Playing the "shipping cost guilt card"?

Discussion in 'Swapmeet Talk' started by W7UUU, Nov 29, 2018.

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  1. W7UUU

    W7UUU QRZ Lifetime Member #133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Curious how others respond to this situation.... seller lists something for say $100 including "free shipping to all 50 states". You agree to purchase, you send funds as expected, seller accepts funds gladly.

    So far so good.

    Next day seller emails to say "I guess I don't know what shipping costs are like these days - I thought it would be $15 to ship but it cost me $45. The right thing to do would be to reimburse me for the difference but I guess I have to leave that up to you.... even though I'm losing almost half my price. Oh well, I guess you'll decide what is right" etc. etc. etc.

    Once upon a time I would offer to pay at least a "split the difference" amount. But anymore, I have to wonder: the internet is an amazing place to get shipping estimates. Every major shipper has a size and weight calculator. It's not rocket science to box it up, measure it, weight it, then come up with "estimates".

    In your listing you should do just this, do the calculations, and say things like "To ship to Puerto Rico, DC, or Boston will be about $183.50; To ship to Seattle, Portland OR, or San Diego, $84.00 .... buyer will pay exact shipping - send your address and I'll get you a firm quote". Pretty darn easy, IMO. Been doing it for years in fact.

    But to just blindly list "Free shipping to all 50 states" on something too large or heavy for a USPS "Flat Rate Box" is just stupid, IMO. And then to try to "guilt the buyer" into paying more... almost seems a strategy: "make the price with free shipping so tempting it will sell in a heartbeat, then I can later then guilt them into paying more money".

    I no longer play that game. You list an item "includes free shipping" then be prepared to pay whatever it takes to fulfill that claim. No "guilting" of the buyer allowed.


    K8AI, K2HAT and WA7PRC like this.
  2. KV4JW

    KV4JW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Seller should have researched shipping prices before placing the item for sale IMO. That's part of being a good seller. Don't make promises your wallet can't (or refuse) to cash. There's a difference in "being fair" and "taking advantage of".

    "I can't belive it cost over $10.00 to ship this Yaesu FT-101 and SB-200."

    Yeah, sucks man. Thanks!
    K8AI, K2HAT, N2EY and 1 other person like this.
  3. KV6O

    KV6O Ham Member QRZ Page

    Could be an honest mistake, could be a bait-and-switch game. Getting estimates of what something costs to ship is easy and trivial, if the seller is truly new to this and clueless, then he/she should chalk it up to a learning experience.
    N2EY likes this.
  4. AJ4GQ

    AJ4GQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Agreed! Well said.
    K2HAT likes this.
  5. WG7X

    WG7X Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity...


    A sucker is born every minute.


    Remember the golden rule: he who has the gold, makes the rules.

    Anything fit?
    WA7PRC likes this.
  6. AJ4GQ

    AJ4GQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yep. I'd like to add, "A fool and his money are soon parted."
  7. KD2NOM

    KD2NOM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    In general this is exactly how I would expect the transaction to go. I have been the seller with incorrect (too low) shipping charges and it took ONE auction for me to fix that problem.
    N2EY likes this.
  8. KF5FEI

    KF5FEI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, some Amazon vendors do that too -- they price the item below what others sell it for to be at the top of the list, then try to sneak in a higher-than-usual shipping cost, hoping you won't notice. I've seen some fairly small items with shipping being more than the cost of the item.

    Some ham retailers do it too. I always do a spreadsheet with the price of the equipment, the price of any accessories I want, and the shipping, then go with the lowest figure. Some sell the radio cheap, but ding you on shipping and charge list+ on the accessories.
  9. KD8DEY

    KD8DEY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Common E-Bay tactic to get around seller Fees.....
  10. AJ4GQ

    AJ4GQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Used to be that way. They started charging fees on shipping several years ago.
    N3AB likes this.

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