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How Multiple Shipping Options Can Speed Up Your Sales

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Verified Blogger
Verified Blogger
Last Edited , 08:56:58 AM

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Know what S&H stands for? That’s right, it’s shipping and handling. The two topics are inseparable. Nothing gets shipped before it’s handled.

 

But why, then, isn’t it handling and shipping (H&S)?

 

I’ll leave that puzzle for another day. Right now, I have shipping on the brain. Our analytics team recently published these tips for faster sales, and I’m particularly interested in these two findings:

 

  • Quicker handling times (two days or less) can result in 8% faster sales.
  • Offering multiple shipping options can help you sell items 10% faster.

Online retailers (especially those advertising “two-hour” handling times) are changing the larger ecommerce game. To be blunt, buyers want their stuff faster than ever. And, if you want to compete, you may need to step up your S&H game. The benefit to you? More sales, quicker.

 

More shipping options lead to faster sales.

Since we already talked about how to tighten up your handling times, let’s focus exclusively on the shipping part of this equation. Buyers want more control over when they’ll receive their item(s)—and they’re willing to pay for it.

 

If you want to sell more, and more quickly, it’s time to offer multiple shipping options to your buyers. Here’s how to do it.

 

1. How to add multiple shipping options to new listings.

 

When listing an item, simply click on the Offer additional service option in the Shipping details section. You can click on it each time you want to add an extra shipping option. For example, if you’re accustomed to shipping FedEx SmartPost, you might want to add a USPS Priority Mail (1 to 3 business days) option for buyers that want/need their items in a more expedient fashion.

 

Multiple shipping options.png

 

Also, if you normally offer free shipping, you can continue to do so while adding an expedited option paid for by the buyer. What about international shipping through the Global Shipping Program? Just offer that as usual and select your flat or calculated rate.

 

2. How to add multiple shipping options to existing listings.

 

If you want to revise an existing listing, go into Seller Hub, click on the Listings drop down menu, hit Active, and select the item you want to alter. Then, click Edit and follow the instructions in step one to add extra shipping options. If you don’t use Seller Hub, you can go through My eBay, view your Active listings, and proceed with the rest of the instructions here.

 

If you’d like to edit multiple listings at once, select each one in the Active listings section, hit the Edit dropdown menu, choose Edit selected, and then click on Edit fields to add a new shipping option (or more than one).

 multipe shipping 2.jpg

 

Some of you might be thinking, “I don’t have time for an extra step,” or “My S&H practices are fine just the way they are.” That’s perfectly okay. Just know that we’ll always report on changes in the industry, as well as how you can adjust to them—especially if it means helping you sell more, and faster.

 

Feel free to share this article with your eBay colleagues via email, and on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

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25 Comments
by | Updated by prairieprimitives
alexj*
Adventurer

I think that offering multiple shipping options is a great idea. I have had many buyers use it when they need something quick. Great article!

by | Updated by prairieprimitives
Verified Blogger
Verified Blogger

Glad you're on board @kudo_king! You'll reap the benefits. ~S

by | Updated by prairieprimitives

I'm usually not able to offer multiple shipping options, especially when most of my magazines weigh from 1 pound to 5 pounds. Priority Flat Rate Envelope is just about the only option available.

by | Updated by prairieprimitives
visionranking
Enthusiast

My profit margin has increased since I use multiple shipping option.

by | Updated by prairieprimitives
rxosharob
Rising Star

Having never used the Additional Shipping option, I'm curious if there's an additional fee also? 

by | Updated by prairieprimitives
bercrystal
Thrill-Seeker

I have always offered multiple shipping options. I have bent over backwards to ensure my buyers have gotten their items as fast as humanly possible by shipping the same day or the next business day. I have even on occasion mailed stuff on a Saturday when asked or if I happened to be going in the direction of the post office before 2:00.

 

I have also changed the way I list items so that buyers using their mobile app can access my items by streamlining my listings. I offer 30 day returns. My feedback is exemplary. I do not offer free shipping because there is no such thing as free shipping. If I added my shipping costs to most of my items, that would be ripping off the buyers who live in the south, mid-west & east coast. I would much rather offer calculated shipping & offer the options that would accomodate the item.

