Here are some tips to help you with your Internet auction shipments.
1. Ship Small, Lightweight Products
The heavier and bulkier the product, the more it will cost to ship. Pick light items in preference to heavier items. Of course, downloadable e-books are the lightest product of all. On the other hand, if your customers want your heavy and bulky items badly enough, they should be willing to pay for the extra shipping charges.
2. Ship Nonphysical Products
Having to ship physical products means more work. You need to pack and label your products, calculate shipping charges, and arrange for the orders to be shipped. Again, electronic downloads eliminate the hassles of physical shipping. However, tangible goods seem to have a higher perceived value. That being the case, you won’t want to eliminate physical products entirely as they can be real profit makers for you.
Despite eBay‘s policy change forbidding the sale of electronic downloads, it is still possible to sell these nonphysical products on eBay through their classified ads.
3. Drop Shipping
Another way to avoid some of the hassles of product fulfillment is drop shipping. There are suppliers who will ship one item at a time for you. You don`t have to stock any inventory. You simply pay your dropship supplier out of the money you receive from your auction sale. They will ship the product directly to your customer.
If you receive bubble wrap, styrofoam peanuts, bubble bags, or appropriate cardboard boxes, you may be able to reuse them for your shipments.
5. Bulk Buying
If you do a lot of auctions, buy your packaging supplies in bulk to receive better pricing.
6. Free Shipping Supplies
Your post office or courier company may supply free shipping cartons for certain shipments.
7. Use Online Automated Tools
You can determine shipping charges from PayPal, the postal service and courier companies by visiting their websites and using the online automated shipping calculation tools. In many cases, you can even create prepaid shipping labels and then arrange for pickup or dropoff of your shipments.
8. Avoid Fragile Items
Obviously, fragile items need to be packed with more care than unbreakable items. Pick durable items in preference to delicate items to reduce damage claims.
9. Insure Valuable Shipments
If you can’t afford the loss of a lost, stolen, or damaged product, be sure to insure your shipment. While you’re at it, request a delivery confirmation, preferably with signature required.
10. Prepare Foreign Shipments Properly
Be sure to prepare the proper Customs Declaration for international shipments. Keep in mind that there are items you can’t legally ship. Even your packing material should be considered. As an example, items shipped in a box labelled “liquor” or “munitions” might be delayed at Customs.