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$30.00 to ship a small classic Tasco CAT?

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20 replies to this topic

#1 Glassthrower

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 07:15 AM

I'm sorry, but this item will not cost anywhere near $30.00 to ship in the CONUS.
This item could be packed well and shipped coast to coast for less than $15.00.

If the seller wasn't trying to price-gouge on shipping, I may have placed a bid on this one.

http://cgi.ebay.com/...em=330120716803

Regards and clear skies,

MikeG

#2 Preston Smith

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 07:27 AM

Good Morning Mike!

I hear you. :rant:

Everytime I see an astro-goodie out on Ebay I always check the feedback rating and the shipping charge. There were several "good deals" out there thwarted by unrealistic shipping costs or "traps" by the seller to get extra $$$s.

:flame:

#3 RogerRZ

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 07:29 AM

Like the 150$ charge to ship a 75$ CG5 mount to Canada...

#4 Glassthrower

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 07:36 AM

Hi Preston (and Roger!),

Every morning, with my coffee and Cloudy Nights, I check my email auction alerts. This one caught my eye, until I saw the shipping charge.

Sellers should offer a low-cost and a premium shipping option. Low-cost should be the cheapest available like Parcel Post with no insurance or other add-on charges. Premium option should be expedited Priority ship with delivery confirmation and insurance. (Assuming USPS is the shipper) ... But similar options are available whether it is UPS, USPS, FedEx, DHL, etc.

I know for a fact, from personal experience, that I could pack that little CAT, pad it well with bubble-wrap and peanuts, and ship it from Louisiana to California for about $12.00 via Parcel Post. 2-day Priority would raise it up to about $16.00 or $17.00. Heck, I bet that scope could be shipped Express Overnight for not much more than $30.00 (if not less)...

I've blocked a couple of sellers for this kind of thing on eBay. When I see a blatant overcharge on shipping I start looking at the other items they have for sale. If all of those (or the majority) have highly-inflated shipping charges, then I block that seller's listings so I never have to look at them again and be tempted/frustrated by someone trying to ship me a 1.25" eyepiece for $12.00 "handling".

Regards and clear skies,

MikeG

#5 Preston Smith

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 07:56 AM

Several yeares ago you could put in a complaint to Ebay and some action might be taken. Back then, if a member had even a few negative feedbacks they were suspended. :smash:

Not now. Ebay is adding new feedback options but like anything else, everyone is scared to say anything negative because of retaliation by the offended member. :poke:

#6 sarastro

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 08:25 AM

I've seen some totally outrageous shipping charges. I'm sure sellers use these as a form of "reserve not met" (which totally annoys me as well) so they can lure in unsuspecting bidders. Another common scam is to place items in the photo which are not included in the auction. Item descriptions can also be (purposefully?) misleading. One must read very carefully and ask the seller questions in many cases. I've made a few unwise bids, fortunately for me anyway, but have been saved by being outbid.

#7 microbes

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 11:22 AM

You are probably right that it could be shipped cheaper, but you do realize that postage rates went up monday? And not only did rates increase, but the rules changed and now any box larger than 1 foot square gets a "dimentional wieght" penalty"? Add 2 inches of padding all the way around it and it probably is larger than 1 foot square (I know if I was packing it for shipment the box would be larger than 1 foot square). And in Louisiana you are pretty much in the center of the country, you don't see the extremes, try from Florida to Washington state. That package could easily cost at least $16 or $18 to mail if it really well packaged if it has to go from one coast to the other, and use up a fair amount of packaging material. If the seller has to buy a box, it may not be as outragious as it seems. .

#8 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 11:52 AM

I'm sorry, but this item will not cost anywhere near $30.00 to ship in the CONUS.
This item could be packed well and shipped coast to coast for less than $15.00.

If the seller wasn't trying to price-gouge on shipping, I may have placed a bid on this one.

http://cgi.ebay.com/...em=330120716803

Regards and clear skies,

MikeG


Mike:

I have the similar Jason version of this scope though the focal length is only 480mm. Optically these are short tube Newtonians and suffer as most do...

In otherwords, it is interesting to consider high estimated shipping price but not something to consider having shipped to you... :)

jon

#9 Glassthrower

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 12:42 PM

You are probably right that it could be shipped cheaper, but you do realize that postage rates went up monday? And not only did rates increase, but the rules changed and now any box larger than 1 foot square gets a "dimentional wieght" penalty"? Add 2 inches of padding all the way around it and it probably is larger than 1 foot square (I know if I was packing it for shipment the box would be larger than 1 foot square). And in Louisiana you are pretty much in the center of the country, you don't see the extremes, try from Florida to Washington state. That package could easily cost at least $16 or $18 to mail if it really well packaged if it has to go from one coast to the other, and use up a fair amount of packaging material. If the seller has to buy a box, it may not be as outragious as it seems. .


I had forgotten about the rate increase. Was that just stamps or all the way across the board on all shipping services?

Jon - yeah, I would never pay more than $20 or $30 for one of those to tinker with. The shipping charge alone scared me away from this one. As long as the bidding does not go too high, and the scope is in excellent condition, then it is worth the $30 ship and a little more. But I wouldn't pay $50 plus the $30 ship for it.

Heck, I could almost buy half of an old RV6 for that much if I get lucky.

Regards and clear skies,

MikeG

#10 twhite

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 12:45 PM

Across the board. Blame Big Oil. Grrrr.

#11 Glassthrower

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 12:45 PM

Not now. Ebay is adding new feedback options but like anything else, everyone is scared to say anything negative because of retaliation by the offended member.


