The comprehensive eBay shipping shortcuts thread
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Post Posted: Sat May 12, 2007 10:02 am 
 

Hey!  That is just what I needed in a reference for boxes.  In fact, the two sizes you mentioned are exactly what I often come up short for.  Boxed sets and medium sized boxes for lots of books.  Can you please post which sizes you have found work good for those two needs?  It would be greatly helpful since you would be certain which sizes would leave room for protective packing material.  It looks like there is a nice sale on multi-depth boxes right now if anyone else is interested.

  

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Post Posted: Sun May 13, 2007 12:53 am 
 

I've read this thread with interest, and have decided to put my view in (bear in mind this is irrelevant to most of you - you don't live in England!)

I investigated buying postage online - it really is as simple as X says and I can really see why you woud do it - particularly in the US where it seems almost everyone's postal service providers are muppets!

On balance though there are a couple of reasons why it's not for me.

1) I'm a computer moron and I have a terrible fear of this sort of thing going wrong - if it happened to anyone it would happen to me :roll:

2) I value my post office. I spoke to the nice lady at my local office about this (Denise), while she was sorting out my parcels and she told me that such things are taking off - and at the same time putting another nail in the coffin of local post offices.
We are a little blase about it but, in real terms, particularly for many smaller villages the post office is the hub of the community, often being the only outlet for people to do their banking/bills. Its fine for us bright young things to do everything online and by phone but many older people still need the convenience(!) of standing in line and getting their pension,buying their license stamps,moaning about the youth of today, all in one convenient spot.

And, I actually quite like hanging around in the post office! I generally have my daughter with me in the push chair who always attracts the attention of the old dears getting their pensions , and I, like an old lady, rather like to chat and gossip to anyone in a 10' radius  - a little bit of nonsense maybe, but it passes the time!

Not to do down the way anyone else does it of course, perhaps if I did it for a living I'd do it differently.


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Post Posted: Sun May 13, 2007 10:29 am 
 

This is a good box for box sets (It's a good snug fit but you'll want to provide protection with the SMALL bubble wrap, you can't wrap with big bubble wrap and still have it fit):

https://www.uline.com/ProductDetail.asp?model=S-650

This one holds a good medium sized lot of books:

https://www.uline.com/ProductDetail.asp ... &ref=401_3

Now I just sit back, wait for a sale and presto!  If you live close to one of their warehouses and are adventurous you can even go pick up the boxes yourself and not pay shipping.

  


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Post Posted: Sun May 13, 2007 10:53 am 
 

Thanks for the references to the boxes.  I also found an interesting variable size box that would work for medium sized lots down to boxed sets with room for packing.  You just cut away along dotted lines what you don't need and fold from there. Sadly, I live about as far from a shipping local as you can in the continental US.  No love for Washington State today, I guess. :)

Gyg:  You make a very interesting point, I think.  I love my trips to the post office too.  I know the people there very well and people(customers) are always civil there.  In my case the fine employees of the local post office have been trying to convince me for a year to schedule pick-ups and send from home.  Much like grocery store check out people, I believe postal desk employees are graded somewhat on the number of customers they help and how well they push the Priority products.  Though they have always been nice and helpful, they sometimes kid about how I am killing them by taking their time on cheap media-mail packages.  It is all in good taste, but behind these gentle jokes I believe there is some truth.  For me, I have to drag along three kids with me to the post office and the balancing of 10 packages on top of 'hurding of cats' through the office is really starting to get to me.

Maybe I am the exception, but our local post office employees have always been top notch and my mail carrier bends over backward to help at any opportunity (like when he is delivering 10 very heavy boxes of books  :oops: ).  He is rather cosmopolitan, updating me on his latest read or out of country travel.  Sadly he is retiring in a few months so I have no idea what he will be replaced with.

Andy

  

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Post Posted: Fri May 25, 2007 10:36 am 
 

Printing postage online has been going great....no hassles.  My desktop computer is outof commission and I'm having to do it the old way today.....and it sucks!  So I guess I'm a convert to printing out the postage online now....

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Post Posted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 11:07 am 
 

Make sure you list the cheapest shipping method you offer first when listing the shipping services you offer.  The first method you list is the one that will show up on the search page, and if you have a $60 express mail price showing you may drive away customers who think you charge ridiculous shipping charges without even looking in your item to find out that you also offer a $6.50 media rate.  (Just something I noticed today while perusing listings to bid on)

  


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Post Posted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 3:29 pm 
 

Oh, that just reminded me: eBay will soon be introducing new shipping-related ways to display search results. I think they'll be adding the ability to sort by shipping price and to sort by total price (current high bid plus shipping price). It was in one of their recent announcements, but I don't have the link handy right now.

