This is part 3 of this series where we dive deep into teaching you how to get started selling on eBay, the right way! Today we’re gonna cover how to ship easily & quickly as a new seller on eBay!
A common topic we see online is that people are worried about transitioning from marketplaces like Poshmark, Mercari, & Etsy because they think shipping on eBay is difficult. We are six-figure eBay sellers & are gonna prove to you that shipping used items on eBay is EASY!
To ship on eBay, all you really need is a shipping scale, some basic supplies & a few minutes of time! The secret to saving money as a new seller when shipping is by using free supplies that you can easily find & to make sure that you are using the correct packing for the best shipping rates!
In this post & video, we are going to dive into the following topics…
- How to ship items you sold on eBay
- Shipping supplies for every new eBay seller
- What fits in common shipping packages
- How to measure & weigh items for shipment
- Why use USPS Scan Forms
- How to get FREE shipping supplies!
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All of that aside, let’s get into this!
How to ship items you sold on eBay
We are going to use our main eBay store as an example since our case study store doesn’t have any listings yet. If you want to follow us from step one of setting up an eBay account, watch this video first!
Step one – Go to Seller Hub or My eBay
Just so no one is confused… eBay will ask you to opt into Seller Hub at some point after setting up your new account. The interface looks much different than the normal buyers view.
Click My eBay, whichever backend you have it will show your items waiting to be shipped somewhere. All we are gonna do is go and click Awaiting Shipment or Print Labels & Ship.
This part by no means is complicated, but I wanted to cover it since the seller hub vs no seller hub may really confuse people from the get-go,
Step two – Select what items you want to ship
Going one by one is totally fine & for some sellers, it will be necessary, especially if comparing prices on large/heavy items. If you want to learn about eBays bulk shipping tools in-depth, check out this post.
Say if you have a really long skinny item that is heavy… you may have no idea which shipping carrier will be the cheapest for that, comparing at that point will be important.
In other cases, especially as a clothing seller, using the bulk shipping tool which we talk about below will save you SO much time!
Pro Tip! Use the Custom Label feature!
There is NO need for any fancy inventory software when it comes to selling online, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! Until you have a crazy multi-channel system with tons of SKUs & things moving around everywhere, you don’t need to worry.
Simply record your item details & inventory location in this area.
In this example this is how we use this information:
- 5.9 = $5.90 is what the item COST us
- shelf = where the item is stored
- weight & measurement = for our assistant to create shipping labels
Your SKU can be WHATEVER, but most likely it will be some sort of version similar to this. Most sellers will at least record the item cost and storage location here.
If you want to learn more about our $5 an hour eBay assistant who handles all of our listings, shipping labels, & spreadsheets…check out this post!
Step three – Input item shipping details
This is a critical step to not mess up on!
The post office has an automated system that will just charge you through eBay, so don’t try to be slick here. Sure, sometimes it may slip by somehow, but more often than not you will be charged the difference.
One of the best ways to save money is by focusing on this area. How can you fit your item in the smallest package possible to get the lowest rate? Sometimes the difference of just a few inches can mean decent savings!
Step four – Select shipping carrier
This will be a quick overview of what new sellers should know about shipping carriers. We plan on doing a full post on just this topic, so stay tuned for that!
So pretty much this is ALL you need to know when getting started…
USPS will be the best option for clothing sellers in pretty much 99% of cases unless you are shipping large boxes of bulk clothing.
FedEx is fantastic when it comes to larger/heavier items. Smart Post option is cheap but slow & not as great as USPS First Class or Priority
UPS may beat FedEx sometimes on larger items. Having them as an option directly through eBay is a new option (Paypal had it before). You can now get a discount, but we haven’t compared fees yet.
Going back to USPS as this is the most important one for us clothing sellers
First Class Mail – This is the cheapest way to ship clothing, maxing out in the high $5 range. It is a great way to maximize profits. Anything under 16oz can ship this way!
Priority Mail Flat Rate – We cover the packaging in detail in the video & below we even include links, but this type of mail will be the next cheapest option (typically). If you can fit something over 1 pound into a padded flat rate or legal envelope, you will save the most on shipping.
Priority Mail – Separate from the flat rate, you get charged a fee based on location, weight & size. This can get really expensive. A great way to save money is by using a site like Pirateship.com to get access to dimensional shipping rates.
Dimensional shipping really helps with really heavy small items. Something under 20 pounds but smaller than a shoebox will do well with dimensional shipping, anything else stick to eBays options.
Bulk Shipping Tool – Save time shipping
In certain cases, you will have to go through each item one by one, but when that isn’t the case, use the bulk shipping tool!
This part is so important that we even created a whole blog post & video about it here!
Ship everything at once and just fill in the details on one main page. Save you SO much time!
When using this tool, make sure you create a scan form to make your postal person’s life way easier!
Scan Forms – Make the postal person’s life easier!
This is such a SIMPLE way to stand out from the beginner sellers! Be a cool person & make the postal persons job 10x easier if they have to pick up a bunch of packages from you!
All this does is bulk add all of your labels to this one barcode. Postal person scans that one code & off they go! No more needing to scan one by one!
This again only works if you use eBays bulk shipping tool.
Shipping supplies every new eBay seller needs
- Shipping Scale
- Poly Bags
- Shipping Tape
- FREE USPS Supplies!
[Accuteck Shipping Scale] – Under $30 on Amazon!
This thing has been in our shop for years & has never let us down.
The biggest reason I suggest this one? The screen isn’t attached to the scale. Weighing large things really sucks when they cover the entire scale… you cant see the weight.
Buying one with a corded screen will make your like 1000x easier.
We did a full write up here about this scale if you wanna learn more!
