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eBay and FedEx shipping variances.


NIevo
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Been selling on eBay for years and years.  Used to use strictly USPS but for anything large then a couple pounds FedEx is so much cheaper now.  Problem is eBay is horrible for calculating the shipping price for packages.  Anyone found a way to get more accurate shipping rates?  It's always in my favor as a seller, but a lot of the quotes it gives people are astronomical compared to the actual price.  Not uncommon at all for a buyer to be quoted/pay $40-$50 for shipping on a decent size set but my actual shipping cost only ends up being $15-$20. 

Problem is there doesn't seem to be a rhyme or reason behind it.  USPS calculations are still close so I can't just put in a much lower weight to bring price down as then it screws up the USPS Priority Mail option which I always offer too.  I feel that a lot of people might skip over my listings because they see the high rates.

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I just list with a flat rate that is the same for everybody, based on past shipping experience. Depending on the buyers location, I might over or under charge, but it all evens out in the long run. They know and agree to the shipping rate before they purchase, so there are no surprises, and it takes the guess work out of providing exact shipping rates. I’m in Wisconsin, so shipping to either coast is nearly the same, with the west coast usually being a little higher.

I have noticed that USPS rates are a joke now for large packages. I used to use them for everything, but now FedEx is typically $10-$15 cheaper on average for large packages compared to USPS, and they get it there much faster.

USPS now only gets my small stuff. Everything else goes FedEx.

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3 hours ago, terrymc4677 said:

I just list with a flat rate that is the same for everybody, based on past shipping experience. Depending on the buyers location, I might over or under charge, but it all evens out in the long run. They know and agree to the shipping rate before they purchase, so there are no surprises, and it takes the guess work out of providing exact shipping rates. I’m in Wisconsin, so shipping to either coast is nearly the same, with the west coast usually being a little higher.

I have noticed that USPS rates are a joke now for large packages. I used to use them for everything, but now FedEx is typically $10-$15 cheaper on average for large packages compared to USPS, and they get it there much faster.

USPS now only gets my small stuff. Everything else goes FedEx.

I think you being up north might makes your USPS rates average out higher. It's still regional and states in my region are still reasonable via USPS. I just shipped a 17lb Technic Bucket Loader for $20 shipped to Michigan and was the cheaper option. I still list most stuff as free shipping. Like you said, it usually averages out.

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13 hours ago, exracer327 said:

Every time I've tried to use Fed Ex through ebay, I end up getting charged an additional $10-$15 / large package and it ends up being more expensive than USPS.  Not sure what I'm doing wrong when it comes to Fed Ex.

Is your charge coming through when it finally bills, or it shows that price when printing your label?

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18 hours ago, NIevo said:

Been selling on eBay for years and years.  Used to use strictly USPS but for anything large then a couple pounds FedEx is so much cheaper now.  Problem is eBay is horrible for calculating the shipping price for packages.  Anyone found a way to get more accurate shipping rates?  It's always in my favor as a seller, but a lot of the quotes it gives people are astronomical compared to the actual price.  Not uncommon at all for a buyer to be quoted/pay $40-$50 for shipping on a decent size set but my actual shipping cost only ends up being $15-$20. 

Problem is there doesn't seem to be a rhyme or reason behind it.  USPS calculations are still close so I can't just put in a much lower weight to bring price down as then it screws up the USPS Priority Mail option which I always offer too.  I feel that a lot of people might skip over my listings because they see the high rates.

This is a known a problem with Fedex shipping calculation script/module that eBay is using.  It has been a problem for years but eBay is too lazy to fix it.  I heard this is only specific to eBay's side as other selling platforms do not have this problem when calculating Fedex rates.  

Not sure what the workaround for this other than offering free shipping. Although the average shipping costs do not favor sellers on either coast

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12 hours ago, iahawks550 said:

Is your charge coming through when it finally bills, or it shows that price when printing your label?

I get charged after the fact via ebay. 

I have even asked the fed ex shipping person to weigh and check the pkg and they agree the price I paid was right.  But about a week later I get an update for an additional charge (usually close to twice what I originally paid).  Based upon the help others have provided, I'm pretty confident it's the box size that Fed Ex is dinging me for.

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1 hour ago, exracer327 said:

I get charged after the fact via ebay. 

I have even asked the fed ex shipping person to weigh and check the pkg and they agree the price I paid was right.  But about a week later I get an update for an additional charge (usually close to twice what I originally paid).  Based upon the help others have provided, I'm pretty confident it's the box size that Fed Ex is dinging me for.

fed charges not just based off weight, dimension actually plays a big role here. You can experiment different dimensions with same weight on ebay generate a label page to get an idea. 

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So, after all this discussion, which do we believe is true?

a) FedEx prices on Ebay are correct, but we may need to allow for variance and allow for variance on box dimensions (20 rounds up to 21)

b) FedEx prices on Ebay are not correct and you will be hammered for a higher price for some unknown reason

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1 hour ago, iahawks550 said:

So, after all this discussion, which do we believe is true?

a) FedEx prices on Ebay are correct, but we may need to allow for variance and allow for variance on box dimensions (20 rounds up to 21)

b) FedEx prices on Ebay are not correct and you will be hammered for a higher price for some unknown reason

I've audited all my FedEx labels that have posted to my ebay account for April (only up to the 16th so far) and so far all match exactly what I was charged when I printed the label.

