eBay Shipping 101

Selling on eBay if full of worries on both sides. Sellers worry about whether buyers will pay, and buyers worry about whether they will actually receive their item. While no transaction is guaranteed to be perfect, you can improve your buyer’s post-sale experience in ways that could benefit you both.



Ship quickly. If you want a good rating for shipping time, you have to get the item in the mail as fast as you can. eBay strongly encourages you to ship in one day after payment, and if you do things right, you could become a Top-Rated Seller — which carries a lot of weight on eBay.

Before the purchase, you have no way of knowing where an item will be going or how the buyer will want you to ship it (Priority, Parcel Select, or International). Wait until the item sells to package it up completely so you can easily locate it and pull it from your inventory. You may want to get a box ready, though, so once the item has been paid for you can pack it up and get it out the door.


Give your customers different shipping options. Some customers are impatient and want their item shipped the second the order is placed. On the other hand, many customers are just fine waiting 5 to 8 days for a package, especially if they think they are saving on shipping costs.

Offering your customers a variety of shipping options lets them choose the shipping method and the amount they will pay. Since you can get a discount and free insurance when you ship most items by USPS Priority Mail, you can often upgrade the shipping for the buyer so that it arrives faster than the shipping option they actually chose. This can get you better feedback and higher DSRs.


Provide tracking information. It may seem a little redundant, but sending shipping notifications through both eBay and your shipping carrier can be beneficial if something goes wrong. Buyers usually don’t pay attention to shipping notices when you first send them out, but you can bet they will dig through their emails if they think the package should have arrived and it hasn’t.

Although the tracking information should go out to the buyer automatically if you buy your postage online, make sure you follow up and send the tracking information to the buyer if you paid for the shipping offline. While buyers don’t generally care what day the item shipped, they will be looking for it to arrive as promised and they’ll want that tracking number if the mail is delayed or running late.


This guest post was contributed by Kat Simpson. Kat is a trusted eCommerce author, speaker, educator, and entrepreneur. Kat Simpson has been a successful eCommerce merchant for over 10 years; is an eBay Education Specialist and Gold Level PowerSeller, as well as a successful Amazon merchant. Currently Kat is the hosts the popular weekly eCommerce Podcast That Kat Radio and an activeĀ Facebook Group ThatKat.


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