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Losing Sales By Overcharging For Shipping And Handling


As a serious seller on eBay you're familiar with their fee circumventing rules. If not, visit: http://pages.eBay/help/policies/listing-circumventing.html.

In a nutshell their rule is that you are not allowed to put an item up for bid for a penny and charge $100 for shipping and handling (S&H) in an attempt to avoid the transaction fee. Since we are not trying to avoid fees we all follow the rules - right? To a certain extent yes, but many sellers are still stretching the bubble by over charging for S&H in an attempt to maximize their profits and losing bidders in the process - the end result is the opposite of what they hoped for. Ultimately they reduce their sales and although these efforts fit within eBay's policies, when extreme, they are considered an unfair practice by many buyers.

I'll give you an example. I play in a Texas-No-Hold-Em poker game once a month - just a bunch of friends who get together, play a little poker, talk about their lives and have some fun. I thought it would be nice if we had some 'professional-style' poker chips so went to eBay to buy some. I like to think of myself as an intelligent eBay shopper so I watched the auctions for a few days and noticed that the final price averaged $60 for the chips I wanted (retail is about twice that at a local store). The market was determining the price, or was it?

As I watched these auctions I noticed an interesting problem, the shipping charges varied greatly. For the sake of this example let's say one seller was offering S&H at $20, another at $30 and one $50. We'll call them Seller A, Seller B and Seller C. As a buyer, if I was willing to accept the price determined by the market - in this case $60, then the final cost of the item from each of these sellers would be:

Seller A: $60 + $20 = $80
Seller B: $60 + $30 = $90
Seller C: $60 + $50 = $110

I did some additional homework and discovered the package would weigh 17 pounds, the size would not increase shipping costs and the sellers were all in my state. I went to the UPS and Fed-X web sites and plugged in the needed information for shipping cost estimates. The results were $11 and $17. All things being equal the total cost of the chips should be around $71-$78. So which seller's auction did I bid on? Only one - Seller A - and I got the chips for $52, plus S&H ($72). If I hadn't won that auction I may have bid on Seller B's but probably would have lowered my total bid amount by $10. Seller C's auction closed without a singe bid.

Seller A got my business, Seller B may have, and as far as I was concerned, and apparently other bidders, Seller C can go pound sand. The outcome of this example should be pretty clear and it should be obvious by now that you don't want to be Seller C. Although you may get an occasional windfall with less savvy bidders, in the long term your sales will be much less than that of other sellers of similar items.

That's not to say you shouldn't recoup your shipping and handling costs in the process. We're not in business to lose money, but make sure you are not trying to pad your 'profit' at the expense of loosing bidders and ultimately sales. Take the time to do similar research on your own items and market niche and find out where you stand with your shipping and handling charges. If you're fair to your customers they will think better of you for it and in the long run your sales will be better.

© Copyright 2005 Steven Woodward - All Rights Reserved

About the Author:
Steven Woodward is the owner, editor and publisher of the Auction Sellers Network (ASN); a web site for individuals and companies who are serious about utilizing the online auction marketplace for their business. In addition to topical articles, ASN provides an extensive resource center, news feeds, member forums and classified ads. For more information or to become a member please visit http://www.AuctionSellersNetwork.com.

No permission is needed to reproduce an unedited copy of this article as long the About the Author tag is left intact and included. We do request that we be informed where it is posted and reciprocal links will be considered.


TODAYS NEWS BY OFFICEJAX FREE ADVERTISING AND AD EXCHANGE SOLUTIONSMORE RESOURCES updated Fri. November / 22 / 2019

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3 Auctions Rule Digital Advertising. Here's A Guide To Navigating Them  AdExchanger

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Treasury Announces Details Of Long-Term Securities Auctions  Nasdaq

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Record-Breaking Nike "Moon Shoes" for Sale Courtesy of Goldin Auctions  InsideHook

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Hitler's top hat up for auction in Germany  Reuters

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For Auctions, It’s ‘No Froth,’ but ‘Steady.’ That’s the New Normal.  The New York Times

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Auctions: what you should know before you go  MoneyWeek

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MARVEL COMICS #1 Auction Ends With $1.26m Record  Newsarama

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The Racket Serena Williams Smashed During the 2018 US Open Will Go Up for Auction  Observer

Estonia launches competitive renewables auctions - pv magazine International
Estonia launches competitive renewables auctions  pv magazine International

Hitler's tophat and Nazi memorabilia are up for auction. Critics say it 'glorifies' Nazis - USA TODAY
Hitler's tophat and Nazi memorabilia are up for auction. Critics say it 'glorifies' Nazis  USA TODAY

