Shipping & Insurance
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Quoting Shipping Rates in the Describer Module

As you may be aware, eBay is currently reviewing their shipping rules and considering implementing changes. This factor, when combined the number of variables associated with deciding how to quote shipping, often confuses a seller. EZLister.net recognizes this and has developed its system to protect its clients while simplifying the process wherever possible. The following discussion summarizes how to quote shipping when describing an item, how the option used will impact the checkout process, and states some general observations regarding shipping items sold using the Internet.


In the describer module under the shipping tab, there are three ways to enter shipping. First, select an item that requires a shipping rate quote. The keystrokes are: Login to the System => Describer => Setup Items (used for an item not yet described) or Last 100 Items (to edit an item already described) or Search (used to find and edit an item already described where the title, item id, etc. is unknown) => Item ID link. This will bring up the “Describe Item” page. In the top third of the page, there is a blue box with a series of tabs across the top. Select the “Shipping” tab to enter a shipping quote. In this discussion, only the shipping rate field is discussed as the others are relatively straightforward.

If you leave the shipping rate field blank, then the listing will indicate that the buyer will pay the actual shipping from your zip code (entered by the Administrator during the setup process). This option turns the checkout process into a two step process, the first step is the buyer provides the required ship to address, and is advised that they will be provided with a total shipping amount within 24 hours. The second step is the clerk notifies the buyer of the total shipping cost, and after receiving this total; the buyer pays for the item and completes checking out. Note that an email containing the total shipping costs is automatically sent to the buyer as soon as the clerk determines and enters the amount. This is the default checkout procedure followed for all international buyers (including those in AL and HI) as it is the only method available to protect the seller in such transactions.

We suggest leaving the shipping rate field blank when selling large, bulky items where the shipping amount varies in relation to the weight, size and distance shipped. In such cases, quoting a high fixed shipping cost may fend of “local” buyers, while quoting a low fixed shipping cost will lead to a monetary loss when the item is purchased by someone at the opposite end of the country.


If you enter a 0 in the shipping rate field, then the listing will indicate that the shipping is free. In this case the checkout process can be completed immediately since no further interaction between the buyer and seller is necessary.


If you enter an amount greater than $.01, then the listing will indicate the amount entered as the flat rate shipping cost paid by the buyer. In this case the checkout process can be completed immediately since no further interaction between the buyer and seller is necessary.


Some general guidelines about quoting shipping using EZLister.net:

• Regardless of which of the three methods used, eBay indexes and ranks shipping costs and lists them accordingly.

• eBay places the "calculate" button in the listing summary if you do not specify a fixed shipping cost.

• We elected not to include a shipping calculator as we find them to be inaccurate, misleading in many instances, and a potential source of conflict when finalizing a sale. You can include them in your listings if you wish.

• Most items that are 15 pounds or less should have a pre-determined, fixed shipping rate quoted. eBay prefers this, and by stating a pre-determined rate that protects your interest, your items should appear toward the top of the search results, all other factors being equal.

• Consumers, and eBay, are becoming increasingly aware that the cost to ship a 7 pound item 100 miles is the same as the cost to ship it 1,500 miles when sent via USPS. Zone shipping with UPS, FedEX, etc, will of course vary. The point is that shipping costs for similar items should not vary widely, and the existing practice of obtaining large margins on shipping costs will likely become increasingly difficult in the near term.

• Finally, fixed shipping costs are more appealing to buyers since they are able to check out immediately. A calculated rate turns the checkout into the more time consuming two step process described above.



Specifying Shipping Rates in the Describer Module


eBay is currently reviewing their shipping rules and considering implementing changes.  This factor, when combined the number of variables associated with deciding how to quote shipping, often confuses a seller.  EZLister.net recognizes this and has developed its system to protect its clients while simplifying the process wherever possible.  The following discussion summarizes how to quote shipping when describing an item, how the option used will impact the checkout process, and states some general observations regarding shipping items sold using the Internet.

In the describer module under the shipping tab, there are four ways to enter shipping.  First, select an item that requires a shipping rate quote.  The keystrokes are: Login to the System => Describer => Setup Items (used for an item not yet described) or Last 100 Items (to edit an item already described) or Search (used to find and edit an item already described where the title, item id, etc. is unknown) => Item ID link.  This will bring up the “Describe Item” page.  In the top third of the page, there is a blue box with a series of tabs across the top.  Select the “Shipping” tab to enter a shipping quote.  In this discussion, only the shipping rate field is discussed as the others are relatively straightforward.

If you leave the shipping rate field appearing in the left hand column blank, the listing indicates that the buyer will pay the actual shipping from your zip code (entered by the Administrator during the setup process).  We suggest leaving the shipping rate field blank when selling large, bulky items where the shipping amount varies in relation to the weight, size and distance shipped.  In such cases, quoting a high fixed shipping cost may fend of “local” buyers, while quoting a low fixed shipping cost will lead to a monetary loss when the item is purchased by someone at the opposite end of the country. 

