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Offering shipping discounts
In this article
In this article


Shipping discounts let you offer buyers savings on shipping when they purchase items from you.

Listings that have shipping discounts appear to buyers with the message "Save on shipping." When your shipping discounts are set up and activated, we automatically calculate the shipping discount and deduct it from the total shipping cost. The shipping discount is shown to your buyers when they complete payment.

You can offer several kinds of shipping discounts to your buyers:

  • Flat shipping rules

  • Calculated shipping rules

  • Carrier-specific discounts

  • Promotional shipping rules

If you provide your buyers with instructions for receiving shipping discounts, you may want to guide your buyers to add all the items they want to purchase from you to their shopping cart. If you don't use the Combined shipping discounts feature, buyers must also click the Request Total button in the shopping cart to request a new invoice reflecting their shipping discount.

Creating flat shipping rules

Flat shipping rules let you offer discounts to buyers who purchase more than one of your items. You can set up your shipping rules to charge your buyer for shipping the item with the highest shipping amount, and then add an additional lower charge for each additional item that they purchase from you. You can also subtract shipping charges for each additional item purchased, or offer free shipping on additional items. If you choose to subtract an amount, you can choose to subtract a fixed dollar amount or a percentage of the shipping charge.

Example 1: If a buyer purchases 3 items from you, you can set up a rule to charge the buyer the shipping amount for the item with the highest shipping amount, plus an additional $1 for each additional item purchased.

Example 2: If a buyer purchases 3 items from you, you can set up a rule to charge the buyer - the shipping amount for the item with the highest shipping amount, and then subtract $1 from that charge for each additional item purchased.

To create flat shipping rules:
  1. Go to My eBay > Account > Site Preferences.

  2. Click the Show link to the right of the Shipping Preferences section.

  3. Click the first Edit link.

  4. Click the Edit or Create link in the Flat shipping rule section.

  5. Make your selection from the drop-down menu.

    Tip: To offer free shipping for additional items, select Add an amount for each additional item from the drop-down menu, and then select the Free shipping option.

  6. If you want to create different profiles with different flat shipping rules, click the Add profiles (advanced) link and fill in the details.

  7. Click the Next button.

  8. Review your changes and click Save. The changes will be applied to your current listings.

Creating calculated shipping rules

Calculated shipping rules let you combine multiple purchases from a buyer into one shipment, which is generally less expensive than shipping items separately. If you set up calculated shipping rules, you can either:

  • Automatically combine the weights of all the items purchased into one shipment

  • Automatically combine the weights of the items into one shipment and subtract an amount (in ounces)

Example 1: If a buyer purchases 3 items from you, and each weighs 5 ounces, you can set up a rule that charges the buyer for a single 15-ounce shipment, instead of 3 different 5-ounce shipments

Example 2: If a buyer purchases 3 items from you, and each weighs 5 ounces, you can set up a rule that combines the items into one 15-ounce shipment, and then automatically deducts 3 ounces from the total weight.

Important: Calculated shipping rules only apply to listings for which you specify calculated shipping and combined shipping discounts.

To create calculated shipping rules:
  1. Go to My eBay > Account > Site Preferences.

  2. Click the Show link to the right of the Shipping Preferences section.

  3. Click the first Edit link.

  4. Click the Create or Edit link in the Calculated shipping rule section.

  5. Make your selection from the drop-down menu.

  6. If you choose to Combine all weights and subtract an amount, you can create different profiles with different calculated shipping rules. Click the Add profiles (advanced) link and fill in the details.

  7. Click Next.

  8. From the drop-down menu on the next page, choose whether you want to charge a handling charge per order, per item, or if you want to wait and specify the handling charges individually when you list items.

  9. Click Next.

  10. Review your changes and Save.

Offering carrier-specific discounts to buyers

When you receive these discounted rates, or other rates that you've negotiated with USPS or UPS, you can pass the savings on to your customers. To pass your savings on, adjust your calculated shipping rates preference in My eBay.

