Archive | June, 2009

Can USPS Signature Confirmation Be Used to Ship to P.O. Box?

26 Jun

You may also be interested in these guides: Does USPS Require A Signature For Delivery? and How to Use USPS Signature Confirmation Effectively with eBay and Paypal

Yes, if you ship an item with Signature Confirmation to a Post Office Box, the recipient will receive a notice that there is a package that requires a signature.  The recipient will then take the notice to the Post Office window and sign for the package.  This is exactly the same process that would happen if you shipped Signature Confirmation to an address and there was no one available to sign for it.  For my guide on when Signature Confirmation is required on eBay and Paypal see, How to Use USPS Signature Confirmation Effectively with eBay and Paypal.  Remember, only USPS can deliver to Post Office boxes so if you’re shipping with UPS, Fedex, or anyone else it will not be possible to ship to P.O. boxes.

Is It Less Expensive to Ship an Envelope or a Box With USPS/Fedex/UPS?

26 Jun

You may also be interested in these guides: Utilizing USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes For Your eBay Business and Guide Roundup – How to Ship on eBay and Paypal

This is actually a common question.  You pay the shipping cost based on the total weight of the package including the packaging.  If you ship a 1 pound item in a 5 pound box then you’re going to pay shipping on 6 pounds.  If you shipped the 1 pound item in a 2 ounce envelope then you’re going to pay postage on 1 pound 2 ounces.  Thus, using the lightest packaging available will be cheaper.  Remember how USPS rates work.   There is no difference in cost between a package that weighs 2lbs 1 ounce and 3 pounds even, but there is a significant increase in cost between 3 lbs even and 3lbs 1 ounce. Likewise, there is no difference in cost between a package that weighs 1 pound 1 ounce and 2 pounds even but there is a significant increase between 2 pounds even and 2 pounds 1 ounce.  This means that your packaging can weigh as much as 15 ounces and not cost any more to ship than if you had put a shipping label on the item itself.  Take into consideration whether or not the item is fragile when considering packaging options.  Many of the USPS boxes are durable and lightweight.  You can order USPS Priority Mail boxes and have them delivered for free at The USPS Store.  They are also available for free at any Post Office and most other mailing stores.

Does USPS Require A Signature For Delivery?

26 Jun

You may also be interested in these guides: Can USPS Signature Confirmation Be Used to Ship to P.O. Box? and Guide Roundup – How to Ship on eBay and Paypal

No, USPS does not require a signature for any package or letter unless signature confirmation or another extra service such as certified mail is also purchased.  Signature Confirmation costs an additional $1.95 when the shipping label is printed online and $2.35 when purchased at the Post Office.  To read my extensive guide on when Signature Confirmation is required on eBay and Paypal see, How to Use USPS Signature Confirmation Effectively with eBay and Paypal.

Can I Use My Own Box to Ship USPS Flat Rate?

26 Jun

No, if you could use your own box as a Flat Rate Box it would defeat the purpose of having Flat Rate Boxes as you could just ship any package for $10.95 and call it Flat Rate.  Likewise, you can’t use a Flat Rate Box and ship it as variable weight.  There are free USPS boxes with similar dimensions to the Flat Rate Boxes available, so there is no reason to use a Flat Rate to ship variable weight.  Flat Rate Boxes are available in a variety of sizes and costs.  For an in-depth look at Flat Rate Shipping and when using it is cost efficient see my guide, Utilizing USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes For Your eBay Business .

Create An eBay Fixed Price Multiple Quantity Listing To Maximize Views and Profit

9 Jun

I have written a bit on pricing strategies, fee structures, and “Best Match” search placement, but thought I would take this opportunity to make sure we all understand how multiple quantity Fixed Price listings work on eBay.

Fixed Price Multiple Quantity listings are some of the easiest to create and most profitable on eBay.  They’re easy because you only have to create one listing for many items and they’re potentially more profitable because you can choose what price to sell the item.  If you have more than one of the same item, it may be beneficial to create a fixed price listing with more than one item available to buyers.  In about a week, it will be possible for sellers to create listings where the buyer can choose the color and size of the item within the listing in Men’s and Women’s shoes.  In July, it will be possible to add this feature to other applicable categories in clothing and accessories.  This means sellers will be able to consolidate listings where they offer many different colors and sizes into just one listing. It should also cut down on the time it takes sellers to manually figure out what a particular customer wants.

A lot of sellers may continue to list numerous Fixed Price listings with different sizes and colors.  For example, many sellers still choose to list the same pair of Nike shoes in every single possible size and color as a separate listing.  This isn’t necessarily the best approach.  It may make the listings more obvious to buyers due to the sheer volume, but there is no guarantee that the buyer will even search through listings long enough to find them.  With eBay’s default “Best Match Search,” Fixed Price listings with sales are heavily favored in search results.  If a listing has two or three sales, it will show up in a buyer’s search results long before any Fixed Price listing without any sales.  If a buyer searches for “Nike Shoes” and you have a listing with several previous sales, free shipping, and good Detailed Seller Ratings, then chances are your item will show up in the top 10 search results, virtually guaranteeing that your item will be seen by every single buyer who searches for Nikes.  For now, you will have to make a note in your listing that it is impossible to choose the size within eBay and that the buyer should email you what size they want or include it in their Paypal note when they submit payment.  If your listing ends or you sell out of the quantity you had listed, it is still possible to take advantage of the increased search result placement you’ve earned if you relist the item without changing anything in the description or raising the price.  This is a strict policy.  If you change anything at all in the description you will lose your search placement.  EBay has this policy because it would be easy for a seller to sell a bunch of a $1 items, get high search placement, and then change the listing entirely to sell Nintendo Wii’s or a fraudulent item.  To take advantage of your raised search placement, I recommend simply clicking “relist” without making any changes to make sure your search placement is intact.

If you’re unsure of how to price your item, consider checking out my pricing strategies guide linked above.  I will mention here that it may be beneficial to accept the first few offers on your item that net a small profit, even if the prices aren’t as good as you’d like for future sales.  This will raise your search standing and make your item seem more appealing to buyers.  The first sale is always the hardest.  Once you sell one, future buyers will see that they aren’t the only one interested in the item at that price.  The downside is that buyers can check your feedback to see what prices previous buyers have paid and make offers accordingly.  The good news is that few buyers are that smart and you should be able to counteroffer a better price that the buyer will accept. You can also continually relist a Fixed Price listing with only one quantity, but you won’t take advantage of buyers who see that multiple units have already been purchased.

My recommendation is to create one account for Fixed Price listings and another account for auctions.  Separating the accounts will make it less likely that your Fixed Price listings will put a ceiling on the auction prices.  If you run auctions alongside Fixed Price listings, your auctions will rarely sell for more than the Fixed Price item price because most buyers will realize that they could just buy the item from the Fixed Price listing.  Since most buyers on eBay are looking for a “deal” it will be harder to get higher prices at auction because bidding a higher amount on the auction seems like less of a deal compared when compared to the Fixed Price listing, even if it still a great deal compared to retail or what they could buy the item for from another vendor.

Visibility is one of the most important aspects of being successful on eBay or any other platform.  Utilizing Fixed Price Multiple Quantity listings can increase your search visibility and lead to more sales at higher prices if used correctly.