August 15 2007

Shipping Woes

Shipping Woes This is the current Detailed Sellers Ratings graph for my eBay account.  Please note that I have a 4.5 out of 5 stars for “Shipping and handling charges”.

You have no clue how much that pisses me off.

Let me give you an example of just how bad shipping has gotten.

I shipped a 2 pound box to Blandon, PA 19510 this morning via UPS Ground service.  Now, mind you, I am a daily pickup customer, so I get a discounted rate, but even at that, it came to $6.95.  If I had gone Priority Mail (which I hate as their “tracking” is a joke), it would have been $6.20.  Mind you this customer has not left feedback yet, but this is just one example of an average package.

So what was my “high” shipping charge as one customer put it recently?

I charged $6.50.

Yes, by going UPS, I lost $.45, and if I had gone Post Office, I would have made $.30, not exactly a princely sum.

There are times where the differences are a bit more extreme, but not knowing where a winner will be, and them all wanting a clear statement of shipping up front, we make our best guess, as you can see, we’re usually close.  The problem is the general consumer has no clue how much shipping rates are climbing too, and it’s only getting worse.

I have attempted negotiating with UPS for quite some time, but I do “too much residential” business to qualify.  Oh noes!  I ship enough, just not the right type of enough.

As much as I despise the postal service, it looks like I will end up having to use it more, and even at that, it’s not like I will be pocketing huge sums when you add in expenses like tape!


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Business Work

  • One of the big advantages of the USPS is that the rates are often listed on the package so people can see what you paid and what they paid on the postage meter stamp. With UPS, they don’t know the cost to you because the information isn’t given on the parcel and all people assume postage is too high because you’re pocketing the extra and they don’t want to incorporate that cost into the total. It’s far easier to just conclude you’re gouging them.

    Even from Japan, we would get people whining that postage rates were too expensive but they also weren’t willing to accept the far cheaper surface rates (slow and cheap as opposed to fast and expensive).

    I wouldn’t get worked up about it. The rating isn’t that low and I’m sure other vendors don’t do any better.

  • Actually, the rates being shown on the post office packages generally backfires. I once had someone get pissed off at me because they paid me $.05 more than what was list on the package… I am not kidding. So we conceal the price via’s “Stealth Postage” feature.

    It’s just annoying as you try to run a clean business and people have no clue what things really cost. They are just too quick to assume you are ripping them off.