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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 Mon. June / 17 / 2024

Illinois treasurer unclaimed property: Online auction starts Monday, Mike Frerichs' office says - WLS-TV
Illinois treasurer unclaimed property: Online auction starts Monday, Mike Frerichs' office says  WLS-TV

Champagne and Burgundy From Taiwanese Billionaire Pierre Chen’s Collection Head to Auction - Barron's
Champagne and Burgundy From Taiwanese Billionaire Pierre Chen’s Collection Head to Auction  Barron's

Renaissance painting once stolen and found at bus stop could sell for $32 million at art auction - NBC News
Renaissance painting once stolen and found at bus stop could sell for $32 million at art auction  NBC News

FWP accepting proposals for 2025 hunting license auctions - NBC Montana
FWP accepting proposals for 2025 hunting license auctions  NBC Montana

ARRIFLEX 416 Plus HS - Auction - Newsshooter
ARRIFLEX 416 Plus HS - Auction  Newsshooter

$6M Lamborghini Veneno Sets New High-Water Mark for Online Auctions - Hagerty Media
$6M Lamborghini Veneno Sets New High-Water Mark for Online Auctions  Hagerty Media

Vivienne Westwood’s own wardrobe is going up for auction - CNN
Vivienne Westwood’s own wardrobe is going up for auction  CNN

Why Pink Diamonds Are Fetching Millions at Auction - Galerie Magazine
Why Pink Diamonds Are Fetching Millions at Auction  Galerie Magazine

At Suffolk police vehicle auction, bids may start at $500 but pair pay $20G for a 2018 BMW - Newsday
At Suffolk police vehicle auction, bids may start at $500 but pair pay $20G for a 2018 BMW  Newsday

A Closer Look at the Estate Auction of Stephen Sondheim—Plus Tips on How to Get the Winning Bid - Playbill
A Closer Look at the Estate Auction of Stephen Sondheim—Plus Tips on How to Get the Winning Bid  Playbill

Bureau of Land Management auctions wild horses rounded up across Nevada - KTNV 13 Action News Las Vegas
Bureau of Land Management auctions wild horses rounded up across Nevada  KTNV 13 Action News Las Vegas

How excitement and social desirability impact purchasing behavior. - Psychology Today
How excitement and social desirability impact purchasing behavior.  Psychology Today

Offshore Auctions - Vestas
Offshore Auctions  Vestas

Orchid Illustrations, Sondheim's Playing Cards, E. H. Shepard Artwork: Auction Preview - Fine Books & Collections Magazine
Orchid Illustrations, Sondheim's Playing Cards, E. H. Shepard Artwork: Auction Preview  Fine Books & Collections Magazine

Ornellaia's charity auction of the superb 2021 raises $325,000 - Decanter.com
Ornellaia's charity auction of the superb 2021 raises $325,000  Decanter.com

Tenenbaum art collection available for preview, bidding at Everard Auctions - Savannah Morning News
Tenenbaum art collection available for preview, bidding at Everard Auctions  Savannah Morning News

U.S. Court Refuses Request to Auction Off Seized Russian Yacht - The Maritime Executive
U.S. Court Refuses Request to Auction Off Seized Russian Yacht  The Maritime Executive

Croatia's CROPEX launches intraday auctions - SeeNews
Croatia's CROPEX launches intraday auctions  SeeNews

See inside the $8 million Camelback Mountain mansion up for auction - Axios
See inside the $8 million Camelback Mountain mansion up for auction  Axios

29th Marine Commandant Al Gray's personal items set for auction - Marine Corps Times
29th Marine Commandant Al Gray's personal items set for auction  Marine Corps Times

Auctions: Sylvester Stallone's Grandmaster Chime Sells For $5.4 Million, Evaluating Vintage Patek Philippe Condition ... - HODINKEE
Auctions: Sylvester Stallone's Grandmaster Chime Sells For $5.4 Million, Evaluating Vintage Patek Philippe Condition ...  HODINKEE

The million dollar mansion in Phoenix heading to auction - The Arizona Republic
The million dollar mansion in Phoenix heading to auction  The Arizona Republic

45-Carat Yellow Diamond Withdrawn from Phillips Auction - National Jeweler
45-Carat Yellow Diamond Withdrawn from Phillips Auction  National Jeweler

Mercedes-AMG collection heads to auction featuring rare cars and parts - Motor Authority
Mercedes-AMG collection heads to auction featuring rare cars and parts  Motor Authority

