• Report: #844402

Complaint Review: Goodwill Online Auctions

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  • Submitted: Fri, February 24, 2012
  • Updated: Mon, March 04, 2013

  • Reported By: Dustin — Texas United States of America
Goodwill Online Auctions
Internet United States of America

Goodwill Online Auctions Goodwill, shopgoodwill.com Great deals...until shipping and handling charges. Internet

*Consumer Comment: Totally agree

*General Comment: Buyer Beware

*Consumer Suggestion: Shop Goodwill shipping fees

*Consumer Comment: HANDLING FEES are not always related to shipping

*Consumer Comment: This is probably the biggest...

*Consumer Comment: Ronng G isn't getting it

*Consumer Comment: legal or not you ask flnrider

*Consumer Comment: It would come down to disclosure..

*Consumer Comment: Not buying this bit of "research".

*Consumer Comment: Tsk Tsk Tsk

*Consumer Comment: You should follow your own advise

*Consumer Comment: You Should Probably Research Before You Act So Smug

*Consumer Comment: You can charge whatever you want for S&H...

*Consumer Comment: Some Pretty Unfair Comments....

*Consumer Comment: Please cite the law(s) Goodwill is breaking.

*Consumer Comment: Why would your BS meter go off??

*Consumer Comment: I just gotta ask...

*Consumer Comment: Your point is wrong pearlgrl

*Author of original report: OP Rebuttal

*Consumer Comment: Shipping is noted

*Consumer Comment: I'm wondering

*Consumer Comment: To Ronny G

*Consumer Comment: Could not agree more!!

*Consumer Comment: Question...

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I am an avid shopper, donator, and advocate for our local Goodwill in Austin - this is not a complaint about them.  When I heard there were online Goodwill auctions I got excited about finding some good deals. 

I purchased a few items at a great price. All of the shipping charges were sky-high!!! (I know what USPS and UPS charge through eBay so I am basing my perceived 'normal charges' from that). From what I can tell each Goodwill determines their own shipping charges locally; i.e. the Rochester, NY store may have different charges than the Tacoma, WA store. 

For example: Tacoma Goodwill. I purchased a Polaroid camera (vintage) for my wife, who had been wanting one.  This camera came in a case with a couple of flashbulbs, but according to the auction weighed 4 lbs for shipping (less than 2 lbs including the box and wrapping material when I weighed it at home.  Hell, it stated the weight on the label!!!). 

Here is the final total:
Item: Polaroid Square Shot Land Camera
Price: $6.99  Qty: 1
Shipping and Handling: $16.82 ($10.55 on the UPS website!)
Order Total: $23.81
USPS Priority: $7.95 (Gets here in half the time!)

Almost $17 for a $7 item, of normal size and shape, shipped in a regular 24"x24"x24"x24" box, ground (5 days + to get here) UPS. $2 was the 'handling charge.' After receiving the email with the above shipping and handling charge, I immediately emailed them to ask if they could send it priority flat rate or first class from USPS. Here is the response:

"Our exclusive shipping partner is UPS-- so we can't offer USPS shipping-- However I should note the camera also includes a padded case which may contain other items-- If you would just like the camera and not the case, I will be happy to have our shipping warehouse re-weigh the item and see if the shipping cost can be reduced."

Rather than get 'blackballed' from future auctions, since some of the stores and deals can be somewhat reasonable even with their shipping prices, I paid, but sent a reply telling them they should re-evaluate their 'partnership'. 

Other examples:
Chattanooga, TN Goodwill
Item: 4 Vintage Barbie Outfits
Price: $31.00 
Shipping and Handling: $13.43
Order Total: $44.43
Weight: 1 lb (less than that, actually)
Handling: 5% of final charge ($1.55)
Total Shipping Charge: $11.88 ($9.00 on UPS Website for same service!!!)
USPS Priority: $5.25

Omaha, NE Goodwill
Item: 1962 Black Barbie Case with Clothes and Dolls 
Price: $21.00 
Shipping and Handling: $9.47
Order Total: $30.47
Weight: 3 lbs
Handling: 5% of total ($1.05)
Total Shipping Charge: $8.47 (Note: this is pretty reasonable - $11.00 from UPS website - good job Omaha!)
USPS Priority: $10.80