Signed Michael Jordan $5 check from game of pool in 1984 now up for auction - USA TODAY
Signed Michael Jordan $5 check from game of pool in 1984 now up for auction  USA TODAY

Fall Art Auctions See Significant Declines - The New York Times
Fall Art Auctions See Significant Declines  The New York Times

Doris Day’s Estate Will Go Up for Auction in April - Hollywood Reporter
Doris Day’s Estate Will Go Up for Auction in April  Hollywood Reporter

First Marvel Comics Issue Sells For $1.26 Million At Dallas Auction - KERA News
First Marvel Comics Issue Sells For $1.26 Million At Dallas Auction  KERA News

Ball boy who kept Serena Williams' broken U.S. Open racket sold it for $500—now it could go at auction for $50,000 - CNBC
Ball boy who kept Serena Williams' broken U.S. Open racket sold it for $500—now it could go at auction for $50,000  CNBC

Power Perspective: Polish 2020 RES auction ambition indicates potential move towards subsidy-free wind - ICIS
Power Perspective: Polish 2020 RES auction ambition indicates potential move towards subsidy-free wind  ICIS

Princess Diana’s Velvet Gown, Worn at White House Dinner, Hits Auction - Barron's
Princess Diana’s Velvet Gown, Worn at White House Dinner, Hits Auction  Barron's

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What Auction House Estimates Really Mean—and What They Can Tell Us  Artsy

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Neighborhood hopeful after Trixie’s sold at auction  WAVE 3

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Farmland Auctions: A Wild Day in Southeast South Dakota  Successful Farming

County switches to online property auctions - goskagit.com
County switches to online property auctions  goskagit.com

Winterfest auction, films presented Saturday - Peninsula Daily News
Winterfest auction, films presented Saturday  Peninsula Daily News

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Editors' Picks: Looking Back At Five Under-The-Radar Lots From November's Geneva Auctions  HODINKEE

Alex Trebek Jaguar up for sale at Palm Springs Auction Nov. 22-24 - Desert Sun
Alex Trebek Jaguar up for sale at Palm Springs Auction Nov. 22-24  Desert Sun

Cedar Point Auctions Decades Of Unwanted Historical Items - CBS Pittsburgh
Cedar Point Auctions Decades Of Unwanted Historical Items  CBS Pittsburgh

Children's Auction founder reflects on event's growth, popularity - The Laconia Daily Sun
Children's Auction founder reflects on event's growth, popularity  The Laconia Daily Sun

France's 5G spectrum auction delayed to March 2020: sources - Reuters
France's 5G spectrum auction delayed to March 2020: sources  Reuters

The Art Market Exhales As Record Sales Salvage Semiannual Auctions - Bloomberg
The Art Market Exhales As Record Sales Salvage Semiannual Auctions  Bloomberg

Annual KVOE radio auction brings in $14,132 for National Teacher's Hall of Fame induction activities - KVOE
Annual KVOE radio auction brings in $14,132 for National Teacher's Hall of Fame induction activities  KVOE

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Art Auction Market Analysis by Channel, Price, Product & Geography - Worldwide Forecasts to 2024  PRNewswire

Iconic dress Princess Diana wore to dance with John Travolta up for auction - USA TODAY
Iconic dress Princess Diana wore to dance with John Travolta up for auction  USA TODAY

Farmers left frustrated at hemp auction - WKRN News 2
Farmers left frustrated at hemp auction  WKRN News 2

'Stolen' Banksy statue pulled from auction - CNN
'Stolen' Banksy statue pulled from auction  CNN

First Marvel comic sets auction record of $1.3 million - The Japan Times
First Marvel comic sets auction record of $1.3 million  The Japan Times

FCC's Pai picks public auction for 5G spectrum - Axios
FCC's Pai picks public auction for 5G spectrum  Axios

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Chance to win a Jeep at chamber dinner-auction  Marysville Globe

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$100 Million for a Painting? Not This Auction Week  The Wall Street Journal

Companies pushing controversial 5G spectrum auction offer to give at least 30% of proceeds to U.S. Treasury - MarketWatch
Companies pushing controversial 5G spectrum auction offer to give at least 30% of proceeds to U.S. Treasury  MarketWatch

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Satellite operators lose battle for private C-band auction worth billions  SpaceNews

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From startup to $1.5B: ACV Auctions becomes Buffalo's first 'unicorn'  Buffalo News

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Fergus Falls' WestRidge Mall heading to auction  INFORUM

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WW1 case which 'saved soldier's life' sold at auction  BBC News

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Rare World War II 'escape kits' sold at auction  Fox News

