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Is It Worth Chasing The Final Value Fee Discounts eBay Offers When You List With Free Shipping?

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Brad writes:

Terry, eBay is offering final value discounts on listings that have free shipping through December 2011. They run similar promotions during the year. Should I list my items with free shipping to try and get the discount?

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It depends on two things:

  1. Do you normally get discounts for high Detailed Seller Ratings?
  2. How much is the discount you get compared to the money you’d charge for shipping?

I’m now getting the DSR based discounts over 90% of the time. This means I have a good chance of being able to qualify for the discounts based on free shipping.

However, my average shipping charge is $13.00 while my average Final Value Fee is much less. This means that even if I got these extra discounts, I’d end up with less money. So I’m not offering free shipping.

(Note in my market, few sellers offer free shipping, and the selling price won’t increase enough to cover free shipping.)

Here’s some information on Improving Detailed Seller Ratings.

The only time I can see offering free shipping to chase the discounts is when the item has a high expected selling price and a low shipping cost. (Insurance isn’t counted as part of the shipping cost unless it’s required.)

You might want to offer free shipping for other reasons like to stand out in a crowded niche, or make it easier on your buyers to figure total due, but don’t chase the fee discounts unless your items are light and expensive AND you regularly get the basic discounts.

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