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eBay: Shipping Discounts and Challenges

Hi, everybody!

This should be the place where we give you more information about who we are and what we are doing (and why you should care). Maybe we'll do that next time. Now, however, we need to talk about shipping on eBay.

First, let me say this: Yes, we combine shipping, on eBay and on all other sites we sell on. We do this so we can pass on the cost savings to you. In fact, if you spend more than $40 on an order, then standard shipping is FREE!

Now, the US Postal Service is raising its rates, so, unfortunately, we have to raise ours. We take care to charge as little as possible for shipping, while still covering our costs. So that's one thing we have been doing: changing our flat shipping rates to conform to the new USPS rates.

We have also been exploring ways to save on shipping. We briefly flirted with the idea of offering free shipping, but realized pretty quickly that would remove our ability to combine shipments to save money. Then we tried to figure out how much more it would cost us to ship a (bigger) package with two or more items in it, and came up with a number. Originally that was $0.50, then realized it was closer to $0.60. However, that doesn't cover many of the possible combinations. Therefore, we are dropping that.

If you want to combine shipping on two or more items you are buying from us on eBay, here's how:
1) Use the "Add to Cart" button (DO NOT use "Buy Now"!)
2) Do that with every item, then use the "Request Total" option.
3) We will then send you an invoice with a (reduced) shipping cost.
4) Pay the invoice, then we ship the item.

Now, for various technical reasons, the procedure described above doesn't work for some people. If that's the case for you, and you still want to combine shipping, please SEND US A MESSAGE, _BEFORE_ YOU BUY ANYTHING! Tell us what items you want to buy and combine. We'll then make arrangements for you to buy the combined items in a single lot, for the (lower) combined shipping.

One more note on combining shipping: We usually use Media Mail to ship our books, since it is significantly cheaper. However, the USPS has strict rules on what can and cannot be shipped that way. In particular, magazines CANNOT be shipped via Media Mail. Unfortunately, that means if your combined lot contains a magazine, Media Mail is NOT available as a shipping option.

In the course of trying to change the prices, we tried to use a "shortcut" method that eBay provided. Boy, was that a mistake! Instead of making things go faster, it fouled up many of our listing, specifically the shipping prices. We are in the process of fixing those, but that will take a couple more weeks. In the meantime, if you have a question on shipping (or on anything else), please contact us. We'd love to hear from you.