El Paso, TX Goodwill
Item: Keystone 8mm Camera
Price: $6.00
Sales Tax (I live in Texas, so expected this): $1.34
Shipping and Handling: $10.26
Order Total: $17.60
Weight: 4 lbs.
Handling: 5% of total (plus insurance on a $6.00 item?): $0.30
Total Shipping Charge: $9.96 ($12.00 on the UPS Website)
USPS Priority: $6.25

On heavier, bulkier items, I could justify paying that much shipping. But they are blatantly ripping their customers off.  Do they have a shipping calculator? Sure. I found that out AFTER the last auction. But it contains the jacked-up pricing as well. For a 'company' supposedly doing good in the community, there otherwise good idea for online auctions is nothing but a scam. Care about your customers and you will put more people to work. Rip them off, and they'll find another charity/thrift store to support.


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/24/2012 11:50 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Goodwill-Online-Auctions/internet/Goodwill-Online-Auctions-Goodwill-shopgoodwillcom-Great-dealsuntil-shipping-and-handl-844402. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
1Author 23Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Totally agree

AUTHOR: pearlgrl - (United States of America)

I've paid the high prices for shipping and the percentage of the sale and the handling fees and still had many things arrive broken. Luckily goodwill is fine about it--you take a photo and they give you a refund but still.  It is a disappointment to say the least when you have paid a decent amount for shipping.  So I have to agree that I have had many things broken in transit with Goodwill.
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#2 General Comment

Buyer Beware

AUTHOR: yeldsy13 - (United States of America)

Absolutely the shipping & handling charges can be high with some of the Goodwill stores that participate on Goodwill online.  Some are reasonable.

I think a bigger problem are the stores that charge high prices & then a Stoneware Punchbowl & 12 cups arrive all packed in the same box with next to no packing materials.  Needless to say there were many pieces.  I didn't recoup any costs from this transaction. 

I personally still shop on Goodwill online but carefully.  I completely avoid certain stores.  If they wanted my business (I do spend $$ at Goodwill) then they'd operate like a real business and treat me like a customer.  Again a few of the stores are excellent, some are not.

There should be some kind of feedback system to allow purchasers to comment on their transactions, just like other resale sites.

I think a bigger complaint here is that I've recently seen some items show up on the Goodwill Site that were definitely attempted auctions on Ebay - and NOT by Goodwill.  I just received a book (poorly packed I might add) and it didn't come from Goodwill but an Electronics store??  Really.  So what is going on I wonder?  I hope the government watch dogs are paying attention to the books.
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#3 Consumer Suggestion

Shop Goodwill shipping fees

AUTHOR: Darla - (U.S.A.)

Shop goodwill is the on line auction site owned and operated by Goodwill, and only Goodwill uses it. The shipping costs appear to estimated with a minimum for shipping. The handling fees are set by each location, all of this is posted on the auctions, you are able to calculated the shipping with the handling fee. I have written them at times asking them how some of the costs are so high on some items, the item couldn't possibly weight what they state. The responses included, oh, our mistake, we will fix that, or more often it's the statement about how the money goes to goodwill and how it does good in the community.

Mind you, I understand about nothing is free, and you pay the people who handle, post, pack, etc.

Some of the overcharging is likely handed down, as most of the persons who run shop goodwill have no real say in how it's done. I personally, either don't buy from them, or am very very careful about my possible purchases.  Some of the shop goodwill's are better than others, it's not across the board on the over charging.
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#4 Consumer Comment

HANDLING FEES are not always related to shipping

AUTHOR: consumeless - (United States of America)

In the case of the handling fees with Goodwill locations using the Shopgoodwill venue-- the "handling" fee is not based on actual handling in the sense of wrapping a package, its based on the fees the individual locations pay for posting the item.

