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Community Member
Posts: 56
Registered: ‎11-18-2011

Message To Stamp, Sportcard (or Similar Small Collectibles) Sellers Re: COMBINED SHIPPING

Please post somewhere in your listings if you either DO or DO NOT offer combined shipping.....and what your general rules are.

 

For these small items, shipping 1 or 10 lots often doesn't increase postage costs.

Shipping often constitutes a high percentage of the final cost to buyers for these small lightweight items.  It is prudent to let buyers know ahead of time if COMBINED SHIPPING is or is not offered before they put up their cash to bid on your items.

 

It doesn't matter if you don't offer combined shipping, as buyers will just add the shipping cost onto their bids.

But if you do offer combined shipping, then buyers may be inclined to buy more than 1 lot from you at the same time.

 

The same is true for Sales Taxes.   Not a problem.....but please put it somewhere in your listing that sales taxes are/ or may be assessed during payment.

 

Hope this message saves me & other buyers from having to ask sellers many times over the course of a year.

 

My unofficial observation is that about 25% of sellers do not mention Combined Shipping in their auctions.

Community Member
Posts: 5,668
Registered: ‎08-29-2005

Re: Message To Stamp, Sportcard (or Similar Small Collectibles) Sellers Re: COMBINED SHIPPING

[ Edited ]
in reply to komics4sale

If you are buying from sellers who use the Global Shipping Program, they cannot combines shipping.

 

If you are buying from a seller who uses Free Shipping, as I do for most of my lots, the question is moot.

 

Most sellers don't mention combined shipping because they do it automatically.

 

If you are not sure, ask the seller.

 

If the seller is registered to remit sales taxes , this information will show on the invoice BEFORE you click to pay. And the GST number will also be printed on the invoice.

Community Member
Posts: 9,290
Registered: ‎08-15-2012

Re: Message To Stamp, Sportcard (or Similar Small Collectibles) Sellers Re: COMBINED SHIPPING

in reply to komics4sale

Sellers really don't need to discuss Combined Shipping policies in their listings because there are methods by which ebay allows those combined postage costs to be calculated and that rate is immediately available when those items are placed in the Shopping Cart. Putting that information in the Item Description is redundant, and ebay is continually telling sellers that less is more and to cater to the mobile shopper who has a small screen and less time to read. 

 

Personally, as a buyer, I tend to avoid the sellers who've spelled out their combined shipping rules on their item description because it usually means they haven't a clue how to set up the rules for automated discount. That means waiting around for an invoice, an unpleasant surprise when shipping is actually calculated for me when it looked like something else in the Shopping Cart et cetera. Like most ebay shoppers today, I want to be able to place my item in my Shopping Cart, checkout and go. No waiting around. 

 

And, finally, ebay tells its sellers that buyers want free shipping. So that combined shipping policy becomes irrelevant. 

 

Perhaps you would be better served by directing your information to the seller in question who offended you. 

Community Member
Posts: 56
Registered: ‎11-18-2011

Re: Message To Stamp, Sportcard (or Similar Small Collectibles) Sellers Re: COMBINED SHIPPING

in reply to reallynicestamps

Thanks for taking the time to post your experiences.    I'll try to add my experiences to your comments:

 

1. Buying from sellers who use Global Shipping Program, they cannot combine shipping:

    *** not an issue with me

 

2. Buying from seller who uses Free Shipping, the question is moot:

    ***not an issue with me if I am the Buyer

    ***however, if I'm the Seller, this can be a big issue.  I tried to do this once, but abandoned this plan after a couple of weeks.   The problem is when listed items are lower priced stamps (for example, $2 each).  Some buyers may buy 10 lots from you & pay 10 separate times.  Your cost to paypal will be their usual fee plus an extra 30 cents x10 times = $3.  You will be paying Paypal $2.70 unnecessarily.  For higher priced items, not a big problem as your likely profit will more than offset this minor expense.

   But with the continued extra costs each year, sellers with low profit margins must do all they can to minimize their unnecessary expenses.

 

3. Sellers who don't mention Combined Shipping, but do it Automatically.

    ***Many seller do this automatically & kudos to them. 

    ***However some do not.   I once bought a postcard from a large seller in Newfoundland who did not mention any shipping cost at all & at that time did not even accept Paypal payments.    I valued the postcard at about $2.50 & bought it on auction at $1.00 and assumed the shipping cost would be about $1.50 .   The seller then charged me $3 shipping & about 50 cents sales tax (which was not mentioned in their auction).  My final cost was $5 on an item I valued at $2.50 .   Had I known ahead of time my extraneous costs, I would not have bought the item.

