Five Things Online Entrepreneurs Must Know About Shipping on eBay

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If you’re a new or novice seller on eBay, shipping can be very confusing. If you have any amount of success on the site, you’re likely to be making more trips to the post office than ever before. If you know how to handle shipping on your listings, you will be able to avoid one of biggest hiccups that new sellers have. Here is everything you need to know about shipping on eBay.


Before you list any item on eBay, you must know how much it weighs. The weight of your item will determine what shipping options are available to you and how much you have to charge. Purchase a reliable shipping scale so you can determine your package’s weight down to the number of ounces. USPS First Class Shipping is an inexpensive shipping option available for parcels that are 13 ounces and under. Heavier parcels will require different types of shipping. The default option for heavier items is USPS Priority Mail.

Boxes and Envelopes

If you are using Priority Mail, be sure to take advantage of the free boxes that are available directly from USPS. Note that these boxes can only be used for Priority Mail shipments. USPS also has flat rate boxes of various sizes. If you have very heavy items to ship, sending them in flat rate boxes will cost less. You should also hold on to any unmarked boxes you receive in the mail as they might come in handy for a First Class package or an unusually shaped Priority Mail item.

Media Mail

USPS offers a service called Media Mail for certain types of media items. Although this service is slower than First Class, it is also much less expensive. Books, music and movies can be shipped using Media Mail.

Oversized Boxes

If you are selling a large or strangely shaped item, be sure to know the exact dimensions of the box you’re sending it in. Enter the dimensions into eBay’s shipping calculator to see how the dimensions will affect the shipping costs. If you are uncertain, check the dimensions on your shipping company’s website. Oversized boxes can be expensive to ship, even if an item isn’t very heavy.

Local Pickup

Local pickup is an option on eBay that is best used for items that are very large or difficult to ship. However, scammers sometimes take advantage of sellers who use local pickup. Do not accept PayPal payments for local pickup items as PayPal has no proof of delivery. The lack of delivery confirmation makes you vulnerable to having the money taken out of your account if the buyer opens an “item not received” case. You should accept payment in cash and check the money with a counterfeit pen when the exchange is made.

Once you get the hang of how eBay works, setting up your shipping methods is not challenging. If you know the right amount to charge for shipping, you will be able to price your items in a way that attracts more buyers to your listings.