ebay & sellers' "handling" charges

ebay & sellers' "handling" charges

Post by Duncan Kolle » Mon, 28 Aug 2000 04:00:00



At the risk of opening a can of worms, I'm curious what folks think about
the practice of somme sellers of stamps on e-bay of charging a flat $1.00
fee for "shipping & handling."  I have no problem with paying actual
shipping charges, but when I get a stamp in an envelope that was sent to me
for .33, and I paid a flat $1.00 "shipping," I can't help but feel ripped
off.  I have decided to do business only with those sellers who charge
actual shipping costs.  Comments?
- Duncan
 
 
 

ebay & sellers' "handling" charges

Post by Peter » Mon, 28 Aug 2000 04:00:00


<Can of worms opened>
I think that complaining of being 'ripped off' over small amount like
this are an excessive response. If the seller put "$1 s&h" and you
bid, then you accepted the $1 charge, no? So why complain? If they
didn't, it's minor at best. I mean what are they actually 'making' out
of their $1 fee? :-)

And what is "actual shipping charges"?
.33 for the stamp, .10 for envelope, maybe .05-.10 for cardboard (yes,
IF it's used and IF it's paid for, yes), comes to 48-53c for
materials. Add a penny for the pen ink, a penny for the spit, a penny
for the energy used to spit/lick, press, write, etc. and now we're at
51-56c. If (s)he drives to the post office (you do want him/her to
take the time to get you a nice hand cancel, yes?) , I dunno, what do
they figure cost of travel is in US -- how does 15c/Km sound? If it's
a 3Km round trip, you either made money on the deal or they did -- a
coupla pennies either way. Oh, yes, and then there's the time. At
minimum wage assuming it takes 20-30 minutes to handle a transaction,
what does that come to?

FWIW, I think $1 per is reasonable provided you can lump together lots
to reduce costs. So 10 single lots that aren't overweight = $1.

I've only ever complained when I was charged $3.50 by a dealer in
Texas to put 48c US on an envelope and mail a $1 stamps. Then I had to
pay my bank 60c to process the transaction because of the way he wrote
it up at his end. Total value of item to me= $1. Total cost = $4.10.
Yes, that is excessively high. But my complain was because he never
mentioned anything about the charge in the Auction offer.

And not every person selling is making a tidy profit from shipping
charges.
FWIW, I've quoted someone $4.50 (I think) to ship a book ground to US
(exactly as quoted by the PO), put the stamps on and mailed the item.
It came back insufficent postage, so I went back to PO to find out
what was going on. They checked and said, sorry, our mistake it's
$6.50 (or similar). We'll give you the $4.50 you had used.

Because it had taken so long I ended up spending about $11.50 to ship
Air Express. Why? Well, it wasn't the buyer's fault was it? And I had
quoted $4.50 to get it to them. So, I took my lumps and got it to
them.
HTH
<Can of worms closed>
----------

Quote:

>At the risk of opening a can of worms, I'm curious what folks think
about
>the practice of somme sellers of stamps on e-bay of charging a flat
$1.00
>fee for "shipping & handling."  I have no problem with paying actual
>shipping charges, but when I get a stamp in an envelope that was sent
to me
>for .33, and I paid a flat $1.00 "shipping," I can't help but feel
ripped
>off.  I have decided to do business only with those sellers who
charge
>actual shipping costs.  Comments?
>- Duncan


 
 
 

ebay & sellers' "handling" charges

Post by Oxnard Stam » Mon, 28 Aug 2000 04:00:00


As a frequent seller on eBay,  I charge what I believe is a reasonable
shipping and handling charge for the item being sold.  Most stamp lots
unless they are of the larger souvenir sheet size go for 50 cents.

I purchase envelopes in large bulk when they are on sale.  Usually they cost
2-3 cents each for better quality security envelopes.  For larger items,  I
purchase the heavier cardboard photo mailers.  These cost from 50 cents to
$1 depending upon size.

I then add the postage cost for this by weighing at home and determining the
postage as best I can.

Sometimes I have been wrong and have had to eat the extra cost,  but dealers
provide a service, I hope,  and this is what the collectors expect.

