How shipping discounts work
You can offer shipping discounts to buyers who buy more than one item from you, but first, you need to opt in to offering combined shipping. You can then set up rules that automatically apply to the shipping cost when someone buys multiple items.
Depending on whether you offer a flat shipping rate, or are using calculated shipping, these discounts work slightly differently.
Here's how to check that combined payments are enabled on your account:
- On the Combined payments and shipping discounts - opens in new window or tab page, select Create or Edit under Combined payments.
- Ensure that Allow buyers to send one combined payment for all items purchased is selected.
- Choose the time period during which you're willing to combine payment for purchased items and select Save.
Flat rate shipping rules
If you're offering a flat rate shipping cost, where all buyers pay the same amount, you can apply two different types of shipping rules:
- Add a fixed amount for each additional item purchased. For example, if the shipping cost on the first item is $5 you could choose to charge just $2 in shipping for each additional purchase
- Subtract an amount from the shipping charge for each additional item purchased. In the same example as above you could choose to charge $1 less than the initial cost (i.e., $4) for each additional purchase
Here's how to create a flat shipping rule:
- On the Combined payments and shipping discounts - opens in new window or tab page, select Create or Edit beneath Flat shipping rule.
- From the dropdown menu, choose whether to add or subtract an amount for each additional item purchased.
- Enter the amount to add/subtract.
- Select Next to review your choices, and then Save.
Calculated shipping rules
If you're offering a calculated shipping cost (where the amount a buyer pays varies based on their location), you can apply rules for combining items into a single package:
- Automatically combine the weights of all the items in one package. For example, if a buyer purchases 3 items that weigh 4 lb each, you can set up a rule that charges shipping for a single 12 lb package
- Automatically combine the weights of the items in one package and subtract a weight amount (in ounces). For example, if a buyer purchases 3 items that weigh 4 lb each, you can set up a rule that combines the items in one 12 lb package, and automatically deducts 16 oz from the total weight
To create calculated shipping rules:
- On the Combined payments and shipping discounts - opens in new window or tab page, select Create or Edit beneath Calculated shipping rule.
- Choose either Combine all item weights, or Combine all item weights and subtract an amount and enter the amount to be subtracted.
- Select Next, then specify a rule for your handling costs from the dropdown menu. Enter the amount you'll charge per order or the amount to be added or subtracted for each additional item.
- Enter the amount to be added or subtracted for each additional item.
- Select Next to review the details, then Save.
Calculated shipping rules apply only to listings for which you specify both calculated shipping and combined shipping discounts.
Promotional shipping discount rules
While flat rate and calculated shipping rules are applied when a buyer goes through checkout, you can also use shipping rules as a promotional tool to help attract additional buyers.
With promotional shipping discounts, you can create a rule that offers your buyers a discount based on the conditions you set. For example, buyers will be charged no more than $5 for shipping if they buy more than one item. Or, buyers will qualify for free shipping if they spend more than $25.
When buyers qualify for your promotional shipping discount, the promotional rule takes priority over your existing flat and calculated shipping rules.
Promotional shipping rules apply to all listings which you've specified have a combined shipping discount.
Buyers will be able to see these discounts highlighted in your listings.
Here's how to set up a promotional shipping discount:
- On the Combined payments and shipping discounts - opens in new window or tab page, select Create or Edit beneath Promotional shipping rule.
- Fill in your conditions, and select Next.
- Review your rule and then Save.
Make sure you've applied combined shipping rules to all listings where you want to offer a discount.
Shipping carrier discounts let you pass some or all of your savings along to your buyers. You have two options for offering carrier discounts to your buyers:
- Set up a flat discount off retail or daily rates for domestic and international shipments across all carriers (USPS, FedEx, and UPS)
- Offer eBay-negotiated discount rates with USPS, FedEx, and UPS
In either case, changes you make only apply to new or edited listings where a shipping cost applies.
When you use eBay labels to ship an item, you only need to pay the shipping cost and the cost of any shipping services you choose, such as signature confirmation. As the exact cost of shipping is detailed, you ensure that the full cost is covered in the sale price to your buyer. However, if you enable these discounts but then go to a carrier retail location to purchase labels (instead of using eBay to print labels), you could end up paying more than the shipping costs charged to your buyer.
Here's how to set up a flat discount across all carriers:
- On the shipping rate preferences - opens in new window or tab page, select Offer a discount on online/list/retail rates that would be passed on to your buyers.
- Select your discount percentage for both domestic and international shipping, then select Save Settings.
You can't specify different discounts for different services. The domestic discount rate applies to shipments to Alaska, Hawaii, US Protectorates, and APO or FPO addresses.
Here's how to set up eBay-negotiated rates:
- On the shipping rate preferences - opens in new window or tab page, select Offer cheaper online/discounted shipping rates for your listings.
- Choose the rates you want to discount, then select Save Settings.
Get more information on carrier-specific discounts on eBay.
- US Postal Service (USPS) - opens in new window or tab
- FedEx - opens in new window or tab
- United Parcel Service (UPS) - opens in new window or tab
How to apply shipping discount rules to your listings
If you're using the advanced listing tool, you can apply a shipping discount rule by selecting Apply my promotional shipping rule when you're creating a listing. You can also add a new rule to any current listing by going to the active listings - opens in new window or tab page, selecting Revise, and choosing Apply my promotional shipping rule.