eBay community staff has confirmed sellers should not be billed the higher rates that were in error.
Good news! I've heard back from the shipping team and I'll include what they told me below:
We are actively working on updating the eISD webpage and rate sheet.
Billing for eISD labels is completed through the seller invoices and happens on approximately a 3-4 week lag. As a result, we will be able to ensure sellers are billed based upon actual weight for any parcels during the impacted period.
However, if sellers ever identify a discrepancy or simply have questions, they can always contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
eBay community staff are indicating this may have been an error, not an intentional change.
Hey everyone! We heard back that the billable weight had been turned on for eBay International Standard Delivery (eISD) unknowingly and they turned it back to actual weight. I hope this helps to clarify what happened.
However, there are still lingering questions about the help page for eISD and what will be done for sellers who were possibly overcharged.
Thanks for the update velvet@ebay (and that's good news), but can you explain then why the eISD page still mentions billable weight and doesn't post a threshold where it kicks in (like over a cubic foot, for example)? You can see what I'm talking about by looking at the billable weight section just below the pricing chart on the link I posted.
Edit: And what about the sellers that were charged inflated prices for a full week? Will they be seeing automatic credits for the difference?
We'll update as soon as more information is available.
Guest article written by eBay seller Jackie Miller
As was previously announced, new shipping rates went into effect yesterday, January 9th for many shipping carriers. Among these changes were increases to eBay International Standard Delivery (eISD) rates.
Sellers are starting to realize that there's a significant change to the way those rates are calculated.
Previously rates were determined by package weights. The new billable rates are based on whichever is greater between the actual weight and the dimensional weight. According to the fine print on the eISD page underneath the rate chart:
Billable weight is calculated as the greater of actual weight and dimensional weight. Actual weight is the weight of the fully packaged shipment in pounds (scale weight). Dimensional weight is calculated by multiplying the length by width by height of each package in inches and dividing the total by 166; ((LWH/166)). When the dimensional weight exceeds the actual weight; charges may be assessed based on the dimensional weight. Shipments whose billable weight exceeds the max allowable weight or dimensions rating limit will be returned to sender at sender’s expense (See oversized package detailed below).
Oversized Packages are calculated as Length + Girth exceeding 84 inches. Girth is calculated by measuring the total length in inches all the way around the parcel on the longest sides. In other words, the length and girth of a package is length plus (2 times the height) plus (2 times the width); (L+2(W+H)). If the dimension includes a fraction, a fraction of one-half or greater will be rounded up to the next whole number; less than one-half will be rounded down to the next whole number. Oversized Packages are not supported by eBay international standard delivery. Shipments which are oversized will be returned to sender at sender’s expense.
Why is this coming as such a surprise to sellers? Because dimensional weight charges are affecting small, lightweight packages. As one seller in the eBay Community pointed out, a 7 x 5 x 3 inch package comes out to a billable weight of 0.63 lb. This means the small, lightweight 4 oz package is being billed based on the (rounded up) 1 lb rate instead of the 0.5 lb rate. For a package to the UK that's an $8 difference.
Many sellers of small, lightweight packages don't take the time to enter package dimensions into the listing form since it's always been non-consequential for USPS First Class and for eISD, and it saves time to skip that step. That means their buyers are being charged based on weight alone instead of the billable weight which can be a big financial difference.
Sellers: make sure you update your listings with package dimensions so you're not caught in the red on eISD shipments.
Have you been affected by this billable weight change for eISD shipments? Let us know in the comments below.