Becoming an eBay powerseller has meant over the years I have made quite a few shipping mistakes, and learning from them to become the best seller I can be, whilst delivering excellent service to encourage more sales. As a result, I’ve figured out how to make shipping easier and less expensive. The following tips will definitely save you some time and money:
1. When reusing a box, cover all symbols and acronyms that indicate that the box was originally used to transport flammable items or alcohol. I once had a box held hostage at a shipping facility located an hour from my home. I had to drive to the facility and speak with a postal worker before the postal authorities would release the package (I had reused a box that had originally contained hairspray, and the postal authorities thought I might be a terrorist.)
Money saving tip: You might want to cover these types of markings using blank labels. I often buy boxes of blank labels at estate sales.
2. Use air pockets to fill in space and save on weight when you send off items that are breakable. I work in an office and often get these delivered to my desk by the receptionist.
3. To save money, source boxes locally. The best time to source boxes is in the morning when stores are stocking shelves. Get up early once a week and visit retail establishments in your neighbourhood. You will find a plethora of free boxes in various sizes and shapes.
Protecting your address
4. Use permanent marker when addressing a package by hand or cover both the address and return address with a quality tape to ensure that the ink does not get wet and bleed. Years ago, I made the mistake of stuffing my car full of packages only to discover hours later that I had left the car window open, and it had started to rain. The marker I had used to address each package had bled. I had to bring all the packages back in the house and start over again!
Be cost efficient
5. To save on weight, consider cutting down boxes or cutting down the inside flaps of boxes. A few ounces can sometimes really make a difference. Removing this extra cardboard may reduce the price you pay for a reliable courier service.
6. Always use bubble wrap or packing peanuts to package fragile items. (If you’re looking to save money, ask businesses in your area if they throw away these products on a regular basis. You may be able to get bubble wrap and peanuts for free!)
7. Always double box fragile items. Boxes are often thrown or crushed while being transported to their destinations.
8. Wrap items in white gift tissue before packaging them. Customers absolutely love it, and it doesn’t cost much. Gift tissue can be purchased inexpensively at club stores like Costco during Christmas. I also purchase it at dollar stores year round.
Following these shipping tips should definitely save you some time and money and will ensure that buyers receive their purchases in excellent condition!
This is a guest post written by Miriam Otto. Miriam is an eBay certified educator, and eBay coach for Skip McGrath Coaching, based in Northern California. Her eBay Store, Blue Frog Shoes, features name-brand shoes, and hard-to-find sizes. Miriam sells an average of 250 items per month, and finds most of what she sells at yard sales and thrift shops. Miriam write a eBay selling tips and tricks blog called “The eBay life Blog”.