When it comes to selling products on eBay, one problem you might have is overly expensive USPS shipping costs. As an eBay seller, this could really eat into your bottom line across the year. That can be hugely frustrating and could see your income unfairly slashed and damaged. If you want to try and avoid spending so much on UPS shipping rates, though, there are some smart solutions available. In this article, we will break down some of the most effective ways to avoid spending so much on shipping and get the best USPS rates for every package you send.
1. Choosing a shipping solution that fits your needs
One of the most important things to look at, then, is the type of shipping that you go for. You will know yourself how often people message you asking to cover their shipping costs or provide cheaper shipping options. Sometimes, that is simply not possible. USPS rates are set as they are: you will often need to accept less money for your product to provide such a discount.
There are some common ways to help make sure you can get a more affordable package put together, though. For example, many eBay sellers will choose to supply what is known as flat fee shipping for their products. You set a single flat fee for all shipping requests, regardless of where it is going. To do this, though, you need to spend a fair amount of time looking into the kind of shipping costs that other eBay sellers are charging for related items.
Look around. If you notice a bit of a trend in shipping prices and fees, then you could always mimic that pricing rate.
Another form of shipping that you could work with is known as calculated shipping. This is a common choice for eBay sellers. You will need to get a USPS shipping calculator to help you work out the calculation costs for yourself, though. It would mean that you use the default eBay shipping calculator system and a USPS shipping calculator to help determine shipping rates based on size, dimension, and the location of the potential customer.
This allows for you to have total control over each sale, and this is especially useful for selling internationally. A domestic sale is obviously easier to price and package than a cross-continental sale, so keep that in mind. Since this is calculated in line with the USPS, you will find it much easier to get fair and honest prices for all of your packaging.
Your other primary option would be to consider using a local pick-up option. This is most suitable when you are targeting a more localized customer base. If you sell expensive to ship items like furniture, you could set a local pick-up point and handle delivery that way. It could be better, too, for those who are selling vintage and fragile equipment that would run the risk of being broken or damaged during normal shipping transit.
2. How to reduce your shipping costs
The other thing to remember with eBay is that people tend to be here looking for a bargain. As such, large shipping costs will put off people from buying the products you are selling. While free shipping is often not an economic reality for most small sellers, it is something you should consider for products where you can absorb the shipping cost and keep a healthy profit.
The one thing you need to do, though, is be clear about shipping costs up-front. Hiding away shipping costs or trying to disguise them will put a lot of people off buying from you. It will also chase away first-time customers, making them unlikely to come back again. What you should look to do, for example, is offer some form of tiered pricing.
If people can wait, you can offer a slower delivery but more affordable pricing for shipping. This would take more time to arrive but would cost the buyer less. If they want the product faster, though, they should need to pay for the faster delivery as you will likely need to use something like UPS 3 Day Select, UPS 2nd Day Air or even UPS Next Day Air.
Always take the time to investigate the locations of any of your customers, too. You might need to offer even more tiered pricing if you are selling items that could cross continents. Consider things like shipping costs across the continents, and other things like customs fees.
3. Further ways to cut down on shipping costs
If you want to cut down on shipping costs, though, start packing your items much more precisely. Many of us end up stuffing things like a single piece of clothing into a box that could have easily taken three or four pieces of clothing. Spending a little on specific storage for your items can help you to save a lot in wasted shipping fees. Start packing things in appropriately sized boxes, and you will spend a lot less on shipping due to reduced dimensions. The most common kinds of fitting that you might need for eBay selling includes:
- Boxes in 8x8x12 size or 6x6x7 cube size for smaller packaging.
- Envelopes, Tyvek envelopes and flat-rate envelopes.
- Shirt boxes and shoe boxes.
- DVD-shaped boxes.
This should give you a happy medium and a good balance for each kind of item that you may be selling. You can buy most of these from Walmart or even Dollar Trees, so you can quickly get affordable shipping solutions for each item that you sell. Luckily, you may also get free shipping supplies from USPS. Again, space is important: do not waste it. Most of the shipping will be based on the size of the shipment, so keep that in mind: it could save you from wasting a lot of valuable space and thus reduce your annual shipping costs.
As an eBay seller, you need to be smart about what you use and do not use. Giving your customers options and being smart with packaging arrangements is a simple but effective step to making the most of modern shipping options.