There are three ways to recover shipping costs on eBay:
1. Offer free shipping and build the cost into your starting price
2. Offer calculated shipping and charge buyers the actual shipping cost
3. Pre-calculate a fixed shipping price
(Shipping Tip: If you are shipping via Priority mail, check out the weight and see if there is a flat rate offered through the post office. This can often save you money)
Buyers really like free shipping and when they do pay additional for shipping they want to know the cost before they bid. In general you will get more bids with free or fixed cost shipping than with calculated shipping.
Whenever I use fixed shipping, I pre-calculate the shipping cost half-way across the country. For example I live in Washington State, so I pre-calculate shipping costs to St. Louis. Now when I ship further than St. Louis I lose a little on shipping, but when I ship west of St. Louis I make a little. So over time it averages out.
One question that comes up a lot with shipping is multiple purchase discounts. If buyers purchase more than one item from you, should you offer a discount? Of course the choice is yours to make, but it may not be a bad idea. You want to make sure you don’t end up paying for the shipping. If it’s possible to ship the items together, you can offer a discount. If you can get a weight discount when you ship multiple shipments, then you can consider it.
The main thing to remember when it comes to shipping is you don’t want to have to pay out of your profits. If this happens you are not charging enough. Check out your options and Always be very clear about shipping and handling in your description –because buyers often miss the eBay shipping cost statement that appears near your current bid or buy price.
Free Shipping Supplies
Check with your local gift shop, kitchen store or radio shack. They often have good quality used boxes and packing material they have to pay to have recycled. They will often gladly give these to you for free.
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