A fair shipping and handling cost on each lot is expected and should be
listed in the auction description.   When the total cost approaches the
mystical Priority Mail cost,  I notify the customer in advance as this will
expedite delivery to them.  I try to find a reasonable cost on multiple
items that is agreeable to me and the customer.

--
Regards from Oxnard Stamp

http://www.oxnardstamp.com


Quote:
> At the risk of opening a can of worms, I'm curious what folks think about
> the practice of somme sellers of stamps on e-bay of charging a flat $1.00
> fee for "shipping & handling."  I have no problem with paying actual
> shipping charges, but when I get a stamp in an envelope that was sent to
me
> for .33, and I paid a flat $1.00 "shipping," I can't help but feel ripped
> off.  I have decided to do business only with those sellers who charge
> actual shipping costs.  Comments?
> - Duncan

 
 
 

ebay & sellers' "handling" charges

Post by composer » Mon, 28 Aug 2000 04:00:00


"Can of worms re-opened, just slightly....."

Peter did a fine job explaining the dilemma faced by sellers and bidders in an
auction, especially if there is a single low priced item involved.
I would like to contribute my 12 cents worth (current average wages earned by
sellers per hour at auctions....).
I have attached below a question recently presented by one of the winners at my
Yahoo auctions. Name not released to protect the guilty...
My response is attached below as well.
Disposition of the drama: customer happily paid the $1.00 and is now a regular
bidder.
Keep smiling while you bid - it chases away the wrinkles.
Evelyn

=============================
(Customer inquiry)

It was quite a surprise to hear that I won the bid on the
Greenland stamp.  Shipping costs of $1.00 to mail a stamp that only
catalogs for 45 cents seems a tad excessive, don't you think?

===============
(my response)

I can understand your feeling about it, however the $1.00 is not just
for postage.
The handling time and packing for a single stamp, whatever its value, is about
the same as for a set that is valued at $50.00
The processing time for each transaction is around 15-20 minutes, not to speak
of the time needed in scanning, describing, glassines, packing
materials, etc. (now that at minimum wages comes to.....)
These  shipping terms were spelled out in print on my auction page and
any bidder is free NOT to place a bid if they do not agree with them.
In any case I am sorry but these have to be our terms and they are the
same for all. The only way to save is to win several lots at the same
time, as my terms indicate. Then it is possible for several lots to ride
together at a single lower rate.
There are a few hours left for a current group of lots to close and perhaps you
may care to bid, win and combine all lots into a single shipment.

If all this still does not meet with your approval - feel free to reject my
invitation to acquire this lot as the winning bidder. No hard
feelings.
Just please let me know as I can then enter the item again in a future
auction.
Thank you for taking part in my auctions and for your inquiry.

-------------

Quote:

> At the risk of opening a can of worms, I'm curious what folks think about
> the practice of somme sellers of stamps on e-bay of charging a flat $1.00
> fee for "shipping & handling."  I have no problem with paying actual
> shipping charges, but when I get a stamp in an envelope that was sent to me
> for .33, and I paid a flat $1.00 "shipping," I can't help but feel ripped
> off.  I have decided to do business only with those sellers who charge
> actual shipping costs.  Comments?
> - Duncan

 
 
 

ebay & sellers' "handling" charges

Post by cdj1.. » Mon, 28 Aug 2000 04:00:00


Duncan Koller  comments on "Actual shipping charges" vs. "Actual
postage"
.
I know a stamp dealer in the Tampa Bay area who spends two or more hours
each day at his shop addressing, packing, weighing  and otherwise
accounting for the items that he sells on eBay. His expenses include
postage of course, cartons and envelopes, wrapping material and so on.
.
Accounting for the items sold and payments received take up both time
and energy, not to mention space at his shop, whch is not free
.
He spends a certain amount of tht time communicating with the bidders
and winners.
.
His time and some of these expenses are a cost of doing business, but
somewhere there is a line and some of thse items or a part of them are
"shipping" expenses, since for instance he would not incur them were the
purchaser to enter the store and carry the item home himself.
.
It is certainly a valid question to ask where that line is, and figure
out as clearly as possible what might be justly included.
.
I have seen some eBay sellers impose what I thought was an excssive
charge and I keep that in mind when I am bidding. Once in a while I do
not pick up on some "overchrge" but if it was clearly included in the
description, then it is my blunder. I just become quite leary of that
sellers offerings.
.
The bottom line is that I usually determine what somethng is worth to me
and that is what I will bid, shipping included.

