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Hi, I know this may be off topic, but I just wanted to know something about Shipping.

Last night I won an item on e-bay and actually I have asked the seller several hours before how much would the shipping be. He didn't answer till after the bidding ended. I placed my bid assuming that the highest shipping cost for a single item ( in this case a LOCO ) would not be more then US$ 16.00 to ship it to Malta, Europe. His shipping system is USPS ( which I don't have an idea what kind of service it is), and after the bidding ended he told me that the shipping cost would be of US$ 30.00. Is that a reasonable shipping cost? I received items from US, but shipping never costed me more then US$ 12.00, that is why I am wondering about this high cost.

Could anyone kindly advice is this shipping service this guy is using, is really so expensive, or if he is just trying to get some extra money from this?



Fun Lover
Global Priority mail to Malta from the US would be $24 for a 2 lb box and $28 for a 3 lb box.

By ship, it would take weeks and 3 lbs would cost $22.


Go make something!
USPS all goes by air now and the lower rates are only found on the outdated webpages.


OK, then, I thought this person ( with all respect to him ) wanted to get some extra money out of me :S. I though bad, because the last engine I bought via e-bay costed me about US$ on shipment, and arrived here in about 9 days. But I don't really know what service did he use, but surely it was not by sea :), it wouldn't have arrived here in 9 days otherwise.


Railroad Photographer
Here in Canada international small packages under 500 g (I think) go by "Small Packet" prices which are fairly reasonalble. Once you get over the 500g, then the prices are quite a bit higher.

I imagine the packaged loco would be above the 500g, and most countries' rates are similar for the small packet rate through international agreements.

In fact, it is cheaper for me to send something outside of Canada using this rate than inside Canada, as the small packet rate does not apply for internal mailings. I've actually lost money on the shipping to Canadian addresses on eBay sales, as I'd priced the item to be shipped to the US. Future auctions will make accommodations for this.


Diesel Detail Freak
You know whats funny about the new postal service rates?

I shipped 3 like items, bubble mailer, 2 to Canada, one in the US. The two to Canada, combined, cost me as much shipping as the one in the US. $2.11 inside, $1.05 to Canada. All the same weight, ect!

However, when quoted over seas, its looking like Global Priority is the way to go, its been around $1 more for me, and half the estimated shipping time.


Coal Shoveler
You do have to be aware of the shipping charges sellers post on their auctions. Sometimes they can be high; if so, you might check a couple of the websites which allows somebody to calculate shipping to an address. Estimate the weight, run a few options, and you'll have a range.

I won an auction for a die-cast car once; the guy lived near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He quoted a fairly high shipping rate, but he said he was going to use UPS, and he listed his ZIP. I went to the UPS site and loaded in his ZIP and my ZIP, and the amount came in within maybe 2-3 dollars. Which was an eye-opener for me.

Since then, I pay attention to shipping costs, especially if I buy stuff originating from the Far East (like Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, etc.).



Well the guy who had the item, sent me the site of USPS and told me to calculate the cost myself, and infact for 2 punds of weight it was US $ 24.00 but then there was a US$ 5.00 handling fee, which was mentioned in the bidding, that I couldn't argue about because I knew about it.

So the total cost for shipping one loco was of US $ 29.00, almost as much as the loco itself costed me.


Coal Shoveler
Handling fees are a topic of discussion amongst eBay buyers. There are more than a few of them who say the fee (for whatever amount) is a backhanded way to pad the winning bid. Sellers say that it's to pay for costs and such incurred for selling stuff. Probably somewhere in the middle.

My philosophy is to be aware that it's there, and make a decision accordingly when you bid. If you win an auction for some item with a bid of a penny, and the Shipping is $5 and the Handling is $5, but the item is worth $15, should I really complain?



Running the MC & Buffalo
To my thinking and I do sell items on Ebay is that if there is a handling charge and it's around $5.00 dollars and above it's just a way for more money to be made on the item . And shipping costs are a sore subject also . You have to be a Smart buyer and know your costs before you do any bidding


Something on the same topic but not on locos. If the seller refunds you some money through paypal, do you have to acknowledge something or once he refunded them they will be added in your account?

