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View Full Version : Shipping on Ebay Question


MelindaJ
10-21-2010, 02:02 PM
I have been selling in Ebay for 4 years and I have always struggled with finding the cheapest way to ship out items for my buyers. I mostly sell infant/toddler clothes, toddler shoes and maternity clothes, so I do not have extremely heavy packages, but people tend not to bid on clothing items if the shipping is too much. I personally consider USPS too high on their flate rate packaging because I would have to use their medium size boxes to fit my clothes in and the flat rate is 10.95. I have used their envelopes, and the flat rate is 4.95 which is ok, but those do not always fit my items, especially if someone buys more than one of my items.

It is also not worth it to buy boxes or padded envelopes in the stores, because it usually is not cheaper, even if I send it Parcel Post. I wanted to know if anyone has used UPS or just has any other ideas? I am using Vendio now to sell my items on Ebay and I have also set up my own store so I plan on selling more items and I do not want to have to give up because I can't make a profit. Thanks for any input :)


ybnegood
10-21-2010, 05:02 PM
First of all INVEST in an electronic Scale. You should never use flat rate shipping unless the item is
very heavy. It is a waste of your money (and profit).

If you need padded envelopes, watch the listings on Ebay and shop carefully. But, since you are selling
clothing why is the padding necessary? I would buy Poly Mailers off of Ebay. They dont have the bubble lining so are very light weight and almost impossible to rip open.

You should be making PROFIT off of your shipping charges as you do not pay Ebay a fee on the cost of
shipping, only the sale price of your item. If shipping actually costs you under $5 add 50 cents extra
If shipping is over $10 add $1 extra (plus the cost of your poly mailer)

A 5000 gram digital scale will weigh up to 10 pounds of clothing and if you search ebay carefully
you can probably buy one for about $20 shipping included.

The item I'm currently selling on Ebay costs me $1.51 to ship and I charge $1.99
and I notify the carrier online that I need a pickup and they come right to my door to pick up the package.

You can still ship your items priority mail if the customer is willing to pay the extra for it, but just
attach a priority mail sticker to your poly bag, weigh it, and calculate postage online

martin

MelindaJ
10-22-2010, 01:24 PM
Thank you for the information. I never thought about buying envelopes online. I have thought about buying a postal scale for about 2 years now, it's probably time I just get one. I was always worried that I would do something wrong and the post man would not take my packages, but it is also very inconvienent to be always going to the post office with young children.

Do you calculate your shipping and print off the label through Ebay when you sell the item? Thanks again for your help.


Diane622
10-22-2010, 01:29 PM
Hi Melinda,

Martin had some great suggestions. I agree, you should always 'pad' your shipping charges just a little to cover supplies and packaging. The jewelry I sell is very lightweight, so I would never use flat rate pricing (except on international), however, it is also slightly fragile, so I purchase very small (3x3x3 I think) ightweight boxes in quantity and just charged a flat shipping charge to my US customers.

I agree with Martin that since you're shipping clothes, you shouldn't need any extra padding, so poly bags would be the very lightweight way to go. Weigh them yourself and decide what your flat shipping charge should be for that particular item. If you find you ship a lot that are of similar weight, just plug that flat rate amount in each time. Just be sure to calculate your cost per poly bag and increase your shipping charge by that amount.

In the end, if someone wants a particular item you have, I have not found that it deters them from paying the shipping, as long as it's not outrageous. (Nowadays, they would problaby spend that in gas to go to the store and purchase items!)

Hope this helps!
Diane

MelindaJ
10-22-2010, 01:38 PM
First of all INVEST in an electronic Scale. You should never use flat rate shipping unless the item is
very heavy. It is a waste of your money (and profit).

If you need padded envelopes, watch the listings on Ebay and shop carefully. But, since you are selling
clothing why is the padding necessary? I would buy Poly Mailers off of Ebay. They dont have the bubble lining so are very light weight and almost impossible to rip open.

You should be making PROFIT off of your shipping charges as you do not pay Ebay a fee on the cost of
shipping, only the sale price of your item. If shipping actually costs you under $5 add 50 cents extra
If shipping is over $10 add $1 extra (plus the cost of your poly mailer)

A 5000 gram digital scale will weigh up to 10 pounds of clothing and if you search ebay carefully
you can probably buy one for about $20 shipping included.

The item I'm currently selling on Ebay costs me $1.51 to ship and I charge $1.99
and I notify the carrier online that I need a pickup and they come right to my door to pick up the package.

