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FedEx Shipping Rates on eBay Sales: How to do it?

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Calculating shipping rates is a hassle!

Well, it can be a hassle. It depends on what you sell.

Small and light items are easy. Use either a flat rate shipping method or a ground parcel shipping service (like FedEx Ground or FedEx Home Delivery). For parcel shipping, the rate is variable based on distance, but the variability of the rate is low (for example, the shipping cost may only change by %10 or %20 based on distance).

A %10-20 price shift on a $10 shipment is manageable.

But if the shipping cost will be $30 or $50, then it is another story. Larger/heavier items will have more variability (even %50 or more) based on distance. The larger range on top of a larger base shipping cost means.... you need to calculate shipping costs at time of checkout (so nearby buyers pay a lower shipping cost, and more distant buyers pay their fair share!)

So now you need a shipping cost calculator.

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Most cart systems have tools for using the shipping carrier to calculate rates. But there can be limits.

When selling on eBay, there are a lot of limits. The main one is the lack of a FedEx shipping calculator.

But thousands of eBay sellers ship via FedEx.

How do they do it?

First, a note of what they don't do...

Please Don't: Adding a shipping calculator to the body of your listing is not the answer. Why? Because what you need is the calculated shipping to be part of the checkout process (so the calculated shipping amount flows into the total to be paid...).

Please Don't: Try low flat rate shipping on heavy, low-margin items. I don't know how many times folks have said to me, "Every single one I sold was to customers 2000 miles away." It just seems to often work out that way.

And now for the "Honey Do's..."

Please Do: Your homework. Sit down and work out the actual shipping costs for your items shipped within your state and to the furthest state (here in Seattle, that means calculating the cost to ship to nearby Tacoma and to distant Miami). Make a spreadsheet with a few rows: 2lb, 5lb, 10lb, 25lb, 50lb. And columns for "In State" and "Most Distant." Fill it in based on your FedEx shipping rates (use ShipRush or the shipping calculator at http://fedex.com and calculate your contract rates).

Please Do: Remember that shipping is complicated. For example, fuel surcharges change month-to-month (there is no way to calculate to the penny what that 25lb box will cost to ship 8 weeks from now). Also, some shipments will incur the "living-in-the-boonies-driver-went-35-miles-just-for-your-box-to-nowhere." It may just be a few percent of shipments, but it will happen.

And now: How to do calculated rates on eBay for FedEx shipping!

Again, thousands of eBay sellers ship with FedEx. Here is how they do it:

- Flat rate shipping in ebay (great for items under 10 lbs)
- Free shipping in eBay (if this model works for the items you sell)
- Calculated shipping, using the UPS Ground calculator (in the listing, you make it clear that the item will ship FedEx)

And remember: Always use a shipping system that posts tracking numbers back into eBay. Systems like ShipRush will put the tracking number into eBay automatically. Buyers can see the tracking numbers, and can "click to track" right in their My eBay screen.


As always, let the ShipRush team know how we can help!

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