 

However even after all of this my sales in the last few months have reeked. I am on track to having on of the worst months in the 16 years I have been selling on ebay.

 

Ebay needs to stop pandering to the big box sellers & the Chinese sellers or at least make them play by the same rules as us small sellers.

by | Updated by prairieprimitives
bluespruce643
Pathfinder

 Info for readabouthorses....Have you thought about offering USPS Media Mail as a shipping alternative?  This might be an option for you.

by | Updated by prairieprimitives
angelsark2u
Adventurer

Right now the eBay shipping system is experiening serious difficulties in printing labels.  Many sellers, such as myself, cannot print labels from eBay and thus are losing our discounts.  Tech support has promised to fix this.  Do you know when that will be?

 

Thanks!

 

by | Updated by prairieprimitives
takingbackmycloset
Trailblazer

I must be the exception to this. I've offered different shipping options, offered free shipping, lowered prices, raised prices, I tweak and re tweak. Year to date sales are down, profits are down and costs are up. I'm not impressed. 

by | Updated by prairieprimitives
scorpiobabes
Rising Star

I ship magazines first class, or upgrade to Priority, but mine are usually less than a pound. I can't send them Media Mail because there is advertising in them, bluespruce.

by | Updated by prairieprimitives
rxosharob
Rising Star

 PLEASE someone tell me how to turn off notifications for this post. I wish I had never checked the box!

by | Updated by prairieprimitives
lilillan8
Enthusiast
I offer a variety of transportation options,Free shipping,But no effect. Will try again, thank you for sharing!
by | Updated by prairieprimitives
bizness4you
Pathfinder

We'll give it a try and see if anything changes!

by | Updated by prairieprimitives
zincwhiskers2010
Rising Star

I've been selling for about 3 years and have always offered both an "economy" shipping option as well as an "expedited" one.   99.9% of customers choose the economy option - two reasons why - first of course because it is cheaper.   But I think the main reason is because it is the first option that appears in the invoice - my expited option appears somewhere at the bottom as "Other shipping options" and most buyers don't even see it.   I've even had people ask me, after they have paid for economy, if I had an expited option available.   

 

I think the way invoices are organized and presented to the buyer should be improved to give equal visual weight to all of the shipping options.   

 

Another interesting nugget here is that the USPS discount for eBay sellers who purchase their postage through the eBay orders page will typically be offered ZERO discount for economy (USPS Parcel Select ground), but up to 40% for the priority services.   So, 9 times out of 10 my buyers pay for Parcel Select ground and I'm able to "upgrade" them to Priority because the net cost to me is either the same as what they paid for economy or even less - if it's more than $1, I send them a refund.   This makes the buyers very happy - they get their item much faster than they expected to and sometimes they even get a refund.  

by | Updated by prairieprimitives
surfcityjrl
Adventurer

 I've changed my listings also to offer free shipping, I've tried to reduce shipping costs even though USPS has raised rates. My sales are horrible these last 9-10 months. I can't compete with China selling something for .01 and free shipping. And the big box sellers can charge $2.00 and free shipping for items. I sell vintage/pre owned items and for shipping I only charge exactly what the weight of the item is and I still get buyers asking for lowball prices. If I price something at $10 and free shipping, I get buyers asking if they can purchase it at $5 and free shipping. So many times I have to tell them "I wish I could do this for free". It feels as if eBay is abandoning the little seller and turning into Alibaba or Mercari. 

by | Updated by prairieprimitives
ais_emb
Adventurer

I currently offer free USPS First Class shipping on most of my auction items.  I love the idea of adding a Priority option that my buyers can select if they want their item quickly.  I wonder if being able to pay to expedite shipping would be much of an incentive though if the auction still has 6-7 days before ending. I wish that I could offer a buy it now option on those listings to expedite the process even more for them.  It doesn't make sense for me to have to pay extra to list buy it now though on the off chance that a buyer might make an immediate purchase and expedite their shipping.   How about not charging us to add a buy it now option to auction listings that offer multiple expedited shipping options??  :-) 

by | Updated by prairieprimitives
autocoolingsupply
Adventurer

I ship most items USPS as they are small items and shipping is affordable. I offer additional shipping options like Priority and Priority Express also. As a caution to sellers in doing this, I try to describe in my listings that Priority is not guarenteed and some Priority Express sometimes takes two days, not one, depending on the buyers location. It may deture negative feeback by pionting this out prior to their purchase.

