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Question for eBay sellers: I under estimated shipping cost, what should I do?

I under estimated the shipping cost of an item I sold on eBay. The buyer has already paid me and I am to ship it out by Friday. Problem is I went to ship it out and the shipping was way more than I thought it would be. I do not want to pay for shipping because I'm not going to make any profit from this sale. If anything I'm losing money. How would you approach the buyer in this situation? HELP


Asked by Anonymous at 2:35 PM on Mar. 30, 2011 in Money & Work

This question is closed.
Answers (13)
  • I would say you have to suck it up and now you know for next time. Sorry.

    But FYI -
    When dh sells something on ebay he takes the item to the ups store and finds out how much it cost to ship to CA, since we are in PA. He then makes his price to include shipping and says free shipping. He does a buy it now price as well as make an offer. If someone makes an offer he looks to see where they live. If he can make what he wants with their offer after shipping then he takes it. Maybe if you did something of the same you wouldn't get stuck again.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:39 PM on Mar. 30, 2011

  • I think you have to take the loss; you can't go back on the agreement with the buyer.

    Answer by meooma at 2:38 PM on Mar. 30, 2011

  • There's not much you can do, really. When you listed it and they bid on that price, it was pretty much like a contract. You could ask them to pay more, but they don't have to accept, and you risk getting negative feedback from them. If it were me, I'd take the loss and ship it anyways. It's not the buyers fault that you miscalculated. In the future, I recommend flat rate shipping boxes. That's what I use, as the shipping is the same anywhere in the US as long as it will fit into that box.

    Answer by LovingSAHMommy at 2:39 PM on Mar. 30, 2011

  • If you don't mind me asking, what's the item and how much did you charge for shipping? It may not be too late to put it in a flat rate box, depending on what it is.

    Answer by LovingSAHMommy at 2:40 PM on Mar. 30, 2011

  • You can't really do anything. You're not allowed to change the terms of the sale. You just have to suck it up. It was your mistake. Consider it a learning experience. Sorry!

    Answer by Inloveagain at 2:41 PM on Mar. 30, 2011

  • Ugh, that sucks. I know where you're coming DH and I have underestimated the cost and/or time to do services for our clients before, and we're stuck doing the jobs at the original quotes. That's just what you have to do if you want to protect your reputation (in your case, your Feedback profile). If there's a way you can ship it a little cheaper, fine, but if not, bite the bullet and ship it for what you told the buyer you'd ship it for. Chalk it up as a learning experience! Good luck!

    Answer by vicesix at 2:51 PM on Mar. 30, 2011

  • I just went through an issue where a seller asked me to pay an additional $17 for shipping because she underestimated I refused to pay. It was a contract, I lived up to my end. . . . I have hurt myself a few times on shipping also and I always paid out of pocket. That is one of the reasons I stopped selling for a while, I was losing money.

    I am selling a swing right now on Ebay. It is an odd shape and heavy. Ebay shipping estimator says it should ship for $23. I took it to The UPS Store yesterday before listing it. Shipping is going to be $111!!!! I am SO GLAD I took it down there and did not go off of what the Ebay estimator says.

    Pay the difference out of pocket and next time make sure before you list it.

    Answer by kc932 at 5:06 PM on Mar. 30, 2011

  • Can you ship it slower, like regular mail instead of FedEx? I don't think you can charge the buyer, that's not fair. I would be mad.

    Answer by mompam at 2:36 PM on Mar. 30, 2011

  • ask the buyer to pay alittle more , that you underestimated it , i know people who do this , sometimes the buyer has no problem putting the difference in your paypal

    also add a pond to the shipping weight when you calculate it

    Answer by letstalk747 at 2:43 PM on Mar. 30, 2011

  • I always ship USPS. I understand where you are all coming from. I too would be disappointed! Darn it! I could fit it in a flat rate box but still would be taking a loss just by a few dollars rather than double what I charged. Thanks so much ladies!

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 2:43 PM on Mar. 30, 2011