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General shipping questions, tips and answers

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Mod update :  This thread is for all non-technical questions about shipping on eBay and other marketplaces.

 

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I am relatively new to utilizing the eBay shipping tool. I like the convenience of it for sure. To those who have used or still use this tool, who do you normally ship with (USPS or FedEx)? I seem to find that FedEx is the cheaper of the two, but I see people referencing USPS as a cheaper option regularly. When I compare the (inserting package dimensions and weight) I might see $15 for FedEx and $36 for USPS Priority Mail. Am I missing something?

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USPS: If the shipping address is close to you or package is under a lb, under 2lb if it is a medium distance.

Fedex: For over 2lb  medium distance and far away packages use fedex unless the package is under 1lb.

 

One thing to be concerned about is sometimes Fedex can be very slow compared to priority/first class. Also with priority you have a fair amount of free shipping supplies at you disposal.

Edited by njseale

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FedEx is generally cheaper for the larger sets, but for really small stuff USPS wins out. There is no way you can ship cheaper than eBay's discounted first class rates for USPS. Although anything more than a pound or two will most likely be cheaper through FedEx.

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If you select FedEx Ground and it is going to a residential address, I believe you have to declare it is a residential address and then the price goes up.  I noticed this when I was comparing some prices.

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If you select FedEx Ground and it is going to a residential address, I believe you have to declare it is a residential address and then the price goes up. I noticed this when I was comparing some prices.

That's right. I check the residential address box and it changes over to FedEx at home.

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I was researching the requirements for becoming an eBay top rated seller after seeing that those who qualify get a 20% discount off of their final value selling fees. That would be a nice discount for me whose average transaction is $200ish. Are any of you top rated sellers?

 

For those that are, do you really notice a spike in visibility of your listings?

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I am shipping mostly midsized and larger sets. The average weight of the shipment is around 6 pounds.

 

Use Fedex - it is your cheapest option at your parcel size, even though it is slower.

Another benefit from my experience, both personally and professionally, is that Fedex seems receptive to insurance claims if something goes wrong. 

 

On top of that, if your package is 6LBs+, then you are probably selling sets starting at $250 so paying the extra couple of dollars for residential delivery is manageable.

 

If you use Fedex go with smartpost to residential.

Smartpost is REALLY slow, adding about 3 days delivery time - I used this method a couple of times and will use it no longer. 

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I unintentionally got TRS about six months ago, to me it's not that big of a deal. The discount is nice, but I will not get it this Christmas anyway because of the crazy return requirement. I only plan on selling around $2000 or so this season so I will just sacrifice that $40 in fees to feeBay.

I also have not noticed much of a sales spike. My listings always sold before I got TRS. I suppose I could try raising my prices a bit, but I'ld rather just keep moving product a a good pace.

Edited by Migration

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I am a top rated seller and have had the certification for probably a year or so now.

I have 500+ feedback with 100% rating.

 

I do not offer returns and I make that very clear in each listing and in my listing options.

 

Therefore I do not get the discount.

 

 

However I prefer never getting anything back to the discounts.

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If it is close by a  few $ go with USPS.

It goes on your ebay expense right away you don't have to track it and you won't get the FedEx extra fees later.

We have a thread about that whole debate, so we can add a link if someone has it but lets not re live it please!

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I've had TR for about 6 months. I offer returns on everything (14 day, 10% fee, buyer pays shipping) and have had none. I have 100% feedback and on pace to do around $8k in sales this year. This is my 2nd year of selling.

I have seen a noticeable uptick in sales since getting TR status....but it also coincides with my increase in inventory and activity so it's hard to draw a causal relationship.

What's actually helped the best is the storefront and I think it's well worth the $15/month if you're doing enough sales.

However, since I'm fairly new, I'm still learning the ropes a a well!

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I've had top rated plus since it started 2 years ago or so. I have only had 3-4 returns in all that time. That's selling a few hundred items a year. It's not that big of a deal. Now the extended returns during Christmas may be different.

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Mandatory returns are coming. May as well start now and get the discount.

 

I don't think that is the case.  Perhaps to maintain Top Rated Seller status they will require it but if you read through the blogs and ebay employee posts it says

Of course today if you sell an item not as described and it is accurate you have to do a return but that is not the same thing as not offering returns.

That is getting into an argument over did you sell what you advertised.

 

Here is what the blogs say:

 

Then, starting in early 2015, features of hassle-free returns

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Here's an update on the above I got from a blog site from town hall discussions

Jonathan is an ebay employee

 

First Question comes from:
Donna in New York: "Will Hassle Free returns be mandatory for all sellers by holiday season 2015 and beyond, including Chinese sellers? This will increase the number of TRS+ sellers? Plans to get rid of program by that point? For all GSP cases, will resolutions still be handled by GSP department? 