So, yes, as Reindeer says, be sure to check your templates. It would be a shame to come out on the wrong end of those search results through no real fault of your own.

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Post Posted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 9:04 pm 
 

Xaxaxe wrote:Oh, that just reminded me: eBay will soon be introducing new shipping-related ways to display search results. I think they'll be adding the ability to sort by shipping price and to sort by total price (current high bid plus shipping price). It was in one of their recent announcements, but I don't have the link handy right now.

So, yes, as Reindeer says, be sure to check your templates. It would be a shame to come out on the wrong end of those search results through no real fault of your own.


Searching by shipping price is long overdue.  As it is, shipping price is what I look at first these days.  The list of shipping ripoff sellers is long.


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Post Posted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 1:47 am 
 

FormCritic wrote:
Searching by shipping price is long overdue.  As it is, shipping price is what I look at first these days.  The list of shipping ripoff sellers is long.


Unfortunately, my sales will probably suffer, because I'm NOT the cheapest shipper out there. But your items will get there in the same condition as I sent them, guaranteed, or a refund will follow.  I don't think a lot of newbie buyers (hell, experienced buyers) understand that when you pay for the cheapest shipping, you get....the cheapest shipping. Aka newspaper wrapped, brown paper wrapped, thrown in a beat up cardboard box with no packing material, sent media mail (slow and gets to rattle around in the back of a semi for a week or more), no back boards, no poly bagging, no padded envelopes,  you get the picture.  For some items, cheap shipping is no problem for me....i.e., a $5 cd, a single module I'm going to use and not resell, a paperback I'm going to read, etc.  However, if you are buying, say, an OCE and shipping is $3, well, good luck with all that.
 But having said that, shipping ripoffs do happen.  You pay for high shipping, and you STILL get the ass whip of having the above happen to your package. I would tell buyers, as always, to look at the feedback and especially look for comments on shipping...sometimes, even positive feedback will contain grains of information.  I'm proud of my shipping methods and often get positive comments in my feedback.  I just hope the sorting by shipping isn't going to ding me too bad. I may have to start just slipping everything ina  brown manilla folder, stapling the sides, and saying "$1 shipping!" to get high in the search results...

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Post Posted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 11:13 am 
 

Actually, you might have to do that, Mike.   :x

You might offer the lowest end shipping for sellers who want to take their risks with the mail.

The guys I automatically sort out are the ones charging $7 to ship a module.  I figure, if they are already scamming on the postage what else are they doing?

I wish I could also sort out the guys whose idea of "combined shipping" is $4.95 for the first slim module and a whole dollar off for each slim module after that.  Putting those slim modules into the same envelope for exactly no difference in cost can be so stressful!

Shipping ripoffs are now the standard operating procedure on Ebay.  It was only a matter of time until Ebay acted on it as the practice cuts into their profits.

I also think that it should be possible to automatically sort out the guys who do not list shipping at all.  A firm price for shipping should be the standard.  I won't buy from a seller who will not state the shipping in advance...which is why I have never been smoked by a guy like Cougarrinard.

In my sorting priority, shipping would be sorted with lowest first and no shipping listed would be last or not listed at all.  That would make things harder on the guys who list their shipping in the actual auction text (they would just have to change their ways), but it would also cut down on the ripoff artists.

In the long run, the profit/loss margin would favor established sellers, who know the shipping rates and can list them in advance.  Sellers just entering the market would be better coached by the long-term sellers.  Currently, the one-time guys are taking their cue from the high end shippers and adding a couple of bucks.

This will also have the effect of driving up auction prices more into the range of established Ebay store prices.  With no advantage being accrued by listing for 99 cents and charging $12 for shipping, low-end sellers will bring their prices more in line with higher end sellers.

Such a system would only really be a disaster for guys like Cougarrinard, who typically make most of their profit by shipping ripoffs.


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Post Posted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 11:55 am 
 

FormCritic wrote:
In my sorting priority, shipping would be sorted with lowest first and no shipping listed would be last or not listed at all.  That would make things harder on the guys who list their shipping in the actual auction text (they would just have to change their ways), but it would also cut down on the ripoff artists.

In the long run, the profit/loss margin would favor established sellers, who know the shipping rates and can list them in advance.  Sellers just entering the market would be better coached by the long-term sellers.  Currently, the one-time guys are taking their cue from the high end shippers and adding a couple of bucks.