Hello, Dolley? Earliest Known Photograph of a First Lady Comes to Auction - The New York Times
Hello, Dolley? Earliest Known Photograph of a First Lady Comes to Auction  The New York Times

WA carbon auction demand drops, as prices remain lower - The Seattle Times
WA carbon auction demand drops, as prices remain lower  The Seattle Times

More than 365 Vehicles to be Available at June Commonwealth Auction - PennWatch
More than 365 Vehicles to be Available at June Commonwealth Auction  PennWatch

Camelback Mountain estate with secret hideaways set for auction - The Business Journals
Camelback Mountain estate with secret hideaways set for auction  The Business Journals

Sotheby’s, Fanatics team up to offer rare sports trading card auctions - CNBC
Sotheby’s, Fanatics team up to offer rare sports trading card auctions  CNBC

US court to allow Citgo share-auction bidders to raise offers - Reuters
US court to allow Citgo share-auction bidders to raise offers  Reuters

US treasury auctions off $22 billion of 30-year bonds at a high-yield of 4.403% - ForexLive
US treasury auctions off $22 billion of 30-year bonds at a high-yield of 4.403%  ForexLive

This vintage action figure set a record at auction. But your childhood toys may not be worth as much as you think - CNN
This vintage action figure set a record at auction. But your childhood toys may not be worth as much as you think  CNN

Land auction expected to have multiple bidders as Alex Meruelo hopes to build NHL stadium - ABC15 Arizona in Phoenix
Land auction expected to have multiple bidders as Alex Meruelo hopes to build NHL stadium  ABC15 Arizona in Phoenix

`Saturday Night Fever' Dance Floor Sells for $325K at Four-Day Auction - MyNewsLA.com
`Saturday Night Fever' Dance Floor Sells for $325K at Four-Day Auction  MyNewsLA.com

Tom Brady's uniform pants from final NFL game sell at auction for $89,100 - CBS Sports
Tom Brady's uniform pants from final NFL game sell at auction for $89,100  CBS Sports

This 1,700-Year-Old Book Just Sold for $3.9 Million at Auction - Robb Report
This 1,700-Year-Old Book Just Sold for $3.9 Million at Auction  Robb Report

Tenn. school district where students held 'slave auction' settles with DOJ - The Washington Post
Tenn. school district where students held 'slave auction' settles with DOJ  The Washington Post

Historic Toledo property going up for auction - Toledo Blade
Historic Toledo property going up for auction  Toledo Blade

Produce auctions across Missouri connect rural farmers to urban sellers and local restaurants - KCUR
Produce auctions across Missouri connect rural farmers to urban sellers and local restaurants  KCUR

US school district where students held mock slave auction settles with DoJ - The Guardian US
US school district where students held mock slave auction settles with DoJ  The Guardian US

Saturday Night Fever dancefloor tops auction by selling for more than £250000 - Evening Standard
Saturday Night Fever dancefloor tops auction by selling for more than £250000  Evening Standard

Kevin Spacey gets chance to save his Baltimore home - The Baltimore Banner
Kevin Spacey gets chance to save his Baltimore home  The Baltimore Banner

Saturday Night Fever dancefloor tops auction by selling for more than £250,000 - MSN
Saturday Night Fever dancefloor tops auction by selling for more than £250,000  MSN

Foreclosure auction of Kevin Spacey's Baltimore home postponed as actor says he is millions in debt - Baltimore Sun
Foreclosure auction of Kevin Spacey's Baltimore home postponed as actor says he is millions in debt  Baltimore Sun

O.J. Simpson's estate lawyer wants to auction memorabilia to pay debts - KTNV 13 Action News Las Vegas
O.J. Simpson's estate lawyer wants to auction memorabilia to pay debts  KTNV 13 Action News Las Vegas

Manchester auctions off city lots to fund Affordable Housing Trust - WMUR Manchester
Manchester auctions off city lots to fund Affordable Housing Trust  WMUR Manchester

Siegel Auctions Sets New Record with America’s Most Valuable Postage Stamp - EIN News
Siegel Auctions Sets New Record with America’s Most Valuable Postage Stamp  EIN News

Lawyer handling OJ Simpson’s estate seeks to auction off his personal items - Fox 5 Las Vegas
Lawyer handling OJ Simpson’s estate seeks to auction off his personal items  Fox 5 Las Vegas

