August 23rd, 2004


more eBay musings ...

Why do some buyers leave sellers bad feedback for excess shipping charges? I have had one or two situations where I knew I was getting reamed on shipping, but was interested enough in getting the product that I was willing to pay the combined total of the auction plus the stated shipping (mind you, I've become very leery of any auction that does NOT list the actual shipping costs!). Come on, in most cases the shipping is listed right there ... it should be part of your calculation on the cost of the item ... that's why I tend to bid on single card auctions in groups, since typically sellers will send x number of cards for one shipping cost, or have a base shipping cost and each additional for another quarter or something.

Some sellers DO jack up the shipping to make a non-commissioned profit (eBay doesn't take a cut on the shipping charges), but many pad the shipping to cover boxes/packing and their time for going to the post office. It's amazing me to read feedback where folks are screaming that the shipping charge was more than the postage on the package ... what do they expect, especially since they (by bidding on the auction) agreed to that charge.

I have been looking at some sellers' feedback before bidding on some "pig in a poke" auctions, which is why this came up today. I'm also gearing up to sell a bunch of stuff on eBay and I'm wanting to make sure that I'm not going to fall into any avoidable "traps" on that. For instance, these Pokemon EX gift tins I've got, with packaging, come to just a whisker under a pound ... I had some 8x8x8" Priority Mail boxes sitting around from way back, and figured that these would be ideal for sending them out, but I was initially hesitant to charge for Priority Mail, since I typically hate it when that is the only option. However, for a one pound package to go, say, from here to New York, it would only be a dime cheaper to go with Parcel Post, and with Parcel, I'd have to go buy boxes, making it more expensive than doing Priority with the P.O. boxes! I just hope that I can keep these boxes at a pound (I'm going to have to bring one in to get weighed, it's going to be that close once I put in a receipt and stick on a label!), as the shipping will go up by over a buck if it goes over. On the other stuff I have going for eBay, I'm hoping to sneak out via Media Mail (ah, I do miss those rates from my book shipping days!).

Man ... I didn't even care about this entry ... I hope you were real bored and just looking to kill some time when you started reading it!

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