Argh. That is me (listing shipping options in the text).  I probably won't change that in the near future, and if I do, it will be to dramatically raise shipping prices (because listing it in the description allows me to state every single shipping option/price; the standardized form does not).  The only solution for me would be to just raise the shipping to the highest standardized price for the item sent by priority mail, and eliminate the other options (first class, media mail, etc).  This is especially true of international mail, which can vary a lot depending on which country it's being mailed too.  The alternative is to say "flat rate boxes for all interntional"....which right now is $32 overseas.  8O  I'll just have to see how it shakes ouy.  For the present I'm not too worried, as I don't list a lot of items that have, say, 16 other listings....as a matter of fact, just got through listing about 20 7th Sea products that either had no other ebay listings, or a couple at most.  
 Once again, I would urge buyers to look at a seller's feedback/reputation rather than rush to buy from the guy with the lowest price...because if the guys listing "Shipping for a dollar!" start stealing my business...get ready for the clasp manila envelopes with a piece of tape across the front as the standard shipping from BadmikesBooks  :wink:

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Post Posted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 12:55 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:The alternative is to say "flat rate boxes for all interntional"....which right now is $32 overseas.  8O  


I'm pretty sure there are sellers who already do that now, as I know it doesn't cost $20+ to ship a single module across the border into Canada even after the postal rate hikes.

Personally, I tend to avoid those sellers like the plague, because I'm probably still going to get the item in a manila envelope with tape across the front. :roll:

  

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Post Posted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 1:05 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:
The alternative is to say "flat rate boxes for all interntional"....which right now is $32 overseas.  8O  

Mike B.


Flat Rate boxes are $37.00 overseas . . .  $35.15 if you purchase online.


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Post Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 1:01 am 
 

Has anyone looked into shipping by, say, UPS, FedEx, etc.--whether its cheaper, more expensive, or a wash?

  

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Post Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 7:15 am 
 

sleepyCO wrote:Has anyone looked into shipping by, say, UPS, FedEx, etc.--whether its cheaper, more expensive, or a wash?


I know that it has been mentioned before, but if a seller just ships by UPS they will not have many Canadian bidders.
Anything over $20 US that is shipped to Canada through UPS has to go through a customs broker adding some rather hefty fees.
I am sure that there are ways that a person can do the paperwork themselves without the broker, but it is so difficult that the occasional buyer would just pass by the auction.


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Post Posted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 11:05 am 
 

just a question on the flat rate box: one limit is the 20 pounds of weight... but what about the dimension of the container? is there any threshold?
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Post Posted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 11:23 pm 
 

I buy all my shipping supplies at E-Supply.

http://www.esupplystore.com/

They have bubble mailers, book-fold boxes, tape, bubble wrap, etc...

Another trick I have learned is that, if I take my stuff to the main/central Post Office in town as opposed to my local branch so my packages are delivered about one day faster.  Fortunately, the main Post Office is close to my work, so I just drop stuff off on my way.  My feedback includes lots of fast shipping comments.

I ship internationally often.  I require Registered Mail ($7.90) for all shipments to Italy.  The Italian Post Office loses packages and seriously delays packages all the time.  However, I mostly sell miniatures so my packages are light.


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Post Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 7:49 am 
 

aia wrote:just a question on the flat rate box: one limit is the 20 pounds of weight... but what about the dimension of the container? is there any threshold?
tnx and ciaooo


Axel, flat Rate boxes do have a weight limit of 20 lbs, however you can't just use any old box and ask for the Flat rate.  There are 2 very specific types of boxes that the USPS supplies you that are meant only for flat rate.  Any other box other than those 2 types of boxes, no matter what they look like in size or shape are not eligible for Flat rate shipping.  Here is a link that shows the 2 boxes in question:

http://www.stamps.com/export/client/pos ... boxes.html

Keep in mind though that although those prices from that page are not up to date, the boxes themselves are still the same sizes.


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Post Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 11:12 am 
 

bclarkie wrote:
Axel, flat Rate boxes do have a weight limit of 20 lbs, however you can't just use any old box and ask for the Flat rate.  There are 2 very specific types of boxes that the USPS supplies you that are meant only for flat rate.  Any other box other than those 2 types of boxes, no matter what they look like in size or shape are not eligible for Flat rate shipping.  Here is a link that shows the 2 boxes in question:

http://www.stamps.com/export/client/pos ... boxes.html

Keep in mind though that although those prices from that page are not up to date, the boxes themselves are still the same sizes.



ah-ahhh... ok! now it seems much more reasonable! tnx a lot for the link!
ciao


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Post Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 12:21 pm 
 

benjoshua wrote:I buy all my shipping supplies at E-Supply.

http://www.esupplystore.com/



You might try Uline for your boxes being in Georgia (bubble mailers aren't competitive).  The rates are similar, and they ship out of Duluth so I find that shipping to me is CHEAP and really really fast, or if I find myself in the area I can go pick em up for free.

  
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