There Is NO SUCH THING As A Shipping Charge

In the circumstance where a seller will or won’t reduce price for combined shipping. Let’s for example say that the shipping without reduction is $40 and the actual cost is $12.

  1. Buyer combines but doesn’t reduce cost - Seller up $28 - Buyer down $28 - Post company - Has been paid accordingly
  2. Buyer doesn’t combine, doesn’t reduce cost - Seller is even $0 - Buyer is down $28 and has paid money to postal company pointlessly.
  3. Seller combines and reduces cost to actual cost - Seller is even $0 - Buyer is even $0 - Postal company has been used efficiently - Nobody is unfairly advantaged, nobody is unfairly disadvantaged.

Can anyone give me a reason why #3 isn’t the fairest option and why it wouldn’t be considered to be normal and expected, and why people would argue that that the others should be standard procedure.


First is they don’t combine and expect you as a seller to notice and spend the time to figure out and refund, plus the extra PayPal fees.

Oh, well, guess I just had one point. You are correct. Though some sellers try to say it’s a way to offer items for cheap, as the postage makes up for low selling items.

I will say, I think #3 is a bit unfair to sellers. I think trying to get to $0 is unfair as it is time consuming. I think pretty close is fair.

Reality is people don’t bother to do the math a lot of the time. Right or wrong. I agree with Gary , they are wrong if all auctions in a range are the same, but eBay and others would like it to be thoughtless.

A buyer should request combined shipping, no question.

Well the $0 is taking everything into account. Meaning the seller is $0 after shipping/material/time. I wouldn’t mind a few dollars max, but they are selling items not freight charges.

Yeah, but on eBay all that matters is the cost on the stamp, time is the worst thing to say, people expect you to work for free :slightly_frowning_face:. Be close to the stamp price. Trying to get to 0 costs more than it saves. Imagine having to calculate how much time you spent packing and then going to the post office and then divide that per how much you make per hour. Making a little bit extra is cheaper then working that out, actually, making a little less would be worth it if you didn’t have to do those calculations.

The key point be reasonable. You plus or minus a little is ok, don’t expect to make $2 per additional auction on some cheap stuff you sold. Kind of the gist I think we can both agree upon. Change the numbers for higher priced goods.

I addressed this issue in several other threads. It all boils down to buyer perception. Example: If a seller advertises 10 different cards at a price of $5 + $3.50 shipping, the buyer will rightly see these costs as two different entities and act accordingly.

Scenario A: Each of the 10 cards is purchased by a different buyer. The seller purchases 10 different $3.50 shipping labels and mails out the orders. Nothing to discuss here.

Scenario B: A buyer commits to buy all 10 cards and asks to combine shipping. The purchase would save the seller 9 bubble mailers and the time/effort of preparing 9 additional packages. However, the seller ignores/refuses the request, packs all 10 cards in a $3.50 package anyway and pockets $31.50 for nothing. This is the scenario people are upset about, and rightly so.

By specifying a shipping cost, the seller is communicating the fact to the buyer, creating certain expectations. If it’s a $3 item with $100 shipping, the buyer has the right to expect that baby to be flown in overnight and leave appropriate feedback if the seller cops out. If it’s a $100 item with $3 shipping, the buyer can expect it to be shipped in a standard package. If it’s $103 with free shipping, the seller did not create a shipping entity and is free to ship however.

Bottom line: If you designate a shipping cost/method, the buyer has every right to hold you to it.

I’m sure the people here arguing against Gary are the same people that say PayPal fees are seller fees and have no place being included in the purchase price.

If I sell 30 $1 cards and combine shipping on all of them to save you some $$ are you going to pay may PayPal/ebay fees?? lol I doubt it

I often buy several single cards (various price ranges) from the same sellers and I am now very conscious about combined shipping info provided by a specific seller before I bid or buy anything. As others have stated, Ebay is about having a good and easy shopping experience, and I don’t want to waste time discussing combined shipping costs every time I buy a few cards. The difference in actual shipping costs between 1 card or 10-20 cards should be minimal. As a European that routinely buys cards from both USA and Japan on Ebay, shipping costs are generally higher for me, and then it becomes ridiculous if the seller expect you to pay 15 or 20 US dollar per extra card. Most good sellers on Ebay now either have free shipping for additional cards (to a certain point) or a small extra fee per additional card (e.g. 0.10 to 1.00 US dollar per extra item). This is fair and transparent. Others will not even allow for a combined shipping inquiry when you add items to your basket from their store, and I suspect these will have a harder time selling their stuff. Note that because I often have to pay a premium in shipping fees I normally end up buying additional items from the same seller. Hence, free or cheap combined shipping will likely increase your sales, especially from international buyers.

This. Shipping charges are specified separately from the cost of the item. That’s it for me, argument over. If you disagree, you should do exactly as Gary does and only use free shipping and put those costs into the cost of the item.

