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eBay Listing Low Shipping Cost

Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 6:43 pm
by DTalos
There is a listing of an item on eBay that weighs about 15 pounds and the seller indicated they will ship via USPS Parcel Select Ground for about $10. I don't know the rates for that class of mail, but it seems very low, even for the Zone 4 distance. If the actual shipping cost ends up being higher, would most eBay sellers reluctantly pay the higher rate?

Re: eBay Listing Low Shipping Cost

Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 6:51 pm
by Kenkat
My guess is that the seller is subsidizing the shipping hoping for a higher final price. It’s a strange phenomenon that an item with free shipping will sell for more than the same item plus shipping. I’ve not sold a ton of things on eBay, but I’ve started selling items with free shipping because it attracts higher interest and bids.

Re: eBay Listing Low Shipping Cost

Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 7:33 pm
by runner3081
One of two things.

What Kenkat mentioned or two, the seller is going to commit fraud and send it Media Mail. Yes, happens more than you would think!

Re: eBay Listing Low Shipping Cost

Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 7:55 pm
by Out_the_Door
I personally have not used them (I have a friend with an ebay store that swears by them, you can also find youtube videos explaining the process) but there are third party shippers ie. Pirate Ship that negotiate special rates with USPS when shipping packages less than 20lbs based on size. The savings are supposed to be good and the packages are delivered by USPS. Since you know the weight of the object and the general size (and the ship to destination) you may want to look at Pirate Ship's website to see what the package would cost to mail.

Re: eBay Listing Low Shipping Cost

Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 8:04 pm
by whodidntante
Kenkat wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 6:51 pm My guess is that the seller is subsidizing the shipping hoping for a higher final price. It’s a strange phenomenon that an item with free shipping will sell for more than the same item plus shipping. I’ve not sold a ton of things on eBay, but I’ve started selling items with free shipping because it attracts higher interest and bids.
Shipping costs may be harder for some justify.

If one pays $10 for shipping, that can feel like a waste since all that happened for $10 is a thing moved from spot A to spot B and the money is permanently gone. But there can also be remorse for wasted energy. Someone had to wake up early that day, go to work for their jerk boss to sort it, planes/trains to move the package around, and then some dude has to drive it across town in shorts and brown-colored truck before sending it sailing like a frisbee from a 3.5 feet height.

But, if one gets FREE shipping, that is clearly superior! :happy

Re: eBay Listing Low Shipping Cost

Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 8:09 pm
by sk2101
It used to be that ebay fees only applied to the item price, so sellers would inflate shipping costs to pay less fees. eBay wised up and now charges fees on the final cost including shipping, so there is no manouvering there.

This is to say that from a sellers perspective all it matters is the total of item + shipping. How thats split up is irrelevant.

Re: eBay Listing Low Shipping Cost

Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 8:14 pm
by daytona084
DTalos wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 6:43 pm There is a listing of an item on eBay that weighs about 15 pounds and the seller indicated they will ship via USPS Parcel Select Ground for about $10. I don't know the rates for that class of mail, but it seems very low, even for the Zone 4 distance. If the actual shipping cost ends up being higher, would most eBay sellers reluctantly pay the higher rate?
No. On eBay, the shipping cost that the buyer pays (to the seller) is set by the seller, and the buyer pays this agreed upon shipping price to the seller as part of the payement. It's built into the system. The seller then purchases the shipping from USPS, UPS or whatever.

The seller can set the shipping price at whatever he or she wants. Sellers often offer free shipping. Other sellers "overcharge" for shipping to add to their profit. It makes no difference in the end as the seller pays the eBay commission based on the total price including shipping. And buyers are smart enough to note the shipping cost when searching for items to buy.

Re: eBay Listing Low Shipping Cost

Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 8:19 pm
by runner3081
Out_the_Door wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 7:55 pm I personally have not used them (I have a friend with an ebay store that swears by them, you can also find youtube videos explaining the process) but there are third party shippers ie. Pirate Ship that negotiate special rates with USPS when shipping packages less than 20lbs based on size. The savings are supposed to be good and the packages are delivered by USPS. Since you know the weight of the object and the general size (and the ship to destination) you may want to look at Pirate Ship's website to see what the package would cost to mail.
Only works on tiny packages. Use PS all of the time.

Re: eBay Listing Low Shipping Cost

Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 8:43 pm
by inbox788
Ebay has negotiated some very good shipping rates for sellers. If it fits in a USPS Medium Flat Rate Box, $10 or so is about right. It's listed as "$13.20 Commercial Base $15.05 at Post Office & Online" on their website. It may be lower for the seller depending on the eBay rate and how much he sells. I think volume sellers get even lower rates. For larger heavier packages, USPS Parcel Select is lower than Priority. Media Mail rates is the lowest for books, videos, etc.

https://www.usps.com/ship/mail-shipping-services.htm

Re: eBay Listing Low Shipping Cost

Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 8:59 pm
by rooms222
I have noticed that some items by ebay sellers appear to be shipped from the office mailroom of their day job, so they are not paying for the shipping themselves. This is wrong, but there is no way to tell until you get the item.

Re: eBay Listing Low Shipping Cost

Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:28 pm
by RudyS
inbox788 wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 8:43 pm Ebay has negotiated some very good shipping rates for sellers. If it fits in a USPS Medium Flat Rate Box, $10 or so is about right. It's listed as "$13.20 Commercial Base $15.05 at Post Office & Online" on their website. It may be lower for the seller depending on the eBay rate and how much he sells. I think volume sellers get even lower rates. For larger heavier packages, USPS Parcel Select is lower than Priority. Media Mail rates is the lowest for books, videos, etc.

https://www.usps.com/ship/mail-shipping-services.htm
Good info. Flat Rate Priority Mail is great for heavy, small items. I sell some (not much) stuff on eBay and always compare Parcel Select versus Priority Flat Rate, can vary greatly as to which is cheaper.

Re: eBay Listing Low Shipping Cost

Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 4:08 am
by boomer_techie
DTalos wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 6:43 pm There is a listing of an item on eBay that weighs about 15 pounds and the seller indicated they will ship via USPS Parcel Select Ground for about $10.
Could be the seller has an Amazon Prime account and will use Amazon as a drop shipper.

Re: eBay Listing Low Shipping Cost

Posted: Sun Jan 17, 2021 1:41 pm
by ribonucleic
Kenkat wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 6:51 pm It’s a strange phenomenon that an item with free shipping will sell for more than the same item plus shipping.
Not really.

1) Marketplace research tells us that Internet shoppers increasingly expect "free" shipping.

2) Knowing this, the eBay algorithm that determines search result placement favors items that offer free shipping.

Re: eBay Listing Low Shipping Cost

Posted: Sun Jan 17, 2021 1:52 pm
by THY4373
rooms222 wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 8:59 pm I have noticed that some items by ebay sellers appear to be shipped from the office mailroom of their day job, so they are not paying for the shipping themselves. This is wrong, but there is no way to tell until you get the item.
It is also possible they are reimbursing their employer. I have a friend who some years back had a side business shipping very heavy items (think freight not normal packages). His day job let him use their shipping account and he reimbursed them. They were paying something like 20% of the retail rate on freight. They were happy to let him ship with their account because the more they shipped the better they were able to negotiate rates. It was a win-win.