Shopgoodwill is a venue in the same manner as Ebay-- the regional Goodwill locations that sell on Shopgoodwill are related in name only-- These regional locations operate in the same manner as sellers on Ebay. They pay fees related to "reserve auctions", special auction features and ending value. If you have ever sold on Ebay, you are aware there is a rating system for sellers based on the number of sales transactions they complete through the venue monthly-- "power seller"- Power sellers get special perks on Ebay. Many of these same processes carry over with the manner Shopgoodwill operates--
BTW-- For the Goodwill sellers that use UPS, boxes and packaging are not free-- Items donated do not arrive in neat little packages directly from the donor. Visit any Goodwill satellite donation center (tractor trailer) parked in any strip mall and you can get a clear view of how items arrive. Most people who donate are getting rid of "unwanted" items and are not particular about how it is given-- Bottom line, all packaging supplies, boxes, wrapping, tape etc is a cost the Goodwill pays.
If you read a copy of their financial reports (for any of their locations) you can get a lot better picture of how they do business than the personal opinions here.

Three easy ways to end disappointments with an online sellers
A) Become more knowledgeable about their practices by reading instead of assuming
B) Ask the seller for a copy of their policies
C) Don't buy online
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#5 Consumer Comment

This is probably the biggest...

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

Non-RipOff...RipOff report this site has seen in a long time.

Seriously, it has been stated several times that they fully disclose these fees.  The user still has the opportunity to back-out.  No one has yet to provide a piece of LAW that says it is illegal.  Yet there are some people that are really the ones who don't "get it".

If their complaint is that they are not consistant, well let me help Goodwill out.  Charge everyone the same rate..but to be sure that you can cover the costs you will have to charge the highest rates.  That should fix it right?

Anyways for people who still think that every store has to do things at the same costs of other stores..do this.  Go to your favorite gas station and write down what they are charging for a gallon of gas.  Then search out 5-10 other stations of the same name.  You may be shocked to find that not every station charges the same amount.  But by your logic that is illegal because you have no idea what you MIGHT be charged from one gas station to another.   Please give us a heads-up as to when you are going to do this so that we can be prepared for the wave of reports how the Gas Stations are ripping you off.

By the way I am STILL waiting for an answer as to what they would do when as shown in the OP that sometimes the UPS rate was higher than what they were charged.  Did they give Goodwill the extra money?

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#6 Consumer Comment

Ronng G isn't getting it

AUTHOR: pearlgrl - (United States of America)

Ronny G:  We are not saying it is not posted clearly. I know what I am being charged from the beginning. If I put in my zip code I know! So no, it isn't a surprise.  What I am saying is, it isn't consistent with the services they use.  It doesn't match what UPS or Fed Ex charges for the same weighted item. Also 5% handling for items isn't "fair" neither is $4 handling for a small item, while another location charges $2 handling--it is inconsistent and what I am saying is that GW is leaving it up to the discretion of each store manager or whomever to charge whatever they want. I still have the choice not to proceed with the transaction, it isn't a surprise or on the sneak--I know and I have the choice, but it isn't ethical and I will call the BBB today and ask if it is legal to charge willy nilly fees.

Would that make you feel better? I am not sure why you don't see our point and your "BS meter" goes off.  you are missing the point we are making.  I have the choice not to buy and I also said I am happy to pay a little more for packaging when needed, bubble wrap etc. But I shouldn't pay $4 handling on top of shipping for a book, which is what happened.  then I bought something much larger and paid $2 and that item required peanuts and bubble wrap.  For me, it seems like a roulette wheel and I don't know what I might be charged.....sometimes I am pleasantly surprised that it wasn't a "killer" and sometimes I am shocked.  I'd be happy to share some of my purchases with you and final cost and you can tell me if you think it seems fair.  I've called Fed Ex and UPS and even for supplies it still doesn't match up!
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#7 Consumer Comment

legal or not you ask flnrider

AUTHOR: jerry - (United States of America)

you say there is no law in the land to do with fairness. our to watch out for people that do unfair things,do you want to take that back? i hope you do. do you know what o.s.h.a. stands for. do they have legal rights to go after company's. do you watch t.v ,can you say class action. do you really think that what the public thinks does not count? i can sue you for anything at any-time,this does not mean i will win. but by doing this i bring the public into our dispute. i am the little

person,you are the big bad company that has harmed me. fact or unfounded,in most cases this does not matter. have you heard in the pass of c.e.o.'s and heads of company's that service the poor and needy having problems when the salary's of the people at the top are found out or how the money is spent at the top of the food change. my point here is never,never take for granted what people,john doe public can and will do when given little recourse. big company's have fallen and company's have payed real big fines because  of public watch groups,god bless them. they keep us all fair and understanding of the way the public wants to be treated. so sir is there a legal recourse ?   
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#8 Consumer Comment

It would come down to disclosure..