Jonathan Haney: We are going to make this mandatory for all DOMESTIC sellers. Our goal is to get everybody in, domestic and international. We are going to work on how to scale this in an easy to manage matter. It's only going to be for domestic sellers, with domestic transactions. 

Griff: By making Hassle Free Returns mandatory, are you making returns mandatory for all sellers? 

Jonathan: No. Sellers can have a no-returns policy.

Aparna: It will still be handled in the same fashion. If the seller issues a refund, it happens automatically. If there is a SNAD (item not as described), we expect the buyer to open a claim with the resolutions center. 

Donna (the seller): By the end of 2015 we are going to be responsible for SNADs, for return ship costs, for all transactions? 

Brian: When it comes to cases that get opened, we are not asking the seller to refund the return shipping cost.

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Mandatory returns are coming. May as well start now and get the discount.

 

It's been discussed many times before...

 

Returns have always existed for any seller regardless of what they put in their listing. Any buyer can claim "not as described" and a seller has essentially no choice but to accept a return. If a seller refuses a "not as described" claim, then eBay will refund the buyer themselves, charge the seller's account and let the seller keep the item. The worst that a seller can do is have the buyer pay return shipping. All a seller can do is get the item back and then open a case with eBay to get the return rejected in eBay's appeals process.

 

Because of this, there's no point not to get the discount if you qualify. Listings that qualify for TRS (allow returns) do appear earlier in the "Best Match" search listings which is the default for anyone when they do a search. People get the "Best Match" (and therefore more views just by default) before they get the option to switch to "lowest price", etc.

Edited by grackleflint

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It was this benefit they list that was intriguing: 

 

  • Improved search standing

 

This is why I asked if any of you TR's had noticed an increase in visibility / sales.

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It's been discussed many times before...

 

Returns have always existed for any seller regardless of what they put in their listing. Any buyer can claim "not as described" and a seller has essentially no choice but to accept a return. If a seller refuses a "not as described" claim, then eBay will refund the buyer themselves, charge the seller's account and let the seller keep the item. The worst that a seller can do is have the buyer pay return shipping. All a seller can do is get the item back and then open a case with eBay to get the return rejected in eBay's appeal process.

 

Because of this, there's no point not to get the discount if you qualify. Listings that qualify for TRS do appear earlier in the "Best Match" search listings which is the default for anyone when they do a search. People get the "Best Match" (and therefore more views just by default) before they get the option to switch to "lowest price".

 

Thanks I agree with what your saying regarding you get returns for not as described.

However, where you say there is no point not to get the discount, what about situations where a person changes their mind.

I have sold a lot of expensive things over the last few years and I would rather have them reject on a not as described and they can submit what is wrong for consideration.

 

But like with Amazon you can go ordered by mistake, etc etc

I do not want those type of returns.

 

So I think there is still value in marked as no returns.

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One comment yes best match is good.

But to a halfway savvy buyer do not most people when they want a buy it now, hit new items, buy it now and sort by price + shipping lowest.

Then find the lowest price.

 

I do not go off of best match personally buying anything.

 

Perhaps to uninformed and untrained buyers that helps.

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Yes - The TRS status does have an impact on sales.

 

I have been a TRS for many years. There was one brief period where I lost my status (it was ugly, I was clearly sabotaged and in the end eBay wouldn't help - it was the only time they ever let me down). Of course, it was for Nov, Dec (the holidays), and it had an obvious impact on sales.

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Thanks I agree with what your saying regarding you get returns for not as described.

However, where you say there is no point not to get the discount, what about situations where a person changes their mind.

I have sold a lot of expensive things over the last few years and I would rather have them reject on a not as described and they can submit what is wrong for consideration.

 

But like with Amazon you can go ordered by mistake, etc etc

I do not want those type of returns.

 

So I think there is still value in marked as no returns.

 

From my (suspicious) point of view, if a buyer really wants to return something, they will do what they need to to make sure that happens. So, if they are making a bogus "not as described" claim and they want to ensure that they win, they just need to "damage" the item for it to qualify.

 

Rather than having someone "damage" something, I would rather just get it back in as good a condition as possible to resell to someone else. All it takes is just one "new" set that becomes "used/missing parts/minifigures" to make it worthwhile to make a return as smooth as possible.

Edited by grackleflint
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Being top-rated definitely helps with visibility - i.e. showing up near the top of the featured listings, provided your item is priced appropriately.

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