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Why is UPS always so much more than eBay calculates?

NoahL

Member
Messages
1,423
I'm so done with fleaBay and so mad at myself. Yet again eBay "calculated" the postage on a guitar I sold ($28) and yet again when I hit "print mailing label" it takes me to PayPal where the cost FOR THE EXACT SAME SPECS I PUT INTO EBAY is $48. I always thought I was doing something wrong. Now I think I'm just a fool. Why does this happen??
 

eigentone

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
7,821
I shipped an amp a week ago. The guy at the UPS store entered $11,000 in insurance after I said "eleven hundred". He said my total was $470 :eek:

Insurance
Awkward dimensions
Fuel Surcharge
Large Package Fee
Service Options
Residential
CMS Processing Fee

I put what I consider ridiculously high flat shipping fees and say I will refund the difference. More often than not I still wind up paying out of pocket :confused: I need to do this either more or less frequently.
 

Chris Pile

Senior Member
Messages
509
NEVER use eBay's shipping calculator! It automatically estimates it 30% higher because eBay gets a cut of your sale price AND your shipping price. That's why many sellers offer free shipping - just to screw eBay. I have my own meter and ship for pretty close to my actual costs. Sometimes I even lose a few cents.
 

Sweetfinger

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
12,733
Er... because Ebay has negotiated better rates with the shipper than Paypal? I use Ebay's shipping if possible- particularly on USPS Priority. If you use Ebay, you get up to $100 insurance free, where others, including USPS directly, will only give $50.

EDIT: Looks like Ebay just dropped the insurance down to $50. They did that once before for a short time and I simply shifted shipping to first class plus insurance.

If I sell something on Reverb I use Paypal because their rates are better than Reverb's negotiated rate. Also, Paypal's shipping widget is a lot easier than Reverb's.
Also a pitfall- looking at estimated shipping while viewing your own item. Ebay is estimating shipping the thing to yourself. You need to change your location to see an estimate for somewhere else. I think Ebay has a separate shipping calculator that you can use where you enter to/from but I don't think I've used it.
Typically, I will use Fedex for guitars and amps (through Ebay). That seems to be the cheapest option there.
 
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NoahL

Member
Messages
1,423
Ebay is estimating shipping the thing to yourself. You need to change your location to see an estimate for somewhere else.
But wait: once the sale is final, eBay automatically bills the buyer for shipping. THAT AMOUNT shouldn't be based on shipping to MYSELF. eBay knows the guitar is going to the buyer! Why does eBay instantly calculate the shipping from me to VA as $28 and its own company PayPal calculate it at $48?
 

Sweetfinger

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
12,733
Ebay and Paypal have been separate entities for a while now. Like I said, Ebay may have negotiated better rates than Paypal. In the case of Ebay automatically billing for shipping, have you contacted Ebay to ask why this is happening and how to correct/compensate? If there isn't a good, reliable fix, don't use that option. Instead, ship "free", and compensate with the item cost, ship at a flat rate, or pad the shipping with "handling" fees.
 
Messages
332
Somewhat off-topic, but for those who of you who have shipped a number of guitars, what is a safe estimate to build into your cost for shipping? Say, just enough to not take a beating if your buyer is clear across the country. And, what carrier do you think is the best?

The reason I ask if I'm getting to unload a couple of guitars and keep going back and forth on how I want to sell them.
 

NoahL

Member
Messages
1,423
I think I confused you. eBay asks me for all the shipping details when I post an item. Then it bills the buyer $28 for shipping on my behalf. When I click through to PayPal from eBAy, the cost TO ME is $48 and I lose $20. Nobody has really answered my question: why does eBay under-calculate shipping every time compared to the PayPal charge you get when you click STRAIGHT THROUGH from your "purchase details" page to PayPal via the "print shipping label" link?
 

