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eBay woes??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by groovaholic, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. groovaholic

    groovaholic The louder the better. Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Has anyone else had trouble with eBay's shipping calculator?

    I just sold a bass and had the box beforehand, so I entered the EXACT weight and dimensions when I listed the item.

    When my buyer went to pay, he was quoted $22 for shipping (I had described the box as 52x20x10 and weighing 30#) but when I entered the same data on FedEx, USPS, and UPS I got prices ranging from $44 - $59.

    My buyer generously offered to cover the difference, but I wasn't going to make him cover for the fact that eBay is essentially using (in my opinion) lowball/bait & switch tactics.

    I called eBay customer support to see if they could do anything to correct the issue or credit that difference off my final item value fee, but they basically told me tough $#!t.
  2. BIGEJ2

    BIGEJ2 Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2009
    Happy Valley, PA
    I've had that problem too and so has a friend of mine (class action anyone?). I also started offering free shipping since eBay and Paypal began charging fees on shipping costs.

    As Stone Cold Steve Austin always used to say, "Don't trust anybody".
  3. I'm no eBay pro, but I've sold a handful of basses there. I always quote either a flat shipping rate ($50) or free with the BIN price. The shipping calculator is freaky.
  4. f.c.geil


    May 12, 2011
    I just add shipping to my reserve or fixed price, and offer free shipping ConUS. Eliminates the issues. I was told the same thing, though.
  5. affprod


    Nov 2, 2012
    The basses I ship through eBay are ALWAYS more than the calculated cost, 100% of the time. Like another response, I set shipping at $54.25 as that covers the lower 48, or I free ship and put a couple points on the bass price. Typically I am selling a collectable, that is where the free freight comes in because a few bucks will not disuade the buyer....but on a modern issue bass I use the $54.25.
  6. affprod


    Nov 2, 2012
    Sorry, I should have specified I always use Fedex ground.
  7. Pokerdweebz


    Oct 26, 2012
    Lititz, PA
    I offer free shipping usually when I sell an instrument, but I get my postage from ebay/paypal. It has always been under 30 dollars shipped, insured, and signed for.
  8. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    Just another reason why I do not use ebay for anything. Too many bad experiences. I mainly use Craigslist and when I do I only buy or sell in person. I also buy and sell on Amazon and only had one problem when an item didn't arrive. I filed a claim and the seller refunded the money.
  9. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Banned

    Jan 20, 2011
    I have trouble with being charged 13% for ebay & paypal fees.
  10. Pokerdweebz


    Oct 26, 2012
    Lititz, PA
    I can understand what you would feel that way, but in my opinion it is worth it sometimes. I was selling two guitars on craigslist underpriced for probably 4+ months and didn't get a single reply. (granted I'm left handed) Put them on ebay for 100 dollars more each as buy it now and they both sold within a week.
  11. Templar

    Templar Supporting Member

    Those calculators can be screwy. I don't use them, but I'm pretty sure I've bought gear off ebay where the seller used the shipping calculator and accidentally screwed himself. However, no seller has ever mentioned that to me, or asked for additional shipping fees.

    I've sold enough stuff on ebay to know that a modest, fixed shipping price has worked best for me, even though I would always lose money on shipping.

    That said, nowadays Free Shipping is the way to sell on ebay, for reasons stated in previous posts. You'll make it up with more bidding, so it's a win-win.
  12. Arial Bender

    Arial Bender

    Oct 28, 2012
    Largo Fla.
    e-bay is useless when it comes to any kind of customer support. If the programed responses don't apply forget it.
  13. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    Last time I shipped was 3 weeks ago and it was more than twice what the calculator stated when I took it to UPS. From now on I'm including shipping with the BIN price.
  14. Templar

    Templar Supporting Member

    As a buyer my experiences have been just the opposite. Every issue has been resolved to my satisfaction. Not that I've been happy to have some scumbag seller trying to screw me, but when they have tried, ebay and Paypal have always stepped up.

    It aint like the old days on ebay, where jerk sellers could get away with murder. The system is equitable now, and the dispute/claim process is virtually foolproof. I don't even worry about sellers with low feedback numbers anymore.
  15. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    If you read the shipping section, it shows that it's only an estimate and that a message with the actual shipping charges should be sent to the buyer, or included on the invoice. I usually put "Actual shipping charges will be sent after auction ends", so I don't end up forking out money for shipping.
  16. f64


    Oct 31, 2009
    I personally think that eBay is anything but fair to both parties. There was a time when sellers could and did rip off buyers. The pendulum has swung in the other direction protecting buyers to the point of dissuading sellers.
    The shipping calculator isn't accurate and I think they know it. The fact that a seller can charge a flat handling fee that is buried in the shipping cost is the clue something's amiss.
  17. The Bass Clef

    The Bass Clef Formerly "thebrian" Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2010
    Here's a few of my thoughts (I've been selling basses pretty regularly on ebay for about 10 years now). I never use Ebay's calculator for shipping either, it's wrong 100% of the time as affprod said. I've found that for my listings, the best thing to do is give the buyer shipping options. I usually charge $50 for USPS Parcel Post and then give them the option of $75 for UPS Ground (which can be added to the shipping section of your ebay listing).

    That also prevents the buyer from complaining about shipping time if they choose the cheaper option (parcel post is 2-8 days), even though I almost always ship the same or next biz day. At least then I can say, I don't have any control over how fast the USPS works, but "you" could have spent a little more to guarantee a faster delivery.

    I've found that shipping a bass w/ the case from CA to the East Coast in a box that is not any more oversized than it needs to be, usually costs about $50-60 USPS PP (insured for about $2000 or so). It's cheaper if the item is less valuable or if it doesn't go all the way across the country, so I just charge a flat $50. Everyone's rates just went up though (USPS, UPS and Fed/Ex), so I may have to adjust those prices soon.

    The same shipment through UPS is usually about $90 with the insurance (or "declared value" as UPS does it - which is not the same thing as insurance). So I average it out to about $75 CONUS unless it's a very pricey item.. then I may charge $100 or so.

    I'm not exactly sure how UPS's declared value works and how hard it would be to make a claim (never had to), but I prefer USPS because you actually buy real insurance from them, so it's easier to get reimbursed if they damage or lose the item.

    Another thing to note that I just realized recently.. If you insure an item for over $200 with USPS, it's automatically sent with signature confirmation so there's no need to pay extra for it (to satisfy Paypal's Seller Protection terms). The post office can look up the signature and print it out if need be for any insured shipment over the $200. If you aren't aware of this, USPS will have no problem charging you extra for redundant signature conf.

    I usually don't do free shipping because it makes the price look higher to the buyer. It's just marketing 101.. the same idea as saying $9.95 instead of $10. When the shipping is added separately, the main price they see on the listing is lower, and even though it's the same price in the end for the buyer, it's just more enticing to prospective buyers. Although, when I sell stuff here on TB, I usually just include the shipping because my prices on here are always lower than what I list them on ebay for (since there isn't any TB fees).
  18. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
  19. JB36

    JB36 Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2010
    Albany, NY

    I'm not sure about the ebay thing, but the dimensions you inputed will create a cost higher than the billable weight. Carriers will use actual weight on smaller packages and dimensional weight for larger. Guitar box demensions, like you stated, will bill somewhere between 40 and 50 pounds regardless of actual weight. This could be part of your discrepancy.
  20. Stone Soup

    Stone Soup

    Dec 3, 2012
    Even to the state of Oregon? I got hit with more than double my estimated shipping on a eBay parcel sent to Oregon, using U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail. I have no idea why it's so much more expensive.