You can still ship your items priority mail if the customer is willing to pay the extra for it, but just
attach a priority mail sticker to your poly bag, weigh it, and calculate postage online

martin

Just wanted to let you know that I ordered the poly mailers and they are exactly what I needed. Thanks :)

MelindaJ
10-22-2010, 01:46 PM
Hi Melinda,

Martin had some great suggestions. I agree, you should always 'pad' your shipping charges just a little to cover supplies and packaging. The jewelry I sell is very lightweight, so I would never use flat rate pricing (except on international), however, it is also slightly fragile, so I purchase very small (3x3x3 I think) ightweight boxes in quantity and just charged a flat shipping charge to my US customers.

I agree with Martin that since you're shipping clothes, you shouldn't need any extra padding, so poly bags would be the very lightweight way to go. Weigh them yourself and decide what your flat shipping charge should be for that particular item. If you find you ship a lot that are of similar weight, just plug that flat rate amount in each time. Just be sure to calculate your cost per poly bag and increase your shipping charge by that amount.

In the end, if someone wants a particular item you have, I have not found that it deters them from paying the shipping, as long as it's not outrageous. (Nowadays, they would problaby spend that in gas to go to the store and purchase items!)

Hope this helps!
Diane

Diane thank you for the information. I will have to remember to add the extra cost of the poly mailers. That's a good point that if someone really wants something they will buy it, I do see that will my name brand children clothes that I sell. People also do not always want to drive someone to get a good deal or are able to drive.

MelindaJ
10-22-2010, 01:48 PM
Dianne,

I also wanted to tell you that you have some really nice items on Ebay. I love vintage jewely and antiques. I might have to purchase some of those items when I sell another lot of my clothes.

Diane622
10-23-2010, 08:43 AM
Thanks Melinda for checking out my site! Yes, I have fun finding the different items to sell.

As for your question about printing the labels, yes, I just print them directly from PayPal after payment has been received. I receive an email from Paypal that payment has been received and click on the PayPal number in the top right-hand corner of the email. This takes me direclty to the transaction in PayPay (after I log in, of course). Then at the bottom of those transaction details I click on "print packing slip" and I put that in the box, and click done. Then I click on 'print shipping label' and I just enter the information there, pay for the label, and print it out on adhesive shipping labels I purchase on ebay (50 two-label per sheet) or something like that. You can just search for shipping labels. There's also a section in PayPal that you can elect for the shipping price to be hidden from view on the label, that way if you are charging a little extra your buyer won't see it and get think they overpaid.

I also wouldn't say you necessarily need a 'postal' scale. You should be able to find simple scales that weigh up to a few pounds on eBay or anywhere online as well. And my post man doesn't have a problem taking as many packages as I give him when he delivers my mail, so I do save a lot of trips to the post office. If he's already come for that day and I want to ship more, though, I will run them down there.

I know that's a little long-winded but hope it helps!
Diane

ybnegood
10-26-2010, 11:39 PM
Hi Melinda,
Glad you took my advice and went with the poly mailers. I don't know how heavy your stuff is
but you can find cheap shipping scales on ebay all the time. Just take your time and bid only when it's
a really good deal. My scale registers in 1/10th of an ounce up to a couple of pounds if you weigh your
product before you list it, you can put the weight in and add the cost of your mailer (plus a little extra)
in as the handling charge. (customer does not see that amount) I always print shipping label directly off of ebay so I can get delivery confirmation tracking which ebay then shows on their site. This helps protect
you if the customer says they didn't get the item. Usually costs about 19 cents to do this, sometimes it's free (add that amount into handling also)
With ebay, I only list when listing is free. Plus I compute to the penny their fees, paypal fees, shipping fees, etc. to build in my profit structure.
I'm not getting rich on ebay by any means, but the extra cash helps out a lot

good luck to you
martin

leasadler
11-24-2010, 06:38 PM
USPS offers free packaging EVEN FOR NON FLAT-RATE BOXES!

Unless your items are really heavy--which clothing generally isn't--this usually ends up being cheaper than flat-rate shipping. And of course, the boxes are free. You just have to make sure you don't grab the box that says FLAT RATE on it. You may need to ask your post office representative, if you don't see the packaging available in the post office lobby.

UPS is usually way more expensive than USPS if you're not a business that's negotiated a lower priced shipping contract.

singlemom58
01-18-2011, 10:29 AM
If you want to do the cheapest shipping first class mail is the only way to go much cheaper than pority mail but takes longer time and you have to pay at the post office

adm73
02-03-2011, 08:24 AM
I get my shipping materials on Uline. I hear Sam's club is cheap for mailers as well. I also do not make my buyers go through extra hoops. If Vendio has an extra checkout, folks will balk at bidding just due to that fact. I know some auctiva auctions do, and I quickly hit the Back button whenever I run into an item that requires extra steps. A lot of buyers do. You can see it discussed on Ebay forums from time to time.

You should try to also offer small items that ship in a small mailer from time to time. That's a great way to balance out shipping.

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02-04-2011, 12:03 AM
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