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Old 09-23-2012, 03:53 PM   #1
SueInBoston
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eBay shipping ? help please

I just started selling on eBay again after years of hiatus. I realized I made some mistakes with calculating shipping charges...I was estimating the priority mail by weight but now that I'm actually packing, I realize I can put the item in a flat rate box for cheaper. If I ship it in a flat rate box, do I have to reimburse the buyer with the extra postage they paid? If I don't, will it seem like I'm cheating them?

Thanks
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Old 09-23-2012, 03:57 PM   #2
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If you charge for one shipping method, but use a different less expensive method, yes - it will seem to the buyer that you are cheating them.
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Old 09-23-2012, 04:00 PM   #3
SueInBoston
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no...I'm shipping by same method - USPS priority. it's just the item is small but heavy and I estimated shipping to be 2-3 lbs, which would be approx.$8 so I charged for $8. But in searching for a box to fit the item into, I realize that I can put the item in flat rate priority box which ships exact same way but costs only about $6.
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Old 09-23-2012, 04:02 PM   #4
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Yes refund the buyer.
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Old 09-23-2012, 04:26 PM   #5
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No. You estimate and charge for shipping. It doesn't have to be exact. Do you really think people ship for free? But they mark it as free and recoup cost in the sale of item. You are not downgrading their shipping method. I sell things all the time- there is no way to know exactly how much shipping will be every time and it would be a mess and extremely time consuming to always be calculating and refunding. The buyer knows how much it is ahead of time and has agreed to pay it.
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Old 09-23-2012, 04:29 PM   #6
CarlisleMom
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I do not sell on Ebay but do buy. If your auction stated the price for shipping then I say you do not need to refund. The buyer was aware of how much you were asking for shipping before bidding. Don't forget it cost you money to pack the item...packing material, tape, box, etc and your time to gather these materials and go to the post office.

If it makes you feel better use the extra to add delivery confirmation/tracking.
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Old 09-23-2012, 04:33 PM   #7
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I would send them the refund, in fact, I have. I was a couple of dollars off and just slipped the cash (and an apology note) into the package. I got great feedback for honesty and really, had I not done it, I would have not felt right about it - and that's worth more than $2 to me in itself.

You could refund through paypal too, but that is a hassle, imo.
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Old 09-23-2012, 04:34 PM   #8
SueInBoston
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Thank you all for your advice. Since the shipping difference is fairly small, I will just keep it and hope the buyer doesn't question it. I will refund if he/she does. I've learned my lesson and will probably use the flat rate box going forward. It is much easier. lol...I keep seeing the flat rate commercials on TV but totally didn't click with me until now.
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Old 09-23-2012, 04:36 PM   #9
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I refund any difference over $2.
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Old 09-23-2012, 04:36 PM   #10
SueInBoston
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddie2 View Post
I would send them the refund, in fact, I have. I was a couple of dollars off and just slipped the cash (and an apology note) into the package. I got great feedback for honesty and really, had I not done it, I would have not felt right about it - and that's worth more than $2 to me in itself.

You could refund through paypal too, but that is a hassle, imo.
Oh...Just read this after my last post....This is exactly what I will do..just slip the cash back in...I was thinking of Paypal refund and didn't want to deal with that hassle. Thanks
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Old 09-23-2012, 04:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SueInBoston View Post
Oh...Just read this after my last post....This is exactly what I will do..just slip the cash back in...I was thinking of Paypal refund and didn't want to deal with that hassle. Thanks
If you want to refund, do the hassle with PP refund for a partial amount. Ebay calculates the final value fee based upon the entire cost (selling price + shipping) so you might be able to qualify for a credit.

But no, if your shipping is marked $8 and you didn't use it all, I wouldn't refund it at all. As a buyer, I expect there is some padding in the shipping price for price of materials (bubble wrap, etc.) and help pay for the fee, etc.

I buy pins on ebay. One pin can ship via PayPal shipping assistant for $1.64 (even less than the post office charges so I don't know how that works) but am often charged $2-4 for it. I know the bubble envelope costs money, packing materials charge money, etc. So, I bid accordingly.
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Old 09-23-2012, 05:47 PM   #12
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If your auction stated shipping of $8.00, then you don't need to refund the buyer. If you stated exact shipping, then you should refund the extra $2.00.
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Old 09-23-2012, 07:08 PM   #13
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Agree, no need to refund. The shipping price includes packaging, etc... which evens out the price.
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Old 09-23-2012, 07:12 PM   #14
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No refund, buyer agreed to the price. If you shipped a cheaper method or grossly overcharged +$5 or more, than refund.
I guarantee you will have to pay more out of pocket on a future shipment. If you include insurance and delivery confirmation that may increase the cost anyway.
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Old 09-23-2012, 08:59 PM   #15
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Though many say "buyer agreed to the price" is a valid reason to keep an overcharge, many buyers don't see it that way, they see a substantial overcharge as trying to make extra money. With ebay's current "star" system, they have the opportunity to rate you on shipping and handling charges and ONE low rating can cause your items to show up at the bottom of the search. Not worth it over a couple of bucks.

Unfortunately, ebay has had some bad apples and they have made buyers especially cautious, suspicious and vicious.
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