How to Use eBay - Chat - Shipping

How to Use eBay - Chat - Shipping
On November 2, 2006, BellaOnline held a chat to discuss ways of using eBay to maximize your savings.

This article is part of the eBay Chat Log. The conversation before this part was on the eBay Drop Shipping Discussion topic

Scott: Shipping can be estimated at the USPS website if you want to use them
Denise: Some put in those handy calculators based on your zip. Is that easy or useful rather than a set price?
Lisa: I do that Scott - I live in Massachusetts so I always just quote prices for 90210 because of the TV show :)
Lisbeth: I love it when people do that - estimate the shipping.
Lisa: or for my CDs I send them all priority mail which is a set $4.05. So I charge $5 shipping (because the envelope is about $1) and people *love* that they get it pretty much next day. It makes them really happy
Lisbeth: I hate it when people list something fo 2.99 buy it now and then the shipping is like, 49.99
Lisbeth: For a pashmina.
Scott: You can use the calculator, but I like to have a fixed price
Julie: Lisa is 100% right. Your title is what sells your items because 67% of buyers ONLY search the key words in titles. Someone writes in and says they haven't sold anything, 90% of the time I can look at their titles and they say something like "t-shirt" (NOT making this up). If you wanna sell, use "red tshirt t-shirt men's XL NEW"
Camille: Do you think it's OK to add a handling charge of sorts to the shipping charge?
Julie: Don't quote me on this, but that calulator has cost me more sales....I ALWAYS use Flat Rate shipping, but you need to do your research first.
Scott: Be very careful with International shipping too ... the USPS calculator is never accurate, I brought this up to an USPS employee and they told me it's because of the dimensions of the package, there's no place to put them on their website
Lisa: People would really rather just pay $x shipping even if it's a dollar or two more vs having a nebulous "I'll tell you shipping later" thing where they get nervous about what it could be
Scott: So I always over price my international shipments
Lisbeth: Oooh. Good tip.
Lisa: I've never had anybody complain about $5 to ship a CD or video game, and like I said, they're all super happy to get it right away
Scott: I agree Lisa
Lisa: It's the whole instant gratification thing.
Scott: The priority mail is very quick
Scott: and if any of you don't know this you can get free shipping materials form USPS .. boxes, envelopes etc.
Elle: Those prices are incredible - it costs AUS $1 to post a CD within Aus
Lisa: You could say "well but they only paid .99 for the game" - but to them they get an entire game delivered to them for only $6 - which they probably couldn't find anywhere else - and POOF it showed up instantly :)
Camille: Even if the item is small, send priority vs first class mail?
Elle: That's why I was saying it was a lot that people charge $6 for postage when they only pay $1 to send it
Camille: I tried the USPS website a week ago and they said sorry, try another time.
Lisa: I have a small shipping scale here in my office, it's only $15 I think and comes in really handle
Jase: i love the supplies from USPS ;00
Lisa: handy :)
Scott: I had a buyer purchase a small recipe booklet and it went to Canada, she got it for 99 cents and I and paid $2 for shipping (I based it on USPS website) but when I tried to send it, I lost like $7 or something like that
Julie: Most of the time First Class is fine for anything under 13 ounces. But if it is over 10 ounces, it is almost as much for Priority and they give you the box.
Elle: So we always take the postage cost into account with the cost of the CD - no more than $10 total
Jase: I also have a shipping account from UPS where I only pay once a month for all the shipping I did within that month. Some people don't like the USPS
Jase: and I do mandatory insurance on my items
Lisa: I use the USPS for all my shipping, they're right down the street and with priority you can print your own labels at home for free
Lisa: I've never done insurance, maybe only once with the train sets when someone asked for it
Camille: I've had people say they had problems with First class mail.
Scott: You can also check out DHL ... they also allow you to pay monthly, and they are really competitive with rates
Scott: but you don't get free boxes ;-)
