Shipping Costs!

Why are the shipping costs so variable from one store to another and why do some insist on registered post all the time where in many cases the shipping costs are more than the value of the stamps!
I know shipping costs are displayed but you don't always get to see them properly especially in auction. Once bitten twice shy though and I now keep a list of stores to avoid! What happened to common sense - first class for low value sales - registered for high value sales!


  • 16 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • It's not that simple. Sellers charge for shipping based on what generally works best for them. I have found that a flat rate, except for bulky items, works best for me, for example.

    Regarding your comment regarding shipping registered for all high value sales. it is not always possible to ship registered mail, especially when it comes to international mail. Italy does not permit incoming registered mail. Canada does not handle registered mail from the US as registered mail. Some countries, like Bulgaria, require stamp shipments to be sent to a special postal department that then forwards the stamps to the recipient. Some countries that indicate a mail piece as "registered" is not truly registered by UPU rules. PR China is a good example. Those are a few samples, and the actual shipping costs can be affected by how the other country handles incoming mail.

    If you have a question about shipping for something that you want to buy, the best thing to do is contact the seller. If you find a seller charging excessive shipping fees, then contact the site administration so they can investigate.
  • edited August 2017 3 LikesVote Down
    Besides, when a customer orders a whole lot of low value stuff which has standard shipping costs, which all add up to a substantial order which should be sent registered, there is no way for the seller to set that up here, for orders over a certain value to require to be registered/insured, just as we could on BidStart.

    I'll keep hammering this issue until Mark recognizes the problem and fixes it. :(

    Even John Coles has raised the issue, and was surprisingly ignored by management :blush:
  • How does the seller know that a new buyer is honest and trustworthy? I will not ship any stamp, cover or combination with a value of £25.00 or more unless it is sent by - and the customer pays for - tracked & signed mail. Otherwise it's so easy for the buyer to say "it never arrived".
  • On Hipstamp you can look at the Feedback as sellers can leave negative comments for things like that. I still track items over a certain amount but do not require a signature (a real deal breaker over here with so many two income families).
    On Ebay it is impossible to tell because the sellers are not allowed to give negative feedback to buyers anymore. But in well over 3000 transactions on Ebay I can only recall one item that was never received..
  • edited August 2017 2 LikesVote Down
    On stamp web sites, while there is always the chance that a bad apple will appear, the chances of it happening are much smaller than on the general selling sites. Buyers have the same dilemma. How do they know that a seller is honest?

    On the stamp sites like this one, there's feedback, but also take notice of when someone joined the site. How long have they been a member? If the site shows it, see how much they have bought and/or sold. Also, take notice of the members who are active in the discussion boards. Longevity and participation are good signs that you won't have any trouble with that person.

    In my more than 20 years of selling online, I have had only 1 stamp shipment go missing, and I still question that buyer's integrity. In my more than 20 years of buying online, I have had four shipments never arrive. All were proved to have been bad sellers.

    Finally, most stamp sites like this take quick action when a member acts fraudulently.

    The rest is up to you regarding how much of a risk you are willing to take.
  • Good comments from all of you. I just find it annoying that when in Auctions you haven't always got time to sus out the charges and this is the second time I have been caught out (not by the same seller). I object to paying $23 shipping for 4 stamps whose total value was $20. I had bought six stamps but canceled 2 when I saw the charge coming through! Honoured my debt on the auction stamps but their value was totally wiped out!
    I have never had a shipment go missing when buying from States even with most sellers just sending 1st Class mail.
    After the event of course - I now keep a list of the heavy chargers. Once you have a store name its quite quick to check and just not go there! There loss!
  • Tania, Whilst your comment is obviously very valid, it does work the other way round as well i.e. How does a buyer know a seller is honest and trustworthy? Its just as easy for a seller to say that the goods have been posted when they haven't!!!
    I know - check the feedback - well yes for both sellers and buyers!
  • On the subject of registration/ tracking & signature.
    I take it that stamp collectors are people just like me. They have a hobby that allows them to relax, have some leisure time a few hours a week. I don't start from the premise that buyers are out to defraud me.
    So far. it has served me well, except maybe twice (Russia) many years ago. That has not stopped me from shipping to Russia, and all has been going smoothly these past few years. I must say that I regret no longer using nice, attractive stamps on shipments to Russia.
    China, never had any problem. Italy, Spain, Mexico, only once. I have been selling since July 2000, over 10,000 transactions on various sites.
    The only buyers that have requested and paid for registration were in the region of Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Republic, Saudi Arabia. They were all, without exception, fast payers too.
    This has been my experience so far.

  • The only time I've had trouble was when I sent stamps to myself. The buyer claimed they never arrived but I have his signature showing delivery. After stalemated discussions, we both agreed to never deal with each other again and each left negative feedback. Careful with whom you deal.
  • You can block out the buyer and seller! :wink:
  • It is probably due my bad experience of selling on ebay that on that site I use Tracked and Signed postage. This is my first time selling on a "stamps only" site and perhaps I will find a "better class" of customer here? I find on ebay more buyers are prepared to pay for T&S shipping, but on this site I will send by ordinary Air Mail as that seems to be expected. The worst problems that I had was selling coins. I had a large number of "item never arrived" claims on ebay - even for some quite low value coins? Now I only send these Tracked & Signed now.
  • Coins present a challenge because they are also considered money and there are a lot of customs rules around money crossing borders. (ie they may get seized going over the border)

    Here is a link to the Canada post customs by country rules, I'm sure Royal Mail has something similar...
  • Speaking only for myself, I order stamps from this site to fill holes in my collection, so if I am charged for USPS tracking, or a few bucks for shipping and handling, and it exceeds the value of the stamps, I consider that an investment in my collection and compensation to the seller for having to manage a small order. I find this a healthy attitude to have on HipStamp, since I search by Sc #, and I sometimes place orders under $5, although I dislike doing that to the seller. If I order more than $30 in stamps from the UK (or anywhere for that matter), I willingly pay for T&S shipping. I have only had 4 orders in the last 6 years go missing, 3 from the UK and one from Japan. Because they had a tracking number, both the seller and I were able to determine that the USPS lost the item. Oddly enough, all four disappeared at the USPS center in NYC.
  • Ron - you got me on that one !!!
    Paul, I didn't know that so I must find out how to block. Can you apply that to auctions as well?

    My approach is to sell with first class shipping and say that 'other' standards are available. If a buyer then prefers to have registered to protect their stamps they can drop a message and get a quote from me for the cost!
  • edited August 2017 0 LikesVote Down
    QUOTE: You can block out the buyer and seller! :wink:
    How do I block a seller.?
    I am really tired of sellers who add 10-25c to each and every item, and offer a reduced shipping above such a high threshold that it is just impossible to meet. Being able to block them from my view permanently would keep my blood pressure down! :smiley: I hate to post negative reviews due to their ridiculous shipping policy, but really I itch to do it!
    Along the same line, I am itching for the capability to block sellers to continuously advertise sales that are not!
  • Ralph: It might help to narrow down your scope of discontent with the additional shipping charges. In the case of my FDC then individual covers can weigh in at up to an ounce each which in the USA is an extra $0.22 in postage alone regardless of any additional other shipping costs. Given that additional cost then I do not see an issue with charging an extra $0.10 per item. Also keep in mind that HipStamp is taking 10% of that shipping charge and PayPal an additional 3%. From what I see then most sellers break even on shipping costs and make a lot less than minimum wage on their time!
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