Glass Shipping Mishaps: Large Items and Multiple Items

I sold a platter, and made a serious error: I listed it before packing it for delivery.  The difference in shipping between regular Priority Mail, and volumetric pricing, as around $20 more! I also made an error in listing with one of the Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes. What a week.

It’s been a  pretty good week, except that I had two extremely bad errors.

The Broken Platter

The first was selling a platter before packing it.

When I started buying a lot more glass, I packed them in their inner boxes, figuring that I could derive the delivery packaging’s final dimensions by adding four inches to each side.  Wrongo.

As the boxes got bigger, the size options declined, because I didn’t have that many large boxes.

I opted to use a Priority Mail Regional Rate B flat, which is huge.  But, it was definitely not huge enough for a platter, because it was delivered broken.

I should have packed this, at least temporarily, into a large-enough box, so I could get a correct postage price before listing.

The plate was delivered, but it broke. The upshot of all this was that I lost around $24 in postage and other expenses.

The Multiple Bowls

The second was to offer Priority Mail Flat Rate as a shipping option for an item for which I had multiples.

I had both the PM and the Parcel Select Ground options, and assumed that Ebay would allow combined shipping only for PSG. Wrongo. It assumed I could pack three bowls into a PM flat rate.

So, now, I have a package to send that will probably cost $24 to send, and only $14 postage paid for it.  I may just eat the $10 loss because there’s enough profit margin in the items that I should at least break even or make a couple dollars (if I don’t count the labor).

After this fiasco, I went and raised the prices on my glass items by $10, to discourage sales. Now, I must pack and measure them, and have their listings revised.

The total hit for all this: I was expecting to make around $25 total, but I’ll be losing around $20 total, for a gap of $45… before labor costs.

The Takeaway

  • For glass or ceramic items, avoid using Priority Mail Flat Rate if you are selling multiples. Ebay doesn’t do correct combinations of shipping and items for bulky items.
  • Prepack and measure the larger items, because they may be large enough to trigger volumetric weight.

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