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Best way to ship oil pan with baffle affordably

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I sold an oil pan with baffle on eBay.  What's the best way to ship this affordably?  I reserved the right in my ad to ship the cheapest way possible.

 

EBay sales aren't what they used to be.  Need to offer free shipping to even be competitive.  Need a very low opening bid to even sell anything anymore.  You hope that you get multiple bids and this is rare.  Buyers want stuff cheap, never mind that the shipping is free.

 

I'm at the point where...at least someone can use it.  Not sure how my competition can manage to sell bulky or heavy stuff and account for shipping and even break even.

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Check the local post office to see if they have one of those "if it fits, it ships" boxes that it would fit into. I'm not sure how heavy the oil pan is but I believe they have a weight limit on the boxes. It may be 75 pounds, so I suspect the pan would be less than that. 

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It definitely won't fit in the largest flat rate priority mail box.  I'm actually surprised how small the large box is!

 

I'm guessing an oil pan with baffle for a Model A Ford weighs 10 to 15 lbs.

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UPS or FedEx are your choices.  Neither is cheap.  The only break you will get is if the buyer has a business address rather than a residential address.

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Chances are the least expensive is USPS Retail Ground; and you’ll spend most of what you made on the shipping. My suggestion is to charge the buyer for shipping and let the eBay shipping calculator figure the amount based upon the real dimensions and weight of your box and the buyer’s location. If you must offer free shipping, I figure the shipping in advance to the opposite coast and price it accordingly. I always offer a discount for local pickup: they do you a big favor picking it up and usually buy something else when they arrive! eBay and PayPal fees; and the high cost of shipping are making swap meets attractive again. How ironic. See you at Hershey!

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Why are you trying to compete with “ FREE “ ... ?

 

Nothing is free - there is a cost point for everything.

 

As a Seller - if you include “ free shipping “ -  you stand to lose the item and have to refund the money paid by the Buyer.

 

I get weekly calls from folks who sell vehicles that include “ free transport “ - they are trying to get it below cost.

 

Bad Idea ....

 

 

Jim

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Not knowing were you are or were in the USA it is going an A pan will run 30-40 dollars off the top of my head using the USPS, no big deal stuff is mailed all over every day. 

 

Bob 

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The small-time seller pays 'retail' for whatever they're shipping, no matter which carrier they use.  If you have an account with a shipper the discounts can be substantial.

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It was asked why I offered free shipping--bad idea...

 

I had to!  You start asking for payment of shipping and good luck getting a bid!  I figured I would offer it for sale at what I guessed shipping might be and get a few dollars extra because maybe a few folks were interested.  No such luck!

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Try Fastenal store to store.

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To the OP:  Please don't take this the wrong way, but figuring-out shipping should happen before listing and selling an item.  If I'm shipping something large or heavy, I pack it first then take it to the nearest shipper to get measured and weighed.  Saves a lot of hassle later on.

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I just took one to the post office....pretty cheap to send this way....

IMG_5806 (2).JPG

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None of the Model "A" oil pans currently listed as such on Ebay include free shipping.  Shipping is an add of between $19 and $42 except for one Canadian vendor who simply lists cost as "freight" and offers to get a quote.

 

I've sold thousands of non-car related things on Ebay and have always added a shipping cost. Currently my sell through is over 50%. Please do not drink the Ebay kool-aid - everything they tell you that will increase sales are only to increase their bottom line - everything.

Edited by vermontboy
clarification (see edit history)
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When I list Ebay items I always list with "Free Shipping to the continental United States". I calculate the cost to ship it to some wilderness post office at the other end of the country. That saves me time and I think the Ebay search algorithm favors placement  to free shippers. Overall I think my costs at the post office have been less than my cost of shipping and materials. I keep a spreadsheet. That might not sound fair to some buyers, but, hey, it's free. That's what they want. Ebay and the buyer.

 

I don't do Ebay as much as I used to, but the key is in volume. When each item becomes a profit silo things aren't so happy on the farm.

 

 

24 minutes ago, vermontboy said:

everything they tell you that will increase sales are only to increase their bottom line - everything.

 

Ebay lost ALL credibility the first time they told me "you might also like this".

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The cost of shipping anything has an effect on all eBay listings, I check shipping costs before placing a bid, if shipping is too costly I don't bid. You can't get into a bidders head, but I often wonder which listing works best, a book for .99 cents with $4.00 postage & handling or a $4.99 book with free shipping? 

