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PSA to eBay sellers — be careful using FedEx


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Hey guys. I thought I would post this information so that no one else gets burned like I did. 
 

I’ve been selling on eBay since 2001. My rating is over 500 and 100% positive. I say that only so that you know I am experienced and know my way around a eBay. I recently sold a 5 wood and rather than shipping the club out by USPS, which has been very slow lately, I decided to use FedEx through eBay.

 

When I purchased the shipping label on eBay, the price was about $10. I measured the box myself which was 48 x 5 x 5.  I brought the box to the FedEx shipping facility myself. The FedEx representative took the box, scanned it, and gave me a receipt.

 

About two weeks later, I decided to check my eBay account, and to my surprise, the shipping price was not the $10 that I had agreed to, but rather was a whopping $28.  I immediately called eBay and explained the situation and they told me that while the box was in process, FedEx determined that the actual length was 50 x 6 x 4 and not 48 x 5 x 5 and therefore applied the surcharge. Apparently, this is part of their terms and conditions that we agree to when we use them.

 

I told the eBay representative that I was really disappointed that it would allow a third-party partner to engage with its customers, particularly long-term customers, in this way. Like I said, I measured the box myself and it was a standard golf club box which I believe was 48 inches. But in any case, if there was a problem with the size of the box, I would expect FedEx to alert me to that problem at the time I dropped off the package and not unilaterally charge me almost triple what I agreed to pay at some point during the process.   And had they told me it would be $28 because they believed the box was 2 inches longer than what I had measured it that, I would have said thank you very much and I’ll taking my business elsewhere.

 

I was able to file a dispute with eBay concerning the shipping charge, but the eBay rep specifically told me not to get my hopes up.

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USPS typically weighs and measures when they scan and lets you know if there’s an issue.  Apparently Fed Ex does not. 

Thank you for the info.  I would be very annoyed as well.  

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When you use FedEx through eBay, the shipping cost you are quoted is an estimate.  FedEx doesn't determine the actual cost until the item has been shipped, then they inform eBay who then charges you.  So the warning is to not take the shipping estimate eBay provides as the actual cost.  This is why you get billed later for the shipping cost rather than how eBay handles USPS shipping.  For USPS, the cost is determined upfront and you purchase the postage in advance.  Of course, if the USPS determines the weight or dimensions is incorrect, they can still charge you for the difference through eBay after the fact.

 

The reason FedEx doesn't warn you is because they have no idea what eBay has quoted you.  They just know you are shipping an item using the eBay account, which lets them know what discount to apply and where to send the bill.

 

If you want to dispute the shipping cost, try to get the buyer to send you a picture of them measuring the box.  You can then send that in to eBay to dispute the shipping cost. 

 

The FedEx discount through eBay is really good, but you have to be especially careful with measurements.  I shipped golf bags using FedEx through eBay that were $35 through FedEx but would have been $67 with UPS or $72 with USPS Priority.

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A couple other eBay shipping notes I've learned the hard way over the years.  Hope this is helpful.

 

If you use USPS or FedEx to ship, any disputes must be handled through eBay because you are using the eBay account to get those rates.  If you use UPS, you dispute with UPS directly because eBay makes you use your own UPS account.

 

You cannot use FedEx through eBay to ship from the mainland to Hawaii.  FedEx has placed an embargo on the eBay account that prevents any mainland shipments to Hawaii.  The embargo has been in place for years.  There is absolutely no warning of this until your item reaches CA, at which point, your item will be shipped back to you, and you will be charged the cost to ship to CA and then back to you.  FedEx will then tell you about the embargo.  eBay will deny any such embargo exists.  It doesn't matter what eBay says because they are not the ones enforcing the embargo.

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Another piece of advice, always round the measurements/weight up to avoid an unexpected later charge and more importantly an upset buyer.  For example, 5 1/4" is actually 6" in the eyes of the shipping companies, and 8 lbs 1 oz is actually 9 lbs.

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16 hours ago, e-man said:

When I purchased the shipping label on eBay, the price was about $10. I measured the box myself which was 48 x 5 x 5.  I brought the box to the FedEx shipping facility myself. The FedEx representative took the box, scanned it, and gave me a receipt..

 

Thanks for the heads up. I typically buy the USPS postage through eBay and don't recall ever having a problem.

 

Would it be possible to have the UPS agent measure the box while you're there and make a note of it on the receipt ? Or will they not do that ?

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7 hours ago, nsxguy said:

 

Thanks for the heads up. I typically buy the USPS postage through eBay and don't recall ever having a problem.

 

Would it be possible to have the UPS agent measure the box while you're there and make a note of it on the receipt ? Or will they not do that ?


USPS typically weighs and measures when they scan and lets you know if there’s an issue.  Apparently Fed Ex does not. 

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