 

4. If you are not sure, ask the seller:

   *** self explanatory & that is exactly what I always do.....but why waste both the buyer & seller's valuable time asking & answering messages when all a seller has to do is write in their shipping rules in their listings.   They usually only have to do this only once.  This is my pet peeve as I have to do this many many times each year.

 

5. Sales Tax info will show on the invoice Before you click to pay:

   ***By this time it may be too late as a buyer has already bought the item.....& they will have to cancel the transaction if the hidden added sales tax may make the item now not as attractive.   Another unnecessary waste of time, plus ebay may penalize buyers if they do this too often.   I'm not 100% sure of this as ebay continually changes buying & selling requirements ...... but why take the chance..   If sales tax information is written clearly in listing description, not a problem as buyers just mentally adjust their bids (adding on the sales tax).

 

 

Community Member
Posts: 56
Registered: ‎11-18-2011

Re: Message To Stamp, Sportcard (or Similar Small Collectibles) Sellers Re: COMBINED SHIPPING

in reply to mjwl2006

Thanks for your insight.

It is true that I'm guilty of being unfamiliar with the use of ebay's current "Shopping Cart".   Reason being is that for many years, ebay's shopping cart did not operate as easily as it should have.  It has improved, but I still have problems with it & I still do not feel confident in relying on it.  Guess I'm too lazy to learn "new tricks".  I find it easier to just advertise that I charge shipping as $1.50 & all extra items as Free Shipping no matter how many items.   But buyers must wait for my Revised Invoice.

 

I'm aware that ebay wants sellers to offer Free Shipping, but sellers know that Free Shipping can be very costly (what an oxymoron).  As I replied to REALLYNICESTAMPS.....offering Free Shipping has a main pitfall in that some buyers may pay for each item separately & Paypal will charge that extra 30 cents per transaction.

 

In direct contrast to your buyer preference of avoiding sellers who've spelled out their combined shipping rules.....I personally avoid sellers who do not spell out their combined shipping rules (unless I've asked them what their rules are)., but what a waste of time to have to do this many times a year.   Again this is generally regarding very low priced items where the shipping cost per item may be more than the cost of the item.

As I've replied to REALLYNICE STAMPS........

   ***I once bought a postcard from a large seller in Newfoundland who did not mention any shipping cost at all & at that time did not even accept Paypal payments.    I valued the postcard at about $2.50 & bought it on auction at $1.00 and assumed the shipping cost would be about $1.50 .   The seller then charged me $3 shipping & about 50 cents sales tax (which was not mentioned in their auction).  My final cost was $5 on an item I valued at $2.50 .   Had I known ahead of time my extraneous costs, I would not have bought the item.

 

 

Community Member
Posts: 5,668
Registered: ‎08-29-2005

Re: Message To Stamp, Sportcard (or Similar Small Collectibles) Sellers Re: COMBINED SHIPPING

in reply to komics4sale

3....I once bought a postcard from a large seller in Newfoundland who did not mention any shipping cost at all & at that time did not even accept Paypal payments. ...

 

You do realize that this happened over 10 years ago as sellers have not been allowed to demand cash or cheque/money order payments for a long long time?

Seems a little unfair to bring up an problem which has been corrected.

Community Member
Posts: 56
Registered: ‎11-18-2011

Re: Message To Stamp, Sportcard (or Similar Small Collectibles) Sellers Re: COMBINED SHIPPING

in reply to reallynicestamps

True, this happen almost exactly 10 years ago but I still remember it as if it was yesterday as it left a slightly sour taste to my mouth.  I still have the postcard to remind me every time I look at it.

 

I know ebay doesn't like to allow payments via cash/cheque/money orders, but correct me if I'm mistaken, but I think sellers can still received payments via Credit Card.   I know, as I've just done a purchase recently where my payment is done this way.

 

 

Community Member
Posts: 5,668
Registered: ‎08-29-2005

Re: Message To Stamp, Sportcard (or Similar Small Collectibles) Sellers Re: COMBINED SHIPPING

in reply to komics4sale

2. Buying from seller who uses Free Shipping, the question is moot:

    ***not an issue with me if I am the Buyer

    ***however, if I'm the Seller, this can be a big issue. ...The problem is when listed items are lower priced stamps (for example, $2 each).  Some buyers may buy 10 lots from you & pay 10 separate times.  Your cost to paypal will be their usual fee plus an extra 30 cents x10 times = $3.  You will be paying Paypal $2.70 unnecessarily.  For higher priced items, not a big problem as your likely profit will more than offset this minor expense.

