With more than 171 million active buyers, it’s clear that eBay is still a popular destination for online shoppers. But this popularity comes with extremely high demands for faster, cheaper shipping options—especially considering the same-day delivery service offered by Amazon, arguably eBay’s biggest competitor.
While eBay sellers should focus on upping their shipping game, there’s more to it than getting from A to B as quickly as possible. It’s worth remembering that two of the four suggested ways to get buyers to leave a detailed rating on eBay concern shipping, dispatching and packing—and successful ratings make for successful sellers.
In this blog, we’ll look at three rock-solid points to keep in mind when shipping on eBay, no matter what size seller you are:
1. Pick a shipping option that suits your store
eBay stores come in all shapes and sizes, so there’s no one-size-fits-all framework when it comes to the best shipping option for buyers. That said, eBay offers sellers a “Shipping for me” resource where you can get shipping guidance based on the experience of similar items previously sold in your same category.
If you are new to eBay, this is valuable information to kickstart your own store.
Within this, there are a variety of options that eBay sellers use. The key is here to put yourself in the shoes of the buyer to fully understand what will work as the best option for your store:
- Flat-fee shipping: Sellers decide to set one fee for buyers. This type of shipping requires research into similar items shipping cost.
- Calculated shipping: Requires sellers to use eBay’s shipping calculator to determine a shipping rate based on the dimensions and weight of the package while also taking into account the location of the customer. This way a seller can view each item on a case by case basis.
- Local pickup: Perfect for eBay buyers and sellers who live near each other and especially for online stores selling large or fragile items, such as furniture or machinery.
Check out this video which goes through the shipping options for eBay:
2. Don’t overcharge
Each marketplace comes with different regulations and restrictions for shipping and delivery—including eBay. Online sellers will find that extra charges will damage the amount of sales they get. This is due to the psychology behind free shipping and online shoppers’ expectations. Here are a couple of points to remember for shipping fees:
- No matter the age or target audience of your online store, everyone loves cheap shipping. Free? Even better. Try and keep it as transparent as possible and don’t surprise your customers with hidden costs.
- Ecommerce expert Marsha Collier discusses the simplest way to work out your eBay shipping so as to be fair to buyers. It’s important to consider that buyers on eBay are usually categorized as people who like a bargain. This is something we touched on when we compared selling on Amazon vs eBay and Marsha reiterates it in her article. However, if the customer wants it faster, that calls for a higher shipping fee.
- The best way to avoid overcharging on eBay shipping is to map out the fees of each product you have. Although this may be a tedious process, the cost of packaging and the location of the customer will be different depending on the case at hand.
3. Consider packaging, personalization and tracking
Online buyers will analyze every part of a transaction down to the packaging. So don’t just stop making an effort once you receive payment.
Whether you’re a big or small online seller, you must make sure you treat each individual purchase as a separate case. You never know when a particular buyer could be the one person to give you negative feedback—and for something as small as packaging. Here are a few ways to package your products thoroughly:
- Don’t overfill a small package: Take a flat mailer for example. They’re made to fit a certain amount of clothing or small items but other than that it would appear to a buyer like you are trying to cut costs by squeezing items into it.
- Use eBay branding if possible: If a customer receives a package with branding it will always look more professional than just a plain box.
- Include a packing slip in the package: If you want to personalize it for your buyers, make the extra effort to include a packing slip to give the reassurance of an exchange or refund. Making the process as easy as possible for the customer will have an impact on their view of the service.
The main point to remember with shipping on eBay is to know who the target audience is. Once you have this information and you follow through on every step of the process, right through to when the package is delivered, you will be guaranteed a satisfied customer.
To keep up with the likes of Amazon, eBay sellers must be clear, thorough and personal to ensure every customer has a great shipping experience.