How to Determine What to Charge for Ebay Shipping


You can't sell products on eBay without specifying a shipping cost, since your customers won't know how much they're paying to receive their purchases. There are a few ways you can determine what to charge for shipping, relying on both measuring your packages and using automated calculator tools available for free from eBay.

Checking Similar Sales

Get a basic idea of what you should charge for shipping by checking out your competition. Their costs offer a decent baseline for what you can expect to charge, or at the very least, a price to beat. However, use this information with a grain of salt: Your competitors may be inflating shipping costs to turn a profit or offering lower shipping to incentivize a sale.

Weighing and Measuring the Package

The best way to determine what to charge for shipping is to find out how much your package weighs and its physical dimensions. Having an accurate measurement can save you from overcharging or undercharging for shipping. Digital postal scales are generally easier to read and require less calibration than mechanical ones, but either type should work.

If you are using a scale, pack your item in its shipping box with all of the packing materials and weigh it. Every ounce counts, so even the materials must be weighed for an accurate measurement. Measure the package's dimensions using a tape measure or ruler.

Using the eBay Shipping Calculator

After you have an accurate measure of your item's shipping weight, you can get some quotes on what it costs to ship them using the eBay shipping calculator.

Step 1

Select the type of package you're sending from the Type drop-down menu.

(Image: Image courtesy of eBay.)

Step 2

Enter the package's physical dimensions in inches in the appropriate fields: Length in L, width in W and height in H. If your package is unusually sized or shaped, check the Irregular package size check box.

(Image: Image courtesy of eBay.)

Step 3

Enter the package's weight in pounds and ounces in the lbs. and oz. fields, or use the slider to get a rough weight estimate. Using the exact weight generates the most accurate results, however.

(Image: Image courtesy of eBay.)

Step 4

Enter your ZIP code in the Your ZIP code field, as well as any applicable fees in the Handling fees field.

(Image: Image courtesy of eBay.)

Step 5

Click Calculate shipping to generate a list of shipping estimates to several cities.

Optionally, to specify a destination, select the Domestic radio button for destinations in the United States and International for international destinations. Enter a location in the text field or select one from the Select option drop-down menu.

(Image: Image courtesy of eBay.)

Step 6

Choose a shipping carrier and use the In-store rates and Online rates radio buttons to generate rate estimates based on how you're paying for shipping. There are several fields to look at, providing shipping estimates for shipping at different speeds of delivery.

(Image: Image courtesy of eBay.)

Using Calculated Shipping

Calculated shipping takes away a lot of the guesswork by automatically calculating shipping for each interested buyer. Based on the standard rates of your selected shipping companies, the item's shipping weight and dimensions and the ZIP code of a customer looking at your listing, a shipping cost is automatically calculated.

(Image: Image courtesy of eBay.)

To add calculated shipping to your sale, select Calculated: Cost varies by buyer location from the Add Shipping Details section of the form. Supply the package weight, dimensions and shipping service in the appropriate fields and drop-down menus on the form.

Using Flat-Rate Shipping Boxes

The USPS also offers flat-rate shipping boxes, which may be a good way to save on shipping costs. Flat-rate boxes come in standard sizes at set prices, and anything that fits in the box ships at the box's price, regardless of weight. How useful this is depends on the item you're shipping: Always check to make sure standard shipping isn't still the cheaper option.

Offering Free Shipping

Sometimes offering free shipping can be a good way to entice someone to buy. Free shipping works best with small items that don't cost much to ship in the first place, where the cost can be comfortably rolled in to the sales price. Offering free shipping on large items may actually lose money for you, as long-distance shipping can get very expensive.

(Image: Image courtesy of eBay.)

To offer free shipping, select Flat: Same cost to all buyers or Calculated: Cost varies by buyer location from the drop-down in the Add Shipping Details section. Select a shipping service from the Services drop-down and check the Free shipping check box. If you're using a third-party listing tool that doesn't include a free shipping option, just set the shipping cost to 0.


  • When free shipping is verified, you also automatically get a five-star rating on your shipping costs, which can help your store's feedback rating.

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