Lost Money Because Of Shipping

Discussion in Shipping Services started by Rosyrain • Aug 8, 2015.

  1. Rosyrain

    RosyrainActive Member

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    I recently sold an old hat on eBay that was brand new and I did not want to donate it. I have not sold on eBay in a long time, and so by the time I shipped it, I ended up in the hole 50 cents as opposed to earning money. Looks like I do not have what it takes to be a good ebay seller! Has this happened to any of you?
     
  2. missbishi

    missbishiWell-Known Member

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    Yes it has. When I first started selling on eBay, there were a couple of occasions where I underestimated postage charges and ended up out of pocket. These days, I'll weigh the item first (on the kitchen or bathroom scales) then look up the correct postage on the Royal Mail website.
     
  3. Rosyrain

    RosyrainActive Member

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    I only had a couple of items to sell and realized that eBay is not really worth it for me unless I am buying something. I was so mad at myself after losing money. Some people can make a killing on the site, but I just don't have the time or energy to deal with it all. I am going to stick to only using Etsy for selling my crafts and just donate my unwanted items.
     
  4. Theo

    TheoWell-Known Member

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    Yes, I figured out sometimes it's not worth it. I have a bag of stuff that I keep saying I will put on ebay (mainly new), but it's more than just putting it up there; you have to pick the right day, time and season. Plus you have to keep monitoring questions so unless you really have time on your hands or do it full time, sometimes it's not worth it. I ended up giving some items away too.
     
  5. GemmaRowlands

    GemmaRowlandsActive Member

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    Yes, this has happened to me too, however you learn from your mistakes, and you should soon find that you know enough about eBay selling to stop it from happening to you again in the future. Simply write this experience off as a lesson to you, and know that it will not happen again. Always get a quote for shipping before you put things up for sale, as this way you can make sure that you will not pay more than you really have to for the things that you send to buyers.
     
  6. Rosyrain

    RosyrainActive Member

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    I think I am done selling things on eBay unless the item is very small and I could actually earn a lot of money by selling it. I was trying to use eBay as a virtual garage sale and it did not work quite like I intended. Plus I had to find time to make trips down to the post office to mail my packages.
     
  7. LilAnn

    LilAnnActive Member

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    I know an e-bay guy. He is on there almost 24 hours a day, buying and selling, both. He will have the buyer pay the shipping, but he'll add a few dollars to the shipping price, so he makes that much more. I wouldn't feel right ripping someone off llke that, but I would have to ask them to pay for shipping.
     
  8. Diane Lane

    Diane LaneWell-Known Member

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    @Rosyrain@Rosyrain Many online sellers have had that same experience. It's disappointing, but is definitely a lesson learned.

    I try to keep my shipping prices reasonable, but on top of higher postage costs these days, it's important to add in a little for shipping supplies, since you shouldn't have to eat those costs, either. Paper, ink, labels, boxes, packing supplies, and tape all cost money, and are on top of the amount you pay for actual shipping. If you're not adding those costs into the listing price for the items you're selling, you should build them into the shipping charges.
     
  9. sidney

    sidneyWell-Known Member

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    I guess people should always double check the prices of the shipping before they list the item to avoid being out of pocket. Over here, I know 2 local couriers that pick up the item from your home, and you only pay a maximum of $2.30 if the item is less than 2 kg for regular and provincial rates, so that's quite cheap.
     
  10. Jessi

    Jessi<a href="http://www.quirkycookery.com">QuirkyCooke

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    Yep, it sure has.

    I don't sell there much nowadays, but back when they upped all of their fees and started making changes in shipping requirements, I lost money a couple times. It usually happened when I would offer combined shipping on multiple purchases, but I didn't up the price enough to cover the additional sales and transfer fees.
     
  11. Diane Lane

    Diane LaneWell-Known Member

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    That's the problem @Jessi@Jessi, especially if you have a lot of listings that sit, and aren't updated periodically. Updating listings takes a long time, and it seems the shipping costs go up several times a year lately. A friend and I both have shops online and have gotten caught in this, where we hadn't realized the shipping rates had increased, and ended up losing quite a bit of money because we hadn't charged enough for shipping.

