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eBay adds UPS shipping tools

The online auctioneer expands a partnership with United Parcel Service that lets customers calculate shipping costs and track shipments directly through eBay's site.

eBay has expanded a partnership with United Parcel Service that lets customers calculate shipping costs and track UPS shipments directly through the auction site.

The agreement, which the companies announced Monday, allows eBay buyers to enter their ZIP codes and view UPS and U.S. Postal Service shipping costs on various merchandise as they browse on the eBay site. Sellers that choose to use the service, which is available now, no longer have to e-mail shipping information to buyers separately, the companies said.

"The solution provides much greater transparency of shipping information and significantly simplifies the exchange," the companies said in a statement.

The new service builds on previous agreements between UPS and the San Jose, Calif., online auctioneer. The two companies created a shipping information center on eBay's site in 2000 and later linked UPS's online shipping tools to eBay's PayPal payment-processing service.

With the latest service, sellers can enter weight, package size, shipping service and handling fees when they list their goods on eBay. When the item is sold, sellers can enter the buyer's ZIP code and select either UPS or the Postal Service as the carrier and have shipping rates automatically displayed on the listing page and in the payment process.

eBay and UPS plan to introduce more shipping services by the end of the year, including the ability to track the status of shipments, review UPS shipping schedules, and print shipping labels from eBay's site, the companies said.

The tools are free for eBay users and initially support shipments only within the United States.

eBay is the largest online auction company in the world, with 69 million registered users and $14.8 billion worth of goods sold through the site last year.