SHIPPING FEE VS. FREE SHIPPING?

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I personally like to just know what the price is, so I would choose the total price including free shipping.  However I think you may get more page views if you offer a lower price and charge the customer for shipping, because the price appears to be lower so the customer clicks it.  I would assume more page views would equal more sales.  However I am always so disappointed when I click on an ad because the price is really good just to find out that there is a high shipping fee, I am sure the customer feels the same way.  I read somewhere that if you offer free shipping ebay bumps you up and your ad could end up more visible, a more visible ad would definitely equal more page views which should lead to more sales, not sure if that is true.

TIP:  I did read on ebay’s website that if you offer free shipping, a good shipping service, and you have a 1 day handling time they will stamp your ad with “fast and free.”  Ebay claims there is an 11% increase in sales for the fast and free ads vs the ads that don’t have this stamp.  It is important to select the correct shipping service so ebay can stamp your ad.  At the beginning I did not select the right one because I didn’t know what service I was going to use and I didn’t know ebay did this, maybe some of my items would have sold faster if I selected the right service, so pay attention to the shipping area it could boost your sales according to ebay.

I read a study that the average consumer can get confused when they see a lot of numbers and they end up feeling like an item costs more because there are more numbers involved.  Example $16.99 plus free shipping vs $13.00 + $3.99 shipping, the article said some consumers felt like the second option $13.00 + $3.99 was more because there are more numbers and more to add up, I thought that was interesting.

Another possible negative effect from charging for shipping could end up in negative feedback from your customer, if they felt the shipping was too high they will announce it to the world.  With all of that said, I think offering the item for the total price + free shipping is the best choice.  However if the item is not selling then you may have to change your plan.  I do have some examples where I changed my price structure from a buy it now price including free shipping to a lower price and charging a shipping fee and the item sold, I will highlight one of the examples in the next post.  Even though I prefer charging a price that includes free shipping, it is always in the back of my mind, would my item sell faster if it was priced lower plus a shipping fee.  Ultimately decide for yourself and choose which way is right for your item.

TIP:  If you do choose to offer free shipping make sure you offer your free shipping to the lower 48 states only.  You do not want to end up shipping your package to Alaska for free.

TIP:  If you do choose to offer the item price plus a shipping fee I would suggest being reasonable with the shipping fee so you avoid a negative comment.  We all know a negative response could really affect your sales for the worse.  You want to maintain 100%, it is the only way you will be successful on ebay.  Plus if your score gets high enough you can see a reduction in fees which means more mommy money.

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