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  1. #1

    Standard vs. Premium Shipping

    I'm curious to know what you guys think of sellers on this site and others using certain price thresholds for when they elevate from standard shipping to a premium method (XpressPost, Priority, FedEx, etc.) - indeed, there are some sellers who use only premium shipping for their items.

    What is an acceptable level, in your opinion, for a seller to say, "This card is too valuable to send without added provisions like tracking/insurance"?

    As a buyer, when you see a higher than normal shipping price, how does it affect your buying with that seller?

    As a seller, do you feel that you sometimes lose out on higher sale prices due to your shipping policy, and if so, have you considered lowering your threshold or your standards for using high-end shipping options?

    Discuss. I will weigh in as things go and as I have some answers of my own.
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  2. #2
    I don't sell enough to give you a fair answer from that perspective (and when I have sold, prices have not been premium) so I can only give you my perspective as a buyer.

    The shipping price always factors into my bid - be that low end or high end.


    I bought a gamer on eBay last spring. It was not cheap, nor did I expect shipping to be cheap. When I was going back and forth with the seller on a price, his $40 shipping to Canada charge was absolutely a factor. I realize that for him to send it to me safely it's going to cost a lot - and I'm okay with that.

    That being said, I've only got so much money to spend - so when shipping is going to cost $40, that's going to effect the amount I can spend on the item. If shipping was only $20, I could probably afford to spend an extra $20 on sale price.


    Bottom line, as buyers we have to understand that premium shipping - especially across boarders - costs money.

  3. #3
    And that brings up an interesting point for discussion - when you (the general you) are looking at a card, do you look at a holistic price or just the bid price and the shipping afterwards? What I mean is: if there are only two copies of a card on eBay, and it's a SSP of some type, do you bid on the one that's listed higher with a lower shipping price (say, $79.99 with $2.50 shipping) or the one that's lower with higher shipping (say, $59.99 with $15 XpressPost)?
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  4. #4
    As a seller, I use Canada Post because it's......easy. And it's only let me down twice in 13 years. That said, I charge $3 to ship a card and if that card sells for $75 or more I get paranoid and send it via Expresspost and eat the difference.

    As a buyer, I've experienced the same thing, a seller will charge me the minimal amount and then send it using a much more expensive service, what goes around comes around eh?

    I've also paid up the wa-zoooo for shipping for items that have been shipped using the wa-zoo services, and I've paid it willingly because business is business. If I see an auction for something I want and the shipping charges are way up there but that's because it's going to be sent via Expresspost or courier then that's just the way it is.

    No one blinks twice when they go to NHL.com or NBC.com and they buy something with $19.95 shipping charges, but for some reason it's ok to go nuts on eBay for calculating that the seller is "profiting" 23 cents with his shipping charges??

  5. #5
    I always have a number in mind that I'm willing to spend on the card, if I want to spend 20 on a card and one person has shipping for 12 my bid will only be 8, however if someone else has the same card and shipping is 3, then my bid is 17. I always take the shipping rate into account as it's still money out of my pocket.
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  6. #6
    I have some things to add to this good topic.

    I am primarily a seller, very rarely do I buy singles, I get the cards I desire by ripping wax. This method of collecting forces me to sell quite a bit.

    I used to list all my items without free shipping and auction style all starting at .99. $2.50 to Canada $3.50 to USA. If the item sold for more then $60 the item required insurance and tracking, $15 to Canada and $20 to USA.

    The above method caused me many issues, especially with the higher end cards that had selling ranges between $60 and $100. I found over time those cards would not get bid over $60 because of my shipping prices and requirements as previously described. This was hurting my pocket book and frustrating me at the same time.

    So I switched my listing strategy. This different strategy which I will describe had it's negatives as well.

    Now I will not auction anything. I also will not charge for shipping, I list every item as a BIN\BO with free shipping. (I will occasionally do auctions when the $5-$10 cards start piling up) The problem I have found selling by this method is I will typically lose out regarding the shipping because the buyer does not take that into account when making their offers. I will receive absolutely fair offers based on previous sales of similar cards, but those previous sale prices did not include the shipping. Yes I know, I don't have to accept the offers, but when I have a card listed for two months and I keep receiving similar valued offers and the counters I make keep getting declined I usually have a pretty good idea as to what I'm going to get.

