A couple of weeks ago, eBay finally got around to giving sellers the ability to ship their 1st Class International packages from home. It’s about time.
My first thought was YAY!!!!
I haven’t even been able to test it out yet, but I have used stamps.com twice since then to ship 1st Class International items that sold on other venues because paypal shipping doesn’t give it’s users the ability to ship 1st Class International packages from the comfort of their own home or office.
I’ve heard some people say they really aren’t too convinced that Stamps.com is going to benefit them.
It’s a HUGE time saver for me. It fills out the customs form for you and prints out on one label…….so unless you really look forward to standing in line at the Post Office and handwriting your customs forms, then stamps.com is a great option for you.
One concern I hear from sellers (and this was a concern of mine when I started using stamps.com) is that you have to pay for postage using a credit or debit card, you can’t pay directly from your PayPal account……..but there is a way around that. You can use your PayPal debit card to pay for the postage That way, it comes directly out of your PayPal account and you earn cash back from PayPal too.
If you haven’t taken a look at Stamps.com or given it a try…….take a peek at it this week and see what you think.
You’ve been busy listing items on eBay (or Etsy) and your first item sold!!! After the excitement settles down, reality sets in and the question “Now how am I going to ship this?” comes to mind.
When I started selling on eBay, not knowing what else to do, I mailed almost everything out in bubble mailers or card board boxes. I used a black permanent marker and wrote my return address and the buyers address on the package, used the sticker form of delivery confirmation, drove to the Post Office, stood in line, and paid for my packages a few times a week as I had items that were paid for.
After using this method for a few months, I began to search for ways to make my shipping process more efficient and less expensive.
First of all, I discovered that I could easily ship my packages out from home. All I needed was a scale. I bought a postal scale at our local Post Office (they can also be purchased on eBay.) and the money I saved on online delivery confirmation in the first month more than paid for the scale.
After I bought my scale, I was able to ship items out using paypal shipping. (there are a few other sources you can use to ship, but paypal is quick and easy and I like having all of my transactions on one site.)
To ship out an item using paypal shipping, all you have to do is click on “print shipping label” from your sold items section on your “my eBay” page. You will need to link your eBay and paypal accounts so your two accounts can share the information they need about the transaction so you can ship it out.
When you weigh your items, your scale will tell you that it’s 10.4oz or 1lb 3.2 oz, etc. You’ll want to always round the ounces up so that your customer doesn’t incur a postage due charge from the Post Office.
Items that are 13.0 ounces and under can ship out 1st Class, but items that are 13.1 ounces either have to ship out Priority or Parcel Post. (under the current USPS rates, Priority is less expensive or just a few cents more than Parcel Post in most cases.)
The Post Office offers free FLAT RATE shipping envelopes and several different sized boxes. The materials are free, you just pay for the postage. (Flat Rate means that no matter how much the box weighs, up to 70 lbs, you pay the same set shipping rate for it.) I stock up on the flat rate envelopes and medium flat rate boxes, they come in handy for many of the items I ship out. The best part about Priority shipping when you ship out via Paypal is that the delivery confirmation is FREE That’s a HUGE money saver right there.
When you ship items 1st Class or Parcel Post via Paypal, the delivery confirmation is .19. When you pay for it at the Post Office delivery confirmation is .85 (it’s been so long since I’ve paid for delivery confirmation at the Post Office that number may be off a bit, but it’s around .85) So already, you can see there’s a great benefit to shipping online, besides not having to write everything out and stand in line at the Post Office.
I try to ship as many items as I can in poly mailers or Priority flat rate mailers from the Post Office to keep my shipping costs as low as possible.
Poly mailers are very light weight and durable, they add only a fraction of an ounce to your shipping weight, where a box will add several ounces to the items’ shipping weight. I buy my poly mailers on eBay, I haven’t found a local supplier of them and they are very reasonable on eBay.
I can’t say enough about the flat rate Priority envelopes and boxes. One of my favorite things about them is that when you use them to ship online, not only is the delivery confirmation FREE, but you pay LESS when you ship from home than if you stood in line and paid for them at the Post Office. Currently, the flat rate Priority envelope is $4.95 at the Post Office (not including delivery confirmation.) When I use them to ship items, I pay $4.75 for shipping AND that includes the delivery confirmation.
Are you seeing now how shipping from home is not only a time saver, but a great way to bring down your shipping costs? There are so many things you can fit in a flat rate Priority envelope that would cost you a lot more to mail regular Priority or Parcel Post. This is a tool to use to increase your shipping time DSR’s too!
Another thing I’ve been doing recently to make my shipping process more efficient is using peel and stick labels to print my shipping labels on. I used to use so much paper and packing tape every month just attaching labels to the packages, and it is so much faster to print the label out and stick it on the package.
** On your paypal shipping settings, you’ll want to turn the receipt off so it won’t print the label on one label and the receipt on the other label.
**Paypal shipping uses a lot of ink to print the labels, but if you print them out on the lowest setting on your printer (mine is “fast draft”) they’ll still look fantastic and save you a lot of ink. Even if your cartridge is running low, 99% of the time, paypal labels will still print out just fine.
Last, but not least, I set my packages outside my front door and my mail carrier picks them up for me. No more daily trips to the Post Office As long as you are shipping out at least 1 package that is Priority, you can schedule your carrier to pick up right from your home. I love it, this has been a huge time saver for me and just one less thing to be on my “to do” list each day. Another great thing about doing it this way is that since our Post Office is closed on Saturday, it allows me to get my items out on Saturday and customers are pleasantly surprised when an item they ordered on Friday arrives at their door on Monday or Tuesday.
Here’s my list of shipping supplies:
* Postal Scale
*Priority boxes and envelopes
*Poly Mailers (various sizes)
*Thank you note to buyers
**This post entered in “We Are That Family’s Works for Me Thread. Find other Works for me tips here.**