Charlie Jensen
Who's been everywhere, and done everything, but just has trouble
remembering everything !!!!

 
 
 

ebay & sellers' "handling" charges

Post by Edward Loc » Tue, 29 Aug 2000 04:00:00



Quote:
> At the risk of opening a can of worms, I'm curious what folks think about
> the practice of somme sellers of stamps on e-bay of charging a flat $1.00
> fee for "shipping & handling."  I have no problem with paying actual
> shipping charges, but when I get a stamp in an envelope that was sent to me
> for .33, and I paid a flat $1.00 "shipping," I can't help but feel ripped
> off.  I have decided to do business only with those sellers who charge
> actual shipping costs.  Comments?
> - Duncan

If it is larger than a stamp or a set of stamps, I weigh whatever it is I am selling (wrapper and
all), post the weight in the description of the item, and let the bidder choose his method of
delivery.  For souvenir sheets or large items, I am fond of the stiff cardboard photo mailers.  I
pass this cost on to the bidder.

Of course, for something that will travel in a 33 letter, I just say 33 postage.

I always state insurance is the responsibility of the bidder to cover myself.

|---------------------------------------------------|
| Edward A. Locke                                   |

| http://spacestamps.amhosting.com/                 |
|---------------------------------------------------|

 
 
 

ebay & sellers' "handling" charges

Post by Petre » Tue, 29 Aug 2000 04:00:00



Quote:
>....The bottom line is that I usually determine what somethng is worth to

me

Quote:
>and that is what I will bid, shipping included.

---------------------

I suspect that is how most people behave.

Therefore, it doesn't matter WHAT you charge for shipping.  If the stamp is
worth $25 to the high bidder to obtain, then if you charge $.33 for
shipping, he/she will bid $24.67.  If you charge $3.00 for shipping, the
high bidder will bid $22.  If you charge $10 for shipping, you will get a
winning bid of $15.00.  The seller will get the same total amount in any
case!

However, buyers clearly resent high shipping charges (whether they should or
not).  Therefore, it seems that the best policy is to charge nothing for
shipping (and to state this prominently in the ad).  In the above case, the
high bidder will actually bid $25, AND will like you more.

In fact, the above calculation should really be adjusted to incorporate a
"good will" factor: the amount people will bid = the cost of the stamp + the
cost of shipping - a monetary measure of the expected unpleasantness of
dealing with the particular seller.  If this is the more correct model, then
the person who charges $0 for shipping gets a full bid of $25, while the
seller who charges $10 might get a high bid of only $10 (because people
figure it costs them $5 in distress to deal with a person of such perceived
greed).

petrel

 
 
 

ebay & sellers' "handling" charges

Post by Peter G. Aitke » Tue, 29 Aug 2000 04:00:00


I will point out that time spent in scanning and describing a stamp are not
validly part of the "handling" charge.

Peter G. Aitken


Quote:
> "Can of worms re-opened, just slightly....."

> Peter did a fine job explaining the dilemma faced by sellers and bidders
in an
> auction, especially if there is a single low priced item involved.
> I would like to contribute my 12 cents worth (current average wages earned
by
> sellers per hour at auctions....).
> I have attached below a question recently presented by one of the winners
at my
> Yahoo auctions. Name not released to protect the guilty...
> My response is attached below as well.
> Disposition of the drama: customer happily paid the $1.00 and is now a
regular
> bidder.
> Keep smiling while you bid - it chases away the wrinkles.
> Evelyn

> =============================
> (Customer inquiry)

> It was quite a surprise to hear that I won the bid on the
> Greenland stamp.  Shipping costs of $1.00 to mail a stamp that only
> catalogs for 45 cents seems a tad excessive, don't you think?

