Sunday, June 15, 2014

An Ebay Seller Question

I know it is Sunday....and Happy Father's Day to all those Fathers and Father-Figures!!!   But I have a quick question and I am hoping that someone can help me.

There was something on Ebay I was looking at.  It is small....would fit into a standard letter envelope.  Even with some tissue paper would still fit.  The shipping is $3.32.  Is that because the seller is charging insurance?

The item is $15....$3.32 for shipping is high.  Shipping comes to 18% of the total cost....for a tiny thing that fits into a regular envelope.



  1. Ask? lol! If you want it, i'd just pay it... doesn't seem like much to me, but i'm in Canada and our postage rates are obscene.

  2. Sellers also get charged the ebay fee on shipping costs. The weight of the item may be more, the shipping materials used may be larger than standard letter-sized envelope, adding to the cost. And basically sellers can charge whatever they wish for postage, this could be the standard minimum this person uses. Best way to get an answer is to simply ask.

  3. Nothing really out of the ordinary. Since ebay charges fees on shipping as well as in the value of the items, people try to pad their final price with the shipping fee. So it could be that he originally wanted $18 for the item with free shipping. I wouldnt think much about it; tracking is free on first-class mail items (not 100% sure about letters, but it is the case for packaging envelopes and letters). If $18 is a fair price for the item overall, go for it. This is a bleed through of before eBay started charging fees for shipping, and people would price the item lowly (to get charged less fees), and most of the item's cost as shipping.

  4. You have to also consider supplies, gas and time, etc. It's probably shipping and "handling". $3.32 doesn't seem too high to me. I wouldn't pay shipping that was $5 or $6 but $3.32 is realistic.

  5. Hi Mysti,
    I am a regular reader but have never commented before.
    I sell on eBay & it depends on the weight. I print my labels right through eBay and the cheapest price for a first class package up to 3 ounces is $1.93. So if it weighs more than that is goes up a bit for each ounce. That is with tracking included but not insurance. I would not use a regular letter envelope because I do not think USPS would provide tracking for that and I would never send a eBay order without tracking for proof of delivery. I use padded mailers.Plus whatever a seller charges for shipping eBay and PayPal take their cut which is about 13% total, so if they are charging $3.32 they are actually getting about $2.89. Sorry kind of a long explanation, hope it helps.

    1. Thanks for the details!

      I think where my question came in is that I just bought a hardbound book and paid that much for shipping. The item I was referring to today is a bead for a bracelet. No where near the same size or weight...and even with padding to protect it, it weighs next to nothing!

  6. Sellers can charge anything for shipping, seller is passing the eBay fee to you...

  7. Books can be shipped much more cheaply in the US than other kinds of goods so shipping for books tends to be lower.