Despite what some naysayers would have us believe, eBay remains a valid option for those wishing to make some serious money from buying and selling products. Okay, the competition has certainly increased ten-fold, but if you have a decent product and, more importantly, an interested audience, you can still earn a good living by using this mega e-commerce site as a portal for your particular products.
Some of us prefer to sell domestically but for those who are happy to treat the globe as our target demographic, here are some tried and tested shipping tips that will certainly help you to gain the maximum profit and customer satisfaction from your eBay selling activities.
International Shipping Terms
As with domestic shipping, a UK based eBay seller is faced with a variety of options when it comes to sending your sold items to their new owners:
This is the most affordable option for international shipping via Royal Mail. As long as your buyer is happy with the turnaround window for this service, you can sort out your parcel postage with no issues. A typical eBayer in Western Europe can expect a 2 week wait, North America 5 weeks and Africa, Asia and South America will be waiting for about 2 months. Your Australian customers will need some degree of patience as they will be kept hanging on for around 12 weeks.
A quicker option for eBayers and those waiting times will be shrunk considerably. Europeans can expect their parcels in about 3-5 days and the rest of the world are looking at a 7 day window. Of course the domestic postage in the respective countries may have a few words to say about this!
If your eBay product is valuable, you should look at this option at the very least. With this service you can expect your package to be tracked until it leaves our shores and it will only be handed over to your buyer once the required signature is received.
This service offers a five point tracking system and online conformation of delivery.
International Tracked and Signed
The top level service for international eBay sellers in the UK. You will get full end-to-end tracking, a signature on delivery plus an online delivery confirmation for your investment.
Other Overseas Courier Options
Many eBayers go elsewhere for their domestic postage/courier options and prefer companies such as Parcelhub and a variety of other delivery services, so how about international alternatives? Well, the good news is that as well as Parcelhub, there are many couriers that will offer a similar service and the value for money is there to be had. Just check with the available companies and see which one offers you the best bang for your buck and go from there.
Ensure that you inform your eBay buyer with regards to your final choice and try to be as accurate as possible with the estimated arrival date. If your customer is happy with both the product and your communication, it increases the likelihood of them shopping with you again and leaving you glowing feedback.
It is vital that you are on the same page as the international postage services when you add the shipping costs to your eBay products, otherwise you could end up losing out on the whole deal. Thankfully many of the international shipping couriers will have a handy online calculator to help with this process but it’s not exactly rocket science so here is how you do it:
1) You’ll first need to weigh your eBay product including all packaging
2) Then you need to measure the parcel, length x height x width
3) This will tell you the volumetric weight
4) Compare this weight with the actual weight in kg
5) Whichever is the highest, that is the weight that your shipping costs will be based upon
6) You could also use this volumetric calculator
Money Saving Tips
Whether you sell on eBay as an individual or as a part of a small business, it is always useful to learn about which particular corners can be cut to save a few pounds here or there, especially as far as international shipping is concerned. We’ve gleaned a few of these that will help you to generate a larger profit without having a negative effect on your eBay selling experience, especially from your buyer’s point of view:
It makes good business sense to see how much couriers are charging for international shipping fees. Right now there is a mini war going on thanks to the likes of eBay and Amazon and for once the only winners are the consumers. You can save a whopping 80% if you play your cards right and a lower shipping rate is going to make your item even more attractive to those eager beavers on eBay.
You should also look into the insurance options available with international shipping couriers. Just imagine sending out an item worth £500, it goes missing, and the compensation is only a measly £50. Don’t laugh, this happens more often than not and even tracked postage can go missing once it leaves our sunny shores! Ensure that your courier has sufficient insurance in place and factor this into the overall cost of your shipping. You may also wish to offer your buyer a few options so that they can dictate the level of cover for your item.
Top quality packaging can cost a pretty penny and if you are selling an item for a bargain price, you could easily be losing out once you’ve sourced your packaging materials. You can save a fair amount by storing cardboard boxes in a dry place and also look out for bulk deals for parcel tape and labels. Always factor in the cost of packaging into your final price and this way you will never be on the wrong end of the deal.
So get selling!
Thousands of happy eBayers have made the switch to international selling and most of them have never looked back. As long as you pay heed to these tips and always check the buyer’s feedback before sealing the deal, you should be good to go for the foreseeable future!