Smart ship tips

Get ahead with our expert tips

1. Use eBay Labels and shipping tools to help manage costs and save time

Let’s face it: Nobody likes high shipping costs – potential buyers could be put off by higher prices and you miss out on revenue. That’s why reducing shipping costs whenever possible is so important.

person with blue green shirt holding package with United States Postal Service eBay shipping label

Use eBay Labels

eBay Labels is the convenient and affordable way to ship what you sell on eBay, offering great savings with all the major carriers.

Just select an eBay Labels shipping service when you list items, and easily print your shipping labels after the sale. Or, if you prefer, generate a QR code for the carrier to scan at drop off (where available). Plus, when you ship using eBay Labels, tracking is always included.

eBay shipping calculator

eBay Shipping Calculator

Quickly calculate shipping costs and compare eBay negotiated rates from top carriers with our convenient Shipping Calculator. Having accurate and competitive shipping costs in your listings helps generate more bids and purchases.

2. Choose the right shipping option

eBay has 3 different shipping methods to offer you greater flexibility. Each option provides different advantages for different situations, meaning you can find a shipping method that fits your business needs.

Free shipping

Buyers love and oftentimes expect free shipping when they shop online. They’re much more likely to choose an item with free shipping over an item with a shipping charge, even if the total cost is the same. Give buyers what they want. Offer free shipping by simply adding the shipping cost into the item’s price.

Best for sellers who want to boost conversion rates

Calculated shipping

When you create a listing using the calculated shipping option, we automatically update the shipping charge a buyer sees, based on their location and the details you provide on your package and delivery service.

Best for sellers who want to save money on shipping

Flat rate shipping

Show buyers you appreciate their business by offering flat rate shipping. This way, they can buy multiple similar items—for instance, tee shirts, books or DVDs—without having to pay additional postage. It’s a small price to pay to make buyers happy and encourage repeat business.

Best for sellers who often sell multiple items in one purchase

3. Combine shipments

Once you’ve selected a shipping option, consider offering combined shipping discounts. This lets your buyers activate a shipping discount when they buy more than one item, which is a great way to boost your sales.

How it works

Charge the highest shipping cost for the first item and add a lower cost for each additional item. Subtract shipping costs for each additional item purchased. Then combine items into one shipment. Combined shipping is a great solution if you sell in categories where multiple items can be easily combined into one box or envelope, such as:

  • Collectibles (toys, action figures, Hot Wheels, Beanie Babies, Funko Pops, etc.)
  • Printed Literature (including books, comic books, magazines & other paper ephemera)
  • Recorded Media (vinyl records, CDs, DVDs, cassettes, etc.)
  • Clothing
  • Jewelry
  • And many other small and/or light items
collage of collectibles

4. Package like a pro

Buyers appreciate receiving their items securely and attractively packaged – it can help boost your seller ratings and drive repeat sales. Here are a few packaging tips to avoid delays and boost buyer satisfaction:

Use eBay branded shipping supplies

We offer a range of professional yet competitively priced eBay branded shipping supplies, including boxes, envelopes, bubble mailers, tape and more.

person writing thank you cards

Only reuse packaging and boxes when all previous markings and labels have been removed or covered

For example, regardless of what is actually inside your package, any remaining visible markings from a previous label for hazardous materials may result in delivery delays or a package return. Learn more about hazardous materials package markings.

Do not use one carrier’s branded packaging when you are shipping with another carrier

Only use generic, eBay-branded or the specific packaging provided by the carrier you are shipping with.

5. Check for hazardous materials or dangerous goods

If you’re using eBay Labels to ship anything that includes lithium batteries, flammable liquids, weapons, or perishables, you’ll need to take additional steps to make your package compliant.

Find out what you can ship, and what you can’t

Make sure your packages are compliant. For recurring violations, eBay may need to impose seller restrictions, and USPS has the option to take additional legal action.

collage of icons representing hazardous materials: perfume, x mark, rocket, Swiss knife, container with lines, gasoline, laptop, exclamation point, and plant

How do I know if my shipment is considered hazardous?

Check USPS shipping rules to see if your item is on their list, and if it is, how to properly ship it. A high number of shipments considered hazardous have lithium batteries that weren’t declared. (Almost all rechargeable devices contain lithium batteries, so if those are common shipments for you, take note!) Other commonly missed items that require special packaging are perfumes, nail polish, hairspray, cleaning supplies, firearm accessories, knives, swords, lighters, auto accessories, and plants or seeds. 

When using eBay Labels, all items considered hazardous must be shipped by USPS Parcel Select Ground service.  
Read the USPS hazmat shipping rules 

Learn more about eBay’s hazmat policy


Yes. You can take advantage of negotiated rates available with eBay Labels and apply the discounted rates to your eBay listings. Learn more about applying carrier specific discounts to your listings.

No. Our shipping logic does not account for combined package dimensions for multiple item orders. If you select a non-flat shipping service such as regular Priority Mail, the site will calculate a shipping rate based on the weight of all the items purchased together at one time.