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1:6 Acquisitionist
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
See subject.

A trend I've noticed more so over the past couple of years is very blatant overpriced shipping by sellers on eBay.

We've all encountered such instances.

I believe this is due to eBay taking a 10% cut of the posted shipping price as well and sellers generally are bumping up the shipping price to compensate for eBay's 10% as well as eBay and PayPal fees.

Is this the new reality for those of us who regularly find and buy 1:6 stuff on eBay?

I've seen instances when the cost of shipping is blatantly overpriced. I ignore such auctions/buy it now listings.

I do understand it is difficult at times to gauge shipping while maintaining a business bottom line as well. Perhaps the preceding is also a factor in why eBay has been on a decline as well.

1:6 food for thought.
 

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1:6 Acquisitionist
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Why not shop at various online stores that are not on ebay?
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Good point, but I search and shop on eBay for 1:6 items I cannot find from proven/reliable 1:6 vendors.
 

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Cobra Infantry Commander
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3,785 Posts
Why not shop at various online stores that are not on ebay?
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Good point, but I search and shop on eBay for 1:6 items I cannot find from proven/reliable 1:6 vendors.
these questions make me think of how seedy sellers can be. i usually try not to buy from overseas, and i definitely hate buying with high shipping. usually i try to get the most out of a purchase, knowing that if i am smart about it, i will get discounts on shipping, and get most of what i want or need at once. i usually dont buy for just one item, unless it's a absolute must. the zcwo riot helmet was one must. but that was china...so you know not that bad. but just for a small item like a watch or shoes, i can wait till i make a list. and i have 4 or so sellers i will try first before buying from any, and they usually have enough goodies i want to buy to make shipping costs small potatoes.
 

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I just view it as a shell game and figure the seller is going to try to make up any cuts they are getting in fees.

Add the complexity that I’m in the UK, and the international shipping aspect often comes into play. The eBay Global Shipping Programme is really padded. The only good thing about it is that customs are prepaid so the item doesn’t get delayed an additional week.

When it’s all said and done, I’m inclined to order directly from China rather than the US or Continental Europe as the total costs are lower, and I usually have fewer customs problems and delays. The US is always the most expensive option, and I have to really want an item to consider it. Chinese sellers are much more globally minded and globally competitive.
 

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To a degree yes. You frequently see inexperienced sellers trying to charge $40-50 to ship a figure when it costs nowhere near that. Sometimes that is due to trying to display a lower item cost and other times it is just to make more off the buyer. The average individual selling on ebay usually is not very savvy when it comes to shipping, especially when it comes to understanding when volumetric weight charges come in as well as understanding if they use calculated shipping with accurate weights/dimensions for larger items like figures they are more likely to sell their item. The other side of that is ebay's cart is an awful implementation for anyone who sells multiple items in one transaction. It just isn't setup to handle multi-item sales other than multiples of a single listing as they have no proper weight based shipping implementation for a cart that consists of multiple listings. That is why most international sellers offer "free shipping", which typically means that a customer buying multiple items at once will end up paying more shipping than they would otherwise need to do. Adding final value fees charged on shipping prices only compounds the problem.
 

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I'm BACK!!
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A lot of the time it can be. I guess it depends on how much you really want the item. I found a vinyl kit that had been a grail and the shipping was through eBay's Global Shipping Program. Although the shipping was expensive, the price of the kit wasn't, so it worked out as being a lot cheaper than paying a high price for the kit and a high price for the shipping and running the risk of being hit for duty charges when it arrived in the country.

High shipping costs can be a pain, but, if the item you're after is one you'll never get for a better price then those costs can be worth it

CHEERS!
 

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1:6 Miniature Craftsman
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I'd rather pay a lower cost for the item and a higher cost for shipping. If it gets caught up in customs, the fees and taxes are calculated solely on the cost of the item.
 

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Here’s a scenario I encountered this week. I wanted to buy a parted out figure from a box set with its parted out hands. I had four options identified: two US non-eBay sellers and 2 Chinese eBay sellers.

Both US sellers were listed about 30-35% less in cost but without shipping. Shipping was included with the Chinese sellers. The shipping for the US was almost as much as the items, so they ended up being around 20% more to ship to the UK compared to the Chinese sellers. That’s before getting hit with customs duty and fees which usually adds another 20% or so. Most items from China will not have fees whereas the US always does.

