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Thread: A Fair Price For Combined Shipping?

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    Default A Fair Price For Combined Shipping?

    Quick question for you guys:

    Just won several different auctions from a guy in Japan. He is combining shipping for me, but....it's not much of a discount.

    Adding up all the shipping costs for each auctions comes out to around $35. He's knocked it down to $24. Now, keep in mind this won't be EMS, just Airmail. On top of that, it's 8 CD's, 3 of which come in a slightly larger cardboard box. I'm assuming he'll be shipping them in a small box.

    So again, is $24 too much for 8 cd's via Airmail from Japan? Should I ask for a lower price?

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    If the original shipping cost is $35 and he knocked it down to $24, thats a pretty good discount i'd say. The CDs probly weigh around 1kg. Sending upto 1kg cost about $17. If its over 1kg it will cost like $28. These are the postage prices, then its the packing fees, thats $2-3 so you're upto $20 then. Maybe he add insurance too, thats a few dollars also.

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    Sadly combined shipping from ebay sellers always comes out to more than the actual shipping cost. I have been doing some ebay buying lately and have found this to be the case in most circumstances.

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    Personally, I never charge people extra for shipping supplies. Boxes and newspaper are readily available for FREE if you know where to look....and that's not really hard at all.

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    I have found selling stuff on eBay is not an easy task...First you have to research the product you are selling to get an idea of how much to list it for. Then you have to take pictures/scan whatever you are selling and makes auctions. It's quite time consuming...Then you have to figure out how much to charge for shipping. I'm sure a lot of people that sell on eBay are like me and don't have a small scale to calculate something like a Genesis game. Then after the auctions are done you have to box everything up nicely and write the shipping address or use a label. Then you have to drive to the post office or where ever and wait in line quite awhile sometimes...

    So, what I'm getting at is...I think it's perfectly fair for sellers to charge "a bit" more than actual shipping costs to cover the other costs. Oh, and I forgot to mention about all of the eBay and Paypal fees. Then you have people who win your auctions and sometimes wait darn near a week to pay you! Then if you accept Money Orders those can take forever. So really the seller has to deal with quite a bit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Damaramu View Post
    Personally, I never charge people extra for shipping supplies. Boxes and newspaper are readily available for FREE if you know where to look....and that's not really hard at all.
    Depends on where you live and what you are going to send. I can go to the grocery store and get big boxes for free, but if i need a small one i have no idea where to look. It also takes time (and it cost money if you drive) to get them.

    Then you have to use tape to seal the box. I never use newspaper to ship small things, i always use bubblewrap. Folded newspaper does protect as good as bubblewrap, had the experience with GBA boxes i've recieved Since its a small package its not always easy to crumble the newspaper and fit it. At last, you have to go to the post office and send the stuff.

    Its totaly induvidual for each person. Not everyone have easy access to free boxes and packing material. I live like a mile away from the post office and i many times i drive back and forth just to send 1 package. Things like that cost a bit :\

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    Kirby (Level 13) Griking's Avatar
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    There's really no correct answer to your question. One person can compile a list of all of the supplies, expenses and time that's put into selling things on eBay and why it's only fair to pass those expenses onto the buyer. Another can say to suck it up because that's all part of doing business and should be factored into the asking price and not the shipping and handling fee.

    Personally I think that $24 shipping for multiple games shipped from Japan is probably fair. The seller is probably charging a few bucks more than his actual cost but I think that a few dollars is fair.

    Ultimately it comes down to what you think is a fair surcharge for a person's time and expenses.
    Last edited by Griking; 02-08-2007 at 06:27 PM.

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    Dealing with packing materials, driving to the post office, etc., is part of the process. You can't expect to sell something without doing those things. I'm not saying a seller shouldn't be compensated for those things, but it's best to factor that kind of stuff into your asking price. The cost of shipping should be just that: how much it costs to have the post office ship the box. But many sellers figure that more people will look at their auctions if they have a low starting price, so they pad their shipping costs out instead.

    This is especially aggravating when you're buying something small, like a single cartridge. If I'm buying a Genesis cart, and the shipping cost is $4.50, man, that's just rediculous! I once bought a set of three Gambit Heroclix on eBay (from a guy who lived like 40 minutes away from me, no less). He charged me $2.50 for shipping. I paid, not knowing what kind of charge it would be for something that small. When the package arrived, the label said 83 cents! 83 cents!! I was upset, and I e-mailed the guy telling him so. He said this was his first time selling Heroclix and didn't know it would be so cheap. He apologized and offered to PayPal me the difference, but I told him not to bother. I was happy with the apology (even though I'm not sure I believed him) and didn't want to bother with a PayPal transaction under $2.