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I would have thought the free shipping would have caused the oil pan to go for more.  My rough calculations shipping across the country suggested USPS Retail Ground would be about $25.  I priced it to move.  Didn't get the multiple bids I expected.  Once again, I hate to say it, but the typical American is broke and/or extremely thrifty.  Other heavier lots priced more because of shipping didn't sell.  Another lot of 10 car parts I priced for $29.99 shipping, $5.99 bid to start it sold for $5.99.  EBay didn't seem to used to be that way...

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I had the USPS Ground quote but was looking for better options given I never expected it to sell so cheaply.

 

I could have thrown it away, but that's wasteful.

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Greyhound bus is most likely the cheapest. I have shipped bumpers and fenders that way.

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FedEx ground used to be significantly cheaper than USPS Parcel Post. Also I opened an account with FedEx which makes it even cheaper.

 

But FedEx has been raising their price so the difference is not that great anymore.

 

 

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My time is worth a lot more that the drive time to and back home from FedEx, Post Office is a one mile drive.

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2 hours ago, keiser31 said:

Greyhound bus is most likely the cheapest. I have shipped bumpers and fenders that way.

 

Yes, the "Dog". But I haven't used them in a while. Last time it was very inexpensive to send 4 heavy 33x5 tires from Seattle to Allentown, PA. 2 shrink wrap packages of 2 tires each. I think it was $78. The trick is to follow all the steps online, and print your own shipping label.   -   Carl 

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Selling on eBay is a science. If you do things wisely, you can do very well indeed. 

 

Some items are difficult to sell cost-effectively on eBay. Inexpensive oil pans might fit into that category, along with common used fenders and hoods, etc. 

 

I have friends who make their entire living selling used or NOS collector car parts, with a large percentage of their total volume coming from eBay. They focus on very-desirable items in exceptionally good condition, try to choose items which are easy to ship, and most of them set a starting bid number which is the lowest price they are willing to accept. Shipping for most of their items is either stated at a fixed price, or listed as being shipped at actual cost. 

 

I have sold quite a lot of items on eBay, with a large percentage of the items being collector vehicle stuff. After a while you begin to realize which items are good choices to feature, and which ones to sell elsewhere. A used Model A Ford oil pan is not an item I would have chosen for eBay. 

 

eBay offers advice to sellers, which often includes suggestions like offering items with free shipping. They have learned that buyers have tremendous fears of excessive shipping costs (in the past, unscrupulous sellers would sell a $15 dollar item for $3, but add $25 shipping cost. This was because eBay charged a percentage of the SALE price, not shipping costs). The natural result has been an almost-fanatical opposition of shipping costs by many buyers. So eBay tries to convince sellers to offer free shipping. The buyers like it that way; simple as that. 

 

Surveys by eBay marketers have led them to believe that the most important component they need to grow their business larger and more profitable is more BUYERS...the sellers will follow the market. They don't care how many sellers get frustrated and quit, because they know that if they have enough buyers on their site, the sellers are forced to sell there...or concede a large market share to competitors.

 

Amazon is the same way...only MORE focused on the wants and needs of buyers...at the expense of sellers. 

Edited by lump (see edit history)
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I always say handling and shipping extra, give the buyer a choice.  Anything large usually goes by bus.  Have to say bus as we do not have the big dog anymore.

I hate to throw anything out, but after advertising many small bits and pieces I took 1200 pounds to the recycler two weeks ago (some of which I had move numerous times in 40 years) and paid $16.00 to get rid of it.  I could have driven an extra 20 miles and sold it for scrap and might have paid for my gas but not my time.

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NOS parts are hard to come by. If you'd like to sell them, where do you get them? I came across a few by dumb luck. Sold them. But should have kept them, they'd be worth more now.

 

Wow nice most Excellent!!!     Alfa Romeo NOS Hubcaps, 1967 Duetto Spider, Set of 4 (#180705915150)    US $250.00

 

perfect as stated received in good order. thanks  Alfa Romeo Duetto Air Hose Giulia 105 1600 Spider GT (#180046077993)    US $77.98

 

Item exactly as described - excellent communication with seller +++++  Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider Front Bumpers NOS 1967 69 Pair (#180567124741)    US $1,200.00

 

And what about this car I sold? I think I could get $7k for it now!

 

    1969 Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider Parts Car 1750 Spyder (#180127838693)    US $311.99

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