Start Selling on eBay in 2015 – Part 6

Feb 10

Start Selling on eBay in 2015 – Part 6

I’m continuing the Start Selling on eBay tutorial series that I started last November. The goal of the tutorial is too get you set up on eBay and PayPal, earning feedback, and start earning money by selling things you already have.

Start Selling on eBay Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3Part 4 Part 5

At this point, I hope you have a few things listed and you’re on way to growing your eBay business. If you ever have any questions please contact me or leave a question in the comments.

Today we’re going to talk about shipping.

Postal Scale

If you don’t already have a postal scale, get one. I bought a great bundle from an eBay seller. It included a postage scale that went up to 50 pounds, printable labels and some envelopes. You can find postal scales on eBay for less than $40.

I wanted a scale that went up to 50 pounds because we also ship to Amazon’s FBA program and those boxes can get heavy. Other reasons to have a postal scale:

  • No more guessing on shipping weight when you’re listing your items.
  • Able to print shipping labels using your eBay discount.
  • Saving time because you can drop off your packages or have them picked up instead of mailing from the post office.

Calculated or Flat Rate

I use calculated shipping on our listings. This way, no matter where the person is in the country, they will get the shipping for their area. I don’t like trying to figure out flat rate because it’s completely different to ship coast-to-coast.

International Shipping

I use eBay’s Global Shipping Program to ship internationally. Most countries are covered by this program. All you have to do as a seller is ship the product to the eBay center in Kentucky. Once this is done, eBay takes over from there.

Yes, fees are higher for the customer. That’s partly for the convenience eBay offers but they are also charging any import fees or taxes to the customer. This is something charged by that country’s government, not by eBay, and it’s not something you control as a seller. I like this option as a seller for several reasons.

  • Once I ship it to Kentucky my part is done.
  • If the buyer doesn’t receive the item, eBay handles the claims.
  • eBay handles all paperwork for the international shipment.


The alternative to the Global Shipping Program is Priority Mail International. This shipping method includes tracking so you’re able to let the customer know where the package is and what’s happening. This is the only way I’ll ship internationally.

Should You Ship International?

My answer is yes, you should. There is a huge world out there and you never know who may want your item. If you need help with the customs forms, the Post Office will help you. The Global Shipping Program is another great service offered by eBay, so if you’re going to ship internationally take advantage of it. It protects both you and the buyer in case something happens to your item. Don’t be afraid to ship internationally. Yes, things may go wrong, but they can also go wrong when shipping to the next state. Don’t let the fear of an item getting lost keep you from making a sale.

Shipping Errors

Everyone has done it. You’ll sell an item and end up getting less for shipping than the actual cost. You basically have three choices – take the loss and ship the item, email the customer and ask them to cover the discrepancy, or refund the buyer’s money and cancel the sale.

We have canceled a sale before because Bonanza made a mistake on shipping when importing our eBay items. It was a $10 difference in shipping that we just couldn’t cover. We told the customer about the issue, canceled the sale and refunded his money. We now double check on both our eBay listings and Bonanza to make sure the shipping weight and settings are correct.

If a shipping issue is less than $5, we’ll cover the difference and ship the item.

This is a situation where a postal scale is helpful. Don’t guess about the weight of your item, especially when it may be fragile and needs to be packed to avoid breaking. A bathroom scale won’t be accurate.

In many cases, especially for a breakable item, when I create the listing I will weigh the item inside of a box with packing material just to get a better approximate weight of the packed item. This helps minimize even small issues with shipping.

Should You Offer Free Shipping?

I don’t, although many other sellers do.

In order to offer free shipping, you’ll need to make sure that what you make from the item is high enough to cover the shipping cost. This means adding about $5 or $10 or more to your item to cover the shipping. You still want to make money on your item after the shipping fees. Experiment with this. If you research something and find most sellers are offering free shipping, make a listing and see if it works for you.

Any Questions?

Do you have any questions about shipping the items you sell on eBay? Ask in the comments or get in touch on Facebook or Twitter

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