> ===============
> (my response)

> I can understand your feeling about it, however the $1.00 is not just
> for postage.
> The handling time and packing for a single stamp, whatever its value, is
about
> the same as for a set that is valued at $50.00
> The processing time for each transaction is around 15-20 minutes, not to
speak
> of the time needed in scanning, describing, glassines, packing
> materials, etc. (now that at minimum wages comes to.....)
> These  shipping terms were spelled out in print on my auction page and
> any bidder is free NOT to place a bid if they do not agree with them.
> In any case I am sorry but these have to be our terms and they are the
> same for all. The only way to save is to win several lots at the same
> time, as my terms indicate. Then it is possible for several lots to ride
> together at a single lower rate.
> There are a few hours left for a current group of lots to close and
perhaps you
> may care to bid, win and combine all lots into a single shipment.

> If all this still does not meet with your approval - feel free to reject
my
> invitation to acquire this lot as the winning bidder. No hard
> feelings.
> Just please let me know as I can then enter the item again in a future
> auction.
> Thank you for taking part in my auctions and for your inquiry.

> -------------

> > At the risk of opening a can of worms, I'm curious what folks think
about
> > the practice of somme sellers of stamps on e-bay of charging a flat
$1.00
> > fee for "shipping & handling."  I have no problem with paying actual
> > shipping charges, but when I get a stamp in an envelope that was sent to
me
> > for .33, and I paid a flat $1.00 "shipping," I can't help but feel
ripped
> > off.  I have decided to do business only with those sellers who charge
> > actual shipping costs.  Comments?
> > - Duncan

 
 
 

ebay & sellers' "handling" charges

Post by Richard C..?.. » Tue, 29 Aug 2000 04:00:00


In my case, that $1.00 covers not only the postage, but packing the item so that it will not be damaged.  Stamps are easily creased.
It should be worth the $1.00 to get an undamaged stamp.   If you merely want it placed in an envelope with no further protection,
then YOU are the fool.

If you are getting stamps merely placed in an envelope, I suggest you place a STRONG negative against the seller.

================================================
: At the risk of opening a can of worms, I'm curious what folks think about
: the practice of somme sellers of stamps on e-bay of charging a flat $1.00
: fee for "shipping & handling."  I have no problem with paying actual
: shipping charges, but when I get a stamp in an envelope that was sent to me
: for .33, and I paid a flat $1.00 "shipping," I can't help but feel ripped
: off.  I have decided to do business only with those sellers who charge
: actual shipping costs.  Comments?
: - Duncan
:
:

 
 
 

ebay & sellers' "handling" charges

Post by kenneth stewar » Tue, 29 Aug 2000 04:00:00


As a view from a different direction, I would suggest that since many dealers
are dropping the show circuit for selling on ebay, because it is easier and
cheaper to do so, maybe they should share the extra profits they are making by
not charging any shipping costs at all.
The claim that auction buyers compensate for the shipping charges in their bids
is for the most part spurious. Few buyers who are not already overpaying for the
items they want have the control required to risk losing the wanted item. This
is like claiming an auction with high minimum bids is still an auction where, in
reality, it is merely a price list with the option to pay more.

Ken Stewart

 
 
 

ebay & sellers' "handling" charges

Post by Herb » Tue, 29 Aug 2000 04:00:00


This is really silly.

I used to get on the LIRR and ride a train into NYC at a cost of $10+,
then spend another $3 for a subway to Nassau Street. I pay over 8% sales
tax on purchases. I would walk from shop to shop and usually end up
buying lunch in town. A trip to pick up a few stamps in the city might
cost me $20 in casual expenses. That was part of the cost of collecting.

Now I sell some items on ebay. I have to sit and type out the
description, then write to the buyer, then cut cardboard for protection,
address the envelope, and I do it for a set fee of $1. In cases where a
buyer purchases more than one item, I combine the pieces at no extra
charge. If you can't afford the dollar, I suggest you just do not bid.

