Screwed by Ebay/PayPal/UPS?

For the first time in a while, I decided to clean house and sell a bunch of things on Ebay. A couple of issues came up: (1) UPS Shipping, and (2) Shipping to Puerto Rico. Almost enough to make me forget about Ebay in the future.

UPS Shipping

When setting up the auctions, I selected UPS as the shipping method and put in the package weight and dimensions. After the auction, the winning buyers were charged based on their shipping locations.

When I went to print the UPS shipping labels after the auctions, I got the UPS shipping error described here. The strange thing was that I indeed had a UPS shipper number in the PayPal profile. But UPS website was saying that shipper number was invalid. I had a create a new UPS shipping account in order to go a new shipper number to put in the PayPal profile. After entering the new UPS shipping account number into the PayPal profile, I was notified that the UPS Special Pricing would take a few days to become effective. But I couldn’t wait, as a good seller I needed to get my items out within the 1-2 business days as I had promised. So for one package I was charged $13 for shipping when the seller paid only $10, and charged $19 when the seller only paid $14.

Later, I found the following here:

What happens after I open a UPS account through PayPal?

Once you have completed the process in PayPal to open your new UPS account and enroll in the UPS Special Pricing Program for eBay Sellers, your new account number will be automatically added to your PayPal Shipping Preferences.

The rates available with the UPS Special Pricing Program for eBay Sellers will take a few days to become effective. In four to six business days, you will receive an email confirmation from UPS including enrollment status and the date your new rates will begin.

Once your rates are effective, your UPS shipments will automatically be assessed the lower program rates beginning on the effective date stated in the confirmation email. Please note the UPS published rate will show when printing your UPS label within PayPal. However when the shipment charges “settle” in PayPal, it will be for the discounted rate.

Well, that’s all nice, but that doesn’t help me now. And reading further down at the last link above, it looks like I may need to change my Ebay settings to make sure buyers see the correct rates in the future.

Shipping to Puerto Rico

On another note, while I’m griping about UPS, I’ve been having an issue with shipping the continental US to Puerto Rico. The seller was able to complete the transaction (an old iPhone for $29 but with $29 for shipping!), but then I was unable to complete the transaction on my side. In Ebay/Paypal, I get a mysterious error message with no explanation. After Googling the subject, I changed the destination “country” from the United States to Puerto Rico, which resolved the error, but then I got another message saying that UPS doesn’t ship there. I’ve seen online that others have had the same problem.

USPS will ship to PR via Priority Mail. Luckily, for the old iPhone, I could ship Priority Mail for $18 cheaper than the seller paid for UPS. I’ve offered to refund the seller $18 and ship USPS. But then another buyer from Puerto Rico won another one of my auctions. In that case Priority Mail cost $5 more than the UPS quote, so that was more money that I had to eat.





And then another hiccup – one of my buyers is in Puerto Rico. ……  But then ….