Ebay Hints

I periodically downsize excess and unwanted household items to declutter the home.  Most of this is done over Ebay.  I have been Ebaying for about 7 years, and I have come to figure some things out.  One thing in particular is shipping.  In general, Ebay is a good system, filled with good people.  However, there are exceptions; both in the form of misunderstandings and scams.  As such, I typically offer only the lowest cost shipping option as that reduces my risk if a buyer demands their money back.  When this happens, I give a no hassle refund as it’s good for business and it takes too much time to dispute.  I’d rather keep moving forward.

Overall, I figure that refunds count for about 5% of both my customer quantity and sales amounts, which is not really that bad of a number.

A well-kept secret is the USPS regional rate box.  I’ve sent out plenty, but have never received one.  These are priority mail flat rate boxes that offer different rates to different regions.  This is very advantageous to those who live in the middle of the U.S. and for those whose shipments are within a region.  The regional rate boxes are still effective from coast to coast if you take advantage of the dimensional differences between traditional flat rate boxes.  In addition, all priority USPS mail can be arranged for at residence pick-up at no charge through their online portal.

Item condition is a tricky one.  If I feel that an item is high risk for malfunctioning such as tech items, I will just list the item for parts. Even if I get less money for it, I still made a sale and avoided the potential for a bait and switch.

Shipping on Ebay

Selling on Ebay is a great way to bring in some extra money.  There are pitfalls just like any other internet opportunity.  It is difficult enough to make a profit after overcoming fees.  Add to that the cost of packaging materials, it is easy to understand why many who make a go at Ebay, withdraw shortly thereafter.  To keep costs low, reuse boxes.  Use the flat rate priority box when cheaper than parcel post.  Priority mail comes with free boxes and free residential pickup, reducing costs further.  Amazon.com boxes are good to keep as they are excellent quality.

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