Shipping Tools

Shipping has to be the most confusing activity for most online sellers!

Yet, shipping can become easier and less expensive when using many of the options listed below:

As sellers, we need all the help that we can get in the way of shipping tools regarding costs, speed of delivery, box size and types of service.

If you are interested in info on other seller tools, head over to this page: Seller Tools.

Here is a list of my favorite shipping tools. I will be reviewing them, so be sure to come back and check this page often for more information.

  • Amazon Seller Shipping
  • eBay Seller Shipping
  • FedEx
  • Pirate Ship – A Free and cost effective way to ship using USPS
  • Ship Station
  • UPS

In order to use many of these services, you will need a shipping scale. Here is one that I recommend!

You will also want a printer for labels that you print from your home computer or mobile device. No need to drive to the Post Office or shipping store anymore!

My favorite printer is a thermal 4″x6″ printer. Click here to purchase from Amazon!

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

eBay Tip #31 – Dedicated Thermal Label Printer – A Must Have

Rollo Thermal Label Printer

I don’t know why I waited so long, but I finally took the plunge! I bought a dedicated USB thermal label printer!

No Ink Needed


Thermal printers are really cool because they use no ink! Instead, the printer prints digitally on thermal paper by heating selected areas of the paper as it passes over the thermal print head.

Actually, I have previously owned a Dymo thermal printer made just for printing small 1″ x 3″ mailing labels. I used this when I sold on Amazon as an FBA seller (fulfilled by Amazon). In order to send my products to their warehouses, each item had to have the bar code covered over with a new code label. I loved the ease of use. It just printed a specific size label, over and over. It was a work horse! I loved that little printer!

I didn’t come by newest purchase without cause. My main printer, a Brother Color Laser printer (MFC-9130CW) needed a new fuser, which I’ve replaced in the past, so I ordered the part on eBay. It came, I installed and it still was not working properly. I re-installed the old one, no help either. I had a lot of shipping to do today, so yesterday I did a little research and decided to buy a dedicated thermal label printer, just for my shipping labels.

My 1st Choice


How did I decide on the Rollo Thermal Printer? Here are my top three reasons:

  • It works with a Mac
  • The Price was right ($169 on Amazon)
  • I saw some reviews to convince me

Speedy and Compatible


In addition, it works with all my various platforms of selling online:

  • eBay
  • Poshmark
  • Amazon

AND my shipping platforms:

  • eBay.com
  • Stamps.com
  • Endicia
  • Ship Station
  • Pirate Ship

Prints in a Matter of Seconds


  • It uses 4″ x 6″ connected stacked thermal labels, which feed into Rollo printer
  • For best results I use: Preview app and Chrome browsers
  • Label tears right off after printing
  • Peal off back of label and attach to your package!

Here is a video on installing the Mac Driver! So easy!

Recap


eBay Tip #31

Tools can be an important part of your selling online life! Purchasing this dedicated thermal label printer is exactly what I needed for my biz!

Look no further than the Rollo Thermal Label Printer.

  • The Price is right!
  • Easy to use with a Mac!
  • Prints in Seconds!

eBay Tip #26 – 2020 Postal Rates Go Up

On January 26, 2020, the Unites States Postal Service (USPS) put new rates into effect! They say there a two certainties in life: Death and Taxes. I would add Annual Increase of Postal Rates!

New 2020 USPS Rates


• First Class Mail – https://www.usps.com/ship/first-class-mail.htm

• Media Mail – https://www.usps.com/ship/mail-shipping-services.htm

• Priority Mail – https://www.usps.com/ship/priority-mail.htm

• Priority Mail Express – https://www.usps.com/ship/priority-mail-express.htm

 

Here is some info broken down by type of mail.

First Class Letters


A stamp costs 55¢. Hard to believe, but true. Good thing we have “Forever Stamps” that work whatever the rate is. Buying stamps in bulk can help save some money but always being current with the rate when used. Time is saved too, since you won’t have to stand in line at the post office buying 1¢ stamps or other small denominations when increases happen!

Are you aware these differences when sending a good old-fashioned letter?

  • Standard-sized, rectangular envelope stamps start at $0.55.
  • Square, oversize, or unusually shaped envelope stamps start at $0.70.

Postcards


Do you ever send a postcard when you go on a trip anymore? I guess most of us just send a convenient text with photos to our friends and family instead, these days.

  • Standard-sized postcard, rectangular envelope stamps start at $0.35.
  • Oversize postcards need letter stamps, which start at $0.55.

Here is how to send a letter or postcard the right way!

If you have kids, here’s how to form a letter writing club, so they can learn. Sending and receiving mail can be fun!

What is Media Mail?


Here’s some important information sending media mail correctly.

Here’s a list of what you can send:

  • Books (at least 8 pages)
  • 16-millimeter or narrower width films
  • Printed music and test materials
  • Video and sound recordings
  • Playscripts and manuscripts
  • Printed educational reference charts
  • Medical loose-leaf pages and binders
  • Computer-readable media

NOTE: Video games, computer drives, and digital drives do not qualify for Media Mail prices.

Magazines like People or Life and others that have advertisements in them are NOT allowed to be shipped by Media Mail!