I ended up going with a Chinese seller with whom I dealt before even though the price was a few £ more than the cheapest.

It always involves figuring out the shell game and the total anticipated costs balanced with time and seller reputation. Sort of a puzzle.
 

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I'm BACK!!
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I hear you, if the seller has a particular type of item I want and I don't get hit for fees when it ships I tend to stick with them even if the price is higher than sellers where I have been hit. I start to wonder what impact Brexit will have, will we pay more VAT and duty!?

CHEERS!
 

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1:6 collector
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Good question(s) and good answers. A lot of what I find on eBay has "free shipping," but much of that seems to be compensated for (on the seller's part) in the item's price. In some of the costlier instances, we seem to get more reliable and traceable shipping service. In the case of some types of international economy shipping (I can think of several recent examples from several sellers in China), the free shipping is both excruciatingly slow and difficult or impossible to track. I would rather pay (a reasonable amount) for shipping, than have to keep checking e-mail and real mail like a hawk on a daily basis and wonder how soon do I contact the seller or open a case with eBay or PayPal.

As for non-eBay stores, it seems to be a trade-off. For example (speaking of US stores shipping domestically), the same item might cost more at Big Bad Toy Store than at Timewalker Toys, but BBTS would cost less to ship than TWT. Black Ops Toys, Monkey Depot, and Toy Anxiety seem to have very reasonable shipping options, Sideshow and Cotswold Collectibles rather less so. Of course, it also makes a difference what is being shipped, how much space it takes and how much it weighs, but I think my observations are accurate enough.
 

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'SHIPPING' also means 'Shipping and Handling' which to most serious sellers equals packaging materials and time spent preparing the items for shipping.

The EBay 10% cut for shipping cost really put a dent on many sellers' bottom line, so I won't blame them for trying to make an extra $1 for every item sold.

There's still plenty of choices out there, lots of China-based EBay stores still offer free shipping... if one is willing to wait a bit longer.

Once the practical math is done, it will all come down to one thing: How much, how soon and how bad do you want that figure???:gimme
 

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I sell on ebay from time to time too and I agree on the cost of shipping. Many people don't consider the fact that boxes, bubblewrap, tape, labels, etc. cost money. USPS provides some free stuff, but they don't always fit to what you have to ship. I think the other thing people don't know is that China's shipping prices are so low is because it's subsidized by the government.
 

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I sell on ebay from time to time too and I agree on the cost of shipping. Many people don't consider the fact that boxes, bubblewrap, tape, labels, etc. cost money. USPS provides some free stuff, but they don't always fit to what you have to ship. I think the other thing people don't know is that China's shipping prices are so low is because it's subsidized by the government.
Yep. Also many U.S. (FedEx, UPS)shipping companies give large discounts to many Asian and other countries that import/ship to the U.S.
Because they ship so much more than other countries.

FedEx and UPS don't give any breaks for international for us in the U.S. It's like 10 times more for me to
ship back the same package that came via FedEx from Korea. But they don't care, they're making
most of their money from by the shear volume of packages sent by countries outside the U.S.

So I stick to USPS Priority and charge the actual shipping cost.
Small Flat rate box averages: U.S. $7.20, Canada & Mexico $25.85, Overseas: $34.00

To me, it shouldn't matter, as long as the customer is happy with the total price.
 

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I've been Minimoyzed
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Once EBAY started adding fees on to the shipping costs as well as Final Value Fee, that was when we really started seeing that increase in shipping costs. To get charged a fee on top of an expense is just plain wrong in my eyes. so myself and many other sellers charge more for the break even cost. Thank all the scammers back in the day that would charge $1 for an item, and the charge a high amount for fast shipping, only to send it regular air mail, and pocket the profit while not paying fees. Some places like Hong Kong and China as an example has very inexpensive shipping with tracking, so their fee structures aren't as skewed as North American or European shipping rates vs fees. Those places still see a fairly decent amount of sales, but even those places have seen a bigger increase in shipping costs over the past few years too. I only charge a bit more on the shipping, because I shouldn't have to take a loss on Ebay because of my shipping costs on top of the final value skim off the item. That has never sat well with me. And the fact that the Ebay shipping calculator isn't nearly as accurate as you think an electronic based system should be. Especially when Ebay sets it's rates will the local Postal system, the process should be a lot more accurate than it is.

Add in the rigid issues of shipping without tracking and the possibility of losing a package, and then losing the item and having to refund the full amount, shipping costs can be a real pain in the arse for someone who is not set up as a business.

