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Monday, January 09, 2006

Not perfect, but an attempt

I do not think Half.com's new shipping reimbursement policy (see below) is perfect, but it does show an appreciation for the site's sellers. One concern that, I believe, many have failed to comprehend is the fact that many non-professional sellers (hobbyists if you will), will begin shipping books with less than sufficient packing material to save on costs. This will be a continuing problem and the negative customer experience will in turn reflect poorly on the site itself. With more than their share of nonprofessional dealers, Half made a very wise move here.

Half.com will change reimbursement rates for sellers.

Media Mail Rates
Hardcover Books will increase from $2.33 to $2.78
Softcover Books and Audiobooks will increase from $1.94 to $2.40
CDs and DVDs will increase from $1.89 to $2.09
Video Games will increase from $1.89 to $2.65
VHS Movies will not increase, remaining at $1.94

Priority Mail Rates
All product categories will increase to $5.01 from $4.70 with the exception of Hardcover Books which will increase to $5.04

Buyer rates will also change. The new rate schedule for buyers will be as follows:

Media Mail
Hardcover Books: $3.70
Softcover Books and Audiobooks: $3.25
CDs and DVDs: $2.69
Video Games: $3.25
VHS Movies will remain unchanged at $2.79

Priority Mail
Hardcover Books: $5.79
All other product categories: $5.30

These changes will go into effect on Monday, January 9th (just after midnight). All help text will be updated with the new values and complete details by approximately 7am Pacific Time on Monday.

Thanks to all of the people who emailed with their thoughts on this important topic. We take any change in shipping rates very seriously and only make these changes after careful consideration. We feel these changes will help our loyal selling community stay profitable while continuing to provide great value for buyers.