Jase: I got screwed to the tune of 500 dollars because the person didn't want to purchase insurance on an item and then they said they didn't get it. I had proof I sent it but because I didn't have insurance I was responsible. Then the next shipment didn't show up but because I was resending a shipment for an uninsured shipment I had to eat the costs according to the PIP people
Jase: so always INSURE
Scott: If you send ANYTHING to Italy choose Global Express or higher, or you may end up with your item getting stalled at Customs, it happened to me with some computer OS discs, they never showed up, I lost nearly $100 because I chose the cheapest shipping (letter post)
Camille: I've used Airmail letter post many times and haven't had any problems.
Lisa: Insuring probably depends on the value of what you send - to me it wouldn't be worth it for 99 cent games, I'd lose more sales than I'd make even if 1 out of ever 400 items got lost. So far none have :)
Lisa: yup I send a lot of games and CDs overseas and so far, so good :)
Scott: Camile .. I have too ... but for some reason shipments to Italy have a hard time getting through. I recently did research on this and it appears there are a lot of things that get held going to Italy
Camille: Thanks for the chat. Good night all.
Lisa: Night, Camille :)
Scott: gnite Camile
Jase: well yes.. on a 5 dollar item insurance isn't worth it... but I sell professional beauty supply so 10-15 dollar bottles of hairspray
Jase: people buy multiples so it can get costly if you don't insure
Lisa: Jilly - what ebay sales are you thinking up for the holidays?
Scott: I use Endicia to print my postage and so far I haven't undercharged for shipping since using them, I just enter the fake address to NY in the application window before I list to get my shipping price.
Jase: does anyone use listing services?
Jase: i used to use turbolister but it got weird
Scott: I use Mpire
Lisa: I just keep an Excel spreadsheet with the auctions, end date, total amount, shipping date
Lisa: that way I have it all for tax purposes and such
Jilly: Lisa, mostly books. I have many to review. I've been lazy and giving my books to Goodwill, but I should think about getting back in the habit of eBay. it's been since Feb.
Lisa: and if someone writes I can easily see when it went out or if I got the payment
Lisa: Yup that could be a lot of money especially with people buying holiday presents now :)
Lisa: Just start with one, it's best to think one at a time :)
Lisa: Read, review, list.
Lisa: Then not only do you get the eBay listing but you could say "for a full review of this book go here" :)
Jilly: Yup, read, review, list! I like that.
Lisa: and on your review on BellaOnline you could say "To get your own copy of this book go here" so they would cross promote
Jilly: And I've done that too, said for full review go to bella. :)
Scott: Lisa ... did I tell you that eBay wouldn't allow me to place the BellaOnline link in my "ME" page ?
Lisa: That doesn't make sense, they have a spot explicitly for URLs. I put mine in there no problem
Lisa: In fact I have them in the related links as well as right in the body of the top paragraph so they're in there twice
Scott: They told me since I wasn't the owner of the site and it was a community of other sellers that I couldn't link to it
Lisa: Favorite Links says nothing about it being "your site". It's sites you *like*
Scott: They had the idea that Bella was a place where there are sellers selling items, but I tried to explain it to them
Lisa: Plus if you link directly to Online Auctions that is in fact where you write. So it has your name and photo right there
Scott: I know ... that was my argument too .. but they told me to remove the link
Lisa: That is really odd. Like I said, Favorite Links isn't about "your own sites" at all. it's just about sites you like, wherever they are
Scott: All I did was mention that I was the Online Auctions editor for BellaOnline ... someone told me they may not like the "Online Auctions" part since they may think it a competing site ... so I just used the term that I write on BellaOnline and linked it directly to the Online Auctions site
Lisa: OK so who else needs inspiration to put an eBay auction live in this coming week?
Lisa: It does sound like they thought you were competing with them :) Jeez.
Elle: It will take me a bit longer than a week to get myself sorted out :P
Denise: ditto Elle
Lisa: Don't try to do everything at once. Start small. Just do one or two things to get yourself used to the system
Elle: I think I have too much on my plate yet again *sigh*
