Ebay Seller Shipping Expert Needed

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dps103
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26 Sep 11 02:17:16 pm
Hi,

I became an Ebay Top Rated Seller over the summer. I sell women's clothing. Everything fit nicely into a USPS flate rate envelope at $4.95 each. Now it's sweater weather & they don't fit in these envelopes. Can someone tell me the cheapest way to ship so I can compete?

I'm also stuck on combined shipping. What box do I use? What shipping method? How do I give a price in my listing when I don't know what it will be?

I am in the US and have an Australian customer that wants to purchase an item. The flat rate envelope was $13.95. It's the cheapest I could find. She thought that was ridiculous and said she would not purchase.

I've called USPS 3 times and spoke to 3 different CS reps. None of them could answer any of these questions with certainty. So, I am coming to Salehoo for some advice. Thanks in advance.

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fudjj
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26 Sep 11 09:22:06 pm
Firstly, ignore the customer in Aus, I'm in Aus myself and trust me, local sellers will charge out around that price for shipping locally, let alone shipping from the states.

Now in regards to getting some firm prices, I have no idea why USPS couldn't help you, that's what they are there for lol. I would just start getting a range of different prices for different shipping loads to different places from different providers.

Honestly, that just comes down to hitting the phone or firing off some emails with some specifics in regards to size and weight to start getting some accurate pricing.

Btw, congrats on the Top Rated Seller Status, nice work : )


Mark (fudjj)

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dps103
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28 Sep 11 03:22:11 pm
Thanks for your response.

I hit the phone again and called USPS for the fourth time. Same thing. The CS rep, Rick, couldn't answer so I asked for a supervisor. I got Christy. She tried to look up answers to my shipping questions as fast as I was asking them. Her solution was, for me to get all my questions together, and she would call me the next morning to answer. LOL, I just asked her all of them. Oh well. Didn't matter amyway, because she never called.

So, to my fellow Salehoo Ebay Clothing sellers, I ask you. Can someone tell me the best, cheapest way to ship clothing on Ebay, what to use for packaging and how to combine shipping? I would sincerely appreciate the help!!

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fm1234
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29 Sep 11 06:49:06 pm
From my own experience, you will never get a straight or reliable answer from the USPS phone or online support. As absurd as it might sound, take some theoretically average merchandise down to a post office and see what fits it and how much it costs there. It's a pain to do it, but it will give you an answer on which you can rely.


Frank


"Failure is not when you fall down. Failure is when you don't get back up."

--J.J. Luna
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dps103
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29 Sep 11 11:16:07 pm
Thanks, Frank. I'll give it a try.

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giantaustrader
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30 Sep 11 12:58:56 am
Hi Guys, I have run an ebay store part time for 2 years and it is going well. I want to try drop shipping and build a new web site. What happens if a customer orders 4 items from my web site that will be supplied by 4 suppliers?
That means 4 shipping charges. He may order a total of $100 worth of items and then be faced with a $48 shipping calculation (ie 4 x $12 air bag).
He will never come back again. Yes, I could try to build in some freight charge into my margin but..................
Any sugestions? thks Andrew

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fm1234
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2 Oct 11 03:32:31 am
This question is as old as dropshipping. There is really no practical answer; just another reason to avoid dropshipping in my own opinion.


Frank


"Failure is not when you fall down. Failure is when you don't get back up."

--J.J. Luna
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giantaustrader
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2 Oct 11 06:59:58 am
Thanks Frank, I'm not sure where you are from (I'm in Australia) but I see that there are consolidation warehouses in the US where multiple items are received, packed into one carton or box and then shipped. You still have 4 shipping charges to get the item to the consolidater and then one more to the customer.

To be fair, most customers buy single items and this is when drop shipping can work. But if you try to avoid multiple item orders, you loose the valuable "people who bought this, also purchased these etc." sales tool.

How does Amazon handle this? I know a seller can send his items to an Amazon warehouse. Amazon must use warehouses scattered all over the US.

Rakuten Ibichi (Japan's largest shopping mall) also offer customers multiple store fronts in their "shopping mall", they encourage you to buy multiple items from these multiple store fronts. In this case it is not drop shipping, but buyers are offered products stored at 30,000 (retail) locations.

Thanks Andrew

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fm1234
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2 Oct 11 03:09:40 pm
Not sure if Amazon uses multiple warehouses for fulfillment (I would think that they do, but in my experience I've only ever had stuff sent to one location, so no idea how they handle multiple charges.) Note that when you shop at Amazon, you can end up with enormous shipping charges if you're buying from multiple sellers, even if it all goes on the same transaction. Not all sellers are covered under Super Saver shipping and other specials Amazon runs, so the risk is there just as it would be in ordering from multiple dropshippers off a single site.

