eBay: Shipping prices don't match... WATCH OUT!


Well-known member
Jul 24, 2020
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Santa Rosa, CA
OK- I've seen this twice recently on eBay... the initial posting has one shipping price listed. But when you open up the post to see the details and other pics, there is a different shipping price listed there!

I bought something recently without noticing this until after I had won the auction... it said $17.90 on the post but I was charged $19.70 instead... an honest mistake maybe?

Just now I saw another listing but the shipping was $2 less once I opened up the posting for more details!

What is up, here? Pay attention, people!
As someone who buys and sells on ebay regularly:

As a seller, if I change the shipping cost (which I can do at any time, even to a live listing) the buyer can file a complaint and get the transaction cancelled, so it is in my best interest not to do it after the sale. If the seller changes it, tell them you are unhappy and see if they offer to refund it. Most sellers value star ratings more than a few bucks.

As a buyer on ebay this has happened in three different circumstances: 1) honest mistakes; 2) actual shipping less than estimate (yay!); 3) actual shipping more than estimate (boo!). Once #3 happened to me and the difference was huge (like $50) and I threw a fit and made the seller eat half the cost, which was a good deal for me because the seller's original estimate was hilariously low and I knew it beforehand (I think it was something like $7 for 50 lbs of dinner plates).

So yes paying attention to the shipping is important but also knowing what is reasonable for the shipping—so if it seems too low you should be suspicious. It might be seller-subsidized flat-rate shipping, but it also might be a mistake.

The other thing I'll mention for those who don't use ebay every day is that ebay doesn't always show you the cheapest shipping option by default, and you can save a ton of money sometimes by going to the shipping tab and checking out the other options.
The mismatch you saw tends to happen for me when there is a currency difference. The preview for the listing has an optimistically lower total than when you click into it. Not sure why.. ?!
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