    Well, this ran longer than I'd meant it to, sorry. But my point is, when I see a seller obviously padding out his shipping price, it says to me, "Okay, here's the price of the item, and here's the price if you want me to actually ship the item to you." Not cool.
    Looking to buy: Galerians disc 2 (PSX) and The Unholy War case/manual (PSX). PM me!

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    You bought the stuff knowing the shipping price, the guy was nice enough to give you a discount and a pretty good one to. Why gripe about it now?


    To the other guys complaining about shipping on Ebay, it's not like they are hiding the price from you. It's simple combine the shipping cost with the sale price and if if you can find a better deal. What difference does it make to you if the guy makes his money with adding on to the shipping price or on to the buy price? A lot of people offer something for 99 cents then charge the actual price in shipping, I say good for them. Ebays fees are outlandish It costs 40 cent to put something up with a starting bid of $1. 40 CENTS!! And that is a listing with no extras, just the title , and 1 pic. Then you still have to add in the final value fee and probably paypal fees.
    as for the single cart shipping prices, of course they are high. When bidding starts at 99 cent or something there is a good chance someone could win it with that price. Would you want to give up a game for 99 cent?
    Bottom line is, if you don't like the shipping costs then don't buy on Ebay. It is that simple.

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    Well, from Japan I charge $32 for airmail for 10 CDs and $26 for airmail for 8 CDs. But then again I use a shipping chart that stays constant. Maybe you have double CDs, etc, that might change the price.

    Either way you should go with EMS. When you're at that much weight the difference will be less than $5, probably. As the airmail weight gets heavier it actually start to be more expensive than EMS. Just pay the few extra bucks and end any worrying you'll have about lost packages and insurance. Just a tip. Sometimes I see people paying $100 for games then using airmail to save $5 on shipping. In the end you're using a non-insured non-tracked delivery service to save less than 4% of the total deal amount. Your choice, but I thought I'd let you know a different point of view.

    "He charged me $2.50 for shipping. I paid, not knowing what kind of charge it would be for something that small. When the package arrived, the label said 83 cents! 83 cents!! I was upset,"

    Dude.....gimme a break. The packaging probably costs a dollar or so. Going around telling people that you got "hosed" out of what amounts to $0.75 is a bit extreme, no? There are bad Sellers out there who charge way to much on shipping but I can't imagine he's one of the Sellers to be worried about, especially if he did a good job of delivering it to you (ie ship time, packaging, etc).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rev. Link View Post
    Dealing with packing materials, driving to the post office, etc., is part of the process. You can't expect to sell something without doing those things. I'm not saying a seller shouldn't be compensated for those things, but it's best to factor that kind of stuff into your asking price. The cost of shipping should be just that: how much it costs to have the post office ship the box. But many sellers figure that more people will look at their auctions if they have a low starting price, so they pad their shipping costs out instead.

    This is especially aggravating when you're buying something small, like a single cartridge. If I'm buying a Genesis cart, and the shipping cost is $4.50, man, that's just rediculous! I once bought a set of three Gambit Heroclix on eBay (from a guy who lived like 40 minutes away from me, no less). He charged me $2.50 for shipping. I paid, not knowing what kind of charge it would be for something that small. When the package arrived, the label said 83 cents! 83 cents!! I was upset, and I e-mailed the guy telling him so. He said this was his first time selling Heroclix and didn't know it would be so cheap. He apologized and offered to PayPal me the difference, but I told him not to bother. I was happy with the apology (even though I'm not sure I believed him) and didn't want to bother with a PayPal transaction under $2.