How to Send a Package


There are five basic steps to sending a package according to the USPS.

  1. Pack Your Box
  2. Address Your Package
  3. Choose a Mail Service
  4. Calculate and Apply Postage
  5. Ship Your Package

Restrictions


Did you know you are not allowed to ship certain items?

Here is a list that includes:

  • Air Bags
  • Ammunition
  • Explosives
  • Gasoline
  • Marijuana (medical or otherwise)

Priority Mail


  • Fast delivery time: 1-3 Business Days
  • Free Package Pickup service at your home or office
  • Includes USPS Tracking and up to $50 of insurance with most shipments (restrictions apply)
  • Flat Rate, regional, and prepaid pricing (retail only) available

Calculate Your Price Here! It all depends on zip codes, size of package and weight! Bookmark this link for future use!

Faster Yet – Priority Express


  • Fastest delivery times: overnight to 2 days
  • Overnight scheduled delivery by 10:30 am, and Sunday and holiday delivery available in many major markets for an additional fee
  • Free Package Pickup service at your home or office
  • Includes USPS Tracking® and up to $100 of insurance with most shipments
  • Price includes proof of delivery signature record (if requested at time of purchase)

Less Expensive Ways to Ship


If you walk into a post office in person, you will pay a higher rate than if you print postage and shipping labels from home, using eBay’s shipping service or other services like Stamps.com, Endicia.com, Ship Station (I’m a big fan) and Pirate Ship (FREE to create an account!) Shipping online is the way to go, either with USPS.com or one of the services above!

Recap


Tip #26

  • Goal: Know the New 2020, USPS rates
  • Task: Click on the links on this post to see what’s new!
  • Task: Print your shipping online to save money!

 

 

 

eBay Tip #7 – Items Needed to Begin Selling on eBay

Tip #7


Be sure to keep these items handy in one general selling area and away from the rest of the household! No one likes to go hunting for scissors or the scale every time you are ready to ship a package!

Basic Supply List – the Essentials


  • Computer or iPad or iPhone
  • Printer
  • Scale – up to 50 pounds is best
  • 2-up Labels
  • Digital camera or iPad or iPhone
  • Shipping Boxes
  • Paper, ink, packing tape
  • Scissors, tape measure or ruler
  • A backdrop or 3 sided Science Display Board
  • Bubble wrap

Additional Helpful Supplies


  • Fragile stickers
  • Do Not Bend Stickers
  • USPS Priority Stickers
  • Blue painter’s tape
  • Brown gummed tape-heavy duty packing
  • Tripod
  • Jewelry Easel
  • Plate Easel
  • Shirt Folding Accessory
  • Impulse Sealer
  • Polybags
  • Mannequins, styrofoam head displays
  • Additional Digital memory card for camera-more storage
  • Plastic tubs for storage
  • Banker’s storage boxes
  • Photo Studio Light tent
  • White Board for planning & dry erase pens
  • USB Scanner for scanning bar codes

Recap


Tip #7

  • Goals: Be prepared before you begin listing on eBay
  • Task: Gather or buy the essentials

eBay Tip #6 – What Should I Sell?

What should I sell is a question I get all the time from new online sellers.

Here are some ideas of how to narrow it down.

Are You Trying to De Clutter?


If so, then the items you no longer need is a great place to start. ====>

If the item can fit into an average sized box, then eBay may be your answer. You have the choice of using your own box or one that comes free from USPS.

Is the item heavy, but can fit into one of USPS’s flat rate boxes, then the shipping cost will be very easy to calculate and will ship to anywhere in the USA for the same exact cost. International rates will be higher.

The boxes are free and can be ordered online from USPS.

 

Small Flat Rate


There is the small flat rate box (5 3/8″ x 8 3/8″ x 1 1/4″) which will fit three stacked DVD cases and costs a reasonable $7.50. It’s perfect for jewelry or electronics or other small sized items.

Medium Flat Rate


The medium flat rate box is 11″ x 8 1/2″ x 5″ and comes in a top loading or side loading style. Perfect for a lot of heavy magazines or books. One rate for delivery anywhere in the US up to seventy pounds. If you use eBay to ship, with seller discounts it will ship for $12.80 (as of today 1/6/2020).

Large Flat Rate


Large flat rate has a box that fits a large board game or what ever fits. One of USPS’s sayings “If it fits, it ships” is true for all the flat rate boxes. The large flat rate box comes in two sizes and can be ordered online: board game (23 11/16″ x 11 3/4″ x 3″) or the top loading style (12″ x 12″ x 5 1/2″). I personally use this size box when I ship “dead” or old, used tennis balls to buyers (for their dogs!). No matter where they get shipped the cost is predetermined ($17.60 as of 1/6/2020).

Some Selling Ideas


Items to sell in the de-clutter mode:

  • Clothing
  • Shoes
  • Dinnerware
  • DVD’s
  • CD’s
  • Record Albums
  • Books
  • Household item from the kitchen, bathroom, living room, play room, etc.
  • Sporting Equipment
  • Gardening tools
  • Electronics
  • Games
  • Jewelry
  • Toys

The list goes on and on. Do a quick search in the “search” tool bar on eBay to see if your items show up. There is a market for almost anything you can think of. Be creative. By selling on eBay you are trying to find a new home for your item and keep it out of the landfill for just a bit longer.

