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When selling, I like to include the shipping cost in the asking price. I usually have a pretty good idea of the cost to ship. Sometimes though, I am a little low, and take a loss on the shipping. Very rarely, I am a little high, so it averages out. If I come up with a sale where I find the estimated shipping was way too high, I will offer send the buyer a refund for any overcharge. I almost always have the shipping a little underpriced. But hey, so I lose a little, I am not in this hobby to make a profit.

Jeff

The shipping calculators are not very accurate for UPS and FedEx.  Usually way overpriced. 

I shipped a large item (4 ft x 3 ft) and the calculator said 325.00.  At the UPS drop center, it was 126.00.

I asked them about it, and he had no idea how the website calculates stuff.  Everything is by dimensional weight now, not actual weight.

If it is a small Item, I just give an estimate that is close and if it's a couple bucks more I just pay it.

Large expensive items (over 1000.00) I usually charge a flat rate which covers half and I pay the difference.

Super expensive items I include shipping as a courtesy for buying such an expensive item.

If buyer wants exact actual, I just give an estimate I know will cover it and it is very easy to refund the difference if it is less.

I will say some sellers shipping has been so high it has nixed the deal.   I like sellers who share the shipping costs with me when I buy something.

Stupid question here, being relatively new to this world: where are things posted for sale here? I see the "Store", but that looks like only merchandise....or is there a different Forum for buy/sell/swap?

On any page, go to the upper left and click on the three horizontal white bars. Then, click on Home, then Directory, then scroll down to Miscellaneous. You will see both the For Sale, and Want to Buy boards.

Mark et al,

Your advice apparently does not apply to my browser on a computer because I see no "three white bars" at the top of any page.  Here's some advice that works for all, I believe.

Go to the top of any forum page and find the white menu bar just underneath the OGR advertising boxes of varying sizes.  Then, click on Home, click on Directory, and scroll down to Miscellaneous to find "For Sale or Trade" and "Wanted to Buy."

Chuck

Last edited by PRR1950
@PRR1950 posted:

Mark et al,

Your advice apparently does not apply to my browser on a computer because I see no "three white bars" at the top of any page.  Here's some advice that works for all, I believe.

Go to the top of any forum page and find the white menu bar just underneath the OGR advertising boxes of varying sizes.  Then, click on Home, click on Directory, and scroll down to Miscellaneous to find "For Sale or Trade" and "Wanted to Buy."

Chuck

The three bars only appear on smaller screens (phones, tablets, etc.) or when the browser window is sized below 1000 pixels.  Some older computers maxed out at 800x600 (or less) and some people manually set the resolution to that size to make the text bigger. 

On a computer, at the top there is a horizontal navigation menu.  If you hover over "HOME" with your mouse pointer, then move the mouse down to "MISCELLANEOUS FORUMS" another sub-menu will pop out and you will see "FOR SALE or TRADE".  Click that.



Here's a direct link for convenience.
https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/forum/for-sale-or-trade

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Last edited by rplst8

I have a pile of stuff I've been meaning to take photos of for sale on the forum.  I was leaning toward actual shipping cost capped at $30.00  verses a guestimate of $15.00 to $18.00 for the majority of items and a cap of $30.00 for larger items so I don't have to run to the post office twice for a shipment.

Anthony

Even eBay recommends offering "free shipping" to get more sales. My limited experience with it  ... I don't know if it's true.

I live on the east coast in NJ, so I would box up the package, weigh and measure it, and use the online calculators to find the shipping cost to the middle of the country, and include that in my selling price. You win some, you lose that way. But, I'm so stupidly honest, I would still refund buyers if the actual cost of shipping was less because they were close. lol

I prefer to charge the buyer for shipping. And, I enable the price to printed right on the shipping label, so the buyer knows I'm not padding the cost. (Yet, I still had a person on eBay accuse me of ripping them off on the shipping charges. Friggn' people )

Everything is by dimensional weight now, not actual weight.

I will say some sellers shipping has been so high it has nixed the deal.   I like sellers who share the shipping costs with me when I buy something.

I’ve been selling off a portion of my collection over the last year or so and the dimensional weight thing is the real issue.  

For example, MTH buildings and accessories in their original boxes.  They require large dimensional shipping boxes (usually cubical in shape)…but are typically very light.  The shipping fees are outrageous.  A building that I sell for $25-$50 will very often have an actual shipping cost that is equal to—or sometimes much more—than the actual selling price of the item!  And it doesn’t matter which carrier…I’ve tried them all and they’re all crazy high!

Buyers sometimes don’t believe me when I quote them a total with shipping, so I give them the dimensions and weight of the shipment and encourage them to check for themselves.  

And as far as sharing the shipping cost with the buyer on these bulky, but lightweight items…I just can’t justify selling an already discounted $50 building and split the $40 shipping fee.  I would net about $30 and just can’t afford to do that.

