The buyer (winning bidder) is always responsible for all the costs of getting the item from our location to his/hers. This includes the cost of protective packing, shipping, and in some cases--loading/rigging--and in the case of international shipments, documentation fees. Ideally, we wish all buyers would arrange with someone else (relative, friend, professional service) to pick up, pack and ship items since we don't like to do it, we loose money doing it and it is often a point of contention with customers. However, since getting a third party to do it is too cumbersome for most people, we provide packing and shipping as an added-cost-service to our remote customers (who can't come pick it up).
As we primarily sell used surplus items, often at near give-away blowout prices, shipping costs are frequently very significant compared to the item's selling (final bid) price. On the larger items, it is really easy for any mistake in calculating shipping cost to result in our having to pay out more than we get for the item. While our objective is to make a modest living while providing our customers with interesting items, if the above happens very often, we will not be able to stay in business. This is why our listings note that the customer may be required to pay additional shipping costs if additional cost are incurred that were not originally expected. This can happen if the delivery location is not not a true commercial business location, the delivery area is to congested when the truck arrives, a liftgate is needed, a redelivery is needed, etc.
Since virtually every one of out items is different and we have no way of knowing in advance if the buyer will be picking the item up from our location or where in the world the buyer will want it shipped, we have no way of knowing in advance what the shipping cost will be nor can we build it into the ebay price (with a few limited exceptions for delivery of small items in the USA 48 states). Please note that the listed weights and dimensions are almost always before packaging. Packaging invariable adds at least somewhat to the size and weight listed--in some cases, a lot..
We have to know where it is going and how before we can figure out the cost! Since many of our items have ridiculously low minimum bids and the price may have no relationship to the size or the weight of the item, the shipping cost can be much more than the bid price. In one case, it cost the winning bidder $110 to get a big $10 bid electronics cabinet all the way to Eastern Canada (but he felt is was such a bargain (More than $1000 value to him for the item) that the dispaportionately high shipping cost was well worth it).
All shipping calculations are based on zip codes! Virtually all shipping charges are based on your location relative to ours in the Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA area, zip code 87102 through 87124, plus the weight, size, fragility and speed of shipping. Please be sure to include your zip code with all communication regarding shipping.
Express, International and Truck shipping delivery requires a delivery contact phone number. Our preferred carrier for packages of several pounds to 150 pounds and less than 130" length plus girth is FedEx Ground and they will call you if they are experiencing delivery problems so please include a delivery contact phone number with your shipping address. We simply can't schedule shipping on truck items until we have a delivery contact phone number.
There are 4 basic ways we ship:
1) Very small items up to about half a pound will typically ship 1st class mail. There may be a modest packing fee in addition to the mail cost. Please note that items shipped this way are not traceable and are not insured. Delivery time is typically 5 to 10 days.
2) Small, light items up to a couple pounds generally ship cheapest by USPS Priority Mail. You can go to www.usps.com and click on the rate calculator to get an idea of mailing cost (our zip code is 87102). USPS mail is also often the preferred choice for packages going outside the lower 48 states. (Please keep in mind that there will also be protective packing charges in addition to the postage fee, as discussed on another page.) . If you want shipping to a Post Office Box, it has to go by mail. Tracking and insurance are not part of standard PM or PP and are not included unless expressly requested and paid for. For items needing urgent delivery, we can ship USPS Express Mail or FedEx Overnight but there is a rush charge that will be applied as this is not part of our normal routine (meaning it takes us away from our normal productivity).
3) Intermediate size packages to 150 pounds & 130 inches (length plus girth) most often ship best by FedEx Ground. You can go to www.fedex.com to estimate FedEx charges using "one time pickup" and "your packaging" choices. If the item is big or heavy, please check weight and size limitations (keep in mind that protective packing can add considerable size and weight). Also note that a light but large item will be charged based on size rather than weight. (Please keep in mind that there will also be protective packing charges as discussed on another page.) Also note that there are additional charges imposed for delivery to residential areas (so give us real commercial location business shipping name and address if you can to save cost). There maybe further additional charges for odd shaped, long or non-packed items. There are also usually some fuel surcharge and pickup charges added. (Business address must be legitimate business in a commercial area with a real business name--Home business in a residential area does not cut it.) To date, we can only ship using your account number for express delivery services, not UPS or FedEx ground. (Note that we do not use UPS as we have had far too much trouble with there services--particularly with regards to damaged goods.) We can't ship by these means to a P.O. Box. There must be a physical address.
4) Bulkier items such as those with shipping weight over 150 pounds or bigger than 130 inches (length plus girth) must ship by truck freight motor carrier. Often this called an LTL (Less than Truck Load) carrier. In some cases, for really large/heavy items, a flatbed 18 wheeler semi trailer is needed. We use www.freightquote.com as our LTL trucking broker (they typically provide us with half a dozen or more discounted quotes for different trucking companies with each query). Most of the time, we have gotten discounted rates through them that are better than those most people can get through a carrier directly. However, trucking rates are currently in flux and this is not always the case. For the big stuff, we use a backhaul broker. We can ship oversize loads that require double-drop trailers or oversize permits but this gets increasingly expensive the bigger the item is. We can't ship by these means to a P.O. Box. There must be a physical address & contact phone number.
The least expensive truck shipping is between businesses with a loading dock or fork lift (so be sure to let us know if you have a commercial business location name and address with a loading dock or if we can ship your big items to such an address). If a liftgate delivery truck is needed, and/or if the address is residential, there is additional cost (typically about $200) that can usually be mitigated if you go to the truck terminal to pick the item up. Normal truck delivery is to a loading dock, (or with liftgate truck) parking lot, driveway or similar outside location. If you ask for the item to be moved to a location inside a structure, there will be an additional "inside delivery" charge.
