Becoming a Seller on Ebay.... Some questions for anyone who can help...

United States
February 12, 2007 11:21am CST
I am planning on becoming a seller on ebay very soon. I am trying to figure out a few things. First of all, how do you figure out shiping and handling? Do you have a scale, or do you eyeball it. How much do youcharge for "handling"? Any tips would be appreciated.
6 responses
@cabergren (1182)
• United States
16 Feb 07
I have been selling on ebay for about 4 years. I currently sell custom made doll clothes for American Girl and Bitty Baby dolls. I definitely use a scale to weight my items. You can pick up one pretty cheap right on ebay. If you decide to ship your items priority mail through the post office, all of their supplies are free. You can order them right on the website and they will deliver right to your door. Otherwise you can always buy your shipping supplies on ebay, they are pretty cheap. Recently I use a fixed shipping charge. I figured out the most it would cost to ship these items and added a little on for shipping and handling and I ship at this fixed rate. If you set it up it will figure the shipping charge to the specific address. There is a spot for putting in shipping and handling charges. The buyer never sees this. Good luck with your selling.
• Netherlands
16 Feb 07
I bought couple of times from abroad. Most of the time I got dissapointed with the shipping and handling they have charged. Because when I got the stuff and I read the actual shipping cost on the postage, the shipping quote differences is alot than actual. Sometimes is 300%. And some sellers kind enough to refund the differences minus their handling, some just blamed yourself. So, I will certainly come back and recommended for an honest seller whom will refund me if their s/h is more than actual, once they go to the post office and send it.
@cjthedog64 (1553)
• United States
16 Feb 07
Thanks for all the info in these responses. I'm a new seller and the s/h is my biggest issue right now. I didn't know about the Priority Mail having free boxes, so I'll definately have to check that out. Thanks!
@Denmarkguy (1845)
• United States
16 Feb 07
It depends a little bit on what you're planning to sell. People who sell books (for example) send most of their books via USPS media mail, which is quite cheap. If you're selling something else, like clothes or decorative items, you'll probably want to get yourself a postal scale that'll weigh up to about 10lbs or so. I generally ship everything with priority mail, to US destinations. The benefit of priority mail is that the boxes are free from the postal service-- and they have a variety of sizes available. If you are shipping smallish but heavy items, consider using the "fixed rate box" which come in a couple of sizes and can be shipped for $8.80, at current rates. I generally discourage people from charging a "handling" fee, because with the high cost of shipping these days, a lot of bidders won't bid on auctions where the S/H charges seem very high. In general, if you need cushioning material, you can make do with wadded up newspaper, although if you're shipping glass and/or very fragile items, you'll probably want to buy a roll of bubble wrap from a place like Staples or Office Depot. In most cases, people won't be bothered by a 75c handling charge, which will make you come out OK, on average. If you sell on eBay with any kind of volume, the main thing I have learned (I have been a seller for 9 years) is to not be "attached" to the price of any one item. Some items are going to sell for less than you expect, and some for more. On average you will come out with some profit, and every now and then you'll have a "flyer," which is an item that sells for a "bizarrely high" price... and those can help make your week.
• United States
13 Feb 07
Thanks for posting this question. I'm also about to start selling my twins' gymboree clothing, and have a lot of questions. At this time, I plan to start using the priority mail envelopes or boxes and charge flat rates for shipping. I'm not looking to make money from s&h, although it's pretty obvious that some sellers make as much if not more off of their shipping than that actual item. I usually won't even look at an item if the s&h cost is high.
• United States
13 Feb 07
When selling on eBay, you need to keep in mind that if your handling fee is too high, you'll get less bidders. I mainly sell on ebay but I sell books so shipping is usually a set price since I can send them media mail. For one paperback book I charge 3.00, for hardcover I charge four unless it's a thin hardcover and then I'll charge 3.00. I've seen book sellers charge lower and higher shipping them I do so I fall in the middle. I recommend investing in a scale if you're selling different items. I agree with the first poster who mentioned the priority flat rate boxes for $8.10 but sometimes things will ship for less. I'd try to keep your handling fee $3.00 or under because I myself have passed on many items on eBay when the shipping was too high. Since I sell on eBay, I can guesstimate how much something would cost to ship to me. I don't have a problem paying a handling charge if it's not super high. It's probably going to be trial and error. You'll have to see what works for you and you'll get in the groove in no time. Good luck! :)