shipping Costs

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Sep 28 07:08:11 2015

Chicago48, sorry to hear that eCrater is not working for you.  I can not say enough good things about it. It is my first choice of places to list.

Amazon Gypps Sellers for Shipping Costs   Amazon Gypps Sellers for Shipping Costs

by: cosqueen This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 28 07:27:20 2015

Ecrater = zero sales.  Truth is most sales occur on Amazon these days.  And yes they should not take a chunk of seller's postage. It is very hard to compete when AMAZON.com makes million dollar deals with companies and then marks itwms down so no TPS can compete with prime prices and 2 day shipping. And how is that fair???

Amazon Gypps Sellers for Shipping Costs   Amazon Gypps Sellers for Shipping Costs

by: cosqueen This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 28 07:28:07 2015

items

Amazon Gypps Sellers for Shipping Costs   Amazon Gypps Sellers for Shipping Costs

by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 28 07:58:23 2015

Amazon has  always viewed shipping increases as a "seller problem".  Their solution is that the seller should just raise the cost of the item to cover the shipping increase. That works OK for standard shipping items, but not at all for expedited or International ones.  most books would fit in flat rate envelopes for domestic expedited.  I gave up on international on amazon cause  would lose to much of  every sale.

Amazon Gypps Sellers for Shipping Costs   Amazon Gypps Sellers for Shipping Costs

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

Mon Sep 28 09:16:59 2015

I also take offense at the word gyps as well as rips off, etc. Amazon very clearly publishes their shipping reimbursements depending on what you are selling. If between it and the fee they take (they have to take it form somewhere and it too is published)you don't have enough for postage such as the big spread mentioned above, then it is your duty to find a website that will reimburse you. Amazon is very clear about charges and they aren't changing them every time they turn around either and in doing so just shove more money in their pocket. You signed up to sell there and if you don't like their policies, then go somewhere else. Don't accuse them of cheating since they are very upfront with what they do.

Do I think that for most items the reimbursements for shipping needs increased? Yes, very much so, however they haven't. The OP should have perhaps written to Amazon directly as well as perhaps other disgruntled sellers.

As to ecrater, yes sales are down from when I signed up there, thank you Google! :(  I signed up almost the same time as Chicago48, but at this point I have had almost 4600 orders. I've had over 200 orders just this year alone. So I wouldn't say that ecrater=zero sales. But you do have to self promote, you do have to be sure that your title, description and photos are first rate. Other successful sellers on ecrater are happy to give advice for anyone looking for help, but some will continually ask for help and then ignore the advice including the most obvious stuff. Well yeah they may not have much in the way of sales. I seriously doubt from what I've seen of some ecrater sellers that they would make much anywhere, unless they list in an atmosphere like Amazon where someone else has taken the time to set up the catalog page and photo so they don't have to do much in the way of work.

Anyhow, definitely not fair to claim that Amazon is cheating us. Just like if you choose to sell on ebay and want to gripe about the rules and fees. You signed up to sell there and if you don't like it leave, but it seems more would rather complain than hire the 'moving van' to go elsewhere. Maybe ecrater isn't the place for you, but there are plenty of other places to try.

Amazon Treats Sellers Unfairly over Shipping Costs   Amazon Treats Sellers Unfairly over Shipping Costs

This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Mon Sep 28 10:29:48 2015

I have changed the title of this blog post, my apologies for using a word that is hurtful to people.

Amazon Gypps Sellers for Shipping Costs   Amazon Gypps Sellers for Shipping Costs

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 28 10:44:58 2015

@MOONWISHES---

Altho I don't agree with the WAY Amazon does business re: postage (and eBay either!)  what I ===and others --objected to HERE is the use of the pejorative word "gypps or gyps"--this is a slang reference to an entire group of people (Gypsies or the Rom)  who have been given a "bad name"  for allegedly not being honest.

Whether or not this is the entire truth it is not a word that should be used as it denigrates a group of human beings.  There are other words that could be used to evoke the same notion;  and not need to put a race of people down.  

Amazon Treats Sellers Unfairly over Shipping Costs   Amazon Treats Sellers Unfairly over Shipping Costs

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 28 10:46:12 2015

THANK YOU INA!  

I am sure that a lot of people did not know that this slang has an origin in history and even a racist connection=--and I am sure you did not mean it that way!  

Amazon Treats Sellers Unfairly over Shipping Costs   Amazon Treats Sellers Unfairly over Shipping Costs

by: Randy This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 28 11:01:31 2015

It's unfair I know, but at the same time, did Amazon come to YOU and ask YOU to sell on THEIR site? I didn't think so. Try raising your price to balance cost and let the other sellers lose money.

Amazon Treats Sellers Unfairly over Shipping Costs   Amazon Treats Sellers Unfairly over Shipping Costs

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Sep 28 11:09:35 2015

@Chicago48 - I'm sorry you're not having luck with eCrater. Like moonwishes, I've had over 200 orders so far this year, many of them for multiple items. I have approximately 7,000 items listed, and I fully believe that the more items a store has, the better the chance for a sale.  

Amazon Treats Sellers Unfairly over Shipping Costs   Amazon Treats Sellers Unfairly over Shipping Costs

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 28 12:09:52 2015

@Iheartjacksparrow--What kind of stuff are you selling over on The Moon?  

I ask because in my "field"  I have seen little over there;  I sell mostly used higher end clothing and sportswear/gear so the supply is not as certain as say-a house hold "widget"  we all need to buy and replace.  

When I have looked I see very little of the sort of stuff I have access to sell;  no way to see if these sorts of things have sold in the past (and for what amounts)  and altho I am very open to listing stuff on places other than ebay so far I am just not seeing a viable place TO do this.  Maybe you could post more about this?

There has been a lack here (since Julia left--sigh!)  of articles addressing selling NEEDS such as this--maybe Ina would be open to having periodic posts on this sort of topic?  

Amazon Treats Sellers Unfairly over Shipping Costs   Amazon Treats Sellers Unfairly over Shipping Costs

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Sep 28 12:32:33 2015

@comet - I sell collectibles. So the amount of the sales I get on eCrater is amazing to me since nothing I sell is a necessity of life (unless you consider a Barbie doll from 15 years ago a necessity).  

Amazon Treats Sellers Unfairly over Shipping Costs   Amazon Treats Sellers Unfairly over Shipping Costs

This user has validated their user name. by: askalice59

Mon Sep 28 13:21:48 2015

You're a good egg Ina.

I carefully consider what it costs to ship an item before I decide to list it. If I miscalculate then I adjust or pull the item from that venue. Yes It would be nice if Amazon was more flexable an updated their shipping charges but it would cross the threshold that buyers would tolerate and hurt sales. So I can see why they don't. I would never eat $24 worth of shipping cost. smh

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