Friday, March 17, 2023

eBay Postage Cost and Free Shipping Promotion Update

On Wednesday, I wrote:

My free shipping promotion now requires a $40 purchase.  As I proceed, I will reflect on whether I raised the amount enough.  I found it interesting that eBay had $50 prepopulated in the form.  I want to see how the numbers crunch in the few weeks, then I will decide if I should raise the order minimum to a higher amount.

It only took me two days to change my mind about free shipping.  I have now adjusted my free shipping promotion to require a purchase of at least $50.  Even $50 is probably too low, to be honest. 

Additionally, I have changed my postage charge to $4.95 for books that can ship at the one-pound rate.  Some books are heavier, and I adjusted those listings to either $5.45 or $5.95.  

eBay has a 15% final value fee in the books category, higher than other categories.  We must be a burden to eBay. 

If I charge $4.95 to ship a book, then eBay gets a 15% cut.  Unfortunately, most buyers now pay sales tax, and they have to pay sales tax on the shipping charge.  I then have to pay a 15% fee on the amount collected for sales tax, even though I never see that money. 

This means that eBay is getting around $1.25 of the $4.95 postage charge.  Keep that in mind if you think a seller is charging too much for postage.  In order not to take a loss on postage, I would need to charge at least $6 to ship a book via media mail.

Adjusting my postage charge to $4.95, $5.45, or $5.95 continues not to cover my costs.  At least I'm closer.

I changed my free shipping promotion requirement to $50 when I thought about eBay's fees.  I realized that the minimum must be at least $50.

Let's assume that a buyer has made a purchase for exactly $50.  I lose $7.50 to eBay fees.  Since several books are likely involved, my postage cost will be at least around $7.50 and perhaps higher.  This means that I only receive $35 of the $50 payment.  And the books weren't free.  I paid for them as well, and that comes out of the $35.

This is why I don't ask sellers to lower their prices.  They face high costs as well.  If a seller's price is too high for me, then I continue looking elsewhere.  

Some sellers have adjusted their prices up instead of adjusting the shipping charge.  I don't want to do that, because it invalidates the free shipping promotion.  Buyers will see no value in the free shipping promotion if they have to purchase $50 in books that have inflated prices due to the shipping cost being built in.  

My feeling is that buyers who really want my books will purchase them even if the shipping is higher than they would like.  Those buyers who don't want to pay a higher price can try to find a seller who charges less or just hope that they can find the books locally.

Jennifer's Series Books on eBay

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

EBay is not worth the fees and hassle anymore unless you're a high volume seller.