What has happened to e-Bay Japan postage prices?

Started Nov 11, 2020 | Discussions
Rod McD Veteran Member • Posts: 8,492
What has happened to e-Bay Japan postage prices?

Hi,

As a keen adapted lens user, I've long bought legacy lenses from Japan.  The Japanese have a great used photographic market.  Their dealers have been very honest, their descriptions of a lens accurate in my experience, and they take the best photos of the gear bar none.   In the past their postage rates have been very reasonable.

In recent times, their postage prices have gone up.  They well exceed Korean postage costs, which have to cover air-freighting items just as far.  The prices may (or may not) reflect changes in exchange rates, but there also appears to be questionable practices going on -

  • the same lens may be advertised after a time at a cheaper 'Buy It Now' price, but the postage rate will go up massively - it seems to offset the apparent discount.  
  • the postage prices for sellers selling an identical make and model of lens can vary by a factor of 2-3X.
  • the prices to send a small flat light object like a lens cap or filter seem way disproportionate to their size, weight and packaging requirements.

Has anyone else noticed this?  Why the change?  And I thought e-Bay regulates abuse of postage prices?

Regards, Rod

 Rod McD's gear list:Rod McD's gear list
Fujifilm X-T4 Voigtlander 90mm F3.5 APO-Lanthar SL II Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R Fujifilm XF 60mm F2.4 R Macro Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS +12 more
Brian Chichester
Brian Chichester Senior Member • Posts: 1,048
Re: What has happened to e-Bay Japan postage prices?

Re your final point, I am an eBay seller in UK and I have no experience of eBay scrutinising postage costs. Since they charge their final value fees on postage costs as well, they have no interest in minimising these costs.

 Brian Chichester's gear list:Brian Chichester's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix HS30EXR Olympus Stylus 1 Olympus PEN E-PL3 NEX-5T Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 II R +3 more
Proplus888 Contributing Member • Posts: 665
Re: What has happened to e-Bay Japan postage prices?

Rod McD wrote:

Hi,

As a keen adapted lens user, I've long bought legacy lenses from Japan. The Japanese have a great used photographic market. Their dealers have been very honest, their descriptions of a lens accurate in my experience, and they take the best photos of the gear bar none. In the past their postage rates have been very reasonable.

In recent times, their postage prices have gone up. They well exceed Korean postage costs, which have to cover air-freighting items just as far. The prices may (or may not) reflect changes in exchange rates, but there also appears to be questionable practices going on -

  • the same lens may be advertised after a time at a cheaper 'Buy It Now' price, but the postage rate will go up massively - it seems to offset the apparent discount.
  • the postage prices for sellers selling an identical make and model of lens can vary by a factor of 2-3X.
  • the prices to send a small flat light object like a lens cap or filter seem way disproportionate to their size, weight and packaging requirements.

Has anyone else noticed this? Why the change? And I thought e-Bay regulates abuse of postage prices?

Regards, Rod

Just received a lens purchased on eBay from Japan a few days ago. From what I can gather, most of the sellers in Japan now are using a more expensive service (in my case DHL) for shipping. I’m guessing this is due to COVID-19 so that packages can be collected by a courier, and they know that normal postal services now takes weeks, and sometimes even months, to arrives.

 Proplus888's gear list:Proplus888's gear list
Sony a7 III Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM Canon EOS 550D Sony a7 II Fujifilm X-E3 +38 more
MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 45,890
Re: What has happened to e-Bay Japan postage prices?

Proplus888 wrote:

Rod McD wrote:

Hi,

As a keen adapted lens user, I've long bought legacy lenses from Japan. The Japanese have a great used photographic market. Their dealers have been very honest, their descriptions of a lens accurate in my experience, and they take the best photos of the gear bar none. In the past their postage rates have been very reasonable.

In recent times, their postage prices have gone up. They well exceed Korean postage costs, which have to cover air-freighting items just as far. The prices may (or may not) reflect changes in exchange rates, but there also appears to be questionable practices going on -

  • the same lens may be advertised after a time at a cheaper 'Buy It Now' price, but the postage rate will go up massively - it seems to offset the apparent discount.
  • the postage prices for sellers selling an identical make and model of lens can vary by a factor of 2-3X.
  • the prices to send a small flat light object like a lens cap or filter seem way disproportionate to their size, weight and packaging requirements.

Has anyone else noticed this? Why the change? And I thought e-Bay regulates abuse of postage prices?

Regards, Rod

Just received a lens purchased on eBay from Japan a few days ago. From what I can gather, most of the sellers in Japan now are using a more expensive service (in my case DHL) for shipping. I’m guessing this is due to COVID-19 so that packages can be collected by a courier, and they know that normal postal services now takes weeks, and sometimes even months, to arrives.

I agree with this point.  I have only ever bought mid range price legacy lenses from Japan. They are all carefully described - but there is the odd hiccup vendor.  I have been able to get as new lenses for a similar price than elsewhere*.  But they have almost inevitably charged courier rates for delivery and the delivery of such is incredibly fast out of Japan.

From China if you don’t pay courier rates for the more expensive purchases then it might be hard to even get them shipped let alone delivered. Small value ex-China is still very cheap freight but does take a while to arrive.

The issue has been explained to me as Covid-related and a virtual scrum to get your goods freighted.  Therefore the process of only using freight forwarding services for everything - and that is not necessarily always going to work.

Just recently an article from Shanghai was sent courier to Inchon in Korea where it languished for six days then back to Shenzhen in China then quickly to Ho-Chi-Min City and Malaysia via way stations (same day) and arrived in Australia at my door in three days from Shenzhen.  I had complained when I found it had apparently been on a grand tour and was now  in Malaya but in fact it must have been being transferred between aircraft at each way-station and was not being further held up.

Freight handling issues due to shortage of flights was the issue which I accepted graciously.  what appeared to be incompetence may well have been innovative freight forwarding under some pressure.

* I have found that Mamiya 645 lenses from Japan can be had in first class condition whereas the same lenses are offered at similar prices in the US for lenses that inevitably look to have been loved and well worn by professional users.  I presume that the US buyers of these once quite expensive lenses actually used them to make a living.

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Tom Caldwell

GnarlydogOZ
GnarlydogOZ Senior Member • Posts: 1,531
sky-hi prices for shipping

if Australia and Europe are an indication of what might be happening in Japan, I for example, can no longer send items via Air Mail from either.

The only option I have is sea mail (2 months +) or courier like DHL. Needless to say that prices are now shocking and since the operators that still offer a service have a captive market those courier companies have jacked up their prices too, quoting "Covid tax". To get a letter from Australia to Austria via DHL cost me $57, something that normally would be about $20 max 

OP Rod McD Veteran Member • Posts: 8,492
Re: Thx from OP

Hi,

Thanks to everyone who responded - it looks like it is indeed Covid-related, like so many other things at the moment.  Perhaps there will be a return to sanity in a year or two's time.

Cheers, Rod

 Rod McD's gear list:Rod McD's gear list
Fujifilm X-T4 Voigtlander 90mm F3.5 APO-Lanthar SL II Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R Fujifilm XF 60mm F2.4 R Macro Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS +12 more
MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 45,890
Supply and Demand

Rod McD wrote:

Hi,

Thanks to everyone who responded - it looks like it is indeed Covid-related, like so many other things at the moment. Perhaps there will be a return to sanity in a year or two's time.

Cheers, Rod

The airlines are bleeding serious money at the moment and freight is under heavy demand with the reduction in spare space in passenger flights that is no longer available.

So supply and demand is working its magic and will continue to do so.

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Tom Caldwell

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