Packaging & Handling costs - Hidden in shipping Costs
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11 June 2006
As a nervous newcomer to e-Bay there are tricks that need to be learnt, this is especially true when buying or bidding for the first few occasions. There is one area of buying and questioning of the sellers methods where conflicts have arisen resulting in negative feedback. The costs of shipping of goods from overseas can be high if the item is bulky or heavy and sent by courier or by air. This cost is unavoidable. When the costs of handling and packing are combined with postage they are usually hidden (not separately itemised) and can add addition cost burden on the buyer. I suggest they can also be a profit source for the sellers. Indeed, I have found these costs can occasionally be so high as to be quite unreasonable. With some fragile items, requiring special care and special wrapping and packing, it may well be justified. Many sellers openly say they “ship items at cost” and offer a discount when multiple items are purchased, which is ideal to buyers As a buyer you need to be reasonable and understanding also. As a seller you should make every effort to minimise shipping and other costs. If additional costs for handling are unavoidable these need to spelled out so a buyer knows before bidding or buying what he is agreeing to pay for. An open and honest policy is good for buyers, seller and for all e-Bayers. Always inquire about the cost of shipping and handling and advise the seller if you think this is too high. With one item I purchased from the UK the cost of handling and bubble wrap packaging was over $10! This exceeded the cost of airmail to Australia. You have the choice of accepting or rejecting this shipping and handling cost as the combined cost is usually noted when buying. But if you want the item and don't like the high price of handling and packaging make sure the seller knows and advise them of that. If enough buyers speak their mind the sellers have to listen.
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