Rayzaa

Member
Messages
1,540
I'm so done with fleaBay and so mad at myself. Yet again eBay "calculated" the postage on a guitar I sold ($28) and yet again when I hit "print mailing label" it takes me to PayPal where the cost FOR THE EXACT SAME SPECS I PUT INTO EBAY is $48. I always thought I was doing something wrong. Now I think I'm just a fool. Why does this happen??
Dont use UPS. They are high and cost way more than USPS. Might be your problem when doing shipping. Make sure it is USPS. I never use UPS.
I once sold a hardcase and took it to UPS and they wanted like $62. Walked out and went to USPS as it was $24.
 
Last edited:

Rayzaa

Member
Messages
1,540
I think I confused you. eBay asks me for all the shipping details when I post an item. Then it bills the buyer $28 for shipping on my behalf. When I click through to PayPal from eBAy, the cost TO ME is $48 and I lose $20. Nobody has really answered my question: why does eBay under-calculate shipping every time compared to the PayPal charge you get when you click STRAIGHT THROUGH from your "purchase details" page to PayPal via the "print shipping label" link?
I don't use the shipping calculation. I put in my number and go to USPS. Sometimes it's lower than my number, sometimes not. Not often I sell big items though.
 

Johnny Alien

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,590
NEVER use eBay's shipping calculator! It automatically estimates it 30% higher because eBay gets a cut of your sale price AND your shipping price. That's why many sellers offer free shipping - just to screw eBay. I have my own meter and ship for pretty close to my actual costs. Sometimes I even lose a few cents.
Ebay does not take 30% of the shipping cost. That is why it was common for people to put really low selling prices and high shipping costs in an effort to get as much from the sale without ebay taking a percentage point. It got bad enough that ebay will now cap the shipping cost on many items. People put "free shipping" because it helps get sales. I have found that something will sell quicker if I put $150 with free shipping vs $130 with $20 shipping even though it's the same exact thing. People just like to see that shipping is free.
 

Jon C

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
17,553
simpler to include free shipping... on a guitar I assume $50 minimum including insurance and tracking ... I never use UPS for anything important, FedEx Ground (or USPS for pedals etc.) has been much better IME.
 

shakeshakeshake

Senior Member
Messages
5,035
FedEx Ground/Home are nearly always the best options, I've found, unless it's a small, light package - then use USPS.
Same. Pedals go USPS, usually between 6 and 12 dollars, Guitars go UPS/Fedex (their prices are usually close to identical), usually around 25 to 50 dollars.
I never use the UPS store to figure out the price though. Dunno if it's just my local one, but they will always try to charge you 200-300% of the price of a shipping label you print out yourself (IE- almost $200 to ship a bike frame, over $100 to ship an amp head)
 

deadbeat son

Member
Messages
1,569
I think I confused you. eBay asks me for all the shipping details when I post an item. Then it bills the buyer $28 for shipping on my behalf. When I click through to PayPal from eBAy, the cost TO ME is $48 and I lose $20. Nobody has really answered my question: why does eBay under-calculate shipping every time compared to the PayPal charge you get when you click STRAIGHT THROUGH from your "purchase details" page to PayPal via the "print shipping label" link?
I have never had that problem, but it would cheese me off too.

Ebay does not take 30% of the shipping cost. That is why it was common for people to put really low selling prices and high shipping costs in an effort to get as much from the sale without ebay taking a percentage point. It got bad enough that ebay will now cap the shipping cost on many items. People put "free shipping" because it helps get sales. I have found that something will sell quicker if I put $150 with free shipping vs $130 with $20 shipping even though it's the same exact thing. People just like to see that shipping is free.
You mean eBay didn't use to charge fees on shipping costs. It has for a while now though, likely due to all of the low price high shipping fee scams you referred to.
 

phil_m

Have you tried turning it off and on again?
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
12,591
I can't say I've ever had this happen, but then again, I don't know when the last time I used the shipping calculator was. I usually just ask for a flat fee for shipping and figure that sometimes it will end up being more and sometimes less. I don't know why it would do that, though. Perhaps insurance. One thing, too, is that when you use PayPal to pay for a UPS label, it actually puts a temporary hold on a certain amount, and then it finalizes it after the package has been delivered. I've had the number be adjusted down a few times. Although, I don't think it's been adjusted by $20.
 




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