If you’re just getting started on eBay, or maybe you’re just curious how we make it all happen, here is a guide to all the tools that we find extremely helpful and use everyday in our business.
We understand that an iPad is quite an investment, if you don’t already have one. We finally broke down and purchased one from BestBuy (you can also find them on eBay) and began listing our items with it. We found that it was a huge time saver. Before we would spend the morning pickin’ for items and the whole afternoon taking pictures and cropping and then listing the items the next day. Now we can go pickin’ in the morning and in the afternoon take the pictures, crop, and list all the items in the same day. It cut our listing time in half! Click here to get the eBay mobile apps!
A digital scale is a must have for shipping items on eBay! There is no getting around it… you need to have one if you don’t already. When printing shipping labels on eBay or PayPal, you’ll need the scale to make sure you are entering the correct weight for your items. We recommend purchasing a scale that has at least a 40lb weight capacity, because you never know what you might end up finding and selling on ebay! Here are some shipping tips from eBay that you might find useful.
A large Sharpie Magnum is the perfect size for marking out barcodes and unnecessary writing on reused shipping boxes. These markers save a lot of time because of their size and they do the job very well. It will quickly cover what you need and make people at your post office happy! We recommend purchasing at least two at a time so that when your marker dries up, you will already have the replacement ready to go.
For shipping USPS First Class Mail or USPS First Class International, we uses these Scotch Bubble Mailers. They can be purchased in a variety of sizes. The bubble cushion protects each item and self-sealing closure makes them very easy to use. We have never had any problems with these envelopes. They’ve gone to countries all over the world and items arrived safe and sound.
Free USPS Boxes
Stop scrounging for boxes at the last minute and order free shipping boxes from USPS. The free packaging from USPS that we use the most is the Padded Flat Rate Envelope. This retails for a flat $5.95 shipping ($5.35 if you’re a Top Rated Seller), no matter what the weight is. Since most of our items are clothing, we use it on a majority of them. We also take advantage of their Regional Rate Boxes, you’ll have to check the price on each item depending on where it’s going, but a lot of the time the regional boxes are cheaper than regular priority. We keep a variety of different types and size boxes on hand from the post office so we’ll have the supplies when we need them. If you order too many or a kind that you didn’t end up needing, we recommend taking them back to your local post office.
A good tape gun will make handling packing and shipping much easier. You won’t have to fight the roll of tape when you can find where you left off on the roll, only to have it tear half way down and then you’ve wasted a big piece of tape. (We’ve all been there.) It’s worth it to make the investment and buy a tape gun/dispenser. It just makes life easier!
Heavy Duty Tape
We have tried different kinds of packing tape and the one that works the best for us is Scotch Shipping Tape. It isn’t the cheapest tape out there, but it’s worth the extra cost. This tape is much thicker than the cheap tape and it gives more security to shipping your package. When we used the cheap tape, we were worried about how thin that tape was so we were double taping many things. At that point it really wasn’t cheaper so buying the heavy duty shipping tape from Scotch wasn’t really that much more expensive anyway.
We learned pretty early in our journey of selling on eBay that every small touch means a lot to the buyer when they open their package. One thing we started doing was wrapping all of our clothing items in white tissue paper. This didn’t add any extra protection, but it helps show our buyers that we care about how their item is handled and want to keep it looking nice when they pull it out of the package. We have even received positive feedback commenting on how nice the item was packaged. It’s the little things that sometimes count in giving the customer a good buying experience.
Bubble wrap is one of our most used shipping supplies and it does a great job at keeping almost anything safe in shipping. We like to use the large 1/2″ bubble wrap for larger items and the smaller 3/16″ bubbles for smaller items. We usually will wrap it around an item a minimum of 2-3 times for the best padding. Also consider asking family or friends if they have any or know where you could get bubble wrap. Some businesses will give it to you for free because they usually throw it away anyway.
Air pillows are an extremely lightweight way to fill up spaces in you boxes after you’ve already wrapped your item with bubble wrap. They hold up well in shipping and keep your package weight to a minimum.
When you have a box that is slightly oversized, packing peanuts are perfect for filling in the gaps. You have to use them carefully because they do add some extra weight to your package, but otherwise they are a perfect solution to fill up a box and provide some extra cushion to you item.
When reusing old boxes, you’ll want to remove any old shipping labels or stickers. We’ve found that the easiest way to do this is to use a heat gun and the old labels will peel right off the box without ripping the cardboard.
This is a must have for any business, whether you have a brick and mortar building or you’re an online eBay business. Business cards are a great way to remind your customers who you are when they receive your item and will help prompt repeat purchases. Some companies that you can order from online are: 123Print, PsPrint, or Moo.
Using the right software is very important for keeping good business records. All of our bookkeeping and inventory tracking is done through Microsoft Excel and it has worked very well. We highly recommend using this to keep track of all your business needs. It will help you stay organized and keep all your business records up to date.