cddstamps on stamps

my thoughts on stamps, stamp collecting, philately in general and maybe a few other topics !

Monday, September 25, 2023

Collectors Buying With Confidence – how much is the shipping?


Part XI


Collectors Buying With Confidence –   how much is the shipping?   


This can be a contentious topic at the easiest of times but one I think us collectors need to understand.  I am still a collector, for my aircraft on stamps collection mostly, and occasionally for my GB Downey Head collection, so I am very aware of the amazing range of prices being quoted for “shipping”


When I am looking to buy there is one data field I always look at and I recommend you do as well.  Pay attention to the detail.  


But let me put something into perspective.  The shipping field is not just the postage the seller pays to ship the stamp you bought. It might be for some very generous sellers but generally speaking sellers use this field to recover some of the costs they incur listing and selling the stamps you are buying.


These costs basically include, store fee, store commission,  Paypal commission (for the purpose of this commentary I will assume Paypal but use whatever payment system you are familiar with), sellers storage costs, packing costs including envelope, and postage cost and some would even argue the cost to drive to the Post Office to mail the order.


Right there you can see why a seller with a $1.30 (just for example) stamp postage cost on the envelope you receive might be charging shipping of say $4.  Or say a seller with a £2.20 postage stamp cost will be asking £3 shipping.  What you think is fair and reasonable is, I might suggest, likely to be fair and reasonable.


Many sellers cross subsidise some of these costs from the actual sale price of the stamp being sold.  Many do not. I am not going to quote numbers because there are too many variables across countries and postal administrations and probably even the fees Paypal and various internet marketplaces charge across countries.  I will just say pay attention to the details in the “shipping” cost field.


One feature you may see is an additional cost per each listing purchased.   Just one random example.   Buy 1 stamp pay $x shipping plus 90c  (or insert whatever number or variable you know of) for each extra stamp or listing purchased.     Before you know it the 11 stamps you added to your cart now has a shipping charge of whatever is quoted plus $9 – the ten additional stamps by 90c per each item.   Hmmmmmmmmm!!


Someone once told me that is perfectly justified because of the time it takes the seller to search and find and assemble and pack the additional stamps.  Only you can decide if that is fair and reasonable. You know my view don’t you.


I have, over time, eliminated so many sellers from my list of who I will buy from. If a seller wants to make money by shipping stamps that is their prerogative. I don’t believe it is the sign of an ethical seller.  It is just not me,  a collector buying with confidence, and I won’t be making  any of them rich.  


Have a philatelic week, be careful out there  😊


Michael …. Please visit my online store    where I think you will see quality and appropriately described stamps.  


At 7:58 AM, Blogger Ian - Norvic said...

In the costs, Michael, there is also (if one is using eBay), eBay's take on the shipping charge - ie they may take 10% on the goods PLUS shipping.

And ultimately the seller, if a business, also has to pay tax so any margin he does add, is reduced by that.


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