REMEMBER: You are a REAL BUSINESS so look and act like a top rate business in every area - especially shipping!
1. Always use clean, unripped boxes or envelopes to mail. I usually ship priority mail as it is faster, the mailman picks up at my door, and I get free boxes. However, if you use envelopes, like I do for first class mail, or regular boxes, be sure that they look nice. I remove any old tags, labels, etc. and put the new label over the old label. Don't use beater boxes for your customers.
2. Always wrap the items inside the box (doesn't apply to waterproof envelopes) in plastic so in case the package is left outside on a porch in bad weather, it will not get damaged. This was extremely helpful when I shipped 300 Boyds plush bears and the carrier left them on the front porch in the snow! I had wrapped every single bear individually, then put them all inside a large garbage bag, so there was no damage. I order clear plastic shirt bags which fit most of my items; for the rest I use white garbage bags.
3. Always include a packing slip. What would you think if you ordered from Macy's and they didn't include a packing slip? It would be very unprofessional. However, those of us who sell on ebay are often tempted (myself included!) not to include a packing slip as it takes extra time to print and uses up the ink. I have cut the cost somewhat by always chosing "print" then "properties" then "draft/economy" on my printer to save on ink. You can order free business cards from vista print which also makes you appear professional and lets people know you stand by your product.
4. When you pack a clothing item, or delicate collectible, use tissue paper like the "fancy" stores do. I order 500-1000 sheets of basic white tissue paper from on-line supply stores, then cut it to fit what I need. For example, make sure when mailing a sequined item to cover the sequined part in tissue paper when folding. People will rate you poorly if they think the item was packed poorly. Stuff tissue paper in shoes, purses, etc. Wrap all collectibles carefully in tissue paper before placing in plastic. This may sound like an expense, but 500 sheets at $40 cut in half is 1000 sheets, which will last a long time for most sellers. And remember, if you get high DSR ratings, you get 20% off your selling fees which pays for the additional "first class" touch.
5. Print your shipping labels from paypal or ebay. That way they will be automatically uploaded. If your labels are not waterproof, it is a good idea to put a piece of scotch tape over the shipping address and one at the top and bottom of the label (NEVER over the tracking code section.)
6. Always ship within 24 hours! I can't express how important this is to customers after 5 years of selling, this has been one of my biggest areas of success.
7. If you ship overseas, ALWAYS purchase shipping insurance. The USPS often will not allow you to purchase insurance for international on-line, so I purchase mine through Auctiva shipping. I set the auctiva settings to automatically purchase insurance for all international packages and shipping valued at over $40. If USPS does provide insurance, they usually will not cover the shipping fee, which is expensive. Auctiva shipping insurance covers the shipping fee and I have had several claims with them and be reimbursed in a timely manner.
Just a few tips I've learned through the years ..... and I'm always wanting to learn more from other sellers like you as well! Happy Selling! Please take a moment to rate this if it was helpful at all.
Shipping Tips Proper Package Packing for 5 Star Rating!
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