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Bedford Ramblings
Steve Mills

Is it time for a tune-up with your eBay shipping?

Posted Saturday, August 28, 2010, at 10:17 AM
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  • eBay is doing a better job at restricting high shipping costs related to the item being sold so if you see high shipping, look a little deeper to see if the seller offers a less expensive method, or maybe the item is coming from overseas. We have international buyers expecting us to ship for the same as we do in the U.S. They say they have other sellers who will do that but the difference must have been built into the price. We do not do that, so we have to respectfully pass on the sale.

    If you see no reason for the high shipping, write to the seller to ask about their fee. Mistakes do happen, old listings may not have been changed or worst case, they are trying to make profit on the shipping. If you are sure that is what is happening, write to eBay to suggest they look at it. It does not help eBay or the rest of us when sellers abuse the system.

    As a seller, we take the time to explain how our fee is structured. When the customer understands we usually make the sale, even if we did not lower the cost. A "reasonable" handling fee is allowed by eBay and as many of you who sell on a regular basis know, it costs money for shipping supplies, even when using recycled material.

    If you get a rude response to your question about lower shipping rates, it reflects how they will handle the rest of the sale should you decide to buy from them, so I would move on to another seller. Just my opinion of course. :-)

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Aug 28, 2010, at 10:45 AM
  • And another thought on shipping.

    We ship some fragile items and sometimes get request to lighten the package weight to get lower shipping costs. We love our customers and try to oblige most requests, but this is one area we hold firm.

    It is a losing proposition from all sides if the items gets damaged. The seller is the biggest loser since they are responsible to get the item there safely. They lose the item, the sale and the shipping costs unless they bought insurance.

    The buyer loses the ability to own what they bought, but in most cases, they can find it again.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Aug 28, 2010, at 11:00 AM
  • In June I ordered a set of 8 glasses through eBay. The shipper bought postage & insurance on the shipment, & that was included in the cost I paid for the purchase.

    When the box arrived, 2 of the 8 glasses were broken. They were all packed well, & I have no idea why 2 were broken. I contacted the postal service, & they said I had to come in with the postage receipt, which she mailed me. It turned out that the USPS could not pay insurance on partial breakage. They would have refunded all of it to me, but they would have kept the entire shipment - 2 broken glasses & 6 that were intact. No thanks. I had rather have 6 for the price of 8. That was a bit confusing to me.

    -- Posted by bettyhbrown on Tue, Sep 7, 2010, at 8:50 PM
  • I believe I would still be arguing that one Betty, The set was broken, Just because you can get some use out of what is left should not matter. Does the USPS really want to get into the retail business?

    -- Posted by stevemills on Tue, Sep 7, 2010, at 10:23 PM
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