    Pretty much what I've learned from this is that most buyers absolutely factor in the cost of shipping when bidding or making best offers on items that do no include shipping. However they DO NOT factor the cost of shipping into their offers or bids when it's 'free' or included.

    I've switched up my guidelines recently. It's no longer black or white like it used to be. IE. if said items sells for $60 or more I will send with tracking and insurance. The shipping method I decide upon now is based on the buyers feedback and experience. I trust the postal system, in all my years of selling I've only had one card not make it to the destination, and I truly believe that bad situation had nothing to do with the postal system. I have a prime example, I just sold a Adam Henrique The Cup RPA for $90 to a buyer with over 1200 positive feedback points, I will have no problem shipping it regular mail to this buyer. Yes it may be risky, but truly how risky is that? The buyer didn't get to 1200 by screwing people over. So I will save myself $15 and get a somewhat decent sale value for the card. Now if someone with 20 feedback points made the same $90 offer, I would've countered with a $105, because yes guaranteed I would ship with tracking.

    I still have a line, and I base it on a percentage. An acceptable percentage is the cost to ship must be 10% or lower of the price of the card. Really at the end of the day when putting a tracking number on a package really what we are buying is insurance. At what cost are we willing to pay to insure a $60 card! lol! Like really? Let's look at some numbers, $15 for shipping(insurance) for a $60 card works out to 25%! THAT IS INSANE! It's not worth it. Let's do the math for a $80 card, 19%, still way to high! $100? 15%, nope unacceptable. Those numbers are completely unacceptable compared to other insurance rates ie. house, car, life, etc. THE ONLY TIME those numbers are acceptable is when I'm selling to someone with low feedback. Really what I'm doing is buying insurance not because I'm worried Canada Post will lose it, absolutely not, it's because I'm worried that the person who bought the card has ulterior motives.

    It's unfortunate that this is what the hobby has come to, that we insure ourselves to protect from theft, not loss. It is the reality and it will not change.

    I truly like this new method, each situation receives it's own specific determinations. I make a little more on my cards, which makes me REALLY HAPPY! lol.

    So, with all that being said, I really wish someone would invent the Star Trek Teleporter, this would solve our shipping problems lol.
    Last edited by 13stepper; 10-05-2013 at 04:29 PM.

  7. #7
    Great comment, Craig!

    When it comes to shipping out items I am loath to post up the old "any item over XX will be charged YY for XpressPost" because ultimately it leads to crafty buyers putting in offers of XX minus five bucks so that they get the cheaper shipping rate. Those are sometimes the folks that make me worry. Like Craig mentioned, if it's a guy with solid and well-established feedback or a repeat buyer, sure save us both some money. But when it's new folks...I always come back with the counter offer. Always. Since that one time....

    I would really like to know how much UD/Panini have to spend each year sending out redemption cards. It cannot be cheap to have to send out 50 Crosby Cup Enshrinements autographs via FedEx when those cards finally get returned.
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  8. #8
    Mainly I do not buy that much but definitely take shipping into account. I do not sell but do trade a lot. Now I know SCF is not ebay but what I do here is figure that sending with tracking is costly and mainly what I did is send with tracking for cards over $200 BV and a few time I sold cards for like $800 and sent them with tracking. But anything under, I simply go for the lowest rate. I figure that if I never pay high shipping in trades, what I save, I can use it to insure what I send myself. Now selling is different since you charge the other. But looking at response here I think the best way is to maybe put a floor limit to 100$ and under charge the low rate with no tracking and over 100 then go with tracking. I think a seller will benefit with low shipping. Yet I know some buyer on ebay can be a pain and not like SCF but to me I think a 100 floor limit may benefit a seller.

    Like in USA with the $7 shipping for low end cards, it's incredible how this must affect sales. Yet with no experience on seller I really have no data on losses.
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