We can generally load items up to at least 6000 pounds on our end without a loading charge. For items in excess of this, there may be additional cost associated with hiring a rigger to load the item. You will obviously need a corresponding means of unloading on your end.
Business address must include a legitimate business name and be located in a commercial area, not a residential area. Delivery to a residential area usually costs and extra $120. Delivery to a location without a loading dock usually adds another $100. If the trucking company needs to call before delivery, that typically adds $25.
NOTE! If you require documentation beyond that generated automatically by the ebay transaction, there will be a documentation charge, according to how much trouble we have to go to to provide it to you.
We assume buyers are in the US as this is how we list our items. If you are a bidder outside the US who wants to bid (including Canadians), you will have to pay additional charges (unless you can provide us with a USA address to ship the item to). It is much more difficult for us to ship items outside the USA (particularly after 9/11), requiring additional work and documentation. You will have to pay a fee for all additional costs associated with getting the item shipped outside the US. At the very minimum, there will be a $15 USD documentation fee for filling out a commercial invoice and copies or for filling out a USPS export documents. Items that go by UPS or FedEx have a $20 minimum documentation fee. Items over $2500 require even more costly documentation and generally an export broker/freight forwarder. Lesser value items that are of a size/weight not readily handled by USPS, UPS or FedEx will typically be done through an export broker.
Items less than 40 pounds used to ship USPS air mail most economically. The USPS rate changes made mid 2007 seem to have eliminated that class of mail so that generally leaves us only international priority or express mail. (We do not ship anything via international USPS surface mail--it takes far too long and it often never reaches the destination address.)
A full name, day-time phone number and physical address, not P.O. Box, is required for all shipments outside the US other than USPS.
We have an additional problem with regard to payment on orders from outside the US. Our financial institution here in New Mexico has a problem with an International Money Order unless it explicitly states that it is drawn on a major US bank and lists a US bank address and is issued in USD. There is typically a 4 week hold for clearing on all international paper payments. (NOTE THAT We can cash USD Postal Money Orders by taking them to the Post Office.)
Buyers must remember that really heavy and/or large items can have a shipping cost much higher than the winning bid amount.
If you have any questions, be sure to ask us before you bid!
International orders typically take longer to ship due to the added complexity and delivery times are often much longer due to the transit time.
We do not cover any import duties, taxes, broker fees, customs charges, etc. that may become due when an item arrives in your country. You typically have to pay these fees directly or through a broker to get your item out of customs after it arrives.
We would like to ship everything within a business day of getting clear payment but this is not always possible. We have a limiting packing/shipping capacity. If we receive a couple weeks worth of payments all at once, we will not be able to pack and ship them all instantly. Things that are harder to pack or deal with are subject to being delayed. Examples that cause delay include items without valid phone numbers, large, heavy for size or unusual shaped, hard to pack items, international shipments, truck shipments (particularly those that require special skids, crating or packing), etc. If there is particular urgency for getting an item, make sure you expressly communicate the need and we will try to accommodate you. There may be additional charges if you want something done unusually fast.
Truck shipping rates are a complex subject. Trucking companies have a base rate that almost no one pays (unless they don't know better). They offer discounts to attract business from their competitors. Most anyone can usually get a 40-45% discount if they ask. Companies that do a moderate volume of business like us often get a discount of 50-70%. Companies that ship a lot of tonnage of the same thing may get a discount of more than 70%.
The base rate for truck shipping is calculated from the miles of transport, the total shipping weight, and the class of goods being shipped (how bulky it is). It is this base rate that the discounts are applied to. The classes range from about 55 to at least 250. These are supposed to be based on the weight density of the shipping unit. Something that is very heavy for its size might be class 60 while something light and fluffy might be class 150 or higher.
However, there is something called an NMFC number (generated by an "independent" company that charges big bucks for the information--which makes it hard for the little guy to get his/her hands on) that the trucking companies use to decide what the class should be. Theoretically, there is an NMFC number for everything. However, we almost never find a clear-cut match between what we are shipping and an existing NMFC number. NMFC-number-based classes seldom seem to match the actual weight-density-based class for items we ship. The point of this is that trucking companies have a nasty habit of reclassifying shipments after the fact and back-charging higher rates. If we end up with significant additional shipping charges for this reason or reasons below such as your giving us a ship to as a commercial address with loading dock that really was not--you will be charged with these additional costs.
Trucking companies seem to be in the same class of morals as used car salesmen and lawyers. They are continually coming up with ways to hit you up with extra charges. In addition to the reclassification scam noted above, they will hit you up for $15 to $30 to tell you that they are going to delivery your item. Also noted above are the extra charges for liftgate delivery, residential delivery and inside delivery but not mentioned are construction-site, rural and trade-show delivery charges. Fuel cost surcharges are another common item. Another scam pulled by some trucking firms is to demand a fee from the recipient on delivery, even though the item was sent "prepaid freight". This seems to happen most often when the company making the final delivery is different than the one that did the initial pickup. The bottom line is don't pay the extra's unless you have exhausted all means of fighting them. For the bogus COD, hold the driver and get on the phone to "clear up" the problem right then and there. Once you pay, it is impossible get any money back.
We prefer that the customer arrange and "pre_pay" for shipping directly (you still have to pay us for packing unless this is done by a third party). This is because customers are frequently shocked at how costly shipping is and often think we are over-charging. Direct payment can be done by making arrangements with a shipper of the customer's choice directly and having the filled out BOL e-mailed or fax'd to us. (We don't do Freight Collect as it costs more and there are too many problems with the consignee location not paying). (We can direct freightquote.com to set up an account for you based on your shipping/billing information but you will need to provide them with means for payment in advance).