Growing a small business on eBay isn’t just about selling more items. You also have to sell smarter. And that involves using your time wisely, being more efficient, and building your brand.
One way to do that is to streamline one of the biggest parts of your everyday eBay life: Shipping.
Here are some best practices to help you save time and money, and sell smarter:
Before the Sale
1. Carefully choose your handling time and get more perks
Every time you list an item, you also set your handling time—the number of business days between when you receive payment and deliver the package to your postal carrier. Of course, buyers like to get their items fast—so the sooner you ship, the happier they’ll be.
However, if you can commit to a same-day or one-day handling time with your items and offer free, expedited or standard shipping, you’ll increase the likelihood that the Fast N’ Free logo will display automatically in your listings. This alone can boost your sales by up to 11%.*
Also, if you’re a Top Rated seller, same-day and one-day handling gets you one step closer to qualifying for Top Rated Plus benefits, like 20% off final value fees.
2. Increase your exposure with the Global Shipping Program
To broaden your ecommerce horizons, and sell to millions more buyers in more than sixty countries, all you have to do is opt into the Global Shipping Program through your Account Settings.
Then, when you’re listing, if your item is eligible for sale in international markets, you’ll simply click the button under International Shipping.
When your item sells, you don’t have to worry about managing forms, calculating import charges, or arranging global logistics. Just send your package to the Global Shipping Center in Kentucky, and the rest is taken care of for you—complete with end-to-end tracking. You’re a global exporter, just like that.
3. Use eBay labels to save money and meet the On-Time Shipping metric
When setting up your listing, you’ll need to select a carrier. And if you plan to use eBay labels to create and print USPS or FedEx shipping labels right from your computer or mobile device, you can save time and avoid standing in line at the post office or FedEx.
Your labels print auto-filled with your buyer’s shipping information, you get a discounted rate on postage (25% on domestic USPS Priority Mail), and tracking is automatically included.
This tracking will not only help your buyer monitor the progress of their package, but it will also help you meet the new On-Time Shipping requirement.
After the Sale
4. Save time and add polish with professional packing supplies
Once you’ve sold an item, show your customers that you mean business with high-quality packing supplies.
Like Professor Griff says, your supplies are actually a reflection of your business, as well as your personal brand. So avoid re-using boxes that are weakened or covered with shipping labels.
Having a good supply of shipping materials on-hand will also help you input accurate package dimensions during the listing process. Plus, you’ll save time, and never scramble for the right-sized box again.
Then you can schedule a free USPS carrier pickup, or drop your packages at any staffed FedEx location.
5. Increase customer satisfaction and save time with eBay returns
These days, returns are just a normal part of doing business. And though it may seem counterintuitive, many sellers tell us that having a flexible return policy actually helps them sell more. This Washington Post article seems to support that.
Sometimes shoppers just need the added peace of mind when it comes to buying something online that they can’t touch or feel.
Plus, with eBay Returns, you don’t have to waste time tracking down packages, issuing refunds, and sending return labels. The process can be fully automated. All you have to do is set your return preferences, and move on to the more important stuff.
Now you can say goodbye to those snaking lines at the post office, sayonara to paying full price for shipping, and good riddance to rifling through your shipping center for the right supplies. You’ll move on to hiring help (to get all of your inventory listed), boosting your sales with better product photography, or optimizing your listings for mobile. You decide.
Are you already using some of these eBay shipping tools? Tell us about your favorites in the comments below.
Also, feel free to send this article to your eBay colleagues, and share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
*Percentage calculated is based on sales of listings that converted to Fast ’N Free. Individual seller results may vary. Percentage increase in sales depends on, among other things, item price, inventory, shipping cost, shipping speed offered, and historical performance of seller. Calculation assumes that sellers don’t increase the item price while making these changes.
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