Shipping on eBay: 3 Huge Mistakes to Avoid When Selling on eBay
So you’ve listed an item, and it has sold. Great! Now for the shipping part. As it turns out, knowing how to ship the best way doesn’t necessarily come without having to go through a learning curve. There are a couple of common shipping mistakes I see beginners and even intermediates making all the time when they’re selling on eBay. Correcting these simple mistakes will save you time and money.
Mistake #1: You’re Using an Inkjet Printer
Trust me on this one. Don’t use inkjet printers. That ink is expensive, and the printing itself is just super slow. Get yourself a nice printer that uses toner. It’s cheaper, and it’s faster. An inkjet printer will take up to 30 seconds to print out each label. A laser printer will literally take a few seconds. It may not seem like a big time difference, but it does add up.
Go check out some laser printers. There are some great ones out there, and they honestly are not that expensive. So just save yourself some time and money and do it.
Mistake #2: You Aren’t Getting Shipping Boxes from the US Postal Service
There’s nothing more frustrating than getting ready to ship but first having to scrounge around trying to find a shipping box. The secret is to go to a website—the USPS website. Yes, I’m talking about the good ol’ US Postal Service. You can order a whole bunch of free shipping boxes. You can get the regional A boxes and the regional B boxes—they ship based on weight and location. You can get flat rate boxes and flat rate padded envelopes. You can get all different types of priority shipping boxes. The best part is that
this is all free—literally free.
If you don’t have the proper boxes at home when you’re shipping, you’re going to be wasting money in extra shipping costs. You might be thinking yourself, “Steve, who cares if I pay an extra dollar or two?” Well, when you are running this like a business, those are the margins that can either make or break you. If you can save yourself some money and have a convenient, free supply of boxes, why wouldn’t you take advantage of that?
Mistake #3: You Have No System for Storing Inventory
OK, you’ve sold an item and even have that great USPS box to ship it in. Now, just where did you put it? If you have any kind of inventory, you don’t want to be taking forever to find your items to ship them out. Time is money, and if you are regularly taking 25 minutes to find one item, well, that’s just wasted time when you could have been listing more items and making more money.
You need some kind of system to keep track of where things are. For example, you could get some boxes or bins. And then when you list your item, just record the box or bin number inside the eBay listing. That way you won’t be scrambling to find an item every time you get a sale.
The Learning Curve
I can tell you about these mistakes because I’ve made them too. I’m sure you’ve made these mistakes. Maybe you’re making these mistakes currently. But it’s no big deal. Choose one thing that you can improve on and work on that. And then maybe a couple of weeks later, focus on something else. Pretty soon your shipping operation will be running much more smoothly.
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