Monday, February 16, 2015

The eBay Free Shipping Dilemma

Years ago on eBay, offering free shipping helped sellers place higher in searches. In other words, eBay rewarded sellers who offered free shipping with a boost in search. That is not the case now.

Free shipping is now a big debate between sellers.

The positives:

1. Buyers respond to listings with free shipping. It is a marketing tool to attract buyers.

2. Free shipping is a guaranteed 5 stars on DSRs. It is somewhat of an insurance policy that helps guarantee 5 stars for shipping cost.

The negative:

If a buyer returns an item that had free shipping on it, the seller is usually out the shipping cost to the buyer because the cost of shipping was included in the sales price.

So which is the best way to go? It depends on what is most important to your unique business. I personally offer free shipping on items that can be shipped first class or in a padded flat rate envelope. (For my own items, not consignment items.) So if the item is returned, the cost of shipping lost is minimal.

What is your opinion on free shipping? Is it more important to get the 5 star DSR rating or not risk losing money if the item is returned?

Related Articles:

Free eBay Shipping Flow Chart

How to Reduce Returns on eBay

What Women Want to Buy on eBay

1 comment:

Ree Cee said...

I'm a newbie and have read a lot about shipping and it can be very confusing. I plan on selling long term but for the short term, this is what I am doing. Since I'm building my feedback, I'm doing what I can control - taking lots of pictures, over describing, allowing best offer, and offering free shipping. There are things I can't control for which I will waste no time worrying and will deal with as they arise. It's a part of being in business. I try to list items that have a high profit margin so I'm not so much losing money as I am not making as much profit if there is a return. And yes, that includes things that sell for just $20 as well as the higher priced items. As I sell more, I will change shipping policy as business evolves. I would love to hear others' thoughts on this ever thought provoking subject.