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  #1  
Old 06-14-2007, 02:43 PM
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Freight question for Ebay sellers

I am just starting to sell some things on Ebay. Usually between 1 and 5 lbs. It seems all my shipping options are pretty bad. The post office has jacked their rates through the roof. And UPS is no bargain either from the rates I have seen. Is there some way to find cheaper shipping? I would like delivery confirmation also of course.

Thanks,

Mike
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1998 C230 330,000 miles (currently dead of second failed EIS, yours will fail too, turning you into the dealer's personal human cash machine)
1988 F150 144,000 miles (leaks all the colors of the rainbow)
Previous stars: 1981 Brava 210,000 miles, 1978 128 150,000 miles, 1977 B200 Van 175,000 miles, 1972 Vega (great, if rusty, car), 1972 Celica, 1986.5 Supra
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  #2  
Old 06-14-2007, 03:22 PM
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What about by Greyhound bus?

I've heard they are reasonable and faster than you'd think.
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  #3  
Old 06-14-2007, 03:32 PM
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Unfortunately your options are pretty limited. Besides the USPS and UPS about your only other choices are going to be DHL and FedEx. Pricewise they are all going to be in the same neighborhood. Unless your shipping them from one of the pack & ship stores they charge you to pick up the package, also.

Once you tack on the tracking option and residential delivery option it can get out of hand quickly. I use UPS only because they do a regular pickup here at work so I don't have to drive somewhere to ship items.
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  #4  
Old 06-14-2007, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
What about by Greyhound bus?

I've heard they are reasonable and faster than you'd think.
Greyhound is actually a good option for larger packages. The buyer has to pick it up at the closest station though.
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'06 Chevy Tahoe Z71 (for the wife & 4 kids, current mule) '03 Honda Odyssey (son #1's ride, reluctantly) '99 GMC Suburban (255K+ miles, semi-retired mule) 21' SeaRay Seville (summer escape pod)
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  #5  
Old 06-14-2007, 09:26 PM
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Why are you worried about shipping cost's? The buyer pays for the shipping. All you need to do is be honest and not rip anyone off by inflating the costs. Most experienced ebayer's know what it cost to get their stuff shipped. Give the buyers a choice of shipping methods by including the ebay shipping calculator, it's so easy a caveman could do it.
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  #6  
Old 06-14-2007, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpolli View Post
I am just starting to sell some things on Ebay. Usually between 1 and 5 lbs. It seems all my shipping options are pretty bad. The post office has jacked their rates through the roof. And UPS is no bargain either from the rates I have seen. Is there some way to find cheaper shipping? I would like delivery confirmation also of course.
I've used FedEx Ground for a couple of years or so now with very satisfactory results.

Take package weight, dimensions, destination, value, etc. some time and run the numbers with FedEx Ground and UPS. I do this once in a while as a reality check, and FedEx usually thrashes UPS on price. Service has been fine, too.

Even as a small-timer, I get an even better rate by having an account with them - painless to set up on-line. It's easy to print a label at home (plain old paper, no special equipment) and have the package "good to go" when I get there. If the FedEx folks notice that, they don't even make me wait in line - just have me drop it on the counter, and I'm done. At the two local locations that I've used, the personnel have been unfailingly courteous and competent. The charges just show up on my credit card statement, along with the tracking numbers.

I can't use FedEx Ground with the eBay shipping calculator, but I have enough experience now to come up with what I consider to be reasonable flat rate shipping and handling charges for those within the continental U.S. I tell prospective buyers from elsewhere to contact me for estimated S & H costs.
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  #7  
Old 06-15-2007, 08:39 AM
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I do a PILE of shipping with UPS and we've tested FedEx. Generally, FedEx is cheaper than UPS, and USPS is cheaper than both. I won't buy from sites that unreasonably jack their shipping rates, so keep that in mind.