This option turns the checkout process into a two phase process, the first phase is the buyer provides the required ship to address, and is advised that they will be provided with a total shipping amount within 24 hours.  The second phase is the clerk notifies the buyer of the total shipping cost, and after receiving this total; the buyer completes the checkout by paying for the item.  Note that an email containing the total shipping costs is automatically sent to the buyer as soon as the clerk determines and enters the amount.  This is the default checkout procedure followed for all international buyers (including those in AL, HI and US territories) as it is the only method available to protect the seller in such transactions.

If you enter a 0 in the shipping rate field, then the listing will indicate that the shipping is free.  In this case the checkout process can be completed immediately since no further interaction between the buyer and seller is necessary. 

If you enter an amount greater than $.01, then the listing will indicate the amount entered as the flat rate shipping cost paid by the buyer.  In this case the checkout process can be completed immediately since no further interaction between the buyer and seller is necessary. 

In the second column of this section the classes defined by the Administrator appear.  These are used when the seller offers multiple item discounts on shipping.  If this item is available for a multiple item discounted shipping rate, the select the class that represents the item being described.  In the checkout, the system will calculate the shipping based on the following rule.  The system will review the shipping rates of all the items eligible for multiple item discounts and select the package with the highest rate and use that as the base shipping amount.  Then the system applies the discounted rates specified for the remainder of the items.  The total of the base shipping rate and the individual discounted shipping rates equals the total shipping rate shown in the checkout process.  Items eligible for multiple shipping rate discounts can complete the checkout process immediately since no further interaction between the buyer and seller is necessary.

Some general guidelines about quoting shipping using EZLister.net:


Multiple Item Discounted Shipping Rate Information


The purpose of EZLister.net’s Custom Shipping/Multiple Item Shipping Rate feature is to allow sellers to quote fixed, multiple item discounted shipping rates for common packages shipped as a part of their every day operations.  It is not anticipated that this feature will cover all packages shipped to all points of the globe, but it is hoped that this feature will allow you to cover the vast majority of your day to day shipments.


Here are a few examples.  Appearing below is the shipping table filled in with sample shipping rates.


NOTE:  These are only sample shipping rates that are not meant to be realistic and are provided for information purposes only.


Class

Less than 1 lb.

1 lb – 3 lb

3 lb – 4 lb

4 lb – 5 lb

E


Rate

Disc Rate

Rate

Disc Rate

Rate

Disc Rate

Rate

Disc Rate

Rate


Domestic

2.5

1.5

4

3

6

5

8

7

8

7

North America & U.S. Territories

5

4

6

5

8

7

10

9

10

9

International

10

9

12

11

16

15

18

17

18

17


The first thing to notice is that all of the fields are filled in, none are left blank, or filled in with 0s.  Notice how the fifth class “E” is unused but the fields contain the same data as those for the 4lb-5lb class.  This assures that an item will never be shipped for free due to data entry mistakes.  Secondly, this seller only offers multiple quantity discounts for packages weighing less than 5 pounds.  All other packages require a custom shipping rate quotation as explained on the training DVD or by clicking here.   Finally, the design of the system identifies the package with the highest shipping rate of those available for shipment and uses that cost as the starting point, then applies the discounted shipping rates for the remaining packages.


Here is an example.  Assume that a buyer purchases multiple items from this seller, one package weighing ½ pound, the second weighing 2.5 pounds, and the third weighing 3.5 pounds.  The calculated shipping for this order shipped to a domestic (lower 48 states) address would be:

       

        Shipping Rate – 3.5 pound package        $6.00
Discounted Shipping Rate – 2.5 pound package        3.00
Discounted Shipping Rate – 1/2 pound package        1.50
Total Shipping        $10.50


The same multiple item purchase shipped to an international address would result in the following calculated shipping charges:

        Shipping Rate – 3.5 pound package        $16.00
Discounted Shipping Rate – 2.5 pound package        11.00
Discounted Shipping Rate – 1/2 pound package        9.00
Total Shipping        $36.00



Insurance Rates Setup


Information on this page sets up default shipping insurance you may choose to offer your buyers. 


The insurance amount charged to buyers is a percentage of the selling price of the items.  This amount is entered in the field labeled “Insurance Premium Rate”.  Thus, if you choose to offer insurance and charge 1.5% for this service, enter 1.5 in the field labeled “Shipping Insurance Rate”.


EZLister.net offers seller’s five different options for shipping insurance and these are explained below. 


Optional        Selecting this option means that the buyer can elect not to pay for insurance.  The buyer will have to specifically opt out of buying shipping insurance during the checkout process as the default is for the buyer to insure the value of the shipped item and add this cost to the transaction.


Required        Selecting this option means that the system calculates the insurance based on the total value of the items purchased.  If you select this option, the buyer will not have the ability to opt out of paying the insurance regardless of the value of the item.  The cost of insurance is added to the transaction.


Included        Selecting this option means that you insure the value of the shipped item and that it is included in the shipping amount quoted and charged.  An amount will not be added to the transaction for insurance costs.


Not Offered        Selecting this option means that shipping insurance is not available for purchase by the buyer on this item as it is not provided by the seller.


None        Selecting this option means that no shipping insurance is offered by the seller to buyers and no insurance data will be transmitted to eBay during the listing insertion process.


Insurance Field Label:  Insurance Premium Rate