AUTHOR: Ronny g - (USA)

If they told you that you would only be charged a certain amount for an item with S&H, and then you got a bill for more then that..it would be a good case.

But again if you know what they are charging even if YOU feel it is unfair or too high..it is not illegal. You either choose to pay it, or not. What law was broken?  Is there a law against any business or charity to try not to lose money? Now I would agree if there is an ethics issue with a business or a charity it would require investigation but all this is about is that you feel their S&H charges are too high. So don't buy it from them then. 
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#9 Consumer Comment

Not buying this bit of "research".

AUTHOR: Flynrider - (USA)

   Just because something is on the Internet does not make it accurate or true.    I have a lot of respect for Consumer Reports as an organization, but I think someone on their staff was way out of their depth when they wrote this :

" If an online merchant doesn't follow the Direct Marketing Association's guidelines on shipping and handling fees, it could face a legal complaint or other action from law enforcement. "

   The Direct Marketing Association is a private organization.  Membership in the organization is entirely voluntary.   The notion that their guidelines have the force of law is absurd on its face.  The notion that any law enforcement agency would consider taking action based on the "guidelines" of a private organization is just ridiculous.  Our system of laws does not even remotely work that way.

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#10 Consumer Comment

Tsk Tsk Tsk

AUTHOR: Mandy - (U.S.A.)

In an earlier post, Ronny G said "...it would cost me a lot more then that if you add all the costs up (heck I assume they have rent and utilities as well and salaries..it never ends. I would assume they are doing this in an attempt to profit for their cause and not to lose money by ignoring the costs of everything else aside from the item."

And I clearly listed the guidelines that show that to use "shipping and handling" to cover such charges is illegal.

That was to Ronny G, as is clearly noted in the beginning of my comment.

The reason for the "free shipping" part being on there is it was part of the list of guidelines. I merely copied the entire section. My apologies if that caused confusion on your part.
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#11 Consumer Comment

You should follow your own advise

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

You Should Probably Research Before You Act So Smug
-
Mandy You should probably read before you post.

Shipping and handling charges should be reasonable and based on actual costs. The charges may include such items as carrier fees and the cost of packing materials and labor.
-
So other than what the OP THINKS they should charge what proof has anyone provided that the charges are excessive.  If you read you would also see that I found a NET difference of under $1 in shipping.  Is that Excessive according to you?

Shipping costs for online purchases should be disclosed clearly and conspicuously, and before the sale is final.
- The people complaining about the cost have said that the amounts are CLEARLY disclosed and they had an opportunity to back out.

When a company offers free products for which a customer pays only shipping and handling, those costs should be disclosed clearly and near the word "free."
The term "free shipping" should not be used if the product's price has been inflated to recover shipping costs.

- Goodwill is not offering free shipping nor free products so NEITHER of these apply


Oh and by the way I am still waiting to hear an answer on what they did when Goodwill charged them LESS than what they found from the UPS site.
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#12 Consumer Comment

You Should Probably Research Before You Act So Smug

AUTHOR: Mandy - (U.S.A.)

Ronny G writes: "Sorry if simple logic boggles anyone or if anyone is insulted because I am implying they know little to nothing about business or turning a profit...even if it is for charity."



Maybe before you decide to put on your superior act (it's really all in your head), you should research a little.



From consumerreports.org:



Is that a fair shipping and handling fee?