Intelsat’s stock sinks again as Congress looks to ‘rake’ in revenue from 5G spectrum auction - MarketWatch
Intelsat’s stock sinks again as Congress looks to ‘rake’ in revenue from 5G spectrum auction  MarketWatch

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Marina Abramović’s ‘The Life’ Becomes the First Mixed Reality Artwork to Hit Auction  Barron's

This Season’s Auctions? The “Old Normal” Says Head of Citi Art Advisory - Forbes
This Season’s Auctions? The “Old Normal” Says Head of Citi Art Advisory  Forbes

Popular Irish pub in Cecil County to hit the auction block - Baltimore Business Journal
Popular Irish pub in Cecil County to hit the auction block  Baltimore Business Journal

Michael Jordan's Signed Check From 1982 Billiards Bet Up For Auction - TMZ
Michael Jordan's Signed Check From 1982 Billiards Bet Up For Auction  TMZ

Serena Williams' Broken Tennis Racket from Controversial 2018 U.S. Open Final Up for Auction - PEOPLE.com
Serena Williams' Broken Tennis Racket from Controversial 2018 U.S. Open Final Up for Auction  PEOPLE.com

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Disney auction puts animatronics, art, rare documents on block  Orlando Sentinel

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Auction Houses Find Singular Works for Fall Sales  Barron's

Timberline ski resort sold at auction for $2.2 million - WTAP-TV
Timberline ski resort sold at auction for $2.2 million  WTAP-TV

Art Market 2019: NYC's Biggest Art Auction Sales To Tumble - Bloomberg
Art Market 2019: NYC's Biggest Art Auction Sales To Tumble  Bloomberg

Historical Society Tree Auction begins soon | Local News - Greensburg Daily News
Historical Society Tree Auction begins soon | Local News  Greensburg Daily News

Largest hemp auction kicks off at the Williamson County Expo - WKRN News 2
Largest hemp auction kicks off at the Williamson County Expo  WKRN News 2

The Supreme Box Logo Heads to Christie’s Auction House - GQ
The Supreme Box Logo Heads to Christie’s Auction House  GQ

Brazil will reevaluate signing bonuses, other parameters of offshore auctions - Reuters
Brazil will reevaluate signing bonuses, other parameters of offshore auctions  Reuters

Check made out to and signed by Michael Jordan from 1984 billiards bet at UNC goes up for auction - CBS Sports
Check made out to and signed by Michael Jordan from 1984 billiards bet at UNC goes up for auction  CBS Sports

Grand Forks County property auction sells most locations - Grand Forks Herald
Grand Forks County property auction sells most locations  Grand Forks Herald

Former ACV Auctions employees files legal complaint against company - Buffalo Business First - Buffalo Business First
Former ACV Auctions employees files legal complaint against company - Buffalo Business First  Buffalo Business First

Colleyville castle-style estate goes to auction - The Dallas Morning News
Colleyville castle-style estate goes to auction  The Dallas Morning News

Hong Kong’s biggest land sale draws bidders after 63 per cent drop in value - South China Morning Post
Hong Kong’s biggest land sale draws bidders after 63 per cent drop in value  South China Morning Post

Christmas Greenery on the Auction Block in Union County - WNEP Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
Christmas Greenery on the Auction Block in Union County  WNEP Scranton/Wilkes-Barre

Chamber's Evening Of Elegance Auction A Big Hit - Hartford Courant
Chamber's Evening Of Elegance Auction A Big Hit  Hartford Courant

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Friends props, costumes, and studio reproductions headed to auction  Entertainment Weekly News

WorthPoint.com Adds Auction Data Partner GottaHaveRockAndRoll.com - Patch.com
WorthPoint.com Adds Auction Data Partner GottaHaveRockAndRoll.com  Patch.com

2020 Might Just Be The Year Apps Finally Start To Embrace Real-Time Auctions - AdExchanger
2020 Might Just Be The Year Apps Finally Start To Embrace Real-Time Auctions  AdExchanger

Fergus Falls mall to be sold at auction - KFGO News
Fergus Falls mall to be sold at auction  KFGO News

Sold! Latest auction brings totals from Neil Armstrong's belongings to $14.69 million - The Cincinnati Enquirer
Sold! Latest auction brings totals from Neil Armstrong's belongings to $14.69 million  The Cincinnati Enquirer

Kurt Cobain’s ‘Unplugged’ Sweater Sells for Record $334,000 at Auction - Rolling Stone
Kurt Cobain’s ‘Unplugged’ Sweater Sells for Record $334,000 at Auction  Rolling Stone

