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#1
Old 08-07-2006, 08:31 PM
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Location: Home of SuperBowl XLVI
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eBay Sellers: What do you use for packing/shipping clothes?

I've got some baby items that were given to me that I'm going to sell on eBay. I've never done this before, so I'm looking for some answers.

How do you ship your items? Priorty or just first-class mail? Do you use plastic/Tyvek envelopes or small boxes? And, how much do you charge for shipping? Flat fee, or actual shipping? Do you include a handling fee?

Thanks for your input!
#2
Old 08-07-2006, 08:48 PM
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Location: NE Ohio
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I don't sell clothes on eBay, but I do other stuff.

As far as shipping, I usually go Priority or UPS Ground for heavier things. Buyers usually seem to be more interested in getting it fast rather than cheap. If your baby items are under a pound, you can ship anywhere in the U.S. for $4.05 via Priority.

I estimate shipping based on the weight using eBay's shipping calculator. If it's a fairly light item, I usually offer flat shipping. If it's something really heavy, I let the bidder calculate the postage based on his/her zip code.

I usually include a little bit extra above the postage cost to cover the cost of shipping supplies. Almost everything I ship has to be bubble-wrapped and/or surrounded by packing peanuts. For baby clothes, I'd think a padded envelope would be just fine. For other items, use your judgement. You can order Priority mail boxes free from the eBay web site (but you have to use them for Priority mail -- duh.)
#3
Old 08-07-2006, 10:06 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Lower half of CA
Posts: 13,915
Quote:
Originally Posted by freckafree
I don't sell clothes on eBay, but I do other stuff.

As far as shipping, I usually go Priority or UPS Ground for heavier things. Buyers usually seem to be more interested in getting it fast rather than cheap. If your baby items are under a pound, you can ship anywhere in the U.S. for $4.05 via Priority.

I estimate shipping based on the weight using eBay's shipping calculator. If it's a fairly light item, I usually offer flat shipping. If it's something really heavy, I let the bidder calculate the postage based on his/her zip code.

I usually include a little bit extra above the postage cost to cover the cost of shipping supplies. Almost everything I ship has to be bubble-wrapped and/or surrounded by packing peanuts. For baby clothes, I'd think a padded envelope would be just fine. For other items, use your judgement. You can order Priority mail boxes free from the eBay web site (but you have to use them for Priority mail -- duh.)
Ditto all of this. I find that padded envelopes and Tyvek work quite well for clothes. Tape it up good, too!
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#4
Old 08-08-2006, 04:55 AM
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Pacific Northwest
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I sell little else *than* clothes. Since I sell a lot of these, I buy boxes of 50 10"x12" tyvek envelopes at the local office supply store (for items under 13 oz) and pick up Priority Tyvek bags, and a few boxes, at the post office. I also buy plain white tissue packs at the office store, or at Dollar stores around the holidays. Each item is folded neatly and wrapped in doubled plain white tissue, which is taped shut. This packet slides easily into a tyvek, or box, of the appropriate size. People comment favorably on this packaging, and the tissue only costs $.05-$.10 per sheet.

I highly recommend a postal-quality scale to figure shipping costs, or else use flat rate - I add at least $.50 handling to cover the costs of the tissue and envelope. Your costs may differ. Some people add more "handling", to cover other fees (Paypal, Ebay) but you may not itemize these fees in your auction - it's against the rules. Just call it 'handling'.

I mention 'flat rate' because if people think you're gouging on shipping (it doesn't cost $4.50 to mail a couple of baby onesies), they won't buy from you, they'll buy from someone else. So if nothing else, get a kitchen scale, weigh the item along with a tyvek or bubble envelope, and add another 1.5-2 oz to the weight the scale says, and offer First Class as an option in shipping. You can look up the postage based on that weight on the USPS website. So, I'll charge $2 to mail a 3-5 oz item, $2.50 for a 5-7 oz item, $3 for 7-9 oz, and $3.50 for 10 oz and above (these usually come out fairly right, within $.20 either way - it evens out in the end). Of course, above 13 oz, every item gets bumped up to the 1 lb Priority rate of $4.05. Remember too: any fraction of an ounce, automatically bumps the item to the next ounce rate.
#5
Old 08-08-2006, 11:16 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 5,881
I happen to live minutes from my city's post office, and they have a self-service postage station in the lobby. I will sometimes stop by there and weigh parcels on their scale, because they are really accurate (and free!). I'll jot down the weights, then buy postage or UPS shipping on line.
#6
Old 08-08-2006, 05:27 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Home of SuperBowl XLVI
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Thanks for the help. I have less than a dozen items, so I ordered some Priority Tyvek envelopes and one Priority Box from the Post Office website. I'm going to wait until I get them to put anything up for sale. I want to be sure I have accurate shipping costs or each item.
#7
Old 08-09-2006, 12:04 PM
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Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: San Francisco area
Posts: 16,107
If you're shipping lots, rather than single items, the Priority Mail flat-rate box (think it's something like $5.80) works well for things that can withstand being folded and stuffed into a box. If you fold them so they fill the box with no "dead space," you can stuff three pair of adult jeans into one of these, for example.

Just be aware that the key word is "stuff." Otherwise, I've shipped and received quite a few items of clothing in the Priority Mail tyvek envelopes.
#8
Old 08-09-2006, 12:51 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Home of SuperBowl XLVI
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gotpasswords
Just be aware that the key word is "stuff." Otherwise, I've shipped and received quite a few items of clothing in the Priority Mail tyvek envelopes.

Yeah ... I got two formal dresses from eBay last year for our cruise. Each one had been stuffed into a Tyvek envelope.

The largest lot I'll be selling is 3 sleepers. I'm not worried about them fitting into an envelope.
#9
Old 08-09-2006, 01:18 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Home of SuperBowl XLVI
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One last question ... I know I need to include the "fine print" about shipping and payment options. How does this sound:

The “fine print”
• All items are gently used and washed in Dreft unless noted as new and come from a smoke-free home. Any excessive wear and tear or damage has been noted and photographed.
• There are NO RETURNS unless the item has been grossly mis-represented.
• I must receive contact from the highest bidder within three days after the end of the auction.
• All shipping will be via USPS Priority Mail. I will ship to US addresses only (no APO / FPO mail). Items will be shipped within two days after receipt of payment. Items will be shipped to confirmed PayPal addresses only. Insurance is not included in the shipping price and may be added for $1.30.
• Payment is through PayPal ONLY – no credit cards accepted – and must be made within seven days of the auction’s end. Otherwise, a non-paying bidder report will be filed, negative feedback will be left, and the item will be re-listed.
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