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Thread: Shiping Charge - Would love the FCB's opinion on this

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    Shiping Charge - Would love the FCB's opinion on this

    Howdy all. Not that I frequent the online boards too much, but I've been away for a while nonetheless. However, I did recently pick up a card off eBay and experienced a somewhat unique situation....not necessarily bad, just unique. Would love to hear your thoughts.

    Here's the story.... Purchase a low end error card for $2.75 + $3.50 shipping. That shipping price, in and of itself, is perfectly fine. I get a bubble mailer and the card in your typical toploader and team bag. So here's the odd part. The shipping label was straight from the post office (not the paypal shipping labels we are most used to). The label said the shipping cost was $1.00 exactly.

    First off, I have NO idea how the post office calculated shipping of $1.00 on a padded envelope like that. That's pretty swell! So then I wonder, was I over-charged for shipping? That's almost the same price of the card itself profited on shipping charges (not including the cost of materials and travel). I'm of the opinion of "who cares, it came safely AND not in a PWE". However, if the seller knows he only gets charged $1.00 for shipping, I don't feel this is entirely honest.

    I just thought this would be a fun topic to discuss. I know the general thoughts on over-charging for PWE's, but this was something different.

    Cheers, Mark

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    Senior Member shuedini's Avatar
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    Can't forget the "and handling" part of shipping. It takes money to buy the toploaders, team bags, and bubble mailer. Then there's the time it takes to drive the item to the post office, gas to get to the past office, etc. I think $3.50 shipping is ok for that method of shipping.

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    ditto

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    Senior Member Pinbreaker's Avatar
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    He might have been lucky, the packages I received today cost the sellers $4.06 as they shipped them from their post office..

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    Senior Member tramers's Avatar
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    3.99 OK with me -------- i needed card i pay

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    I'd guess either the seller knows someone at the PO who "hit the wrong button" to give a better price or it was indeed a genuine mistake. I believe bubble mailers are supposed to be charged like boxes but sounds like it was treated as a flat envelope.
    Either way tree fiddy for that kind of packaging would be fine for me regardless of what the seller paid.

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    Senior Member dano7's Avatar
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    I was told by a post office employee that my padded mailer was thin enough to go regular mail, a few weeks ago, but I told them that I needed the tracking number, so the $4.08 amount was charged. Did the card you received have tracking?
    Collector of Autographs, TTM autographs, Vintage, Yankees and Mantle
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    Quote Originally Posted by shuedini View Post
    Can't forget the "and handling" part of shipping. It takes money to buy the toploaders, team bags, and bubble mailer. Then there's the time it takes to drive the item to the post office, gas to get to the past office, etc. I think $3.50 shipping is ok for that method of shipping.
    Quote Originally Posted by nosterbor View Post
    ditto
    Quote Originally Posted by tramers View Post
    3.99 OK with me -------- i needed card i pay
    shuedini, nosterbor and tramers- Agreed, and I made note of the fact that the materials and travel (to the post office) were not taken into consideration. I was ok with the total price including shipping AND it came safely in a bubble mailer. I just thought it was a funny and odd circumstance and figured I would share. Heck....I think the most interesting part of this is to figure out how the heck I can get a bubble mailer out for $1.00, haha! I need to find a friend who can "hit the wrong button for me". Thanks for the thoughts!

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinbreaker View Post
    He might have been lucky, the packages I received today cost the sellers $4.06 as they shipped them from their post office..
    Lucky indeed! That was the price I was more expecting from the post office. I know some people are bummed at the cost of shipping, but when you think about it, it's pretty amazing we can ship off an envelope from anywhere in the United States to another address, and it arrive within just a few days to a week for JUST $4.00!

    Quote Originally Posted by bstanwood View Post
    I'd guess either the seller knows someone at the PO who "hit the wrong button" to give a better price or it was indeed a genuine mistake. I believe bubble mailers are supposed to be charged like boxes but sounds like it was treated as a flat envelope.
    Either way tree fiddy for that kind of packaging would be fine for me regardless of what the seller paid.
    I've seen some folks attach a few forever stamps to a bubble mailer.....maybe 2 or 3, and that get passed. But direct from the post office, that was an odd one. Maybe there was in fact a friend who "hit the wrong button" Nice to have one of those, haha! But like you said, I don't really care how much it costs the seller considering I got the card shipped out safely in proper packaging. Maybe it's a bit dishonest to use that price knowing you have a post office friend, but good on him for having the connection.

    Quote Originally Posted by dano7 View Post
    I was told by a post office employee that my padded mailer was thin enough to go regular mail, a few weeks ago, but I told them that I needed the tracking number, so the $4.08 amount was charged. Did the card you received have tracking?
    Oh, interesting, so that was with tracking? This package came without tracking....but even so, I don't think the tracking would have added another $3.00+ to the cost. I just know paying through paypal on the rare occasions I ship things out, it comes automatically with tracking.

    Thank you everyone for your replies and thoughts. Always enjoy hearing from you. Cheers!

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    Member mrmopar's Avatar
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    Sorry, but I see this as a BS answer, generically speaking. Not aiming this at you specically, just at the excuse to add cost to shipping that many use.

    Lots of people say it and yes, there are costs involved in any business. At what point does a cost really factor into each individual purchase? I work for a firm that performs services on equipment located in our customer's buildings. We have a lot of costs involved in this business, such as a fleet of vehicles, uniforms, tools, parts, equipment, etc. Not all of it goes directly against individual customers though. A typical ebay seller that is not running a business probably does it part time. They will likely drive to the PO periodically, on their way to work or another errand. Maybe they even drive to the PO just for ebay sales.

    Should we expect to pay for their automobile insurance so that they can legally drive to the PO? How about the auto itself, that is a cost necessary to get them to the PO to mail your stuff? Are you using your gas just for ebay purposes and should each buyer help pay for some of it?

    Are you getting new supplies or recycled? Should you still pay a portion for recycled mailers and supplies?

    What is an ebay sellers time worth too? Minimum wage would be a good start, as that is probably the minimum we could get away with as identifying an opportunity cost for that time to be spent doing something else. Would anyone sell collectibles for minimum wage? Should I call my time worth $25/Hr and split that up across all my items?

    I am partially serious, but partially breaking balls here. Unless you are doing some serious volume, it is my opinion that shipping fees should reflect the price of postage (and fees, ebay actually takes a frigging cut of the shipping fee I just discovered) and MAYBE a reasonable token amount more per transaction to cover supplies (if you are buying them for this purpose). I just don't agree with the gas, time argument here on a small scale.

    As for the original question posed by the OP, I have to believe that the $1 cost is a mistake made by a postal employee. A basic letter is up to 55 cents (forever stamp). Even with any loophole you can think of, no way anyone at the USPS is allowing padded mailers in the door for a buck and doing it correctly.

    Quote Originally Posted by shuedini View Post
    Can't forget the "and handling" part of shipping. It takes money to buy the toploaders, team bags, and bubble mailer. Then there's the time it takes to drive the item to the post office, gas to get to the past office, etc. I think $3.50 shipping is ok for that method of shipping.

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