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4 hours ago, iahawks550 said:

So, after all this discussion, which do we believe is true?

a) FedEx prices on Ebay are correct, but we may need to allow for variance and allow for variance on box dimensions (20 rounds up to 21)

b) FedEx prices on Ebay are not correct and you will be hammered for a higher price for some unknown reason

As far as I can tell, the bigger the box, the bigger chances for difference between quoted vs actual Fedex prices.  Which deflate the incentive for using Fedex to begin with

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1 hour ago, Darth_Raichu said:

As far as I can tell, the bigger the box, the bigger chances for difference between quoted vs actual Fedex prices.  Which deflate the incentive for using Fedex to begin with

True, but from what I've seen box size for USPS plays a much larger role in pricing then FedEx.  I always enter the shipping box size for the calculator when listing sets so rarely is there a surprise there.

 

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26 minutes ago, NIevo said:

True, but from what I've seen box size for USPS plays a much larger role in pricing then FedEx.  I always enter the shipping box size for the calculator when listing sets so rarely is there a surprise there.

 

The surprise we are referring to is an "upcharge" from FedEx after the package is delivered. 

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Just now, iahawks550 said:

The surprise we are referring to is an "upcharge" from FedEx after the package is delivered. 

I've never had that happen from FedEx.  Now UPS is another story.  I measure and weigh every package and I bet 25% of all my UPS packages all of a sudden have "surcharges" added on down the road.

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34 minutes ago, NIevo said:

I've never had that happen from FedEx.  Now UPS is another story.  I measure and weigh every package and I bet 25% of all my UPS packages all of a sudden have "surcharges" added on down the road.

So you have never seen any difference between what eBay actually charged you for Fedex shipping on your monthly bill vs the price eBay quoted you when you created the label? 

 

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2 hours ago, NIevo said:

I've never had that happen from FedEx.  Now UPS is another story.  I measure and weigh every package and I bet 25% of all my UPS packages all of a sudden have "surcharges" added on down the road.

What you described is what happens to me with Fed Ex.  Two weeks after I shipped my pkg I get upcharges from Fed Ex.  The most puzzling thing for me is, I enter both dimensions and weight but apparently I'm only being charged the weight, not for the dimensions.  I don't see any way to test the shipping charges without creating a sale on ebay and I don't feel like gambling $10-15 / package sent.

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5 hours ago, exracer327 said:

What you described is what happens to me with Fed Ex.  Two weeks after I shipped my pkg I get upcharges from Fed Ex.  The most puzzling thing for me is, I enter both dimensions and weight but apparently I'm only being charged the weight, not for the dimensions.  I don't see any way to test the shipping charges without creating a sale on ebay and I don't feel like gambling $10-15 / package sent.

I was going to ask @NIevo to check if his actual Fedex shipping charges (assuming higher than quoted) are close to what were paid by his buyers.  My hypothesis is the same wonky script used to calculate shipping charges his buyers paid is the same as the script used to calculate the actual shipping costs in eBay invoice. I do not have that kind of data since I do free shipping.  But @NIevo may not have that data either since his is one of the lucky ones who has never been upcharged by eBay ;)

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1 hour ago, Darth_Raichu said:

I was going to ask @NIevo to check if his actual Fedex shipping charges (assuming higher than quoted) are close to what were paid by his buyers.  My hypothesis is the same wonky script used to calculate shipping charges his buyers paid is the same as the script used to calculate the actual shipping costs in eBay invoice. I do not have that kind of data since I do free shipping.  But @NIevo may not have that data either since his is one of the lucky ones who has never been upcharged by eBay ;)

Nope, my actual shipping charges aren't close and any I just went back and checked haven't been up-charged.  Example is a Krennic's Shuttle I just sold recently. Buyer was charged $29.44 for shipping, I was charged $13.54 and I had it listed 1lb underweight to try and keep shipping quote for buyer down.  It definitely goes up the further the buy is away.  Anything within a state or 2 is usually only $5-$10 off but anything across the country can be $20 or more off. 

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8 hours ago, NIevo said:

Nope, my actual shipping charges aren't close and any I just went back and checked haven't been up-charged.  Example is a Krennic's Shuttle I just sold recently. Buyer was charged $29.44 for shipping, I was charged $13.54 and I had it listed 1lb underweight to try and keep shipping quote for buyer down.  It definitely goes up the further the buy is away.  Anything within a state or 2 is usually only $5-$10 off but anything across the country can be $20 or more off. 

I still find it very interesting that all of your quoted Fedex rates are 100% accurate at the end of the month.  In this case, you should be able to use Fedex exclusively for calculated shippping  and lower your item price with the assumption you will make it back with the difference on Fedex rates.  

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5 hours ago, Darth_Raichu said:

I still find it very interesting that all of your quoted Fedex rates are 100% accurate at the end of the month.  In this case, you should be able to use Fedex exclusively for calculated shippping  and lower your item price with the assumption you will make it back with the difference on Fedex rates.  

I try to do that to some extent, problem is FedEx rates aren't consistent enough from coast to coast to be able to.  When you have rates 2-3x higher in one part of the country then another it's really hard to estimate hence the original question as to whether anyone had found a rhyme or reason to it.

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