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Made in us
Osprey Reader

York, PA USA

I wanted to offering some ideas for how to navigate the shipping process to save some money and problems.

I am sharing this because I recently wanted to buy something but cancelled because I thought the shipping was too high.

I have shipped over 17,000 packages over the past few years and these are some things I do to save my customers money.

First off, you get a discount for printing your label online instead of walking in to the post office. Use this as a starting point.

However, the USPS web site does not allow first class label printing or international first class at this time. And first class is a nice savings. Keep in mind that first class at the post office is limited to 13 ounces, but first class online is anything up to 16 ounces. This makes a big difference and a lot of packages come in at 14-15 ounces and you can save money by printing your first class label online.

BUT, as I mentioned you can not print that from the postal service web site. You have to use ebay shipping or pay-pal shipping. This also gives you the pay-pal or ebay volume shipping discount. In most cases you are selling something and getting paid by pay-pal. Just click ship from the pay pal transaction page and it lets you buy first class up to 16 ounces.

First class has tracking but no insurance. in my time of mailing packages the loss rate is extremely low. And you have tracking that proves it was delivered. Up to you if you want to risk it. But if you are selling a low price item it is a good idea to offer reasonable shipping.

Depending on the location of your buyer it is sometimes cheaper to send 2 smaller packages using first class instead of a single priority. First class is actually very fast as well so no real worries with that. First class packages are not usually limited in size beyond the fact that no single side can be over 12". Now once the box starts getting that large the box itself adds some weight. I have sometimes cut the inner flaps off a package that was very close to 16 ounces to just bring it in under the limit and save a few $$.

Flat rate priority is usually a good option for packages being shipped a long distance but close by a regular box with priority is always cheaper. I can ship in state for about $7-8 while the flat rate is $15 or so. But across country the regular box can be $25+ so in this case the flat rate is a savings.

For international you can use first class for up to 4 pounds. But it is very expensive and this has caused almost all low price items to be not feasible to ship across borders.

I have explained this in some other places and on my youtube channel. I am hoping this gets corrected at some point but at this time we have to accept that international shipping is only viable for the Chinese shipper because of their subsidies.

Most people are probably well aware of shipping and these tips might be old news. But if you are an occasional seller it may give you some ideas.

If you do not fail often you are not tackling big enough challenges. 
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut

I ship a lot with ebay so I'm in the post office a bunch. There are always people who have no clue how much shipping can cost and end up loosing out on deals because they did not charge correct shipping.

You can calculate shipping from the post office's website, so if you are going to sell something or do a trade, find a box that fits your item, then weigh it and measure it before selling it. Then check the cost to ship to the farthest point in the country from you. Something that may cost me less than $10 ship in my region may cost $75 to ship across the country.

Size matters. Bigly. Going over 12 inches on any dimension can jack up the cost significantly when shipping across the country, but it might have no impact locally.

Flat rate keeps things simple, but not always cost effective. If I have something I know is heavy and will fit in a flat rate box, I might sell it with free shipping and factor in the flat rate price in the listing amount, but if someone relatively close buys it, I can ship it for $10 less with normal priority mail. Most of the time, though, I'll know my dimensions and weight in advance and choose calculated shipping and have the buyer pay the calculated price. I know how much I want to get out of an item and if someone across the country wants to pay 2x-7x more for shipping then someone close, then fine.

First Class is wonderful. Buying online shipping labels I know I can ship a package weighing 4oz or less for under $3.50. If I'm selling one or two metal minis at a time or a bunch plastic minis, I have 4x4x4 inch boxes that keep weight down and are strong enough to keep the stuff safe.

Also, shipping things nowadays is really wonky. I've had priority mail packages take crazy amounts of time to ship compared to the way things were before Covid. It's weird and doesn't follow any pattern I've been able to discern.
Made in us
Courageous Space Marine Captain


Do I need to have an eBay or PayPal store to use their shipping?

Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut

 BobtheInquisitor wrote:
Do I need to have an eBay or PayPal store to use their shipping?

No. Ebay will only let you make labels for items you sell as far as I know and Paypal will let you ship anything you want, but in either cases you don't need stores as far as I know, just a normal account.

Automatically Appended Next Post:
Another thing to keep in mind with Ebay is that they charge Final Value Fees on shipping, but they give you a discount when purchasing shipping, so it ends up being a wash (sometimes it is in your favor since I've had 20% discounts on shipping from them at times. However, if you charge accurate shipping and then buy it from the Post Office, you are paying a 10% fee on the shipping you charged.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/07/28 14:32:10

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