Simple things to remember to help keep the cost of shipping supplies low

When you start to sell items on the internet, one of the things that could eat up any profits are shipping costs.  There are plenty of ways to help keep costs low, and here’s a few of them:

Grocery stores like Wal-Mart will set aside some boxes for you if you ask them to.  They will give you a wide variety of sizes so you can pack any number of items.

If you have a paper item (like an ad or even the cover of a record), you can use plastic bags from stores to help keep it from getting wet.  Make sure that you also put a piece of cardboard with it to help it from not being bent.

When you are packing an item, a good substitute for packing peanuts is newspaper.  Make sure that you use plenty of it so that the item you pack with it doesn’t move around and get damaged while being mailed.

This is just a few of them, what kinds of tips have you heard of?

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3 simple tips to remember when you sell an item online

You decided not to long ago to sell some of your items around the house, and some of your item have sold.  What are some simple tips that you need to keep in mind to help things go smoothly?

Tip number 1—when selling items online, make sure you have a scale to help weight items you are shipping.  You don’t have to worry about getting a scale from the post office—you can use a bathroom scale if it registers anything less than a pound (this will help with first class mail).

Tip number 2—make sure that you pack the items you sell as good as you can.  When I pack an item, I will use bubble wrap and packing peanuts to help keep the item I sold from getting broken.  You never know what might happen when the item is being shipped.

Tip number 3—If you are unable to get an item you sell to the Post Office, you can always schedule a pickup with them.  This can be very useful if the weather outside is bad or if you have to get to work (you can tell the post office to come where you work if it’s ok with your boss).

This is just 3 tips to remember when you sell an item.  What kinds of tips have you run across that help you out?

Shipping practices as an online seller

Over the years, I’ve bought quite a few items on Etsy and on other selling sites. The sellers have quite a few different policies on shipping. It could be shipping the same day you buy it, and I have seen sellers take what they sell to the post office only once a week.

So here’s my question: what’s the best policy to have when it comes to shipping? Is it one trip to the post office a day or even once a week?

Bill and Kerry Atkins from the BatnKatArtifacts shop say they used to ship in 3-5 business days and make bi-weekly trips to the post office, which is 12 miles away. About a year ago, they changed their policy to ship within 1-2 business days. At the same time, they started scheduling free package pickups with USPS during regular delivery. Best decision ever! Not only has this their boosted sales, but it has also reduced their stress level tremendously. Customers love the fast turnaround as well.

The stonebridgeworks shop says that they’re on a rural route but we’re very close to town. They can get a fairly large package in their big mailbox or take it to the Post Office if they are going that way.  They try to ship on the same day so having boxes ready is important. They often use USPS flat-rate or their 7×7 and 12×12 shipping boxes. You can order all of these in bulk online and that saves time and hassle.

When I sell an item through the Wisdom Lane Antiques shop (either here on Etsy or other sites), I try to ship it within a day so that it can get to the buyer as fast as possible (even if it means handing it to the post man when he drops off my mail).

You can also see more shipping practices from more Etsy Vintage Team members here.  What works for you when you sell an item online?

What are some good shipping practices as an online seller?

Over the years, I’ve bought quite a few items on Etsy and on other selling sites. The sellers have quite a few different policies on shipping. It could be shipping the same day you buy it, and I have seen sellers take what they sell to the post office only once a week.

So here’s my question: what’s the best policy to have when it comes to shipping? Is it one trip to the post office a day or even once a week?

The merrysunshine shop always tries to ship the next day, even though their policy reads 1-3 days. (Every once in awhile something comes up and they don’t get it out the next day so they don’t want to be dinged for not adhering to their policy.)

They are very lucky to live about 4 blocks from our post office, so next day isn’t a problem for the shop.  They do not like to wait when they purchase an item and once a week shippers are usually passed by in favor of faster shippers.

The RattyAndCatty shop has a shipping policy is 3-5 days, but they usually ship next day. Having the option to take up to 5 days came in really handy this past winter when both of the people that run the shop came down with the flu and could hardly drag themselves out of bed.

For them, setting our buyers expectation at 3-5 day for shipping, then over performing by getting the package out quickly, the buyer is usually happily surprised with it arrives so quickly.

Amy and Sean of the Pistilbooks shop ship twice a week – Mondays and Thursdays.  Their default shipping is Media Mail, which most buyers of books are used to and is not super fast, so immediate shipping is usually not expected from our buyers.  They have had customers ask for quicker methods occasionally – usually for a gift – and they can make other arrangements for priority or even overnight if requested.

What works for you when you sell an item online?