    Well, this ran longer than I'd meant it to, sorry. But my point is, when I see a seller obviously padding out his shipping price, it says to me, "Okay, here's the price of the item, and here's the price if you want me to actually ship the item to you." Not cool.
    It's not easy most of time figuring out how much shipping will cost for a particular item. It would be nice if the Post Office had a similar system for 1st class mail as they did for Priority Mail. Priority mail has more set rates (1st class rates vary from oz. to oz...so if you don't have a small scale, it's rather difficult) Saying that, I guess it would be a good idea to invest in a small scale if you are selling things on ebay... $4.50 for a genesis game shipping 1st class is too much. If it was sent Priority, that's a fair price.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rev. Link View Post
    Dealing with packing materials, driving to the post office, etc., is part of the process. You can't expect to sell something without doing those things. I'm not saying a seller shouldn't be compensated for those things, but it's best to factor that kind of stuff into your asking price. The cost of shipping should be just that: how much it costs to have the post office ship the box. But many sellers figure that more people will look at their auctions if they have a low starting price, so they pad their shipping costs out instead.
    .
    The amount it costs to ship an item is the total amount it costs a seller to ship that item. Packaging , gas, postal charge, etc.

    Stop looking at it from a buyers pov and look at it from a sellers pov. Why should the seller eat the cost ?

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    I knew that this was going to turn into one of those threads...

    Here's another way of looking at it. People who sell games on eBay do so first and foremost TO MAKE MONEY, not to give you a great deal. So more often than not, the seller will pass on all costs of doing business on to the customer just like every other company does.

    Unfortunately that box and those peanuts cost money. Sure, the post office supplies free boxes (if you ship priority) and newspaper is a cheap alternative to peanuts, but what about time and gas? I live right down the road from the post office so it's not an issue for me but most people have to drive a bunch of miles to get to theirs. Gas is around $2.25 a gallon in most places.

    Also, I don't know about most of you but when I go to my local post office I can almost always expect to be in line for at least 15-20 minutes because the local post office is in a city and there always seems to be a long line and only one or (if I'm lucky), two people working at a time. Isn't that time and aggravation worth anything? This doesn't even take into account the parent with the screaming kid behind you.

    What is the point of selling someone a game for $5 if it cost's them $4.00 in expenses and an hour of their time just package it up and ship it to you? It's not. Besides, just how much profit is a seller really making in the sale of a game less than $20? So sellers factor in the cost of packing material. They factor in the time that they spend to send the game to you. this is all a part of shipping and handling


    If you look at it this way and you expect it you won't be disappointed. When you run across a seller who has a really reasonable shipping fee then it's really a bonus.

    If you're tired of buying games from people who are only in it to make a buck then I suggest that you do more business in the "Buying and Selling" forum here. The people I've dealt with so far seem to be more willing to charge you just what the post office charges them.
    Last edited by Griking; 02-09-2007 at 10:36 AM.

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    Seems like Griking and I are always the devil's advocates when it comes to explaining the seller's point of view. It's such a simple concept though really.. and it's been said hundreds of times before <sigh>.. if you don't like what the postage is.. don't bid.. plain & simple.

    I'm beginning to sound like a broken record; but once again.. having been on BOTH sides of an auction many times.. I don't see why people get so dismayed by this sort of thing. Well.. yes I do actually.. this is DP.. where I guess the domain of cheapassgamer was already taken . But seriously.. I have NEVER had one single complaint of being overcharged for shipping. Know why? It's really very simple.. because I always factor shipping into my bid whether it's fair or not.. and I NEVER bid on an auction that has "unspecified" shipping.. even when there's a "shipping discount" for combined items.. it should be specified.. and if not.. there's this rather ingenious development evilBay's made called the "Ask seller a question" button. So no surprises.. and I'm never disappointed. Probably 650+ buys on eB and not a single complaint yet.

    On the other hand.. as I've recently switched the bulk of my eBay dealings to the seller side.. I have to totally agree with those explaining and trying to justify their costs of shipping AND HANDLING. That's what ebay calls it.. that's what it is. Our family car was broke for about 3 months before last holiday season. I still kept selling games and let me tell you it was a REAL pain in the ass putting a dozen packages in a Santa-sized bag.. standing at the frickin' bus stop in the rain and taking a bus to the post office. I didn't charge anybody anymore than I normally would during that time for it either.

    Like most people.. I don't have a postal scale, so my S&H fees are usually guesstimates. Sometimes I'm a bit over; but sometimes I'm a bit under and I eat the cost. I suppose it evens out in the end. Also.. because I have such a huge past of buying I actually recycle a lot of my shipping material.. but that's beside the point.. and if I want to charge for it.. that's MY peroggative. I'm not holding a gun to anybody's head to make them bid.