Jilly: I had this neat idea that I could freely buy books and Dvds at Goodwill, watch them, review them and then sell them on ebay. it would be like a lifecycle.
Scott: I also want to extend an invitation to email me if any of you have questions, or get stuck with your auctions, I'll be happy to help
Lisa: That will get people looking at your items and trying something once will always inspire you with ideas
Elle: Thanks Scott
Lisa: Yes Jilly that is great, because your reviews help expose lots of other people to the books too
Denise: can I put your number on speed dial?
Denise: kidding
Jilly: that's a nice offer scott, thanks!
Denise: this has been very helpful to get me off the couch, so to speak, and get ready for what's upcoming
Denise: so thanks, Scott & Lisa
Lisa: Sometimes if you wait to have everything perfect before you start a project, you never do because there's so much to do. It's sometimes better to start just with 1 item, as a trial run
Jilly: I guess this is a good time to list things. I hate that I have gotten out of the habit and kinda have to relearn everything.
Lisa: think of it as a test, to help you get used to the system. It's always slow the first time. Then you can do more after that
Scott: We just bought a bunch of Disney Home masterpiece collection VHS tapes at a second hand store, we're going to watch them with the kids and then sell them on eBay ;-
Lisa: right exactly jilly, the longer you're away the longer it will seem to take the first time. So just do one item. It's like riding a bike, it'll come right back to you
Elle: You're right Lisa. I always get so overwhelmed when I look at the whole thing and everything that I have to do. Small steps
Jilly: see scott, you are part of the life cycle. it's important to keep things part of the stream and out of the landfill or house/clutter
Scott: Oh ... and I wanted to mention eBay usually comes out with a free listing day between now and the end of the year, which will be a great way to list everything cluttering your closets and garage
Lisa: yup exactly! One item. One listing. That way even if it takes a while, it's not a big deal. And that way you're not overwhelmed with people emailing you
Lisa: Greetings Lin :)
Lisbeth: Oooh. Free listing day sounds good.
Lisa: Yup exactly clutter is bad, clutter makes most people stressed even if they don't realize it
Lisa: Sending items out into the world to be loved is good :)
Jilly: clutter nags at the back of your mind and creates stress
Lisa: then you get money for holiday spending which is also good
Lisa: or you could buy new things to help you organize remaining clutter :)
Scott: Something else to keep in mind, if you don't have a good digital camera, there are a lot of items that can still be placed in a scanner to get decent results, especially jewelry
Jase: definately scott... that's a nice offer
Jilly: true. I just bought a bunch of handy bins that made my life much much easier
Jase: you may be getting some emails from me
Lisa: You guys should all post in his forums too, that will help his forums and we can all help each other there
Elle: It's not the camera that's the problem - it's wobble hands here :D
Scott: YA ... the auction forum needs some help ;-)
Jase: wow, my stuff took forever to come up
Scott: I keep deleting the spam and not much happening there
Lisa: We'll get it going with our questions :)
Elle: I'll come visit you Scott
Scott: Sweeeeet ;-)
Jase: I'll come visit you too.. my forums are too active ;0)
Julie: You can use something like Turbo Lister (eBay's free software) to get your items ready to list. Then when they do a listing sale, upload them all at once.
Scott: I just have to remind myself to keep checking in ... I get so side tracked, and I have enough going on in my head to write more articles than I have ;-)
Scott: I know of a seller that will list his items two times and if they dont sell the second time, he stores it and re-lists them on free listing day and starts them at a penny just to get rid of them .. he sells 99% of them
Lisa: It's 11pm EST - I don't mean to keep Scott all night :) Any final questions for him?
Scott: This chat has also helped me see what else I can write about
Denise: Thank you for a VERY helpful chat. G'night
Elle: I've got enough to mull over for now - any further questions I will ask on Scott's forum :)
Scott: Thanks for coming Denise, g'nite

The conversation then moved on to Photos on eBay

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