Online Selling Tip of The Week

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Support the eBay economy and purchase your shipping supplies from a fellow eBayer.

You can find deals on poly-mailers, packaging tape, shipping labels, bubble wrap and more.

The best part is you’ll save time and money by having your supplies come straight to your front door.  That means more time to work on listing and shipping, and ultimately, more time for your family.

Rachel

Update on FREE Shipping

Awhile back, I told you that I was going to start offering FREE shipping on light weight items. I  attempted avoiding low marks on my  DSR’s  (detailed seller ratings) for Shipping and Handling Charges.  The idea was given to me by a couple of eBay sellers and I thought it worth a try.

It’s been a few months, and I can honestly say, it has has helped my sales and my DSR’s. I made Top Rated Seller in June because I was able to get a few low DSR ratings to fall off from last year without being marked down from recent buyers.

I also believe it’s increased the dollar amount of my sales.  I have a lot of free shipping items going out the door, and I haven’t noticed it costing me very much to offer free shipping.  Most of the items I offer free shipping on are items that can ship out 1st Class anyway, so at most, it may cost me around $3 to ship an item to a customer, but on a $25 sale, what’s $3, really?

Some sellers don’t like offering free shipping for whatever reason.  It’s really up to each individual and what works for their business model, but I figured that it wouldn’t hurt to at least try it for a few months and see if it made a difference.

I knew that I needed to do something different.  I’m a firm believer in:

“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got.”

Rachel

5 Ways to Reduce Your Shipping Costs

If you can save a few cents per item you  increase your profits and decrease the customer’s cost .  With the price of gas and postage being high, who wants to spend more on postage than you need to?

1) Print your own shipping labels.

One of the best ways to reduce your shipping costs (and save time) is to print your shipping labels through paypal shipping. To save even more time, if you haven’t already linked your eBay account to your PayPal account for shipping, go ahead and link them. You can print your shipping labels through eBay and your postage will still be paid for by your PayPal account.

Printing your labels directly through eBay (or PayPal) saves you money because the cost of shipping PRIORITY flat rate boxes and envelopes is less if you print your postage online AND the best part is the delivery confirmation is FREE when you ship items PRIORITY mail via eBay or PayPal shipping.  Delivery confirmation on 1st class, parcel post and media mail is significantly less when you print your postage through eBay and PayPal.

This is one of the most basic ways to save money on your shipping costs, but I’m still surprised at the number of sellers out there who don’t take advantage of this savings.

2) Ship soft items in poly mailers.

When I first started selling on eBay, I shipped almost everything in a box or a bubble mailer.  Boxes and bubble mailers add weight to your packaging, which means you pay more postage to ship the item.  If you haven’t already tried poly mailers, give them a try.  They add about 1/10 of an ounce to the weight of your item.  You can ship clothing, plush toys, books, and I’ve even shipped some shoes (mostly sandals, kids shoes, anything light) wrapped in bubble wrap in poly mailers.

3) Utilize PRIORITY flat rate shipping boxes and mailers.

One of my favorite things to ship Jeans and bulky sweaters in is the PRIORITY flat rate envelope (the current rate to ship this mailer is $4.75)  I don’t even know how much it costs to ship a pair of jeans via PRIORITY mail now days, but the last time I checked, I couldn’t ship them out for under $7.99.  I found out that by folding the jeans up and putting them in a poly mailer, pushing out the excess air and then putting the poly mailer in a flat rate PRIORITY envelope, I can ship them out for about half of what it would normally cost me.  I’ve never had a pair of jeans not fit in the mailer.

I’ve also used the same method for jean skirts, and heavier sweaters (cashmere can usually ship out via 1st class for less than $4.75, so I ship them in poly mailers.)

4) Utilize USPS.com carrier pickup.

By having your mail carrier pick up your outgoing packages from home, it saves you both time (driving to the post office, standing in line) and money (gas, mileage)  my motto is “work smarter, not harder” don’t make selling online any more difficult than it needs to be.

5) Know what “class” to send your packages.

Mailing a 10 ounce item via PRIORITY mail is going to cost you a lot more than sending it 1st class.  Items being shipped within the USA that weigh 13.0 ounces or less can ship out 1st class.

13.1 ounces or higher, usually PRIORITY will be the least expensive option.  (Also, when you ship via PRIORITY mail, be familiar with the rates for the flat rate boxes and mailers, sometimes it’s less expensive to use a USPS flat rate box or mailer than it is to use your own box or polymailer and ship the item PRIORITY mail.)

Books, CD’s, DVD’s etc that are under 5 ounces are usually less expensive to ship when you use 1st class shipping.

Depending on where you live and where your item is being shipped to it will vary, but I typically find that media mail items over 6 ounces are less expensive to ship via Media Mail than they are to ship 1st Class.

Rachel

Why I Love stamps.com

June 20, 2011 by The Selling Sisters  
Filed under Shipping, Working At Home

There are so many reasons why I ♥ stamps.com. There’s not enough room in this post for me to list them all for you, so I’ll just list a few for you today and save the rest for another time.

Using stamps.com is quick and easy!

Personally, I only use it for my international packages.  It’s so much faster than filling out customs forms, and standing in line at the Post Office.  Even though eBay now offers 1st Class International shipping as an option, you still have to print out the customs form separately.  With stamps.com the customs form prints out as part of the label and you have one label to stick on your package.  It’s so handy.

stamps.com can be open and running at the same time that eBay is open on your browser, which means that I can be getting a shipping label set up to ship another item on eBay while my stamps.com label is printing out.  I am HUGE on time savers and multi tasking so, this is a great benefit for me.

stamps.com doesn’t give you the option to pay for postage via paypal, but if you use your paypal debit card to pay for postage, it’s the same as paying for it with your paypal account ;)

stamps.com is a great way to send out international items that are purchased on other selling venues besides eBay.  You can manually enter a buyers shipping address, which means you can use stamps.com for items you sell on Etsy, addoway, bonanza and any other online selling venue you currently sell on.

Rachel

Poll~Do You Offer Free Shipping?

June 16, 2011 by The Selling Sisters  
Filed under Ebay, Etsy, Polls, Shipping

Do You Offer Free Shipping?
Yes
No
pollcode.com free polls

Leave a comment if you like sharing why you do or don’t. Or talk about which items you offer free shipping on and how it’s working for you.

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