Tom Brady's final NFL-worn pants sell for $89,000 at auction - New York Post
Tom Brady's final NFL-worn pants sell for $89,000 at auction  New York Post

The world's oldest book just fetched $3.9 million in auction - Fortune
The world's oldest book just fetched $3.9 million in auction  Fortune

Fanatics, Sotheby's announce partnership to sell 'most coveted' sports cards - The Athletic - The New York Times
Fanatics, Sotheby's announce partnership to sell 'most coveted' sports cards - The Athletic  The New York Times

Gold Coast penthouse up for auction - Crain's Chicago Business
Gold Coast penthouse up for auction  Crain's Chicago Business

US Treasury sets $492 million minimum price for airline warrants auctions - Reuters.com
US Treasury sets $492 million minimum price for airline warrants auctions  Reuters.com

US auctions $38B of 10 year notes at a high yield of 4.438% - ForexLive
US auctions $38B of 10 year notes at a high yield of 4.438%  ForexLive

5 Takeaways From the Spring Art Auctions: $20 Million Is the New $50 Million - The New York Times
5 Takeaways From the Spring Art Auctions: $20 Million Is the New $50 Million  The New York Times

Sotheby's hosts largest champagne auction - Financial Times
Sotheby's hosts largest champagne auction  Financial Times

Luxury home in Moorings sells before auction after it creates 'urgency' - Naples Daily News
Luxury home in Moorings sells before auction after it creates 'urgency'  Naples Daily News

10-Carat Pink Diamond Sells for $13M at Christie's - National Jeweler
10-Carat Pink Diamond Sells for $13M at Christie's  National Jeweler

Tonya Harding's Olympic costume up for auction - KGW.com
Tonya Harding's Olympic costume up for auction  KGW.com

5 Of The Most Expensive Pontiacs Ever Sold At Auction - SlashGear
5 Of The Most Expensive Pontiacs Ever Sold At Auction  SlashGear

OJ Simpson lawyer seeks to auction off late football star's personal items - Fox News
OJ Simpson lawyer seeks to auction off late football star's personal items  Fox News

Kevin Spacey’s Baltimore home set for auction Thursday - The Baltimore Banner
Kevin Spacey’s Baltimore home set for auction Thursday  The Baltimore Banner

Illinois holding online auction for unclaimed property - WGN TV Chicago
Illinois holding online auction for unclaimed property  WGN TV Chicago

Sotheby's Is Hosting The Biggest Champagne Auction In History - Boss Hunting
Sotheby's Is Hosting The Biggest Champagne Auction In History  Boss Hunting

Storied Titian painting found at London bus stop after theft goes to auction - The Guardian
Storied Titian painting found at London bus stop after theft goes to auction  The Guardian

7 most expensive auction items in history - The Times of India
7 most expensive auction items in history  The Times of India

Interior Department Proposes Offshore Wind Sales in Oregon, Gulf of Maine - US Department of the Interior
Interior Department Proposes Offshore Wind Sales in Oregon, Gulf of Maine  US Department of the Interior

Town has high hopes as it auctions off old Bonnie Castle Recreation Center - WWNY
Town has high hopes as it auctions off old Bonnie Castle Recreation Center  WWNY

US plans 12 offshore wind auctions over five years - Reuters
US plans 12 offshore wind auctions over five years  Reuters

The Glass House: Summer Benefit Auction 2024 - Artsy
The Glass House: Summer Benefit Auction 2024  Artsy

Fanatics and Sotheby’s Team up to Sell High-End Trading Cards - Barron's
Fanatics and Sotheby’s Team up to Sell High-End Trading Cards  Barron's

Top Fashion Stories of the Week: June 14 - HYPEBEAST
Top Fashion Stories of the Week: June 14  HYPEBEAST

Treasury Auction Helps Bonds Hold The Range - Mortgage News Daily
Treasury Auction Helps Bonds Hold The Range  Mortgage News Daily

Hodinkee Geneva Spring Watch Auction Recap 2024 - HODINKEE
Hodinkee Geneva Spring Watch Auction Recap 2024  HODINKEE

Jackson Wang collaborates with Pharrell Williams' auction platform Joopiter - Jing Daily
Jackson Wang collaborates with Pharrell Williams' auction platform Joopiter  Jing Daily

Auction in Vienna: Empress Sisi's Treasures Fetch High Prices - Hungary Today
Auction in Vienna: Empress Sisi's Treasures Fetch High Prices  Hungary Today