   But with the continued extra costs each year, sellers with low profit margins must do all they can to minimize their unnecessary expenses.

 

Where to start.

Some sales are not worth having.

In my opinion*. it is not worth selling anything for less than $9.99.

 

Free Shipping is NOT free.

It means, and eBay backs this, that the cost of shipping** is included in the cost of the item.

Which is cheaper :

 A $1.00 item with 85 cents shipping?

A $1.85 item with Free Shipping?

 

If you believe you are providing a service with low cost stamps, you should look into Paypal Micropayments.

I have considered this because most of my sales are in the $10 range, but decided against it because I use my PP account for all my online selling, including some that average much higher average sales.

 

To clarify, the PP fee is not 30cents. It is 30 cents plus 2.9% of payment.

 

And don't forget that eBay is now required to assess sales taxes on all the fees they charge us.

 

Several members have mentioned the Shopping Cart. I suspect our philatelic customers, lovely gentlemen though they are, have a hard time learning new technology. But it might be worthwhile trying to encourage its use.

 

 

 

 

 

 

* I buy my opinions wholesale from a Chinese factory.

** And packaging and Cookie Jar Insurance and Paypal fees.

Community Member
Posts: 5,668
Registered: ‎08-29-2005

Re: Message To Stamp, Sportcard (or Similar Small Collectibles) Sellers Re: COMBINED SHIPPING

in reply to komics4sale

I know ebay doesn't like to allow payments via cash/cheque/money orders, but correct me if I'm mistaken, but I think sellers can still received payments via Credit Card.  

 

Not "doesn't like" strictly forbids sellers from demanding them. It 's a Buyer Protection policy.

Buyers can request that a seller accept such payments, but the seller is not required to agree.

 

A few sellers do accept credit cards directly. These are usually businesses with Real Life merchant credit card accounts.

We did this before we closed our Ottawa store. Interestingly, even our B&M customers preferred to use the anonymous PP payments rather than give us their card numbers. And these were customers we saw at our cash register a couple of times a month. Odd.

 

Recently, eBay has allowed new buyers to purchase using their cards directly, but these payments are still processed through PP. Personally, since newbies are the most scammed buyers, I think this is a poor decision and one that will end in tears.

Community Member
Posts: 56
Registered: ‎11-18-2011

Re: Message To Stamp, Sportcard (or Similar Small Collectibles) Sellers Re: COMBINED SHIPPING

in reply to komics4sale

Regarding the often quoted hypothetical example of:

        Which is cheaper :

        A $1.00 item with 85 cents shipping?

        A $1.85 item with Free Shipping?

 

Of course they are both the same if you buy 1 item, but my original posting was concerning Combined Shipping.

 

But what if a buyer purchases from the same seller 10 similar items with true combined shipping?

      A $1 item with 85 cents shipping x 10 = $1 x 10 + 85c shipping = $10.85

      A $1.85 item with free Shipping x10 = $1.85 x10 = $18.50

 

Now in my hypothetical situation, a buyer will pay $7.65 more  (70% more for the same items).


 

Community Member
Posts: 56
Registered: ‎11-18-2011

Re: Message To Stamp, Sportcard (or Similar Small Collectibles) Sellers Re: COMBINED SHIPPING

in reply to mjwl2006

Further to my minior gripes about combined shipping:

 

This is not a complaint against sellers, as sellers can & should do as they believe sell their goods in whichever model suits them the best.  Just my general thoughts on bidding in certain circumstances.

 

My worst case scenario is trying to purchase multiple lots from sellers who has broken up a set into smaller lots & then:

 

1.  List in US dollars even though they are in Canada.  I know they have a right to list in whatever currency they think is more beneficial for them.

   *** I have to try to do as close an approximation on what I would be willing to pay as the ebay Currency exchange rate is not as close to the actual exchange rate that Papal uses.