    I try to stick to lighter weight items in my shops, but occasionally, I'll end up shipping something heavy. I'd personally prefer to overcharge for shipping then give the person a partial refund, than undercharge and go broke. The last time it happened, I ended up losing money, after shipping and fees, and that wasn't even counting the time I'd spent taking and editing pictures, or listing and promoting the item.
     
  12. LilAnn

    LilAnnActive Member

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    In the US it seems like everyone uses flat rate shipping. If you can fit it in the box, it doesn't matter how much it costs. I've used that ALOT. And I've always gotten off cheaper because of it.
     
  13. Diane Lane

    Diane LaneWell-Known Member

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    Yes, I need to order some flat rate boxes. The ones I have here expired a while ago, I guess they changed the sizes/prices. Flat rate is definitely the way to go if you're boxing things. I usually ship in pretty small envelopes, and don't sell larger items very often, but do need to stock up on those for the rare times that I do.
     
  14. DrRipley

    DrRipleyExpert

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    My family has an ebay store so I thankfully have always had knowledge to consider shipping costs when pricing an item but I have read some horror stories from people who have gotten huge surprises when it came to finding out about their shipping expenses too late. For example, one of the stories I read was about someone who bought an expensive item overseas, for which they used a local shipping service to receive the item and send it to our country, only to find out that the shipping expense would only almost double the cost of the item so they eventually just had to cut their losses and not pick up the item due to it being more practical to just lose the money they have already spent on the item rather than pay double to actually receive it. It's really made me a bit paranoid about using those services and it's why I make sure that I can assure myself with as much detail as I can when it comes to shopping from foreign sites.
     
  15. LilAnn

    LilAnnActive Member

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    I had no idea they could expire. Its been a while since I used flat rate shipping. And when I did use it all the time, it was only for 6 months or so. When I get everything together to sell some of the stuff I don't need anymore, and don't have room for anymore, it'll be flat rate shipping when possible.
     
  16. Diane Lane

    Diane LaneWell-Known Member

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    From what I understand, they change the sizes and shipping costs. I'm sure that means the sizes go down, while the prices go up. Some of the ones i have are from 2012 and 2013, and I know a lot has changed since that time, so I'll just order some new ones, rather than measuring each one and trying to find the sizes and prices online. I ordered a lot back then, but then ended up switching what I sell from larger, bulkier items, to the smaller ones that I can ship more easily and cheaply.
     
  17. DreekLass

    DreekLassWell-Known Member

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    It makes sense that sellers would end up in the hole with certain sales. This is just another reason why I won't consider becoming an online seller in order to earn money. I am not a fan of the whole postage system anyway, as many things seem to go wrong for me when I place an order. I couldn't imagine being responsible for multiple orders and then having something go wrong.
     
  18. DonnaIReilly

    DonnaIReillyActive Member

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    I think Etsy is much better for items such as old hats. I find eBay is becoming more difficult to earn a profit when you sell on it! It's not worth it sometimes, because of the shipping expenses. I tend to stick to Etsy, because old items sell well and so do any type of hand made items.
     
  19. troutski

    troutskiWell-Known Member

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    There's NO reason that someone should end up losing money on an item they're selling through a marketplace. Not only is that unacceptable for sellers, but it's stupid. You can estimate shipping costs on the USPS, UPS, and FedEx websites with ease, and that's how you should be pricing things. You can even use shipping to your advantage by charging a little bit more within what eBay allows.

    Flate Rate shipping isn't always the most affordable option either. For lighter items, regular Priority mail through USPS is the better option.
     
  20. DonnaIReilly

    DonnaIReillyActive Member

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    I just find it depends on the item you are selling, because eBay's own selling fees are on top of the shipping cost. I just mean some things sell better on other sites, sorry! On Etsy, they only charge 20 cents to list something, so if it's a small item, you make more of a profit!