27th Annual Bluff Mountain Festival features local artists, silent auction & much more - WLOS
27th Annual Bluff Mountain Festival features local artists, silent auction & much more  WLOS

Disney Lorcana's "Gold Mickey" Card Up for Auction, Bidding Starts at $10K - ComicBook.com
Disney Lorcana's "Gold Mickey" Card Up for Auction, Bidding Starts at $10K  ComicBook.com

Sotheby's, Christie's and Phillips sell $1.3B in May art auctions - Crain's New York Business
Sotheby's, Christie's and Phillips sell $1.3B in May art auctions  Crain's New York Business

Lithium Miners Revolutionize Pricing with Auctions (Spot Price) - CarbonCredits.com
Lithium Miners Revolutionize Pricing with Auctions (Spot Price)  CarbonCredits.com

'A living museum': Dozens of games from retro Vancouver arcade up for auction - Vancouver Sun
'A living museum': Dozens of games from retro Vancouver arcade up for auction  Vancouver Sun

Tonya Harding's 1994 championship costume hits the auction block, bids start at $3,000 - KATU
Tonya Harding's 1994 championship costume hits the auction block, bids start at $3,000  KATU

The 'No-Reserve' IH Scout Auction Saga Continues as Bring a Trailer Responds - The Drive
The 'No-Reserve' IH Scout Auction Saga Continues as Bring a Trailer Responds  The Drive

Vivienne Westwood's personal wardrobe goes to auction at Christie's - The Independent
Vivienne Westwood's personal wardrobe goes to auction at Christie's  The Independent

Historic White House Replica Outside San Francisco Goes up for Auction - Mansion Global
Historic White House Replica Outside San Francisco Goes up for Auction  Mansion Global

Island properties sold at auction including former High Street shops - Yahoo News UK
Island properties sold at auction including former High Street shops  Yahoo News UK

New York May Auctions Get Off to a Slow Start as Pricey Bacon Misfires During Sotheby's $267.3 M. Sale - ARTnews
New York May Auctions Get Off to a Slow Start as Pricey Bacon Misfires During Sotheby's $267.3 M. Sale  ARTnews

Bulls fans can bid on iconic Jordan 1s from ‘Broken Foot Game’ - WGN TV Chicago
Bulls fans can bid on iconic Jordan 1s from ‘Broken Foot Game’  WGN TV Chicago

Lamborghini Veneno Roadster Breaks Online Auction Record With $6M Sale - The Drive
Lamborghini Veneno Roadster Breaks Online Auction Record With $6M Sale  The Drive

Investors Flock to Two-Year U.S., German Bond Auctions but For Different Reasons - The Wall Street Journal
Investors Flock to Two-Year U.S., German Bond Auctions but For Different Reasons  The Wall Street Journal

Treasury Auction Draws Strong Demand Despite Key Risks Ahead - Bloomberg
Treasury Auction Draws Strong Demand Despite Key Risks Ahead  Bloomberg

10 Coolest Muscle Car Deals From Mecum Auctions Indy - MotorTrend
10 Coolest Muscle Car Deals From Mecum Auctions Indy  MotorTrend

Auto marketplace ACV Auctions nears $9 billion in gross sales - Digital Commerce 360
Auto marketplace ACV Auctions nears $9 billion in gross sales  Digital Commerce 360

Southern Ill. family auctions off nearly 700 acres of farmland, limestone quarry - KFVS
Southern Ill. family auctions off nearly 700 acres of farmland, limestone quarry  KFVS

Julien's Auctions To Host 'Music Icons' Exhibit, Open New Nashville Office - musicrow.com
Julien's Auctions To Host 'Music Icons' Exhibit, Open New Nashville Office  musicrow.com

Christie's Website Is Brought Down by Hackers Days Before $840 Million Auctions - The New York Times
Christie's Website Is Brought Down by Hackers Days Before $840 Million Auctions  The New York Times

A Buyer’s Guide to Wine Auctions - SevenFifty Daily
A Buyer’s Guide to Wine Auctions  SevenFifty Daily

The Whisky Auction Market Is Struggling - InsideHook
The Whisky Auction Market Is Struggling  InsideHook

Used car auctions went online during COVID. Many haven't gone back. - Marketplace
Used car auctions went online during COVID. Many haven't gone back.  Marketplace

How Julien’s Auctions Leads the Booming Market in Celebrity Memorabilia - The New Yorker
How Julien’s Auctions Leads the Booming Market in Celebrity Memorabilia  The New Yorker

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