  *** I believe there are some extra cross border exchange conversion fees that may be incurred also

  *** I know what I'm willing to pay in Canadian dollars & I know the implications of currency exchange....but it makes it slightly more difficult to bid accurately

  *** Before I get flamed in this example, I have no gripe with sellers listing in US dollars as I know of the circumstances that benefit some sellers listing in US dollars

 

2.  They offer Combined Shipping & but add an extra small amount which is again OK as long as I know ahead of time (ie 50 cents) per additional item & their shipping cost is relatively high for the first item (ie $3.50).  Again OK as long as I know ahead of time.

  *** this is a problem as I must ensure I win at least 1 lot before thinking about bidding on the second item, especially when the auctions are ending at around the same time.

       Note:  Again, I'm referring to low priced items ($1 - $5)

 

3.  They advertise that they will charge Sales Tax (which is strictly OK of course), but the actual percentage is not stated.

   *** I'm in BC & have been assessed Sales Taxes of either 5%, 7% or 12%.

   ***I don't like to irritate sellers about this after purchase, so I just grin & bear it as it usually is a small amount.

 

Again, this is NOT a complaint against any sellers who list their auction as above.  When everything is advertised plainly, I can just use my calculator to determine my highest buying price.

 

But......still irritating to have to do.

 

 

Community Member
Posts: 8,888
Registered: ‎04-14-2007

Re: Message To Stamp, Sportcard (or Similar Small Collectibles) Sellers Re: COMBINED SHIPPING

in reply to komics4sale

You may already know this but if you click on the shipping tab and scroll down a bit and look to the right of domestic handling time, it should say if the seller charges tax or not. There is also a link there that you can click on so that you know the tax rate they will charge.  If they are not in BC they should be charging you just for gst. If they are in BC and they charge tax you would pay the same tax as what you would at any retailer there. 

Community Member
Posts: 56
Registered: ‎11-18-2011

Re: Message To Stamp, Sportcard (or Similar Small Collectibles) Sellers Re: COMBINED SHIPPING

in reply to pjcdn2005

Thanks for the information which I did not know.   It helps clarify a minor irritant for me.

 

I had previously thought that sales taxes are assessed based on the buyers' Province.  Didn't know the seller's Province had any bearing on the tax.

 

Community Member
Posts: 12,147
Registered: ‎01-14-2003

Re: Message To Stamp, Sportcard (or Similar Small Collectibles) Sellers Re: COMBINED SHIPPING

in reply to komics4sale

"Didn't know the seller's Province had any bearing on the tax."

 

It depends on the locations of the seller and buyer.

 

A Canadian GST/HST registered seller charges GST (5%) or HST (rate varies) depending on the province of residence of the buyer on taxable items.

 

However, if the seller is registered and lives in the same province, then there may be Provincial Sales Tax (PST) added if both live in a GST (5%) province (BC for example).

 

Folks living in a HST province do not have to worry about PST as it is included in HST. No problem in Alberta where there is no provincial sales tax (yet).

 

Some items (books for example) require special tax treatment.  But that is another story.  So is the tax on the shipping and handling charge.

Community Member
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎02-13-2011

Re: Message To Stamp, Sportcard (or Similar Small Collectibles) Sellers Re: COMBINED SHIPPING

in reply to pierrelebel

Thanks for elaborating on the tax, Pierre.

Confusing to most of us for sure.   Even though I had mostly straight "A's" in High School math, I am still confounded by our Canadian tax structure.  Wish the gov't would just average out the tax for so everyone pays the same.  I know it's not as simple as I've proposed, but almost anything is better than the present system.

 

Regarding my peeve on the combined shipping rules of sellers, I've never encountered any problems buying in your auctions (when your were active).

 

 

Community Member
Posts: 12,147
Registered: ‎01-14-2003

Re: Message To Stamp, Sportcard (or Similar Small Collectibles) Sellers Re: COMBINED SHIPPING

in reply to samleekee

"...Wish the gov't would just average out the tax for so everyone pays the same..."

 

Several years ago many provinces, including Ontario and BC, agreed to HST (Harmonized Sales Tax) combining both the GST (5%) and PST.

 

Folks in BC did not like that, had a referendum a few years later and forced the provincial government to go back to the old system of GST and PST,  costing BC businesses millions of dollars in wasted taxes.  There is simply no system that will ever please everyone and meet the needs of all governments.

 

Canadians want social services, old age pension,  they want decent health care, good schools, colleges and university, well paved and maintained roads and streets, good protection through police and fire departments, a fair justice system with jails for criminals, etc... etc... etc...

 

We want a lot.  However these things all cost money - tax money.  That is where Canadians find it difficult to agree on priorities.

 

And life does go on.