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eBay: Shipping Costs

Charge or offer it for free?

eBay is a leading reselling channel for buyers within the sourcing industry with its vast consumer traffic and low selling fees. But will you boost online sales if you offer free shipping, or will you lose money?

With the rise of retailers, like Nordstrom, Target and Amazon offering free shipping and free returns on items, customers have become accustomed to not paying for shipping charges. So, when they are deciding to purchase your listing over another, the difference could come down to the shipping costs – if any.

By offering to reduce or cover the shipping costs, your business can increase its sales thus growing the business to the next level. Depending on the item being listed, there are a few options available for competitive shipping.

RESEARCH when pricing your item and take the time to also look at what these sellers are offering on shipping. If they price high with free shipping or price low with no free shipping to something in the middle. This will help decide which shipping option is right or the item.

FREE SHIPPING should be offered on small, light-weight items under 1 pound as this is classified as first-class and is very affordable. Provided your price has room, you can increase the base price of your item to cover the cost of your ‘free’ shipping. Between 1-4 pounds, the shipping rates may go up, so these should be offered as free shipping on a case-by-case basis.

SPLITTING SHIPPING COSTS is another avenue where your listings will be attractive to buyers. If the max shipping cost for an item is $20, offer a flat-rate shipping fee of $10. If the item sells locally, you can make a profit off the shipping charge, and if the item sells across the country, your profits may slightly be reduced, but the sale was still made.

CALCULATED SHIPPING should be used on heavier, bulkier items as the shipping costs will vary based upon where the item(s) will be shipped. Customers will need to be logged into eBay in order to see the shipping price, so make sure the base price of the item is strongly competitive to justify a potentially higher shipping cost than other listings.

Shipping costs are increasing, but if your company ships a large volume of product, you may want to work with top shipping companies like UPS and FedEx to secure special rates. As your volumes increases over time with the success of your business, the shipping rates will decrease giving you more profits and the ability to offer your items for less than the competition.

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