eBay adds tracked envelope option for stamp category
Philatelic Foreword by Jay Bigalke
The online sales marketplace eBay has extended its new postage option with tracking, called “eBay standard envelope,” to stamps and a few other collectibles as well. When eBay introduced this service in January, it was only available to sellers of trading cards. Linn’s reported on the new service in the March 1 issue.
Sellers of stamps, coins and postcards are now able to use this option for shipping, but there are restrictions for all.
For stamps, eBay states that no more than 10 stamps or three postcards or postal history items can be shipped, and that plate blocks are allowed if they fit the standard envelope dimensions. However stamps in sheets or coils and graded stamps are not allowed.
The shipping option is available for machineable envelopes that weigh up to 3 ounces. Currently the labels can be printed for 1-ounce, 2-ounce and 3-ounce shipments for 51¢, 71¢ or 91¢, respectively.
The tracking part is triggered by letter-sorting machines at mail-processing plants using the Intelligent Mail barcode system.
The tracking information can only be seen through eBay and not through the United States Postal Service’s website.
The benefits for sellers that use this service include a “Shipping protection plan up to $50 on combined items, in case of loss or damage,” according to the eBay website.
While the new service might be a benefit to some sellers, I also think that other sellers will continue to use postage stamps and take a calculated-risk approach in shipping low-value items sold through eBay.
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