 
 
 

ebay & sellers' "handling" charges

Post by Edward Stam » Tue, 29 Aug 2000 04:00:00


I do a lot of selling on e-bay.  I charge .55 for postage.  Although I usually
put just .33 postage on the envelope, I put the stamps inside a plastic
baseball card 'top loader' which I buy for about a dime or so apiece.  This is
more efficient than 'cutting cardboard' to size, and many of my buyers love the
hard plastic holders.  Frankly, I can easily understand the $1.00 asked for by
many sellers, due to the incredible time demands with selling.   If a buyer
asks to provide a .33 SASE, I never refuse, since that saves me some time with
addressing the envelope.

What I do NOT understand is the $12 postage that some popular sellers get for
single stamps.  I don't care HOW well they pack those stamps!!

Quote:

> At the risk of opening a can of worms, I'm curious what folks think about
> the practice of somme sellers of stamps on e-bay of charging a flat $1.00
> fee for "shipping & handling."  I have no problem with paying actual
> shipping charges, but when I get a stamp in an envelope that was sent to me
> for .33, and I paid a flat $1.00 "shipping," I can't help but feel ripped
> off.  I have decided to do business only with those sellers who charge
> actual shipping costs.  Comments?
> - Duncan

 
 
 

ebay & sellers' "handling" charges

Post by Duncan Kolle » Tue, 29 Aug 2000 04:00:00


Being able to afford to dollar is not the issue....you missed the point

Quote:
> This is really silly.

> I used to get on the LIRR and ride a train into NYC at a cost of $10+,
> then spend another $3 for a subway to Nassau Street. I pay over 8% sales
> tax on purchases. I would walk from shop to shop and usually end up
> buying lunch in town. A trip to pick up a few stamps in the city might
> cost me $20 in casual expenses. That was part of the cost of collecting.

> Now I sell some items on ebay. I have to sit and type out the
> description, then write to the buyer, then cut cardboard for protection,
> address the envelope, and I do it for a set fee of $1. In cases where a
> buyer purchases more than one item, I combine the pieces at no extra
> charge. If you can't afford the dollar, I suggest you just do not bid.

 
 
 

ebay & sellers' "handling" charges

Post by Duncan Kolle » Tue, 29 Aug 2000 04:00:00


As I suspected, I did get some insight into how folks feel about these
charges.  First I should say it isn't the samll amount of money that is at
issue here, it is the idea.  I wonder how people would feel if they walked
into a store to buy an item over the counter and at the register the clerk
said "We add a flat $1 handling charge."  I also sell a few items on e-bay
and only charge actual postage.  I have absolutely no problem with people
charging for their actual expenses (postage & packing) - but that is not
what is happening.  For example I have received an item for .55.  It cost
.33 to mail, but the seller charged $1.00.  $1.55 for what should have been
.88.  Still sound like a rip off to me.   - Duncan
 
 
 

ebay & sellers' "handling" charges

Post by Peter » Tue, 29 Aug 2000 04:00:00


Duncan,
I think it's not a matter of whether they are charging more (or less)
than it's costing them. I think it's a matter of balance. "Rip-off!!!"
should be reserved for, well, "rip-offs" not minor issues over 88c
versus 100c. I mean, we're talking 12c here, and lots of evidence has
been brought to suggest that 12c is not a "rip off".

$12? Abso-pos-lutely a "rip-off!!" Actually, more like a "RIP-OFF!!!!"
:-)

12c? I dunno. I dont' think so.

But you never answered if the $1 s&h was stated in the auction info.
HTH
----------
Peter D

Quote:

>As I suspected, I did get some insight into how folks feel about
these
>charges.  First I should say it isn't the samll amount of money that
is at
>issue here, it is the idea.  I wonder how people would feel if they
walked
>into a store to buy an item over the counter and at the register the
clerk
>said "We add a flat $1 handling charge."  I also sell a few items on
e-bay
>and only charge actual postage.  I have absolutely no problem with
people
>charging for their actual expenses (postage & packing) - but that is
not
>what is happening.  For example I have received an item for .55.  It
cost
>.33 to mail, but the seller charged $1.00.  $1.55 for what should
have been
>.88.  Still sound like a rip off to me.   - Duncan