And Heeerrreee We Go Folks – eBay’s Stating Maximum Shipping Fees

02 Jun 2008

Kevin Harmon

Kevin Harmon is the CEO of Red Shorts Media LLC, which owns movie and music trade-in/buyback websites. He is the former CEO of Inflatable Madness, LLC, one of the largest DVD and CD resellers on eBay and Amazon.

Kevin has appeared on Startup Nation Radio multiple times, has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, has been a featured speaker at eBay Live, and has appeared on Fox Business Channel.

Hi gang,

How do these phrases hit you?

“The best laid plans…”

“The road to hell is….”

“With great power comes…”

So,  over the weekend,  eBay’s German site announced that they will be dictating the maximum amount that a seller can charge for shipping in several categories.   For those of you familiar with how eBay operates,  they don’t roll changes to the big sites before they roll changes and test them on the little sites.

I’ve been waiting for this to come for a long time, actually.   I think eBay’s biggest beef with sellers is Shipping & Handling charges – they focus a lot of the issues with the buying experience around S&H –  2 of the 4 DSR ratings now concern shipping, for example.

Here are the pressure points of this idea for the average Joe Seller on the site:

1.  For some categories, if the S&H limit is too low, the seller will have to raise price.  That will be fine for some sellers, but not others.   What about the poor .01 NR seller for example?  They are just going to plain lose.

2.  In the cases where you have to raise prices, be aware that eBay will now take more from you in fees.    eBay charges fees (for now) based on the sales price and not the shipping fee, so if you have to charge less for shipping and more for the item =  eBay gets more.

 3.  If eBay states maximum shipping,  why on Earth would they continue to base 50% of your DSR’s on Shipping?  Makes no sense.

I’m pretty convinced that max shipping charges are headed our way to the .com site, and probably this year.   I think it’s just another phase in the great “Let’s Make eBay A Fixed Price Site by 2009” initiative.

What do you guys think?



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