I donno much about paypal, I started using it often, about 1 month ago.

Kindly help.
I can feel your pain even here in Canada. Shipping and handling often times is more that the price of the item. Then there's duties if it is over $20CDN. To avoid that I've often tried to by on this side of the border, but sometimes the shipping is even more inside Canada. There are Canadian sellers that have even said it is cheaper to ship to the US than within Canada.

Don't know if this helps, but I've found that (generally speaking) model railroad sellers are more honest about not inflating shipping charges. Electronics is a different story - bought a 100 pack of LEDs for one dollar but shipping was an outrageous $20 bucks. It showed up in an envelope with a buck or so on the outside in stamps.

In the end, as mentioned, the total price is the one that counts.



Coal Shoveler

I'd be curious on your thoughts about shipping costs, from the seller's viewpoint. I don't know if you want to talk about it or not, but I thought I'd ask anyway.

I'm not a seller, but all the stuff I've bought, the vast majority come in USPS priority boxes. I think they may be prepaid with a label, but not sure. I've seen these boxes up on the walls of the post office, they say things like $8.50 flat rate, up to 5lbs (or whatever). And if that box is the right size for the item I'm buying, even though it might only weigh a couple of pounds, I'm paying a lot extra. At least in my mind, because I think if they use a soft Tyvek envelope, it should be weight-based.

And so on.



Coal Shoveler
Paypal refunds are added to your account. That money is spent first, the next time you pay with Paypal, unless you move the money out to your bank account.

I can't remember whether I got a notice from Paypal or not, it's been a long time since I got any kind of refund. I don't think I've ever sent a reply back to the person doing the refund, though I might mention it in the feedback. But I know that if the seller does do a refund and tells me so, I'll say Thanks. That'd be before the money actually comes back.

The times I got a refund, actually a partial, was when I won some prebuilt buildings. When I got the parcel, the buildings had some damage. Nothing that some Tenax couldn't fix, but one time some small pieces broke off, and they were hard to find in whatever passed for inside protection.

I sent a note to the seller telling him that the packaging was substandard and the mail handling caused pieces to break off or glue joints to spring. The guy replied that he was sorry, and I replied that while the damage was repairable, I paid for sufficient packaging for no damage. I said a refund on shipping costs would be fair (or, like $5 off the shipping), and all the guys I asked did give me the shipping back.

Afterwards, I gave them good feedback. If they hadn't, I would still give them a positive, but leave a note that the packaging protection left something to be desired. I mean, you'll get your stuff, but it might be in 5 repairable pieces. I didn't pay for a kit.


Joe Daddy

C & SF, my obsession
Start Rant,

When I sell on EBAY, I state that I will not ship overseas. Invariably, someone says please and I say OK. But I don't want the hassle. What hassle you say? Well, I have to find out where the person lives, get their postal code, check to see if what i have to sell is to heavy or expensive to ship overseas. That usually takes a couple of emails. Then I have to print extra custom forms and attach differently with plastic shipper holders I never seem to have. And sometimes I am a buck or so off in my favor but more often than not, I am in the red on the shipment.

Bottom line, it is easier to sell and ship in the USA and I don't want the hassle. In the future, I'll be adding a significant handling charge, up front and visible, mind you for overseas shipments.

Having said all that, the guys I detest, and I do mean detest, are those who sell something for a buck and charge $99 for shipping. They guarantee to give you your money back if you have problems etc. Now those guys are bunko artists! You remember the Bunko squad on badge 714 don't you?
Rant over!



Well overseas is always a shipping pain for me, but I have to learn to live with it. Sometimes I get irritated, when someone tried to overcharge shipping to cover the loss he had in the bidding, or else they give you a price for one item and almost the same price for additional items ( ex. US$ 28 for 1 item and US$ 25 for any additional item). There are also those who tell you that shipping cost is a certain ammount and end up shipping with lower cost.

But as I said earlier and I'm not giving any blame to the sellers ( at least not to all ) I spend more money in shipping then buying goods I need :S. But that is how it is living in Malta (Europe)



Diesel Detail Freak
I do hate shipping out of the US, but I usually get a few extra dollars from anyone who buys from out of the US, usually they say "just in case"...

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