I'm not familiar with Rakuten Ibichi, but sounds a lot like a typical portal like Shopping.com or an old school affiliate mall -- so shoppers are dealing with multiple shipping policies there as well. The difference between this and the question about dropshipping is in that it's openly disclosed and even expected by the customers; the difference between the dropshipping scenario and Amazon is that it's Amazon and shoppers routinely overpay at Amazon because they trust the Amazon name. No one in this group is going to build a dropshipping site that comes anywhere close to the sort of "trust by orders of magnitude" that Amazon enjoys, or the (apparent) mass appeal of Ibichi, so not sure if the comparisons hold up.


Frank


"Failure is not when you fall down. Failure is when you don't get back up."

--J.J. Luna
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fudjj
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2 Oct 11 08:37:29 pm
Thanks Frank, I'm not sure where you are from (I'm in Australia) but I see that there are consolidation warehouses in the US where multiple items are received, packed into one carton or box and then shipped. You still have 4 shipping charges to get the item to the consolidater and then one more to the customer.

To be fair, most customers buy single items and this is when drop shipping can work. But if you try to avoid multiple item orders, you loose the valuable "people who bought this, also purchased these etc." sales tool.

How does Amazon handle this? I know a seller can send his items to an Amazon warehouse. Amazon must use warehouses scattered all over the US.

Rakuten Ibichi (Japan's largest shopping mall) also offer customers multiple store fronts in their "shopping mall", they encourage you to buy multiple items from these multiple store fronts. In this case it is not drop shipping, but buyers are offered products stored at 30,000 (retail) locations.

Thanks Andrew



Not sure I quite grasp the gist of this.

Are you considering this type of business model to buy in bulk or drop shipping?

Of course drop shipping doesn't require any forwarding, it's from the drop shipper direct to the final customer.


Mark (fudjj)

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giantaustrader
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2 Oct 11 09:49:41 pm
Hi Marc, thanks for joining in.

I have been in manufacturing and wholesaling all me life and I am about to launch a large drop-shipping on-line store.

I have been asking about how to handle one buyer when he orders 4 items from my web store, and unknown to the buyer, those 4 items will be drop shipped from 4 warehouses.
I am concerned that he will see 4 shipping charges and then hit the forums complaining about our web store shipping costs.

I have already signed 15 manufacturers or wholesale warehouses to my program and I plan to eventually list 250,000 part numbers in my web store.

Best option is full disclosure although if I offer express air bag delivery at $12.50 per air bag, that's $50 in shipping his 4 items!

Most buyers will probably only order the one item they want but naturally we will try to get the buyer to buy more, but then the shipping issues raises its ugly head.

Thanks again Andrew

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dps103
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2 Oct 11 10:16:50 pm
I'm still wondering if there are any Salehoo members that are, or were Ebay clothing sellers, that can tell me what shipping methods they used on Ebay?

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dcephus87
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26 Oct 11 05:25:37 am
I'm still wondering if there are any Salehoo members that are, or were Ebay clothing sellers, that can tell me what shipping methods they used on Ebay?


First dps103 if you want to try and see if things fit in to a flat rate box or such for the usps I suggest you take home each different size box and apply each clothing. Don't worry it's free to take home the boxes or as many as you want. I've gotten to the point where I can practically eye ball the shipment of my clothes for shipping. And honestly the best thing to do is buy the brown 3m roll of shipping paper to wrap your sweaters. It works for me like a charm! Just wrap it in the paper multiple times and tape it up nice than viola! The 3m brown postal paper is less weight and you save on shipping this paper can be bought from a drugstore.(walgreens,cvs,etc.)

I hate shipping because of the high price but it's something you learn to live with. Now customers should assume when looking at your listing that a sweater is heavier than a normal shirt so in turn it would be a few bucks more. I shipped a sweater with tracking included for around $7.68 priority mail. Not your typical hanes sweater but a nice heavy ralph lauren one at that.

If you don't know the prices of shipping for your clothing...you can keep your receipts from usps because it will display the weight and charge as well when not shipping flat rate. It wouldn't hurt to ask the usps person at the register the number of lbs. and cost.

Another way to ship if you don't know the weight is to buy a scale and weigh the clothing and type the weight in the ebay listing field to calculate shipping according to customers location.

Other carriers might either make or break you, like UPS. Give them a try, ten pounds had cost me 13 to 14 bucks.

