Thursday, April 8, 2010

Understanding Handling Charges On Ebay

Many times Ebayers will send emails asking why the handling charges are so high. From the sellers standpoint, most of the times, handling charges are actually way too low.

Ebay and paypal fees have gone up dramatically. In my own experience, I take a loss on shipping every time I sell something. In order to remain competitive in my niche, I have to keep the handling charges low.

Ebay is now charging 9% of the selling price as their final value fee when something is listed as fixed price or store. There is a listing fee up front of apx. 20-30 cents, plus a fee charged of around 75 cents to a dollar for paypal. International fees are even higher on paypal.

Handling charges on Ebay include such things as: covering at least a portion of the Ebay and Paypal fees; packaging materials, ie. bubble wrap, tissue paper, tape, plastic envelopes, printer ink for the receipts, business card enclosures, free gift enclosures; post office delivery including gas to get to and from the post office, time in the post office; and time. . . that's where the biggest loss occurs. You can never be compensated for your time on Ebay. If you did, the handling charge would be several dollars higher.

My pet peeve is when customers who order bicker about the shipping and handling charges. The way I look at it personally is this. When I order from Ebay, I am having the seller provide a service. I don't have to get in my car and spend gas money and time going to a store to find something. The average trip may take an hour. My time is worth much more than the $2-$3 handling fee that is being charged. I don't have to leave my house. The work has already been done. The seller is my slave. What more could I ask for?

Understand that as a seller, you need to make a statement on your website that explains what is included in your shipping and handling charges. Then tell the buyer not to order if they cannot agree with the charges. This sounds harsh, but if you don't make it clear, you will be contacted and argued with. That takes up more time that you are not being compensated for.

Think about it. It's your choice. Just say it in a nice way to help your buyers understand your handling charges when you sell on Ebay.


leasesqft said...

Hi; According to ebay/feebay...Handling charges are for the packaging only. They totally discourage charging pal pal fees or any fees including time. I have argued with them on this issue. they seemed to change what shipping and handling is!!
Just so you know..12% is what ebay takes on store and buy it now items. and 9% on auctions.

Anonymous said...

Actually, handling fees now have to include any insurance, since eBay has taken insurance away as a buyer option. Shipping is now entirely at the seller's risk. I ship fragile items, and I would be crazy not to ensure them. Even with non-fragile items, dishonest buyers could claim they were damaged and demand refunds. At a minimum of $1.80, insurance adds a lot to the handling fee, and I have no choice but to charge it. Also, eBay now collects a final value fee on the shipping cost, even when it is the actual cost according to the shipping calculator! So eBay is forcing sellers to take a loss on shipping!