If you are new to shipping or selling on eBay, you will need to set up a shipping center. This video will show you what you will need. The following 10 items will get you started with the basics:
- Packing Tape & Dispenser—I suggest the clear plastic tape that is 3 inches wide.
- Boxes—use a corrugated box that is new or in good condition. Choose a box that your item will fit in with a minimum 3 inches of space around it for packing material.
- Packing Material—depending on the item you are shipping, you will need to prevent it from breaking or shifting while traveling. You can use packing peanuts, crumpled up newspaper, or bubble wrap.
- Shipping Envelopes—keep a supply of flat envelopes from the shipping carriers (free) and some brown padded ones for smaller items like books.
- Tape Measure—to measure the size of your package. Carriers charge based on the actual weight or what is called dimensional weight. Dimensional weight is based on the cubic size of a package. This is the length x width x height of the box in inches.
- Calculator—now that you have the measurements of your box, you will need to calculate the dimensional weight. For example: a box with the dimensions of 20″ (L) x 20″ x 20″ (H) = 8,000 cubic inches, divided by 194 = 41.2 pounds for a “dimensional weight” of 42 pounds (always round to the next full pound). Now you know why you need a calculator. Or you can enter the measurements in this calculator.
- Shipping Scale—a digital shipping scale that weighs in pounds is essential; you can find one on eBay. Most parcel carriers ship up to 150 pounds but if you never ship anything over 50 pounds, you don’t need to overbuy.
- Label Printer—the ink-jet printer that you use with your computer is sufficient for printing labels when you ship online; if you ship more than a few packages every day, you may want to consider a thermal label printer that prints directly on 4 x 6 labels.
- Computer—the best way to ship is to go online. Shipping online provides discounts. Don’t waste time and money going to the US Post Office or a UPS, FedEx, or DHL retail store.
- Internet Connection—to get to the carrier and shipping websites, you will need an internet connection; hopefully, you are not still using a modem.
Taylor’s Tip # 5: Carriers provide free boxes for express shipments & the US Post Office has free Priority & Express Mail boxes.