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The holidays can be stressful, but shipping doesn’t have to be. With the right tactics, you’ll be well on your way to shipping like a pro. We spoke to shipping experts as well as sellers just like you to compile a list of the most game-changing shipping tips.
When it comes to handling time, the shorter the better. Even if you offer expedited shipping, if you take too long to get your packages to a carrier, your buyers will get impatient. A quick handling time leads to faster delivery, which results in happy buyers, better ratings, and increased sales.
“I maintain 1-day handling at all times. My best FB score is always shipping time.”
– Seller Harley W.
“I do 1-day handling and I’ve noticed my sales have increased. Lots of positive feedback with ‘super fast shipping’ in the comments. Makes me happy that my customers are happy.”
– Seller Angela F.
Short handling times and expedited shipping are an unbeatable combination. Buyers expect prompt delivery when they shop online. Don’t just meet buyers’ expectations, surpass them.
“This time of year people get extra impatient and it's important to offer expedited shipping. Get it to the carrier ASAP (same day if you can).”
– Seller Kurt F.
Fast shipping is even more important during the holidays. Put your holiday shoppers’ minds at ease by making sure your packages arrive in time. Use our holiday carrier deadlines calendar to ensure delivery by December 25th.
Always upload the tracking information so that your buyer can stay up-to-date on the whereabouts of their order. Buyers feel more confident and at ease when they can keep an eye on where their package is or its estimated arrival. Build trust with your buyers by always keeping them informed.
The way your packages look is a reflection of your business. Use new, branded shipping supplies to make your packages appear professional and show buyers how much you care. Reusing old boxes, especially ones branded with another company's logo, can look sloppy and careless. Stock up on eBay-branded shipping supplies to impress buyers.
“Don’t use recycled boxes. Go with fresh, co-branded eBay supplies. They are so professional and look great when opening up a package.”
– Seller Robbin L.
“Bubble wrap. Wrap it again, and again, and again. Don't let anything fragile touch the edge of the box.”
– Seller Ann W.
Give your buyers the freedom to choose the shipping method or delivery time that works best for them. Only offering one shipping option can feel restrictive and might turn buyers away, so it’s a good idea to give them plenty of options to choose from.
“If an item weighs over 16 ounces, I choose USPS Priority Mail. If it weighs 16 ounces or less, I give my buyers both USPS First Class and USPS Priority Mail options. When possible, I give my buyers 2 or more shipping options, which helps with my Guaranteed Delivery option.”
– Seller Kathy P.
Consider offering free shipping. Think about your own experience when it comes to online shopping. People are more likely to buy something if shipping is free. Attract more buyers and give your current customers a positive experience by offering free shipping. Consider building shipping into the item price instead of charging buyers for shipping. Buyers look for free shipping all year long, but it’s even more important around the holidays. Also, don’t forget to offer free shipping on Free Shipping Day, December 15th!
Want to appeal to even more buyers? Offer international shipping. If you think shipping worldwide sounds like too much of a hassle, we’ve made the process easy with our Global Shipping Program. All you have to do is ship your sold items to the US Shipping Center, and the Global Shipping Program will take care of the rest.
“Don't block any destinations from shipping. Ship internationally as it will grow your business.”
– Seller Pete S.
All you have to do is click, print, and ship. Additionally, eBay labels can help you save up to 24% on Priority Mail® and up to 37%** on FedEx. Plus, your tracking is uploaded automatically.
No matter which carrier you choose, you’ll receive exclusive eBay discounts on shipping. With USPS, you can enjoy the convenience of preferred pricing, automatic tracking, and delivery notification for both domestic and international shipments. You can save up to 37% on domestic services with FedEx. Easy pickup scheduling and free supplies are available through UPS.
A generous return policy is an excellent way to attract buyers and keep your current customers coming back for more. In fact, flexible returns make shoppers 81% more likely to buy. Offering free returns allows buyers to shop with confidence and can actually increase sales. Deliver great customer service by making returns work for you.
Weigh your items ahead of time in order to properly determine the cost of shipping. Our Shipping Calculator can help you calculate shipping costs. Weighing and pre-packing your items provides accurate shipping costs and will make it easier for you to get your items out faster.
“Weigh your item in [the box or envelope] you're going to package it in before listing it. Otherwise you could lose money on shipping.”
– Seller Jessica D.
The holidays are the busiest time of year when it comes to shipping, but these tips can help alleviate some stress. The right shipping strategies can raise your sales and your seller rating while also helping you save time and money—not just during the holidays, but all year long.
Have any shipping questions? Check out our FAQ.
*Optional feature fees and final value fees apply. Excludes some listing styles and categories. See details.
**For domestic shipping and to Canada, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand.
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