When buying on eBay, we all pay attention to how much postage costs are. It's at this point we decide whether to take our interest in an item further. Do I bid now? Do I add it to my watch list? It not only depends on the start price, buy it now price or the current highest bid: a deal can be sealed or broken depending on the postage costs. If you are selling on eBay, you need to give serious consideration to how much to charge for postage.
As a buyer, I want postage costs to be transparent and I do not like listings that tell me to contact the seller for details unless it's a seller in another country. As a seller, I want my buyers to know what postage costs are and if they include the cost of new packaging, I make it clear so that they can see why I feel I can charge a certain rate. Many eBayers post items in reused or recycled packaging, which is great for the environment, but a buyer will spot this and may take it into account when leaving feedback if your costs are high.
But what is too high and what should you charge for? It's widely accepted on eBay that postage costs may include packaging, a surcharge for handling the transaction, paying listing and final value fees to eBay and Paypal fees if the payment is made through Paypal, which most transactions are. My experience as a buyer and a seller leaves me comfortable about surcharges but I do note what a seller has paid for postage and just how much of a surcharge they have included. Postage costs are not an opportunity to get more for your item in case it sells for the starting price.
It is reasonable to add around 50 pence or a pound for handling an item and covering fees, and possibly travel expenses (not everyone lives within walking distance of a post office). If you are using new packaging it's also reasonable to know how much you paid for the item and to cover those costs too. If you buy bulk packaging, take it upon yourself to know what you paid per unit so that you don't increase postage costs unnecessarily.
Low postage costs and offers to allow people to collect in person are appealing and can mean the difference between selling or having to relist your item time and time again. Take the time to weigh your items in the packaging you intend to use so that you don't have to guess. Looking at what other sellers are charging for a pair of boots is like asking a million different people how long a piece of string is. So, be competitive if you're selling similar items, such as CDs, which often always fit into the same postage cost bracket, but make the effort with other items to calculate costs that are fair to both you and your buyers.
The effort you make will increase sales and keep your feedback positive. All you need to do now is make sure you understand your courier's pricing structure. Use the internet and learn how to confidently calculate postage costs. Simply way is to use the online postage calculator.
Posted on November 7, 2018