by | Updated by prairieprimitives
magicsue2016
Adventurer

 I have always offered more than one shipping method to my buyers, and I've been selling on eBay since 2001.  If it is light enough to be shipped via 1st Class mail, then that is offered along with a second option of Priority Mail.  If over a pound, then I offer Parcel Select and Priority Mail.  I would say that 99% of the time my buyers will go with the cheapest option (i.e., Parcel Select and NOT Priotity Mail) mainly because they do not want to pay the higher shipping cost.  AND as zincwhiskers2010 mentioned above, when a buyer gets an invoice, the less expensive method of shipping is the first option that appears on the invoice - the expited option appears somewhere at the bottom as "Other shipping options" and most buyers don't even see it.   I've even had people ask me, after they have paid for economy, if I had an expited option available.  I know why eBay does this, so the poor buyer doesn't get confused in which box to check for which shipping method.  That seriously needs to be changed.  I, too, have tried just about everything imaginable to increase sales and free shipping does not help - it seems to me that most buyers are smart enough to realize that the shipping is not really free, that they are paying for it in one way or another.  I have always sold antique and vintage collectibles and my sales are way down.  I realy hate the "best match" option when doing searches (or when my potential buyers are doing searches).  I go to all the trouble of keeping my "Top Rated Seller" rating, but my items do not seem to appear ahead of other items listed, especially those from China (if it's applicable to the item I am selling).  I sell unique and often one-of-a-kind items and you can't tell me buyers are not out there for my items - I think they look at eBay these days as just somewhere to buy from big-box sellers and have entirely forgotten about the roots of eBay with antique and collectible items.  It's just all crazy!!!

by | Updated by prairieprimitives
tide_redux
Scout

I offered both USPS parcel select and priority mail with the buyers almost always choosing parcel select.  But no matter which they choose, I ship priority as the discounted priority rate is almost always close to the economy rate.  If someone does pay for priority I give them a refund equal to the discount amount if it is more than $1.

 

Displaying the lower rate in the listing has increased sales and I think receiving it faster than expected has resulted in satisfied customers who remain loyal, repeat buyers.

by | Updated by prairieprimitives
prairieprimitives
Adventurer

I've sold on eBay since 1998, and always offer multiple shipping options when appropriate. However, I found it much, much, MUCH easier to do this before eBay started using the shipping profiles. 

by | Updated by prairieprimitives
ybh1969
Rising Star

Why is this option not available on shipping policy (in Business Policy)?

by | Updated by prairieprimitives
shanfields-meyers
Adventurer

SHIPPING TIME is hampered and delalyed by very delicaate items needing not only time but the expertise in packing properly. WE sell dinnerware and crystal and packing is always a challange. We cannot be rushed

by | Updated by prairieprimitives
jacksgirls
Adventurer

I've recently started listing items again but I don't have the option you're tlaking about, in fact I've been searching for it.  What happened to this option, I've searched for it everywhere.  I like to do 3 day priority but if you're across the country this shows up at a ridiculous price around $50.00.  If I go ahead and use USPS Parcel Select Ground which is so much cheaper, there's no option to include insurance which I loose when I give up 3 day priority.  Please tell me how to offer these options and to add insurance, if necessary, to the total price.

by | Updated by prairieprimitives
wasgordon
Adventurer

 I personally find it amazing that Ebay is charging a final valuation fee on postage.  I'm surprised no one commented on that change.  Sometimes I loose money on postage AND pay Ebay a final valuation fee.  That's just ridiculous.

by | Updated by prairieprimitives
prairieprimitives
Adventurer

@wasgordon  I agree that eBay charging a FVF on the shipping IS ridiculous, but it's hardly a new change. This started several years ago! 

 

I understand why they're doing it, but I don't think it's right OR user-friendly. But until it starts hurting their bottom line (which probably won't happen) or it's ruled unconstitutional, I doubt it changes.