My EBay Life
(A series of essays about what it is like to sell stuff on EBay)
If you sell on EBay then you already know that they are really pushing the Free Shipping thing. So I have been thinking about it and trying to figure out if and how it fits into my business and the problem always comes down to the fact that shipping isn't actually free. In fact postal rates seem to be increasing every year.
The items that I sell cost anywhere between $2.00 and $15.00 to ship in the United States. Certainly it would be easy enough to absorb the $2.00 cost into the price of the garment but the $15.00 is a little tougher. If I have a very heavy item that I want sell for $20.00 and my shipping cost is $15.00. I think that is how I should list the item. I could list the item for $35.00 with Free Shipping but to me that seems like a potential misrepresentation of the value of the item. The buyer of course in some ways has to see the value at $35.00 but it seem prudent to me to show what the costs really are.
The interesting thing to me is that EBay pushes buyers to offer free shipping. Now that they have changed the fee structure so the final value fees are charged against the shipping as well as the selling price they are making the same fee either way. So from a bottom line stand point it can't make any difference to them where I add in the shipping cost. So they must push it for the buyers sake. And I guess that Free Shipping has a nice ring to it. But in the end isn't it just a lot of smoke and mirrors? I mean do you as a seller just eat the shipping cost when you offer"Free Shipping" or do you add the shipping cost into the price of your item?
Maybe I am just being obstinate but I since I have the option in EBay to short items by price plus shipping I don't even have to do the math to know that the widget I want by is a better deal at $9.99 plus $2.00 shipping than at 13.99 with Free Shipping.
What do you think about "Free" Shipping as a buyer or a seller?