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Old 06-02-2020, 08:30 PM
JL JL started this thread
 
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Question for you long time Ebay sellers. How do you save on free shipping costs? I noticed many sellers have free shipping. How are they able to save on shipping costs ? Especially when they're selling items that don't cost that much like between $1-10. I am thinking about selling some items that are max $10 per item and want to offer free shipping, but in reality the cost of shipping each item is already like 4-5 bucks so selling at $10 per item might not be worth it. I don't want to price it more than $10 per item as that is way too much.

Did you set up some deal with UPS or USPS to get lower rate shipping? Let me know. Thanks.
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Old 06-03-2020, 08:20 AM
 
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a lot of items aren't worth selling
selling an item for 5 dollars plus 5 dollars shipping is no different than selling it for 10 dollars (it used to be as ebay used to not charge fees on shipping,) either way you need to factor the shipping cost into your expenses.

If you have an item that you can't sell for more than 10 dollars and costs 5 to ship you need to realize you're going to receive approximately $3.41 after shipping,ebay fees and pay pal fees.

A lot of ebay sellers either aren't making money or have created a below minimum wage job for themselves- they just don't realize it yet.

It is possible they're drop shipping items and therefore can turn a profit.

A few years ago Sears kept having items they would give you back 100 percent of the purchase price in Sears money that had to be used in a certain amount of time ( i think 30 days) Each week the items would change and most worth worthless junk nobody would want. But every once in a while something good would pop up. Sometimes they were cheap items with free shipping that sold for the same price on ebay as it would on sears (a lot of items would sell for way less on ebay)
Additionally I would get cashback going through sites like ebates on every purchase usually around 10 percent.

So it would go something like this.
Sell item for 20 dollars that I would buy on Sears for 20 dollars.
After Ebay and paypal fees I would net a little over 17 dollars. Plus I'd get 2 dollars back from ebates. So I lost a dollar.
Except now I had 20 dollars in Sears money and I could use that to selling another item on Ebay. In some weeks I even sold the same item 10 times just constantly rolling over the free money in sears money over and over again.

Some Items were as low as 8 dollars. They never would have actually been profitable for me to buy and have to ship but sears was paying for the shipping.

At first sears would give you 100 percent back on the items even if you paid with sears money. Eventually that stopped and you could basically only roll it once making it less profitable.One week they had some tablets I was able to do this on and I made about 2,000 dollars profit basically doing nothing.
Once I could only roll the money once I started buying sears gift cards at around 30 percent off on various sites.

I remember the tablets were 150 dollar tablets.
So basically it went like this.
Tablet is about 163 dollars after tax.
I buy the tablet in gift cards that cost me about 114 dollars. I also get 15 dollars back from ebates.
So really the tablet costs me 99 dollars.
It would then sell for about 130-140 on ebay. Lets call it 135. So I would get about 118 dollars of this. All I would do is then go on sears and have them ship it to the person who won the auction. Ok so now it looks like I made 19 dollars. Except now I have another 150 dollars in Sears money and could sell another tablet. SO i'd sell another one netting around 118 dollars plus 15 dollars from ebates bringing in a total profitl of about 152 dollars on 2 laptops literally just listing them and going on sears crappy website to have them shipping.

I know I went off on a tangent towards the end but I was able to figure this out after selling small cheap things from Sears first.
Point being if someone is selling cheap items on ebay and paying for shipping they're likely not making much of a profit if they're making one at all. But if they are making a good profit they've figured out something you haven't- how to source the item cheap and likely how to have a third party eat the shipping cost.

Learn to think outside the box and if an opportunity arises like the Sears once i mentioned jump on it. they never last long.

Last edited by djohnslaw; 06-03-2020 at 08:40 AM..
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Old 06-04-2020, 06:42 AM
 
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"a lot of items aren't worth selling"


That^^.
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Old 06-04-2020, 08:03 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
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I have wondered about that too. I needed a battery for a device using a small coin/button type. At the local drug store they cost over $6 each. On Ebay I found I could get 25 of them for $3.99 with free shipping, the same brand, Maxell. They took a few weeks to arrive and had come from China, but had the same packaging as at the stores here. It's hard to imagine shipping a package even that small all the way from China for under $4, never mind 25 batteries and shipping.
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Old 06-04-2020, 10:27 AM
 
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I don't sell on ebay anymore, but I used to quite a bit. For low cost items, I would have them shipped from China. It's cheaper to ship from China to a US address than from a US address to another US address in many cases (due to postal subsidies).

Ship the low cost items to China in large quantity (10,000 units - you can even get partial containers if you need). Then have them drop shipped from there.

Even if you aren't interested in China, definitely outsource shipping. That's the biggest waste of time unless you have enough volume to warrant doing it in house.... at which point you can negotiate directly with UPS.
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Old 06-06-2020, 10:41 AM
 
1,032 posts, read 750,272 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IDoPhysicsPhD View Post
I don't sell on ebay anymore, but I used to quite a bit. For low cost items, I would have them shipped from China. It's cheaper to ship from China to a US address than from a US address to another US address in many cases (due to postal subsidies).

Ship the low cost items to China in large quantity (10,000 units - you can even get partial containers if you need). Then have them drop shipped from there.

Even if you aren't interested in China, definitely outsource shipping. That's the biggest waste of time unless you have enough volume to warrant doing it in house.... at which point you can negotiate directly with UPS.
How big do your shipping needs have to be for UPS to give you a discount big enough to be competitive with USPS?

For all their shortcomings USPS is pretty amazing compared to what you can pay elsewhere. Of course they’ve been having trouble lately and I don’t know how that’s going to affect their cost in the next year.

Anyway, some good points have already been brought up. The key is to keep your cost low and prioritize high priced items. Right now the lowest selling clearance items I have sell for $5.99. I never aim to sell anything that low. It’s always going to be better to sell one thing for say $30 than 5 things for $6. For one you l’ll have less shipping if you haven’t found a way to make a third party pay for it. For another you’re going to have 4 less customers to deal with. I wouldn’t say eBay is filled with scammers, but I’ve definitely encounters some and there an unneeded annoyance. Try to find high cost items while dealing with as few people as possible. That’s a big reason manufacturers sell things in bulk to places like Walmart. The more customers, the more room for hassle.
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Old 06-06-2020, 11:45 AM
 
740 posts, read 260,258 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemlock140 View Post
I have wondered about that too. I needed a battery for a device using a small coin/button type. At the local drug store they cost over $6 each. On Ebay I found I could get 25 of them for $3.99 with free shipping, the same brand, Maxell. They took a few weeks to arrive and had come from China, but had the same packaging as at the stores here. It's hard to imagine shipping a package even that small all the way from China for under $4, never mind 25 batteries and shipping.
They're probably counterfeit but work just as well or close to it.
That stuff is dirt cheap to manufacture and ship from China, although the seller didn't make much.

Stuff like small batteries as well as any kind of cell phone chargers/batteries are always way more expensive in the store. The reason being if you're buying a cell phone charger in the store you lost your's and can't charge your phone. You need it right then so you'll pay a premium. People buy them online as extras, and since they're actually very cheap to make people needed to compete on price for an item that isn't needed right away. It's basically the law of diminishing returns. If i have 0 phone chargers getting 1 is a big deal. If I already have 1 getting a second one matters way less.
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