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12-04-2012, 05:22 PM #1
My eBay Re-Inforced PWE Experiment - Free Shipping
Now 2 full months into changing my new Free Shipping Format for all single card auctions on eBay/.
1999-Sept. 2012 - Everything shipped in a bubble envelop
2012 Sept. - Now Everything shipped via Re-Inforced PWE - Free Shipping to Customer.
Recent USPS price changes - an increase of 83.7% for International Shipping, and a domestic increase of 70% have forced me into using a new system of Re-inforced PWE.
TopLoader and card are surrounded by taped 20 gauge cereal box cardboard.
Card and TopLoader are placed inside PWE. They are secured in place with tape - as not to rattle around.
*** Envelop seams are taped
*** Envelop edges are taped, to they won't tear
When taken to the Post Office, these have an added surcharge so that they do not pass through those blubber band and machine sorters. The caption is called "Non-Machinable". The surcharge is .20 cents on both International and Domestic
Old - Bubble Envelop to Canada (1-2 cards) - $3.00 USD
New - Re-Inforced PWE to Canada (1-2 cards) - $1.05
Old - Bubble Envelop within USA (1-2 cards) - $1.95
New - Re-Inforced PWE within USA (1-2 cards) - .65 cents
International - Europe
Old - Bubble Envelop to Europe (1-2 cards) - $3.15 - $3.25 dependent on destination
New - Re-Inforced PWE to Europe (1-2 cards) - $1.25 no matter the destination.
Statistical Comparisons - Old Method to New Method.
US Domestic - 11% increase from Bubble Envelop to Re-Inforced PWE - this increase is due to the economy slowly edging back to some level of normalcy. Still my domestic Hockey Card sales to the USA are off by a solid 35% due to both the economic downturn and the NHL Lockout.
Canada - 22% new Increase in Business. 90% coming from Quebec. It appears that Quebecers love a discount (Free Shipping) over all other Canadians.
Before I launched this new shipping. My business was spread out equally all over Canada with Manitoba, PEI, and New Brunswick being the least amount of business. I cannot get a handle on the Lockout's effect, because my new business to Quebec is through the roof......
Ontario was a solid #1 with Quebec, BC and Alberta pretty close in 2nd through 4th Place. Now since offering Free Shipping Quebec has gone ballistic with 107% increase in sales, and at the time, we have no Hockey.
International - Europe - Business is down 95%. I cannot determine if it's because Europeans will only accept cards in bubble envelops or the fact that they are now manufacturing their own cards. Regardless, all the players are there playing, and they have just stopped bidding on my auctions....Period
In two months with 280 single card eBay auctions, I have had only 2 - Single-card sales to Europe. Business has all but dried up.
I cannot wait to see what happens when we finally have Hockey again. I do know that the US domestic business will continue to increase, and that business from Canada will also rise, will European buyers again return? I'm not sure. I wish I could determine if European Buyers are staying away because of the Lockout, I certainly hope so.
12-04-2012, 07:00 PM #2
Hahahaaaaa!!! I'm original Quebecois and +1000000000 to loving a discount, it costs MONEY to live in La Belle Province, summer is stinking hot, winter is wish-you-were-dead cold, hydro isn't cheap!! Snow tires, winter coats, provincial taxes, etc blah blah blah.....
Good for you tho, my sales last time were so poor I'm putting off the next round. Mostly out of laziness. But still...................
12-04-2012, 08:39 PM #3
I'm glad to see other successes w/the PWE. I think it's gotten a bad wrap and is getting more and more essential with the skyrocketing shipping costs. If packaged right, cards will receive almost the same protection, excluding game-used jersey cards which I would not chance.
As far as your 20 cent surcharge, I have always just put "Photos: Do Not Bend" with a stamp and it has made it 100% of the time. I guess you can never be too sure though, just an observation.
12-04-2012, 09:31 PM #4
I don't think PWE has gotten a bad rap...it is those that have used it incorrectly have done that. The method described above, with cereal box taping and taping to the inside of the envelope all sounds pretty safe for single card...I just might have to check out your listings for free shipping! :)
12-04-2012, 09:37 PM #5
12-04-2012, 10:08 PM #6
Good stuff. I agree with the other posters, there is nothing wrong with pwe if you do it correctly, and charge a fair amount for postage. The time paid $4 to have a jersey card shipped wraped in paper in a pwe envelope.... No penny sleeve and no top loader.... Not good. What you describe, and for free, I would he happy to receive anytime.
12-05-2012, 03:24 AM #7
12-05-2012, 07:15 AM #8
Yes I don't mind PWE's if they're sent correctly like yours.
But irks me like **** when I get a huge PWE with just one card without extra protection (like decoy/cardboard/toploader, teambag or anything) or taping at the edges.PC-PLAYERS: Tom Barrasso & Johan Hedberg - Hidden Content
*13-14 PANINI PRIME COLORS - TOM BARRASSO - PAYS WELL!
AND ALL CARDS WITH BARRASSO FROM 13-14 PANINI NATIONAL TREASURES/FLAWLESS
12-05-2012, 02:02 PM #9
The key to a PWE is keeping it away from the USPS cancelling and sorting machines. On both machines the PWE travels through a series of belts and goes around several wheels. imagine a 12-inch diameter steel wheel with a moving belt tensioned against it. Now picture your PWE sandwiched between the wheel and the belt. The belt is too tight and has no play in it. The wheel is steel and will not give. Only one option left...The envelope will bend going around these wheels.
Just as a precaution - "Do not bend" or "photos" on the envelope does not always work. The machines have been modified to handle thicker pieces of mail and when the operator gets a tray of letters (stacked front-to-back) they can't see your "manual only" notation on the envelope.
The key to keeping envelopes off the machine is to make them oddly shaped, very thick (3/4 in or more) or exceedingly, obviously rigid. As Centerhice said it may cost you a non-standard surcharge, but manual handling will guarantee the contents are not bent or damaged.
Last edited by Drewk86a; 12-05-2012 at 09:49 PM.