Package Your Ebay Items to Ship Safely, Securely and Quickly
Wondering how to ship your Ebay items, and package them correctly? This guide will walk you through the process of safely packing, preparing, and shipping your items for safe delivery to your customers.
Assuming you’ve sold your item, the buyer has paid, and the money has cleared via Paypal, now it’s time to ship your item. It’s your job as a seller to get the item to the buyer safely and intact. Most shipping breakages are caused by improperly packaged items. Do it the right way from the start and avoid headaches from buyer disputes and returns. Buyer disputes, breakages, and email communication about breakages can cost you money and time. When a buyer opens the package, your making a first impression. Not only will you cut down on costs by reducing return rates, you’ll gain a potential repeat customer.
Size Up Your Items, Charge The Right Shipping Rate
Before you even list your Ebay item, you’ll need a scale to find out the weight of the item when it’s packaged. Purchase a scale from USPS, or use your own mail scale to give an accurate weight. Ebay has a shipping calculator, which does not take into account extra charges like delivery confirmation, so keep that in mind. Build in enough of a cushion to cover your items, while still being competitively priced in shipping. Also, keep in mind your cost of shipping — gas to deliver the items, bubble wrap, tape and peanuts all add up. You may want to add insurance as optional or required for your item, depending on the worth.
Pick the Right Size Box
After your item has sold, it’s time to ship it out fast so the buyer will give you some positive feedback. Take your items and place them inside a box that’s big enough for the items, but not so big that the items are floating around during shipping. USPS has a full range of free boxes for Priority shipping, a reliable service that usually only takes 3 days at the most anywhere in the United States. While you’re at it, you can ask the USPS to save good condition previously used boxes for you. They’ll gladly do so. Dumpster space costs money, and so does disposal, so you’d be saving them money. If you’re an Amazon shopper, you’ll likely have plenty of boxes as well.
Buy Bubble Wrap on Ebay.. It’s Much Cheaper
Bubble wrap is cheapest on Ebay. Don’t buy it in stores, buy it in bulk on Ebay and support a fellow seller. Many bubble wrap items on Ebay are also sold with free shipping, so it doesn’t even make sense to buy it anywhere else. You might even (slowly) rack up some Ebay Bucks.
Wrapping Your Items with Bubble Wrap
Bubble wrap is the preferred way to ship most items. Tear off a piece of bubble wrap that covers more than the surface of the item, and wrap the item as tight as possible around the item(s). Next, tape the bubble wrap to itself so it’s tightly wrapped around. Fold in the sides, and tape the sides closed. Use extra tape if necessary to protect any loose areas of bubble wrap.
Next, you’ll want to place your items in the box in a way that makes sense. Keep your items away from the sides of the box if possible to minimize damage. Place flat edges of items against each other during shipping. Fill the box with peanuts to the rim, and tape the top of the box securely as well as the bottom. Use more than one piece of tape if the box is heavy. Keep in mind as well, that some shipping insurance rules state there must be adequate buffer around the product in order to receive any compensation for potential damages.
A quick way to save some extra money on bubble wrap is to save it from purchases that you make online. There are many places that throw away bubble wrap and packing peanuts, from post offices to grocery stores and malls. Check with them and they might have it for free.
Attach a Label and Ship it Out
Next, attach the label to the top of the box. You can alternatively print your own label from USPS and get free delivery confirmation. Ebay and Paypal also offer their own portals to print shipping labels.
Next, bring it into your USPS office and ship it out! If the shipping service you chose does not come with it, consider purchasing delivery confirmation, it’s worth every penny. If you decide to use UPS rather than USPS, they offer free tracking on all items. They also offer insurance for loss or damage on the first $100 and offer easy scheduled pickups, which is why many large sellers do choose to use UPS.
While You’re at the Post Office or Before Package Pickup
Once you’ve packed up your items, it’s time to drop them off to your local post office. If you’ve used the Click N’ Ship program to place labels on the boxes, this will save the USPS clerks a lot of time, and will save you money as well. In my experience, other customers can get irritated if you have a huge lot of items to ship out while they’re behind you waiting to buy some stamps. This in turn can get the clerk on edge, and that’s the last thing you want when they’re handling your items.
Placing all of the items in a large sac (they may allow you to borrow one at USPS) is one of the best ways to transport items from car to store. Give them a quick once over when you hand them to the clerk to make sure you’ve filled out everything correctly. Also, be sure to keep all of your USPS expenses tidy by using one credit card to track your purchases. Using a card over cash is recommended, since you’ll be protected by the credit card company if you need to dispute any charges. It will also neatly organize the expenses all on one card, so come end of the year, it can be pretty easy to add it all up. Keep the physical receipts as well, or print online and store for tax purposes.
Once you’ve handed over the packages, your part is done. Tracking will automatically be sent to the buyer if you use Ebay and pay for the shipping through Ebay. A job well done will help you get more positive feedback and repeat customers. Good luck!
Other Helpful Ebay Guides:
- How to Drive Traffic With Ebay Guides
An introduction to using guides to push traffic to your store and up your credibility on Ebay.