Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Ebay Selling Tips: How To Ship Video Games

By Ethan Pepper  |  April 25, 2012 4 comments


Shipping games isn't as easy as it it sounds!




 




How To Ship Video Games On Ebay




 




 




If you're successful on eBay then there is one thing you'll be spending a lot of time on. That is packing and shipping items. This may seem simple at first but when shipping a large number of items you want things to be as cost effective as possible. Another important consideration is your time. Time is valuable, the more time you spend shipping the less time you have for other important aspects of your business.Now this blog is about selling video games on eBay so we'll focus on that area but many of the same tips apply to other items as well.












 








  1. Have your own scale. A lot of video game items will not really need to be weighed. For example once you know the weight of one Nintendo NES cartridge you pretty much know the weight of every other NES cartridge. You should still have a scale though for those odd items with bonus material or lots of unsold games (believe me you'll have them).
  2. Be friendly with your postal workers. Making small talk with your local post office employees is not a waste of time. Doing so can help ensure that your packages don't get rejected for some small inaccuracy in the size or weight of the package.
  3. Print your postage online. eBay has just recently introduced eBay Labels that allows you to print up to fifty labels in bulk from your home computer. PayPal also features a multi-order shipping tool. Both are great tools that allow you to save time in printing out bulk shipping labels. There are some differences though PayPal multi-order shipping allows up to 100 shipping labels at once and can import labels from non eBay transactions. Ebay Labels has the advantage of being able to print First Class International Postage and USPS Regional Box Postage.
  4. Buy bubble mailers. For video games nothing is better than the bubble mailer. Drop the game in and stick a label on it and you're pretty much done. Don't make the mistake of thinking that you can save money by shipping games in large envelopes or in spare boxes. In the end you probably won't save much money and you'll end up spending more time on home made packaging for your games. Be prepared, buy bubble mailers in bulk. The best place to buy bubble mailers is actually eBay itself. If you buy in lots of 100s of each size you need it shouldn't cost more that $0.15 per mailer.
  5. Get Free Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes and Envelopes. With video game consoles the best idea is to grab various size Flat Rate Boxes from the USPS. Many consoles fit in these boxes and it makes it much more convenient than weighing each and everyone of them. Most of the time it is cheaper or about the same as sending the console Parcel Post especially if the buyer lives in a different region. These can also come in handy for video game lots or combined shipments.
  6. Recycle old boxes.  When you receive boxes break them down and store them for those odd items that don't fit into any flat rate boxes or envelopes like an original Xbox for example.
  7. Combine shipping. If your selling video games on eBay you need to combine shipping on your orders. This will promote orders of more than one item which means more sales for you. Also, the cost of shipping will go down so likely you will make more money from your shipping charges as well. For example let's say you charge $4 shipping on your first order and $2 for every order after that. Now let's say the buyer likes the deal because he saves on buying each game from separate sellers and he orders 8 games. All the games fit in one medium flat rate box for $11.35 and the buyer paid $18. That's seven extra dollars just in shipping charges.
  8. Never ship without Delivery Confirmation. You may be tempted to ship without delivery confirmation to save on shipping charges. One example of this is shipping to Canada you can ship First Class items to Canada for about the same amount as it would cost to ship them here in the US. The only differences being that you have to fill out a customs form and there is no delivery confirmation. It can be tempting because by offering this service you can get more sales from buyers in Canada. Don't do it you'll have nowhere to turn if one of these buyers claims that they didn't receive their item. The scammers are out there (even in Canada).
  9. Use AdShip Ad Supported Shipping.  AdShip is a third party eBay app that allows you to offset some of your shipping cost. Here's how it works: you sell your item and pay for shipping through eBay. Then you start the AdShip app, it imports the recently sold items and you print out a packing slip. AdShip will send an email to the buyer confirming the item was shipped. Included in the email and packing slip will be a small advertisement which you are reimbursed for including. This in itself can save you about $0.20 per shipment. One thing to note is that if you use this system you should turn off automatic "Item Shipped" emails in eBay. Otherwise customers will get repeat emails which may be confusing.




Have some tips for shipping on eBay?  Leave them in the comments section below.





 





Author: Ethan Pepper

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4 comments:

  1. That is EXACTLY why I have INCREASED my sipnhipg costs on ebay!!!! Offer free sipnhipg and get F$#%ed and pay the sipnhipg myself while still pay a final value fee for the product? Why don't I save myself the trouble and take my stuff and throw it in a trash can and light it on fire. Charging for sipnhipg is just the newest way to screw over the seller.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good info!! I actually need custom poly bags for my business in bulk. Earlier I was using standard size ploy bags, which is costing me more.

    ReplyDelete
  3. UPDATE: AdShip no longer does business with eBay sellers unless they use a paid service like endicia.com or stamps.com. Also they left many eBay sellers without payment claiming that the sellers must prove that they included an invoice in all their shipments. It is safe to say that while they had a good idea that I think could still work (perhaps by another company) that they are unprofessional and poorly run. They are no longer recommended.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great column and some good suggestions. As a fellow business owner I'm always looking to cut down on costs and increase my profit margins. Avoiding trips out which leads to more time building my business is a real bonus. There's a solution at ePrintPostage.com that can help decrease your postage costs greatly. Simply printing out postage using your computer and a printer.

    ReplyDelete

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