If an online merchant doesn't follow the Direct Marketing Association's guidelines on shipping and handling fees, it could face a legal complaint or other action from law enforcement. If you think a site is charging excessive or misleading fees, report it to your local consumer protection office. (There's a list of contact information for each state on the Consumer Action website, at www.consumeraction.gov/state.shtml.) Here are some of the rules the association says businesses should follow: 



Shipping and handling charges should be reasonable and based on actual costs. The charges may include such items as carrier fees and the cost of packing materials and labor. 



Shipping costs for online purchases should be disclosed clearly and conspicuously, and before the sale is final.



When a company offers free products for which a customer pays only shipping and handling, those costs should be disclosed clearly and near the word "free." 



The term "free shipping" should not be used if the product's price has been inflated to recover shipping costs.







A little research goes a long way. So does a little humility. You should try to learn to use both.
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#13 Consumer Comment

You can charge whatever you want for S&H...

AUTHOR: Ronny g - (USA)

..so let's say the widget only costs 10 bucks to ship via UPS by weight and size....but I determined as a seller in order for me to survive I need to charge $6,492.35 for handling. As long as I do not hide these costs before the buyer commits I have done nothing illegal. All the buyer has to do is choose upon their own God given free will to buy it, or to not buy it. Not exactly rocket science.

Granted the consumers can report here that I charge too much for S&H but that will help no one. What "might" help others would be to post this important piece of information which is by all means a good take-a-way.... "make sure you look at the cost for S&H before you commit to buying...then make a choice".

That would come natural to almost anyone who would be able to figure out the awesomely complicated process of purchasing an item online or any item the requires shipping. Sorry if simple logic boggles anyone or if anyone is insulted because I am implying they know little to nothing about business or turning a profit...even if it is for charity.
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#14 Consumer Comment

Some Pretty Unfair Comments....

AUTHOR: Jim S - (United States of America)

For starters, I do not work for Goodwill, but I do consult for non-profits, and the comments I've read from those critical of Goodwill on ROR as a whole seem pretty unfair.  For starters:

1.  Checking the price of shipping on E-Bay or any other site against the shipping costs for Goodwill is a ridiculous venture (my BS meter went on when I read someone's comment about that!!). For starters, every company that contracts with UPS (or anyone other shipper other than USPS) has different tariff rates for shipping.  E-Bay can negotiate a MUCH better tariff than Goodwill simply through E-Bay's sheer volume, regardless of the shipper they use.  Therefore, the costs for shipping on E-Bay are going to be quite lower than Goodwill is going to be.  Now I don't have access to the tariff UPS uses for Goodwill, but I did consult for a non-profit that rarely used shipping, and it was quite expensive compared to for-profit entities I consulted for.  Think about how much business E-Bay does; shipping companies would kill for that contract, and it's priced accordingly.  Not so much for Goodwill.  If you want to blame someone for the high price of shipping, blame UPS....

2.  The only measure of a good non-profit is how much of their revenue makes it to the programs the non-profit serves, and how much is needed to cover overhead.  You can look up Goodwill's 990 tax return and financials - all of which are public information and available online.  The truth is...the people there are probably paid like dirt, and I have no problem with that if people want to be paid like dirt.  If they make huge profits on specific sales....excellent for Goodwill.  The only measure that matters is the one I mentioned - nothing else.  If programs are better served as a result of higher profits on their e-sales, the better.  That's not a ripoff...that's excellent for the programs they serve.

3.  The IRS and the government over the last several years have been quite demanding upon non-profits due to people contributing to 501(c)3 groups that have been not only less than stellar in serving programs, but are outright frauds.  Of course, those contributions reduce down an individuals tax due, which is why the IRS is taking the lead on this.  It now requires these groups to file 990's, even if their gross revenue is less than $50K per year in contributions (churches and some schools are exempted from reporting).  If there were illegal activities of an organization the likes of Goodwill, they would be snagged, regardless of the action.  So there is no doubt there is nothing illegal being performed, and even less likely something unethical is going on.

4.  I haven't looked at a 990 for Goodwill in a long time, but the % of revenue that made it down to the program level was pretty good - certainly better than Red Cross, and quite a bit better than those idiotic non-profits that promise to take your old car, sell it, and donate the proceeds to the charity of your choice (those non-profits only give about 15% of your car's expected sale value to the charity).  I would even excuse Goodwill if they marked up their shipping 10% if their programs received more than 60%-70% of every dollar earned.  Again. that's all that matters.