 

Flat Rate Padded Envelope


One of my favorite ways to ship many items from the list above is in a Flat Rate Padded Envelope. It provides a good value in the shipping cost area and will fit and protect many of the items you may sell. The size is generous (9 1/2″ x 12 1/2″) and costs $7.55 at present time (1/6/2020). They can not be found in most Post Office lobbies, so it’s best to order online. It’s very nice to have free supplies at your fingertips for selling online.

Places to Sell


If you have collectibles, then eBay is one of your best bets in selling online. You can consider Facebook Marketplace, Poshmark, Craig’s List. Click here to see a more detailed list of available sites. I will be reviewing them in the next few weeks and months, so you can make educated decisions on where your items will sell best.

Donation?


If you are unable to sell online and still would like to de-clutter, think of local charities who accept donations. I use a couple places in my town and my primary donation site is Goodwill. It happens to be located in the parking lot of my grocery store, so I can multi-task on shopping days and help others at the same time.

Keep an eye out for more posts on this website about what to sell. With over twenty years experience of selling online, I’ve seen the trends change and cycle up and down. I will also be posting about things that don’t sell well.

Recap


Tip #6

If you want to find items to sell, look no further than your own stuff. It might be time to de-clutter or Marie Kondo it, if it no longer gives you joy!

  • Task: Find a couple pieces of clothing you no longer wear or doesn’t fit
  • Goal: Pick a marketplace to sell and give it a whirl!

If you have already been selling on eBay or other marketplaces, what have you had successes in selling? Please share and comment below.

eBay Tip #3 – Shipping Tools

Tip #3


Once an item sells on eBay there are a variety of ways to ship your item. Here is a rundown on some options:

1) eBay – Under the “bell” image at the top right corner of your eBay page you will see a list of actions. If your buyer has paid, then it will remind you that it’s TIME TO SHIP. Using eBay to ship will be one of the quickest and easiest choices.

Both the buyer and seller’s addresses are populated into the shipping label. You will need to fill in the measurements and weight of the package or envelope and select the method of shipping: first class (under 16 ounces) or priority mail, and if you are using a flat rate box with USPS.

Once complete, select Buy Postage and Print and you are done. Put a plain piece of paper your printer tray or a sticky shipping label (face down). Peel off and put on package. It’s ready to hand off and or be picked up by your mail carrier. Another option is to place on the counter at your local post office.

The USPS tracking number produced by creation of the label will automatically be loaded onto the eBay order page and the buyer can see it as well.

Process: All very simple and direct. Discounts will automatically show up as an eBay seller under costs.

2) Pirate Booty – This shipping tool is FREE to use. Requires a sign-up and gives discounts to shippers automatically. No credit card needed, no spam, no catch! Their tag line is: Get the cheapest shipping rates for all USPS services.

How it works: Measure your package’s dimensions and weigh it. Enter the package’s info and import buyer’s eBay (info in one click) and BUY postage. Print shipping label, put onto package and hand it to USPS. DONE!

I have used Pirate Ship for most of my eBay shipping during the past year and have been completely satisfied. For a few of my UPS and FedEx package’s I’ve used Ship Station – see below.

3) Ship Station – Shipping software (web based) for eCommerce! This is a robust option for shipping your eBay package’s. I have used this software for the past few years and was very happy. It’s very easy to compare shipping options to find the cheapest rates. It imports shipping info from over 70 eCommerce platforms. There are different payment plans from Starter to Enterprise with lots of options in between.

I am now using the Starter plan which allows me to ship up to 50 package’s per month and compare USPS, UPS and FedEx very easily. I use Ship Station primarily for my larger parcels, by size and weight. I have more options than Pirate Ship and eBay allow me to use.

I am a fan of Ship Station. Please use my referral link if interested in trying. You will love their customer service and product!

4) PayPal – Many sellers are not aware that you can ship directly from the PayPal page. On your main page dashboard there is a box that says: “You have orders ready to ship”. Click on that link and you will see a list of the names imported from eBay. Click on PRINT SHIPPING LABEL and you can fill out the necessary box size and weight and see the delivery options available, as well as their costs.

There are discounts from USPS for package’s with this shipping option too. If you spend a lot of time inside the PayPal website, then this option may be for you! The payment comes directly from your PayPal balance or any other added payment options you use. I have used PayPal for shipping in years past, but am not a regular user for shipping at this time.

5) UShip – Freight Shipping – Makes shipping big stuff easy and affordable by connecting people and businesses with discounted extra truck space. No matter what you’re shipping — a car, a boat, your mother’s piano, that massive collection of vinyl records, they have a solution for you!

I have signed up for an account, but have not used the software yet. This past summer I could have used it because I was selling a piano and needed some pricing on freight services. I will post once I use UShip. Sounds like a good option for really large items!

Recap


Tip #3 – Log into the Shipping Option your choice.

  • Task: Ship one item on eBay using a listed option
  • Goal: Find out which software you like best!