Selling on eBay

Packaging Items

Packing, packing and more packing! The package you are about to ship will receive treatment the likes of which you will not believe. Your box will be thrown across the room from one conveyor belt to another. It will be kicked, tossed, stepped on, walked on and rotated into every position known to mankind. Package your item keeping this simple phrase in mind: if it can be broken, it will be. If you are shipping a turntable for example, remove the platter, balance weight and possibly the headshell and pack it inside bubble wrap under the chassis. Tape the dust cover tight, and always tighten all shipping screws. ½" bubble wrap is normally the best for all audio/video equipment. Place cardboard over speaker grills. If you use foam peanuts, by all means wrap your item in a bag first. UPS requires a 2" crush-zone between the box and the contents, or insurance will not pay - remember that as you pack the item. As soon as you can, weigh your completed package - don't guess! Bathroom scales are not the best solution, but they're better than nothing at all. Seriously consider buying shipping scales, possibly on eBay, but check your local office supply store as some are quite reasonable. Why weigh the packages early in the selling? If your item is small enough to ship via the postal service, you can list a pre-determined shipping cost, remembering insurance and delivery confirmation. If your item is larger UPS will likely be the carrier and many people ask ahead about shipping costs. To check out rates, visit http://www.ups.com/ or http://www.usps.com/, and when doing so, you'll need the weight, package size and zip codes. Remember that large boxes are often oversized and require a higher shipping rate.

Tiny bubbles… You will definitely want to find a good source for ½" bubble wrap and solid boxes. Whatever you do, don't save money by buying cheap boxes… recycle if you can and definitely double-box delicate items. Good boxes can be bought at U-Haul and other moving supply locations, they are not always expensive. Be fair about packing materials and their cost. Asking $20 for packing and boxes might be fair to you but may steer people away. Simply remember what would you do if you were a prospective bidder?

A word about Priority mail boxes. These are free of charge from the post office or the USPS web site: http://www.usps.com/. If you are going to order them, use them only for priority mail - it's the law and we don't want Uncle Sam mad at us, do we? For small items weighing less than two pounds, consider buying padded envelopes. Phono cartridges and music discs are fine in them and remember your CDs and LPs as well as DVDs can be shipped via special "book rate".

Professional packing? Indeed this is an option, but make sure the buyer expects this and the increase in price that comes with it. If you are shipping a super-fragile item and it absolutely, positively has to arrive in perfect condition consider the professional packing option. If you elect to use such a service place a notification in your auction text.

Whew - the item is packed and ready to go. Now label the contents and indicate the weight. Believe me, you have not been through "hectic" until you've had twenty personal auctions end on a Sunday evening and find yourself boxing and weighing all of the items!

Next Page...

Purchasing Items Selling Items
  Timing is Everything   Registering as a Seller
  Proxy Bidding   Payment Options
  Sniping   Auction Assistance
  Seller Feedback & Shipping   Including Photographs
  You've Won! What Now?   Describing an Item
  Sending Payment   Launching an Auction
  Receiving Goods   Packaging
  Received Damaged Goods?   Contacting the Purchaser
  Assistance from eBay   Shipping the Item

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Text © Alan L. Maier, Design & HTML © SMR Group, Images © SMR Group cannot be reproduced without permission. eBay is a registered trademark of SafeHarbor Inc. The images on this page are digitally watermarked and the HTML contains JavaScript to prevent it being opened in a frame on another site.  Last updated 16th December 2000.

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