My buying and selling has dropped drastically on Ebay for these reasons primarily. There are a few other reasons, which just snowball, and have made that venue a less attractive place for many to sell on.
 

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As far as EBay shipping cost is concerned, things ain't gonna get any better in the future, only worse... especially from the U.S.

Not to get into politics, but here's the latest buzz among online sellers:
Depending n which state a seller is based from, once the latest Trump 'Tax Reform' is put into effect, some basic operational expenses for small business can no longer be deducted from tax filings.

For many years I was able to deduct small items covered under operational cost, not a huge amount but still enough breathing room to sustain my business for the next year. Next year, no more of that breaks.

On the subject of shipping cost, simply put there will be no more incentive to provide discounted or free shipping- that would be considered a 'loss'.
Surely Amazon and Walmart can do free shipping, but most small Joe-Middle-Class retailers on Ebay or Etsy can't afford to offer such luxuries.

Expect two things from U.S. EBay sellers- either higher shipping cost, or higher price + added tax for items.
After all we ain't doing this for fun.:broke
 

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I'd like to mention the choices of buying from China or from non-China (locally).

Indeed, almost every toys or everything are made in China now. Let's say a figure selling on eBay for $130, free shipping from China/HongKong. And this figure is selling for $100 + $40 S/H in the US or UK, or in your country other than China. What would be your choice of purchase? Will you buy for $130 from China/HK with longer shipping time or $140 with fast shipping in the US/UK?

Beside, what's the impact? What are the pros and the cons?

Long term impact of buying from China: Low economy in your country. You are sending all your money to China. Yes we all send money to China. If you pay $130 then you are sending $130 to China. But if you buy locally when paying $140, you are not sending all your money to China for this figure. Maybe the seller in US has paid $80 for this figure so at the end, only $80 has been sent to China instead of $130.

Returning: In case of problem? Communication?
 

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1:6 enthusiast
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I would have to say that no, overpriced shipping is not the new reality unless you allow it to be. I buy quite a few items on eBay and other than a few non-US based sellers (mostly in the UK and Europe from my perspective) that are charging what seems to be outrageously high shipping charges, things seem to be pretty much the same as they were in the past, when adjusted for the undeniable reality of rising shipping costs in most parts of the world. I say "seems to be" because I don't know all of the realities when it comes to shipping from the UK or Europe to the US and I suspect that the same is true of those on the other end of things as well. There have always been those that overcharge on shipping but it's really simple to avoid. Factor the overall cost of the item with shipping included and if it doesn't sound reasonable, then don't make the purchase! I understand how frustrating it can be when it's a must have item but perhaps in those instances, you need to adjust your expectations.
 

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muscledog
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Telling my experience: I live in Spain, and there are almost no 1/6 stores here, virtual or real ones. When you find one, prohibitive prices are what you get. I'm almost forced to buy online, specially on eBay.

Almost all online stores I know are reliable, are in US, and the shipping from there have always been too high. Then, eBay was the place to go.

But the shipping costs there have shot through the sky too! So, like we say here, I'm between the cross and the sword.

If I could chose, I would buy from local stores, to avoid long shipping times and crazy customs fees. But for me it's almost impossible to do so.
 
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No - it's not new - there have always been people who overcharge (I've been on since 1999) and No - it's not the new normal - they're tons of other people who don't overcharge. Just don't buy. No big deal. I got accused in my last round of auctions, but the price of shipping keeps changing via USPS. Some box figures I can ship for less than $10, others (the exact same size), if they go to the west coast, etc. are near $20, so I've gone to flat shipping. If someone doesn't like it, Oh well. eBay is far from perfect, but you sure as heck have choices on there.

Also - International is NOT FedEx's bread & butter - I'm a former 10 yr. employee of Express & have many friends that work in Corp., HR, and in Operations. International freight isn't even close to domestic in actual volume. They make their money on Business to Business, Priority & Overnight services, and handling the US Mail's Priority and Overnight services as well (they've had the contract for several years now). Say what you want about FedEx, but if you ship international, the moment your package is accepted into the system, it's immediately being worked on by FedEx Trade Networks for clearance. I've easily shipped stuff to China in 3 days, when both of my in-laws lived over there, with no customs issues. I've never used it for shipping to Europe though - I just use USPS and have never had a problem (primarily to England).
 
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