    Another thing that bugs me is eBay's stand on all this. Like I said.. I've paid what I know to be more than the cost of shipping many, many times, and for the reasons I previously described.. that's just fine by me. So I never had any anymosity for the guy who had a BIN of $5 and S&H of $15 for a $20 game.. it happened all the time. Having said all of this though.. I don't know if any of you remember this but about 8 months ago eBay released news that they were going to put a stop to that sort of thing.. across the boards. In EatMeBay's case though.. their motive was clearly (as always) selfish on their own part. They don't get fees on S&H. Anyways.. here it is 8 months later and I've really seen NO results or indication that they're doing this.. if even in the most blatant of cases. There's one game seller (don't remember whether it's PC or console games) that charges some outrageously low price on new games and then ask SIX times the BIN for postage. They blatantly ask in their auctions for people NOT to complain about shipping because "S&H charges are dictated by their drop shipment service".. yeah right. Drop ship my ass for some yokul who's got less than a couple of hundred feedbacks and is probably sending stuff out of his garage.. gimme' a break. I simply don't buy his games though.

    Although I never try to charge excessive shipping.. the other day I DID actually try just that (what I'm talking about). I get sick and tired of selling a ten dollar game and seeing ebay get $1 or more for selling it (listing AND FVF's) so I set up an experiment on one auction. I had about a $15 game. I put up a BIN of $4.99 and charged a flat-rate shipping of $8.01. Total= $13. Someone snatched it up the first day.. no complaints. Now I'll take that game to the PO and mail it for $2. The buyer will have nothing to say though. I recently found Auctiva and they've helped me immensely in making auction "templates" and I now have a standard S&H statement. For anybody who wants to see that statement look up one of my eBay auctions under "scorch56" and you'll see why they can't complain. It hasn't hurt my sales volume any either. People still bid on my stuff and win.

    Lastly.. when I went into my seller account and looked at how much it cost me to sell that game on eBay this time.. it was $0.35.. and NOT $1.35. I loathe joining the "other side".. but like the time I finally gave up and started using a sniping service.. if YOU (or eBay) can't (or won't) beat em'.. you know how the rest of that goes.
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    Whine whine, they charged me too much to ship my game.

    It's ebay. Part of the territory. Considering fees are nearing 12% of the sale price with ebay and PP fees, a few extra bucks isn't worth the complaint. Generally you've gotten a good deal on what you're buying ANYWAY.

    Also, shipping to/from Japan is asspensive. My sister's been living there three years, and I pay a small fortune every Christmas sending her stuff.

    Nothing personal, I just think this discussion reeks of dead horse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Damaramu View Post
    Personally, I never charge people extra for shipping supplies. Boxes and newspaper are readily available for FREE if you know where to look....and that's not really hard at all.
    Yeah, we really feel like dumpster diving and not pad protecting things to save some money instead of convenience when we work full-time! Yay!

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    Today is exactly why people on Ebay charge so much for shipping. I decided to charge only 3.50 shipping for dreamcast games and I started my bidding at 99 cents on each game. I figure with lower shipping and low start price I would get lots of bids then could give multiple game winners combined shipping , .......oh no. I had 5 or 6 people watching the items for 7 days without bidding . Ended up selling 6 games so far for 99 cents. Then this douchebag who just won one of the games for 99 cents sends me a message asking if he wins this other game that is still at 99 cents could I combine shipping. Hell, it was probably one of the guys on here griping about how high shipping is. I just straight up told him that there was no in hell I was combining shipping for games he won for 99 cents.

    See if the seller doesn't boost up his shipping prices the buyer just tries to screw him over.

    After today I am officially on the high shipping bandwagon. And never again will I start bidding on my games for 99 cents. It's like you guys think sellers are just trying to be good guys and give you almost free games otherwise.

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    I would love to try Yahoo auctions. It scares me though that evertime I go there nothing seems to have any bids.

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    Lol, you guys are still talking about this?

    Anyway, it is a dead issue as I've long since paid for that item and the OMG pricy shipping. Relax guys. It's all over now.

    But I do walk away from thread with knowing that's it's A-OK to fatten up my shipping charge a bit next time I put stuff up for auction! Caveat emptor!

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    God as my witness.. I'm not lying when I say this.. something I meant to add to my post. The only.. ONLY! two people I have had message me in eBay in the past 4 months over S&H (one asked about combined shipping where I hadn't stated any, and the other asked for an outright "discount" on a single $10 item) were BOTH DP members. How do I know? They had the same nyms. One even brought it up.

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