Thursday, July 17, 2008

The True Cost of Shipping Packages on Ebay and The Cost of Shipping Charges on Ebay

Many consumers are accustomed to shopping on line, but in spite of that, it is not unusual as a seller to get some complaints about the cost of shipping charges on Ebay. Only the seller really knows the true cost of shipping packages on Ebay because they are the ones putting the time and effort in to get the packages to the customers as quickly as possible.

Ebay Shipping charges are predetermined by the usps and UPS and any other carrier your customers may choose to have their package delivered from. As we all know, shipping charges are continuing to rise dramatically and just like the increase in the gas prices, the shipping increases have to be passed along to the customer. This, in turn, causes the Ebay seller to have to cut back on their handling fees to the extent where they are barely breaking even or even losing money on the Ebay shipping charges.

Many buyers don't understand all of the time and expenses that go into preparing a package on Ebay for shipping. For those Ebay sellers who print their own labels here is what transpires after a typical sale. The Ebay seller needs to find a box or envelope that will fit the item. If they don't sell the same items, they will need to take a few minutes to search for their packaging. Once they find the packaging, they have to pay for the packaging by going to a store or perhaps can find something laying around their house or office to ship their item in. This alone can be frustrating and time consuming, although many Ebay sellers, if they are selling the same product, have already done the leg work and have the packaging on hand.

For the Ebay seller who doesn't print their own shipping labels, the addresses need to be hand written. In both cases, if the package is international, a customs form needs to be filled out.

The next step in determining the shipping charges on Ebay is for the seller to package the sold item. This may mean that the package needs bubble wrap, packaging peanuts or tissue paper or some other type of packing material to keep the item secure. Once the item is in the box or packaging, it may need taped. Packaging tape is very expensive but is necessary to secure some of the packages. The item is taped and ready to be weighed if the Ebay seller prints their own postage. If not, the package is set aside for a trip to the post office later.

If the Ebay seller prints their own labels, then there is the cost of printer ink and paper and the cost of a scale to weigh the items. The Ebay seller weighs the item after it is packaged and then finds the order in their Paypal account or in their Ebay back office, clicks on the order, fills in the necessary information to print the label and then prints it. They wait until the label is printed and then apply it to the package.

The package still has to get to the post office so they either take it themselves (add the cost of gas and the time to get to the post office) or they call the post office and schedule a next day delivery. Once they get to the post office, they have to wait in long lines many times and then if the items are first class international (the postage cannot be printed online) or if they do not print their labels on line, they have to wait for the postmaster to weigh and put the postage on the package.

It may take, even for the most efficient ebay packager, up to 15 minutes or more for to get a package ready to go. For those of us who sell the same ebay products for the most part, it still takes a good 10 minutes for each package.

Then there are the Ebay and Paypal fees which are getting more and more expensive. The Ebay seller rarely is able to recoup those charges any more. I am a small powerseller and my ebay fees average $300-400 per month. My paypal fees are at least $200 per month. So even if I make a small profit on the items themselves, I may be losing money on the other fees, especially if the package is international. The international shipping rates are so high that many times, just to make a sale, you can't even add a handling fee.

If you are a consumer, I hope you understand some of the reasons the handling costs are included in your shipping charges. If you are an Ebay seller already then you can relate to this. If you are thinking of selling on Ebay, go for it, in spite of knowing the true cost of shipping packages on Ebay. It is still worth the time and effort for the most part.

1 comment:

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