Best of luck to you....































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#15 Consumer Comment

Please cite the law(s) Goodwill is breaking.

AUTHOR: Ken - (USA)

That's why my B.S. meter pegged.

Once again, what law(s) did they break?.......SPECIFICALLY.
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#16 Consumer Comment

Why would your BS meter go off??

AUTHOR: pearlgrl - (United States of America)

I think it is clearly not legal or morally right if the fees charged don't match those of UPS.

Not sure why your BS meter went off- browse the Goodwill site and put in your city and zip and see if you think the shipping is accurate or seems very high..........no need to buy the item just browse and see. 
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#17 Consumer Comment

I just gotta ask...

AUTHOR: Ken - (USA)

Shipping is noted
AUTHOR: pearlgrl - phila (United States of America)
SUBMITTED: Thursday, March 15, 2012POSTED: Thursday, March 15, 2012
The shipping and handling is clearly noted but that isn't the point. What if the shipping and handling was $100? Just because it is noted doesn't mean it is fair or legal. I have the right not to buy or bid, and I understand this but that isn't the point. the point is the fees aren't accurate. Goodwill says it only uses UPS. Well I've called UPS and the shipping rates are not correct. Even without adding in the handling fees. The point of this thread is that Goodwill is charging too much, and that is illegal.

Please cite the law that Goodwill is breaking. Especially since you concede the charges are posted.

What if you back up what you say?

Most companies charge shipping and handling....does this mean that, if in YOUR estimation, the amounts are too high, they are doing "something illegal?"    Get real.

No, I DON'T work for Goodwill.

My B.S. detector just went off instantly on your rebuttal.
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#18 Consumer Comment

Your point is wrong pearlgrl

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

The point of this thread is that Goodwill is charging too much, and that is illegal.
-  Just based on what the OP wrote I would not disagree that their site gives inaccurate pricing, but also as I mentioned the OP's rates seem to be in question as well.  So who really knows who is correct or incorrect.

But even by your admission they disclose the rates up front..in fact from your words they are "clearly noted". They give you the choice to continue or not.  So you can argue "fairness" until the end of time if you want, but there is nothing illegal about Goodwill charging what ever it wants.

I wonder if for every time the OP(or you) wants a credit for what they feel they were "overcharged", if they will in turn send them additional money every time they are "undercharged" for shipping.  After all this is all about fairness isn't it.
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#19 Author of original report

OP Rebuttal

AUTHOR: Dustin - (United States of America)

Do they inform you what the shipping and handling charges are before you commit? - There is a shipping calculator, which I didn't realize until customer service pointed it out to me. That being said, my issue is that they must be adding to the shipping charge as consumer shipping (non-account holders) is cheaper than what they (an obviously large corporation with an "exclusivity" partnership) are charging. I have worked with companies that ship far less items and often had 20-40% off online UPS charges. As far as handling charges - many do this as a percentage of final price (including shipping charges). This is screwy to me - I'm charged more for 'handling' if the item (same weight, dimensions, using the same amount of time/labor and packaging material) sells for more? Just another (screwy) way to squeeze out a few more dollars from the purchaser.

If not, then I can see a problem. If so, then consumers have the choice not to shop with them and avoid the ripoff if they really feel that way. Since this report I have refused to purchase from the website. I posted here to make other consumers aware that on the surface it looks like you're getting a great deal, but S/H are up to the individual locations and are often unfair/unjustified/overpriced.

Now granted the smaller items seem to be high cost for S&H but you also state you understand the cost from dealing with eBay. Yes, I do understand the cost. I build the cost of my time/labor, shipping materials, etc. into my shipping price. Always less than a dollar (haven't had to purchase boxes, do pay for bubble wrap, peanuts, tape, etc.) as it takes a relative small amount of materials and less than 3 minutes to package an item sufficiently. I don't use pickup service; post offices are close by and on my way to work. Less than 5 minutes to mail a number of packages. 