Sure, as a buyer you should treat the shipping cost as part of the cost of the item until the seller agrees to combine. That’s good practice. But for me, if I’m doing you a solid and buying multiple items from you and you say you won’t combine (without any obvious message in your description warning me) then I take it as a sign of disrespect as a customer. The seller has every right to not combine as per Ebay’s policy but it’s also within my power as a customer to provide the feedback I feel is appropriate or to choose to never buy multiple items or any item from this seller again.



I respect you a lot and a comment like this is all that needed to be said for me to understand your point and gain knowledge on the subject. I come on e4 to learn about this great hobby. All I did was ask a question, in the questions forum, and this thread was formed in response and I do feel attacked. I did just start back in the hobby a few months ago and I’m still new. Please cut me some slack. :blush:



shipping cost is for shipping fees not for extra profit because you feel the item didnt sell for the amount you wanted. if i win 10 items at 99cent but the seller charges me $3.50 PER card because they feel it should have ended higher then 99cent then you are a bad seller and a prick end of story. trying to say its ok because shipping fees are not real is stupid lol if you are not happy with the sale price dont start it at 99cent. last few days you’ve posted some pretty shitty stuff my dude and im starting to lose a bit of respect for you.

sad times :slightly_frowning_face:

Doesn’t eBay have a Shopping Cart function, to aid in combining shipping on items? Unfortunately it probably isn’t fair to the sellers, to have to go through all of their transactions, match which card goes to who, figure out a combined shipping charge, and manually issue a refund.

All of the arguments in this thread sound anecdotal.

What I feel is this:

If a seller advertises a shipping charge and no where in their listing do they advertise that they will combine shipping and you didn’t ask them BEFORE the item ended if they will, then to be completely frank, that’s your own fault as the buyer.

If you choose to buy 10 x $.99 items that each had a shipping charge and there is nothing about combined shipping on the items and the seller never stated they would combine shipping, then you are the only person to blame.

If you don’t like the terms, don’t buy the items. It’s really that simple.

And I’m not saying i wouldn’t be annoyed in this scenario of $3.5 charged on each $.99 item, if I wasn’t paying attention. But ultimately I would be at fault if I bought the items without ensuring I understand how shipping would work…


@pkmnflyingmaster, got it right. Gary you think the way you do, and you do it the correct way to entice people to think like you when they buy from you. You don’t have a shipping charge on any of your listings. You personally don’t have a shipping charge. That doesn’t mean others don’t.

I like the low value item example the best, if someone is selling a card that’s at most $1 in valuation, it doesn’t mean the seller should charge $1. The seller should charge $1 + shipping charges. That also means when the customer buys the item, and then goes for more $1 valuation cards, they should only be charged x + shipping charge; where x=number of $1 items purchased, not x + x(shipping charge).

The higher in value the item is the more negligible the shipping charge is, but I’ve always felt if you’re going to have a stance, it has to work on every scenerio. If you can defend the $1 valuation card being sold for nearly three times that ammount simply because there’s no such thing thing as a shipping charge, there’s no way to convince you, and we’d just have to agree to dissagree.


There’s more than just your thread on this scenerio. If you try and look for personal attacks you’ll find them. Gary is addressing the forum in general bud.

1 Like

Uh, so shipping stuff through the mail costs money. No matter if shipping cost is built into the item price or not, it still costs. If you make your buyer pay for more than the actual shipping cost with money you say is going to be allocated to shipping you’re just an ass. If you’re buying of course you need to be aware of the TOTAL cost but you can’t justify ripping people on “shipping cost”. eBay rules and what’s morally correct are two different things. By eBay rules the seller is playing fair but that doesn’t make what they did right.


Gary might have been a little rude, but he’s right. You need to ask before you commit to buying something. He’s one of the few that will ship ANYwhere in the world for FREE. You just have to read the description or ask a couple questions and you will know what to expect. I find that most sellers will combine for a small fee of $0.50 or $1 per extra item.

As a customer, you can avoid certain sellers if you don’t agree with what they’re doing. If it’s BIN or Best Offer, I won’t deal a seller that doesn’t combine as they can pretty much include shipping if we settle on a price they’re happy with. If they’re doing $0.99 auctions and want to limit their risk I don’t see a problem with it.
You remove that extra $3.50 and some of these guys either go bankrupt or stop selling on ebay. If you’re interested in what they’re selling just substract that $3.50… as simple as that. Want a card and your budget is $10? Bid $6.50-7 and hope you win. :blush:

1 Like

But shouldn’t shipping speed and reliability be wholly considered prior to agreeing to buy?

1 Like

There is no such thing as free shipping. Look at Amazon, most of their prime items are priced higher than other retailers to make up for the shipping.

Amazon charges $120/year for “free shipping”

Cause the seller won’t do all three of those things on the same deal. So…add up all three options pre finalization of the deal and that is what the buyer will choose between or thwhich seller the the buyer will purchase from. Once again the buyer is deciding based on shipping. He’s buying based on the total price.