Many of you might remember Bill Cosby’s analogy on the Cosby Show about presentation. (If not, you can view the excerpt here on YouTube.) This was such a good example because presentation really is everything. Would you take a beautiful, juicy stake that smells absolutely delicious and serve it to a highly esteemed guest on a garbage can lid? No way! Your intentions might be good, but your presentation will ruin those intentions. It is the same way with our business. We should pay attention to our presentation when we send items to customers. We all dread negative feedback and if we can present our packing in such a way that shows the customer we care about their satisfaction, we can ease over some of those people who are difficult to please. Here is a visual guide to how we package items for shipping. (The item given in the example is a real purchase. Therefore we have blurred out private information in the pictures.)
In this example we sold a pair of Brooks Brothers dress pants to a lady named Patsy. Here are all the things we use for packing her item:
- Scotch Tape
- Red Pen
- Tissue Paper
- Packing Slip & Shipping Label
- FREE Padded Flat Rate Envelope
(Other tools we use daily for selling on eBay can be seen on our Selling Tools page and the top 5 shipping supplies you should keep on hand.)
The Packing Slip
Right now we do not have any business cards so we use our packing slip to personally thank our customers. We print our packing slips and purchase shipping labels through PayPal. Please note that the eBay packing slips look different.
On all our packing slips we include a hand written note that says “Thank You” and gives a call-to-action so that we can create a continuing relationship with them. It also gives a personal touch that is hard to capture with buying and selling online. We want them to know that we are real people and deeply appreciate their purchase. This handwritten note goes a long way in showing that we care.
You’ll also notice that we also include our guarantee in the note section. We want them to be assured that if there is any problem with the item or it wasn’t exactly what they were expecting, we will take care of them and make it right. This is our guarantee…
OUR 100% GUARANTEE – Every Purchase is Backed by a 30-day, No-Questions-Asked Return Policy. If you’re not 100% Satisfied, PLEASE contact us BEFORE Leaving Negative Feedback or Opening a Case. No matter what, We’ll Make it Right! Congratulations, The Family Pickers
This can be automatically set up in PayPal by going to your account and clicking on a recent transaction (one that you have not printed a shipping label for). Open up the transaction to see the details and click on “Print Packing Slip” at the bottom on the page. On the Packing Slip page, select “Edit” and you will be directed to a page where you will see the “Customize your message here” box. Edit or change the text and be sure to check the box that says “Save the above settings as my packing slip preferences”. (See the screenshot below) This way, you will not need to edit any further packing slips, your message will appear on all of them.
Once the packing slip is done, we fold it in half twice (in quarters) and slip it inside the item. If it’s a clothing item, we tuck it between the folded layers. If it is a non-clothing item, we will tuck it into the bubble wrap or somewhere in the item. We want our customer to see the packing slip, not have it get lost in the box or fling out on the floor when they pull their item out of the package. The packing slip is our way of asking to get them to come back and buy from us again. Also, if you are a store owner, you can purchase a domain name to attach to your eBay store so that you can include an easy URL on your packing slips or business cards for people to come shop again.
Before wraping the item, always check for lint or hair that might be stuck to it. We want our buyer to have a good first impression of the item they bought. If the first thing they see is our hair, they probably won’t be very happy. For our clothing, we wrap tissue paper around the item as if it were a Christmas present. In all reality, this does nothing for the item. It is for the customer’s sake. We want them to know that we have taken good care of the item they have purchased. Just think about when you go to a high end clothing store, what do they do? Many times they will wrap your item and put it in a nice box or bag. Well, we want that same feel when someone purchases one of our items. Another thing to keep in mind is how you fold the clothing item. It should be done neatly and considering the packaging that you are going to use. Make sure that it is folded in a way that is small enough to fit in the envelope without having to squish it in. Keeping the size and shape of the envelope in mind when folding will save a lot of trouble when you go to sealing your envelope.
We then neatly put it into the envelope. We use USPS’s free Padded Flat Rate Envelopes for our clothing as often as possible. Some have wondered if these are protective enough for clothing and we can assure you that they are! However, even though they are self seal envelopes, we still tape over the flap so that it will reduce the chance of any water or insects from getting into the package.
Another thing to keep in mind when packaging your item is a clean work surface. Just like we wouldn’t want hair inside the package, it would be kinda gross to have someones hair, pet hair, or lint stuck in the tape. With that said, it’s a good idea to package items on a table, not the floor.
We hope these visual tips have helped you. Please share how you add that extra special touch to your items!