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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

RW7_021617_Social_620x400_blogheader.jpg

 

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.

36 Comments
by vintige · Thrill-Seeker
vintige
Thrill-Seeker

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!

Verified Blogger
Verified Blogger

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

by readabouthorses · Guide

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.

visionranking
Enthusiast

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

by rxosharob · Adventurer
rxosharob
Adventurer

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

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.

bluespruce643
Pathfinder

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

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!

 

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. 

scorpiobabes
Adventurer

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 rxosharob · Adventurer
rxosharob
Adventurer

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

by lilillan8 · Adventurer
lilillan8
Adventurer
I offer a variety of transportation options,Free shipping,But no effect. Will try again, thank you for sharing!
bizness4you
Adventurer

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

zincwhiskers2010
Adventurer

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.  

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 ais_emb · Adventurer
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??  :-) 

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.

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 tide_redux · Scout
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.

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 ybh1969 · Rising Star
ybh1969
Rising Star

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

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 jacksgirls · Adventurer
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 wasgordon · Adventurer
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.

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. 

by 4salesf · Adventurer
4salesf
Adventurer

Fix the bug in your shipping calculator before you tell us to offer these shipping options.  

 

Anyone who's sales suck and use calculated shipping should check how your listings are appearing.  I found out my items were showing up at the bottom of a sorted listed by lowest price and shipping.  eBay was displaying a much higher shipping amount for all my calculated shipping listings.   Reported the problem months ago.  Never fixed.   I just offer flat rate shipping now.  

 

prairieprimitives
Adventurer

@sfnew4you Sorry that the shipping calculator isn't working for you. I just checked my items and they're all showing $3.03 postage which is perfectly normal. 

 

Now if anyone can explain why all of my items that have certain words in the title aren't in the search results when I search for those words; I am searching while logged out and using another browser which I don't use to buy or sell on eBay. Depending on the words I search for, I see between 2 and 5 items, yet all 5 items have those words. What's going on here?

by sfdogpatch · Adventurer
sfdogpatch
Adventurer

I should have been more specific.    USPS show up fine.  If you have smartpost or FedEx as the first shipping option it's going to display a random higher shipping amount.    

 

I also have items that are not showing up when I search for words in the title.  I've tired ending those listings and creating an totally new one and It doesn't fix it.   Other people's stuff come up when I search for the same word but not mine.   If I search for other words in my title it shows up but not it's main model number.  

prairieprimitives
Adventurer

Thanks for the clarification about that! 

 

Glad to know I'm not alone with the funky search results ... and I'm happy that eBay isn't the only venue in town! 

by onairvet3 · Rising Star
onairvet3
Rising Star

Why aren't there any comments about using the multi-channel FBA via Amazon for those who find it difficuly to pack and ship their own products?  Have any of you have tried this and does it work effectively?

 

onairvet

sunland_marketplace
Adventurer

How do I get my listing to offer economy shipping to me when I print up the postage / label?

Whenever I sell something there isn't an economy shipping option.  My only option is first class which automatically costs me $2.61 no matter what I sell!  

If there is a way to do this, I appreciate the help.

 

Thanks in advance

prairieprimitives
Adventurer

USPS doesn't have a service called "economy shipping." First Class Parcel, which is what you're getting for $2.61, is the least expensive shipping option with tracking.

by jetson519 · Adventurer
jetson519
Adventurer

"visionranking" states, "My profit margin has increased since I use multiple shipping option."

Yet when I check, they have no sales or listings. How can that be?

They seen to be an Ebay blogger though.

by jetson519 · Adventurer
jetson519
Adventurer

"pirate snoopy" says... "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!"

 When I go to your listing page, you have only sold 1 item in the last 12 months and have no listings. Is that possible?  How have many buyers used it? Could you please share?

Thank you very much.

trilobite1949
Adventurer

I understand the trilateral trade agreement and the inexpensive shipping to USA.

There is also a loophole where they ship at same prices to drop off depots in California or other Hubs and list item in USA location.

Then item receives a USPS tracking label for a 49 cent fee when DHL picks up and drops at a USPS center.

The 49cents is paid by a subsidy from China to flood market with Chinese goods.

The hub takes a 99 cent fee which is actually just a warehouse

The hub then declares no taxes and run as a loss.

The hub is used as a tax shelter.

 

So their shipping is  1.21 using the hub. And they get to list a US location.

The trilateral agreement is sketchy on this dealing but has not been enforced

 

Check the member even if it says US location

Many from CA are Chinese sellers with no merchandise  and use the hub.

 

 

Now your must read the trilateral agreement

Losses incurred in it are fully reimburse able by the US post office the seller pays still about 99 cents for this listing in USA.

 

More expensive than the 22 cents but from China directly but people think this is a USA item.

The US post office lost  over 79 billions dollars in 2015 because of this program and probably must more at the cost to the US taxpayer.

 

 

 

I have called my congressman and they never heard of trilateral agreement.

 

by donluth · Adventurer
donluth
Adventurer

Final Value Fees on Shipping almost made me sling my pc into a tree. Why not just say 20% final value fee instead of trying to be like an ATT bill? I quit ebay twice for some time then back again only to feel exactly the same way about these fees. How is it a discount if its just added back in with seller fees. I thought for the longest that somehow I've been doing something wrong by charging the actual ship price(or lower). I'm the one printing the labels and rounding up supplies and packaging and delivering to p.o. only to get charged for it. BLA!