2020 Naples Winter Wine Fest showcasing luxurious destination auctions - Wink News
2020 Naples Winter Wine Fest showcasing luxurious destination auctions  Wink News

About a dozen of Hilds' Manchester properties headed to auction - Richmond.com
About a dozen of Hilds' Manchester properties headed to auction  Richmond.com

GoDaddy to host NamesCon auction with ROTD, submissions now open - Domain Name Wire
GoDaddy to host NamesCon auction with ROTD, submissions now open  Domain Name Wire

Sotheby’s Latest Watch Auction Has Vintage Memorabilia You Won’t Find Anywhere Else - Robb Report
Sotheby’s Latest Watch Auction Has Vintage Memorabilia You Won’t Find Anywhere Else  Robb Report

BP Brazil head says future oil auctions unlikely to lure foreign players: paper - Reuters
BP Brazil head says future oil auctions unlikely to lure foreign players: paper  Reuters

Police should buy handguns at auctions to limit street use - Toronto Star
Police should buy handguns at auctions to limit street use  Toronto Star

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Apple CFO Luca Maestri Auctions Lunch and Apple HQ Tour for Charity  MacRumors

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Annual Save A Rack bra auction raises over $33,000  KSNB Local 4

Generators call on PJM to expedite delayed capacity auction, once new rules are set - Utility Dive
Generators call on PJM to expedite delayed capacity auction, once new rules are set  Utility Dive

Nevada treasurer, Clark County conducting auctions - Las Vegas Review-Journal
Nevada treasurer, Clark County conducting auctions  Las Vegas Review-Journal

Rare Books &c. at Auction This Week - Fine Books & Collections Magazine
Rare Books &c. at Auction This Week  Fine Books & Collections Magazine

Golf Course Items Up For Auction - Inside INdiana Business
Golf Course Items Up For Auction  Inside INdiana Business

'World’s biggest’ Christmas tree auction to put an exclamation point on ‘a great year for trees’ - PennLive
'World’s biggest’ Christmas tree auction to put an exclamation point on ‘a great year for trees’  PennLive

10 most expensive Disneyland items in an auction featuring 1,500 theme park collectibles - The Mercury News
10 most expensive Disneyland items in an auction featuring 1,500 theme park collectibles  The Mercury News

Cardamom auctions continue to witness higher arrivals - BusinessLine
Cardamom auctions continue to witness higher arrivals  BusinessLine

Gem US Coins From Dell Loy Hansen Collection Again Highlight David Lawrence Auction - CoinWeek
Gem US Coins From Dell Loy Hansen Collection Again Highlight David Lawrence Auction  CoinWeek

Exclusive: Failed Exxon talks left Petrobras stranded for auctions - sources - Reuters
Exclusive: Failed Exxon talks left Petrobras stranded for auctions - sources  Reuters

Auction Blotter: Tschabalala Self’s 3,400% Return, Michael Armitage’s Big Debut, & More Market Sparks From New York’s Day Sales - artnet News
Auction Blotter: Tschabalala Self’s 3,400% Return, Michael Armitage’s Big Debut, & More Market Sparks From New York’s Day Sales  artnet News

Group to hold anti-fracking rally ahead of scheduled auctions - News3LV
Group to hold anti-fracking rally ahead of scheduled auctions  News3LV

Annual Buffalo Valley Produce Auction - PAHomePage.com
Annual Buffalo Valley Produce Auction  PAHomePage.com

'Stolen' Banksy statue could get $1.3M at Sotheby's auction - New York Post
'Stolen' Banksy statue could get $1.3M at Sotheby's auction  New York Post

Auction house Phillips reveals Billionaires Row headquarters - New York Post
Auction house Phillips reveals Billionaires Row headquarters  New York Post

FCC Approves C-Band Public Auction to Make Room for 5G - Connected Real Estate Magazine
FCC Approves C-Band Public Auction to Make Room for 5G  Connected Real Estate Magazine

Gap and Nixon participate in Scottish auction - KHL Group
Gap and Nixon participate in Scottish auction  KHL Group

Coast Guard cutter to go on auction block Dec. 4 - WorkBoat
Coast Guard cutter to go on auction block Dec. 4  WorkBoat

Precious bling belonging to Fort Worth royalty goes up for auction - culturemap.com
Precious bling belonging to Fort Worth royalty goes up for auction  culturemap.com

Dentures discovery: Centuries-old false teeth found in field, up for auction - Fox News
Dentures discovery: Centuries-old false teeth found in field, up for auction  Fox News

7 hospitals across 4 states will be sold at auction - Becker's Hospital Review
7 hospitals across 4 states will be sold at auction  Becker's Hospital Review

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