Postage costs on Ebay vary from seller to seller quite a lot, even for exactly the same items.
Some sellers charge exact postage, (the amount they have to pay for the item to be posted). Some sellers charge a flat rate for all their items, whatever it costs them to post. In this instance the seller gains on some and loses on others, but in the main break even, using boxes they have at home.
However, a number of large sellers on Ebay, seem to charge more than the costs of stamps found on the outside of the package. This is due to a number of reasons;
- There is the cost of the box (not enough used ones ones available).
- There is the cost of labels, infill (bubble wrap etc).
- The larger sellers have a contract with either Royal Mail or a Courier that has an annual collection charge for the parcels.
- The largest sellers on Ebay have dedicated packing staff, again a cost that has to be found.
Insurance is a minefield:
Paypal cover non receipt (not always - but mostly) but not insurance against damage. Royal Mail say they insure the items against damage, but the claims process is a total nightmare, they admit that only about 1 in 150 claims made are ever paid, and even then not in full.
Therefore, some sellers offer insurance, sometimes optional, sometimes a requirement. Depending on the value of your item, this can be a very good investment.
EXAMPLE: (A diecast car posted 1st class Royal Mail UK)
Postage charged of £3:00 + Insurance of 75p.
- Postage cost: £1:44
- Box cost £0:84
- Labels/infill £0:11
- Propotional £0:32 (Packers salary)
- Propotional £0:09 (Collection costs)
- Insurance £0:98 Varies on value of item between 70p and £1:80
The seller will be liable for Paypal costs, around 4%. Ebay have a rule that this charge CANNOT BE ADDED TO THE FINAL PAYMENT. Some new sellers do not realise this and try and surcharge the buyer.
Finally, it is often more cost effective to buy more than one item from the same seller, as most sellers will combine purchases for much cheaper postage costs. In the above example, up to three diecast cars can be posted for not much more than one as the only increases will be postage, box and insurance. Therefore for one cost is £3:75, for three cost is £5:50, for eight the total cost would only be £7:70 etc etc.
Thank you for reading this guide, I hope it was helpful.