Breaking this down:
Cost of item to Goodwill = $0.00 (donated)
Labor = Assuming $10/hr labor divided by 60 minutes x 3 minutes = $0.00 - $.50 per package (keep in mind sorting and packaging may be done by a volunteer or someone performing community service). 
Box = free (each item has come in a box scrapped from boxes in which donations were delivered)
Bubble Wrap = Taking price of 750' roll from ULine, assuming no price break, @ $41 cost would be $0.055 per foot. None of the items I purchased used over 3 foot of bubble wrap = $0.17
OR
Newspaper = free (most common packaging material) = $0.00
OR 
Packing Peanuts = Never used, but to be fair, using ULine and assuming no price break, 20 cu ft @ $26.00 = $1.30/cubic foot = $2.60 for a 2' square box.
Tape = $1.15/roll/165 ft = $0.007/ft x 10 ft for 2" box = $0.07 for 2' box.
Pickup = UPS usually does not charge industrial customers, dropoff would not make sense for the number of items they're shipping. USPS also does not charge for pickup.
"Overhead" - Web hosting, development, all other costs of doing business. Divided out on all items, shrinking cost as more items are sold, let's say $0.10/item (most likely generous - I work in IT and have a business degree so this is an educated guesstimate).

Range for 2' square box: $0.17 (free box, free labor, newspaper, tape, overhead) - (free box, labor, peanuts - never used, tape, overhead) $3.27. Most likely cost. 

I have no problem with paying handling charges if a business/seller is upfront and divides the costs correctly. I don't expect a breakdown but being fair and honest is what I expect.


Well lets figure it out (also note the further the item is shipped from the source the more it costs)..

Let's say I am selling a small "widget" that weights a few ounces but cost me nothing. Okay..it takes the time of a human to list the item, host the website, pack the item, label the item, cost of packing materials, tape and box, the label itself, plus what ever UPS charges to pick up the item, or for someone to bring it to the UPS store. It all costs money and adds up fast. SO even if the widget cost me nothing and I sell it for 3 dollars....it would cost me a lot more then that if you add all the costs up (heck I assume they have rent and utilities as well and salaries..it never ends. I would assume they are doing this in an attempt to profit for their cause and not to lose money by ignoring the costs of everything else aside from the item. I have no qualms with the money going towards a good cause, but look at the breakdown above. I expect an organization doing 'good' for the community and promoting themselves as a non-profit (I'm unsure as to their 'official' non-profit status). Instead of shipping and handling charge, state extra charges above shipping carrier costs as 'donation to put people to work'. 
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#20 Consumer Comment

Shipping is noted

AUTHOR: pearlgrl - (United States of America)

The shipping and handling is clearly noted but that isn't the point.  What if the shipping and handling was $100? Just because it is noted doesn't mean it is fair or legal.  I have the right not to buy or bid, and I understand this but that isn't the point.  the point is the fees aren't accurate.  Goodwill says it only uses UPS. Well I've called UPS and the shipping rates are not correct.  Even without adding in the handling fees.  The point of this thread is that Goodwill is charging too much, and that is illegal.
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#21 Consumer Comment

I'm wondering

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

Where the OP got some of their UPS costs.

In looking at the first package, the OP states it was a 2lb package, shipped from Tacoma to Texas via UPS ground in a 24"x24"x24"x24"(Did you find the 4th Dimension?).  They state they were charged $16.82 for Shipping AND handling.  Yet the UPS site was only $10.55.

First of all I looked at the UPS site and when calculated with those values(using Tacoma to Dallas minus the 4th dimension),  I actually got a rate of $83.43.  Now the reason seems to be the box size.  I went back and entered a smaller box(12x12x12) and the shipping cost became $14.36.  Better, but still no where near the $10.55 you claim.  So what values were you entering, and was it directly from the UPS site.

Now, if we take that you should have been charged $14.36, and using the rest of your values as correct.  The total shipping you paid was $47.13, but should have been charged $46.36.  So over 4 transactions you were charged an extra $0.77.  This of course is figuring that the rest of YOUR rates are correct.