Unless the rules have changed in the years since I last left a negative for someone, here is what I would do to avoid a retaliatory feedback - after 90 days one cannot leave a feedback for an item, so I would wait until a few hours before the 90-day deadline, and then leave the negative. By the time they notice it is there, the 90 day limit will have passed and they cannot retaliate.

Regards and clear skies,

MikeG

#12 microbes

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 01:18 PM

I had forgotten about the rate increase. Was that just stamps or all the way across the board on all shipping services?



Across the board. And there where some funky rule changes on packages. No more "surface mail" or "letter post" for parcels going overseas, everything overseas is now "priority airmail" (2 lb package to Great Britain is now $24, last week you could send 2lbs to GB for about $5.00 via letter post surface mail ).

And some big changes on domestic mail also, "large envelopes" get a penalty, any box larger than 1728 cubic inches (and that's not very large) gets a penalty, any envelope that they can't bend gets a penalty, and a couple of other changes.

#13 Glassthrower

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 02:43 PM

Holy Cow! I have to go read about all of these new regulations. I had no idea. Considering how much gear trading I do, this could impact my warchest.

Looks like I will be severely curtailing my overseas dealings.

CONUS or bust!

I'm glad I sent my stepson's package to Japan last week. 21 pounds via Express for $105.00. Probably cost almost double now!

Regards and clear skies,

MikeG

#14 fxxm747

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 09:22 PM

Just shipped a box through USPS yesterday. Normally it would have been $18 to CA. They added another $8 "dimensional weight" penalty to that. Weighed about 10 lbs and the box was 11"X11"X38" so it was under the previous 84" dimentional limit they had before. BTW, USPS as of yesterday has not updated their website to reflect the change so don't rely on it to quote shipping.

#15 Littlegreenman

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 10:00 PM

Point 1. When I bid, I figure out the total amount including shipping I'm willing to pay. If they 'overcharge' for shipping, it doesn't matter to me; I'm only looking at the total amount.

Point 2. I was chatting with one of local Postal clerks. The new rates are confusing to them. On Monday I was able to ship a small camera lens to Canada for under $5 airmail. But it sounds like this is really going to kill a lot of overseas shipping. Domestically there is competition in the form of Fedex and UPS (and DHL, who I find mysterious and weird. Mostly because I hate holding still long enough for them to come deliver of pickup, but that's another story....).

Where was I? Oh, there are the domestic alternatives, but for overseas shipping the US Post Office made the Customs issues very easy to deal with. Now the pricing has gotten unpredictable and well, I may just not bother for overseas shipping. Because of the extra hassle, I've tended to avoid it for cheap things anyway. (Extra hassle: filling in the customs form is no big deal, but often it means waiting in line a half hour instead of using the automated little stand for 2 minutes.)

End of my rant, for now.

Littlegreenman

#16 Littlegreenman

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 10:15 PM

One thing that bugs me when I sell things: most buyers have no idea how much it cost to ship something. Especially something like a telescope. Unless you have an original shipping box, you have to get a strong enough box, packing material to stuff it with, strapping tape, etc. This could easily cost as much as the shipping costs. A lot of buyers expect the seller to absorb those costs. I know! I used to be one of those buyers! :foreheadslap:

Okay, I'm going to take a "stress pill"* and chill out.

Littlegreenman

*In the movie 2001, the HAL 9000 computer suggests to Dave that he take a "stress pill". I think this is after HAL has killed Poole and the scientists in suspended animation as Dave is about to turn HAL's higher brain functions off.

#17 Darenwh

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 10:22 PM

Aint that the truth LGM... Shipping costs can quickly kill a telescope deal and most people are usually expecting $15-50. They really start feeling sheepish when you have to box it up, making custom packaging sufficient to truly protect the scope, often shipping the mount seperate from the OTA, etc... When I do place an add I like to state that packaging and shipping will be quite expensive but even then they still don't understand.

#18 Littlegreenman

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 01:13 AM

Nothing like getting an email that the 10" SCT you shipped arrived with a cracked objective to ruin your day. At least Fedex paid off.

Since that one I take the attitude, if it's worth paying money for and shipping, it's worth packing it right to get it there in one piece. Small items are easy, but scopes can be tricky. Celestron, Meade, etc., get to play in the arena of: "what-percentage-of-scopes-can-we-afford-to-loose-so-we-can-spend
less-on-packing?" And Astronomics etc. can buy shipping supplies in bulk. You and I can't do that.

By the way, scrounging free boxes in trash bins can be okay, but not behind pet stores. :question: I found a great box, put it in my car, then found out what it contained: reptile food! Live (and no longer alive) crickets. That was creepy. :drool:

Anyway, I try to clue people in on shipping costs when I list something for sale.

Littlegreenman

#19 sarastro

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 09:38 AM

Shipping costs can be a real deal killer. The other major concern I have buying from ebay is will the scope be packaged properly? Will a seller who "doesn't know anything about telescopes" appreciate how much packing is required for a fragile telescope to survive intact? Even people on Astromart, who I always figure should know better, have severely under-packed items which have arrived damaged.

#20 clintwhitman

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 10:13 AM

The guy that bought my 10" cave paid $400 for packing material and UPS It all made it fine 4" boogie board foam cell for the mirror didnt hurt. 6 boxes 177lbs

#21 refractory

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 03:27 PM

Guys- look at the bright side here. Though you may not any longer sell overseas, higher shipping may also mean that fewer overseas buyers will snap up vintage optics here in the US- better chances for you as potential bidders or buyers.

Jess Tauber


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