All in all, use 3m postal paper and ask for priority(should be the cheapest). Like I said above the paper holds no weight like a box and this saves $$$$$. Also before wrapping in postal paper 2 or 3 times put your clothing in a plastic bag or something else to fight against weather in other cities in case rain gets on the postal paper then put clear tape over the to and from part of the address labels so rain will not smear it in transportation.

I hope this help!

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dps103
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26 Oct 11 01:19:09 pm
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer.

I've been using Priority Mail only & customers are complaining about shipping prices at $4.95 flat rate for tops & sweaters. USPS did not tell me I can wrap in shipping paper & still ship Priority! Please tell me how you calculate the dimensions when wrapped. I purchased a scale so I'm all set to go.

Customers are asking me to ship First Class because it's cheaper, but I'm not ok with no tracking & USPS doesn't pick up. I see everyone doing it though.

If you have time, can you tell me your thoughts on shipping First Class & how to combine shipping in the listing when I don't know what the cost will be?

Again, many thanks.

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dcephus87
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27 Oct 11 05:56:47 pm
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer.

I've been using Priority Mail only & customers are complaining about shipping prices at $4.95 flat rate for tops & sweaters. USPS did not tell me I can wrap in shipping paper & still ship Priority! Please tell me how you calculate the dimensions when wrapped. I purchased a scale so I'm all set to go.

Customers are asking me to ship First Class because it's cheaper, but I'm not ok with no tracking & USPS doesn't pick up. I see everyone doing it though.

If you have time, can you tell me your thoughts on shipping First Class & how to combine shipping in the listing when I don't know what the cost will be?

Again, many thanks.


Have you ever thought of including the shipping price in your item listing? It might eliminate all the customer shipping uproar.

I don't calculate dimensions when I wrap an item I just try to make sure it is light as possible. You will most likely get charged for only the weight anyway when shipping only in the 48 U.S. mainland states anyway.

First class shipping is useless without tracking because a customer can lie about not receiving an item and that's a mess and a waste of time. So tracking is a must always.

Combining shipping....in the listing will only work for flat rate boxes not wrapped paper items. That's when the flat rate shipping is of any real use. With us clothing sellers it comes down to the art of folding clothes for more room in the box or envelope or 3m wrapping paper. The small the fold the more money your likely to save. If it is something with heavy fabric then rolling it then packaging is a solution.

For example someone buys 2 shirts 4.95 + 2.50 extra shipping.(supplying you can fit 2 shirts in 1 envelope)
Depending on the clothing size and fold is going to matter when shipping multiple items too, like you can save by shipping two sweaters folded or rolled very well in the medium flat rate box(the rectangle version) and ship those for 10 bucks opposed to the paper method which would've cost me 7.68 x 2=$15.36

Another idea for combined shipping is to mention that if a customer spends x amount of dollars or buys a certain amount of items in that 1 shopping transaction then you will ship the items in a large flat rate box. Or if that's not enough and the clothes does not fit it would be smart to ship UPS then. It's better to use a bigger box and spend 15 bucks for 10lbs and location than use usps $15 large flat rate box if the clothes can't fit.On top of that ups gives you a tracking number for free.

try it i hope this helps or get some juices flowing.

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dps103
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8 Nov 11 12:26:47 pm
Thank you again for taking the time. Your post has answered my questions & solved my problem. It means a lot!

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pinkcheerleader
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18 Nov 11 11:26:02 pm
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer.

I've been using Priority Mail only & customers are complaining about shipping prices at $4.95 flat rate for tops & sweaters. USPS did not tell me I can wrap in shipping paper & still ship Priority! Please tell me how you calculate the dimensions when wrapped. I purchased a scale so I'm all set to go.

Customers are asking me to ship First Class because it's cheaper, but I'm not ok with no tracking & USPS doesn't pick up. I see everyone doing it though.

If you have time, can you tell me your thoughts on shipping First Class & how to combine shipping in the listing when I don't know what the cost will be?

Again, many thanks.


You can ship USPS First Class with an item under 13oz and with a Delivery Confirmation. (shipping scale is needed for this) I usually ship though my PAYPAL account to get the prepaid label. Delivery Confirmation costs only .19 through paypal. This is very cost effective and it ships REALLY fast.

If anything is over 13oz you will need to send it Priority Mail, Flat Rate Priority Mail, or Parcel Post. I wouldn't suggest Parcel Post since it's slower but priority mail should suffice.

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dps103
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19 Nov 11 05:41:39 am
Wow. Good to know. I do sell some things under 13 oz. Can you tell me what to use for packaging? Thanks.

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