I think its the difference between UPS Ground and Air - the more expensive Air shipping costs include brokerage fees. Usually FedEx is like this too but I always get things sent USPS because its much cheaper.
ALWAYS check what the seller list shipping as. ive been screwed before on this thinking im getting a really good deal not realizing what the shipping cost is and have to pay crazy costs that are no where near what they should be but because they listed it like that you nor ebay can do anything about it
The "gift" thing works most of the time, but not always. Once I had something I bought on eBay sent to me as a "gift", but it still had a price tag on it for $20 USD (note: I had only paid $14) and I still got charged fees based on $20 (seeing as they don't charge fees for anything under $20). I guess they opened the package at the border, saw the price tag, and assumed that's what I paid for it.