Example 1: You can create a rule so that when a buyer purchases an item from you and selects UPS shipping, your buyer automatically receives a 5% discount off of UPS Retail Rates.

Example 2: You can create a rule so that when a buyer purchases an item from you and selects USPS shipping, your buyer automatically receives a 10% discount off of USPS Online Rates.

To manage your Calculated Rates preference:
  1. Go to My eBay > Account > Site Preferences.

  2. Click the Show link to the right of the Shipping Preferences section.

  3. Click the Edit link to the right of Offer carrier-specific discounts to buyers.

  4. You have 2 options:

    • Discount off Paid at Store Rates: If you want to offer shipping discounts as a percentage off the Paid at Store Rates, use the drop-down menus to select the amount of the discount for domestic and international shipping (between 5% and 70%). You can set one discount rate for domestic shipping and a different rate for international shipping.

    • Online Rates: You can offer published Online Rates for USPS, UPS (which are UPS Standard List Rates), or both.

  5. Click Save Settings.

Once you adjust your preferences, the changes are automatically applied to all of your current listings that include calculated shipping.

For future listings, you will need to select Calculated: Cost varies by buyer location as your shipping choice in the Add shipping details section of the listing form.

Things to keep in mind when you offer shipping discounts as a percentage off the Paid at Store Rates:

  • The discount percentage applies to both USPS and UPS shipping services.

  • You can't specify different discounts for different services. For example, UPS Ground, USPS Priority Mail, and USPS Priority Mail Express all reflect the same discount.

  • Negotiated contracts with UPS are based on either UPS Retail Rates or UPS Standard List Rates. You need to manually recalculate your UPS discount to determine the percentage off the UPS Retail Rates, and then enter that number in the Shipping preferences section in My eBay.

  • The domestic discount rate applies to shipments to Alaska, Hawaii, US Protectorates, and APO or FPO addresses.

Creating promotional shipping rules

When you create a promotional shipping rule, you can offer buyers special discounts when they buy multiple items or spend a certain amount. You can also specify a maximum shipping amount for a single order.

Example 1: You can create a rule that gives buyers free shipping when they spend at least $25 and buy 2 items.

Example 2: You can specify that a buyer be charged no more than $5.00 for shipping if the buyer purchases more than one item from you.

Promotional shipping rules apply to all listings that have combined shipping discounts (for both flat and calculated shipping charges). When buyers qualify for your promotional shipping rule, the promotional rule takes priority over existing flat and calculated shipping rules.

To create a promotional shipping rule:
  1. Go to My eBay > Account > Site Preferences.

  2. Click the Show link to the right of the Shipping Preferences section.

  3. Click the Edit link next to Offer combined payments and shipping.

  4. Click the Edit link in the Promotional shipping rule section.

  5. On the next page, choose the kind of promotional rule you want to create. You can:

    • Offer a discount for a multi-item purchase that totals a certain cost

    • Offer discounted or free shipping for buyers who purchase multiple items from you

    • Prevent shipping charges from exceeding a set amount for any order

  6. Click Next.

  7. Review your changes and Save. The changes will be applied to your current listings.

Managing profiles

Profiles are a way for you to manage some of your shipping discounts. Give each shipping discount profile a name that's easy to remember, and then you can quickly select a profile when you're listing your item.

You can create profiles for two types of shipping discounts:

  • Flat shipping rules

  • Calculated shipping rules where a specified weight is automatically subtracted from the total

To create a combined shipping discount rule with a profile name:
  1. Go to My eBay > Account > Site Preferences.

  2. Click the Show link to the right of the Shipping Preferences section.

  3. Click the first Edit link.

  4. Click the Create or Edit link under the shipping discount rules to add rules or make changes.

  5. If you want to add profiles to your rule, click the Create profiles (advanced) link.

  6. Enter a name for your profile that's easy for you to remember.

  7. Enter the information for your discount, and click Finish.

You can delete a profile by deleting its name in your rules. When you delete a profile name, listings that are associated with that name will no longer have shipping discounts applied to them. However, if the listing has any activity, such as a bid, then the shipping discount will apply until the listing ends.

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