If what you are saying is right.  Since the values seem to not only be above, but below, the rates you think you should be charged.  It seems like more of a customer service issue and does not really seem like they are trying to Rip you off.  Especially if they disclose all of the fees before hand.  Where you have a choice to accept them or move on.
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#22 Consumer Comment

To Ronny G

AUTHOR: Mandy - (U.S.A.)

I understand high overhead. But you should understand that to call a recoupement of overhead costs "shipping" is a lie. If it were the "handling fee" that would be different. But the OP stated that the handling fee was shown as $2.00.

I do agree with you though, that if the website shows you shipping before you commit to buy, then that's all on the buyer. But if they don't, then that's pretty lousy business.

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#23 Consumer Comment

Could not agree more!!

AUTHOR: pearlgrl - (United States of America)

I too was very excited when I first learned about Goodwill online. It was also a good way for Goodwill to sell their items and make extra money.  I have purchased many items and honestly, the shipping kills me. It is so inconsistent. I recently purchased an item for $6.99, weight is 2lbs, shipping is $10.98 and $2.00 handling fee so I am paying $20 for this item.
What the author failed to mention since it seems he has only been subject to the % charge (which I prefer) is that these various stores can charge handling fees of $2-4 (according to the customer service rep at goodwill) but I have only until today been charged $4 handling. So today was the first ever $2 charge. I guess they knew if they tried to charge $4 they would be in trouble.  I don't mind paying a handling fee for packaging materials, peanuts and protection for glass or heavy items. the handling fees that I have paid, $4 for some things like books or paper products it outrageous.
Goodwill is ripping people off.  There is no doubt about that. I have called UPS and USPS and their shipping doesn't match what Goodwill is charging.
We know Goodwill does rip people off because when you shop in their stores, some prices are so high that I often wonder about the people on fixed or low incomes that use these stores for clothing etc can afford it.  I make a good living and I enjoy goodwill for certain things I collect.  My sister and I enjoy visiting stores all over and when we travel out of state etc. it is fun. But I am often taken aback by the prices.  Does anyone remember the scandal of how Goodwill was "selling" donated clothing by the pound to African countries?  things we donate--granted someone has to pay for sorting and transporting etc.  Ok. We get that. but to charge poverty stricken Africa for our donations??  You walk through those stores and the prices are so high. I also LOVE that they want to sell items, but if the item has no price, they won't sell to you. Well I know people change prices in those stores, but why can't a manager just give you a price???  I think that is the worst policy I have ever seen. One store in Cherry Hill NJ, never has tags.  I see things I want to purchase and am told no.  Why wouldn't a manager just give a price for the item so they make the money--rather it goes back into a bin for someone to price later??? That makes no sense.  If I tore the tag off in hopes of getting it cheaper, that plan could backfire, and the manager could say more than the price that was on it.  I just hate how many items are not marked. I think that is a scam too.
I know Goodwill would say "well don't shop with us", and I didn't for years after the Africa issue came into the media.    I am close to that again now but I want to spread this around so people are aware and the BBB or someone looks into this.  It just isn't right to blatantly rip people off. The shipping and handling is ridiculous, inconsistent and stealing.
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#24 Consumer Comment

Question...

AUTHOR: Ronny g - (USA)

Do they inform you what the shipping and handling charges are before you commit? If not, then I can see a problem. If so, then consumers have the choice not to shop with them and avoid the ripoff if they really feel that way.

Now granted the smaller items seem to be high cost for S&H but you also state you understand the cost from dealing with eBay.

Well lets figure it out (also note the further the item is shipped from the source the more it costs)..

Let's say I am selling a small "widget" that weights a few ounces but cost me nothing. Okay..it takes the time of a human to list the item, host the website, pack the item, label the item, cost of packing materials, tape and box, the label itself, plus what ever UPS charges to pick up the item, or for someone to bring it to the UPS store. It all costs money and adds up fast. SO even if the widget cost me nothing and I sell it for 3 dollars....it would cost me a lot more then that if you add all the costs up (heck I assume they have rent and utilities as well and salaries..it never ends. I would assume they are doing this in an attempt to profit for their cause and not to lose money by ignoring the costs of everything else aside from the item.
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