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Fast and free shipping on ebay


Get info about fast and free shipping on ebay, I have been getting a lot of questions lately about shipping with eBay, in particular Free shipping.  Lately in the eBay blogs, a lot of people are complaining eBay is forcing sellers to offer free shipping however although this is true, it is the buyers on eBay who want and demand free shipping.

We have tested many times selling an item with and without free shipping and customers on average will pay MORE for free shipping.  Let me explain…

Let’s say you are selling an item for $50 and it costs you $20.  Shipping costs let’s say $10

On average, if you list the item for $60, you will sell more than if you list the item for $50 + $10 for shipping.

Why?  If you listen to people sitting around with friends chatting about something they purchased over the internet, very often you will see someone’s face light up as they say “and I got free shipping!”

Yep, people love to “think” they got for something for free (even if deep down they know “nothing in life is for free” and somehow they paid for the “free shipping”)

As an added bonus for an eBay seller offering free shipping,  the eBay search engine will bump up their listing in the search results if they offer free shipping.

Different countries offer different challenges for free shipping. Australia for example is a big country and can cost a lot of money to ship from one side to the other and eBay Australia now allows the country to be broken up into 15 different zones so 1 or more zones can free while everybody else has to pay for shipping.

One huge place to save on shipping is to post items as “letters”, not “parcels” whenever possible.  Whichever country you are in, find out how “thick” an envelope/satchel can be and still be classed as an envelope.  As an example, in Australia, you can post a large envelope up to 2cm thick and up to 500 grams.  Posting something classed as a “ large envelope” is much cheaper than posting a “parcel”.  Often we will remove packaging just to make an item fit into an envelope / satchel .

Please let me know thoughts and comments below.

Next week I will talk about strategies to ship products from China.

Best Regards,
Neil Waterhouse

This might also be interesting for you:

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7 thoughts on “Fast and free shipping on ebay”

  1. Unfortunately I am losing money on DVDs that I put up for auction with free shipping offered. We’re not talking a lot of $$,, but it is still frustrating.

    1. With eBay, you make your money when you purchase the product, not when you sell it.

      If any items does not make at least 50% profit and sell at least 15 times per month, I suggest you do not purchase them.

      We do not sell any items using auctions, only GTC.

      Best regards,


  2. Hi Neil,
    I am in the same boat as thelateniteowl. I have lots of cd’s that I have had for years and I am trying to sell to build up a starting balance. I offer free shipping (factor into price) and still lucky to make a couple of dollars after packaging and postage. Its a slow process. PS love all your articles and the book I am reading for the 2nd time in a week.


  3. We learned a long time ago that listing an item for auction is very risky! If doing so, at least start the auction at a price that you would be happy with if thats all it makes!
    Spot on Neil with the letter v small parcel ….. as little as $2 v $7.65
    Have fun!!

  4. As for free shipping, that’s fine if it is small enough for a 5kg fixed price satchel. But I am a bit tired of ebay telling me to offer free shipping on an item size adjusted weight of 18kg. Either you are competing for local buyers (in state) with a huge disadvantage on price or you get slammed when someone from Broome makes an order.

    1. Hi Charles, if it is a heavy item, only offer free shipping locally. Set the listing up so only local customers get the free shipping and everybody else has to pay for shipping based on their location.

  5. Very confusing in here, so Neil’s suggestion is listed as duplicate template with different prices depend on postage fee?
    i.e $10 to Brisbane but $20 to Darwin, then we need to set up two different selling prices to offer “Free Shipping”.
    I’ve been selling products on South Korea with many open-markets, including ebay. These open-markets are have functions to add different postage fees and even can set different fees each town.
    What about ebay Aus? I’ve started selling products as dropshipper, but I can’t see any options to put different fees to different towns, ebay has only one function about STATE selection. So what I do now, I add all of fees including surcharges, maximum postage fee and supplier’s price plus profits that is my final selling price on ebay. Big problem is for Tasmania, it’s so expensive postage fee and I can’t add this fee on my selling listed items due to ridiculous price.
    If Neil’s formula is still matched to this items then should be o.k to sell as highest price. We call optimisation, is only one way to sell those items?

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