If you wanna buy it on Amazon right now or check out some of the 5000 positive reviews, this link will take you directly to the Amazon page
One of the first things I suggest for any online seller to buy is a thermal printer. Stop wasting money on ink. It’s stupid.
Ink is so expensive & re-filling it yourself is a waste of time. The fact that you never have to deal with ink ever again should make you want to go get a thermal printer today.
If you plan on shipping more than 25 items a month, buy a thermal printer.
They can often be found locally for cheap on Facebook Marketplace.
I never pay more than $60-70 for them locally & can flip them all day on eBay for $130. (pro tip)
This is really an item that buying new doesn’t make too much sense. They are over $270 retail but people sell them CHEAP secondhand for some reason…
Instead of buying a new one on Amazon, use this link to help you find a lightly used one on eBay!
If you want to learn more about finding stuff to re-sell on Facebook Marketplace you should check out our Free Course for Beginners, in there we even talk about finding FREE inventory!
This is one area where you need to decide where you wanna be on the eco-friendly spectrum.
We have provided several options as far as sizing & eco-friendliness. Having used all of these personally, the eco-friendly ones look & feel the best.
This is gonna be your workhorse bag if you plan to resell used clothing on eBay, Poshmark, or Mercari. Just the perfect size for most basic clothing…
Things like t-shirts, shorts, & light sweaters will do well with these bags.
We ship about 60% of our orders in these and love them. No issues & they have held up well over the years.
These come in a wide variety of colors, but we go for a simple gray as it is the cheapest.
Buy 200 poly bags for under $16 on Amazon!
These are a MUST for winter. Large coats, backpacks, & even boxes fit perfectly into these. If I ever have a box that is a bit sketchy, I will use these to wrap the outside for more protection!
But mainly, we love these for shipping coats, that’s what we mainly use them for. I think in the three years of doing this, I have maybe found one jacket that just wouldn’t fit into these bags.
This won’t be a bag you will use often, but having at least 50 of them around is nice…
Check them out on Amazon and grab 50 bags for under $12!
We cover several more poly bag options (including eco-friendly ones) in this blog post that covers a bunch of other shipping supplies we use. Read that here!
How to measure & weigh items quickly for eBay
This will be a short topic as this doesn’t need much explaining. Pay attention though, measuring or weighing your item incorrectly can cost you money!
We LOVE using a soft measuring tape! Often called a tailors tape & can be found in the ironing/sewing section of most stores. If you wanna just grab one for under $4 on Amazon, this is the link to one of the most popular ones
Not gonna keep preaching the scale, but this is when it comes in handy!
At this point, knowing what your item weighs is crucial to saving money. The difference a few ounces or pounds can make is a lot!
Our favorite shipping tape
If you have never used shipping tape over a long period of time, you won’t understand why I’m making a whole section about it. Plain & simple, some tape just really sucks. Either it doesn’t stick well, smells like death, or is SUPER expensive!
Over the years we have tried several & have landed on the 12 pack of Tape King for under $20 on Amazon
These have been reliable & cheap over the years. Comparing it to the big box store, you can see there is quite a difference in pricing between these & their generic brand!
Staples generic 12 pack – $26 when on sale, $44 when not on sale
Tape King 12 pack – Under $20 all the time!
In complete transparency, our business hardly uses tape anymore. One of the many perks of being used clothes sellers! In the past, we sold over 7000 unique sized items online so we shipped a bunch of crazy sized packages.
Getting tape you love is important but getting a good deal is just as important! Buying tape individually or from local office supply stores is not how real business owners shop for supplies!
How to get FREE shipping supplies!
Many new sellers still don’t know about this SIMPLE money-saving trick! The post office will give you FREE shipping supplies as long as you use their services!
Not only that, but eBay gives out free stuff to users who signup for a store subscription. That is a quarterly coupon & varies based on the level of your store. If you have an eBay store, click this link to take you to the subscription discount page
Below are links to some of our FAVORITE shipping supplies that USPS gives out for FREE, if you wanna see the complete list, check out this post for the Master Guide of Free Shipping Supplies
Let’s take this one step further and see what kinda person you really are…
You should go dumpster diving! It is such a great way to get cardboard, bubble wrap & styrofoam for shipping heavier items. Major retailers throw this stuff away DAILY!
This works best at stores that receive fragile merchandise. Think places like Pier One Imports, Hobby Lobby, & Best Buy. Every store handles this stuff differently & some places may not want you in their dumpster, so make sure you look into all of that.
We have had great luck with this, especially when starting out. Don’t care what anyone thinks of you, many large re-sellers still do this! Heck if you watch Craigslist Hunter, he still does this!
Foam is expensive when you try to buy it from office supply stores or online. Finding some locally in a dumpster really shouldn’t be that hard!
Also, find out when local box stores have their big truck delivery days. Usually, these days will be filled with tons of broken-down cardboard that they need to get rid of. Places like Walmart will literally have piles of boxes in the aisles that they will usually let you take. Don’t feel weird asking, no one will judge you.
Final thing about free supplies, make sure to check Facebook Marketplace & Craigslist. People give away free boxes often from moving!
Don’t overthink this! That is why most people fail, or worse just never start at all! Plenty of people from young to old ship items daily on eBay, to think that you cannot figure it out is just false.
You’re gonna mess up & lose money. You will eventually mix up packages & send the wrong thing to the wrong person. Things will get lost & broken in shipment. All of this is okay.
Don’t fret on the small stuff, shipping at first is overwhelming but after a few months, you should really find your groove & be a natural!
If you wanna get your online sales journey started the right way, take our Beginners Guide to Re-Selling Course for FREE!
Make sure you follow us on YouTube, we really need all the help we can get on there!