If you want a "deal" from those guys, I'll need to start shipping $300+ a week. I currently do about $2000+ a week, and I get a swinging deal.
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  #8  
Old 06-15-2007, 05:22 PM
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Unhappy Priority Rates through the roof

We also are feeling the effect of the latest USPS rate hike. Normally we set a flat rate for shipment of eBay items anywhere in the US via Priority Mail. However, since the rate increase it is becoming difficult to establish a "fair" rate to cover larger items. For example we have previously been able to ship a Mercedes headlight lens from Georgia to the West coast for less than $20, now with the new rates it is running almost $40. We can not pass through such a high rate on an item costing less than $130. The problem is that the Post Office now charges based upon the size of the box, not just the true weight and distance. In the past we have been very happy with the delivery time with using Priority Mail. But it looks like we may have to go with a slower delivery method based upon the cost of doing business with the USPS.
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  #9  
Old 06-16-2007, 08:25 PM
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Thanks for all the good advice. I will look into a Fedex account. I wonder why the Ebay calculator doesn't let you choose Fedex?? I wonder if they could file an antitrust complaint about that? I just did a listing today and used the freight calculator. Man, it is a lot of work doing these listings. Any advice to speed it up?

Thanks,

Mike
__________________
1998 C230 330,000 miles (currently dead of second failed EIS, yours will fail too, turning you into the dealer's personal human cash machine)
1988 F150 144,000 miles (leaks all the colors of the rainbow)
Previous stars: 1981 Brava 210,000 miles, 1978 128 150,000 miles, 1977 B200 Van 175,000 miles, 1972 Vega (great, if rusty, car), 1972 Celica, 1986.5 Supra
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  #10  
Old 06-16-2007, 10:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpolli View Post
Man, it is a lot of work doing these listings. Any advice to speed it up?
You might take a look at using the Turbo Lister software available for free from eBay. That lets you build your listings off-line, then submit them - no messing about with the "Sell Your Item" form on eBay's site.

Turbo Lister has tools in it to put together the item description. If you prefer to build your description using some other program (I do), then you can just copy and paste that description as HTML into Turbo Lister when setting up the listing.

For new items, you can start with an existing listing and modify it as necessary rather than doing it all from scratch. Once you've established your own personal style for listings, it gets easier.

There are other tools and pay-to-play services to automate things for high-volume sellers, but that's not my gig.
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  #11  
Old 06-17-2007, 01:29 AM
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I just downloaded the turbo lister. I suppose I can get a book an inch thick to learn how to use it... Can you explain it in 1 paragraph?! I will see if I can figure it out but any advice is welcome.

Thanks,

Mike
__________________
1998 C230 330,000 miles (currently dead of second failed EIS, yours will fail too, turning you into the dealer's personal human cash machine)
1988 F150 144,000 miles (leaks all the colors of the rainbow)
Previous stars: 1981 Brava 210,000 miles, 1978 128 150,000 miles, 1977 B200 Van 175,000 miles, 1972 Vega (great, if rusty, car), 1972 Celica, 1986.5 Supra
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  #12  
Old 06-17-2007, 10:03 AM
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Perhaps it's premature to start working with Turbo Lister just yet. I only recently started using it, and did so only because eBay's new "Sell Your Item" form was giving me fits. For my low number of items, I used to get by just fine without Turbo Lister.

How about this: On the eBay site, start with a listing you've already made, then use the "sell similar" option. That will set you up with a new listing based on the previous one, and you can edit it as necessary so that it suits the new item.

Get a few more listings under your belt, and see how it's going then. If you still find that it seems to be a lot of work, then you'll have to take a closer look at exactly where your time and effort are going if you want to streamline things. Composing the text? Formatting it? Handling pictures? Navigating the eBay forms?
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  #13  
Old 06-17-2007, 02:18 PM
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I think my main issue is figuring out what to charge, and whether buy it now or not and the freight, to use the calculator or flat rate. I could start everything at .99 but I am afraid of things going too cheap. On the other hand I am afraid of them not selling! I think I just need more experience selling to get the hang of it. With the new higher postal rates it limits the cheap stuff you can sell, unless they are really light. I would think Ebay would strike some deal with one of the carriers or start their own freight company!! Thanks for your advice.

Mike
__________________
1998 C230 330,000 miles (currently dead of second failed EIS, yours will fail too, turning you into the dealer's personal human cash machine)
1988 F150 144,000 miles (leaks all the colors of the rainbow)
Previous stars: 1981 Brava 210,000 miles, 1978 128 150,000 miles, 1977 B200 Van 175,000 miles, 1972 Vega (great, if rusty, car), 1972 Celica, 1986.5 Supra
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  #14  
Old 06-17-2007, 05:32 PM
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Charge them what it costs you..

and include the receipt so they can see the costs.

If they don;t like it, they can shop elsewhere.
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