Meanwhile I can ship a 9-10 lb. $500 locomotive insured in a 24” x 8” x 8” box for a fraction of the cost of the lightweight (but dimensionally large)  cubical box containing a $25-$50 building.  Doesn’t make sense to me!

I still have quite a few buildings and operating accessories to sell, but I’m seriously thinking of renting a table or two at one of our local TCA shows so I don’t have to deal with the ridiculous shipping fees.

Last edited by CNJ #1601
@CNJ #1601 posted:


Meanwhile I can ship a 9-10 lb. $500 locomotive insured in a 24” x 8” x 8” box for a fraction of the cost of the lightweight (but dimensionally large)  cubical box containing a $25-$50 building.  Doesn’t make sense to me!

I think with less trucks running space is at a premium.  So big lightweight items ship for the cost of what something heavier would.

I expect to collect the agreed upon price and the actual shipping to the buyer. I do not charge for packaging or handling. I've noticed anything coming out of eastern New York state has higher shipping than that coming from the Carolinas. Nearly the same shipping distance, so I have to believe there are higher structural costs there. California (west coast) can be high as well, just depends. I get the shipping included idea, but if there is $20 or more cost savings to the closer in buyers, why not let them know that upfront instead of later in the form of a credit?   I suppose being in the Midwest helps keep shipping down.

I have accounts with FedEx and UPS so I can get reasonably accurate shipping costs. On occasion I will step up a dummy listing on the bay to confirm shipping costs. For me, FedEx is usually more cost effective and includes a higher insurance coverage. I prefer to pass the savings on to forum members, but I have never sold anything through this forum. It goes on the auction site and sells for 20% more plus there. 

Lastly I sell my unwanted equipment at usually my cost which is where I price it at. The only things that don't are engines I've bought new and later sold off. Those lately have been at 75% of new and when adding in 10% Illinois sales tax and shipping, I am down 40%. I see those as payments for lessons learned.

I don't sell a lot of stuff, but have sold a few items via ebay and the forum.  Prior to listing the item, I find a box, pack it up with adequate padding (don't seal it), take it to the machine at the post office and enter the farthest CONUS zip code to get a price that should be near the maximum.  Then I based the shipping cost on that number and included it in the listing.  I might make or lose a couple of bucks on the shipping - not a big deal. 

This method isn't viable for someone who sells a lot of stuff or lives a long way from a post office.

@Mallard4468 posted:

I don't sell a lot of stuff, but have sold a few items via ebay and the forum.  Prior to listing the item, I find a box, pack it up with adequate padding (don't seal it), take it to the machine at the post office and enter the farthest CONUS zip code to get a price that should be near the maximum.  Then I based the shipping cost on that number and included it in the listing.  I might make or lose a couple of bucks on the shipping - not a big deal.

This method isn't viable for someone who sells a lot of stuff or lives a long way from a post office.

I got my self a small digital scale.  Better yet, you can get a digital force gauge or analog spring scale (pictured) and then you'll have something to measure drawbar pulling power and drawbar load/drag for your trains!

The one pictured will do up to 5kg or 11 lbs.  With the dimensions and weight, you can just plug in into the USPS website for an estimate!  https://postcalc.usps.com/?_gl...LjAuMTY0MzExNjU0NS4w

Last edited by rplst8
@Mark Boyce posted:

I never heard of PirateShip.  I’ll have to check that out.

How many times do I reply trying to help someone, and I learn something new on this forum?  Many times!  

Just bumping this thread. I've been using Pirate Ship recently and it's awesome. From, To, Dimensions, Weight and you'll get rates for UPS and USPS. They will generally be 50%+ less than retail from the USPS or UPS directly. You can also add insurance, signatures, etc. Your average engine shipping carton should ship most places in the CONUS for 12-15$ with insurance. With all the buying/selling people do on here, it can really save the buyers and sellers some money.

Also, don't let the name Pirate Ship scare anyone - it's basically just a shipping label website where they can pass along "commercial" style discounts to anyone. In the end, same labels/shipping service you would get from USPS or UPS directly.

@Greg Kwolek posted:

Just bumping this thread. I've been using Pirate Ship recently and it's awesome. From, To, Dimensions, Weight and you'll get rates for UPS and USPS. They will generally be 50%+ less than retail from the USPS or UPS directly. You can also add insurance, signatures, etc. Your average engine shipping carton should ship most places in the CONUS for 12-15$ with insurance. With all the buying/selling people do on here, it can really save the buyers and sellers some money.

Also, don't let the name Pirate Ship scare anyone - it's basically just a shipping label website where they can pass along "commercial" style discounts to anyone. In the end, same labels/shipping service you would get from USPS or UPS directly.

Greg:

Great information. Pirate Ship provides a terrific option to sell trains (or anything else) outside of eBay. I did a few sample searches, and PirateShip offers exactly the same shipping rates as eBay, and you avoid the ridiculous eBay fees. Thanks.

Pat

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