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shipping

Featured

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How-To Wednesdays: Checking Board Games

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How-To Wednesdays: eBay Shipping

10
by on January 2, 2013 at 10:44 pm

Every Wednesday, we’ll do a short how-to where we’ll tackle a topic in the reselling space and try to give clarity on it. eBay and other selling platforms, as well as picking itself, can be daunting. If you have a topic you would like to see in the How-To Wednesday topic, please leave comments and we will try to add it to the schedule. Thanks for reading!

usps-logoShipping through eBay is easy! I’ll say it again, shipping through eBay is easy! You only need a printer and half-sheet labels. If you don’t have half-sheet labels or would prefer to use plain paper, you can do that too! I do like the convenience of self-adhesing half-sheet labels. To make it easy, here’s a link to a listing on eBay that I buy labels from. You can get labels from this same vendor in differing amounts. The listing I linked is for 400 labels (200 sheets). You can start out with 100 sheets, or if you expect to do a lot of volume, you can buy them in even greater quantities. It’s free shipping, too!

Now that you have a printer and your paper or labels, what’s next?

When you set up a listing, you can choose from a variety of shipping methods. I prefer using calculated shipping, but it doesn’t really matter which method you use. Once the item has sold, you will have an option to ‘print shipping label’. When you click that, you will be taken to the shipping label screen. Here, you will have many options to choose from.

The first thing you will need to decide is if you want to use USPS or Fedex to ship. Recently, Fedex has become an option and in some cases, Fedex will be cheaper than even parcel post, and quicker too! If you choose Fedex, you will only need to put in the weight of the item and it will default to home delivery. The price is generally not cheaper unless you are shipping more than 4 lbs. At 4 lbs and above, depending on where the item is shipping to, Fedex may be a better option. The only downside is that you have to take it in to a Fedex drop facility, whereas with USPS, you can schedule a pickup if you know a day ahead of time you need them to come by.

If you decide to ship USPS, which will likely be the way you ship with most of your packages, you will need to know the weight of your item. If you are shipping internationally, first class, be sure to get the exact weight as first class international charges are based on a per ounce rate up to 4 pounds. For first class domestic, it’s only up to 13 ounces, but again on a per ounce weight. Shipping parcel post or Priority Mail via USPS is done per pound, so a package that is 2 pounds 1 ounce will be the same cost as a package that is 2 pounds 15 ounces. Keep that in mind when choosing your packing materials and box.

FedEx_Home_Delivery-logo-8753240591-seeklogo.comOnce you have put in the weight of your item and selected your shipping method, all you have to do is click either create label (Fedex) or Purchase Postage (USPS.) With USPS, if you are a new seller and are still in your holding period, where Paypal holds your money for a certain time, you will be given an option of paying later. This is great, since the money for the shipping won’t be taken out until the money you were paid actually clears. Otherwise, the payment for the shipping will be immediately removed from Paypal funds.

On the next screen, you will be given an option to print the label. Clicking that will bring up a window where you can adjust your margins, which is great if you are shipping smaller boxes. Otherwise, you just click print and voila, you have a label all ready to be affixed to your package.

In a future how-to, I will go over the different options for USPS shipping. I hope you found this helpful. Please comment and leave any questions you might have. Thanks for reading!

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How-To Wednesdays: Shipping Weight

15
by on December 12, 2012 at 10:55 pm

Every Wednesday, we’ll do a short how-to where we’ll tackle a topic in the reselling space and try to give clarity on it. eBay and other selling platforms, as well as picking itself, can be daunting. If you have a topic you would like to see in the How-To Wednesday topic, please leave comments and we will try to add it to the schedule. Thanks for reading!

usps-logoCalculating the shipping weight of an item is a very important part of maximizing profit and selling items responsibly on eBay. To do this, you will need a reliable scale. You can get them pretty cheap off of eBay. The scale I use is the Accuteck® All-In-One Series A-PT 50 Digital Postal Scale Silver. This scale weights items up to 50 lbs. It is accurate to .1 oz up to 25 lbs, and .2 oz from 25 to 50 lbs. I bought this scale from eBay seller ever*hotbuy, who I would highly recommend for scales. He has smaller and bigger weight scales too, so check him out, if you are in the market for a scale.

Now that you have a scale, what next?

You will need to have an idea of what the SHIPPING weight of an item is. This is the weight of the item plus the box, packing material, and any other items you may place in the box with it. With some items, you’ll get a feel for this. For example, coffee mugs are almost always going to be 2 lbs. Yahtzee Handheld games will be around 13 ounces, making them first class mail items. With other items, you may have to do some math. If you have a standard sized board game that weighs 2 lbs 4 ounces, this is probably going to be 4 pounds shipped. That is because a box that fits a board game is going to weigh at least 12 ounces and when you add in packing materials so the board game doesn’t get damaged during the shipping, you will be well over 3 lbs. My safe bet with board games is to always add a full pound to the weight of the item, then round up to figure out my shipping weight. If it’s a really oversized board game, the box itself will weigh over a pound. Understanding the weight if boxes is very important, so when you get a box you will use regularly, you should weigh it and make a note of it for your future use.

Once you know an item’s shipping weight, it can be very easy to handle the shipping methods on eBay. If you do fixed price shipping, you will be able to estimate the furthest distance you may have to ship, or perhaps choose an average distance, to account for people in varying distances. I do calculated shipping most of the time, and I find this is the fairest method, both to the buyers and to myself. People who live close by will not pay as much shipping, and as a result, I do sell a lot of items to people in the same state as me. People far away will pay a real shipping cost of what it will be to send to them, which is great for me, because then I’m not losing money because of the cost of shipping.

Free shipping can be thought of like fixed price. Take the average price (or the highest price) of shipping the item and add it to the cost of the item. Be very careful not to underestimate shipping when offering free shipping, because you don’t want to end up with less profit than you planned. Also, be very, very careful with free shipping on board games. If you are selling them at an auction, remember that most board games are going to cost around $10 to ship, so you should never start out an auction for less than $15 if you are including free shipping, or you will be losing money on this item if multiple people don’t bid on it. Most board games will not have a big demand, so auctions are always risky.

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