eBay Frequently Asked Questions
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Just click on a question for a detailed answer:
How much will shipping cost?
Why is shipping to my country so expensive?
Why does the UPS (or USPS) calculator give a different result than yours?
Can I e-mail you for a shipping quote?
Can I have an item drop shipped?
How quickly do you ship?
Why do you charge for packaging?
How do you pack your shipments?
What if the item is damaged in transit?
Can shipping for multiple auctions be combined?
Is local pickup available?
How much will it cost to ship the item to me?
Except for smaller items, all shipments to the continental US are made using UPS Ground service. Shipments to other areas are made through the United States Postal Service. The listing includes the estimated shipping weight and a link to a custom rate calculator that is preset with my best estimate of the final weight and size of the item. It will give you an estimate of the shipping charges that is almost always within few dollars of the final charges. If the item(s) have already been packed for shipment (as is sometimes the case) the calculator will give you an exact quote.
Why is shipping to my country so expensive?
On May 15, 2007, the United States Postal Service made a number of changes to the rates and services for shipping parcels to destinations outside of the US. Economy (Surface) Parcel Post was completely eliminated. Air Parcel Post evolved into a new service called Priority Mail International (PMI). Only two other international services are now available: Express Mail International (EMI) and Global Express Guaranteed (GXG). All three of these services can be substantially more expensive. Even worse, both PMI and EMI have parcel size and weight limits to some countries that are more restrictive than the old Air and Surface Parcel Post services. So the expensive (but very fast and reliable) Global Express Guaranteed is sometimes the only service available for shipping a larger package to certain countries. The shipping calculator built into an RDOGuy item listing takes package size and weight restrictions into account. You are always shown the least expensive shipping options available. If the less expensive PMI and EMI services are not available for a particular package, they will not be shown in the response you receive from the calculator.
I used the UPS (or USPS) web site to get shipping charges, but it gave me a different result than your calculator. Why?
There can be a number of reasons for this. The most common is what is called "dimensional weight." A larger packge that doesn't weigh very much may be charged as if it weighs much more, so if the dimensions you entered turn out to be even slightly different than the actual package dimensions, it can substantially affect the charges. Another problem is that the USPS rate calculator is poorly designed. It does not allow for size and rate restrictions that exist for shipping larger packages to certain countries, and may give you the false impression that a less expensive service is available. This is why it's always best to use the rate calculator built into RDOGuy item listings! Although it looks different than the ones you find on the carrier web sites, it actually uses the same information they do. But more importantly, it is preset with the best available estimate of the final size and weight of the item as it will be shipped, and takes USPS size and weight restrictions into account. It will always give you the least expensive shipping options available to your location.
Can I e-mail you and ask for a shipping quote?
Sure. But I can only estimate shipping charges. Until the item is packed for shipment, I can only guess the weight and dimensions. Even so, I might be able to make a better guess than you can. I can usually estimate the shipping cost to within a few dollars.
Can I have an item drop shipped?
Sorry... but no. I will ship to the buyer only. An item may not be shipped to a repair facility, or to a reshipper or agent (like a friend or relative) in the United States. I've done this for a few buyers in the past, and in a high percentage of cases, it hasn't worked out.
How quickly do you ship?
Shipments are made as soon as possible after full payment is received - almost always within two business days, and usually well within 24 hours. Extremely large items may require an additional day or two for the construction of custom crating.
Why do you charge for packaging?
That's easy - because it costs money! Some sellers charge a fixed rate for packaging in addition to the shipping charges - I've paid $8.00 to have a handful of connectors thrown into a box! I don't try to make any money on packaging, but I do try to cover my costs. I charge based on what I have to do, and on the materials required. Generally speaking, packaging charges range from a few dollars to about ten dollars.
How do you pack your shipments?
I always follow The Golden Rule: Ship unto others as you would have them ship unto you! For most items, this means bubble wrap and styrofoam packing peanuts. If the item is large, heavy, unusually shaped or particularly fragile, other techniques may be used. The good news is that I've purchased just as many items online as I've sold - I've seen my share of crushed packages and damaged goods, and I've learned from it.
What if the item is damaged in transit?
All shipments are insured up to the sale price of the item. If the worst happens, you can count on me to do everything in my power to make it right.
Can multiple items be combined in one shipment?
Of course! Sometimes this is not practical, but if it can be done, I will do it. In the case of eBay auctions, I often pack them just before the auction closes. So if you're planning to bid on more than one, I'd appreciate it if you let me know, so that I'll know to delay packing until the auctions have closed.
If I live in your area, can I pick up the item from you?
Certainly! I'm always delighted to meet a fellow online trader. But in the case of eBay auctions, I typically pack items for shipment just before their auctions close, so I'd appreciate it if you'd let me know you're a local buyer interested in bidding. This way I'll know to delay packing until the auction has closed.
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Phonogenic Productions
Pleasant Valley, MO   USA
RDOGuy@aol.com